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HARVARD 
COLLEGE 
LIBRARY 



/•■A 




LISRARV 

FEB 6 1989 



<2> 



^ 



A CENTURY 



or 



BIRMINGHAM LIFE^ 



OB» 



A CHRONICLE OF LOCAL EVENTS, 



PjtoK 1741 10 1841. 



COMriLBD AMD BDITBD BT 

JOHN ALFEED LANGFORD^ 

VOL. n. 



. "^ BIRMINGHAM : 
!. 0. OSBOBNE, 84, MEW 8TBEET. 

SDIFEIN, MAIWHKUi &M9a^^ 



(% 





'' ""'^^ m &^-K 



lfyUy\\^ -^U^d i 



HARVARD 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 



PUniD IT ■» 0. OBWl, KIW 



PREFACE. 



The success which has attended the publication of the 
first volume of this work has tax exceeded my most 
sanguine expectationa The cordial manner in which the 
press has reviewed the book has greatly cheered and 
encouraged me in the preparation of the second volume. 
The life of Birmingham since the year 1840 — the time 
at which these annals close — has been one of great 
activity ^d interest; which, at some future time, I hope 
to narrate. The relation of the modem life of the town 
would require a mode of treatment different from that 
which has been found so acceptable in the present work. 
It would not be necessary, nor desirable, to reproduce 
the reprints and extracts from the newspapers with the 
8ame^x>piousness ; but to give the results in a consecutive 
and more compressed form. Should I live, it is my 
intention so to complete the stoiy of Birmingham life. 

I have now only to return my hearty thanks to the 
many friends who have helped and encouraged me in 
the production of these two volumes; and to the press 
for the cordial greeting and the generous recognition which 
my self-imposed labour of love has received 

Birmingham, July, 1868. 



CONTENTS OP SECOND VOLUME. 



CHAFTEB L— 1791-1801. 

EfEwte of the Biote — ^Aahted — ^Plan of Binniiiffhain — ^The Lowoellfl — 
I>eriteiid, Digbeth and CSiorry-street — ^Building — Bordealej TaTem 

—Spring Qfurdeiw— IVediold Estate — Tavern and Tea Garden — 
Spioeal-etreet — ^Binningham Heath — ^Women's Market— Popnlation 
and Bo MM Qa iden — Bnckle Mannfactoiy— Bacldee at Court — 
Button Makera— Buckle Trade— Aahted Chapel— Oopper—Beir. £. 
Bom and Dr. Frieetlej— Button's Claiina— Fish— Mr. Ashwin— 
Copper and Brass Trades — Sunday Trading — Shoemakers — The 
Biota — ^Bamcka — ^Dr. Mazweirs Daggers— Incendiary Fires— Dr. 
Witharing— St Martin's Engines— Birmin^^iam and Warwick Canal 
—Tom Psine— The Ber. J. Frood'a Add ress S ir R Lawley— Ban- 
ken^ Notea— FMt Day— Hemlingf ord Hundred BOl— Heniy Clay 
and F^iier Madi6 — ^Boyal Birthdays — ^Penny-post for Birmingham 
—The Biot Levy— The Little Biot— Lord Qeoige Cordon— Warm 
Clothing for the Army in Handera— Malicious Beport — ^Belief of 
the Poor— The Button at Court— Appeal to the Ladies— The King's 
Birthday— Lord Howe's Victory— Beggars and Ballad Singers— Biot 

Pkieumatic Institution — Belief Plan — Owen Owen's 



Decent Burial Sodefy— Benevolent Society — A little Meeting — 
Tohmteera — Scarcity Biota — ^Beaaona for not Bioting — ^Distress and 
Benerdenos — ^Letter from the Duke of Portknd — Pbn of Belief — 
Binningham Wockhouae— Attack on the King— Dipt Button Trade 
— Earthquake- Dipt Buttons i^gain — finployment for duldren — 
Metal Buttona— Deritend Bridge— Aahted Chi^— Sunday Trading 
—Cheap Cook Shopa— Bank Notes— Worcester and Binningham 
Ouial Tunnel— New Tax upon Newqiapera— Deritend Bridge— Tax 
on dodn and Watches— Admiial Donoan'a Yictoiy— Proposed Tax 
on Iran— Pttblie Office Birmini^iam Aitylum— Battle of the Nile— 
The Sundaj Qneslion— Pttblie Houses New Public Office— Copper 
TMU— Buttons— Hospital OoUectkn— Household Bread— Soup 
Shops— Phmdenoe Society— Bread Biot— Collection for Soup 
Shops— The King ahot at— The King^a Birthday— Forestalling, 
Xngrossi^gi and Begrating— Bill for the Improrement of the Town 



VL CONTENTS. 

— ^BiotB Again — Scaitsify— Harbome Penny Club— Copper Trade — 
Botanic Qaiden — Preliminaries and Peace — Blue Coat School — 
New Bank — ^Female School of Industry— Job Nott— Work of Art — 
John CoUard — ^Bisset's Birmingham — ^Mr. Eginton— Priyate Theatre 
—Mr. Collins— La Gnillotine— Burning of the Theatre— The New 
Theatre— The Woodman— Harlequin Mariner— Miss Wallis— The 
Manager— Benefit Concert— Kemble—Comta de Worenzoff— '' Odd'' 
Entertainm^t — Bull-baiting— Cock-fightii^g}— Fatal Fight— Spear 
in a Tooth— A Trance— Pitched Battle— Bull-baiting-Allin's Ad- 
vertisement — Bill to prevent Bull-baiting — Highway Bobbery — 
Execution at Warwick — Birmingham Dispensary — ^The World of 
Soho— The Union Mills— Treason and Seditions-Volunteer Associa- 
tions— A Ckuse C61dbre 1-105 



CHAPTER IL— 1801-1811. 

Houses and Gardens An elegant Mansion— Heath-mill Stream — St. 
Martin's Churchyard— Bidiard Pratchet — Improvements of the 
Town— Lombard House— ^< The Egyptian Conduit"— Water MiU— 
St. Martin's Churchyard— View from High-street— Lord Nelson's 
Visit— Combination — Christ Church — Copper — ^Death of Dr. Priest- 
ley-Death of Mr. F. Blick—Sawyen— Parish of Birmingham— 
Another Charity- Fire Insurance— Prince William of Qlouoester— 
Qeoige IIL— Ooet of the Poor— Founding of Christ Church— New 
Public Office— Battle of Trafalgar— Patriotic Fond— Death of Wil- 
liam Pitt— Tax on Iron — ^Dissenters* Children — ^Attempt to Murder 
a Watchman — ^Execution of Matsell — ^New Prison — ^Lord Howick's 
Catbolio Belief Bill— The King's Birthday— New Public Office- 
Death of Sampson Uoyd— The Combination Laws—Water Works 
—Com Market— Waterworks- White Metal Button Trade- 
Lieutenant Shaipe— The Jews^ Synagogue— Genend Hospital— The 
King's Ascension Anniversary- New Bi^itist GhH>^'^^^«>^^'^ 
gians— Potato Biot— The King's Jubilee— Death of Princess Amelia 
—Water Worbh— Dreadful Tempest— Early London Mail— Popula- 
tion in 1801-11— The Faii^— Masonic Festival— Birmingham Library 
— ^Dr. Birkbeck— Joseph Lancaster— Blake^s Bhistntioos— Metho- 
dist Sunday School— News Boom — ^Instmction of Poor Children — 
Mr. Walker— Dr. Croft— Fiee School- Private Theatricals— Mrs. 
Billington— Pandean Concert— Yonog Bosctos— 'Miss Mndie— The 
Thoatee— The Amphitheatre— Daniel Lambsrt«-Mrs. Siddons- 
The Liceoce Obtained— Mr. W. 0. MacKidy— Esseation at Wash- 
wood Heath— Edward Allen— Poetic AdTertiseDM&ti—Ciodc-fi^ting 
— BuU-baiting^The Pbet Freetb— Morfitt and hk Aooount of Bir- 
mingham — ^To Aims I ToArms^ Once More I— Oar Fint Statue 

196-810 



CONTENTS. vii 



CHAPTER In.— 1811-1821. 



Aoddent 

— ^The Moat— New Smithfidd— Podding Brook — Birmingham Gar- 
dens— Sanoea's Head, Snow Hill— Temple Bow— The Hospital- 
Heath MiU Lane^Vanghton's Hole— Tower-street— New Beast 
Market— -BaTing-^Gardens— East India Oompanj — Order in GoonoU 
Mr. Joseph Moore— Biote-r-DistreflB — First Boyal Mail— Artizan 
Meeting— Orders in Cooneil — ^Mr. Brougham — ^Fire-anus— Welling- 
ton's Yietories — Oonsecntiion of Christ Ghorch — Conunercial Society 
-Moreyictorifis— Lying-in Hospital— Thomas Attwood— The Proof 
Honse— Battle of Leipsio-^. Knott— Treaty of Pkris— Twyford 
— Com Laws— Hie Post Office — Factory Act — ^Honse of Beooveiy 
Sayings Bank— Earthquake— Mr. Brougham— Fire Anns again — 
Factory Act— Mr. B. Jabet— Gas Li^t Company— Houses and 
Bates— Attempt at Compounding— Canal— Distress— The Poor Bate 
Bill— Orthoponlie Hospital— The Faii>— Death of the Fijnoeai Char- 
lotte— Trade Trouble— CUmhii^ Boys— Factpiy Act— Domestio 
Servants — Bank of England F<Mfgeries— Church EztensioiL — Gas 
— Christ Churdb — ^New Meeting Hoase, Can's Lane— Chamber of 
Oommeroe— Death of Geoige IIL— St Geoige^s Church— Old 
Meeting House School— A New Button— Trial of Queen Caroline 
— ^Lnprovement in the Criminal Law — ^Disinterment of Mr. Basker- 
Tille— Ber. Bann Kennedy's Poem on the Coronation of Geoige lY. 
— Chamber of Comm er c e D eath of Queen Caroline— Education of 
Poor Children— Dr. Bell— Lancasterian Free School— Schoob of 
Industry— New Charity School — ^Birmingham Academy of Art»-« 
Philosophical Society— Evening Sdiool — ^Mr. Eginton— ^W. Hntton 
—James Luckock— R Jabet— Messrs. E. Everitt and Son— Ber. 
Bann Kennedy— Mr. Maeready— R W. Eiliston— The Theatre- 
Borneo Coates in Birmingham — ^Bichard Jones — Speaking Panto- 
mime— Miss Maeauley— New Melo-Drame— Miss O'Neil— Grimaldi 
—Minor Theatre— Dutch Dwaif — Mr. EUiston's Addnss- Paul 
Bedford— The Theatre Burned again— New Theatre— Matrimonial 
AdTertisemeni— Lamentatioiis of Jame s Se rr a nt Girlism— Com- 
Iwiation of Wockmen— Cocking— Pedestrianism— The Deaf and 
Dumb Institution— Society of Arts— Beginning of the Great Political 
Agitation 311-%ll ^^1 

GB[AFTEB IV.— 1M1-18SL 

Drafcc^s Pietore of Birmingham— Deritsnd Bridge— Markets— Ooadi 
Accident — ^Improrements— Birmingham Hou ses I mprovements— 
Duddeston Town— Savings Bank— Birmingham Woikhouae— Conse- 
cration of St. Geofge's Chuidi— CSnuch and Parish— D ist ress in 



VlU CONTENTa 

X 

Irelaxid— Abolitum of Slftveiy— Terrible Accident— The GhanoeUor 
of the Exchequer— Mr. Sadler— The Eye Hcepital— St David's 
Society — CuriooB Trade Caatoma — CSatholic AasodatiQii — ^NewBail- 
zoad Companiea — Lench's Troat — Fever Hospital — Poor Aged 
Women— St. David's Society— Duty on Metals — ^The Bbmingfaam 
Journal — Gatholic Association — St. Peter's Church — ^Dispute among 
the Tailors— Eariy Qoaing— Bichard Pratchet— Bank Failure— The 
Oom Laws — Distaneas Loan — Distressed Printers — Steam Canal 
Boat-Ohamber dP Oommeroe— <' Paddy's Watch"— Savings' Bank 
— St Petei^s Churdi — ^Religious Discussion— Pkovident Society — 
Friendly Institution — Gbarles Uoyd — Charities — ^Bef ormation Asso- 
ciation — Removal of the Deritend Turnpikes — ^Female Penitentiary 
— Catholic Emancipation — ^New Guardian list — Botanical Society — 
New Boad — ^Birmin^^iam "Ra^l^if^g Company — Joseph Stuige and 
the Musical Festival — St Thomas's Church— Capital Ponishments 
—The Town Hall— Princess "Victoria— Hie King and Buttons— The 
Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert IQmI— Religious DiBcnssicn — 
Botanical Society — St Peter's Churdi Burnt— Church-rates— Popu- 
lation Betums— Death of Dr. de Lg^s— Temperance Societies — ^The 
Cholera — Society of Arts — BlustFations of Warwickahire— News 
Room — Spectatoi^-A Theatrical War — ^Peter HoUins— Mechanici^ 
Institution — ^Infant Schools— Blue Coat School — Society of Artif 
First Exhibition — Chantrey — Sdiool of Medicine — Spursheim — 
Map of Birmingham — Society of Arts^ New Building— Mechanics' 
Institution — Conversazione— iVee Grammar School — Law libraiy 
— Fine Arts — Sdkool of Medicme — Sunday School JubOee— 
Madame Catalani — llieatrical Looker-on — Wax Works — ^French 
Giant— The Cheltenham Amateurs — Infant Boadus — Address — 
Master Burke— Macread/s Fuewell— African Boadus— ^ I cant 
find Brummagem" — J. Dobba— Coddng — Matrimony — Bull- 
baiting-^ For Better or for Worse *— The Resurrectionista— House- 
keeper Wanted— The Reform Agitation and the Political Union 

CHAPTER v.— 1881-1841. 

The Town Hall— Free Grammar School— Roman Catholic Cathedral- 
Market Han— Value of Property— Fiah Market-^IVurish Meetings 
Temperance Society— Gholera^-Steam Carriage— A New l^ade^ 
Dr. Priestley Centenary— Patent Laws— Anti-Slavery Meetin^^ 
Factoiy Acts— Death of James Aimitage— Botanical Gaitletta— Tem- 
. perance Society — ^Intimidation — ^Dcath of Rev. J. Cooke— Timothy 
Smith— A Strike— Dr. Chunk's Steam Carriage— Churdi Bates 
Zoological Gazden^^Teroentenaryof tfaeRefomation— Bishop larder 
—Dr. Birt DaTiea-^oaeph Bimg e — D eath of Dr. John Johnstone— 
fiifmingfaam Journal — Freehold Building Sodety— Chnrdi Bates — 



OOKTENTS. ix 

FrinoeflB Yictoria's BirUiday— The Artunnfl and the Distreas— Bene- 
fioenoe— ^oaeph Gorbett — ^llie Queen's Aoceedon — ^Opening of the 
Birmingham and Manchester Bailwaj— Bishop Bjder's Church — 
Ganse of the Distress — British Association — ^Death of James Dobbs 
— ^Relief of Distress — Ooronation of Queen Victoria-— Temperance 
Cbnference — Marshall Soulfs Visit — Consecrations — Anti-Com- 
Law Meeting — Shakspere Club— Town Mission — ^Death of Thomas 
Kiiott — ^Floods— <]9ittrch Extension — ^l£aniage of the Queen — Bank 
Faihire — Trade Deputations— The Queen fired at — The Queen's 
Hospital — ^Lodge^s Portraits— Sdiool of Medicine— -Weavei's Mu- 
seum — ^Binningfaam Herald — ^Free Chrammar School — BQstoiy of 
Arii^s Birmingham Qaasette— Free Qxammar School— Dr. Wam^ord 
— Mechanicif Institute — Educational Statistic Society — Free 
Grammar School— Barnes Montgomeiy — British Association— The 
Ezhibition — Mr. Daniel Wright— In Memoriam — Amusements 
— Biot at the Theatre— Cricket— Bull-baiting— Fkssing of the 
Befonn Bill and Politics After— The Charter of Incorporation — 
Gharies Beeoe Pemberton 651-866 

666 



A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 



CHAPTER L— 1791-1801. 



§ 1. APPEABAKCE OF THE TOWN. 

The consequences of the riots were most disastrons to the 
town, and, for a time, nearly destroyed the public spirit 
which, during the previous decade, had produced such great 
results. The pecuniary loss was the least of the evils which 
they entailed. The bigotry and tyranny of the majority 
overawed the minority, and utterly crushed that opposition 
without which no healthy public me is possible. In a country 
like l^Sngland the absolute predominance of any sect in rek- 
cion, or of any party in politics, is destructive of the best 
interests of the nation, and fisttally injurious to the prcMB^ress 
and wdl-being of the people. This is especially true of the 
life of towns. Whenever one party is overwhelmingly nu- 
merous and strong; true liberty is mipossibla Whdesome 
competition for public honours is one of the best signs of 
health in a people, and is as necessary for the development 
of the higher life of a nation, as is competition in trade for 
the production of the best manufactures, the development of 
mecnanical skill, and the attainment of commercial success. 
This lesson was taught by the bitter experience of 1791. 
The Chuich-and-Eing party were so powerful, and had used 
thdr power so unscnipulouslyy that^ for years and years after- 
wards^ the town did not recover from the injury inflicted. 
The large-minded leaders of the liberal party retired from 



2 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFK 

public life, and left an arena in which defeat, insult, and 
ruin were their certain reward. Unfortunately, the posses- 
eion of unlimited power is almost always accompanied by 
intolerance and bigotry. The triumph of party becomes of 

greater importance than the good of the nation. In its ear- 
est stages of development, party is made to appear identical 
with the well-being of the people ; but, as it gams in s<j:ength 
and influence, party success is the primary, and the greatness 
of the state tne secondary, consideration. The history of 
the world shows how, in rdigion, Roman Catholic, Church- 
men, and Dissenters have in turns become intolerant and 
Esrsecuting; and Torv, Whig, and Liberal have each vio- 
ted the m^st principles of lioerty. No true finend of his 
country will ever desire to see l^gland in the undisputed 
possession of an^ sect in religion, or of any party in politics. 
A strong opposition is neoessarv for the good government, 
the wel&re, and the liberty of the Idncdom. 

The doings of 1791 were for a time &tal to the public life 
of Birmingmim. Almost all the great undertakings which 
distinguished the last ten years languished for want of sup- 
port The French war had destroyed oommeroe, and the 
terrible taxation caused by that war had produced such a 
depression in trade that bankruptcy and ruin stared thou- 
sands of honest and industrious citiienB in the fietce. Bir- 
mingham did not suffer so severely aa other towns. Then, 
as now, the infinite number of her industries saved her some- 
what from the general depression with which the country 
was afflicted. But even here the sufferings were very great 
Public building was stopped; the famous Crescent ooum not 
get completed. There was neither time nor inclination to 
attend to education or literature. Scarcely any books were 
produced here during the next ten years ; and comparatively 
few changes w^^ made in the appearance of the town. The 
only ihi^g;B which flourished with undiminished fervour, 
during this decade, were the spirit of war, and the spirit of 
charity; the latter, we rejoice to say, havii^ never fiuled in 
the history of Birmingham. Thus there is little for us to 
record in tiie first section of the present chapter. 

The first advertisement of the decade refers to a house 

and garden ^ near the High-street :* — 

JaaQsry 83» 1798.— To be Lsi and snterMl apoo imoMdiatdl j, a hagt 
bandaome Meinuige^ with eonTttnient Ooilwiildingi and QardePy 
pleaasntlj dtnatad, near the High-streeLin BinnJoghsiii. and late in iiie 
ooenpatiMi of Mr. Benjamin MansdI. For fkutlier partieiilart appl j to 
Mr. Btf ker, in the Square, BinnfaigfaaBi. 



APPEABANCE OF THE TOWN. '3 

Aflhted was now being rapidly built upon. In the follow- 
ing announcement we have an excellent specimen of a land 
agent's abilitj in setting forth the value ofhis estate. Eveiy 
point of 'vantage is made the most of, and the crowning 
inducement^ that the establishmeut of a market is in 
agitation, carefully reserved for the close. The market, 
however, was not built until our own time, which has seen 
at onoe its erection and £ulure. 



•*''^ A "^-f^ numeroM appliMUona to B«nt Honaea ImUt 

«he Ad^teM of baildug npon t Spot, whow, hy Experienco, the 
5rt?* **i*f * we WW to fie reooi.pen«Kl eitier fromTcertkin^ 
^T«Mt«, to caae they «w toclinrf to employ their M0119 in 
BmUiag, or from the annual Inereaaa to the Valae of the liani if 
taken upon Speeola^on, aa la proved tgr thoae who hare taken Lota 

rfxii^T-SrS^S *^'t*IS ^'T7}}!r^ to the abort Space 
rf6^%lT''iS^'^Z.if**"'« *• U^Hl•rTenan^ at the late 
i^SttAS^f^ « •«« P» annum, oTer and above 

in« HealO^ieaa rf the Spot, tbo Advantage of the ChapeL the 
Ooo^ieaa uid BeguUtiona that an ande fa tK 8ti«et% oo^Mbnto 
gnatlvto the Benefit of ^e Ground Tenanta, aa well aa the Ooeupiera 
^^^^i'TS! *" 'S*'"^ *5? Conaidenrtion of plentifol Sprinn oTfiiie 
!2?w^ the moderate EateBricka ai* punsta^d at upon tL SvcL, 
with the Benefit of JUnd only for the t.penoe of getti^ m°ybi 
Sf™f fJ^ matmal Savbga to the EspeoM of BuaSiog^to wfiicb, 
fa IKrfnt of eaantial advantage, may be add*!, the convenience of the 

Bataa ^etween .A^ and Bumtoghaaa, &ing at leaat TVo-thirfa len 
in toe Jraiiui Of Alton. 

gen«l, Valate BegiS*a»'eiSntiaUyaii£SSe£4Shtt^ 

S^o?'B2SliSL*^ii^**t!r • **^ fe»m any Part of tiS 
Town of Ifouma^ wuhed to be oaavayed apeedUy, and without 
troubh^ win, Iqr W put into the Faat«k>a byTwSve o'clock on 
S?r^'i'.5!?^~S,?*"'*^ •* -****• *»*«" Ten Mtoutea after 




ngufariy *^'««i to anyPart of the Town, aa eariyTtte Lettera 
frmn Loidcn are delivered—Some Lota of Land. Whidi havi^ 

tS:"^ to:iiSr^^'*r*^ •» ? 5-^ *«-«~» fi^ 2.* 

SSl^ ^^-!f GenUeoen or Laaie, who wiah a pleaalng 

K.B. Ilw eatabUduag a MariMt at AAtod ii fa Asitattoo 

In thu year a new Plan of tbe town wm puUiahed ; 

known to CVdleetors as tii« pka of 1792. ft is thus 

annoonoed in the Oazette :— 



4 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFEL 

Flak or Biuhnohah.* 
September 24, 1792.— This Day is pabliahecL Price 1&, A lUm' 
Plan <^ the Town ; wherein is deecricdsd all toe new Streets, the 
Course of the Birmingham and Fazeley Ganal, the Termination of the 
Worcester OsnaL the Sitoation of the Barracks now bnilding, with 
every necessary Information to direct Strangers to any Part of the 
Town, the pablic BoUdings beins described in their proper sttnations, 
withoat any Eeferenoes; and K>r the Convenience of noprietors of 
Bcdldings the Streets are described withoat Shading, in sach a Manner 
that any Person may have their Buildings exhibited on the Plan Id 
their exact situations. 

The nert advertisement takes us again to 

AsHno. 
December 16, 1793L — ^Doubts having been entertained whether the 
AsBigneeB of Mr. Brooke's Estate were empowo^d to grant Building 
Leases, which has prevented many persons, who wanted to take Lana 
in this defdrable and much improved Hamkt, being aooommodated, 
notice is Hereby given, that a Plan is now settled hjy eoonsel, whereby 
Leases may be securely mnted to any person desuous of taking any 
Lots of the said Land for Bnilding---and that the same wul be 
immediately Let for that Puipose. For further particulars apply ta 
the Assignees eveiy Thursday, at Mr. Suthall's, at the Swan, m Bull 
Street Mr. Biyan-attheSignof the Dukeof Yoik,in BrookeStreet^ 
Ashted, will show lihe Land. 

The next advertisement is quoted for the sake of the 

name of the fitrm which it announces as to be sold. It will 

be seen that it is called the ''Lowcells;" and henoe is derived 

the name of that pleasant part of Aston. now called the 

LozeUa 

June 24, 1703.— A desirable Farm near Birminfifaam. To be Sold 
bv Auction, on the Premises, bv Thomas Warren, wis Bay. the i4th 
of June inst, preciselj at ten crdock, a Lease of all that valuable and 
improved Farm, known bv the name of the LowoeUa^ in the Parish <^ 
Aston, within one mile and a half of the Town of Binningjbam, late in 
the Tenure or Occupation of Mr. Joseph Cooper, deceased, consulting of 
a commodious Fann House, with a laiffe Bani, Stahlei^ Oow-houses, 
Stalls for feeding Cattle, Qraineries. Blacksmith's Shop^ md other out- 
buildings, all in complete Bepair ; also two laige well-pfanted QardeniL 
and fourteen Closes or Pieces, containing 138 acrei^ or thereabouts, of 
rich Arable, Meadow, or Pasture Land. 

The following record of a fatal accident calls ns back to 
a time when open wells gave an additional country aspect 
to the town. In short, up to a comparatively recent period, 
all the characteristics or Birmingham, except Uie extreme 
activity of the people, were those of a rural district Thus 
we read, on July 23, 1792, that ^ on Friday evening; as Mary 
Duck, a child, was playing round a well, (veiy carelessly 

*This Flan was If J. Hanson, and is used as a IVinitifpiece to the Srd 
Edition of Hotlon*s Birmingham. 



▲PPEiLRANCE OF THE TOWN. 5 

left tmoovered) in Summer Lane, she unfortunately teil into 
it^ and was drowned." 

In this year, such a house as that described in the next 
advertisement was to be let in Cohnore Row : — 

July S3, 1792.— To be Let, aud may be entered on immediatdy, a 
good convenient doable Honee, and new-erected Warehouse, both in 
eomplete repair, ritnate in Oolemore Bow ; the Hoose ooneists of two 
goooPlU'loan, two Satefaens, with a Fanfaty, Brewhonae, entire walled 
iTaid, and Garden behind tJbe same ; the api^er Stories contain four 
good Ghambcffs, and two Attics, witii convenient Qoaets. — ^For Fto- 
ticolars and to view the Premises, enquire at Ko. 24, Oolemore Bow. 

This however is far surpa^ied in attractions by the 
following, in our " prety street " of Deritend : — 

Febmaiy 3, 1794.— To be Lmt^ a handsome^ snbstantial and oonve- 
nient Houss, siinate near Deritend Bridge, and consisting of the 
^(dlowing Partieolais, vis., on the Ground floor three good rarloon^ 
Hall, la;^ Kitchen, with Pkmtrj adjoiQinff; on the Second Floor four 
laige commodioiis Lod^g Booms, with i)rossiag^ Boom ; and in the 
Attk Stoiy fomt Lodgug Booms, of the same sise as those on the 
aecondFloor. Three diy and osefiil Cellars, a Brewhoose, and Servant's 
Boon, with three Chambers over the same. Stable, Hog SUe, and 
dvery other convenience, with a Vard paved, walled ronnd, and entire. 
Two spadons Gardens, walled ronnd, and planted with the choicest 
Wall mit, Standard, and Espalier Trees, and with the most nsefol 
Vegetables. The Hoose, Offices, and Premises, stand detached from 
evenr other Boilding, are in compleat Bepair, fitted np in a genteel and 
comfiirtablB Style^ and mav form an agreeable Benaence for a private 
Pkmily, or a most profitable one for an extensive Mannfiu^rv. 

For farther Pisrticalan enquire of Mr. H. Geast, on the Ptemiaes ; 
or of Mr. Geast, Attorney, Binningham. 

In Deritend, in Digbeth, in Cheny Street, and, in fact, in 
ahnost all parts of the town, a garden was still to be found 
attached to nearly eveiy house. The two following adver- 
tisements are further examples of this pleasant state of 
things : — 

FebroaiT 17, 1794.-— To be Let. or the Lease to be Sold, and may be 
entered en immediately, an exceeding good Front double Hoose, sitoate 
In Digbeth. Birminghais. at a vay easy Bent, containing fimr Booms 
on the Attie StoiT, celled, three veiT flood CSiamberi^ wi& Closets, &a, 
front and back Krioor, HalL and Kitdien, with good Qosets and 
Puitiy, two Cellars, two Warehouses, a two-stalled Stable^ Brewhouse, 
Kecessaiy, and entire Yard, a Pomp with good soft Wat«^ and walled 
Qaiden; may be acoommodated with a good Kitdien Garden, well 
stodLsd.— The House has been recently papered, and fitted np with 
Bath Stove Gnitea Kitchen Grates^ and other Flxtores^ which may be 
taken to at a Isir Yalnation. 

For farther BtfticiilarB enquire of T. Locas^* Auctioneer, Na 10, 
Hjgh Strset^ Birmingham. 

*Hr. Lneaa was for many yean a fiunons fbeetions Auetknieer, Hie aian- 
ner need le attraet huge crowds to his roons, which were in High Street, 
aesily tippodle the preeent OoMiU Oflioe. 



G A CENTUHY OF BIRMINGHAK LIFE. 

April 14^ 1794. — ^To be Sold or Let, all tbat lai^ and oommodioiu 
DwelUng House, contuning six Booms on a Floor, with a Qaxden behind 
the same, all entire^ sitoate in Cherry Street^ in Birmingham, late the 
Beaidenoe of Jamee Moore, Esq., deceased, bat since fitted up and osed 
as a Bank.* For fiirther Particulars enquire of the Printer. 

The following account of a fatal accident, shows the con- 
dition of an old friend of ours : — 

June 9, 1794. — On Monday the wife of James Dayenport, pocket- 
book maker, unfortunately fidling into the place called '' Pudding 
Brook," near this Town, wu tufoeaUd by ths mud. 

The active speculation in buildinfi^ which was now going 
on raised the fears of the timid, and we did not fidl in our 
predictors of evil therefrom. On January 26, 1795, the 
editor thus expressed the feeling of one of these anxious 
souls. The passage is valuable to us as affording some 
further reliable evidence of the great changes which were 
then being made in the appearance of the town audits more 
immediate neighbourhood. 

** We are desared" aays the editor, ** by a Correspondent to remark 
that, althoiu^ there is noiw smpposed to be a thousand houses untenanted 
in the parish of Birmingham, yet such is the passion for speculations in 
building, that^ facoording to lus information) upwards of sixty acres of 
tiie common lano, lately enclosed in the parish of Handsworth. under an 
act of parliament^ is alreat^ taken or purchased, and intended to be 
built upon^ and that some ofthe building clubst naye made a beginning 
upon a scale of twenty houses and gardens to an acre of land. 

^How so great an additional population as may result therefrom is to 
be suppoiW; doUi not to our ^^lespondent appear, as many of the 
native mhabitants of the parish are out of employmenti and whose situ- 
ation at this indement season would be truly miserable^ had it not been 
mitigated by their benerolent neighbours." 

Such Jeremiads never did, and never will, stop the evil 
complained o£ The restless activity of men resolved to 
''get on/' is not to be calmed down by the terrors of 
anticipated and prospective evila Thus, in spite of the 
''correspondent's fearful picture of a "thousand houses 
untenanted," we have such advertisements as the following, 
still offering for use : — 

BuiLDuro Lavs. 

September 28, 1785.— To be Leton Building Leases, some valuable 
Lots of Land in the New Fart of Ghenr Street This Situation is in 
the Centre of the Town, and rendered, Sy its oommunicatioii with the 
pnndpal Streets, particularly adTantageous for genteel Betafl Tndea 
The Depth of Land is equal to the opposite Side^ on whidi an dsgani 

*OiigittaIlT Meesis. J. h, IfoOlettand Sons; and now aBiaadiof Messra. 
Lloyds* SaaUng Oonvaay, Lbnlled. 

t Building Clubs were ahnys popular in BirmiBaham. A detailed aeoooit 
of an eaily one Is giteu In roL i» p. 20! ef this Won. 



APPEARANCE OF THE TOWN. 7 

range of Hoiues is erected. Alao other Land belonging to the Goremors 
of tne Free School, in a Variety of deeirable Situations in and near 
the Town, to be Let for Buildinff. 

For ParticalarB apply to ^Er. Brooke, Attorney at Law, Temple 
Bow, Birmingham. 

The next advertiaement describes a once fiunous house of 
resort Its well-known "small neat flower garden and 
pleasure-house therein," have been absorbed, like so many 
more of its kind, within the memory of persons still young. 

BORDBSLKT TaTZRN. 

October 19th, 1795. — ^To be Let, and entered upon immediately, 
ntoate near the Heath Mill, Deritend, and within a few yards of the 
Warwick and Birmingham CSanal, containing a ITifaJiATi two P^onra, 
a Bar, and other proper OIBcea on the Ghtrand Floor, good dxy Oellaring 
tmdenieath, and a Smt of reiy convenient Lodsing Booms over the 
whole; together with a Brewhoose, Stable, Gownoose, an upper and 
lofwer Shop, and other Oat-officea, a small neat Flower Garden, with a 
Pkasore Houae therein, and a lam Kitdien Garden, well planted with 
Household y egiBtables. The whole of these Ptwusee are in flood 
Bepair, and comprise near an Acre of Land, and a good Tenant wul, if 
he requires it^ be accommodated with more Land. 

For BtfticQlari wfy to Measra Farror and Goode, Anctioneeri^ 
Binningfaam ; Mr; wiloam Jabet, Land Sorveyor, Bordealey ; or Mr. 
John l2we, of the BaTenhorst, in Bordealey. 

Our next extract takes us to another public garden, 
which was once a most pleaaant placa In that now unsa- 
voury street^^ called Floodflate-atreet^ there was a public house 
called ^ Spring Gardens y so named from the very b^uitiful 
gardens wnich extended from the back of the house down to 
the banks of the dear and rippling river Rea. The house 
is still there, but its name is all that remains to it <^ its 
former glory. The river is thick, black and tuigid. There 
are no trees, nor flowers, nor shady walks, nor summer 
bouses on its banks. Tet the present writer remembers 
wben the Sj^ringOardens were eminently prettjr, and well 
worth a visit Mow vividly the whole scene is brought 
before us by the following brief account of a sad and almost 
filial aoddent : — 

Oefeober S6tb, 1703.— Late on Thondaj night bst the fiunUy at 



Spring .Oaideoa in this town, was alarmed 'by some mooroliil, bat in- 
distineL erie% wbkh evidently proeesded from peisoos In great dlstremL 
Hr. Eulows ymj humanely oot um sad taking a servant and Ugbts 
with him, he mnd a man ana a woman nearly exhansled, and ollnging 
to the floodgaiei^ and thus keeping their hesdi dbove water, ^i a 
VHj frr mintttes mon^ but ftr the bsDOToleiit asertionB of Mr. FsUow% 
th^ mast h«?o been drowned, ht ih&j wmo beeome so cnrnnedinflly 



woak, that thej ooold aearesly keep their hold until he and the senrants 
ooold readi tnem ; and it was then with great diffienltj they were 
Ukm out These unlbrtonate peopte^ it seems, wore two of a large 
party, who had been spending the ermiiog at the gardens, where thej 



8 A OENTURY OF BIRMIKGHAK LIFE. 

were kept by the nun until it was late. When thej went out not 
being well acquainted with the road, owing to the darkness of the 
nighty and still more so to the shamefnl negligence .of somebody, in not 
patting up a rail or any kind of fence, they walked into the deepest 
part of the river, some little way above the floodgates, down to whidi 
they were floated ; and they most^ by Mr. Fallowriaoooont^ have been 
in weir uncomfortably pemoos situation full an hour. 

In the following advertisements we have still further 
proof of the great changes which were now being made ; 
and of the spirit of speculation of which the ''corre- 
spondent " quoted above complained : — 

April 11th, 1796.— To be Let^ on a re-building Lease, and entered 
upon immediately, all those three Dwelling-hoase^ sitoate on the 
Nortbem side OL^and fronting to^ High-street^ in Birmingham, and 
a^joiJiing to the Dwellinff-hoasss of C&rles Taylor, Esq., and now in 
the several Tenures of Messrs. Plimley, Nidiols, and Alsop^ with a 
grmt dtf4k of Lomd hMnd the said Hooses, sufficient far the purpose 
of eredAng convenient Warehouses, and other Buildinn. 

K.B.^The above situation is a veiy centrical one, itoeing in one of 
the most principal streets in Birmin^^iam, either for a Wholesale or Betail 
BoiincM^ and well worth the Notice of any Person wishing to enter 
into either of than. Also to be Let for Building, the Land whereon 
the Black Boy Inn and Buildings now stand, sitnate in Edgbaston 
Btrset, Birmingham. 

N JBL That as the House ac|joining the said Inn will be taken down, 
and a good opening made out of Edffbaston Street, to communicate 
with the Warwick and Alcsster BoadsL mr Garriages this year, the above 
Spot of Land will be a very desirable one, either to erect an Inn, or 
o&er BvildiDgs upon. 

Valuable Fbsihold Estatb. 

April i4th, 1707.— To be peremptorily Sold by Auction by T. Warren 
(hj Direction of Messrs. F^rmcep and the Traibbem of the Jate Joseph 



Cms, Esq., who have mutually entered into an atfresment for tiUt 
poipose,) at the house of Mrs. Mary Lloyd, all uiat spacious and 
ccnvenient Bwellinf House, four stories high, containing four Booms 
on eadi Floor, with srswfaouas^ Lanndrrover it, and other Acoommoda- 
tions, situate in Fturk Street, opposite Shut Lsne End. tcwetfaer witli a 
very large Space of Vacant Land or Garden Qronnd iMhmd the same^ 
all entire, wmlled round, and very suitable for tiie erection of other 
Buildings, Warehouses, or Shops; all which said Fkemises were li^ in 
the Holding of Mr. John Oolmore, at the /eariy Bent of £25^ but are 
now untenanted. Also two other Dwelhnff uousss adjoining to the 
above^ and fronting to Failc Street aforesaid, with Gardens and other 
Appuitenanoes therstOL now or late in the several Tenures of Mrs. 
Bidiards and William Tay, at the yearly vent of £ifL 

. Our next advertisement is foil of pleasant reminisoenoes 
to all Birmingham people who are near or bqrond middle 
life. The ''road leading from the Cresoent Bridge to the 
Gottaffe of CSontent," was composed entirely of aaidens. 
The (xyttage of Content still remains to remind ns of a state 



APPEARANCE OF THE TOWN. 9 

of things which no longer exist The gardens have all dis- 
appeared 

June 12, 1797.— A Garden to be Sold b^ Auction, on the Spot, hy 
ThomaB Warren, To-monow Ereninff, preaaety at Seven o'clock; a 
▼eiy capital Garden, belonging to uie Estate of Meaara. Hawkins, 
aitaate in the Bead l&adifig jrom the OrucerU Bridge to the Cottage of 
Conient^ m the eeeond Walk on the left hand from the Pit of Water ^ and 
iheJ^Oardenonthe Right in that Walk. This Garden iam the highest 
state of LnproTement ; the soil remarkably zich and full of manure; 
the VeffetaDles and Hot-bed Plants in Terr great forwardness ; the 
IVuits (of whkh there is ffraat Plenty) are all of the best and in their 
Prime. There is also a <S>llectiou of choice Flower Boot^ Taziously 
diflpened, and a numbor of Auricula Plants in Pots ; likewise a hana- 
some Bnck Summer House, and other OonTenienoes^ and several 
painted Garden Screens, Tooki^ &c 

In the next advertisement we are freminded of another 
tavern and tea-garden, which once offered a pleasant place 
for the harmless recreations of our artisans and their 



Tavxbv avd Tba GABoav. 

Feibniary iS, 1796.— TobeLet, and majbeentsrsdaponimmediatelj, 
that pleasantly aitoated and well aoeustomed Tavern and Tea Garden, 
known by the Name of the Anchor, on Gamp Hill, within ten Minuter 
Walk of the Center of BiimingfaanL The House contains several good 
Boonii^ with CeUan^ &e. The Garden is aeeommodated with Arbmirsy 
Seals, 9tc^ and well stoeked with exoellent FhiitlVse% Shrubs^ Floweri, 
and Vegetables of eveiy Deseription, and is now in a hJffh state of Coiti- 
vation ; the Bent is voy low, and, being in Aston Ptfiah, the Levies are 
veiy moderate. The Ooenpier will be expeeted to take to the Brewing 
VoMela, ilztores, Ac, at a fidr Valoatioo, and may be aoeommodated 
wHh what Fart of the Furniture he pleases ; he also may be fuxnlshed 
with a Lease of the PremiMs^ sixteen Yean of whidi are imexpired at 
Ladv-daynezt 

For fbrther Putienlars and a view of the HouseL &a, apply to the 
Vnmpt Tenant, ICr. D. Hunt, who is deelining the Public Bamem, 

In the next advertisement we are taken to a street which 

we have not been called upon to visit more tlum once 

before. Tet here, also, we meet with the constant carden ; 

in this case a huge one, and ''well planted wiUi firuit 

trees:"— 

April lethy 179ar— To be Let, and may be entered upon immedi- 
ately, a nei^coinmodioas Dwelling-HoQse^ with convenient Oat-bnild- 
Snga Soft water Pnmp^ and laige GardeD, well planted with dioiee 
FMt T^pses^ to^ pleasantly situated in Caroline Street^ near St Pknl's, 
BinniiMciianL 

Ebqaira cf Martha Grove^ on the PtanisiaL 

CSiroline-etreet was a likely place in which to find such a 
house ; bnt^ looking at the present aspect of Spioeal-stroet» 
would any one anticipate that^ only seventy years ago» sach 
premises as these were advertised to be let in that street ? 



10 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFK 

September 24th, 179& — ^To be Let, either separatelj or together, 
Two commodioiia Dwelling Honaes, situate at the opper End of Hale's 
Gonrt^ in Spiceal-street^ Birmingham, at a small JDistance below the 
Dog Inn, with a separate Court in Front, a considerable Banse of 
Shops, a larffe Garden^ Stable, and other Ont-offioes and Conven&noes 
to tne same. The centrical Bite of these Premises in the Town, may 
render them eligible to a Merchant^ Factor, or ManufiMstorer, or to a 
Broker, Pawnbroker, fto, as the Outbuildings are easily convertible 
into many useful Purposes for Trade or Business, or private Family 
Use. For further Particulars apply at No. 54^ the upper Bow Sash, 
in St. iiartholomeVs Bow, or to Mr. James Leag, Builder^ the Corner 
of St James's-etreeti St. Paul's Square, Birmingham. 

We now reach the commencement of a very important, 
but, to our mind, not a very acceptable work — the Indosure 
of Birmingham Heath. Bit by bit, Birmingham is taking 
in the surrounding country, and preparing; for the rapid 
growth of the last twenty-five vears. This is the first 
announcement of the new encroachment : — 

BzBMnroHAM Hbath Imglosurs. 

Notice Is hereby given that the CommlauonerB appointed in and by 
Act of ParUament^ passed in the 38th year of the Beign of his prssent 
H^es^ King Geom the Third, entitled '< An Act for diyiding^ allotr 
ting, and inclosing the several Commons and Waste Landslring wiUiin 
the Manor and Pirish of Birmingham, in the County of Wannek," do 
intend to hold thdr first Meeting under the said Aot of Purliament 
on Wednesdav, the Fifth Dav of December next, at the House of 
Mr. Crodcet^ Known hr the llame of the New Inn, aitoate at Hands- 
worthy in the County of Stafford, and that the said Commissiooers will 
begin to ride or perambulate the Boundaries of the Commons and 
Waste Lands intended to be indosed under the Powers of the Aot, on 
the same Day, at nine o'dodc in the Forenoon, on the siid HsaUi 
called Birmingham Heath, near to a Place celled the Lodgs^ within 
the Manor and Perish aforesaid, from whence the Commissiciisn will 
proceed along the Boondaries a^jotniog the seveiml parishes of HarbonML 
Mandsworth, Edgbastoo, and Atton, in the Counties of Waiwkk and 
Stafford, of whi<d& all pertons interested are to take notice. 

Thoxas Huxt, ) 

WOiUAic SiOTB, > Solidton. 

November 19, 179& Amaoss ManrwABiva, ) 

The Commissioners soon set to work in preparing their 
plans, and in canying out the provisions of the Aot In a 
year after this first announcement they publidied the 
foUowing detailed account of their intentions. If the 
reader will look at a modem map while he is perusing 
the statement, he will at once see what great changes were 
made by the Commissioners for enclosing Birmingham 
Heath. 

BaamwBiJi Haam Ivolosubi. 

December S3, ITBH/— We^ the Oaininl s rifl oei % named aadappoialsd 
in and bj an Ad of Fkrliament| psMcd in the 88th jearof the jEt«%Bof 



APPEAJtANCE OF THE TOWN. 11 

liM present Majestj, for diTiding and endodng the aeyeral Commons and 
Waste Lands lying within the Manor and Pmsh of Birmingham, in the 
County of Warwick, do hereby give Notice, that we have set out the 
following Boads, in and OTer the said Commons and Waste Lands. From 
the Wolverhampton Turnpike Boad, near the Pinfold, over the Little 
HodLley Pool Lane, and on the East Side of the Warren House, and 
Mr. Toffees Estate^ and into the andent Lane leading to Winson Green 
Another Boad from the West End of the said Luie, over the South 
Side of Winson Green, and to the Navigation Bridge, called Winson 
Qreen Bridge, and from thence, over the said Heath, to the Turnpike 
Boad leading from Birminfffaam to Dudley, and nearly opposite to the 
SonUiem Gate of the Land belonging to Mrs. Scott^ m the ooenpation 
of Hr. John Iddins. 

Another puWc Garriage Boad, being Part of the ancient Icknield 
Street Boad, from the South East Comer of the Garden in the Tenure 
of Mr. Thomas Conway, and near his Summer House, over an Ineroadi- 
ment in the Tenure A Samuel Smith, to the first described Boad, and 
fixim iheno& nea^ continuing in a Western Direction, over the 
Northern aiae of Kaye Hill into the ancient Lane called Warstone 
Lane. 

Another public Garriage Boad, branch^ out of the last described 
Boad, at the North East Comer of lattle Btockley Pool, and extending 
over the said Common, through Nineveh, and into the Boad leading 
from Winson Ghreen aforsaaid, to Handsworth. 

Another public Carriage Boad, brandling out of the said last men- 
tioned Boad, at Ninevdi, and extending itself over the said Common 
to the South East End of a certain andent Lane leading to Winson 
Green aforesaid. 

Another public Ouriage Boad, leading from the Soho, across the 
Bead befbre described to lead from Little Hodcley Pool to Nineveh, 
and fkcm thence, over <Hbb Heath, into the last described Boad. 

Another public Carriage Bead, leading over the upper End of 
Winson Green, to the Pig Mill Lane EndT 

Another public Carriage Boad, leading from the Wolverhampton 
Turnpike Boad, near Hoddev Brook, across the said Brook into the 
andent Boad leading througli Handsworth to Walsall, and also from 
the Wolverhampton Boad to a House belonging to Charles Colmore, 
Esq., in the Possesdon of Mr. Bona% edled the AngeL 

All iriiidi said Boads we have caused to be set out to the Breadth 
of lirtyFlBet— and we have appointed Mr.Thomas Conway, of Hockley, 
to diew the said Boads. 

And all Persons who have any Gljections to make to the aforesaid 
Boads, or any or dther of them, are desired to attend and make su^ 
thdr Olgeeiions^ in Writing, at our next Meeting, to be held at the 
Hboae of Thomas CrodcetT known by the name of the New Inn, 
aitiiate at Handsworth, on Tuesday tlie 7th Day of January nex^ at 
Elefmi o'doek in the Foconoon. 

Thomas Gesbt. 
Samuxl Wtatt. 
JoBV Wail. 

The next advertisement is quoted for the curious mention 
of tbe ^ women's market " which it contains. It is, I think, 
the only example of the kind. The women's market was. 



12 A CEKTUBY OF BIBMINQHAM l^IFE. 

of coarse, for the sale of butter, eggs, and poultry, and was 

at this time held in Highnstreet. 

H0U8BB nr High Stbsbt. 

July 8, 1709.— To be Let, and entered upon immediatoly, a Meesoage 
or Tenement in SQgh Street, Birminghajn. fronting the Women's 
ICazket, late in the Uolding of Abraham Bullock, Bamcet-maker, and 
also five back Honaee, let to under teaaatB, 'who pay their rente 
weekly. 

The Surveyor published this useful aud interesting bit of 

information : — 

November 3, 1800. — ^The public axe most aasuredly informed that 
from the IGddle of the High-etreet, facmf the Swan Inn, Birmin^^iam, 
down DMwth, and up Deritend to the Middle of the Boad facing the 
Bottom « BaTunhurat EQU, leading to Bradford-Street^ Bordealey, ia 
1672Yaid8; and over BaTenhurstfiill, down Bradfordnrtreeto^ 
Idill Meadow, by tiie Moat^ and up Sptceal-atreet, to the Middle of the 
Street facmg the Swan Inn aforeiaid, la 1684 Yards ; conaequently Dig- 
beth Boad u nearer by twelve Yanla and uvwarda, and liea more on a 
Level, aa appeam by actual Menauratian, taken thia 24th Day of Octo- 
bar, 1800, iy me, W. Tatlob, Land Surveyor. 

On April 27, 1801, a return of the population and houses 

of the town was published, of which the foUowing is a 

copy: — 

The Parish of Birmingham on^y. 

Inhabited houaea 12,044 

Void ditto 1,602 

FamiUea 12,683 

Make 28,568 

Femalee 32,264 

Total number of inhabitanta . • 60,822 

The other parti of the tMonehip — Bordedey and Deritend, 

Houses inhabited 1,017 

Ditto void 90 

Malea 2,392 

Fcmalea 2,629 

Aehtedf Dvddeeton^ Se. 

Inhabited houaea 739 

Ditto void 98 

Malaa 1,706 

Femalea 1,835 

Total of Hamleto 8^562 

Total of the Inhabitants of the connected ) ao 904 
streets axid houaea . ... J w,«>« 

The next two advertisements recall a state of the town 
•'for ever and for ever gone" : — 



PT7BLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 13 

A Capital Gardsn. 

July, 13, 1801.— To be Sold, a well-planted Garden, in the highest 
state of ColtiTation. with two fm)d ABparaguB, Baspbenry and Straw- 
beny Beda, a Brick Summer House, and other Conveniencefl^ sitoate 
in a Walk opposite the Timber Company's 'Wharf.— Enquire at the 
Bose and Crown, Paradise-street, Birmingham. 

To Gabdsnbxu! and Other& 

July 13, 1801. — ^To be Sold, a Crop of Potatoes and Beans, now grow- 
ing upon a Piece of Land, containing about two acres, situate at the upper 
"End of Bradford Street, in Bordesley, and within three quarters of a mile 
of the Centre of the Town of Birmingham. Those Persons who are dis- 
posed to become Purchasers, are requested to send their Preposals in 
Writing, statins the Price they respectiyely are willing to give, the Time 
of Payment) ana of clearing the Crops from off the Ground, &c., to Mr. 
Lowe, 0f the Bayenhurst, m Bordesley, on or before the 18th instant. 

To yiew tiie Crop, apply to Mr. Lowe. 



§ 2. PUBUC LIFE AND EVENTa 

The record of public events for the present ten years will 
afford a painful contrast with that of the last decade. 
There is enough activity, enough energy, a plentiful dis- 
play of public spirit ; but the eneigy of the inhabitants 
IS almost entirely absorbed either in trade or in armii^ and 
drilling themselves in readiness for the expected invasion of 
Napoleon Buonaparte. The loyalty of the town was of 
the most oppressive character. To hint at the want of 
moderation and wisdom in any of the doings of the 
"heaven -bom minister," Pitt — to suggest the slightest 
shortcoming on the part of the "Father of his people,'* 
Qeoige m, was treason of the worst kind, and tne radi 
Beformer was sent to C!oventiy, and in danmr of being 
sent to a worse place by the respectable of his fellow 
townsmen. Clesr^ and luty alike participated in the fever 
of Church«and-Kingism, and no toleration was allowed to 
dissentieuta The general opinion was virulently loyal, and 
woe to the poor wretch who was bold enough to utter a 
doubt^ or to whisper a suspicion that there was anything 
rotten in the state of England. The politics of the cleray 
were not a whit more fanatical than those of most of the 
laymen : and Dr. CSroft^ Dr. Madan, and the Bev. E. Bum, 
found, in gentlemen like Mr. Morfitt, Mr. Weston, and the 
once important Job Nott, men whose hatred of Dr. Priestley 
exceeded their own, and whose vehement vituperation and 



14 A CENTURY OF BIBHINGHAH LIFE. 

vehement declamation exceeded even that of the pulpit. 
For some years Birmingham suffered from the ^'reigh of 
terror/' and it required many years' experience of the tender 
mercies of an anti-reform Qovemment to bring back her 
old and healthy liberalism. In spite, however, of this some- 
what retrogressive tendency of the people on the subject 
of freedom, the history of the town from 1791 to 1801 is 
frdl of an interest of its own, and is rich in lessons of public 
importance, even for our own time. 

Our first extract brings us 'back to the irrepressible 
buckle: — 

BuocLB Mamutaotobt. 

Janoanr 2, 1792. —We had the satisfiMstion, in oar last| to ansoanoe 
to the public the circumstance of some GenUemen of the Committee 
of the priocipal manoiMtaren of Bncklee in this Town, Walsall, and 
Wolyerfaampton, waitinff upon his BoTalHlghness the Prince of Wales; 
and we are now enabiedto present to onr Bsaders the words of their 
petition. — Mr. Sheridan, who had the honour of introducing the depu- 
tation to the Prince, nassed the highest compliments on the Abilities of 
the Gentlemen who orew it up : and remarked that he had hardlj ever 
met with sentences so happilj expressed, and which contained so mudi 
matter in so few wordi^ as those whidi we have distinguished bj an 
itaUc letter. 

To His Boyal Highness the Pbijtob of Walh. The humble 
Petition of the Buckle Manuiartmreni, &a 
Shewethy 

That^ with minds strondy agitated by the alarming dedine of our 
Trad^ we approadi tout Botal HiOBvam^ not without hope, htiag 
abundantly convincea that you will rejoice in an opportunity of di^ 
playing, at the same time, your goodness, public spiriL and humanity. 

It will stand, instead of a thousand ammentSi nmply to state to 
your BoTAL Hiohhbh^ that the Buckle Timde giiFes employment to 
mors than Twenty Thousand Pemons, numbers of whom, in conss^uence 
of the prsYalencT of Shoe-strings and Slippers, are at present without 
employ, almost aestitute of hr^A, and exposed to the honors of want^ 
at this inclement season of the year ; That should the same stagnation 
of trade continue^ the miseries^ emigrations and other homd eon* 
sequences that will IncTitably ensue, may )>e better concsiTsd than 
expresssd. 

It is in a sreat measurs owinff to the two Taluable Manu&ctures of 
Buckles and Buttons, that Birmingham has attained her present impor- 
tance in the map of Great Britain ; the latter, when in an Infirm stais^ 
was dierished by PlulluaentaxT sssistance ; nut aTerss to pt6bMiarx 
penalties, we have the Ihllest rdianoe upon the grMious I n t s B fa rsDO of 
your BoTAL UioBvan. 

W$ hw IsoNW to oterM, thai wkm FaMm^ tnsfeacf of fortigfn or 
wapn^tMB ornamnU^ iseon and o on ^ wm n tio Jfamifachttm of iKw 
Ommtry^jih% pmU on « more omgaging farm atid hooomm Aift'ieh'esi, 
Wkm Toito, ol Me oamo imo amd by tko oamo means cAol ale 
deooraim ike formnu of ike RieL oloaiks and fmit tk§ nolerf «Mf 
hwn^fy Poor^ ih€ dtu rv u a worthier appdloHon^ and may be ttyM 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENXa 15 

Bwmamty. Ws make no doubt but your Botal HiOHvaBB vSl prefer 
tke bletnfm of tMe Starving Manufacturer to the encomiums of the 
JDrawina Room. 

We know it ti to no purpose to address Fashion herself j she is void of 
feding and deaf to argument; but fortunatdtf she is svJtjeet to your con- 
trol: She has been accustomed to listen to your voice and obey your 



We, therefore, meet eemeetlj implore your Botal Hianvna^ m our 
pr eae nt Hope and fbtare Sovereign, attentivelj to ooneider the de- 
pkrable eitoation of our trade, which it in danger of being mined by this 
mntabiUtj of fV»hion ; and to give that dirSstion to the public taate, 
wfaidi will ebsure our most lively and laating mtitnde, and confirm the 
general opinion of the exalted virtaee of your neart 

And your Petitioners shall ever pray, &a 

December 17, 1791. — The very gnuaous reply of the Prince we 
have already noticed: and on Satcuday ee'nnight, hia Boyal High- 
nes having ordered the princijial persona of every depurtment of 
hia houaehMd into his presence^ mfonned them that thev must from 
that instant discontinue the use of ahoe-etrinfls; he desired them 
to go to his own buckle-maker for what Duckies the^ mj^t 
-waokt, and he expressed a hope that they would never ofl»nd hmi 
Igr the disuse of so important an aitide of British Manufacture. — 
£us Boyal Highness the i>uke of Tork (upon whom the Committee alao 
waited, attenaed bqr Major-Oeneial Qrenville) on the same day perso- 
nally delivered sinular orders to the ^(entlemen and servants of his 
household ; and the Members of the City of London have assured the 
Mannf acturen that they will use their endeavours, both in their public 
and private capadties, to extend, as fiur as possible, the influence of the 
Prince of Walm example, of whose beneficent intcoitions in this, as well 
as in every other instance, we cannot, ii^eed, sp^k too bighlv. The 
alegant and frank manner in which his B^yal Highness au along ex- 
pressed himsdf, and the humanity with which he entered into the peti- 
tkn, has left siiiBh an impression upon the minds of the Qentlemen of 
the Committee, as cannot fsil of conveying the most just representatioii 
«f so amiable a Prince^ to the valuable boay of men by whom they were 
deputed. 

The deputation (which consisted of Messrs. Cheston, Bellamy, S. 
Hands* and Bii^ey, of this Town, and Mr. T. Hipkins, of Walsall) 
likewise Isel themselves mder the greatest obligations to Mr. Sheridan 
and Major Qeneral Qrenville, throuj^ whose pdite kindness they were 
introduced to the Princes ; and thigr were honoured by the company of 
several of the first Gentlemen of the Prince of Walers houaehold to a 
splendid diimer, prepared at the New London Tavern, after which the 
evening was snent with the utmost conviviality. 

It is thoq^t neosBsaiy to observe, that two ridiculoua parsgrsphs^ 
whii^ have ttipsared in a London piper upon the above subject^ were 
lolallTimantiioriied hy tiie Oonunittee or Deputation, whose names 
were inproperiy used in them. 

Snooess attended the efibrto of the manofiustnrerB- 
Boymlty smiled upon the buckle, and wore it; but not 
even the favour ot the ^fiist gentleman in Europe," could 
compel its use. A more potent influence had dedared 



16 A CENTORY OF BIRIONGHAM LIFE. 

against it ; and Faahion, in spite of Kiuft, Queen, Prince 
R^ent, and the whole Court united, doomM the buckle, and 
dedared in &your of the ''unmanly shoe string." . On 
January 23, however, the buckle-makers received this bit 
of joyful news :— '' It is with singular pleasure that we state 
that, on the Queen's Birth Day, Buddea were universally pre- 
valent. The b^iuty and brilliancy of those worn by the 
Prince of Wales,.Duke of York, and Earl of Fife, attracted 
tbe notice of the whole Drawing Room.'' 

Considering the violence of the riots of 1791, and the 
animosity of the rioters, it is no wonder that it was neces- 
sary to insert such paragraphs as the following : — 

February SO, 1792. — Some odtintry papers having asserted that there 
have been fresh riots in this place, we tnink it neoessaxr to say that» 
althoni^ numbers of the Button-makers have assembled, in a tomnl- 
tnous maimer, in conseouence of a difference about prices with their 
masten^ no outrage has oeen committed ; — most of them have retomed 
to their labour, and the dispute, we hope, will be amicably settled :— 
at all cTenti^ we trust there will not be found amons them any so rash 
as to bring upon themselves the evils that will inallibly ensoe from 
an attempt to raise a riot^ with such a strong military force as the 
town now 



The people at this time were alarmed by ihe appearance 
of a "Aery meteor ;" which, to their disordered imaginations, 
must have appeared of direful import : — 

February 20, 1792^— On Thursdav niaht^ an uncommonly strong 
fiery meteor hung over this town, ana haa so much the appearance at 
bdng the effect of a dreadful fire, that people ran alarmed from all 
parts to discover the suppoeed conflagration. It continued an hour 
before it dissipated. 

The next extract refers again to the Buckle trade. The 
isyct is highly creditable to the manufacturers, and is in 
keeping with all tbe'public proceeding of the people ci 
Birmingham.. They have often fidled m the exhibition of 
some of the virtues, but never in that of charity to the 
poor and afflicted. A subscription had been entered into 
to defray the expenses of the agitation for the preservation 
of this important branch of local industry, and a surplus 
remained in handL On February 27 we rc»d : — 

^At a meeting of tba prindpal Itfanuihctarers of Buckles on 
Thursday last, in this Town, they humanelv resolved to expend the 
aureus of their snbseriptamis in bread, m poor and industrious 
worajuen/' 

The two following extracts furnish us with a little more 
information on the proceedings of the buckle-makers : — 



PUBUO LIFE AND EVSNTS. 17 

Febmaiy 2^ 1792.— Thoraday the Petition of the Boekle Traders of 
London and Westminflter was presented to his Boyal Highness the 
Dnke of Glareno^ at St Jtane^B. The Boyal Doke feceiyed the 
deputation with the considerateness and friendship that bespoke his 
Interest in the prosperity of the Bnckle Traders, and aasored them — 
** tiiat he was the last to encourage shoe strings ; the eostom of wearing 
them he always oonsideied extremely ridiecuooa^ and injorioos to an 
eztensiye mann&etors. Thjit he never wore them himsefi^ or sajBTered 
any of his officers on board to nse them ; and as fiur as he conld serve 
the trade, he shonld be always ready to afford it ereiy encouragement, 
fund on any fatnre occasion to see the deputation where his influence 
was wanting to support a manufacture so agreeable to his wishes." 

BucKLB Trade. 

February 27, 1792.— At a numerous and respectable Meeting of the 
principal Manufacturer^ held at the Union Tayem, CSierry Street, on 
Thursday last, the 23rd Instant^ for the Purpose of receiyiuff the Beport 
of the Committees and to pass their Accounts, as also to cTetermine in 
what manner the surplus Balance remaining in Hand should be dis- 
posed of : 

It 1MU fmojMSioiej^y lU$olv6d— 

Thai the Thanks of this Meeting and Trade at hip be ffiven to 
those Gentlemen that acted on the Committees, fiir theur indeutigable 
attention to promote^ as fiu* as possible, the Interest and Extension of 
tiie Bnckle Trade in general 

That the Thanks of this Meeting and Trade at laige be given to 
those Qentlemen who composed the Deputation appointed to present 
the Petitioiis from the Manufacturers to their Boyal Highnesses the 
Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of York, for their firm, 
mlrited| and soecessAil Szertions. 

That l e sp e etfti i Letters be sent, by the Chairman, to B. B. Sheri- 
dan, Eso, llP. and to Mijor General Grenville, expressive of the 
grateful Benae the Trade at laige entertain of their kmdness^ shewn 
towards them through the Persons of their Deputation, as also for 
their ready and polite Introductk>n of those Gentlemen to their Boyal 
Hl^esses. 

That the frdl money be returned to such Subscribers as are not 
Manufrcturers^ accompanied with the Thanks of the Trade at large for 
theur liberal Offers. 

That a proportionate Share of the Suiplus Balance be remitted to 
tiie Chairman <tf the Committees at Walsall and Wolverhampton, to be 
dinosed dhj the Subscribers there in such Way they approve. 

That the whole Balance due to the Subscribers at Binninsfaam, be 
riven in Household Bread to sudi of the industrious poor Workmen 
ttiat come well recommended. Eadi Subscriber to have four Tl^ets ; 
iHiich Tickets are to be sent fiir 1^ the Subscribers to Mr. Pearson^ 
Printer, la the Hi^^i-street^ In the Course of the next Week, or tl^y 
will, after that TimsL be disposed <tf by the Committee to such Fsnons 
as bring credltabis BecommendatJona 

Thomas Chbrov, Chairoan and Trsasuier. 

. Our next relates to 



Febraaiy 27, 1792.— Seme misunderstanding having taken Place 
respecting the Bents of the Pews in this Chapel, the PubUe are 

IL 



18 A CENTUBY OF BIBMINGHAM LIFE. 

respeetlolly informed thai FlanB, with the Benta of eadi Eneeliog, may 
be Been at the Chapel, and at Mr. Brooke's, Temple Bow, Krmingham. 
The inoonyenieQcet arising from improper People coming into the 
principal Sittings will in future be prevented. 

The high price of copper was now engaging the serious 
attention of onr maniuactuiera As we have previously 
seen, various meetings were held on the subject, and various 
plans adopted to remedy such an injurious state of prices. 
A deputation was appointed to wait upon the Prime 
Minister, and on Marcn 12, appeared this notice of the 
result of the interview:: — ^'We are happy to inform the 
public that the Minister paid every attention to the plans 
submitted to him by the deputation firom this town, in 
consequence of the niffh price of cop^, and he promised 
that the subject shoiud have his senous and iinmfidiat,ft 
consideration." 

The feelings produced by the riots, and the irritation 
under which the sufferers must have borne their unjust 
losses, continued to betray themselves. Dr. Priestley, as^ 
we know, had addressed a manly Appeal to the People of 
Birmingham. The Bev. E. Bum undertook to proauoe a 
reply to this letter, which was to have been published on 
March 26. In the following announcement^ Mr. Bum states 
his reasons for not issuing his brochure according to promise; 
and they are honouraue to him as a dexgyman and a 
gentleman. We fear there were not many who took part 
in this amtroversy who would have acted with the same 
thoughtful considmtion : — 

To 



Mr. Pearaon,— Ab I stand ennged by an advertiaenent inroinr paper 
of last Monday, to pnbliah, tEia day, a Beply to Da. InuBVLBr's 
AmuL, L heg leave, ihxoaA yon, to aavon the Beaaon of my not 
keeptnff mjr Word wnh the Pabfic. It has been repreeented to me^ bjr 
a fhena oc the Doctor, that the PoMication of my Answer ao immedi* 
ately before the Aaiae, when there would be no opportonity of replyiiy 
on ma Bait, might ponbly create a Pkvjndioe in um Public mind to his 
BieadTantage. and would therelove be considered by hia Fkienda as an 
Act of Injustice to Dr. Priestley. 

Aa there is nothing farthar from my Intention than the wiah of 
inflnendng any Judicial Pkooedore that may nspeot Dr. Priestley, aa a 
Sufferer in the late Bioti^ I do f oir thii Beaaon most cheerfully consent 
that the Publication of my Beply be deferred tin this Day Se^imght In 
the mean Time^ Sir, I takeit for mnted thatno advantifle will m taken 
of my Silencer mcoosistent with thai Regard for Justice oy which I feel 
my own Cowiuct to be inflnenned in this BusineMi 

I am. Sir, yoQi% E.B«nui. 

Birmingham, March M, 1702. 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 19 

Hutton, from his well-known penurionsness, was exposed 
to some not very pleasant reports, to which he thus re- 
plied: — 

March SS, 1798.— The Beports that have heen eircalated to my 
Pkvjndioe ohlige me to a Pahlio Yindicatioii of my claim of 2402. as a 
Oompeoaatioii for my Loes of Trade for two months. I still aver that 
my Phxfit^ in the mst Instance, is 1,4402. a Tear ; hat it is not to 
be sapposed that I can revel in tms Annual Sum. I am oUiged to pay, 
as current Enences, for canying on the Business, 1,0402. lOe., hefore I 
csn procure a Shilling for my own Attention and Labour, or the Support 
of my Eunily. MvIosb of Trade,^ since the Biots, is more than I nave 
Haiined, owing to the Want of various sorts of Fkper. As the Iknohi- 
ments were lost and the Ezpences remained, the Justice of my CSaim 
jmean. 

jThe Profits of nnr Business do not exceed Ten per Cent, upon the 
Cental emploved ; for the Beasonableness of which I appeal to every 
Merdiant ana Manufantorer in Birmingham. That Capital at tho 
Biots was 14,0002. Whether this Money was my own or another^s 
makes no Alteration in the Case ; eveiy one knows 7002. aTear follows 
this Sum as Conmion Interest The necessary Salaries of my Servants, 
who assist in the Business, amount to 1962. lOa, the extra Bent and 
^Ikxes SOL, and my annual Looms 1002., as most of the Attomejrs in 
Birmini^iam can testify. The remaining small Profit of 3832. 10k. 
oftener attends a Capital of 1,4002. than 14,0002. W. Hdttov. 

The better supply of fish to the town was still engaging 
the attention of our public men ; and in April this announce- 
ment was published : — 

Birmingham, March 21, 1793. — At a Meeting of Subscribers for 
proeuriog a better Suf^y of Ush for this Market, it was unanimously 
resolved, at the Beoommendation of the Committee, that the whole 
management of the Businesi^ for one year fiom this Time, shall be left 
to six of theConmiittee^ who have ffenerously offned to undertake it. 
The Public are therefore informed that a constant Supply of Fish will 
continue to be obtained and sold on the usual low Terms at the New 
Fish Shop^ in Bull Street W. V illsbs^ Chairman. 

Items of riot news still appear. The first extract points 

oat one of the difficulties wtach arose in the settlement of 

claims ; and the other speaks well for the High Bailiff: — 

April 0, 17951. — ^The difference between the original daims on the 
Honored and those made in Court was oceasioned, it seenu^ partly 
by its rapearing on the triab oi the preceding week that the per 
entom diaiged on the whole esUmateiu and some other chaigea^ could 
not, upon the eonstraction of the AcL be allowed ; and partly by some 
of the sollersn deducting fiv goods found or returned since the first 
daha was made. 

April 16^ 1798.— We have the pleasuie to hear that the High-Baillff; 
and many other Friends of the late unHartunate Mr. Ashwin. (who 
died in consequence of a wound received durinff the riots) intend 
opening a Subscription in this Town for the Benefit of his relict and 
h«r fionUy of eight children ; there can be but fow Instances In which 



20 A CENTURY OF BIBMIKGHAH LIFE. 

the txmerolent inliabitaiits of the towo, and neigfabourboody can be 
more powetfolly called upon to nnite. 

The next quotation has reference to the Copper and 

Brafis trades: — 

Bizminghaniy April 20, 1792. — ^At a Meetmg of the Merehante and 
principal Mannfiu^nrers of this Town, Coneomera of Copper and finun^ 
field tniB Daj at the Hotel, pnraoant to pablic Advertieemente ; 
Mr. y iLLERfl in the Chair ; 

The Chairman having read the Besolationa of the Meeting held at 
the Shakespeare Tavern on the 2S&nd of Febroary lasL which was 
convened for the pmrpoee of taking into consideration the nigh Price of 
Copper, and of consulting on the means proper to be pnrsned for 
removing the EviL having also laid beibre tne Meeting an Accoont of 
the Proceedings m the Deputation appointed at that mrmer Meetings 
«id the Answer received from the Mmiiter ; 

The fellowiag Besolntions passed Unaiiimoasly : 

It being the Opinion of this Meeting that great inconveniences have 
arisen to the Trade of this Town fifom the present high .Price of 
Copper, and that still greater inconvenleoces are likely to foUow, nnless 
some e&ctoal Measures are speedily taken to prevent them, 

Besdved Ist^ — ^That this Meeting entirely approve the BeeolntionB 
of the Merdiants and Manufacturers passed at the Shakeqieare Tkvem^ 
oh the 22nd of February last^ on this soljeet 

Second, That ttus Meeting also approve the Measures taken by the 
Dentation, and desire them to accept Iha Thanks of this Meeting for 
thmr conduct 

Thud, That the Thanks of this Meeting be also presented to Sir 
Bobert JLawlev, Bart, and Sir Qeonee Shuckbuigh, Bart, for tho 
Assistance whun they afforded to the iMpntation. 

Fourth, That a Committee be appoisted finr the further Conduct of 
this Borinesa^ that they be desired to iq^piy to the neiglibonring Towns 
lor their Concurrence, and that five be oompetent to act 

Fifth, That a Subscription be inmiedlateiy entered into lor defraying * 
the Expenses already incurred, and to be incniTsd in this Badness. 

Sixth, That the thanks of the Meethig be presented to the 
Chairman. 

A Committee was accordingly appofaited, and a Subscription was 
inmiediately opened by the Company present^ twelve of whom under- 
took to obtain Subscriptions from such as were absent 

The result of the interview with Mr. Pitt is given on 
May 14. The editor is " happy to hear th^t the Gentlemen 
deputed from this Town to wait upon Mr. Pitt respecting 
the price of Copper, having had a second interview with 
that Qentleman, on Wednesday last, entertain hopes of 
succesa*' 

Trading on the Lord's Day continaed to give trouble 
to the authorities, and to all the orderly and decent 
inhabitants : — 

BOTCHBRS^ PuBUCUUrS, AMD H UUM T JUM L 

The Churchwardens of this Town are very sony to observe, thai 
the Butchery Hockstere, Publicans, ^e., still continue to exercise their 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EYENTSw 21 

TndoB on the LoitTs Day, notwithstanding thflr have had Notice, both 
peiaonallj and by Public Advertieement^ of ue Consequence of their 
oontinning sach practioes. Some of the Batchers have been presented 
at the Court of Lichfield, and paid a heavy Fine, which they nope will 
bave the desiied eflfoet^ in preventing others offianding in fhtore^ for 
they are detennined to present all uiose ,who do not pay a proper 
B^ard to this Notice. Birmingham, May 7, 1792. 

There was a dispate in the shoe trade, this year, but of 
the merits of the quarrel we have no information. The cause 
was, as is usual, the rate of wagea According to the 
following advertisement, the masters appear to have acted 
with a high hand :— 

Ifay 14^ 1792.— At a Qeneral Meeting <^ the Master Shoemakers oi 
the Town of Birmingham, It was resolved nnanimoosly, That we wHI 
Bot sahmit to oar Joomeymen in their present very unreasonable 
Demand of an Advance of Waffes^ as the Prices already given are 
eqoal, and in some Instances hi^er, than in most other Plsyoes in the 
Emgdom* 

K. K Every Enconragement will be given to sober and indostrioos 
Workmen. 

On June 18, this unwelcome anounoement was pub- 
lished: — 



It is with the |[reatest Beloctance that we are now onder the 
disagreeable Necessity of informing our Friends^ and the Pnblic in 
genoal, that owinff not only to the veir exorbitant Price of Leather, 
Sot evny other Artfde niade Use of in the Trade, and the great 
Biffienltv of pordiasing those Materials, even with readv money, we 
are absolntely necessitated to relinqush the Practice of giving Credit 

We are senuble this Information will be disafreeaUe to many ; bnt 
we are Mly convinced, that were evenr unprejoaiced and dtspassionate 
Person thoroaghly informed of the Oanses whidi compel ns to do i^ 
they woold certainly acqoiesce with as in the Measures we are now 
admsting. {Signed bv 66 Persons.) 

Also wanted a Number of Journeymen in the above Branch of 
Bosjnsss; steady Men will meet with every Enoonrsgement. 
— Birmingham^ Jmie^ 179S. 

As the time of the Anniversary of the taking of the 

Bastille drew near, fears were entertained that another 

attempt would be made to celebrate that glorious event. 

Accordingly the following notice that no such attempt 

would be made was issued : — 

Birmingham, Jane 8, 1798. — A Report having been prooMated thai 
it b intended to celebrate the Commemoration of the Frenen Uevolvtioa 
in this Town, on the 14th of Jaly next ensuing— it is hereby declared 
by those who promoted the last Anniversary that the said Report is 

Eindlsss. And althongh they have seen no Reason to ^ange their 
timenti^ that thsy ongnt to rejoice, as men, at the Eouneipation of so 
many of tbrnr leUow Men from the MSssries of a Government anivenally 
allowed to be tyrannical : or, tn Britons and good Citisens, that the 



22 A CSNTUBT OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

beneficial Coiweqiienoes of the French BeTolntion to the Commerce and 
to the Finances of this Country, by preventinff Foreign Wan, haTe been 
already ieit, and ha^e contribnted to the National Peace and 
Fmsperitx — yet they are too mneh the IViende of Peace and Order 
to endanger the public TruK^nillity in the present CtvoB. They 
condiide this AdTcrtieement with the same sentiment as they began 
their last Meeting, by declaring their Loyalty to ^ the Khtf and 
Constitatik>n/'* their attachment to which remains unaltered not- 
withstandinff the Injuries which some of them haTe recdVed from the 
temporary Delnsion of then: Townsmen. 

Here ib an entry worth preserving : — 

July 9, 179£.— Died. On Friday last, in Digbeth, in this town, in 
the 103rd year of his i^ John Boberts, who retained his ftculties to 
the huitp ana followed his employment within a few weeks of his death. 
This eztnordinaiy old man married three wiTss, by Hhom he had 
S8 diildrea $ he was neariy 80 when he manied last^ and had six of 
the diildven by her. 

The damage done by the riots was — or at least the 
amount allowed by the court was— £26^61 2a Sd. The 
rate was levied on the Hundred of Hemlingford, and the 
foUowiDg is the account of the plan adopted: — 

July S3, 1792.— At a Meetinff <tf the Maffistrates resident in, and 
acting for. the Hundred of Hemlingford, in Sie Oonnty of Warwick, 
the 86th dar of July, 1798, at thelSWan Inn. in OoleshilL 

BesolTW^ That for the purpose of ralshig the different Sums 
reooTersd against the Inhabitants of this Hundred, for the late Riots 
at Krmlpgham, by an equal and impartial Bate^ the OonstaUes, Orer- 
•eers, and other Offieen^ acting under the diffetent Aets of Flsriiament 
for raisiqg the Leries withhi the TnUbm in this Hundred, berequired 
to make a Beturn of th^ several Bates and Assesanenta. 

Besotted, That it appears to this MeetiQg that a Statement of the 
Poor Levies and Window Assessments, in the diibient Ftokhes within 
the Hundred, are the most likely Means to obtain sneh Knowledfpe as 
wHl enable them to make an equal Bate. 

ATuonoBO. R MoLAim. 

B. NiwnnsAn. T. Gauk 
1£ Saduol R 



This year was remarkable for the introduction of banradcs 
for the anny. The grievances of the billeting system had 
become intolerable ; and it was qMdally injmioos to the 
character of the soldier and the discipline of the army. 
On August 17, 1792, we read :— 

"With the libend view of relieTing the Publicans of large townS| upon 
whom s nnmber of horse and other soldien are oftantimes very meon- 
Vfolently quartered, GoTemment ba^ adopted the plan of erecting 
Bairadca^ where they will be lodged, and prmde lor tnemselTes. They 
have aliesdy, we nndentand, begun to build them at Manehester, 

^ This wai the tot 4*oest at ths HMl, IM Jnlf , 17f 1. 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EYElITa 23 

Sheffield and Nottiiigham ; Mid last week Colonel De Lanoey agreed 
with Mr. Brooke lor foar acres of his land, at Ashted, to erect the 
bairadoB upon, near this town ; the spot is highly approved hy all the 
offieers who have snrreyed it ; and the adjacent land wUl, no doabt, 
soon be eorered with other buildings. 

The first stone of the Birmingham Barracks was laid on 
Angost 28, 1792. 

IHie minute and detailed nature of the taxes, at this 
unhappy period, was fearfully troublesome and irritating to 
tradesmen. Almost every article of use and of luxury was 
taxed The consequence was, that there were many oppor- 
tunities for the dishonest tradesman to evade the lawa This 
seems to have been especially the case with hats and gloves; 
and the following report of a meeting of these trades affords 
us a good picture of the troubles of the times : — 

Shakbbpxarb Tatkrit. 

Birminj^ham, Sept Se» 1792.— At a Meeting of the Betailen of 
Hati and Qloree^ conTened bj adTertlaement^ held here this da/; 
Beeolred imanimowaly. That we, whoae names are hereonto annexed, 
well aware of the great Iinarj sustained, — ^not onlj to the Bevenne of 
that Goremment under which we live, bat to the fair and oonadentions 
Trader, hj the very partial HeUiod in which the Labels on Hats and 
Gloves are at present made use of or evaded, do pledge ouvelves to 
GovenuneBi. to the PaUio^ and to each other, that we will not sell, in 
fator^ any Hats or Gloves without the proper Stamps being propm v 
affizea; sod as bv sach a Beaolntion we are fblly sensible we shall 
materially sailer m oar Bosinees if others in the trade continne to 
pursoe a difleient Coarse, and sell withoat Stamps ; we farther resolve 
that^ in Jostiee to oanelves and Familiei^ ahoald anv sadi Instances 
oome to oar KnowledM we shall think oarselves tally justified in 
giving immediate InteUiflence to the Committee^ that thev mav inform 
tlie proper Offieers, who nave promised at this Meeting tnat they will 
use theur utmost Ekdeavoars to convict the Offenders. 

At this time, one of the most shameful charges that could 
lie made against an Englishman, was made against a Bir- 
mingham Manufacturer. Mr. OUl was charged with having 
made daggers for the French. As they are curiously 
illustrative of the times, we quote ,tbe 8ta4;ement and the 
defence: — 

October S8, 1798.— An illiberal and onfoanded article having ap- 
peared in a late London prints TJke Sun^ reflecting on the reputation of 
Mr. GilL of this towiLcharginffhim wittimanafiiSarinff 80,000 daners 
finr Dr. MaxweD, of London, «&, (sapposed for the french Jaeobins) 
we have his aathori^ to contradict it in direct terms. It is trae a 
person of the name <^ ICazwell did call apon him, and the other sword* 
naken of this places' for the parposs of ordering daggersi all of whom 

them §0T 



eqoally ready to make them fn- him, as wul more fbllv appear in 
Mr. Gilrs statement rffkctSL whidi he has already sent to ttie paper in 
iHiich the fidsshood originaliy appealed. 



24 A CENTURY OF BIBHINGHAH LIFE. 

Mr. Gill's reply appeared in the next paper .' — 

Dr. Maxwell's Daooebs. 
To th$ Printers of Arii$ Birmingham OazetU. 

Sir, — Much having been said on the Subject of Dr. Maxwell's 
DsAgexs, in whioh my Name has been nnjostly tradncedy I request yoa 
wiiliDsert the following fair Statement in jolir next Paper. 

Thomas Gilu 

Birmingham, October 52d» 1793.~On Monday, the 10th of September, 
which proves to be two Days before the intended Meeting; of the 
Doctor nimaelf I then knew nothing at all, a Peison called on me, who 
said his Name was William Maxwell, that he wanted some Daggers 
(mounted with Handles and Scabbards comidete} whidi he then de- 
scribed, and which he sapposed to be in mj line of Mannfactore as a 
Sword-maker ; that he haa already been, with Meesra Dawes, Harvey, 
and Woolley (who are also Sword-makexs at this Place), and he requested 
to know what Price I could render sadi at. I repliea, that I most first 
oondder of it, and if he called apdn I would then inform him of my 
Price. Immediately after this 'hoi. Dawes called npon me, and brought 
a Dagger with him. whioh he had already prepared as a Specimen 
for iK Maxwell ; that he came to consult with me about the Prices of 
such, as he understood from Mr. Maxwell himself that he would call 
upon me respecting them ; Mr. Dawes at the same Time added, that 
Mr. Woolley had also been with him, consulting upon their Prices ; 
that they had agreed the Price should be 228. per Dozen, and they both 
requested I womd not make them for a less Irice, when I assured Mr. 
Dawes that I certainly would not Soon afterwards Mr. Maxwell 
called upon me affain, and I then informed him of those Tenns for the 
Daggen^ to whixm he did not object — said he found we all of us had 
been consulting each other upon the Business, but as he preferred my 
Maoufaoture, so he would give all his Orderg to me, and requested that 
I would proceed in the making o^ at least, three or four thousand of 
them upon a certainty ; that he should go to London that Evening, and 
would return to Binningham in about a Week afterward^ when he 
doubted not he should confirm an Order to me finr at least twenty 
thousand. A few of these were consequently made ; but as I neither 
saw nor heard from Mr. Maxwell at his appointed Time of retuminff to 
Binningham, and I having heard of the disturbance whidi happened on 
the 12th of .September, at Doctor Maxwell's House, in London, I 
instantly stopped all proceedings in the making of Daggers. In 
thii Interval Mr. Dawes had waited upon me sgsin, shewed me 
an Undertaking that Mr. Woolley had ngned and broogfat to him, 
whidi he had also copied, signed^ and interehaufled with Mr. Woolly, 
both of which were as follows, except their AddroMos and Signature 
(viB.>- 

^Mr. Dawesp— I have offered the Dagvers at 22i. per Domiy the 
Boarding Spikes at 12k, with 6 per GentMoney, and shall not make 
any Alteration without consulting you* 

^ Monday, September 10th, 1792." (Signed) Jamis Woollbt. 

Mr. Dawes at the same Time brofoght another exact copy of the abora 
addressed to meL but dated on the 11th of September, signed by himself 
only, and said it was Mr. Woolley's Bequest, as also his own. that I 
would give him another to the same Teuor and Purport^ ^gned by me^ 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTa 25 

for their matual aatisiaction in thia BosineML which I immediately 
complied with,- and gaye to Mr. Dawei^ and whion is literally as under: — 
''Ifr. Dawes, I have oSend theDaggen at 22b. per Dozen, the Boarding 
Spikes at 12B.,with 5 per cent. Disoount for Money; and shall not make any 
Alteration without consulting you. The ahoye is written purely to 
correspond with your note to me, as also the one from Mr. WooUey to 
yourself ; and as you had informed me that you hoth had agreed that 
the Price cf the Daggers should he 22a per Dozen with 5 per CSsnt. 
Disoount for Money, so I determined not to supply any of them under 
those Terms, and I naye Orders for some Thousanas of them upon the 
aboye terms ; and as I had been consulted through you (whid^ in this 
CSase I conttder as by both of you) I hereby liberally |Ht>pose to boUi 
of TOO, that either or both are welcome to make as many of them as 
ettoer or both may wish to undertake. (Signod) Tbouab Qill, 

*<Btfmingham, September l»h, 1792." 

In the latter end of September another person eslled unon me, and 
proposed to make himself responsible for the payment for three or four 
thousand of the ssme sort of Daggers^ if I would undertake to supply 
them to him, upon which I made this my Business fully known to the 
Treasuiy, also sent one of the Daggers there ; and on tlM 30th of 
SejitemDer I haye an acknowledgment of their Beoeipt by a Letter, 
mm the contents of whidi I feefmyielf perfectly at uhwtj to make 
meh DsAncers, and which there is not a I>oubt that any or eyery one 
of the lumufaetorers of Swords or Daggers of this Pkce would readfly 
engage to compleat and to mpply. This certainly must conyince 
eyety Body that I haye in all in this Bosfaisas acted consistently: and 
as becomes a good CStiaen, that my Neighbours in the Sword T^nde 
lealiy are not more yirtuoos in this Daonr Business than mysctf — 
although the contrary has been yeiy roundly assorted in the Stm. 

Thomas Qtlu 

In the midst of all these troubles and perplexities — ^tbese 

wars and ramoors of wais — ^it is refreshing to find that ihe 

works of chariiy and benevolence were not allowed to be 

foivotten. ThnSy in October^ the following meeting was 

SocU^ for tk$ geMfoL Befitrm and Seifmpffari of tk€ enminal and 

dettitMU Poor of Greai Britain. 
October 29, 1792.— By deshe ol'^aeyeral Subscribers and Friends to 
this Undertaking: a Meeting is p ropose d to be held at the Shakespeare 
Tayem, Birmingham, This Bay, October 29, at Fiye o*Clock in the 
Afternoon, to concert Measures for the most eflbotoal support of a Place 
of so much Importance to the whole Kingdom, and the Attendance Is 
requested of SQ(» Gentiemen as widi to forward this Design. 

The next three extracts explain themselves. They afford 
another illnstration of the eneivy with which the Birming- 
ham people always oooperatea to remove an evil, or to 
sapply a want: — 

Birminghami Noyember IStfa, 1798.— Between two and three o'ckMk 
yesterday mormng a most alannlng fire broke out in the workshops of 
lir. CShamberlain, cooper, in Bread-s&eet^ which almost entirely destroyed 
the samey and consumed a great number of casks^ all the toolS| and a 



26 JL GENTUBY OF BIBMINOHAH LIFE. 

quantity of timber, before it oonld be extiii^aishedy notwithstanding the 
speedy aasistfaiee of the inhabitants, and uie attendance of the omoeis 
and privates of the Oxford Blues, quartered here, to whose conduct upon 
this, and STexy other recent similar occasion, tihe town must hold itself 
infinitely oblised. There is cTexy reason to beliere the premises 
were maliciously set on fire. Another timber yard of Mr. CSiamberlain's 
was attempted to be fired about three weeks up} : and the vile incen- 
diaries contrived, under cover of the darkness of the night, whilst it was 
coming or when it arrived, to cut in two the brass pipe of one of the 
engines, in order to prevent its playing. 

Fmr PoniiD6 Bewjlbd fob Discovbrt or Ihoendiabies. 

Birmingham, November 11, 1792. — Many attempts of the same Idnd 
having beoi recently made in that Neigbourhood, there is great Beason 
to ^>prehend that the alarming Fire which happened this Morning in 
Breaa-street| New-market, was wilfully occasioned. I do hereby, on 
behalf of the Town, offer a Beward of Fi^ Pounds to buj Person by 
whose Inf onnataon the Pez|>etrators of this atrocious Villainy may be 
brought to Justice, and oonvicted thereof. 

T. CooFSB, Hii^-Bailiff. 

November 20, 1792. — ^In consequence of the late Fire in Bread-street 
(with the probably wicked Occasion of itX together with the many 
Disturbances itom Nightiv Depredators, a Meeting was held at Mr. 
Ghamberiain's, In BreM Street^ on Monday, November 12, which was 
numerous and veir respectable, when it was determined to estaWsh a 
Nightly Patrol, and the following Besolntions were entered and passed : — 

Besolved, 1. — ^That a Ckmimittee^ consisting of Eighty, be appointed 
to conduct the Nifht Patrol <^ District No ^ in Newbali Straet, and 
•neh Dmhbooring tranches as are specified in a Plan of the Dirtrict 

2.— l£at the Laws of District Na 1, be strictly adhered to in this ; 
and that CSbpies of the same be printed as soon as possible, and dis- 
tributed to each Subsoriber. 

3. — ^Tbat the under-mentioned G^entlemen bmn the Patrol this 
Evening >— Messrs. Homer, Townsend, Shore, and Beilby. 

4.— That a Ni^t Constable be appointed to aeoompanv the PatroL 

5.— That the Move Besolutions be published in eaoi of the Birming- 
ham Papers. 
November 22; 1792. W. Bblbt, Chainnan. 

All Binningbam people who looked at the Gazette on 
NoYember 26, 1792, would read with pleasure ''that Dr. 
Withering, who lately left this place on account of ill 
health, is safely arrived in Lisbon, after a pleasant passage 
of twelve dajTs from Falmouth.'' Dr. Withering was one of 
the earliest and most eminent of tbe physicians of the 
Qomal Hospital In Mr. Bunce's useful little book we 
have the following account of this local ^worthy*' : — 

^ We owe," writes Mr. Bonoe, ''to Dr. Withering anotherof the first 



four Physidans, the introdnction into praetioe of DigitaUs. or " The Fox- 
glove,"* a boon whidi it is dilBcnlt to estimate too hignly, and which 
will senre as eanisr of his reputation to a remote posteri^. He was 

« Binnla^iam : K. Swinnaj, 1780. 



PX7BLIC LIFE AND EVENTa 27 

one of the most eminent Rngliah botamste of his tune^ and wrote a laive 
woric, in two Tolumee, on '^The YegetableB whidi grow in England,''* 
oompriaing a fall account of the botanical characterB, the medical 
prc^ertieBy and eoonomic naee of oar indigenoua plants. It is dated 
1776^ three yean onlj before hia election to the HospitaL The pre&ce 
18 Tery intereatingy and written with incomparable modeety. In it he 
makes the cariona oonf earion that much of what was then Imown of the 
medical oaes of rwtMM was, in fact, but little more than mere 
s up c ratiU an and TiiJgar tradition, and expressed his oonTiction that a 
thorough examination by competent observers of their reputed pro- 
perties was quite indispensable to exact knowledga Of uie former 
nbot his book abounds m illustratioiis. Among the rest we find that 
tlie Tery funiHar and safe bitter, known to all doctors, nurses (and many 
brewers, we fear), under the name of Gentian, waa reputed, in 1770, to 
po— BSi the power of producing ^sdnrhosities of the liver, palsy, and 
j^xiplexy I " Of the latter necessity, and of the great advantages oon- 
neeted therewith, Dr. Withering himself nTe us a shining instance by 
his investu^tion oonoeminff I^xglove. He was oonnectod wjth the 
Hospital thirteen years, ana must nave greatly contributed to its early 
reputation. There is a Tenr good monument, with a bust of him, in the 
Old Church, at £dgbaBton.^t 

The following extracts famish 12s with a cnrions incident 
in connection with the riots. The persons concerned had 
evidently taken their time in explaining the affiur to the 
paUic: — 

December 8, 179S.— Eftcts BespecUnf the Water Engines of St 
liartin'a Fteish, during the Time of the fiiots. 

On the 14th of July, 1791, Joseph Neal, who has the Gue of these 
EngfaMi^ had been exhibiting Fire Worka at Vauxhall, and in his 
Botntn was insulted by the Bioters eugaged in burning the New 
Meeting House, who threatened Destruction to him and the Bugines if 
they were brought fi>r the purpose of extinguishing. Mr. W. 
Homphrevi^ and hia Nephew, went^ about Eleven in the Evening to 
demand the Engines ai Samuel Brooke, were referred by him to the 
Gbnrdiwarden% and when their Order waaobtidned. Samuel Brooke 
gate all possiUe Asdstance, and Neal was waiting at tne Engine House 
with the keys In his hand. The Engines were taken along a Fisrt of 
Edgbaston-etoeet^ but Mr. W. Hnmphreyi^ and his Nephew, soon 
disMmared; Mr. Mjies followed their example; upon whidi, Mr. 
Wiail]% and hk two Son% ordered Neal to take the Engmes baek again. 
The meral eiy of the People, In the mean Time^ waa that the T^y^^tf 
would be uaeleas, and that Neal would be In danaer of losinff his life. 
Am toon as the Engines were brought baek, S. Bro^ wrote a Letter, In 
the Testiy, to the Beetor. at Sc^hull, with whidi J. Neal's Son set 
<Nit^ at one of eloek In the Morning, on Foot The Beetor, bef^ the 
Beoaipi of this Letter, was a Stranger to all the FkoeeedinA had given 
no Oraers whatsoerer r espec tin g tne Enginei^ and the first tIaM he 
Interftred waa In the Oonrw of the following Day, when he ordered 
them to be taken to Mr. Byland's Honss^ but witnont Sooeesi^ as the 

^ Of this work a Wfh Edition, in 4 toU., was pubHsfaed In ISlS. 
t The BlrBdiM;hsm General Hospital, and Triennial Mudcal Fastltals. 
P^J.T.BnMeJ VhU^PL 



28 A CENTUBY OF BIBiaNGHAM LIFE. 

Rioters would not snffer them to be nfled. Two of the Enginee had, 
however, been played with effect, for two honn, finom Eiffht till Ten, 
of the 16th of July, npon the Buildings adjoining to the Old Meeting 
Hoose. 

Saxuxl Bbookb, 
Birmingham, Deoember 1, 1792. JoesPB Kxal. 

A Stateuxnt, 

Occasioned hj a Misrepresentation of Fads, relative to the honid Blots 

of 1791. 

Mr. Printer, Sir, — ^In your CkueUe of Monday, the 3rd instan^ I 
find myself mentioned in some Paragraphs, intiUed Faets^ resneciing 
the Water Engines of St Martin'iL fta, to whidi the Names of S. Brooke, 
and J. Neal, are subjoined. I ao not mean, Sur, to enter into anv 
Altercation with these Personi^ bat oi^ to assure the Pablic that it is 
a m is r ep r e s e ntation, except in those CSrcnmstances in whidi it a^nves 
with the Aoooant given oy the Bev. J. Edwards, in Psge 343 of his 
last Letter in the Britiih ifaUon^ Na4. where the Fnblie will find them 
properly and truly stated, and of which the following is a Copy. 

I am, Sir, youn^ &&, 

William HuxPHREra. 

Next week we learn that a new engine had been 
presented to the town : — 

December 24, 1792. — The Boyal Ezdiange Assurance Company have 
resented an Engine to this Town, which Is kept at the wanhouae of 
rs. Salt, in Oongreve^treet 

This year closed, and the new ^ear opened with the 
usual distress, and the usual activity* in its relieC On 
January 7, 1793, we read that the ^ benevolent subscription 
of the inhabitants for supplying the poor with bread at 
half-price already exceeds the sum of £1,300/* 

It was proposed to make a canal fix>m this town to 
Warwick, and some of the inhabitants foolishly thought 
that such a project would, if carried out^ raise the price of 
coals, and consequently it was their duty to oppose the 
schema This narrow- sighted policy found expression at 
a meeting, of which the following is the report : — 

Birmingham. Jannaiy 25^ 1793. — ^At a nnmerooa Meeting of the 
Inhabitants of thii Town, held at the Hotel In Temple Bow, In pnxsoanoe 
of an Advertisement inserted bj Mr. William BMrn, Oonitable, in the 
Birmingkam CknnUcle of Yetterdaj, requesting their Attendanee 
there at Three o'Glod^ to take into OonsiderslSm the probable ill 
oonaeqoenoee of the intended Ckaal finom Birmingham to Warwid^ 
and how &r snch CSuial will affeet the FHoe of OcMua in Biimiagham : 
Mr.Barrs was called to the Chair, and the following Besolations ptawd 
onanimooaly : — 

ReiolTed, Oliat it is the Opinion of this Meeting, that the intended 
Gknal from Birmingham to Warwick will open an anditional Drain fyr 



^ 



taking Ckwls firom Uie Collieries bj whieb Birmingham is sapplied. 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 29 

That it 18 the Doty of erenr Izihabitant of the Town to oppose a 
Measure {ve^nant with so mach Misdiief to the Manafaetnrersy and 
evidently so mjarious to the Inhabitants at large. 

That a Petition he presented to Parliament^ on Behalf of the 
Inhabitants of the Town, against the said intended CSanal from 
Birmingham to Warwick. 

A Petition to Parliament against the Bill for ""^^'"g a CSanal from 
Birmingham to Warwiek beinf now read, 

Besf^Ted, That such Petition be adopted as the Petition of the 
Inhabitants of the Town. That the Members for the Coontj be 
raqnerted to present and support the Petition ; and that the Ohainnan 
be requested to wait npon them with the same, together with a Copy 
of th«M Besolations. 

That these fiesolntioDS be signed by the Chairman on behalf of the 
Meeting, and that they be pablished in the two Birmingham, the 
Covent^, Oxford, and some or the London Papers. 

Tliat the Thanks of this Meeting be given to the Chairman for his 
ready Consent to oonvene this ifoeting when requested, and for his 
polite attention to the Business. 

William Babbs^ Chairman. 

The time had long sinoe arrived when the two constables 

were found inadequate to look after the safety and to 

preserve the security of the town. The inhabitants had, in 

some measure, supplied the defidency, by providing and 

paying night ^Mtrols. It was now resolved to seek the aid 

of Paniament m obtaining a police bill On Februaiy 18, 

1793, this intimation of the met appeared : — 

We hear a police, hill fixr }his town is intended to he htooght into 
Pariiament the present sessiont, and that Joseph CSarles% Esq., and 
the Bev. Dr. Spencer, are to be two of the magistrates appointed 
therein* 

Here is an instance of the fimaticism of the time, and an 

example of one of the methods adopted in displaying it : — 

Ton Pautk. 

Fehmarj 18, 1703. — On Tuesday last, a weU-dressed repressntation of 
the Author of ''The Bi^tsof Man,* with that woik in one hand, a pair 
of stajs under his ann, and a label at'his back, exprearing ** The Arch- 
traitor, Tom Paine, Erskine^s Client,* was exhibited through the prin- 
cipal streets of this town ; he was attended by two chimney-sweepers 
one of whom, in a graTe clerical wig, alternately exhorted and pravea 
for him with great sokmni^, and wiped the tears from his eyes; hut 
the culprit, on the imroach oi death, as in his life, seemed to pay but 
little attention to religious exercises. He was hanged on a ^^ows 
twenty feet hi^ suiitmnded with fiiggjoti ; but the wei|^t of his trea- 
lnwakin|[ the rope, he was torn in pieces by the indignant spectators, 



and thrown mto tlie fire. After e xjn ' e s tt ng their loyal^ l^ singing 

xnconise ct people, which was yenr 



''God save the King/* Ac., the conconise of people^ which was yery 
great, ^oictly d is pe r sed^ withont being guilty of any diatuihance what- 
ever. The haiigiiian wno attended tto arch rebel, carried the painting 
of a Fox with a halter round his neck, and the music played " The 
Bogue^s March.* 



30 A OENTUBY OF BIBHINaHAM UFCL 

The fismaticism displayed itself in a worse fitshion than 
burning Tom Paine's effigy. An attempt was made to bum 
down me Swedenbori^an Church in Newhall Street. 

Bunmngham, MAiyA n. — Y^esteiday moming, about two o'clock, 
Bevenl of the pews in the Jenualem Temple, in tbii town, were dis- 
coTered to be on fire ; bat bj the timelj aBsistance of the watchmen 
and neighbooriiood, the flames were aoon extinguiahed. There is no 
doabt bat some incendiaiy had got into the Temple through a window, 
and lighted a quantity of combuatibleB, which he took with him. 

The Bey. J. Froud« the first minister of tins, the first, 
Swedenboreian place of worship in England, issued the 
following address on this incendiary attempt : — 

An Address to the InhabUamte ofBirmingham^from the Society meeting 

at the New Jenualem Temple. 

March SI, 1793.— It ia with unspeakable pleasure that we have to 
Addreaa our Fellow Citizena and Townsmen on the present oocaaion. 
Great and painful as our TVoublea hare been, yet they are peculiariy 
alleviated by that generoua and humane Spirit which those troubles 
have called forth, and ao conspicuoudv manifested. We think oureelves 
under the highest and most lasting Obligationa to those Gentlemen who 
have so nobly come forward with a profesMd Desire of bringing to light 
the darinff and vile Incendiary, who, divested of all Humamhr, could 
attempt the Destraction of an Edifice devoted to ralidoas Wonh^ ; 
and we can but most ardently hope their Endeavoun to oring to Justice 
the wicked Peix)etratorB of ao nase a Deed may be crowned with 
the fullest Sucoesa It gives us the hi^est pleasure, and calls 
forth our warmest gratitnde, to find that .Gaitlemeo of the EstaUiah- 
ment, and of religious Sentiments differeut from our own, have with 
Candour and true Christian Charity interested themaoves in our 
Behalf, and that their Humanity and Virtue have totally prsmiled 
over all Party S|drit and Bigotnr. Nor shall we ever foiget the IViand- 
ahip and Affection so reoenthr manifested towards u% both by 
Churchmen and Diaaentera llieir sympathianff with ua, wHh so 
much Sensibility and Eindnesa wfll endear their Samea to our Hearta 
By these repeated llaika of their Brteenii, Generosity, and Kindneai^ 
we are oonvmoed that the idle Beparte^ and malevolent Cenewree^ d the 
utipntieijoled and eamMCt^are treated mr them with that Contempt such 
ill-natured and illiberal Beflectiona will ever merit Our most ardent 
Wiahea for the Welfare and Vrottpentj of the Kingdom, to whidi we, 
belong, have been pubUdv and solemnl v declared in our Addreai to the" 
Gentiemen who met at the Hotel; ana, irbidk Addnm was honoQred 
with their united Approbation. Our sentiments re m ain ^ and wiU 
invariably remain, the same as therain expressed. And oar united 
Efforts will ever be employed to spppraw Anarefar and Disorder, to 
proniote the Peaoe^ HaimonT, and AVowae ri ty of toe Nation in wnicii 
we Hve^ and to be as useful to our FeUOfw men as we have it in our 
Power to be. We are convinced that the sensible and Judidoos 
inhabitantB of Birmingham are too libeial in their Sentiments^ and too 
virtoons in Principle, to look with Contempt or Disrespect upon their 
felknr Townsmen, who may diflSnr with them in Judgement with 
respect to some circumstantiala of Christianity, aa to Godalciie eveiy 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 31 

Man IB ftccoontable for hk Tbou^tB and Opinioiifl. Afl, therefore, gach 
a QenerooB and Benevolent Spint does actoallj appear at this Time, we 
can bat sincerely wish that it may spread and oifiuse itself through 
OTeiy ClasB of Men, be coltiTated by lul, and unite the whole Town in 
fratenial Bonds of Friendship, Affection^ and Goodwill ; Happ;^ shall 
we be to ooncor with all, without any reg^und to Name or Pro&ssion, in 
everf possible Endeavour to restore that Harmony, good Order, and 
XJnanim^ so .essential to the Welfare and Prosperx^ of this Populous 
Town. The grand Principle with us, next to the Love of God, is, to 
Ijove all Bien as we love oursdves — and our highest Ambition is, to 
diaiibj that Principle in every Part of our private and public Conduct 
And we are peranaded there are Numbers more of every Denomination 
whose Ambition is the same, and whose desire to promote public and 
•odal HajppinesB is equally as Ardent as our own. 2day we all, 
therefore, m the present convulsed State of Kingdoms^ and amidst the 



varioiiB Diasensions of the Nation in which we live, forait^or ever 
Jbrffei—4he odious Distinctions and Party Animosities which nave no 
oUier Tendency than to promote Confusion and Enmity ; and as Jfen^ 
as Ckrittiatii, as Brethriuy unite our Hearts, our Hands, and all the 
Bowers we boasL in a laudable and vif^rous Endeavour to make each 
other haj^iy in Life, and bless the Kingdom to which we belong. In 
this hoDOunble and important Work, we profess ourselves ready to 
join Qor f eDow Townsmen of every Description ; and may the hj^py 
J>aj sooiip very soon, arrive, when it shall be truly said, that Party 
Spiiifti l^gotry,and £iuni^, those hateful Demons, are fled to the 
Infenial B^gionsi and that Feaoe, Friendship, ELarmony, and Affection 
TBum. unite Heart to Heart, Man to Man, and diffuse Happiness to 
mw&rY Individual m Birmingham ! 

Signed in the Name and Behalf of the whole Society, 

J. Pboui>. 

Tn this monih died Sir Robert Lawley, Bart He had 
been one of the Members for North Warwickshire, since 
1780; "WES a most useful County Member; and had 
rendered great services to Birmingham. He was a warm 
friend of ue Qeneral Hospital and the other charities of 
the town. This will suffice to introduce the next three 
extracts. 

Maxdi 18» 1703.— Died. On Moodaj^ at Keniington, Sir Bobert 
Lawlejy Bait, one of the Bep re e en tafavee In Pumment for this 
comntf ifaioe tne General Election in the year 178a Sir Bobert Is 
socceeded in hie title and estates by his eldest son (now Sir Bobert) and 
has kft otlMr isnie two sons and four danghtera Am a MemMr of 
]^effliament» Sir Bobert Lawlej was most independent and attentiTe 
to the intersfts of his OonstitQents ; as a Memoer of Societ j, the kas 
of him is sinoerelT snd aiSMtioDatelj lamented bj his friends ; and he 
has dbd mamamaij regretted hj the poor in the neighboorfaood of his 
residsnee, iHio hsTs aenaiblj ezperieneed that he ampl/ fulfilled the 
dvties of a nsl Christian. 

Ov TBM DaaTB or Sia Bobobt Lawuir, Bast. 

If oieAii knowledge and a heart sineera^ 
A Buui can render to his ooontvy dear. 



82 A CENTUBT OF BIBMINGHAM LIFE. 

With readiness to serve wben caU'd apon, 
In what was jndged expedient to be done ; 
If worthy deeds adorn the haman breast, 
Long to the world his worth will stand oonf est ; 
Trae to his trust, he oonstantlyadhered. 
He lov'd his Country, and his King reyered. 

Binninffham, March 14, 1793. — ^At a Meeting of Freeholders of the 
County of Warwick, resident in the Town and Neighbonrfaood of 
Binninfl^iam, held this Day at the Hotel, porsoant to pablic Notice, 
Mr. Tiflers in the chair, 

It was nnanimonsly Besolved, 

1. That it is desirable immediately to aasare Sir John Mordaont, 
Baronet^ that this Meeting beUere it to be the general Wish of the 
Inhalntants of Krmingham that he should be elected a Elnight of the 
Shire, in the Boom <n onr late worthy BepresentatiTe^ Sir Bobert 
Ijtwlej, Bart, deceased. 

In this year the Bank of England began to issue five- 
ponnd notes ; and the local bankers issued five-guinea note& 
Some doubts about the latter appear to have existed, for a 
meeting was called, at which a resolution on the subject 
was adopted : — 

April 1st, 1793. — At a most nnmenms and r e s pect a ble Meeting of 
the Inhabitants of this Town and Neigfabonrhooa, held at the Hotel 
this Day, pnnoant to a Notice given in the Birmingham OoMeUe^ 
Mr. W. Barks in the Chair, 

It was nnanimonsly Beeolved, 

That eTBiy Confidence may bejplao^ in the Five Guinea Notes 
issued by the following established Bankers of this Town, Tia., Messrs. 
Taylor and Lloyds, Bobert Coales, JSaq^ Messrs. Dickenson and 
Qoodall, Messn. Spooner, Attwoods^ and Ainsworth, and Messrs. 
Blozham, Yates^ Goddington, Francis, Smith, and Kiught ; and we 
^edge onrselTes to the !hiblic^ and to eadi other, to Uke them in 
Ikyments as nsoaL 

Tliat these Besolntions be immediately dreolated in Hand BiUs 
throDgh the Town and Neigfabonrhood, and advertised in the Town 
and Cimntry Planers. 

That thanks oe given to the Ciiairman for his Attention to the 
general Interests of the Town, in calling this Meetings and for his 
obliging oondaet in the Chair. 

A day of general fiist and humiliation was appointed by 
the King, and was loyally observed by the inhabitants. 

April StS, 1793. — Friday, the day appointed bjr the King for a general 
last and humiliation, was stricUy observed in tlus town. All the shopB 
were thnt op, and the places of wordup were mora than nsnaUy crowded 
A collection of upwards of thirty-eeren pounds was made at St Mary's 
CSu^mI, and anottier collection at Deritend CIuumI, for the distressed 
emigrant Clmy of France. A seasonable act of benevolence ; and an 
example whi^we hope wiU be followed by every other congreg a tion in 
this town iudmI neighbouibood. 



PUBLIC UFE AND ETENTS. S3 

To give the necessary powers for borrowing the money to 

Ey for the damage caused by the riots, an act of Parliament 
d to bo obtained The following is a brief report of the 
debate : — 

HEKLnrOTORD HUHDRBD BiLL. 

May 13, 1793. — Upon the motion for the Speaker to leave the chair, 
in order for the House to resolve itself into a Committee npon this fiill, 
for borrowing the greater part of the money to pay the SnfTerers in the 
late riots atKrmingham ; Mn Whitbread opposed the Speaker's leaving 
the chair, in which he was supported by ^. Courtnay, Mr. Fox, Mr. 
Qrey, Mr. Taylor, and Mr. Sheridan, who contended that this was a 
measure io alleviate the punishment justlv due to the most atrocious 
ijoters, m^nely because they were rioters in defenoe of Kins and Churdi, 
— ^Uiat it was In a great measure a repeal of the Biot Act, and that 
in its effects it went to the promotion and encouragement of such 
disorders. They were opposed by Sir John Mordirant, Sir Henry 
Oou^ Cahhorp^ Mr. Wigley, the Attorney-General, the Solicitor- 
Oeneral, and Mr. Ryder, upon the principle that many parte of the 
Hundred of Hemlingf ord extended to a distance of twenty miles from 
the scene of riot, and that it would be injustice not to affora every tem- 
poniy relief and snoeour to men who could not, bv any poenbilil^, have 
iMett prssent at, or ao ees soiy to, the riots. They aho remarked, that the 
flofEbrers would, by means of the Bill, be more quickly paid, and mudi 
distress to the lower orders of the Hundred, and the farmers, who had 
no ooncem in the riots, be avoided. 

The question at last was put and carried, when the House resolved 
sbsslf into a Committee, and went through the BilL 

Jriday, May 10. — ^The report on the Hemlingford Hundred Bill was 
hroq^t up and read, and oraered to be engrossed. 

On May 20, we read : — 

On Tuesday lasti the Hemlingford Hundred Bill was road a third 
time, and passed the House of Commons, and Sir G. Shuckbuigh, Bart, 
was ordered to carry it up to the Lordi for their concurrence. 

The next extract records the final passing of the bill, and 
gives some additional information on the subject : — 

HmLnroFORP Huvdrbd Bill. 

June 3rd, 1793. — This bill, for the more easv raisins the money for 
payinff the damages and costs incurred by the lateBiote^ has now 
psssen both Houses of Fariiament. 

The sum to be saised. including damages and plaintLSs' costs, and the 
eosfes and expencss in defending the action, is £29,704 and upwiids. 
The ocwnmlsBinnsrs for canying the act into exeeutioo are the Magis- 
tntes actiqg for the Hundred, and the Members for the Coonly, who 
are to meet within Twenty-one days after passinff the aet» and bold 
sobh further Meetiags as they shall think proper. They are empowered 
to appoint a Clerk and Treasurer, and to borrow, at interest^ not 
eoBoeeaing jS24,000, and thev are to cause the assessments to be made 
upon the inhabitants, and tne eonstahles or bead boroughs are to coUeot 
tos Batea The ^diole money to be assessed must be assessed within 
three years from the 1st of June, 1793. Hie sufferers sn to be allowed 
an interest at the rate of five per eent upon the sums of money for 

IL o 



34 A CENTUBY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

which they have leoeived judgment, from the first day of Jamiaiy, 1793. 
In case of the removal of any persona from premises assessed, before they 
have paid the rate or assessment, the collectors are aathorised (having a 
'warrant for that purpose from tiie Gommiasioners) to collect such rate 
by distress on the Qoods of such person in any other part of the county, 
or elsewhere ; then the collectors may distress upon the goods of any 
other person in oceanation of the said premises, in the same manner as 
if such oocapier had oeen originally assessed by virtue of the act All 
deficiences of rates are to be made good by a re-«Bsessment upon the 
inhabitants of the place. 

On May 27, 1793, we read :— « On Friday, Mr. Clay, of 

this town, had the honour of introducing to their Majeisties 

and the Princesses, at the Queen's Palace, a new material for 

painting upon, infinitely superior to any substance hitherto 

used for its surface and durability.* This was Papier 

M&ch^ ; for the manufSeurture of which Mr. Clay had taken 

out a patent eleven years before his interview with the 

Boyal jhmily. Mr. W. C. Aiticen says: — ^''The invention 

of the matenal, as produced by pasting together sheets of 

Ekper, is due to Henry Clay, of 19, Newhall-street^ in early 
e an apprentice to the celebrated John Baskerville, who, 
at that time, was ^gaged in the japanning trade. Lonfip 
previous to Clay's invention, however, papier mJLch^hM 
oeen made bv i>educing paper to pulp and pressing it into 
die& Clay dia not take out his patent till 1772. He formed 
the papier mftch^ by pasting together sheets of spongy paper 
over variously shaped ^cores' or moulds of metal At an 
earl V period he indicated the future extensive application of 
his m vention for panels for chariots, cabins of snips, window 
shutters, mantle-pieces, tea trays, card and dressing tiU>les» 
and every other species of elegant furniture. He also stated 
that it could be sawn, planed, or turned like wood, and that^ 
after being japanned, it could be brought up to the highest 
polish by friction with the human hand. Manv of the ori- 
ginal articles made by him are still in use, and niUy confirm 
uie endurinfi^ character he dauned for his materiaL * 

Mr. Clay became one of our znost active public men. He 
was High SherifiTof the County in 1790 ; and we have pre- 
viously ffiven an illustration of the ^pomp and splendour'* 
with which he surrounded the oflicat * 

The Post Master of the town got into some trouble^ 
through which he was helped by sevenJ gentiemen. He 
thus returns his thanks : — 



* Biiisinghsin and the Midland Hardwaie District Fuier 1IA^< Mara* 
factaro. Bjr W. C. Aitkea. p. 666. 

t Vol. 1, p. S47. 



'public life and EVENTS3, 35 

Post Offiob, BiRMoroHAic. 
Jane 3, 1793. — ^The geaerona Patronage and kind Interposition of 
my Friends on a late trying Oocaaion, interestinff in the highest Degree 
to my Family, and to mjsdf, impresses me witn wannest Sentiments 
of Gratitade and respeetful Esteem. It would, Ipresome, be deemed 
as tedions as nnneoessaxy for me to dwell on the Cutnmistanoes which 
gave rise to my late temporary Suspension, but as I am now folly 
reinstated, throu^ the Interest and perseTenng Assiduities of €kntle- 
n&en of the first respectability, my future Life shall be devoted to the 
I>aties of my Office ; and my Friends may rest assured that I shall 
erer retain the most grateful Sense of the Obligations they have 
conferred upon me^ JoBir GkyrrwALTZ, 

Post Master, Birmingham. 

The King^s birthday was observed in the usual loyal 
manner: — 

June 10, 1703. — ^Tuesday, the anniyersaiy of his Majesty's Birthday, 
was observed here as usuaL Public Dinners were given at the Hotel 
and Sthakenear Tavern, which were numerously and respectably 
attended. At the latter the Hon. Gaptain Gapel took the Chair, when 
maay loyal and constitutional toasts were given, impropriate to the 
day. At the Hotel, in the absence (through indisposition) of our 
worthy magistrate, Joseph Carles^ Esq., the Constable, presided, and 
the day pMsed with that loyalty and conviviality which has ever 
dislinguisned similar public meetings in this town. 

This was speedily followed by rejoicings for a victory,- — 

August 5, 1793. — On Thursday, when the news arrived here of the 

surrender of Valenciennes, the bells of our churches were rung, and 

cannon and guns were fired ; and on Friday evening the whole town 

was illuminated. 

Another royal birthday was celebrated in this fashion: — 
August 19, 1793.— Friday, the Birthday of his Boyal Highness the 
Duke of York, was celebratea in this place by the ringmg of bells, firing 
of guns, Ac., and at n^ht by a grand and ceneral illumination. Severu 
beanrif nl transparencies of nis Koyal Hi^mness, of his coronet, cypher. 
and anniL and emblems of his victory at Valenciennes, were exhibited 
by the innabitants in different parts of the town. 

The establishment of a penny post in this town is a 

subject of greater importance than tne festivities caused by 

royal birthdays. On the 19th of Anfust we read that 

^ Two of the principal Officers of the General Post Office 

arrived here last week, for the purpose of immediately 

establishing a penny-post in the town." And on September 

Snd, the Begulations for tlie new sjrstera were published : — 

Post Omos, BmniroBjJL 
Auffost S7, 179a.--His Majesty's Post Master Qenerai having been 
l^eaaea to aettk and establish a Penny Post, for the Convenience of this 
Town, the Soboibs thereof, and Places adiaoent— Kotioe is hereby given, 
that Oflices are opened for the Receipt ot Letters and Ptekets, Tnot ex- 
ceeding ioar Ouaoes in Weight) froni Seven in the Monung till Nine 
c^elodt at Night, at the f oUowing Pkoes : 
Mr. Hewhtf% Grooer, Na 48, Smallbrook-stoMt 



86 A CBNTUBT OF BIRHINOHAH LIFE. 

Mr. SteveDfl'sy Grooer, No. 7S!, Digbeth, near Deritend Bridge. 

Mr. Mucott^fly Grocer, Coleshill-sti^aet^ qppoeite Market-etreet 

Mr. Jjotefn, Grocer, Steelhouae Lane, the Comer of WhittaU-etreet. 

Mr. Smith's, Ghocer, Ghnrch-atreet^ Ladgate HilL 

From which Places Letters will be sent to the principal Office, opposite 

^e Theatre, in New-street, four Times a Day, Tiz.— 
At ISiAt o'clock in the Morning, for the first DeliTerj, and in Time to 

be forwarded by the North Mail, via Lichfield ; 
At Twdye o'clock at Noon, for the second DeliTeiy, and in Time for 

the Mail goine to ShrewiAmiy ; 
At a Quarter baore Two in the Afternoon, f w the London Mail ; and, 

for the third DeUveiy. at Half-past Three o'clock ; 
And at Four o^dock in tne Afternoon, for the Mail going to Bristol ; 
«n or before whidi Times Letters should be pat into the above Offices, 
in order to be sent hy the earliest Oonv^anoe ; for whidi One Penny 
will be chaxmd in the Town, and Two Pence for the Snbarbs and Places 
within the Limits of the Penny Post, to be paid on potting in, or on 
DdiveiT, at the option of the Writers ; except Letters intended to be 
forwarded hv tlM liondon and Cross Boad Mails, with which one Penny 
must be paid on pnttinff into the above mentioned Receiving Offices. 

Letter Carriers will oe dispatched every day (except Monday) with 
the Letters to and from Solihnll, Enowle, Sutton Cddneld, Hales Owen, 
DudUy, West Branwich, Tipton, Wednesbui^^ Dariaston, WiUenhall, 
Bilstone, and to the intennediate and adjacent Places. 

The collecting of the levy to pay the riot bill was a cause 
of great trouble to the authorities, and the following notice 
was issued : — 

Sqytember 9, 1793.— The Constables of Birmingham having advanced 
ajpwards of a Thousand Pounds for the Lihabitants who have not paid 
their proportion of the pr esen t Levy towards defraying the £n>ence 
incnrrod anon the Honmd by the l^ots^ rather than sabject the nrish 
to a consiaerable extra Expence, whicn otherwise would have been 
unavoidable, from the CommissionerB appointed under the Act baviug 
given Directions for an Action to be oommenced against us^ for not 
using the Means prescribed bv it^ to enforce Payment (which jnust 
eventually have been def endea at the Expence of the Parish) and 
which we flatter ourselves, in consequence of the present Situation of 
Tiade. eveiy Inhabitant will approve of our deferring as long as 
possible ; but as the utmost time allowed by the Act for the Sufferers 
to be paid will soon expire (and we cannot be expected to be i^ Advance 
for a loDger Period) we hope none will defer paying their Assessments 
after this Notice ; otherwise we shall at last he uncter tiie dissfliewiMe 
Keoeasi^ of enforcing it, whidi will be attended with actional 
Sxpenoe and Inoanvenienoe to them. W. Wallis^ , 

W. BaiBS. 

Nor was this difficulty the only one. The people were 

opposed to its payment, and the collection of the levy pro* 

duced a tumult, which is thus described, and which may be 

called The Little Riot >— 

October S8» 1793.— It Is with much oonomi we states that the pease 
of this town has been again distoibed 1^ the tumuhuoua proeeeoiags 
of a number of the populace. One Wood, of lichfleld<-strsst, having 



PUBUC LIFK A27D EVENTS. 37 

vefaaed to pay his proporti<m of the riot rate (on account cf which the 
Oonatablee, Messrs Wallis and Bans, very obluingiy advanced, sey^ral 
ireeka since, upwards of 1,1002. more than they nad collected) it became 
absolutely necessarjr on Monday afternoon to distrain his goods for the 
oame. llus he resisted, and, threatening the lives of the officers, soon 
zaised a mob^ which in the evening collected in great numbers in 8t. 
Fhillip^s Churchyaid, and in a most unwarrantable manner attacked the 
hooae^ and broke the windows of Mr. Barrs, in Temple Bow. At ten 
at m(^tt the tumult and violence became so great, that Joseph Carles, 
Esq., with the police, and two troops of horse from the Banacks, found 
it necessary to attena to restore oraer ; but the mob (with whom we are 
■ony to leam, many mixed from idle curiosity, and without considering 
the conaeqnences), even after the riot act was read, shewing no disposition 
to desist nam violence, the Magistrate ordered several into custody, and 
instructed the militaiy to disperse the others. One man who received 
a severe contusion on the heaid, and another with a broken arm, were 
taken to the General Hospital ; and twenty-six were conveyed to the 
Dungeon ; the military paraded the streets the greatest part of the 
lulg^t^ during which every thinff remained quiet ; but eariy on Tuesday 
mommg a rabble again aasem ued in the Cnurch yard, in front of Mr. 
Bans' house. Their number and riotous behaviour rendered neoessazy 
the further interf ereuce of the Magistrates, and the milituy, after the 
reading of the riot act^ were anin obliged to disperse them. In the 
course of this day, two troops of horse, which had been sent for from 
the neighbouring towns, airived; and the persons who had been 
apprehended the preceding dav, were examinea before the Magistrates 
at the Public Office^ who dischazged some of them and remanded the 



In the afternoon a man who had Tehemently threatened, at a public 
house, that the prison should, that evening, be pulled down, was 
immediatelv conveyed thither ; and between nme ana ten at night, the 
mo^ ansemfling round it for that purpose, and with a view of liberating 
their companions, were fired at bv the gaoler as they were forcing the 
door. Two were severely wounaed, the rest instantly duroerse^ and 
the peace of the town has not since been disturbecL 'We hope the 
humanly of the magistrates, in this instance, will have proper weight 
with indSsereet abettors of such lawless proceedings, as the consequence 
of the filing of the military would have been the loss of a numoer of 
lives, and probably of some persons who were present only from curiosity, 
as I4>pears to have been the ease on Tuesday nighty when Bichant 
Porter, who was wounded at the prison, declares that he was quietly 
retumiog from his work, and was shot iust as he had reached the mob, 
•and was enquiring what thejr had assembled for. 

Wood, the cause of all this outrage^ absconded, but was on Saturday 
appvehended bv warranty at Walsall, and the same evening brought to 
oar prison. From a mper that Mr. Barrs has publishecL it appears 
that ne was fully capable of paying the assessment, his real rent being 
162. 18t. per annum, and Mr. B. having only rated him at 142. Of the 
persons taken into eustodv) Joseoh Daroy, who threatened to pull down 
vie prison, still remains tnere ; l)avis has enlisted as a soldter ; and the 
rest are disdiaiged. 

Of Wood we have the following notice : — 
November 4, 1793.— On Monday, Aomas Wood, the occasion of 
those diatorbancss whidi were mentioned in our last paper, was 



38 A CENTORT OF BIBMIKOHAM LIFE. 

oommitted by J. Garles, £kj^ to Warwick gaol, for aasaalting Mr. 
BarrSy in the exeeataon of hia office aa oonstable, and for promoting 
riota ; — at the aame time, Joe^h Daxby, who had threatened to pail 
down the priaon, was committed to the flonae of Correction, not being 
able to find auretiea for his good behaTionn 

In October, 1793, the hero of the London Popish Biota, 
Lord Geoige Qordbn, died in Newgate, of a malignant fever. 
The notice of his death says, ''It is now six years since 
Lord Georgi^ has been confined for a libel on the late Queen 
of France, and it is rather remarkable that the exit of that 
nobleman and the Queen should have happened much about 
the same period His Lordship, daring his confinement^ was 
for many months a solitary prisoner at the State side of the 
gaol, and during his confinement demeaned himself with 
mudi propriety, ever contributing, in a liberal manner, to 
the distresses of the wretched cu^>rits in Newgate. It is 
about five years since he became a convert to the Jewish 
religion, to the tenets of which he strictly adhered. He 
seemed extremely sincere in his conversion, and ai^ed 
ingjeniously with others, to become Proselytes to his opinions. 
This day the body of Lord Geoige was delivered to his 
relations for interment." 

Lord Geoige Gordon was arrested in Birmingham, and is, 

therefore, to a certain extent^ connected with its history. 

We quote the contemporary account of his arrest : — 

Birmingham, December 10, 1787. — On IViday last, b^ virtae of a 
Judge'a warrant, Lord Qeoi^ge Gordon was apprehended m this town, 
for contempt of the Court d King^a Bench, in not appearing upon the 
prosecution last Hilary Term, for pobliflhuiff a libel, of which he was 
found guilty. Lord Geoige waa convejred baore Joseph Gariea, Esq., 
who directed him to be conducted to town, attended by^ an officer from 
Bow-fltreet, and the keeper of the prison here: It waa in the month of 
August last, that Lord Oeodge came to this town, and he has ever 
sinoe, lodged at the house of a Jewess, in Dudley-elroet, to whom he 
waa unknown when first he arrived. When the officers waited upon 
him he did not deny himself, but told them he was a Jew, and whatever 
mufht happen should continue one ; sod when he Icamt that it was 
ordered he should be in London on Saturday evenings he expressed 
much concern thereat, as it would oblige him to travel on the Sabbath 
day of the relinon he had embnoeaT Lord Geoige, we underrtand, 
first became a J ew while he was in Holland, and ever since he has 
resided in this place, has been a veiy strict and titdd ohaenrer of every 
rite, ceremony, and custom of the Jews, except that of attending the 
Svnagogue, where he feared to appear lest he should be diaoovered. 
His beard he had sufiTered to grow to a eonsidarable IsQffth, which, 
together with his dress, contributed so modi to disguise hnn, that he 
frequenU V went out in the daytime, though most of hk boors were 
spent in his lodging-room, in reading, writing, and leainiag the Hebrew 
language." 



PUBUC LIFE AND EVENTS. 39 

A movement was made this year to sapply our troops in 
Flanders with flannel shirts and waistcoats. Birmingham 
was at once active in this benevolent work. On November 
4, this notice was published : — 

We have the pleasure to state that a number of gODtlemen of this 
town engaged, on Satoixlay last, to supply a qnanti^ of flannel shirts 
and waistcoats for the nse of our troops m FLanders daring the winter 
campaign, and as they have no doubt but that there are hundreds in 
this p\io6 who will ffladly follow so laudable an example (which has for 
its object not only the comfort^ but the preservation of the lives of our 
brave defenders) we are desired to request the benevolent friends of 
their countir immediately to prepAre such quantities as they shall be 
indined to ramiah; and notice will be given in our next of the place 
fixed upon for receiving them, on Satnrdav, the 16th instant. 

The ffentlemen who frequent the Talbot Inn, in Digbeth, unac- 
quainted with liie resolution taken by the Gentlemen before mentioned, 
akso liberall V began a subsoiption on Saturday nighty for the like 
patriotic and humane purpoeep 

Nov. 11. — Warm &athing for the Army in Hatidert, 

The humane and patrioUc scheme of supplying our brave defonders 
whh warm clothing anrinff the winter campaign, meets with uncommon 
success in this town. Already has the editor of the London paper, 
entitled Tks Stm, aeknowled^ the receipt of 800 flannel waistcoats 
from the gentlemen who fkvquent the Talbot Inn, in this place ; great 
quantities more are making, and the overMors having been applied to, 
have set apart one of the rooms of the Public Office, in Dale End, 
where Mr. Charies Pye has generously offered to attend on Saturday 
next, to receive and padc up all the waistcoats that shall be sent in, 
and take down the names of the liberal donon of them. 

A meeting was held, and the usual machinery put in 

action to raise funds : — 

Birmingham, November 19, 1703.— -At a meeting of the Inhabitants 
of this Town and Neighbourhood, held This Day, at the Hotel, a g re eab le 
to Advertisement in ooth the Birmingham Papen ; The High Bailiff 
In the Chair: — 

The foXLommg BuohiiionM i0if» pasted unaiUmautly, vis,^ — 

1. That a Subscription be Immediately opened forprocuring such 
extra Cloathing for onr brave Soldiers, now under the Command of his 
Royal HkfanesB the Duke of York, as may be a means of alleviatlnff 
the severraes which they experience from the Season of the year, and 
the GUmate of the Ooontxy. 

S. That the Waistcoats, Ac, already sent from this Town, be con- 
sidered as Part of thk general Subscription, and that the Psraons and 
Sodetiea who have subscribed thereto, oe requested to put their names 
to this Listy with the Number of Waistcoats^ Ac, or the Sum of money 
whidi each Permi or Society has contributM. 

a ThataCkHnmittee be appointed for the Conduct of this Business, 
and thai they be desfred to be as expeditioas as possible In providing 
what ap|Man to them most likely to answer the Purposes of this 
Suhscriptioo* 

4 ThaitheCommitteeconslstortheHighBailiff, and the Gentle- 
men who signed the RequisitioB to him, toother with such others as 



40 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

tliaj shall jodgtt jxroper, whidi will, nerertheless, be open to trerj 
Benefiustor. 

&. That W. Dickenson, Esq., be Treasnrer. to this Subscription, 

6. That the Thanks of this Meeting be presented to Lady Jane 
Halliday, and Lady Maiden, for their generous Benefactions, the 
former of 100; and the latter of 60 WaistooaU. 

7. That the Thanks of this Meeting be given to the High BdliiF, 
for the Spirit and Zeal for the Public Good, which he has already 
manifested since his appointment to that Office^ and particularly for 
having written to the Secretary of War, on the Day, and for having 
called this Meeting, and so ably presided in the Chair. 

The following passage records a subject which must hare 

had especial interest for those concerned :— 

Nov. 2£L 1793. — ^IViday was aolemnlv argued and determined, in the 
Court of Kin^s Bench, the question, ^ Whether a person exercising the 
office of a Constable of Birmingham is liable to be condemned in coats 
upon an information in quo warranto, under the statute of the 9th of 
Queen Anne.'' The Court said, that a Constable was compelled to take 
upon him the ofl&oe^ under the pain of being indicted ; and therefore it 
would be repugnant to Justice to make him pay costs for exercising an 
office that was forced upon him. 

Birmingham suffered from a malicious report ; but imme- 
diate steps were taken to destroy its effect : 

Birmingham, December 9th, 1793. — A report having last week un« 
accountably gone abroad, that a malignant fever prevailed in this town, 
and the High Bailiff having received a letter purporting that it was cur- 
rent in the country, very properiv addressed the following note to the 
I^ysidans and Suigeons of the tfoepital and Workhouse ; whose certi- 
ficate in reply moat remove every apprehension that a report so ahaoM- 
fully propagated may have occasioned. 

** Birmingham, Saturday, Two o'dodc, Dee. 7. 

Gtotlemen, — ^In consequence of a report having been propagated of 
a very malignant Fever being now prevaleot in this Placs, I think it 
necessary to enquire of yon whether there is an^ Foundation for the 
same, and to request your signaturs to contradict it if from your obser- 
vations it appears to be ill-founded; as it will be highly proper to 
remove the iUarm which soeb Beport has ooossioned. 

I am, Gentlemen, your obedient Servant, 

Thomas BarkbiL High BailiC 
To the Physicians and Surgeons of the Hospital and Workhouse." 

** We, the Phymeians and Surgeons to the Hospital, and Suigeons to 
the Workhouse, do certify, from our own Experience, that there Is no Just 
Foundation for the above Beport, the Town being is healthy as it 
vsoally is at this Season of the Year. 

V t!!!^»« I Physicians to 

ISSSJ'' \ tbe^Hon^tal. 

Jsa. Vauz, ( Sumotis to the 

T. ToMuvsov, I HospitaL 

O. FasBB, Ooeum.tenens) T 

C. V. Wbbb, ) Surgeons to the 

S. Hiwxivi^ ) Poor House." 



PUBUG LIF£ AND EVENTS. 41 

Afiain oar extracts close another year with the records of 
chanty on behalf of the saffering poor : — 

Beoember 16, 1793.~'W6 have the pleasure to state that a most 
yeqMctable meetiiiff of the inhabitants of this place iras held at the 
JSjAdij on Fdday ujst, when a liberal sab8cri]>tion was begun for the 
vorpoee of sappljing the labouring poor with bread and jratatoes, 
dunng the depUi of winter. To so benevolent and, at this time, 
neoessary a snoecription, eyery individual who has the means, will, we 
doubt not, ocmtribute. 

December 30, 17d3.— After the liberal Subscriptions that are dailj 
made for the Relief of the Poor, and the several cnaritable Institutions, 
that do so much Honour to the opulent Inhabitants of this Town, it 
would be unnecessary and insulting to waste a Moment in attempting 
to awaken Sensations of Humanity, or to bring forward a scatterect Bay 
to shew duuity in a stronger liffht. But it cannot be deemed improper 
to recal your Attention to a Mode of Charity, that, from the tmmtj 
with which the Humane of other great Towns in this and other 
Ooontries have adopted it, from the Fru^ity of the Plan, and its 
numerous Advantages, the Friends of the mdigent Sick must see with 
8ux|xrise and fi^gret, still in a State of Surmise, unworthy of the 
Merits of such an Establishment, and of your well known seal to 
relieve Distress. How far the united Evils of Povertr and Sickness 
may be assua^^ed by domestic Assistance, and how far this is a peculiar 
Ctintjf offenng those Aids to whom the expedient Laws of other 
Gbarities refuse access, having been already laid before the Public,* 
it is oohr wanting to turn the Current of your Philanthropy into this 
useful Qiannel, and remove some Obstacles that may impede its Coutm. 
A few, not ^et, periu^ fully acquainted with the Nature and Utility 
of the Institution and the well-meant efforts of its Promoters, have 
seen in it some Qi^MSttion to the HospitaL This Misi^iprehensian, 
however frivolous, ou^t to be done away, and it will immediately be 
corrected, by turning our Eyes to other Towns of less Extent and 
Opulence than this, where these sister Charities will be found to have 
Acted in Concert for the noble Purposes that they were intended, with 
nnintermpted Friendship. Beside, the Institutors of the Birmingfaam 
Bispeosary have been GarefuL that the Boundaries of the CDMiitj 
should be so stroQgly marked, tnat no Trespass can hamMiL Fortunate 
would it be for Mankind, were the sum of human Mijwiy >o easily 
diminished that a few hundred Pounds laid out in Medicines for the 
Belief of the Poor at their own Houses, that so simple and so cheap a 
Method, could thin the Wards ol the Hospital of the lamst manu- 
liacturing Town in Endand. The Lasy and damonnis are out too apt 
to beset the Gates of Hospitals and Foot Hoosea whilst the modest 
and industrious Sufferer, that needs onl^ Health to be an useful 
Member of Society, becomes a Victim to his own Delioacy. 

That there ii an Inability to support both Charities, or that this is 
an improper Time to eneouraip a new one, the Overaowing of your 
Qeneroaitv in a late Gontribatuw, and the Increase of Wretchednessy 
abundantly eontndict Mav an Honourable Oonehisicn of the present 
War aooo restore^ in all their Pknitode. the Aita of Peace, and the 
gmlcfnl Medianic wfll then repy with Industij the Protection 
eoEtsnded to him in the Hour of Sickness and of Want 

* See Fivpoealf for a Di^Miaaiy is Bifmiaghsm. 



42 A CENTURT OF BIBIONGHAH LIFE. 

- Early in 1794, our Manufacturers and Workmen read 
this encouraging bit of Court news : — 

January 27, 1794— This Town has the greatest rsMon to rcgoioe in 
the turn fashion has taken, in imitation of his Iloyal HU^hness the 
Prinoe of Wales, and the Princesses, whose example upon this occasion 
will be the means of affording employment and support to hnndrods of 
£unilies His Boyal Highness now always wears, both on his morning 
and eyeninff dress, engraved fancy white and yellow metal btOtang, 
The unmanly shoe string will henceforth be thrown aside for the 
hucHe. (hi the birthday, his Boyal Highness and all his sisters appeared 
in the Soho new itwented skoe4atekeUj and have since continued to wear 
this most elegant invention. Indeed no well dressed gentleman or 
lady now appears without these buttons and the ornament of the 
budde. No small degree of gratitude, then, is surely due from the 
ingenious artist to the arbiters of taste and fiushion, when they are so 
patriotic in their patronage. 

The next two extracts will show the earnestness with 
which our fore£Gtthers entered into any kind of charitable 
work. From founding hospitals to supplying our troops 
in Flanders with flannel shiits and waistcoats — from raising 
funds to provide their own sufTering poor with bread, to 
sending boots to the militia of other counties — ^at all times, 
and upon all occasions, the cry of suffering has ever called 
forth the active sympathy of this town. We have peculiar 

i>leasure in producing the perpetual proofs of this exhaust- 
ess spirit of Charity : — 

February S4, 1794.— It is with pleasure that the Printer inaerto the 
following Address, and announces that the subsoription which it is its 
object to promote in this place has already begun. 

To the Ladiee of Birmingham and Warwiekehire, 
I have been much struck with a puUio-sptrited sdieme of Charity 
now carrvinff on with fpood success at Bath. It is a plan among a 
party of Laiues, for raismg by subscription a sum of money suffioent 
to present a pair of shoes to the Militia of the County of Somerset. 
There is a warm hope that this considerate attention to our honest 
Militia, whose ffood conduct has been noticed from the Throne, will 
become general throush the kingdom. This act of kindness is 
particularly well timedu The long and toilsome nardiss whidi the 
present exigence of ailairs requires, makes an ^^Kititiil pair of ahoea 
very acceptaUe ; their allowance being oidv one iialr. 

I earnestly wirii to see the County of Warwi^ the first to follow so 
laudable an example ; and have no doubt bat the liberal and s^ted 
Town of BirminAam will be the ftranoft to tet audi a subaeriptinn 
on foot It Is a charitv which baa eveiy advantafi to recommend it 
It will add to the comfort of a laborious body of bmil oar neighbours 
and fellow dtisens^ whose attadiment to thdr aapenors wfllbeoomo 
still mater by this small act of attention to their ease :— Hie monev 
ii laid out on the spot in a osefol artide of timde^ and dorives a fresh 
value fit>m ftimishing a seasonable employment lo the indostrious 
manufiictarer. 



PX7BLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 43 

The Publisher of this will, no doabt, be happy to reoeive the 
•obecriptioDa. 

March 3rd, 1794. — ^A liberal subscription has been entered into by 
the gentlemen frequenting the Talbot Inn, Digbeth, for purchasing 
shoes for the privates of Uie Warwickshire Militia. 

Another general fiaist was kept this year, and the town, 

a^ usual, observed it with all earnestness and decorum : — 

March 3, 1794 — ^Friday last, being the day appointed by his Majesty 
to be observed as a General Fast, every proper attention to the same 
was shewn by all ranks of people in this town ; and the places of 
worship were uncommonly crowded. At St Mary's Chapel, after 
Divine Service, the sum of £20 was collected for the poor. 

The second collection of the money for the late riots was 

announced in May : — 

Thursday, May 1, 1794. — ^The Constables of the Birmingham Division 
of the Huniired of Hemlingford give this public Notice, that they have 
received the Warrakts w the Second CoLLBcnoN of the Mom it for 
the late Biots, and are there commanded to collect the whole money <^ 
the present collection in Thirtt datb from Saturday last. They there- 
fore request the Payers will give them as little trouble as possible, as 
they are obliged to comply with the Direction of the Warrants under 
a very heavy Fine. 

The King's birthday was again kept with the utmost 
loyalty : — 

June 9» 1794. — We have received accounts from all quarters of the 
uncommon marks of loyalty and affection with which, on Wednesday, 
the Anniversary of our gracious Sovereign's Birthdav was celebrated. 
In this Town the bells were rung throughout the whole day, oxen were 
roasted, and several barrels of lue were given to the populace by tibe 
Colonels Boberts and MDonnel, each of whom are raising B^giments 
here. The King's own Drsffoonsi from the Barracks, were dniwn up 
in New Street, and fired a fiu dejoie ; and large paiiies dined at the 
principal Inns, and passed the day with the utmost cheerfiilness and 
festivity. 

On June Ist, Lord Howe obtained his famous victory 
over the French fleet. The news sent a thrill of joy 
throughout the country, for the year had been rather a 
disastrous one to our armies abroad. The French Revo- 
lution was approaching a crisis; and Robespierre was 
defeated and beheaded ; but no changes in the governing 
powers at Paris checked the victorious career of the French 
arms. Birminfffaam celebrated Lord Howe's victory with 
the utmost en&usiasm. 

June 16, 1794. — On Thursday, when the news arrired here of the 
glorious Tietory obtained OTer the Frendi fleet by Eari Howe^ an 
uniTerud joy spread through the town. It happened on our Fair 
day, and the High Bailiff as soon as the mail had broiight the happy 
intelljgsnee^ be|^ the eustomaiy procession with the other oiBeerB of 
the places and Ming upon this occssion honoured by the attendanoe of 



44 A CENTUBY OF BIBMINGHAH LIFE. 

Colonel M'Donnell, his regiment, mnsto, and flags ; Lieotenant Si>ooner, 
and the Warwicksliire Feocible Coitib (the Officers bearing their respec- 
tive standards) ; aod a number of his friends ; — the brilliancy of- the 
procession, the ringing of the bells, and firing of guns, united with the 
exulting exclamations ol the innumerable Toices in our crowded streets, 
exhibited a town in a complete state of triumphant rejoicing. A 
sumptuous entertainment was ffiven by the High Bailifl^ at Vauxhall, 
to which upwards of eighty of the military officers in town and principal 
inhabitants sat down. The day was spent with the utmost harmony 
and festivity, a variety of loyal toasts and songs were given, and at 
night the whole town was illuminated, transparencies and various 
devices were exhibited, and laiige quantities of fire-works were 
played off. 

The respectful and kind attention which the Magistratefl and Officers 
of this town discovered towards the people called Quakers, has, we are 
desired to say, been gratefully felt by them. They believe that war is 
to them unlawful, and they would, therefore, act inconsistently with 
their principles, which promote universal peace among men, were they 
to illuminate their houses in token of rejoicing for victories obtained by 
the effusion of blood. And on other ocasions, when illuminations take 

Slaoe, thev think that heartfelt gratitude to divine providence is best 
isooverea by an amendment of life, and an increased disposition to 
alleviate the distrsases of our fellow creatures. It is to be hoped, 
therefore, Uiat their conduct will give no offence, especially as they 
believe they act agreeably to the simplicity of the (Jospel Dispensation. 

The police are now beginning to pay some attention to the 
preservation of order in the streets ; and accordingly issue 
the following notice, which, we dare say, was for a short time 
attended to, and then allowed to repose in official in- 
difference: — 

The Officers of this Town ^ve this publio Notice, that they are 
come to a determined Benolntion to apprehend all stroUinff Bsmrs, 
Ballad Singers, and other Vagrants found within this Fteish ; and, at 
the same time, request the Inhabitants will by no Means assist them : — 
those who are chariubly disposed may, at this Time, find numerous 
Neighbours that they may wivately aMst^ who are Pariahionen, and 
real Objects.— Birmingham, May 88, 1794. 

Here is a welcome bit of information. It seems scarcely 

credible that a custom of this kind could have existed at so 

recent a date : — 

June S3, 17M.— Sir Charles Buabnry's Bill, by whidi the poor m 
exempted from personal labour in the repair of the highwayi^ has 
received the Boyml Assent 

The public were thus informed of the third collection of 

the 

Riot Lewt. 
The Constables of the Binningham Division of the Hundred of 
Hemlingfoni give this Publio Notice, that they have rseeived the 
Warrants for the third Collection of the M<mey for the late Rioi% and 
are there commanded to collect the whole of the prasent OoUeciioii in 
Thirty Ik^ from Satwxhy tart ; they, therefore, request the Fayen 



PUBLIC LIF£ AND EVENTS. 45 

will ffiye them as little Trooble aa poaeible, aa they are obliged to 
comfMy with the Directiona of the Wanmnta under a ywj heayy Fine. 
Satarday, October 25, 1794. 

At this time there was a great belief in the curative 
powers of oxygen air for almost all diseasfts. Blindness, 
deafness, and our country's especial pest, consumption, were 
to be overcome by this extraordinary panacea for all the ills 
that flesh is heir to. The first notice of its wonderful 
power appeared November 17, 1794 : — 

We are happy to inform the public that two persona have been cared 
of blindness, caused by a Uutta Serena, and another of deafness, by the 
ezhibitiim <k oxygens air^ under the direction of an eminent London 
Prsctitioner. One cancer of the breast, of koff standing, has been 
apparently cured in the Bath Hospital, by oamnie acid air; and 
another cancerous patient haa been so much benefited, that great hopes 
of a perfect leoorery are entertained. In other malignant mcers etfud 
aaocesB haa been obtained. In a few cases of eon/Srwud consumption, 
aa far aa could be jud|(ed, a cure has been effected, and in others great 
relief haa been ezpeneneed. A dlsoovery more interesting to suffering 
humanity neyer before claimed the attention of the public^ and we 
hope and trust that the liberal anpfwrt of the wealthier clssses of the 
community, will enable the public spirited undertakers to pursue their 



This is followed by a proposal to found a 

Medical Pitsvmatic Ivstitotiov. 

Korember 17^ 1794.— From Tarioua Triala lately made by aeveral 
eminent Fhysieuuis, it i^meais that the Inspiration and external 
Applieatioii of Factitioua Airs is likely to proTe of great aenrice in 
the Cure of several Diawdera whidi have hitherto baffled the 
power of Medicine^ particularly in Ooosnmptioii, Osncer, and Palsy, 
but aa it is necessary that their EiBcaey and the best Mode of 
Applicataon ahonld be more fully asoertamed than can be done in 
the course of private Prsctioe, mrnnl nq>ectable Gentlemen, both 
in and out of the Medical IVof essioo, popose to form a Umporary 
lutitation, of the Nature of an Hospital where a proper Apparatus 
may be estaUiahed on a laive Scale, where Booma may entirely be 
filled with modified Air, and the necessary Medical Assistance be 
provided* 

The Inatitntiao will be ooodoeted with the utmost Openness^ and 
Accounts of its P rogress will be regularly oubUshed. The eipenee will 
be considerable, ana can only be raisea Vy public Contribution ; by 
iHiidi Means it is hoped such Sums will he obtained, aa, properly 
applied, will produce some dedaive B«mlt| ao that no Moond Donation 
will be solidted. The Undertaking is snbaeribed to and patronised by 
Fersona of the first Rank and ScMnee ; among whom we need only 
mentkn the Names of the Duke and Docheas of Devonshire, of Dr. 
BbdE, ri o fe sso r of Chemistry at Edinbni)!^ : Dr. Darwin^ Deiby ; 
Dr. Ewart, of Bath ; Dr. Ingenboos, of London ; Messra Wedgwood, 
Ikttwr and Soul of Etmria; Mr. Kirwan, of Dublin; Mr. a More, 

Persona d isp ossd to eontributs^ are requested to give in their Namea 
and Sabaeripfions to Mr. Fieanion, the Printer of this Pl^ier, with 



4C A CENTITBT OF BIRHINGHAM LIFE. 

whom are left Plcopoflalfl more at large, drawn tip by Dr. Beddon, of 
Bristol Hot-welLs, tae Author of aeveral PablicationB on this Subject 

This year ends, like so many more, in efforts to relieve the 
distress of the poor. A Meeting was held, funds raised, and 
the town divided into districts, and two or more gentlemen 
appointed to attend to each district. I quote the list of 
these districts, and the names of the gentlemen who under- 
took the labour, as they afford an example of the method 
adopted in these case& The Meeting was held on December 
19, 1794*, 80 that relief might be given before Christmas 
day : — 

Mr. Gharlea liqyd, and Mr. Thomas Bellamj— Edgbaston Street 

Quarter. 
Mr. Thomas Colmore, and Mr. Weaman Hicks — ^Digbeth Quarter. 
Mr. W. W. Mason, and Mr. Samuel Bvland— New Street Quarter. 
Mr. Jc^in Tankard, and Mr. Thomas Cooper— Hill Street, Quarter. 
The High BailiflE; and Mr. Thomas Robinson— High Stieet Quarter. 
Mr. Wuliam Walker, Mr. James Osborne, and j£*. Joseph Gibbs-~Bt. 

Ifiary's Quarter. 
Mr. Walter CiTOer, Mr. James WooUey, and Mr. John Stanton— 

Newhall Street Quarter. 
Mr. John Ward, Mr. Thomas Smallwood, and Mr. Bichard Warren — 

Dale End Ouarter. 
Bay. Mr. Young, Mr. Theodore Price, and Mr. — Timmins— St Paul's 

Quarter. 
Bey. Mr. Bum, Mr. Gaud Johnson, and Mr. Samuel Tutin— Bull 

Street Quarter. 
Mr. Samuel Baker, Mr. John Guest, Mr. — Wilcox— Suffolk Street 

Quarter. 
Ber. Mr. DarwalL Mr. Qoddington, Mr. James Yates, Mr. Joseph 

Jukes, and Mr. James Cockle — Deritend and Bordeslej. 
Mr. Samuel Qalton, • Jun., Mr. S. Pemberton, Mr. Heaton, and Mr. 

Benjamin Sokes — Five Ways, &c. 
Mr. Thomas Barker^ Mr. William SmiUi, and Mr. John Startin, Jun. 

'-Summer Will, 
Mr. Bichaid Ford, and kessra. Baldwins— Hockley, &c. 

Tn a week the subscription had reached the sum of 
£1,700. The distress was very great, so great, indeed, that 
the most extravagant reports as to the amount of our levy 
were believed. A neighbouring paper actually published 
a paragraph stating that the poor's rate in Birmingham was 
twefUy shtUvnga ia ihe pound The actual rate at this time 
Iffing risq>enee. 

The opening of the new year was signalised by the pre- 
aenoe of illustrious visitors . — 

January 6, ITINt. — On Tuesday evening. Earl FltcwiUiam, aooompa- 
nied l^ his Countess, Lord Milton his son, and Lady Csroline Beanderk, 
arrivM at the Swan Inn, in this Town, where tne^ passed the nig^t, 
and the next moming his Lonlship proceeded on his journey to Irdand, 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 47 

to assume the yioeroTship of that Eongdom. The bells of St Philip's 
Church be^ian to ring at six o'clock and continued till the noble Peer 
and his Suite had left the town. 

Mr. Owen Owens had established a Friendly Society, 
which attracted considerable attention. It was called the 
Society for the Decent Burial of Men, Women, aod 
Children ; and at a meeting held " at Hockley, near 
Birmingham," on January 13, 1795, the founder gave the 
following account of the origin of the institution : — 

^For many years past^ my own particular Business having caused me 
to traverse every Street and Alley of the great and populous Town of 
Birmingham, I could not avoid making Observations of the many 
Hardships to which the Poor are exposed, sometimes by Sickness, 
sometimes Want of Employment, or Want of Cloathing (especially 
Lying-in Women, who frequently I have noticed to be destitute of 
proper Nourishment and warm Covering, and other Necessaries}, which 
many Times produced Distempers which ended in Death. This, 
though a Welcome Messenger to the suffering Patients, was a double 
Misfortune to their affectionate Belatives, finrt, by depriving them of 
the Objects of their Affections (for the social Affections nourish as 
strongly amongst the Poor as the RichX ^^^ secondly, by stripping them 
of their All to procure decent Burials for the Drad, and that All has 
been freouently insufficient for the Purpose. I remember a poor Man 
had his Wife and two Children IWng dead in his house at one Time ; 
he was obliged to break up House-Keeping, and sell all his Furniture to 

St them interred. I have often seen others pack up all the Sunday 
oathing they had and cairv it to the Pawn-broker; and others, 
having no Cloathing that a nwn-broker would take in, I have seen 
wandtting about the Town with a Petition, endeavouring to wring a 
Trifle from the cold hand of Charity, to enable them to pav the last 
Duty to their Husbands or Children ; others, indeed, borrow from their 
Masters, and were under Stoppages every Week for a lon^ Time on that 
Aocouut. This, though the least bitter, was far from bemg a pleasant 
Mode either to Master or Servant These Calamities took su<m Effect 
upon my Mind, that I have frequently joined my tears to those of the 
poor Sufferers, when I had no other Belief to give them, and my. 
whole Attention was bent upon inventing some Method of putting an 
End to such Distresses. As I was meditating upon mv Bed upon the 
Subject^ it occurred to me that if T oould establish a Society of a few 
Hundred^ who should subscribe One Penny a Week each, I oould allow 
Three GKiineaa to bury every Member that should Die after having paid 
Twelve Weeks, and no further Pavment should be required fr^ his 
Belattvea on that Account. Next Morning I waited on several of my 
Friends^ and laid my Plan before them. It met their hearty Appro- 
bation, but not one of them would advance a Penny, nor spena an 
Hoar in bringing it forward to be useful. Notwithstandinff tne Diffi- 
culties I had to wade througk I did not despidr of bung able to 
aoeomplish my Wishes, thoufh alone and unassisted, saving by the help 
of that Deity who never withnolds his Assistance from the good Acts of 
his Ck«aturesw I spared neither Trouble or Expence^ but walked many 
Weeks through every Fart of the Town with Hand Bilh^ straining 
every nerve to accomplish what had become the first Wish ^ my Heart 
— the Belief of the Indigent and Distresned. 



48 A CENTUBY OF BIBMINaHAH LIFE. 

^ When I had got about 600 Memben I began to collect the Pence ; 
then, instead of eeeing an End to mj Laboar, I foand a Street UpixMir 
raised against .me. The Plan was allowed to be good, but it was 
asserted that I was nothing but a Catchpenny who wanted to make a 
Purse, and run off with the Money ¥rithout buryiugr one of the Con- 
tributors. This Language, unfortunately for them, deceived many, and 
the Number of Members was reduced /rom 600 to 209. Those people 
who knew me well would not hear anything against me, and it is 
further remarkable, that those who Vere loudortt in Abuse against me, 
had, in less than two Months, one or two dead in their Houses, and 
came weeping to me to request they might be forgiven and re-admitted 
Members. In the Course of One Tear and Nine Months, the Society 
has increased from 209 to 2361 Persons, and I have paid to different 
Families in Birmingham, during that Time, the Sum of 3152. for One 
Hundred Funerals, which, to them, has proved of the utmost Service 
the Dead being decently interred, and the living Mourners suppliea 
with some decent CloaUiing in a Time of Distress ; and I have the 
Pleasure of saying that the Sum of 772. 9#. 2dL still remains in the 
Bank, as a Fund to answer future Demands. 

^ I dball now close my Account with a Prayer, that the God of the 
Poor may bless us all, that, as we increase in Number, we may increase 
in Love towards each other, and to all the World, wronging no one of 
his own, nor coveting our N^eiffhboar^s Goods, and should a Judas arise 
amonjnt us to betray us, that we may discover him and frustrate his 
evil Purposes, and that God will give me Resolution to persevere in a 
Work which has been found so beneficial to my poor Brethren." 

There was another general fSshst on April 27 ; which waa 
kept with " proper attention by all ranks of persons in this 
town." 

The Benevolent Society was another of our charitable 
institutiona It was established for the relief of the indigent 
sick. This year the subscribers laid before the public an 
account of its objects and aims : — 

BnrEVOLENT SOCIBTT FOB THE BeUST OP THB IVDZeSMT 8ICK. 

March 2, 1705.— The Subeeribert to the Benevolent Societj for the 
Belief of the Indigent Sick, in the Town of Birminffham, coaceiving that 
their Plan Is not Muerall/ known, beg licave to scuieit the Attention of 
the Public to the State and Design of this Institution. They undertake 
not to support a Set of Pensioners, hot their principal Aim is to 
administer seasonable Assistance in Ckses of Violent Sickness, or other 
Extreme CSslamitj, whereby many fiunilies are involved in great 
temporary Difficulties ; in tneh Oises it seems desirable that some 
immediate Help shonld be administered, not only as it may tend to 
comfort the Dying, bat also to strengthen the Weak, and be the means 
in a short Time of restoring them to their former Ooenpations. 

They have also a farther End in View; the Stewards who axe 
appointed to cany this Belief to the Hooses of the Afflicted, endeavonr. 
by Serioos Advice, to direct their attention to their spiritoai and etenoai 

The Necessity and Utility of this Institution have already appeared 
in an important Light to those who have had the Opportunity of 
observing its Progress^ and of maridng its salutazy Effiwts, 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 49 

Tbe BeDdTolent Fand hai, till within the last Year, been supported 
by small monthlj Contributions (fiom One Shilling to Two Shillingn 
and SizpenceX and these confined to a very few persons. By an 
iDcraase of Subscrihers within that Period, the monthly Subscription 
has been considerably advanced ; this, together with the Sums collected 
on the two last Fast J^^n ^^® enabled the Stewards to extend Belief 
jdiroQgh a mudi wider Ciircle of Misery than has before been attempted. 
Still the Number of Indigent Sick is found to increase^ and their 
DlsU esses become daily more pressing. This has induced the piesent 
Subsfvibers to make the Case public, in the hope that a Plan or Belief 
•o useful, and at the same Time so easy and fiimiliar in its Execution. 
wiU not fiul to recommend itself to the general Approbation ana 
Patronage of their Townsmen. 

Tbe Monies reoeived are Tested in the Hands of a respectable Person, 
who acts as Treasurer, and Visitors are chosen Monthly, who, on 
receiving proper Becommendations from the Subscribers, distribute the 
neoessazy Belief in the Manner before mentioned. The Accounts of 
Monies so received and distributed are reffularly kept and exhibited 
lor the Inspection of the Subscribers, at public Meetings regularly held 
lor that Purpose, at St Marr's Yestriv on tbe first Thursday after each 
Quarter Bay, at seven o^dock in the Evening 

Number c^ Cases relieved within the last year-~575. 

Snbseriptums are received by the Wardens of St. Mary's, of whom 
eveiy necessary Information may be obtained. 

The following extract gives us a glance of one of the 
evils of a war time : — 

March leih, 1795. — On Monday last great confusion and some alarm 
was created in this town, in consequence of a party of the 118th, or 
Fingsl B^giment^ whidi had marched in from Ireland on the preceding 
Saturday, refiontng to continue their route until they had been paid ail 
their bounty money, which they alleaed they had not received. Being 
encoungcd by many among the popuaoe to continue in their demands, 
and several of them being mudi intoxicated, titey forced themselves into 
their oiBoen^ room at the Swan Hotels and treated them in a very rude 
and threateninff manner. Our Magistrates tried in vain to appease 
them, and as a Luge mob bcsan to collect, and add to the tumult, they 
were oblked to request Gofonel Oallow to bring the Third Drsfloons 
from the Bamdn, to preserve the peace, which they effectually did. A 
note was then ^ven to all the men by their Lieutenant-Colonel (Mont- 
mnery) promising, upon their arrival at bead quarters^ payment of all 
the money due to Uiem, and signed also by our Magistrates, who encaged 
to send imniediately to the War OAcs^ and see Uiat eveiy man in the 
lament had his due. This satisfied most of them ; there were some, 
however, who rqected the notes, and continued in a veiy mutinous state 
all the day ; but the Maprtrates having directed the GonsUbles and 
their Sermnts to fl» at midnight to all the public houses where the men 
were billetted, and get possss si on of their arms (which they easilv did, 
assisted hy an olBoer and a party of the dragoonsy, and everr publican 
being forbidden to give them spirits, or any of the liquor snops to be 
opened in the mommg^ Colonel Montgomery was at length enabled on 
iSiesday to mareh out with tho greatest part of the corps, and the 
others gradually followed, or were taken bv the officera who stayed here 
to eolleet them. The Magistrates, we understand, have since 
n. B 



oO A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

two letters from the SecreUiy at War ; who, in the fint^ writes that 
^ orders are sent to the Head Quarters, to prerent any difficult j or delay 
in execating what the Magistrates haTe oDgaged for, and a Genwal 
Officer will be immedlatelj sent, hj his Boj^ Highness the Duke of 
York^ to ooforoe those orders. And, in a second letter, the^Bi^t Hon. 
Seeietary informs the Magistrates^ that '^ Lientenant-Qeneral Forbes is 
gone to redress grieTancss, and, if possible, to proTent saeh causes of 
alarm for the fatiire.'* 

An act had be^i passed by Parliament for raising a certain 
number of men in the several coanties of Ilngland for the 
service of the Navy. The general Session of the Peace held 
at Warwick Ga March 23, had allotted forty-four men as the 
number to be raised by Birmingham. A meeting of the 
inhabitants was held on March 31, at which ^it was deter- 
mined, that a Levy^ at the rate of six-penoe in the pound, 
should be immediately made, to defray the expenses of 
raising the forty-four men for the navy, the quota for this 
parish.'* The crimps were, as usual on such occasions, busy 
m the pursuit of their nefkrious trade ; and the ma^strates 
issued the following notice : — 

A CAUTION. 
To the Birmingkam Volunietrt far tk€ Navy. 

April 13. 1795.— The Magistrates acting for this Town and Neigh- 
bournood, having been informed that seyeral Crimp Sergeants, and 
others, have ennged Men for Manning his Majesty's Navy, without 
an J Anthority for that Puipose, as no Sergeant can have any sodi 
Authoritj, and it beinff veiy mjoxioos to the Sorvice to pennit any each 
illegal PnictioeB, all Persons so engiged are hereby aoqaaintea that, 
upon ikppltcstioQ to any of the Magirtrates^ they will be immediately 
disehaiged from soch EnsngementI and be at full Liberty to enter 
into the Sendee with the CSmrch-Waidens and Overseers of the Poor, 
who are the onl^ Persons AnthoriflBd to engage Men, and to whom all 
sach 9m are wilhng to go^ are recommended to appl v. 

The Magistrates, moreover, wish to be informed of the Names of all 
such Seigeants as have ilkgallv engaged Men, that they may send their 
Names to the War QiBoe^ and have them properiy punished 

The following extract shows how the vanity of the 

people was worked upon to induce Uiem to volunteer : — 

Ajxril so, ITM.— The patriotic spirit which has ever been evinced by 
the inhabitants of this place to oppose the enemies of their oountiy, 
wilL we are persuaded, at the pnaent moment^ iHien Britannia calls for 
the best energies of all her Sons^ be more ardent than ever; and we 
assure oursdves, the Town quota of Men for the Serrice of the Navy 
will soon be raised. Eighteen gallant feUows were attested on Satuidav, 
and onmbers of respectable gcntlemniy we understend, purpose this 
week to sooompmj the Chwdi-Wardens and OiBcers of the Town 
throu^ the pnncinal streets ^as the chief inhabitants of liveipooly 
Leeds, and SheiBeKi did at thetr respective pboesj and to give eveiy 
poasilile encouragement to those who may be desirous of the glorious 
appellation of DdTsnden of their country. 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 51 

Here is another scene characteristic of the time : — 

April 27, 1795.— On Thanday the High Bailifl^ Parish Offioers, and 
many of the principal Inhabitants, paraded the streets of this town 
'With nmsio and flags, to reoeive and enooorage those brave men that 
might wish to become defenders of their oonntiy on board the Boyal 
NavT, and volnnteers upon this occasion have come forward in snch 
nnmMra, that on Sataraay only eight men were wanted to compleat 
the town qnota, and which, from the patriotic spirit now abroao, we 
doabt not will immediately be foond. 

On May 4th, we read : *' This Town's quota of Seamen for 
Manning the ^avy, is now compleated, and all the men 
have been enrolled." 

The distress continued to increase, and the sufferings of 
the poor were something terribla Wheat was scarce, 
and almost at famine prices. The winter had been severe, 
and it closed by rapid tiiaws, which produced fearful 
flooda In spite of this distress, however, Uie Parliament 
voted an immense sum of money to pay the debts of 
the Prince of Wales, and made a liberal settlement for 
his marriaga But for the charity of the rich and the 
tolerably well-to-do, the issues would have been much 
more terrible than thev were; for the discontent of the 
people was becoming fierce and clamorous, In Birming- 
ham, as elsewhere, they resorted to violence ; and in June 
of this year occunred that outbreak which we may very 
properly call the *' Scarcity Biota." 

Jane 29th, 1795. — It is with great concern we state that a miagaided 
popolaoe, too nrone to hearken to the suggestions of the desiring and 
evil - m i n d ed, naa again broken in upon the peace of soeietjr, and 
oommittad the most culpable acts of Tiolence uid ontrsffe. The com 
mill and bakehonse of Mr. Piekard, at the bottom of Snow Hill, 
sappUes a considerable nnmber of the inhabitants of this town with 
ikMir and bread. The great scardtj of grain whidi is experienced 
thzongbont Europe rbut in no conntiy so little as our own), has 
consiiMrabI J advancea its price, and of couse neither the same quantity 
of flour, nor the same weight of bread, can be affinded for the like 
moner, as in more abundant timea A &w dajs ago a poor woman, 

'"~iDg to the maid servant of hlr. Piekard that the loaf she 

r^ .i was less than usual, was answered bj the maid, that she was 

Sony for it; but that wheat was so dear that it could not now be 
afforoed of a laiger sise at the customary price ; to which ehe added a 
just remark, that we surely ought to be contented here, and not 
compUin, as our condition was so much better than in some other 



countries : lor she understood from the papers the seandty was so 
great in IVance^ that t^e common people tbers were reduced to the 
neceadty of eating graina The malicious, it seema soon penrerted and 
fixed the expression on her master, and it was quickly rumoured that 
Mr. FSckara had said, he would make the poor eat grains in tlieir 
bread^ with the addiUoual calumny, that he had buried under his mill 



52 A OEKTURT OF BIRMINGHAM LIFK 

a large qnantitj oT oorn. False and improbable aa were soeh reporte, 
they too eacoeesfolly answered the enda of their Tile fikbrieatore, and, 
irritated by them, a mob (principally composed of women) assembled 
between one and two o'clock on Monday afternoon, roand the mil^ 
and began to break the window of it. Two of our worthy and active 
magistratee (W. YillerSy and W. Hicks, Eeqrs.), who happened to be 
then in town, hastened to the spot ; but it was to no purpose that they 
addressed the deladed multitude on the unlawfulness and impolicy of 
their proceedings. A rabble, urged on by furious women, made their 
way into a part of the premises, and the persons of the Maffistratea 
were endangered by the stones and brick-ends which were thown in 
eyery directioiu it became, therefore, neeeesaty to adopt the most 
vigorous measures, and the King's own regiment of Dragoons were sent 
ibr from the Barracka. It happened that the men Vere at this hour 
watering their horses out of tne town ; they were, howeyer, with the 
utmost expedition collected by C(^nel Callow, who appeared at the 
head of a troop in time to saye the mill from destruction ; but not 
before the mob had brc^en into the ooonting-house, and destroyed 
many of Mr. Pickard's books of account. In a few minutes after the 
arriyal of the Dragoons, also appeared, headed by Oaptain Arden, 
Mr. Jjtgfge^B Troop of Warwickshire Yeomanry Oayalxy, whom (being 
at exercise a few miles from the town) Oaptam Aiden^ upon receiying 
intimatioii of the disturbance, immediately Drought to our assistanoer 

The riot act was now read. The militaiy speedily deared the 
premises of the rioters, and parading through the a4Joining streeta* 

{•reyented fVirther tumult during the day. As night came on, the 
f agistrates eonsidering peace was sufficiently restored, and that the 
troops on horseback seryed only to draw crowds of idle people to look 
at them, directed that twen^ of the Drafloons should be dismounted, 
and sent into the mill with the Peace Officers ; and that the others^ 
with the Yeomanry, should retire to the Bairacks, there to wait in 
readiness for further orders. Not long, howeyer, after the disappearance 
of the aoldiera another attadc was made. The troops within the mill 
came out, ana seised some of the leading rioters ; and the Oonstablea 
then ordered them to load their pieces before the mob, at the same 
time telling the people, that if the party that was going to oonyey those 
they had apprehended to the aungeon were attacked, they bad 
orders to fire. Notwithstanding these precautioui^ the escort had 
not proceeded a hundred yards with their prisoners, before a rescue 
was attempted. The mob beat^ pelted, and pres s e d upon the soldiers 
on eyery side ; It was in yain that, by slightly wounding some with 
their bayonets, they endeayoured to keep them o£ and that three of 
them dischaiged their pieces oyer the people^s heaas. This, instead of 
intimidating, seemed only to Increase tneir yiolence ; and at len jHUb, so 
furious was the attadc, that to presenre his own life, and in obMience 
to the orders he had receiyed from the peace oinoers, one of the 
Dragoons fired upon bis assailants. A young man of the name of 
Allen instantly ml dead, and the ball, whidi passed throiuh his heart 
and body, looged deep in the chest of another (Heniy Mason)^ who, 
after lingering aliye until Saturday mornings expired in our Hospital. 
Upon tMse saerifioes to the offended laws of our country, the mob 
instantly dispersed in eyerr direction ; nor has the peace m the town 
been since interrupted ; though, we are sornr to say, some widced 
incendlaryy with a view of renewing the tnmmt, has been dropping in 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 53 

the straetSy at midBighty written papers of the most criminal and 
inflammatoiy nature ; and for the ducovery of the author of which, tin 
magUtrates and other gentlemen hare offered a reward of one hundred 
guincM. 

Mr. Brooke, the Coroner, has held an inquest upon the body of the 
dead men, and the Jury have returned their rerdkijuitifiMe homicide. 
Two women and a man, Mar^|aret Bowlker, Mary Mullens, and 
George SAttoty, sworn to as bemg most active in the riot| are fully 
committed by ue ma^trates to Warwick goal, to take their triab lor 
the offenoe, of whidi. if they are convicted, the punishment of the law 
is deeUh, Let then tnose guilty spirits who, b^ iklse aspersions, have 
been exdttng puUic animoalr against an individual, reflect upon all 
the unhappv consequences of their malignant designs, and consider how 
mudi they nave to answer for. And may the terrible example that 
has been made, and the punishments that will ensue^ be a lesson Co all, 
never to be forgotten, tnat the disturber of public peace^ and the 
destroyer of private property, cannot escape with impunity. 

Some i^jprehebnons of a riot being entertained last week, by the 
inhabitants m the nejghbooriiood of Dudley, and at Bromflgrove, detach- 
ments of the Dragoons were sent from our Barracks to each of those 
placei^ who effectually prevented any breach of the peace. 

BSAIOIIB FOR VOT BlOTIKO, 

Addreued to every poor Man in the Kingdom, 

latly. Because rioting (to say the best of it) is so much lost time to 
a woriong man ; who, when provisions are almost double their usual 
price, should be doubly diligent in his calling, to provide for the wants 
cf hisnunily. 

2ndly. Because rioting prevents farmers from bringinf^ com into a 
ueighbourhood where the people are disposed to riot, feanng it should 
be unjustly seiaed, and taken mm them. This being also the case with 
millers, butchers, and bakers, provisions of all sorts are rendered more 
acaice, and, of couml more dear. 

3rdly. Because, when a riot is expected, a number of soldiers are sure 
to be drawn to the place and neighbouriiood ; and every soldier must be 
supplied with food. Thus the number of mouths is multiplied, where, 
bttore. there ware too many for the stock of provisions. 

4thly. Becaus e the war abroad, to which, m some measure, the scar- 
tatf iB owing, is vm to be prolonged by rioting at home ; our enemies 
being encouraged by it not to make peace with us but upon their own 
tenna. And, oecause it is, moreover, disgraceful to the character of 
Englishmen, not to bear wiUi fortitude those hardships which, at such a 
time, pteas upon their country ; hardships which, oy the blessing of 
Qod, will soon be removed by a plentiful harvest which we have in 
pro^wct. 

IjMtly. Beeanse, riots being attended with ** confusion and every evil 
work,* a rioter is puoished with death by the laws of hb countrr ; whidi 
laws will eertainfy be put in execution more rigorously than tney have 
been, as examples are certainly more ne c ess a ry. 

iLSjKox the benevolence of the well-to-do inhabitants was 

dispuiyed, and proved almost equal to the emeigency. A 

few more extracfta from our contemporary authority will 

afford U8 a picture of those fearful tmiea On July 10 we 

read this bit of good news : — 



54 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

As the BaooQ is amved, the Tickets for it will be given oat in 
the proi>oition d Four Tickets for each Guinea subscribed ; and the 
Bacon will be deliyered at a House (late the Indian Queen) in Snow Hill» 
on Friday and Saturday next. 

This ia followed by a bit of good advice : — 
July 13th, 1795. — ^At the present period we cannot but earnestly 
recommend to the masters ana mistresses of all families, to have their 
bread made of the whole flour of the wheat ; as such bread will be found 
equally wholesome and palatable as that made of the finest flour, and be 
a material saving in consumption. 

On the same day we have this report of the benevolent 

activity of the town : — 

It IS with pleasure we announce that a most liberal subecriptioii is 
already begun in this town for the purpose of bringixig to market a more 
ample supply of wheat and flour; and, we doubt not that ereir 
individual who has the means^ will aid a subscription so bencTolent and 
necessary. The most efficacious methods of canying into execution the 
purposes of this Subscription, have already been adoi>ted by the gentle- 
men appointed as a Select Committee upon this occasion. 

A sensible correspondent published this letter on the pre- 
vailing topic of the day : — 

July 13th, 1796.— To the Printer.— ^ir,— Though little atteotioD is 
in general paid to newspaper correspondence, I am not without hopes 
that the particular circumstances of tne present period may authorise an 
attempt to represent the difficulties of the day in a less formidable light 
than tney mav appear in to those who have not sufficientljr considered the 
subject Such an attempt cannot be unseasonable, at a time when every 
man's own conscience must remind him, that the a^^ts of mischief and 
revolution are active in the promotion of their iniqmtous purposes among 
the lower orders of Society, and are ever busy in fanning the smallest 
sparks of discontent into tne open flames of riot and confusion. 

The words Scarcity and Famine are so alarming in their sound, and 
so dreadful in their consequences^ that they are most efficacious atgu- 
ments in the mouth of those who wish to seduce the unwaxy ; and it is 
therefore n e c essar y to cantioii every xank against giving implicit credit 
to the mynified evils of false xjepreaentation, or joining in their oom- 
plaint, before we have examined mto the truth of their assertions. All 
good and evil is to be estimated by comparison ; and if we find, on 
enquiry, that our jiresent distresBes are not only temporary, but ears to 
be of short duration ; that they are in common with evenr nation in 
Europe, and felt in infinitely leas degree in our own island tnan in any 
neighoouring kingdom, we ou^t not to repine at temporarv inoooviH 
nienoe, or murmur at uie deficien<7 of a single article, when Providence 
has funished so many substitutes ; and we are ooosequentl v straiMrs 
to rwal wcmL from the various stores of vegetation witli which she nas 
now so amply supi^ed us. In times of plenty we are all so inconsider- 
ately profuse^ that in these times of scarcity we know not how to conform 
to restriction in our habits, or to adopt such regulations as would make 
us little sensible to the temporanr diminution of any sin^e aitieto of 
ooosumption. As men, we shonfd bear with resolution, and as Chris- 
tians, with cheerfulness and submission, the tnnsieDt evils of the day ; 
we should consider how mudi we can do for oar own relief, by bringing 



PUBLIC UF£ AND EVENTS. 55 

certain portioEB of animal aad Tegetable food in aid of our remaining 
stock of wheats which, if properly uaed and eoonomiaed, will, I donbt 
not, be found aufficient for our suboatence, till the arriyal of harvest, 
when nature holdfl out the moet flattering promiae of returning plenty 
in every species of grain, and every article of life. 

On July 1, Mr. M'Cready mve a perfoimaace at the 
Theatre, for the benefit of the poor, which produced 
£161 8& It was determined that the best mode of apply- 
ing this money would be in purchasing wheat, and selling 
it to the poor at prime cost, tree of carriage. The Qovem- 
ment expressed its approval of Uie methods adopted in this 
town to relieve the aistres& On July 20, a letter fix>m the 
Secretary of State was published : — 

It is with pleasure we lay before our readers the following letter, 
from his Oraee the Duke of Portland, Secretary of State, to Heneage 
Lsgge, Em|., of Aston Hall, commending the veiy liberal subscriptions 
entered into in this town, and the measures adopted by the Select 
Committee, for procuring for our market a more ample aupply of 
wheats flour, and other provisions :— 

Whitehall, 13th July,179S. 

Sir, — Mr. King having communicated to me the letter whidi he 
received fixnn vou on the 9th inst, relative to the measures adopted at 
Birmingham, for the supply of that town and neighbourhood, during 
the present scareitv; I am desirous to express to you my satis&etioB 
at the prudence aud discretion which has been shewn in the application 
of the liberal subscription whidi has been made there. 

It is to the exertions and libomlity of gentlemen in general, that 
CSovemment must look in the present moment of distress^ for the most 
effectual relief that can be afforaed to the countrjr at larae. 

The endeavours of his MigestVs Ministers will n^t be wanting to 
soch supplies as it is possible to procure. 



I beg leave to acquaint yon, for the Information of the town of 
Birmin^iam, that since Mr. King's letter to yon of the 3rd instant, an 
additional quantity of two thousand ouarters of wheat has been sent 
to the Port of Liverpool, by order of the Privy Council, and whenever 
their Lordshipe are enaUed to send a further supply, I will not fail to 
acquaint you with it 

I am, Sir, your most obedient* humble servant, 

H. Legge, Esq. Portland. 

On the same day the plan of the Committee was 

published : — 

The Committee appomted for the Promotion of such Measures as 
might be thought most likely to secure a rmlar Supply of Com to the 
Market of this Town, until the Return of Harvest shall render their 
further Exertions unnecessarv, have taken eveiy Step that appears 
most advisable to them for the Accomplishment of that Pnipose, and 
flatter themselves that their Endeavours will not be wholly ineffectual, 
though the Scarcity is so general, and Afmlicataons so numerous, at 
the different Sea-Ports, to whidi Quantities of Com have been consigned 
by Government for the Relief of the neighbouring Counties, that it is 
veiy difficult to procure any material Shiuv of it* 



56 A 0ENTX7RT OF BIRMINQHAH LIFE. 

The Inhabitants of the Town may be aamired, that the Committee 
will not relax in their Endeavours to discharge the Dutiee of ^eir 
Troflty and beg Leave eamestlj to recommend to all Banks of People 
an Adoption of the Plan proposed by his Majesty's Most Honooraole 
Privy Cooncil, for nsing only that veiy wholesome Bread, which shall 
be made from Flour of tibie whole Prodnct of the Grain without 
Division, the broad Bran only excepted. Hie Committee pledge them- 
selves to consume no other, when they can procure it^ nor to suffer any 
other to be consumed in their Families, as tcmg as the present Scarcity 
exists ; and some of the most respectable MUlers in the Town and 
Nei^ibourhood having promised to grind no other, unless particularly 
bespoke, it is hoped that all in the same Line of Business will follow 
their laudable Example for the Belief of the Poor and Promotion of 
the Public Good. « 

It is further hoped, that the Consumption of Bread may be 
diminished by the tree use of Vegetables, which are now in the 
greatest plenty and perfection. And in order more effectually to 
aooomplisii this desirable Purpose, as well as to afford immediate Itelief 
to the industrious Poor, the Committee, who have turned every Idea in 
their Minds on this Subject^ and are well informed that there is a great 
Abundance of live Stock in the Kingdom, judfle it necessary to 
recommend that a Moiety of the Money subscnoed for defraying the 
Expenses of purchasing Wheat, be appropriated to the Purpose of 
Supplying the Poor with Meat at One Penny per Pound under the 
Marxet Price, which will enable them to buy that useful Artide at 
from Two-pence to Four-pence per lb., they therefore desire a General 
Meeting of the Inhabitants of this Town, at the Hotel, in Temple Bow, 
on Weanesday next, at Eleven o'clock in the Morning, when we Plan 
will be laid before them, and their determination taken thereupon. 

July 18th, 1795. W. Yillbbs, Churman. 

On July 27^ this paragraph was published : — 
We are happy jto inform our readers that a considerable quantity of 
the Indian com,* purchased by the Select Committee for proeuringa 
more ample supply of provisions for our market^ has alraadv reached 
this place, and proper persons are appcMnted to retail the flour of it 
The use of this floor is particularly rsoommeoded in the mdkiog of 
poddiiigB. 

On the same day a more detailed report of the labours 
of the Committee, and of the success of those labours, 
appeared : — 

July S7tlL 179&.~Bbhevolbnt SuBSCRipnoirs.— At a General 
Meeting, held at the Hotel, on Wednesday, the iSnd of July, 179A, 
pursuant to publio Advertisement ; W. Yillibs io the Chair ; 

The Chairman stated to the Meeting, that the Committee have 
applied to the Ports of Bristol, Liverpool, and Hull, for a supplv of 
Com, that they have actually pnrdiased upwards of 3,000 BusheJIs of 
Indian Com. Part of which is arrived, and will be dellver«d to Millers 
to be ground ; that they hope also to obtain Wheat fimn mofe than 
one oi the Ports, as soon as the V e s s els whicb are sent by GovunmeBt 
shall arrive there; that they have certain Information that the 
prineipal Supply for this Town hitherto had been fnm Ozfordshiiv, 
Nortliamptonahue. and other neighbouring Counties^ and that they 
have applied to those Counties through the regular Channels of the 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 67 

Tnde, from wbeDoe thej have no Doabt of receiTing a Supply as 
aoon as thej can have it protected on its Way, for which End sadi 
BepresentationB have been made to Government as they flatter them- 
selTes will be attended with auocess. They hope, therefore, that there 
will be no absolute Want of Bread; bat as there is an undoubted 
Sotfrdty of Qrain, they must advise that all Persons of every Class will 
make use of no other Hour than such as is made from the whole 
Produce of Wheats the broad Bran excepted ; that every substitute 
possible should be made for Wheat and Flour, and that one Moiety of 
the Subscriptions be appointed to the Selling of Meat to such Persons 
as stand in Need of Assistance, at One Penny per Pound under Market 
Price, in the following Manner, viz. : 

That everv Subscriber of One Guinea, have delivered to him Weekly 
for four Weeks» ten Tickets, each Ticket to entitle any Butcher to whom 
it shall be paid, to 3d. towaras the payment of 3 lbs. of Meat^ purchased 
by the Person who shall pay it to such Butcher. And as it may be a 
great Belief to some poor Families to have the Money arisiuff from the 
Tlieatrieai Performances distributed in some Article of Food, the 
Committee, who have purchased about 3000 lbs. Weiffht of Bacon, 
propose that every Subscriber of a Guinea shall have ddivered to him 
two tickets eadi for 1 lb. of that Bacon, to be given to such poor 
Person as the Subscriber shall see fit. That the gentlemen who nave 
kindly undertaken to solicit SubscripUons, be earnestly requested to 
be immediate and uigent in their Application& 

It Was Then Unanimously Besolved, That this Meeting do approve 
of the Plan laid before them this Day by the Select Committee. 

That the Select Committee are requested to continue their exertions^ 
in forwarding the Plan now read to the Meeting. 

That the Thanks of this Meeting be given to the Chairman and 
Sdoct Committee, for their judicious Ezertioiifl. 

W. YiLLBRS, Chairman. 

The workhouse authorities this year began a sensible 
method of dealing. On August 3, they issued the follow- 
ing notice : — 

Hie Committee of Guardians appointed for the internal Management 
of the Workhouse, give this pubhc Notice, that in future they purpose 
purchasing the under-mentioned Articles, bv Public Advertisement, for 
Beady Money only. Those Tradesmen who wish to contract for the 
present Month, are desired to address their Proposals, with Samples of 
such Articles as will admit of it, to the Committee at the Vestry Koom, 
on Tuesday next, the 4th inst, bv Ten o'clock in the Morning. 
FUmr Cheese l^oes imd 

Meat Malt Groceries. 

A pamphlet of advice was published with the following 

title : — 

Beeammendmi to ffeacU of Familiu^ Baken, dbe. 

Aiwust lOj 1795. — On Thnndinr next will be imbliahed, and may be 
had oftbe Prmters of this Paper, Pries One Shilling, Some Information 
Bespeding the Use of Indian Com ; Collected from tiie Bspeis of Mr. 
Winthmp and Mr. Howard, with Observations from Mr. Pkrmentier, 
on the Use of Potatoes in Bread ; and Mr. Dossiers Directions for the 
making of Bread in Private Families. 



58 A CEKTURT OF BIRHINQHAM LIFE. 

The Committee held another Meeting, at which the 
following business was transacted . — 

Benevolent SuUcripUant, 

Birxningliam Hotel, Aagust AUk^ 1796. — ^At a Town's Meeting in 
Oonaeqaenoe of Public Advertisement in both the Birmingham Kews- 
papers ; * Matthew Boultcm, Esq., in the Chair ; 

" The Committee appointed for the Promotion of such Measures as 
might be thought most likely to secure a B^gular Supply of Com to 
the Market of this Town, until the Betum of Harvest shall render 
their further Exertions mmeceesaiy,^ reported to this Meeting, the 
Steps they had taken in this Business, the great Difficulties they had to 
encounter, and the pleasing prospect which, in the last three iMya, had 
opened of a laige Supply of Com and Flour being brought to this 
Town, in the Bogular Ooane of the Trade, 

Besolred, That the following Advertisement be inserted in both the 
Birmingham Kewspapov :— 

''In Consequence of Measures directed bv €k>vemment^ there is 
good Reason to believe that no Obstruction will now be given to Com 
and Flour in Passaffe from Oxfordshire and the nei^bouring Counties 
to this Place, and tnerefore this public Notice is given to remove the 
Fears of all concerned in that Trade." 

Besolvedy That the Cbaiman is desired to write a Letter to H. 
Legge, Esq., in the Name of the Town of Birmingham, expressing a 
most gratttul Sense the Inhabitants have of the Obligations they are 
under to him, and prayiqg for a Continuance of his Assistance uid 
Support 

''When things are at their worst, they itometimes mend." 
This was one of the times at which tliey mend The year's 
harvest proved an abundant one ; and on Auffust 24, the 
Editor informed his readers of the coming relief 

^It is," he said, ^'tha opinion of persons the best informed, that 
"when the present plentlAil harvest is got in, what with the produce of 
our land, and the immense purchases of com made in other countries 
for importation, there will be amassed in this kingdom an infinitely 
laiger quantity of gndn than ever yet known.** 

The poet had his epigram : — 
September 7th, 179A. 

Otf THE CVOOMMOV RiSB AVD FaLL IH THE PrIOE OF BrEAO. 

Speculations modi varied *twixt June and September^ 
And aixpenny loaves were vnoommonly saudl ; 

The oldest man li^ng can never remember 
So sodden a rise, and so rapid a fiJL 

The new phin of the overseen seems to have worked 

well, and they published the following satisfactory report: — 

BlBXIVOBAM WoEKHOUSE. 

Yestiy Boom, September 7th, 1796.— The OYerseers of the Poor 
have the Satisfaction to inlbrm the Inhabitants of the Town, that from 
the SaccesB of their lata AdverUsemeoti, together with the jodidoai 
Regulations lately adopted by the two Committees of Gnardiaitii, the 
Number of Faupen m Che Workhouse is now reduced to about 

* Aris*s Birminghsm Gaaette, and 8fHflnty*i Birmiagham Chnwide. 



PUfiUC LIFE AND EVENTS. 59 

two Thirds of what it was a month ago; and they hope that the 
Mann&ctoren and others of the Inhabitanta who may be in Want of 
Hands, will continne to apply at the Workhonae, as, besides those 
Fiaapers oocasipnally admittaa into the House, Uiey are freqnently 
under the necesnty of reiieTing Out Poor, who are destitute of Employ- 
ment; and. as Mr. Pearson and Mr. Swinney have obligingly offered 
to insert a Weekly Beport in their respective Newspapers^ the 
Inhabitants will have an opportunity of seeing that one of the 
principal caosee for the late increase of the Levies, is the enormoos 
Bnrthen of Cat Poor, which, notwithstandinff the united Efforts of the 
Overseers and Guardians to reduce the number, amounts at this time 
to 2,427 CSsses^ and may be calculated to be about Six Thousand Souls, as 
a grsat many of those Gases are Families, where there are three, four, 
or more Children. 

TheOverseers wish also to observe, that they arepreparing a particular 
Statement of the Karnes, Places of Abode, and Weeklr Pay, of all the 
Out Poor who are relieved by this Parish, which will be printed as 
soon as possible, and delivered to those of the Inhabitants who Pay 
Poor'a Katea, by whidi Meana they hope that aome Abuaea may he 
detected by the Keighboara whidi may have escaped the acmtiny of 
the Yiaitinf^ Guardiana. Another deaintble Object whidi they have in 
contemplation ia, to have a new general Aaaeanienti whidb, although 
it ma^ not be proper to introduce at pr e a en t (on account of the num^r 
of voids and temporary reduced Benta], they hope may be brought 
about in the Courae of another year. 

PJS. It may not be improper to inform audi of the Manu&eturara 
aa have lately employed People who boarded and lodged in the Work- 
bouae^ that on Account of that Privilege having, in aevcoal Instances, 
been abused by the Paupm it is now ordered that thoae who go out 
to Work ahall leave the Uouae entirely. 

It 18 with pleasure, even now, that we read the following 

jubilant paragraph : — 

September 21, 179ft. — During the courae of last week, the joyful 
aouna of Ha r v es t Heme reaounded at almost every farm in this and the 
nei^bourinjif Counties ; and we shall hope that all farmers wiU feel it 
their duty inatantly to begin their threahing, and bring tiietr wheat to 
the eariieat mariceta, aa a meana of immediately putting an end to that 
great acardty of the ataff of life, which haa been of late experienced. 

The following extract reveals aome rather curions ways 
of doing the parish business : — 

BiBunroHAii WoaKeousE. 

Veatnr Booon, September 18, 1795. 

The Overaeen and Onardiana of the Poor having appointed a certain 
Number of Gentlemen aa Auditon of the Pariah Aooounta^ take the 
liberhr of raqoeating thoae of the former Overseers, who have not 
alreaojr made up their GbUecting Booka, to deliver them, with tbe 
respective Balances due there&mn, into the Hands of the Veatiy Clerk, 
at the Workbouae^ en or before FHday next, the S&th Instant, aa the 
Auditors cannot proceed to eyamfne the Aocounta till thoae Booka are 
aettled. 

They wiah alao partionlariv to inform audi of the former Oveneers 
aa have fumiahed the Woruioaae with Oooda of anv kind, that their 
Accounts mnat be aent to the OeriL'a OiBoe to do examined and 



60 A CENTURY OF BIBUNGHAM LIFE. 

diflchaiml, in the same regalar way as those of other Tradesmen, and 
not deoucted from the Levies which they may have collected, as it 
would be the cause of much Disorder in the general Statement, and 
would render the Parties liable to particular censure, when the Accounts 
came to be published for the Inspection of the Inhabitants at lai^ge. 

And they hope that those who have not attended to repeated private 
Applications, will not fail to comply with their present jEtequest^ as in 
case of N^lect by any of the Parties, they shall feel themselves in 
Duty bound to adopt such oompulsoiy Measures as are specified in the 
Act of Parliament made for that purpose. 

The new Old Meeting House, to replace that destroyed 
by the riots, was built this year, its completion was 
announced on September 28. . Our readers will be inclined 
to question the appropriateness of the adjective *' handsome," 
m^efi>UowiIlgpl^pll^- ^ 

A very handsome meeting house has been erected by the Dissenters 
of this town, in Old Meeting-street^ on the site of the one burnt down 
during the riots of 1791 ; and it will be opened for the first time for 
public Worship on Sunday next. 

In October, as the Ean^ was going in state to the House 

of PeerSy to open Parliament, he was assailed by the 

suffering people calling for peace, and was fired at by some 

ruffians. On Noveml^r 2, the people of Birmingham read 

with horror this account of an 

Attack upon thv Kixg. 

It was business of no less importance than the circumstanoe of an 
attadc made by a set of ruffians on the Sacred Person of the Eling, that 
took the noble Secretaries of State from the House of Peers. An 
attack which must have excited the most painful emotions in the Boyal 
Breast ; and in that of every one of his Subjects, which retains a spark 
of loyalty or affection for their Sovereign or tiie Constitution. 

It is said that ''No violence was offered till after the 
Royal Oarriage had passed through the Horse Guards, when 
in rarliament-street, opposite the Ordnance Office, a bullet 
or stone passed through the windows of the State Coach, 
and which, it is conjectured, was fired from an air fiwi. 
This circumstance, and the increased hootings and abomma- 
ble exclamations of many of the mob, occasioned the utmost 
alarm to bis Majesty and his attendaiit& The King entered 
the House of Peers with great emotion, and the first words 
he uttered were these to the Lord Chancellor, ' My Lord, I 
have been shot at' " 

The inhabitants of the town took immediate steps to 
express their ''horror and abhorrence" of the attempt ; and 
of their devoted loyalty to the throne. The Kins was fired at 
on October 29th, and on the 31st the High Bi&ff was thus 
requested to hold a public meeting on the subject . — 



PUBLIC LIF£ AND EVENTS. 61 

BinniiighaiKi, October Slat, 1705. 
We, iihe imdenigned, imnrened with the smcmst Attachment to our 
Moot Gracioaa Sovereigiiy naving heard with Horror and Abhorrence 
the daring, oatiageoaa, and treaaonable Attempts that were offered 
to his Boyal Person, in going and retoming from Parliament on Thura- 
da>7 huBt, do hereby reqaeat jou will fix the earliest Day in jour Power 
to oonyene a Public Meeting of the Inhabitants, for the Purpose of 
addressinff his Majesty upon so alarming an Occasion, and to ezprass 
the moetneartf elt Gongratmations of a Loyal People, for the Protection 
afibrded by DiTine Providence to the best of Ejngs ; and at so impor- 
tant a Grins, animated by the daring Proceeding of seditious Meetings 
and AssembUes. to assure our Sovereign that his loyal Subjects of the 
Town and Keignbourhood of Birmingmon are ever raidy to stand forth 
in Support of their King, his Crown, the Laws, and glorious Constitu- 
tion of tilieir Country. 

R Spencer W. Wallis Mason Edward Palmer 

W. y illers Henry Clay John Startin 

W. Hicks Wm. jDickenson Wm. Hawkins 

C. Curtis M. Qoodall John Tankard 

Spencer Madan J. Brooke Thomas Barker 

Edward Carver John Cope B. Conquest 

To Tlionias Qmndy, Esq., 

High Bailiff of the Town of Birmingham, 

In consequence of the above Application, I appoint a Meeting of the 
Inhabitants of this Town and Neighbourhood, on Wednesday next, at 
Twelve o'dock, at the Hotel, in Temple Bow, for the Purpose of 
addressing His ^jesty, agreeably to the Purpose of the above 
1^ii»«tum, Thoxas Qrundt, High Bailiffl 

The Meeting was held, and the following is the report of 

its proceedings : — 

Birminffbam, November 9th, 1795. — On Wednesdav one of the 
laigest and most respectable meetings we ever witoessea in this town, 
was held at the Hotel, for the purpose of addresdng his Majesty, in 
conseooeDoe of the late atrocious attack upon hie Boyal Person. The 
High Bailiff having taken the chair^nd announced the object of the 
meeting, an address was moved by William Yillers, Eeq., and seconded 
by Matthew Boulton, Esq., which was nnanimously approved and 
applauded. It will be presented to hie Majesty by the Jaembers for 
tne County, on Wednesday next ; and the purport of it is to assure 
our Gracious Sovereign that the Inhabitants or Birmingham and its 
neighbourhood received with deep oonoem the painful intelligence of 
the insult and danger to which ne had been most emelly and most 
undeservedly ezposeid ; and they consider such atrocious conduct as a 
melancholy proot that no extent of private or of public worth can aiEard 
a full •aeuri^aninst theexoesB of sedition and treason; but they trust 
the freni^ of a metion will not shake hie Miyesty's confidence in the 
love of his people, and that he will Ibnn no luifavonrable inference to 
the general dismee^ from the outragea of lawless and abandoned 
indimuak; mMereanta unworthy tlM name of British snljeeta; 
disowned and detest^ by the nation at lam. Tbev assure his 
M^eafy that their prayera are devoutly offered^ up for the lonff con- 
tinuance of hia Just power and bririit example upon the throne of these 
realms ; th^ entreat him to bdieve and approve thebr effiisions of 



62 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

ffratitnde for his IbA» preservaiiou, and their impatience for the 
detection of the criminal agents and abettors of the horrid design ; and 
thej condade with a tender of property and life to defend his sacred 
Person and the Constitation against every enemy, whether open or 
secret, whether foreign or domestic. 

On November 16, we read that "On Wednesday the 
Address from the inhabitants of this town and neighbour- 
hood, was presented to his Majesty by our worthy represen- 
tative, Sir John Mordaunt, Bart., and most graciously 
received. Sir John was accompanied on this occasion by 
Sir Henry Qooch Calthorpe, Baxt, and H. Legge, Esq., of 
Aston HalL" 

We have in the next extract a protest against a practice 
which was only too common in the dipt button trade : — 

Birmingham, Novemher 4, 1795. — A.t a Meeting of the Commercial 
Committee of this Town, held at the Shakespere Tavern, on Wednoday, 
the 4th instant ; Johv Startin, Esq., President ; 

It was resolved, 

I. That the conduct of Mr. James Aspinall, Meanv. Richard 
Hawkins and Sons, and sach other Mana&ctorers as have refused to 
mark their dipt^ or anv other vellow Bottom^ that are not really and 
bonajkh gilt, with the word, (?ilt; or their Silvered, <n* any other 
white Bnttons, Plated, merits our Approbation. 

II. That we pledge oarselves one to the other, and to the Town in 
general, that we will neither, directly or indirectly, practise or eneoiirage 
sach conduct^ which we should consider as disgraceful to ourselves^ and 
injurious to tiie Credit and Baputation of our Town and Nation. 

III. That we recommend to the different Manu&cturers with whom 
we do business, to write on the List of Prices which accompany their 
Cards, the real Quality of the Article, upon such Cuds, as well for their 
Credit, as for the Secnri^ of the Merchant or Etetor who sends 
them out 

Welck Startin, and Co. ; Qlover, Son, and Prey ; Matthew 
Bouiton,£Bq. ; James Allez Bourgeois; Joseph Green, Esq.; 
Qurton & Brothers ; Ghrundy, Russell, and Co. ; Wm. Walfis 
Mason ; Hadley Brothers ; Bradley, Shipton, and Ca ; 
Sobrot and Hughes ; Benjamin Stokes. 

In this month the town was visited by a violent hurricane, 
accompanied by the shock of an earthquake. 

November 23rd. 1705.— On Wednesday moming a violent hurricme 
of wind blew in this town and neighbourhood, and tore from the roof 
of the house of Mr. Cope, in the High«8treet» a large stack of ehimnies^ 
whidi fell in a mass without separating upon the laundrr, destroyed it, 
and a still-house under it; threw down a brewbonae in St Qwrgt^m 
Market, and did considerable damage to other adjoiniBg buildings. 
Very fortunatelT, though Mr. Cope's people were at ue time In 
diiwent parts of the premises^ and sereral persons were passing along 
the Street^ no one reeeived any iiguiy. 

Earthquakm. 

On the same nighty a little before Eleven o'doek, a shodc of an earth- 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTa G3 

quake was Ter^ sensibly felt bj most of the inhabitants of this town, and 
in all the adlomlng oonntieSy and occasioned oonsiderable alarm. Those 
in bed kit themselVes raised up in the same manner as if a person had 
been ondemeath them, and a shaking of the bedstead and or the other 
fomitore in the room immediately ensoed. Those who had not retired 
to their beds were disturbed by an indistinct rambling noise, apparently 
proceeding firom the cellar, which was followed by a rooking of the 
hoose. At Nottingham the shock was so scFere that several stacks of 
diimnies were thrown down, and the dread occasioned by the awfol 
ctrenmstanoe was greatly increased by the hollow soond of the bells 
from the steeples. A table, round which a party of gentlemen were 
sitting, in the l^otteries, we are informed, was thrown down, and all the 
glasses broken ; and we have already received intelligence of this 
earthquake haTing been felt in a line of wide extent, from the borders 
of Yorkshire to Bristol ; and it is not unlikely but further accounts 
may be given of its having been still more genend. 

Our neighbour. Lord Dudley, thus celebrated the '' happy 
escape of we Kii:^ : " — 

November 90th, 1795. — On Wednesday, in celebration of our gracious 
Sovereign's happy escape from the atrocious attack upon his person, a 
most magnificent display of fireworks was given by the Right Hon. 
liord Tisoount Dudley, at his seat of Himley, to a numerous assemblage 
of the neighbouring nobility and gentry, and manv thousand other 
spectators. In the course of the eveninff a military band paraded the 
utfk, and at night the Songs of ^'God Save the King," ''Rule 
britanniay* &&, were sung in an admirable Style by the celebrated 
Miss Abrahams, Mr. Ghapness, Ac. The fireworks were various and 
uncommonly beautiful, and the exhibition of them concluded with a 
mnd pieoe,iu the centre of which were the Royal Arms between the 
Mters G. R., and above^ which brilliantly sparkled, on words of 
artificial fire, the affectionate and loyal exdamatton, ** Thank Heaven ! 
oorKmgis Saved I" 

The next two extracts refer to the measures taken to 
preserve honesty in the manufiusture of dipt buttons : — 

Shakespeare Tavern, Birmingham, 

Wednesday, November 25th, 1795. 

At a Meeting of the Merchants and Fkctors of this Town, held here 
this Day, in consequence of a public Advertisement, with a View to 
disoonntensnce some Impositions pndkising in the Button Trade ; a Set 
of Besolntioos were framed and unanimously agreed to, whidi now lies 
at the Bar of this Tavern, for the additional Signatures of such other 
Meiduuits and Factors wbo^ though not present at tiie said Meeting, 
mav wish to concur in the Measures there adopted. Said Refiolutions 
will remain for Signature until Wednesday next, at Three o'clock. 

Shakespeare Tavern, Birmingham, 

Wednesday, November Sftth, 1705. 

AtaMeetingof the MensfaanU and IVMton of this Town, called by 
public Advertisement and held this Bay, the foUowing Resolutioiis were 
unanimously agreed to^ and resolved to be inserted m Aris's Binning- 
ham Qaaette, Md Swinnc/s Birmingham Ghrooide of next Week. 

L That the Ooodoet of those Manufiwtnrers who have reAised to 
s^ their dipt, or any other Yellow Buttons, that are not really and 
bonafidegilt^ with the word OiH; or their SUvered or any other white 



64 A CENTITRT OF BIRMINaHAM LIFE. 

Buttons, that are not reeiXij and bona fide plated, with the word Plated, 
merits our entire approbation. 

II. That we pledge ourselTes one to the other, and to the Town in 
general, that we will neither directly nor indirectly practise or encourage 
SQch Deoi^ytions as are above alluded to^ oonsidennf^ them disffraoeful to 
onrselTes, and injurious to Uie Credit and Beputation of the Town and 
Nation. 

III. That wishing for 9a full and complete a Concurrence of those 
engaged in the Trade of this Town as csn oe obtained for the Discou- 
ragement of such Imposition, we shall be hiq>p7 to unite with the 
Manufactureia of the Articles in Question, in any Measure which they 
may think the best adapted for the putting a Stop to such Proceedings. 

December 14th, 1798. — ^We the undersigned Merchants, Factors, and 
Manufaeturen. observing three Advertisements published in Aris's 
Birmingham Gazette of the 16th, 23r<L and 30th ult , stating that 
Impositions had been practised in the Manu&otory of Buttons, viz., 
that unsilt buttons have been marked with the Word Gilt, ana that 
8tlvere<^ or other white Buttons have been marked Plated, thouffh not 
Plated, and that audi Buttons have been really vended as Gut and 
Plated ; and that^ in consequence thereof certain Resolutions have been 
entered into by some Merchants and factors, pledging themselves to 
discountenance such ini<^uitous Practices in future — 

We therefore think it incumbent on us solemnly to declare, each 
separately lor themselves, that we have neither Manufactured nor 
vended Buttons under such fidse Mark% nor under any other Deception, 
DOT would we have done so at the Instance of any Deacription of Men 
whatever. And also that we are desirous to co-operate in any general 
Bttg^tion and reciprocal Engagements, which shall be settled at a 
public Meeting of the Merchant^ Factors, and Manu&ctnrera, for the 
Purpose of fintting an effectual stop, in this Neighbouihood, to such 
illicit Praetioes, and thereby to preserve a valuable and extensive 
Brandi of our Trade from Disgrace and Ruin. 

Those Merchants, Factors, and Manufiurturen, who wish to join in 
this Advertisement are deured to send their names to the Printer, that 
the same may be Inserted in some future Paper. 

Another meeting was held on this important aubiect ; 
and, contrary to all precedent, we have a report of the 
speech delivered by the .Chairman. Newspaper proprietors 
will hear with admiration and envy that, with one exception, 
it is the only example which we have yet had of a speech 
of the kind being published, except as an advertisement 

December S& 1795. — On Tuesday last, a meeting of the principal 
Merchants and Manufheturers of this Town was held at the Shakespeare 
Tavern, on the snljeot of certain deceptions that have been practised 
in the manufacturing of Buttons ; M. Bonlton, Em., being souctted to 
take the chair, addrsssed the meeting in the following terms ; and the 
Kesolutknia^ whidi will be found in an Advertisement in this page^ 
were afterwards enterad into : — 

^This meetings Gentlemen, is called for the purpose of Taking into 
eoDBideration the most effectual means of preventing, in future, the 
deoeptioDS whidi have been practised in the manufacture of Buttons^ 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 65 

"^ The deceptions alladed to are marking the word Gilt upon hnttona 
which are not gilt, and the word Plated upon each as are not plated. 

'^I will not expatiate npon the impolicy, the dishonour, and the 
immorality of the act itcnl^ nor upon the inevitable consequences that 
most ensoe — such as rain to the trade, and disgrace to tne name, of 
Birmingham. 

^ However, let us waive all reproaches and recziminations for what 
is post) but let those who have tranwressed cease to do so, and let it 
be remembered that honesty is the best policy, and that fidr dealing 
must in the end prove the most advantageous both to the town and to 
individuals. 

^ As I am an old button maker, allow me to advise my brethren to 
make ezoeUence rather than cheapness their principle of rivalry ; and 
pardon me if I adviie the Merchant to be satisfied with buyinff good 
commodities at a lair price^ to lay aside the arts of reduction, and not to 
expect to bay his goods cheaper than any other man who has money in 

^ It perhaps may be difficult to distinguish the difference of shade in 
gilt buttons^ between one ^nnj per gross higher, or one pennv per 
cross lower, and yet a repetition of soch small abatements will soon bru^ 
baek the ruinous trade of gilding without gold ; for let the maker say 
what he will, the buyer may be assarsd. that the reduction of quality 
will always keep pace with the reduction of pricey and ultimatelj 
diminish the returns of the Merchant^ and destroy the trade of the 
Manufiustursr. 

- " The Legulatures of this and other oountries have enacted many 
laws for pr^eeting the reputation and qualities of their commodities 
and manufactures ; such as Wrought Flate^ linen. Woollen, Sheffield 
Cutleiy, and Gold Laoe Manuneture, which was so ruined by 
leebla Gildins, that the niaken were obliged to apply to Parliament ; 
and I fear ttie Bepatation of Birmiagfaam Buttons^ and some other 
artides, will never be retrieved unless the quality is kept up, and 
protected also by an Act of Parliament The gold wire-arawers are 
obliged by law to put per dwt. of fine gold upon every pound trov of 
aQver, since which our ^Id lace has been equal to the Awch in oolour 
and quality. Theouabty of the Swedish bar Iron is protected bylaws^ 
and various other instances may be firand, the sood effects of whidi 
Incline me to think that an Act of Parliament willbe the most effectual 
means of preventing, in future, the deceptimw which have been practised 
in the manufaoturs of Battooa." 

The following Resolutions were entered into : 

1. Besohred, That the Pltactioe of putting any false Mark upon 
Buttons, by which the Purchaser or Consumer may be deceived in the 
real Qualify, is highly injurious to Uie Prosperity ol that extensive 
Branca ol our Txtm, and oudit to be immediately aboUshed. 

5L niat it ttipears to this Meeting, that it is improper that any 
Metal Buttons snould be marked on the underside with any Letter, 
Word, or Device whatever, except such Battoos only as are nuulv Gilt, 
or Plttted. And that an Act of Pariiament to iniUet peconiaiy Iimish- 
nents upon the Makers and Vendors of Buttons frsndulently marked, 
is the most efficacious Means of putting an entire Stop to that Practice. 

8. That it be recommended, as the opinion of this Meeting, that an 
ApijUeation be made for an Act of Fuliament, for the Puipoee of pro- 
teetmg the Quality and Bepatation of the Batton Manufactory. 

II. F 



66 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM UFE. 

4. That in the mean Time, mitil an Act of Parliament is obtained, 
the Company present do mntuall^ pledge themselYea to eadh other, and 
to the I^ibhc, that they will neither make, sell, nor purcfaaae Battens 
marked with the words Oilt or Plated, mdees the same be really and 
bcma-fide either Gilt or Plated ; Bills of Paxx^els shall henceforth express 
the real Qoality of the Buttons so sold or offered to Sale. 

5. That a Committee of Twenty-one be now chosen, seTen of whom 
to ocmstitote a Committee, and to meet every Tuesday and Friday, at 
Fiye o^dock in the Afternoon, at the Siakespeare larem, to arrange 
and digest the Business for the further Consideration and Determination 
of a future Public Meeting or Meetings. 

8. That the said Committee do make known to the Manufacturers 
and Dealers in Buttons in London and Sheffield, or dsewhere, tiie 
BesolotioDa ol the Meeting, and request their Concurrence and Support 
in carnruig the same into effisct 

7. That any Person wiriiing to communioate his Sentiments on the 
Subject^ preriotts to the same cominff again before a public Meeting 
be oesiTsd to address himself in Writmff, to the CSiairman of the 
Committee of the Button Tkade, at the ShiOcespeare TsTem. 

8. It being represented to the Meeting^ that there are other Articles 
of ManufiMtnre in this Town which require similar Begulationn^ 
and whidi may probably be comprehended under the same Act of 
Ptfliament; 

BesolTed, That all CommunicatioBS relative thereto^ be likewise 
addressed to the Chairman of the Committee, in Writing. 

a That this Meeting pledge themselTes to defray the necessary 
Expenses of earrrlaf these Resolutions into Efiect| and to solicit the 
Concorrenee of tnose who are absent. 

10. That the IbUowinff Gentlemen be anpointed a Committee to 
attend to the Conduct of this Business, ana that they be empowered 
to appoint a Seeretarr to assist them therein, tIs., Matthew Boulton, 
Eeq., Messrs. Wm. Smith, J. Bingham, John Staitin, Sen., Joseph 
Moore^ B. Stoke% Josejdk BandeU, >niUam Walker, Theonhilus 
Blehanl% James Aspinall, Humphrey Yala, Wm. GiMst^ William 
Hawkins^ Hsn^ Hunt Beujamin Hughes^ Geoife Madely, William 
Anderton, William Didcenson, Charies Jennens, Alexander Aspinall, 
James Alston* 

11. That these BesdiitioDS be publidied in one of the London 
Plapci% and in the Birmingham and Sheffield P^peiB. 

li. That the unanimous Thanks of the Meeting be given to the 
Cliairman. 

Matissw Bovuov, Chairman. 

The reports of theee meetingB show how CMefal the chief 
maaa&cturen were to preserve the integrity of their trades; 
and bow deep an interest liatthew Botuton took in all 
questions affecting the honesij of his calling. 

The Bine Ooat School is one of onr oldest and best 
ehaiities. The education given to the children is sound 
and good ; and the;^ are taught those things whidi' will 
be useful to them in after fife. In 1796 a scheme was 
adopted which gave the pupils employment in the school. 
The Committee thus laid the proposal oefore the public : — 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 67 

Emflotxent for Children. 

April 11, 1796. — It hayio^ been 8ug^;6eted to the Committee of the 
Knningham Charitj School in St Philip's Churchjard, that the Boyb 
belonging to this School might be empfojed to the Advantage of the 
Community, the Benefit of the Ciiarity, and for the deaurable Tenden^ 
of training tiiem to an earlj Habit of IndoMtry : The Committee thine 
it theur dn^ to give this public Notice, that thej are ready to receive 
Froposala nom any Mannf actorers in the Town or Keighbourhood, 
for Labour of the Children for a certain Nomber of Hours each Day, 
in Buch Employment aa can conveniently be performed in the House, 
under their own Care, or their Superintendent's Direction, and will 
lay them before a General Meeting of the Subscribers for their 
Consideration and Consent 

Committee Boom, Monday, April 4, 1796. 

We have seen the trouble which the dishonest button 
manufacturers caused the trade. The evils were great and 
pressing; and an act of Parliament was obtained to 
^ regulate the making and vending of Metal Buttons, and 
to prevent the purchasers thereof firom being deceived in 
the real quality of such buttona" Provisions were made 
by which these desirable objects could be obtained, and 
heavy penalties inflicted. ^' There is no doubt,*' says the 
chronicler of the events ^ but it will be approved by every 
honest fidr dealer, and particularlv by the wearers or 
consumers of Metal Buttons; as the difference of price 
amounts but to a few pence per dozen between one set of 
buttons that are of so low a quality as to disgrace a good 
coat in a few weeks, and another set of buttons that are 
gilt to a standard required by the act Moreover, when 
a tailor, or wearer, Imows of a certainty that he is not 
likely to be deceived, and that he not only can buv buttons 
gilt to the standard quality, but that he can also buy them 
with double or treble the standard quantity of gold upon 
them, there is little doubt but that twist buttons will be 
again rivalled by pure untamishable gold, and the reputation 
and fair profit of the manufiu^rers be restored." 

When Leland visited Birmingham, the river Rea was 
crossed by a foot-bridge, in Dentend ; and we have had 
to record several &ial accidents which occurred there, by 
people mistaking the bridge, or by falling from it into the 
water. According to Button, ** in 1750, a wretched one 
was taken down^ and a stone bridge consisting of five 
arches was erected. This the hiBtorian cannot praise. 
He says ''the homely style, the steep ascent^ and the 
circumscribed width, prevents encomium."* This structure, 
however, sufficed for the wants of the inhabitants until 



68 A CENTURY OF BIBMINaHAH LIFE. 

1788, when an act of Parliament was obtained for rebuilding 
it. The following docaments will give the reader a complete 
history of the undertaking, and of the difficulties under 
which the trustees had to mbour. 

Dkrttbnd Briooi. 

July 4, 1796. — ^Tbe following Case respecting the Legality of com- 
pelling th« Inhabitants to paj the Ezpence incurrod in erecting Deritend 
bridge, fta, has been sabmitted to Mr. Oibbs, to which his Answer is 
subjoined. 

In the year 1788, the Act of Parliament^ which accompanies this, 
was obtained for re-bnilding the Bridse over the Biver Bea, &a, 
empowerinff Trustees to caose certain Tolls to be collected towards 
defraying the Ezpence. These Tolls were to continue for the Term of 
Ibnr Years (see Act p. 16), and said Act (p. 19) farther directs, That 
in Case the said Tolls shall not be sufficienUr prodnctiye to discharge 
the Money borrowed for erecting the said mdge, together with the 
InteresL '^Then the said Trustees shall, and are hereby authorised and 
requireoy within three Months after the Expiration of the Term for which 
the said Tolls are herein before granted, to make an equal Pound Bate 
or Assessment upon all Persons who do or shall occupy any House or 
other Buildings or Lands within the Parish of Burmingham aUnresaid." 
Now, the four Tears, or Term for which the Tolls were authorised to 
be continued, expired on or about the Snd of January, 179fL and from 
that Time no farther Tolls were demanded. The ToUs receiyed neyer 
produced a Sum sufficient to discharge the Money borrowed* &&» and 
instead of assessing the Inhabitants of Birmingham, &a, within three 
Months next after the Tolls had ceased, punuant to the special 
Directions of the Aet^ page 19, the Trustees remained toCaUy inactiy* 
in this respect till the 18th of Jannaiy, 179^ when an anonymous 
Adrertisement appeared in a Birmiogfaam Paper, stating that the 
Trustees were commanded by a Mandamus to proceed to make a Bate 
upon the InhabiUnts of Birmingham, Ac. The said Trustees met on 
Thursday, the 21st of January, 1796, and made an assessment on the 
Inhabitants of Birmingham, &o^ and proceeded to collect^ which instead 
of being within three Months, as specially directed by the Act, was 
more thim t%ro Tears after the Tolls nad ceased. Tou are requested to 
irive your Opinion as speedily as possible whether or no, now, after 
haying n^leoted to comply with the Letter of the Act, the Trustees 
c in compel the Inhabitants of Birmingham, fta, to pay the Bale. 

ArawxB. 

^ I am of Opinion that the Tr ust ees cannot now make a l^gal Bate^ 
no^ conseauently, compel the Inhabitants to nay it 

^By delaying to malce it beyond the three Months prescribed by the 
Act^ they may cast the Burthen on adiiTersnt Set of Persons fitm those 
on whom it would haye fallen within the three Month% lor whidi 
Beason 1 think the Aet is oompulsoiy in this Bespeet^ 

^V. QiBBS^ TemplcL 

''Bex 5. King, R T. S3., O. 8.* ""Juneiith, 179& 

DnmvD Bamox. 

July 11 1790.— The Trustees i^pointed by an Act ol Parliament 
for re^buildmg Deritend Bridae, hayiog obsenred a Publication in the 
last Binnlngham Qaiette^ ten<ung, as well to criminate the Conduct ol 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 69 

tiie Tnuteea, as to raifle an Opposition to the F^jment of the Bate made 
forre-imbnniiig the Crediton the Money borrowed upon the Credit of 
the Tolls, think it incomb^it on them to State shortly the foUowing 
Tncta for the Information of the Pablic : — 

In theyear 1788, an Act was paased for the Pozpose of re-bnilding 
the said Bridge, taking down certain Houses and Buildings, widening 
the ATenues to the said Bridge, altering the Course and sinkiug the 
Bed of the Biyer, and doing seTml other Matters in the Act specified ; 
and for defraying the Bxpences, the Trustees therein named were 
anthorised and empowered to erect a Toll Gate, and to collect certain 
ToUa for four years ; and to borrow and tcJce up at Interest upon the 
Credit of the said Tolls any Sum or Sums of Money, not exceeding in 
the whole the sum of 3,0002., to be re-paid, in Case of a I>eficien<^ in the 
Tolls, by a Bate upon the Inhabitants of the Parish of Birmmgham, 
the Hamlet of Deritend, and Liberty of Bonlesley ; which Bate is 
directed to be made within three months after the Expiration of the 

menuomecL 

By a Gsknlation made preyious to the passing of the Act, but which 
UBfortanately prored erroneous, it was expected the Tolls would haye 
been more Productiye, but the Trustees nad the mortification to find 
thai the Amount during the four yean of their Collection fell short at 
least 1000?. of the Sam at which they had been estimated. This 
deficiency, as also the Interest on the M<mey borrowed (which now 
Amoonts to nearly 10002.) was of Coune to be proyided for, and the 
Tru st e es desirous of raising a further Sum of Money by Tolls, rather than 
by an additional Bate, in the year 1791 aoain applied to Parliament for 
that Purpose, but unsuccessfully ; the BLu after it had passed the House 
of Commons, haying been n^gatiyed by the House of Lords, since 
which Eyent the Trustees haye repeatecfly endeayoured to remoye the 
Pkejudioes of the ParUes who opposed the Bill, but without Effect, and 
finamg that a strenuous OppositioD would take place if any Attempt 
were again made, they thought it prudent to dedine any further 
Api^cation to Parliament on uat ground. 

In the year 1794, the ToUs ceased to be collected. The Inhabitants of 
the Town cannot haye foigotten the heayy Bate then under Collection 
for re-imborsing the Suflciers the Damages sustained by them in the 
kite Biota ; <m which Account the Trustees thought it a yeiy unseasouT 
able Time to make the Bate in Question ; but the Persons who had 
adyanced the 3,000L upon the Credit of the Tolls, some time afterwards 
i^f^«"*'*g yery uigent for the Bepayment of their M<niey, it was 
nenssssfy in Justiee to them to proceed in making the Bate ; howeyer, 
as more than three months was expired since the Cessation of the Tolls, 
the TVoatees preyionsly took the Opinions of two eminent Counsel as 
to the LMpditr of the Measure, who ooth ooocurred in Sentiment, that 
the WokSm of the Act, (within three Months) which reUte to the 
maldnff of the Bate were directory only, and that a Bate then made 
woidd be good ; however, they reoommeiided the Opinion of the Court 
of Kinsfs Bendi to be taken, upon an Application by the Creditors 
vndflrtbe Act for a Mandamus to eompei the Trustees to raise the 
Money due by A ssiissnumt, and such Appiicatioo was in last Michaelmas 
Tenn made to that Court aoooniingly. In the Affidavits upon which 
the Applicatkm was grounded, it was paitienlariy stated that the Time 
ifipointed for the nuudng of the Bate was expired ; the Court was 



70 A CENTCTRY OF BIBIONOHAM LIFE. 

therefore fully acquainted with that Fact, and in granting the Mandamna^ 
hath, it is conoeived, declared its Opinions of the Liegality of the 
Meaaore. The TniateeB therefore did not in the least ei^ect that the 
Bate thus sanctioned could have met with any Opposition ; nor do they 
apprdiend the CixtmniBtance of the Burthen or Hardship, which it is 
suggested by the Delay in making the Bate may be cast on a different 
Set of Persons from uiose on whom it would have fallen within the 
three months, can hare mndi, if any Wei^t, when it is considered that 
the few Individuals whom it may affect m tiiis respect now enjoy the 
full Benefit and Advantage of the Improvement in havinf^ a commodious 
and safe, instead of a narrow and dangerous Fkussaee (liable to Floods, 
which are now effectually prevented) over the Bric^ m Question, and 
that probably without having paid any Part of the Tolls which were 
collected for sudi Improvements. 

The Bate when collected will be insufficient to repay the Debt 
inenned, thirteen of the Trustees having, in Oonfidence of obtaining a 
new Act, voluntarily advanced 1300Z. to ezpediate the Improvements, 
and there being also other unsatisfied Debts to a considerable AmounL 
all of which must be provided for either by Toll% or an additional 
Bate ; for surely the Town and County cannot think it fit and reason- 
able that the Burthen should fall on a few Individuals, who have 
bestowed mudi Time and Attention to this Business (having attended 
more than 70 Meetings at which they have bome their own Expences), 
and who are conscious to themselves of deserving the Thanks and not 
the Censure of the Public thou^ the Tolls have unfortunately been 
leas productive, and the £xpenaituie in putting the Act in Execution, 
more especially in sinking the Bed of the Biver, hath much exceeded 
what was expected. 

The Pkt>ceedingB of the Trustees at each Meeting, and the Statement 
of the Accounts, together with the Cases above mentioned, and the 
Opinions of Ccnmsel thereon, may be seen by applying to Messrs. 
Barker and Unett. RABmcR and unsit, 

Solidton to the Trustees. 

The Constable of Birminfffaam now entered upon the 
contest It is dear that lu*. Atkins was alive to the 
interests of his parish, and had no desire that it should be 
saddled with a levy to pay for the Bridge : — 

DsRiTEirD BaiDOv. 



September S6, 1790.— Whereas Notice has been given of an intended 
AppUoation to Pwliament lor Powers to raise Mon«qr to disehazge a 
Beoi ineaired in ereoting Deritend Bridge: and, whereas, there is 
Beason to expeet that an attempt will be made to saddle the Pkrish of 
Urmingfaam with Levies, to defray the Expenee ci Building the said 
Bridge, situated in the Parish of Aston, and makinff other Improvements 
in the said Parish: I am requested to eali a Town^ Meeting on Tuesday 
nezt^ at the Pablic Offiee, precisely at Eleven o^Cioek in tSe Forenoon, 
Firsts To oonsider of opposing soch an Attempt; and, Seoondlv, To 
deviee-soflh Means as may oanse the Money to be raised by an ef&oeni 
Toll on the Bridge ; which is the onlv fidr Mode of makiiig every one 
eontribate In ezaet Proportion to the Benefit he may reoeive. 

Birmlnghsmj Sept ^ 1796. Thoxas AvEnra^ Constable. 



PUBLIC LIFB AND EVENTS. 71 

The meeting was held; and the opinions of the inhabi- 
tants will be gathered fix>m the following report : — 

DraiTEin) Bridos. 
Oetober 3, 1796. — ^At a nameroos and respectable Meeting of the 
InhabitantB of Rrmin^^iam, held this Day at the Pablio Office, agreeable 
to AdTertisement in Aris's and Swinnexs Newvpapera ; 

Mr. BA.BTH. Bbdfbrit in the Cnair ; 
The following Beeolntions were propoeed and agreed to : — 

1. ^niat aa deritend Bridge is a Gbnntj Bridge, and not in the 
Puiah of Birmingham, it is anjost that a Ijdvj should be imposed on 
the said Parish to defiay the Ekpence of erecting it 

2. That the most eanitable Mode of making; every one oontribnte in 
exact Proportion to tae Benefit he may receive, is to obtun Power to 
establish an efficient Toll on the Bridge. 

3. That the Overseers and Constables for the Time being, with five 
other rsspectabia Inhabitants, to be now nnmed, be appointed as a 
Committee to watch the Proceedings in Parliament ; and to endeavour 
to prevent the Parish of Binninghun (alreadpr sufficiently oppressed by 
Levies) from being subjected to any additional Burthen towaru 
Improvements in another Parish ; and that any Five be empowered to 
Act 

The following Gentlemen were chosen accordingly : Messrs. Bartho- 
lomew Bedfem, John Collard, Thomas Cooper, Joseph Fearon, James 
Pickard. 

4. That the aaid Committee have Power in the Name of the Inhabi- 
tants of Birminc^iam to emplov Counsel and oppose in both Houses of 
l^rliaroent, bv Petition, or otherwise, any dause in the intended, or 
any future Btu for the same Purpose, which mav sulMcct the Parish of 
Birmingham to pay any more to wands the said Bridge and Improve- 
ments Aan what may be imposed in the fonn of a Toll upon the Bridge ; 
and that the Expence attending such opposition be paid by the 
Constables^ and charged in their Accounts to the Town. 

5. That these Besolutions be signed by the Chairman, entered in 
the Church Levy Book, and Printeid in U^th the Birroinfl^am News- 
papers. Babth. Rbdpsrv. 

Resolved, That the Thanks of this Meeting be given to the Chairman 
for his impsrtial Conduct ; and also to Mr. Atkins for his readiness in 
calling thu Meeting. Bimingham, September 27, 1796. 

The next extract is a curious little episode in the history of 



October 31, 1790.— The Purdiasers of Ashted Chapel intend to Let 
Settings at Prices specified fai a Scheme, to be had at the Chapel itMl^ 
on account of the Ofgan^ fta 

Everv Sitting Is understood to be let for one vear. and, without 
Haifa Yeai's Notice, the Ooenpier will be supposed to bold on for the 
subsequent Tear. The said Benta to be collected quarterly. It muat 
be dear to eveiy impartial Person, that the Prices are more moderate 
than could have been ezpectecL and that they are varied more for the 
Sake of Accommodatfon than nom any real DifTerenoa. Non^ are at 
an Inconvenient Diatance from the Deak and Pulpit 

As it has been lamented that there is not gratuitous AcoommodaUon 
for the Poor in other Churches and Cbapela, the Purdmsers beg leave 
to snggeat^ upon the Intimation of respectable Friends^ that they will 



72 A CENTUBY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

treat for any Number of Sittings which the charitable and humane 
may be disposed to sabecribe for. 

It must oe obvious to eveir candid Mind that the Pamhaaers can 
expect little more than Indemnification, and that their principal 
Satis&ction arises from securing an Orthodox Place of Wonhip to the 
true Friends of the Church of £ngland. 

Martial as Birmingham was at this period, and ready as 
her people were to enter either army, or navy, or the 
volunteer service, any exemption from military duty was 
a boon of which they knew the value. On November 21, 
the editor informs his readers that, ''In {)erusixiff the act 
for providing an augmentation to the Militia, we have had 
the pleasure to ob^rve that this town is excused from 
raising any men. The other parts of the county of Warwick 
are to raise 900, the county of Stafford 2095, Salop 1558, 
Leicestershire 928, and Worcestershire 825 men." 

The monotony of the year was relieved by a naval victory. 
On August 17, Admiral Elphinstone captured the Dutch 
fleet in Saldanha Bay. The news reached Birmitigham in 
November, and was thus received : — 

I irmingham. November 7. — On Fridajr, on the aniTal here of he 
important intelJigenoe of the eaptnre of the Dutch sqnadnMi, the bells 
of the ohnrohes were ning, gona were fired, and the genetml £lndnim 
which was diffosed over the countenance of every lover of his eoantry, 
evinced how warmly he lelt this new and onezDected sncoasa 

War brought its troubles as well as its rejoicings. 
Immediately after reading the account of bell-ringing and 
gun-firing, the other side of the shield was displayed m an 
unwelcome announcement Uke this : — " By the n«w tax the 
postage of a single letter from the metropolis to this iown 
will be sevenpence.*' 

Again futile attempts were made for the better observance 
of the Lord's Dav .' — 

Birmingham Pablic OiBce, December 9^ 1790.— At a ICeeting held 
here this Svening, pnrsosnt to an Advertisement inserted in the last 
Birmingham Gazette, relating to the resolation of the GLergy, Ghnrdi- 
wardens, Peace Officersi and the Overwers of the Poor, for sSfoi^g the 
better Observance of the Lord's Day, the Constables and a nvmber of 
Gentlemen then present, actoated by a sincere Denre to (vomote the 
Welfiue of the Commoaityy volnntunlv offered to meet at the Vestries 
belonnng to the Chorelies and Chapels before Divine Service, to visit 
the a^aoent Neiflhboiiriiood, in order to enforce the decent Observance 
of the Sabbath, oy preventing the luilawfol Ezerdse of Trades^ and 
the assembling of riotoos and disorderiv Persons, nstng these nnlawlbl 
Sports and Ptatimes which liave Istely disgraced the PoBce of the town. 

And as the Profiination of the Sabbath is productive of infinite 
Misehieis, and fkeooently the first Step to the Commlssien of the most 
heinous CMmes ana.Offimces towaids God and Man, theymort coidiallj 
invite all JViends to Beligion and good Order of every Denominatloii 



PX7BLI0 LIFE AKB EVENTS. 73 

to aiBut in this work so omontiillj neoeoaiy to the Peaoe^ Socority, 
Wdfim. and HappinMs of Sodetr. 

And in order to preeenre the Spirit of theM Beeolations, they have 
oonfinned the Meetings to be held at this Qffioe the first Friday in 
ereiy fntnre Month, at Six o'Clodc in the Erening, to receive Beporte, 
and to consider of each Measnres to be taken as may promote this 
Purpose, 80 devoutly to be wished. 

At the present day people are afitatiiig for good and 

cheap dinnera At Glasgow, Mr. Cor bett has proved by his 

many cooking d^pdts that it is possible to provide a good 

fliabBtantial meal at an almost ludicrously small cost 

London, and other places, are trying the experiment At 

the end of 1796, a Birmingham man, impressed with the 

importance of the subject, especially to the poor, made the 

following admirable suggestions : — 

December 26, 1796. 

Mr. Pearson, — Sir, — ^While we are grateful to a kind Providence for 
giving ns such an abundant harvest^ and while we admire the wiidom 
and attention of Government^ in bringing so large a stock of foreign 
com into the kinffdom, as so effeotoafiy to coonteraot the rapadty of 
unfeeling monopolisers, that we have again the blessing of bread at a 
moderate price ; we have still to lament that Meat contmnes so dear, 
and consequently difficult to be obtained by the poor. While this is 
the ease, it appears strange to me that small cooks shops are not more 
generally estaolished in every town, for selling provisions ready cooked, 
and paiticttlariy ^ood eoup, than whieh notning is more satisfying, 
nothing mors nounshing. For, in general, the poor are so deficient m 
the requisites iat cooking, viz., knowledge of tne art, proper utensils^ 
and a cood fhre^ that what little meat they are enabled to buy is near 
one tfa&d lost ; where as if women who have been cooks in gentlemen's 
fiunilies were to keep small shops of this kind, they would, by buying 
their beel^ oatmeal, leeks^ oniona and other carden stufl^ at the best 
hand, be enabled to put provinons upon the poor man's table at 
half the price he Is enabled to do it himself; for it is to be lamented, 
that in general the wives of artificers in manuihcturing towns are but 
moderately qualified for domestic duties. Thev are meetly brought up 
In shops mm infiuiev» and conseouently have but few opportunities of 
kaming to sew, knit^ make np linen, mend deaths^ cook, &c And 
though it Is rather foreign to my psesent purpose^ I cannot help throwing 
out a hint — ^That an institution* to teadi shop giris how to conduct 
themselves usefully as wives in the little arts above mentioned, would. 
In my opinion, be a very desumble one : ibr if women could find out 
that great asoret of making home oomfortahle and agreeable^ less of the 
aooroe of thehr comforts (money) woold be squandered at the ale house 
by their hoebands. 

I do hope, Sir, that these hints, conveyed throuffh the extensive 
eirde of your paper, may be produetive of some good; and if the pUn 
fe not adopted in the way wliioh I have already recommended for the 



^ The writer of this letter was fiur in adfaace of his sfe. We are only at 
ipieeaittisMr ^~ 
in the year 17M. 



thepieeait tijne fally recogirfeing sflid actiiig upon this wise suggestion inade 
tnsyesi 



74 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFK 

mutaal advantage of the buyer and seller, I would propoee a subscription 
to establish a large Ck>oking Kitchen, where provisions being purchaaed 
at the Tery best hand, and being made the most of by a good cook (for 
bad ones only spoil provisions) might be retailed out at low prices. 
And pray let me ask — ^Why would not the Cooking^ Gomnany sound as 
well as the Bread and Flour Company 9 Cooking is no aespicable art^ 
but^ on the oontraiy, it reflects great honour upon the human species, 
inasmuch as it is a marked distinction from the brute creation ; for I 
believe a man is the only cooking animal In the universe. 



One of these cooldng shops was opened in Peck Lane. It 
supplied the poor with gooa meat soup at a penny a quart 
It was opened on Thursday, January 5, 1797> and on the 
first day 300 quarts were sold, and on Saturday 400. '* It 
was very pleasant,** we are told, ''to observe the satis&ction 
which ihe plan gave to the objects whom it was intended 
to relieve." The practice was continued for some time, and 
was no doubt instrumental in lessening the great distress 
which then prevailed in the town. 

The Sunday question still gave much trouble to the 

authorities, cleric and lav. At an adjourned meeting of the 

^ Peace officers and inhaoitants," held on February 3, it was 

BesolTod, That the Town be divided into fire Districts, for the 
Ghui^ and C3iapel Wardens, the OTerseers of the Poor, Peace .Officers, 
and other Inhabitvits of the Town, to visit the present Month. 
And thev have been authorised by our worthy Magistrates to give 

Siblie Notice^ that whatever compUints are made to them 'of the 
readi of the Laws relating to the Sabbath, however respectable the 
Parties, they are determined to execute impartial Justice on all 
Ddinquents that may be brought before them, bei^ desirous of 
supporting the Officers of the Town in this laudable fiegulation, so 
essentially neeessaiy to the Wel&re of the Oommunity. 

The Duke of York had ordered a return to be made of 
the billeting accommodation of the public houses throughout 
the country. From this return we find that 3,286 men, and 
1,329 horses could be accommodated by the publicans of 
this town. 

The public credit was in jeopardy at this time. By an 
order in council on February 26, the Bank of England had 
been restricted from cash payments ; and one pound notes 
were issued on the 4th of liarch. Birmingham at once gave 
support to the authorities; for on March 6th we read : — 

A T«iy numerous meeting of the Merchants and Tradesmen of this 
town was held at the Hotel on Thursdajr, to consider of the most 
effectual means of supporting public credit at the p re se n t juncture, 
when unanimous resolutions were entered Into not onlT to take in 
pajment upon all occasions notes of the Bank of Ei^lanc^ but the fiire 
gnmea and other notes of the Banks of this Town, ffimikur resolations 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTa 75 

hftTv been entered into at other ]>lacee, and it is nneerelj to be hoped 
all penwns will be as aoooounodating to each other as ponible in the 
eutnlation of the specie^ as the only means of arerting a jnobable 
calamity^ which the hoarding of money at the present crisis is more 
likely to create than any one cause whateyer. . 

One of the poweifu reasons which operated upon Gbyemment to 
order the Bank to withhold for the present their payments in specie^ is 
the circamstance of an Englidi guinea now selling at Hamburgh from 
S3 to S4 shillings ; and the Jews had found secret means to export our 
coin thither by thousands weekly. 

The following brief note is illustrative of the period : — 

April 3, 1797.^-We think it necesearr to inform our readers that^ 
after Wednesday, any person wearing a hat without the Stamp in it 
directed by Act <n Pluiiament is liable to a penalty often pounds. 

The next extract records the completion of a ''work of 

peace:*' — 

WoBGUnR AVD BiBMIVOHAX CaJTAL TuHNBL. 

April 10^ 1797^— This gieat tunnel ia at length comnleted. Hie first 
brick of ait stupendous woric was laid on the 28tn of July, 1794, 
and it was wholly arched over on the 25th of Februanr, 1797. It is 
also worthy of remark, that Seyenteen hundred and eighty-two yaids^ 
two feet, and a^t inches, were finished from the 1st of January, 1796, 
to the 1st of Januaiy. 1797. At the conmiencement of this undertaking, 
the practicabili^ oi it was treated with the greatest ridicule and 
reprobation : it was said that the embanimenttj the deq:> euttinff^ and the 
ttiuul, could not be executed ; we can. howeyer^ at this moment say, 
that by the mat skill and attention ot the Engmeen, Messra Jones 
and Osrtwri^t^ the whole of this business is most substantially <^ti^«l»H 
The extent S ue tunnel is upwards of a mile and a half, and yet so 
straight that it may be seen from one end to the other, and the accuracy 
of t& brick-work is well worthy the attention of any arahiteet or 
brieklayer. 

We need not wonder that at such a time of general 

Ignorance newspapers were severely taxed. The goveming 

powers looked with no friendly eye upon the growing 

importance of the Press, and were not scrupulous in the 

means they employed to check and restrain it A new Tax 

was this year imposed upon newspapers by Parliament ; and 

for once our beloved Ana becomes mdiffnant, and gives the 

^ powers that be," a bit of his mind It is quite refinwhing 

to read this little outburst of genuine feeling : — 

New Tax Urov NswaPAms. 

May 1, 1797ii — ^If anj thincr could increase our suiprise aft the 
llinistei's unjust, unpohtic^ ana enormous additional Tax upon News- 



papa% it is the tame aoquiescence with which the propoaitioa 
l ecdv ed in the House on Wednesday last Vt the independent Membera 
not one of whom had f eeliBg enough for the most numerous daas oc 
their constituents, to resist an impost whidi must deprive that daas in 
erary part of the kingdom of tlie gratification, or (as the HinittiT 
pleases to term it) of t£e Luxury of reading the public news. 



76 A CENTUBT. OF BIBMINOHAM LIFK 

Had they made the least oppositioii, Mr. Pitt^ we are oonyinoed, 
would not liave preased the measore ; and we now persoade ourselyeB, 
when he comes to consider what a draw back it will occasion upon the 
Bevenne it will ultimately be given up. If he means the tax to opente 
as a restriction upon the libe^ of tne press, he has missed his aun ; — 
weekly and diurnal politics, however dear the purchase, wj]] still be 
read l^numbers, though not so uniTersally, and ine image of Uie Snake 
in the*IVkble, which could not do otherwise than turn wien trod upan^ 
will serve as a fit emblem to decorate the head of every paper of 
character in the kingdom. 

Newspapers have hitherto been a very productive source of revenue; 
but^ we assert iL if the tax is laid^ tney will be so no longer — ^many 
must fall, and those that survive the shock will experience such an 
abridgement of sale and advertisements, as will entirely counteract the 
views of the Minister. He will do in the present instance, as he has 
done by the Wine Tax, the produce of wnidi since he imposed the 
additional duty, it i^pears from a conversation, on Thursday, in the 
House of Oommons^ is deficient one third of the sum at which he 
calculated it. 

When he talked of luxttriei^ did it not ooouf to him that there was 
scarcely a house of any opulence in the kingdom, in which there were 
not musical instruments of some kind or other! Or does he deem music 
paper, which is sold by thousands of reams jper annum, 2esf a luxtwv 
than axl advertising Joum id. whidi the profession of numbers necess^ 
tates them to take in f We. trust the Minister wiU re-oonsider the 
subject^ and if he will levy part of the monev proposed to be tmisod on 
such articles as those just mentioned, and lay only a tmall additional 
duty on public prints, he will, we are convinced, find his purpose best 
answerea. 

The next allusion io the subject is in a slightly different 
tone: — 

Birmingham, June 26, 1707. — ^The Act which kys so heavy an 
additional Duty on Newspapers reoelTed the Boyal Assent on Thursday, 
and the Printer laments that it will oblige him, as well as the Printers 
of all other respectable Country Papers^ to advance the priee of their 
publication^ aftsr the 6th of next month, io Sixpenoe. 

Eveiy exertion was made by the j^nssion in general to prerent so 
heavy an Impost, but they found the tadgfsoitim of the State sopeneded 
the consideration of all the arguments they had to offer. 

Under these dreumstances the Printer of This Ghueette relies upon 
the justice and liberality of his Friends, and trusts the Publie will with 
cheerfulness comply with a regulation wbldi neoesslty Imposes ; but 



should any of his customers, in eooaeqiMDoe of the unavoldaDle adTance 

nehlsPki 



of pice^ determine to diseontinue his rapei% he earnestly raqoeets th^ 
will ipve a week's notioe to -the distribator, as the Stamp office (not 
aliowmg of any returns) will oblige him to pay the duty upon erery 
sheet he strikes of^ whether be sells it or not 



The dispute about the payment for Deritend Bridge 
continued; and on May 22, Henry Parker, defk to the 
subscribers, issued the following notice. — 

To the Inhabitante of Birmlofl^iam, Hamlel of Deritend, and liber^ 
of Bordesley. 



PUBLIC UFE AND EVENTS. 77 

Dbbitskd Bbidox. 
Wbereas the Actinff Oommiasioners naiued in an Act of Parliament 
for erectinff Deritend Bridge, notwithstanding the^ (aooording to the 
opinions of two eminent Connsel, Messrs. GibM and Bomill^) have now 
no legal Claim, persist in enforcing the Payment of One Shilling in the 
Pound on all Houses of or above £10 a year, in the said Parish. Hamle^ 
and LibMBrty, and 6d. in the Pound upon all Lands. And whereas on 
Ihe 8th instsnt they, by Viriue of a Warrant, seised the Goods of Mr. 
John Collazd,* Hatter, of the High Street— This is to inform all those 
liable to be treated in the same Manner, -that it is intended to bring 
the Matter to l^gal Issue, by an Action of Trespass, supported by 
▼olnntaiy Subscriptions ; and that a Deputation of those Qentlemen 
who are determined to oppose what they consider to be an Imposition 
jFill call on each Individual liable to this Claim, to receiye their 
Cmdtributions towards coYering the Expenoe ; and the Subscribers are 
requested to meet at the Castle Inn, in the High Street, on Monday, 
the 12th day of June nezt^ at Eleren o'Clock in the Forenoon, to 
i^point a Committee to superintend, the Proceedings. 

HxNBT Parker, 
Birmingham, May 22, 1707. Clerk to the present Subscribers. 

Here is another proof of the heavy hand with which 

the Chancellor of the Exchequer imposed burdens upon 

trade: — 

Tax ov Clocks and Watobis. 

Jufy 17, 1797. — At a General Meeting, held pursuant to Adyertise- 
ment, at the Shakespere Tavern, of Persons concerned in the Clock 
and Watch, and Watch Chain and Toy Trades, the following BmoIu- 
tions were adopted unanimously : — 

Besdved, L That a large Piroportion of the Manufacturers of 
BJrmmgham are dependent for the Support of themselves and Families 
upon the Clock and Watch, and Watch Chain and Toy Trades. 

Resolved, II. That it is the Opinion of this Meeting that the 
intended Tax upon Clocks and Watches, in its present Form, will be 
hi^y injurious to the Trade of this Town, by HimiTiwliing in a veiy 
gnat Degree the Demand for those Artides, and their Appendages. 

Resolved, III. That notwithstanding our Apprehensions of the 
probable effects of the Tax as proposed, yet so fvuly sensible are we of 
the necessity of contributing to supply the exigencies ci the State. 
and of the Difficulty of finding fit Objects for Taxation, that we feel 
disposed dieerfully to aoaniesoe in the Measure, providing it be so 
modified as to remove the IHmger of injuring our Tnde. 

Resotvedy lY. That it appears to this Meeting, that the evil dreaded 
would in a great Degree be prevented, provided the proposed exceptions 
be made in Favour of Persons living in Houses not assessed to the 
House and Window Duties, all hired Servants and Aj^rentices living 
in Houses not chaiged to the Inhabited House Duty, and all Seamen 
and Soldiers. 

Resolved^ V. That the Thanks ol this Meetingbe presented to the 
Chainaan, for his attention to the Rusiness of the Day. 

WnxiAK Smitb, 



* A notice of this Birmingham worthy will be found in the chapter on the 
Poet Firaeth. 



78 A CENTUEY OF BIBMINGHAM LIFE. 

Once more we have to consider the 

DunTsnD Biinx>E IUtb» 

October 9, 1797. — Sevend Inhabitants of the Town having been 
a^;ain summoned before the Magistrates to shew CSauae why they 
OBJected to pay the Deritend Bridge Bate, and having consented to 
disdiaige the same — ^thoae Occupiers of Houses and Land who have 
not yet paid the^ several Sums assessed upon them, are informed, that 
the Collectors wiU attend at their Houses for the Purpose of receiving 
the same ; and all Persons who object to pay, upon Application, will be 
summoned before the Magistrates without nirther notice 

The present Bate (whidi is One Shilling in the Pound upon Houses 
of the value of Ten Pounds a year and upwards, and Sixpence in the 
Pound upon Land) is the only Bate which the Trustees have a Power 
to make by the Act of Parliament * 

Barker asd XJnett, Solidtors. 

Notwithstanding the heavy taxes, the bitter distress of 
the people, aad the general ruin which seemed hanging over 
the conntiy, the loyalty of the nation was as strong as ever. 
Every royal birthday was celebrated with the utmost 
enthusiasm ; and the news of a victory obtained by our 
forces, either military or naval, was the signal for an out- 
burst of almost delirious jov. In this year, on October 
11, Admiral Duncan defeated the Dutch fleet off Camper- 
down, and Birmingham received the news in the manner 
described below : — 

October 23, 1797.-yTh6 fmovineial papers teem with acooonts of the 
Tejoidnff and enthusiasm with whidi tne news of the fflorioos defeat 
of the Xhitoh Fleet has been received in eveiy part of the kingdom. 
Hie demonstrations of joy have been continued in this town for several 
days. On Monday momioff, the First Begiment of Dragoons (the 
Boyals), attended by Odonel Kinsey and the other Officers, with their 
excellent band of mnsio, were drawn up in New Street^ opposite the 
new Inn now erecting by Mrs. Llovd, and after going throoffh their 
several mancnivres, fired three grand voUies, which were saluted by the 
load and general cheers of the popolaoe. In the afternoon the gentlemen 
of the Loval Birmingham Association assembled in St Philip^ Chorch- 
yard, and likewise fired three voJlies, for the first time since their 
appMuranoe in arms. Toesdav was nshered in like the other days, by 
nnginff of bells, and other pablio rejoidngs. and the evening eondaded 
with Fireworks, and one of the most genenu and splendid lUamittations 
ever witnessed in this Town. 

Beioicing was followed by thanksgiving. The extract^ in 
whiw this is recorded, also informs ns that the parade was 
at this time in New-street : — 

December 26, 1797w»Tiiesday was strictly observed here as a day of 
General Thank^ving. All tlie sliops were shot, and every Ghnrch 
and Place of Worship nooommonly crowded.. The Military Assodationa 
of Oavalnr and Infantry (the latter with their new band of music) 
assemUea on the parade in New Street— from whence they prooseded 
in regular order, the former to the Old Ghudiy and the latter to 



PtTBLIC LIFE AND EVEKia 79 

St nulif/fl, where eennoiis saitable to the oocaaion were proached by 
the Bey. Speneer Madan^ and the Bey. J. Cooke. 

Our townsmen showed their loyalty in a better fashion 
than by illaminations. In this month they formed a fund 
for the relief of the ** widows and children of the brave men 
who fell in the service of their coimtry, and of such as were 
wounded in the late glorious engagement" In a few days 
upwards of £400 was raised for this object The year 
closed with the usual contributions to supply Uie poor with 
meat^ bread, and soup. 

Among the articles which the ministers contemplated 

adding to the almost endless list of those already taxed, 

was diat of iron. The injury which such a tax would 

have inflicted on this town and district would have been 

incalculable ; and our manufacturers were most active and 

enen^tic in their efforts to prevent its imposition. A 

meeting was held, and delq^ates appointed to wait on 

Mr. Pitt On April 16, 1798, the result of these efforts 

was thus communicated to the public : — 

We haye the eatiaCactioii to state, that Mr. Gibbcmi, one of the 
delegates of the iron tnule, for the purpoM of ayerthig the intended 
tax on iron, haa reoeiyed a ktter from lir. Qeoi^ Boee, dated tlM 11th 
inatant^ stating that Mr. Pitt has decided not to brinff f orwaid aach a 
tax this Seanon. Thongh this detennination of the Miniater appean 
not to be a total abandonment of the meaaare, jet it afforda ground to 
hope that a further consideration of the strong resaons that haye been, 
and may be adduoed against anch a yexatioos and ruinooa tax (in 
which uiis yerj ponolons nei^^bouihood is so materially interested) 
maj be the means of inducing Mr. Pitt to relinquish the idea for oyer. 

The next extract shows the strong military feeUng of the 
time: — 

Julj 9, 1798.— Early on Satnrdajr moraiog the troops of the First or 
Boyal B^giment of "bi^gotmM, wnich haye been quartered in our 
banacks and town sinoe laat September, marched hence, and took their 
route for Exeter. Aa a Just tribute of respect and thankfulness, the 
Birmingham Li^t Horse attended their frienda and instructon out of 
town ; and the lioyal Association of Infantiy politely mustered, and 
aalutcd in line the Ofltors and troops as they quitted the Place. On no 
occasion shall we ezecnto our dutf with fnaXeir pleasure than in 
fiipiesBlng how justly this is the puolie opimon of this fine HMriplt^H 
ngiment. During their stay here, the conduct of the men has been 
ezempbiy, motml, and civii ; and the polite^ eonatant, and friendly 
attention of lieutenant Colonel Kinsey and the other Offioere haa hm 
such aa to be beyond any ptaiae we can bestow. Whoever the Boyala 

S^ thither will they ewr be followed by the grateful remembrance and 
St wishes of the Town. 

Hie same moniiitf the Boyala left ui^ troopa of our old acquaintance 
the Third or King? Own I>n^oons^ marched into the Town from 
NoCtiiigham. 



80 A OENTUBT OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

The next two extracts refer to a public undertaking of 
importanca It is strange to find that it was proposed to 
provide a Public Office by the adoption of the tontine plan, 
and not by rates : — 

Pablio OffioBp July 25, 1798. — ^At a nnmeraufl and respectable 
Meetizig held tluB Day (affreeable to notice by AdTertisement in Aria's 
Binningham Gazette of tne 23rd Instant), for the purpose of submitting 
to the Consideration al the Town, the Propriety of taking late 
Mansell's House, situate in High Street, for a Pablic Office, Qiarles 
Uoyd in the Chair ; 

The several Plans and Estimates for altering and repairing the 
House in New Street (late Bedford's) and the House (late ManseU's) in 
the Hi^-etreet^ for the gsneral Accommodation of the Justices, 
Overseers, Oommiasioners of lAmps and ScaTengers, and Town at large, 
having been taken into Consideratioii^ and a new Plan having been 
produced for erecting anew Building adapted for all the above purposes, 
with an addition thereto of a large Boom for Public Town Meetings, 
the Money to be paid for the same to be raised by Subscription of l%n 
Pounds each, on a Tontine Plan, and the interest thereof at 6 per cent, 
together witn the Qround Bent, to be paid, one Half by the Constables, 
B3M, the other Half by the OominisBionerB of Lamps and Scavengers ; 

Besolved unanimondy, That^ taking all Circumstances into Con- 
sideration, this new I^lan is most likely^ to answer the Purposes 
intended, and that it will be a great Convenience to the Town. 

July 30, I70&-— At a respecteble Meeting d the Inhabitants of this 
town^ on Wednesdav last^ it was unanimously resolved to erect^ upon a 
Tontme plan, a Building for the accommodatioii of the Magistrates^ the 
Commissioners of Lamps, &&. and Town at large. Six Hundred and 
Fifty Pounds has been alreaay subscribed to eLOOurage this eligible 
plan. 

The Overseers and Qoardians of the poor had long been 

troubled as to the best manner of dealing with pauper 

childreiL The plui adopted was that of patting them out 

to nurse ; but the evils resulting from the ^stem were very 

great Accordingly, in 1797, uiey took some premises in 

Summer Lane, and formed them into an Asylum for the 

Infismt Poor. The result of its first yearns existence are 

^ven in the following report : — 

BiBimroHAif Abtlum, Sumx la Lava. 
July 17, 179a— At an Annual Meeting of the Committee fer the 
conducting this Institution, calculated not only to promote Economy 
in the PtSochial Be?enue^ but to pr essr ?i the Health and Morals^ to 
educate and train up the In&nt floor la Habits of Industry and 
Usefulness— It appeared that in an average of S48 Children, very 
considerable Savii^ had been made (beside pranoting the above useful 
and important PurpoeesX the annual Sxpenditore not being Thrse- 
fourthsofthatofOnt-nnxiiing; and notwithstanding the Baye of several 
infectious Diseases, which nearly perfaded the imolo Family, yet not 
more than seven died during the whole Year;— added to these 
AdTantM;es they hare been taught to raad. the Females have knit 
several Hundred Fairs of Stockings, besides Sewing, repairing Cloath% 



PUBLIC UFK AND EVENTa 81 

and ooliBidembly ludiog in the Domestio BonuesB. Taking the aboFo 
into Ooncidaration, and aware of the peeoliar Importance to this Town 
to have a Bnceeesion of Female Senranto for its Saf>ply, as weU as 
to fiMTward the present laudable and needful Disposition to Family 
Soonomy-— 

Kesolved, That an Advertisement be inserted in Arises Birmingham 
Gazette, stating that any restieetable Family may, by Application 
ct the Asylum, have the IVial of one, as a Servant for one Year, 
and, if approved, to be bound for the remainiog six. Several nseful, 
well behaved Boys may be also had on Trial, as Apprentices to 
If anufiustnrers. 

NJB. — ^Knitting in Cotton, or Worsted, done on reasonable Terms. 

In the next week's Oazette, the editor thus ui^es the 

cUiins of the Asylum upon the inhabitants : — 

September 3» 1798. — ^We cannot but seriously recommend to the 
notice of our readers, the benefits which the town mav derive from 
taking the children of the poor into their families, since their education 
and employment^ in the Asylum* have so fitted them for sudi services^ 
by habits of nsefol industry, and moral order. 

Deritend Bridge is still a source of trouble to the 
Trusteea The expenditure, as is usual in such cases, 
exceeded the receipts; and the trustees give^ notice that 
they shall apply to Parliament for ''fresh powers:" — 

DxRimrD Bridge. 

August 17, 1708. — ^Whereas an Act of Parliament was made and 
pased in the S8th Tear of the Beign of his prssent Majesty, entitled 
** An Aet finr rebuilding the Bridge over the Biver Bea, at the Town of 
Birmingham, called Deritend Bridge, and widening the Avenues thereto, 
and for widening and varyinff the Oourse of the said River near the 
•aid Bridge, and making a Weir, and other necessary Works to prevent 
the lower Bui of the said Town from being overflowed ;*' and the 
Expenditure therein having neoe«arilv exceecMd the Money which the 
Tnstees b^ such Act were empowered to raise ; Notice is herebv given 
that Appheation will be made to Parliament in the next Session, for 
fresh Powers to enable the Trustees to raise Money by a Toll upon the 
BiidfB^ to pay off and discham the principal Sums now remaining 
unpaid^ and toe Inte rost tbereoL 

Babksr avd Utf nr, SolidtorB. 

The joy at Lord Duncan's victory over the Dutch, in 
1797» survived the events and it was resolved to celebrate 
its anniversary in a useful and appropriate manner. This 
18 the note preliminary : — 

September 17, 1798. — ^We understand it is in contemplation to 
eelebraie *the Annivenaiy of the glorious Victory obtained on the 
11th ofOetober iast^ by Admhral Lord Duoeao, over the Dntoh Fleet, 

*The Aiylam bnildlng it still standing in Snmmer Lane, with the original 
Beehive on the tablet in front. The children were ramofed in 185i, when 
the present Wockhouse, at Bimii^gham Heath, was opened, 

n. 



82 A CENTURY OF BIBMINaHAM LIFE. 

by a Qrand Conoert of Vocal and Instninie&tal Masic, for the benefit 
of Mr. Jeremiah Clark,* of thki Town. 

When we reoollect how highl j the lo^en of harmony were gratified 
by the admirable perfi>rmanoe grataitonsly direoted by this Gentleman, 
for the Benefit of the Widowe and Orptians of the brave Seamen who 
weie killed or wonnded in that ever memorable action, we cannot donbt 
that the pnblio in general, and the infaabitanti of thie town in particolar, 
will diiplay their usual liberality npon the oooaBion, and we are 
perraaded the performance will be muh. as will amply repay their 
generosity* 

But this year our naval forces obtained a still greater 
Yictory. On August the Ist, the invincible NelJson won the 
Battle of the Nile. The news reached Birmingham on 
October the 8rd; it was brought and received in this 
Quumer 3— 

October 8, 1798.— The arriTal of the Mail Coacii <m Wednesday last^ 
deoonted with ribbons, and with oolonrs fMng on it, annonncea to ns 
that it broQffht official particnlars of the glorions victory atohicTed by 
the brave iTelson; and the Town instantly exhibited a scene of the 
most enthosiastio joy and eznitation. Here, as elsewhere^ a mneral 
Binging, Firing, and Ulominatlon took plsoe ;•— the Beffiment m Scots 
Gray% the Co^ of Ixiyal Associated Uftndry and Insmtiy, paraded 
and fired ; and evety patriotic breast was wanned with the most jost 
and raptnroos trinmpn of the British Tua orer the Enemies of their 
Count^ and Mankind. fVom almost evafy Town within onr cirenit, 
we have receiTed similar aeoonnis. Indeed our paper would not contain 
all that has been written ns ; and onr friends ana oorrespondents will 
be aware^ howerer strong their rmp^Mre wishes, that it wonld ill 
become ns to giro the detail of what passed at any one particular place, 
in prefersnce to all the rest 

November 29 was set apart for a day of National Thanks- 
giving, and eveiy preparation was made for keeping it with 
the utmost decorum. It is true the people were in a 
state of great suffering ; trade was very bad ; the Habeas 
Corpus act had been suspended; Ireland was in a state of 
insurrection ; trials for sedition were goinff on in En^^and, 
and freedom of speech was a by-word. Still Nelson had 
obtained a splendid victofy, and the majority of the ]^ple 
were thoroughly with the stubborn Idi^ and his mimsters. 
In Birminjgham a practical man suggested that the day of 
thanksgiving should be turned to account The tone of his 
letter is in keeping with the deep loyalty of the time, and 
the feelings which the people hcdd towards the King. 

To the Printer of ▲ris's Birmingham Qaastte. 
November ftth, 179tf. — Mr. PearMn, — Oar rereced and mndi lored 
Bovsreign, with that piety whidi at ones adorns and establishes Us 

*lfr. dsik was oigsaist at 8t ICsiy's Chmdi, and the avthor of nsay 
mnsiesl woiks, wUdi ars now cxeeedingly me. 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENT& 83 

ThroiM^ baving, with the advice of hui Privy Gooneil, set iqMut a da^ for 
pablic and general Thankagivinff to Almighty God, for the aignal 
aoeeesBea with whteh He haa lately bleaaed nia Afijeaty'a arma hv aea ; 
his fidthfol BobjeetSy aenaible of the miaeoiaa they have escaped^ and 
of the important bleaainga whidi are thereby oontinned to them, will, 
I donbt not» cordially unite with him in heartfelt thanks-giving to 
the God of all Merdes on the day appointed. Were it possible that the 
kind solidtade of the ^Father of his People** could be fully jmtlfied, 
I am pervmaded not a sigh would be heard, or a tear (except <ngrateful 
joy) would on that daj be shed throngh the land. 

As the mannfiictones throughout this large and populous town will 
of course be shut up, and tluit numerous and valuable class of our 
fellow dticena, the labouring poor, be deprived of the produce of a day's 
labour, and aa many of them at present are not allowed to work more 
than iSrar, and others five days in the week, I be^ leave^ through jrour 
valuable paper, to suggest to the liberal, patriotic, and ingenious 
mannfiMturers of this town, the propriety of permitting such of their 
men who have not full employ, to work the whole of the week preceding 
the 29th instanti and to reserve so mudi out of their money on Saturday, 
the 24th, to be paid them on Wednesday, the 28th, aa shall be equal to 
a good day's wages. Should this hint oe adopted, it wUl dieer the 
hearts of many, and prevent the glow of ridnff gratitude ftom bdng 
diilled by the prospect of a scanty meal, and ttie inabUi^ to provide 
lor the wants of a numerous and cravinff oflEspring. In those cases 
where benevolence is thus discovered, I should hope it is unnecessaiy 
to add, that the objects of it would be bound by the strictest ties of 
ffratitude and justice to employ the money for the comfort of their 
fiunilie^ and not aquander it in intemperance. 

I remain, sir, very respectfully, 

Ak Imhabitakt. 

P.Sw^This hint is equally applicable to the manufacturers of Walsall, 
Wolverhampton, and other towns in the neighbonihood. 

Next week this announcement was made: — 

November 12; 1798. — It is intended, we understand, on the Thanks- 
giving Day, to have a Collection at the doors of all the places of worship 
in the town, for the benefit of the widows and orphans of the brave men 
who fell on the glorious First of Auffust, and we doubt not but the 
collection that wul then be made will manifest the humanity cf every 
individual, and the just sense entertained of the benefit that must accrue 
to our country firom thia most signal victory. In annonndn^ this 
intention here^ our view is to recommend to other places a aimilar 
lesoltttion. 

The way in which the day was kept^ and the amounts 
collected, are given in the two succeeding Gazettes : — 

Birmingham, December 3, 1798. — It is imposdble for us to give 
room to all the accounts tluit have been sent to our office of the 
attention whidi was paid, within the cirooit of this paper, to the 
solemnity of the National Thanksgiving oo Thnnday lait ^ffytifir% 
thersfi»e^ as some of our correspondents seem to bs^ that all the 



particalan they have written us should appear, we must confine 
ouiaelves solely to state that, in this and all the nd^booring towns, 
th* diurdies were Tinusually rrowded, the Volnnteer Ooips of Oftvalry 



84 



A CENTUBT OF BIRMINaHAM LIFEL 



and Infiintry paraded to them, and the devoat aspirations of a gratefol 
people asoeuded in praise and thanksgirinpr to the Supreme Oirer of all 
Victory. In most of the places of worship collections were made for 
the relatiTcs of the brave men who hare fflorioasly fell and suffered in 
the defence of their conntry ; and in tSl the towns some obtect of 
charity appears to have been thought o£ At Wolverhampton, the fine 
body of volunteer Infantry there distributed bee( soup, oread, &e., to 
nearly 1,000 peoplOi The collections made at the churches, dec., hi ih» 
town, and in the neighbourhood, as yet reported to the High Bailiff 
(for some bequests, we believe, are not now sent in) are as IbUowa: — 
In Birmingham 



St Martin's Church 
St Philip^s ditto 
Deritend Chapel 
St MarVfl ditto . 
fit Fanf'sjditto . 
Union diapel 
Livery Street ditto 
Bond Street ditto 
Baptist Chapel 
ditto 



64 



1 



76 12 



7 
59 
42 

41 
3 
6 
9 



19 
6 

7 

14 


2 



d. 

2 






Total in Biimingham 



^^310 2 4^ 



Edgbaston 
Moseley Chapel 
Rowley Begia 
Bilstone 



3 

7 

6 

10 



6 

4 





6 







December 10, 1798.— ColleeCed in Churches, Chapels, ^, as stated 



in our last 

St. Bartholome Va Chapel 
Ashted Chapel 
fkradise Street Chapel 
King Street ditto 
Cherry Street ditto 
Cokshill Sti«et ditto . 
Old Teinnlep Newball Street 
Samuel Pemberton, Esq. 
Benjamin Stokes, Eiq. 
Kinnwood Meeting 
Edgbaston Churdi, In addition 
Harbome Churdi 
Caitle Bromwiob CIniroh 



/334 
7 

4 
1 
7 



10 

Si 



11 
6 
6 
6 
15 
7 19 10 
3 2 
1 
5 
3 

6 
1 
11 



1 
5 
3 
5 

7 
4 









7 



£392 12 5} 



The Sanday qaestion was a ■ooice of great trouble at this 
tiine, as it has been at many periods sinca Our forefitthers 
did their best to preserve order and decorum on the Lord's 
Day; but we are afraid with little success. Here is the 
xecoxd of another attempt in this direction, which shows 



PUBUC LIFE AND EVENXa 85 

the earnestness of the authorities and the cleigy in this 
matter: — 

PBOrAVATZOH OF THS SaBBATE. 

•RiwiingKawi^ PaUic Office, October 26, 179a— Great Complaints 
haTxng lately been made bj many leriona and w^-dispoeed Inhabitanta 
of tlie Town, that Notwithstanding the repeated Admonition of the 
Gharch and Chapel Wardens) many Batchers, Hucksters, and others, 
continue to exercise their Trades on the Lord's Day ; many Publicans 
soffer Tippling in their Houses during DiTine Service ; and many riotous 
and disoraerly Persons assemble themselyes and practise unlawful Sports 
and Pastimes, particularly in a place called the Workhouse Fieldi : — 
Notice is hereby given tliat the Church and Chapel Wardens, by the 
Advice of the Clergy, Peace Officers, Overseers of tiie Poor, and many 
respectable Inhabitants, hav« resolved invariably to present before the 
Magistrates, and publish the names of whomsoever they may hereafter 
find thus offending, without any Respect to Situation or Character. 
Ajid they have the Authority of the undersigned Magistrates for 
stating, that they also are determined strictly to enforce the Laws 
against the P^anation of the Sabbath. They, therefore, earnestly 
entreat l^e concurrent Assistance of the Inhabitanto of every Deme 
and Denomination, to prevent such disorderly Practioes; and exhort 
Parents, and Masters of Fsmilies, to oblige their Cbildi^n, Servants, 
and Apprentices, to reverence and keep hofy the Sabbath Day. 

Ana whereas Pkofaneness, Lnmorahty, and the No^lect of religiously 
observing the Lord's Day amon^ the lower orders of People, are usually 
attended with Poverty and Misery, and brinff heav^ £xpences on the 
Pariah ; the Overseers of the Poor request the inhabitants of the Town 
to give Information to the Vestry Clerk, at the Workhouse, of such 
Persons, who receive Par, and are found guilty of Tippling, Drunken- 
ness, &&, in order that their weekly Pay may he withheld, as they shall 
consider such Objects unworthy of PaitichiM Belief. 

(Signed.) W. Yillers, W. Hicks, Magistrates ; Rev. C. 

Curtis, BMtor, Bev. J. Cook, Curate, and the Bev. Dr. Croft, Lecturer, 
of St Martin's ; Bev. S. Madan, Bector, Bev. W. Woodcodc, Curate, 
and the Bev^ RDales, Lecturer^of St Philip's ; Bev. W. T. Toung, 

r. T. 



Minktorcf St Paul'a; Bev. R Bum, Minister of St MarVs; Bev. _ 
Price, Mjmster of St Bartholomew's ; John CUrk, High Bailiff; Mr. 
Sanden, Low Bailiff; Messrs. Pratehet, Cope, Yale, and Warren, Church 
Wardens ; Hughes, Aston, Bock, and Groves, Chapel Wardens. Signed 
also by the Constables, Headborough, and the Overseers of the Poor. 

The proper r^ulation of public houses is one of the most 

important of our social questiomu The following rules will 

show with what care the authorities looked after this part of 

their public duties, before the town became a Corporation : — 

Biimingfaam Pojilic Office, November 9, 1796. — ^Bnles rospeetintf 
Licenses for Public Houses, approved of by the Magistrates, and atfraea 
upon by the Parishes ol Birmingham, the Ministers, Church Waraensi 
sad Cliapel Wardens of the Town of Birmingham, who will sign no. 
Oerti6cates, nor listen to any Application, unless the Parties appljing 
shall appear from personal Knowledge, or from authentic Information, 
t9 be me from every Kind of Prolugacjr, and of such strict Honour 
and Integrity, ss may establish in the nunds of the Magistrates a full 



86 A CENTURY OF BIEHINOHAH LIFE. 

Gonfidenoe that ihev will discourage all Tippling and Irregularity, 
particalarlr in the laDOxuing people. 

If the Fkrtr applying be of another Parishy he must have a Gertifi- 
cate from the Minister and Church Wardens of that Parish, till he has 
resided three years in this. 

If of this Parish, he must brinff a Testunony from his nearest 
Neighbour^and from some respectaole Person, who havinff furnished 
him with JBmployment, will answer for his Honesty, Sobriety, and 
Industry. 

If he has been in Senrioe^he must hare the Attestation of his Master. 

If remoTing from one House to another, he must proTe that the 
Owner of the Mouse he leaves is satisfied as to his Honesty and good 
Behaviour. 

New Tenants often act under^ licenses mnted to the old. This 
Practice, as it is dsaifsroJSM to themselves, Skewiae takes away that 
Power of Control which the Law has vested in the Magistrates for the 
Exclusion of improper Per80D& 

Whoever shall, from his own Knowledge, be aJtAe to pro nou n ce any 
House disorderly either in comiptinff uie Morals <n the Peoplev 
promoting Sedition, or unsettling good Principles, is seriously lequertea 
to give proper Information to the Magistrates themselves^ or to any 
other competent Persons. 

An Alenonse keeper encouraging Tippling forfeits IOb., to be levied 
by the Church Waraens or Constates. 

Perseverance in the Offence makes him liable to a forfeituro of his 
lioeoae for three years. 

An Alehouse keeper encouraging Gaming, forfeits for the first 
Ofience 40i. For every subsequent one lOL, Inree-fonrthato the Poor 
— One-fourth to the Informer. Individuals guilty of Tippling forfeit 
3flL 4d. ; in the case of Non-payment^ to be confined four Hours in the 
Stocks. 

DmnkennesB, first Offence 6e, 

Alehouse keeper, for Drunkenness, forfeits his License for three years. 

Carriers, Waggoners travelUng, or Butchers Killing, on the Ijord's 
Dirr, forfeit ds. §3. 

By S9th of Qeoige 2, any Drover, Hone Courser, Waggoner, Butcher, 
Higgler, or their Servants, travelling or coming to an Inn, on tiie Lord's 
Day, f (Hf eit 9Qb. 

Penalties for Swearing, Is., 2l, and 6s., according to the Quality of 
the Offender. 

Another step is made towards obtaining the 

Nkw Public OfFzcBi 

Public Office, Dale End, December ard, l79&— The Committee 
appointed by a General Meeting of the Inhabitants of Birmingham, 
to cany into Effect a Besolation of the Town, lor the Erection of a 
New Public Office (the Money to pay Ibr the same to be raised by 
Subscription of Ten Pounds eadi. on a Tontine Plan, the Interest 
whereof with the Ground Ben^ to be paid, one Half by tlie Constables, 
and the other Half by the CommlasioiMn of Lamps and Scavengers), 
have had many Meetings on this Businesiy and the Subscription 
of £1000, as agreed upon at the said Town^ Meetings beia|[ now 
folly and the Puns ready lor Inspection, together with an Brtmiate^ 
by which it appears^ tliat a fiirtlier Sam inll be wantin|^ in order 
to procure all toe requisite A ccommodatiopa— the Committee request 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTa 87 

the Inhabitanta of BumingliAm will attend a Meeting on this BaunetSy 
at the Pablio OfBloe, in Dale Eod, on Monday, the 7th of January, 
17d9, at Ten o'Clock in the Mominc. 

Clbm. Ooitbrili^ Charlu Llotd, 
Tho. WiLUfouBy Georob Boonb^ 
John Ward, Tho. £oBiM80ir, 

Edward Huohib, Bobsrt Powbll, 
Jos. Shork Wm. Walkxb, 

WILUAX PrICB. 

The cold Una winter was intense. On the last day of 
the year we find this entry : — " So extreme was the cold 
here at three o'clock on Friday morning last^ that the 
Thermometer of Messrs. Qiles and Forest's Brewery^ was, 
in the open air. Twenty-seven degrees below the Free2dng 
point, on Farenheit's scala" 

At a meetiiu^ held on January 7, 1799, in reference to 
the erection of the new Public Office, it was shown that 
^a further sum of £600 at leasts over and above the sum of 
£1000 already subscribed on the Tontine Plan, will be 
wanting; in order to procure the requisite Acconmiodation 
according to the Plans laid before the meeting; and it 
was resdved that ''further Subscriptions be solicited for 
the said sum of £600 on the Tontine Plan, at Five per 
Cent" 

The next meeting of the new year was on that very 
important subject^ the Copper Tiada It was held on 
Mttfch 26th, for the purpose of taking into Consideration 
the present alarming high Price of Copper, and to 
determine what Measures are proper to be taken to 
obtain such Provisions in the Bdl now pending in Par- 
liament for r^^ulating the Exportation and Importation 
of Copper, as will protect the Trade of this Town and 
Neighoourhood in future from the creat Inconveniences 
to whidi it has long been subject from the Fluctuation 
in the price of that necessary Article. 

The price of all provisions was exceedingly high during 
this season of calamities. Meat and bread were almost at 
famine price, and various suggestions were made, and many 
plans devised to lower the pricea In April a recom- 
mendation was made, which has been repeated in our 
own dayB>— 

April 1| 1799.-— A OormpoDdent wwrnniiKmils to the aerioas eon- 
■idenlioiiof Um iwblic^ the O U e t r a tions in our last of the Afrieoltaral 
Sodflity at .Bath, reqnsstinff all luniliss to abstain from lamb^ in order 
to koep down the piieo of moat^ and partionlariy of mutton. It woro 

^ la WanloiM Lane. 



88 A CENTURY OF BIBMINOHABC LIFE. 

also to be wished, that proper steps might be taken to disoonntfe the 
oonaiimption of young yeal, and that the Meat CSonners woukl use 
particular diligenee in detecting and destroying such as is unfit for 
consumption, whereof a great quantity is brought to our market every 
week. 

The next advertisement g^ves vb the date of the opening 

of the 

NXW POBLIO OVFICB. 

Hay 6, 1799. — ^Notice is hereby giyen, that the Magistrates acting 
lor the Town and Neighbourhood of Birmingham will begin to sit at 
the New Public Office in High street,* on Monday next, the 13th Instanl^ 
for the Dispatch of Public Business ; and that the days of attendance 
will be on Mondays and Thursdays^ at Ten o'Olock in the Forenoon of 
eadi Day till further Notice. 

The Einff's ^ natal day " was, as usual, kept with every 
demonstration of loyalty : — 

June 10^ 1799^ — On Tuesday here^ as CTeiywheve else, the natal day 
of our beloved Boveragn was celebrated with the most zealoos loyalty 
and joy. The Handsworth Cayaliy, the Hales Owen Cavalry and 
IniSMitrir, and the Bilstooe Gayalry and In&ntry, having marked to 
unites mr the day, with the Gavalrf and Infimtry of the Town, they 
were obligingly joined by the Bi^ment of Royal North British 
Dragoons fthe Greys) under the oommand of Colonel Boardman ; and 
after parading in New street, they proceeded, amidst an immense 
oonoonrse of people, to Birmiogham Heath, where the whole were 
reviewed by the ColoneL On returning, the column passed through 
several streets of the Town, and the day was spent by the Voluntem 
(honoared with the Company of the Colonel ana Officm of the Grey% 
Lieut Burnet, and the Staff of the District) at the different Inns of the 
Town, with the utmost harmony and conviviality. 

There was an Anacreontic Society in Birmingham at this 
time, which held its meetings at the once well-known house, 
the Eagle and Ball, in Counore-street. IVom some cause 
or other the^ were not able to celebrate his Mqesty^s 
birthday untd the 18th of June, and they inform the 
** Brothers of this Institution " of the fej^i, and request their 
attendance on that day, when " the introduction of a Friend 
by a Member will be admitted." 

As a result of the Meeting of the Copper Trade, held in 
March, the Oazette of June 24, informea its readers that 
that trade ''is to become an object of Ftoliamentary 
regulation early in the next session.** This statement is 
foUowed in a week or two by a report of a meeting on 
the same subject: — 

•The New Pnblle Office was called **The OonriabaM," and was ritoal^d 
at the boUom of a ihort paaiage ahnoel oppodle the end of Neir 8tieei. It 
waf afterward! need ai a prieon for poor deoton^ and was popnlailj eaUed l^ 
an nnqnotable $o^tfmtt. 



PUBLIC LIFE Ain> EVENTS. 89 

OoFPBR Tradi. 

Birmingbam, Jul/ 5, 1709. — ^At a Qeneral Meeting of the Merchants 
and Maniiiaetaren of this Town and Nei^bourhooo, held this day at 
the Stork Tavern, in Ponniance of a Pubkc Advertisement ; The Hi^ 
Bailiff in the Chair ; 

Beeolved nnanimonaly — 1. That this Meeting learn with Pleasure 
that his Majesty's Ministers are determined to bring forward, early in 
the next Sessions of Parliament, some effectual Measure for reducing 
the present exorbitant and high Price of Chopper, for preventing 
ezceasiTe Fluctuations therein, and for checking the Spirit of Monopoly 
in that Trade, so detrimental and distressing to the Trade of the 
Einfldom in raieral, and to the Manufacturers of this Town and 
Kei^bouthood in narticular. 

8. That this Meeting are mtefully sensible of the Attention and 
AflBiatance afforded by Sir Jdm Mordaunt, Bart, Sir Qeoi^ge Shuckbux]g[h 
Bvelyn, Bart, Sir £dmund Cradock Hartopp, Bart, Isaac Hawkins 
Browne, Esq., William Wilberforce, Esq., and Heneage L^ge, Esq., to 
the Gentlemen deputed from this Town to carry into fiffect the Prayer 
of the Petition to nis Majesty's Ministers on this subject^ and request 
the High Bailiff to present the Thanks of this Meeting to those 
Gentlemen respectively. 

3. l%at this Meetmg have seen in the public Papers, and read with 
much and just Indignation a Paper industriously distributed at the 
door of the House of Commons, and throughout the County of Cornwall, 
insidionsly signed "A Birmingham Manufacturer," but which, so far 
from containing the Sentiments of that Body; is universallv considered 
by them as a cross Attempt to impose upon Parliament ana the Public, 
and plainly wew, that if the Author ever was a Birmingham Manu- 
fibctnrer, he has now totally lost Sight of the Interests of the Town, 
and can be viewed in no other light t£m that of a Traitor to its Welfare 
and PrcMperitjr. 

4. That this Meeting feel, as they ou^t, the patriotic and gene r ous 
Conduct of the Committees of the Birmingham Metal Companv, the 
Binning^iam Mining and Copper Company, and the Bose Copper 
Company, in haying (with a view to alleviate the Losses which the 
Manufacturen will sustain until Pariiament shall have passed an Act 
for their Belief) agreed to continue the Prices of Copper and Brass, to 
the Manufacturers, this and the two following months, the same as the 
three months last past although the Piioe of Ore has been so great 
as to have warranted their making a very considerable Advance ; and 
the^ do not doubt that the other Brass Companies in this Town will, at 
their first Meetimr, follow so landable an Example. 

6. That the Thanks of this Meeting be fiven to the Committee and 
to Matthew Boulton, William Yillers, and Geom Simcox, Esqrs., who 
sacrifioed their private Ooncems to the General Interests of the Town, 
in attending many Weeks in London on this Business, and that they be 
requested to oontinne their Exertions in such Manner as the^ jndgie 
best for the Attainment of the End so necessary to the Seeunty and 
PMsperity of the Trade of the Town. 

0. That the Thanks of this Meeting be also presented to Mr. Samuel 
Smith and Mr. Thomas Hadley, who so readiljr stepped forward wiUi 
Evidence of Facts, confirming ttie Statement laid before the Committee 
of the House of Commons, Mid paitiailariy for the Assistanoe afforded 
by Mr. Smith to the Deputation. 



90 A CENTUBY OF BIBMINaHAM LIFE. 

7. That the Thanks of this Meeting be given to the Chaimiati, and 
that he be requested to sign these Resolutions, and have the same 
inserted in the two fiinaadngham Papers^ iu the Sun, the Star^ and the 
Morning Herald. Johv Glares, High BaOiE 

The following extracts refer to that source of continiial 
trouble the "Gilt Button." This important article of 
Birmingham manu&cture was invented by Mr. John Taylor, 
whom we enthusiastic Hutton calls an ''uncommon genius/' 
and, in a mighty flight of fancy, tells us we may justfy deem 
him " the Shakespear or the Newton of his day." He was, 
indeed, a skilful, ingenious, and successful manufacturer; 
and the importance of the button trade to the town may be 
seen'firom tbe fact that> in the historian's time, '* in his shop 
were weekly manufactured buttons to the amount of £800, 
exdusive of other valuable production&'' One of the great 
evils against which this trade had to contend was the skill 
of the Birmingham mechanics vol counterfeiting. The series 
of quotations wMch follow refer to this subject : — 

BUTTOH& 

Birmingham, June 27, 1799.— Upon Tuesday last^ L. Flershaim, a 
Jew Merobant, late of Fiankforty but now resident in Birmingham, and 
William Bring, Button maker (whom he employed) were seTerallj 
oonvieted before the Magistrates of this Town, upon the Information 
laid against them by Onler of the Button Association, for causing, 
directing, and procunng the Words ^Strong Qilt" to be stamped upon 
Metal Buttons ooDtrary to Act of Parliament, the Merchant in the 
Penalty of 392., and the Manu£u;turer in the Penalty of 15^ fif. 8kf. 
It appeared in Eridence that the Buttons were markea * Strong Qilt,* 
and made for a Price at which it appeared it was impossible the 
Manufacturer could make them without beinff at a ruinous Lose^ if 
Gilt only according to the Standard required by the Act for sin^ 
Oilt Buttons. 

N.B— A Baward of Ten Guineas will be paid upon Cooyietion to any 
Person or Persons who shall diicoyer any Offmder or QfTenders against 
the Button Act, by applying to Mr. Simpson, Attorney, Cherry Street^ 
Treasurer to the Button Association, and the Name of the Person 
giving the Information will not be made known. 

BUIVOMS. 

Binningfaam, July 8, 1799.— On Wednesday last, William Hawkins, 
of Birmingham, in the Oouaty <tf Warwick, Button maker, was eon- 
yicted before tbe Magistrates of this Town in the Penalty of Kmeteen 
Pounds^ for eansing, direciiag^ or procuring fifteen Gross of Metal 
Buttons, marked ^Gilt** to be jdaoed or peeked upon Cards or Papers, 
the same being Gilt below the Standard. 

The Magistemtei^ in conseauenoe of what the Manufoctorer uiged in 
Defonce^ were indofied to niitigate the Penalty to Nine Poundla Ten 
Shillings. 

Gilt aitd Puitid Bunom. 

July a 1799.->T1ie Committee of the Button A«odation hereby 
giye Notice, that a Bewaid of Ten Guineas will be paid hj Mr. 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENT& 91 

Simpsoo, Ghenj street^ Solicitor to the AnociAtiony upon ConTiction, 
to any JPeraon or Paraons who shall give Information andnat the 
Makers or Vendors of Metal ButtoDa that are gilt or marked contrarj 
to Act of Parliament^ and the name of the Informer will not be 
made known. 

The Committee reconmiend the following eaaj Means of trying the 
Qoality of Gilt Buttons. 

DiHolve two Tea Spoonfds of Common Salt in abont a Tea Cnpfal 
of Uie BbckboQ for deaning Battona ; this laqnor will not immediately 
diseoloor Buttons^ if gilt up to Standard ; bat every bare Part will 
beoome black, as soon as wet ; if slightly gUt^ will be speckled 

Mr. Thomas Phipson, in New Street (iway Master to the Goardians 
of the Standazd of Wrought Plate within the Town of Binningham), 
and Mr. Joseph Wetherlejr Phipson, his Son, having been proposed and 
ai^proTcd of at a General Meeting of the Association, as proper Persons 
to assay Gilt and Plated Buttons^ they hare in Conseqoenoe made Oath 
before the Magistimtes to report the same, in all Osses, iostly and truly. 
EaTour or AAction, to the best of their Knowledge, Skill, ana 



Judgment ; any Person therefore desirous of ascertaining the precise 
Quanti^ of Gold which Buttons contain, may do so at the Expenoe of 
FLye Shillings for a double Asmy and haye the Buttons and sold 
leiunied. Many dishonourable Attempts haying been practisea to 
eyade the Act of Parliament and miigmde Purchasers^ by striking on 
different Marks than those authorised by the said Act, whidi are Gilt, 
Double Gilt, Trable Gilt^ Plated ; and it being the Duty of every 
Man to know and obey the Lawa^ and espedally those which relate to 
his own Profession, the Committee refer the Manufiicturers, &&, and 
particulariy recommend them to read the Act of Parliament pnssed in 
the year 1790, for regulating the Quality of GUt and Plated Buttons, 
or to an Abstract ^ it pnolished a abort Time afterwards by Mr. 
Psarson, and sold at One Penny, as they are subject to an Information 
for ordering Buttons (marked GUt) to be gUt under Standard ; public 
Gilden are also liable to be indicted for a Fraud and to be aued for 
Damages, for puttim| on less Gold than ordered by the Maker. 

Any Person wishing to become a Member of tne Association, will 
signify tiie same to Mr. Simpson, the Solicitor. 

July 8, 1799. — ^W. Hawkm% to prevent any uniavourable Impression 
on the Publle Ifind, in Conssquence of the mitigated Penalty which 
was paid at the Public OIBce on Wednesday last, begs Leave to state 
that the Error arose from no Desire to impoee upon the Merchant or 
Consumer. W. H. waa at the same Ezpence in manufacturing and 
gilding the Buttons in the manner he did, aa if he had literally complied 
with ttie Woids of the Act of Parliament In adopting his Mode 
of finishing the Buttons^ Jus View was only to render their Colour 
and good Appearance more durable^ and not to gain by any deception 



He takes the Liberif fbrther to add, that, at his Desire the OmsUbles 
who visited hb Warshousss, axamined upwards of 400 GroM of other 
Gilt Buttons^ and th^ were Ibnnd, on the Application of Mr. Alston'a 
Test , to be fblly gO t to the Standard rsqubwL 

We have now to record the funend of an old Birmingham 
worthy. Samuel Qalton was one of those men whose names 
and memoiy we should not let die. He waa active in all the 



92 A CENTURT OF BIBMINQHAM LIFE. 

good works of the time ; and took great interest in every- 
thing which could advance the intelfectual and spiritual, as 
well as the material well-being of the town. He was a 
member of the famous Lunar Society, and was a friend of 
Watt, Boulton, and other leading men of the tima His 
daughter was the celebrated Mrs. Schimmelpenninck, in 
whose Memoirs will be found a very good account of the 
father. 

July 16, 1799. — On Sandaj, Jaly 7th, the remains of the late Samuel 
€hilton, Eeq.y of DnddeetoiL were deposited in the bnrjing-groand 
belonging to the Quakers^ Meeting in this town.* A larger ooncourse 
of spectators attended than we ever remember to have seen on a similar 
ocoasion. The most deoorooa eondoct was obserred through the whole 
solemnity, and an attention and order so remarkable as to excite the 
pnblie aeknowlednnent of a respectable Minister of the Society, who 
deliTmd an excellent discourse upon the awful subject of the day. 

In an account of the General Hospital, we have alluded 
to the Annual Collections made at all the churches and 
chapek in aid of the funds of our local charities. The plan 
is so simple, and the money which it produces so easily 
obtained, and so laige in the aggregate amount, that people 
have wondered why such a propo^ was not made earher. 
It was ; but the time was not npe for its adoption. It re- 
mained unnoticed for years, and it was as late as 1859 before 
we resorted to a method which, in nine years, has produced 
the sum of £33,398 14s. 4d. for the various hospitala 
In 1799, however, a wise and far-seeing man recommended 
the adoption of this very plan to the governors of the 
General Hospital On the 23rd of September, we read in 
the Oazette : — *' A correspondent, who signs himself Philan- 
thropoB, recommends to the Governors of the Hospital, as an 
augmentation to its resources, and as contributing to increase 
the number of annual subscribers, that charity aermona be 
annually prea4:hed in all the churches amd chapels of what- 
ever description within the county, for its bienefit. This 
plan, ha observes, has been attended with great advantage 
to the Nottingham and Derby Infirmaries." It will be seen 
that this correspondent recommended that the collection 
should be made throughout the county ; and that the plan 
bad been successfully aaopted at Nottingham and Derby. 

The efforts made to aecrease the distress which now 
afflicted the mass of the nation, speak well for the humanity 
of the times. The question of providing bread was one of 

^~ * A iman gfrnTe-jaid In Ifonmoath Street, dose to the Bine Coat School 
It was absorbed bj the Great Western Rallwaj. 



PUBUC LIFE AND EVENTS. 93 

the most important wbich engaged the attention of the 
authoTitie& The following quotation shows the method 
which they adopted for this purpose : — 

December ind, 1799. — We refer oar readers to the adTertiaeineiit of 
our MagiBtr&tes, recommending the nae of no other than homehold 
brtad; and we also acquaint the pnblic, that there is a sort of bread 
not commonly made in this town, which seems calcnlated to dinimsh 
the consomption of wheats and to afford, at a cheaper rate, a food equally 
wholeeome and palatable with that whidi is now found in Birmingham. 
Though the use of this kind of bread has been encouraged by an Ad of 
the Legidature, it does not appear to be generally known ; we, there- 
fore, giye the foUowing abstract from the Act^ and recommend bakers 
to mi^esome of the bnad ; many persons will prefer it from taste^ and 
many from ceoonomy. By the 36tn Geo. 3., cap. 28., it Is enacted that 
it abdl be lawful to make and sell peck loares, half-peck loaTcs, 
qoartem loaves, and hal^uartem loares^ made of the whole nroduce of 
toe #heat^ deducting only five pounds weight of bran per DuiJiel, or 
made of an^ sort of wheaten flour, mixed with barley, rye. oat% budc 
idheat^ Indian corn, pease^ beans, xioe^ or any other gnun, or with 
potatoes, in such pcoportioi^ and at such prices, as the seUer shall think 
VKoner* 

The baker will be entitled to charge his own price for this article, but 
the competition which must alwajys exist amon£|st so large a number of 
tradesmen as exercise this business in Birmingham, will probably 
exdttde any mischief from this eironmstance^ and the statute has 
guarded against any other imposition by ascertaining the weight of 
these loaves, and nroviding that the bakers shall affix a paper in their 
shoK specinring tne sorts and proportions of the mixture composing 
mok sort of braad, with oorrsspooding marks on the loaves. If the 
bread sold under the authority <» this act have any mixture not denoted 
by the mark and Pf per, or if it be deficient in welghtL the baker will 
Incur a penalty. The peck loaf (whatever it be composea of} b to weigh, 
when well baked, ITllx fioz. Avoirdupois welgfat| aiM the other kaves in 
pfoportion. 

Soup-sho^ were a^dn opened for the relief of the poor ; 
and the recipe given in the following extract will be read 
with interest : — 

December 9, 1799< — ^The benevolent example of opening public 
■oap shops finr tiie poor (jpriginall^ set bv the subscribers in this town), 
wo are happy to learn is now followed in the metropolis^ and everv 
considerable place in the kingdom ; and the advertisements in this 
paper from the Publie Office, and the Winter Benevolent Society, 
must be reguded 1^ the affluent with pleasnrs^ and by the poor with 
gratitode. 

The foUowiiig are the Ihffredients and Bedpe for making the Soup 
te the Poor, published by the Committee in this Town : — 

QallonalS 60 100 199 200 240 250 
Bsef lbs. 26 90 60 72 120 144 160 



Beef Cheeks No. 1 U 2| -24 6 61 6 

Legs of Beef No. I 1| 21 3 6 6 6 

OuoUna Bice, ground, lbs. 7) 16 80 96 00 72 76 




94 A CEKTURT OF BIBMIKGHAM LIFE. 

OalloDBlS 60 100 120 200 

Peas, white, «.. quarts 6 12 24 

Onions lb& 3^ 6^ 13 

Pepper, Cayenne ••• oz. { } 1 

Black Pepper , oz. 1* 3 6 

Qinger, powdffi^ «.. oz. I 1 2 

kSMii ••• ••• ••• ••• IDs* %w vx #2 

Ozfs Melt or Lungs No. I 1 

Carrots lbs. If 3{ 7 

Leeks lbs. If ^ ^ 

Celery, with the tops lbs. 12 4 

Mint^ dried oz. ^ 1 1| 

Here is a paragraph which affords a curious illustration 
of the dearth of food : — 

December 1<L 1799. — ^We are requested br a Correspondent to 
infram onr readers, that hawthorn berries, which are this winter in 
sndi nnoommon abnndjuice, have been found very fiittening for pigs. 
It wiU be a great saying of grain to fiurmers, and relief to the indigent, 
to employ poor diildren to collect the berries at 6d. a strike. 

This year closed, like so many of its predecessors, with a 
proposal for another useful work of chanty .' — 

December 30, 1799.^ We are happy to learn that several Gentlemen 
of this town have it in contemplation 4o bring forward immediately a 
plan for a Benefit Society, or Sick Clnb^ on a large scaler This object 
we vnderstand to be, to cat off the abuses and to prevent the frauds so 
frequently complained of on the plans now genmlly adopted, and to 
secure to the honest and industrious, at the smallest possible ezpence 
to themselves, an adequate support in sicknesa and a certain prospect 
of comfortable aMstanoe in old afle. The gentlemen who propose this 
measure^ intend to subscribe, ana to solicit subscriptions from others, 
in order that the Funds of the Sodety may better afford ample relief 
to necessitous members in sidoM 



Early in January a meetinff was held for the purpose of 
organising the Society, and a plan presented for that 
purpose was agreed to : — 

Public OrricB. 

Januarv 21, 1800. — ^At a numerous and respectable Meeting of the 
IVtends of the intended Qeaend Provident Society, for the Belief of 
the Indigent Sick and the Assistanee of Old Age, within the Pariah of 
Bixminflhamf Wm. Gflby, M.D., in the diair ; the following addiess to 
the Public, explanaloiy of their Design, was read and unanimously 
agreed to. 

The Friends of this measure wish distinctly to explain their Yiews 
to the Public lliey have attentively eonsidered the Flans in Qenend 
Use m this Town, and tho«u^ they pretend not to deny that Good is 
done by them, they are neveitliekM convinced that thef are capable of 
very essential Improvements. The ICanner of conducting them is too 
expensive, snpposing the whole sum left and nent by eadi Member 
were only iWpence per Month. On the Puun now proposed, the 
Expenditure win be coimned to the necessary Expenses of Management, 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 95 

together with a Place suitable for tranflacting the Btudneas of the whole 
Society^. 

By this E^galation, it is presamed, a material advantage will arise 
in Point of Economy. 

The general Practice of drawing <mt^ cr dividing annuaUy^ is in their 
oiMnion, npon the whole, improvident^ and even minons. For thoufih 
it may answer while a Society oontinaes yonn^ and healthy, and the 
claims on the Box are conscwruently few ; in me course of a very few 
veaiSy cireomstanoes in these iCespects will change, and this change will 
be seriously fell In Proportion as the Members grow old, younger 
Men will be discouraged from entering; and the Sick Claims may 
reasonably be expectea to increase, while the Means of supporting them 



are constantly diminishing. The Consequence will be, that a Man, 
after contributing to his Club the i^reater part of his Life, will have 
the cruel dis^>pomtment of seeing it broken up (and perhaps on his 
veiT Account) at the Period when, from Age, Infinnity, or Sickness, 
he looked to it for Support This has amady been the case in a 
number of very Distressing Instances. 

On the Plan of a Permanent Fund, supported in part by Honorary 
Members, this serious Evil cannot easily happen. The Experiment has 
been made t^Km a large and respectable scale at Sheffield, and has 
hitherto succeeded. In this view the present plan offers a decided 
Advantage in Point of Securi^. 

The Scheme for assisting Old Age after a certain Period, and when 
the Funds shall exceed a certain Ajnount, is a Point whidi the 
Pkomoters of this Measure hare ffreatly at heart It is well known, 
that the best exertions of working Men do not in general enable them 
to make an adequate Provision for old age, and especially when their 
Families are laige ; and it is equally understood, by every Man of 
Principle and of Feeling, that nothing tends more to unstring the 
Nenre of honest exertion, to impair the ^irits and break up the Health, 
than the dismal, but too certain Prospect of old a^^e suosisting on a 
precarious Support, or driven to that hit Besort of virtuous Indigence, 
a Parish Worknouse I But, as Sick Clubs are generally conducted in 
Birmingham, this melancholy Plraq)ect can nerther be prevented nor 
cfiectoaUy ruieved. 

Besides, they indulge the hope, that this Plan, if extensively 
pa t ronised and conducted with Perseverance and Spirit, must eventually 
diminish our Parochial Burdens. The impression with which a Man 
will act under sodi Circumstances, will easily be conceived. He will 
feel that he possesses both the Motives and w S^ans of providing for 
hinsself agamst that Period, iriien, without such Help, hb must in all 
Pkobabili^ become Burdensome to the Parish. This rearj consideration 
win produce and dieriah a Sense of CSiaracter which will ever restrain 
an Imest Mind from beoomiqg (without the deaxest necessity) a Burden 
tooihen. 

Whether ffick Ghibs, as thejr are now manned, do upon the whole 

or dimtnidi our Toorn Bate^ may be miriT questioned. That 



any Fttwiis m rdieved by them is oertain, b«^^ 



to Drinking, Id len es s, and Extisvaganoeuare taken into the Aooount^ it 
will too generally be found that the Distresses brought upon poor 
Families Dy these Ex c e sses , will more than counterbalance their good 
eftets to the Buish. And here the advantage of the present Ffain 
must be manifest By making sound Moimls not only a nec e s s a ry Term 



96 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

of Admission, but of oontiiMiAXice in the Society, the Motives to a 
re^lar and yirtaoos Conduct are stren^^ened and increaaed ; and bj 
.withdrawing the Management from Fuolic Houaea, the Temptation to 
Intemperance, and Vice in general, so commonly destnictive on the 
present Plana, will in a still greater Proportion be diminished. 

Thus, by uniting at a simdl Expence, and with little Trouble, the 
generous Ezeitiona of the Opuleot with the prudent Economy and 
^teful Endeavours of their less fortunate I^ei^boun, the most 
miportant Advantages will be realised. Sicknesa and old A^ will find 
' a certain Beliefl Public Morals will be better guarded and improved. 
The Bich will find their labours more than repaid bj the Increase of 
public Happineas, and the gradual Diminution of their Pariah Levies ; 
and the Poor, benefited bv their XSeneroaity, wUl better and tnore 
tha$kifitUy peneive the Wisdom of thoee Dittinctione above thern^ fohich 
tkeyfed do exist for their Oood 

The Society was formed, and was taken up with such 
eneigy by the well-to-do, that on June SO we read : — 

It gives us much aatiafaction to hear that the honorary members of 
. the Qeneral Provident Society, instituted in this town for the relief of 
the indigent aick and for the anstance of old age, already amount to up- 
wards of 000, and aa each of these honoimiy members subaciibes twelve 
shillings annually, without being entitled to receive any reliflf fimn the 
fund, which la to oe applied sddy to the oae of the receiving membera, 
we are persuaded that when the plan is generally known, it must be 
very mudi approved of and adopted by those inhabitanta who wiah to 
be members <« a society which will potect them in sickness and old age, 
and entitle them to medical attenaaace, and medicines prepared from 
drugs of the best quality, free of any expense. 

The distress at this time was, however, too great for even 
the most active benevolence to relieve. Bread riots occurred 
at many places in the kingdom ; at Birmingham the women 
took the l^td, and oave the first indication of a feeling which 
was afterwards to display itself in renewed acts of violence 
and riot On February 17 we read : — 

In our Market^ on Thursday, an attempt was made by some women 
and boys (for we must do the men the Justioe to say they took no part 
in the disgxaoeful proceedings) to create a riot in conseqQenoe of the 
price of potatoes. The disturl>ance, however, was soon put an end to ; 
and we have the authority of the Magistiates to say, that every protec- 
tion will be given to persons who bring provisions for the ngokrsapply 
of the town ; and that the laws shall oe most ttrietly enf omd i^ainst 
every one who shall dare to insult or break them. 

This was followed on March 17 b^ the announcement 
that ** the Overseers of the Poor of this town, from the un- 
exampled increase of the exjpenoe of the poor at the present 
perioo, are compelled to call for a double levy.** 

All that active charity could do to relieve the wants of 
the poor was dona Soup shops were opened ; bread was 
sold to them below the market price ; and a collection was 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 



97 



made in all the ehurches and chapels of the town in aid of 
the fund. The following ' is a list of the various amounts 
contributed by each pkce of worship : — 



St Martin's . 
StPhiHp'8 . 
8t Marrs C9iapel . 
St PauTs ditto . 
Deritend ditto 
Ashted ditto 
Friends' Meeting, Bull Street 
Union Meeting-noaee . 
Old ditto . . 
Oatholio Chapel . 
Garths Lane Meeting . 
Bond-street ditto . 
CsnnonHitreet ditto 
Bartholomew-etreet ditto 
Lady Well Chapel 
Oxford-street Meeting . 
Bartholomew's C3iapeT . 
King-street Meeting • 
Fkradise-street ditto 
Coleshill-atreet ditto ) 
Bradford-street ditto > . 
Cherry-street ditto ) 



£ 8. 


d. 


13 12 2^ 
44 16 111 


45 





13 4 


H 


6 9 


3 


1 8 


2 


40 4 


2 


a5 4 


9 


15 2 


4 


7 9 


9 


14 4 


3 


8 14 





4 15 


U 


2 1 





1 8 


7* 


4 


3 


3 6 


5* 


3 17 


6 


2 9 






6 17 



£270 9 bi 



The popular discontent was very great. On May 5, the 
OaaetU contained reports of acts of violence committed in 
various neighbouring towns, followed by the record of a 
riot in our own. This is the contemporary account : — 

May 6, 1800.— To the above statements we are sornr to be under 
the neeewty of adding, that some symptoms of riot shewed t hem se l res in 
tkU Town on Thnrsday last. A nnmber of misgnided persons assembled 
in the evening, and proceeded to break the windows of several of 
the prindpal millers and bakers, and to commit other acts of violence. 
The Loyal Birmingham Light Hoise Yolonteers, and the Birmingham 
Loval Association assembled with their nsnal promptness and spirit, 
and Captain Arden most obligingly called ont Lientenant Colonel 
Legge^s iVoop of Warwickshire z eomanrv. idl of whom remained under 
arms the greatest part of the night, and by their timely eieriions the 
deprsdatOTB were prevented from poisaiog their designs, and the peace 
«f the town was restored. 

A similar disposition having manifested itself on Friday, the 
Magistrates thooght it necessary again to reoaest the assistance of 
the troops ; and patrols of horse and foot were distributed thronffh the 
principal stnets of the town, in the evening, to prevent any tommtnoiis 
asssmolage of disordwiy ana evO-dispcssdpersons ; and we are liappy 
to say, that in consequence the most perfect order and tranquillity was 
p r ss srV sd. Intslligencs being, liowever, received that a numerous 
n. H 



98 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

body of rioters were gone to a respectable fiurmer's in the neighbonrbood, 
threatening to bom his com neks, and do -other injoxy, part of the 
troops were immediately despatched in pnrsnit of them, and came np 
just in time to prevent the execution of their purpose. More than 
thirty of the ringleaders were taken into custody, and are now in 
prison. We sinoerelr hope examples will be made, to deter others from 
such weak and wick^ designs. It is really surprising that any one 
can be so ignorant as to suppose that to destroy com is the way to 
reduce the price, or that to prevent bakers from carrying on their 
trades can be a means of making bread more plentiful. 

(hi Saturday ever^ thing was perfectly quiet, the Peace Officers 
most actively preventing all attempts of the evil disposed to assemble 
in bodies in the streets — but the Yeomanry and Volunteers were all in 
readinesBu had it been necessary to call them out; and the Earl of 
Aylesford, Colonel of the Begiment, with that anxiety which he 
invariably manifests for the prosperity of the C!ounty, and preservation 
of its peace, came in the evening with his own troop of Yeomanry, from 
Merioen, to afford any assistance that might be requisite. The town 
is also indebted to the Officers and men of the Inniskillin Dragoonsi 
in our Barracks, for every ud they had the power of affording. To our 
Msgistrates, Constables, &c., our obligations are infinite. 

The bakers of the town returned their " sincere Thanks 
to the Magistrates and the Gentlemen' of the Yeomanry and 
light Horse Volunteers, and the Infantry Vohinteers, for 
their Yicilance in dispersing the Mob, and preventing them 
attempting to do them any Injury on Friday night lastw" 

Next we read : — 

In this Town, at Wolveriiampton, Stourbridge, and throughout all 
this and the adjoining counties, the principal people are adopting every 
means to supply the markets and relieve the distresses of the people. 
Wheat has oeen retailed at 15s., and barley at Ss. the bushel. On 
Friday, Mr. John Wheeley,* and Mr. Harrison, of Edgbaston, sold at 
their own houses, to poor people, neariy two hundred bushels of potatoes, 
at 8d. per peck ; ana on Saturday, Mr. Samuel Wheeley bronnit also 
a large quantitjr to market whidi he retailed at lOd. per pedc We 
trust tiie poor will show by uieir peaceful conduct, a proper and grateful 
sense of mis liberal disposition m the opulent, and those who have 
the means, to relieve their wants. 

And on the same day it was stated " that several veiy 
respectable families in this town and neighbourhood have 
resolved not to purchase any lamb, nor to suffer any to 
be consumed in their houses until Midsummer next 



The King was as popular as ever, and this year an attempt 
on his life produced a display of lovalty which had never 
been surpassed in its enthusiastic delight. Mr. Massey thus 
records the event : — ^ One of those attempts which are so 
frequently made, but so rarely with success, on the lives 
of kings and rulers, called forth a new demonstration of 

^ In Wheelejr*! Lane, Edgbaston. 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 99 

loyalty and personal regard for the sovereign, which was not 
without significance and value at this season. The King, in 
accordance with many good English customs, his observance 
of which went far to endear him to the people, frequently 
attended the two great theatres, where the matchless 
productions of the English stage were represented by actors 
worthy of their vocation. On the 15th of May their 
Majesties went to Drury Lane Theatre. The King had no 
sooner entered the box, and advanced to ihe front to 
acknowted£;e the welcome with which he was usually 
received, than a pistol was discharged at him by a man 
who sprung up on a bench in the pit Happily a person 
near had seen the movement in time to catch the assassin's 
arm, just as the trig^r was pulled. It thus happened, that 
of two large balls with which the pistol was cnarged. one 
struck the wainscot a foot and a-hau above the King's head, 
and the other i[>assed through the curtain some inches higher. 
The King, who saw the flash and beard the report^ turned 
to Lord Chesterfield, the Master of the Horse, and said, 
' There is a pbtol fired ; there may be another ; stop the 
Queen.' He nimself stood firm, and looked round the nouse 
with a composure very different from the huny which 
usually marked his demeanour. When the Queen advanced 
in alarm, he desired her to stay a moment — ' there was a 
fiquib.' 'A squib,' said her Maiesty, 'I heard the word 
pistol, and the report!' 'Squib or pistol,' answered the 
king, ' the danger is now over, and you may come forward 
and make your courtesy/ In a few seconds there was an 
awful silence, until the audience were assured that the 
King was unhurt Then burst forth cries of 'Seise the 
traitor; tear him to pieces.' In the midst of the uproar 
the stace manager came forward and announced that the 
man who fired the shot was in custody. He had been 
dragged over the barrier which separated the ordiestra firom 
the pit, and hurried to the back of the stage, to protect him 
from the rage of the spectators. The curtun then drew up; 
but the penormance was not suffered to commence until 
tiie excited feelings of the audience had found relief in 
the Boyal anthem being sung in chorus ^ the whole 
company/** The man's name was James Madfield. He 
was a working silversmith, and a dischai|^ trooper from 
the Fifteenth Light Dragoons. He was insane, and at the 

^AHitlofTofEBgUui4dvriiigtlieR«ignorG«of|etlMTUid. BjWWiMm 
Mmhj. M.P.. T. iTn pp. 489-90-91. 



100 A CEKTURT OF BnOONQHAH LIFE. 

trial was acquitted and detained in custody. There was 
no limit to the enthusiasm with which this escape was 
welcomed. Addresses were sent to the King from every 
town. Birmingham sent the following : — 

June find, lb00.—To the King's Moat £zcellent Majestj. The 
humble Addrew of the Inhabitants of the Town of Birmingham. 

Most Graeioas Sovereign,— We, yonr Majesty's most dnUful and 
loyal sabjectSy the Inhabitants of the Town of Binningham, approach 
your Majesty with the warmest sentiments of attachment to yonr 
Maiesty's Person and Qovemment 

in the whole coarse of yonr Majesty's reign, yonr snbjeets have 
experienced eveiy blessing which impartial justice and affection coald 
dispense ; and we therefore grieve to think that any mind conld be 
found ao depraved and void of reason, as to meditate the, design of 
atriking at your lift. 

At ue same time we deplore the malignitv of sndi an attempt, we 
look with admiration on that firmness displayed by your Majesty, 
which, in the moment of danger, ooold only resolt from conscioiis virtae 
and the purest integrity. 

SiR^ — We shallever ftel the sinoersst gratitude for that watdifbl 
care and signal interposition of Divine Providence manifested on this 
occasion ; and, permit us to add our most fervent prayers, that your 
rei^ may continue lonff and prosperous over a free^ bappy, and united 
people, and that your latter days may be crowned with uninterrupted 
harmony and peace. R S. Hxatoh, High Bailiff. 

The Volunteers and the soldiers had a field day to cele- 
brate the Eii^a escape : — 

AH the regulars in the town, will, we understand, unite with the 
Troop of Volunteer Light Horse (joined by the Handsworth OavalryX 
and regiment of Infontrv of this place, on Wednesday next, in paying 
the uraal honours of tne day, and in testifying in the only public 



manner, as military bodies^ tbey properly can, thdr joy upon their 
beloved Sovereiffn's late escape. The line will be formed in New 
Street, at ten o'aodc in the Morning, and proceed thence to Birming- 
ham Heath. 

Medals were atrock in commemoration of the happy 

event On the same day on which the address appeared 

this announcement was made : — 

. June 2nd. 1800. — ^We are inlormed that an emblematical Mxdal of 
excellent Workmanship, on the Kin^fs happy escape, designed and 
engraved by two ominent Artists of this Town, is this day published by 
Mr. Kempson.* 

The Eing^s birthday was on June 4tii, and it was kept 

this year with even more than the usual rejoicings. The 

people for a time foivot .their distress, and gave themaelves 

up to festivity and loyal displays. Birmingham was not 

^ Mr. KempsoB was an eminent die-sinker and medaOitt cf <he town ; he 
produced a huge uumber of the •* tokens^ issued by the Wotkhoass sad pdvile 
individuals. 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 101 

behind other towns in their manifestations ; and this is how 
she kept 

Thb Kivo's Biktbdat. 

Jvna 9, ISOa — On Wedneadaj last, in this Town, as well aa in trwy 
other plaoe in the ndghbonrfaood^ the ntmost eagerneaa prevailed 
throognont all ranks of people to welcome the anniTersary of a beloved 
MovAB0B*8 birth. The morning was nahered in by the rinffinff of bells, 
firing of guns, dco, and at half-past Ten o'clock the InniskilbnDraffoona, 
in two aqoadron^ the Birmingham light Horse Volnnteers, wiui the 
Handsworth Oavalrj, formed ipto one squadron, and the whole 
regiment of the Loyal Birmingham Association, were drawn np in 
Kew'Street, from whence they marched to Birmingham Heath, wnere 
being afldn formed, lieatenant Colonel Morden, accompanied by his 
Stai^nSe down the line. After the aocostomed salates, and passing 
the Colonel in review, the Cavalxy.performed the sword exercise^ the 
Infimtrythe manual and platoon. A few manoeavres (the principal 
intendea being omitted in conseqnence of the nniaToorableness of the 
weather) were then gone throngh, and the Regiment having fired 
several rounds in companies, and lastly in voUies, with a corrsetneas 
which woald have done credit to f eterans, the respective corps returned 
from the Heath in the like order in whidi they went, and ais mi ssed in 
New-etreet. Public dinners were provided at the Hotel, Shakespear 
Tavern, and other Inns, and the Voinnteeri of the Town were honoured 
with the company of Lieut Colonel Morden, Lieut Colonels CDonovan 
and Hatcher, and the other Officers of the Inniskillins, the Becmiting 
Officers in the place^ the Magistrates, &c, &c., and the afternoon was 
spent with the greatest hilarity and most convivial loyalty. The 
spectators on the ground were numerous^ notwithstanding the un- 
fiiveiirable weather. 

We have the pleasure to state that Colonel Morden has, in letten 
to the Commanding Officers of the Associated Corps, requested the 
Yolnnteers ''to accept his particular Thanks, with the assurance of his 
having been highly gratified at their military and soldier-like appearance 
on this day.'* 

AH this illumination, ringing of bells, firing of guns, and 

reviewing of troops^ did not, however, banish the sufferings 

of the peopla One of the great difficulties of the time was 

that of 

FoanfALLnrOi IiroBOSSiMOy Aim Rsorativo. 

Auf^ust 85, 1800. — ^The Committee i4>pointed at a Meeting ci the 
Inhabitants of Birmingham, for preventmg Forestalling, Ingrossingy 
and fiMTating in the town and Ne^bouihood, give Notice, that the 
OoDstaEles of the Town will receive mf ormations aninst Persons guil^ 
of ^e above-mentioned offences, and the proper fiewards will be pan 
on eonvietioii ; and in order that no one may plead Ignoranc^ it is 
thoQsJit proper to subjoin the following dear iMfinitions of the Offenoes. 

Whosoever shall ImrVy^ or cause to be bought, any Merdiandiae, 
Tietualy or anv other Ininji^ whatsoever, coming by Land or by Water 
toward any Market or Eur to be sold in the same, or cominff toward 
anv Cit^y ^ort, Haven, Creek or Boad^ from any FSsrts beyooa the Sea 
to DC sold : or mav inake any Baigsm, Contract, or Fktiiiuse, for the 
having or buying the same, or any put thereof, so coming as is aforesaid. 



102 A CENTUBY OF BIRMIKQHAM LIFE. 

before the said Merchandize, YictaalB, or other Things shall be in the 
Market, Fair, City, Port, Haven, Creek, or Hoad, ready to be sold, or 
shall make any Motion by Word, Letter, Message, or otherwise, to any 
Person for the Inhancing of the Price, or dearer selling any of the 
Things aboye-mentioned ; or else disraade, moVe, or stir any Persons 
coming to the Market, or Fair, to abstain or f orb^ to bring or oonvey 
any of the Tlungs above rehearsed to any Market, Fair, Gty, Foit, 
Haven, Creek or Boad, to be sold as aforesaid, shall be deemed a 
forestaller. 

Whosoever shall ingross, or get into his Hands, by buying, contracting, 
or promise taking, other than by Demise, Qrant or Lease of Land or 
l^rthe, any Com crowing in the fields, or any other Com or Grain, 
Butter, Cheese, FLui, or other dead Victuals whatsoever to the Litent 
to sell the same again, shall be deemed an unlawful ingrosser. 

And whosoever shall by any Means rmate, obtain, or get into his 
Hands or Possession, in a iW or Market, any Com, Wine, Fish, 
Butter, Cheese, Candles, Tallow, ^eep. Lambs, Calves, Swine, Pigs^ 
Geese, Capons^ Hens, Chickens, Pigeons, Conies, or other dead victual 
whatsoever, that shall be brought to any Fair or Market to be sold, and 
do sell the same again in any Fair or Market holden or kept in the 
same Place, or in any other Fair or Market within four miles thereof, 
shall be deemed a Begrater. — ^Birmingham, August 21, 1800. 

Amidst all these troubles the inhabitants were not 
neglectful of their civic duties, and the following interesting 
document ^ves an account of what it was now proposed to 
do for the improvement of the town : — 

Bim&ingham, August 16di, 1800. — ^Nonos is hereby given, that ap- 
plication is intended to be made, next Session of Parliament, for leave 
to bring in a Bill for the better Begulation and Improvement of the 
Town w Birmingham, tlwi Heads of mdch are as follows, (viz.) :— 

1. Tliat the present Number of OommisBioners be extended to 100 : 
such Commissioners as shall not attend twice in every Tear to be dis- 
qualified, unless prevented by Absence from Home, Illness, or other 
sufficient Oiuse, and until re-elected at future Meetings of the Commis- 
sionen ; any seven of them to act in all cases. 

2. Any Inhabitant, whether rated or not, to be admitted Evidence 
in all cases. 

3. The Commissioners to have Power to purchase and remove 
the Welch CroaB, Joseph Knight (the Glover's) House, and the House 
adjoining, and also the Houses now or lately occupied by — Boden and 
— LawBon, all the Houses now or late in the occopation of Messrs. May, 
Tippin, Moleu and Docker, with the Buildinfis adjoining to Spioeal- 
■troet, and all the Shambles, with the Dwuling Houses belonging 
thereto^ as far up as where the Old Cross stood, and the Houses culei 
the Bound-about Houses, the Swan Alley at the upper End of Wotces- 
ter-«txeet, leading into New-street, the lower Ektd id WoroeBter-«treek^ 
leading into Edgbaston-street, and the lower Parts of Moor-street 

4. The Commissionen to have Power to increase the present Bate, 
not exceeding Six-penoe in the Pound, upon all Pkemiies onder the 
Value of SOL per annum, and Nine-pence m the Pound upwards ; and 
that no House whatsoever to be excused horn the Bate without the oom* 
sent of the Comnussionen. 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 103 

5. The Commiasiouen to have Power to borrow any Sum not ex- 
oeedinff 5,0002. 

6. Tbe Gommianoners to have Power to improve every Opportunity 
of aettin^ back any Hooaee or other BuildinflB, that now project beyond 
the regular Line of any Street or Banfe of Building, whenever such 
House or other Building shall be taken down to be rebuilt ; Satisfaction 
to be made to the Owners. 

7. In all new Streets, and the present unpaved Streets, the Builders 
and Owners of Houses, and the O^ers of Land adjoining such Streets^ 
whenever three-fourths of any sudi Streets shall oe buSt upon, to be 
obliged to pave the Square of their Houses or Land into the jfiddle of 
such Street, under the Direction of the CommiasionerB ; and all such 
new Streets, when paved, to be exempt from paying Highway Levies 
for ^Te Years from that Period ; a Proviso, that when Owners of Lands 
adjoining such Street have only Life Estates in such Land, their Execu- 
ton may compel the next succeeding Owner of such Land to reimburse 
the Expense. 

8. nevious to any Street being built upon, proper Notice to be given 
to the Gommiaaionera, when they ahall aend a Surveyor to adjust and 
settle the Level of the aaid StnMt, which ahall be conformed to by every 
Peraon who ahall erect any Building within the Limita of the aaid 
Street 

9. All Bttlk% Bulk Saahea, and Projectiona erected Prior to the firat 
Act obtained by the Comnuaaionera, to be aubject to the aame Powera 
aa thoae erectea aubaeqnent to the Paring of the said Act Half the 
Expence of removing audi Bulk, Bulk Saahea, &&, to be paid by the 
Gommiaaionera, ^vided auch Half ahall not exceed in any caae the 
Sum of Fifty ShiUinin. 

10. No CJoach or Ghaiae, without Horaea, to stand in mlv Street, 
except they take up or set down a Tioading at the House or Warehouse 
of a Merdiant, Manufacturer or Shopkeeper, unconnected with any 
such Stage Waogon or Stage Gart Ghaining Waggona, Garta, Ghaiaea, 
Coaches, or other Garriaffos to be considerod as taking them to the 
Pound. To regulate the lianner of all WajQgons, Oarts, and all other 
Carriages loading and unloading, and if passing alonj^ the Streets. 

1 1. All Manure to be taken away by Ten o^dock m the Morning. 

12. The Owners of Hackney Coaches to be put under Regulations 
similar to those in London. 

13. Hie Boundaries of the Town to be fixed from Time to Time by 
the Gfimmissfopers, and Lunns tb extend, and the Bates to be collected 
to the utmost Parts of such ooundaries. 

14. AU Coals and Potatoes to be sold by the Weight of IfiO Pounds 
to the Hundred, under the Penalty of lOa 

16. All Meat to be weighed by Scales only. 

William Smith, Clerk to the GommissionerB. 

But this, and other good works, were again interrupted by 

Biom 

September Ifi, ISOa — We lament that we are under the ijainful 
necessity of recording the imgular behaTionr of the populace in this 
town, dnrittff the last week. 

On MoncLy morning, in oonseauenoe of the vtry high price of flour 
and bread, mat agitation was Tiriole in the town, and a small crowd of 
people meeting with a well-known dealer in com, assaulted and pursued 



104! A CENTURY OF BIBMIKGHAH LIFE. 

him till he took ref u^ in an inn in Ball-«treety from whence, after a 
confinement of eeyaral nonre, he was liberated by Mr. Millward, one o€ 
oar peace ofiioers. A larse aaciemblage of peraona being now formed, 
feara were entertained of fmiher ontragea, and the event too fally' 
justified those apprehenaion& 

At night a very general attack was made upon the shops of the 
bakers and meahnen ; the mob assumed the riffht of disposing of the 
bread at reduced prices, and in ^ome instancea, uie unprincipled rabble 
most dishonestly seized quantities of flour, bread, and whatever else 
thev could purloin, at the same time wantonly breaking the windows 
and doors ox the shops of several houses. 

The civil power, nowever, calling to their aid a detachment of the 
17th liffht Dragoons, quartered in our Barracks, and a party of the 
Biimini^am Li^t Horse, a stop was put^ for that ni^t> to further 
deraedations. 

Tuesday morning commenced with considerable anxiety and alarm. 
The misguided mob renewed their attack on the Steam Mill of Mr. 
Pickard, m Snow Hill, and fearful that they would efiect their avowed 
purpose of breaking in, before proper assistance could be procured, the 
persons within fired upon them, and, we are sorry to add, four persons 
were dangerously wounded, one of whom is since dead. 

The Magistrates were tiien applied to, and as soon as possible after 
hastened to the spot with a troop of the 17th Id^t Dra^noons, under 
the command of Oolonel Grey, when, having read the not act, they 
succeeded in checking the sanguine and vindictive diqiosition of the 
multitude ; the Maxnstrates after placing & guard over the premiaea, 
returned to Head Quarters, at the Shake^Mare, and immediatelv the 
bugle of the Loval Birminghun Light Horse Volunteers soundea, and 
the drums of the Birmingham Loval Association beat te arms, and 
these corps, with Lieutenant Goodall and O^itain Lycett at their head, 
were verv soon at Head quarters; mcMengers were also instantly 
dispatched te the Earl of Aylesford, and Mr. Le^Ke, for their TVoops of 
YeomaniT CSavalrv ; and every proper measure^^ng used te stop the 
torrent of mischief, and protect the peaceable inhabitants, we have the 
happiness to say thieir efibrto were not in vain. 

Mr. Legge's troop verv speedily arrived, and that of the Earl of 
Aylesford readied town about ten o'doek, which, oonsiderioff the few 
boon^ notice, and the distance at which the members of the troops 
reside from each other, astonished every one. Thus reinforced, the 
Magistrates very jndiciouslv divided the town into eleven diitricts, and 
patrols of horse and foot being aUtioned in each, the town was kept 
perfectly quiet. 

On Wednesday eveuioff the alarm became still more serious ^— «t 
half-past seven, a multitude of peofde assembled, and in a lew minutM 
after the shops of Mr. Madelv were discovered to be on fire. Thi^ it 
aanoe appears^ was occasioned by accident ; but happening at su^ a 
time, it made a very serious imroession. The same steps were iostantly 
taken as on the preceding nigtit. The Military were assembled, and 
every district patroled, and by these vigilant efforta all baa been kept 

n' t to the present hour ; — and to the {wodent and humane, as well m 
means taken by the Mtfistrates, we have to cougratulato our 
readers that not a drop of blood has been spilled by the military, 
•zcept in one instance, where^^at the fire, a man's nose was out 1^ 
aedaent We now can have no doubt but that all will remain petfictly 



PUBLIC LIFE AKD EVENTS. 105 

quiet— f<»r from the measorea takeiii and the faTonrablenesa of the 
weather, bread mxut neoeasarily yery soon be cheaper, the average price 
of wheat daring the laat week heine fourteen shUlinge per bushel. 

The town is very mneh indebted to the unwearied yigilanoe of the 
Magistrates, and to the zealous and prompt assistance of the Earl of 
Aylesford and Mr. Legge, and their respectiye troops of Yeomanry 
Gavalry, to Colonel Grey and the 17th Begiment of Light Dragoons, 
to Lord Brooke and Major Breynton, who joined their recnmeDt upon 
the first report of disturbance, and in general to the Loyal Birmingham 
Light Horse Volunteers, the Birmingham Loyal Association, imd the 
Oonstablea, for their alacrity and exertions in protecting the public 



During the riots, a man, whose name is Fish, was apprehended 
attempting to set fire to Mr. Pickard*s mill, and he is to take his trial 
at the next Assizes. Several others were apprehended for breaking 
the peace— some of whom were dischai^ed, giving security lor their 
good behaviour, and others are still in custody. 

A man of the name of Purceli is also apprehended for selling 
caricature prints of an inflammatory and dangerous nature. 

September 15, 1800. — In consequeuce of the distuibances in this 
Town,- the following Hand BiUs were circulated during the Week — 
some Anonymous, some by the Manstrates, and some by our old 
Acquaintance, Job Nott ; which, as Uiey have all a Tendency to do 
Ooixl« we give them in the Order in which the^ came out^ for the 
Information of such Persons that are in the Habit of firequenting the 
Maricet, who will perceive that their Persons and Fropiriy wifi be 
held samd, and all Infractions of the Peace severely punished. 

CopiB OF The Hand Bills. 

September 9, 1800. — ^The Bakers are not to blame ! and why should 
the Innocent saDTer for the Quilty t If there are any Persons to blame, 
it is the Forestaller and Begrater ; and to defeat their Purposes, the 
most vigorous Measures are every where pursuing ; but Bome was not 
built in a Day. However, no one has a Bight to tiJce the Law into his 
own Hands. Be peaceable and do your Dutpr, and doubt not but that 
very soon all will be well. There is nothing adds so much to the 
Distresses of the Poor as Bioting. It general^ keeps Provisions firom 
Market^ and often ends in Loss of Life and the greatest Misery. Let, 
therefore, •▼wy one keep in his own House, which is. in this happv 
Country, his CMtle, and in which he has a Bight to defend himself. 
Then let him keep there, and no Harm can oome io him. and a little 
Time, with the Plans that are now pursuing, will doubtless faring all 
Thinp right 

Birmingham, September 9th, 1800. — ^The Magistrates hereby eamest- 
Iv reoommend idl Manner of Persons to keep iiithin their Houses untU 
toe Peaee of the Town is perfectly restorsd. 

W. YOLEMMf ObO. SiMOOX, 

W. HioKS, Tbbo. Peio& 
My dear Brother Artificers,— My Advice is now, as it always has 
been upon soeh occasions, to keep out of Harm's Way. 

Now yon see several Persons nave been shot at the MilL Many sar 
they were wantonly firsd upon ; if so, the Laws of the Ooontiy (which 
proteot the Poor and Bieh alike) will punish the ofienders. At the 
same Time we all know that a Man^ House Is his Osstls^ and thai 
ef«rj Man has a Bight to defend himself if attacked. HowereTi let ua 



106 A ce;ntury of BIBHINOHAIC LIF£. 

saspeDd our Judgment a little while ; for at present^ I am told none of 
the ahot PexsonB are dead. If any of them do die, a Jury and the 
Coroner will ait upon the Body, and we shall hear what that Jary saje. 
Let na, in the mean Time, pray that none of them may die ; and, aboTe 
all, let na keep every one of ua in our own Hoosee. Youra ever, 

September 9, 1800. Job Nott. 

The Mi^tratea whoae Duty it ia to reatore the Peace of the Town, 
do hereby inform the Inhabitanta that hia Aiajeaty'a Proclamation haa 
bean read more than an hour ; and, therefore, all Peraona who are now 
found unlawfully aaaembled togeUier in any of the Streeta, to the 
Number of twelve, although no Outrage ia committed, are liable to be 
apprehended and aubject to the Paina and Penaltiea of the Biot Act; 
they, therefore, again moat earnestly recommend all Peraona to keep 
within their Honaea, and to take eapedal Gare that their Apprenticea^ 
Children, and Servants are kept within. 

Shakeapear Tavern, Tueaday, September 9, 1800. One o'dock p.m. 

September 10, 1800.— The Magiatmtea aetinff for the Town and 
Neighbourhood of Birmingham, lamenting the miacSiievoua Conaequencea 
which reault from the riotoua prooeedingaof a miaguided Populace, who 
thereby increase the Evil of whidi they complain, while they feel it to 
be their indispenaable Duty to enforce Obedience to the Lawa of their 
Country, cannot be inaenaible to the Distresses of the Poor, occasioned 
by the mvaent uncommonly high Price of Com, and desirous of doing 
every Thing in their Power to alleviate those Di s tr csa ei^ eameatly 
recommend to all Gentlemen of Landed Property to uae their In- 
fluence with their Neighboura and Tenants to induce them to send 
what Com they have immediately to Market, and to sell it to Millers 
and Bakers, and that at such a reasonable Bate as to enable them to 
supply the Poor with Bread on moderate Terms. They do also call 
upon all Farmers who may not be under the Influence of Landlords 
to step forward in manifesting a laudable Zeal for the Public Qood, 
and Curiatian Comparaion for the Wanta of their indigent Fellow 
Creaturea, hj exerting themaelvea to get their Com to Barked and 
diapoaing of it at a mo<lerate Price. 

The peaceable Inhabitanta of the Town of Birmingham are struck 
with Horror at the deplorable Sitoation of a great Number of their 
Neighbours. Men who are guilty of no Crime, but being only the 
Sellers of the Necessaries of Lift, are innocent of the Cause <n the great 
Advance of them. A Mind not totally callous to all SensibUity must 
feel for the Snflerincs of Men under an Alurm that their Property, and 
even their personal Safety, Is not secure from one Hour to another. 

Great as the Sufierings of the Poor may be, sudi Outrage only 
increases the £vi], with the Addition of Terror to €f9irj worthy 
Inhabitant The Magistrates, with the AssisUnce of the urindpal 
Inhabitants, have for some Time been Taking every possible Method to 
reduce the Price of ever^ Description ctf Provialona, and there was and 
is every Prospect of their Labours befaig crowned with Sucoesa; thev, 
therefore^ hope that every Inhabitant of the Town will in fiitore rsmam 
in Peace and good Order ; but ahould any daring evil'Mdlspoeed P«noii% 
whoae Ptirpose Is Plunder, assemble in onlawikd Numbenyaod attempt 
to disturb the King's Peaoe, sudi Measures wlU be taken as will bring 
them to condiip Punishment. Those, tiherefinv^ who have Nothing to 
gratify but an Idle and a dangeroos Cariority. are eamastly requested to 
refrain from entering into any Appoaranoe of an unlawful Assembly, as 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 107 

ibej not only ooantenance eyil-duposed PenonB, bat mxy incur 
Paniahment indiflcriminately with the Guilty. 
Birmingham, September 11, 1800. 

To the Farmers ioho come to Birmingham Market, 

Gentlemeu, my Advice to you is, drop the Price of Wheat im- 
mediately — ^that my Betty and her Children, and all my poor Brother 
Artifioera, whose dutreaBes are great indeed, may partake of the Bounty 
of Ptoridcvioe. 

We have ffreat Ganae to complain, though it ^eves my Heart that 
Bioting diovud have taken place. Whaf 8 more, if you should not &x. a 
moderate Price to Day, it may lie upon your Hands, and you may be 
glad to take much less for it in a Month ; for the Price will come down, 
thaf s certain. Dont you see how the Weather glass rises ? and don't 
you know that four or five days will get all in 7 

And my further Advice is that I hope you will sell it to our MiUers 
and Bakers, and such as won't sell it agam out of our Town, and then 
we shall have Plenty at a moderate Price. At any Bate, don't sell it to 
Badms, nor let them whisper in your Ears, and persuade vou to raise 
the Maiket for their own Advantage. I say, hear none of their wicked 
Advice, for the Devil is at the Bottom of aU such Advice ; and what 
little you get in that War will never proq)er. Qod Almighty wont 
Uess the Land of that Man who does any Thing to oppress the Poor, 
but sooner or later it will come Home to him, or to his Children after 
him ; for whafs got over the Devil's Back ia sure to be spent under liis 
Belly : so take my Advice, and be good FeUows, and let us have Plenty 
and Cheap. So no more at present, from your humble Servant, 

Sqitember 11th, 1800. Job Nott. 

To Farmers and others^ who haive Corn to sdl. 

Public Office, September 11th, 1800. 
The MsAstrates earnestly recommend to sucn Peraons who have 
Cora for Side immediately to sell the same, at a moderate Price, to 
Milkn and Baken who will dispose of it to the Inhabitants of this 
Town and Neighbourhood, and not to sell it to any Peraona who are 
likely to sell it again before it ia manufactured into Flour. And with a 
View to the Conviction of any Peraona guilty of enhancing the Price of 
Corn, or other Pkwisions in the Market, by offering a higher Price than 
required bv the Seller, or by other undue Influence, they hereW offer a 
Reward of Ten Pounds, in Addition to any other Bewards offered bv 
the Public. ^ 

Shakespeare Tavern. Eleven o'clock, September IS, 1800. 
At a Meeting held this Morning, R S. Heaton, £m., the High Bailifi; 
in the Cbair ; — We, the underai^^ Inhabitants of the Town of Bir- 
mingham and the Hamlets of Deritend and Bordesley, anxious to pre- 
serve the Public Peace, and to protect the Markets^ in Oitler that fio- 
viaions may be broughtno Town, have ounelves accepted the Office of 
Special Constables for the above Purpose, and earnestly recommend our 
Nei^boors to repair immediatelv to the Shakespeare Tavern, where the 
Msffwlntes are now sitting, and will attend the whole of the Day, in 
Order to swear such Persons into that Office ; and as the £zigen<7 <^ 
the present Time requires evenr Exertion on the part of the Inhabitants, 
we nope and trust every well-disposed Peraon will immediately attena 
to enrahis Name. 

[Signed by a great Number of Inhabitants.] 



108 A CENTUEY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

In the next paper it was stated, ** that all riots and tu- 
mnltuous assemblies in this town and neighbourhood have 
entirely ceased." 

As one of the results of these bread riots, we read on Oct. 

18, that— 

On Saturday, the 4th instaiit, Wm. Tonks, one of the nnfortonate 
bojB that was ahot daring the late riots in this town, died in our Infir- 
mary, where he had lingered since the 9th ot September. The Joiy 
returned Verdict^ Justimible Homicide. 

The condition of the nation at t;his disastrous period is 

painfully shown in the following extracts : — 

Birmingham, December 20, 1800. 
To Thohas Hadlsy, Esq., High Bauitf. 
Sir, — ^His Majbstt having issaed a gracious Proclamation, recom- 
mending such of his subjects who have the Power to purchase other 
Prorittons, to abstain as much as possible from the use of Bbbad, in 
order that the Poor may have less Difficulty in procuring that article, 
and it appearing to us that the good Effects to be expected can only be 
derived irom fni^agements entered into by the Inhabitants in every 
Town — ^We request that you will call a Msbtoio of the principal 
InHABFTAHTB of this Town and Neighbourhood, to take the same into 
Consideration, to enter into such Besolutions as m^ be expressive of 
a dutiful aoqulesoenoe with his Majesty's gracious KecommendationSy 
and most conducive to give it Effect 

Wm. Villebs, Edwabd Palkeb, 

Wm. Hicks, Wm. Smith, 

Thbodobb Priced Wm. Andkbtok, 
Qbobob Simooz, Wm. Walkbb, 
Hehrt Glat, Thomas Gbuvdt, 

Thomas Babkbb, Rich. Pbatohbt. 

Birmingham, December 26, 1800. — At a numerous and respectable 
Mbktino of the principal Inhabitants of this Town and Nbiohboub- 
HOOD, held at tne Hotel pursuant to public Advertisement^ for the 
Purpose of giving Effect to his Majesty's gracious Ptt>ciamation, 
recommending the strictest Eoobomt and Fruoalitt in the use of 
every species of Gbaiv, but particularly Wheat ; The High Baiutv 
in the Chair ; 

The following RBBOLxnnoirs were entered into by the Persons present, 
wbidi they earnestly hope will be universally adopted by sudi of their 
Neighbours in Town and Country who have, through the Bounty of 
Providence, the means of procuring a plentiful Supply of every other 
kind of Food, the Sole ODJeet of these Besolutions bmng to leave to 
the Poor and distressed Piirt of the Community those articles which 
are really necessary to their Comfort and Support, but which no Man 
of true Benevolence^ who witnesses the present sufferings of his 
distressed Fellow Creatures, can desire to nave at the Cost of one 
Moment's Want to the Poor and Indigent. 

1. That in Conformity to His Maibbtt*8 gradous Prodamatioa 
we will, in oar respective Families, observe the utmost possible 
Economy in the Use of all Articles of Qnin, and in particular of Bread 
Com, and in no Case suffer our Consumption to exceed one Quartern 
Loaf to each Person weekly, whidi is about ten Dances per Day. 



PUBUC LIFE AND EVENTS. 109 

2y That W6 will abstain altogether from Pastry made with any 
other Floor than of Bice. 

3. That in Order to lessen still fiurther the Consumption of Bread, 
we will abstain as mnch as possible from that of Cheese, which Article 
bttng a Necessary to the Poor, by this means may be obtained on mnch 
lower Tenna than at present. 

4. That we will, sndi of ns as have horses, and especially those kept 
lor ^easore^ restrict as mnch as possible the Consumption of Oats, and 
other Qndn, in their maintenance. 

C That we will obsenre the preceding Beeolutions for Nine Months 
from this Period, unless the Price of Wheat should be reduced to Ten 
ShilUmnthe Bushel 

e. That as no salutary Effects can be expected to arise from the 
TOoposed Retrenchments^ unless they are generally adopted by the 
Penons to whom thev apply — it is the opinion of this Meeting, that 
H contraiT to their Hopes and Wishes, similar Measures shomd not 
be generally adopted throughout the Kingdom, it will be expedient to 
petition Pariiament to pass a Jaw to restrict the Consumption of 
Bread in mudi manner as may be found fully sufficient to meet the 
Diffienlties arising fitun the present Scarcity of Com. 

7. That Copies of these Besolutions, with the Names of the Sub- 
■cribtts^ be hang up at the different Banks and IVinters^ throughout 
the Town, and that Twenty-four Gentlemen be appointed to wait upon 
•abb of tl^ Nei^^bours as may be expected to subscribe them. 

6w That the HiOB Baiuff be desired to send Copies of these 
Besolutions to the different Noblemen and Gentlemen in the Neigh- 
bourhood, requesting their Concurrence and Support. 

Thomab Hadlet, Chairman. 

The Thanks of the Meetinff were Toted to the Chairman, for his 
ready Aoquieseence in calling the Meeting, and lor his Attention to the 
Busineas of the Day. 

And 80 closes the local annals of the year of suffering, 1800. 

The year 1801 was also one of scarcity, suffering; and 
violence. The cry for peace was now loud and vehement^ 
The state of Birmingham at this time will be gathered from 
the following advertisement, published in the assumed 
name of one who took an important part in, and had a 
great influence on, the public life of the time — ^the ''truly 
humorous'' and- plain spoken Job Nott 

To tMe Btrmingkam IfanMfaeiwerg, 
Anil 8, 1801.— Brother Artifieers,— Tlie hi^ Price of Troyukma^ 
and the SoantineBS of Orders, fntrm me to Uie ^eart; and Baotinff 
(whidi new did, or ever is hkely to produce any lasting Ghai^^ 
tptiwm me soraly. Lot mAjhen, as yoor true Friend, entreat yon for 
tM Sake of OorselTe|s oar w ires and our Children, to bisa^ 
with becoming Christian Fortitude. I know many will say it*s fine 
talking to empty BeDiea But what, my Friendsy ii to be done f If the 
Thioff eould m nmedied, do tou not think the King, his liinirters, 
and niiiament, would remeaytti I beUere there is not on Earth a 
bettsPHdiaposed Man than our Kipg, nor one more worthy to be oJled 
the nther of his Beople ; and his Ministers being Men of the beat 
Charaeter, can we poasuily suppose that th^ do not sensibly feel for 



110 A CENTURY OF BIRHINOHAM LIFE. 

the sufTeriiicB of the People ? I believe they do, and that eveiy thing 
that can be aone has been done, is doinff, and will be done, to prodaoe 
both Plenty and Peace. But disaffected Men will tell yon otherwise, 
they keep up the old Tale, that the King swallows all the Taxes, and a 
hundred Tales as idle and absurd ; whereas I believe he has not, at his 
own Command, so much per Annum as many of our Noblemen and 
Fellow Subjects. 

Finally, the Disaffected urge you on to be their Tools in breaking 
the Peace, and creating Alarm, and then leave vou in the Lurch to die 
at the fatal Tree. Bioting, by frightening People who have Provisions 
to sell, may lower the Price for a short Period, but I never knew an 
Instance where it did not return again with redoubled violence. If a 
' man is plundered of his Flour or Gneese, he must go to Market again, 
and that raises the Price. Besides, the Waste of any thinf makes it 
scarcer, and that must make it dearer. Whilst our rich Neighbours 
are tiyinji^ all Ways to lessen our Distresses, and whilst the Overseers 
are openmg their Hands as liberall;^ as Circumstances admit^ My 
Advice is, let us consider the Calamity a Visitation horn Heaven, to 
shew us not only where our dependence is for our Daily Bread, but also 
to bring to our Recollection our past Ingratitude in eating it without 
Thanks, unmindful of the Hand m>m whence these Blessings coma 

I exhort you to rel^ on the King and the Parliament^ and firmly to 
believe that eveiy Thmg is doing that is in the Power of Man^ to inake 
Things better; and earnestly Pray to the Qiver of all Qood, for a 
favourable Seedtime and Harvest ; and then if we do, one and all, turn 
from our Sins, and implore His Mercy, it mav be His Pleasure to 
shower down Blessings upon the Nation, and make us more prosperous 
than ever we were. Therefore, my Friends, commit no Outrage, but 
act like worthv Men, above all, obeying the Divine Command of our 
Saviour, viz., ^To do unto all Men as you would thev should do unto 
you." That this nu^ be the case, prays your ever Well wisher, 

Birmingham, March 28, 1801. Job Kvon. 

P.S. Bemember that the Country People will take their Provisions 
to that Town which is most peaceable, ana where the Inhabitants treat 
them with most Civility. It ia well known the Market that is best 
supplied will be the cheapest^ therefore the Price of Articles at every 
Market must necessarily rise and fall in Proportion as Towns ^ are 
peaoeabte or riotous. 

Our own age has given practical effect to many tentative 
undertakings of a past time ; and we are too apt to suppose 
that they are the inventions of the present tima Periooical 
Ck)llections in Churches and Chapels for charitable purposes, 
were not only suggested, but practically acted upoa 
Industrial Schools, for children, were also founded, and 
worked welL Benevolent Societies of various kinds existed, 
nor WES the institution of penny dubs unknown to them. 
A very good one was started at Karbome in 1800, of which 
we have the following account : — 

HAtBOBVX Pxirvr Club. 

April 87, laoi.— In Goiissqpeiioe of the Institatkm of a Pennv Glnb 
among the Sunday School Ghildrsn of Harbonie, the most iHeasing 
Effect has been already prodnced. It is now two yean sinoe this little 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVEKT& 111 

Qnb was institated, and last Sunday presented the most channiii^ 
Spectacle of more than two Hundred Goildren neatly clothed by thia 
small weekly Deposit of Money. As we think the Plan^ wherever 
adopted, cannot mil to be prodnctiTe of ffreat Good, we shall give a 
Sk^ch of it as publiahed at the Time of the Institution. 

The Children Subscribers are about two Hundred and Twenty, and 
the Fond is increased by about One Hundred Neighbours who, fnendly 
to the Cause, subscribe the like Sum, as Honorary Members. 

The Advantage arisiiig to Society in general, and to the Poor in 
particular, from mbitual Cleanliness and a decent Appearance, are so 
obrioos, that they need little Explanation. It is only to notice and 
contrast the genend Health and Conduct of poor Children kept dean 
and decently doathed, with that of those who, from Idleness, always 
appear in Jjtrt and Bags. The latter, on a Sunday in particular, are 
found wandering about the Lanes and Fields, breaking the Fanner^s 
Hedges^ and engaged in all Kind of mischievous noisy Play, and not 
unf requently cursing and swearing, whilst the others are found in the 
path (MP Dut^ at Church or at Home. 

It is a Practice which greatly contributes to Health that the poor 
Child who has decent Garments to put on, will be induced to Wash and 
Oomb, an important Practice too mudi n^lected by the Poor in generaL 

It contributes to the general Stock of Hapmness arising frcnn 
Industry, for whilst the poor Children of the Paridi are exerting 
ihemsdves by NaO making or otherwise, to save a Penny for the Club, 
poor Children in other l^urishes are at the same Time employed in 
manufacturing the Materials for the yeiy Garments to be thus purdiased. 
Thus Villages become composed of industrious and respectable Poor, 
who^ it mar be reasonably noped, will transmit to their Children, and 
their Children's Children, the same proper and useful Habits. 

To effect this desirable Purpose in this Parish, a Penny Club has 
been established. The Members are composed prindpally of poor 
Children, and such of their Kind Neighbours (Honorary Members) 
whom, for wise Purposes^ God's Proyidence has placed here comparatiydy 
in more exalted Situations. 

Eyeiy Member subscribes One Penny per Wedc; the Money is 
placed in a friendly Hand, who is so kind not only to take the Trouble^ 
out to allow Fiye per cent. Interest for it ; and once in two yean the 
Stock is to be laid out in Qoathing, and then equally distributed among 
andi poor Members who diall be then upon the Lii^ 

The next extract refers to some important parliamentaiy 
proceedings in relation to the Copper trade : 

June 6, 1801. — On Wednesday the following resolutions were moyed 
and agreed to in the House of Commons ; and a Bill ordered to be 
brought in founded upon them : 

'^Ist To pennit the Importation of Copper after a time to be 
limited. 

Snd. To enable his Majesty* 1^ Reclamation or Order in CounciL 
to prohibit the Exportation of Copper to any place within the limits of 
Eorope. 

3rd. That the Duties now payable on the Importation of Copper 
Bride. Boss Cqiper, Copper Qom^ and on all Oast Oopper, and the 
Draw badn now allowed on the EzportatioQ thereof » aball ceaw and 
determine. 



112 A CENTOEY OF BIBIONOHAM LIFE. 

4th. That instead of former datieey a Duty of Five Shillings and 
Three pence be chaiged a|>on every hundred wco^t of all Copper Brick, 
Boee Copper, Copper Coin, and Cast Copper, imported mto Great 
Britain.'' 

Hie attention of the L^gislatare to the interests of general industry, 
can in no case be more necessary and nsefol than the Copper trade, 
"where the operation of laive capitals, and the long practice of aTaricioiis 
fineaee and canning, is Uoatingafew persons with riches, while the 
useful and laborious Manufacturer is starving^ or committing his family 
to the care of an already over-barthened parish. The population of 
Warwickdiire is as useful as the population of Kent^ and the Monopo- 
liser of Hops is not the only enormous OapitaUst whose steps diould be 
watched by GoTemment. 

In thin year our Botanic Qarden was originated. On 

September 21, this preliminaxy editorial notice appeaxed : — 

IVom the general difPusion of taste for Botany, perhaps the most 
deliffhtful of all the Sciences, Botanic Qardens are now forming in 
▼anous parts €ft t|ie kingdom. Our readers will peroeire from an 
advertisement in this page, that the votaries of Flora, amongst whom 
we may number some of the most accomplished of the l*air Sex, 
are likely to be soon gratified with a aimilar establishment in this 
neighbonrfaood. 

The same paper also contained this advertisement : — 

Botanic Qardbv. 

Those Ladies and Gentlemen who are disposed to promote the 
Establishment of a Public Botanical Garden in the Vicinity of 
Birmingham, by an annual Subscription, are requested to leare their 
Names at Mr. John Clarke's, DruMst, Bull Street ; Messra Knott 
and Lloyd's, or Messra Swinney and Hawkins,- Printers, where a Ust 
of upwards of 160 Subscribers may "be seen. When the Number of 
Subscribers Is increased to 200, a Meeting will be called to adopt th^ 
most eligible Plan for carrying the same into Effect 

The good work was carried on with our usual energy ; for 

in the next week's Oaaette we find this advertisement : — 

Wanted to purchase, or on a Long Leass^ about Two or Three 
Acres of Land, in the Vicinity of Birmingham, for the Purpose of 
forming a Public Botanical Garden. — App^ to J. darice, Druggist, 
BirmlngfaaoL 

A meeting of the subscribers was held on November 10, 
Matthew Boulton in the chair, at which the laws were 
passed, and a committee elected. 

The war had now existed for nine years, and the whole 
nation was eager and damorous for peace. Negociationa 
had been going on for some time and, to the unparalleled 
joy of the people, the preliminaries were signed in London 
on the first of October. The news spread rapidly through 
the country, and the demonstrations of delight' with which 
London had welcomed the news, were repe&d throughout 
the country. The manner in which the mhabitants of this 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 113 

town received tbe intelligence will be seen from tbe 
following extracts: — 

Biimugfaam, October 5, 1801. — The glad iidiugs of Preliminaries of 
Peaee beiog signed were first brought to this Town on Satarday 
morning, hj the Bristol mail (which arrived two honrs and npwards 
before ue London) in eonsetjaence of a letter receiTed by a gentleman 
at the former place, on Friday afternoon^ from the Prime Minister. 
Thia was saffieient to set the town in commotioft ; but an anxiety for a 
confirmation of the good news led bodies of the people to the wrders 
of the town, waiting the arrival of the London coaches, whose appear- 
ance at a distance with flags, blue ribbons, ftc, soon dissipated all their 
doabts as to the truth of the agreeable intelligence. The horses were 
taken from the Mail coach and drawn bjr the popnkce through the 
atreeti to the Post Office; and the distribution of the Gazettes 
Extraordinary soon satbfied the most incredulous. The whole day 
exhibited a scene of joy and exultation, bells ringing and guns firing, 
and persons of both sexes appearing in the streets with blue ribbon% 
and at night there was a general and splendid illumination. 

Ibat Peace, and one so unexpectea, should produce with us the 
Bost joyful effects is not surprising, for no otlier place in the kinsdom 
we may venture to assert has suffered more, or, upon the whole, borne 
with eo much temper, and tmlv national and loyal spirit^ the affliction 
of war, as the Town of Birmingham. 

Oct 12, I801.^-Tlie delirious joy with which the news of the signing 
of the Preliminaries of Peace was received here, was considerably 
damped towaid the latter part of the week. Some <k the London Jour- 
nals nad siserted Hhh Batification of the Articles might arrive in town 
on Tuesday nigfati the people therefore made themsdves certain that a 
Conriety or person of greater consequence, would not fail to be in London 
CO Wedmeeday ; consequently, pret^ early on Thursday the streets were 
UxmAf we may venture to aay, with mm ten to fifteen thousand persons, 
from the borden of the town to the Post Office. Considecable disap- 
pointment took place on this day. and more so on Friday, when ue 
people bmn quite to despond. On Saturday, a paragraph in tiie Sun 
eoDsideimbly relieved their anxiety ; and yesterday morning, the Mail 
Coach enteted the town drawn by six ho rs e s , with fiags imd suitable 
paintinge^ with a number of persons on horseback preceding it^ and fol- 
lowud 1^ a BumenMis body of people, some of whom went four or five 
miles to meet it The news of the Batification wa% of course, reed ved 
with rapture^ and this night there will be a general illumination^ which 
Is expeeted to be moat sjuendid, exhibiting transparencies^ te. 

We are sorry to atate that during the rejoicing, firing, illumination, 
Ac. on Saturday in this town, a man who had the unpardonable neglect 
ana fanprudence (we^trust^ for humanitv's sake, we ahould not use any 
other tern) on dlaehai^ging his piece, unmciunately killed dead upon the 
spot m poor boy, ofabMt 13 yean of age. There were scoundrels too 
who might also willully havv oeeasioned death, or something near it. 
Th^ amused themselves by coming gently behind gentlemen, andpla- 
eing a pistol dose to their car, fired it off^ stunned them, and singed the 
hatay some 6csi^ and their deaths. None of these fellows were taken, 
but we trust| to nighty if they follow up thdr amusements, every good 
person at hand will assist at once in taking them up, and we can rdy 
upon thorn rsedving a very proper punishment from the Magistrates, 
u. I 



114 A CENTURY OF BIBMINQHAM LIFK 

Btnniiigliam, October 19, 1801. — ^The iilamiDation that we mentiooed 
in oar last wonld take place in this town on Mondaj evenioff was one 
of the most splendid and brilliant Birmingham ever witnessed. There 
was scarcely a house that did not exhibit some beantifai transparency 
or deWce. The Free School, Bloe Coat School (lighted by a private 
subscription) and other pablic batldings, particularTy attracted notice ; 
and the immense fire of loads of coals in front of the Canal Office, at 
the end of a wide street, where an ox was roasting, had a very good 
effect. We are happy to say that we have not heiund of any accident 
happeniog ; but that this day of rejoicing closed in the most orderly, 
happy, and peaceful manner. 

The non-participation of the Quakers in the public 
festivities on this occasion excited considerable antagonism. 
The Chxaette took up their cause, and we read with great 
pleasure the foUowii^ liberal paragraph on the subject : — 

November 2, 1801^— It must always be painful to men of liberal 
minds to di£for in sentiment and conduct from their respectable neigh- 
bours, especiallyat a time of such universal rejoicing as the present for 
the happy return of Peace ; and this we have reascm to believe has been 
the case with the Society of Friends in this town and elsewhere; but 
whosoever attentively considte their general religious principles^ 
which have a particular tendency to lead tiiem^'out of all excess of joy 
or |[rie^ and to preserve that thankful tranquillity whidi keeps thie 
passions nnruflSec^ must see that illuminations and such like tumul- 
tuous expressions of joy, are inoonsistent with those principles^ and 
more especially as they too often an attended with excesses of various 
kinds. 

If any circumstance could induce them to illuminate th«r bouses, it 
would be the return of peace, at whkh thev most cordially rejoice ; bnt» 
even on this ocoasioDy thev think thankfuloess to Divine Fkovidence k 
best discovered by heartiul gratitude and amendment of life. It should 



also be considered^ that were they to illuminate on some occasions it 
would be almost unpossible for them to avoid doinff it on othen^ and 
as their well known principles against war do not idlow them to join 
in public rejoiciog for victories obtained by the effusion of blood, wbidi 
are the graeral ocoasbns of illuminations, this is another rsason for 
their thinking it most consistent to decline the practice altogether ; and 
it is mudi to the credit of this town that these samples of conscience 
have been treated with so much kindness and moderation. 

A musical performance was given this month, in the 
various churches and chapels^ for the benefit of one of our 
best charities — ^the Blue Coat School The Committee 
thus express their obligati<Mis» and return thdr thanks : — ' 

November 9, 1801.— The Oommtttee return their very giateftil 
Thanks to all the Vocal and Instrumental Performers who generously 
and successfully exerted their splendid Talents at the different Ghurdies 
and Chapels for the Benefit of the Blue Goat Charity School As Mr. 
Weston Las requested them to be sparing of their Acknowledgments 
to hun, they reluctantly comply with his request ; but think ft tlieir 
»le duty to inform the SobsoriberB to this Charity* that» in a 



indispensabi ^ 

veiy infirm State'cf Health, he has devoted a great part <rf the lart five 
Months to the composing^ transcrihii^ teachings and aixmnging of that 



PUBLIC UF£ AND EVENTS. 115 

Mam of If nnc, which has met with mieh general Approbation ; and 
that he has declined the Acceptance of anv RemuDeration for his 
LabooTy or Beimbarsement of the Expenoes- which he incorred. 

Mr. Weston made the following reply : — 

November 16, 1801. 

To the CammtUee of Hu Blue Coat Charity School 

Gentlemen, — Happy in the Consdoosness of haying to the ntmoet 
of my Power, contributed to the Support of your benevoMnt Institntion, 
I am almost equally bappy in finding that you have complied with mj 
earnest Bequest^ since uom your ekatiiMod Praise of myself^ in last 
Monday's Paper, the Interested, the Enyious, and the Malevolent^ will 
feel less Inclination to gratify their nnamiable Ptopensities, than when, 
in Julr last^ you so overrated my humble Talents and so oveipraiaed 
my feeble Sinvice : for I thiuk it a Christian's Duty to avoid throwing 
Temptations and Stumblmg Blocks in the Way of the '^weaker 
Brethren." 

Far be from me the vanity of attributing the nnpreoedented amoont 
of the three last Collections solely to my Exertions ; the high reputation 
of the Cleigymen who have so distinguished themselves, by their 
excellent Sermons, on the different Oonsions, forbids such an absord 
Supposition. To my numerous Vocal and Instrumental Friends who so 
readily and generously exerted their various Talents^ without Fee or 
Beward, and who even refused to be repaid their Expenses, I retnm 
most sincsre Thanks, assuring; them that neither Distance of Time nor 
Place shall ever obliterate their Kindness from my Bemembranosi 

I have the Hc^nour to be, 
Gentlemen, with perfeet Gratitude and Bespeet^ 

Tour devoted Servant 

Solihnll, November 12, 1801. Josxth Wkov. 

Mr. Weston was a local poet of the period. As we have 
previously seen, he edited Mra. Pickering's (nie Ponton), 
the blind poetess's, works; and added many of his own 
▼erses^ and some of Mr. Morfitt's, to the volume. A specimen 
<3i his poetic powers has already been siven. 

The next extract announces the formation of a new 
bank: — 

Birmfagham. December 7^ — We lean, from undoobted anthorityy 
that a new Bank will be opened in this town hj John Wilkinson, Eiq.* 
of Bradley, with the additional names of Mr. Sturtiny and Mr. William 
Smith, of Temple«treet^ at Christmas next 

Amonsst the charitable societies of the time was the 

Female School of Industry ; and in an advertisement calling 

a meeting of the subscribers we have a brief account of its 

objects: — 

Dec. 7, 1801.^The Committee of the Female Sdiool of IndostQr 
(Na 6. Qoeen-etreet) are l e sp e ctfu Hyinfonoed, that a General Meeting 
of the Snbaaiben win be held at the Charity Sdiool, St Philip^ Gbinc^ 
Yard, To-morrow (Tnesday), Deosmber SySt Bievaio^elock in theFore- 



Ai the Object of t^iis Institiitioa may not, perhaps, be vnygenenOjr 
known, the Committee b^ to observe, that it Is intended for the Beesp' 



116 A CENTXTRT OF BIBHINGHAM LIFEL 

tion of Female Ghfldren of the Poor, who are ta»ght to read, knit aikl 
aewy and inatmcted in each other Dntiea aa will be the Meana^ it is 
hoped, to qnahtv iheni, whatever be their future Situation in Life, to 
become flood and £uthful Servants, and useful Members of Socie^. 

The Committee are happj further to observe, that the Institution, 
though in its Infa^, has not failed to answer the Expectations of its 
beloved Patrons, lliey feel it their Duty, however, to say, that its 
Success depends not merely upon the liberality of its Supporters, but 
that it mav be promoted as much, or more, b^ personal Attention. It 
is OBsenti a i to its very Existence, that each Visitor endeavours, as much 
aa possible, to be nonctnal in the di8ehax;ge of her duty ; and it would 
be of great Benent it every Subscriber would^ occaaionallv, as may be 
most convenient! call at the Sdiool, and aid its Design by enforcing 
B^gularity of AtfeBndanc&by a seasonable Beproof and Oonection of 
EiTor, and by a judicious JBnoouragement of Merit 

The following annoimcexnent of a deaili ought not to be 

withoat interest to the reader : — 

Birmingham, December 14, 1001. — On Saturday, died, in the 40th 
year of hia age^ at Moor Green, near thiatown, sincerely and deservedly 
regretted by lua numerous friends and accjuaintance, Mr. lliomas Ana 
Peanon, many yean sole proprietor of this Qasette. The Gaaette wiU 
contnme to be pnUiahed aa usual, by his Executors, at No. 99, High- 
street. 

On December 21, the artisans of the town received the 
welcome information that ''A Pin liannfactoiy, on an 
extensiye scale^ is being established in this town, under the 
firm of Lovell and Co. And thus, with new trading and 
commercial prospects, and with the hope of a permanent 
peace, closed this sad and disastrous decade. 



§ S. EDUCATION A2n> UTBRATUBS. 

^ The litenuy activity of this decade was confined to poli- 
tical and polemical pamphlets, with an occasional sermon, 
which was generally political and p'dlemical together. Freeth 
still wrote and sung his political songs, but his best poems 
belong to an earlier date ; Morfitt sounded the " tocsin," 
abused the French, anathematised Dr. Priestley, and his 
voice was still for war. He also contributed to Pratt's 
Harvest Home aome valuable information on the condition 
of Birmingham in his own time, to which we shall direct 
special attention in a separate chapter. Weston wrote his 
feeble verse; and Bisset sung of Birmingham. Giarles 
Lloyd publidied some of his poems ;. but the literaxy harvest 
of uiis sad and troublous tune was not a rich one. We 



EDUCATION AKD UTEBATURK 117 

have a few pamphlets advertised ; one with the curious title, 
*' Any Thing, or From Any Where ; otherwise, Some Ac- 
count of the Life of the Rev. Mr. Turnabout, the Great 
High Priesf On September 10, 1792, this notice was 
published : — 

A Mavusobift. 
J. Th<nii])0oii, Printer, inf orma the PerBon who aent him a Manuscript 
for PaUication, entitled, The Toochatone. or Advice to Tradeamen, on 
Tneadar laati that he wiahea to dedinepu oliahing it in ita preaent atate, 
aa the Satire ia too peraonal, both on Iradeamen and their CSerka If 
the Author will oonaent to aome of the objectionable PMsagea being 
omitted, it ahall be publiahed, otherwiae it wOl be retained, upon receiv- 
ing a Lme written m a correapondent Hand, and paying the Expence 
ci thia Advertiaement. — ^Moor^treet^ Sept. 8, 1792. 

Job Nott was veiy busy at this time. He published, 
price three-pence, his own Life and Adventures. The an- 
nouncement of the third edition of this work will suffice as 
an example of his method and style : — 

Job Nott's Third Editiov. 

Febmaiy 11, 1793.— On Wedneadaj mommf next, will be publiahed, 
Price 3d. each, or one Gkiinea a Hundred, — The Life and Adventarea 
of Job Nott^ tiie Third Edition. In which Miaa Spanker ia reproved 
for her iU Hannera, and made a more proper Companion for tne 



Brother Engliahmen, it ia rery pleaaing to me to hear from my Book- 
adler that my Xife is going at aach a BiSe ; and ia in ffeneral ao mndi 
a{iproTed. A freaX and good Man has aaid that " Nobodj can read it 
without Langhmff, nor leare it off withoat being more Loyal and more* 
Moral" And, tnerefore, to all Loyal Maatera my Advice ia, give 
your Serranta one a Piece. To all Loral Ofiicera my Advice ia, eive 
your brave Becmitaonea Piece for a Knapaack Companion* And to 
my Brother Artificera, and the amaU IVy, my Advice ia, get a dab of 
over Work that yon mar be able to lay out Three-pence in a Book, 
wrote entirely for your IJae, Information, and Amuaement^ and by one 
that regardi and never will deceive yon. Yonra to Command, 

Job Now.* 

P.&— I aee Dr. Prieatley haa jnat writ to the Frendi to tell them 
there ia a God, and that the Mindea recorded of Jeaoa Ghriat in the 
New Testament^ and by Moaea in the Old Teatament, are true upon a 
GRtainty. Who knowa but what I aaid in my Book, Plage 33 and 34, 
nay have mured np the Doctor to write thia Letter to the French, and 
irfiieh I thmk doea him very great Credit. "^ Fair Play'a a Jew^" aa 
^^ifffl fjn John aaid* 

The Bey. J* Riknd, Hector of Sutton Coldfield, nublished 

in Birmingham, on December 17, hia ''Biffhta of Uod, occa- 

tioned by Mr. Paine'a Bights of Man.** In thia year also 

Button, who unfortunately in his old ace had taken to write 

▼erses, issued his "Barbers; or, the Road to Biches. A 



* It ia not known with eertaialy who wn>le mder thii mMawH; hat the 
fCBCial feefiiigwaaia HiToorof the Ber. B. Bam, and Theo. Pnoe. 



118 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

Poem." In 1796, Dr. Withering published his important 

book on British Plants, which parsed through five editions, 

and was accepted as a standard work on the subject. 

A passing visitor gives this description of a work of Art 

whicn he saw in this town : — 

To the Printer of Ariis Birmingham Ocuette. 
' Nov. S7, 1797. — Sir,^Paa8mg some time nnoe throng fiinningham 
on mj road to London, I was inclined to see a little of the town, and, 
after rambling through some of the principal streets, I was retoming to 
mjr inn, when mj cariosity at seeing some models and fiffores at a win- 
dow in finU-tftreet, induoed me to enter the shoj). The first thing that 
canght my eye was a most beantif ul little figure, in rice past& of a dyinff 
fiaint^ of ezouisite workmanship, and en^uiiin^ who was tne artiaSL I 



was answoM by a curious lookm^ fellow m a white jacket, who said if 
I would notthiu the worse of it, it was the work of an Kngiishman who 
was yet a boy, and was suxprised at finding him to be the artist. I must 
ocmf ess I was hig^y entertained with the ^reat variety which surrounded 
me, such as miniature paintiim, models m wax, rice paste, and plaster 
of FSaris, which for dehcacy ofnnishing suipasBsd any thing of the kind 
I had ever seen ; landscapes and devices of oifierent unds, which fonned 
■adi a pleasing variety 1 never before found in tokj shop of the kind. I 
was equalljr gratified with the sight up stairs, wluch was an ezhibitioii 
of Wax Figures. Pulling ont my watch, I re^^rstted I had but ten 
minutes to qiare, or I would have sat for my likeness ; to whidi the 
artist^ smiling, replied he required no more than half the time, which I 
freely gave, and had the pleasure to receive, in a few days, that which is 
nnivenally aUowed to be a good likeness. Merit like lus should not go 
nnnotioed, I am, Sir, youz's J. P. Lb 

The next is a sad annonncement .' — 

August 27, 1798. — ^Mr. Bullock, the young Artist who has gained 
such great repute in Birmingham, we are sorry to say is on the point of 
leaving it, and retumiug to London, the statue business not answering 
his exnectation. He now intends giving his whole attention to the 
modelling and painting of likenesses. We bellere him to be the only 
one in ^igland who professes both those arts^ although his age does not 
exceed twentv. What may we expect to see from him when he has 
had ten yeanr practice f 

On March 4, 1799, appeared 

Proposals for publishing by SubscriptioD, (Price 10a. 6d.>— Eight 
Songs and Four tSanconets^ dedicated (oy Permisrion; to the Riffbt 
Honourable Lord Yisoount Dudley and Ward. Bj Jeremiah Olme^ 
ILBLy Oiganisti in Birmingham. 

On July 8, Mr. John CoUard published his well known 
''Fkvxis of Logic, for the use of Schools.* This gentleman 
was one of the Twelve Apostles who used to meet at "Poet 
Freeth's;** and he consequently figures in Eckstein's Tontine 
Paintinff. He was a hatter and tailor in High Street^ and 
is de8cm)ed as "bein^ veiy fond of discussion.** He retired 
from busioess and lived ma" pretty sylvan cottage, near 
the Ben and Cuckoo, on the Sutton-road.** Here he wrote 



EDUCATION AND UTEBATUBE. 119 

his works^ the " Esseniiftls of Loffic," the ^ Praxis of Logic/' 
and ''other elaborate treatise& A mezzotint portrait of 
Mr. CoIIard was published in 1808, from a picture by 
Lonsdaloi His works obtained considerable reputation at 
the time, and are not quite unknown at the present day. 

In Jul^ of this year (1799), appeared the advertisement 
of ''Birmingham, a Poem," by iir. J. Bisset This gentle- 
man was also of the "Twelve ;" who seem to have included 
nearly all the men of intellect of the day. In the key to 
the "Tontine Painting'* we have the following brief 
biography of this old Birmingham worthy : — 

Mr. Juam Biwet kept a Baxaar and MuMom, in New 8treet» and 
being the longest liTer of the twelve, he nltimalelT beeame poeeeeeor 
of the Tontine Pietore. Later in life he removed to Leamington, where 
he continued to keep a Mnaenm ontil hie deceaae. One evemng, whilst 
living in New Street, and soffering most acately fiom an attack of 
f^% two of the Club, agrecablv to a pre-concoted plan, entered his 
sitting room disguised as highwaymen and well armed, roughly 
demanded his mon^, and, as wm expected, Mr. Bissst reskted, and 
forgettittff his goat» actually chased the sapposed robhers to IVeeth's 
houe in £ell Street, where the practical joke became at once apparent, 
and, strange to say. he never again snfiered from the same excmciating 
complaint^ to whicn he had Ibr a long time previonsly been a martvr. 
Another anecdote has been rdated to the writer of these sketdies by 
an eye witneai^ which afforded a ** striking exhibition * of the hittemess 
of party feelink which ran high at the period referred to (Circa 1790). 
One evening Mr. Bisect had the temerity to call in at Linden's, the 
Tory house, in Peek Lane, when one <^ the company indecently pnffed 
a volume of smoke into his fiice. Up to this moment Mr. Bisset had 
sobmitted with perfect indifference to the many petty and insulting 
ohservations maae indirectly at him, bat the moment an indifliiW was 
directly offered to him, he resented Uie insult bv ftlling the offcDoer to 
the groond. A general m616e took place^ whidi ended in Bisset^s 
snmmary faction Into the street, and a breakage of glasses and Jags, 
&C., amoonUng to nearly five poond% whkh Mr. B&set had to pay, 
being soed for the amount in the Coart of Beqaests, He was con- 
sidered a connoiaMar of paintings and worics of art The following is 
a copj of the inscription on- the tombstone erected to his memory by 
his mends and admireia, in the chorch-yard at Leamington : — 

Sacred To the Memory of 
JiJias BissR, 
Hfho died Aamt 17, 1838, Aged 78 yeara 
lUs Honoment was erected bv his Friends in tolDsn of their respect to 

hu memory. 
BoROTHT BiasKT, Dicd, December 14th, 1886^ Aged 68. 

Hk poem <m Birmingham wbb, in het, a new method of 
adyertising, as elegant as it was ingenious. Week after 
week bis annoanoement of this new ventare anpeared in tbe 
Oazette; shewing that he was a master of toe art himself, 
and set a good example to those whose fitvoara he solicited. 



120 A CENTUBT OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

One of ihese advertisements will afford the reader a clear' 

idea of the character of the undertaking : — 

Jnlr 29, 1799. 

BIBMINGHAM: 

A POAC, 

ContaiDiDg a Description of the different Manu&ctories and other 
CariosiUes to be seen in the Town and Neighbonrhood, 

Acoompanied by a most maflnifioent Directory, or Nominal 
Concatenation of all the pnncipal Gentlemen. Merdianta, ArUsts, 
TVadeemen, Mann&bctnrerSy &c., in and aboilt Birmingham. 

J. Binet roapectliilly informs the Pablic^ that having executed the 
Designs for the Copper Plates, which are now in the Hands of the 
most eminent Artists — those Gentlemen who may wish to have their 
Names, Professions, or Place of Besidence inserted, will be pleased to 
transmit the same to him, at his Mnsenm, in order that they may be 
properly registered and alphabetically arranged. 

Many of the Designs are emblematical of the different Professions 
or Trades, whidi contain the Names of the respective Parties, viz. : 
Artists, Merchants^ Gnn-makers, Sword-Cutlers, Japanners, Brass- 
foonden^ Stationers, principal Inn% Ac, See, Others represent some 
of the principal Bnildinjn in the town, vis. : the Chnrdies^ Free Sdiod, 
Blae School, Crescent^ Theatre, Lloyd's Hotel. 6ea, &c ; sJso a perspeo- 
tive View of Deritend Chapel, and the Apollo, with a Soroll for the 
Names of Gentlemen, Thulesmen, &&, in that Qoarter. 

As it is an Undertaking that will combine both Elegance and 
Usefalness, no Pains nor Expenoe will be spared to make it worthy the 
Attention of the Pablie. The seneral Approbation his novel and 
eccentric Proposals have received from those respectable Gentlemen 
who have honoured him with their Names, and inspected the Designs, 
has induced him to proceed on a most extensive scale. 

Those who may not pfoperl^ comprehend the magnificent Plan 
J. B. has adopted, to extend the Circulation of the respedable Addresses 
he may receive (and at the same Time, he hopes^ do Honour to the 
TownX may see Specimens of Uie jSngravings, and receive an 
Explanation, by applying as abovioL or at the Pnnter^a 

Any Gentleman wishing to find hn own Plate^ may be accommodated 
with a Place finee of Expence^ otherwise the Insertion of the Name will 
be 10a ed., to be paid when the Plates are complete; but any indigent 
or ingenious Artist or Manufacturer who cannot afford to pay, dudl 
have a Place gratia 

No Name can be inserted after the lOth of August, and as no 
personal Application will be made, and nc Names engraved but those 
who send in their Address, it rests with every Gentleman whether he 
chuses to have his Name appear along with those of his respectable 
Nelghboura 

J. B. in a former Advertisement obviously pointed out the general 



Utility of his Phin, as it is meant to snpmede the NecsAtv of 
Gentlemen, fta, issuing their own Oardi^ as by this Mode tW wui be 
disseminated not only over the whole kingdom, but will, in lime, find 
their Way to the first atlss In the Univena and wHI (doubtless) be 
■ouriit with Avidi^ by all Encouragers of the liberal Aria 

fie can promise out little for the Pbem which wOl accompany sudi 
an elegant Combination of Superb Engravings— 



EDUCATION AND LITERATURE. 121 

Bat if an Aathor does his best, 
* Sore Oandour will excuse the rest 
The nmneroos and respectable Applications J. B. has received to 
pablidi the Rambles of Tony Lnmpkin through Birmingham, which 
was spoken at the Theatre, by Mr. Mnnden (and receiyea with sndi 
nnboonded applause), he freely coinplies with their Bequest, and 
intends annexmff it to the aboye Poem, which he hopes will be 
published about tne middle of September. 

Bemainsy with great Respect, 

The Public's Obsdiint Beslyabt, 
Museum, Birmingham, July 25, 1799. 

what tho^ we boast no Riyec^s genial Source, 
And from the Ocean — ^Rocks impede our Course^ 
Imperyious Mountains yielding to our Skill, 
We pierce their Centers — and the Valleys fill, 
Direct their Springi-H9onstruct a Nayioation, 
To waft our Oommeroe to each distant Nation, 
And show, when^er our Patterns are unfurrd, 
For Worin of Fancy we outstrip the World. 

The book, heralded by so many ** puffi prelimixuuy,^ was 
published in January, 1800, and is an admirable specimen 
of an illustrated DiiectoTy, Many of the engravings are 
artistically designed, and beautifully executed. It is also 
useful as giving us the names ana places of business of 
many of our ear^ manufacturera The illustrated Directoxy 
is preceded by two poems, ezdnsive of an ''Address to the 
Beader," and an " Introduction,'' the first called a ** Poetic 
Survey round Birmingham, &c." and the second a *' Ramble 
of the Qods through Birmingham." We will accompany 
the Qods, and see with them now Birmingham looked to a 
contemporary in 1800 :-;- 

Of Public Charities we hare our share, 

To which all freely give, who auffht can gptxt ; 

For, independent of the Levies clear. 

Which net near Tbibtt Thousaho Pouium per year, 

There's various Institntioiis, where, indeed. 

Beliefs afforded to the poor in need ; 

Who oft^ with grateful hearts, those gifts receive, 

Which hb'ral Smon oft so freely give. 

Of PoBUo PLAOn for Am usncmT, we 
Cuk bcMSt of little more than Two or Thru ; 
Of LnaAmoHi lars, we number two. 
One called the Ou>, the other styl'd the Nbw. 
We^re Hails and Ooaoubs, HoiraLT setting out 
For ev'ry Towv and Couirrr round about, 
And am eonvayaaoe have to every part, 
For East, Wm, NoBfs and Bonn, they daily start. 

Of handsome Haonnn' OoAons we^re our share. 
But yet BO Act to regulate their fare ; 
Of course the Oo AOBiaur diaige whatever they please^ 
Tho^ few are found extorting extra fees; 



122 A CENTUEY OF BIBMINGHAM LIFEL 

Youll find them steady fellowB, and quite willing 
To drive you several stieets' length for a sfaiUing ; 
Two Shillinos to Yauzhall's their nsoal fare, 
Or EiOHTBrar-PxirGB the CassomiT or the Squasb ; 
But those who visit Handsworth or Soho, 
Had better make a baigain, ere they go. 

Of Bavks we've Four, — ^than which none in the land 
Upon a steadier, firmer basis stand ; 
"Wnen Stoces were low, and disooont^s rapid foroe 
Had almost drained Old Abr'am's grand resource, 
The Credit of onr Bakkbrb firmly stood ; 
As sterling Qold, their Noris were fall as ffood. 
Nor c/'er were aaeation'd all throof hont the land ; 
The Beason's plain — they pay ^T^v Dbjcand." 

Old Yolcan said, ^ Of one thing he was sure, 
^ The atmoq>here we breathe is dear and pure ; 
^ The num'rous Firbs around," he said, ^ bid fair 
''T'expel all Yafours, purify the Air; 
** And though, in some thmgs. Doctors differ still, 
" To controvert that truth, there's none that wilL** 

OurSTRSsn are spacious, BniLDnros neat and dean, 
As in a Tradxvo Towk were ever seen ; 
And FcTTBiar Thousaxd Housbb here you'll find. 
With thrice Tev THonaAKD Shops arranged bdiind. 

The Strbbib are paVd, 'tis true, but all the stones 
Are set the wronff way up, in shape of cones. 
And BTBaHOBBS ump along the best paVd street, 
As if parch'd peas were streVd beneath their feet ; 
Wb^ custom makes the Nativbs scarodv fed 
Sharp-pointed pebbles press the toe or heel 

A Traveller furnishes us with the following remarks on 
some of the works of Mr. Eginton, an eminent artist in 
stained glass : — 

July 28, 180a 

To the PriMUr oftk$ Birmimgham, OaseU€. 

Sir, — ^EUkvinff frequently beheld, with infinite pleasure^ the various 
works of that justly-oelebrated artist in stained glass, Mr. Eoivrov, of 
Handsworth, near Birmingham, pennit me, as a small tribute to his 
superior merits thus to express the delight and satirfaetion I again 
lately felt in viewing another of his pioductioiis, put up by the munifi- 
cence of JosBPB Soon, Esq., in the east wmdow of Great Bar Chapel, 
the 16th Instant. Thesubjeetof this bsaatifal pictars is veiy happily 
borrowed from the Bev. w, Peter's Spirit of a Child conducted bv an 
Antttl into the Presence of its liaksr ; in the eBSCntion cl whidi uere 
aivhere evidently some very material impvovenMots upon the orijpnal 
design, particularly in the judicious introdoction of some hi|^y-finiahed 
douds, which baopilv rehere the brilliant effect of the preteraatnnd 
light The gmcsful f onns, light flowing hair, and exquisitely beantifnl 
and interesting countenances ct the two figoiss, are admirahly dsBneatsd 
and sf^Ptened by that gradation cl tints and cnasts cokniring mknown 
to the antients m the art ol painting ^bss. The excellent proportion of 



AlCUSEKENTS. 123 

the window must likewise strike eveiy beholder^ as well as its adTsnta- 
0BOII8 flitaatioii in a semi-dreley where no intruding side Jiflht diminishes 
the happy effect of the whole. On the foUowinf^ Snnoay. being the 
wake, T had the satisfaction of attendmff Divme Wonhip in this 
eleoant GhfqMl, when the Bev. K Waters deliTered a Tery appropriate 
ana ^^^n*^*^ dinoarse on the occasion, from the 1st chi^)ter A tne Ist 
book of Kings, the 7th and 8th Terses, on the merits of whidi I conld 
expatiate trolj; bat from the fear of takinj^ up too much of your 
▼aluable V^^^t I *K^ conclude with lefemnff your readers to his 
volume of SxRicoirSy immediately, I undeistan^^ to be adTertised for 
publication. Viatob. 

There were, of course, occasional lectures, scientific and 

others, but the literary progress of the town between 1791 

and 1801 was not iBncouraping. War, distress, political 

despotism and religious intoferance, were enough to check 

any efforts for increasinff the educational resources of the 

town. The Blue Coat School, the Protestant Dissenting 

School, and the -Sunday Schools, were almost the only 

institutions which were now engaged in giving education to 

the poor. 



§ 4. AHUSEBCEMT& 



The badness of the times had a depressing influence on the 
amusements of the peopla The theatre was open for its 
ordiniuT season of four months in each year ; and, judging 
from the slight notices given, was toleraUv succesafol 
Some of the greatest pmormers on the iSiglish stage 
appeared in the town, and some new plays were produced, 
^tertainments of other kinds were not numerous. A time 
of dearth, of war, of short trade, and overwhcdming taxes, 
is certainly not a time in which we should expect to find 
much pipmff and dandnff. The ordinary seriousness and 
gravity of the people would be increased by their sufferings, 
and they had httle care for what under such circumstances 
would have appeared the frivolities of Ufa The first para- 
graph we meet with relates to private theatricals : — 

FuvATs TRmanu^ Livbrt SnBBr. 

Febmaiy <L 1798.— The Kanageis, bsiog sensible of the Incon- 
TenisDoe which many Ladies must have eamwimead, from a more 
numeioas andioioe mnerallj attendim than the ThesAra will oonTeni- 
ently hold, retpeetfollj inform their VnmdM that in Man no Gentle- 
man, beinff a non-sobseriber, can be admitted ; and tiiat ibtt Ti^els 
defiTsred for the last Eycning's FolonnaDoa^eamiot be admitted on an j 



124 A CENTUBT OF BIBHIKOHAM LIFE. 

future eyening, m no ticket will be deemed admisBable unlesB r^galarly 
indozved by a eabeciiber. 

The once celebrated Polish dwarf was wiih us this year : 

February 13, I792.--B7 PeimiasimL— Mr. Boruwlaaki (the Poliah 
Qeutlemaii), aged 62 years, only Three Feet Three Inches in Statare, 
has the Honour to announce his Arrival in this Town. His favourable 
Beception, among persons of the first Bank, haa induced him to hope 
for the same Protection from the Ladies and Gentlemen of this Place, 
and its environs. 

He will receive Company from Eleven o'clock in the Morning till 
Three, and from Four m the Afternoon till Seven, at Mrs. Momll's, 
Shoeinaker, Hi^^-street, opposite the end of New-atreet. 

Admittuio^ to see hun, la each 'Person. 

N.R — ^If Mr. Boruwlaud does not give a Concert, which his Frioids 
have done him the Honour to BequMt^ he will leave Birmingham on 
Saturday next 

There were Maccabes in those days, and, judging firom his 

billy Mr. Collins was of the number . — 

January 14, 1793. 

For Two or Three Nights at Most. 

""Sport, that wrinkled Care derides. 
And Laughter, holding both his sides." 

At the Gentlemen's Private Theatre, in Livery Street, on Wednesday, 
January 16, 1793, will be presented for the first time in Birmingham, 

Gbllins's New Embellished 
jBvuniio BausB, 
For Bnbbing off The Bust of Osre, 
As exhibited Fifty-two Nij^ts last Winter, at the Lyceum, in ixindon, 
to overflowing Houses, after One Hundred and Ninety-four Bepetitiona 
of the Brush in its original Sti^ at the Boyalty Theatre, and the 
ijyo&oBk before, 

By the Author Himself. 

The whole interspersed with the f oQowingNew and Oridbal Songs : 
The Brash, The Kmg^ The Stage GoachTThe Glorious Ninety-three, 
John Bun, Prospec t cl To-nunrow, Gimblet-eyed Kitty, England's 
Alann, Bodney's Dag^f Tngi-comie Murder, von Two Tree leetel 
Voids a la Fhui9oi8e, and the Historjr. of Ennand through Two and 
Thirty Beigns, a copious subject short in Detail 1 

Dom open at Half after Six. Begin exactly at Seven. Admittance, 
Two Shillings. 

The House will be oom^letely aired, as two lam stoves will be kept 
eonstantiy boniing every Day, and have been so for several Days past 

N.Bw Gonveoient l4ghU placed in the Gonrt Yard leading to the 
Theatre. 

The French Revolution introduced what^ in ''these degene- 
rate days," would be called a new sensation in amusements. 
This was no other than 

ApnliiBd,1798. 

La GmLLonin; 
Gr Beheadinff Madiine horn Plaria. As exhibited at the Hay Market^ 
houSaa, before the principal Nobility of the Kingdom. 



AiiusEHEirrs. 1 25 

The unhappy Fate of the late King of France having excited univer- 
•al Oompassion in this Ck>iintr7, it is presomed that the Curiosity of tiie 
PaUic will be ([ratified by tiie View and the Effect of an Instrument 
like that by which he suffered. Accordingly a Guillotine has been con- 
■tmcted under the immAHiai^tt Direction of a Gentleman who was present 
at the &tal Period, and who very minutely examined the Origmal, to 
whidi it is exactly similar in every Bespect And in order that the 
Effect of Uie Machine may be better conveyed to the Spectator, the 
Execution is performed. on a Figure as large as life; the H€»d is severed 
from the Boay by a tremendous Fall of the Axe, and the Illusion is 
complete. 

The Exhibition to conmience on Wednesday next^ at the Public 
Booms, New-street, and to continue •▼^ Dey of this and the following 
Week. Admittance One Shilling each BorBon. Hours from Eleven tifi 
Five o^Glock each Day. 

Our friends the GampaDologiaiis will be delighted with 

the following record of a succcssfol feat : — 

October 7, 1793.— On Tuesday last was rung at St Peter^s Churdi, 
Aston, near this town, a true and complete peal of Bob Majors, 
consisting of 15,360 diangea, which was completed in 9 hours and 
31 minutely by eight of the society of that nboe ; including, it is said, 
the most changes, and greatest length of time, ever rung in this 
kingdom. 

The events in France famished the Birmingham people 

with another entertainment^ which is thus announced : — 

November 4, 1793.— We understand that a large beautiful Trans- 
parent Painting, descriptive of that most afTeoting and interesting 
Event, Louis X Yl., King of France, taking a final Leave of the Queen 
and IVanilv in the Temple^ a few Minutes previous to his Execntioii. 
with two laige emblematical Side Pieces, representing CSalumny ana 
lyrannv; is in great Forwardness, done as laxge as Life^ by an eminent 
Artist of this Town, and will be exhibited in a large oommodious Boom 
at the Union Tavern. Cherry-street, on Thnrsdav next, and following 
Bayi^ from eleven ordoek till two, and from nve till ^ht In the 
evenmg. And in order tofrepaU the duagfreecAle EJUmia arinmgfrom 
Lamf^ «M art informed U it the Proprietar^e InieiUian to Ugkt up the 
Fieee with Wax. 

This '^ transparency'' produced four extempore lines: — 

November 18» 1793L 

EzTCMPORK — On seeiog Mr. Wilson's Transparent Painting, now 
exhibiting at the Union Tavern, Cherry-street 

If aoght ean make us feel another's pain, 
Or raise a sigh for Friends in deep distress, 

lis this afSMting— eUent — tragie scene^ 
Whieh dictates more than language can express. 

Theatrical amusements were suspended for some time by 

an act of incendiarism. On August 20, 1792, the Oazette 

contained the following account of 

Tbb Bmarnio or tbb Thsatri. 
Many ineffeetoal attempts have been made for some mbnths past 
to set lire to oar Theatre ; bat at leogth the wicked villains have 



126 A CENTUKY OF BIEMINGHAM UFE. 

saooeeded in their execrable designs. A little after one o'clock on 
Friday morning last this beautiful edifice was disooyered to be on fire ; 
and scarcely had the alarm been giyen, when immense fiames, preceded 
by yast yolumes of smoke, issued from the fVont and eyery part of the 
building, and illuminated the whole town. Though the engines amved 
with allpossible expedition, and the Officers and Troops of the Roj^ 
Bagiment of Horse Guards, quartered in the town, as well as the 
inSibitants, gaye their ready assistance, the flames raged with unabating 
fhry the well-constructed roof soon fell in, and in the course of about 
four' hours the whole inside, with aU the scenery, wardrobe, musical 
instruments, &c., and whateyer else it contained, was entirely consumed, 
and nothing of this elegant fiibrick now remains but the bare walls. 

The consternation into which the whole town was thrown by this 
dzeadfhl fire will easily be imagined. Most of the neighbours were 
employed in hastily remoying their goods ; and the fiunily, as well as 
lodgen, at the Shakespeare Tayem, with ditteulty escaped suffocation 
laying undressed from their chambers. Happily the night was calm, 
and Uie strength of the party walls, and the engines playing upon them, 
preyented the flames from communicating to the Tayem and conliguous 
tuildings. Mr. Wilday, the Master of the Tarem, howeyer, is a great 
■uifeier from the destruction of much of his furniture in remoyinjg 
it| and the depredations which some inhuman wretches took this 
opportunity to commit upon him and the rest of the neighbours. 

That the Theatre was maliciously set on fire there caimot be a doubt 
Those who had the courage to enter it found doors opened which were 
locked when the house was left by the serranta the preoeding eyeninff, 
and they obeenred the fire had been lightedi and was burning with 
equal fury, in three different parts of the premises, widely distant 
from, and without any communication with^ each otoer;— out what 
oonld be the motiye of the perpetrators of thb horrid aet» cannot be 
oonceiyed. With a yiew, howeyer, of diseoyering the yillainous authors 
of so iniquitous a deed, the Proprietors haye ofiered a reward of 200 
guineas, which we trust will brinfthem to ligh^and to the punishment 
tiiey so justly merit. The premises were insured, and Mr. Yates, the 
Manager, had also an insurance upon the wardrobe and soenes, &&, but 
toimamount by no means equal to their yalue- The Performers will 
be yerr great sufferer*— the dresses of all of them were entirely bum^ 
except Mr. Maishall's, who had the intrepidity to enter the dressing 
TOOBL and resene his clothes from the flames, 

=* - •• ' - — ^' -we he 

l)le connaj 

Birmingham charity at once came in to relieve the 
distress caused by this wicked act ' On the same day 
that the report of the fire was published, we read: — 

August SO, 179i.— The lata dreadfbl Fbe in New Street hanng 
depriyed seyeral Performers of the aoeosloaied Adyuitages arising 
from thrir lespeetiye Benefits— the Oentleme A of the Private Theatre 
in Liyery Street, haye ffenerously stepped fbrwaid in this Hour of 
Distress, and haye libenOly offered to the Oompany the Use of their 
Theatre for the above PonxMe. The Pablle 1^ therefore, rsspeetfnlly 
informed that the said Theatre, after having beeo aoeoratehr surveyed, 
is nndergoing Alterations which will make It capable of eontaining 



AMUSEMENTa 127 



near 600 Penons ; but that those iMdiea «nd Qentlemmi who wiah to 
pfttronixe this UndertakiDg maj meet with every possible Oon- 
▼enieiioe^ Tickets for 400 only will be issued. 

A public subscription was opened for the same purpose. 
The proprietors of the Theatre contributed sixty euineaa 
They also voted a purse of twenty guineas to the soMiers of 
the Koyal Bc^iment of Horse Gua^, for their active assis- 
tance during the fire ; and they at once commenced to repair 
the disaster by issuing the following advertisement : — 

To ArekUeeiSf BuUden^ dte. 

A Thvatrb. 

The Committee of the Proprietors of the Theatre at Birmingham, 
lately destroyed by Fire, hereby give Notice that they are desirous of 
rseeiTing Plans and Sections for rebnilding the Inside o( and roofing, 
the said Theatre. * 

The intention of the Proprietors is to have a eommodioiis Stagey a 
Pit^ two Bows of Boxes all round the House, and a Qalleiy OTer all the 
Boxes. The Extent of the Gromid within the Walls is as follows :— in 
Length, One Hundred and TwoIto Feet ; in Breadth, Forty-eiffht Feet. 
A (men Boom, Dressing Booms^fte., a^foin the Theatre, and remain 
on the Ootaide of the Walk. 

Thoraday, the First of Notember next, is the latest Day on which 
Plans csn be reedved ; and with a View of encooraffing Artists to do- 
Hver them in, the Committee onnge to pay fat the flan most approred 
the 8am of Twenty Ooineas, ana for the Plan approred after that the 
8am of Ten Guineas. All Plans, &&, are desired to be addressed to the 
Committee^ at the 8hakespeare TaTorn, Bumingbam, or left with 

T. Baoox^ Seer^aiy to the PkY>prietor8. 

Binnins^iam, October 10, 1798. 

By November, 1 794, the new building was so far advanced 
that the proprietors advertiaed for a manager : — 

BnimroBAii TBxani. 

De& 1, 1704.— The Gommittee of the Proprietors of the Bhrmingfaam 
Theatre give this Pnblic Notice, in conse^oence of thefar Promise to 
Tarious Applicants on the subject, that their Theatre will be ready Ibr 
openlnff the latter end of the month of May, 1705, and that the Plan 
npon wnidi they are desirous to agree wHh any Gentleman to engage 
and manaoe a Cmnpany Ibr the Sommer 8eason, may be seen on lion- 
day, Tuesday, and WednesdMr, the fin*. 8econd, and Third Days of 
December, at the Office of G. Sanden^ Esq., Na 86S, Oxford-sUvet, 
London. It is also left with Mr. Brooke, Attorney at Law, Temple 
Bow. Burmingham. to whom any Gentlemen inclined to make Ph>posala 
are oesfaned to send them before Monday, the 8th of December next. 

Binniqgban, Nor. M, 17M. 

The result of this advertisement is given in the next 

paragraph >— 

May tfthy 1790.— TtaB Trbatu.— Our new Theatre (whidi for the 
present we shall content onrsehrips with saying will be enpeiior in ele- 
fpoeandgruideartosnyprovineialcneiniataver) opens next month. 
The GentMnan with whom the Pkt)prietois have eng^^ asMsnager cf 



128 ' A CENTUBY OF BIBiaNGHAM LIFE. 

the Oompanyis Mr. ITCready, the author ci the new Comedy called the 
Bank NoUj now perfonning with aach ftppUraae and aaoceasat CSorent 
Garden. The Peif ormera (the names <n some of whom we hope to be 
able to give in our next), are selected from the London Honaee ; and 
from w&t we can learn, the liberal Manager appears to possess the 
abilitj and spirit to form suitable arrangements for openmg such & 
House. 

That }£r. M'Cready intended to conduct his management 

witii spirit is evident. The next theatrical notice gives a 

list of the ** stars" he had engaged for the season. It includes 

the greatest names in the annals of the stage . — 

June Ist^ 1795. — ^Thbatrb. — It is with pleasure we inform oar readers 
that the spirited Manager- of the Company here, this Summer, has 
engaged for the. public amusement ,a greater number of the priiuar * 
Lopflon Peiformen^ than ewex yet appeared in one season at any profn 
dal theatre. In hit list we perceive uie names of Mrs. Siddons, Mr. and 
Mrs. Pope, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Middleton. Mr. Townshend, B£r. Hariey, 
Mr. Ooxndlys^Mr. Powell, Mr. Richardson, Miss CSbapman, Miss Mel- 
lon. Ac. Mr. Byrne and Madam Bossi (indisputably the first dancers, 
ana Hariequin and Columbine in En^hmd) are also engased ; as are 
Master ana Miss Standan, the favourite ^ Children in the Wood," and 
in the Prize and Tom Thumb. No small pains have been taken to select 
a snitaUe Band for the Orchestra. It will be led by Mr. Weir, of 
Oovent Qarden Theatre ; and Mr. Clark will play the harpaidiord. 

The new Theatre opened on Monday, June 22, 1795, and 
we quote the contemporary description of the house : — 

. Tbb Tbsatbi. 

June 15, 1795. — We have the satisfaction to announce, that onr 
Theatre opois on Monday next, and we are happy that we can gratify 
vublio duiosity with some description of tbis splendid edifice ;— erected 
sum the designs of George Sanders, Eaq., Architect, of London, and 
under the directions of Mr. Norton, of the Crescent, In this Town. 

Upon entering the House, the eye is stnick with its capacioosnees, 
el^ganca^ and ricnnesa. Its fotm. for the audience part of the Theatre, 
is semi-CHrenlar to the box on either side of the stagey which, as iar as 
eaeh extends, takea the line of a oirde reversed. Two tier of Sixteen 
Boxes surround the House; thev are decorated with many white 
enamelled Iron Oolnmni^ representing a Bundle of Beeda^ the fillet that 
eneireles and binds them, and the vases and capitals, bemg richly gilt. 
From above the colamns project elegant brackets, which suspend the 
brilliant glass cut cfaandeli«ts. The coloor of the inside of the Boxes is 
a deep pinky the covering of the seats crimson, and the cushions apple 



The Pit is most ample and commodion^ and here the spectator sees, 
with peihaps better effect, the whole decoration of the Hoose, whidi, in 
executing from the Ardiiteoi's design, does so much oedit to Mr. Dixon. 
He sees as he directs his view, the elegant ornaments painted on the 
parapets in IVont of the Boxes^ the magnificent Ceiling in the form <tf 
a Fan, adorned with antique 4giues and omamenta corresponding with 
the decoration of the Boxes, and the costly painted Curtain, through 
which spP|MU«9 in an opening 38 ftsi wide, the Stage with the vivid and 
splendia Scenery of Measra Qrsenwood and Dixon, the masterly exe- 



JLMUSSMENT& 129 

cation of which wiU, we doabt not^ oonfimi and, if pooBiUc^ increase the 
oelebriiy of these eminent Artists.. 

The Gallenr is, perhaps, the largest^ and, we may Tentnie to pro- 
noance, one of the oest in Europe ; and the pubHc^s safe^ andconve- 
nience, in coming to and goinff from tiie House, has been partienlarly 
eonsolted. The entrance to Box, Pitb and GaLlerr, is fix>m different 
Streets ; and there is not^ what has oeen so mnda complained of in 
other theatres, any step or descent whatever in the entiy from the street 
to the Pit A himdsome Saloon receives the company before tiiey so 
into the Boxes, and a commnnication is made from eadb lobby to tne 
larse ball-room in front of the house, where refreshments will be pro- 
▼ioed ; and whither those Ladies and Qentiemen who may wish to 
relieve themselves between the actsi and the play and entertainmentv 
may repair. We shall now only aad. that as the walls of this hoge 
fikbric (whidi enclose a space in lenfftli of one hundred and nine £wt^ 
and in width of seventy-nine) have oeen erected nearly two years, no 
apprehension of dampness need be entertained ; and observe, that as the 
Manager seems to vie with the spirit of the PMprieton, by txringing to 
the fint provincial Theatre a Company of Performers snperior to any 
that ever yet left the metropolis^ we hope the exertions that have been 
made^ and the great expences incurred for the public's accommodation 
and amusement will not be unremunflnted. Indeed, we persuade our- 
selvsi^ that when it is considered how many thousands must have been 
expended in ereetiog this sumptuous edifice^ and how large an income 
will be required to' support a Company worthy of it^ the public 
liberality will not exact that the admission prices here to the Box and 
Pit should be laww than at other respectable towns in the country. At 
Liverpool^ Bath, Bristol, Bichmond, Margate, and Brighton, the Box 
price IS /bur MlUnffS^ the Pit tw> skiUiiws wui nxpenoe^ taid in several 
of these Theatres when very capital perxormers appear, those prices are 
raised; but here it is respectfully proposed to fix upon tneuL and 
invariably abide by theoL The admission to the Gallery will oe aa 
usual, only a Shilling. 

A later adyertisement informed the public that the 

house would be illuminated with wax. 

The report of the opening ia exceedingly brief : — 

June SKh, 1705.— Tbb THnATRS^— Having already given a descrip- 
timi el this large and costly fabric, it wOl now be unnecesnry for us to 
say more upon the subject^ than that it was opened with great edat on 
Monday evenmg, by Mr. MXJready* and a London CMnpanv; and 
that to its other recommendationa ii to be added that the actors voice 
is hmxd in every part of the house with the flreatest deamess. No 
expence or exertions seem to be spared by Mr. M'Creadjr to aiford the 
Duuic the best amusement ; and with that liberality whidi he has uni- 
formly evinced in all his transaetiona here, he has made an offer to the 
Msmrales of the whole receipta of a iijgnt, for the benefit of the poor 
of we town. This offbr has been acoepteiL and the niflht is fixed for 
Wednesday nflxt| wlien we doubt not but the Theatre will be filled by 
the beoevelent ot all nmka 

The seaaon'waa aucceaafuL The manager gave a benefit 

^ The father of the famons actor, W. C. Msereadj. The great tmgediaa 
made his first appearsnoe on the stage la this town, 
u. K 



130 A QENTURT OF BIRMIKOHAH LIFE. 

for the poor, and another for the General Hospital. We 

quote the paragraph relating to the last night : — 

September 14th, 1796. — Oq Friday eyening oar Theatre cloeed for 
ihie Seaeon. The pUy (Alexander the Great) waa for the Benefit of 
Mr. Hollman ; and the appearance of the Hon. Mrs. Twialeton, in the 
diaracter of Statira, oontrioated in no small desree to fill the Honae. 
Mr. MTGready, the Manager, io a handsome address, took his leave of 
the town, and ex pressed in a yery feeling manner his gratitude for the 
eonnteDance and iayours he had experienced ; and it is but justice to 
him to say that, if unwearied exertions, liberality of spirit, and an 
ardent desire to know and conform in eyery instance to the wishes of 
the public^ can entitle a man to fnture finyonr and protection, no one, 
we think, can nige a stronger daim than Mr. M'Gready. 

The next season opened with mudi promise; and we 
have a few unusually long critidsms, or notices of the 
performanoea We quote one or two of these as illustrationa 
of the time. On June 20, 1796, we have this notice of a 
comic Opera : — 

Thkatrioaus. 

The comic Opera of the Woodman, perlbrmed last week at our 
neatra, and receiyed with soch flattering maris of ffeneral approbation, 
was brought forward as a most compMt and Inished exhibition. 
Independent of the combined excellence of the ps i - fty r mer s ^ rinffers, and 
orchestra, the Archery Scenes with the addition of a most exceUent and 
characteristic dance^ woald haye reflected honour upon any Theatre^ and 
cannot, in troth, be equalled by any other groiip of performers in this 
kingdom. A repetition of this pi«oe is mndi wished for by the town, 
and will be amply supported. The new and fityoorite monad drama 
of Lock and Key was acted for the first time here on Friday last ; the 
performers seemed to yie with each other In the exercise of their 
yarioos and extensiye talents in ^neral wnolation for the approbation 
of their audience^ and the entertainment was rsceived throai^oot with 
reiterated bursts of laughter and applause. 

With pleasure, we understand that a correct copy of the celebrated, 
popular, and unpublished new comedy of The way To Qet Married, 
lias been obtained (by pennission of the Author and the Manager) 
through the interference of Mr. Lewis, as a testimony of his unceanng 
respect and attention to the Birmingham andisoca 

Next we have a criticism of a Pantomime : — 

July 11. 1796.— The new Fkntomimeof 'Harlequin Mariner: or. The 
Fairy of the Oak,** produced kst week at oar Thealn^ is an additional 
proof that neither pains, labour, or expenoe ars at all coosidersd, when 
placed in competition with tlie deUgnt and entertainmeut of an en* 
conraffing pubua The incidental busineas ci this exceUent exhibitioa 
woulu not naye been diigraoeful hi the higher parte of the dnuna. and 
might, with grerit coDsisten<7, haye been interwoven in a Oomeoy or 
Opera The magic effects produced br tiie machineiy, sosneiT, and 
deceptions, were yisible to slL and called Ibrth the most tomultiiOQS 
approbation and appUnsa Tne last scene prod u ced a sublime cUmaz 



of scenic noyel^. assisted by the appearance of a map of beauteoos 
childron habited m the ftecinating garb of capidi^ while tl 



the intentice« 



AXUSEHENTS. 131 

of the tUgtt were eompleiely filled up with the meet interetting and 
cbaractemtie female figaree, fonning an almost entire system of heathen 
mTtholoffy, as represented in the pantheons of the antients. We maj 
assert^ that the united powers of the painter and the mechanio were 
never offered to ^ pablic on the Birmingham Theatre^ with more 
effsetiye exoellenoe^ nor has the town witnessed in pantomimic exhibi- 
tion a more interesting and splendid spectacle. 

Here is an eulogy upon a once charming actress : — 

Septraiber 6^ 1790. — ^Mias Wallis. — ^This accomplished and elegant 
performer (as much distingaished in private for her worth, as in pablic 
for her talents) makes her entr6e on oar stage this evening, for Mr. 
IAiddIeton*s Beiiefit, in her most admired chancter in tragedy— Joliet 
--eapported by Mr. Mlddleton in his best diaraeter — Bomeo^ What 
most ensure an overflow ii^ that this Is the only night on whidi she can 
perform here. It will be remembered, that in Boxalana she received, 
on the I^iJ I^ane boards last season, the most distingaished applanse, 
where she toy the permission of the proprietors of Oovent ^Mrden) 
performed tnat part^ ibr the Benefit of the widow and Children of the 
late Mr. Storace^ and that she had also the honour of receiving a letter 
from the Gentlemen of the Bar at Edinbor)^ (at whidi place she has 
been perf o rming this Bommer) 'accompanied by a noble present, 
leanssting her to retam after her ensoing enguement in London, 
▲ad to ula^ Groodi's pleasing and enchanting fLalh.by.'' and the 
ezprssrive •'Spirit of my Sainted Suv** of the aoentific KellT, together 
with that eelefmted Letter Daet Scene, from the veqr macn aomhed 
Opera of the Sim cf Belgrade^ and there can remam no doubt thai 
this will prove a £amatlc banquet almost nneqoalled. 

The next extract relates to the manager : — 
September Sfi, 1797.— Mr. M'Craady, oar Theatrical Director, seems 
beat upon it to make his exit with an aniversal graoe. To say nothing 
of what he has doos^ we cannot bat look with an admiring eye opon 
what be this nlsht means to da Bannister and SnHt's attractions 
combined, in warn fitvoorite cfaaraeten as the Fhilpots, Lingo^ Dagger- 
wood, Fastlaa, Scoat, and Snarl, are too powenal a temptation to 
resist^ even if a man had made np his mind, as the old saying ii^ to go 
■^ " "the 



to the Play DO mors this season. It is now some yean since we had 
pleasare <k seeing Saett on the Biiminflfaam boards, bat sll most well 
remember that he was the idol of the pablic then ; and as improvement 
has kept eqaal pace with his absence^ we mar expect to see him now 
''in all the Joeund vein of Isiigh-provoking nnmoor.*' Bannister hss 
so reesntlr oelighted oi^ that h& merits want no memento^ as they are 
w gl ste rea, ** wfiere ereiy daj we torn the leaf to read them.* Mor do 
we think It neoessaiy to dwell on what is due to the Manager, iriKMS 
lavish spirit and wnsbaHng ardoar to give the pablic eveij spedss id 
the rimst sntertsinment a Theatre can afford throogfaoat the season, 
most have sntafled Qpon him an sxpence enonnoas, and. Indeed, soch 
a% kMsl^ eoiiBldsrei( k totally onprecedented in the histoty of the 

To combine amusement with charily is no new invention; 
and it is oot a bad way of raisinp^ jfunos. The ^nnco ffade** 
sometimes make a dolorons objection to socb a umon of 
this-worldliness with the-other-worldliness, bat we believe 



132 A CENTURT OF BIBIOKGHAM LIFE. 

there is no instance on record that they ever refused the 
money so obtained. This year a Conceit was given at the 
Theatre for one of the noblest objects of charity — ^''the 
relief of the widows and children of the brave men who 
fell in Lord Duncan's glorious victonr off Camperdown.'' 
The concert was, as it ought to have been, a success. The 
criticism is exceptionally minute : — 

Nov. S7y 1797.— We have seldom witaeased a more interestiiig spec- 
tacle than was presented at our llieatre on Friday eTening last, at the 
Concert for tiie relief of the Widows and Children of the brave men who 
f dl in Lord Doncan's glorious victoxy. €hie sentiment only appeared to 
peivade a most elegant and crowded andience ; raraine loyal^, blended 
with the tenderest sympathy, seemed to burst from every heut. The 
Concert was honoured with uie company of ^e Bight Hon. Lord Vis* 
count Dudley and Ward, Lady DncQeyy the H<m. Mr. Shiri^ and his 
Lady, LadyBowager Lawley, Sir Bobert and Lady Lawley, &t Qeoxge 
and LadjT Yongey Sir Edmund and Lady Hartopp, and man^r other of 
the principal jgieiitrv of the neiflhbourtiood, and at the same time ezhi- 
hited an additional proof of the benevolent spirit which actuates the 
inhabitants of this town. 

We have not yet been able to learn the exact amount of the money 
received, but it is hoped that^ with the addition of 212. presented by tlie 
Eari of Aylesford, lOL lOf. paid by Lord Dudley for ten tickets, U. fit. 
received from Lord Ljttelton, 62. 5a. from H. Leffge, Esq., 6L 6i. from 
Sir Geoige Yonge, 62. Oe. lOoL fincnn Messrs. Didranson and Goodalls, 
the balance of a subscription left in their hands for the relief of a person 
deceased, and 62. fit. from the party of Marines recruiting in this town, 
aided further by other contributions which the Committee look for (and 
which may be left at any of the Banks), they will be able to send at least 
4(XML to the Committee at Lloyd's, for the use of this excellent charity, — 
the Perfoimers, without exception, having rendered their services gratis. 

Of the musical talents exerted upon tms occasion, it will be observed 
we have forborne to speak, as one of the most elegant votaries of the 
Muse (who graced the festival with her presence) has been solictted to 
testify their excellence ; and we copy her own wwds: — ^^ Qreat praise is 
due to Mr. Jeremiah <9ark,^ of this town, who first su^^gested the idea 
of a meeting, that proved xidi in the blended giatification supplied by 
taste for music, bjr patriotic feeling, and hj benevolence. Our concert 
was adorned by ms acknowledged ability m musioid composition, and 
by the aocunM7 and brilliaace S his nerfonnanoe. It was strengthened 
by the excellent band of the fiojral Dragoons^ and by the libenl assis- 
tance of several Gentlemen in B^rm^ng^am and its environs ; and high 
were its obligations to the Himley SMiety, exerting,- at Lonl Dudley's 
request all their nowers to chann ; to toe three Syren Sirtm alter- 
nately oreathing the solemn 'Sweetness, and seraphic grace of BuMidel's 
pithetae airs, the elegance of the Italian strain, and the simple beauty of 
the pastoral ballad and glee ; to the celebrated Mr. Ejiyvett and his 
Son ; to the two Mr. Cindlev's, who gave tiieir anstaace at Lord 
^ksfocd's request : and to tne respected veteran of the science, Mr. 
Cnam p pes s, whose deep voice rolled its manly melodies ; to the united 
■trsqgth of one of the nrstdioirs in England, of whichthe varied powers 
of Mr. SaviHe'svoice.thepathosandeneigyof his expresrion. have been 
long the boast^ while they were felt and acknowledged from every. 



AHUSEHKNTS. 133 

difltaat orchestra which sammoned him to their band. He acquitted 
himaelf on Friday night with all his wonted animation. The prettf 
duet bj Mifls FletcherB, was given in a style which evinced their 
rising talents ; the fine bass notes of Mr. Birch did justioe to Handel's 
heroic sonff ; while the full and jpleasing tones of Mr. Taylor's voice were 
distinguished most agreeably m the admirable trios. Thus was tlus 
generous concert at once the triumph of the musical prafessiony and bf 
tiie virtues.'^ 

The great Eemble was with Ha again in the season of 

1799 ; and here is one notice of his peiformance .' — 

July S2nd, 1789. — ^Never was curiosity so mudi excited, or so much 
natified, as in the representation of FLeuio at our Theatre last week. 
The Boua of Mr. Ejemble must be acknowledged his chef d'oenvre, 
umI is in itself sufficient to attract the crowded and o verfl o wing houses 
we have had ; but when aided by so exoellent a set of pezfonners, such 
brilliant soenenr, dresses and decorations as are brought forward, we 
cannot but applaud that public taste which so liberally encourages and 
lewanls the gnat efforts tnat are made for its entertainment. 

Our theatre was, this year, honotdred with distinguished 

foreign visitors >— 

August 6th, 1799. — ^The Bussian Ambassador, his Ezcellen<7 Gomte 
de Woronnxfi^ who has been for this last week on a visit to Mr. Boulton, 
id the Soho^ and viewing the principal manufactories, minea^ canals, &c 
in this town and neighDouxhood, on Wednesday bespoke the Play at 
our Theatre, and was so hi|^y gmtafied by the^Maudits of the audience 
and attentkms of the manager, thai Mr. M'Uready, we understand, 
received from his Excellency the most liberal and munificent proof of 
his approbatioD, The following soq^, introduced upon the occasion, 
the Gomte considered as a hi^h compliment to that Imperial Personage 
whom he, with so much digmty, represents. 

When Britain fix«t| at Heaven's wnnmand, 

Arose from out the asnre Main, 
This was the Charter— 4he CSuffter of the Land, 

And Qnardian An^ls sung this Strain-^ 
Bnle, Britannia I Britannia rale the Waves^ 
For Britons never shall be Slaves I 

Italians hSr and lertile Plains 

Must haDDv Bestoration see : 
The brave puw ai TOw — Suwai r o w breaks their Chains^ 

And bids her Sons again be free t 

Bnle. Britannia^ ftc 

In Europe, two good Monardia join 

To humoie Fninoa BeUgion'a Foe; 
Great Geo^te 1 the Ocean--4he Ocean still be thine, 

Whikt Panl on Land dueets the Blow. 

Bnle, Britannia^ Ac 

The seasons of 1800 and 1801 were also distingnished hy 
the presence of actors whoee venr names fill old playgoers 
with delight and enthusiasm. Biddons, Pope, Lewis, Hvley, 
Cooke and Kemble, were among the number, and were sup- 
ported by good companies, not appearing as solitary stars m. 



134 A CENTUBT OF BIEMIKOHAH LIFE. 

a world of dulness and incapacity. We need not wonder at 
our grandfiBithers sighing for the " brave days of old." 

At the present time,* Mr! Thnrton is amusing the Bir- 
mingham people w;ith a very clever and amusing entertain- 
ment under the title of Odd Folks. ^ Sixty-six years ago, 
our fore&thers had their Odd entertainment also. Is there 
anything new under the sun ? 
Beoember 28, 1801. 

Oabb Sent to ComnrBT, 
By a Set of Odd Fellows. 
That Is to aaj — ^Bj an Ideal Group of Anaareontic Wage, lappofledl/ 
met to driTO the dull Drone from tlieh* jocand Hire ; like Sentinela on 
Guard, all alive to their Daty^ with Muih for their Watdi Word and 
Good Hnmoor for the Oonnteniffny exhiUting, in their own C3iazaeten^ 
a laughable Epitome of Etoit Man in His Hnmoor ; and, at thej axe 
distingaiahed hj the Name or Odd Fellows, the broad Yortex of their 
Merriment embractoe the following Odd Subjeete: — 

Odd TraYels and Odd TraTellen. 
Odd Oonntriee and Odd Inbabitanta 
Odd Cities and Odd Towna 
Odd Streets and Odd Houses. 
Odd Signs and Odd Insoriptiona. 
Odd Pieturee and Odd FUntinge. 
Odd Flgnres and Odd D r e sBM . 
Odd Oiutoms and Odd Mannera 
Odd Trtdes and Odd Employments. 
Odd Games and Odd Amusements. 
Odd Mode and Odd Mueidans. 
Odd Hays and Odd Poppet Shows. 
Odd Qoacks and Odd Coiyorora 
Odd Ghosts and Odd Speetres. 
Odd Witches and Odd Derils. 
All which Odd Matten are Oddly strong together and set forth in an 
Odd sort of a Way— Ovm mumi OdduUnu tmrnlmt Odd! And in 
Addition to the Okl Qoips and Qoiddities of those Qoi^ Oddbodies, 
three or Ibor Odd Soaps from the Aotboi's Qoondam BodfEet^ soch as 
the Speakinff dock, the XJnfiirtonate Mouse, the Monster in Pettiooati^ 
and tne Irish Sdioolmaster, wiU be reseoea from ObliTion. merely as 
occasional Hooki and Pins to hang the Norelties of the N(ght opon. 

The whole intertpersed with a oontfasted Selection of Original 
Comic Song% of which not one was erer yet sonffby any Person bat 
the Aothor ; and, as hebTno Means ssts vp Ibr a Warbler, the Woid^ 
independent of Vocal Embellishmenti^ are what th^ most stand or fiUl 
by in the Ertimation of the Poblic. 

TBBa TiTLas, 
Poor Old Jack. i The Iriih Watchman. 

The Odds on the Bight Side. The Growth of a Ue. 



The Theatricsl Motton. 
little MoUt Mae Brawn. 
Osie CommetelT Broshed Away. 
The IhM British Tar. 



The Golden Furmer. 
The Life of a Soldier. 
The Bondle cf 8cr^» and 
The Tsii^able Gh^^ter of War. 



* K^omnber, 1S67* 



MANKEBS, CUSTOMS, ETC. 135 

The Doors to be opened at Six, to b^gin exactly at Seven. 

Boxen 38. ; Pit Sta. ; Gallery la. 

The Hoaae is rendered pei^Mby dry and warm, by Stoves, well 
•applied with Fael, having been kept in every Part of it for many 
days past 

Tickets to be had of Messrs. Knott and Lloyd ; of Messrs. Swinney 
and Hawkins ; asd at the. Bine Coat Charity Sdiool ; and Places in the 
Boxes are to be taken of Mr. Sanderson, at the Theatre. 

And now we let down the curtain on tbe amusements of 
this decade. 



§ 5. MANNERS, CUSTOMS, ETC. 

It is a pleasant thing to be able to open this section with 
a i>rotest aeainst one of the cruellest customs of the time. 
It is true that sudi protests are few and far between, and 
for a lonff and weaiy period have little influence, and 
produce httle apparent good. They are, however, the 
D^ginnin^ of improvement; the certain indicators that a 
change is coming. An evil once protested against is 
doomed. It is certain to die hard ; and to "take a deal Of 
killing;" but kiUed it assuredly will be. So it was with 
bull-baitinff, cock-fightinff, and other barbarous customs 
of the good old tima Their fate was sealed the moment 
that good and merciful men b^ean to denounce them. The 
legislature might, as it did, d^end them ; the ministers of 
reugion migh^ as they did, attend them; but, once set 
Inovinj^ the opinion of the few, on such a subject^ becomes 
in time the conviction of the many, and Parliament and all 
other oppodng powers have to yield— or rather become 
convertea to the immoved feeling which has taken pos- 
session of society. Here is one of these early protests 
against buU-baiting : — 

October 8, 1792. — ^A Ooxrespobdent laments, with some degree of 
astonishmenti that, in this nei^boorhood (ao distingniahed for ita 
atteatiop to diaritable institotinia,) a enttom so barbarous as that of 
BaU-baiting should still have continnanoe among the common people. 
A lew days sao he beheld a scene upon the miblie road in anei^bonnng 
parish, that Msply affected bis feeliii|g«. One of theee cruel diversiona 
was Just ever, and the rdentlesi mob were leading the man|^ object 
el tlieiroittnm from tiie place when it had been batted. Itsnoeeand 
fins (bceraledlyj d^) semed strings cf bleeding flesh I The spedee 
of dog kept f<Nr thii purpose, never, or vm seloom, quit their hold 
without tearing through the pait co which they fasten. The poor 



Ib< 



186 A CENTUBT OF BIBMIKGHAM LIFE. 

abuBed animal now alluded to had (for four aaooesaiye days) been tied 
to a stake, and made to undergo this torture ; so broken was its Bpitity 
or 80 inofSonsiTe was it in its nature, that notwithstanding it had thus 
ezperienoed injurious treatment sufficient to render it outra^|neous, it was 
lea along without any resistance, like a lamb, amid its cruel tormentmrs; 
nay, even bearing one of the numan savages upon its back in patient 
quietness and submission. 

Surdj cruelties of this kind may be prevented, bjr refusing those 
bUoms a licence who either procure the animal (which is sometimes 
e case) oar who supply with liquor the tinfftnling rabble who assemble 
to enjoy the horrid amusement f 

Amusement I gracious Qod ! who ronidest the ^falling qMurrow, 
and feedest the young ravens that cafi upon thee," are not these 
things written in thy book? Doubtless tnej are; and man must 
account for the cruelties whidi he wantonly inmcts on the brute crea- 
tion : — ** for all these things God will bring him unto judgment." 

CockiD^ was also doomed when the report of a dis- 

craoefnl piece of barbarity was prefaced by the words found 

in tiie following paragrapn : — 

November 12^ 1792. — Oook Fiobtiko. — This barbarous amusement, 
we are ooncemed to say, holds its nnk among the tuIw qpoits that 
diigraoe the oountiv. Gentlemen still countenance the narbarity, and 
are seldom more elated than when the^ witness a bloodv aihd hard 
fought battle. For the credit of humani^, we trust that the report is 
not tru^ that a gentleman, near Shrewsfaux/, betted a wager tluit his 
breed of oocks would fi^t though set on fire. Hie bet was aooeptedi 
and the cock's feathers, which were covered with turpentine, set on fire. 
The animal, it is said, though roasting aliTS, fought ana killed hu 
adversary in the midst of the fiames ! 

The paper in which this appeared still published such 
advertisements as this : — 

CocnKo. 

April 1st, 1703. — ^At the new-«reeted Pit in Binninflribam, will be 
fought a Main of Cocks, between the Gentlemen of BtMTorddiire and 
Warwickshire, to shew and weigh twenty-one Cocks on each side, for 
Four Guineas the Battle, and Fifty the Main. likewise ten Cocbi on 
each side, for Two Guineas the Battle, for Byes, and to fight the ttnd 
and 23rd of April instani 



jRowley, for StaffwMure^ Jpeeden. 
Turner, f or Warwickahue, J*''~«»* 



Lovers of the Sport are requested to be there as eariy as possible, as 
thej intend to bcgm precisely at Twelve o^dock. 

Stw Philip's Chnrchyard appears to have eiyoyed as bad 

a reputation then as now, wnen it is the nightly resort ci 

the most depraved characters ; — 

October 7th, 1703.— On Saftordaj ni^t, the 88th ultimo^ a voong 
woDian, Toy imprudently stof^iing imder a lamp in 8t PhiUi^ enured 
vard In this town to look at her wafleaa man came behind Mr, stopped 
her mouth, took them from her, and tnen knocked her down and made 
oft It ii noped this will serve as a oantioii to people in fatara 

Here is a specimen of a matrimonial advertisement 



MANKEBSy CUSTOMS, EXa 137 

MATaiKOvr. 

Jaanaxy 9th. 1797.— A QenUeman of Property and respectabla 
Character, who iiaa been well brought up, under 30, health j, and well 
aitoated in Boaineai^' finding a Companion eiwentially necoMmy, and 
having bat a ali^t Acaoaintance among the Female Sex, adopts thia 
Mode of olfiBring himself a Candidate for the Notice of any Lady 
inclined to an Hymeneal Union. 

A Line addressed to N. O. P., to be left at the Post Office, New 
Street^ Birmingham, with real Name and Place of Abode, will be dnly 
attended to, and the most inviolable Secrecy may be depended mouL 

N.Bb — The Postmaster has leceiTed a Signal to refuse all Addresses 
but to the Fioper Person. 

Here is a record of a quarrel and its filial result : — 

Angost 28th, 1797. — A few eYeninjg(B ago, two Compositors belonging 
to the Birmingham Chronicle Office, m consequence of a dispute, f ondit 
a battle of an hour and three quarters in a neighboorinff fida, when 
they so tenibly beat each other, that one of them ezpiied in less than 
four hours afterwards, and the other is rendered a twrible i^Mctade to 
hii friends. 

The Coroner's inquest sat on the body of the deceased, and retvned 
a Verdict of Manslaughter against the surrivor. 

Our next extract is a specimen of the ''big gooseberry" 
paragraph : — 

Jan. 14, 1799. — That toads in a perfect state have been found in solid 
rock and marble, and enveloped in the laigest and closest gxained treea 
are facts attested by the most respectable anthoritiea A similar, ana 
perhaps little less surprising, circumstance was discoTered last week by 
Messrs. Pope and Tart, of this town, who, in sawing an elq^anfs tooth, 
found in the middle of it a perfect iron spear head, 6^ inches long ; the 
corroded state of the iron, the firm texture of the ivory, uid the well- 
known longevity of the elephant, render it highly probable that it had 
been in that aitoation 40 or 60 years before tne death of the aoimaL 
Its first introduction into the centre of a solid tooth of six feet length, 
the writer of this does not pretend to account for, but confines himsdf 
to remark, that the wpeKt-hmd is exactly of the description of those used 
by the nanves in the interior part of Africa, who hunt the dephant 

The following refiBrs to another custom of the time, more 
honoured in the breach than the observance. It also shows 
what heavy penalties were inflicted for brealdng a fiscal 
law: — 

Nov. S6^ 179A.— On Thursday, a vouns man of thii town was convicted 
in the psnaUy of twen^ pounds (whum the Macpstntes mitigated to 
ten pounds) for weatiqg hair powder without naving taken out a 



The nert two extracts bring before ns a case of trance 
which ended fttally: — 

Jan. SI, ITSa— A TaairaL— Hie goss^ in this town have for these 




street The poor sleqper breathes veiy hard. 



138 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

Jan. 28, 1709. — ^The woman mentioned in our last, died without 
awakening on Tuesday last ; so that she had slept, without intennisBiony 
a whole week. 

In dealing with prize-fighters' the authorities of the pre^ 
sent time mi^iit talce a lesson from their predecessora It 
will be seen from the next quotation that they determined 
to utilise this class for the good of the state : — 

PiTOHBD Battlb. 

November SSrd, 1795. — Whereas it-has been represented to some of 
his Majesty's Justices of the Peace acting for the Counties of Stafford, 
Warwick, and Worcester, that a Pitched fiattle is intended to be f ouffht 
between Alloock and Johnson, on Monday the dOth day of November 
instant, on the borders of the said Counties ; — ^Thev do therefore hereby 
ffive Notice respectively,' that if such Battle shall be foueht in either of 
the aforesaid Counties, they are dUemwMd to put the Jmpreu Act in 
Foree^ and Arrut and Send on hoard the iTosy, not only the Pereone vAo 
shall JSffht, but all othere who shall he present and encouraging them. 

A correspondent communicated to the Notes and Queries 
which appeared in Arises Oaaette in 1856, the following 
record of— 

Bull BAimro iv BiBMuroHAX. 

We have received from an old and hisfalv-rmected inhabitant of 
Birmingham, an account of a memorable Irall-ciaiting, which took 
place m tlus town in 1798, the occasion bemff dupel Wake, a 
festivity instituted to commem6rate the erection of St. JBartholomew's 
ChapeL On the day in question the bull was baited in a field behind 
the Salutation Inn, Snow Hill, and in conf onnity with the wishes of 
the respectable inhabitants (who desued to put down the nuisance) the 
BimMngfaam Association — a body^ of militia voluntary^ fonned bjr the 
trading dan — undertook the f oimidable task of cantonng the bull and 
diroersinff his tonnentors. The Association assemDled in the Bull-ring, 
ana marcned, with odours flying and drams beating, to the baiting 
pboe in Snow EQIL On azriving there they found that the mob, having 
notice of the attack, had transferred themselves and the bull to Bixming- 
ham Heath. Although the day was intderably hot, the Aasodation 
gallantiy resumed their weaiy mardL and after a due amount of toil 
xesdiad the scene of action. Tkts fmli-baitevs scampered off in aU 
direetiona taking their doa with them, but leaving the bull tied to the 
stake, ana the Association leisurdy proceeded to secure their formidable 
prise. A strong cord was made nst to the bnlTs bonis and tied round 
nis fore l^;s, the chain was unloosed from the stakes guards were told oil^ 
who, with fixed bayonets, xeoondncted the poor ammal in triumfli faito 



the town, a vast crowd, of course, **asrisHng* at the novel oeramony. 
The procession passed through the nrindpal streets^ and at last the buli 
was safely lodged in the ym of the old nrisoa, in Ptodc-lane. Daring 
the night an attempt at rescae was maoe^ bat it failed, and finr years 
aftennuds the street boys reven|^ thsmaelvieB Ibr the distoi^snoe of 
the sport by singing a song depictug the volunteers In the most onioom- 
plimentaiy cokmn. One of the stanns was as f oDows :^ 

^ They spoiled the waaksL 

Ana palled up the staake. 

And put the boll f the dungOL** 

* DungeoB, loeally prooonaccd " dsi^Q." 



BIAKNEBS, CUSTOMS, ETa 139 

Tbe baU-baitiDgB were afterwards carried on at Handeworth, where 
the powers of the Asaodatioii oonld not be exercised. On the diasolu- 
Hon. of this redoubtable body, its oolours were hung up in St Martin's 
Church in honour of its valourous exploits — the capture of the bull 
bemg tiie only one inyolring actual service. 

The next notice is oiie more indication of the growth of 

an improved state of feeling amongst the better class of the 

town: — 

Bt Order of thb Magistratbs. 
. January fiSth, 1799. — ^We, the Constables of Binninffham, do hereby 
ffire this timcJy Notice, that all Publicans who shaUy in future, he 
vmnd enoouniging, or in anywise aiding or abetting, in the inhuman 
and unmanly Pkaetioe of uock-fiffhting, or Throwing at Cooks, on 
ShroTe Tuesday, or on any other day, will most assuredly have their 
licenses withheld, as we are determmed to use the utmost Vigilance 
in disoorering offenders. 

We quote one specimen of the poetic advertisements of 

this decide : — 

ATTnmoir. 
April Sth, 1799.— To Cheap Cloathinff, Wholesale and EetaiL— T. 
John Allin, Hay Market^* Birminsham, begs leaye to inform Country 
Shopkeepers that deal in new and old Cloathes, that they may be 
aeoommodated with a greater Choice than at any Shop in London, and 
at the same low Prices. All EaTOurs will be gratefuDy aeknowledsed, 

By their humble Serrant^ T. A. 
To m Oybrsbsrs of tbb Poor. 
^'Maywe never wantHeads to plan, Hfarts tofeel, and Hands toezecute." 

X e neighb'rinff Oreiseera who oft to Town repair. 

And wSih to doathe the Poor with Pkudenoe and with Care^ 

I pray yoa^U condescend to look into my Shop, 

I iiaTe no kind of doubt your Penoejnm'U freely drop ; 

With ease I can mnride with eVry Thing complete, 

Ooat» Waistcoat^ Shirts and Shoes, yea, Stockings for the Feet; 

Hiata, Bnedies, Qowns^ Stays, Amt>n% Cloaks^ 

In shorty all Things to suit poor Folks— 

So dieap^ so good, quite atrong and sound, 

And all this new for one small Pound 

The Earmna, too^ I can complete 

With good SmodL IVoek, both atrong and neat ; 

Doe-akin Breeehea, home-made Shoes, 

Or Boota if he should rather diooae ; 

StitMig Snirts for them I, too, proride^ 

And ereiy Artide beaide. 

And next| the Gemen of the Whip, 

Who oft to London take a Trip ; 

Good dieap Hose Ooata of cTery Slae^ 

For thoae who do ibeir Health mudi prise. 

To keep them dry in Time of need — 

A vaefiil Artide hideed ; 

*Kow Ann Street AlHo's shop was tfie one at the conierof Congreve 
Street, now in the oceapatioD of Mr. W. Biyaa. 



140 A CENTURY OF BIRKINOHJlM LIFE. 

Twill senre Bometimes to lend a Friend, 
And ofttimes gain a private End ; 
For in the Wet^ I think, indeed, 
All those joa aenre ahonld freely bleed. 

liay the Bach be charitable, and the Poor grateful ; 
May ve alwaya feel for another'a Diatrees ; 
And may the Tean of Diatress be wip'd away with the soft 
Paper of Abraham Newland. 

'^ To Err is Hnman 
To forgire is GodlOce." 

In the year 1800, a bill was introduced into the House 
of Commons to prevent bull-baiting. On a division it was 
lost by a minority of two, in a house of 84. The following 
brief abstract of this memorable debate will be amusing to 
the modem reader : — 

BTTLIr-BAirnrO. 

April 21, 1800. — Sir W. Pulteney moved the consideration of the 
HU to prevent Boll-baiting. 

Mr. Windham arose to oppose the further proceeding in this 
Basiness. It did not invite Legislative interference, and he thought 
the poor laboored under too many restraints in their Amnsementa 
In IVance and other coontries they might dance at will, and see phm 
all night ; bnt here^ if a hap or a pantomime were annouicea, too 
Magistrates were instantly in arms. It was politic and pradent to 
encourage athletic exercises amongst the lower classes ; and, if heads 
were ocaudonally broken in these contests, that was their affior. There 
was a species of ^ory in these conflicts^ as acceptable, perhaps, to the 
individnal, as that which was conned in the hi|^er walks of life ; and 
it was to be remembered, in the words of the Poet» ''that he^ who 
subdued the world," mighty under different drcnmstsnces, have been 
onlv ''the first wrestler on the |;reen." He shoold be sony if the breed 
of bull dogs were extinct since the days of Angnstna th^ were 
emblematic cf the national character. There was no more eraelty in 
bnll-baiting than in hare-honting, or shooting of flame. If the Honse 
was indind to prohibit any of these^ they should set the example by 
the abolishing those which were almost peeoliar to themselvei^ Defore 
they interfere with the divernona of the common people. He shonldy 
therefore, move to defer the consideration of the report to this daj dx 
months. 

Mr. Canning supported Mr. Windham's axgoment He did not 
think this was a matter which called for a Legislative provision, nor 
that any Legislative proceeding could be correct which militated 
directly agunst the bent^ the feelings^ and the spirit of the people. 
Bnll-baitiuK to this hour was encourtffed throughout dl Spain. 

Sir W. Pulteney said, the object of his Bill was to promote humanity 
and prevent idle meetinfls. In Shropshire^ to his knowledge^ uersoDS 
would assemble at a BuIUbaiting to toe number of between 1,900 and 
1,400 pecpla 

Sir Bicfaard Hill ff>nfinnad this statement^ And observed, that in 
Staffordshire the practice was a source of perpetual distuzbance, and 
of ngret to the mends of Humanity. 



ICAKNEBS, CUSTOMS, ETC. 141 

Mr. Sheridan thought the laws oofht to render all cruelty to the 
bmte creation a miedemeanonr, and, with much wit, remarked on some 
of the arguments of Mr. Oanning and Mr. Windham ;— the.former, he 
ohsenred, had alluded to the Bulf fighte in Spain ; to ^ich practice, no 
doubt, it was to be attributed, that the valour of the Spaniards shone 
BO eminentlj conspicuous above that of our British Sailors. But there 
was one Tory essential point of distinction between the Bull-fights of 
Madrid, and the Bull-baiting in this countxy. In the former case it 
was the men who Ibught, not dogs ; men it was who partook of the 
danger as well as the spoii. In England the case was directly reTersed. 
Here the animal was nstened to a stake, and a pack of ferocious dogs 
let loose upon him. The human ssTsges who assisted at this cruel spoit 
were merelj.spectators, not actors. As to Mr. Windham's anxiety for 
preserring the amiable race of bull-dogs, he must tell him that the 
DulI-dog was not an animal of an open ana courageous nature. It was 
a sly, sulky animal, that bore a strong resemblance to certain political 
eharaeters, in this respect, that the bull-dog slyly attacks, and when once 
he fastens^ never lets go his hold, no more than certain plaeemen would 
let go their place while they could stick to it 

On a diyisioiiy Mr. Windham's motion was carried— for it 43^ against 
it 41. Bill thrown out by a majority of twa 

The next quotation brings before as another of the 
pleasant customs of the tunes : — 

July 21, 1800. — ^Between ten and eleren o^dock on Thursday ni^t 
lasti as a gentleman, in his own carriage, with his wife and sister, were 
traTcJling into this town from Lichfield, on their road to Bath, they 
were stopped in the narrow cross Lane opposite Aston Etfk comer 
{whkh way carriages are now obliged to take whilst the road is mend- 
mg) about a mile distant from the town, by two footpads, with crape 
over the upper part of their faces, one oC whom stood at the head of 
the horses, whilst the other, opening the diaise door, took from the 
gentleman and his wife their Tery valuable gold watdies and sealiL and 
also bom the gentleman his purse and pocket book, containing gold and 
bulk notes to the amount of about thirty pounds. Upon shutting the 
carriage door, the gentleman requested the robber to return him a few 
memorandum papers (useless to any one but himself) that were in his 
podket bookj when the man told him they should be sent to him in the 
moining, ana ordered the postillion to drive on ; but to add to the 
fright of the ladies, it hi^ppened Teiy unfortunately that they had not 
proceeded fifty yards before the pole of the carria^ broke, and they 
were obli^ to get out and walk the rest of their way to the Swan 
IiuDL in this town. 

The next morning our Tery aetiTe Constable, Mr. Millward, haTing 
received from the gentleman a description of the man who opened the 
diaise door, suspected a particular person, whom in a short time he found 
hi an anction-room in the Hig^-street, and taking the gentleman into 
It, atkt moment he entered^ he pointed out John ThorahiU M po^flistic 
notoriety) as the man who actaallr robbed him. Mr. Millward imme- 
diately apprehended him: on Batorday he was taken before our 
Magistnites, and the ^tleman swore positiTely to the lower f/ui of 
his &oe and to his voioe, and the ladies and posSllion to the aiaularity 
of his voice to that of the robbers :•— whilst, on the other hand, three 
persons deposed he was at a pnUic house in Moor-street all Thuiday 



142 A CEKTURT OF BIRMIKGHAM LIFE. 

evening. He has, however, been fully committed by the Magistrates 
to Warwick gaol, to take hia trial at tibe coming aaeize. The man who 
stopped the horses has not been apprehended. 

We dose this decade with the report of a scene diefgracefiil 
to our dvilizatioiL In September, 1800, eight men were 
hanged at Warwidc, one for sheep stealing, and seven for 
foigeiy. It is horrible to think of the sacrifice of life caused 
by the inhuinan laws of this period. No wonder that the 
people were fond of cock-fighting, bull-baiting, pugilism, and 
other barbarous sports, when the legislature continually 
afforded them such spectades as that detailed in the follow- 
ing report : — 

ExBoonoH AT Wakwick. 

September 1st, IBOC-^Fridaj last p re s e nt e d a troly awfbl spectacle 
in onr County Town, amidst the greatest concoorse of people ever 
assembled npon a like occasion, fi^t male&ctors were ezecated ; 
▼is., W. Hewitt, for sheep stealing ; J. Mould, T. Wilmot, T. Wells, 
W. Welli^ T. Beeyes, J. Astlej, and T. Forster, for Ibtging and uttering 
counterfeited notes, with intent to defraud the Qoremor and Company 
of the Bank of Eogland*- liay the impression then made upon the 
minds of the spectators be lasting, may they eyer remember that 
** honesty is tibe oest policy," and may they haTs the wisdom to prefer 
a moderate income^ and a pi o pwsi ve Incnaae of wealth, accompanied 
by a tranquillity of mind generally consequent upon honest industty 
and economy, to the desire of gam without labour, and to a sudden 
increase of wealth, accompanied by perpetual anxiety. The latter 
desire was the bane of these sufferers, as they generally acknowledged ; 
and such b the hudness of heart acquired by habitual yice, that one- 
of the male&ctors dedared he was forging notes on the rery day he 
knew his acquaintance, Henshaw. was exeeated at Coventxy. How 
careful then ought they to be who nave the ears of the rising generation, 
or are the guaraians of the public moral% to check the first swwring 
from rectitude. 



Notwithstanding theae unhappy men all acknowledged their guilt, 
and appeared penltenti and little as could be their hopes of escaping 
from audi a pmou, yet we find that they had conspirsa to mi^e their 



ipe, even if it inToived the destruction of those who were administer- 
ing to them CTenr comfort and consolation. Happily their diabolical 
intentions were uustrated bj the componetion or a man whom they 
had made their confidant, and wlio was to have made a divenion to 
effect their purpose in another part of the gaoL 

T. Wells, with view to make some atonement to the public, desired 
St might be made known that the kmd notes in wbi^ he was 
concerned, and on which the water4nan was impressed l^ a tool, 
might always be dIsooTered from real Bank of England notes^ )aj 
completely damping and afterwards drying them, when the finged 
water-mark would entirely disappear. 

In consequence of the desperate dedgn'of these oonTicta they 
finished their derotlon within the prison, and were hung in wUn^ 
being cautiously brought upon the* new drop at the gate of the giu>1, 
and tied up as they came out one bjr one, and, in a very 6w ndnutes 
after their aj^warance^ were launched into eternity. 



THE BIRMINOHAM DISPENSABY. 143 



THB BIRMIKGHAM DISPENSABT. 

In the year 1792 the BirmiDgham people began another 

work of charity, which has been of immense service ,to the 

suffering poor, and is still numbered among our many 

useful ana b^^oent institutiona On November 19 in 

that year, the following paragraph was published : — 

We sre happy to hear tfast it is in agitation to estahlish a Dlspenauy 
in this town — a charity to beneficial to thepoor that we are anrpriiied it 
has not been thought of before now. The first Dispenaary in this 
oountrr was set on foot in London, in the year 1770, by a few priTata 
indiridoals. The number of sobeoribers for the first year did not ezoeed 
100, and its fbnd only amoonted to 1682. In 177S the Go?emors had 
increased to 300, the iiuid to 3972., next year to 9092., till in the year 
1778^ the sobseribers amoonted to 14,000. By the report of that year 
it had admitted 5^820 patients, and in less than ssTen years 26,46a 
After this the adTantages of this institation became so obTiona^ that in 
the course of a few years they were adopted in Tarions parts of the 
metropoUi^ and in all the considerable provincial towns, patronised by 
namcroos sabscribers, among whom were many persons of .distingaished 
rank, so that Dispensaries are now general in EngUnd, Scotland, 
IreUnd, on Tarions parts of the Continent, West Indies, and America. 
One has been lonff established in Dublin, and assistea by grants of 
money fiom the Irish Legislature. 

The proposal for a Dispensary was not allowed to sleep. 
On Februaiy 11, a pan^graph appeared, having reference 
to a similar institution in Philadelphia, U.S., which was 
said to exhibit *'an application of something like the 
Mechanical Powers to the Purposes of Humanity. The 

Seatest Quantity of Qood is produced in this Way with 
e least Money." Mr. Charles Pye, in his Description of 
Birmingham, in the year 1818, pves the following; brief 
bistoiy of this useful charity. ''This laudable institution 
originated among a select society, and was carried on in a 
private manner for some time ; until they were joined by 
the late Matthew Boulton, Era., who took it under his 
pairona^ in the year 1793, when a house was iakea in 
Temple now, and an establishment formed ; he taking upon 
himself the office of treasurer, saying, 'if the funds of the 
institution are not sufficient for its support^ I will make up 
the deficiency/ It continued in Temple Bow, supported by 
voluntary suDscriptions and donations, until the year 1808, 
when a commodious building having been erected 'for the 
purpose, in Union Street^ at the expence of more than two 
thousand pounds, the establishment^ consisting of a house 



144 A CBKTITBT OF BIBMIKGHAK LIFE. 

apoihecaiyy another for compounding and dispensing of the 
medicines, and a midwife, removed tiiere. Those who have 

Sreviously received a recommendation, are here accommo- 
ated with medicni advice and assistance, gratis, and the 
females in the time of need are attended at their own dwel- 
lings by the midwife, as are also sick patients, who are too 
ill to attend personally." 

The first annual report was presented at a meeting held 
November 7, 1794, Mr. Matthew Boulton in the chair. 
From this report it appeared that 325 Patients had received 
medical advice and assistance at their own houses, of which 
numb^ 246 were Sick Patients, 48 MidAJoifery^ and .81 
Inoculation Patients. That the encouragement given to the 
Institution, and the peculiar benefits resultii^ to the poor, 
had been such as to have determined the Committee to 
take a house, and engage an apothecary, whose whole time 
should be devoted to the service of the charity. The house 
in Temple Row was soon found to be inadequate for the 
wants of the new Oharity, and in 1806 a subscription was 
opened for the purpose of providing a more commodious 
building* On December 1st we read that ^our ingenious 
townsman, Mr. W. HoUins, has finished a drawing of the 
intended new building for the Dispensary, which will this 
day be exhibited at the Printer^s or this paper." 

In the OazetU of the following week this additional 
information is given : — 

DupEMBiar. 

December 16th, 1806.— The liieiidB of this vidiukble iosUtntion will 
be happy to see saeh a respeotable list of subacriberi to the new 
building aboat to be erected in this town for the purpoees of the 
charity, as will be found in oar first p^e ; and we tmtt that in another 
week we ehall find the number considerably increMed, in order to 
enable the committee not only to ^noTide an attached dwelling-Jiouie 
for the midwifeiy attendants, bat to administer those comforts to the 
poor women of this class of patients of which they so fiwqaently stand 
in need, and which the scanty lands of the institntion nave hitherto 
mvented the committee from sapplriniL^ The bailding committee 
nave fixed apon the plan prodoced by Mr. Hollins, whioli may be seen 
at the Printex^s of this Paper, and the foondation stone will be laid in 
a few days. 

The stone was laid on December 2Srd, and we select from 
the report this acoonnt of tlie ceremony : — 

New DmPXKBABT. 

December 89, 1806^— On Toesday morning the Low Bailiff cf the 
townjthe dtrgj^ the Bailiff and other GoTemors of the Erse School, 
the Physicians and 8af|;eons of the InstitoUon, with many other 
respectablo Inhabitants^ assembled at Style's Hotd, n^ere an elegant 



THB WOBLD OT 80HO. J 45 

braak&st mm prepared, after whidh tbe Company proceeded to Union 
Street^ where ^ywj thmg was in readinen to b^;in the foundation of 
the new bnilding to oe eiwcted in that street for the purpoeee of 
the eharity. Aboat eleven o'doek the Low Bailiff laid the first stone, 
upon the top of whidi there was a brsas plate^ with the following 
insenption: — 

^ The first stone of this Dispensary for the inhabitants of Birmingham 
was laid by Thomas Potts, Esquire, Low Baili£^ on the 23rd Day of 
December, 1806, in the 47Ui year of oar Sover^ffi Lord, King Geoi^e 
the niird. Jouh Bottov, Esqoire, Hi|^ &iliffl 

^l^dende valetndini nnllam non hnmanam, opem adhibeamns^ 
nnlljun non divinam imploremns." 

After the ceremony was finished, the Low Bailiff addressed the 
meeting in nearly the following wxms:— < 

^Gentlemen, in oxpressing the warmest wishes of my own hear! I 
am perraaded I shall express those of yonrs also — Tliat tiio blsmng 
of Heaven may ever rest on this Institution ; That tiie poor of 
Burmingham maj[ never be destitute of the aaristance it is intended 
to impiurt ; That its means and its nsefblness may so on in progressive 
enlargement firom year to year : and That its benendal influences may 
descend to the latest posterity/' 

The new building was opened in 1808, and from the 
last report we leam that, auring the year which ended 
December 31, 1866, 7,100 sick patiente, and 856 mid- 
wifery patients received medical and snigical aid, and 
1,169 vacdnations were performed. The total number of 
patients from the foundation of the Institution, in 1793, to 
1866, was 328,312, divided into 196,834 sick, 86,065 mid- 
wifeiy, and 95,413 vaccination cases ; a splendid record of 
MndoeB rendered to safferiog hmnamty by the Binniii^ 
Ihspensaiy. 



THB WOBLD OF 80H0. 

One of the most important undertakings, not only to the 
trade and prosperity of Birmingham, but to the trade and 

Erosperity of the civilized worlc^ was the founding of Soho 
y that ^ great Captain of Industry,'* Matthew Boulton. 
Here it was that some of tbe most remarkable inventions 
were applied to, and discoveries made in, manufactures, 
and in the application of art to trade. Here gas was finit 
used; here coining was made an art; here plating 
was perfected; here a thousand-and-one novel appli^ 
cations were tried and ezperimants made to lessen the 
amount of labour, and to improve the artides produced in 
this epitome of the manufacturing world; and here, to 
crown all, that bloodless revolutiomstk that greatest saver 
n. ft 



146 A CENTURY OF BIBMINGHAIC LIFE. 

of time and toil, that traest, most potent and never- 
wearying fiiend of man, the steam-engme of James Watt, 
was brought to perfection. The labours of Boulton and 
Watt at &II10 changed the commercial aspects of the world. 

Before the erection of this maniifectory, Mr, Boulton car- 
ried on business in Snow-hill, as a '' toyn^iker f the word 
meaning a manu&cturer of buttons, buckles, and the enor- 
mous varietj of trinkets known in ike Birmingham trade as 
*^iojB.*' He was, however, a man of vast ideas. Hismanufius- 
tunng ambition was enormoua We have seen in the record 
of the public life of the town fix)m 1781 to 1791, the impjorr 
tant part which Mr. Boulton took in all questions affecting 
trade and oommerca He resolved to be a Prince of Manu- 
facturers, and to spread his name throughout the trading 
world ; and some time before he b^[an his work at Soho, the 
Snow-hill premises had become too small for his actual 
bumness ; out when compared witli the business which the 
ardent and sanguine Boulton contemplated, he indeed felt 
himself, ^cabined, cribbed, confined," and resolved to erect 
a world of his own — ^the World of Soha 

Mr. SmileSy in his excellent Lives of Boulton and Watt, 

S' ves the following account of the site, and the begioning of 
le work : — 

*8oho is aboat two mOat north ai Birmingfaam, on the Wolrer- 
hampkon load. It is not in tiie pariah of Birmingham, nor in the 
county of Warwick, bnt iost orer t£e border, in the conntT ol Stafford. 
Bown to the middle of last centonr the groand on whidi H standa waa 
a barren heath, need only aa a rabbit-wazren. The aole dwelling on it 
waa the warranei^a hnt^ which stood near the aommit of the hill, on the 
spot afterwardaocenpied by Soho Honae'; and the warrenei^B well iaatill 
to be found in one of the eeUara of the mansion. In 1766; Mr. Edward 
Bnskon took a lease of the ground for ninety-nine years from Mr. 
Wyerl^, the lord of the maoory with libarly to make a eat about half 
a mile in length for the pttr poaa A toniinff the waters of Hoekley Brook 
into a pool under the brow of the hilL The head of water thna formed 
waa i»ed to driTO a feeble mill below, which Mr.Boatonhad eatabliahed 
for laminating metala. BLe alao bnilt a small dwelling honae aboot 160 
yards from the mill, and expended npon the plaee a anm of aboat 
;n00O In alL When Mr. Bonlton waa aatiafied that the plaee would 
salt his puposfl^ he entered into amngementa with Mr. Boaton for the 
porohaae or hie leasee on the eomplMion of whieh be proceeded to 
ivboild the inill on a larger seale^ and in eoorae of time remoTed thither 
the ^ole of hlatooli^mMhioeryi and workmen. The new manafactorr, 
when finlahed. eoosisted of a senei of roomy workahopa oonTenientfy 
oonneoted with each other, or capable of aeoommodating upwards of a 
thouaand wofkmen. The buUdtng and atocUng of the premisea cost 
upwards of £S(V00a*^ 

^lifescfBoalloa and Watt, ^y Samuel Sadke. p. 167. 



THE WORLD OF SOHO. 147 

Mr. Boulton bought the lease from Mr. Ruston in 1762 ; 
but the mill which he rebuilt was soon too small for " his 
great designs," says Mr. Morfitt ; and " in 1704, lie laid the 
toundation of the present superb manufactory, which was 
finished the next year, at an expense of £.9,000." Dr. 
Darwin, who was a friend of Mr. Boulton, writing in 1 768, 
says of Soho, ''Here are toys and utensils of various kinds, 
in gold, copper, tortoiseshell, enamels, and many vitreous 
and metallic .compositions, with gilt, plated, and inlaid 
works, all wrought up to the highest elegance of taste and 
perfection of execution." It was in 1767 that Watt paid 
his first visit to Soho, but it was not until 1774 that he 
entered into partnership with Boulton " in the manufacture 
of Steam Engines." In Swinney's Directory of the same 
year we have this short but clear description of Soho when 
Watt became so intimately connected with its future 
fortunes : — 



** Tills plaoe is ntoatad in the Bariih of HaDdswoith, in the Coonty 
of Stafford, two Miles distant from Birmlnghain. The bniiding oon- 
•iflti of foor SqoaTCi^ with Shops, Wkrehoosei^ &c., for a Thousand 
Wotkmen ; who^ in a snat vaiie^ of Bnoiches, excel id their several 
Departments ; not otu^ in the fabricatioD of Bottona, Backlea, Boxes, 
^inkit^ fte^ m Gold, Silver, and a varietj of Oompoeitioii% but in 
manj other Azta, long predominant in IVanoe, which lose their Bepa- 
tation on a Oompariaon with the product of this Place : and it ia bj the 
natiTea herao^ or of the parte adjaoent, (whoae emnlatioa and taate the 
Pkoprifltori hare spared no CSare or Expenoe to exdte and improre) 
that it ia brought to ita preaent floiuriaiiin^ State. The number of 
ingeniooa medmnieal OontriTanoea thej avrnl theniaelTea of, by the 
means of Water Mill^ much facllitatea their Work, and aa^ea a great 
portion of Time and Labour. The Plated Work has an aroeanmee of 
aolid Silver, more espedallT when ;oompared with that or any other 
manofaetofy. Tbeir excellent oniamental Pieoea. in Or-Molu, hare 
been admiied by the Nobility and Qentiy, not only of this Kiiigdooi, 
bat of all Europe ; and are allowed to eurpaaa anything of the Idncl 
made afaroad. And aome Axtidea lately executed in SUver^Plate ahew 
that TMe and Elegance of Dmw^ praviil here in a auperior degree, 
and are^with Mechanism and Chymietiy, happily united. The en- 
▼froBs of tins Building waa^ Seren .Teari ag(s a harren, uncultiTatcd 
Heath ; though it now contame manr Hoaaea,and wean the appearance 
of a popolooa eoontry ; and notwithstanding the number of PMpfe in 
that niiah is double idiat they were a few jreais aince, yet the Pooi'a 
Batea are diminialied, iHiich ia a veiy ^^rikiiMT inftfi w*e of the good 
oAeti of Indostiy.* 

A new power, bemdes ^ Water Mills,** was now to be in- 
troduced to Soha After many unsuooessful experiments 
and trials, running tbroogh a period of four jears, success 
attended the labours of \^tt 



148 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

'' In November, 1774, Watt wrote Dr. Boebuck, infomung him of 
the saooess of his trials ; on which the Dr. expmsed his surprise that 
the €ai|g;ine should have worked at all. 'considering the slightness of the 
materials and its lonff exposure to tne injuries cf the weather.' Watt 
also wrote to his fatner at Greenock : * The business I am here about 
has turned out rather suooeaaful ; that is to say, the fire-engine I have 
invented is now going, and answers much better than any other that 
has vet been made ; and I expect that the invention will be very bene- 
fidal to me.' Such was Watrs modest announcement of the successful 
working of the engine on which such great results depended.* 

In the OazetU for August 15, 1791, we have a report of 
the rejoicings at Soho on the coining of age of Mr. Boulton's 
Son. It gives us a pleasant glance into the inner life of 
the manumctory ; and, so fiur as we know, it has not been 
reprinted in any life of Boulton or in any history of Soho: — 

HoLU>AT AT Soho Mavutactobt. 

August 15th, 1791. — It is much to the honour of the workmen at 
Soho^ that» in oonfonnitj to the wishes expressed by their emnl<^jen^ 
not one of them was absent finom the Mannfactory daring tiw late . 
Biots. Soon after the military arrived at Birrotnriiam, and tranquility 
WM restored, Mr, Boqlton took an opportimity of thanking his peopb 
fer the good order they had obsemd^ and, at the aune time^ inTitad 
th«m al( with the womea and efaildren employed in the manofiustoryy 
to dine with hfan on Monday, the 6th ol Aqgos^ being the BIrthdigr 
of hk son, and when he beeame of ase. 

The morning was nahered in hf the ringing of bells at Handsworth 
and at Birmingham At one o*eiook, all ttie nenons employed in the 
Mannfiietoty aswmhled within its wal]% ana were marahalled into 
rcgolar oorps^ aooording to their respeetiTe trades^ from whenoe tiii^ 
marohedy two by two^ preceded by an axoelknt band of etrii and 
militaiy mnirie* 

Fbst eorpi. One hondred yomig women, mostly dieased in whiter 
with bloe nbbont. — Second. A corps of fifty Rngjneeis, headed by 
Perrini^ in the diaracter of Ynlcan, bearing a working Fire Encine 
en his head, followed by the PjelofM^ with hqfe banunen on their 
ehonldeia, and closed by «me of them carrying a Oopyii^[ lladdnew— • 
Third. Six corps of Bntloiieen, 50 in each, with the enngns of their 
rmptd&w% trades; Tia. gUt, pUted, steel, inkid, whit*«Mtal, fto. 
Each eosign consisted of a lam sheet of pasteboard, soitably decorated 
with great taste^ and closed with a Bee-hiTC^ composed of snail bottc 
as an emblem of iadortiy. — ^Fourth. Two coqis of Artists smf^i 
in the sUrer, plated, and cr-molvmaiuifiietare. The flrrt bore a simr 
^[Mrgiie, and the last two solden Tase% upon a stand coveted witfi 
a crimson vehret — Fifth. The woricmen smploTed in the BoUu^ 
Mills, carryiog an ensign com p osed of fillets of rolled metal of vmrioas 
coloiu% formmg ftstooo^ loosely pUying, and iriiich had a m s ii t 
ofiSwt--8tztlL A corps of Moneyen^ canying a glasi visi^ fiUea witti 
Coin. 

The prociiJsdoamo'Tod in ryilsr order iktmi the MaantotogrthroiaA 
the lower part of the Soho Gardeoa and roand the oxtremi^ of the 
groonds, whilst Mr. Booltcn's frieiids were sealed upon the lawn at 

* Smiles, p. tCS. 



THE WORLD OF SOHO. 149 

the front of the house. The gradual appearance of the procession, 
rising firom behind the hill, with the martial music playing, the extent 
of the procession (for the rear of it was not in sight when the van had 
paased the lawn), the good order, their cleanly drees, with the joy and 
happiness that sparkled in every eye^ afforded the hifffaest pleasure to 
all the benevolent beholders. During this intervsu, the StewaixLs, 
Butlers, and Cook% were employed in placing dinner upon the tables. 
The procession continued its march through the plantation down to the 
terrace at the front of the Manu£uH»ry, and was closed by the Visiting 
lUends. Upon th«r arrival^ the musicians entered an orchestra 
(which had been erected for the occasion, decorated with laurels and 
flowers), the several corps took possession of their respective table^ 
and there fixed their standards. Mr. Boulton, with his Friends ana 
Partners, entered a Dining-room, where an excellent dinner, with a 
fine turtle, was prepared for theuL lieanwhile, all were seated at tiie 
■iz tables on the terrace^ each aooommodatlng 100 persons, besides two 
tables in the long rooms, consisting, in the whole, of upwards of 700 



At a aignal all arose^ and« with hats ofi^ Qrace was pronounced, 
accompanied with a short eznortation, to be merry and wise. The 



Holidav was proolaimcd^ and the mono ordered to strike up the Boast 
of Old Knglaiid. and dinner besan. Every dish baa 



Beef of Old Knglaiid, and dinner began. Every dish had its carver 
appointed, and cash table ita waiters, so that everyone dined comfortably^ 
without toe Isasl disocdcr or confiisioiL When dinner was endetL the 
band played, and the company son^as Grace^ Not unto u% O Lord!, &a 
The taUes beiqg cleared of the eataUei^ the company prepared for the 
litcscf Baoohua. 

TIm fint Toast given was The King! followed by three humsu 
8001^ Qod Save the King^ by Mr. Stanley, with the choros by all the 
coapanyw-^S. The Qocen I A Glee hj Probin, Stanley, &&— 3. The 
FHncs of Wales* Botuu See the CSooqnering Hero comeiL 4& — 1 The 
Duke of Tcrk and the Sritish Army. Song. Briton% Strike Home, by 
all the conmany.*— A. The Bcyal Tkr and the Navy of Old England 
with Bole Britannia in flill chcraa— 4L All the Boyal Funfly, and a 
Glee. ThtUlbaroondbainiriiowcovarsdwiththoQssndscfBpeetaton^ 
Mr. Bonlioii and his «mi witbdrsw to make them a viaiti and to exhort 



them to peace and good oidcr. Finding the Fireworks could not be 
aesa to advantafc fium the mannfiMtofy, ne proniaed to have them let 
off fircmapcoporamiaeiiDes and, aa a testiniony of hia good willygave 



IHnriqg thair abisaesi tbe company diaak three toaflt% 

7. Mr. BoaitdL aad asany happy years to him. 

S. His Sea, and flMonr happy retana of this day. 

81 May BcMton aad Binnii^iham continue an hoaoor to cor coqnfay 

At Mr. Booltca'a retarn, hi gave All tho MaaalMturars cl Old 
ftMlaadi TUa was lailowcd by a mog, paraphraaed firam cae by 
O. A. BtavcasL ia piaiaa cf the WnakiAtm aaa Soho MaaufiMtoren^ 
with wUeii^llMpcMdawaiahli^ delisted. 

Whea the health cfJlr. Boaltca,Jaaior.waa drank, a BaUooa, with 
a complhaeataiy iaserifitioa, waa iaanched, aad a aong from Bcsina 

ly Joined la choras, Tbh is NatuVs 



wmagf la which all tho compaay 
Holiday. The Ooaatry Daaees aow begaa (nnoa a boarded pbtfona 
prsvioosly piaparcd m that porpoae) m which part of the company 



150 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

V- 

from the diniDg-room joined ; but the dancers being too large for one 
set, thej divided into three, with as many bands of mnsic. 

The Dancing oontinned nntil evening. A Balloon was andn sent 
np ; Rockets and Cannon were dischaiged ; to these sncoeeded some 
beantiftil Fireworks pre|Mred by Mr. Keale, and at ten the dosing gun 
was fired, when all peaceably departed in the highest good homoor, 
and those who came to Birmingham had the satis£ftction of being 
preceded upon, the road by the martial music. 

The Soho Foundry at Smeth wick, built by Messrs. Boulton, 
Watt, and Sons, was completed in January, 1796, and tiie 
''Bearing Feast" was celebrated on Saturday, the SOth of that 
month. In the Oazette of the following ULonday we find 
this ver^ graphic report of the Feast It affords us a good 
insight mto tne fine character of Matthew fioulton : — 

8OHO FOUKBBT. 

On Saturday last the Bearing Feast of the new Foundry, lateljr built 
by Messrs. Boolton, Watt^ ana Sons, at Smethwick, was given to the 
enraMHsmiths, and all the other workmen employed in the ereetioiL 

Two Cat dieep (the firrt fnuts of the newly-cultivated land at Soho) 
were ■acriJBced at the Altar of Viilcaa, and eaten by the Cyclops in the 
Great Hall of the Temple, whidi k 46 feet wide and 100 feet loam. 
These two mat dishes were flandihed with ramps and rounds of beef, 
legs of Tsa^ and gammons of bacon^ wHh irniumereMe meat pies ana 

Sum puddings, aooompanied'with a good band of maitialmusia When 
nner was over, the Founder of Soino entered and consectatad this new 
bnmch of it» br sprinkling the walls with wineu and then, in the name 
of Vnlosn. and all the Gods and Goddesses of Fire and Water, pro- 
nooneed ue name of it Soho Foondiy, and all the people cried Amen. 
A benediction was then proDonnoed b^ him upon the undertaking, and 
a tfaank^giTing offiBred for the protection and pieseiistion of the lives 
and limbs oftne worianen during the erection. These eeremonies being 
ended, six esnnon were disdiarged, and the Band of If inric struck up 
God Mve the Kiitf. whidi was sung in full diorus bv two hundred kyid 
snbieets. After t£i% many toasts were given suitable to the oeoMion, 
bgr the Ftaident of the iWi Mr. H. Bobinson Bonhon, iHiidi wm 
conduoted by him with great spirit and hilarity; eaditosstwasaeoom* 
panied with three Jovm huBM anda disolMigeof esnnoiL ABsIl, 
irith teS} was given m the evening to Venus and the Gtaoe% whidi 
ended alMNit ten o^dodi^ iHistt the conduding guns were fired, and all 
deiparted in good hunumr. 

The Addras of Mr. Boulton, Sen., upon entering the Foundiy, was 
eonodved in the following terns :-^ After making an excuse to the com- 
pany for liot dining with them, he said, ** I oonld not deny myadf the 
■atiabetion of wisOog yon a hanpj and Joyons day, and expressing my 
regsrd for all good, honest, and zaithfnl workmen, whom I have atways 
eonaidmd as rtesemJ with ny best friends. 

^ I come now as the Fmerof Soho, to oonssenite this pises as one 
of itsbtandies; I also eone to give it a name and my benediction. 

** I win therefore proceed to pufify the walls of it, by the SBrinklmg 
of wine, and in the name of Yueen and all the Gods sm Goodesses 01 
Fire and Water, I pronounce the name of it 8oho Foundir. May that 
name endure for ever and ever, and let all the people say Amen, Amen. 



THE WOULD OF SOflO. 151 

** This Temple now haying a name, I will propoee that every man 
shall fill his pitcher, and drink auooesB to Soho Foundry." 

Mr. B. then proceeded to gire the EBtabliehment hu benediction :— 
^May thia Establishment,*' said he, "be ever prosperous, may no 
misfortune ever happen to it, ma^ it give birth to manjr useful arts and 
inventions, may it prove beneficial to mankind, and yield comfort and 
happiness to all who may be employed in it 

<« As the Smith cannot do without his Striker, so neither can the 
Master do without his Workman. Let each pcof onn his part well, and 
do their duly in that state to which it hsAh pleased Goa to call them, 
and this they will find to be the true rational ground of equality. 

** One senous word more, and then I have done. I cannot let pass 
this day of f esti vitjr, without obsenring that these hage piles of buOoing 
have been erected in a short tnne^ in the most inclement season of the 
vear, without the loss of one life, or any material aocndent The««fore 



us offer up our grateful thanks to the Divine Proteetor of all things, 
without whose permissioii not a sparrow falleth to the ground. Let us 
cfaaont Hallelujahs in our hearts rar these Uessingi, and with our voices, 
like loyal subjects. singOod Save Great Geoige our King !"— Which 
was done in full ehoms, and amidst the disdiaige of the cannon. 

Biflset^ in his Poetic Survey round Birmingham, pdUiBhed 
in 1800, hae the following lines on Soho : — 

^ SoBO I— where OsviiTS and the Ak9S preside, 
Bubofa's wonder and BRiTAnru's pnde ; 
Tbt matdiless woiln have laissd Old Ekiglaad's fame^ 
And fatnre ages win rsond thy Name ; 
Each rival Natkn shall to tfase resign 
The Palm d Tasv^ and own— >*tiBlQstly thine; 
Whilst OoKiasaB shaD to thee an altar raise, 
And infant Geniiis kam to Ikp thy praise : 
Whilst Art and Bcisnss reign, ti^rli stm prodaim 
Tton! ever blMided with a Boijuoa's naoM." 

William Murdock^ one of the many men of genius whom 
Bonlton had gathered around him, was the inventor of ^gasi" 
In 1798 several of the offioes in Soho were thus lighted ; 
and ''on the general illumination which took plaoe in cele* 
bratimi of the Peace of Amiens in 1802» the nont of Soho 
Manufactory was brilliantly illuminated with jam, to the 
astonishment and admiration of the puUia" The OauUe 
of April 5, gives the following report of the 

iLUDMnranoas ar Sono^ 
whieb for el^gaaoe and boldnsse of design, arandear of eflbeCi aad 




nroprietore 

pablis sfsiv r eason to antidpale a very soperfa 



and brilliant aidiibition ; monMogij^ ssily in ^ alUmooiL the road 

ffstsBofthe 



Iroaathistown was crowded with iMMeengHS. The gates of the gaidens 

wen thrown opsn and fSTs sdoMuse to naiqr thoinaads of speetalors, 
of whooiy it is hat Jostioo la obserf% that sneh was thofa* orderly 



152 A C£NXURY OF BIBKINQHAH LIFE. 

behaviour, that they departed almost without breaking either shrub or. 
tree^ or doing any damage. The hooee was adorned on the summit of 
the roof by a magnifioent star, oomposed of variegated lam|)8, and the 
centre window was embellished by a beantiM transparency, in glass, of 
a female fig^» in the attitude of offering a thanlogmng for the return 
of peace. The mannfactory was illuminated throughout its spacious 
front with upwards of 2^600 coloured lamps, disposed into the forms of 
G. R., with the word " f eace,'' above which was placed the crown, with 
a star of exquisite brilliancv. In the centre of the fronts a transparency 
represented a dorcL the emblem of peace, desceaditig on the globe ; on 
the left winfb another represented the Osduceus of Mercury between 
two Coniuoopiaa ; and on the rights a beehive decorated with flowers. 
In addition to tiie above, three very splendid Mongolfier balloooa 
aioeftded in snccession from the oour^ara within the manufiwrtorT at 
proper illtervakL on a dgnal ftom the disdiarge of cannon. KumDcrs 
of aky-fucketa also teiided to enrich the scene. The whde gave the 
greatest aatlsfiMtion, and p^odoMd, in the minds of the spectatora, 
tokins of admiration and sentiments of respect iat the munificent 

S Rector. Every house in the neifhbouxliood was also splendidly 
ominated; andanthe woiionan bsicogingto the manufiMtory wen 
regaled at public houses. 

In 1809 Mordock wbb ezammed before a Parliamentaiy 
.Oommittee on the subject^ and Hr. Smiles rdatee the 
following etiaxuctemtic aneodote. ''Bo yoa mean to tell 
nsy" aand one member^ that it will be poeaible to have a 

S(ht tcfitibtrf a tiTtdk/'' ^^^^ I do, mdeed," answered 
urdock. *Ah, my fiiend,'' said the legislator, * Yon are 



tr^ng to prove too mneh." It Iras as suzprionff and ineon- 
ceivaSle to the honourable member as Qeoige Stephenson's 
sabsecroent evidence before a Bsiliamentsiy Committee, to 
the eneet that a eaitiage mk;fat be drawn npon a railway at 
the rata <if twelve miles an Eoortpitftottl a tefva"^^ ^ 

The Bdho was the place to which men of inventive 
genhia tamed as to their naborsl home. Within its walls 
were «mplo3red a very laxge nmnbo* whose names have 
beeome nm<ms in the annals of indnstiy. In addition to 
the master of them all, James Watt^ and Kurdoek, and 
Ej^ton, the well-known John Wyatt^ who was connected 
with Lewis Paul in his great invention of ninning by 
roUen^ worked here during his later years. As rei^ects 
the relfieMive daims of tmse two men to the great inven- 
tion, lu Smiles says, in a note to his euellent w<nrk on the 
Hnguenoti^ ''So far as we can judge firom the Wyatt MSS.,t 

•F|p.4Si-e. 

t An Ihess 1C88. have wisdf beea eecvied hf the Wee litauW Gobi- 
Mlllse fbr the Blnalashaai SelmMS lihiaijr. iHme thcj eaa he eeassHed 
I7 aaj oM iaieiesled in this iaiportaat epissds ef oar loeal isdastrial histofy. 



THE WORLD OF SOHO. 153 

Paul was the inventor of the principle of Bpinning by 
rollers, and Wyatt, the skilled mechanic, who embodied the 
principle in a workiM machine. In a letter addressed by 
the latter to Sir H. Gough, he describes himself as * the 
principal agent, I might almost say the sole compiler of the 
machine for spinning.' " Mr. Smiles adds, " Wyatt after- 
wards proved his ability both as a mechanic and an inventor. 
The machine for weighing loaded carriages, still in use, was 
invented by him. Among his other inventions waa a 
method of neutralising the friction of wheels, by suiround- 
ing the wearing parts of the axle with three or more cylinders 
enclosed in a steel box impervious to dust — ^an invention for 
which several patents have since been taken out^ and in one 
of which Wyatt's expedient has been applied with success 
in railway turntables. Another of his contrivances was a 
double lathe, of beautifol construction and arrangement, for 
cutting out of bone the mould in which a pecimar button 
was formed, which proved of much use in the Birmingham 
tnule. During the latter yean of his life he waa emptoyed 
bjr Matthew Boulton, to whom he was of great servioa in 
erecting the machinery for Soho. He died in 1766, and his 
funeral was attended by the principal inhabitants of Bir- 
mingham — Baskttrville^ the prmter (also desoended from a 
French refugee), a man of eccentric oharacter, arraying him* 
self on the occasion in la splendid suit of gold lace."^ 

The &me of Soho was so widdy spread that no disUn- 
f^uiahed visitor ever came to Birmingham, or to anv place 
m the neighbourhood, without going over the manumotory> 
80 early as 1776, Kaiherine H, Empress of Buasla^ ^"^^«^ 
guest of the great manufiicturer, in a letter to Watt in 
uat year he mentions the fisust^ and adds ''and a channiiig 
woman she is."* Bopral and noUe peraonagea were con- 
tinuathp* inspecting the wonders of this seat of the arta. 
But wnat ia of atiU greater importance to uB| a laige num- 
ber of the learned and adentinc men of the tima^ aa well 
aa the great oontemporaiy leaders of indnatipr, wen bia 
frienda Amongst theae we may name Beigainm IVankHn, 
Thomaa Day, & Lovell Edgworth, Samuel Galton, Dn 
^'^* John Baakerville^ Dr. Frieatlqr, Josiah We^g* 



* The HqgMBOli, tlielr SetUeneoti, CbaidiMb sad IndailrfM. la Bbc^^ 
ana Ireknd. Byauaael BmUet. No«0lop.4a4. In the appoidiz wIU be 
iMnd tiM admin^bfe aeeoaat git«B b J tidf ladd wifler of llw greal iatiatfoB 
of Lewis F^il and Jeha Wjatt. 



154 A CENTURY OF BIBHIKGHAM LIFE. 

wood * Dr. Darwin, Jit. Parr, Dr. Small, Mr. Keir, Sir Joseph 
Baaktt, Sir William Herschel^ and his own still more famous 
partner, James Watt. Many of these were members of the 
notable Lunar Club, which did so much for the progress of 
science and its application to manufiau^tures. Indeed, into 
his hospitable house, Ihjotd de TamitU sur Handarvorth 
Heath, as he loved to call it, Boulton, at various times. 

Slathered all that was famous, ffifled and renowned in Great 
ritain, as well as all the mstiniruished foreurners who 
visited this oountiy in those troublSTtimea ^ 

In 1797 Mr. Boulton was appointed by the king to 
execute the new copper coinage^ of which we have the fol- 
lowing account : — 

CtoppsB OonrAai. 

JniM fieth, 1707^— The King htm finallj imMd bis wanant to 
empower Mr. Boulton, of Sobo^ to^ ezeoata a coniiderftble Oopper 
Oouiago of penny and twopenny plaoes. Haying aeen speebnens of 
tbeniy we think the following statement may be aooeptoble to our 
veaden: — 

No Chdnaai or olbar national Ooin^ now in ciroQlatioi& in any 
eoontiy k roinid, or of eqnal diamflter, lor want of bdng stnuk in 
steel eollai% as medals are^ which is of great importance in gold cob in 
parUeokr, as a gage is applicable to socib money, and tbeieby baae 
gold may be detected ; ami, thom^ Ibis is not eo neceamcy in oopper 



coiiL yet by means of snob a oige^ eoontetftite maj be ascertained, and 
at all events it imns an hanomner and smoolher edge tban it otber- 
wiee eoold be. This ciiwiiiiitamju baa also enabled Mr. Boolton to 
establisb a ooinddent between oor measmf<S| weigbti^ and copper 
money 

The twopenny pieces will wdiflt 1 onnces eacb, and eight cf Hmu 
one moi. 



Tbepenny plecea wiU weigh 1 ovnce^ and aermiteen of tbem measvre 

The hal4Mnny pieois win wel^ I oonce^ and twelte measore one 

Hence erety Individnal'will bave a set of weiditi^ and tiie means of 
detecting fiJse ones ) and Ibme li BO donU bnt the peer will be able to 
obtain a penny worth ftr a peunr, as diteea of tbem wilgb cnejpomid, 
wbereasmostof tbeeoimtetftit iial4Mneeaie84toaMQnd. Twenty 
tons of oopper aie now ved weeUy at Mr. BooltoiiAi Mint^ in eOecting 
this naclUeclnage. 

The eactent of this work may be gathered from the fS^t 
thai from 1797 to 1805 Mr. Boolton ^ocnned, under oontnet 
for the British Cbvemment^ upwaids of 4,000 tone wdght 
of copper coiOy amoontiiif^ at its ^Aminaii value, to neariy 

• Dor a Ml aa4 nBable accomt of tbe lift and hbonn of Htm 



* Kir a lui aa4 lenaNc accoent or ibe aft and kAoaia of tte cieal 
poller, eee Miee Menyaid'i ^ilmdid book, ^ Life ef Jceiah We^gwoodT 



THE WORLD OP SOHO. 155 

£800,000."* And on this princelv scale was carried on the 
work of industry in the World of Soho. 

The men who made the World of Soho were now 
beginning to pass away. On Monday, March 25th, Francis 
Egmton died; and the following obituary notice appeared 
in the Gazette : — 

April Ist, 1805. — Died, on Monday after a very long and painful 
illnees, in the 68th year of his age, Mr. Francis Eginton, of Handsworth, 
celebrated as the restorer of the art of painting npon glass, which he 
carried to a state of excellence never attained at any former period, 
uniting with colours brilliant as those produced by the ancients^ a 
fulness of efifec^ a propriety of light and shade, and a delicacy of 
execution of which tney gaye no examples. The numerous and great 
works he executed will long remain monuments of his taste and skill, 
and bear testimony of the unremitting application to his profession. 
While the public suffer by the death of an ingenious artist, his numerous 
friends, to whom he was endeared by the constant exercise of erery 
amiable quality, testify in their regret how much they &el the loss of 
a Tirtaous and ujiright man. 

In four years after, the great Father of Soho himself bade 
fiurewell to the scerita of all his triumphs, but left behind him 
a name which will last while men are capable of giving 
honour to whom honour is due. Matthew Boulton was 
among the very highest in that noble fvle of Captains of 
Industry for which this land is happilv so fiunoua He 
died on the 17th of August, 1809, at the ripe ace of 8], 
rich in years, and rich in honours, and rich in the Dlessincn 
of thousands to whom his persevering and indomitaUe 
spirit had given employment The entiy of bis death is as 
follows : — 

Dnm. 

Augosi 81st» 1809.— On Thursday last^ at his house at Solia 8taf« 
fordsh&e, Matthew Boultoo, Esq., F.&a, &&, aged 81. No lass 
distiDguished by the energies of his mind, employed during a long and 
aetive lift in improring various manulaetares by bia adenoa and tastiL 
and in fimnding eztendTe establlahmeota^ whereby he has advancad 
the trade and prosperity of hia counter, and aoqwrad a very geDeral 
and juatlT-mented celebrity, than by hia generooa encouragement of 
the useful arts, his kind and benevolent dispoaition, and the Uberalitj 
of hia aentimentSL Hia memory will be long honoured with afleetioa 
l^ hia Menda, and with gratitode by the many who bene6ted by his 
talenta and virtiiea. The inhabitanta of thia hia aathra town can 
never ceaaa to dieriah the recoUeetion of thefar eioeUeiit aelghboar and 
benefiielor, and a gratefbl conatiy will iaacribe hia name amoQg the 
great and good. 

^ Birmiaghsm Coinaire, by Ralph Heatoa ; in " TOfmiiijii—i and ifMUn^ 
Hardware District," p. 555. 



156 A CENTUBY OF BIRHINQHAM LIFE. 

The scene at his funeral was specially affecting, and is 
thus described by the contemporary chronicler : — 

Mr. Boulton's FunbbaXa. 

August 28th, 1809. — Never have we vitneflsed a more affecting 
ceremony than the last sad tribnte of respect paid with eqaal solemnity 
and sorrow to the remains of this ezoellent man. On Thursday last^ 
his body was borne from his house to the grave at his parish diurch 
of Handsworthy br some of his oldest workmen, attended by his son, 
by a laive assemblage of his relatives and friends, and by all the 
indiridaus connected with his manufacturing and commercial establish* 
ments. Many thousand persons attended on the mournful occasion, 
the decorum of whose conduct bore a respectfhl testimony to the 
genenl estunation of his virtues. The sorrow of his friends was still 
more impressive ; and the silent sympathy of his numerous workmen 
unfeignedly and affectionately demonstrating the greatness of his value 
and of their lo« 1 Magnificent in his manufacturing establishmentiu 
and noble in his reception of ingenious and oelebnited men of all 
countries, he dignified the character of the British manu&cturer. The 
variety^ m his tolents was only equalled by his liberally in the pro- 
motion of eveiy usefiil art^ and the pure honour and intmity wnieii 
marked his commercial transactions added a lustre to nis ganenl 
worth. In the emphatic words of the aolMiin serTioe on this omaion, 
^His body is buried in peaoe^ bat his name Uvoth ovennoio.* 

It WBB ten years before the still greater Watt followed 

his fiiend and partner to the bonme whence ^ no traveller 

retama" ** He parted with life quietly and peacefully^ on 

the 25th of August, 1819, in the eighty-third year <n his 

am. He was buried near hb deceased friend and partner, 

Mr. Boulton, in Handsworth ChuicL Over his remaina^ 

which lie in a mde aisle, was placed a monument hy 

Chantre;^, perhi^ his finest work, justifying tiie comidi« 

ment paid to the sculptor, that he 'cut brem ;* for wnen 

first uncovered before the old servants assembled round it 

at Soho,.it so powerfully reminded themof their old master, 

that they ' lifted up their voices and wept'** 

Hr. Smiles gives August 19th as the date of WattTs death. 
This, however, is a mistake^ for we read in the Oamtte, 

Sblisbed on Monday, August the SOth. 1819, ^ On Wednes- 
y last^ the 25th of August^ at his house at TT^iat^im^ 
James Watt^ Esq.** This nmple oUtoaiy notice is followed 
by a warm tribute to the memory of the ample great one 
gone: — 

By the daalh of this tn^y gnat Baa our oouatiy is dsnifsd of ens 
of its nost fllostrioua omaaBsnta Ifr. WaltnM^jssUybeplaoadattha 

by tlia applioatioQ Off Soiiooa to tba paetioal puppasB of liCa Hk 
steam sngme is probably the most peneot prodimoii of phyaioal and 

*8«8biI]ss. Lhras of Boahon and Waa p.se7« 



THE UNION MILLS. 157 

mechamcal skill which the world has yet seen, while in the variety, 
extent, and importance of its application, it certainly far transcends 
eTery similar invention. So great was the activity and power of his 
mind, that he not only embra^d the whole compass of science, but was 
deeply learned in many departments of literature : and such was the 
felicity of his memory, that it retained without effort all that was con- 
fided to it. He was still more distinguished, not only by the highest 
prerogative of genius, promptness and fertility of invention, but also hy 
its rare and happy union with a calm and sagacious judgment^ reflated 
and matured by those habits of patient attention and investigation, 
without which no great production of human art was ever carried to 
perfection. His manners were marked by the simplicity which generally 
characterizes exalted merit ; he was perfectly free from parade and affec- 
tation ; and though he oould not be unconscious either of the eminent 
rank he held among men of sdenoe. or by those powers of mind by 
which he bad attained it, yet his cnaraeter was not debased by the 
•lightest taint of vanity or pride. He had for many years retired from 
business, but his mind continued actively employed on scientific improve- 
ments. He perfected an i^paratus for the medical apj^cation of fiicti- 
tioiis airs ; and the amusement of his latter days was tne oontrivanoe <tf 
a machine for hnitating and multqdymg rtatoai^, which he lm>ugfat to 
a oonaiderable state of perf actioiL Haprar in his domestic oonnectioniL 
in the complete enjoyment of his extraminary intellect^ respected and 
bekrred by the wise and good of every c ountr y ; and having attained 
the great age of ei^ty yearsi his useful and honourable life was termi- 
nate, after an illness of short duration^ rather of debili^ than of pain. 



by an easy and tranquil death. 

Mn Tl4tt was elected a Fellow of the Boyal Society of Edinbnivh in 
1784 ; of the Bo3ral Society of London in 1766 ; and a MemlMC of the 
Batavian Society in 1787. In 1806 the honorary degree of Doctor of 
Iaws was co nf erred upon him by the spontaneous aira unanimous vote 
of the Senate of the University of Qlauow ; and in 1808 be was elected 
a Member of the Katioiial Imititiite of IfVanoe. 

William Murdock surviyed until as late as the year 1889; 
and on the 15ih of November, in his 8Sth year, he died at 
his house, at Sycamore Hi 11, HandsworUL And thus passed 
away the last of the men whose ffenius and labours have 
made for ever famous the World of Soho. 



THE UNION XILLa 

The scarcity of 1795, besides caUing forth the charity of 
the wealthy, was productive of some permanent good by the 
establishment of Union Mills in the town. A subscription 
was raised to buy foreign com, and to make it into cheap 
bread to be sold to the poor. When, however, the com 
arrived, it was found that " neither wind nor water mills 
coidd be worked to grind it" Mr. William Bell then 



158 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

suggested that a steam mill should be provided. This 

suggestion was made in the right -time, ana on September 

2l8t of this year, the following paragraph was published : — 

We are happy to hear that some of the principal inhabitants of the 
town have it in contemplation to forward a plan for the erection of a 
steam mill, for the purpose of grinding com for the consumption of this 
town. 

The scheme of the projector is admirably detailed in the 
following letters, which, we believe, were fix)m the pen of 
Mr. Bell :— 

Pro Boko Pubuoo. 

Febmary 1st, 1796. — The Practice of monopolising Com is arrived 
at a Pitch that calls npon the Public for every Exertion to check the 
Progress of so alarming an EviL It is the Doty of all Countries, Ages, 
and D e scriptions of People, to unite in one oommoQ Endeavour to 
render, disinoombered as much as possible, the principal Sustenance of 
Human Life, finom the various Hands through which it passes before it 
arrives at the Consumer. The foUowinff Extimets will in some Measure 
exphdn the Variety of Profits. Hie Distresses of the Poor are too 
obvious to need Illustration. To alleviate their Miseries Is the Duty of 
every one who possesoos Ability. The following Plan is respeetroUjr ' 
offmd to the P^ronage of the Public^ whioh. earned into eflboL eannot 
but tend to the desired End of reducing the Pries of Bread, whieh 
regulates the Prioe of almost every Artiele of FrovieioiL 

Suppose 14,000 of the Inhabitants of this Town were to enter into a 
Subsonpticm at one Guinea each, for the follo wing Purpose : — . 

To ereet a Steam Mill capable of grinding WSmi to the Amount oC 
lOOLdaflv. 

To bnUd a Bakehouse^ with Ofens cnificieat Ibr baking the aame 
Into wfaoleMme Bread. 

lOOOOL it is nresnmed would be an adequate Sum te bnOding the 
■aid FremissB^ off oourse 4^8002. would remain to pordiaae Qraln al the 
most oouTenlent Maricets. 

Proper Person^ under the Direetions of a Weekly or Monthl j 
OommittesLappointed to maiiM^ the diilereni Bnuieheeof this OoeMsm 
and irhtTsti Tnnnmii irss deprnTiiint irm the flnnnsss nf thn Itnsiiwi^ wmild 



find it their advantage to promote its Interests. 

Befaig thus oondueted, I would udertake toproTi^ that» on grinding^ 
tliers would not be a less PMit alter every T&piit*^ than a net Fbm 
per Cent 

To limit the Profit on Baking to a net.Five per Oent after all 
Eipeneee of Firing. Workmen, &&, fta Suppoee^ then, thai the 14,000 
Subseribers would daUy consume lOOL in Bread— that to every Guinea 
Subecription to deUver One ShilUflg worth of Bread weekl/. the same 
to be psid Ibr on Delivery. The Bwrinem thus duly vwulated, the 
Return of lOOL daily is made certain, iHiieh of Coome promoea a dafly 
Pkvfit of lOL, weekly TOf., yeariy 3JB40L 

Upon a moderate OUculation taere are aiz Times thai Number of 
IiihaDitaatsinBirmingliam,eonsequeatlv, waaaoflha Plan adopted faj 
the whole Town, it would, aoeording to the above StatementipimiQee a 
Sum amply sttffieient to pay the Poor^s Bates. The Staff of Uftwonld 
be thereby rendered wholesome and on moderate Term% and prermii 



THE UNION MILLS. 159 

the many ahamefal Impositions the Public, Rich as well as Poor, now 
labour under, by these extravagant Profits. 

The Com Badgei's Profits are not les than 6 per Cent. 

The Miller 5 per Cent. 

The Baker 5 per Cent. 

The fiaker allows the Breadseller 6 per Cent 

20 per Cent 

I doubt not but it will be allowed by all who have a Knowledge of 
the Tarions Branohes thus stated that I have not exaggerated. 

Air Inhabitant ov Biriunobax. 

Pro Bono Pubuoo. 

Februaiy IStfa. 179e.^(Na 8.)— The genend satisfiiction fftren by 
a Paper cireulatea on the 13th ultimo, entitled ' Pro Bono Publico,' 
propodng a Plan for the Reduction of the exorbitant Price of Bread, 
eertainly demands our most serious Consideration^ and, if property 
attended to, will benefit the Public^ partieulariy the necessitous part of 
it Whatever oppodtion it may receive, must arise from interested 
Indivkluak. Bvery InxtMul upon an estabUshed Business, whether to 
dieek Monopolr. or lor the direct Service of the Communibr at lam^ 
will Ml be subject-to the unprisdpled Attacks of those who ars the 
Oaosa of it Interference at tUs poiod to prevent loading the Publio 
with umecessanr Dealers^ in an Article that is the Baste of human 
So b s i s l e nc e. ia mgfaly o nrnm e nd a hle . It is scarcely poosible to suppoect 
on 8i|^t of ao many Lnpositions^ any Kind of Combination between 
thMB eoold osiat (notwithstanding tlie present Iawi to prevent such a 
eompaet seems to axdude any Idea of a rational Plan^ but the Illusion 
vaanhas upon Inspeetion, and we are daOy convinced of the illegal 
OonlsdenMiy famed to enliance the Price of Grain in various Stages 
bsfao it arrives at the Consomer. Tlie common Good ou|^t to be Uie 
great End of all onr Aetiona ; and it becomes our indinmisabls Dutr 
to nas evesy Endeavour to crush that which, if not timely resisted, 
wonldinevmhly overwhelm uiL The late HiarveBt was to have rslieved 
US, and the Fkodues was amplv aufident; bnt still the Evil reiffns 
trinmpbanti and a alight Befleotten will eonvinee every unbiasssd Mind 
eC the Oollosion oxisting fiom the Wumn down to the Huckster, all 
nnltfag^ in one Scheme ^ general Deprsdatkm. 

To pany off ths Uigenciss of the Piaonls^ ma^y tpedons Ptatences 
have besn nssd to lull and decsivo ns ; and even now. that the Imposi- 
tion nay eontinns^ th^ oay, The Ifatkel wiU be Mtted with Grain 
^horUv, therefore bear witii It n lltUe longsr. %aUow Artifiecal 
Why delay that whidi is within yonr Power T UniU in the adoption 
of a Plan, the great and general TJtili^ of nndeokble Prooft, and 
applauded by oveiy intelligent Man, BeAr to the varions Associations 
famed to Mppcw Mom^y and regiUale the Market, such ae the 



Fish 8hop^Tinibsr,Oooper|and Bnas Companies; .exdunve of their 
B aBBSSi ^ thsy have eheeked the nvariciona Yiewa of desining Men. 
If Exampleo of a higher daas are necessaty to eonvinee the Unthinking^ 
or eotreet pr^ndiced Obstinafly, look at a bright Example in the 
Maniula of Hertford, whoee Knoirieto and Amenity are equally 
oons p i cn oos by his libsimlity to tho Inhahitants of Aksstcr and iU 
Tklnihr. Even on the oontraeled aeale of his preasnt MilL he is 
enabled to distribnte of good and wholesome Brmd Seven nunda 



IGO A CENTUBY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

Weight for One Shilling ; whiltt here we have only from Four Ponnds 
Ei^ht Oances to Fire Poohds for the same Sum. His Lordship, 
satisfied with the Benefits arising from public Works for grinding 
Com, &C., has determined to erect extensive Mills, sufficient for the 
Consumption of the Neighbourhood where he resides. At Chesterfield, 
likewise, the Inhabitants have associated for similar laudable Purposes ; 
at Sheffield they are going largely upon the same Scheme ; and at 
several different Places Measures are pursuing, all tending to the same 
great and food End. 

When tne Albion Ifills worked, the Advantages to the Metropolis 
were very considerable there was a net Saving <S Three Shillings and 
Fourpenoe to the Pumic upon every Sack of Flour sold from that 
Mill, hj which Computation it saved London 173,333/. in One Year. 
Supposing Birmingfaam to be, upon a Calculation, in the Phyportion of 
one-tenth of the Inhabitants to those of London, the Saving would to 
Birmingbam be Seventeen Thousand Three Hundred uid Thirty*three 
Pounds per Annum, exclusive of the Proprietors' Profit. 

These. Things taken into our serious and mature Consideration must 
undonb^dly overrule evenr Objection to the Establishment of public 
Workup partioulariy when the Profits are restricted to moderate Bounds^ 
and those devoted to the Service of the Inhabitants, It will also 
enable the Baker to pursue his Trade with a fiJr Prc^t ; wfll restrain 
the inovdinala Avaiioe of the Miller; and effectnally cut off that 
uaslswj Bulscbiefong Jjamb»f called Badgeia. 

Ajt Jmbabjtaxt. 

The scheme met with public sapport The mibecriptioiiy 
which cloeed on April ioih, had reached to between £6^000 
and £7,000. A meeting was held on the SOth, at which 
the company was formed and other important rewdotions 
passed: — 

Floub AMD Bread. 

Binningfaani, April 




At a Geoenl MsttiMfof the Subsoriben to the Plaa f or 
thePrieeof Floor and Biead, hski i^groeablr to gabUc advt 
in AriA ChMPtte of Mooday lasL a* the Hotd, ia Tsnpb Bo^^ 
day the aoth Instaat ; Wm. YiUtfrB. Bm|., in tiie Chair ; the following 
Basolutiflaa w«« jmosed and nnannnoosly agreed to >— 

L Hiat thkMesnng da fonn themselves into aOampany, uadar ths 
Naoaof the Bimringham Flour and B^wmI Gonuaany, f or the puipoae 
d porohariag Qndn, and manufacturiajg it into Flour and BtmmI, and 
distributing the sMaa to the Subscribers at Prime Oost 

n. That the Sabaoripdoos be dividad into Sharas ol Oae Pound 
each, and no PerMn be permitted to hold more than Twenty sooh 
Shara^ cither in his own or any other Penon'a Name^ onJeas audi 
Pisnon beeoBMS posBSBSsd ol mors by WilL 

III. That a Committee bemmnted by Sabseriben pramL with 
disorstknaiy Power, to eonduet tne BoaiMss of the Chanpany lor Twelve 
Months, but that tb^ be not empowsrsd to panhaee or ersot any 
BaikUitfwithoat tbe saneiion ol a General Ifaeimg. 

IT. That the Coomiiltee consist of Twenty-one Pemooi^ aaeh of 
which isa Sabseriber fiirnotlem than Five Sharsi^ and that Five be 
oompeleot to aet» 



THE UNION mLLS. ^ 161 

Y. That A Deposit of Ten per Cent, be immediately made by the 
Sabscribers to this Undertiddng ; and that all fiitare Oills shall be in 
that Proportion, at such Times as the Committee for the time being 
shall find it necessary. 

YL That Messrs. Dickenson and Qoodall be Treasurers to this 
Company. 

YII. That a General Meeting of the Subscribers shall be called upon 
the Friday in erery Year which shall happen to be nearest the 20th 
Day of April, and that a true State of the AfGurs of the Concern shall 
be then laid before them. 

YIIL That the Committee be empowered to admit the Overseers 
of the Poor, and QoTeruors of the General Hospital, and the Govemors 
of the Charity Schools, as Subscribers, in order that those Establish- 
ments may leoeiTe the Benefits which may be derived from this 
Inatitotion. 

IX. That the Subscription be re-opened at the several Places where 
it has hitherto been received. 

X. That the first Meeting of the Committee be held at the Hotel, in 
Temple fiow, on Friday next, the 6th Instant, at Seven o'clock in the 
Evening ; aiid that they have power to adjourn from Time to Time, and 
from Fuee to Place, as they may judge proper. 

XL Thai the Committee have also Power to eall a General Meeting 
of the Subseribers whenever tli^ see fit 

XIL That unon the Death of ay of the Committee^ the Remainder 
have Power to fill up the Yaoancj from the Snbeoribers at large. 

XnL That Sharta in thia Company be transferable^ sulgeot to the 
emxHid ItfleolutioiL 

XIY« Thai tiie SaXhwina Gentlemen oompoee the Committee : — 
Wm. Yiller^ IBaq. ; Wm. Mieka. Esq. ; Mr. John Ward, Dale End ; 
Mr. Joseph l^lor, Silversmith, Newhall Street ; Mr. Thomas Warner, 
Ditto; Mr. Wm. Binglev, Islington ; Mr. Thomas Cheston, St Ptal'a ' 
Square ; Mr. Joseph BMer, Great Charles Street ; Mr. Joseph Towns- 
heiid, Newhall Street ; Mr. Jesss 8immoD% Great Charies Street; 
Mr. Thomas Baxter, NewbaU Street; Mr. Johs Cook^ Chenry 
Street; Mr. Edwaid Wilkes, Tsmpis Street ; Mr. Humphry Yale, New 
Street; Mr. Christopher Law, Pkmdiss Street: Mr. John Heeley. 
HoUoway Head ; Mr. Thomas Forty, Ouoline Street ; Mr. Richard 
Jeipoate^ Great Charles Strsst: Mr. William Whitmon^ Newhall 
Street ; Mr. Ridiard Qtmrm, IsUngtoo ; Mr. Thomas Chapman, Bull 



X Y. That the Thanks of this Meeting be given to the Chairman, 
Ibr aeeeptittg the Chair, and fM* liis impaitial Ooadnst therein. 

W. YiLLns. 

On Avgnst 22 this appeared : — 

We liave the pleasure to leani that the Committee Ibr managing the 
Flour and Breao SuhserintioQ have at length taken a suitable pieee of 
land, adjoining the Iowa, for their Mill and Ovens, ftei, and are preparing 
immediaU ly tg srect one ef Msssis, Boultoa and Wattes steam enginei^ 
for the puiposs of carrying ths ol^jeet of the subseription into oKscution. 

At a meeting held on Hay 8, 1797, a committee was 
elected to conduct the bnsineee for the enaoing year. They 
were: — 

II. M 



162 A CENTUBT OF BIRMIKOHAM LIFE. 

William Yillen Esa. ; William Hickfl^ Esq. ; Meesra. Joaeph Taylor, 
William Whitmore, Hichard Greavee, Tbomas diapman, Thomas 
Warner, William Binglej, Joseph Barber, Joaeph Townahend, Thomas 
Baxter, Edward Wilkes, Thomas Tor^, Bichard Jefooates, Christopher 
Law, James Qoddinffton, Beojamin Moghes, Thomas Barnard, Thomas 
Bock, Edward WrighL^Aaron Meeson. 

Jmy 10th, 1797. — We have the pleasare to state that the pnblio 
Com Mill of this town is now in fall work, and to the philanthropic and 
scientific ej^e^ there cannot be a more gratifying object than the powerful 
and beantifiu Engine of Hesirs. Boolton and Watt, which puts in 
motion the whole machinery that thus prepares the stsff of life for the 
■ostenance of man. Upon the principles on which this concern is'con- 
dncted, it must be attended witn great advantage to the Sabseribers ; 
and the neighboiiring Farmer will also participate in ita benefits ; for if 
he can produce good samplee^ he may be sure of always finding a weekly 
ready money market for his ooni. 

The advantages of such a mill to the public are ^ven in 

the following parallel passages on the price of bread in 

London and in this town : — 

Feb. 20,1709. 
In London, the Qoartem Loaf Binoingfaam Unkm Mill sells 
of41b.6os.8dnan% is at present toHsSabseribMsaLoafofeibSos. 
■old finr Bi|^i-MDoe HaU^pomj, Ibr One Shilling ; and its Second 
eqnivilent to a Loaf of 81h Soi. 7 FUnv at 86a per aadc. So that 
dgMDS fcr One Shilling. Birmfaghaw k aapplied with three 

pounds nine drams more of Bread 
ror One SUIUngthan the people of 
the Metropolia 

On September 80, 1799^ we also read :— 

The adfaataM derived br the Inhabitants of this town from the 
establishment of the Union Iioar and Bread Company we have before 
shewa, aad a eorrsspoodsni enables as again to m ention them. - In ad- 
ditioii.toadiTld«iid of 10 per esat whieh is deeland, eaeh snbscribsr 
has leosived a banaftt la the redoeed pries of bfsad of more than 000 
per enth pir fT»>*iff^| §ot the ase of his ffnpital 

The new Union Mill was founded on the same plan, and 
hj the ssme gentlemen, in the year 1797. 



TBBA80K AVD StDmON. 



The honor with which the exesssss of the French Revo- 
Intion were regarded hy the vast majori^ of Kndishmen, 
and the foolish conduct of Fox and his nieMs in the House of 
GonmiODs^ enabled the govemment of the day to carry what- 
ever r e p re s s ive measores they pleased. In May, 1791, the 
King issued a Prochunation ror the suppression of seditious 



TRE-VSOX AND SEDITION". 1C3 

writings and criminal correspondence, which was followed 
by some of the most disgraceful trials in England and 
Scotland which stain the annals of our country. Yet, such 
was the terror of the dissemination of French principles in 
this country, the government was encouraged rather than 
opposed by the nation. Except from the small band of 
Wniffs in parUament, and the earnest minority of Reformers 
outside its walls, the people were in fieiyour of all that Pitt 
did, and would have supported even severer measures than 
those which he introduced and passed. Birmingham was 
not behind other towns in this display of blind and confiding 
lo^ty ; and the people of this town fully proved that the 
spirit which producea the Churchi and Eing Riots in 1791 
was still the dominant one. The king's proclamation was 
issued in May, and early in June a meeting was held, 
at which it was resolved unanimously : — ^ That an Humble 
and Loyal Address be presented to His Hqesiy, from this 
Town and Neighbourhood, ej^ressive of our Attachment 
to the Constitution of this <]!ountry, and our Gimtitnde for 
His Majesty's late gracious Proclamation for the Suppression 
of seditious Writings and criminal Correspondences And 
on Friday, tiie 16th of the same month, the foUowing 
address was presented to the King at the levee, by ''our 
worthy matfiatrate, Joseph Carles, Esq^ and most gndously 
received, fibr. Carles had, afterwards, the hofioor of kissing 
his Majesty's hand :" — 

To the Kinfl'a Movt EzMUeiit Udttikj. 

Tlie hnmble Addren of the Inhabitants eftbo Town and Nslghboor- 
hood of Birmingham. 

Most graoioiw 8o▼•leigl^-*W•, yovr Mk^os^a HMMt d«ti Ad and lojal 
aabjeeta, Inhabitaata of the Town and BOtfhbourliood of Birmiagfaaa^ 
b^ !«»▼• humbljr to aoproaeb jroor Bojal nrtoo with antlmonta of the 
wurmott nAtiUide aua aibotioa fur Um prorldant wiadom and patomal 
eai« manueatad bj yimr Mi^Mty'a lato graoioM Phidamalioi^ iMod ^ 
tima whan tha aaditiooa wntingi of aoaM^ aidad bj tba aaarai'maohliia- 
tiooa and eriminal oorraapoodaaoa of othara wars avowiqg dJaafJaatioa 
to oar axoallant eooatitvtioii, threataning the aabvanioii of all order, 
and tha daatmetion of thoaa invalnabla privilagaa wbiob bate Jnaily 
randared thaaa kingdoma tha tnrj and admiratioo of tha wotld. 

Whan wa raflaoi on tha ■apeam of oar manafcatniif^ tha daddad 
aaparioritj of oor oommaroa ovar that of otliarnatiaii% tha ODOotttflualad 
eDjojmaiit of oar propattj, and tha fraa asarolaa of aivil and laligioM 
libartj, btaaabga aaaorad to oa bj joor imaat/a oUld and aaapCioaa 
goTanunant, wa aannot help aapraaing oar aorpriaa and indignation 
that thara ahoald ba foand in yoor iCjcatj^a donisiaaa a aaqjaet ao 
laaaDaibla to tha Uaadnga ha ai^oj^ aa to ba aa|Mibla af nt taring a 
mormar of diaeontanti or a wiah mr any ianovatian ao partioalariy 
dangarooa at tha praawt period. 



164 A CENTUKY OF BIKMINGHAM LIFK 

That jour Majesty may long lire the Father of yonr People, and the 
illustrioufl Guardian of those wholesome ProyisioDs established at the 
Beyolntion ; and that yonr people may eyer be sensible of and grateful 
for the inyaluable blessings we enjoy, under your Majesty's benign 
Goyemment, are the sinoere and hearty wishes of your Majesty's most 
£uthful and loyal subjects. 

Associations were formed in all the large towns to assist 
the ^vemment in canying out its poUcy of suppression, 
and in destroying liberty of speech, under the eroecious plea 
of calling all opposition to the goyemment or its measures 
sedition. On Xfovember 20, an Association for preserving 
Liberty and Property against Republicans and Levellers 
was formed at the Crown and Anchor Tavern, London. An 
influential reduiaition was presented to the High Bailiff of 
this town, Thomas Coopier, to call a meeting for a like 
object. The requidtionists were ^impressed with the 
Patriotism of this Association, and conscious of the necessity 
of opposing the progress of Sedition in every shape." The 
' meeting was held on December the .7th, and the report of 
its proceedings^ and the resolutions agreed to, will show the 
objects of these loyal associations : — 

Birminghain. Beoember 7, 1792. — ^At a most numeroos and rsneet- 
aUe Masfeig of Inhabitants of this Town and Neighbanriiood, held this 
Daj at the llolaly agreeahla to poblio AdvertiMment^ for tiiJdng into 
GonddsiatiMi the Pto p rio tj of mminK an AjHodatioa for the fioteo- 
tioa of Iib»ly and P r op er ty aoftinst BepaUieana and Lerallfln; 

The Hi^Bafliff in tha Chair ; 

The Sentimenti of the Oentleaian aHoeiatad for the like Pnrpoee at 
the Grown and Anebor Xaveni, In London, as published 1^ them on 
the SOCh of NovsBiber lasly having been read, 

It was unanlmonel/ Iteeulfsd^ 

1. That Ihle Meettng do inii Itielf into an AsMdation for the 
PMeervalioa of Ubertyrmperty, and the Ckmetitotaon of this Cki^ 
against BepahUeana and LeveUeta. 

t. Ihaft we do meet heartil J and fidlj ooindde with the Sentimenta 
ooBtained in the Paper pabliehed hj the Aeeochition, at the Oown and 
Anebor Ikvan, la London, Korember SOth Jest, and adopt them aa 



a. Thai this AawwhUim wilL to the ntmoet of thdr F^ywer, aieit 
them s e l ve s In eapmmfa^ ana dieoooreciag aeditlooe PahUeatkwi^ 



bj bringli^ to JoeOoe the Anthoia and PAaJdien of eaeh Writinge. 

4. Thai thfa Maelii^ deepi j aearible of the invaloable PiMbgea 
derired to Brttona hja Oonetitation whiA extends to eirery Citiaen 
the Protection of eqnal Lawi^ and in the Adndnietiation of whoee 
GovarsBMni Liber^ k ao hapjpilT oonneeted with Older, eannot bot 
lament oveiy VIolatten of that Ofder, or ai^ Attempt to dieanite thoee 
whob as Men and aa Fellow CMaHie^ can have bvt one Gommon Otkfeet-* 
the PNeperitT; the Hbnonr, and the Pteeeiiatiuu of their Ooantrr: 
and, that this Meeting le datetmined, at the Ride of their Livei and 
Fortunei^ and in Aid of the Ciril Kagiatiatei^ linnl j to oppoee and 



TREASOK AND SEDITION. 165 

dlfloonntenanee, by every l^gal and vigorous Method, whatever attempt 
may be made, and under whatever Pretext, to disturb the Pablio 
Tranqnillity, — beinff oonvinced, that nothing will condace more to the 
healing of our Divisions, or serve so effectiudly to promote the great 
Objects of this Association. 

5. That a Subscription, not exceeding One Guinea each Person, be 
immediately entered mto for the Support of this Association, and the 
Money lodged in the Hands of Wm. JDickenson, Esq., who is hereby 
appointed Treasurer. 

6. That the Subscription Books be opened at the Pablio Office, and 
at Mr. Pearson's, and Mr. Swinney's. 

7. That a Committee of Twenty-one be appointed to conduct the 
Business of this Association, and that Five be competent to Act 

a That Sir Bobert Lawley, Bart., the HIA Bailifl^. Joseph Gsries, 
Esq., the Bev. Dr. Spencer, Isaac Spooner, Esq., H. G. Lewis, Esq., 
E. Qsrver, Esq., 0. W. Willis, Esq., the Bev. Dr. Croft, the Bev. Mr. 
Cutis, the Bev.- Mr. Madan, Wm. Dickenson, Esq^ Wul VillerB, Esq., 
Mr. Wallk Mason. Mr. Wql Hicks, Heniy Clay, Esq., the Bev. 
Bidiaid Smith, Bobert Ooales, Esq., and the Bev. Mr. Bum, be the 
Committee. 

9. That Mr. Brooke be appointed Secretanr to this AModation. 

10. That the first Meeting of the Committee be held on Monday 
next^ at £iev«n o^Cloek in the Forenoon, at the Hotel ; and that they 
have Power to adjourn from Time to Time as thev Judge proper* 

11. That Copies of these Besolntions be printed, ancTBooks prepared 
bv the Committee for the Signatures of such Perlons as wisn to pat 
their Names thereto. 

Sir Bobert Lawley having read and delivered to the Chairman the 
following Letter : — 

^ Mr. Tsylor presents his Compliments to Sir Bobert Lawley. He 
is too much in msp oeed to attena the Public Meeting io-day, at the 
HoteL He assures him he shall ever exert the utmost of his Power in 
Support of the King and Constitution, and shall ftlwava be glad to join 
with his Neighbours in endeavouring to promote the Peaoe 5t Binnmg- 
ham, which he Is aony to tay has bm hitherto so IneflbetoaL 

Spark HiU, Dea 7» ITdS.'^ 

And likewise the saboequent Besolutkm of the Dissente f ■ 
*'An Invitation bebj; made by Sir Bobert Lawley and other 
Gentiemen to the Dissenters, to unite wHh the Members of the 
Estafcbllstiment in the Business of To4norrow, the Dissenters ars sony 
that it is not In thehr Power to aet with them on that Ooosiion, the 
Form of the Advertisement bdng_objectiqnable^ but are hapmr in 



txpresBJpg their Attachment to the King and Constitution, and 
fllad to eo-c^pnate with the Gentlemen of the ErtabUshment|in eveiy 
Means that may be deemed necessaiy to promote Peace and jSannony 
in the Town of Burmingham. That the Besolation passed this Evening 
be conveyed to the Gentiemen who i^ypear on BdiaJf of the Brtablish- 
UMttt, and that they be informed, that should the MeeHng To-moffow 
appoint a Deputation to confer with the IHsssnten^ they inll be happj 
in an opportunity of concurring in the Measnrsi naewsaty to pro- 
moting the Peaoe of the Town, and will immediately ^ipoint a 
Comintttee for that purpose. Joav Tatlob, 

Birmingham, Dee. 6^ 1798.** ChaLrman to the Dlasenten. 

It was also unanimouslv Resolved, 



16G A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

12. That a deputation be appointed to meet the Dissenters, to confer 
with them on the Subject 

13. That the Committee of this Associatioii be desired to appoint a 
Deputation from their own Body. 

14. — ^That the Committee be authorised to add to their number five 
Gentlemen trom the Bodjof DiB8entera,ptDTided on the intended Con- 
ference they shall be found willing to umte with them, for carrying the 
great Objects of this Association mto Effect 

15.— That the Thanks of this Meeting be given to Mr. YillerB, for 
the veiy able manner in which he introduced the Business of this Day. 

16. That the Thanks of this Meeting be given to the Bev. Mr. Proud, 
and others, Members of his Congregation, calling themselves the New 
Jerusalem Church, in ilus Town, for the Expresdaa of their Attach- 
ment to the Constitution and Government of this Country, oantained 
in his Lettere read to Uie Meeting. 

17. That the Thanks of this Meeting be given to Sir Bobert Lawley, 
Bart, for his Attendance this Day, and for his constant Beadiness to 
assist in every Measure conducive to the Prosperity of the Town. 

"Tiatth " " - - - - . ^ . 



1& That the thanks of thia Meeting be given to Joseph Oariea,Esq., 
and the Bev. Dr. Spencer, for their nnwooied EzertioDs aa Magistratea. 

19. That the Thanks of this Meeting beoiven to the HiA Bailiii; 
for having called the Meetings and his able Condnet in the CEair. 

TBOiua OooPBB, Chairman, 

This brief editorial paragraph ahows the character of the 
meeting, and the nnanimiiy or its prooeedingB i — 

Birmingham, December lOi — On Fridav the most nnmeroos and 
respectable Meeting of'tha TnhahJtants of the Town and Netshboor- 
hood, ever known £& this )daoe^ waa held at the Hotel fan Tempe Bow, 
MTseably to an advertiaement from the Hk^iBailif^ who having taksn 
the diair predsdj at elef«n e^dook, Mr. vHkra in an d^gant s peec h 
add re ssed the Meeting and fntrodnoed the bnsineas of the dav; and 
after reading the aentunenti of the Genttaaen who aawnataa at the 
Crown and Anoiior Tavern, en the iOthol Korember laat^ he propoaed 
that the Meeting ahonld adDpt tiMm aa their own, and fonn iMf faito 
an Association for the pteaeliaUun ol libvl^j Pl ^j o rty, and tiie Oon* 
stitntion ol thia Coontay; wbkh, mm inmediatelv i^^ieed to Inr the 
ooopanj. Thia and the other resohitions proposed were raoeivea with 
hma aedaniatifina ^"<^ applauae* and such waa the nnaninity d the 
nnmerona aaswiblv, that ifiei^ all jtaaaed without a Dfaienting veioa. 

Several of toe eodeties in the town took independent 

action on thia anbjeet The ''Loyal Trae Blneap' and the 

''Church and Kimt dub," were, aa miffht have been ez« 

pected from their utleai the fiiat in the field >^ 

AaMKaanov or Lotal Tbub huawL 
December ard, 170S.— Thia Society have agreed to meet at the Union 
Tavern, in Cbmrj Street, and the Ghareh, in CSnirflh Str ee ts thie 
Efeaii^ December ard, 1798. in order to eoneolt npon proper atepa to 
be taken to aonprem the PabUealion of all fieaemieble and aeditiona 
Writing Md to defend Onr Beloved Kiag. Me Government and 
Snl^feete, their liberty and Pkoperty Jkom all Atlempta of the Bepnb- 
lieaaa aM LeveUeia ; for promoting Pieaoe, and aldinsr the Magtotracnr 
of thia Kingdom in hiingiQg to Joatlee all who ahall dare to oftna 
agaioat the Laws of this Ooontqr* 



TREASON AND SEDITION. 167 

The Sociefy wilL at the same Time, take into Oonaideration the 
oroTidiog proper Places for meeting in fdtore ; and rec^nest all His 
Jiiyesty's gooa 8abject8 to step forwards and assist their Views for 
preserving the Peace, Happinees and Proeperitj of this Kingdom. 

It is earnestly wished that all Persons myoorable to this Design will 
signify it by inserting their Names in the Books now open for that 
Pnrpoee at the above Places evezy Evening, firom seven till ten o'clock* 

God Save the King. 

Chubcr asd Kiva Olxtb. 

Birmingham, November 5th, 1792.— A General Meeting .of the 
Members of this Sodety will be held at the Hotel in Temple Bow, 
Birmingham, on Tuesday, the 87th of this instant November, at Eleven 
o'clock in the Forenoon. Dinner to be on Table at Three o^clock ; 
and Tickets, at Two Shillings and Sixpence each, to be had at the Bar 
of the Hotel. 

This Society being founded upon tme Constitntional Principles, 
wishes to give an Opportunity to every loyal Subject to become a 
Member, and for that Purpose has appointed a previous Meeting to be 
held at Hobeon's Tavern, in Worcester Street^ in Birmingham, on 
Tuesday, the SOth Instant^ at Twelve Vdoek. Sueh Gentlemen, there- 
foe, in tnis Town and Neighbourhood as are desirousof being aamitted 
Into this Society, are requested to signify their Intention to Edward 
Ckrver, Esq., the President^ or to Mr. John Brooke^ Seoretary. 

Mr. Morfiit wrote two songs for the Loyal True Blues. 

A verse from each will suffice to give the reader some idea 

of the spirit of the times, and of the calibre of the poet: — 

"This besnteona ■<J>^>iw*^ of thimn 
Shall PoNM^ sworn foe to KiMg$^ 

Of aeribbling shake I 
Shall low-bted vilkny, 
Brawling eqoali^, 
Plonder your property ? 

BHtoos, awake 1* 

^W€ never wQl swerve from (M LSbwi^t Boad, 
But trsad in the Paths wbieh our Fatk^n have trod ; 
False FatrioC% through wild Speeulations may lange^ ' 
The World may nm mad— but Taus Buxas esanot change." 

The fever aeiaed all classes of the community. The 

Bomaa Catholics of that day were subject to the pressure 

of uiyust and unequal law& Their ha&ed of French prin- 

dples wasy however, more intense than their hatred of 

oppression. The members of that Church in Birmingham 

puUiahed the fi>Ilowing resolution : — 

Birmingfaaaa, Deoember 18th, 1791.— At a Meetimr of the OOhoEos 
of this Tows, held en T^Miday kflt» 

It was uoaDfaDoasly molTed, 

That this Meetfaig (impressed with the deepest Sense of Gmtltude 
§9t the maajr Advantages they, in coouion, e^jejr with their Fellow 
Cltiaens^ under the pr see n t System of Qofemment; eannot but shudder 
as the Attempt at any Subvenion of it by lorMgn FmimsririB, and 
dimlferted Persons here; that they perfeeUy coincide with the loyal 



1G8 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

r 

Sentiments and Declarations made bj th6 Establishment and other 
Assemblies for that Parpoee oonrened ; that they are ever read^ to 
shew their firm attachment thereto, and prove themselves Subiects 
worthy of the Confidence placed in them by so happy and mud a 
Legislature. William Hughes, Secretary. 

This wa43 followed by a meetmg at which the Catholics 
and their Priests were thanked for their conduct : — 

BiRMIKOHAM AasociATioir. 

Hotel^ December 14, 1792. — At a Meeting of the Committee of the 
Association for the Protection of Property, and the Constitntion of this 
Conntiy, against Bepublicans and Levellers, 

Ordered, 

That the Letter from the Boman Catholics resident in this Town, to 
this Committee, be printed in both the Birmingham Papers, and that 
the thanks cf Um Committee be tnnsmitted by the Chairxnan to Mr. 
KnU and Mr. Millward, the Priests, and the rest of the Boman 
Catholics who signed the same. C W. WuiLIS, Esq., Chairman. . 
Birmingham, I>eoembcar 11, 1792. 

Sir — As neoessaiy Duty on the 7th Instant, prsvented several of ns 
from oeing present at the nnmeroas and respectable Meeting convened 
at the Hotel, We, the under written, for oiuielves and other Catholics 
of Birminghaih, horn'Mj h^ leave to aasore too. Sir, and through yon 
the v«y remectablc Committee, that the Gall of the AasemUv was 
most agreeable to us ; your Besolntions we i^ipland ; as loyal Babjects 
we most hesf^^ ooneor in yovr Sentimsnts^ with oar nuMt eamsst 
wishes for theUVWars of our gradoos Sovmjgn George the Tlurd,i&d 
our hi^ypy Constitation under which we live^ and wish to live ; eveiy 
System *^"»^'"g to withdraw the Subject from his Dntj and All^gianoe 
to his King wbA Constitation, by Law established, we «bhor; all 
loveUiog Pnnciples and Sentiments sabvenrive of BeligioD, Hazmonv. 
and good Order, we detest ; Psaoe and good Nei^lxmriiood we wul 
pranote, SJng and Constitatian we will defend ; and with the greatest 
Hesped we sobscribe oarsdvea. 

(Here louow the sjgnatarea) 

An addrees was publiahed to the Hundred >^ 
To iHB InunxASTB ov tHB HuvnasD ev HnoiDrofOBn. 



Wk whose Karnes are bersontosafaseribed, bsnif nnanimoaalT and 
decidedly of ewiion that for the Seeority and Happmssi of all CJIassss 
of oor fellow Bkibjeds, for the Maintenanee of ear own Bights and 
Llbeiiisa^ and for the dearest Interests of enr Postsrity, it is in the 
piesent monient incombent on as to give to the exeeatlve Qovemmsnt 
a vyoroas and effectosl SappoH, in eoonteracting the namsroos Bfbrls 
of fedition, in detecting and bringing to legal Pnniahment the Persons 
eooosned therein, and in sapfjressing in their Bfginning all Tamalts 
or Biols, en whatever Pretense they may be excited— do hereby pnV 
lidy declsie oar determination to talte all eoch Sisps for these Poi poses 
as are within the limits of oar Doty, in the ssveni Stations in idiidi 
the Constitation of oor Coantvy has plaosd ns, and to afford by oar 
individasi Sxsrtiona, that active Assishinre to ths Aothority ef ths 
kwfal Msgistrstes, and to the Maiatcnanoe of the esUUkhsd Qo?em- 
nsnt,whM& is at all Timss doe from the Sobjeets of this Besfan, bat 
whidi we feel to be mors pecolisriy ncesssaiy under the Oireomstaness 
ef ths pssssnt Time. 



TREASON AND SEDITION. 169 

For these Porpoees, and to thU Intent^ we are resolved and do 
declare, — 

1. That we will jointly and indiyidnallj use oar ntmost Endeavoors 
to disooYer and proeeeate bj due Course of Law, the Authors, Pub- 
lishers, and Distributors of all seditious Writing which shall be 
published or distributed within our respectiTe Neiffhbourhoods, and 
particularly all Persons who shall be ena^nd in any iD^l Associations 
or Conspiraoies for the Publication and l^tribution ot such Writings, 
or lor the exciting of Tumult and Blot therein. 

2. That in order to cany the aboTS Besolution into the fullest Effect, 
we do hereby mutually bind ouraelTeay that whenever it shall come to 
oiur Knowledge that any Person or Persons haye, within our respectiye 
Neighbourhoods^ pubUsned or distributed seditious Writings, or engaged 
themaelyes in such AModatJons and Ooospiraeias for the Purposes 
aforessid, we will use our utmost endeayoma to put the Laws strictly 
in Force against him or them. 

3. That we will, on eyery Ooeaaioii, exert ourselyes on the first 
Appearance of Tumult or ]>iaorder, to maintain the public Peace, and 
to Act in Support of the dyil Autboii^ for suppreasmg all BiotS| and 
hr biinginff tae Pkomottta of thorn to Upl Pontshment. 

Those WBO agree in the PHnoiplss Esrs stated are inyited to set 
their Names to this Dedaimtioo, Copies of which wiU be left for that 
Purpose at the Swan, at Coleshili; at the Three Tuns, in Sutton 
Coldfield; at the Castle, at Tamworth ; the Bed lion, at Athsrstone ; 
the George, at Solyhull ; and the Bull, at Nuneaton. 

It is reouestad that any Information tending to cany into Effect the 
P ttr pose of tiio aboye Besolntions may be commonicated to the acting 
Jwtices of the Peace lor the Hundred of Hendingford, or to the Eari 
of Aylssfiird, Sir Bobert Lawloy, Bkrl, Biohard Goist, Bhl, Charles & 



Addttlsj, Eisq^ Andrsw HaeM» Esq. & a Hartopp^ Esq., Joseph 
Booltbss^ Esq., E. CboxalLEiq, W« Ililke, Jul, Esq., John Hadcst, 
L, Hampoxy Ardso, Esq., BoiHand ICainwaring, Esq., or W. 




Dsa 7, 17M. 

Aylesfard. EbCkoiall,inn. 

BobeH Lawloy. Boland ICamwariog. 

T. W, Xnigjitley. Hnmnhnr Arden. 

William lltila. Joseph Boultbee. 

Bidiard Gsast C R Hartopp^ 

Andrew Haekst Wol Dilke, jun. 

John Haekct W. Digby. 

Andrew HadbsCi JmL Edward Sadler. 

The MBodation bwui to work by aeekuig to make spies 
and infonnen. On ue ■une dar as the oounty addreas 
given above was pnbUahed, an advertisemeiit was inserted 
which ^reonestea that all Persons who have any Know- 
ledge of Seoitions PaUioations being issoed, or of Seditious 
Meetings, or of Persons guilty of uttering Seditious 
Expressions^ will flive iininemate Infixnoation thereof to 
this Assodation, bv Letter, addressed to Mr. Brooke, 
Attorney, Temple Bow, the Seeretaiy.'' This was signed 
by C. W. Willis, Esq., Chairman. 



170 A CEXTURT OF BIRMINGHAM LIFR 

Another meeting was held' on December 20th^ of which 
this report was published : — 

December 24th, 1792. — The Committee of this Aesoeiation cannot 
help expressing their Congratulation to the Town on the great Strength 
aoqnired br the Association in the daily Increase of its Members ; and 
when the Jsooks which are now in CSrcolation shall haye been taken 
round to every House in the Town, they doubt not but it will be 
discovered that the number of Disloyal and Disaffected in this Place 
form a Tery small F^portion of the uihabitants of Birmingham. The 
genezal Gbod likely to be produced by this Plan of the Conunittee has 
alreadv alarmed the secret Advocates for Biot and Disorder, and has 
bam the Occasion of the Publication of some very insidious and daring 
Hand BUls^ witii a View to intimidate and check the loyal and honest 
ManufiMStorsrs of Birmingham from putting their Signatures to the 
Books of this Aasoeiation. 

The Authors and Publishers of such Hand Bills oertainlj^ will not 
ese^»e the nroper Notice and Attention of the Committee in a leal 
Way ; but lest the Unwary shall be can|4it by the spedous and fiJse 
Aiffuments made use of m them, the Uommittee tnink themselTes 
oalMd upon by the Aiterest of the Public to shew the IVoitility of audi 
Argnmenta. The Public^ in these Hand Baia^are told that the FHends 
of 9ie Anodation an boond to snpnart the wessnt Syatem of Govvm- 
ment| oonvpted faj Innovation. tVom what Anthori^ is soch an 
Aawrtion madel And from what PabUeatiotf of the Bsntimants of 
tha Association do the anonymous Writsra hatard sodi a Fhmoaition f 
That wbieh the Association frel thomaelvias bound to protset| and 
wUdi ihtj bava nledged thefar lives and Fortones to maintaini la tlie 
C tor wum ant iMStk iSm been handed down to vs Vjr our Anostton. 
namalv. KinSi Ittda. and Oommona Osn anv Man (eiteti if aaonstomaa 
to diawtlia moat wild and aztBavaoant Inftraioes) laTtbat tfaia Siqh 
port oaUanpooaiiT Individoal toreniae Us Afldstanoa m endsavoariog, 
Dj avvy ifligal Method, to make every Branch of the L^gidatma as 
pors as it waa in its Institntion t Or can it be said that any Opinkm 
naa over bean offnnad by the AssodatioOy that any Oornqmoa of 
CkvarnmeBt in wliieh Dapaftment it niav eadali o«gh* not to be oorrso 
On the oontrafytho Oooimittea woold inl tiMnsslves to be aotiog vi^ 
in eo naht S Bt ly with tbo Opinions thsy entortain, did th^not oonesivo 
that their Yaoaration and Bespeet frr the prsssnt Pom of Govam- 



t woald MesasarQy indnos thorn to wiah to asa ovenr Bpedea 
of O wmpUon destroyed (if andi Comption does aziat) whanovsr a 
proper vppor*vni»y oooora 

Tho Friends to a Bafbrm of Fluliaaant cannot UmI thenaalvea 
either oppooad or anpfMxied hj tho Principles of tho Assoriation, tho 

Msnbsn of wliich ^s^^'in any OolMidenilkm of that Sabieot Tlio 
Tazeapayabla to Uovommont are also held ont aa a Spedso of Oppna- 
aioQ under wliioh the Inliabitanta of thia Coantnr labour : and Tazai^ 
in thafar Katsre alleeting ovaty Individnal, are brought nnvaid aa a 
Babjeot to prodnoe Inveetivo and Aboea of Oovammeat Tha Air 
and Candid will oonrider whoUisr any diavfe in tho Coootitatioii'will 

Sty tho Tasea already impoaed, or aake onr Boftlieaa leas ; and the 
basrvation naturally occnn^ that a Oomplafait againat the Magnitade 
of the Tiazea oomea venr 01 at a ftelod when ttie National Debt ia 
yearij paying cS, and when, bat for tha internal Diatarbanosa orsatod 



TREASON AND SEDITION. 171 

by the Frienda of Innoyation and the Supporters of Disorder, some of 
these very Taxes were intended to have been abolished. 

The Committee, trusting with the ^eatest Confidence in the Loyalty 
and good Sense of the Inhabitants of Birmingham, doubt not but that 
they will shew their Attachment to Loyalty and gjood Order by joining 
their Names to, and thereby supporting the Principles of, this Associa- 
tion. 

The Protestant Dissenters, meaning by those words, the 
Unitarians of the town, held a meeting on the subject; and 
issued the following report, which gives us the political 
principles of men who had recently suffered so much from 
the bigotry and fimaticism of their fellow townsmen. 

At a nnmerons and respectable Meetinffof Protestant Dissenters, 
held at the ChArity School in Park-street, on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 1702 ; 

William Bossell, Esq., in the Chair : 
An Invitation haying been given to the DiMenters to attend the Meeting 
at the HoteL on the 7th of this Instant, by some very respectable 
Members of the Establishment, a general Summons has been sent to the 
difbrent Congregations in this Town, in consequence of whidi sevenl 
numerous MeetiniBB hare been he!d (prindpallv attended by Members 
of the two SodeCiea belonging to the late Old and New Meetinffs) 
wherein the Peeoliaritj of their present Sitnation has been freely &- 
ensMdy and the present Assembly, convened for the Parpose of settling 
the Business agitated in those which preceded it, oondnae it ineambent 
upon them at this Crisis to declare their Politiad Prindples, fblly per- 
saaded they entertain none which it is their Interest in any shape to. 
dissemble or to eonoeal ; iber do therefore thus publidy express those 
PHndplas in the following Besolutions : — 

Bssolvedunaiiimoudv; 1. That the IMssenters appeal to the uniform 
Tenor of their jpublie donduct as an uneouivocal Testimony that Uiey 
ilsssive well of the Nation in general, ana of the Eunily on the Throne 
in pariieular ; this Charaeter, which they apprdiend thsj oan justly 
Uj elaim to^ they are detennined to maintain. 

Beaolvud uaanimoualjr ; & That they are Friends to the Constitution 
of this Country, on the Principles assetiod at the Revolution of 16S8^ as 
ci o neistin g of King, Lords^ ana CoromoMb 

Beeolved unanlmonely ; 3w That» in oonaequenee of the Abuses which 
have crept into our Constitution, they declare themselves wann and 
Maloua JViends to such a Plarliamontaiy Befinrm as shall make the' 
Beprsscntation apeak the Voice of the People, by rendering Ele^iona 
waom fruqumiti and the Bepiesentation mors oquaL 

Bosolved : 4. That they coneeive^ whatever Alarms and Discontenta 
oziati the Adoption of mStk a Measure would be a aure Means of remo- 
ving thwu 

Resolved; 6. That the Disssnton are Enemies to osditiotts and dia- 
oidoriy Plraotics^ under whatovw Pretence onmmitted ; are tho finn 



rtssnilsrs of the liUer^ of tho Prsss, and shall ovor ingnd it as tho 
mon invmlnable of tho PrivUegsa of EbgUshmon, and tho firmest Bul- 
wark of their BightSL 

Reaolved unanimously ; 6. That tho IHsssnten will ebearfnlly concur 
in all oonstAtutional lloasurse lur onouumgiug Obedience to the Inwa 
and assisting tho Civil Magittraftes on every Occssion, whm such 
Aasiatance is rendered ncosmary by Overt Ads. 



172 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

Besolved nnanimously ; 7. Tliat the Kiffht Houonrable Charles 
James Fox is entitled to public Gratitude for the oonstitutional and 
mauly Language so seasonably held forth by him in his two Speeches 
on the Address to the Throne, at the opening of the present Sessions of 
Parliament. 

BesoWed : That these Beaolationa be printed in the London and 
Birmingham Papers. 

Besolved ananimousl y : That the Thanks of this Meeting be giyen to 
the Chairman for his able and impartial Conduct in the C£dr. 

William Bussbll, Chairman. 

On December 24 was published : — 

An Address to the Association for the Protection of Liberty and 
Property against B^pabUcana and Lerellers, held at the- Hotel, Bir- 
minghanL Bv a friend to liberty and Property. Birmingham : 
printed and sold by T. Thompson, .^jid in a few Days wiU be pub- 
lished, Will Deepsee's Observations on ConstitutioiuMocietieSyaddreiBsed 
to the Association at the HoteL 

The Association, at a meeting held January 24, 1793, 
^reconnnended to the Innkeepers and Publicans in this 
Town and neighbourhood, to prevent, as £Eur as lies in their 
Power, all Seditious Meetings in their Houses, and to give 
Ltiformation to the Secretary of this Association, of every 
Person who shall be heard to utter any Seditious Enres- 

810D& 

Inspired by this resolution the Innkeepers held a meeting, 
and resolved to more than comply witn its recommenda- 
tion : — 

Birmingham, Mardi 15, 1793.«— At a mj nmiMimis and most 
rsepeeUble Meeting, held this day at the Hotel, agraesblyto poblie 
AdverttsemenL of the Innkeepsn and Yiotnalkn ci this Town and 
Neighbonrfaood ; Mr. Thomaa Dadky in the Chair ; Besolved vnani* 
moiul J i^> 

That in order to shew our Loraltv to the King: and o«r Attaehaunt 
to onr pmant azeeUent Ooostttatioa, We will aoflSv no Paraon or 
Persoiw to iM^d any Soeietf in our taapeetifa Hontsi^ or nnka use of 
an J Laogoaga thai taada to aabvart the Govamniant of this Kingdon, 
wiUioQt ginng Notioe to our worthy Maglstratsa of thte Town. 




Magistrates in the Ezeeation of thair Offioe, in omo of any Biot or aodi* 
tioQfl Tamnlt wbatarer. 

That We will, to the vtoMSt of oar Powar, sapprooi any inflamma* 
toiy Writing that the iaetiooo BaTolntkmisto may ttro to Ismm^ and use 
ff^nrr Eodeavonr to bring the Anthoia to Jnstloo. 

liiat, for the more eifeetaall j moenring Order and TkaaqnQliij, 
We mntoallj agree to diadooe and make known any tressopabls or 
seditions Expreeiions whieh najeoma to oar Knowledge^ in order that 
the Qailtr maj receiTo doe Poniihmant And Wa aaniesUy roqoest 
Men in all Banks to onita witha% f or the porposa of praaonriag oar 



TREASON AND SEDITION. 173 

present inestimable Constitation, wliich has been the Glory of this 
Conntry, the Envy of other Nations, and is at this Time, under Provi- 
dence, the Cause of our Happiness, Wealth, and Prosperity. 

That it is the Duty of all cood and loyal Subjects to preserve Fidelity 
to the King, and the sacred Constitution of this Country, as established 
by the glorious BeYolution, and to maintain and support the Peace, 
I^perty, and personal Security of every good Subject under its Pro- 
tection. 

That we hereby declare our unfeigned Admiration of the Laws of 
this Country, fully convinced that none can be more wisely framed nor 
better calculated for the Protection of Liberty and Property, or for tlie 
impartial Administration of Justice. 

That to support the Constitution and those public Men who make 
the l^eservatioin of it their predominant principle of Action, is the 
Object to which the present Meetii^ will direct their Attention. 

That to watch the insidious Desi^ins of those lurking Enemies who, 
by eyefiy dark ManosuTre^ are endeayouring to siq^ the Foundations of 
oior gbiJoQs Coiutitation, and to expose them to the public Eye, is a 
Du^ oyer which we will neither sleep nor slumben 

That the Thanks <tf this Nation are due to his Majesty's Ministers, 
for having adyind, and in their respectiys Departments carried into 
Ezeeotioii with Effect^ the wise and firm Measares lately adopted. 

Tliat the Thanks of this Meeting be j^yen to Joseph C^les, Eaq^ 
and the Bey. Dr. Spencer, for their unwearied Exertions as Magistrates. 

That the Thanks of this Meetin|r be given to the Hu^ Bailiff, for 
conyeninff the Inhabitants of this Town and Neifffabournood together 
en the 7tn ^i December last, for the Purpose of iMcUring our Attach- 
ment to our preeent Goyemment. 

Thai the Thanks ol this Meeting be giycn to the r^i'rmMn^ for his 
n ^fbi Oondnct in the Chair duiing ™m Busineaso 

Tliat the abofve BeeolntioniiDe printed in both the Birmin^^um 
D^MH^ m the Soil, the Star, and the Qeneral Evening Post 

TmaiUM DADLBTy Chairman. 




mkI yictoalkra who eonld not attend the Mesting and may wish to 

No wonder that we eoon meet an advertiaement like 

tliias— 

Twaarr Qvoeab BawAan. 
fieplember 30th, 1793.— Whereas aome evil-minded malieioiis Persoo 
or Persona haye written and aent l^ Poet a letter to the Bey« Mr. 
littlcL Minister of the Independent Society in Pteadise Stieet, and 
djgDed ^Bad. Bdiolefleki, Ibceter Bow," containing Sentimente and 
ffnasMirms of the moat seditioas and even treasonable Natore, I take 
this pnhlie Method of avowing my total I^piofanoe of sodli a Letter, 
and aaj atler Deleitatioa of the Principles it contains; and with the 
fiimesi Aanuanoe that eveiy Friend to the Peace of the Town would 
moioe in bringing each baaey aeeret Incendiaries to Joetice, I hereby 
oiler a Bewaid of Twenty Gniaeas to any Peiaon who will give me such 
Inf ormatkm ae ahaU enable me to proeecnte to Conviction the Offender 
or OffiBodem BaDCLim Scbolefisld, 



174 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

The Association was not provided with any business for 
more than two years. This was, doubtless, owing to their 
activity and strength, for there was plenty of sedition in 
the country. The London Corresponding Society were 
sending delegates about the country advocating the doctrines 
of the French Revolution, aud teaching the people the 
principles of Paine's Bights of Man. It was not, however, 
untU the year 1796 that we find a record of any of these 
emissaries visiting Birmingham. On Monday, March 14th 
of that year, we read . — 

Od Friday night last^ Binns and Jones, two delegates from the 
London Ooiresponding Society, regardtesB of the laws and peace of the 
country, delivered (the one at the Swan, in Swallow Street, and the 
other at the Bell public house, in Suffolk Street in this to wn) their 
inflammatory Lectures ; information of which being given to William 
Hicks, Esq., one of our Mafistrates. he immediately repaired, with the 
peace Officers, to the illegal assemolings. The meeting at the Swan 
Lad broken up, but at the Bell they found Jones in a room haranguing 
about Sevang P^2I?^^ -^ *<><>>^ *■ he saw the Magistrate, he was 
sQent ; but Mr. Hlcks^ being made acquainted by aemai who were 
present of the seditious language he had nekL immediately ordered the 
proclamation against disorderly meetings to be read, and the people in 
a few minutes disponed. Jones was admonished oy the Magisteate, 
who wanied him to beware of his conduct in fiiture, as a fltikt mtdh 
should be kept orer him and all lus aasodatea 

A fortnight later this notice was published : — 

Mardi iethy 1796.— Binns and Jooes, the DeWates from the Cor- 
responding Sooiety, were again brought before our l&gistrBtes on Thurs- 
day, and oommitments were made out against them to take their trials 
at tne next Aanaes at Warwick. They found bail for their appeanaee ; 



but Bathurrty the jobbing smith, has not been fortunate enoiqgh to 
uoonre any, and is still in confinement. The duurses against them are 
for seditious and tmasmnblo expressions, and for nAM«ng meetiiuEs to 
discuss pditical questions without giving the requisite puGUc notice. 



The next thing we hear of Bimm is from an advertisemeat 
which appeared on August 7, 1797 .' — 

As there has been a Person taken up as a seditious Haranguer in 
London, on Monday last, of the Name off Binns, and as it is mierally 
supposed it is the same Binns who has latdr been at Binningnam, and 
who is to be tried for Sedition at Warwick ; that there may not be 



any Aspenioii at all upon the Character of that Qentleman, the Public 
Buy rest asmired that he was at the House of Mr. Parr, the OotCage of 
Oontenty on Thursday Evening last^ until a late hour, in Oompanr with 
many remetaUe Gentlemen of this Town, whose Fbtttics acoora with 
hii, and tne Karnes of all which most worthy Gentlemen may be known 
en application to me, & JiATom, White Horsey Friday Street 

This advertisement led to the publication of two others, 
which are curious illustrations of the time 



TREASON AKD SEDITICWf. 175 

To the InkabUanU of the Town, of Birmingham, 
Aagagt 14, 1797. — Fellow Townsmen, — ^An Advertisement which 
was inserted in MondaVs Birmingham Paper, signed B. Jearons, White 
Horse, Friday-street, being very geuerailj misunderstood from the 
Ambiguity of the Language, and the Obscurity of the Individual whose 
Name it bears; we, Uie Company who supped at the Cottage, not 
wishing to conceal any Thing from you which happened on the Night 
of Thursdar. August 3, and unwiUing to suffer the proceedings of the 
night to be blaekeued by Malice, or misrepresented by Prejudice, trouble 
you with the following Statement, for the Truth of which we pledge 
ourselves. 

On Thursday Evening, Auffust 3, a Party of FHends went to sup at 
the Cottage of Content^ near wis Town. As the Peraons who supped 
had most of them attended the County Meeting to Petition for Peace, 
thejr have since been denominated Jacobins. If a sincere Desire of 
givmg Peace to the People of England, of ffiving Employment to the 
unemployed, and agun bringing Wealth and Commerce to the Shores 
of Qraat Britain, be what constitiites the Character of a Jaeobin, we 
disclaim not the Epithet 

Before Supper we observed acme Persons pass and rBpass the 
Window ; among the Number was Lovelaoe Walan, who oave Evidence 
against Mr. Jooes^ last Warwick Aasiass. 'We snpposea Curiosity to 
be their onlr Motivab ^^ ^ this we have since haa reason to doubt. 
About Ten aCloek, one of oar Company going to Walk in the Garden 
was surprised on openiqg the Door to nnd fi>ur Persons elose to it and 
the Window of the Boom in whkh we aat» apparently, nay, evidently, 
with the Intention to overliear wliat might all Iran the Company 
within. The Man that ma be eapaUe of the* MeannoM of Listening, 
and of wishing, if possible, to aeias upon the Moment of unguardM 
Conviviali^ to bring Injniy npon others, is unworthy the Chmeter 
and benealn the Coinpany of n Gentleman. Thus deteeled« tliose 
FsTBons walked into a Boom and called for some Spfarita and Water, 
wliich, having dimnk, thefy doparted. We hoped they were gone for 
ever ; bat we were deoeived — they only went to repMt P to g ress to a 
Company who were sittiog at n Pteblio Moos^in Binningham. It was 
resolved Ijr tide Fot-valiant Company, that Jacobins had no Right to 
the Good Thiap of thia Worid. and that they would go and rout them. 
Pkudencs^ in despite of Good Ale^ ealled aloud *Beinlbroe;* listening 
for ooee to mlvtaiy Advice, theoe Volnnteer Heroes called at the 
Hooae of Jeavooti where tlisj were rsintooed ; thus etrengthened, 
strong in Nunben and vndannted in' Coomge^ tiiey determined to 
ittaeE and torn ottt the Company at the CottiiM. Pnidenoe again 
whispsnd "take aviiy FSreeanlioo/ a Watdiwoid, Signal to Atteck, 
&QLf being agreed vpon^ and their JPktidenee thne onieted. they boldly 



marohed mm a aid tniilr seal heated with Uauor. and eon&dent in their 
Knmbe r e tU yentmed the Cottage abont Eleven o^Clodc, when we 
had paid onr Bill and ware aboot departing ; bat onwilling to lead 



thoee Men into Error, and leet they ahoold suppom we left the Hi 
on their Aeooonti wn delermlnad to remain eome Time longsr. Upon 



qaestioniagthem as to their Motivm fiur intmdlng thoa insoleatly bsto 
a private Boom and Companyi varioos and oontradtctoiT were the 



M assigned But none more eingalar than that given by Jeavons, 
''I happened/' add he, ''to be passing, by Aeddent, and came in to 
take a Cap of Ale.*. A man ttiat ie gidl^ of telling a premediuted 



176 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

Falsehood is caj^bla of eveiy Thing mean and contemptible. Their 
Designs in commg were exposed almost immediately on their entering 
the Boom ; one of the Party said, I come as a Peacemaker. Where 
was the Necessity for such a Declaration if War had not been previooBly 
determined on ? They demanded liqaor ; the Jjandlord said he never 
drew any after Eleven o'clock, nor would he then for any Man. Per- 
ceiving that the Company was not intimidated or friffhtened at theti; 
Military Appesrance, it allayed the rsging Heat of their Zeal, cooled 
their Coorage, awakened their Prudence, and wisely determined them 
to remain quiet. About Twelve o'clock we departed, and those who 

came to insult us remained. After singing a Song, d iug the 

Landlord and abusins the Landlady, they returned to Birmingham, 
hooting, hissing and hallooing, ^D — ^n all Jacobins." Their Conduct 
aboold have remained unnoticed, and treated with that contemptuous 
Silence which it deserves, had not some of the Party boasted of their 
Atzocity. and induatrionuy, though secretly, insinuated that the Meet- 
in g w as neld for political ^uiposes^ inimical to the Government. 
^We assure the Public that all such Reports are unfounded, and that 
the Meeting was a Friendly and not a Political one. If the whole Oon- 
▼enation had been spoken in the Presence of S|>ie% their Inf;enuity and 
complying Oonsdenoes oould not have tortured it into Criminality. 
JfJi " 



leavons shall ag^ lend his Name to an Advertisement which he 
Is not to see till it is inMrted, the Public will do him Justice to acquit 
him of b^ng an Author, and exonae as from replying to any Thmg 
whidi may appear under aiiohSignatiira. At Jeavons has promised (or 
othonhaTe promised In his Name) that he will furnish any Person with 
a lint of thoae who suppod at the Cotta^ we abo promise any Person 
who will call at Mr. PImx'sl Cottage of Content^ our Karnes, and the 
Namoi of thoae Intraden who wiahed to shew their Loyalty, u it could 
havo boMi done without the Pomibility of personal Danger. 

Aa thara are many of the Persona who mtmded on ttie Company at 
the Ootlage Uiat hare aince ozpnmed their Sorrow for audi Condoeti 
and deelars ther ware prevailed on and in aome measure foioed by 
othan^ wo pcomise to axpoQga their Names aftor making a proper Apo- 
logy to any .of the Company who were pw a e n t 

Signed in Name, and 1^ Ordar of the Companr, 

Wm. Habboldi 
. N.BL The Inlnidin wtt« Twanty-aiz, the Company Fifteen, one of 
Iham iiaving departed. 

^gaJtufiun, Aagaai S, 1707. 

Aqgoak H 1797.-~I am rsqnealed hy tiia Fluty who attended me to 
the Cfttaffe of Oontoil^ on Thnrsday Svoniuf, the 8rd Instant, to atato 
to the Poblic^ wo hava no aenmle In tKmimmg we went thers^ though 
not aeereUy, to aarartafai the Fefaons of a Set of known Birmingham 
Jaoobiaa Lovxlaci Walbb. 

The hiatorv of thia y ear waa xnaiked byaeveral important 
eventa. Ckah payDieata were reatricted in oonaeqaenoe of 
the ahotteeaa m apema There were mntiniea in the fleeta 
at Spithead and tne Notol Fox and hia friends, nnable to 
inflaence the oondaet of the Govemment, ceaaed to attend 
the Honae of Commona. Meetings were held in variotts 



TREASON AND SEDITION. 177 

iowiis and cities, and addresses to the King adopted praying 
bim to change his Ministers. A county meeting, called by 
the High Sheriff, was held at Warwick, on the last day of 
May, 1797, and a long Petition was adopted. It set out by 
expressing sentiments of unfeigned reverence for the King, 
the Royal family, and the institutions of the country. Then 
deprecated the origin, and complained of the conduct of the 
war; and said that the minist^. had "endeavoured to in- 
sure Impunity for their Mi.srnanagement, and Perpetuity to 
their Power, by the Severities of unconstitutional Statutes, 
and by menacing Intimations of Coercion beyond the Laws." 
It next alludes to the fearful distress and poverty of the 
people, peasantry and artisans ; the burdens of taxation, the 
milure of the war, the repressive measures of the Qovem- 

ment, and concludes with this request : — 

Most eimestly, then, we intreat your Majesty to diamiis without 
Delay thoee MinisterB wnoae "Brotanoxk htm impoTerished your Subjecti, 
whoee Arrogance has diiynted your Alliee, whose Iiicapacitv has 
emboldened ^our Foes, and whose Misconduct in War is a glaring 
Fkoof of their Unfitness to procure Peace equitaU^, or to pr e serve it 
penDanentljr, eipecially under the Ptessore of Difficulties which their 
own inanspdous Measures have accumulated, far beyond an^ FiTample 
recorded m History of the most unsuccessful AdministratK>n in ttie 
most tnglofious Beimk 

Warned by past JBTsntSy and dismayed at our future Prospects, we 
beseech you, Bire, to admit into your Coundls other and better Men, 
whose Exertions may endear a ntriot Einf to a loyal People, hj the 
Extinction of VeDality.the DifKusicn of Fkeeaom, the gradual Beduction 
of Tazea the speedy BeTival of Commerce, the Bestorataon of public 
Gkedit, toe Securi^ of landed Pkroperty, and all the various Keanngs 
whidi Wisdom in the Executive Government, seconded by the Integrity 
of an Independent Parliament,may yet obtain for us, after Becondliatioa 
with our Jbnemiesi and by Union among ouiselTes. 

Signed by Order of the Meeeting, 

BoBBiT KviOBT, BherifL 

In a few days the address received nearly 4,500 siffnatures 
in this town. It was not^ however, till 1801 mt Pitt 
resigned, and the farce of the Addington Cabinet was played 
not quite to the edification of the nation. The repreasive 
meaaures were continued ; prosecutions for seditious speeches 
were numerous ; and, in 1798, ** Gale Jones, a well-lmown 
and active agent of the Cornsponding Society, was prose- 
cuted to conviction for a seditious spMch at BirmingnaoL" 
In 1800 the following startling government notice was 

published : — 

Paanov Avn oss Huvnasn Qvnnus Bswaba. 
Whitehall, November 1st, 180a— Wheresa, a most Tkeasonable and 
Seditioua Paper was, on Monday night, distributed in the Town of 



178 A CENTURY OF BIRMINQHAM UFE. 

« 

Birmingham, beginning with the words ** Vive la RepMic," and signed 
" T. W., Secretary," dated " Constitution Hall, October 27th, 1800 ;" 

His Majesty, for the better apprehending and bringing to Justice 
the Persons concerned in writing and dispersing the said Paper, is 
hereby pleased to promise his most gracious^ardon to any one of them 
(except the Person who actually wrote the same) who shall discover his 
or their Accomplice or Accomplices therein, so that he, she, or they, 
may be apprehended and convicted thereof. Portlavd. 

And, as a further Encouragement, a Beward of One Hundred 
CKiineas is hereby offered by the MagistrateB of the said Town to any 
P6nK>n making sach DiscoTeiy as af ornaid (except as is before excepted) 
to be paid on the ccmyiction of any one or more of the Offenders. 

T. MiLLWARDy Constable. 

We do not find that these liberal rewards were ever 
claimed, or that the authors of this ''most Treasonable and 
Seditions Paper" were ever discovered. 



VOLTJNTEEB ASSOCUTIOKS. 



The year 1794 was distingaiahed by the oommencemeni 
of the Tohmteer movement^ in which the patriotism of the 
people, their lojjralty to the kinff, their love for the const!- 
tution, and theur hatred of the Irench, were displayed in an 
equal degree. The aaoifioes which the nation made at this 
period have never been sorpassed; and the following aoooont 
of the part which Birmingham took in the defence of the 
conntipr is a bright ohaptor in the histoty of the town. 
Early m the year a drcolar was iasned firam the Secretaiy 
of State's offices addressed to the Lord lieatenants of conn* 
ties» recommending the formation of Tdtanteer companies 
in aid of the mifitia, and suggesting the expedienqr of 
making pecuniary contributions in support of tne schema* 
A county meeting, called by the Earl ci Warwidc, was held 
in the County &11, on April 28, and th^ machineiy was 
put in action to give effect to the kin^s prooLutnation. In a 
fortnight nearly £8/)00 was subscribed. The feeling of the* 
times may be seen in the following announcement : — 

liay M, 17M.— TIm GentkiiMn of ^ Oommittee residmi fai tha 
Town and Neighboarfaood ol Www<itgi*Mm think it right to intimste 
to those who havs not jot sabsoribod, that^ ss do penonsl appUeafeioo 
Will bo madsL H is hoped ovenr one will Tolnntaril j step forth and 
manifest to all the Kingdom thil his Zed hi Defenoo ol the inTihiablo 
Cotis UtttU on ol his Oowitfy is not oonfincd to pioleonba only. 

* A HifloiT of Eoglsad* dvriag die Beign olGeoife the Thirl Bj 
W. Mmmj, M.r., T. 4. p. 7S. 



VOLUNTEEB ASSOCIATIONS. 179 

In tliis earnest spirit the work was begun. The local 
-writers of the time, including Morfitt, Weston, Job Nott, 
and, more important than all the others, the poet Freeth, 
gave their support to the project; and the people were 
ready and willing to join the regiments formed — especially 
as a tolerably good bounty was mven. The folloTidng is a 
copy of one of the recruiting bins : — 

June 2, 1794. — ^Warwickshire H^flpment of Fendble Light Dragoons, 
oommauded by the Earl of Warwidc. All high-spirited Young Men, 
who are able and willing to serve their Kin^ and Country, in support 
of their most excellent uid h^ppy Constitution, the Enyy oi the 
World^ hare now a glorious opportuni^ of shewing their Zeal in the 
Warwickshire Begiment d Cavalnr, to senre only during the present 
War, and within the Kingdom of Great Britain, to be commanded 
bf the Right Hon. Earl Brooke and Warwick, and other officers of the 
Coontir. 

A j3oimty of Fire Fonnds will be given to each young man who is 
apprpyed of, and One Guinea to any Person brining sudi Recruit 

Thev will be all mounted on fine Hunters, superior to most Regiments 
of Li|^t Dragoons, 

Let them rapair to the Bemant, at Mr. Owen's, the sign of the 
Esgle, in Hill Straei : and at the uose and Crown, in Moor Street, 
where thsj will enter into present Fky and Good Quarteni God save 
the King. 

This town applied for permission to raise a n^;iment, and 
the iq^yplioaiion was ffraciously flianted : — 

Birmingham, June 9th. 1794. — ui order publickly to make known 
the Kinn mcious oompiiance with the application mm the Town in 
FhyooTotl&aUKiauiComdBohu^ thefoUowing 

Oapy ci a Letter vsoei^sd hma Lord Amhent is userted. It is need- 
less to doubt thai Ookiiel Robsrti^s Friends who hare already interested 
in his Behalf will use all proper Means to facilitate the completion of 
the intended Regiment 

(Copy.) 

St. ^amei^s Square, June 6, 1794. 

Sir,— HsTiog some Days sinoe laid before the King the A|^ication 
froiB the Town of Birmingham, signed by yourself and many othen of 
ths Gentlemen and mincipal Mannfacturem of that FIm^ in favour of 
Lientenant Gdooel Bobeiia, and making an Offn* to assist and support 
him in his Dmm to isise a Begiment, 1 hats the Honour to aequaint 
yon, Hk Majesty was pleased to veosiTS this Msrk of the kysHj and 
seal ol the Town of Binni^fffaam Toy gradoualy, and to order that the 
neoessaiy Anthorities showd be gymo, to Lieutenant Oolonel Roberts 
to enable him to aTaO himself ol fliis handsome OflEer, by setting about 
to raise a Begiment in Birmingham aooordingly. 

I Imvs the honour to be, Sir. 
Tonr most obsdisnisad most humble Senrmt* 

J* QiTieB. Bsqm Binninsham* Amiiubi 

In Angost we read : — 

It is with jp^at pleasure ws snnoance that Colonel IlardT, so well 
known In this town and n^^ b ooihood, has received his Majesty's 



180 A CENTUKT OF BIRHINQHAM LIFE. 

Commistton to form^a regiment of Riflemen, to be dietiiigiiiahed by the 
name of the Royal York FusUeer: The regiment it to oonaiat of ono 
thoaaaud m^ and the Colonel has already ooUected more than that 
number of the best marksmen, foresters, and gamekeepers, on the Con- 
tinent 

The Free Masons acted with their usual loyalty; they held 
two meetings oxl the subject. At the first they resolved to 
form "one or more Companies" out of the society ; and at 
the second, held on June 20, it was 

ResolYod nnanimonsly : — That the Committee do immediately make 
an Offer to QoTwnment of the Services of this Assoeiation. 

As there are many IVee Masons, hearty well-wishen to the Snoesss 
of this Undertaking, who^ from Ageor other Infirmities^ cannot- attend 
inPeisony 

Beaolyed : — ^That a Sabseription be opened, and the Money so raised 
api^ied to the Purposes of proTiding Arms and AoooQtreme&ts finr those 
Mothers who mav find it inoonTonient to furnish themselTies with the 



The people of Harbome, Smethwick, Handsworth, and of 
all the places in the neighbourhood resolved to enrol them- 
aelvea. The Odd Fellows also determined to ** imi 



form themselves into a militaxy corpa'' On July S4 it was 
stated that ** A. very loyal armed Association, for the puipose 
of strengthening the hands of Oovemment^ for the security 
of property, and for the preservation of good order, is now 
forminff in this town, and many hundreds have already been 
ballotea into this respectable corps; which» we doaot not^ 
will soon form as strcmg a regiment as anjr in thekin^om.'* 
Eadi member was to clothe and arm himself at his own 
expense* and to serve personally without pay. The King 
approv^ of the plan ; and on Tuesday, August 22, " the 
members of the Birmingham IjojbI Assooiation paiaded at 
their Ezerdse Ground, m Ooleshill-street* for the first time, 
in Full XJniform, and made a very splendid appeannee. 
They patronise the play on Wednesday night* for toe benefit 
of toat most deserving &yourite of the town. Miss MsnseL'* 
The inhabitants were not content with fionniiig a corps of 
infimtry. It was resolved to have a cavafay regiment as 
wdL A meeting was held early in September finr this pur- 
poee: — 

LOTAL BfamVOBAM ASSOOUTID GaVALlT. 

Shskcspssrs TWvem, September t, 1797w— We^ wImms Names ars 
hersonto sabscribed, hsTing, with the mmbslioB of the Miigistealss 
ptessnt (vis^ W. Yilkn and W. Hieki^ £sq[Diral sssnoiatad for the 
Purpose of f ormiiig oonelves into a Oorps of Oavairy, aadsr the above 
Deiiomtiiation, for the Proteetioii ol this Town ud nrisb, sad to act 
in Coajunctaon in aid of the Ghril Power ; leqaest saeh o^mt Ocatle- 



VOLUNTEER ASSOCIATIONS. 181 

men who may be disposed to join the Corps, to send in their Names to 
the Committee, at the Shakespeare Tavern, before Ten o'clock on 
Wednesday morning next. Jakes Bktkolds, High Bailift 

Henry Cla^r ^os- Whately, W. Cope, 

John Startin, Edwaixl Bower, Joseph Sheldon, 

T. A. Pearson, Wm. Saigant, jnn. James Wooliey, 

Thomas Barker, Alex. Walker, Joseph Bandall, 

Mich. Goodall, Francis Walker, Wm. Dunn, 

dande Johnson, John Ooghton, Wm. Waddell, 

Geo. Madeley, Wm. Bam, jun. Jos. Cottrell, 

Wm. Ketland, John Phillips, Isaac Maxvton* 

Theodore Price, John Cope, Henry Osborne, 

John Wilkes, W. W. Mas<Mi, John Harris. 

W. Wyime Smith Thomas Bock, 
KJB. It is tmderstood that each Gentleman, at his own expense, 
provides his Horse, Uniform, Accoutrements, &a 

Another corps was formed, which was called the Loyal 
Binmngham Light Horse Volunteers, and on October 7 the 
following appointments were made. — ^''Thomas Aris Pearson, 
to be CmtBin ; Michael Goodall, Gent, to be Lieutenant ; 
Theodore jPrice, Gent, to be Lieutenant; Alexander Walker, 
Jun., Gent, to be Lieutenant** 

A meeting was held on November 10, at which it was 
resolved to present the two Loyal Associations with their 
Standards and Coloura Here is a report of the infantry: — 

Nov. 1% 1797. — On Taesdaj, the Lojal Birmingham Association of 
Infiuitiy asssmblsd at their Easreise Ground, nsar the Five WaTs^ for 
theparpoasrof being sworn ; when an Oath, similar to that taken br the 
Lig^t Hone YolimieerB, was administered to them bj W. Vlllen^ Esq. ; 
after whieh tb^ find sereral Tollies^ and went throngn their manoeoTres 
with neat eometoess. 

A laige e oD co m se of people wen assembled oa this ocession ; baithe 
mrand being kept clear by the great attention of ajMrt of Lieot 
LeggiTa TMk» or Warwiekahin Yeomanrjr, none of the mancraTres wen 
iatemipted by the crowd* The Pickpockets^ however, wen nrr voo- 
oesrfal, and a ^7 bill was in one of the pocket books they carried oft 

Next week ve have a report of the first meeting of the 
cavalry >— 

Nor. tO^ 1797.— On IViday, the Lotal Birmingham Light Hone 
Voinnteen mastered, for the fint tlme^ in oompleCe onifom and aeooa- 
tnments^ at the KInflfs Bsmeka, from whence they pnceeded tn the 
front of the Shak e spear Tareni, when then Mtlemen who had noi 
been awom bad the oath adaiaistend to them by W. Villen, En|. 

The l^oop afterwards dined at the above tanrn, and wen hononnd 
with the eonpaiqr ef the OIBesn of the fioyals, Ueot-OoloMl Bornetlt 
Distriet CoaBflEMmdaat ; the OIBean and Oommltleeof the Lojal Bh^ 
minriuun Assodatioti of Infontgy: the acting llagistntes for the Town; 
the Hkh Bailiii; M. Bonlton, Esq. : HeaiyOaj, Esq ; aadaU the 
other Honorary Memben. The oar was spent wiih the ntoMst 
harmony and oonTiviality, and the frulowing wen among the toasts 
gina: — 



182 A CENTUBY OF BIRMINQHAM LIFE. 

The King, and long life to him.— The Constitution, and may it lire 
for ever. — ^Tlie Queen and Family. — ^Field Manihal the Dnke of York 
and the Army. — ^The Wooden Walla of old England. — General Qolda- 
worthy and the Boyj^-^Bv Mi^or Cerjat» of the Royals) The Loyal 
Birmingham light Horse Volunteers. — Lieut-Colonel Bomett, Com- 
mandant of this District. — The Lord-Lieutenant and Warwickshire 
Fencibles. — ^The Man^uis of Hertford and Warwickshire Militia. — The 
Earl of Aylesford and Warwickshire Yeomanry. — Captain Timmins and 
the Loyal Birmingham Association. — ^The High Baili£^ and Prosperity 
to the Town of Birmingham. — ^The Acting Mi^trates for the Town. — 
Admiral Lord Duncan and his surviving Heroes, and to the Memory 
of all those who hare died nobly fighting in their Countiy'a Cause. — 
The Ladies who worked the Standards and Colours of the AModations. — 
The Stewards of the Day (Messrs. Walker and Barker) and thanks to 




IT tne approacmng bi 
yield Comfort to the Widow and Orphan.— (By Cdonel Burnett) May 
the riung Generation emulate the Spirit of the OonstitailoDal Assoeiar 
tion.— Oonfusion to those who shall attempt to intempi the Hanaooy 
that exists between the Loyal Associations of Oavalrr and Infantiy.— 
Colonel £insqr» (on their i«tirin|^ Mijon Oenat and Wyndham, and 
may the Obligations the T^m>p k under to the fioja]% b^ ever indelibly 
impresisd upon the Minds of the Loysle.— 4a Aft 

As the yean passed on the fears of an invmoion in- 
creased; and the people were stall willing to contribnte 
towards the volunteer fund. In 1798 more than two 
millions were thus subscribed The Bank of Tfagland gave 
two hundred thousand pounds ; and Mr. Peel, the father of 
the late Sir Robert^ suipzised the world by putting down 
his firm for ten thousana pounda Krmingfaam came out 
magnificently. The first announcement is as follows ^^ 

Maich 18, 179a— Hie VolimteyOontribiitiQn in thk town 



BOW nearly to j67/XWl butthssuiicaanoibeaoaiaft^y staled, as the 
repoitikaTeBoi yet peenall wedded Iw^ the diliegmt puhlio monia 
wh&n we leam subacripliaBi h«fs bem ofMoed with great apiiit mm 



and we hare do doabi a Toy eoosidenhle addition will be 
made to die eom in a few dayi^ aa the inhahitaoti will be wailed upon 
at their own hooiee, where any gift aeootding to the abiK^ of the 
donor: win, with pleMore^ be veesfed. 

Whikl the Mai and alMiitf meaifeslid in 0fmy eonMr of the 
kingdom, sad by e?My dewitption of panoM^inpMMoliiJVtlie YoImh 
taiyOontrilwtifln%mMtbehi|^ giaUfying toeffMytnMltffereg Us 
eonntiy: it moat sorely tand to eomriaM the mamiM el ourfrMand 
hamy Wand, that ebouU thMT dam to set foot en Bkiliih gmuid, 
wflT only arouM thoM enet^ iBmkblydiMhmd,aBdwyflli ommI 
tetmioale in the eoMpiele dIaeoMitwe ol thefr wuk and ilM|ieiale 
cateqNriM. 

A London newspai>er eireokted a report^ wUdi received 
irom Aria's the following well-merited rebuke :-* 

March 18; 179a— A corrMpoodent ranarfa^ that he ia eony to aM 



VOLUNTEER ASSOCIATI0N& 183 

a pangraph in one of the London papers, stating, that the Dissenters 
in this town, had, at a vestry meeting, determined not to subscribe to 
the volnntary contribution, as the statement is known to be without the 
least foundation. Some of thoee gentlemen have already subscribed 
liberally, and others there are, who, no doubt, will foUow their example. 
It is surely a most unwise and unpatriotic measure, to endeavour to 
divide Englishmen^ at a time when union is so essential to the public 
safety. 

The subscriptions flowed in. Some fifty gentlemen were 
found in this town who subscribed one hundred pounds 
eacL School bo^ and girls add^ their mites to the com- 
mon fund ; and in a short time our contributions exceeded 
£10,000. The popular fervour was increased by selecting 
this time for the presentation of the colours. On May 21 
the following announcement was made : 

PaBKMTATIOV OF TBS COLOURS TO THB LOTAL BlRUUTOHAX 
AmOOLLTlOMB aw CaTALRT AMD IvWAXTBr. 

The Gommittoe have the Pleasure to infonn the Pablie thai the 
Cok>m are completed, and (ji the weather permits) will be prssented 
on Monday Mominff, the Fourth of Jane next, beinff the AnmTenary 
of flk Majes^s Birthday. 

The Committee have cleared a laige Piece of Land on Bimingfaam 
Heathy near to Winaon Green, for the pnrpoae ; and, in order to accom- 
modate socfa Ladies and Gentlemen who may wish to haye a near and 
commodiooa View of the Prmentationy have determined to fix Seats 
within the Line, which will he oUigini^y kept by Colonel L^g^a 
Troop of Yeomanry OaTalry,and will m perfectlv free from intermption 
by tne anrroanding Spectators, and yet placed in tndk a Manner aa 
not to intercept tlmr view, it being the Wiih «f the Conmiittee to 
afford every pomible Accommodation to the Public in general upon 
thia intererang Occaaion. If any Sorptna remains after Mdocting the 
nececmry Expenaei, it will be applied to the Fond already fonnM by 
the Town. 

Tickets, at ts. 6d. eadi, may be had of Mr. Sanderson, at the Back 
of the Theatre, en Thursday, Friday, and Satnrdar MoniingB next, 
b e t wee n the Hours of Ten and One ; and, as the Committee wish to 
ascertain, aa early aa possible, the Number of Seats whidi wQI be 
wanted, they rsq;uesi the Fkronr of those who intend to purchase 
Tickets to apply on one of those BayiL as it will not be in thetr Power 
to cngsge to furnish Tickets after taat Time, and no more will be 
issuecT than the Bents will commodioQdy contain. 

P.8. — Shoold the weather be veir unfavouiable on the 4th of June, 
the Presentation win take place on tne first fine Dayafterwaidi^ Notice 
of which will be ^vsn hy a lUg hoisted upon St. rhilip's Church, and 
the Binging of BeUs at Five oi'dodL in the Morning 

B|y Dcsirs of the Oommittse, 

GioBon Smxtb, High BsQiff 

Next week this pangraph was pabUahed >— > 

May S8, 179&*It is now determined (whatever mav be the state of 
the weather) that the Oolours worked for the Loyal Uorpe of Osvalnr 
■and Infantry of this town shall certainly be preeented on his Majes^e 



ISI- A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

Birthday (Monday next), and every arraQBement has been made to 
render toe gala interesting and splendid. Saactly at ten o'clock in the 
morning the Boyal Dragoons will head the Line in New Street^ and 
lead the march to the Heath. 

Medals were Btruck to commemorate the event The fact 

is thus recorded : — 

Pbkskvtation of thb Colours. 

Jone 4, 1798. — To commemorate this Erent^ a Medal is stmek from 
an approYed Desi^ (by Barber), and dedicated to the Inhabitants of 
the Town of Birmmffham, and in a more especial manner to the Loyal 
Assoeiations of GaTiIry and Infantry, 

By the Pablic^s obedient Servant, 

J. S. JOBDXV. 

As the Public at large may be aooommodated, the Medals are of 
Silver, &onze, and Copper, either adapted as Regalias, or for the 
Cabinet, and by Permission, the Beadles of St. Philippe will attend with 
them on the Parade, in New-street, to deliver them to the Gentlemen of 
the Corps ; and in the Field to those Ladies and Gentlemen who may 
be desirous of possessing them. The Medals, in ttther Metal, may m 
had after this Day, at Messrs. Bichards, High-«treet. 

Mr. Jordan lias had the Honoor to rscelTs an order for a Gold 
Medal for eadi of the Ladies who hare worked the Cdonn^ idikb are 
to be prseented to them by the Town, and Ml be won on tiie Oeoa- 
doo. 

The long-exMcted aay at length arriyed ; and the cere- 
mony passed on with the great^ success. The following 
grapoio report was published : 

June 11, 1708.— 
PRSSBVTaTiOH OF THs STAimamD ov iHK LoTAL BnxnreBAic LiaBT 
Hoan YovBmwBB, Am of thb Coloubs or thb Bibmibbbax 
LoTAL AssocuLTiov OF GaTALKr avn Ibfabtbt, 

Every preparation had been aiade tnr the Hioh Bailiff and ComBiittee 
to render the speetadeinterestiag; whilst at tae saase tinie all preeaa 
tioB was taken to aroid eoafWon and aeodeat Hie sssldidty of the 
gentlemen who bad deroted tbeb attentfan to these objeets was amply 
gradAedlqritiBaeceM. Notaaaeeideat|if waezeeptUieooiioQSBtoDoir 
two borsss In the performaDoe of the sword szereiie at speed (bat 
without any permanent iidoir to the fidersX oce a r r ed in a pnwnlsouoni 
assembly for neariy a whola day of upwards of fifl^ thoniaBd peoplSi 

Early In the mondnic^ LkateaaBt Ardea, with OoIomI umgifn 
ntwp of Warwiekshire YeooMaiTy and amisled by a detaduaeat firam 
tha Eari of Ayleaford'iv ohlfgligly rsnalrad to Binalnghsm Hsalh to 
keep the froaad deared there mr tbs oecasloBp and wUeh, for the 
aeoomaiodatloa of the eonpsBy, had besD partly satrovadedaiUi ssata^ 
booths, ft& The Ladles who worked the Btsadard and Oolov% (tIs., 

Mrs Ftee aad Mra Eves, of the CrMosati and Mia. Wyatli of Binabff- 
ham Heath,) and the LsdUs who isristiilBptassBtisftiwa,bwakfostsd 
with the GsntlsBiea of the TofWB OoonltleiH al the Bhakespesr Tkvera 
la New-sliaet» and at ten d'fllosk. In fooat of the tavin and alo^ tho 
sireeti the line was fonned In the foUowiag ordert for the pai poses of 
proeeediag and eseortiag the Ladies and Oommlttee to the Heath : 



VOLUNTEEB ASSOCIATIONS. 185 

Iiieat-Ck>loneI Kinaej, with the Troop of the Bojal Regiment of 
DniffooDB. , 

The Loyal fiirmingham Ught Hone YolanteerB. 

The Birmingham lioyal Anociation. Lieutenant Colonel Burnett, 
Commandant of the Becmiting District^ with the whole of the Becrult- 
ing OffioerB^and Parties in the Town. 

In this order the proeeauon mardied to the ground, the carriages 
containing the Ladies, Committee, and Colours, haTing fidlen into ue 
line between the Cavaliy and Infimtry. Upon arriving on the Heath, 
the Ladies having been some time seated in the places prepared for 
them, the ceremony of presenting the Colours took place. Tbe High 
Bailiff the two Magistrates, with the Ladies who worked the Standard 
and Colours, accompanied by Mrs. Kinsev, Mrs. Tavlor, and Mrs. 
VUleri, and the whole of the Committee, aciTanced to the centre of the 
ground, between the military and the company, being attended on 
either nde by the ]|roung Ladies of Mrs. Wyatt'^ Mrs. Evei^s. and Mrs. 
Pope's schooli, uniformly and el^gantir mmfa, and who, aurinff the 
ceremony, formed a beautiful drde The Standard and Colours being 
then ^co by the Ladies^ An:, into the hands of the Captain of the 
Llgfat^orse, and the two senior Captains (Ospts. TImmins and Lyoett) 
of the Infimtey, the High BailifT addressed to the QfBeefs the f oUowiag 
admirable sp eec h 3 — 

Qentlemen,— Upon an oooadon so important and so inteiestinff as 
the present, it is impossible Ibrme to enter mon the do^ aasignea me 
by the ladies and gentlemen with whom I hare the booour to be 
associated, with any common emotion of mind. I must, tbsrsfora^ 
throw myself upon your candour and indulgence, and have cnlr to 
solicit that^ however imperfectly I may dlMharge the trust commi tied 
to ms^ it may tnoi, in the snisHssf degress be eooaldersd as diminidiiQg 
from those ssntlBieQtsof high esteem and rtgud whkh it is the wishes 
the town on this ocessioii to oonvsj. 

Oentlemen,— These edoois ars prsssntsd to you by the Tswn ef 
Bbminriiam as a mibiio and soleoui plcd« of its apprebalioa and 
respect vor tlie manly and patrioHs uaansr m ithkh, you lukve stepped 
Ibrward to enrol yourselves at this critical and important Junctors, for 
the Fkessrvation of the Fiiaee and Property cf the Town and Ks%h- 
boufhood, and in defence of oor bdoved Mooareh and the happy 
Constitution of this oountiy. 

In the name of the town, therelbie^ Osntlemeo, we bsf you to 



accept them, and^leel the firmest conviction thai by you th^ will be 
ffuardcd with a Soldiei^s cbtcl and will be eonsidend as a lasting and 
boooorable testimooy of pnblie Oralitade and BifMd. 



GentleoMn^— No day eould have been mors aus nlshwM fiir this 
Solemnity than the one whidi fave birth to a Menarch who is 
emphaticslly the Tkther of his Ps^4e. and whose nenory will ever be 
dear to Britons widle BeUgioo, Monlity, and gsnuine ^tiiotism hold 
^ pluffl^ fa their a fft tr ^i ft i iti 

Oentleme^r-I t is in the Defaies of this Kiag^ and the OoBsUtnticB 
of which he ii the Gnardian, that 700 have nohfy ettrelled yonrsslvsa^ a 
Coostitatloo whidi endears itself by proleelh^ aliko the iahahitaats 
of the splendid mandon and the peainfU dwulll^ of the humblest 
cottager aiQonstitoticn wfaid^atthis^ventft^^and mementow erisls» 
has hitherto proved its snperior ezeeUsoey by havbg withstood ths 
rude attacks of desobtlog anardiyy and whld^ I trust, has tiiiMn dssper 



186 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

r 

root tbau eVer in the Hearts of EDglishmen, and "wtiich, I am persuaded, 
they will never, never consent to hurter for the viaionary phantoms of 
modem lUuminati. 

Gentlemen, — I should consider myself highly negligent, were I to 
omit calling to your recollection the very hiaidsome manner in which 
the Ladies who have done us the honour to work the Colours had 
anticipated the wishes of the town, and the no less polite way in which 
they consented to forego their own inclinations, and to resign their 
dauns, from a conviction that the present woula be attended with a 
higher sanction, from the town than from any private individuals, 
however respectable. They are certainly entitled to our best thanks, 
which I b^ leave thus publicly to offer them. On the exquisite manner 
in which the Colours are worked, it is needless for me to remark ; your 
own taste has already appreciated their merits, and I am penoaded no 
encomiums of mine coiua add to the high sense you entertsin of their 
mperior ezoeUence. 

•.. ' Gentlemen,-^I shall detain you but a moment longer, while I observe 
that wheie'er thai Banner and those Colours fly» there will the best 
•wishes of your fdr Otmntrywomeny your Townsmen, and your Nei^- 
booxB attend you. Should a momentary dehurion at any future period 
Intemqyt our domcatie tianquiUity, to your .well-regulated hands we 
shall look with confidence for the restoration of peace and good order ; 
and ahoqld ever the laah mtcrprias of amthlesi and vindidiive foe call 
yea to jnoro haaMdooe asrviee^ I trait we ahall oAr up oar fervent 
nayeie to the Ahn^htyy that lie wvmld ehieid your beads in the day cf 
nane^ mewife vea m efery time el damrar, and give jnoo, when peaoe 
ahall ititom to dm the wend, one and afi to ahare iti lidiett oomf orti, 
lad to the lateat period el your Uvea may you enj^^ the heartfelt 
■itiefieKfln el hpmiur oontoboted to year eoontiT'a welftie^ and el 
liaivinff stood fat tiM niteBMMt nnka el thfien to wnom. under Ood. we 
are indebted for the pnaervatiaii el that gnmd Bolwaxk el genuine 
libett^Midaolid H^ipmem— Tbe Biiiish OoDstttatioii— a ConstztatioQ 
whidi, I eaimot f omar to npeaL I tvott the plain and good aenae d 
IfctfiiAmen vriD never be iAdoead to better for the vjaonaryphantone 
el ttoden mmBlnaiL 

. HHiMi the Hkh Bailiir had eondnded^ the Ber. Mr. Curtis. Beotor 
el the TiMnif read en fffr f ^ f it ^ Adinee, and eooeecntcd the Standard 
and CdoanL Aa we andonstand the Sector BMioa to eonplimsnt eadi 
Henber el the AMoeiatMa with a eopx el tUa Addrea^ it wiU Boffioe 
lor oa to naaik, that after lamsnting the asoseiity el nan'a feeori to 
enML and die inteiaptkn ol haimonj betweoi nattOBa, he epoke el the 
b ea e a c i al eflectswMco moat BatmaMlyarieefaom the timely mtei fe ieaee 
elgoodcitiaaMinsnppoiteltlieirlMiaodltbsitMSL The main ebjeet 



el aoeh Aa mc iaHen a waa doI to dietotb bat to ui e wm e peace; and, 

eonuneMlng As 



he wie net awaie thati in eonuDeadlng Aasooiatione 
eoodoflive to pablio tnaqaiUityy lie wia departiqg from the character 
d a Minister el the Goqwl el Peace. Mr. Q tlMa eoomenited the 
Staadaide ia the following tsrma : 

** Under the haproMJon, thsa, el the utility and impeitaaee el mch 
A iwiatlima le the poaee ol eocJefaTf I am persoaded theleeliopelthia 
anawieue and rMpedahle ■■wably will go with aM. wh«i I JMieate 
theee Staadaid% as far aa the aelaia of my eOee will alknw, to the 
heaoar ol Qod, the maintenanoe el ear BeljgiOB, and the prMervaliea 
^ the order aad welfare el eociety. 



VOLUNTEER ASSOCIATIONS, 187 

^ I now ooQsign them to the hands of those, who, in a moment when 
their services are most wanted, have united themselves for the professed 
purpose of supporting, with unshaken zeal, the social, moral, and 
reliffious rights of th& fellow citizens and themselves; and in full 
confidence Uiat their conduct will correspond with a plan so judiciously 
formed, and with intentions so laudably professed, I do not hesitate, as 
a Mimiater of the Gospel of Peace, to pray that the especial protection 
of Providence mav lignt on the Loyal Associated Corps here present. 
May the God of &ttles, who is alike powerful '' by many and bv few," 
to save and destroy, watch over and preserve them ; and if it be His 
ffood pleasure to visit them wiUi a day of peril, may He inspire their 
hearts with wisdom in council, and courage on the field. May '' the 
Lord of Hosts be with them, and the God of Jacob be their Befuge."— 
Amen. After the consecration, the Captains delivered the standard 
and colours (with suitable addresses) to the Comets and Ensigns. 
Coloned Kinsey then reviewed the troops, who went through their 
varioiis maaceuvres and evolutions, and a part;f of the Royals gratified 
the spectatorB with the Austrian Sword &ercise, and the Attack and 
Defence at full qpeed. Three volleys (aooompanied with cheersof three 
times three^ &e.) were fired by the whole line, in honour of his Majesty, 
and three more in compliment to the Colours, after which the procession 
retimed to New Street, in the same order in which it came, with the 
addition cf the Qentlemen of the Teomamy bringing up the rear of 
the line. 

The dav proved remarkably fine. Such a conooarse of people (com- 
puted at D&ween fiftv and mxXj thousand) had perhaps never before 
assembled hi this ne^bonriiooa ; and their peaceful, respeetfbl, loyal, 
and ezempluy eoMliiet, afforded to eveiy good subject the most heart- 
felt eatisfiietion. At a time when the most industrious and profligate 
attempto are niade to ooniipt the mofali of our countnrmen, to estru^ 
them mm their duty towards thdr Clod, and their allegiance towaras 
their Sovenign, we meptioa with pride an instance so honourable to 
the ehametor of onr townsmen and nei^boors. We have already 
had the sifisfartimn to state, that not one accident happened Bir^idft- th i^ 
mohitode of spectators to interrupt the pleasure ef^e day. 

As there was no room by any means laijpe enough to accommodate 
the two Ooqis and the Yeomanry, th^ dmed at sepaiate Tavenis, 
and were honoured with the company of the Officers of the B^gnlars. 
The afteraoon was spent by the whole town with the greatest femvity, 
and the enrenho^ conchided with the utmost harmony. Three guineas 
per troop were sent hj ths Ckimmittee to the privates of ths R^ak to 
drink tneir Being's heahh. and in the proportion of numbem a like 
complement was made to tne recruiting partiea 

Of the Standard and Ookmrs, which are all worked from Mr. Barber's 
deafgna, it is impossible ferns to speak in just and i4ipropriate tenns : — 
Thety ars objects of umvurml admiration, and evmce the ezquisiie 
testa and talents of the Ladies who have wrought them. 

A Medal, also dcsjyned \fj Mr. Barber, and executed by Mr. Jorden, 
was worn by the Ijulies^ Oommittse, Ac 

Tlie parade and manoeuvres of the day were settled by Colonels 
Kinsey and Burnett, and the Committee and the Coips feel and 
acknowledn the great and obliging a tten t ion of these offioeia upon 



as well as upMi man v other oocasions. 
We should be very dendent if,in concluding tliis account, we omitted 



188 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

to observe f thit the ground was kept with so* much judjgment and 
temper bj Lieutenant Arden, with the Yeomaniy^that notwithstanding 
the immense numbers that sunounded them, it was never broken into, 
and all the spectators departed in perfect good humour. 



A CAUSE C^L&BRE. 

4 

Towards the end of the year 1791 fiirmingham witnesaed 
the beginning of a cauee ciUbrt, which is qnite a criminal 
romance. A man named Hubbard, with the aliases of 
Griffin, Lord Massey, and the Duke of Ormond, had com- 
mitted foigeiy for a very lai^ amount^ and succeeded for 
some time in escaping from the hands of justice. He was, 
however, aoprehended at Yauxhall in this town, and ulti* 
matdy paia the penalty of lus crime on the scaffold— one 
more of those victims to the cruel penal laws of the time, 
who even then b^^an. to excite the sympathy of the public, 
and to make juries palter with their consciences rather 
than return verdicts of euilty against prisoners whose 
punishments would be so disproportionate to their crimes. 
The first notice we have of Hubbard is the following adver- 
tisement: — 

Iiuosiom. 

October i4th, 1791.— >Wheress a BerKm, callinf himself the Duke of 
Oimond, did^ <m Friday the 7%ol this instaiit Oetobor, finradolaitij 

bj gctthiff 
Dntft dated the i7th of September, drswn hv one Smbow Porrii oC 



obtaiii nom Masni. Eaion apd HsimiMind, Biaken at Newmsrint. the 
Bom of iOOL, bj getthig them to give him their BiOs and Otth for a 



DoBCister, upon Mewra OodiBg and Ooi, Biaken, m Fleet Street, 
London, pajafale 8 Dajs after date to tlie Duke of Omond, or order; 
at the aame time informing thenA he was the Dake of dmond. when In 
fsetithat Title has been eztinet man/ jeara He is eniyosea to eone 
hem Binningham or Doncaster, and has sone 1^ the Name of Qrifis 
or Oriffln, and is well known at Stilton ana StamfonL 

He meare to be about 25 Teare of Age, abont 6 Feet 10 Indies 
high, and Weia^t abont 14 Stone, fair Oomplezkin, daik Hair and Bjm 
BrowB,with his Hair aneii*d and foreTbpfriaed baeki Sidea sindgbti 
diemed in a daric SmdT-eoloued mat CoaL with lA^fk hlaek OoOar, 
and nnder that had on a new bhie stnight Coat» with ftnhlimable 
jellow Hajeoek Bottona, and Six on each Goat Skeve, iHdte evtride 
oorded Dimitr Waisteoat, fiottone of the Ookmr and set wide, a Bine 
Silk nnder Waietooat, Thiek-aet Breeehea, bine ribbed Stoddag^ Boots 
almoatnew.aadaronnd Hat; haa a vwy small Dim|ile or Sear on the 
Bottom of hii left Cheek, or mlbsr on the Jaw BoMb iWM" to be 
done br O nn powder, hnt so small as not to be ohaerrvd wmiovt near 
InepeetiMi; waapnisnedontheNofth BoadaefMrasNewaric "Wlio- 
ever will apprehend the above Fenon diall noeive Fortj Foonds 



A CAUSE C^LtlBRE. 189 

Beward, to be paid by Mr. EUiaon. No. 4, Crane Court, Fleet Street, 
London, Secretary and Solicitor to tne Aasociation of Country Bankers. 

On Novembier 7th we have the report of his arrest : — 

On Wedneaday last, a young man of very ffenteel appearance waa 
apprehended at Vauxball, near this Town, and is suppoeed to be the 
peraon who called bimaelf the Duke of Ormond (an Iriah title forfeited 
in the year 1716), and who, under that titles fraudulently obtained, on 
the 7th of October Jaat| of Mr. Hammond, a oanker of Newmarket, the 
anm of two hundred pounds^ for a awindllnff bill to that amount, 
purporting to be drawn by Spencer Punria, of Doncaater, on Measre. 
Qoeling and Co., banker^ in London, and payable to his Qiuc£% orders. 

This young man (whoae name appeaia to be Ghriffin) arriyed late on 
Sunday oigh^ the 3(Hh ult, at the Hotel, in this Town, accompanied 
by a handsome young woman, and attended \rr a aerrant The next 
day he removed to vauxhall, strling himself Captain Mouaon, of the 
Dragoons. The yoong woman, he said, was his sister, and she had a 
septirate apartment. On Wednesday, howerer, Mr. Spooner, master of 
this Blue Bell Lin» in Lsiosster, aooompanied hj two mend% arriTed in 
this town fai punoit of a nmowov daughter. GrifBn, it seems (if he is 
the pretsnded duke) had, since his tnnsaetlon with the Newmarket 
BanWy ehleflr reslaed at this Inn, in Leicester, where his address and 
ths graces of bis person had gained so mudi upon the young woman's 
aflSmoii% that 1m foand it no diilionlt matter to cany her oOl The 
fiUher. «poii Us airival, soon diseovered wliere the IbgitiTes were ; he 
immediaisly wunt to Vanzhall and demanded his daughter. QriiBn 
lefiised. to surrender her, and said be would with his fife defend the 
posBSSsloiiofher. Upon this ths fsUier returned to Birmingham, and 
as hbdaqgliter was under Mje^beif^ged the assistancs of Mr. wallis^ the 
Cbestable^to wslcgs bar to nim ; it was at the aame time hinted by one 
of the peiaoBS wbo ascompaaied Mr. Spooner torn Leicester that 
Grifia was most probably tae Newmarket Impostor, ▲eeordiagfy Mr. 
Wallis, with his oldest son and Bruce the thief-taker, attended the 
iMlisr OB his retain to TanshalL Whea they arrived there OriiBu 
wasslttiagaloaeiatiie parlour; he had twobmceol loaded pistols oa 
ths tables and a braes In his podEsCa. Mr. WalUsbjua, being the first 
that satersd the rooa^ Qrifiln pointed a pbtol at him ; Mr. W. had 
only tfano to say, ^ What, Qrifin, is it you— you wont snrsly shoot ms," 
whea the pistol was diseliaiged ; the aim was^ unlbiiunately, eo well 
dirselsd, tfiat the ball stni^ Mr. WaUiira fh»t teeth ia aa oblique 
dirsstioa.brokealzof them, most terribly tors his tongus^ aad took off 
a pises or his appsr Upi Mr. Wallii^ ssa^ and BHmc aow raihed hito 
tas room ; to tko breast of the Ibnaer Oriffin p r sss ut sd aaothsr pistol, 
which happily flashed in the pan, aad aa he waa going to point a 
thirds Braeep with a Tiolmit blow of hie bludgeon oa Oriffin'a head, 
brosttht him to the ground, and after he had much beaten him, he 
secured aioB. 

WHh the first blood that issued fnm his month, Mr. Wallis spit eat 
the baU (quite fiatteaed} that had straek him { whsa Qriflb ssid bs was 
Sony he was so agitated aatofirsatMr. W.,lNitifhshad bsea a Bow- 
street Bnaasr, he should not hsTs lameated shooting him. 

Oriflla was eoaroyed from Yaazhall to our Dungeon. It was at 
first thought his skaU was finaelursd by the blow he recsived oa his 
head,aadtfaatliewaiindaaMrfbomhisothsrbniissa TheSorgsoas, 
howertr, iHio attead him aaTu siace dedared the coatraiy. On 



190 A CENTURY OF BIRMINaHAM LIFE. 

Thiu«d|i]rh6 was taken before the Magistratei^ at the Public Office. 
From the loea of blood, and the pain of his wounds, he had nearly 
fiiinted from the fatigue of ascending the stairs when he was brought 
to the bur ; he, however, soon recovered himself^ and politely addressing 
the Magistrate, expressed a hope that they would not consider him as 
wantinff a proper respect for them, or as contemptuous, if he declined 
answering any other qaestious that were put him but such as related 
to the circumstance of his capture. He requested the fiiTonr of having 
some of bis cloaths, which was granted; and evidence having been 
taken of his shooting Mr. Waliis, he was ordered back to the dungeon 
for future examination. 

Cariosity has drawn nnmbers of gentlemen to visit the prisoner. 
He 18 a most handsome athletic young man, about six and twenty 
years of age, is said to apeak two or three foreign languages, and by hia 
oonvemation he appears to be a man of ability ; his whole demeanour 
is, indeed, so very prepossessing and genteel, that many feel themselves 
interertadinhisfate. IthasbeenreMrtedhewasbomatHatflev; bat 
be deniea having any knowledge of tae plaoe ; and we are told tluut the 
native of Hagley^ for whom by many he was taken, is now a patient at 
oar Hospital. It ia^ however, oertain that he has frequently been in 
this town. Iq Aagost, 1790, he waa at the Bed Lion, in oompany with 
A person who went by the name of Norman ; and it is remembered^ 
thsit on the SSnd of last Joly. he came in the eoaeh to the Union 
Tavenii with another man ana two 'genteel yoaths; the bova were 
•eat away in ehaJsea, bat be -and tSe other man continoed at the 
Tavom m five day% when they aaddenly left it, forg^Uiiig to pay the 
landlord*^ bill, and also a neighbouring taylor'a, whom they had 
obliged with ihehr ordera ▲ aimilar act of /oryef/Wji«ft is also 
diamd apon Qriifin hf the laadkfd of the Swan Inn, at liehfield^ 
who naa a oill afpaEost htm fat f ip ff n tt s daring the races at that plaee « 
bat whether or not he be the person who asenmed the title ol the Dake 
of Ormond, eannoti perhaps^ be poaidvely known ontil Mr. Hammond 
or hii dark ahali oee him ; he oertainly nearly answers the description 
given of tho man, and among Us doatbs was foond a bloemat eoa^ 
with hayoook battoo^ similar to tho one deecribed in Mr. SQunmond'a 
advertiMBMnt in this paper of tho i4th nit. 

Aa oooii as GiiiBn was secmrod. Mr. Snoooer took hia daoshter bade 

toI^ltoMt■^. 

Wo are happy to infbnn oar leaders that Mr. Waliis, Jan., thoogh 
he b to aevwoiy woonded, is likely to do wolL This Gentleman had 
bat Josi arrivea from London, imn he set oat with his lathtf upon 
this nnfiirtaiiata baslness. On one part of the ball wUh which he was 
shot Is indented a perfect Imiirssilnaof one of hk comer teeth. 

In the week following we have the report of his 
identification .' — 

Biimins^iam, November 14th, 1791. — On Frida)r morning last, Mr. 
BammoiM, tho Banker from Newmarket, attended by the Magistaates^ 
went to oar prison. He immediately recognised the persoQ who now 
ealk himself Henry Oriffin (bat who is also known by the name ol 
Qeotge HnbbanL which is thooi^t to be his rsal one), as the man who 
assnmod the title ol the Dake ol Onnond, and «aiged him with 
ottering the swindlii^^ bill for SOOL The prisoner said nothing in his 
own daienos ; and yesterday he was sworn to by Mr. Green, Jeweller, 



A CAUSE CiLfeBRE. ^91 

of London, as bemg the penon -who, in March last, defmitdtHi him and 
his partner, Mr. 'mUerton, of jewels to the amount of 700/., which he 
ordered at their shop in Bond Street, pretending to he^ Lord Massey, 
and giving them a draft purporting to be drawn by Karl TankerviUe, on 
Messrs. (S>utts, of the Strand, for 1,449^ The leweis were delivered 
at his lodgings, and so satisfied were Messrs. WiilerUnA and Qreen that 
he was the person he called himself, that he made out a draft upon 
their Banker for the difference of the bill he had left with theuL This 
draft, however, he never called for, havinff hastily quitta^l his lodgings 
the moment he had possession of the jewds. He in at prment detained 
here on account of tne assault upon Mr. Wallis, that gentleman being, 
we are sony to say, as yet too ill to undeigo an examination. 

On the 2]8t we read : — 

The person committed to our priaon by the nanM of Itenry Qriffin 
atill remains there^ Mr. Wallia having been aa yet incapable ci under- 
ffoing an examination. Jealousy one of Sir Sampaoo Wright^a men, has 
been here to see- him. He savs the prisoiiera rml name is James 
Hubbard^ that he ia a native o^ vod faaa been an oAotr in, America, 
and that m the year 1790. he was oonvkted of an oftooo in Ireland, for 
which he was oniered to oe tnuoBported, but that h$ than found means 
of escaping from hia gayolen. He ako dedarea U» to be the person 
who^ some time since, was gnOty of the impoattion ttpPli the Duke of 
York, whidi Hia TTighness forgave ; and that h9 onot Ussnmflrl the 
diameter of the DuEe of Manrhwitftr, wiUi a ri^w of taking in a 
watchmaker. 

We have next a brief account of his cofsmittal to War- 



December 6, 1791d-^0& Tuesday laijLtlie jm' ditmU Doka of Oxnund 
was committed by oor Hagiatratea to warwidc gaoly «adar the name of 
Hennr QriiBn. for f elooioiialy diootiQg at^ aod JaUfMniialy woundini^ 
Mr. John Wallia the Toangar, aa BMBtknad In f omar papera. The 
elder Mr. Wallia waa bound over to proaeoata at ilbe nazt Warwick 
aaiiaea. Mr. Wallia, Jon., could not attend at tha Ptablio Office, and, 
therefore^ a certificate beiog aigned by the ThjMtti and Bnigeona 
who have attendad him amca hia confiMment^ alMiaf that hia removal 
mi^t endaagar his lifcu the M^giateatea nolitaly toM hia denoaition at 
hia uMtftmanta. Detameis are aim BoolEed againit the maoner for 
firanda committed on Mr. Hammond, toe KewmaHcet Banker, and 
Meana. Green and Oo., JewaDen, in New Bond 8tract| London. He 
waa coiivey» d to Warwidr in a pcat-coach and loaVf aceonmanied by 
Ifr. IWn, Mr. 8andef«, and foor cHiar Conalablaii •■ponially awcni 
for the due ezeentioB of the warranL 

On the aame day the readera of the OazeU$ were f omiahed 
with a rather fall hiatoiy of thk " intereattflg** criminal >— 

DcxB or OsHom. 

December Mi, 1791.— Aa many e twrn aoaa conjaeinm hava apptaiad 
in the publk printa laapeeliw tfi0 mJ Mmo and faarfly af ttia aafcNTtii* 
nateyonng man now confined fai Wanridt gaoL by <fc> lima of Heuy 
Qriflh^ duttged with defamding the banker ai K aw^ 
of the Duke of Ormond, we are now cnaUad to Uf bilor» our readera 
the following partieuhra, whidh may be dsMnded npon aa anthentie. 

Hia real name ia Jamea MoleawoHh Huhard, aoA of JaaMa Hubard, 



192 A CENTUBT OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

£tq., late his Majesty's Judge Advocate to the province of Virginia, 
ana he was bom in North America. The virtues of the fatlier were a 
sufficient recommendation to Lord Dunmore, who immediately took the 
son under his protection, and placed him in the rank of an officer in 
one of the regiments of Loyalists, in which he was distin^uiahed soon 
for his personal and mental accomplishments, having added to a genteel 
and handsome person a very liberal education. 

Li the above regiment he was also distin^ished for his personal 
courage, and was looked upon as a very promising officer. With this 
character he marched with the corps into winter cjuarters at New York, 
where dissipation and extravagance were at their height. Naturally 
of a gay disposition, caressed by his superior officers, and his vanity 
ilatterea by the attention of the first ana finest women in the place, it 
is not to be wondered at that he launched inconsiderately mto the 
follies and vices of the town. His income not being equal to his 
extravagant way of living, he absconded with some money belonging 
to the army. He was then forced to sell his commission. 

When he came to this country, the money he obtained by the sale 
of his commission was soon expended, and having run considerably into 
debt, he was am»ted and thrown into the Kind's Bench prison, from 
whidi he was liberated by a certain Lady ofhi^hrant. 

The above connection lasted but a short time ; he was again dis- 
treesedy and again set his invention to raise his finances. To this end 
he wrote to Cord Howard, under the feigned signature of an officer 
who was well known to his Lordship, and who at that time stood in 
need of pecnniaiy aid, by which means be obtained a sum of money. 
He was indicted for this offence ; but, by an oversight in the Solicitor 
for the proMcution, he was acauitted. After this he practised the same 
fraud on various gentlemen, tul at length he was detected in writing in 
the name of an officer in the Coldstream regiment to the Duke of York, 
and obtaining from his Itoyal Highness twelve guineas. For this 
offence he was tried and convicted ; but, at Uie instance of the Duke, 
his sentence was a very mild one. 

After thisi the first acooonts we have of him are from Ireland, 
where he was tried by the name of Bedman for shop-lifting, and was 
sentenced to be transported for seven years ; but he escaped from the 
prison, by Xowtnng nimself from the top by ropes, in which, it is 
reported, he was aasisted by the keepei's daughter. 

He then went to Fhmoe, where he again got connected with a woman 
of rank, from whom he obtained upwards of jCl,5U0, and here he kept 
his carriage, and was afterwards ooncemed with a fiimons English gMa- 
bier, who has fonnd it convenient to reside in that country for some time 
baek. They kept a Faro Bank, but quarrelling about the profits, sepa- 
rated. He again came to England, and, by a detainer lodged against 
him at Birminsbam, he appears to be the iierson who, under the bor- 
rowed title of Lord Massey, defrauded Messrs. Willerton and Green of 
jewels and trinkets to the amount of jG7(H). Afler this, he \ths^i\ upon 
a watchmaker in Hoi bom as the Duke of Manchester, and ordered two 
watches to be sent to his lodgings in Charleaoitreet, St. James's Square ; 
but as the watchmaker was informed that his Grace was abroad, instead 
of watehes, he sent him two officers from Bow Street Hubard being at 
that time near his own lodgings, and seeing the offioera, whom he well 
knew, decamped. The story of the Dake of Ormond is fresh in the 
Binds of the public, we need not therefore repeat it. 



A CAUSE c£lI:bre. 193 

After this, he vent to York races, where he met Shaw, who is ad- 
mitted an evidence against the mail robbers, and was by him advised to 
reform his life, as he had got off so well from Newmarket. He assured 
Shaw he would, but that there was a girl at Leioeeter whom he tenderly 
loved, and that he would obtain her at anv rate. The sequel is well 
known ; he was tdcen in running away with her. 

He has for some time kept a servant in liveiy, has a horse at this 
time for which he has been offered a hundred and fifty guineas. The 
elegance of his address |;ained him admission to the tables of the first 
ffentlemen in the counties through which he has travelled ; and he 
Doasts of having evaded the search made after him at the same time 
that he walked publicly about London, di^uised only by wearing 
spectacles, a cocked hat and cockade. 

At 'Leicester, in the house from whence he took the daughter of the 
landlord, he gave several public entertainments, at whi<m the most 
respectable persons of the neighbourhood were present 

Were his whole history laid before the public^ it would, perhaps, 
exhibit a eombination of the most extraordinary incidents that ever 
concentred in any man of his age, which apparently is not more than 
five or six and twenty. He has a mother, two sisters, and a brother, 
now livinff at Williamabnigh, in Ylrainia, with whom he has never 
corrssponded since he lost the &voar of Lord Dnnmore. His mother is 
a native of America ; her maiden name was Morton ; she retains rwj 
Ltfge possessions in the province of Yiiginia. 

The committal gave rise to a bit of local literature, with 

the following curious title : — 

Dee. fi. 1791.— This day Is Pnbllshed, price Fomvpenoe,— A SQUINT 
at ELTSIUBi ; or, DUKE and NO DUKE : a Poem, oooasioned fagr 
the Oommitment of Heniy Qriffin to WarwidL By a Lady of Bir- 
minghanL 

At the Warwick Spriu^ AssijEe^ in March, 1792, the com* 
miBsion was opened oy Mr. Bait>n Thompson on the 27th. 
On the following day his Lordship proceeded to try the 
causes at the Nisi Prius Bar; and ''whilst the Judge was 
at this bar. Griffin, (the Duke of Ormond) elegantly dressed, 
was put up ; but on an affidavit of younff Mr. Wsllis's Sur- 
geon being read, stating that that ffenUeman was as yet 
mcapaUe of attendimr, he was remanded to take his trial at 
the next assiasea" Tlius the matter stood over until the 
Summer. The trial at Warwick took place on August 21 ; 
and the following brief report of it appeared in the ChueUe 
of the 27th:— 

On Tuesday morning, a little befbrs eight c^olodc, the Ooort bsi^g 
extrsnely crowded, Qrifin, siiaa Habbsrd. the pretended Daks of Or- 
mond, appeared at the bar to take hie trial lor shootinff at Mr. Wallii^ 
JQtt. His dcpoTiment was exoeadingly genleel, and iiie whole CMiri 
seemed to lament that his impmdencies shoald have harried him into 
eo perilous a predieameni. The first jory was totally obleeted to 1^ his 
Ooansel ; the leoond being sworn, the trial oommenceo, and aboat 18 
o'dodc he was proooaneed Kor Oviltt. . 

If. o 



194 A CENTURY OF niRMINGIIAM LIFE. 

In his defence he spoke with great ability and feeling. He adverted 
to the wanton and malicious calamuiea which were circulated against 
him in the public papei-s, to his prolonged imprisonment, and the treat- 
ment which he met with when he was apprehended. He hoped his 
Lordship and the Jury would not consider the act of firing as an act of 
premeditated murder, or the act of a bad heart, but rather as the act of 
a moment, produced by the critical and peculiar situation in which he 
stood — an act, perhaps, of intemperance, but committed under the im- 
prest idea of sheltering, from an exasperated &ther and a malicious 
lover (his envious and enraged rival), a oeloved woman, one of the most 
amiable of her sex, who hiul claimed his protection, and whom (dearer 
to him than life) he had promised, at the hazard of his life, to protect. 

The young lady was with her father in Court during the trial, and 
seemed much interested in its issue. Judge Ashurst stated the Liw to 
be as follows ; and it determined the case : " That, if an officer be killed 
iu endeavouring forcibly to enter an apartment to secure an offender, it 
cannot be deemed Murder, except the officer shall have acquainteil the 
offender by what authority and for what offence he is about to secure 
him." 

Griffin has still lodged against him two detainers ; one on the char^o 
of Mr. Hammond, banker, of Newmarket, and the other on that of Al r. 
Green, jeweller, London ; and a Ilahea* Corpus, to remove him to the 
gaol of Suffolk, has been made out in consequence of the firat above- 
mentioned charge. 

We hear nothing more of the case until DoccdiIht 17 ; 
when this jjaragraph was published : — 

On Tuesday (Dec. 11) G. lIubKinl, alias H. Griffin, th»» ^ni-r/iAn.if 
Duke of Ormond and Lord Massey, wh<i \^-:i?4 l.-itt-ly t'.-l •• ^^" w'uk, 
for sliootiiirr ^fr. WalliH, was capitally con\ rtod ;it tlie 01«1 Ruley fnr 
for^inj; and publii^hing a Bill, |iur|»<)rtiiig to Iw dniwn l»y Knl Tankir- 
vilie, for i^ 1,449, and thereby ul»tainin<f from MoHsn*. Given and Wil- 
k*rti>n, under the afuumed title of l»rd Massey, jewels and cash f<>r the 
ffanie. He did not bear hid conviction with tiiat fortitude whiih he 
K'fMre a]»|*eareil to |M>Rai*a!i. 

The aristocratic swindler waA now TOpldly appruacliiii;^ 

liis en<l. On February «H, 17!>3, the Rec<»rdfr of London 

•* iniule liis rejKjrt of rriininals in Newgate to his Maji»sty. 

when Gritfin (the Duke of Ormond) ami nin«? others wi-re 

onlered for execution." On February 14, the folJi»win«x 

curious and illustrative anecdote appeare*! : — 

(Jriflin. the late Duke of Onuond, i.ii«Iv nent for a t-ivlnr wlio livi»s 
op|Hi8it4.« to Newgate, to me;Lsure him for a nuit of nioumin^. The 
t,-iylor, thinking his custonier'n trirls at an en 1. itnnu*>li:it<'ly niadt* tin* 
rioiaths, and carried tliem to the ci'lls, uhcre (friflin vtrv (K-liUnitf-lv 
|>ut them on. declaring he was uewr l>etter fitt<Hl, and {aid many coni- 
pliuients on the neatnens of the cut, &r. The tivl«>r. |KTCfivintr no 
• •witurert of iKiyment, reniin«li*d hi** eniployer <»f hJM charj;e. (iritfiii, 
turning ntuna, replied, **true, Mr. Tayl(»r, your fharcf »}» nnnK'nit.', and 
T will put you in a way of being |Kiid. 1 know iVf»ntinuiii tin* malo- 
fiutoi, that viiu h't out vour hous** at sixiH*neea h«'a»l at evtTV liaiiL'in'T- 
Niut : ii"\v. n- I :ini •'liMrtly to In* hangisl, au*l you know. Mr. T:«yl«»r. I 



A CAUSE C^LtBRE. 195 

am no common rascal, I would advise yon to raise your price to half <a- 
cioTm. If that wont do, why you may have your cloatns again, but I 
am determined first to be hanged in them." 

On the same day appeared this very brief report of a very 

ghastly spectacle : — 

February 14, 1793. — ^Yesterday morning, soon after eiffht o'clock^ 
Francis Hubbajrd, aliaa Griffin, alias Lord [Massey and Duke of 
Oimond^f or foigery, and seven other malefactore, were executed oppo- 
site the Debtor's door of Newgate. Hubbard stabbed himself in the 
aide on Tuesday morning, ana is also said to have taken some poison, 
neither of whidi, however, proved effectual ; he appeal^ very weak 
from loss of blood, but bdiaved with great fortituae and composure 
previous to his being executed. 

And so terminated the life of the hero of this curious 



196 . A CfENTUBT OF BIRMINGHAM LIFEL 



CHAPTER IL— 1801-1811. ' 



§ 1. APPEARAKCE OF THE TOWN. 

' Great and important changes were made in the appear* 
anoe of the town during this decade. The prindml were 
the removal of the houses which surrounded St Martin's 
Church and the enlarging of the churchyard. To appreciate 
the difference thus made we have oulj to compare the pore- 
sent aspect of the BuU-Bingand the church wiui thatwhidi 
we see in the old mapsi Land for buildiiig on was 
announced to be sold or let in all parts of the town ; and 
although these ten jears were far fixmi being prosperous, 
and were chieflv distinguished by a brief peace, succeeded 
by a renewal of the bloodiest and most expensive war on 
record, the town continued steadily to increase^ and the 
open spades to be built upon. Our first advertisement is 

Jjaxd to Boild Urov. 
liardi 1, 180S.— To be Let^ sevwml ouaotttiM of Land, balonaiof to 
MJM Fbber, dtoaUd in the IVuiih of Krminghain, hereiofare ealiad tha 
WorkhouM Flald, and ftooUog to Mvend new Udd oat Btrssts thm 
(alnadj in part built npon) and cftlled Moland, Lwn and Fiihcr 
Btreeta The «Mna may be fespeelivelj taken, in smainBnildinf Loli^ 
or in aav hofgw Qnaatit j that maj appear mora elUrfble §oit biildiog 
upon. For farther yMticoUrs enqniie of Mr. Jotiah Mohins, B ur ? <3ror | 
or Mr. W. Homi^ Na 9% Leggo^treet afureiid. 



The next takes us to a part of the town whidi at 
time was a scene of rural beauty; a veiy paradise of oottages 
surrounded^ by their beautiful gardena The Cottam of 
Content exists at the present time : the gardens are almost 
all built upon : — 

A Gartal OAionr. 

Hay 17, 1802.— To be di^Msad of; a Oardon, lately bilongina to Mr. 
John Bmitli, Dio-doker, deeeaNd, with an ezodlent Boaimer Houm, a 
ehoiee Oolloetlon of Frait TVeai^ flowen, 8hmb«, well taoed, fte^ ritn- 
aied near the Cottage of Oontent For Particnlari apply to Mr. W. 
Jeokioa, LoTeday-atieot, Birminghani. 

N.B— Mr. Parr, at the Cottage, will shew the Oaiden. 



APPEARANCE OF THE TOWN. 197 

The foUowiiig is the last record we have relating to a ouce 

famous ornament of the town : — 

TowH Clock. 
Oct 4, 1802.-— To be Sold, the Clock with three Dials, now belonging 
to the Welsh Cross, Birmingham, also the weather Vane, Iron Worl^ 
and Ball thereto belongin g. Apply to Mr. Thomas Greaves, Clock- 
maker, High-street^ or Mr. W. Jones, Builder, Snow Bill, Birmingham. 

The houses in New ELall-Street were still adorned with 

gardens: — 

Capital Houbs in Nbwhall Street. 
November 29th, 1802. — To be Let| a very good Hoose, in oompleat 
Bepair, fit for the Besidence of a lAroe genteel Family, containing four 
Booms on the ground Floor, also a China Closet^ two other Closets, and 
F^try ; eight handsome Lodging Booms, excellent Cellars, spacious 
entire Yard and Qardens, a large firewhouse and Laundnr over, a large 
oompleat four-stall Stable^ with Saddle House, &&, now in the Occupa- 
tion of Mrs. Startln. — ^For Partieulan please to apply at the House. 

The gardens in Edgbaston Street were now being sold : — 

Sale of Gabdbv Gbouhss, &a 
October lOtb, 1803w— To be Sold by Auetkniy on the Pkemises, by 
Thomas Lucas and Son^ on Wednesday nszt, the 12th of Octobnr 
instant^ at Four o^dock in the Afternoon, the hoamedlate Possession 
(subject to Oonditions then to be prodooed) of a well-planted Garden 
and Yard, with a Stream of soft Water running through it ; together 
with a Briek Stable and other Appurtenances, late in the Occupation 
of Mr. LoQff, as a FelUnongei'a Yard, and situated at the Back of 
Edgbaslon StieeC^ near Lady WelL 

Great ehanges have taken place in NewhaU Street smce 

the foUowinff advertisenient m an elegant mansion appeared. 

The houael^eh then stood almoet ^. » now sui^^S^^ 

and crowded in hy bnildingB >— 

Ajr Elmavt ICaviiov. 
Febraaiy SOth, 1804.t-To be persnplorily Sold by Auction, by T. 
Wanwi, at the Swan TaTeniy in Bali Street^ Btnningham, on Wednesday 
the i9th instant^ at Four o^dodc, nilgect to ConditkHis then to be 
produced, all that oqiital genteel Dwelliig House, with its Appur- 
tenances, eligibhr dtuale in NewhaU Street, at the Comer of Lionel 
Street, Birmingham, late the Besidenee of Mr. J. K Bolls. Merdiant 
(but now unooonpiMQ, held under two Lsasss granted by Charles 
Colmore^ Esq., fiir a Term in idiidi 88 Years will be unezphwd at 



Lady Dmr next 

Fremisss consist of eight flood 
Booai% Water Clceet^ a spadous ttawiag Itooin, two excellent Front 



llie Fremisss consist of eight flood Lodging Booms, two Dressing 



FkrkmTB^aHall with doable Entrance, and a lofty flight of Stone Steps, 
with Iron BahBHtrade in Front ; a China Closet^ Batcben, BrewhouM, 
good Oeliars^ and otiisr anitable donestie Oflicesi together with a range 
of Wareboases^ Comnting Houss^ an entire Yaitl« with Pump of good 
Water, a GardeiLana other coaTenleooss lying behind the said alaninon, 
all enclosed by Brick Walls ; there are also two eommodioas spadoua 
Vaalu lor the Stowage of Goods in IVont of liooel Street aforewd, but 
very conveniently detached from the rest of the Premises. 



198 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

Tlie House (independelit of the great Advantage of a oompleat Lead 
Roof, and a large Lead ^Reservoir, with Aqaedncta for the Supply of 
the Water Closet and other Apartments) is baiJt in a remarkably 
substantial Manner, and fitted up in the best st^ie, with an elegant 
Maho^ny Staircase, Mahogany IKoors, Marble Chimney Pieces, &c., in 
all tli'- : :'• n\'-\\ R'^^^m^ : it l;n*« nl^n recently undeigone many expensive 
improvements, so as to render it a truly oompleat and eligible Residence 
for a Professional Gentleman, as well as for a genteel Family, either in 
tbe Mercantile or Manufacturing Line. 

Further Particulars may be known of Mr. Whately, Solicitor, in 
Chen^ Street, or of the Auctioneer, Dale End, who will show the 
PkvmiMS. 

Heath Mill Lane is now being encroached on ; but what 

a pictare of the place in 1805 is given in the following 

advertisement : — 

April 22, 1806.— To be Sold by PriTate Treatr, either together or in 
Lots, all thoee ten modem and subetantiallybnift Freehold Messuages, 
sitaated in Deritend, in the Pariah of Alston, near Binnincham, and 
fronting upon a Street or Boad there, called Heath-mill Lane, and 
abutting upon tht HmUhrmOl Stream cr PooL 

TheM HoQBea are weQ deiezviDg of Attention not only on aoooont 
of tlio Soondneas and Bolidi^ of the Building, and the peculiar Con- 
FBDienoe of the Oat-otBoes belonging thereto^ but also by reason that 
mmj two of tk&m Aom ik$ <Kioeomi9Mdaitwn of on tnhrs Twrd and 
G€Brd$m unUsd m, oontamiii^ a Pump well supplied with sood Water 
for Family Use, toMther with an eaar aooeas to the Pool Water for 
other poipofea ; ana are therefore well adi^)tad either to priTate Ben- 
denoea, or to Manufactories requiring * plentifnl Supply of Water. 

Anp^ to Mr. Lowei of Bannhnnt^ Bordeslej, near Kirmingham.^ 

The chan^ in the town mnce a garden was to be sold in 
the ^ Centred walk leading from tbe Cottage of Content to 
the Sand Pits,* has been great indeed! Tet there are 
many persons living who can trace in their minds the delight- 
ful appearance of tiiis part of the town, when the following 
advertisement appeared ;— 

Anil 82, 1806.— To be Sold by AueCkn, en tbe Spot, by W. Ooode, 
on Wediiflsaay nezL April M, ISOS, precis^ at Three Vdodc in the 
AftenMon, an ezoelleBt Garden, weQ fenoetl, and plsBted with Fruit 
Tnm and Vegetables, in a high state of eoltrrataon, with a Brick 
Sommer House aad other GonTeaieiioes, plesaaatly sitoated, being No. 
1 45 in tbe Oottage Field, the Central Walk leading from the Ckrtti^ of 
Oontcnt to tbe Sand Pita 

We have quoted aeversl passsges about the Moat ; some 
of them recording fittal accidents which ooeoired in oonse* 
quence of the want of proper protection. The Moat is, 
however, destined to be oesUoyed with so many more re- 
cords of the past The muA of improvement and the 
ffrowth of the town are, bit b]^ Ut^ swaliowinff up an the old 
hind marks. The Moei was in such a muddy condition it 



APPEARANCE OF THE TOWN. 199 

would not be correct to call it a water mark. But whatever 

its condition, it is now to be dried up and built upon. Read 

ajid perpend : — 

October 14, 1805. — ^Xo be Let in Lots, on Building Leasee, near the 
central part of Birmingham, and being within three minatesi* walk from 
the Market Place, all that valuable Spot called the Moat^ which will be 
laid dry for that purpose. For further particulars apply to Mr. John 
Parker, Digbeth, where a plan of the Premises lies for Inspection. 

Old houses are also being taken down, as is proved by this 
record of a miraculous escape : — 

August 26) 1605. — On Monday the lives of two persons in thu town 
were in a most providential and miraculous manner preserved. In 
taking down one of the old houses^ four stories high, in the Bull Btng, 
the workmen employed very incautiously overburthened the floor of the 
uppermost story, which, from the pressure, gave way, and the 
unfortunate men were precipitated^ witn an accumulated load of brick, 
timber, and rubbish, into the cellar. We are, however, able to announce 
that both of them are again able to follow their oceupationa. 

Another improvement is thus recorded : — 

October 21, 1806.-— It gives us pleasure to observe the great improve- 
ments which are making in Braaford-street, by removiiig the dill at 
the top and carrying the soil to the lower part thereot W% think it 
proper, liowever, in order to prevent aeddente, to reeommend tnreUen 
and the publie in general to avoid passing with horses or cafiiafes 
along that part of Imtend till a safe and aeenre road is oompletad. 

We are now about to narrate one of the most important 

changes yet made in the appearance of the towiL In the 

old maps^ and in the memories of old inhabitanta, one of 

the most distinctive characteristic pictores is the sitoation of 

the Parish Church. We see it, and they remember i^ 

entirely surrounded hy houses. Such was the condition of 

the church until the year 1806,* when it was a^[reed to 

remove the houses and enlaige the churchyard. With these 

alterations ■• also pass away such places as Cock, or Well 

Street^ Well Yard| and Com Cheaping, and their names 

only preserve the memoiy of their existenca The first 

announcement of this great change was made in a veiy 

brief advertisement i — 

A Most DmaASLi Impsovsmsiit of 8r. MA«Tni*s CmracHTAmD. 
May seth, ISOa^Haoy of the prineipsl InbaUtants of the Town, 
follj penoaded of the Utalitv of opening St Martin's Gbnroh on eveiy 
Side, nave amed to lend to toe CSmrohwardens and the OommiarioiMn 
of iif BimuDgfaam Street Aefes certidn Sams ef Monev requisite fat 
the Purchaae «f Uie adfaoaii t Boildian to be repaid, with latenst, and 
thsy have little Doubt of the Una CoDearrenee of others in the 
AeeomplishflieQt of so IsndaUe a Design. The Sun of XS^SOO is 
alresdj anhseribed. 

*Bj a miipiint in page 17 of Vol. 1 the jear of tliii efaaage is giren as 
1800; resdeis will please oontet it to 1806. 



200 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

A short editorial nole of the same date affords* a little 

additional information on this question. The readers are 

told that *' A subscription is set on foot for the improvement 

of the town, which in the short space of three hours 

amounted to £3,600. The loan is to be refunded within a 

limited time, and the interest of 5 per cent, reralarly paid 

half-yearly ; of course it will be a desirable kind of security 

for those who are disposed to lay out their money to the 

best account, and add to the accommodation and nealth of 

the town they reside in." 

' By June 2nd we learn that the subscription had reached 

£5,460 ; and on June 9th we read : — 

The Sabacription for the xtatoml of honses round St. Martin's 
Choroh in tUe town now amounts to 8^460^ Indeed, when it it 
recollected the many aoddente that happen 'to earria^ from the 
narrownefli of a part of the Bull Bfai^ we are not snrpnaed that the 
inhabitants feel a laudable dedre to remoTe a nuiaanoe so mudi 
complained of b j all who Tidt the plaoe. 

Mr. M. D. Hill informs 'me that the chief merit of the 
important improvement made in the neighbourhood of St 
Martin's was asoribed, both by friends and opponents, to 
Richard Pratcbett/ a dmggist, whose shop was either the 
same as, or situated close to, that now occupied by Mr. 
Sumner, in BSgh Street* He was also a leading man among 
the Commissioners. *'A Toiy" says Mr. Hill, ^he became 
an object of attack for the small wits of Birmingham, who 
accused him, in rhymes of no very lofly character, of a 
great partiality for ezpendinff pumic money on his own 
part 01 the town. One of these epimms lives in my 
memory. To make it inteOigiUe, i uiould say that he 
destroyed the last hope cf a fbrther widemiu; of Union 
Street^ which, Hnttcm say% former anthorities had made a 
Uetle better than theretofors, by building the IMspensaiT 
on the narrow line of the Street^ as it existed in Pratchetts 
time. The verses ran as follows :«- 

* To PtatehstlL a ftiMid sf the tras Oharbh I 

Afriflodf AT^hs^aiidaboldoiM; 
Wh J, bePs stopped ap a road to the Hew Churoh, 

But he's opsDsd aU wajs to the Old coe!** 



Another sqnib of the day 

Slag to the praiae of BUhsid FMdiett^ 
A naaas so gnat thai aooe eaa nateh il t 
Attention was also beiog paid to the Market^ whidi was 
then held in the High Street The inconvenienoes arising 

* Ste Plate D is BiweTi M^isHloenl Diiectoiy. Is tUa woik Flrmtehett*! 
Shop appean next door lo Ari^i OneUe Cj/kt, 



APPEARANCE OF THE TOWN. 201 

from this practice are set forth in the following notice from 
the Commissioners : — 

June 2dcI, 1806. — In oonsequenoe of the many accidents which daily 
oocar in the High Street from the number of Stalls being erected on 
Market and other days, to the great annoyance of passengers of every 
description, the Commissioners of the Birmingham Street Acts have 
▼ery landably given orders that no stall shall be erected, or vegetables 
thrown down, between Mr. Knight's house (late the Welsh Gross) and 
the end of Phillip Street afitr thu day^ there now being ample room in 
the Bull Bing ior eveiy purpose of that kind ; and whoever offends 
will have their goods seized by the oflicers of the town, and the heaviest 
penalties will be levied. 

The ea.me8tne8S of the inhabitants in making the improve- 
ments is proved by the rapidity with which the necessary 
funds were raised. On June 30th this advertisement 
appeared : — 

Hie Chuichwaidens of Saint Martin's Parish and the CommissionerB 
are highly gratified and flattered by the approbation and peenniaiv 
Support off so man^ remctable Inhalntants, and, thou^ they find it 
unneoessaiy to aoliat additional Subscriptiona, yet they are well oon- 
vinoed that many more Names of 6qp&l Bespectability may be added ; 
and thef, therefore, will leave the List with the Printers, an Inerease 
of which will afford still higher Satisfaction, as nearlv approaching to a 
cordial Unanimity in the iScecntion of a most desirable Jrlan. 

Improvements were also being carried on in other parts 
of the town. The bottom end oi Worcester-street was very 
narrow, and the commissionerB resolved to widen it ; and 
the town i^pears to have made a profit by the transaction. 
The example might be followed by those now in power, who 
have often looked down with something like contempt on 
the labours of our old commissioners : — 

iMPB OVaH— T » 09 THB ToWV. 

October 6, 1806. — ^Tbe old bouses purchased by the Oommisrioiiera 
of the Krmingham Street Acts, nine months Mf^ to widen the boUom 
part of Worcester-atreety were put up for Safe by pnUie auction on 
Tuesday ; and so mudi will that part of the town oe improved by the 
alterstions, that some small lots of land and the materials of the buHd- 
ittg were sold for sueh laige sumS| that the town will gain /900 1^ the 
pnrdiaae, besides the removal of a dangerous nuisance. The r^it^ti'i 
of the old prisoDy in Peck Lane, were sold for £250. 

The well-known Lombard House was at this period really 
a country rendence, and one to which any manufacturer, 
merchant or professional might retire after his day's duties, 
and enjoy his Uium cum dianitaie with (ileasure and satis- 
faction. It is thus described in an advertisement . — 

LoMBaED Hovsa. 

June 8th, 1807.— Near the ApoUo, Deritend. To be Let, and 
entered upon in August or September next, the above very eommodioni 
House^ and Garden sdjoining. Hie House contains two Buioun, 



202 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

Servant's Hall, ElitofaeD, Scull^, six Lodging Booms, good Cellaring, 
Stable, and other conveniences ; the Garden is well stocked, and the 
whole covers Half an Acre of Groand, and forms a very desirable and 
pleasant Besidence. 

Apply to Mr. Thomas Webb, on the Premises. 

In 1807 the eyes of the Binningham people were 
delighted by the erection of the fistmous Bull nine Pump, 
and which took the place of a more humble one, wnich had 
hitherto been somewhat concealed by the houses surrounding 
the church. The architect was Mr. William HoUins, father 
of our present sculptor, Mr. Peter Hollins. It was con- 
sidered one of the improvements with which Mr. Pratchett 
had so much to do, and an ornament to the town. Its 
erection caused much talk a^t the time, and the architect 
published the following description of the pump, which he 
somewhat grandiloquently calls "^ the EgjrpUan donduii" 

To THs PanrsBa 

JanvaiT 18^ 1806.— As a great deal hat been aaid about^ and twj 
little. I b^T6^ genezalljiuMMratoodo^ the axdiiteetnre of the £^ptian 
Ctondmti lately erected in the market pliuM^ and aaao^ 
beneath their notiee,othefti will not take the tronblsL said tharemaindar 
do not know how, I feel it a duty whkk I owe the pabUo^ mj amplojan^ 
and mywtHL to endeaTonr, by a fidr azplanationi to rsnunrs thoae pftqn- 
dieei^ which, I imst^ €(W7 eandid mind will mtunalely allow to haTo 
been rather too hamlj formed. At a tuna whan the oonaeqaenoea 
attending the splendid Tietoiy attained 1^ onr immortal Hero, the lets 
Lord Neuoa, at the NilOy have introdneed, not only into tha pah^aa oC 
onr nrinee% and the eaittea of onr noUa^ bot into the hoaaea of oor 
mareiianta and oor mannfaetnraim, a new slyia of ornamental Ihmitora 



and deooiationy namely, the Kgyptiaa; at aaoh a time I oonsidaiad that 
atyla of arehiteetore to be tha best adapted to a pnblio baiUUag^ 
pwtiealarly as tha Statue^ wfaldh pahlic g^natitoda ana Tanvatioii ai« 



about to lalaa to tha mamoiy of that atar to ba lamantad Hero^ la 
intended to be placed ao near tha apot Wban I contamplatad tba 
noble GoUda BmOktL dadicatad to tihrMaal^, which atanda at tha 
back of the Condnit^ I conceirad H mi^t be pcoiibla to blMd, at lcMl» 
tha idea of tha J^gyptlan, tha Orarian, and tha EnffiUk arohitaetara 
The pyiamidical torn being, among tha byptiaaa, emblematical of tiia 
Deity. I coniidared woold not appear to ba Improperly stand jm near 
that aacred Fkna Tba Egyptian lymmid waa likawisa an amblem of 
ati«agth,bnilttola8^ioparpatnajta,aadlohanddowatotlia rtmoteal 
agm^ the wonderftd aldU of the Egyptian boildera of an nnknowa 
datc^ aiactad to an unknown pnrpoae^ and wiioea maaelTa atonea ware 
brooght from an unknown plao^ according to aoma antlionL and 
accoraiiw to others, 3^7 yaara have rolled away dnca the Cfffotioa of 
this mighty pila for a Manaolenm or Sapolchra. to recciTO the aahea of 
their depmted kinga Bot antlicri of mora celehfity contend thai It 
ereHad for a more noble pmrpoaa ; for aa tha whole of tba IJgyptiaa 



tiiaolo^ waa dothad in mystic eniblama and fignrmi ao waa tha axtarnal 
fam of tha boilding a rapreiantation of thcb Qod Odria, or tha 
aa being in tin tom of the 8an*8ray; and that the Deity which 



APPEA1LA.NCE OF THE TOWN. 203 

typified in the outward form was to be worshipped within. It con- 
tained a trough of granite marble, as a reservoir for the holy water 
used in their religious ceremonies, which, by meaus of a well in the 
Pyramid, was drawn out of the Nil& The propriety of such a building 
enclosing a well of water for public use, I trust, will not be disputed. 
I have ornamented it with a representation of the Papyrus, grouped in 
form of quarter columns at each angle, with Grecian Honeysuckles, 
and with an Urn at the top, which last may be considered as a symbol 
of our departed Hero's aahes ; as proper appendages, the Lion's Head 
18 significant of that Hero's strength and prowess in battle, and of his 
noble disposition when not oppoMd to an enem^ ; as disgoi^ng the 
water, it is a symbol of the element, for the ISgyptians believed water to 
be the strength and principle of all things. Seaides, the Lion's Head is 
a very ancient ornament for water spouts, and was used in all Grecian 
Temples. The Pyramid is also in the form of a flame of fire, and within 
this form the Grecian and Boman statuaries wrought those sublime and 
beautiful groups of figures which have been the admiration of every 
age. These, Gkentlemen, were the considerations which induced me to 
adopt such a form for a building which, though so small in bulk that 
the whole ez|>enoe of erecting it will not, prouibly, exceed fifty pounds. 
Is, in my opinion, so great in aignificanoe that I do not hesitate poblidy 
to aeknowfedge myself as the architect. 

I am, Gentlemen, yours, dec, 

WlLLUX H0LLIV& 

In a few days the following diverting pasquinade was 

published in the Birviingham Uommercial Herald : — 

Neoeasarium eat mitti ^ te, vel aquilegem, vel architectnm, ne rursus 
eveniat, quod aoeidit — ^Pliv. Ep. 

The Humblx PjEnriov of tbx Puhp in thb Bull Bivo to the 

iKHABirAHTS OF BlRVIKORAX, 

Sbxwkth, — ^That yoor Petitioner hath been a resident in the town 
of Birmingham manr yean, and bath alwm been aoooanted a flood 
neighbour and oseftu member of society. That your Petitioner hath 
uniformly borne a ffood charactor, both u morals and religion ; and in 
all the dianges which have taken plaee, he has never forsdcen the 
church, as he can prove by credible witneeees. That your Petitioner, 
being bv nature Qnostentatiool^ took up his abode in a narrow passage 
below the Shambles, where he quietly remained onnotioecL and almost 
onknown^ except bv his neighboors. That in this age of innovation, 
your Petitioner hath foond oimaelf snddenljr throst into notiee by the 
destntiBtioii of certain boildlngt behind wluch he had, for so many 
yean, screened himself and that, on looking around, your Petitioner 
eoold soaroely recognise hie old aoquaintanos, Moor Street, who, like 
Tonr Petitioner, lived in a verf retired way, and who was noted fiur 
being a disagreeable, close old fellow, began to give himself the ain of 
a young man, and instead of the dirty gaiments he formerly won. 
shone away in gaudy uipareL That your Petitioner in his ezpoeea 
•itoation, grew as h a me a of his old eoat and hat, ana hearing taat a 
certain ingenioos clothier had eapplied Moor Street with his splendid 
habiliments, your Petitioner orderad fiom him the new garments whidi 
he now wears, and which has so transmiMnrified him that he is searoely 
known by his best frienda That your Petitioner having asked calmly 
why he supplied a eoat of sndi an outlandish cnt^ the nid clothier broke 



204 A CJBNTURT OF BIBMINGHAK LIFE. 

• 

out into each an incoheroDt rhapeody abont Bastlicaa, LotVMa, IVpjnu, 
IVramids, Fire, Ashes and Water, Egjpt and Qreeoe, departed Heroes, 
Urns, Statues, &c. that your Petitioner Terily concluded that ^ much 
learning had made him mad." That since the said clothier finished 
jour Petitioner's coat, he has dubbed him with the new name of 
Conduit, whereas the iamUy name of your Petitioner has been from 
time immemorial plain Pump, which he hopes may be continued, 
maugre the said clothier. That^ although your Petitioner is somewhat 
stricken in yearSf he disdains the imputation of having become a 
Driveller, which it is evident the sud clothier has attempted to cast 
upon him, by having aflSzed to him a slobbering bib as part of his 
appareL That the a&resaid clothier has pnssod a sentence of denationa- 
lisation against your Petitioner, who is a true-born Englishman, atthou^ 
the said clothier asserts' that he is a gipsy. That vonr Petitioner is 
well disposed to live peaoeablv, but he fears he shall be involved in a 
dispute with his opposite neighbour, the statue^ in consequence of hie 
having been forced, much against his will, to interfere with the concerns 
of the said statue. The truth of these premises being made apparent, 
▼our Petitioner pravs your humane interference to mvent his name 
from being changed mm ^the Pump in the Bull xting," to that of 
^ Cgjfptiaa Oonduii in the Forum,*' as propoesd in Aria's pi^Mr, and 
jour Petitioner shall ever pray. 

This ^ Egyptian Conduit " was removed in 1836^ and its 
place is now occupied by a structure as ugly as was the old 
pump itsel£ 

A water mill in Park-street is a thing difficult for liyinfi^ 
persons to realize. In 1809, however, one was advertised 
to be let there. The announcement records that it had been 
lately used in the thread trade— & budness whidi has en- 
tirely fled finom this town. Our extract is the last allusion 
to the noUe attempt of Lewis Paul and John Wyattto add 
cotton-spinning to the other industries of Birmii^^iam. 

WATsa MnXi Ae. 

Mardi S7| 1809.— To be Let and entered upon Immediately, a 
Watsr HI]], with the WarakoQ8S%Chimnlinff4ioa888^ Owpsy I^^ 
DryiQg Houses^ Stofves, 8tableS| aad other BoildiQgi^ aitnale and being 
in andnear Ftfk DU ee l^ Birauiigfaam. 

Ihese Fkvmises have been latdy used in tiie Thread T^nnde, to whidi 
they are partjcalariy wdl adapted, but thev maj eeafly 1m confe rt ed to 
other Puipoasi^ and fhim their osntnd Bitiiatioii aie well worthy of 
Notice. 

Also aefend BoildnuPi adJofadBg the abote FlwBftns, weD adapted 
for Shopping and oUier Puipoees, Ftet of which osntaia a large power- 
ful Wlied, calenlated for Polidung or Tuning lig^t Aitkies. 

Also a good Dwelling House, with fihoppiitf soAasot to employ 80 
pair of hsods, also vtnSked near ftik- eti ee t ataeoaid. 



Also to be Let, on Building^ Lmsss, a Qnsnti^ef Land near the 

9loaiey,Tmft] 



above premlsss. ApplytoMr.Miiidi,Attoaiey,XmftpleBow. 

The reader has only to take a walk in Summer Lane to 
iHing vividhr before him the change which has taken place 
since the following advertisement appeared : — 



. APPEABANCE OF THE TOWN. 205 

Capital Gardekb. 
May 29th, 1809. — ^To be Sold, toother or separate, two excellent 
Qardena, in the second Walk on the left Hand Side of Sommer Lane, 
near ihe Hospital, with good Fences, in high Condition, and planted 
with tJie Vegetables of the season, which are in a very forwiuti and 
loxiuriant State ; containing also various Fruit Trees, such as Plums, 
dierries. Apples, Pears, Siberian Crabs, Gooseberries, Raspberries, &c. ; 
also a constant Spring of excellent Water, which forms a small Fish- 
pond. Apply to Mr. Cebon, Steam Mills, Snow Hill, Birmingham. 

The following notice gives us full information of the 
method of raising the money for the improvements in the 
Bull Ring:— 

Improtkment or St. Martm's Cbxtech Yard, akd Additiokal 

Burial Oroukd. 

August 5th^ 1811. — Whereas an Act of Parliament was passed in the 
Year 1807, for enlarging the Church Yard belonging to the Parish of St. 
lt&^in*l^ In Binningfaam, In the Countj of Warwick, and for providing 
an additional Burial (Hound for the Use of the said Parish ; 

And wberaasi to enable the l^rusteee named in the aforesaid Act to 
raise Money to <)«fi^ the Ezpe&oes of taking down the Buildings situ- 
ate round the said Courdi Yard, lor the purpose of enlaiging the auncL 
and to purchase other Land for an additional Osmeteiy, or Burial 
Ground, the following Clansa Is oontained in the said Act : 

** And be it Airther anacted, that finom Time to Time, and as often as 
an J Money shall be wanted to pay for any Messuages, Lands, Teno- 
menta, or Heredttanenti^ whieh shall be Purehassd for the Purposes of 
this Aet| it shall and mgj be lawful to and for the ChnrchfNffdens and 
TVuatees^ at a Yestiy Meeting lor that Purpose^ to be summoiied by 
Writing under their Hands, to make an Assessment or Aasesnoents^ 
Bale or Baftes, on the Oooupien of all Land&, Homssl Shops, Ware- 
hooseiL Yaalti^ Ooadi-hoosss, Stables^ OsHan^ Gardens, Tenement^ and 
Heredltanien^ wHhIn the Town ana Fsrisfa of Birmliigbamy in Addi* 
tkm to the Bates and Lerlce the said Chnrehwardeoa are already 
anthoriiedaadiiBpowvrsdtoiiiake^inaiiySumof Moufjmoittfemiiwff 
tkrm Fmo$ in fA# JPotuMf tn «Mjf One Tear, on the aanval or ImproTed 
Bent or Yalua of aaeh Lands, Hovisss. Shops^ Warehouses. Vaults^ 
Ooadi-hoasea, Stablsi^ Cellanu Garden^ Tenements, and Hereditaments 



as aforesaid, raefa Batea and Suina^ Mooinr aa shall be ao aassssed or 



imted aa aforesaid, all wbleh aaki Bales and Assessmenla, to be rated, 
aaseased, and coUeeled, are hereby Tealed in the said TnMtesi^ in Thist 
to be appied by them for the Pnmsea of this Aet and ahidl oontinne/w- 
€mddunf^9uek Timt om my of tk$ McmiMy to he borro w ed ot Iniermt^ or 
raimd bjf tko Solo of AmmMUim apoii Me Oecftir of tkii AeL at htrein- 
fMtiHo>Mdf aAoff remaim ommg^ or ham OonHmmamet^ and no loiiger.* 

MaayoiftiialBhabitaBtshaTiaf fefbsedlopaytbe AassBwwntamada 
aider the Anthoriir of the aaldAeli oo jmleiiee that they are not 
Uabla. or that ttiey do not vadentead the nrpori or Meaaiiig of the 
said Bala, it JafettndniBimiy to pnbliA the foregoing Brtraet of the 
Aet All PstMoaars, therefore^ reqassled to pay to Ihe CoUeetor their 



respeeti^ LerioB and Arrears, when oalled for, aiL in mm of Befosal, 
tlie Tnnlees ha^ ordered Ftaymeiit to be eiif oread. It is lioped, also, 
that the Inhabilasti^ eoiwideniw the Ezpenee of eotleetiog ao onall a 
Levy, win not oeoaaloii the Thmble of repealed Odls. 



206 A CENTUBT OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

The fint Lerj from MtciiMlmaa, 1808, to Miduielmas, 1809. 
TheieooDd ditto 1809, ditto 1810. 

The third ditto 1810, ditto 1811. 

R W. Gem, 
Clerk and Treasurer to the said Tma t eea. 

Our townsman, Mr. Thomas HoUins, did a useful bit of 

work this year. The words '^ picturesque appearance of the 

adjacent countiy" in a view ot High-street, sound strangely 

to modem ears; but in 1811 they were literally correct. 

September 16, 1811. — ^We are happv to amunmoe that an iiiA[aiioiis 
artist d this town, Mr. Thomas HoUinfl^ has saooeeded in making a 
Teiy beantifal drawing of the High-etreet The Tiew takes in the 
whole p rospect from neaiiy the top <3 £Qgh-street^ indnding the elegant 
sUtoe erected to the immortal l^elaon, St Maiiin'e Chmx^h, and the 

BetarMoae appearanoe of the adjacent ooontr^. We anderstand that 
[r. Holuns intends to publish a print from it immediately ; and we 
are convineed that it will afford saAisf action to ereiy perwn connected 
with the town of Birmfa||[ham, from the excellent style of the painting, 
and from tiie jndidoas pomt of new from whidi the artist has taken it. 

In acaroely any decade of our hist'^y have greater changes 
been made in the appearance of the town, than that which 
doeed in 1811. 



§ 2. PUBUC UFE AKB EVENTBL 

* The public life of the town for the present decade was 
mainly displayed in oiganiaing and keeping up the volun- 
tear oompaniea. • Thia great Mid neoe aaa iy work, however, 
did not entirely abeorb the eneigiea and attention of the 
inhabitanta. Om of the earlieet public events was the 
reoepUon of our greatest sea captam — ^ the greatest sailor 
ainoe our world begun"— Lord Nelson. There was a fear 
that he would not pass throiu^ our town, but this was 
happi^ removed ; and on Monwy, the 29th of August^ the 
noDle nero paid us a visit How the inhabitants reoeived 
him will be seen from the following report: — 

Oept— her t, ISO&r— The hopes ssmsssd in oar last that the 
ia^tatioB from ear High and Lsw Bailib would iadaee Loid Nelson to 
alter his dstonaioatioB of not pasriaflhroqgb this town, wo are happv 



to sigr» have been folly giatifted, s% oo IfoMay afternoon, aboot bait- 
past five o^elook, hb Lordsbip^ aooooipaBied by 8ir William and Lady 
Hamilloo, Or. sad Mia. Noim, tbeir soa and soile^ sirivod at 6tyWk 



Uolol, In this Iowa, IromWoiOBSter. In poMigoooosolhis LotdsaipTs 
ooodof two boon sooasr Ibaa woo ozpsolod, boi low people mot him at 
bis satnaee into tbo town; tbokaowMftof bisamvalsooo,bowovor. 
goasial, tbo bells WHO roQg^ and an immaose orowd eoUeetod 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 207 

round the Hotel, anxious to behold the gallant Admiral who had eo 
noblj fought and bled in his country's service. His Lordship kindlj 
gratified tlieir curiosity by repeatedly shewing himself at the window, 
when he was as repeatedly greeted with the applauding shouts of the 
surrounding multitude. Shortly after his arrival, James WooUey and 
Timothy Smith, Esqra, our Hieh and Low BailifiB, waited upon his 
Lordship, and in the evening the whole party attended the Theatre, 
both to and from whence the carriage was drawn by the populace. On 
the entrance of his Lordship the band struck up ''Rule ^tannia,'' and 
the whole house rose and testified, by their vnanimoua and long con- 
tinued plaudits, the gratification th^ experienced at the sieht of the 
** Hero returned from the Nile." Tuesoay morning the noble party, 
attended by the High and Low Bailifia, and the Magistrates, and 
followed by a retry laive crowd of people, repeatedly huzzaing, pro- 
ceeded to view some of the different manufiustories of the town, viz., 
Mr. Clay's Japan Manu&ctory, Messrs. W. and R Smith's Button 
Manufiustoty, Messrs. Woolley and Deakin's Sword Manu&ctory, 
Messrs. Simoox and Tlmminr Bui^e and Bing Manufiustory, and 
Messrs. Timmins and Jordan's Patent Sash Manufi^tory ; from Uience 



bis Lordship was drawn bv the populace to Mr. Efiinton's Stained 
Glass Manufactory, at Handsworth ; from Mr. Esinton the party paid 
a short visit to Mr. Boulton, at Soho. whose health would onlv permit 
him to reosive them in his bed ehamoer ; tliey were aftenraras shewn 
the Mint| and had several appUeable medals stmek in their presence. 
Fkom Soho they returned to the Hotel to partake of an el^pmt dinner 
(consisting of eveir delicacy the season could afford), provided by the 
High and Low Bailifih, who had invited a select party of gentlemen to 
meet them. After dinner. Lady Hamilton fiivoured the company with 
several tongs in the most superior style. In the evenioff the whole 
party again attended the Theatre, wbmn Lord Nelsoii had bespoke 
ShakesMsi^s First Tit of Kinff Heniy 4, and the hrct of the Beview, 
or the Wafi of Windsor. His Lordahip was afdn reeeived with every 
possible demonstratioii of admiration and lespseti and aeveral appro- 
priate soiig% written for the wtruAfm, were intvoduesd in the coarse of 
the perfonnaaee. Wednesday morniog his Lordship and frioids^ 
attended and flawed as on the preceding day. visited Mr. Badenhnrsf • 
Whip Mann&etory, Messrs. T. and T« Bidianf s Toj-shog Mr. T. 
Fhipson'a Pin Mannlantoiy, and Mr* Bisse^s Mnseiun. Thmr then 
proceeded to the Blue Goat Charity Sdiool, when th^expreasea much 
pleesnre at the appearance cf the children ; from thence ttuqr retimed 
to the Hotel, ana soon after one o*tMk act ont for Warwick CSastle. 

Fkevione to his departore hie Lofdship expwsd, in the etrongeet 
terms^ the eense he entertained cf the very respectAil a tt ention whidi 
bad been shewn him, and the pleacora and iitiafagtioii he had expe- 
rienced during his stay in the town* 

The laws against the comfaiiiation of working men were 
very severe ; but they oould not prevent sacn a natural 
nae of freedom. This year the nhoemaken united to obtain 
an increase of wacea The ojnnion of the masterB on the 
subject is expressed in the following paragraph . — 

November 1, ISQS. — Combniallcny that ensmy to indoatiy and im- 
provement, still continues to exert its banefnl ininencee. Notwithstaad- 
mg the veiy high wages allowed to journeymen shoe maker% and the 



208 A CENTUBT OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

daily reduction in the price of prOTiBiDns, the working people of this 
class, in thia town, following the example of their brower Crispins in 
London, demand an increased allowance, though boots and shoes are 
already become enormously expensive. We trust, therefore, that the 
wisdom and power of the Legislature wiU interpose, and adopt some 
system which may remove this great and accumulating eviL 

In December the charities of the town were enriched by 

some munificent- leffacie& One of them was for erecting a 

Free Church ; which in the course of time was completed, 

and Ohrist Church was added to our places of worship. The 

legacies thus bequeathed were as follow : — 

December 20, 1802. — ^We feel infinite pleasure in stating that our 
Hi^ Bailifi^ last week, received a letter nt>m Isaac Hawkins Browne^ 
Esq., inf orminghim that he and the Bev. T. Gisbome, as the ezecutors 
of tibe late — Hawkina, Esq., of Burton, have proposed to the Court of 
Ghanceiy (who have ex p res s e d their approbation) to give the following 
sums to charitable institutions, &c.j in tnis town, bei^ a proportion (3 
the property devised hj Mr. Hawkins to Trustees, to be disposed of in, 
duuntable donationa. vi^, the sum of two thomandpoundi in the 3 per 
cent ooosols to the Genond Hospital ; six htmdreapmmdt 3 per cent 
oonaols to tibe Blue Goat Charity Sdiod ; and^fM lumdr^ jdowuU in 
oaah towards the erectinff of a IVee Church m this town, u tfaephn 
now in agitation be bappi^ cazried into effect The Committee oT the 
Blue Coat Chaiitj School meet this evening, and a Ouarterly Board will 
be holden at the Honutal to-morrow, when the TBffi BaiOiif will attend 
to lay Mr* BtowneTa letter before them. 

. The question of a Free Church was farther discussed in a 

letter which appeared on January 10, 1803 •' — 

To ns PanmBs. 
GenUemeBL— As I undenland that a public Meetiqgiitobeooii- 
wied onFmajBezt ft is nncii to be wished, as welllor the adfaatM 
as f or the boooiir of Biniiiaghani, that the following JafannatioosheM 
be stated to its inhabita&ta The kto valnablo offiur of -a6500 in aid of 
a plan for building a IVeo Churdi, can only bo oonflnned to theni bgr a 
liboidand immeoyitoooooiingwnentof tlMplaa. TIm Laid Obaneel- 
kn^ aanetioQ to the bsDOfolflnt designs of the Exeeoton depends at this 
moment on tlie ptobabOtty of an meNal commmcem m i i of thomeason. 
HiadedBloiiissnMidedffora few days, that the inhabitants jnar bo 
able to ooBsider tnat messnra and to deiaiare their ssatimeiiti by tnsir 
local oootribiitloiia. Can a ncAler oppo r tun ity bo given for tiwhadablo 
ezeitions of my Townsmen, and for a ptmmU miafimf of that ^pMr 
which has long distinfoisbed the oondnotof thistonminthopiompt 
execution of great nofiie undcftakingit I havo the p leam r a to hsMy 
also, that the Lord Bishop of this dioeese has offered to assist the pto- 
pooed plan, by amioxiag a Prabend in thoGbuidiof liohlWdtotho 
moome of the Ttmt Chnrdi ; bat this^ it seams, will remiire an Aot of 
Fteiiament, giving his I^ordihip the appo i ntment of the Minister, as he 
cannot depriTe future Bashops of the potroni^ at present bolo«giqg to 

theSee. 

Heartily wishuD^ that my TowMmen may accept and aaeu« these 
valnablo oobn^ I am. Gentlemen, yonr homfale 8errant| 

Biimfa^gham, Jan. 7, 180a» A. & C. 



PUBLIC LIFE ANP EVENTS. 209 

A pamphlet on the subject was published by a neighbour- 
ing cler;cynian of the last century ; and a public meeting 
was held on January 14, wiiii the following results : — 

Free Oburch. 
January 17th, 1803. — ^A very respectable Meeting of the inhabitants 
of this town was held (porsoant to advertisements) on Friday mominff, 
at the Shakespeare Tarem, when the thanks of the meeting were onani- 
moody reaolyed to be given to Isaac Hawkins Browne, Esq., and the 
Bev. T. Gisbome, (as £cecators to Isaac Hawkins, Esq.) for their offer 
of £500 sterling towards erecting a Free Church ; to the Bight Bev. 
the Lord Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, for bis offer of annexing 
a prebend of the cathedral church of licbfield to the income of the 
said church ; and to W. P. Inge, Esq., for his offer of a site of land on 
which the chnrdi miffht be erected. It was then resolved that the 
above gcoieroas offers be gratefully accepted, if the right of patronage 
be not disputed ; and that a subscription be entered into for the pur- 
pose of earryhkg the plan into effect ; when upwards of two tAouiomd 
ppundi were immediately subscribed. Some other names have since 
oeen added^ making the amount of the subscription already received 
^2,990 15«L Spolqi jrm ordered he be left with the different Bankers, 
ftc, for the p u rpose of receiving the names of those persons desirous of 
snbscribinflb ana we doubt not that a sum amply sufficient to perfeol 
this plan <€he objects of irliieh are ao momentous) will speedily be sub- 
scribed* 

llie siibecriptioiis soon reached over £8,000; and on 
Febroary 21 tne icommittee issued this appeal . — 

BiaicnroRAif Frkb Chvbob. 
The Committee of Subeeribers to the Plan of Buildinga Free Church 
in Birmingham, take the Liberty of proposing that Flan to Public 
Patronage. In jt^e larg^ and popndous town of Birmingham, the lower 
pissiei ,ar^ at ptesent, m a m$^ measure excluded from the Churches 
and Chapels by the Want off Accommodation ; and are consequently * 
deprived off Che means and advantuns of attwiding Divine Service, as 
Miembais off the Cbuidi off Khglann. To the Opulent, the Huoimml 
and the Beligkws, it will suffice briefly to sqg|^ the various and 
alanning Evils resulting from this dreumstanoe, not merely in a local ■ 
batinanofioiiolpolntoff view. TbeEfbds are Schism, Indifference to 
the higbcst Duties, Violation off the Sabbath, and Iteprarit^r off Monds I 
The Committee, tbeneffon^ are induosd to offer this public Notice of 
their Und^^rtaking, as wj venture to assure themselves that manv 
benevolent and pious Fsnonsy who may thus become informed off the& 
Designs, will gudly assist them in accomnlishing a work so expensivs . 
and so imporfimt Ifan^ (it is presumed), though uncatrntcied with 
the Ptoot, will not be willmg to p<u$ by a» 8iraMg§r$^ when an interest* 
i^g Object solieita their SSnmrt^ or the united Fleas off a general 
Bil^ad lo the Widfare of oodety and the unlimited inflnenoe off 
Christian Charity. 

Hie Committee rsspeetlully infonn those Inhabitants who kindl v 
Intend to Support the Undertaking, that a penonal Application will 
be made to them if required; hot eaniestly request them to render that 
step unnecessary hj a eo^imfary AiUt^dotie^ to subscribe their Namse 
ana Contribvtiona. A Board isplaoed for that Purpose at the Charity 
School in fit Philip'* Church Yard, in Addition to the Pisces already 
II. 1 



210 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

* « 

Advertified, viz., the several Banks of this Town, and the Shops of 

Messrs. Knott and Lloyd and Mr. Swinney. 

A townsman made the following offer to the Committee : — 

April 4th, 1803. — Among the liberal contribators to the intended 
Free Church we may justly notice the name of J/r. James Millar, a 
native of this place. That able and insenions artist has very hand- 
somely imposed to give a picture (already painted) for an altar piece ; 
or to paint one upon any subject which the Committee may prefer, to 
the value of one hundred p<mnd$. 

The Bill passed both the Houses of Parliament, and on 
July 11th we read that '' The Royal Assent was on Tuesday 
given, by commission, to the Bill for erecting a new Church, 
to be called Christ Church, in this town ; and for providing 
a maintenance and residence for the IGnister or perpetuid 
Curate thereo£" 

In this year a laudable effort was made to induce manu- 
£Eu;turers to pay their workpeople their wages at an earl^ 
hour on Saturday. We have no account whether this 
appeal was successful or not : — 

Mardi 14» 1803.^The Oonatabtoi and Charohwardens €# tfak town 
havings with a landable Zed. determinMl to prosecute all Panont ^idio 
OMreise their Ihide on the Lord* • l>ay, the M^gisiimles ftal it a Duty 
they owe to the labouring Poor, earnestly to request all Merdiants^ 
FaetonL and Manufiteturen^ to pay their respeetive workmen at an 
ear^ Moor on the Saturday, that they mar not be under the necessity 
of faceakiQg: the Law, or gouig without Meat or other neosnary Food 
on the Sunday. 

Wlf. YlLLBBS. Gca SiMOOX. 

Wn. HuKB. Thm. Pbks. 

The Old Meeting Congregation lost their pastor this 

year ; and the OautU, in reoordinjr his death, testifies to 

the admirable Christian character of the deceased : — 

Jane S7, I808.r-Taeaday, after a ahinrt Olnesi^ in the 70th year of 
bis ace, the Bev. Baddiffe SeholeSeld, 30 years Futor of the Old 



Meeting C o ngregation in this town, wno, as a man, a Christian, and a 
minisler, exhibited that steadr fiiendebip^ aetive benevolence^ ehesrftd 
piety, and sweetness of disposition, whieh will long endear bis meoMny 
to a numeivns drele of friends and acquaintance. 

The next extracts refer once more to thai important 
subject^ the copper trade : — 

October 31, 1803.— We have the aatisfiwtion to hear, that owing to 
the veiy scanty supply the tnMie of this town has lately bad of copper, 
ooessioDed, we believe^ by a genersl inereased demand for thai aiilde^ 
some persons of respectability are coming Ibrward to establish a New 
Copper Company bero. When we eonrider the fostering dd which the 
neeent state of the trade of the town rtquins^ and when, on the other 
band, we discover a disposition not only to maiotain it^ but to multiply 
its oonrosa and prosperity, we cannot out consider suoi efforts as truly 
laudable, and ouch as merit univenal commendation and support 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 211 

Copper. 

November 7, 1803.— On the subject of the supply of copper for the 
trade of this town, we have received the following statement confirmed 
to us by several verv respectable manufacturers, who are themselves 
lai^ consumers of that article : — ^The two Copper Companies already 
established in this town are capable of smelting; otr more than sufficient 
to supply the manufacturers, and the complaints made by any of the 
members of those companies have been, not that too small, out that 
too large a quantity has been allotted to them quarterly. This has 
compelled the companies to seek other markets fur the disposal of the 
anpembundance ; Mit to them tbey never resort while the manu&cturers 
of this town and neighbourhood are in want, it having been their firat 
and prindpal object to supply those wants. The principal reason why 
copper has lately been scarce m Birmingham, has been the Yery unusual 
scarcity of watar in the Severn, which has almost put a stop to the 
navigation of that river for many months past. If other new companies 
were to be established for the purpose of opening new Copper Mines, 
the quantity oi tluit article might be augmented ; but the instituting 
of new Smelting Companies would not increase the quantity of copper 
one ounce ; it wotUd have an injurious ratlier than a beneficial tendency, 
inasmuch as inoraasing the number of bidders for copper ores would, 
in all probability, inereass the price, and certainly bo productive of 
othor aeriout evils^ wbieh, persons who have not reflacteu, or who are 
miafiquainted with that tnde, are not aware ot 

On April 9 the following obituary notice of Dr. Priestley 

a{q>eaTea : — 

On the 6th of February, at his house, In Northumberland, Penusyl- 
▼aniiL in his 7lst veAr, the Bev. Joseph Priestley, LL.D., F.RS., and 
Msmoer of most ofue rnblle and Fhiiosophlosl Institutions throughout 
Europe and Amoiea. Wm scitntifie and other works will be a lasting 
mooumeDt of the vigour of his mental abilities^ and the variety of his 
aequirementa. He was many years Pastor of the New Meeting Oon- 
gr^;ation in this town. 

On April 23 we have a fuller notice of this event, copied 
from the Philadelphia Gazette — a notice which will be read 
with interest by all the admirers of this truly great man : — 

Db. PaiBRLIT. 

April 23rd. 1804. — ^In oar obitnaiy of the 9th instant ws annomieed 
the death of the Bav. Dr. PriesUsv ; the report of that ovoot has since 
been confirmed by letters received from his fiunlly in America to their 
friends in England. The following partleolars are coj^ from the 
Fhlladolnhia Oaaetto :— 

SUice nb illnsss at Philadelphia, in the year 1801, ho never regaiued 
his former good stale of health. His comnlaint was constant indigos* 
tion, and a difBcoltv of swallowing food or any kind. But dor^ this 
period of genoral dobUitv ho wss hSnly omnlojod in printing his Cfanrdi 
History, and tho 1st vol of his Notes oo tno ocriptnresi and in making 
new ana original experiments. Doriag this period, likewise^ ho wrote 
his pamphlet of Jesus and Socrates compared, and reprinted his osssy 
on Phlogiston. IVom tho beginning of November, 1803, to tho middle 
of January, 1804, his complaint grew more oerions, yet l»y judicious 
medical treatment and strict attention to diet, he^ after some time, 



A CENTPBY OF BIRMIKQEAM LIFE. 



a (ulTftnced — he, boweTer, oonsideml hia life aa very precarioiu. 
JSTen At thia time, beaiiJe bU miacellaDeoaa readiog, -which waaat ^L 
ttmea very extensive, be read thratigh ftU the works quoted in his 
oomiMuiscni of the dilbrant syBteuis of the Orecino PhiloM)phen wKh 
CSuwUauitj ; oompoeed thkt work, and trsDacribed the whole of it, in 
leat tlisn three monthly bo that he has left it reaitj' for the pr«ss. 
Dnriiik this period lie oompoaed, in one day, hia aecond re;uj to 
Dr. Tlnn In the last fortnight of Janoarj hia fits of iadlgeation 
became more alarming, his lees swelled, and hia weakness isoraMad. 
WiUiin two days of bu death Ee became aa weak tliat he conld walk 
bnt Sk little way, and that with great difficalty ; lor aonie time lie fbnnd 
himaelf anible to speak ; bnt, on reoovering a little, he told his frieads 
that he had never ult more pleasantly daring hia li&Uxne than daring 
the time that he waa nnable to speak. He was folly senuble that ho 
had not long to live, yet talked with cheerfolneM to all who called on 
him. In the oontse of the day he expreawd his thankfolnass at being 
permitted to die qnietly, in his &mily, without pain, and with erair 
eoonnienee and eondbrt that he ooold wish for. He dwelt BpoB the 
peeoliarly happv aitoation in which It had pleased the Dirfaia Being to 
place him In life, and the great advantage he had enjoyed In the 
aeqnaintanee and friendship of some of the Met nnd wlaset at men in 
the age in wUcli he lived, and the satis&etion he derived from having 
led an oaefU a> well as a happy life. He, this 4aj', gave ^ireetlona 
ftbont priatlog Qw teaudaderM bis Notea on Seriptwe (a werk fat the 
eompletkm of vU^ he wm modi inteiestedX and looked ovw the <nt 



night be re*d to bim. He stopped the n 



the adTaataiies be hf, 
d reoMuneadsd tt ' 



lebnp. 
dinU 



Seriptues dally, and reoMuneadsd Vble |a wi 

prove ft eearea of the poreat |deanra. * 1 1 

finally ; wo only nqnin diflmat. dasrse » 

difireot loapati, to pn|a» as far utal aai 

into bis roooL he mm "Yea see, atr, & wh >hu uiuvb ^r 
ebeerrsd. "that he would alvv* Uve." "Tas, / Mwm /ateO; 
shall meet anla la uoOmt and a better woiM." He mid thk with 
grwl aalmiHoB, lavlef bold id Ifr. — *• hand In both his owo. After 
ereninc prayera, wliea hia grmndohildrsn were farangfat to hie bed«lde^ 
be apoEe to them eepantaly, and exhorted them tolove eaeh etbet 
o I am girfnf (idded W} to deep so weU as von, far death k ody a 
long aooad eleep in the grave, and we dudl meat agdn.' Oa Hoi 
mot^DC the Otbombnmrr. en belnc Baked howhtdT' ' 
It appeared 
1 to have tl 



eaeh ether, ft& 
good 



- took down the anbetanes of what be aald, wMeh was nad to 

hhn. Ha cba sr ved. "Sir. yon have pat In yonr own langaage i I wleh 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENXa 213 

tphcU he had before said, and when it was transcribed and read over to 
him, he said, ** that is right, I have now done." About half an hoar 
after he desired that he might be moved to a cot. About ten minutes 
after be was moved to it he died, but breathed his last so easily that 
those who were sitting close to him did not inimediatelj perceive it. 
He had put his hand to his face, which prevented them from ooserving it 

In June of this year the editor of the Gazette died, and 
we gladly quote the following notice of one to whose labours 
we are so deeply indebted : — 

Jane 18, 1804. — In the performan^ of a painful duty, we have to 
add to the catalogue of mortality this week, the name of Mr. Francis 
Blick, Editor of this Gazette, and sou of the Rev. F. Blick, of Bonehill, 
near Tamworth : he died on Monday jnorning last, after a few days' 
illness. It will not be too much to say of his character, that he was at 
ones a pattern to youth and the delight of bis friends. Endowed with 
a penetrating genius, a mind of uncommon strength, and a judgment 
remarkably acute, this amiable vonng gentleman had more than equalled 
all the warmest expectations of a fond and exulting parent At the age 
of twenty-three he seema to have gained, and worSiil v possessed, every 
honour Uiat moral oonduet oould merits every prize that polished man- 
ners, and superior abilities, oould contend for. But, alas I the weakness 
of his frame owned no kindred to tho energies of his mind. He had 
aceomalated upon it a burthen not proportioned to its powers, and, like 
iJI>flortcd traTellersy they very eariy parted. He has been torn from the 
enjoyments of life at a period when the mellow fruit of study, and the * 
rieb prospect of independence^ beamed full upon him ; and we are per- 
■oadcd there ia not a single individaal in the wide-extended cirde or his 
acqoaintance who will not long and sincerely lament his loss. The 
premators diasolntioD which we are nnder the sad necessity of recordioff, 
ailords a strikioff memorial of the vncertainty of life — an awfnl admoni- 
tion to be at all Umee prepared for death, and for that great event, when 
we know that the moral conduct, whidi we commemorate, sprung from 
fiuth in Christ, early implanted and deeply roofed, we may humbly 
hope oar yoong and valued fUend was not nnpreparecL 

The sawyers of the town and their masters had a trade 
dispute this year ; but beyond the following notice, we can 
glean no information on the matter, nor learn how it was 
settled:— 

To ALL Pflttdirs nrrBunnD or thb Prigs op Sawtxbs^ Work. 

Angnst 6, 1804. — ^The Wui king Sawytts of the town of Birmingham 
having cireaUtcd a printed List of Prices, tending to advance their wages 
very considerably, the Masters having taken the same into consideration, 
think it nceessAry, for the Begvlation of the Trade in general, to give 
thb public NoticiL that the nnreasnnablc Prices therein named will not 
be seceded to^ and that anv Psrson willing to be lomlshsd with tho 
isgolar Mess for all Unas of Sawing^ may have a list of them by 
i4>plyiQg at the Printsn-of this Paper. 

The following statement in reference to the .Asylum in 
Summer Lane rives us full information as to the working 
of that useful charity at this time : — 



21 4f A CENTURT OF BIK&IINOHAM LIFE. 

Parish of BiRMiNOHik^. 

November IQtIi. 1804 — ^The following is a Copy of the Annaal 
Statemeut made by the Asylum Committee of the Ezitenoes aud 
sapposed Savings, with the average Number of Children niaiutaiued 
each Year in that Eftablishment from its commeuoemeut in J uiy, 1797, 
to July, 1804^ inclusive. 

First Eeport—Jnly, 1798. &TingB to 

Ihe average Number of Children, 248, if put the Parfth. 

out to nurse would cost the Pmrish 28. each, £ ■. d. A •. d. 

per Week 1289 12 

Their nudntenanoe, Inelading Bent, Fire, 
WaffeSi &&, at the Asylum, at Is. 4j|d. each 

per Week, cost 884 2 

406 10 

Seoond Beport— July, 1799. ' 
The average Number of Children, 890, if at 

nurse would cost 8s. each per Week . 1508 

Their Maintenance, at Is. 4^. eodi per Week, 

cost 1021 8 6 

A 86 11 7 
Third Beport--Jalv, 1800. 
The avenge Namber of Children, 869, if at 

nurse, would ooat 8s. 0d. each per Week . 1748 10 
Their Maintenance, at la. lOd. each per Week, 

boat 1283 1 4 

4 65 8 8 
Fonrtli Bepart-^uly. 1801. 
The arsngis Number of Children, 881, if at 

niUMLWoaldooat as. each Der Week . • 8191 16 
Their Maintaoanos^ at 9l l4d. eaoh par Week, 

cost 1555 14 6 

636 1 6 

FlfUi Beporir^olr, 1808. 
The average Number of Children, 800, if at 
ann^ woald oust 8b. M. eaeh per Week . 1787 10 

cort 1538 1 4 

856 fl 8 

Sixth Beport-Joly. 1803. 
The avenffB Nvmberof Childran, 800, if at 

niUMLWOQld cost 9L8d. each per Week • 1430 
Their Malntenanmy at 8i. 84d. each per Week, 

cost 1168 10 8 

876 9 4 

Beventh Report— Jolv, 1804. 
The avenge Nombcr of Childno, 835, if at 

none, would cost 8b. IM. each per Week . 1680 5 
Thdr Maintenance, at la. ll|d. each per Weel^ 

* . 1196 10 10 

' ■ 1 63 14 8 



• 



jC3000 3 11 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 2l5 

Beside the abore Sayings in the Maintenance of the Children, they 
have made considerable Earnings in Labour suited to their Ages ; the 
Boys in the Heading of Pins and sticking them in Hows ; the Girls in 
Weaving Straw for Lisidies* Hats, knitting Stockings for the Workhouse 
and Asylum, mending Linen, && The smaller Cliildren are employed 
in makinff Oakum from old Etopes ; the elder Females contribute to the 

Eneral Comfort by their Labour in the House, which reduces the 
(tablishment to a Qoyemeas, Schoolmaster, and Mistress, and one 
Female Seryant Their Habits of Industnr produce a cheerful Sub- 
ordination, and render them more acceptable when called into any 
Seryipe in aetiye Life. Their Health is also much benefited by the 
Order in which they liye ; for many Weeks in Succession not one is to 
be seen on the nek List, and seldom more than one or two at a Time ; 
few in such a Number haye died, and none are opprased with hard 
Labour so as to produce Deformity, which was not uncommon while 
under the Care ot hireling Nurses in the neighboonnff Villages. 

It might also be added, that the yiew in making this Beport public 
is, not only to shew the Town that oontiderable aiad not unsuccessful 
Ifforts are made to mitigate the Burthens of Psrodiial Taxes, but at 
the same time to preyent, in some measure, their Becunvnoe^ by uniting 
profitable Labour with useful Habit^ in this Bnmch <tf the rifling Gene- 
ration— •'^ The Ghildven of the Poor/ It was Ukewiae ccmsiddr^ that 
it mi^t afford tome useful Hints to neighbouring Tmtlbm, to proye 
that tne moderate Labour of GhOdren is not only produotiye of present 
Ph>fit^ but of permanent and extendye Benefit to the Bsrish, and to 
Sode^.— Public Office, Birmingham, Oct 9, 1804. 

At a Quarterly Meeting of the Qnardians and OyerMers of the Poor, 
the aboye Beport was ordered to be printed. J. Wblob. 

The Aqrlum report elicited the following letter. The 

S resent reader wilt » we tnut his contemporarieB did, par- 
on the writer for expremng his ojnniona on the sabject : — 

Noy. S4, leOi.— To the Printen.— TVuly, QentleaieD, amidst the 
calamitiea of war, and the oonfliets of parties^ ciyfl and rsUgioos^ 
whidi this town has oeoasionally witoeasad, I lelt a peoaliar gratification 
In penuiiig the brie( bbt Intsris t ing rsiBan% ooenactad witti the atate- 
bmbI made by the Asylum Committee, and published In your paper of 
last week. In whatever view I eontemulate the and, the means, and 
the happy rasolt of this Inatitation, I acknowledge myself andar a ape- 
das of obUffatkm to the Oommittas^ whiflh I am really at a loas how to 
aiptwi. And, GentleaMiL permit ma toask, Ihroogb the aMdiom of 
yoor paper. If I am to look upon tlua Aqrlam fiir nalplsas, negleeted, 
and, too oftiwi, dsasrtad innoeeata, so raplata with psrmiiisat adyantages 
to ita ofcjeets and to the oommnnity, aa procaadlnf firam the flaetiiating 
ayatem oc parodiial aeonony, to which wa haya been ao many years 
sabiaeit orarsweindabtadtoafcwiadiyjdoali^who^actnatodbyapors 
apint of beoayolaaes^ are determined. If thwreannotaoeompUsh all they 
ttoLtodoalithayegj^lowagdalssssningthaayllaofaoeiohrt Indeed, 
Qanueman, if thb k the eaae^ ancb noraona aomiaand mv highest estem, 
and d sasrya the gnOefui adaiowlsdgments of thair neighbottrs. Tlieir 
aaartiooa haye not been wasted In nroitlsss ellbrts beyond their spbers 
of infloanosb Whilst many others haya been amblUoos to preside oyer 
or tosopportaparticahvaeelorpar^; orhayaaagagsdlnthehflpeiess 
task of promottng uniformity of opinion on literaiy, pollticai, or rdi- 



216 A CENTUBT OF BIBMINGHAH UFE. 



giodfl tubjecU ; tbev must bare better nndentbod the genius of ^our 
▼eoerable cbarter of immortalitj," and bave endearonred, in the prac- 
tice of their duty, to be of one hearty rather than of one mind. Their 



report proves that they have been emalous to protect the Orphan, and, 
silently and assidaonsly, to promote the health, osefnlness, morals, and 

E resent and fatnre happiness of that part of the risinff generation who 
ave none to help them. Pardon me for thos pnblicTy expressing my 
feelinf^s on this subject, under the hope that we shall be made Mtter 
acquainted with the htstorv of this humane establishment, and of those 
to whom We are so much obliged. HuMAiirrAS. - 

The philanthropy of the people of Birmmgham appears to 

have been exhaustless, ana assumed an infinite variety o^ 

forms. . It is one of the most gratifying traits in the charac* 

ter of tilie peopla Misfortune and suffering have ever excited 

the most active fli3rmpAthy and practical benevolence. Hkp-i 

pily it is a charactoristic which we have preserved to the 

present day. The year 1805 opened with the following 

proposal >-^ 

SoGittt voE iMpaovnro tbb Oohditiov of tbm Pooay bt Ivcnnro 

Tbbm to Doiobvos ajtd CEcx>iroiiT. 

JTanduT' 28d^ 1805.— IVom tlie almost total Want of CBoonomy in 
the Pbor many of them must remain destitute of eren n eeo s saiy' 
Comfort^ tinlsBS the higher Ordais of thd Gommunity anist them by 
Adyioe as well as BottH^. 

Td promote this Object a Ibw Pemos formed themselTee into a 
Sodefy about a TwelveuMmth iboe^ and elected a Gommittee for the 
Parpossa of vMti^g the Pbor at thair own Houaei^ of inatruotiQg.tiittn 
in tba Pkimaplaa «£ damaatio (Boonouiy. of atron^y poiiiting out to. 
tbam tba Kaoeasity of Oleanllneai^ and m enoouiaffmg thafn to depoait- 
amatt Sana of Hoi^yy weakly, la tha Handa of Um Committee^ with' 
tlia Tiaw of d&Mhaniiig thdr DabCa redeamiitt their Pledgee^ and 
wtiAaahg IVid, Baffljj^, ClothiM^ 4k, ^ 

From ua Annual B^ott of tfia Pkooaadiitta of tlua Oo mmit tea it 
appaan thai Depoailai aaKMmtiBg a l ioga tt iar to ZXIU 1 la ed, hate baan 
naAa by S38 Fanona ; in AiWSoa to wliioh, ana IVmrth of that Sua 
haa been paid is PkaaiiBma, i^raaablv to tha Bulaa of tha Soeiefy. 

Althoiigli vaay ladividwb ana Ikmiliaa have azparienead tiia 
Patnanga of thia Boeiaty, thsy toni bvt a vwr sbmU PjraportiQn of tiia 
poor Tn&hitairta of Binitfngfaaaa. Wan tha IVmds of tba InatitBtioD 
aogBMotad, tha aolid Benaflti of aryflh Hhaaahaady bean prodaetiNnL 
would ba anfayad to a far wider Bztant; and tha DonatioBa and 
SabaoriptioM Mm now InadaqoBla to tha Belief of new appliaan 
Pttblk aM raapaedbUy invited ta aid, I7 their libarali^, tha Aeeom- 
piidiaacBiof an Objaet ao intiaaaaaly eoaaantad with tha taat Inftanala 
af tba Town, of tha Neuihboiuhood, and of tha OoaamuaitT at lama. 

SabacripttoBB and Doaationa wiU ba rnaivad by Mka DeaUa, 
Haadaworth; Miaa Bhofthonaa^ Qraat Ghaiiaa-atraat; cad Mia 

In thia yearwaa formed the first Fire Insnraaoe OompaBW. 
Aa frequently happens there were two attempts made 
oontempoianeooaly* The firat proposal was to Ibrm a 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVEJITS. 217 

society to be called the Birmingham Fire Office, with three 
hundred subscribers of £1,000 eacL The other proposal 
was of a more popular kind, as will be seen by this report 
of the first meeting : — 

Birminffham, February 9, 1805. — At a nnmerous and respectabld 
Meeting of the Inhabitants of this Town, held at the Johnson^B Head 
Inn ; Johk Startin, Esq,, being called to the Chair ; 

It was then unanimously Besolved — 

I. That a Company be formed in the Town of Birmingham, upon 
the moat liberal and extensive Plan, for Insuring of Prop^y agamst 
Fire, and that the Capital be not less than Two Hundred lliousand 
Founds, to be invested in the Funda 

II. That the same be called by Shares of One Hundred Pounds each* 

III. That a General Meeting be called, requesting such Persons as 
are desirous of becoming Members of tiiis Company to attend at 
Sty Ws Hotel, on Wednesd^ nezt> precisely at Eleven o'clock in the 
FopenooD, when Rules and Kegulations for the future Government of 
this Company will be laid before the Meeting ; in the Interim, Gentle- 
men wishW to become Subscribers are requested to leave their Names 
at Mr. BinTs Office, Solicitor, Edmundnrtreet 

lY. That the above Eesolntiona be insertad in the two next Bir- 
min^^iam Papers, and the Chairman be requested to sign the same on 
Behalf of the Meeting. JoBV Startih, Chairman. 

The Chairman having left the Chair, Besolved,— That the Thanks of 
this Meeting be given to him for his impartial Conduct 

BlOHABD BnuD. 

At a meeiixig held on Febroaiy 13, it waa resolved that a 
company be immediately formed, and that it be called the 
Birmingham Union Fire Office. Upwards of 1 ,500 shares 
had be^ subscribed for. A correspondent sent an interest- 
ing letter on the subject, which contains some valuable 
information on the state of the town. We therefore repro- 
duce it : — 

To THB PanmBa * 

'Febraaij 18, 180S. — Qfntlemen, — ^Very emneous opinioiis seem to 
have prevailed respecting the profits of Fire Lunuance QflBces, whidi, 
when divided amonj^ a laige number of proprietors, are not worth anj- 
bod /s notice ; and it may afford some entertainment to jtrar readen to 
see a few ohservations on the two inannmoe oAoes p rop osed to be 
established in BirmingfaanL 

The insurable pronerty in Birmingham may be about two wiiiii^n^ 
the insursnce of whicn would amount to £2,000 per year, a considerable 
part of which would alwava go to London and other distant Insuranoe 
QAoes ; we may suppose, however, that property oat of Birmingham, 
insured in Birmingham, would be more tnan equal to supply this 
deiidepcy, and that at the end of seven y«an tnsre mig^t be a dear 
amiual profit, (after pajring all losses by fire and other conaideiable 
expenses) of £2000, which misht admit of an increase. 

Aoooraing to the plan of the Birmingham Fire Office, thero are SOO 
shares of £1,000 each and XlOO is to be advanced on each ahare^ and 
laid out in the Qovemment Fopda Suppose^ then, the dear annual 



218 A CENTUJIY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

profits, after the end of Beven years, to be £2,000 and there had been 
no other similar institution in uie town, the profits on each share would 
be jCiO exclusive of interest. 

According to the plan of the Birmingham Uniou Fire Office, there 
are 2,000 slmres of £100 each, and £25 is to be advanced on each share, 
and laid out in the Qovemment Funds. Suppose, then, the clear annual 
profits, after the end of seven years, to be £2,000, and that there had 
been no other similar institution in this town, the profits on each share 
would be £1, exclusive of interest. 

If the profits are to be divided between the two companies, and the 
dividends oe but half the sums there specified, will it be worth any 
person's notice (even with the uncertain prospcSct of an increase) for such 
trifling dividends as £6 a share, to run the risk of being called upon 
for the capital subacaibed of' £1,000 for eadi share in the first conoem, 
and for a dividend of lOs. to run the risk of being called upon for the 
capital subscribed of £100 for each share in thejMoond concern, besides 
bemg liable to make good a proportionate share of the defidendes of 
any nartner f It is aUowed these are not probabilities, but they are 
poMibilities. 

How far the drcolating medium of this town and neighbourhood 
may be affected by withdrawing therefrom, and lodging in the public 
^ds, such hofi sums as thts c^>ita]s of both Oompames wiU amount 
to, deserves senoua oonnderatiQD. : I am, QeDtlemflni youxs, &e», 

A.R 

Competition is said to be a sign of health and strength, 
and there were now two schemes for the establishment of 
Insurance Societies before the publia It certainly proved 
beneficial to the Oazette; advertisements of a wonderful 
length appealed in its pages,' and on Februai7.25, we read 
once more an excuse for not inserting them : — 

The Besolntknis of the two. Birmingham' Insoranoe Ofiioes are 
omitted this week Ibr want of room. Our advertising fHends are 
rsspeeifiiUj requested to tend long advortiaaments mors early in the 



The antagonism was, however, soon removed ; for, at a 
meeting of the subscribers to the Birmingham Union lire 
Office, held on March 6, ^a proposition for an union with 
the Birmingham Fire Office was adopted.** The amalgamated 
Society opened its offices this month. The Office was in 
Union Street, which, says a contemnoraiy writer, ^ for 
chasteness of design is equal to any otner building in tiie 
town.** 

In May the town was delighted by the presence of a 

royal visitor : — 

Hay SO, 1806.— His Boyal Qghoea IVines WOliam of Oloaesstar 
hoDOiErad this town with a vidt last week.' 8o soon as it was known on 
Monday afternoon that the Frinee intended to stophors on hii road to 
liToipool, every arrangement was madoi that the short period would 
allow, to express that loyal respect and attention whSdi tne inhabitants 
of this plaoe are always diiposed to maniftst to ofory bcandi of the 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 219 

Royal House of Bronswick. On Tuesday moroing, the Loyal Birming- 
ham Yolunteers, preceded by a party of the Boyid Dragoons from our 
Barracks, marched to Camp Hill, where they were drawn up in line 
to receive hia Boyal Hignness with military honours ; the Prince 
passed by them about one o'clock, and was escorted to Stvles's Hotel by 
the Boyal Dragoons, where the Magistrates, the High Baili£^ and 
other gentlemen were assembled 'to reoeiye him. Upon the return of 
the muitary, they paraded in New Street, and his Boyal Highness being 
informed of the circumstance directly Joined them, and walked un- 
eoyered along the whole line ; he aalutea the officers as he passed, and 
thanked them and the priTates for their polite and marked attention, 
and observed, that he had neTer aeen a finer body of soldienu The 
Prince was afterwards conducted to Tiew the Mint^ and other objecta 
of curiosity, at Mr. Bonlton's^ Soho; Mr. Benton's exhibition of 
stained glass ; and Mr. ClaVa manufiustory. On Wednesday morning, 
his Boj& Highness jprooeeded to inspect other subjects of obsenration 
in the town, and visited the manufactories of Messrs. WooUey, Deakin, 
and Co. ; Messrs. Simoox and Timmins, the Brass Works ; Messrs. 
Biduurdi^s Toy ahopu &e.. &e. The Prince examined every plftcs^ 
machine process, ana arnelet, with the moat minute and scientifie 
attention. About three o'dodc in the afternoon his Boyal Hig^mea 
left the town on his way to UrapooL 

Tlie Prince eondueted bimaalx in the moat eairy, ftoiillar, and con- 
descending manner, and nid he should with giatitade always bear in 
mind the regard and polite attention shewn to him by the gentlemen 
that eonduetod him throqrii the town, and the loyalty and kindness 
testified to him by the whote of the inhaUtant& 

Wo hacf% <m this oeearinin, to rsoord the patriotism of the Lojral 
Rnningham Volimteera. It was late in the morning of Tuesday 
betee it was determinod to oall oat the Vblnnteen ; however, when 
the drums beat to •!»% the greatest part of the three Battaliona 
aaembled at liead qvarten in little Dore than an boor, fully armed and 
aooovitved for the fittd, imlaiowiiig Ibr what aervioe they were ao hastily 
called ODt| but fUl of ardent seal f» the oanse Ibr which they had 
associated, and indiilersiit in their efaoioe wliether to pay respect to the 
amily of thehr Borereign, or to fi|^t the battles of tbsir eoontry. 

A Rtfll greater honour was promised to Birminfffaam — ^no 
less than a yint from the king himself It is hara for us to 
realize the complete popularity of Qeorve IIL He was 
during his long reiffn tne idol of nearij all his peopla His 
kindness of hearty nis domestic virtues^ his familiarity with 
his people, his careful plodding industry hel]>ed to make 
him popular. They were so Engliah. Even his prejudices 
were the prejudices of the vast majority of his sumectSy and 
only the more endeared him to their uTections. Me was so 
like them in almost all thinn that they could not help but 
love him, and call him the Tather of his people. It was 
now announced that the king was about to visit the loyal 
folk cf Birmingham; and Uie most ardent hopes were 
exdted — ^hopes which unfortunately were never to be 
realized. 



220 A CENTURY OF BIBMINOHAH UFE. 

HOTAL Yl^IT to BiRXINQBAX. 

Jane 3, 1805. — We are happy in beinff enabled to announce that the 
Inhabitants of this loyal town will soon be gratified with a sight of onr 
highly revered SoTereign. In conseqaenoe of its having beien lately 
represented that the Koyal Family intended, in the course of ttie 
sommer, to honour this Neighbourhood with their presence, the 
Trustees for conducting the erection of the Free Church in this town 
solicited his Majesty that he would be graciously pleased to lay the first 
stone. The King, with that reeard which he always manifests to what- 
ever appertains to the cause ol religious worships has condescended to 
Ssnt the request, which was signifiM to Hie High Bailiff on IViday, in 
e f ollawing letter from the Earl of Dartmouth : — 

** Windsor, May 27, 1805. 
'.'Sir,— I had, yesterday, the honour to lav before his Majesty the 
ermtents of your letter to me, dated May 23rd, and I have received the 
BojbI o(miinand to inform you that his Majestr is mdously pleased to 
eomphr }irith your request, and that he will lay toe first stone of the 
intended Free Ghurdi in Birmingham. " I am. Sir, ' 

^ Tour obedient Servant^ 

"Daetxouth.* 

The following fitatement of the goardiaiis gives ns tiie 
oost t)£ iher poor ia 18(Mh-5. 

€f tiie QwOTism and Ov m ss w ef the Poor, * ststsanent of the Baonpts 
•Dd EzpendiUirs of the last Tear, from Bnter, 1804^ to Ssstsr, 100& 
wtm OEhibited, wherein it appeared thai sixtosn Levies had produoad 
19JML U.' 6^4, and that after haviag relieved th»Oiit*poQr, paid the 
tMumuj Kipsnass of' the Poor and the' A^lnm, there renuuned a 
Balnor ol eStf: 6a Od in Hand, the partkmhtf ItsiM of vhkdi Sta^ 
BMii aiay bo ten by andving at tlis Gleries Off^ 

:A^wi^Ktimbsr off (>at^oor€hMsraliov«d per week. 2246 
\ Avon^ Nnmber of Pioor in the Howe 284 

' Avvn^Nxmborof Qiildmin^ Aflylam • • • • Sll 

«741 * 

By Order ol the Heetiqg, 

J. Wblob, Gsshier. 

.. The alternate hopes and fears which the proposed visit 

of the koaff produccMl, wiU be best gathered by an extract or 

twa On Jmy 1 we read : — 

nsir MajcslieB have not given «p (as some of the London and pro- 
TiacisI fnp^n most erroneow j state) the eawonB o n to the Midland 
Oonaties. We ere enabied, from the best — thority, to ssserty that very 
soen after the psofliqgatiQn of FlsriisaMnt, the King will visit thk town 
tolaythsflsatslonsol the intended FkeeCharoh, and from the pessnt 
anaaMMnti^ thst higfal j interesting and impoftent eenmonj will take 
plaoein the coarse of a fortnight or three weeks. Momentous state 
albiis kespiitf Fuliament sssfimblsil so fiff in the snmmef mav pro- 
bsblv pravent his Majesty firom nsidiag with hk kjsl people, the 
Inhsteants ol this plMs, so Umg ss it was int intended. Madak to 
coBimomoiaie the erection ol the IVee CSiitrdi sre ezscnttng bj that 



PX7BUC LIFE AND EVENTS. 221 

in^^enious artist, Mr. Webb. The Trustees will present their Majesties 
-with impressions upon cold. 

Next week tne hope is given up, for in the interval the 
king's illness had been announced : — 

His Majesty. 

July 8, 1805. — ^At a moment when, in common with all ranks of 
people in this town and nei^hbourhooa, we congratulated ourselves on 
the happy prospect of flpeedilr seeing the King, a much-lamented cir- 
cumstance nas occurred, whicn will entirely prevent, for the present, 
the pleasure we expected from so august a i^t. His Majesty has 
lately been attacked with a slight complaint in his eyes, which rapidly 
increasing, a consultation of his ^vsidans took place on Friday se'nmght ; 
after which, Mr. Fhipps, the oculist, communicated both to the King 
himself, and to the i^ueen and Family, the afflicting intelligence that a 
cataract was formed in one eye, and that there were the most unec^ui- 
Tocal symptoms of its extencunff to the other. His Majesty received 
the information with a fortitude the most exemplary. He said that 
the deprivation of sight was an affliction which he nad fong dreaded, and 
from which he had most fervently prayed to be relieved. But if doomed 
to endure the calamity, he would ahow the resignation wludi was the 
duty of a Christian ; and if he was to tmderao an o|>emtion, he trusted 
lie should display the firmness of a man. His Majesty has been ear- 
nestly advisea not.to expose himself to hJdmie or to sudden chan^ ; 
therefore the tour of the Itoyal Funflyto the Af idland Counties is given 
up for this season. On Saturday the High Bailiff received the following 
letter from the Earl of Dartmoath: — 

'<S«ndweIl,Jiily6,180S. 

** Sir,<^I have this dayreoeived a letter from Lord Qawkesbozyy to 
communicate to me (by His Majesty's command) that in consequence 
of the complaint in his eyes, His Majesty has judged it moat pnident 
to defer his projected visit to this nei^bouxhooa tOlanother year; and 
likewise to transmit to me His Maje^r*s pleasure Hiat I shoiud lav the 
first stone of the new Church at Bmmngfaam in bis name. I beff leave 
to exprees the latiafaction I shall have in obeying His Majesty^ com- 
mands npon this occasion, and my readiness to attend for tnat poipose 
on any day that may be judged most convenient. I have it farther in 
command to request that yon will adopt the pioper maaai to make 
known His Majesty's concern at the neeearity he is nnder of not being 
present at that ceremony, and hii hopes of being able to viat the town 
of Binningfaam on some other ocoasion. 

«* I am. Sir, Yoqr faithful and obsdiant Serwant, 
** To the High Bailiff of Birmin^iam." " Dartkocjtb. 

The kinff being unable to come. Lord Dartmouth had the 
honour of laying the comer atone of our fimt Free Church; 
and of the third church in Birmingham. St llaiy'a, St 
Paul's, St Bartholomew's, and St James's being diapela. 
The ceremony was performed on Monday, July 22 ; and was 
thus described : — 

FouKDnro or CEanr OHvacB. 

Jnly 29, 180a.-^On Monday the Earl of l>artmoath laid the 
foQDdatlon atone of the Free Choreh eraeting in this town. His Lord- 
ship was attended by the Bishop of the Dioesse^ the Eari of Ayiesidrd, 



222 A CENTURY OF BIBHINGHAM LIFE. 

the Earl of Warwick, the Dean of Windsor, the Membere of the 
Gounbr, Joeeph Sooit, Esq., M.P. for Worcester, Charles Mills, Esq., 
M.P. for Warwidc, H. Le^m, Esq., the Magistrates and Clergy of the 
town, the Trostees of the Chnrch, and the Hi^h and Low Baili£ The 
Earl of Dartmouth, in la^g the stone, made nse of the following 
words: "I lay this stone in the name and htf command of our Most 
Oraeious Sovereign.** A guinea, half-a-goinea, and the other coins of 
the last impressions of the present reign, were deposited in a chamber 
cat in the stone^nd covered with a orass plate Dearinff the following 
inscription : — ''The first stone of Christ Church was laid the twentj- 
secona day of July, 1805, by command of his Most Qracious Majesty 
Qeorge the Third, the pillar, guardian, and ornament of the Christian 
IVdth, in the 68th year of his f^ and the 45th of his reign. — Biohabd 
Pratchstt, High BailiffL" 

After the ceremony was finishedL his Lordship, with the nobility. 
gentnTt <uid clergy that attended iiim, proceeded to Styles's Boyal 
Hotel, where Uiey were joined by a lam party of gentlemen of the 
town and neudkbourhood, and partook of an excellent dinner. After- 
wards a number of appropriate toaata were drank, and the erenlnff 
ecmdnded with the utmost hilarity and good humour. The aeeond 
troop of the Warwickshire Teomanry, and the three battalions of the 
Loyal Binningham Yolunteen^ attended upon the occasion, and the 
greatest good order preTailed. The Eari of Dartmouth presented the 
noD-oommkBioned officers and privates of the Loyal Birmingham 
Volunteers with a sum of monej to legUe themaelTea, 

In the following week it was announced that the Idr^ 

had ^most graciously ^ven a donation of a thousana 

pounds towaras the erection of the Free CSiurch.'' The next 

paragraph records an eyent of local iinportance : — 

Nsw PuBUo OmcB avd nisov. 

September S3| 1805.— On Wednesday maminib the first stone of the 

yariooa offices intended fiir the oonTenienee of the Hagistniles^ the 

aeeoffimndatkwi of the town, and the more tranquil and {uiTate eonYsj* 

anee of prisoiMv% was laid by the High Bailil^ and this neesssaiy sod 



important undertaking wae honooied by the prssenes of the IVes 
lissoDs in thehr waj to QU liartin*s Ch'nreh. The Oommittee for 
ereetbg the edifices^ by laTitslloii of the High BiiUli; partook of a 
sociabie eatartahunsnt at Mr. Freeth's TsTem in Bell Street 



useful and necessary work was executed in amanner 

that must have delighted the inhabitants. We can fiincy 

the pleasure with which the ratepayers read the following 

statement :-— 

October S8, 1805.— We are bappj to announce that sudi prudent 
airaagements baTe been made br the Giuurdiaas and Oreiasers of tids 
town, that the sxpenees ineuRsa in eraeHnff the NewPabUeOffloe and 
FriaoiL in lIsoivstTCet will be defrayed wMout Me bmrdm of any addi- 
tionai lenee being laidupoiti the tnkAitants for thai purpose. 

Several fiunous victories enriched the Britidi annals this 
year— the greatest and most glorious beinff the Battle of 
Trafidgar, won on October 21. A Bay of General Thanks- 
giving was appointed for Thursday, December <th. The 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTa 223 

following Quotations show in what manner Birmingham kept 

the great oay : — 

Dec. 9, 1805. — ^Thandav being the day appointed for a General 
Thank egivinff for the splendid Tictories with which Prbvidenoe has been 
pleased to bleee the British arms, it was celebrated in all the charehee 
and chapels with religions adoration, and in everj part of the town with 
dne deooram. 

There waa, on this great occasion, no distinction of sects or parties ; 
the imp r e ss ion was deep^ solemn, and nniversaL All the places of diyine 
worship were well attended, and the contribntions made for the relief 
of oor defenders who bled, and of the relatives of those who fell in the 
late glorions aetaons, formed an offering worthy to be laid npon the 
altars of Pietj, Qratitnde, and Hamanitj. The following collections in 
aid of the Batriotie Fond have already come to oor knowledge^ and 
sereral others are yet to be announced : 

£ 1. d. 

St. Martin's Chnreh 37 7 

8t PhiUp'a ditto 86 11 0^ 

8t Bartholomew's CSiapel 6 10 6 

St MaiVa ditto $X) 8 11 

St FiMirs ditto ,. . • ao 3 

St Jobn'a dittos Deritand 17 . 3 

HaodaworUi Ghnrdiy 87 18 8} 

A fine impoaed by a Magiatrate on 

a nmaway Apprantioe from Soho 

Haanfiietory •••..... 5 11 — 38 9 

Hbae^yOiaM • • • • 12 7 

<Md Maa^ House 18 8 

New Meeting House 31 4 

Union Ohap^ LiTaiy-atreet 90 S 8^ 

KioMlreet Chapel «... lA 

Bartholoiiiaw-atraat ditto 6 

Bood-airaat ditto 600 

MoselT-aireat ditto, Deritand 8 8 

FhuradiaMtreai ditto 870 

Lady WaU ditto 1 13 4 

The Caibolie Cbapel 10 4 6| 

The Jawi^ Synag^gna 330 

CoUaeUona ware also made in tha Mttliodist Chapels^ to Uia amoonl 
of 17L !«., Ibr tha abora banaTolant porpoaa, wliieh baa been tmia-> 
mlttad to London to be praasntad to Ilia Ooinmittaa, togalher with other 
aama aabseribad in the diapela iMloiiging to thia religioQa persoarion 
throngiioiit tlia United Kingdom. 

FATUono Fuva 
December 18, 1806.^The High B^dliff of this Town has raseired the 
following Mtar, M^nowladging the reeaipt of the soms collected at the 
Tariooa pboea of wonhm^ aa sSitad laat weak. 

*< Lloyd's, December 10, 1806. 
** Sir^— Your noble remittanoe of 400t. 7s. 6dL is reeeiTed, and the 
partacnlai8,,aa par nawipapen, shall go to aoooont for naUicatioo, with 
the other cdlactkoa for the fnnd. in whidi bostneas tne Committee ia 
now ocenpied. * I am, Bur, Your obedient Serrant, 

^ J. WsLsroiD, Sec 
"* To Wm Smith, Eaq.,'High BaOifi; Birmingham.* 



224 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

Since which the followiug sums have been paid into his hands, viz., 

£ s. d. 

From Ashted Chapel 10 <> 

Old Meeting House 1 8 2 n 

Carr*s Lane and (a; non Street Societies . . i'> 4 

Newhall Street Meeting 2 W 

Another Meeting House in Newhali Street . 1 11 10 

Aston Church 14 1 7 

Yaitiley Chui-ch 4 4 

Smetlnvick Chapel 13 

Captain Osborne* s Company of L.B.V. one ^vcf^ pay — 
Three Serjeants . . . . £0 4 G 
Tliree Coqwrals . . . 3 6 

Two DiTimmers . . . . 2 4 
Fifty-seven Privates . . 2 17 

Captain Osborne . . 110 

4 8 4 

The above sums, with what has been remitted, make the collections 
amount to 501^. 19«. 8c/. 

On January 23, 1806, at the age of 47, died the great 
Minister, William Pitt. He was laid in Westminster 
Abl»ey in tlie same grave as his still greater fiither, Lord 
Chatham, on February 22. Bii-mingham shared in the 
sorrow of that day, and mourned the loss of the splendid 
statesman. 

February' 24th, 1806. — Satunlay Ixjing the tlay fixe<l U|>on fur the 
public funeral of the late Prime Minister of this C'ountrv, the .sziiiie \v:us 
oliscrvfil ill this town by the tollint; of the large l>ell of the churclii-H 
thniughuut the day, and at intervals, the xc, or funenil |)^ihn tune, 
was solenmly struck uiM>n the Ix'lls of St. Martin's and St. Philip's, as 
a mark of resjiect to the manes of an illustrious character. 

Government pro|K>s4»d to levy a tax on iron. The 

manufacturers of tliis town were in miction at oiif^e ; and it 

will be seen by the following qnotitions that thoir ener^^y 

and peraeverance were at last rewarded with success : — 

Tax ox Iron. 

April I4lh, 1W)C. — On Friday, a numerous and most re.^pect.ihle 
Meeting of Merchants and Manufacturers, convt>n<"l ^y tlie High liailiiT, 
was held at l>unu*s Hotel, and Swan Inn, iii ; am. to take into 

consideration the intended duty of 2^. ))er ton upoij i*ig Iron. The aub- 
j<H:t was ablv discussed, and its impolicy and ruinous cou:*ei{aences to 
the iron tnufe were mo^t clearly pointed out. A deputation w.-is chosen 
to repi^seut to I»rd Henry Petty the ill etfecU of such a liicisure ; and 
several pointed resolutions, stating the opinion of the nifeiin;: u|s)n the 
subject, were unanimously adopted. Similar meetinj-i h:i\ e heeu held 
in many other places ; and a town's meeting i.s to take place u;ou th<; 
Kime bu'<iuess tliis day at Walxall. 

April 2*5, l^oG. — It wouM have given us much sati.sfw'i -n to liav»} 
informed our roadei-s that tlio reasons Hulmiitted to ihf < h.iiKell'fr «»f 
the Exchequer, |>oiiitinir out t!ie ini(H)liey of the pr«»jMised tax of -VU. 
|>er ton on pig iron, with the ruinous consequences which were likely 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 225 

to attend slionld the tax be enforced, had induced him to abandon it 
altogether^ but this does not appear to be the case at present 

Tax on Iron. 
May 12, 1806. — ^A most interesting debate upon this snbjeet^ took 
place in the Honae of Commons on Friday. From the small majority 
obtained by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in favour of the com- 
mitment of the Bill, we tmst it will this day be given np, as many 
of the members who voted for its goinf; to a Committee were averse 
to the tax in its present form, bat wished to have an opportanity 
to examine whether amendments might not be framed so as to 
meet the wishes of those concerned in the iron trade. The speech of 
Mr. Mordannt, one of the Members for this County, wherein he forcibly 
depieted the ruinous consequenoes likely to ensue to the hardwars trade 
of this oountry if the bilfpassed into a law, made a deep impression 
upon the House, and the Hon. Member was hiflfaly oomplimented by 
Mr. Fox and Mr. Wilberforoe upon his eloquent lanf^uage. Great praise^ 
is due to the gentlemen deputea upon the business in Condon, for their 
unwearied exertioiis. 

Tax ov Fio Ieoit. 

May 19, 1806.— We have the pleasure to announee that Lord Henry 
Petty, in a Committee of Ways and Means in the House of Commoiu^ on 
Tuesday, moved, that the forther oonsideration of the Bill for a Dn^ 
on Fig Iron be postponed from Thursday to that day ss^nnightb Thb 
he said he was induosd to do^ that he mi^t, in the mean tlme^ have an 
opportanity of proposing some other tax u its room, to the oonaderatioin 
or the House. We congratulate our townsmen upon the abandonment 
of a tax that would have been a serioas nievance to the inhabitants of 
this plabe and ncLriiboarhood : and we nave the grati6catlon also to 
announce that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, throughout the whol« 
of the enquizy into the iron trade^ behaved with the grsatest liberality 
and candour, and was desirons not to press a measure that woold ao 
materially injure the commenial interests of the countiy. His Lord- 
ship listened with attention to the aigoments uifsd bjr the depaUes 
from tills placs^ upon the impomibili^ of fixing a sofliaciii drawback 
that would answer the puraosm of the exportatton of hardware goods ; 
and the ill conseqoences likely to ansae fimn the eflRMts of the tax opon 
the maaoftctorers of this town and ndgfaboorhood, made a deep 
impression apon tiie mind of his Lordshlpw To the gentlemen depoted 
apoo this Important baabam the town eaaiioi be too gnUdai for thdr 
miwaaried aad ardvons exisrtlooi, 

1^[ 96; 1806.-^Oa Wednosdi^, a town's meeting WM held at Doaii'a 
Bwaa Inn and Hotel, iathlstoini, to rscsifa the report of the fsntla- 
mea depoted from hence to oppom the tax on pig iron. IVe rsporti 
whidi coav uy e d inf ommtioii or the most importaat tendenqr to the 
advantage of thia place aad aelghbovilioody was received with the 
iatersat aiia approbation. • • • It Is in agitation to print 



the varioos papera and calcntotifflns auide am of by the depatanoo, 
wfakhso fiilly eoavinced Lord Hcniy Petty of the ImpoUcv of taxing 
Iron, aad whioi may be of Importaace to have recootee tou kst at aome 
futore period another Cbaneellor of the Excheqoer shoald enln intro- 
duce into the House of Commons so obaoxioos a measore. TheChan- 
cellor of the Exchequer haa brouj^bt into the Hoose of Commons a sub- 
atltnte for the p r o p oeed tax oa pig iron. 

II. Q 



226 A CENTURY OF BIIUXINCniAM LIFE. 

We have previously given xa anecdote illnsia»tive of Dr. 
Croft^* the well-known and able Lecturer at St. Martin's 
Church, and of his feelings towards Dissenters. On June 
23, 1806, the following letter from his pen was published in 
the Oazette : — 

Baptisx of thb Children or Dissentsbs m ms Caurgs. 

To the FrintoFB. — Qentlemen^ — I hare been taught to beliere, thai 
not only the Clertty of the Church of England, but alio the diaeenting 
Ministen themaelyee, admit the glaring vaproptieiy of preeenting the 
efaildren of Dinenteni for Baptiam in uie CnnraL How prepoaUroos 
were it to give thanka that they are inoorporated intoa Chnrai of whidi 
thev are not to be memberab to require toeir attendanoe upon Sermoma 
which they will not hear, toeir repetition of a Oateehiam iHiidi tfaev 
will not learn, and their introdaetion to a Biahop whoae office they will 
disparage^ and whoae impodtion of handa they will be tau^t to dia- 
rMttdl 

what the Beligiona Opiniona of the Sponaoia may be ia of no moment. 
They would be ouled upon to pomiae what would never be performed. 
It Ja thia promiae whidi diaonminatea the office of Baptiam fixm all 
otibera whataoever, unleoa it can be prored that the matrimonial engage- 
ment ia binding on none but membera of the Church. 

The chai^B Sr undiaritaUeneai^ l4goli!T|j^ 
honest indignati<ML I only widi tliM auTeadiera were men of letters^ 
and at the age of diaavtioiL The rfght of wivate fudgment muat erer 
be liable to abuae^ eapedally in men of Invxior education. Let ncne^ 
howeTer, in daiming tne privfl^ge of wonhippiqg God according to the 
dicfatea of their own conadencea presume to ^ranniae over the con- 
■dMice of othaa^ mudi leaa eodeaTonr to make us the dupea of groaa 
pD0vancatunL 

X am, Qentlemen, yonn ftc, 

Q^Crott. 

We bavB now to record an attempt at murder committed 
in this town, which ia memorable nom the fiMsi that it led 
to the only execation with wMdi our annals are sullied. 
Would we could add that it uraa our only murder ! 

Paana ATtnar ax Mirtnaa, 

July lip 1800.— On THaaaday, nlghl lOmi Twehna cPdoek, Bdbart 
Twyfotd, a watchman atatiwied upco Saew Hiil and Raenvircn%baiiy 
informed that aome aaapickwia ciiafactatB wwe lurid^g abooi Uaieoa^ 
made fcr the Quarter he 
the Tillaina of the 
piatol ahot in hia bieMt, 

unfortunate man waa diradly tdmn to the Hcapltal, wlMra lie 
witii eome hopea of racoreiy. The ball, irtiieb baa bean eztneled hj 



V be waadiraded to^aBdaUiKMi oueatloBlM one of 
olject cf hia beJM eat at tK ttBM^ he l ee d f e d a 
raaat| and the fuAm imnedlaldy daeaBpad* The 



Mr. O. IVaer, enteied at hia M braMti pMaed throeA the luagi^ rkdft 
blade-boae, and waa lodged in the M^ part cf Qa ahoulder. Tlie 
Oooalahlaa have vwy laudably cflbied a leward of Mj pooada te 
the ypwhaoalcn of the dariag vUhd n, yd th e OommJaaiceeie of the 
Buminpiam Otieet Acta ooe hundred gulneaa 

• Yd. 1, ^ 49$. 



PUBLIC LIF]? AND EVEXTS, 227 

■ 

The criminal was discovered His name was Philip 

Matsell ; he was tried at the Wai'wick Summer Assize, found 

guilty, and condemned to be hanged on the spot where he 

shot Twyford. The following is the contemporary report of 

our one execution : — 

Execution of Matsell. 

AogoBt 25, 1806.— We have this week the melancholy task of record- 
ing a rare, and, within our memoiy, an unprecedented transaction. The 
man found guilty of shooting at and wounding Bohert Twyford, the 
watchman, was condemned to he executed in this town, and on Friday 
the dPMdfol sentence of the hiw was put in force. Ahout half-past 
eight o'clock in Uie momins^ Mr. Tatnali, the keeper of the county 
gaol, set out of Warwick with the criminal, accompanied b^ the Under 
Shenfl^ and escorted by the proper officers and the javehn men. At 
Knowle they halted, and Matsell took something to eat and a few 
glasses of wine. When the malefSutor and the cavalcade arrived within 
two miles of this town, they were met by the Constables, Headborough, 
and Police Officers of this town, accompanied by a troop of dragoons 
from the Barracks. Here Matsell again partook of refrsshmen^ was 
pinioned, and rsmoTed from a coach into a cart covwed with black 
doth, wherein was his coffin, and he was fixed upon a board across the 
carriage. Boon after eleven o'clock the solemn procession, aceompanied 
bj a RTsat nomber of spectatorsu moTod slowly on towards the town, 
and afterwards passed thit>ngh Deritend, D^^beth, High Street, Bull 
Street^ and arriVed in 8now Hill, the place of ezeeutaon, about half- 
past twelve. An elevated scaffold had been erected in the morning, ia 
that part of Snow HUl where the road la j<^ned by the ends of Great 
GharMB Street and Bath Street* which Matsell ascended, acoompauied 
by the Bev. Mr. Langhame, of Warwick, who prayed br him, and took 
eviBi^ pains to impress upon the mind of the convict the neeesiity of 
rspentanea. About twenty minutes after one the ezeentioDer proceeded 
to ptrfiNrm his office, bv* fastening the fatal cord around his neck, and 
binding a handkeremef over his eyes ; and then being asked to giro the 
dgnal when ha was ready, the criminal immediately ezdaimed, ** Here 
goes I* at the same time endeavoured to throw up a Ppeket handker^ 
<^lef be held in hia hand into the air, and was immediately launched 
into etemi^, amidst the lamentation and within the aiffht of forty 
thousand apectatoia. After hanging the usual time the body was cut 
down, put Into the coffin, and convered to the dungeon, and, in the 
course of the nlght» was conveyed to St Philip'a Churaiyard. Matsell 
was only thirty years of age, was bom at Yarmouth, and apprenticed 
to a snmon in London, from whom, it la said, he ran away and went 
to tea when only fifteen. 

It aflbrded us the ffrealcst satisfaction to notice the behaviour of the 
immense coocourse of apectatora upoo this awful occadon ; it waa in 
every respect sudi as could be wished, and refieeta the highest caredit 
upon the disposition of the Inhabitants of thb large and pojMilous town. 
The most profound silence prevailed, and every person eeonisd to fetire 
under an impression which, we trust, will long be lenembered. Indeed 




■Milefiictor disoorered signs of deep repentance and contrition fi»r his 



228 A CENTURY OF BIRMINQHAM LIFE. 

Tarioiu and flagrant offences — ^bnt here truth eompele ns to be lileat ; 
we were unable to procure anj aatia&ctory information on this subject, 
from the quarter where alone it could have been obtained. He stands 
now before a more awful tribunal, and it becomes us rather to draw a 
veU over the scene than assume an office which belongs odIj to that 
Judge at whose bar we must all, sooner or later, appear. Yet^ whilst 
-we would abstain from reflection upon the dead, we cannot withhold 
from the rising generation the cautions which necessarily present 
themselves on this solemn event We feel it a duty to warn them 
against the smallest deviations from the path of honesty and dutr ; to 
remind them how one sin leads on to another till the mind, whi<m was 
before shocked at the very name^ becomes so hardened and insensible as 
to be capable of committing the most horrid and unnatural crimei^ 
without remorse or oompunctum, and till it becomes necessary, for the 
aeeority of socie^, that tney shoidd finish their career by an ignominious 
and shameful death. ^ 

The next extract gives a deecription of the 

Nkw Przbov avd PuBLio Offiob. 

September 29, 1806.— This day possession is to be taken of our new- 
buflt Prison-House and Prison, situated in Moor Street, by Mr. Payn,. 
the Keeper, the first stone of which was laid by Mr. Bi^ard Prstdiett^ 
the Hiflh Bailiff for the time being, September 18, 1805. Ihen^idity 
with wnieh this public fabrie hM been erected, reflects tfie grastest 
credit on the .Committee w^o eonducied the undertaking; and tiie 
greatest praise is due to Mr. WHliam HcUins, the architect and masoiiy 
and Mr. camnel Copland, the builder and s ur veyor, for their punctuality 
-and workmanlike conduct Hie internal arrangemente of the prisoii 
are erdered with such judgment and convenience^ as to draw forth the 
highest enconuums from t&t philanthropist^ Mr. Neal, (the Howard of 
the present day,) and several other emment diaraetera. Hie eeUs.axe 
roomv and well ventihted ; the eonit-vaid b of ample dimensions^ 
wdl migmd, and in aU the apartments and offices the healtfa and dett^ 
nem ofthe unf ortonate prisoners that may become Inhabttanti have 
been studied with the most peculiar ears and attention. Aveiynroper 
imd judicious ananmnent Is also obseiTed in the erection of tnis 
prison — the male ana female pi i s o n e rs are kept entirelT apart 

Hie exterior ef the PnUie Office is nearly eompleteo, sod, tf we majr 

ege of the whole from wbal is dlsoornibie in tne front, tne anhtteot 
displayed no email pottien of judgment and taste; The style of 
the buildiQg is betwixt the Greek and Roman ; the Gbpitals, of tlie 
graceful Ionic order, bear the Bsmblanee of otiginali^. On an im- 
perfect building criticism must be silent ; but we cannot help dedariqg 
that the elmnoe of the e tni c Uu e would gnee the first situation hi the 
town; and the time may come when this public edifice will be a t«ml- 
Bating object to a spadoos street 

On April 17, 1807, a town'a meeting waa held, at whieh 
an addresa to the king waa adopted expresaive of the 
gratefiil aenee which the inhabitante entertained of his 
''Tigiknt and ipatemal attention to the preservation of a 
happy constitution as by law established, and to assoie his 
ilajesty of their firm determination to support him in the 
jnst and undiminished exercise of his prerogative." The 



1^ 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTa 229 

cause of this display of loyalty was the introduction into 
parliament of a oill by Lord Howick, to enable Boman 
Oatholics to hold commissions in the army and navy. The 
king's opposition to this wise proposal called him to dismiss 
his ministers. In this, as in almost all his illiberal and 
narrow conduct, the king, with the exception of a small 
minority, had the nation with him. The address sent from 
this town shows how Birmingham felt on the subject . — 

To THB Kino's Most EzcBUjarT MAjBsrr. 

May 4, 1807. — ^Most Gracious SoY6r6k|n, — ^Wcl your Majettya most 

dutiful and loyal aubjecta^ the Qentry, Glenj. Merdiant^ Manufao- 

turers, and other Inhabitanta of the town andricinity of Birminghani. 

4)eg leave to approach your throne with sentimenta of &e moat prnound 

attadunent ana veneration for your Majeaty'a person and formrameat. 

Your faithful aubjeeta, Sire, can never foi^ the dignified and 
parental Sentimenta with which your Hkistiioua reign commenced ; 
SentimentB which^ for nearly half a oentuzy, and under circumatmoes 
of unexampled difficult and perils have continued so eminently to 
diatinguiah it 

We have seen with admiration the ■ n c cc w d v e steps of yoor Majesty^ 
eventful reton. mailLed hv an inviolable adhemoe to thoae Mcml 
principlea wnSuui f onn the laaia of our envied Oonatitatioo, and plaeed 
your illuatrioua Houae on the throne. Deeply impresMd 1^ a oonaeious- 
of the invaluable bleaainga we enjoy under your Majea^ mild and 



patenial flovenunenti we feet it an impexiims dntji at this momentoos 
eriai% to &y befote your as^goat throne the tribute of oiv 
to ezpreaa the high aenae we entertain of your Majea^ vi^plant and 
patriotic attention to the pieaetvatiun of our j^oriooa CSooatitation as 
ly law eataUiahed. Zealoo% in oommon with all yoor liaieaty^ faith« 
fol eubleetiy for the integrity and iweaei lalltai of Aat matAleaa lyatem 
which iaa hitherto proved the impiMmUe bulwaricof Britidi friedoin, 
penait ua to aarare your Mi^eaty of oar unaltenble datenaiaatiflo to 
aoppoft your throne in the inat and undimlniBhed exeroiae of yoor 
Bond pterogatiTe. We oooiiae^ under Qod, in your Mideatj^ wiadom 




men maattMaMe varae^ wiii, m nMn|f u> iMoe roaUH^ praoog 
the number of your Majealy's days; and amidat the awful oonvukkiiia 
and downfal of anrrounding nati?ina| aecure to your Ifajeaty the heait- 
f elt aatiiAietion of tranamnting to poa te r i ^ , unimpamMl, the Britiah 

Signed m the name and at the ie<|MBt ol the meetings 

QaoBoa Socooz, Ghainnan. 

The Addreaa waa taken to London by the Hjgb BaOilfaBd the Bev. 
C. Cbrtia in ofdar to prea en t the aame to hia jlajeB^ ; bat» aa hia 
Mi^lea^doea not leoeireaddreaaea at hia private Je v ee% fee ad dr ani waa 
left with the Becveteiy el StafcOi and ptea&ed hy him to hia Ifajeafy. 

We need not be gorixriaed that the kiiijgf a next birthday 
was oelebrated evian with more tluai (Miiiiaiy fbrronr— «t 
least it was so here >*^ 



230 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

June 8th, 1807. — ^The birthday of oar revered and^ Tenerable 
Sovereign was celebrated, on Thni-sdaj, by the inhabitants of this town 
with the most ardent loyalty. The three battalions of the loyal 
Birmingham Volunteers, cloathed in new regimentals, paraded in the 
morning in New-street, and afterwards marched to their ground on 
Birmingham Heath, where they fired three volleys in honour of the day. 
The officers, with many other respectable gentiemen of the town, dined 
at the Shakespear Tavern ; and the privates were presented by the 
Volunteer Committee with one ahilling each, to regale themselves upon 
this happy festival. 

In October the New Pablic Office was op^ied for the 
transaction of business. 

October lOth^ 1807.— Tks Kxif Pobuo OmcK, in this town, being 
finished, the Magistivtes trill attend thwe this day for the first time W 
transact business. This very handsome edifice^ which is not excellecf 
by any building for a similar purpose in the kingdom, has been erected 
from the plans of Mr. William Uollins^ the ingenious architect of this 
town, and the taste he has exhibited will be a lasting testimony of bis 
merit. Mr. Copland is the builder, to whom grsat praise is due for his 
punctual and assiduous attention, and for the great skill and judgment 
ne has dispUyed in the chcto of matsrials and workmanship. Althougb 
the KewPauic Office and IMson has cost a larger sum in eredins than 
it was at first expected, ystftiie town has libenJlv supplied the builduig 
oommittee with rands fully adaquats to finish tne whole in a aannsr 
hlf^j ornamental to the plaos. 

We must not omit the following obituary notice of a 

gnuine.Birmingham wortiiy, wiiose spirit cf active benevo- 
loe and lazge-hearted charity survives in the living 
inheritor of hia name;** 

December 9^ 1807^— Died, yssUrdav uMtning, Sampson Lloyd, 
banker, of tUs toiwn, in his 604h yesr. The death of ibis worthy man 
is onirerBsIl jT Ismented. ffis long Ufa hss been pssssdwithjionoiir and 



int^ty, and as he was TClii^ooshr attached to tbs OMHe of Ohiistisni^, 
hs sndeavoiired to aet up to Its dui^ne preespli. 



The next extract^ though brief, brings before us a vivid 
TOoture cf the tyranny then ezerdsed towards working-men. 
The combination laws of the time were as dismceful as the 
criminal laws. Reform in law is slow and tedious work ; 
and there is much yet to be done before we can aay that 
law and equity are one. But to the old aboemaken :— 

July 4, 1806.— The master boot and shoe-msksrs in other Isiga 
town% as wsU ss tlii% are using vaty spirited messnrss ht sopprsisiug 



mlanfol combinations amons the j ourn ey m en ; guarding the well-dla- 
posed agsinst tiis principles of the Hie and ahanqoned; and holding out 
eneoorsgenMnt to sodi as have bssn mlslsd, snd are disposed to save 
thsmselvis and fiuniiiss firom ndn, bj vsiandqg agdn to thair duty. 

The first case at the Public Ofl^ which we find reported 
is one arising out of these combination laws. It will be 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVEKT3. 231 

seen by tbis report bow tbe magistrates dealt witb tbe com- 
biners : — 

August 1, 180a— At the Public Office, on Thursday hjst, William 
Brown and WiUiam Knight, two journeymen boot and shoe makers, 
were convicted before Theodore Price and Geoige Simcoz, Esquires, for 
having, with others, unlawfully combined together to prevent an un- 
employed journeyman of the same trade workmg for Mr. Edwarda a 
master boot and snoe maker, of this town, and sentenced to two montns' 
imprisonment in the house of correction at Warwick, there to be kept 
to nard labour. The Magistrates in passing sentence, most strongly 
reprobated the conduct of tiiese men, and pointing out tiie mischievous 
and dangerous consequences that must necessarily result to individuals 

Silty of such an offence : an offence the more aggravated from its 
ving been satisfactorily proved before them that, although the de- 
fendants sought by their conduct to obtain an advance of wages, they 
could easily earn, at the present prices paid by the masterB, from five to 
seven shilhngs ]>er day ; and ezpreoed that they should not only feel 
it their indmation, but their boundea duty which thev owed to the 
publia to poniah to the utmost extent of the law all penons who 
ahoula be brought before them and eonvictad of similar oronoes. 

An anonymous advertisement appeared in tbe news- 

¥q)ecs, announcing that an application would be made to 
krliament for an act to establish water works in the 
town. The principal inhabitants at once took addcm in the 
matter. A meeting was held, and the proiect was opposed — 
and appaxtntly on veiy suiBicient grounds. The following 
is tbe report of the meeting : — 

Public Ornci^ BiaiuvoBAiL 
October 10, 1A08. — ^At a numerous Haeting of the Inhabitants of 
the Town of fiinningham, sommoned by the High Bailiff, by public 
advertisement^ in consequence of an anonymous Advvrtisement having 
amieared in the Bimmigham Pspen^ puiporting ''Tliat an implication 
will be made to Parliament in the ensamg BeHioiiay for leave to bring 
in a bill for maldng and maintaining Water Worki^ for sapnlying the 
Inhabitants of the Town of Birmin^mam with Water for eotiiutfy and 
domestic Purposes, and for extingoisning Accidents by Firs ;" 

The Hi^ Bailiff in the Chair; 

Beaolved nnanimonsly,— Hist the Qoestion of the Expediency or 
Necessity of Water Wons in the Town of Birmingham^ ought to be 
determined solely and exdnsively by the Inhabitants. 

That snfBdent Infomiatioo has not been laid before this Meeting to 
determine the expediency of establishing Water Works in the Town of 
Birmingham. 

That ahonld any Attempt be made withoat the Oonearrenee of the 
Town to introdnee a Bill into Failiameat flroanded upon the abovs- 
noticed Advertissnent^ it Is the Duty of tbb Town to oppose it bj 
•veiy Exertion in their Power. 

Resolved nnanimoualy, — ^That a Committee be appointed to coodoot 
saoh Opposition, if requisite, and that they be also authorised to 
aaeertain the Expediencj of ereetlng Water Works in the Town ot 
Bumingham. 



232 A CENTURY OF BIBMIKQHAH LIFE. 

That iho followiDi^ Gentlemen oonetitate the Committee^ trith Power 
to add any oUier Names thej maj think proper : — 

The High and Low Bailiffii Measrs. Thomas Blood 
for the Time being „ Thomas Beilby 

William Villers, Esq. » James Osborne 

William Hicks^ Esq. ,, Thomas Lee 

Theodore Price, Esq. . „ Thomas Bichards 

George Simcox, Esq. „ Charles Llojrd 

John Taylor, Esq. ,, Henry Perkins 

liatthew Boolton, Esq. „ Thomas Small 

. James Watt^ Esq. „ William. Whitmoro 

Dr. Croft „ James Alston 

Dr. QUbr ,, James Woolley . 

Hesnm. iL R Bonlton „ Timothy Smith 

James Watt^jnn. „ Mark Sanaders 

« iBiohard Fratoheti ^ Isaac Spooner, jon. 

M Samuel Baker „ Thomas Attwood 

n Samuel Lloyd ^ JohnPhillipa 

„ John Cope „ John Heely 

9 JohnBlonnt „ Theophilos Bicbardt 

I, Geoige Boone . „ John Lawrence 

James Iloyd ' ,, Edward Boi 



BasJT6dnnan!monalyy--^ThatMeitti. Baiter and Ua^ttbeappolatod 
the SoOcitcMnB. 

Tliat a SabaeriptioD be immadlafuly entered Into to aoooniiilsik the 
abore ObjeeCsi the Management and Disposal of whicb shall be Tseted 
in the Oooimittee. 

That Metoa. Spooner and Attwooda be appointed Treasorm. 

Thai the abore BesolntioiMi be inasrtid la the Bbinte|diam Pimm. 

That tlie Tliaiiki of this MetUiig be fjtwm to the H^jti Bailiff far 
Ilia able and impartial Oondnet in tSa Chair. . 

An attempt una also made this year, hy a oomniativdy 
few peraona, to lemove the Oom Haiket m»n the jBqII Bing 
to {Ee Old Squaxa The adyertiaement annonncang thia 
propoaed diaoge waa immediately followed hy the oflkial 
prohibition ;— -, , 

OetolwMO, 1806.— An AdTwtiaamcnt faaTlqg appaiied fai the Bir- 
of the 3rd of October imtant^ atetiitf that the Bk^ewaii^ 
0% Earaier% and etben latararted m the Oom TndB, 
are thareonto aaneredj wooM meal in tlia 8qaai% in 
Birmingham, on T1ivnday« the 0th ef Oetober, and areiT TbarKiajy 
following at TwelTo cTGIoac at Noon, frr the Pmrpoaa of nyhitf ana 
■elliag Gtmin. Notice ia herabj aivaa that each AdieiHaamaat waa 
inaarted withoat the aathority of the Hkh Bdliff ef the Town ef 
Birminghamj and that all Ftanna aMatiagln the Sqaara for the Par* 
poae thelriin apeeified will be ptoeeeded iupbat aceoraiag to Law. 

Hmr PamB% Wfgh fiyiiC 

The iohabitatita of the Soaaie also held a meeting, iDd 
proteated againat the propoau :— 




PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 233 

October 10, 1808.— At a Meeting of the Proprietors and Inhabitants 
of Houses in the Square and the NeighbourhcKxi thereof, on Saturday, 
the 8th of October instant, to take into Consideration the Propriety of 
opposing the Bemoval of the Com Idarket ; Mr. Phillips in the Chair ; 

AnAdvertisement hayin|[ appeared in the Birminfi^ham Paper of the 
3rd of October instant^ stating '^that the Brewers, Millers, Maltsters^ 
Farmers, and others interestea in the Com Trade, whose Names are 
thereto annexed, would meet in the Square, in Birminj^hun, on 
l^ursday, the 6tii Day of October, and every Thursday following, at 
Twelye o'Qodc at Noon, for the Purpose of buying and seUing Oram ; " 
and this Meeting having taken the same into Cknisideration, cannot help 
ezpressinf their Surprise at the Attempt of any Individuals to remove 
the Com Market from its present pubho and oommodious Situation to 
0udi a retired Spot as the Square, emdally when it is considered that 
the Town has enended a' very laige Bum of Money in rendering them 
eveiy jwesible Aocommodatian, ur taking down the Shambles and 
mltifpng the present Market Place; and this Meeting being of 
Opimoii that no Persons have a Bight to hold or establish a Market in 
anyother Place than where it has Men hdd from Time immemorial ; 

Besolved,— That if the Attempt to hold a Com Market in the Square 
ht penuted in, they will ofipoae it by eveiy legal Means in thdr Power. 

Tliat a Bubecription be immediately entered into for this Purpose. 

Tliat Mr. John Phillips, Mr. fiobert Ward, Mr.. Samuel Bogers, Mr. 
Vicken, Mr. Cresshull, and Mr. TJnett, be appointed a Committee to 
canr the Intcmtioii of this MeeCinff into Effect (anv three of whom 
■haU be competent to act); and uat Messrs. Barker and Unett be 
aimdnted Bohcitors. 

That thsieBesalntiops be published in the Birmingham Newspapers. 
Signed at the Bequest of the Meeting, 

John Fbuajtb, Gbainoan. 

The change was, of conne, not made, and the market 
continned to be held in the old placa The water works 
qnestion was aflain agitating the public, and the overseers 
adopted the toUowms very sensible mode of ascertaining 
the opinion of the innabitiuits : — 

Ooldbsr H 180&— We are antluniBsd to inform the public that the 
aooompanied bj the oommittee upointed by the town to 



i^tttTTnint the ezpedisoey of eatablishipg Water Works in this plaoe^ 
wilL in the coarse of a lew dav% wait upon the inhabitants to collect 
thnr ssntimcats anon this suDJeeti when qoestions of the f oUcwimr 
poipott will piobaoly be pr oposed to them ^-Whether yon are weO 
smnlaed with good watsrt whether an additioiial supply of soft 
water will be desirable I What aom you will be willing to pay annuaUy 
lor a SBpp^ ol good water, or for soft water t 

The responses to these qaeetions appear to have been 
sstisfiictoiy to the opponents of the bill, ibr on Febmaiy 10, 
1809, the committee appointed to watch over the "* interests 
of the town '* published the following important report : — 

WAna Woaxs. 

The Oommittee appointed bjr the Town's Meeting think it their 
DatT to states that noiwithstaodmg the Besolotion nnanimootly passed 
by tlM Town at laige^ disoountenandng the Establishment of Water 



234 A CEimJRY OF BIR^dNGHAM LIFE. 

• 

Worka, thej bare learnt that Mr. Dodd persists in his determination 
to apply to Parliament for Power to carry his plan into Eflfec^ and that 
he has been endeaTOforing to obtain Signatures to a Petition m support 
of it. It is sorely a Thing without Example that a Speculator should, 
in Opposition to Uie Sense of a Town's Meeting, unanimously expressed, 
perseTcre in a Scheme which he has tmifomdy refused to explain, either 
to the Town at large or to the Committee appointed to inveetigcUe the 
8uJtject. The Committee, wishing to give the fullest Publicity to the 
ProoeedinfiB which have taken Place upon this Subject, have subjoined 
a Detail of the Measures which have been pursued, and they rely upon 
the public Spirit of the Inhabitants to support their own Kesolutions 
and Appointments. On the 12th day of September, 1808, the following 
Adverasement appeared in the Birmingham Paper >-^ 

^ Notice is hereDy gi^en, that Application is mtended to be made to 
Parliament the ensuing Session, for leave to bring in a Bill for Making 
and Maintaining Water Worios, for supplying the Inhabitants of the 
Town of Birminriuam with water for enlinary and domestic pnrposesL 
and for extingniuiing Accidents by Fire ; wmdi aforesaid Works will 
be oonstnietad in the Parishes of St Martin's and 8t Philip's, in the 
ixnin^ ox vrarwicK. 

In conaeqiience of this Advertisement a reqniaitiQii was addressed to 
the WA Bailiff of the Town as follows >- 
*^ To Hanry Peridn% Esq.. High Bailiff of the Town of Bixnungham. 

''An anonymoiis iiolioe having appeared in the Rlrmfngham Plqiers 
of Mcmday and Thnrsdar last of an intended Applieation to Psrliament 
for Leave to bring in a fill for making and Maintainfag Water Works 



for supplying the Town with Water ; 

''We, the undersigned inhabitants of Birmingham, reqnest yon to 
cell a Pablie Meeting for the Porpoee of taking mto oonauieration the 
Fkoptiflty of raeh an AppUeatkm : 

William ViUen^ JohnBloont^ Thomas Beilby, 

Bifiihard Pratdiatt^ George Boone^ James Osborne, 
. Samiisl Baker, James Llovd, Thomas Lssl 

pffffnitl Lloyd. Thomas Bloody Thomas Bionards." 

John Oopa^ 
In Pumaaee of aodi Bsqaisition, the High BuUff eslled a General 
Meetiag of the Inhabitaato of the Town for tha 4th of Oetober, whidi 
Msetlag was mort nnmeRMHly and leqieetably attended, and the 
following Pssoltttjona wore unanimously passsd : — 

The High Bailiff in the Chahr ; 

•Besdved nnanimooslyf— 

* Thai the Qaestkm of the Expedient or KeesssHy of Water WorioL 
in the Town of Birmingham, oqght to be detennined solely ana 
azdnsively by the Inhabitanfa. 

" That sufficient Information has not been hid before this Meetmg 
to detennina the Expediency of establishing Water Works in the Town 
of Bimingliam. *^^^ ^ 

"Tliat ahoold any Attempt be made without the Ooocomnoe of 
the Town to introdnoe a Bill mto Parliament monded npon the above 
mentioned Advertisement, it is the Duty of ttie Town to oppose it \ij 
ovary Eiailioo in their Power. 

"That a Committee be appointed to coadoct aodi Opposition, if ra- 
qioisite ; and that tlioy be also aothorised to ascertain «oe BipeaieBpy 
oif orseting Water Works in the Town of Binningham. 



PUBUC LIFE AND EVENTS. 235 

" That the High and Low Bailiffs^ and thirty-eif ht Gentlemen, then 
named, constitute the Committee, with Power to add any other Names 
they may think Proper." 

The Committee met in Pursuauoe of their Appointment, and with 
a view the better to enable them to determine the Expediency of 
erecting Water Works in the Town, they deputed twelve Gentlemen^ 
who, together with the Overseers of the f oor, were recmested to enquire 
into the different districts of the Town, whether the Inhabitants were 
in general well supplied with good Water. They likewise instructed 
their Solicitors to ascertain in what Towns Water Works had been 
erected, and how far their situation differed from or corresponded with 
the Situation of this Town. They also applied to Mr. Dodd, to desire 
him to put the Committee in Possession of the Means he proposed to 
adopt, in order to enable them to judge how far his Scheme was likely 
to be beneficial or otherwise to the Town, in case it should be eventuaU v 
deemed expedient to establish Water Works ; and whether it was his 
intention to persevere in his proposed Application to Parliament against 
the judgment of the Town. 

Mr. I>odd, however, refused to shew his plans to the Committee, as 
he had formerly declined doing at ibe fint Town's Meeting at wluoh 
he was present. The Committoe having received the Beports of the 
different Gentlemen deputed to enquire of the Inhabitants in what 
manner the Town was supplied with water, passed the following Beso- 
lutions : — 

^ Besdved unanimously, — That it appears to this Meeting that the 
Besult of the Inveetjflation made througnout the Town is Qn&voQrable 
to the Erection of Water Woiks." 

Oommunicatioiis from several Individual^ relative to the Water 
Worics established in different Towns having oeen read, 

^ Resolved nnanimoosly, — That it appean to this Meeting, fromsodi 
Commnnicatioofl, that the places which are now sumdied wiUi Water 
by Water Works, were before the erection ol such Wmn very iU sup- 
plied with Water, which is not the case in this Town. 

'^ That it ii the decided opinion of the Committee that the Erection 
of Water Works in this Town is wholly nnnecesaaiy, and would be 
productive of great EviL 

** That a ^neral Meeting of the Inhabitants be called to receive the 
Report ol this Cmnmitt.ee,' and that at such Meeeting it be proposed to 
use ewry Means tooppoee any Attempt to obtain an Act ol nniament 
lor the erecting of Water Works." 

In Porsnanoe ol these Eesolnttoos the BIA Bailiff called, by duUic 
Advertisement, another «neral MeetiQg ol the Inhabttants, wbiok was 
also veiy numerously ana respectably attended ; at which Meeting the 
following Resolations were unanimously passed : — 

The High Buliff in the Chair; 

^Resolved unanimously,— That the Erection ol Water Woiks in the 
Town of Birmingham is wholly onneoessaiy and would be productive 
ol great EviL 

^ That the Oonunittee, appointed at a Town'b Meeting on the 4th ol 
October last, be anthoiised to nse evwy Exertion to countenct any 
Attempt to obtain an Act ol Parliament for the Establishment A 
Water Works in the Town ol BiimingfaanL any five ol them competent 
to act; and particniariv that they be desired to make Immediate 
Applicataon to the Mem oers ol the Ooonty, and all other Qentkmen in 



236 A CENTUET OF BIRHINOHAK LIFE. 

Parliament ^th whom they msj have any Influence or Wek^t, to 
oppose any Bill which may be introduced into Parliament u>r the 
Enaction of such Works." 

At a suhfleqnent Meeting of the Committee^ held at the Public 
Office, Januaxy 9, 1809. 

'' It was unanimouBiy Beeolved, — That the Solidton be directed to 
write to Mr. Dodd, informing him of the Besult of the Town's 
Meeting of the 6th Instant^ and that they take such Measures as to 
them may seem most proper to obtain the earliest Infonnation of any 
Application to Parliament to bring in a Bill for the Purpose of erecting 
water Works in this Town. 

** By Directions of the Committee, 

** RAKKim AXD XJHrar, 

''Soliciton.'' 

The opposition was successful, and on April 10 it was 
announcea tiiat Mr. Dodd's plan had been rejected by the 
Committee of the House of Commons, who found that 
his allegations could not be proved. ''It is to be hoped," 
says the advertisement, signed by John Alston, High Bailiff 
«that this repulse will he an admonition to all projectors 
and adventurers, never to obtrude any viaonary scheme 
upon a body of People oontruy to their approbation and 
ccmaent.'' We shall flee that it was no admonition at all; 
for in the following Tear the sdieme was revived and the 
battle had to be fought over affaan. 

The white metal jetton traSe was an important hnmch of 

onr industiy at this time* The workmen 'employed in it 

were, however, sadly 'underpaid; and by the foUowiiig 

petition appealed to the masters to raise their wagea ' The 

respectful, almost humUe, tone of the appeal is in atrSdn^ 

contrast with similar documents which have been tmUishea 

in our own time ; and indicates a latent dread of tne uigust 

combination laws : — 

To TBM Maams nr in Wbrb Hbcal Bonov TaAoa 

Hsidi 6^ 1809.— Oe&tkmen,— We,tbeu]idflr-inittsB JoomeymsQ in 
tlM/Whita Mslal Button IMUl do, in Behalf of ounsltea and att 
otiien in the said Tiade in mk Town, most hmnli^ and mnmMj 
nddnsi jToiL piajrinff yon ssriowsly to tria our 0ms mo Onnsidwition 
with Begird to the MDes whidi we at th^ 

We wish to rsmsent to von the almost InuMOBbilitT of pcoridinff for 
oar FamiliM the NeesaMries of lifs^dnnog the h%b pnee ofl^vi. 
aions, at the vtir low Bate ws are now p&d for onr WoiIl We 
tfaonf ore hare taken this Method of appljiu to yon to redross car 



Ckiofanes^as hr as yon maTJadge rsasdnaUe aai popsr, fom the 
fltatsmonts we aie wilfiog to laj bsf ore yoo, bj Baisuig the piioss in 
the nspeetiTe Bnndies in wmdi we are aDfiloysd; and whatofwr 
ad^anoes yon may think proper to favour ns with will bo most 
thankfnUy veceivod and gnMolly aoknowledged liy yonr hnmble 
Benranti^ 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 237 

Thomas Perksy William Podmore, John Richards, 

James Cass, Samuel Hodcetts, John Slater, 

John Isaacs, Thomas Pardoe, Wm. Veal, 

T. Hemming Tliomas Darby, Charles Hill, 

Benjamin Linall, James Jones, Henry Gibbe, 

Wm. Ashmora, Henry Baker, Thomas Pinsill, 

Charles Upton, John Bratt, D. Bindley. 

In March we learn that 

A petition has been presented to the House of Commons, from the 
batten, praying for a repeal of the hat duty, as it is not only found to 
be unproductiYe of the sum it was originally taken at, but is become 
too frequenUy a source of yexatious litigation. 

The following terrible story of disappointed love and 
revenue is so far within the scope of this work, that Sir 
Stakdy Shnckbuigh was intimately connected with this 
town ; and was for some time one of the representatives of 
the northern division of the county which included Bir- 
mingham. 

Aprfl Srd, 1809. — We ditchaige a most painftd duty to our readen^ 
in remding the r&sj dreadfbl irnAsaetion wnieh hat ioTolTed Uie fiunily 
of Sir StokelT Shuekbinvh, Bart, of this oonntf, and the family sad 
relatiTvs of Lteotenant Sharpe, of the Bedfordshire Foment of militia^ 
in the deepest distnsa lieutenant Bhazpe haTing paid his sddreiaeB 
to liisi Snnekbiiri^ sad beinff disappointed ia obtaining the objeot of 
his affeetioaa fdnaad the horm determination of putting a period to 
his own saa her axistenoe, which he carried into effect on Sunday 
morning, the 86th vlty ia the sommer-hoose ia the plaatations of 
BnndLuufgu nunc* 

On Kay 28, the first stone was laid of the Je Vs Synsr 
te in Severn Street The buildinff is now a Masonic 
in which the brethren of the Athol Lodge hold their 
meetings. It will be seen from the following paragraph 
that^ at the dinner riven after the ceremony, our Hebrew 
friends set the laudable example of having ladies present : — 

liaj 89, 1800.— Oa Toaedaj last the first stoae of the iatended 
Syasg^giM^ ia Serera-street ia this towa, was laid br Mr. Mordecsi 
Solomon, attended b^ Babbi J. Fhillipe, the reader, ana the whole eoa* 
gregitloos of Jews ia this town, also msnj ladiee and geatlemsa of their 
penrassiea from GoTsatiy sad other towaa We witneseed with plea- 
sure the ragolaritj of the proeeirioa to and from the ground, also the 
csremoBVor layiag the stone^ which commenoed with a suitable prsjer, 
oo m posed bj Bsbbi A. M. DeUisoo, Hebrew Teseher, of this towa ; 
sflsr lajiag of the stone aa orstion was delivsred hy Mr. Dellison. 
The piooesrioa eoatiaiisd hi r^galsr oidsr to the Roes Ian, iHmto 
vprwds of ssfeat J ladles sad geatknieB psriook of a most samptaons 
dmaer ; ssrsrsl lojal and appropriato tossts were draak, sad ooadoded 
with sa sNgat ball. The oompsay did aoi separate till earl/ the aezt 
meraiag. The whole was oondnoted la a maaaer that refleets tbs 
hij^iest honoor oa the msasger of the iMtivsL 




238 A CENTURY OF BIROTNGHAM LIFE. 

The funds of the General Hospital were veiy low at this 
time, and the charity was in aebt. Again a benevolent 
con-espondent suggested that a collection should be made at 
all the churches and chapels in the county. He calculates 
that this would raise £3,000. It will be remarked that he 
explicitly advises that this should not be done annually; 
and under the circumstances this was probably wise advice. 
The number of our charities has so largely increased, that 
an annual collection is but the natural corollary of these 
frequently-repeated suggestions. 

October 2, 1809.— To the Printers. — Gentlemen,— In common -mth 
many others of yoor readers, I feel real conoem on being informed, hj 
a statement of the acooants respecting the Birmingham Gteneral 
Hospital, that the Food of that ezcelfent Institation U not onl^ 
ezhaosted, but that the establishment is actually in deht To restore it 
to that competent which every good man most wish it to possess, allow 
me (througn the medium of your paper) to suggest to the Committer 
who manage its affiun, the foUowinff expedient^ whidi may he adopted 
without inconTsnienc^ and aocomuished with little expense : — Let a 
suitable M^peal be made to the public by adTtrtisement^ requesting the 
Ministers of all denominations (throughout the oounlgr of Warwick 
and in thoee distriets of the neighbouring oounties which are benefited 
by the institution) to address thSr rsqMOtiTo flocks on the aulnecti that 
oollections may be made in thdr seTecal Chnrehei^ Chapel% or Meeting- 
houses^ and to transmit the sunai so ooUeeted to the Trmmmt, These 
I cn^lcniate will amount to not less than £^000^ and will consist of audi 
free-will offeringi as scarcely to be misssd by those wiio bestow them. 
Perhaps it would not be advisable that tnese collections be made, 
annually ; and the public sliould ezplidtly be told that they will not ; 
but only take plaee when a real ezigBB^ylike the present^ renders them 



Indiapensihle an eziMMy which peiaone of evsfy reiigifllus psnuaalon, 
will^ no doubti cfaeennlijr eontribota to rsnore; lor the diaritable 
institution that now fiMb it is of no particular sect ; but» like Heaven's 
flenend dew, aheda its healing bouhty equally on all whom sioknsssand 
human suffmng lead to its g^esL 



The 25th of October was the anniversary of the 
aocesaion; and, on FHday, September 29, a meeting was 
held to consider the best manner of celebrating the event 
** The idea of an iUamination on the occaaion -was mtixiduoed, 
and very properly negatived. Indeed, when it is cooaideied 
that iliere are npwaras of 12,000 inhabited honaes in this 
town, and if only 6,000 of them were illuminated, it would, 
at five shillings each, cost Xl,500 1 This sum, collected and 
forwarded for the future bcaiefit of the pom*, would be more 
grateful to the feelings of our ffood old King than to hear 
of the momentary blase of an iUuminati<m.'' 

On October 25, the following earnest appeal to the public 
was made by the two prindpiJ officers : — 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. ^39 

The High and Low Bailifib earnestly recall the attention of the 
inhabitants of Birmingham to Uie sn^nestion contained in the resolution 
passed at the Public Office on the dOu of last month, which is copied 
with the concurrence of the Magistrates. They beff leave respectmlly 
to recommend to the proprietors of retail shops to Keep them shut on 
the 25th instant. 

''Besolved unanimously, — ^That the Clergy and Ministers of every 
denomination in the town of Birmingham, be respectfully reauested to 
preach in their difierent churches, chapels, and otner places or worship, 
on the 25th of October, 1809 ; and that collections be afterwards made, 
the amount of which shall be lodged in the hands of the High and Low 
Baili£Gi, to be applied hj a committee (to be hereafter appointed at a 
town's meeting) for the benefit of the poor. That it is the opinion of 
this meeting, that it would not be advisable to illuminate on the 
occasion, but that the inhabitants be respectfully and earnestly recom- 
mended to contribute, at least what they would have so expended, in 
aid of the above charitable fund." 

Lord Dudley, with his accustomed beneficence, has subscribed £2S 
in aid of the proposed collection for the benefit of the poor on Wednes- 
day next; and we hear that the High and Low Bailifb^ upon the 
recommendation of our worthy Magktratee, have already apmiea part of 
the diaritable fund in liberating all the prisonen oonnned fixr aebt in 
the Court of Bequests, 

The anniversary was kept in accordance with tlie 
resolution of the Meeting. 

On December 10, ''the Christian' Church, hitherto wor- 
shipping in Paradise Street Chapel," commenced their 
meetings in the newly-erected Meeting House in Little 
Oamaon Street; at which place they still hold their 
worship. 

liie Swedenboigians, who had hitherto met at their 
Chapel in NewhaU Street^ took that vacated by the Biqytists 
in Paradise Street The followinff is the record of their 
opening services, which were celeDrated on December 17» 
1809, only a week after its old posseason had removed to 
their new Chapel : — 

SennoDS were prsadidd bv the Bev. William Esnday, and the 
Ibllowing grand Seieotion of Baored Mnsie, from the Works of Haiid^ 
and othen^ was performed by the Chanl Sodety of this Town : — 
Morning. Oooasional Overture, HandoL After first Lssson, S<mgf 
"* Lord, remember David f Cboms^ "< And the Qlotr of the Loid? 
After seoond Lesson, Song, «For behold Darknessr Clionis, ''For 
onto US a Child is bom." After Prayen^ Solo Anthem, Mr* Bndclow. 
of the Lichfield Cathedral, Lidifield ; Choni% "« Worthy is the Lamb.'' 
After Sermon, Sodi^ ^^Eveiy Day wHl I give Thanks;" grand Hal* 
lelnjah Choroa.— Erening. Org rtur s^ Samson. After first Tnssnn 
Anthem, ^ Hear my ^trnftj' Kent After seeond Lesson, Song and 
Choros. '■O thon that teUest/' HandeL After Frayen, Song, "Why 
do the Nations ;" Choms, ^ Let ns break their Bonds.* AfterSermon, 
grand Double Choms firom Inad in ligypt» ^He gave them Hailstones 



240 A CENTUBT OF BIBHINQHAM LIFE. 

for Eain.** Oondnetor, Mr. fiacginf ; First Violin, Mr. Saonden ; 
principal Second, Mr. Hodgete. X^Collaetion was made for the Benefit 
of the Sunday SchooL 

In 1810 the town was again the scene of a riot, which 
had its rise in so insignificant a trifle as two women quarrel- 
ling in the market place over the price of potatoes. Here 
isuie contemporary account : — 

RlOTB. 

June 4^ 1810. — On Monday lasL in consequence of a quarrel between 
two women in the market respectmff the price of potatoes^ a diBpositioii 
to riot began to shew itself among Uie lower dasses in this town ; but^ 
by the yifforous exertions of the eiTil powers, the mischief done was 
not more Sian throwing about the potatoe^ breaking some stalls and a 
few panes of glass. , The more evil-diBposed part of the mob, howcTer. 
whlcn consisted prindpalljr of bcm and women, beinff thus preventea 
from oommittinff much miaehief m the town, ]nocee£d to the village 
of Edgbaston. about two miles distanL whare^ we are sony to say, they 
entered the oouse and broke the windows and fiimiture of a moat 
respectable frrmer. A troop of the seventh draooon guards opportunely , 
aniTed. and took into custody thirteen of tne mob, in the act of' 
d«stroyuig and plundering his proper^, and broiu;ht thmn, tied torn 
with a rope^ to the ptisoiL On TnesdaT the mob aaaia assembled, and 
piooeedeato aaothsr fiam house at Bdgbaston,* imvs they bMaa to 
plunder, when a tioop ti the Warwidniiire Yeomanry, whion had 
mustered with uncommon speed, arrived, and, taking five of them into 
custody, prevented fbrther misnlet Inese^ together with two others 
taken in the town, making a total of twenty, wera all committed, and 
■ant off In thneooadMSiUiidaraatfeogesoor^toWarwiflk noL On 
the ovming of Tuesday another attempt at disoidsr was made at tlie 
bottom of Snow Hill; tut the Haadsworth Volunteer Cavalry arriviog 
prevented any ndsbhief tliere^ except the little which they experienoea 
theaoaelvis^ liy a volley of stenes and brickbats thrown 1^ aone vilUias 
who had esareted themselves under the eaoaltttoneL FurthermlsQhlef 
has been happUy prevented by the aotivitj of the civil power, ao 
promptly alosd ur the military, whoae head quarters were at the 
Hen and Cbidnos Hbtsi, under the eommaiid of ObIomI Mad^ 
whose atlsBtioa was atenrittfa^ The town haa-te aooM days past 
been perlbetlv quiet and great praise is doe to those who have^ 1^ 
their unwearied diligence and «zartioii% eontributed to produce the 
deriiedeffeetk 

' The following is a report of the trials of the xioten: — 

Tbb BiomsL 

July le, 18ia«-On Wednssday, Oecrae l^uads IMd, Thonaa 
Butler, John WesONuyiKathaBislJoosiih ftishweli, Bidiard Hcnaby, 
Henry Balnli, Joasph ifimmona. flnssnnah Batea and Susannah Jcnas^ 
were ealkd to the bar and ainJigned, ehaifed with having^ on the astli 
ol May kst, at the parMi of Edgbaston, uakwfuUy and riotously 
aaswnblfldthemasivestMether, with djiers other psBaoM yet unknown, 
to the great terror of i&MaJe^a subjects and hMih* his Mi^es^a 
peace; to wliidi charge they aU pkaded not guilty. 

• Mr. Wheslqrs, hi Wheiiqr's Lane. 



PUBLIC UFB AND EVENTS. 241 

Mr. Maurice obBsrved to the Ck>urt, it was not the wish or intention 
of the proaecation to call for any punishment npon the two giria. The 
Chairman said that the charactera of the girla were such that the Court 
was unwilling to keep them in a place where they might inistain any 
further inluxy ; he tiien ordered them to jMiy a fine of Is. eadi, and be 
dischargeo. Field was sentenced to be impriaoned twelve months; 
Butler, JSuahwell, Homabv, and Simmons, three months ; and West- 
buiT and Ralph one month each, and sevendly fined one shilling. 

Charles Bmffle^ and Thomas Woodward were next arraigned for 
riotously assemohng, with many others, at the house of Mr. Wilkes, 
farmer, at Edgbaston, about nine o'clock on the night of Tuesday, the 
29th of May. The mob, armed with sticks, &c., attacked the house by 
throwing ToUeys of stones in at a chamber window, which was open, 
and where there was a youn^ child lying on the bed. The prisoners 
were both found guilty. Bmgley was fined Is. and ordered to be 
discfaaroed, but Woodwud, a recruit in the Stafford Mih'tia^ who, his 
Lordahip said^ as a soldier, was breaking the King's peace mstead of 
preserving it| was fined ISi and imprisoned thrae months. John 
Moseley, diaxged with a similar offence, was diacfaaiged by prodamsr 
tioiL 

Edwazd Hodgson and James Batchelor were found gufliy of pulling 
down the publio stalls in the market plaoe in this town ; the former 
was fined Is. and disdiaiged, and the latter fined Is. and imprisoned 
three months. Heniy Boffsrs, for shouting and hnaaiug, fined Is. 
James Jones and Samuel I)ale, for breaking down the stalls in the 
market place, were each fined la. and imprisoned six months, 

SxDinoir. 

This trial was of a Tery different nature to any that preceded it, 
and exdfted consjderable interest Joseph Fellows, a deooit looking 
man, was indicted lor haTing, on the erening of the 90th d May lasti 
fulawfdlly e n dea v oured, bj woids and geetiues, to exdte divers of hie 
Kajesty'a liege mbjeets to riot against the King's peace. The only 
witness against the prisoner was lieutenant-ColonerOcnd^ Hestateo, 
that on 9ie evening of the aoth of May last, about ten oX?loek, he 
obeerred a great number of people collecicd t<^pether at the comer of 
Tsmpie Staiet, in this town ; he beard one man i^TM^*«»g the mob 
and ^M^dng vety load ; he heard the prisoner say "7 eon earn /Sm 
amd twmUy AiOvigM a wmk^ and that u fu4 iufkietU to 9upportmt:^ 




right m om nd ut y amd now tt Me tim$,*' The Colonsl then pressed 
IhrovgB the mob and seised the prieoner by the collar. Theprieooerat 
first eoaesiited to go with the witness, but a man and woman interfered 
and att emnted a lesene. In the senflte the Colonel received a violent 
blow en the temple bv a laige 8ton& whidi at fiiet atonned him, he, 
however, kepi hie bold, and acme off the peaoe officers coming to hie 
■aristaiMiSb Nlowe was immediately taken before the MasnatratM, the 
witness never qnittuig hold of the prisoner all the time. On his eroes- 
OYsminarion the witneas said the prieoocr was ■^'H^ng en the cub* 
•tone, abont eight inohea higher than the rest of the street; the words 
spoken by the pri s oaes were as he had before etated, or worde to that 
eiiwt: the prieoDor Mpearsd to have been drinkii^ but he wasadber 
enoiMpi to know what he was aboat 

n. a 



242 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

Mr. Beyxkolds, ooxmsel for the prisoner, took an exception to that 
count in the indictment charging his client with sedition, on the 
ground that the words were not positively and expressly stated, bnt the 
objection was over-ruled by the Court Mr. Maurice, for the prosecu- 
tion, in a veiy able address, called for judgment on the prisoner, who, 
he insisted^ deserved the most exemplary punishment. Mr. lUynolds, 
in a most eloquent and impressive speech, addressed the jury in reply. 
The Chairman, with his usual accuracy and candour, summed up the 
evidence to the juiy, who, after consulting for a short time, retuxned a 
r^a!6ict ot not gmliy. 

In tbe next extract we have, in the briefest of paragraphs, 
the sentences of the rioters : — 

Fatal EiTKcn of Riots. 
Sept lOth, I8I0.~TVllliam Cottam, Thomas Davis, and Matthew 
BustoD, who were found guilty of beginning to demolish and pull down 
the dwellinff house of Mr. John Wheelv, at Edgbaston, near this town, 
and received senteuce of death at the late Warwick Assizes^ are to be 
tnnqported for and during their natural lives. Trom the fate of these 
young men let youth, in every situation of life, take an impressive war- 
ning, and reost^ with firmness, under whatever form it may present 
itMiS^eveiy temptation to ontrage and riot These unfortunate prisoners 
who^ in the firat instance, might liave Joined the mob with the intentian 
nfnltunMing only the aets of others, were induced to eommit a capital 
fdony, Ibr inach. crime th^ Itave justly forfeited their lives to the laws 
df their coontiy. Bv an aot of Boyal mercy, they have been permitted 
to live ; but under the bitter reflection of being estranged from all their 
dearest connexions in this world for ever ! 

King Geoige the Third had now occupied the throne of 
Great Britain for 50 years ; but the national enthusiasm 
wiih which the event would have been celebrated was re- 
strained by the critical state of his health. The anniversary 
of his accession to the throne was October 25 ; and on No- 
vember the first the king^s ilkiess waa officially announced 
to the Lord Mayor of I^ndon. Under such circumstances 
it ii| not surprising to find the local chronicle indulging in a 
few loyal rraections on this occasion : — 

October SO, 1610.— On Thnrsdax oar revered Monaroli oonpleted the 
Both jasr of his reign. The day was observed in thk and neuhbouriiig 
towns with tokens of jojfol rsqieet Fat rsasoas whieli will bo 
obvious to evsty reflecting and Mliagmindy the aaalvwsMy was not 
eeUbmted with those puhliedeBionstmiioiis of Jey which were bttt year 
so univeiwUj fluuiif esUd, jH tbe hesrtlelt vanomoo whidi the Yirt^ 
of oar beloved sovereign exeiU, bavenot^ wo are eooftden^ jglowed with 

bssMen' 



less ardoor as tbe period of his rsigobss been leagtheoed; mdeed, 
we esllod unon to name the period at wbieb bis li ij ei t y was rewsd 
bj his people with tbe most alEMlloQale lannL wo believe wo waA^t 
name the present time witbont hesitation. In additioii to tha i^w^ifl 
virtnes wbieb adorn bis diaraetor, the droumstaiioes of snrroimdiiiig 
Batlons have tended to make the people of this coontrv rdlv romid the 
tbroo^ and profeenng their attadiment to tbe maa who mm 14^ devote 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 243 

themselT68 to the defence of him who is so jostly entitled to the appella- 
tion of the Father of the People. 

To the grief of the Koyal Household and of the nation, 

the youngest and favourite daughter of the Eling, the 

Princess Amelia^ died on November 2, aged only 27. The 

national mourning was deep and sincere. On November 

19 we read :-r- 

Panrosss Amelia. — Am a token of respect for the memory of this 
amiable Prineess, the lam bells of Bt. Martin's and St Philip's dinrches, 
in this town, were toUea on Tuesday, the day of her faneral, from six 
o'clock in the morning till ten at night 

In August of this year the proposals for a water works 
company were again published. The opposition was imme- 
diately active ; and oolumnEs of letters pro and con, reports 
of meetings for and against, with the resolutions and reasons 
given, appear in the Uazette; and, strange as it may sound 
to the proprietors of newspapers at the present time, letters 
and reports are all advertasementa' In a lonj^ declaration, 
published on Februaiy 18, 1811, and signed by idmost aU 
the public men of the time, the subscribers state that they 
are ^ decidedly of opinion that the establishment of Wat^ 
Works in this Town is wholly unnecessary, and mav be pro- 
ductive of great eviL'' A town's meeting was held, and a 
petition against the biU adopted The opposition was 
fluccearful ; on the second reading, on March 7, the bill was 
neffatived in the House of Commons by a majority of 13. 

In April and May of this year collections were made at 
the various churches and chapek in the town, and a huge 
sum of money, was raised for tne relief of the British priso- 
ners in France. The town was also visited by a 

DaxADruL Tnimr. 
Jons Srd, ISll. — One of the most sertrs storms of ndn, hail, and 
Ikhtoiog CTsr rsmanbersd in this kingdom, took plsos on Monday, 
wnieh ooatinaediiiSDj lioiir% and its ^tttStM have bssa of ths most awful 
and destmotivs nature. It appsars to havs taken a north-east dirse* 
tion ; and we havs aoooants of lu ravagiss, commonmnff in Somersetshirs, 
and oontinoed in the ooonties of Gkmesster, Hsrefor^ Woroestsr, War- 
wiok, and Mopv that would fill oor sewmpsr. Tim following brief 
•ketoi will give ear readen some fidnt idea of the havoe it has made : — 
The effMSi of the etorm wers ■sversly felt io this town and Bsigh- 
bonrliood. B/theovsrflowingofthoBiTorRsaymaohdamagshMbsMi 
done in the ndnitj of DigbeUi and Deritttd. Saltlay Bridge has bssn 
destrojed : and also the Imdgss of HoeUey and Arton, in oonssqnanoe 
of the Moks of Soho grsal pMl giving way. 

On June 24, we read that the ^attention of the prin* 
dpal inhabitants of this place has been lately directed 
towards the benefits that would accrue to the mercantile 



244 A CENTOBT OF BIBXINGHAM LIFE. 



r 



and manti&ctariiifii interests of the town and neiglibouilioody 
could the lettersior London be forwarded at f(Air o'clock 
in the afternoon instead of three, the usual hour." 

A town's meeting was of course held on this important 
subject, of which this report is preserved : — 

June 5S4^ 1811. — ^At a most nnmeroas Meeting of the MerchantB^ 
ManiiEBctorenL and other Inhabitant! of the town of Binniii^;hmm, 
oonrened bj the Blgh Bailifl^ at the Pablio Office, thia 2lat £7 of 
Jone^ 1811, in Foraoance of a Beqoiaition lor that Porpoae; 

Joieph IieciwTn, Esq.. High Bailiil^ in the Cliair; 

Besolvedy— That it la the Opinion of thia Meeting that the Extent 

and Importanee of the Trade of the Town of Birmingham reqnirea the 

moat qpeedy Commnnication with thd Omtal that the Diatonee will 

' ot and that the pr e e en t Mode, adfopted by the General Poat 



Office, of oo nyyi ng Lettera fitmi Birmingham to London bj the Holy- 
head Maily anbjeeta all Peraona, haying regolar Oomapondence with 
LondooL to great Delay and InoonTenience. 

Beaolved,— That it la the Ophuon of thia Meeting that fiie Evil 
eomnkined of can only be remedied by the Eitabliahment of a direct 
lUl from Birmingham to London^ by the ahorteat itaite^ by whidi 
Meana it la aaeertauied that the London Letters need not bedeapatdied 
from Bbmfarfiam natfl IVmr c^Olodci lun., and yet airire in London 
at the naoal Tfane^ br which the Inhabitaata of Biimiagham will gidn 
an addltliMial Hoar m the Lutenral between the AxriTal and Bepaitora 
of the Mail 

Baaolfod,— Tliat there is no Town of equal Importance whldi has 
not a diraot MaQ, and that many Town% not oontriontiog in the aame 
Begne to the Poat Qffioa BevwiiN^ havvfora aamber of yeanpoaaeaaed 
tlM* AdfantMn. 



BaadlTedr-^Thai a Petition be pnaenti'd to the Btfl^t HeiL 
Maaten General, praring that they would be pieaaed to ealabliah a 
diraot MaU from Lmmou to Bfanmgham, by the ahorteat Bonte. and 
that the HUh fiaiUil( the Low Btflll( and the Gentlemen who aigned 
the BeqnlalSoB, be a Oonmittee to pvapare the Batitkn and to cany 
the OUeet of thia Meetii^ into Xftet ; that they have power to add to 
thefar Nnmber, and that aeren be competent to act 

The applioati0ii was toooeHfiiL The neztquotatioii gives 
vs a good idea of the jnrowth of the tofwn be tween the 
yean 1801 and 181L Ae QgoreB rdate to the Piuish of 
jSuotiifliiaiii ofiljrs"'^ 

Jv^l, 181L-*rorVLAftov^— The foflowiog are the ratans of the 
popoUHcQ, homaae, te.. of the Puidi of Bumin^aB^ aacduiM of 
Scrdealiy, Daiiteiid, AAted. Dnddeatoo, doa. In 1801 and 161L 



Inhabited honaaa 18,044 13,686 

Uninhabited hooeea • • . • 1,068 813 

Honaea boildmg 116 

Nomber of luniliaa . . . • 18,683 14,038 

Malea 88»M8 37,076 

f^nnalaa 38^854 36J861 

Total wmbtr of lababitaiita • 00^888 74/)37 



EDUCATION AND LITERATUBE. 245 

The power held by the local authorities was rather great. 

For the sake of the musical festival the High Bailiff actually 

changed the time for holding the usual Michaelmas bir. 

The &ct is thus recorded : — 

August 19, 1811. — ^We understand the Committee of the General 
HospiSd of thjB town have represented to the High Bailiff that great 
inoonvnnienoe wouM arise from the fair being held the same week with 
the grand musical festival, whidi can only m celebrated the first week 
in (^tober ; and that, in order to promote as much as posnble the in- 
terests of this excellent charity, it is the intention of tne High Bailiff 
to have the fair proclaimed the week preoedinff. 

The public events of this decade dose with an extract 
which will be welcome to the brethren of the Meiaonic craft 

August 19, 1811.— On Monday last there was a grand procession of 
IVee and Accepted Masons of this Town and Oounty, who met to com- 
memorate the anniversary of the Birthday of their Grand Masteri his 
Boyal ffiflhness the Prince B^gent^ whidi moved from the Shakespeare 
Tavern about eleven o'clock, in regular order, to 8t Martin's Church, 
whece an excellent Semon was preadied, by the Bev. Jetfaio Inwood, 
late Ftorincial Qnmd Ofaa|>lain of tiie ooontieB ci Kent and FiMSi, to 
a most respectable oonmgatioii. (whidi aerman Is ordered to be printed) 
and after serrice a couectioin oi £M Iftt. 4dL was made for the benefit 
ol the excellent institntion, the Birmingham IH^pensaiy. The biothers 
ol the different lodges appeared dothed in the insignia d their reqpeo- 
tive orders, with appromate bannera ; and we mive great reason to 
believe, from the peaceable and respectable ooodnoi of the qpeotaiora, 
who were very numenras, tha< thev were moch mtified by the pro- 
cession. Aboat one hundred and fifl^ of the orediren afterwards 
dined together at the Shakespeare Tavern, with the greatest otder and 
r^gnlari^, when their Depa^ IVovincial Grand Master pw ri de d and 
gave a ntamber of the most loyal, patriotio^ and maennfe toaitii^ which 
added to the convivialily of the day. 



§ 8. XDUCATIOK AKD LITEEAT0B& 

Slowly bnt aorely the edncational inatitntioiis of the 
town increaaed ; and in eveiy decAdo in oar history aome 
important provision was made for the ednoation of the 
pNBople. In the present decennial period the first Lsneaste- 
rian School was rounded, and has jwoved ol immense senrioe 
in the town. In other respects the yean between 1801 and 
1811 are not the brightest in our literaxy annals; bat still 
some good and memorable work was done. On September 12» 
1803, was pablished Hatton*s Remarks apon North Wales, 
beiiu^ the result of Sixteen Tours through part of the Frin- 
dpaSty. This work was illustrated b¥ four eugraTings by 
Landseer and E^ton, fix>m drawings by Barber. 



246 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

The following letter shows the low estate into which our 
Old Library had fallen at this period : — 

BiRMixoHAM Library. 

December !0, 1803. — It ia clear that the present Funds of the 
Birmingham liibrarj are far from being adequate ; that the Augmenta- 
tion of the annual Subscription ia no Object to any of the Proprietors ; 
and that any Law (for no Exception is stated; may be altered by two 
Thirds of the Subscribers. 

In this Statement I have the Concurrence of so many respectable 
Proprietors acquainted with Books, with the Situation of the Indi- 
viduals who compose the Body, and with the Meaning of the Laws by 
which the institution is regulated, that I feel the fullest Confidence in 
their approbation. G. Croft. 

In January, 1805, Dr. Birkbeck delivered a coui-se of 
lectures on Electricity, Galvanism, and Pneumatic Chemistr}% 
at the "Stork Tavern." In November, of the same year, 
Mr. Lloyd delivered a course on Astronomy, in the Theatre. 
The advertisement states that " Stoves are phvced in the Box 
lobby and the Pit, and the Theatre will be rendered perfectly 
warm." This important announcement is added : — ^" " The 
Moon will be favourable ! " 

In this year the first reference to Lancaster's school system 

is made, and the following statement about his l»ook : — 

Noveml>er 4, 1805. — It gives us pleasure to inform our readers, that 
the third edition of Josteph Lancaster's Hook, entitled '* Improvements 
in Education," consisting of 3,5(N) copies, is all siihscril>ed for, and as 
not a conv can be had of any Itookseller in the Tuitef] Kin<:^ilom, it is 
proposed to leave the subscrintion open Air a fourth edition. The King, 
Queen, and Princesses lately honoured this benevolent man with 
an audience at Weymouth, and after many inquiries mtfiectinf; the 
mode of education practised in his institution, in the Iiiiix)n;;h H«»ad, 
South wark, expi-essed a benevolent desire to see the sani*? lienelit 
extended to the country ; au«l for this pur|K>!(e he;;nu the f«»llowinrr 
annual suliscription to enable Joseph LanctuHter to establiKh holi(H>U in 
villages and country towns, fur the education of tvu thoui«:4ud ]>o«ir 
children, for which, on his plans of economy, two thousand {louuds p<*r 
annum will be sufficient 

Annual SulMoribors. 

The King . £U\0 The Princess Mary £\0 

The Queen . 50 The Princess Sopliia lo 

The Princoss Augusta 10 The PrinceM Amelia lO 

Tlie Princess Elizal>eth lo Tlic Duke of Kent lo 

On January 28, LSOO, the publication of Blair s (Jmw, 
with Blake's illustnUions. wjis advortisfd. The «lnnvin;,^s 
were exhibited in Birmin<^luun, and the eontcm|>onny critic 
thus describes them : — 

Fine Arts. 

July 28th, ISOC.— We have never experienced gna(«r satitifactiori 
than in announcing to our readers that there are now in this town, fnr 



EDUCATION AND LITERATURE. 247 

the inspection of the lovers of the fine arts, some most beautiful desij^ns, 
intended to illustrate a new and elegant edition of Blair^s Grave. At a 
period when the labours of the penSl are almost wholly directed to the 
production of portraits, thej who dare to soar in the sublime regions of 
fancy, surely claim the patronage of men of taste and discernment ; and 
the specimens, here alluded to, may, with the strictest adherence to 
truth, be ranked amongst the most vigorous and classical productions 
of ^e present age. 

Here is a brief account of 

Thv Mkthodist Suvdat School. 
November 24th, 1806. — ^This School was b^gun in 1795, and is 
governed by a Committee of 13, chosen annually from among the Sub- 
scribers. The increase of Scholars has been so considerable this last 
year that the Committee has found it necessarv to* add two Schools 
more, for Uie Beoeption of Children who have been recommended as 
proper Objects of this Charity. At present the Applications of such 
Objects are so numerous, that the Committee finds itself reduced to the 
Alternative of rejecting them or appealing to the Public for additional 
Support It has chosen the latter, and, l£erefore, proceeds to state ita 
Object^ its Plans, its Sucoesi^ and its Ezpenoea. 

In 1808 was opened the first private reading room in 

Biimiugham. On August 8 the following advertisement 

appearra : — 

News Book. 

Proposals for establishing, hj Sabecription, a News Boom^ at Messrs. 
Thomson and Wrightson's^ MokseUers, Stamp Offioe^ New Street^ 
Birmingbam. 

T. and W. havinff been repeatedly solicited by iereral respeotabld 
Inhabitants of Binnmgfaam to open a News Boom, have detsrmlned to 
appropriate to that Purpoae an eiM[aat and spadoos Apartmant at their 
Bettdenoe in New Street^ to which they request the Atvooage of their 
FHends and the Public. 

The Boom to be onened fimn Nine in the Homing till Nine in 
the Evening, and to oe regalarlj snpplied with Ibor Xondoii dtflj 
Papers, liojd's List, Priess Cnmnt^ one Simdaj PIi^mt, thise Popolar 
Provineial npers, and the three KrmJngham Pkpen^ also the BoYiew% 
and most popular Magaitnisa • 

The Utilit J of a private News Boom, on a Plan like thii^ niiisl bo 
partiealarlj obvious^ as it will afford an opportunitj of obtaining 
Inlbmiaiion withoat the Hurry and InoonTonieiioe natarallr attending 
upon a PnbUe Boom, and it inayfonn a place of Meeting for Mecobanta 
itadesmen and othera The SaboeriDeis will have the liber^ of 
making their own Bolea 

A number of respectable Gentlemen hare already become Snbecri* 
bcr% and. as it is particularly wished that the Boom bmv be speedily 
opened, thoae Qentlemen who apptore of the Plan, and wish to become 
Subscriber^ are requested to tend in their Names as sariy as posribk^ 
that no time may be lost in completing the necessary arrangementa 

A Lbt of Subscribers amy be seen at the Stamp Office^ where 
Pros p ect u ses may be had. 

The projectors soon found encooFSjranent enough to 
warrant them in opening the Boom ; for only a fortnight 



248 A GENTUBY OF BIBMINQHAM LIFE. 

later we have the Bonbunoement that it will be opened on 
that day : — 

NXW8 AND BsADDTa BoOK, StAICP OWFICK, KkW StRBBT, 

BlBMIVQBAlC. 

Angast 22, 1806. — ^Thomson and Wrightson Tetarn their grateful 
AeknowledgmentB to their munerotu Subsoriben and the Poblic, and 
beg leave to inform them that their News and Beading Boom will be 
opened this present Monday, Angost 22nd. and will be regolarly 
■applied with the Oonrier. TraTeller, Star, and Qlobe Bveninff Papem, 
the Snndapr Beyiew, the Edinbni^h Herald, Oore'e liyerpool Adyertieer, 
Llord's List^ Fricee Gnrrent^ and the three Birmingham F^ipen^ together 
with the meet ararored Beviewi and Magazinea 

Terms— One Guinea per Annnm^ to be paid at the time of Snb- 
aoriptioiL 

We have now reached the year in which was introdnoed 
Lancastei^B system for instracting poor children. In 
November, 1808, Mr. TiWicaster gave two lectures on his 
system in this town. A liberal sabecription was raised to 
establish a School on his plan, and the work was begnn : — 

December 6, 1806. — We have nodoabtbatthat all who take a Hvely 
interest in the welfare of diildrai in the lower dasses of aodsty will M 
mtified to hesr thai Mr. Joseph Laneester, whose sdiool in London 
for instructing poor ehOdren in readings writing, and arithmetie on a 
sew, expeditioiis, and ehe^> plan, and who has reosiTed the psytJcolar 
patronage and sobseriptlotts oif the Kin^ and Qaeen and Bojal Fkmily, 
and manjof the first diaraeters inthekmgdom. has givvn two Leotores 
in this town to large and res p ee ta ble sssemblies, and explained ilie 
^enend principles on which his school is oondiicted| which were rsosiTsd 
with mndi satjsfsfltkm ; and we are gratified in hearinf^ that a liberal 
sabsomtion is entered into to establish a sdiodl in this town, on the 
plan K^idi has been saccessfiilfar adopted in l/nt ^h n. ft iH^ i fiwnbri*^g% 
and serenJ other pkosa 

In Janosxy, 1809, the advertisement appeared osUing the 

first meeting on this important subject : — 

Is sr auo f K MT ov Foos GHzuoBBr. 

Jannaiy 16^ 1800w— Tlis Friends and BcMlMtots of a 8diool,aftsr 
the Flan oif Joseph Lanesster, for instnntiQg poor CSiildren in Besding^ 
Writing, and Aiithmetid^ in Bhrninghain, are rBonested to attoMl a 
GenenJ Meeting, whidi will be held at the Public Oaeeb0nfridsj,ths 
fiOth Instant, at Half-past Ten o^Oock in the Mondngi to vmire the 
Beport of the CVnmiitte^ and to consider ef the EHgffilily of encthig 
a fidiool Boom, after a Pkn iriiidi will be then sabaaitlsd to the 
Meetmg. P. IL Jams, Chaiman. 

The meeting was held, and the work was commenoed 
with the QSQiu eamestnessi We quote the report of this 
important meeting >— 

Jannarj S3, 1800^At a Gcnsnd Meeting €f the Vrinds Md BsBS- 
faeton of a Sdiool, after a Flan of Josqih Lsnessfesr, lor i n s li s ii Mug 

Kir childran in Bsadi^g, Writing, and Arithmetie^ is BJmiwfhewi, 
d at the Fablie Ofiloe^ on Iridar, the SOth of Janvai7» 1800 ; 

Samuel Oai ton in the Chair ; 



EDUCATION AND LITERATT7BE. S49 

The Committee appointed at the last Q^ieral Meeting having 
brought in the followmg Rules and Regulations to be observed in the 
School or Schools to foe established in this Town, and for the general 
Management of the Same : — 

1. That all Benefactors of Ten Guineas or upwards be Governors for 
Life; and all Annual Subscribers of One Guinea or upwards be 
Governors during Payment. 

8. That all Bene&ctors of Ten Guineas or annual Subscribers of One 
Guinea, shall be entitled to keep constantly in the School four ScholarSy 
and so proportionably for any larger or sniaUer Subscriptions. But no 
Benefiictorof less thui ilve Guineas nor annual Subscriber of less than 
Ten Shillings and Sixpence, be entitled to these Privilfi«[es. 

a. That if the School or Schools shall be capable of taking in a greater 
Number of Children than shall be rscommended by Bene&ctors and 
Subscribers, the Committee shall arrange a Plan for the Admission of 
Children not so recommended. 

4b That two of the Committee shall attend at the Sdiool every Mon- 
day momiDg, at Ten o^dock, to receive the Children recommended, who 
must be attended by a Parent or FHend. at their first introduction ; and 
that soch Parent or iViend be informed that the Children most attend 
th^ School rsffularly at the Hour appointed, and be sent dean and 
decent, with Mair combed, and Eaee and Hands washed ; and that the 
Parent or Friend be also infimned thai thej will be expected to take 
oan that the Child or Children broq|^t t^^ them shall be regularly 
taken to a Place of Worship every Sondaj, or introdooed to a Sunday 
SdiooL 

ft. Thai before the Children prooeed to learn in the Mornings Silence 
•hall be observed, when one or two CbtupUn in the Old or New Testis 
meni be audibly and solemnly read fay the Master, or one or more of 
the elder Boy% and the aame Praetiee shall be repeated in the coarse of 
the Aftenoon or Evening. 

6. Thai the Committee shall aelsei the Teacher or Teadiers, and fix 
l^ l f 0r their Salary or Salaries and change them as i?OT mlftn nay 
reonire* 

7. Thai the Coanmittee shall provide a anitable Boom or Bocmi^ 
Bedka, Book% and ofery thing aeudiol, and shall determine upon the 
Rewards that are to be dispensed Ibr the Eooooragement of Merit; and 
the Nature of the Ponishments §&t the Bisorderiy and Vidoos. 

& Thai the Committee shall depute one of thefar nnmber to attend 
the School or Schools daily. fiNrthe first three Months^ and shall aftsr> 
wards appoint Iran the Snoaoribera ai laige two weekly Yidtors ; and 
a Book shall be kept, in whidi the Yidtors shall make such Bemarksaa 



mar aimnar to them norwisssiT which Book diall be laid faefiire the 
ODmmfttee. 

9. That the Committee diall keep an aeeorateAeeoimt of all Beedpiti 
and I]tebiirsement^ and exhiUt toe same to the General Meetiag el 
BeaefiMtors and Safaaeriber^ which wHI be hdd annually on the aeMiid 
Tnesdiqr In Deesmber, and these Aeoomts diall be prtvioody examined 
by two Anditora appointed fay the fttmer OeosnJ Meeting. 

la That ai the Anneal Meeting, In December, a Bepori ahall be 
made by the Ooomuttee of the State of the School or Schod% and 
of the Nnmber of Children admitted. 

11. Thai at the Annval Meeting a Comidttee of fifteen Gofsmcrs 
fae dioeen ly Bdlot far the Tear ensnii^ and that five be eompetent to 
aet 



250 A CEllTURT OF BIBMINQHAM LIFE. 

12. That all new Bales and Begulaiions, and all Alterations or 
Amendments of the present Bules and Begidations, shall be made at 
the Annual General Meeting, when no Oovemor shall be allowed to 
▼ote by Proxy, except Ladies, or Governors that reside at a distance of 
more tiian five miles from Birmingham ; but none of the Laws now 
made shall be altered, but bj a Majority of two Thirds of the Meeting. 

13. That the Committee or any Ten Govemors be empowered to &Si 
a Spedal Meeting, by giving not less than ten -Bays' previous Notice^ 
by circular Letten^ or by public advertisement, in one or more of the 
' Birmingham J^uaen, speci^ng the Object 

Besoived, — Tnat these Boles and Eolations be adopted. 

Besolvedy-— That it is the opinion of this Meeting that a proper 
Building should be erected in an eoononucal Manner with necessary 
Accommodations, and in a Situation likely to serve the Purpoess <d the 
Establishment. 

Besoived, — That the Oommittee be requested to take Ground, and to 
cause a Boildiiig to be erected upon sudi a Plan and Estimate as shall 
appear to them eligible^ and that the same be done by Oontraet 

jEtesdlved,--That Samuel Lloyd be app<4nted Treasurer. 

Besoived,— That P« K. James be appouited Secretary. 

Samuel Galtov, Chairmao. 

Beacdved,— That the Thanks of the Meeting be given to the C^iair- 
man fiv hit aUo and inteUunnt Conduct in the CkSbp. 

SofaMriptiaDa and Beneactiona an leoelviBd fay Samuel Lloyd and 
P.lLJamea. 

In Januaiy, 1810, Mr.. Walker delivered & course of 
Lectures • on Astronomy in' the Theatre. The paragraph 
notice will be read with, pleasure : — 

January 8^ .1810.— Mr* Walkei^a astroDomieal leetnres on his 
adminble tnmnparent Orrery» the'EUloaraniaii, have met with grsat 
saeosss in the last week ; nil aadieness have doobled eadi evening. 
TUa ociiinal attempt at familiarising the eldest of the sdenees vras 
earried into eflbot in thb town aboatttihrty years agou by Mr. Walker.; 
and the eneoiinigeaient it reoeivea aeknowledges the taknta of the 
inventor, and the merit of the artista eoneemed in its eieoiition. The 
hnmble imitationi that liave ooeasioaallT virifesd tliia town had some- 
wliat abased the hom of great saeeeai^ Vat we fear not still to rival 
liveipool and Mancnester m tiie doe eneoamgement of trae merit 

Dr. Oroft^ the lecturer at St Martinis CShurch, died oh 
Thursday, May 11» 1809, in the 62nd year <tf his age. In the 
obituary notice of his death we learn that he was ''formerly 
FeDow of TTniTersity College, Oxford, Preacher of the 
Bampton Lectures in l786, Yicar of Amdiffe, and Rector of 
Thwing^ in the County of York, late Head Master of 
Brewood Sebod, Staffindshire, and for the last 18 years 
Lecturer of St Martin's Church in this town. To groat 
classical learning he added a considerable knowledge of the 
Hebrew, the 8jrriao» and some modem languages, and an 
eztensiTe aoquaantanoe with Kcclesiartioal Law, He was a 



EDUCATION AKD LITERATURE. 251 

zealous supporter of our excellent Constitution in Church 
and State, and made himself known in the literary world 
by several publications on Theology, Politics, and Ethics. 
By all who knew him in private lifehe was highly esteemed 
for his integrity, his hospitality, his constancy and ardour 
as a friend, nis kind and anxious attention as a counsellor of 
the poor, and his most amiable disposition as a husband and 
a father." 

Dr. Croft had contributed rather largely to the literature 
of his time. He was the author of the ISampton Lectures 
for 1786 ; and wrote many pamphlets on the topics of the 
day. From his Thoughts on Methodism (1795) we 
make the following extract ; which proves that on some 
subjects the opinions of. the divine were rather more liberal 
than is generally supposed : — 

** Much baa been Mia by Wedej and Whitfield against plays and 
hone-racee, against asaembliaB and balla. Perhaps the sta^ was never 
leai exceptionable than at present If it be not a school of Tutoe, it may 
be a aooroe of innocent anuuement. Of bone-rBce8,jiritbont donbL 
the evil far ootweigbs the ^ood. Tbev bring toffetber the refoae of 
creation, they eneoorage gaming, and wno will derend the caaiustiy of 
iodcevs 7 What are the tml of balls and anemblies we have not yet 
heara. Gan the two sexes meet in more innoomt, and at the same 
time more pleasing interooam t Nothing bat an eariy introdactioQ 
seems objectionable. Against private theatres we may enter a wann 
and serious protest They destroy that amiable diffideiice so pleaang 
in both sexes, and so esiential to theifemale sex."* 

He was a bitter opponent of Dr. Ptiestley ; he defended 
the Test Laws in a sermon not wanting in strength of abuse; 
he opposed Parliamentaiy Reform, and in his letter to the 
Rev. C. Wyvill on this question he says : — 

** Of yourself, as chairman of the splenetic and <iueni]oa% of Dr. 
Priestley, of Mr. Whitehead, of Mr. Grey, and Major Garturi^^t, I 
shall CTer say. Da it(o$ pair<ma$ advermMtriit, Of Mr. urey in partacular, 
the advocate of the disMnters and the retailer of their calumny, the 
dei^y <if Birmingham, of wlosi Ae «s^ k$ can bditm anytkingf wiU 
ever think it immaterial what he beUeves." 

He thus oondndes his letter on Refonn : — 

''The landable attempts whidi have been used to couTinoe the lower 
claa e o s of the people that they are happy, have already been mora soo- 
ceaeful than we expedted, and I console myself that the whole com- 
munity is re pre septed in the proper sense of representation, not onljr by 
the House ot Gommona, but by the House of PeerB,and by our gracious 
Sovereign himself. They act in our stead, and they cannot ruin ua 
without being involved in the niin."t 

• Thoughta eoBceining the MetboditCe and the EetabHibed Cleigy. By 
Oeoige Grain, D.D., pp. 16 k 17. 

t Plaae of Fariianentaiy Beform Prared lo be Viaoiiaiy, in a letter to 
tbeBeT.C.WyTill,hileChainnaaoftheA«ociatioii. ^jrGeafgeCrofl^DJ)., 
pp. S7, SS. 



252 A CENTUBT OF BIBIONOHAM LIFE. 

• 

In sliort Dr. Croft was a Tory divine of what, in irony, 
is often called the "good old schooL" After his death his 
widow, Ann Croft, published two volumes of his sermons, 
dedicated to Lord Eidon. 

The next extract gives the report of the first year's 

working of our new educational effort. It will be seen that 

it was eminently successful : — 

Lavcasteriak Frbb School^ SKvxRsr Strbbt. Bibmihghax. 
December 24^ 1810.— At a Qenerml Meeting of the Subecriben tad 
Bene&eton, held at the PaUio OtSaee, on Taeeday, the llth of 
December, 1810 ; 

Samuel Galton in the CSuur ; 

A Beport of the State of the Inetitation having been presented &oid, 
the Committee, of which the following k the abetnust^ t£e. : — 

^ The Oommittee are happj in being able, at the end of the first 
Year, to report to the <3enend Meeting Ihejpraperoas State of the 
Btteblidunent in regard to the Nnmbw of Onildren that have been 
admitted, aa well as the Profieiencj^ and excellent Older of the Bom 
resolting prindpallT, as thej ooDceiT^ from the particnlar System of 
Education that has been adopted. 

^FiTO Hondred and Fiftj-lbar Bajn have been admitted ainoe the 
llth of September, 1809, when the School was first opened. Of this 
Nnmber. One Hundred and Flftj-fimr haTe left Soiodl, and Four 
Hnndred are now in the Habit of rtgolar Attendance. 

''The B<^ an dassed aooordiog to their Profidener in Raiding. 
Many instances hare oceomd of Bots haring been raised foar,,and, in 
some instance^ five Classas higher than when thqr were first admitted 
— « Period of MSi than fi>arteen Months^ 

^ At the opening of the School fivtj-one Bojs had learnt to write ; 
an who were then admitted esa now write tolenbl j welL and tha 
nnmber <if those now in the School that haTs not b^gnn to write is imij 
twenty-two. . 

** llMre were at first only riz Boys idio had b^gnn Arithmetio ; this 
nnmber has since been incrassed to ninety-two. 

« As tt is concsiTsd that thsM is no Speeies of poblie iMatntioB in 
which the ApplfamtJnn of a osrtain Son cfMbn^ esn be prsdnetiTS d 
a grsatsr Qiisntity of Good. It is eonfidently hoped that the Estabiish- 
aMnt may meet with that Bappcrt which ti reqniidte fer enaWing It to 
oontinne to exert its b e ne fici a l nifinsnco as widely as It is now dmosed. 

« The Oommittee beg to express their earnest wUi that the School 
shonld be more genenlly visited, beimr oontincsd that aa aotaal 
Inspection mnst rsoommend It more fcreuilT then any Beptessntatlwi 
that esn be made of the Adtrantages of the System. 

*The Sdiool is open to VisitcrB ererr Week Day, excepting Satnr- 
day: between the Hoon of Eleren and Twelve in the ForenooiD' 

fiesolTed,— That the said Beport be printed and distriboted. 

A Sutement of the Aceonnti^ aadited and signed, having been laid 
befiire the General Meetings 

BesolTed^— That these Aeconats do pssb 

Samusl Oauov, Chairman. 

Besolfod,— That the Thanks of this Meeting be presented to the 
Chaiiman te hk able Ooodoct in the Ohair. 



EDUCATION AND LITERAT0BE. 253 

On April 16, 1811, John Eempson published a new 
map of the Town and Parish of Birmingham, " descjribinff 
particularly the Boundaries of the same, as perambulated 
oy the Commissioners of the Birmingham Street Acts in 
the year 1810." 

The second annual meeting of the Boyal Lancasterian 
Free School was held on December 10, 1811. The report 
of the Committee is full of interest to all who desire to 
trace the growth of education in a large town, which may 
be accepted as an index of its growth throughout the 
country. Here is the report : — 

In reporting the IV o g r o oe of the Boyal Lancasterian Free School, the 
Oommittae have the oratification of obeervinff that their Attention has 
been drawn to new Prooh of iti Utility ana beneficial Coneequences. 
Since the opening of the School in September, 1809, Seren Hnndred 
Boy haw noAtSl Instmction ; and or these it may be presamed that 
the greater, number would have grown up in Ignorance, had it not 
been lor the Aid which has been grantea them hj this Institution. 
This important Act affords to the Chtktiui Mind the most pleasing 
Befleotioni^ and offers a powerftd indnoement fi»r penereiing in an 
Undertaking of sodi eztensiTe Benefit 

Four Hnndred Bm^ bdns the fhll Number, continne to attend the 
School ; and soch has been Uie progreaa effected in their Instmction, 
that more than One Half have bean adiranced to the two higher Claaaes 
cf Beading and Writing, and One Hnndred and Sixty-two are admitted 
into the Arithmetie ChMB. Sixty-eight Candidates are regbtered fiir 
AdrnJaaimii and it is uniformly fimnd that applications keep Bace with 
the Oeonmnee of a Taeaney. 

Sinoe the last Annual Meeting the Librarr has been p res ent e d with 
a Knmber of Book% chiedj cf Natnral HSstorr, and Voyages and 
levels. Forty Bm are entered on the Linraiy List^ imd this 
Pririlege^ being the BewanI of oood Conduct^ operates as an InoentiTe 
to Imnrtnremcnt and oideri/ BebaTionr. The System of moderate and 
soiteble Bewards has been prodndrre of the happiest Bffeete; and soch 
is the adaptaftioii of the Discipline cf the Sdiool to the DispoeitMm of 
the Scholara, that Occasiona for PoniAmente rarely occur. Begnlarity, 
Order, and Fttnetnality, become habitiiaL and, when they leare Sdiool, 
the Boys take with them these denrahle Habits, and ara therebj 
rendered more Tahiable Servanteto their Employera. 

Kor is the B^gdation for the Attendance of the Bojrs on Beligioas 
Worship unprodnctiTe or neglected. The following is the Besolt of an 
eraminaficin cf Three Hondred and Forty Boys, present on the 3rd cf 
December, 1811. 

Of thk number, 187 attend Sondaj Schools; 64aretakentoCbiireh 
hf their Parente; 80 to Disaenting Ohiqpela and Meeliqg Houses ; 4 to 
tne ^ynamoe ; and 6 kept at home by Accidente. 

In or&r to complete the BoikUng and Tsntilato the School Boom 
the Oommittee haTe been nnable to Liquidate the Debt cf kst year, 
and are still indebted to the Indnlgence of the T^easorer to the Snm of 
iP47S 14iL 7d^ notwiChstending the liberal Contribntions which they 
haTs receiTed. Th^measore neiqg now completed, and the Oomm^ 



254 A CENTURT OF BIBMINQHAM LIFE. 

dionsness of the Building asoertained, such Expenses will !uot again 
occur, and after the above Debt shall have been cleared, the Expendi- 
ture will be confined to the more immediate Objects of the Institution* 

The Simple Principle of teaching the Bible according to the Prac- 
tices of the Bible Society, without Note or Comment, withdraws all 
Ground of Offence from the believers in the Sacred Text, under what- 
ever Denomination tfaej may be divided. 

It is an inviolable liaw to teach nothing but what is the Standard of 
Belief of all Christians, the Scriptures tkemtdvei ; thus extending the 
Benefits of Education to all religious Classes of the Community, instead 
of confining them to one or a few. The Invitations to umte in this 
good Work may be as freely and unexoeptionaUy accepted, as the Ad- 
vantages will be universally and impartitiUy diflused. Jt is an obvious 
Truth that to render the Distribution of the Bible efficient it is neces- 
sary that the People should be able to read it 

In the Town of Birminghlon, where the labouring dass f<Hnns so 
laige a Proportion of the Imiabitants, the importance of a cheap and 
expeditious Mode of Instruction will be duly appreciated. Ignorance 
has ever been found the abundant Souroe of Yioe, and is frequentlv the. 
Cause and Companion of Poverty. In a reoent Examination of the 
Stote of the Poor in this Place, it was ascertained that of 3| 1 84 Persons 
who, in the oonrae of seiveral soooessive years, had been sworn to Settle- 
ments and other Katten daiming parochial Belief, 8,370 ooold not 
write at all, and of the remaining 754 many ooold not write a l^gibla 
Hand. 

The Committee feel themselvea called npdn to acknowledge the 
Benefit tdiich has been derived from the Eneny, Abilities^ and Fidelity 
of Mr. John Yee vers, the Master of the SdiooL He has aeooiided their 
Efforts with vnremittingZeal, and uiderhk intelligent Care the School 
bas been carried to a JP y e e cf BzoeUenoe. at once verifying the 
Kfficienqr of the l<inffasterian System, and Adnlling the expec t ati on s of 
the benevolent Foonden. It lias been oonsideradbT many competent 
judges^ kHio have had opportonitiee of compering it with othen, ae 
•Aming the moat perfeel Kiample cf popular Inatniction m the 
Ooonti^; honoorable to the Svpraters, and cf emential Benefit to the 
Town cf Birmingham, Thcae who have not yet seen Hm Sdiool, are 
entraated to virit it and Judie for themaelvea, and the Afloent and tim 
Oharilable are camcitly eoBdted for their aid to an Inrtitiition whidi 
yields coch abundant Svidsnee cf its Utility and Advantage. 

With tlus enooonging report our eduentionai record of 

this deoede eloaaa. 



§ 4 ▲MU8EiCEirr& 

The recreations of n people are as permanent as their 
manners and oostoms^ and present little chance in the 
coarse of years. In the eignteenth century we nad few of 
the out-door sports which onr forefiithecs loved so much, 
and which were so characteristic of this coontiy as to win 



AHUSE3IENTS. 265 

for it the title of "Merry England." During the last quarter 
of a century we have endeavoured to restore the love of 
out-door and athletic games; and the success which has 
attended these efforts is verv encoura^g. The organisa- 
tion of the Volunteer Rifle Corps and the opening of Free 
Parks have done much to foster a change in the habits of 
the people, which cannot but be productive of the greatest 
good. At the time of which we write there wbs a great 
Volunteer movement going on ; but then it was a work of 
necessity as well as patriotism^ and, excepting the brutal 
sports of the a^e, there was scarcely any amusements but 
the theatre and concerts. Our theatrical annals of the 
period are full of events interesting to all lovers of the 
drama. Our chapter opens with a pleasant record of amuse- 
ment and charity comoined : — 

Private Thxatbtoalb. 
Janoarj 26th, 1802. — The LadleB and Gentlemen who 80 homanely 
Tolonteered their eemoee huit season for the benefit of the Soup Skop^ 
Oeiteral Hoipital, and Blue Coat Charity School, haveimin kindly offered 
to perform a Play for the benefit of the General Hospital, whidi has 
been thankfally received by the Committee, and we nnderttand the 
Gomedy of Secrete Worth Knowing, with the Harce of Bamaby 
Brittle, will be performed in the coarse of next month ; and we donbt 
not bnt the avidity of the PaUie to m&m this excellent Inttitntion will 
keep pace with that cnriosi^ which was ao highly gratified last year, 
by the display of talents which at once did faonoor to the heads ana 
hearts of the Performers Too much praise cannot he given to those 
philanthropic minds whose stocky it «a# to aUeviate the distressss of 
the poor daring the late nnhi^py prsssare of the timesy and who now 
so hnmanely step forward to poor balsan^ wine^ and oil into the woonds 
oftheafiUoted. . 

This performance produced ''the dear somof £156 ISaSd.** 
Our next is worth qaoting for several reasons ^— 

AXUBUfJUTS. 

Hay 24, 1802.— The Ladies and Gentlemen of Birmin||bam are 
respectfally informed that a Tory commodloos portable AnwkUhoain t# 
JUhna %p an the Premme of the Stork Taiem, and will Opeo on 
Monday, the 31st of Ifa^ with the greatest Variety of Equestrian 
Feats ever exhibited in Simdnflfaaniy by the most select Hoisemeo 
from Astley's and Jonei^s Ampnitheaties in London. Futicolariof 
the Performances will be timely advertised* 

One of the £avouriie singers at this period was the 

celebrated Mrs. Billington. Her performance excited the 

warmest admiration, as is proved by the following brief 

notice of her first appearance : — 

Aogost 2, 180SL-^On Wednesday eivMilng Ida Billingtoii made her 
first appearance at oor Theatre, in the ehaiiieter of Boeett% in Love in 
a Village. To add to her jostly-merited fiune wo<ald be imposrible as 
to d es cri be the excelleaoe of ber performaaes^ partioolariy on Friday 



256 A CENTUBY OF BIBIONOHAM LIFE. 

evening, in the songs of Mandane, in the Open of Artaxerzes, in which 
was combined the purest and most sublime melody with the most 
astonbhing and comprehensive execation. In ''The Soldier tired of 
Wax's Alarms," she introdnoed a variation fh>m thirds to fifths, no less 
novel than pleasing, thus evincing at will the wonderful powers of her 
voice. . The House, we are happy to say, has been numerously attended 
each evening of her poformance bv a brilliant audience, who strongly 
testified, bv their unbounded applause, the gratification which they 
experienced ; and we doubt not the Mansger wul be amply remuneratea 
£ot hia liberal and spirited exertions. 

Our old friend, Mr. Joseph Weston's Mnse^ laboured on 

the occasion, and was thus aeliyered : — 

August 2, 1802.— 

To Mbs. BiLLnroTov. 

Vocal Enchantrsss, whose Seraphic Song 
Now, gently undulating, steals along — 
Now, awful rolling, fills the astonished Ear, 
With Sounds that Angels might with rapture hear — . 
Potent the Depth of &ence to explore^ 
And add to Music Charms unknown bdfore ; 
Waste not too lavishly nnrivall'd Powers 
. To Uessoorjoyous-HBOoihe our pensive Hoon: 
Lest Thou, fiur Star of £venin|L daasling brlp^t 
Should'st cease, too soon, to gila the gloom of Nig^t^ 
And we should vainlv SMC, among the>Bao6 
' Of beauteous Twinkte^ to supply thy Place 1 
SoUhull, Joly 31, 1808. Josm Wasxov. 

. The fimoiiB mn^ 1^0 as genenms as she was gifted ; aiid 

we have one pleasing instanoe'of her geoeroaity to quote :— 

Au^^ust 9, 18(ML— On Saturday evening, Mia. BiUington, with a 
liberahty hi^y honourable to her, pertemed mftqitoiidy thenart of 
Muidaae^ in the Opera el Artazenes, Ibr the mnefit <k the Oensnl 
Honital, near this town ; and Mr. Hill, Mm Atkfai% and the other 
pemnnera^ also disintareatedly nniting their elBntSi Mr. MXTrsadj. 
with a geoeroai^ no leas laudablsb appraptiatsd tha entire reeelpis of 
the hooee to the aervioe <tf thai azoeUent bwtitiitlon. If there could ba 
any addition to the gratification axperienoed by the aadienoe on that 
occsaiffD, it mast have arisen horn tnerefiection that sacfa transeendeni 
abilities were exerted to alleviate the most poignant of human ealaml- 
tiss— aldtnees and distress. Such an appftcation of aapsrior talent 
eminently demonstrates that harmony and bsnevoleace are the kindred 
inhabitants of the same breast^ and eeonoi ML to prove an aooeplable 
ofiforlng at that shrine where only her melody can be excilled. The 
dear receipts of the hooss^ we ars happy to sti^ amounted to 1S32. lU. 

In March, 1803, the amusements were varied bj the 
presence of a onoe noted hand of mnmdana, who gave a 

Pavdbav O oi w as T. 

Maieh S8| 1803.— The Italian Company of Mnrieiaae, who have had 
the Hoooor of peiteming hslore His Boyal Highnem the Priaee of 
Wales sad some of the int NohiUtj fai &e Kiafdom, begs tosoUelt 
the FUronsga ef the Ladies and GentlesMn of Biimiaigfaam to a 
Ooooer^ ftr an Hoat^ AmiMemsati ^^ieh thqr propem havlaf on 



ABfUSEMENTS. 257 

Friday next, April Ist, at the Great Room, Shakespeare Tavern.— To 
be^in precisely at Eieht o'clock. The Instrnments to be played upon 
are four sets of Pandean Pipes, two Goitars, a Mezza Luna, Cabals, 
Turkish Drum, &c. The Sweetness of Tone of the Pandean Pipe is 
well known, and the Combinations of the whole playing in Harmony, 
which make a full Concert, they flatter themselves will be a complete 
Novelty, and produce such an Efiect as will not £sdl to please. — 
Admittance 2s. 

Later on we have another band, of a different kind, 

catering for the amusement of our fitthers : — 

May S3, I803.--For a few Nights onlv, the Famous Band of Silver 
Miners wiU perform a Grand Concert^ this present Monday, the 23rd, 
and Wednesday, the 25th, and Thursday, the 26th of May, at the Hotel, 
Temple Bow, Birminffham. A Change of Performance will take place 
on Wednesday and iSursday Evenings. 

The theatrical season of 1804 was very rich in attractions- 
•We had Mr, O. F. Cooke in a round of his best characters, 
Blanchard, Harlej, Suett, and others ; but ike great event 
^was the appearance of the Young Boscius. We can scarcely 
conceive the furore which the performances of this prodigy 
created. Old people, who remember bis visits to our theatre^ 
tell wonderful stories of the awful crushii^ which a perse- 
vering populace endured in order to witness this phenomenon. 
We have heard of enthusiaBtic persons waitii^ at the pit 
and galleiy doors from mid-day until half-past six in the 
evening, and taking their meals with them in order to be able 
to endure their theatri<»d martyrdom with somethii^ like 
comfort The enthusiasm was contagious, and people went 
to the playhouse who ordinarily looked upon it as the high 
road to perdition. The earnings of this Doy surpass even 
the enormous sums which a Toole and a Sothem are said 
to make in the present day. In the ''puff preliminary" 
of his visit to this town we are told that, in Edinbuwh^ 
he made a " clear sum of £1,500 in nine ni^ta" The fol- 
lowing is the notice of his first appearance m Birmingham, 
which took place on August 18, 1804 :— 

Augvst 90. 1804.— The yoaiig Bosdiu made his first appesraaee oq 
this stage on Monday evenings in the cJMuacter of N onral in the ing&Aj 
of Doogbs. This charsoier k admintblj adi^lad to dkghj tlie 
abilitiot of the perfonner to the bast advantage, verj great ezpoota- 
tion had been ezoitad, oooseoiientlj the TliMtrs was filled to witae« 
the dUmi Of the yoiuig oaadioato for poblie fitvonr. In his delineation 
of the cfaafaetor, the yoathfal warrior^ in the hands of Master Betty, 
lost none of the firs and ynmar whioh mark his y ^ i e as through the 
various soenes in which he la engaged. The andioDoe seemed to feel 
the intsrsst whldi his p e rfor manee ezdted, and testified their appro- 
hation hy lend plaadita. The astonishing Jndgment whioh he displaved 
in deiiveriog the text of his anther, the animation which he evincea in 
u. a 



258 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

■ 

giving it effect^ the power and flexibilitv of his Toioe, and, in fiiot^ the 
tout emembU was such as to call forth the most unbouDded tokens of 
applause. It was a performance in which Master Bettj must be 
allowed to eqoa], if not surpass, that of the greatest actor the stage can 
boast. His attitudes were appropriately correct, and the elegance of 
Ids dcmcauour, at the i-.imc liiuc combiiiiii^' u^Klc-i y with it,^ was 
calculated to impress the spectators with the most favourable opinion 
of him. There was something novel and astonishing in seeing a child^ 
for he is not more than twelve years old, play a character in so perfect 
a manner which was assigned to mature ace. The part of Lady 
Bandolph was most admin3>ly sustained by Miss Smith. Mr. Harley 
in Old Korvaly and Mr. CSarles in Qlenalvon, were veiy respectable.— 
On Wednesday he played Bella, and added to the &me which he so 
deservedly, on his first performancsL had acquired. — On Thursday 
Hamlet. Both charaetexB he has studied with the utmost attention, 
and plays them so admirably as to set eriticiun at defiance. — On Friday 
ho undertook the veiy arduous charaeter of Bidiard the Third. The 
variety of conflicting passions which the crook-backed 1r)rrant at all 
times was ajxrey to, were depicted by the young Bosdus in the most able 
maniMr. Me was particularlv great in the scene with the murderers, 
and where he dares Bichmond to the field. Miss Norton in the gentle 
Ladv Anna and Miss Smith in the Queen, were entitled to much 
apputuse. Mr. M*Cready« in ^high-readiing Ba<^ingfaam,** was ^eir- 
eamspaet*' in his attannon to gam credit with the audieooe for his 
oonoeptloD of the eharafttnTi which he porfivmed with oooslderaUa 
effect; indeecL the whole cast of the plar waa creditable to the 
performers and the manager. — ^This evening tlie play of Hsmlet will be 
repeated, in whidi voiing Boediis will make his second appearance;! for 
tlM bendit of that mvourita of the public^ Mr. HilL 

Hr. Weston again came forward to celebrate the wonder, 
and produced the following 

August fiOth, 1804. . Livn 

Written on seeing the theatrical phenomenoDy called Touko Botdut (a 
boy, twelve years old) at the Birmingham Theatreu In the Gharaeteve of 
Young Korval, Bolla, Hamloli and Bichaid the Thfard. Bj Mr. 
Weston. 

Katubs one Day with Aar was Notes coiBparing ; 
" I cannot inur (said she) your Vaunt of sAoru^ 
''My aool GNation! If I mnt that Kembie , 
^ May, of us Twain, ftninmf the moti resemble ; 
''And that» thou^ I beatow'd the Shape and fV^e, 
'*Tou added Action, Eaem^and Qrsoa^ — 
* What then t Ezdosivelyls Coon mu mm; 
^ Of Thee riyievtCeei, nay, to TkcB imliiowii /* 
''MaRTOomeupl (quoth Ab!1) since thus too float mc^ 
''And boast that yon can do vour Work wnhoiit ne^ 
*'TaT I Make cms Man (deprived of my Aanstanes) 
" A psrliMt_phiy*r-«nd I will keep my distance I" 



'' A Mav ! (DttDO Natu»% in a Biige^ replied) 
*A Cbiu>— Ik 9wy Cbod shall emsh thy Prtdar 
Tme to her Word, she stamp*d her Iw^knt Son, 
The fsithfol Miniature of Eoeduspwie— 
Oooke, Kembie; Holmaa, Gabbige— off in one 



; 



AMUSEMENTS. 259 

The engagement did not, however, conclude without a 
misunderstanding, to which his father thus refers : — 

To THS Editor. 

September 3rd, 1804. — Sir, — Your grantiDg a place in your paper to 
the following lines will be considered a particular obligation conferred 
on the fiitber of the Toung Roscitu, who, in bis ion's name, embraces 
this opportunity of returning his most unfeigned thanks to the Ladies 
and Cfentlemen of Birminglutm, for the truly flattering reception they 
have honoured him with dn his Fint visit to England. The applause 
bestowed on his juvenile efforts, and the hospitality he has experienced, 
impresses his youthful mind with sensations which time or circum- 
stances can never efface. 

The attention, punctualiU^, and liberal conduct of the Manager call 
forth his sincere acknowledgments. It was with infinite regret Mr. 
Betty observed that a misrepresentation of &ct8 had placed that 
OenUeman in to unpleasant a predicament on Friday evening; 
although Aii owm ttatemaU was sufficiently dear^ eandid^ and evidently 
tatiifaetortf to the Audience, yet I leel it is but juatiee in me to assure 
the public that Mr. BiPCreadv (so &r from objecting) rtpeaUdly and 
eomettfy requested I would allow the youth to continue the remainder 
of the season, and perform for every 604^ and that ke would be 
responmble for the amount ot any eqgagement I would enter into ; but 
the drmd of continue extrtum proving i^ptriou§ to his healtli^ earn- 
pdUd me to dedine aU tdUcUoHoiu 

In the moit positwe and ime^vMoeo^ manner / declare that no 
individual whatever had a$^fromtee of hie aid fivm me, who alone had 
ike power to BUikteuekptomue. 

1 have the honour to be, with great rcspeeti Sir, 

Four ouiged humble Servant, 

Hbvet BcriT. 



letter receives an illastnttion from a pangn^h 
which appeared in the Oasette of the same date : — 



Mr. Hill, grateful for the imblie favour be ezperienoed on his benefit 

to tae Ladies and Oenuemi 



b^ leave to state to the Ladies and Oenuemen of Btnningham, 
that it was to the kindvtkd wneolieited inteiference of the Manager he 
was indebted for the veryeffBctiial advantage he derived from the per> 
formanoe of the Yoong Boseiiia. An invOiom and faUaoiome report 
being in ciimlat.iop, emntiog tiiii Mr. M^Croady had endeamwrod to 



premmt the Tbm^ g e n d eman perftrmiMf. indncsa Mr. Hill to obtrude 
en the imblie this aoknowled^ent el Mr. M'Creadye vohmtai^ act of 
friflodsmpv at a moment when, in tigreai degree^ it mUUatod against Am 



nieatre, September 1, 1804. 

Toung Betty's fame iras destined to remain long after his 

departora Our townsman, l£r. J. Biaset, whose literary 

produetions we have previoosly notioed, on October 22, 

announced the following woik in preparation : — 

Speedily will be nabliihed, Tta DaaiUTio ExoiLT.twcns of the 
JrvsviLB Bosoius cleariy elucidated, wHh critical BemariDi on the 
H j pe writi ciis of Justus^ Enma, and Carro. Intenpersed with 
antoentie and fa&tereiting Aneodotea «f the Biaa and Pi pgies s ef this 



260 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

Vonderful Phenomenon, "who so biighlily illnmines the Theatric Hemi- 
sphere. Faithfully oompiled by 

J. BiSSlST, MUfiAUMy BiBllIKOHAV. 

Vvd^! Aude/ Credef 

In the defence of Boecius (injured Youth), 
Impartial 111 adhere to strictoBt Truth ; 
111 nazard few Opimone of my <non 
Bni faithful ^Ye jonothei^B pro and con. 

While you assert your Birthxight (Britons' Pride) 
To judge his Cause — let him he fairly tried ; 
But let your Mihdb from Fr^uaUce be free. 
Britons I before Decision— Aeor and jm / 

Biimingfaaniy printed for the Author, by Knott and lioyd. 

In his next advertisement the enthusiastic critic seems 
quite beside himself in alluding to the genius of this 
^ Wonder of the Age,** — ^but we hw better quote his words : 

October 29, 1804. — ^BoscimB. — ^The young Qentleman whose eztraor- 
dinaiy dnunatio Talents have acauired for him the abore Appellation, 
having lately engrossed a great degree of public attention, the Editor 
pvesmnes that an attempt to lay bobre the Lovers ol the Drama and 
the Friends of literstore some anthentic Documents respeotinf this 
''Wonderofthe Age^ will not heunaooeptable; andasvarioosOpuiioiis 
have bsen circulated in the pnblie Prints on the Merits and Acquire- 
ments' of this Phenomenon— on the maffto Powers and trsnacendent 
Ezeallenoes of his Performance in a vast yarieW of dissimilar Charac- 
ters—on his astonishing Display of native unsophisticated Genius^ and 
its Infliienes <yv«r the wHling and tuiwilllng minds of aia his Auditors; 
and as the exalted l^snegyiics which his unrivalled TWlents have called 
Ibrlliy have Undled thePlames of Envy, and provoked the Mmaufemt 
OHMMFrwnu itis hoped thai a Air and Impartial Btatsmait of the 
AisvsMals on both Sides wHl be oonsidsred as an Aet of Justice towards 
inralted GeoiiH^ and an humble Eflbrt to prepare his way to Just Be- 
nowB and hoooinable Eunsu by the Removal of those Obstacles which 
P^wipdfes^ Bnv7, or Mslevolence have Interpoeed. 

Himliigham: printed for the A«thor, by Knott and Lloyd. ' 

In July of the next season the petted child appeared 

anin, and pkyed in Norval, Bichaid the Third, Uaioilet^ 

Cmttes. Tanered, and Zanga The dramatic season was 

otherwise well sooDorted. We had Ifr. Cooke again, Hr. 

Barrvmore, lira Jonnstone, Mrs. Glover, that f ami of fun 

and niunoar, Unnden, and, unfortonatehr, another infiuit 

phenomenon in the shape of a Miss lindie, ** a child ionly 

seven yean of aga" Oor old friend Mr. Morfitt was smitten 

with this voong lady much in the same manner that Mr, 

Bisset had been with Boseins^ and oflbred the ^^* 

tiibate to this the ''sweetest bod of genius" :— 

Mns Munis. 
AxmA \% ISOS.— To the Priotcfs.— GsDtleBMn,--X)ar diaauOio 
hosli Mr. M*Craa4ji wbo^ year after year, ipan the Jaded appelilehy 



AMUSEMENTS. 261 

some new delicacy, has lately furnished us with a treat in Miss Mudis^ 
a young lady not ^ite seven years old. She is, without flattery, the 
sweetest bud of genius I ever beheld ; and, if fostered by the genial rays 
of public patronage, promises to be the pride of the theatriod garden. 
At an age when other girls are scarcely out of their primer, she discloses 
dramatic talents, which not only please but astonish, and is a most 
striking instance of the prcecox tr^emum. HowcYer it may perplex 
philosophy, and make ignorance stare, it is certain that we cannot set 
Donuds to the " wonder-working" power of nature, who sports as she 
pleases, givincr wisdom to babes, and gigantic abilities to pigmy forms. 
We are told oy naturalists that she is maxima in minimis; and that 
there are more wonders disooyerable in the minutest fly than in the 
most unwieldjr elephant 

This theatrical phenomenon (for I know not a more iq;>po6ite appel- 
lation) made her dSbiU on our boards on Wedneaday last, in the 
characters of Miss P^ggy, in the Country Girl, and Fribole, in Miss in 
her Teens. She has since performed young Nerval twice^ with Nell, in the 
Devil to Pay, and Cowshp, in the Agreeable Surprise,amidst a thunder 
of applause. Her voice is dear, expressive and melodious, by no means 
destitute of flexibility, and, with xeference to her yem, singularly 
powerful. Her declamation is articulate, distinct} and generally conrecti 
and she posnopson far more digni^ than could be expected from such a 
punjr person.^ Her gesture is animated, but^ of course^ admits of cor- 
rection and improvement, and her conceptions, particulariy in young 
Nerval, are much too big for her powers of expression. Yet her 
endues surprize, and she appears a spirited thougn Lilliputian hero. 
Such was the astonishment excited by her general acting, that it was 
dlfllcult to discriminate particular paats ; but in speaking the wordi^ 
*^the blood bf Douglas can protect itwlf," and vanous o&er paasarai 
of animation, her mind seemed to dilate her little foim, and swelfit 
into importance. In the scene where Glenalvon trettta voanff Norval 
with the most provoking insolenoe. the agitation of the uttiehero was 
admirably ponrtraved ; he aeemed oonviused with pastionfl whidi he 
laboured to conceal^ whfle contempt sat scowling on his brow. 

But great as she is in tngiedy, she is^ in my opinion, greater in 
comedy. Thalia's sweetest smile plavs upon her countenance; die is 
the duld of fun, and vivacity sparkles in her eyes. GOie poaaesies a 
naXvetif an infantine simplicity^ wnidi, in aosna diaraeters, must be.very 
fascinating. Besides her flgnie opentes less against her in oomic than 
in heroic scenes^ and she grows so much in our estimation, that instoad 
of seven we cannot help sometimes fancying her to be seventeen. Badk 
is the magic of fancy, which he who poaaesses not will never duly 
appreciate the merits oif this Hide but great artiew. Her Ndl, in the 
Devil to Flay, was, in some parts, Mn, Jordan in miniatare, and aha 
iittdoabtedly poaaosses all the ements of exoellenoe aa a comedian. 



Arch and easy, nrightljr and nnaffected, she seems quite at hone ; an4 

uny critic i " ' " 



he must be a suriy critic indeed who, making a candid allowance f o^ 
years, doea not nronoimoe her to be in tm^y interesting, and in 
eomedy admiFabi& 

I hiave ^frj reason to believe that this impartial, but hasty and 
imperfect, critique will excite the aneer of aecptieism. People will 
naturally ridicule what they cannot believe ; bat I d^ they will,npoii the* 
principles of common candour, anapend tlmr judgment, and bridle their 
censure, until they have seen thialtttle phenomenon, being aband«it)y 



262 A CE^^puRY of Birmingham life. 

■ 

convinced that their doubts will be lost in a«(oniihment, and their oen* 
sore finally terminate in applause. 1 am, Gentlemen, Yours, &c., 
8t. Paul's Square, Binhmgham, August 9, 1805. J. Morfitt. 

In 1806 the Theatre waa newly painted and decorated ; 

and, as the present house is not the same in which such 

marvels as Young Eosdus and Miss Mudie appeared, it will 

not be out of place to give our readers the description of 

the Theatre before it was called the Boyal : — 

Thx Thsatrk. 
May 26, 1806. — Our Theatre, which has long been the admiration of 
all Tlsitors, will be opened this evening, newly painted and decorated, 
in a style of such taste and elegance as to eclipse eveiy other provincial 
theatre, and rival the most superb in the metropolis. Upon entering 
the pit (where, perhaps, the beauties of the bouse are seen with the 
best effect), the eye of the spectator is so fascinated with the elegance of 
the place, and the brilliance of the colouring, as to hesitate upon which 
point to dwell, and whether to admire most the embellishments of the 
stage or the fanciful decorations of the other part of the Theatre. The 
fronts of the lower tier of boxes are ornamented with festoons of 
flowers; the fronts of the upper tier are decorated with historical 
subjects and architectural ornaments; and the fii>nt of the gallery 
terminates with arches filled in with trophies. The whole of the 
decorations are minted in ciifaroe senro, relieved by green and salmon* 
coloured grounds^ and the mouldings and ornamental parts cf the 
architecture are gilt The insides of the boxes are ajipropriately 
painted and elegantljjr adorned. The back parts and sides of tbs 
gallery are most fimmully decorated in panek of green 4Uid marble 
pilasters, and the ottltng of the boose is beautifully illuminated with 
a large pidntad drde^ sorroonded with arehlteetutml omamenta. On 
the stage (as we last week observed) several judioions alterations have 
taken piaoe^ and the whole fronUspleoe now assumes a light and eleguit 
appearance^ classically ornamented with comio and tra^^ flgnrea^ 
trophies^ and other scenic decorationa. The aoenes and aide wings 
have also been newly painted and beautified, and several new scenes^ 
with a front drop curtain, have likewise been added. 'The whole 
has been exeentad in water eoloni*. (of course the least olEnaive mdl 
€i paint 9rill not be fbnnd in the novise) from designs by Mr. IMxon. 
ana executed under his direction. The taate and iudgment dlsplayea 
will, no doubt, eonfirm, and, if posdble, increase the oelehrity of &iB 
eminent arUst 

Young Boscittd appeared again this aeason; and the 
company induded, fixun iim0 to time, all the old favonriteaL 
One adFertiaemeni will inform the reader of the performanoee 
at "* the Amphitheatre, Stork Tayem Yard :'*— 

Kkw HABLiQonr Pavtomimi^ Nsw Bvblrta, asd Oomo Sooicn 

Davci. 

November 14^ IfiOOr-At the Amphitheatn^ Stock IWvem Yar^, this 
present Monday £veni«g, November S4, 1806, and every Eveaioff Uli 
further Notiee, will be performed a new Borletta, called The Widow's 
Choice ; or, Oont» Pappyism, Penunr, and Heart of Oak. 

Cmmpley, Mr. Freeiand ; Flattie, Mr. Fyne ; Gobble (afterwaida 



AHUSE^IENTSr. 263 

Jack Spritsail) Mr. Miller; Gregory Gaukey, Mr. Hamphrejs; Dr. 
Slopi Mr. Hawkins ; and Constance, Mrs. McCartney. 

In the coni-se of the Eyening will be produced an entirely new 
Scotch Dance (under the Direction of Mr. Simpson) called The Gretna 
Blacksmith. 

Characters — ^Messrs. Humphreys, Jeryis, Barrett, Hawkins, and 
Sixnpson, Miss H. Lettin. Mrs. Freeland, and Miss Johnson. 

TIffht Bope Dancing, by the inimitable Master Saunders. 

Auer which, the foflowinff iayourite Songs : — '* When Vnlcan fonfd 
the Bolts of Joye," Mr. F^ne; '^I thought it was queer," Mrs. 
M'Cartney ; '^ Bound Trentioe to a Waterman," Mr. MUler. There 
will be presented a pleasing and extensiye Variety of nnparalleled 
Feats of Horsemanship, Ennobled by the astonishing rowers of 
Master Sannders. ^ 

The whole to oondnde with (first time) a New Comic Pantomime, 
written and inyented by Mr. Barret ; the Machinenr, &e., executed by 
Mr. Jeryis ; and got Qpjander the Direction of Mr. Simpson, calleSl 
The Mystic Tomb ; or, Harleqnin and the Genii 

Haneqain, Mr. Simpson ; Zanjr, Mr. Hawkins ; Old Harlequin, Mr. 
Pyne; Genii, Mr. Humphreys; Columbine's Father, Mr. Ireeland; 
Loyer, Mr. Hengler ; MnfBn-man, Mr. Griffiths ; Deyili Master Day ; 
Doctor, Mr. Jones ; Landlord, Mr. Adams ; and Whimsicnlammdifoskj 
(the Clown) Mr. Millar ; Oolumteie, Miss Leltin. . 

Various Noyelties are in Preparation, and will be shortly produoed. 

Fires are constantly kept in the Theatre. 

Half-prioe will be taken on Saturday Eyenings only, standing places 
exoepteoy to eommenoe at Nine o^dock precisely. 

Iioon open each Syuning at Half-past Six, and the Petfimnanoe to 
becin at Half-paai Seren. 

Plaoes for the Boxes to be taken from Ten tili Four o^doek at the 
Theatre. 

Boxes, 3s. ; Pit fis. ; Gallery, la. ; StandingPlaees, ed. 

K.&— Horsea broken fta Tuition in the JSquestriaa Ait, by Mr. 
Saunders^ Jnn. 

In Januaiy, 1807, tbai renowned Son of Anak, Daniel 
Lumberty was exhildtinff himself in the town. Of this 
worthy we have the fofiowing canons bit of information 
mea m the advertisement, — ** although from his Bnlk," the 
ooenment condndes, ** he would be supposed to be precluded 
from obtaining sporting Knowledge, be is beUeyed to be 
remarkably well read on the Turf, and can furnish the 
best Pen of Cocks of any Man in the Kingdom.'' We 
suppose that in the year 1807 these fiu^ in the giant's 
histoiy were considered, and would be an additional attrac- 
tion with the puUia 

The theatrical season of 1807 was distinguished by the 
appearance of Mrs. Siddons, who ''was taking leave ot her 
provincial friends previous to her retirement from the stage." 
IDm appeared in the character of Isabella in the Fatal 
HiuTiage, and her acting is thus described >* 



264 A CENTUBY OF BIBlflNGHAH LIFE. 

July 27tb/^1807.— Thbatrb. — On Thnnday ereniDg,* the celebrated 
Mrs. Siddous, who is now taking leave of her provincial friends, prepa- 
ratorpr to her retiring from the stage, made her appearance at oar Tlie- 
atre m the character of IsabeUa, and was reoeiTed with the greatest 
applanse. A correspondent has sent as the following remarks on this 
eminent actress : — ^"The surprisingly transcendent talents of Mrs. Sid- 
dons have beto so long and so universallj acknowledged, that to praise 
her would be to descant on the obvious splendour of the sun ; yet some-^ 
thing tre must eaj to gratify the ebullition of admiration her sublime 
performances excited* Perfection in any art is so rarelv arrived at that, 
when seen, it delights by its novelty as much as it does by its excellence. 
Mrs. Siddons, in me histrionic art^ has reached the utmost boundary of 
perfection ; so compleat are her powers of assumption that nature, in all 
ner own native loveliness, appears before us. Her attraction can never 
lose its force ; for howe¥er sne may cease to be a subject of curiositv, she 
must still continue to the classic mind ' an ever new delight' We un- 
derstand that this is positively her last visit to this county." — ^In justice 
to the fleneral performances we cannot but observe, that the plavs on 
Xhnra&y and Friday were filled in a manner that did great credit to 
the Theatre. 

Madame Oatalam appeared here on the I9ib and 20th of 
November, ISOT^ when ''her astonishing power of voice 
drew forth the most raptorons appkusa" 

In an advertisement which appeared on November 2, 
1807, announcing the benefit of mra Hodges and her dis- 
tressed fiunily, uie theatre is for the first time called the 
Theatre BoyaL The Oazette gives ns no information on the 
subject, ana we have to turn to the Journals of the House 
of Uommons to aspertain when our Theatre was made a 
patent housa From this source we leam that» on Februanr 
26, 1807, a petition of "* William Shaxpe, Em., James Wool- 
VbVp Esq., Matthew Boulton, Esq., and several other persons, 
aU of the town of Birmingham, in the county of Warwick, 
or the vicinity thereof bemg propnetors of the Theatre or 
Hav-honae in the said town, was presented and read." The 
petition set forth— -That about the year 1792 the only thea- 
tre in the town was destroyad by fire ; and that it being 
^ expedient to provide another for the amusement of the 
inhabitants of tne said Town, and that of the Nobility and 
Gentiy of the ndffhbonriiood, some of the Petitioners and 
oUier Inhabitants, Doing the Afoprietors of the old Theatre, 
erected on the scite thereof a new and more commodioua 
Theatre or Fli^*house on an extended scale, at a very great 
expense: And praying that leave may be given to bring in 
a Bill to enable nis lCajes(y,&a,to grsnt Letters Patent for 
estsblishing a Theatre or Play-house in the said Town." 
The Petition was referred to a Committee^ of Which Loid 



AMUSEMENTS. 265 

Lyttelion^ Sir Chaxles Mordaunt, and Mr. Dugdale were 
membei-s. On March 23 Sir Charles Mordaunt reported 
fix>m the Committee that they had examined the matter. 
The report was presented and leave was given to bring in a 
billy and Sir Charles Mordaunt and Mr. Dugdale were ordered 
to prepare and bring in the bilL The bill was brought in on 
March 25, and nas^ the Commons on April 21. It also 
passed tiie Loros with a few amendments, to which the 
Commons agreed ; and on August 1st received the Royal 
assent by G)mmission. And mus the New Theatre, Bir- 
mingham, became the Theatre R^^^ 

On the 29th of August the Theatre was opened for a 
short time by Mr. Crisp, the manager of the Theatres of 
Worcester and Shrewsbury. On Thursday, September 1, 
the famous tenor, Incledon, appeared for tiiat nisht only, 
(hi November 7> 1808, the following important meatrical 
announcement wais made : — 

TasAntB BoTAXi. 

Theatriods are to be introduoed in this town during pert of the 
winter ■eason, whicb is oertainly most fitTonnible to theni, and wfaerain 
they are f oond pleaaanti and liberallj enoooraged in moat large places. 
The inhabitanta of Birmingham have a daim, and indeed are entitled 
to ererr gntifioatton that can be soggerted towards ratioDalamnaement. 
Their daja are devoted to praiaeworthy exeitiona, whidi render the 
town one of the richeat boaata of Britain, and sorelj it may he expected 
that a flood nlay (in one of the handaomeat Theatrea anywhere) will be 
rdiaheS on long winter evenings, provided the actors be reqiectabley 
and the idiole well regulated. 8tvoD|4j impressed with these Ideas, 
Mr. Wataon ventorea to oommenoe a wrntsr Hsssoo. 

The lianager ia detennined to engage the very best perfonnera that 
can be had. Stoves are erecting to render the lobbiea fto, wann and 
oomfortabl^ and the most unremitting aasidnity ahall be exerted on 
every occasion^ to give the amosements of the drama in a corraet style^ 
so as to be honoared with apptobatioB, and obtain the TMH?tiflti of a 
general pnblio. 

At present, it is intended that the perfbnnaDoea ahall ^vwiiwHmfft 
eariy in the next week, with The Bivala and The Midnight Hoar. 

In 1809 the list of famous performers who appeared at 
the theatre, included Mr. Stephen Kemble, Master IDouious- 
set, odled the ** Young Musical Roedus," Mrs. Emeiy, and 
Madame Oatalani, whose "extraordinaiy powers of her voice, 
and wonderful flexibility in executing her bravura songs, 
the richness of tone, and the beautiful, pathetic, and 
exquisite manner of her singing 'O quesia Tanima,' and 
other pieces, produced sensations of the liveliest interest on 
the audience, and called forth the greatest bursts of ap- 
plause ever witnessed in the Theatre ; and, we believe it is 



2GG A CENTURY OF BIRMIXGHAM LIFE. 

the general opinion that she possesses the finest combination 

of talents, as a singer, ever heard in this countiy." 

By far the most important theatrical event of this decade 

was the fii'st appeai*ance of Mr. W. C. M'Cready, which, as 

all the world knows, was made at the Birmingham Theatre, 

then under the management of his father. This event took 

place on Thursday, June 7, 1810, and is thus recorded : — 

Theatre Boyal. 

Jane 11, 1810. — The Tragedy of Borneo and Jaliet was brought 
forward at our Theatre on Thursday last, for the purpose of introducing 
a young candidate not 18 years of age (Mr. William M'Cready) to the 
stage, from whose performance we have r.o hesitation in predicting his 
future fame and prosperity ; indeed, we have never witnessed a better 
first appearance. He looked the cliaracter admirably ; the elegance of 
his figure, the expression of his countenance, and the very greac ease of 
his defiortment, united in forming a perfect representation of what 
Borneo should exactly appear. He received the most encouraging and 
rfiattering applause through the first four acts, and at his dying scene 
there were several distinct peals, testifying surprise and tne highest 
admiration of talents which have been seldom equalled, if ever surpassed. 
Mrs. Young seemed much interested, and exerted herself with the 
happiest eifect ; we have never seen her to more advantage. The 
whole play merited and obtained the warmest plaudits, particularly the 
Friar, Mercutio, The Prince, and The Nurse. It is to be repeated tliis 
evening, with the grand Melodrama of Valentine and Orson, in which 
Mr. Conway and ^Ir. Betterton perform. 

During the season he appeared in Lotliair in the play of 

Adelgitha, Young Norval, several times as Romeo, Zanga 

in Dr. Young's tmgedy of Revenge, and other first-class 

])arts, and thus commenced that long and successful career 

in a profession to which he has done so much honour, and 

earned a fame scarcely second to any of the gi'eat stars in 

the ditimatic firmament During the same season we had 

that "darling child of whim and fun," Mr. Munden, Mr. 

Buttorton, y\i\ Harley, Mr. Fawci'tt, Mr. Conway, Mrs. 

Jordan, an<l Ml-s. E^jerton. In the season of ISll the voun;j 

Mr. M'Cready was one of the jirincipal attractions, and 

fully confinnod the success whicli he hatl already won. Ho 

now ap])eai'ed in Hamlet, in Daran in tlie Exile, and a 

rountl of diaract4'i*s wliirh proved the jKiwer and versatility 

of tlio young actor. A corri'sjwndent thus describes him 

'I ill*' company at this time : — 

To THE Printer. 
November 2'», }>\\. — Sir, — On Monday evenhi{; last I wan indoced 
to vihit vuiir Theatre to seo tliat admiral ilc proiluctiou of oor immortal 
Lard, I'oineo and Juliet, wliicii yran iH*rf(»rmeil with a re^^'ularity, pre- 
risiou, and, I may Kiy, excollenci.' tliat surpiis^cil me to witness in a 
pix>vincial Theatre. Miss Smith's Juliet cvincc<l {towers of the most 



MANNERS, CUSTOMS, ETC/ 267 

luperior kind, either to insinuate, delight, or terrify, as the varying 
scenes required, and she was most -ably supported with the Itomeo of 
Mr. William M'Cready. Never was appearance better calculated to 
persouate the youthful hero, and his last scene must have stamped him 
an Actor in the opinion of the severest critic ; Mercutio, Capulet, the 
Friar, Nurse, and, indeed, all the characters were most respectably 
sustained. In the afterpiece Mrs. Stewart gave the songs of Margaretta 
with a taste and sweetness that afforded general satisfaction, and the 
applause at the dropping of the curtain testified the unqualified appro- 
bation of the audience, which were numerous enough to send the 
Manager home to reflect that the entire receipt of the night was not 
sufficient to discharge one half of the ezpences attending the perfor- 
mance of the eveuinff. How lament?ible that a man, inde&tigable in 
the service of the public, who is proverbial for obtaining the greatest 
novelties, who is ever ready to assist all charitable institutions, and 
xealous to gratify the town at any ex pence with the first of every 
thing I How lamentable it is, that such a Caterer and such a Theatre 
should be neglected and deserted 1 Dramatic compositions have ever 
been esteem^ among the greatest productions of the human genius, and 
the acting of them has, by some or the wisest and best men in all ages, 
been countenanced as highly serviceable to the cause of virtue. Examjde 
is the strongest manner of enforcing precept, and a sUge representation 
(rightly conducted) the best picture of nature. What pleasure so 
rational as that proceeding from a well written and well acted Tragedy 
or Comedy* where the mind may have at once improvement and 
delight! Tht spirit^ liberalitv, and good sense that pervade the 
inhaoitants of Birmingham, and bring Uiem forward on all meritorious 
occasions, it is hoped will not lie dormant on so interesting a subject 
These observations are offered with great deference and the purest 
oiotivei^ by a Townsman^ and ' Av Evoouraqkb 07 ths Ans. 

There were the usual oonoerts, exhibition of panoramaa^ 

and other sources of amusement to satisfy and to gratify the 

varied tastes of the people. 



§ 5. XAKKEBS, CUSTOMS, ETa 



Perhane nothing more foreibfy illustrates the progress 
which tnis country has made in religion and civilization 
than the change which, in a comparativefy few years, has 
been made in our draoonic' code of criminal law. Death 
was the punishment for almost every crime. The same 
measure was meted out for stealing a loaf to satisfy the 
cravings of hunger, and for the most cold-blooded murder. 
In cases of treason a few refinements of cmelty were added 
which gave to that ofience a ''bad preeminence'' in our 
annals. At the Spring Assizes, held at Warwick, in March, 
1802, twenty persons were condemned to death, not one of 



268 A CENTintT OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

whom had committed murder. Here is the melancholy 

record of this wholesale condemnation : — 

April 5, 1802. — ^The Assizes for this County ended at Warwick on 
Thnrsdajy when sentence of death was passed on the following twenty 
prisoners, viz.. R Allen, J. Hill, K Baker, J. Garter, and J. Groire, for 
foigeries on tne Bank of England ; J. Manning J. Parkes, and Sam. 
Bryan, for a buxglaiy at Menden; J. Woolley, G. Harlam, and Sarah 
Sheppard, for burglaries in this town ; J. Mifls and S. Frost, for sheep 
steaLng ; K Davies, aLioM Garratt, and T. Green, for horse-stealing ; 
Phoebe Trueman, for shop-lifting ; and J. Peaoe, W. Lane, T. Moore, 
and F. Linney, for foigray. Peace, Lane. Davis. Green, Grove, True- 
man, Mills, woollev, Karlam, Sheppard, and Iixwt are reprieved, and 
the nine others left for execution, which, we understand, will take place 
on Washwood Heath, near this town. 

On April 19, Washwood Heath, near this town, waa ihe 
scene or this hideous spectacle. On that day eight of ihe 
nine, viz. : — E. AUen, B. Baker, J. Hill, J. Garter, S. Biyan, 
J. Parkes, T. Moore, and F. Linney, were hanged for foigery 
on the Bank of England. It is said that 100,000 persons 
assembled on the occasion. 



April 26, 1808. — On Mondaj the ttgfat unfiyrtanate man mentioned 
in our last were execntad on m drop^ purposd j erected on Waahwood 
Heath, near this town. Thejr left Warwidc aboat eight o^doek in the 
morning, and were esoortad to Stonebridgo hy Lord Aylasford'a troop 
of WarwicUhire Teomanxr; and from thenoe to their niaoe of suffering 
hj the troop of H. Lme, Esq., where thej arrired aoont two o^dooik, 
and were re8%ned.to tna care of three troops of the King's DnAoon 
Guards who had proTionely enoirded the dropu The men spent about 
two boon in prayer and other preparatiopii^ when tha drop feU, and 
tbsT were lannched into eternity. After haooiQg the usual tlma thsir 
bo&s were oat down and deUnced to thebriMKH. They all acimow- 
ladged the justioe of their ssnteneo bvt one (Edward AUeo), who 
domed to the last bavlng been gaO^of tho erime for whidi hasonerid, 
bat sdmowledgod otheri be had been ooooemed in of e^iital fan- 
port The sMist orderly and pesceaUe eoiidoet was obssnred 
by the immense ooae oar w of psople (sopposed to b* not lass than 
lOO^OOCn that bad eolleetsd togeUier from ewy plaes within SO oodlss^ 
to be wttnemes of this awfbl seene ; and we suMsrely <tnist that sodi 
may be the effMt prodaeed npon the aainds of the apa0tatot% that we 
may nsTor sgain bare to reoord a similar stent. 

The case of Alien* who died protesting his innocence^ led 
to the following correspondence : — 

To TBS Pmstbm of Abu^s BmmieBAiE QAnartL 
April S^ 180S.—Oentleoitn,— Edward Alien, one of the nnfortonnfc 
Hen wliosraered on Washwood Heath on Monoay last, fora forgery on 
the Bank of England, bariag psrnstsd in Ills Inaocenoe to the laitiand 
seeosed wm of being bis MaraeNr, I think it a Jostios doe to smelf to 
state to the Pohlifl^ throogh the medram of voor Fspsr, tiis Girana- 
stanoea whidi led to liis Deteetioii and GooTiotioo, and to IsaTo tbsm 
to dedde bow fiur Allen was jastifisd in the rsdi Assertion he has mads. 
Allen bad long been known to be an eztendTe Dealer in Forged Bank 



MAKKERS, CUSTOMS, ETC. 209 

of England Notes. This appeared from the confession of Atkinson 
and another, who lately suTOred at Nottingham for the Utterance of 
Foiled Bank Notes they had purchased of him, and from the Confession 
of other nnfortanate Persons, who, bj means of Notes purchased from 
Allen, had forfeited their Lives. He was also suspected to be a 
principal Fabricator of such Notes ; and the Bank of England, anxious 
to detect the Fabricator as the Root of the Evil, I was directed, as their 
Agent) to employ two Men, of the Names of Wildsmith and Millington, 
in the Detection of Allen. Accordingly, on the 28th of September last. 
Ten Guineas in Notes, principally of the Nottingham, Leicester, and 
Hinckley Banks, were delivered to Wildsmith for the purpose of buying 
"Forged Notes of Allen in order to his Detection, the Particulars of each 
such Notes being first taken by me, and a private Mark written on 
each in order to identify them again. On the 29th of September 
Wildsmith and Millington, as appears by their Evidence, witli two of 
these marked Notes, purchased or Allen four Forged One Pound Bank 
of England Notes, and one Forged One Guinea Pontefract Bank Note, 
which Wildsmith immediatelv brought to my House, leaving Millington 
in the mean time watdiing Allen's House, to see that no Person went 
in or out. I at this time was from Home, but Wildsmith found me 
out, and informed me of his having pim^ased the Foi^ged Notes in 
Question from Allen, and desired the Aanstanoe of a Constable to 
apprehend him. Mr. Evans, the Constable, was, therefore, called upon, 
who went with Wildsmith and myself to Allen's House, and in ffing 
thither Wildsmith ffave to me, in Mr. Evans's Presence, the five Notes 
he had purchased of Alien. On enterinff Allen'R House, Allen produced 
two Notes and a Guinea, which he threw ou the Table in Evans's 
Pkwenoe, and told Wildsmith to take his Notes and Money again, for 
that he should not have the Dog or any Thing else. Mr. Evans took 
poMsssion of the Notes, and also of a great Quantity of Counterfeit 
Shillings, edged and soorsd ready for Cdoaring, and nov^ 'Printing Ink, 
which he found in Allen's House. He likewise apprehendciA Allen. On my 
examining, with Mr. Evans, the Notes whidi Wildsmith and Millington 
had purchased of Allen, I found them to be of the new Sort, with waving 
lines. They were the first of the kind which I had ever teen. 

This was the Substanoe of the Evideooe given before Mr. Hicks, the 
Maffistrate, respecting the purchasing of the Forsed Notes ; and Allen's 
Defence, before the same Maffistnte, was that be had never sold the 
Foiged Notes in Question to Wildsmith or Millinffton ; that the Guinea 
they had given him for the Dog, and the two marked Notes found upon 
him, thev had left with him as they were going to a Bawdy House. 
Upon this Evidence he was committed, and the same Kind of Evidence 
bems given against him upon his Trial, and the two Guinea Notes paid 
him by Wildsmith for the Foiged Notes^ and found upon Allen bv Mr. 
Evans, and the Forced Notes pnrdiaaea of Allen by Wildsmith being 
produced and identified, he was eonvieted. Allen's Defence upon his 
IVtal was the same as before the Magistrate, and he called no Evidence 
in support of it 

Bucn being the Facta of hit Cue, I know not upon what Grounds he 
oould feel himself justified in the harsh Expressions he has nsed towards 
me. In endeavouring to detect him by the means before mentioned, I 
did no more than what I oonsidawi was my Duty to do as an Ajpent of 
the Bank ; and in Fft>of that the Statement of Facts here given is 
correct, and such as appeared upon his first Examinatimi before the 



270 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

Magistrate, and upon his Trial, I appeal to Mr. Hicks, the Magistrate 
who committed him, to the Court and Jnry who tried him, and to the 
Bjestanders who heard his Trial. The only Evidence I gave against 
Allen was that the Notes found upon him by Evans were two of the 
Notes Wildsmith had received from me, and that the Forged Notes pro- 
duced u;ainst Allen on his Trial were the four Forged Buik of England 
Notes Wildsmith delivered to me, and of these fiusts not a doubt was 
raised. If^ therefore, Allen was wrongfully accused in any Thing, it 
must be by Wildsmith and Millington ; but I believe no Person who 
heard his Trial entertains the least Doubt of his Guilt ; and it seems to 
be too much to suppose, merely because Allen had been hardy enough, 
to deny bia Quilt, that Wildsmith or Millington could be so wicked and 
profligate as to perjure themselves merely for the Purpose of taking 
away Allen's life, if he were innocent, especially as they nad no Enmity 
towards him, nor any Inducement to do it 

I am, Gentlemen, your most obedient, 

Wm. Spurruer. 
I Think it my Duty to state that the Evidence given before me 
prsTious to Allen's Commitment, as stated above by Mr. Spurrier, I 
oelieTe to be correct ; and Millington and Wildsmith's Evidence was 
giyen in the moat positive Manner. Wn . Hicks. 

Our poetio advertising tailor of this period was Mr. J. 

Allin, whom we have previously met in the Hay-market 

He bad now removed to New Street ; a specimen or two of 

bis advertisements will suffice : — 

April 30, 1804.-^. AUin, Draper, Tailor, and Salesman, at hia 
dieap dotbes and York Shoe Warehouse, the Sign of the Flag, oppo- 
■Ita tM Top of New Street, Bixmingham. 

I saT-^'top I! I 

linth the best of my Neighbours' at fioir I'll pop. 

Baonapuia, that fierce tyrant, ia not yet come over, 

TW nightly espeetad to land man at Dover 1 — 

JoKVVT Bull's Essex ealvas are preparing to meet him, 

With lood peals of eannon so awaetly to greet him ; 

The old balla with pikea will f one down the joke^ 

And cimm him with lead pills, to make him lood croak« 

A ^ange Iron frpg-fceding, so light of digestion, 

For now all alijght food most be oat of the qneation. 

The ladiea, believe me, are all ezpeeUtion, 

To see this aad being; who threatsna the nation. 

Eadi yoath, with light heart, as he shonlders his gon, 

Hopes to pop at the Frenchman, aad ealla it great fan. 

Ken the women, poor sonla! talk of atieks and of stones. 

To belaboiir the Monaieurs, aad batter their bones. 

little children, old maids, all promise to kick, scratch and bite ; 

So all will be ready aad willing to fight 

The old men and priests are to mind all the cattle, 

And console the air sex, while their lores are in battle. 

Thslr coomge so mat^we fear no inTSsion, 

Bat eageriy look wr the promii^d occasion ; 

So that Mooaiear may come as soon as he can. 

For ws are all ready to act the brsTe man. 



MANNERS, CUSTOMS, ETC. 271 

Then come Baonapart6 as soon as yon like, 
And you shall immediately sup off a pike ; 
Bed-hot balls for a garnish, to make it the better : 
And thus I conclude my rhymatical letter. 

This was John Allin's pride : — 

Dec. 31, 1804.— 
John Allin I'm called — at the Grand Fancy Warehouse ; 

But the Name of all Names, of vrhlch I feel Pride, 
Is that which Fm called by my Customers many, 

And that is — for both High and Low I provide. 

An attempt was made in 1806 to remove a few trouble- 
some customs, of which we are not yet quite relieved : — 

January 27th, 1806. — We are truly glad to find that the laws passed 
with a view to more regularity in this populous town and neighbour- 
hood, are now likely to be strictly enforced ; and that none should be 
taken by surprize or plead ignorance, a short sketch of the laws and 
rules, respecting waggoners, carmen, coachmen, and others, are pub- 
lished, both by an advertisement aud by handbills. The great irregu- 
larity in driving has long been a subject of complaint^ we trust now it 
will for ever oeasa 

The rule of the road is a paradox quite, 
As you drive, ride, or walk it along. 
If you go to the left, you are sure to go ri^ht. 
But S you go riff/tt, you go wroiig. 

Advertisements like the following still appeared : — 

COCKIKO. 

Iklay 16, 1809. — A Main of Cocks will be fought at the new Pit in 
Smallbrook-etreet, Birmingham, on Thursday, the 25th of May, and the 
two foUowing dajfv, between the Gentlemen of Warwickshire and the 
Gentlemen of Worcestershire ; to weigh 51 Cocks each for five Guineas 
a Battle and one Handred Guineas the Main. A pair of Shakes to fight 
for twenty Gnineas-on Saturday. 

Twiflt^ for Warwickshire ; willets, for Worcestershire. 

A Pair of Cocks will be on the Sod precisely at Twelve o'clock. 

One cruel sport of the time was very near its end Bull- 
baiting was doomed, and the publication of the following 
opinion of the highest legal authority, only indicates the 
change which was taking place in the public mind on this 

*5nl»i^ct. Tt w.'K now considero*! n "l»:u*l»nron<? :uv\ cnu'l 

b|iuil ' by allllo^L all who could iuilueiicc public upiuiuu .v> 

as to act on the legislature — and therefore its days were 

numbered : — 

Febraary4th| 1811. — BuLL-BArrivo. — A correspondent informs ns 
that the Attorney-General has given his opinion that ball-baiting, in 
the pablic highway, to the hindrance of bosiness, is not at all tolerated 
by law, and that persons concerned therein are liable to indictment for 
a nnisance. The friends of humanity will rejoice in this decision^ which 
we hope may operate as a check to the eontinnation of this barbaroos 
and bnital sport 



272 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

Its end was also hastened by such a scene as is described 
in the following paragraph : — 

September 2, 1811. — Bull- Baiting. — We trust the advocates fortius 
brutal pastime will relinquish their favourite sport, when they hear of 
the dreadful catastrophe which lately took place at Chapel Wake, in this 
town ; where a fine animal having been tormented for some time, broke- 
from his confinement, and in this irritated state arrived in Coleshill 
Street, where, he tossed and trampled upon every person within his 
reach. One child was killed upon the spot, and several persons were so 
dreadfully maimed and bruised, that very little hopes are entertained of 
their recovery. 

And this occurred in Birmingham only half a century'- 
ago ! Surely the eulogists of the past, and the maligners of 
the present age, will admit that we have made some im- 
provement in the sports of our people. 



THE POET FBEETH. 

Few men occupied a more notable position in Old Bir- 
mingham than John Freeth— or aa.he was invariably called 
Poet Freeth. Notwithstanding his popularity (and this is 
proved by the large number of editions of his Political 
Songster which were published) the materials for his 
biography are very slight We laiow that he was bom in 
the year 1731 ; tmit he kept a tavern at the comer of Lease 
Lane and Bell Street ; that he wrote and sung and pub- 
lished a very large nxmiber of songs ; that he was one of the 
group in John Ecstein's famouspicture of Birmingham Men ; 
a member of the ''Jacobin Club;" one of the ''Twelve 
Aposttes," as they were called by their political opponents ; 
and that he died September 29, 1808, at the sood old age of 
77. These fiei^ts are all that are known of tne man, ^oept 
what we gather from his poema In the Preface to his 
collected works, entitled "The Political Songster, or, a 
Touch on the Times, on Various Subjects, and adapted to 
common Tunes," he thus lets us into the secret of their 
composition. " It is/' he says, " a very common and not an 

uni..' "0 '^'o ^^''"''- ^''' '} '^^*^^ l^''^ his hobby-borBe. Some- 
times, indeed, it is a profitable one ; more frequently it is 
otherwise. My hobby-horse and practice for thirty years 
past* have been to write songs upon the occurrence of 
remarkable events, and nature having supplied me with a 

•This was written in 1763. 



THE POKT FREETH. 273 

voice somewhat suitable to my style of compositions, to 
sing them also, while their subjects were fresh upon every 
man's mind, and being a Publican, this faculty, or rather 
knack of singing my own songs, has been profitable to me ; 
it has in an evenin|^ crowded my house with customers, and 
led me to friendships which I might not otherwise have 
experienced. Success naturally encouraged me to pursue 
the trade of ballad^making, for without it, it is not probable 
I should have written a tenth part of what this volume 
contains." 

Thus inspired b^ pleasure, friendship, and profit, the 
genial-hearted publican-poet sang about aknost everything 
under the sun. From oaes for thanksgiving days to Pres- 
cot's fSeunous breeches — from royal celebrations to paviours 
— ^from the Qold Coin Act to Tutania buckles — ^from the 
Old Ku^ Ghost to Seven Devils in the Tavlor — ^from Par- 
liament Wake to Birmingham Ale-tasters, all subjects were 
alike acceptable, and there was nothinfi; too lofty nor too 
lowly for this prolific and self-contented singer. Mis verses 
sing because they are always written to some ** common 
tune/' but there was little poefarv in John Freeth. He 
maintains a curious level ; rarelv, if ever, rising in his flight, 
and rarely, if ever, reaching; the royal demesne of lynoal 
power, fancy, or pathos* Efe was not one of those who saw 
''the light uiat never was on sea or shore** ; the ^vision and 
the fiumlty divine" were not bestowed upon him. But he 
had a keen eye for the life of a town and of a nation^. All 
public events, whether of local or national importance, 
attracted him, and he threw them into a lilting kind of 
verse, which, doubtless, he sung to the admiration and 
delight of his parlour audiencea One critic says, '* manv of 
Freeth's published efiusions possess the merit and sterling 
animus peculiar to Dibdin's popular songs, whose style they 
closely resemble.*** This is certainly the veiy highest praise 
which a friendly pen could write ; and no Birmingham man 
could, or oufi^ht to be other than friendly to Freeth. The 
specimens a&eady given of his powers in the Record of the 
Book Qub, and the Canal Navigation show what an interest 
he took in all that concerned the progress and well-beinff of 
the town ; and his volume affords many vivid illustrations 
of old Birmingham lifa He is the rhyming chronicler, the 

^ Ths BsUdiagt of Bifmiagfasm, TmU sad FktM&U [Edited bj StniL 

Tiimiiini.] 



274 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

ballad-maker of his day ; and gives us rare glimpses of ih6 
life, the manners and customs of the times in which he 
lived. He celebrates all the sports, even to cock-fighting, 
bull-baiting, and pugilism; and in his rhymes we have 
many of the characteristics of 6ur old town preserved for us 
—characteristics which the historian passes over, or only 
cursoiily alludes to. One or two of these illustrative songs 
may be very appropriately quoted here. Here is the poetic 
record of the duties of an office now no more : — 

BIRMINGHAM ALE TASTEHS. 

Tune — How happ^ a State does a MQUr posieu^ 

Of all civil offioen annually diose. 

There's none in the kingdom equal to those « 

Whose Duty requires little more than to rove^ 

And taste at th^ pleasure what Enqushmbn love. 



Bou>m.ST to HocKLxr our paomroB extends ; 
I wish we had time to address all our friends ; 
Of Houses all fiiee-oost to viut 'tis clear. 
The number ia more than axe days in the year. 

We eanry no TauiroBion our power to show, 
With QoTemm^t matteis baTe nothing to do ; 
We drink with the Oommon, yet rank with the best, 
And like ALDxaiOEir lire at a Low Baiutv's fsast 

Our good Bbotbbe Officcbs strangers must be, 
When beating our rounds, to the pleasures we see ; 
From Office of Cok8TABUb troubles ensue. 
But that of a Tastsb is joy the year throuj^ 

For when upon Duty, as Custom has taught, 

We eall lor a Tawkams 'tis insUntly brought ; 

And how pleasing it is for a LAirou>BD to say, 

^ You're weloome^ kind Sirs,— there ia nothing to pay.' 



We Tisit the Mabkbkb and tr a Ter s e the STBxm^ 
Our Cbist to sMlst in adjusting the WeighU ; 
And wish 'twere the praciioe in all kind of Sales 
To down with the Sissltabob and up with the Soaus. 

The Btttohers may throw out their Maehow-bovs spite; 
But reason informs us tie but the right ; 
For JuancB, relying on T^th as her guide, 
When pioMix^dy has always the Scales by her nde. 

Fm a Bumper to Tbadb, 'tis the Tabtbb's request ; 
With plenty asay Britain for erer be bleet ; 
Where DnooBD abounds may true fnenddiip oommenea^ 
And BiavnioBAM ^'ikwiish a thousand years henoa* 

In 1788, the following lines addressed to Freeth were 
published. The ** No Matter Who " was our old friend 
J oseph Weston, who edited Mrs. Pickering's Poena 



THE POET FBEETH. 275 

Dec. 19, 1788. 

Lines addressed to Poet Freeth. 

JSvo rariflsima nostro 
Simplidtas. — Ovid. 

Let bookish Barda, whom Scholars call divinei 
With classic fiackram stiffen every Line ; 
Let Laureate Wartok, in the newest Modes, 
Carre out those splendid Trifles, Birth Day Odes ; 
Proceed, dear Fbseth, to chaunt thy natire Lay, 
Sweet as the Thrash that whistles on the spray. 
I hate the dull, cold progeny of Art; 
Mine be the spri^htlV Oflbpring of the Heart ! 
Mine be the Strain that flows from Nature's Tongue, 
The Ploughman's Carol, and the Milkmaid's Song ! 
I love the Muse in Bobes of Country Brown, 
Not flaunting like a Lady of the Town. 
I hate to see Parnassian Waters tost^ 
And in forced Curves elaborately lost 
Mine be the Stream that no Bestriction knows, 
But down its pebbly Channel gently, floiri.. 
What Magio sweet Simplieity diqilays 1 
Thy Manners, PVeeth, are artless as thy Lays : 
Averse to Satire, Ikiemy to Steif cl 
No Rancour stains thy Paper or tojr Life. 
All Friends to native Wit and aoeial QU^ 
Shall charge a sparUing Glassy and fill a Pipe to thee. 

No Mattsb Who, 

The Yoliinteers of the present time will not object to 

Freeth's description of their brethren ^when Geoi^ the 

Thiid was King."* 

BIBMINQHAM YOLUNTEEBS. 

Tune— ^0% Jforlo^f. 

JoUy Sons of Mirth and 8puit» 
Stranflers knofwn to Cares and Fean ; 

If you ^oiy would inherit, 
Join the noble Toi^mmsEBS. 

Fife and Drum afford enjoyment ; 

And what trade so brisk appears 
As that spirited employmenti 

Beating up the YouTsrsBas. 

Mark the youths parading yonderi 

Scaroelv one tum'd sixteen years ; 
Cnrsinff fate because they^rs under 

Standard proof for YoLmnrnaSi 

Lass, as tuht as ooat can eover, 

Birmingnam for Service rears ; 
Not a Towv f ran TwsiD to Doria 

Sends the King more YoLUvrans. 

Scorning in the cause to waver. 

Sworn to ap where gloiy 8tea% 
Foarnini wiD for ever favour 

All true-hearted YoLUHTiEas. 



276 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

Our next quotation is in a different vein The place to 
which the poet invites his feUow-townsmon has passed away 
with all its glories. Its noble walks beneath statelv trees, 
its long lines of vari^ated lamps, its alcoves and bowers, 
its bands, its singers and dancers, ita pyrotechnic displays, 
are now no more. The song writer preserves the memory 
of the place which was once the fiivounte resort of 
thousands, and the scene of many and frequent gay and 
festive gatherings. The modem growth of the town has 
swept away VauxhaU along with so many other things 
even better, perhaps, than this once fashionable place of 
amusement 

INVITATION TO VAUXHALL GABDENS. 

Soft SpriDff the proclaimer of nural Delight^ 
Again to toe sweet natiTe Bowen invitee ; 
IVom Toil to reUz, and enjoy the frarit air. 

All ye who the peausefal amaNmente would »ai«, 
When Mirth givefl the Snmmona to hoD<rartne call, 
Kake much of the Joy-giTing honza at Vauzbauu 

When the evening la fine^ how enliyaning the Soen^ 
The walka to parade, or to trip o'er the green ; 
No tronUea to hazaai^ no lean to alaim 
The mind eita at ease when then^a Mnaio to chann ; 



Then qnicklT away, to the rmona raaorti . ^ . 
Whidi neaaora makea choice of for keeping her Oourt 

The Tradbbkav who^a got a few momenta to apare^ 
Finds here a Befreahment to aolace his cue ; 
The Artist will often hia labofins throw by, 
The sweet ninl pastime andule to enjcpr ; • 

For Genius, whose Sons oft indine to be gar, 
Would droop if thsi« waa not a Seam to play; 

Where all appears channing and graced by the lUr, 
What gardfios for nlendour with theae can coiMai« ; 
When Natnroembelllah'd with choice strokes ci art» 
The Mind to regale does her Beanties Impttti 
And Mirth and good Fdlowahip keep «p ^ B^,, . 
What mora wouM a Heart wish to find at YanzhaU I 

Birmingham buckles were at this time one of the aUidte 
maniifiictaree of the town ; and amongat theae artidee of 
fiaahion the Tntania buckles held a prominent plaoe. Our 
poet who nnga of royal Inrthdava wiU alao aingof the 
ornaments of a shoe. It goes to the tone of ** Jolly llortala, 
fill your glaaseB," and these are the last three Terses: — 

BucKUB isahion'd are hj many ; 

Bong composin|p rests with few ; 
Nature has a gemua stampi hint 

That compleatlj both can do. 



THE POET FREETH. 277 

All to one good soul muat tnickle ; 

He that does the rest eclipse, 
Makes a Sonq and forms a Bucklb, 

Whilst a Pipk's between his Lips. 

Now farewell to vain disputing, 

Of the evening make the most ; 
Fribkdship, Frbedom, Trads, and Tornr, 

Bound the Board shall be the Toast. 

In reference to the name Tutin in this song Freeth says 
in a note he was "The manufacturer of the metal called 
TuTANiA — a friendly, cheerful companion, and exceedingly 
fond of a pipe." To the last impeachment the poet might 
also have pleaded guilty. 

Freeth nas another claim to our respect ; he believed in 
local patriotism. To him Birmingham town and Birming- 
ham men were the best in the world. It is probable that 
in tiiese more cosmopolitan days this wiU be looked upon as 
a defect of eharaeter — a narrowness and a limitation. Still 
we like him all the better for it ; for we share with him 
ihe same belief In his flibng, ^ The General Election," the 
following verse shows that whatever changes may have 
taken juace since he wrote, the people are still in one 
notable leflpect like the men of old. 

WarwieiihiM Ladi^ to their honour be^t said, 

Ind^fmuhmee have ever sapported ; 
Ke^er maj so noUt a eanse be oetnj'di 

Or its mterest ever deserted : 
The free Sami of Trade^ by matj sway'd, 

Displa J sneh a powerfol oonnexion ; 
When oontesto snse, tis the BnimroHAic Botb, 

That always can crown an EUctUm. 

In 1792 John Eckstein painted the well-known picture 
of the twelve friends who met nighUy at Freeth's house. 
The original is now in the possession of Mr. Dugdale 
Honghton ; and the following MS. memorandum is attached 
at the back of the painting .' — ^ This picture is the common 
property of the twelve folfowing centlemen represented on 
the reverae, to be disposed of at afi times as a majority of 
them shall think proper, and to be the sole property of the 
survivor : James oketdil^» John Freeth, John Miles, James 
Murray, Joseph Blunts Kichard Webster, Joseph Fearon, 
Jeremiiii Vaux, Samuel Toy, John CoUard, James Bisset^ 
John Wilkea" Mr. Underwood has published a lithograph 
copy of this picture in the book on ** Birmingham build- 
ingSy" fix>m which we have alr^uly quoted. The number of 
the sitters, of course, originated one of the nicknames 



278 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM! LIFE. 

applied to this early convivial club. In consequence of the 
politics of Freeth and his friends Mr. Timmins tells us that 
" at a tavern in Peck Lane, kept by Joe Lindon, over the 
fire place in the room in which tne opposite or Tory party 
were in the habit of assembling, was minted, in large clear 
type, 'No Jacobin admitted here,'** The same writer also 
tells the following curious anecdote of James Bisset, one of 
these twelva " One evening, whilst living in New Street, 
and sufieiing most acutely from an attack of gout, two of 
the Ctahf agreeably to a premeditated plan, entered his 
sittinfi^ room disffuised as nighwaymen, and, weU armed, 
rougUy demandea his money ; and, as was expected, Mr. 
Bisset resisted, and, forgetting his gout, actually chased the 
supposed robbers to Freeth's nouse in Bell Street, where the 

Jractical joke became at once apparent, and, Strang to say, 
e never wun suffered from toe same excruciatm^ com- 
plamt, to 'much he had for a long time previously l)een a 
martyr/' The people were fond of fun in those daya 

Freeth gives ns a picture of Birmingham in 1776, which 
is more litend than poetical He calls it 

BIBMINGHAM TRANQUILLITY, 177«. 

Tune— ^A« MOUr o/Jian^/UUL 

In England's fair capital, e^eiy jear, 
A tomnlt is niaed about chooainff Lord liajor ; 
Badi par^ angagaa with f niy and qilaen, 
And noihmg mit atrifa and contaotion ia seen. 

Ta wnngltng old cits, let ma beg yon'd look down. 
And oopy from Birmingham'a paaoeabla town, 
Where aoob mxtj thousand or more too maj riew, 
JfopuHee dwdU hv% ami hui cmut M m two. 

In no plaoa beaSdea that* a ao popolooa grown, 

Waa e?ar laaa noiaa or diatoraanoea known : 

All handa find amploymenti and when thair wwk'a dona^ 

Are hiqipj aa anj aoua under the aon. 

With hammer and file time ia carsfullj hmi, 
For audi ia the moaic of every etreet ; 
The anTfl'a ahaip aoond ii tha aitiaf a delight, 
And atampa, latneai and preaaea in concert nnita. 

Let citiea and boro«urha for conteata prepare, 
In chooaiing of aherims recorder, or major, 
With moat Unda of titlea theT^^ nothmg to do^ 
Nor dieoord in chooaing of omcen ahew. 

Tha mtrj and hatred eleetiona bring on, 
Thahr hearty intention ia alwaja to ahun ; 
No polling, no aeratdiing, no aenitiniea riae, — 
Who hiendahip eateem mnat muh meaanrea deapiae. 



THE POET FREETH. 279 

To far distant climes doth her commerce extend ; 
Her channels of traffic admit of no end ; 
And Birmingham, whilst there is trade in the land, 
In brightest invention unrivalled shall stand. 

We wonder what lie would have said had he lived through 
the contest which ended in 1832, and some of the elections 
which followed the passing of the Reform Bill ! One of the 
noblest of our townsfolk's characteristics has descended to 
us from the past. The charity of our forefathers has proved 
an example which we have happily followed to the present 
time ; and its glory has sufferea no diminution or soil in 
our hands. In a poem on the Birmingham Overseers, Freeth 
says — 

Whilst friendship I boast of, and truth is my guidsi 
Of Birmingham's welfare to sing is my pride ; 
Nor u there a town, if we eeareh the lana o*er^ 
That pay* a more decent regard to the poor. 

He concludes his poem in a different mefare. The last 
verse tells us of the changes which were then taking place 
in the appearance of the town, and the poet's mind enlaigea 
with the prospect. 

BnuovoBAX must — (whose fame shall iin^ 

SaooDd in siae to Lovdov be ; 
Evexy month fresh houses springs 
Every year new streets we see ; 

whilst health remainsy 

And plenty reigii% 
Well drink in a binn|Mr of hearty cheer, 

** Of iriendanip the lorer, 

And all the wmd overi 
To every worthy OvrasEsa 1" 

Thus throuffh a long and useful life our cood old song- 
writer invoked bis muse. She was not a haughty dame, 
sandalled and buskined, but a li^rht-hearted, light-footed,' 
tripping litUe coddess, fond of socud life, of homely people 
and nomely habits. In his songs are preserved many of ibe 
habits, manners, and customs of old Birmingham ; and 
among the men of whom we ought to think with -pride, 
and whose names ought to be precious to us, John Freeth 
holds a hiffh and hcmourable place. As we have previously 
said, he £ed at the ripe age of 77. His death is thus 
recorded in the Oazette : — 

Oct 3, 1806w— On Thvndav, In the 78th year of his a^e, Ur. John 
Freeth, of this town, eommonfy called the Poet Freeth, a noetions hard 
of natare, forty-eight yean proprietor of fVeeth's Coffee-hoose, Bell* 
strseti a hooae mndi frequented oy strangers as well as the inhabitanti^ 



280 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

where the "Poet" need every evening to delight a hrg9 oompAny with 
original eonga, oomposed firom subjects of a public nature, replete with 
wit and humour — 

^ Who when good news is brought to town, 
Immediatelj to work sits down. 
And business hirly to go throuf^h, 
Writes aonp, finds tunes, and sings them too.** 
His morals were unsullied, and his manner unaffected^ Formed to 
enliven the social drdey po coess ing wit without acrimony, and indepen* 
deuce of mind without pride, he was beloved by his friends, courted by 
strangers, and respected by all. The hannless, yet pointed nllies of his 
muse, will be remembered with pleasing pain l^ thousands who admired 
his talents and revere his virtues. 

Several oontemponuy portraits ci Poet Freeth hare been 

preserved. One is in tne hands of Mr. S. Timmins, and 

another, representing the Poet as a <x>mpiuratiyelv young 

man, was presented to him^ and in a scrou in his hi^ are 

the following lines : — 

^By Gen'roos Bubeeription this Fieee was |daoed hers; 
Had the Bard Gave the order himsel£ 
The Worid at the Picture not only would stare. 
Bat aak bow be came by the Pell'' 

'The poet left behind him a &mily of two sons and eight 
daughtera He was buried in the Old Meeting House bunal 
ground ; and on his tombstone are engraved the following 
Bnes:— 

^Frse and easy through life *twas bis wish to proosed. 
Good msD he rsvereoL whstsfer their ereed ; 
His pride was a sodaUe evening to wend/ 
For no man loved better his pipe aad his Mead.* 

In sueh genial words we take leave of one of the most 
genial and most notable of Binningham mea of the last 
century. 



VR J. MORFrrr, and his ▲cooinvT of BiniairoEAiL 

The opening of the nineteenth centuiy was distinguished 
Ir^ the publication of two works whidi aflbid a a m i deal 
of information on the condition of the town and the people 
We have already examined Bisset's Shirvev, and we now 
turn to the more instructive lettcn of Mr. Mcnrfiti like so 
many who have left a name behind them whidi Birmiiigham 
people^ at leasts will not willin^y let die, he was not a native 
of the town. But with that ** predilection for Birmingham 
entertained by every denomination of visitant/* having 
once come to Uie plaoe he made it his home ; and when he 



MB. J. MORFITT AND HIS ACCOUNT OF BIRMINGHAM. 281 

wrote his own impressions of the town and its people, he 
had lived in it long enough " to see it in all points of view, 
in prosperity and adversity, in sunshine and in storms ;" and 
though, he says, " I may not, perhaps," be so accurate as if 
indigenous, I am more likely to be impartial." At all events 
in his pages we have the advantage of seeing our old town 
and our mthers as they were seen by one not a " native 
and to the manner bom." 

Mr. J. Morfitt was a Barrister-at-Law, and lived in St. 
Paul's Square. His name is in Bisset's " Mamiificent Direc- 
tory/' in Plate N, and appears in a scroll of Miscellaneous 
Erofessions. This was published in 1800, two years before 
e wrote his first letter on the town. That he had lived 
long enough in the town to " see it in all points of view," is 
evident fi^m the fact that eleven years before, or in 1791» 
he published an " Abstract of all the Acts of Parliament that 
relate to the Town of Birmingham and Hamlet of Deritend, 
alphabetically airanffed, with a correct Index, The whole 
expressly calculated for understanding with Ease, and finding 
with B^tdiness, the contents of no less than Eleven volumi- 
nous local Statutes, some of which are of great Scarcity, and 
all of ipneat Importance." His motto to this useful work is 
** Brevis esse laboro." Mr. Morfitt also published an abstract 
of several acts respectinff the Court of Kequests in this towiL 
And in the year 1794, he published a valuable little work 
on Birmingham. 

In 1805 Mr. J.S. Pratt published three large octavo volumes 
containing not only his own compositions but the contri- 
butions of friends, both in prose and verse. This work 
appeared with the following title : — •' Harvest Home : con- 
surting of Sapplementary Qleanings, original Dramas and 
Poems, Contributions of literary Friends^ and select Repub- 
lications, including Sympathy, a Poem, revised, corrected 
and enlaiged finom the eighth edition.* In the first of these 
Yolnmes appear, under Uie bead " Warwickshire Station," 
not only Mr. Morfitt's letters, but the account of the Gleaner's 
own obaervaiions during his visits to the town. Thus we 
have a rather complete and, te9ted hy other evidence, a very 
reliable aoooiml of the then state of Krmingham, ^ including 
the origin, p rogr e s s and expansion of the manufactures^" and 
"the character and customs of its numerous inhabitants." 
This is done with a friendly, but truthful hand ; and the 
picture drawn by Mr. Morfitt will be highly gratifying to 
the present generation of readera 



282 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

After describing ihe government of the town and its 
places of worship, the one feature of the people which 
arrests our author s attention and elicits his praise is one 
which has attracted so many both before and since his time, 
and that feature is their social spirit. His words are, '' Its 
striking characteristic is a superlative degi*ee of the social 
spirit, and a marked attention and respect to stranger&" 
Hutton had before marked this, and bore willing and 
hearty testimony to this characteristic. ''I mixed," he 
says, ''with a variety of company, chiefly of the lower 
ranks, and rather as a silent spectator. I was treated with 
an easy freedom by all, and with marks of favour by some. 
Hospitality seemea to daim this happy people for her own.** 
The Oleaner himself, who had travelled &r, and seen 

'^ cities of men 
And manxieni, dimatefl^ eooncil^ governmental" 

says, *' I have never found, in any part of the world, a more 
unaflfocted desire to see, serve, or amuse a stranger, whether 
information or curiosity be his motive; or more general 
good desire, in union with good manners, than m the 
inhabitants of Birmingham* They were also renowned for 
their love of good ale. Bisset tells us that we were fiuned 
for this commodity; and Morfitt wishes to lay a stress on 
the ^* epithet gooa, for, were it otherwise, in vain mig^t the 
landlord bow and the landlady apologiBe : no atrinement 
could possibly be made, and the most elegant parlour would 
be deserted for the meanest tap-roont It is by no means 
tmoommon, after the usual salutations and greetings, to ask 
one another as a most important question, 'Where is the 
best tap t' "^ According to the same authority ^ Chie of the 
diief luxuries of a Birmingham mechanic is a leg of mutton, 
with tamip9 and caper sauce. This is the common public 
house waffer, and is generallv eaten for supper.** A fiivourite 
treat of w Hasses is recorded to have been tripe and cow- 
heel, a luxury which then, as in our own time, used to be 
announced by the ^town crier** as ^ready at seven 
o'dock," 

Of the people's love for gardens, and the extraordinaiy 
opportunities they had of gratifying that love, we have often 
spoken, and now quote the testimony of an eye witness. 
Mr. Morfitt thus describes their ** uncommon partiality' for 
gardens and gardening :'* — 

Like the ancie&t Romans, tbey are all fond of ealtiTsting their 
cabbagesy jet not for profit, bat pleasure. In conaeqaeiiee oC this 



MR. J. MORFITT, AND HIS ACCOUNT OF BIRMINGHAM. 283 

hoitictdtiiTal propensity, the town is, in every direction, bordered by 
gardens, ana, in the language of poetry, invested by a zone of 
Testable beauty, in which are stuck, by way of grotesque ornaments, 
arbours and summer houses of all the forms that untutored fancy can 
devise. Into these rural recesses (most of which lie at a considerable 
distance, and some a mile or more, from the habitations of their owners) 
retire the merchant, manufacturer, and mechanic to relieve the tcedium 
of the counting-house, and the labours of the workshop. Here the 
sons of the anvil *' relax their ponderous strength." Ye^ though the 
rural principle is triumphant, it cannot entirely extirpate the habits of 
the town. Many of the little fabrics, dignmed with the name of 
summer houses, tiiou^h in general built with a sovereign contempt of 
all the orders of architecture, contain a commodious repository for their 
favourite bevera^ ; and in aU of them it is accounted a luxury to 
smoke a pipe; without this auxiliary the dtvini gUma raris loses its 
charms in the eyes of a Birmingham mechanic ; yet still this propensity 
bespeaks a refined taste, and dispositions naturally quiescent. 1m it 
prooable that a race of savages should erect altars to Flora, or that 
people fond of liot, confusion, or plunder should take delight in the 
tranquil recreations of a garden ! 

^ To thia pretty picture of old Birmingliam Mr. Pratt adds 
bis testimony, and tells tis in a note what he saw here 
in 1802^. 

I must oonf esi^ he says. I was, no ksi than my estimable oomspon- 
dflot^ delighted with the aonndaiwe ol groand thus laid into npwavas d 
m thousand gardens. Fmn the point at which I took my obsenratian* 
thej fonned a Qiinese view, witn little fandfol temples and various 
arbonntfe, calculated for recreation and use. It was refreshing even to 
think 01 so many thousands of ingenious ereatnres retiring to their 
floweiy nooks and verdant recosses, aflsr bending ovier the ooonter, 
working at the anvil, filing or naiUng ihxiinfjbaat the day. I looked at 
it even with aomething ol a tender satirfaction, as ^qaaJly ooadadve to 
healthy virtue, and domestic happiness. 

At this time there were ** lodges of Free-masons, Bucks, 
Druids, Odd-feUow8,and Knights of the Wood." Mr. Morfitt 
ia " convinced that the principle of most of them is philan- 
thropy, and of all harmless hilarity.'' His next statement 
will surrorise most readers of the present tima Mr. Morfitt 
says, " The inhabitants seem to have a voracious appetite 
for reading, which is amply gratified h^ two large suDscrip- 
tion libraries, exclusive ot many drculaui^ ones, particularly 
that of Mr. Lowe, our law-stationer, which in its comple- 
ment of novels, romances, and other books of fimcy and 
amusement, is p^haps exceeded bv no other provincial 

the 



collection in the kingdom. Even the working mechanics 
have, by a small weekly contribution, accumulated a 
number of useful books, which they denominate the ArlUUt 

* From a former passsge we kam that this point was in the High 8treet» 
at a part that fronts llew Strea; veij piobably Mr. HatlOB*s hosss. 



284 A CENTUUY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

Bepoaitoi'yr In a note he mentions as subscription libmries 
of this period Pearson'H, and Grafton and Riddell'a We 
have ah'eady in our accounts of the formation of many of 
our pliilanthropic institutions, and in our records of the 
yearly contributions to the relief of the poor, given a full 
confirmation of the following sentences of Mr. Morfitt, which 
we rejoice to have the opportunity to quote. *' In Birming- 
ham," he writes, "'Charity never faileth ;* and, to its 
immortal honour, the hallowed flame has uniformly burnt 
the brightest in the darkest scenes of adversity and distress. 
Never, since the town liad existence, was it more exhausted 
than during the late war ; and, yet, never were its charities 
supported with greater vigour." Then follows a brief 
history of most of the charitable institutions then existing. 
The morals of the working class were at thb time exceed- 
ingly bad. This is the reverse side of the picture. All the 
witnesses confirm Mr. Morfitt in his complaint of the 
sliameful language used by the workpeople. Their talk 
was a succession of oaths. Mr. Pratt, describing the scene 
in St Philip's Qiurch Yard, as " the countless multitudes, 
formed from the different manufactories" were going home 
to dinner, says, ** oaths, no less unprovoked than dire, were 
to be heard on all hands, though uttered more in wantonness, 
from continued bad habit, than from any bad intention : and 
yet, in general, perhaps without the idea of the wickedness 
of the practice. Drunkenness was a common vice of the 
artisan and mechanic ; and Mr. Morfitt draws a very gloomy 
picture of the wav in which earnings were wasted and 
squandered. Nor is he less emphatic in his statement of 
evils which follow the employment of women in our manu- 
fiEU^tories. His words are worth quoting now. * It must be 
confessed," he sa^s, "that the wives of the artisans of 
Birmingham are, in general, as deficient in those duties as 
their husbands. They are lamentably unfit for wives ; which 
will always be the caiic where women are brought up in the 
shops or manufactories ; because this allows no time for 
attention either to tlie decencies or the discretion of life. 
The very state of childlirKxl is almost necessarily abandoned 
bv mothers who are engaged in the workshops of this town. 
Till the boys and girls can themselves get into occupation, 
thev are suffered to run loose in the day, and to ramble at 
night. And, as idleneiw is the source of licentiousness, 
which leads them, the little unprotected creatures, into 
constant temptations, no wonder if they almost as constantly 



MR. J. MOBFITT, AND HIS ACCOUNT OF BIRMINGHAM. 283 

fall into the snare. . . . . . Boys and girls, men and 

women, frequently associate, and there is 'scarcely a line of 

separation drawn, either by policy, decorum, or sexual 

distinction. So that the work of the maniifacturer be 

carried on, too many, it is to be feared, are totally indifferent 

whether vice or virtue, health or disease, modesty or 

indecency, compose the society. But what makes it the 

more flagrant is, that these associations are necessary to the 

children who are in training for the manufactoriea The 

men and women teach the boys and girls the mingled 

industry and immorality they have learned themselves." 

There is too much of this true at the present time ; but a 

great chuige for the better is indicated by the fact that a 

vast majority of our manufacturers anticipated and gladly 

accepted the regulations of a wise Factory Act 

On the politics of the time Mr. Morfitt must surely have 

taken an exaggerated view ; or he was himself so opposed 

to the Libends of the day, and so fully shared the prejudices 

of the time, that he saw nothing but evil in their hopes and 

aspirations. Writing in 1804, only thirteen years after the 

Qburch and King riots of 1791, he thus pictures the political 

life of the working men : — 

" Nor must we, in this enomerfttion of the gieat ctnies of a def ectiTe 
state of morals in this town, fonet to obaervejopon the wicked industry 
with which lieenHout pHndj^ [that ii Wnjg politicsl have been 
propagated. The manulMtones, my friend, have tneir politidans and 
repubucans as well as the barber's shop and the ale-hoose, yea, and 
their revolntionists, Bobeqrierea, and atheists, are as nnmeroos and as 
fieroe ; and it is as oommon to hear the downfall of states, the lAija and 
low Charch party, the indivisihility of the mat nation^ the imperfec- 
tion ol thrones and dominions^ and the perteetability or human natore, 
the bUl of lights and the bill of wrongs diseaased and determined in 
easting a button or pointing a pin, as at the Devil Tavern, or the 
BoMn Hood Society r 

And then we have a fearful picture of the dangers which 
come from "* the rocks of treason, and the quicksands of 
rebellion ;" or, if these are escaped, from the ''shallows or 
the depths of infidelity ;" whicn we have happily passed 
througn without much injury. He next aUudes to the 
habits of the idle in collect mpr at street comers ; round the 
public office ; at the coach offices, to watch the ** exits and 
entrances of the stage coachea** Here is a street corner 
scene, as painted in 1804 : ^ Eight or ten people, with Uieir 
hands on their head, or in their bosoms, stand fixed in a 
stupid gaze at each other, veiy seldom converse^ and yet 
seldomer appear to be in the least degree amused or in- 



28G A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

terested ; yet tliey keep their station, oocupjring more than 
three parts of the foot- way, making it almost impossible to 
work your way through them. This well-compacted 
phalanx of loungers is so firm that, although there appears 
to be neither aim nor end in it, I question whether the 
famous pass at Thermopylae was more stoutly disputed." 

Our author also gives some admirable notes for the 
history of the staple trades of the town at the time. In 
this work we have the first reliable record of the manufac- 
ture of guns, swords, buckles, buttons, and an infinite 
variety of other articles. There is a brief account of 
Baskerville and his printing ; of Taylor and his buttons ; 
and an excellent sketch oi Soho, from which we have 
quoted in our description of that little world of art and 
industry. One extract fix)m this letter must suffice. 

The art of Founding, or casUnff in iron, has here attained sinffular 
exoellenoe, and was carried on with sin^lar idat, by a Mr. Hodgeta, 
upwaida of fifty years ago. Every article almost that can cross the 
imagination is now ccut ; locks and keys, hinges with moveable joints, 
buttons to imitate steel, naUs, scissors, razors, and even needles ; but 
the last must, by a subsequent operation, be tempered^ that is heated 
alonff with some substance contaming cijurhon^ in order to give them 
flexioility or aouteness. The above-named Hodgets wrote upon his 
sign '^ Every thing cast here." A wa^, seeing the inscription, asked 
him to coit a tall grove of trees near lus house. ** With all my heart," 
says Hodgets ; ''I'll cast them if you will but send me the patUnu." 

Mr. Morfitt also tells us that "Thread making is an old 
and lucrative business in this town, havine been carried on 
in * the days of other years,' by a Mr. Aoney, who lived 
at the Moat, the seat of our antient feudal lords." This 
trade has now entirely lefl ua 

Mr. Morfitt was an enthusiastic Church-and-Eanff man. 
He bated Dr. Priestley with all the hatred of the old Tory. 
He wrote against him both in prose and verse, and it is 
hard to say in which he was the most vehement and vitu- 
perative. Ho supported the Government in all their 
measures; was favourable to the war, and {uitrioticaUy 
abused the French in the old English fashion. In 1803 he 
published a war pamphlet, entitled ** The British Tocsin ; 
or the War with France justified, and the Charge Sounded : 
concluding with an Address to the Regulars, Militia, Yeo- 
manry, and Volunteers of Great Britain." A passage or 
two from this trumpet blast- of war will sufiice to show Mr. 
Morfitt's principles, method, and style : — 

At this tremendous crisiii, when we are unairoidablv involved in 
hostilities with an audacious and unprincipled usurper, who never made 



MR. J. MOBFITT, AKD HIS ACCOUNT OF BIKmKGHAM. 287 

war but with an intention to endaye, nor peace but with an intention to 
betray ; he must be more of a philosopher or less of a Briton than 
myself, who ^ can refrain eyen from ffood words." When the son of 
Croesus, who was bom dumb, saw the nostile sword suspended oyer the 
head of his yenerable parent, the yocal oi*gans were stimulated, " and 
he spake with his tongue." The theme on which I can no longer be 
silent, requires not a series of calm dispassionate reasoning : it abounds 
in facts that render moderation no longer a yirtue, and in their discus- 
sion I shall not dread the sneer of criticism, nor make any apology for 
redundancy of epithets or yehemenoe of diction. The field is far more 
open to inyectiye than to aigument, and my business is to animate, where 
I need not instruct The circumstances to which I shall haye occasion to 
allude are too notorious to be denied, too recent to be foigotten, and too 
plain to be perplexed. In a cause so interesting to my fedings and 
those of my countrymen I deprecate the censure of saying too little 
more than that of saying too much. Talk not to me of guarded 
phraseology, when speaicing of a darinff despot, equaUy the enemy ot 
England and of Europe, who woul^ like a Colossus, bestride the 
British Channel| and, like the Persiany enchain the winds and whip the 



The praises which were at this time lavished upon 
Bonaparte in France fill our anther with horror uid raise 
his indignation to the highest pitch* After giving a few 
examples, he says : — 

Eyeiy rational mind must revolt with horror and dii^gust from this 
hlas^emotts rant ol praise bestowed on a most consummate hypocrite 
and unpostor ; whose regard to the cresoent and the cross is equal, and 
who after professing hiDuelf in i^ypt one of the faithful followers of 
Mahomet^ now kisses the cross^ reoeiyes the aspersion of holy water, 
and bows with alEBcted veneration to all the mommery of Rome. 

His address to our various armed forces is thus con-^ 
duded : — 

^ Unwind yoar patriot flags, ye ' stems of a yietorioos stock !' Grasp 
the ffleaming sabra^ point we tube of death ; and tell the insolent 
inyaders, as loud as your guns can roar, that ye are the ondannted 
champions of year Kivo, yoor Couxtrt, and yoor Qod. 

* Ogive a glorious scope 1 unhinge, destroy 
Their vsiv power of doinff fatare wrongs I 
So shall ttie resea*d worlaponr forth its blemtnfrs. 
And kings and kingdoms tnank your anus loi oaiciy.' " 

Amoncst his poems is one on Birmingham which was 
pubUshed in Tyes description of the town ia 1818 ; and in 
quoting this we take leave of Mr. Morfitt and his works >— 

niastrions oflbpring of volcanic toQ I 
Pride of the oonntnr I glory of the isle I 
£orope*s grand to^rsnop ! Art's ezhaustless mine ! 
Tbesep and more titlesi Binntngham, are thine. 
From jcfldoos fearsi from chartered fetters free. 
Desponding genius finds a friend in thee ; 



288 A CENTUET OF BIBMINGHAM LIFR 

Thy 8oal, as liVral tm the breath of spring, ^ 
Cheers hiB faint heart, and plamet hia flagging wing. 
'Tifl thine, with plastic hana, to mould the mass 
Of ductile silver and resplendent brass ; 
Tis thine, with sooty finger, to produce 
Unnumbered forms for ornament and use. 

Hark ! what a sound ! — mart's ponderous &bric reels, 
Beoeath machinery's ten thou<uind wheels : 
Loud falls the stamp, the whirling lathes resound, 
And engines heave, while hammers clatter round : 
What labour foni^es, patient art refines, 
Till bright as dazzling day metallic beauty shines. 

Thy swords, elastic, arm our heroes* hands ; 
Tny muskets thunder in remotest lands ; 
Thy sparkling buttons distant courts emblaze ; 
Thy polish'd steel emits the diamond's rays ; 
Paper, beneath thy magic hand, assumes 
A mirror brightness, and with beauty blooms. 
With each Etruscan grace thy Tases shine, 
And proud Japan's &m*d Tarnish yields to thine. 

Thine, too, the trinkets that tlie &lr adoro. 
But who can count the spangles of the mom f 
What pencil can pourtray this splendid marl^ 
This vast, stupendous wilderness of art. 
Where fimcr sports in all her rainbow nues. 
And beauty's nuliant forqis perplex the muse t 
The boundless tlieme transeends poetic layi^ — 
Let plain historic truth record thy praise. 

The following is the contemporary record of Mr. Morfitt's 
death : — 

May 15, 1809. — On Monday, in the 58nd year of his age, John 
Morfitt, Esq., son of the Hev. Mr. Morfitt, Rector of Horsforth and 
Scarborough, Yorkshire, and perpetual , Curate of HatUm, in this 
county. Mr. John Morfitt was a barrister-at-Iaw, had formeriy been a 
member of (Jniversity GoU^, Oxford, and was for many years an 
inhabitant of this town. With a benevolent temper and nonourftble 

Srinciples, he united a considerable share of classical learning, especially 
I Latin authors ; great geneml knowledge of modem writers, a correct 
taste in English prose, and talents for English poetry. His eminent 
talents were very frequently employed in assisting Uie distrsssed and 
unfortunate, and hundreds, in addition to his numerous friends, will 
have to lament the loss of one who felt a pleasure in distributing the 
advantages which Nature and Education had so liberally bestowed 
upon him. 

'' S^k not his merits farther to disdose. 
Nor draw his frailties from their draid abode ; 

There they alike in trembling hope repose, 
The bosom of his Father and his Qod/'^Gray*$ Ei^ffy. 



TO arms! to arms once 5I0RE! 289 



TO arms! to arms onoe more! 



The year 1802 opened with hopes which were destined 
to a speedy disappointment. The peace of Ainiens was a 
short-lived one indeed. It was signed on February 27 ; 
and the rejoicings of the nation showed how deeply the 
people longed for a cessation of the ruinous war. Birming- 
nam was as anxious for peace as the rest of the kingdom. 
The prosperity of the mn and sword trades was but a small 
satisfiustion in return K>r the depression of the thousand and 
one industries upon which depended then— even as it now 
depends — ^the well-being of the inhabitants. The news of 
the definitive treaty having been signed was thus received: — 



April 5y 180S. — With heartfelt satiafaction we congratulate our 
reader! upon the arrival of the Iong-«xpeeted I)efi]iitive Treaty of 
Peace. The joyful infonnation was fint brought to thia town on 
Tneaday morning, before three o'dock, by the Balloon poet coach, which 
oame fiom London (110 milee) in ten hionn and forty minatea The 
streeta were in a veiy ahort time crowded with thousands of people, in 
aazioqa ez|Metation of the Mail, which came in between nine and ten, 
drawn by six horses, and decorated with flags, ribbons, &c Immedi- 
ately on its arriTal at the Inn the populace took out the horses, and 
dragged it in exultation round the town for several hours. Bonfires 
anda general illumination, though not so brilliant an one as we hare 
asen on former ooeasiona, concluded the day. 

On Wednesday, at one o'clock, the Birmingham Loral Association 
met in New Street, and fired a feu de joie ; and in the evening the 
inhabitants of this town and neignbourfaood were most highly gratified 
by a splendid illumination. 

On the second of April Mr. H. Legge, of Aston Hall, 
celebrated the arrival of the news by '* giving to his poor 
neighbours an ox and two sheep, and a quart of ale to each 
man and a pint to each woman." These rejoicings were 
followed by addresses to the king, by celebration dinners, 
by medals, and all the other manifestations of satisfaction 
usual upon such occasiona The 1st of June was appointed 
as a day of public thanksgiving ; and a hopeful correspon- 
dent trusted that this event would tend .to allay the rancour 
of party which still afflicted the town. His letter is worth 
quoting, as it is a contemporary witness of the sad and long- 
enduring effects of the nots of 1791. The meeting alluded 
to is the one at M'liich an address to the king was adopted 
on the "happy re.storation of peace:" — 
u. D 



290 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGIIiVM LIFE. 

To THE PrTNTERS OF Aris's BIRMINGHAM GAZETTE. 

May 31, 1802. — Gentlemen, — Will p-ou allow me, through the 
medium of your paper, to congratulate the Town on the happy presage 
of returning harmony manifested at our Public Meeting on Friday last. 
I rejoice that, after the unhappy auimositica which have so long 
divided us, a question hath been submitted to the Town of Birmingham 
on which there appeared but one opinion. The experience of the last 
ten years hath indeed kept a dear school ; but it has taught us lessons 
which, I trust, will not soon be forgotten. A consideration of the perils 
into which we have been thrown— of the dangers from which we have 
been rescued — of the protecting energies of oui- admirable Constitution, 
directed by the mild out vigorous administration of our Government — 
and of the distinguished privileges we enjoy under the l^est of Sovereigns, 
calls loudly for National Gratitude ; and, if rightly improved, will 
powerfully induce the friends of good order not only to cultivate the 
arts of i>ubUc peace, but to promote, to the utmost, domestic union and 
good neighbourhoo<i. 

Under this impression I cannot but cherish the ho))e that, in the 
public solemnities of the approaching day of Thanksgiving to Almighty 
God, the rancour of party feuds will expire in the ardour of genuine 
devotion, and that the glorious event of i*oace, which has given rest to 
Europe, will teal in oblivion the memory of our past dissensions. 

Tours, &C., M. 

Tho day of thanksgiving was held, and was " devoutly 

observed in this town. Collections were made after service 

at the difTerent Cliurches and Chapels for support of tho 

Sunday Schools, and the following sums received : — 

£ 8. d. 

St Martin's 13 6 61 

St Philip's 22 17 8 

St MarVs 24 12 8 

StPaoTs 11 1 

St liartholomew's . 5 11 7 

Ashted 4 3 4 

Total . /81 12 9J" 

This happiness was of short duration. Tlic amhitious 
groe<l of Bonaparte, and his liatrcnl of Englan<l, made jicacc 
distasteful, and at the earliest moment he made its con- 
tinuance impossible. On March 18, 1803, war was decbired. 
•* This time, says Mr. Goldwin Smith, " a necessary war ; 
for I am confinncd that witli the perfidv and rapine of 
Bonaparte no peace could be made, that tlie struggle with 
him was a struggle for the indei>endencc of all nations 
against the armed and disciplined honles of a conqueror as 
cruel and as barbarous as Attila. The outwanl mark of 
civilisation Bonaparte wore, and ho could use jKilitical and 
soc*ial ideas for the purposes of his ambition as dexterously 
as cannon; but in character he was a Coi*sican, and as 



TO arms! to arms once moke! 291 

savage as any bandit of his isle. If utter selfishness, if 
the reckless sacrifice of humanity to your own interest and 
passions be vileness, histoiy has no viler name. I can look 
witli pride upon the fortitude and constancy which England 
displayed in the contest with the universal tyrant."* The 
war now began in earnest. Bonaparte threatened the 
invasion of England, and the whole nation at once leapt, as 
it were, to aims to oppose him. Oui* town was not behind 
in this patriotic work. A requisition was presented to tho 
High Bailiff, who thereupon called a Town's Meeting for 
Friday, August 5th, of which we have this report : — 

Augast 8, 1803. — We ueyer felt gi^eater satUfiiction than in wit- 
nessing the very unmerous and respectable meeting of the inhabitants 
of this town and neighbourhood, at Styles' s Hotel, on Friday, to con- 
sider what steps were proper to be taken most promptly and effectually 
to forward the views of Government at this critical and important junc- 
ture. With the utmost pleasure we record the unanimity tnat prevailed 
throughout ; even those persons who have on former occasions so widely 
differed from their fellow-townsmen on political subjects, now declared 
their sentiments to be in full unison with the rest of the meeting, and 
that they were willing to come forward with their last shilling, and to 
spend the hut drop of their blood in support of this now happy country 
against the threats '>f the Ck>rsican Usurper. 

A subscription was commenced, which at the fii^t meeting 
amounted to nearly £4,G00. The following are a lew of the 
nmnes of our townsmen with the amount they subscribed 
on this occasion : — James Goddington, £105 ; Jolin Taylor, 
£ii\i} ; Spooner and Attwoods, £315 ; Isaac Spooner, £105 ; 
Rol>ert Coales, Wooliey, & Co., £210; Woolley and Deakin, 
£105; Dickenson, Goodalls, and Co., £210; Samuel Pcm- 
Ix'i'ton, £105 ; fiinningham Mining and Copper Company, 
£500; Samuel Oalton, £210; John Rotten, £105. By the 
22nd of August the subscrij)tion exceeded £9,000. Nor 
wsis the spirit of the people disj>laye<l by money contribu- 
tions alona On the same day this |)aragraph appeared : — 

Auj;. 22, 180.3. — In addition to tho patriottc offers of individuals 
already announced, we reconi with mncli plaisiire that of Mr. Robert 
S. 8key, who engages to have at the diHpoeal of Government, in case of 
invasion, ten boats (trigetlier of 2fK) tons tonnage) at his wharf in this 
town, and fifteen boats (of 3(K) tons) at Stour]>ort, with men and horses, 
and alrto two waggons and horses, with drivers. Mr. Styles, of the 
Hotel, in this town, has aluo most patriotic:illy offertftl.all hiii cluuHes 
and horses to convey his Majesty s trtiop, free of expeuoe, t<> tlie extent 
of one stagti, at any time in case of inviision. 

Anil ai^aui : — 

* Tlirec Kn^rli-'li StatoAincti : A Cour.<c of lectures on the Political 
Hi'ton* of England. \ly lioldwin ^^lllith. |>p. 3I3-314. 



292 A CENTURY OF BIBMIN0HA31 LIFE. 

Aug. 22, 1803. — Instakces of Patriotism. — Wm. Jonesy a jobbing 
smith of this town, fearful that his age (73) would preclude him from 
serving hb countiy, made his return 63, at the same time offering him- 
self as a Tolunteer. — Wm. Cooke, a bolt-maker of this town, on receiying 
his bounty to serre as a substitute in the Warwick Militia, immeHi > tely 
took means to remit five guineas as his subscription to the patriotic 
fund at Lloyd's. 

In tlie next week's paper we have this further account of 
the progress of the patriotic movement : — 

We are glad to perceive that the subscription for the encoursgement 
of the Volunteer Corps of this town, daily receives great and liberal 
additions ; it will be seen by the advertisement that it exceeds ten 
thousand seven hundred pounds, to which, we have reason to believe, 
a ooHDsiderable sum will be brought forward, from the parish of Aston, 
in our next publication. It is a source of generous pride to us that^ 
though our means of wealth have, for a series of time, been dimlnishingy 
still the same liberality exhibits itself upon every great and important 
eriids. With no less pleasure do we hear that that very respectable 
part of our fellow townsmen, the Quakers, intend to come forward with 
peeoniary aid, under particular modifications consistent with their reli- 
gious tenets. They admit, as every good citizen must, the necessities 
of the timeiL and that the present moment calls for every sort of 
exertion. We must, however, and it is an irksome duty, deprecate tlia 
parsimonious conduct of some individuals, upon whose gratitude the 
town has the strongest claim, because in this place they have emeiged 
from obscurity to opulence; such characters must and will be con- 
temned, and care shotiM 1*e tnlcen that they be held up to infiuny and 
dishonour. With tliiA v.cv\, lii.ici-io, we are hnp* ♦'> hear that a r- 
reeted schedule of our contributions, distributing i .. .^< v ral ^ ul •> a 1 1 ers 
into streets, will finally be published. 

In the two days that the books have been opened in this town to 
receive the names, upwards of eighteen hundred persons have enrolled 
themselves to serve in a Volunteer Coras. The Committee attend aaain 
this day and to-morrow, at Stvles's Hotel, from nine o'doek till four, 
for the purpose of receiving additional nameS| when we trust that tha 
householders will come fora*ards more genendly with their ofiers of 
service than they have yet done. 

The regiment of Volunteer Infantry, now raising in this town, is 
intended to consist of three battalions of ten companies each, with a 
Lieoienunt-Colonel and two Majors to each battalion. The Colonelcy 
has Ijeen oflered niiJ, wo are happy to say, accepted by the £arl of 
IMrtinonth ; the other Field Ofiicers, and the Captains to the first bat- 
talion, were aIho nmuiuated on Friday, but, as the consent of all of than 
M not yvt obtained, we cannot insert their names till our next publi- 
cation/ 

We are authorised to state that the Earl of Warwick, the Lord 
Licttleuant of this County, has made an offer to Government to subscribe 
the sum of ten thousancl pounds, to be expended in the purchase of 
arms for the use of all the Volunteer Corps of the County of Warwick, 
which may have received his Majesty's approbation. We are likewise 
informed, that his Lordship Iulh declared his intention of allotting the 
sum of 1,(HK)/. for the relief of the families of such volunteers of the 
county of Wnrwick as may fall in the honourable defence of their 



TO ahms! to abms once moue! 293 

ooantrj ; or, if not 00 expended, in aid of the general snbscription at 
Lloyd's. Mrs. Lloyd, of the Hen and Chickena Hotel, in this town, 
anxious to render every senrice in her power to the general canse, has 
offered all her chaises and horses, as well as her waggons, ourta, &c., at 
her fiurm, for the aooommodation of the eountry in case of invasion, to 
be under the direction of the Bepnty Lieutenant of the District 

The pens of Freeih, Bisset, Morfitt^ Weston and Nott,. 
were at work encouraging the spirit of the people. The 
Buke of York expressed his approval of some of the 
songs, and sent letters of acknowleogment to their authors. 
Mr. Joseph Harris supplied both words and music to a song 
called '' J ohn Bull ; '^ Mr. J. Bisset issued hb ** Pai^tic 
Clarion; or, a Call to Qloiyl containing twelve original 
Songs, written on the threatened Livasion." These were 
inscribed, ''by permission," to the Commander-in-Chief; 
Mr. Morfitt published his '^ Tocsin ; " and Mr. Job Nott his 
tract, ''The British lion Brayed, and the French l^rrant 
Trembles." So there was no lade of local war litenttur^ 
on the occasion. 

The following local appointments were made by the War 
Office ^— 

October 17tb, }d03. 

Wae Orrid. 
Zoyal Birmimgham FottmlMr InfauUry, 

To be Oolonel, George, Esrl of DMrtaMiiUL 

First Battalion of the Lojral BimiinghMn YolimtMr hduktrj^^To* 
be lieatenaatOoloiiely Jofain Brejntoo, Eh|.; to be Ki||or, Locd 
Lewishsm. 

To be Cbpteins : 

Junas TimmfD% En. Joseph Hboce. Esq^ 

Alazander Forreati Esq. Bobart Bamiiu Skajr, Esq. 

laaao Fftttt, Esq. Hawy Pkatl^ Eaq. 

Blcbard WanvD, Esq. Lowa Smith, Em|. 

Thomaa Hanaoo, Esq. Bidiard Bsarnnonti Esq. 

To be Ltaotanaiita : 

Matthew linwood, Gent Fkmncia Johaaon, Gant. 

Bichard Gaxdinar. Gent Jamsa N. Watiad, Gant . 

Joaiah Bicfaarda, Gaot Lorelaoa Waldi, Gant 

Edmund Tompkina^ Gent Jamsa Mala^ Gaot. 

Samuel Tomlinaon, Gent. John Simaon, Gant 

William Shora, Gant - Joaaph Hawkaafocd, Gaot 

TobaEnrigna: 
Daniel Clowas^ Gant J. A. SoaUnar, Gant 

John Hemalaj, Gant Gaorga Froetor, Gant 

Gaoiga Richards, Gant. Tbo.fi. BoUnaon, Gant 

William Hajnas^ Gant John Smith, Gant 

To ba Soifson, Gaotga IVsar, Gant 

To ba AssiaUnt Snigaon, C. V. Webb^ Gant 



294 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAH LIFK 

r 

Second Battalion of the "Loyal Birmingham Yolanteer Infiuitry. — 
To be I^eatenant^Colonel, John Qordeu, Esq. ; to be Major^ John 
Taylor, Esq. 

To be Oaptains : 
GeoTve Timmins, Esq. Joseph Bandell, Esq. 

Joseph Willmore, Esq. James Osborne, Esq. 

John Porter, Esq. Obadiah Bellai^, Esq. 

George Meredith, Esq. Edward Jesse^ JBsqi 

Thomas Bam, Esq. Joseph Mason Gaest, Esq. 

To be Lieatenants : 
William Betts^ Gent. John James Iddens, Gent 

John Matbhe^ Gent Ohaiies Kenclow, Gent. 

Bichard Hipkias, Gent William Oapenhiust, Gent 

Thomas Bartleet^ Gent William Jones, Gent 

' TobeEnnnis: 
John Twemlo V, Gent ' Edward WaddelL Gent 

John Banoek, Gent Edw. Yilleis WUkes, Gent 

Henry Hnnt^ Gent Joseph Walsh, Gent 

Thiid Battalion of the Loyal Birmingham Volunteer In£antiy.--To 
be L ieatenant-Oolonel, Henry Johnstone,' Esq. ; to be Majon^ John 
Wilkes^ Esq., Wyrley &roh, Esq. 

To bo Oaptaitts : 
'> 'Samnol Bellamy, Esq. • John Heraiek Jerris^ Eiq. 

John Meredith, Esq. Thomas Attwood, Esq. , 

George Borrish, Esq. RIdiard Bird, Esq. 

Bobert Lloyd, Esq. ^^^^S^ Williams Gem, Ek|. 

Edward Thomaaon, Esq. WiUiam Withering, Em^. 

To be Llentenanti : 
\raiiam Binc^, Geati Wttliaai WUlmoi«,'G«it 

r..CliariesCkM<isnt Jolm LbiwoodL Gent 

. J^raods EuntooL Gent John Fkrke^ Gent 

James BsEonsLGent Bobert Webb^ Gent 

John Seward, Esq. 

To be Ensigns : 
Abel Wiftlam^ Gent Wllllain Wilday,Gent 

Charies Grafton, Gent Joseph Walker, Gent 

Thomac Dizoo, Gent Wm. Hmnphiy Tale^ Gent 

FranelB Sbeppe^d, Qent. 

At the same time ure aie infonned that ** Official com- 
mimicationa have been received from Qovenmient, atating it 
to be their intention, in the conne of a few days, to pat all 
Volunteer Oorpe, both^Ckvaliy and Infimtry; upon per- 
manent pay." 

In order to incraaae the enthnuaam, and to enlist all 
pemns in the great work of national defence, the bdiea 
were specially appealed ta On November 14 was issued 
the following 

Addrm io 0$ ladim and I^Ur Sex in ^m^m^ 9/ Birmuig 

Vieimtjf, 

FAia Co ua T E i ii mua ,-»Yoo most be aware of the new and nn* 

pteced e nteddangpr with wfaiAonraatton is at this moment threatened, 



t6 arbcs! to arms once more! 293 

and of the immediate prftpaTation (to which the famous Spaniah Annada 
and all former invasions Dear no oomparisou in magnitude) which that 
Barbarian, Buonaparte, has made, in hopes of subduing this kin^^dom, of 
killing -its brave defenders, of plimdering its treasures, of rumingits 
trade and commerce, and of reducing us to the wretched and contempti- 
ble servitude of the nations which he has already conquered and en- 
slaved. You have seen how a truly British spirit has animated jour 
fathers, brothers, husbands, sons, and lovers to arm themselves volun- 
tarily in defence of their country, their religion, tlieir laws, and liberty, 
their property, their lives, (what is as dear to them as all these) to 

frotect you from injuiy, and your sacred charms from ruffii'm violation, 
'or these noble purposes they have engaged to fore^ the ease and 
comforts of domestic life, to expose themselves to the toils and hardships 
of military, seivioe, and to hasard their persons and lives in repelling 
an inveterate and powerful foe. Though your sex preclude all per- 
sonal exertion (as tiie modem taste is not sufficiently neroic to admire 
ladies of a waiiike spirit), let your influence over tlie minds of men, 
which is known to nave been powerful from the days ci £ve to the 
present time, be employed to encoon^pe them, and to reward their 
labonn bv yoar esteem and favour in this great cause. 

lliough jroa cannot defend and cover uem from the dangers of the 
field by a veil of douds, as Venus did her favourite Paiia y^ you may. 
without a mirsde, and by the ample aid of a Flannel Jacket, defend 
them from the severity of a cold and wet winter campaign, and conse- 
quently acainsi the fatal d i w aa s cs to which armies are liable from this 
canse, ana which aie generally more destructive than the sword. 

Yjofo, have probably Aeard m the subscriptions whichhave been entered 
into by your mx. for profviding flannel clothing for the volunteers in 
London and other places. Be assured you cannot imitate a better ex- 
ample, not one whicn, for the smaUness of expense, can contribute more 
to the health and comfort of voor protectors ; and yon may also be 
aasoredy that the vmloe of the eif t win be greatly enhanced by the love 
and regard whidi they will have for their fair benefactors. Every 
gallant volunteer, while on senice, will feel the clothing doubly warm 
and donbly comfortable, when he recollects by whom it has been given, 
perhaps aaxMog oUiere oy the fair one whom, of all the worid. he loves 
iiest. He wiUvalue his portion of flannel more hi^y than he would 
the celebrated Gfoldcn Fleece ; a% indeed, it will, besides, be much more 
nsefnl* 

Too nii^t, if rocni, be reminded from histonr of many patriotic 
and Boble examples given by your sex ; of the Koman ladies liaving 
■ac rifi cad their jewek and oraameuts for the defence of their country ; 
and of the Outlu^enian damwels catting off their flowing locks to oe 
formed into coitlaffs for wariike instruments ; bat Englisli women will 
reqoira no oilier mdaoement than merdy to be informed that a sub- 
■enption for tfie p n rpose of soppl ving the Birmingham Volunteers with 
flamiel ^^W>«ffg naa neen propoaea bv some patriotic ladies, to be opened 
at Measra. Knott and Uoyifa and ouer place^ where, undoabtedly, the 
fairsat and beat will be the moat forward in piaeing their namea in this 
licnoarable and benevolent list Possibly some of the fair sempstresses 
may add to the value of their benefaction by aasisHng in the workman- 
ship at their hooaea. 

It is further propoaed, that, in order to |^ve every well-iliflpnsed 
female an ojiportumty of shewing her gooil will, the subscription shall 



29G A C£NTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIF£. 

be limited, 80 that no one lady shall subecribe more than two goineaa, 
or as much leas as may suit eveiy one's oonyenience. The widoVs mite 
will be held in no less regard than the lai^gest benefaction. 

Fair ConntiTwomen, you have now an opportunity of shewing your 
gratitude to your protectors, your good inshes for their safety and 
suooess, and your seal in the glorious cause of defence of all that you 
hold most dear ! Av Old Soldier. 

The ladies responded nobly to this apjpeal. They not 
only gave money, but undertook to make flannel dresses for 
the volunteera Before the end of 1803 more than 5,000 
dresses were promised. Lady Dartmouth offered 120, lOss 
OoodaU 120, Miss James 100, Mrs. Knott 120, the Schools 
of Industiy 200, Mrs. Sumner and Miss Mallett 144, Mrs. 
Birch 100, Miss Hunt 100, and so on through a long list of 
namea The ladies also subscribed more than £700 in 
money. The advertisement announcing the ladies' ffifls and 
donations was so louft that the editor Imd to append a note, 
stating that ** From uie length of the above aavertisement 
we are obliged to postpone till next week the insertion of a 
number of other subscnbers, as well as the offers to make 
the dresses." 

The first field day of the Volonteera was held on Novem- 
ber 15 ; of which we have this contemporary report : — 

Nov. 21| I803.--On Toesdaj the whole of tlie fint battalion of the 
Loyal Binnipgham Volonteen, aooompanied by the Luiit Infantiy of 
the seoond battalion, appeared for the fifst time in faD vnifoniii and 
were inqpeeted bj their Colonel the Eeri of Dartmouth, on their exer- 
dafaig groond, leading to the Five Waja. We witneiaed with pride 
and exaltation the tralj military appearuioe of this fine bodv of men« 
who^ at thii most important crisisi have so nobl v stepped forth in 
defence of their oonntiy ; aod we fed mndi aaftiiAmon in leying before 
CNir readeis the thanks of theur Golonel— the most flattering teetunonj 
of their appeannoe and their state of discipline :— 

(OoiT^ 
'^Omurai Ordeti. 

^The Ooknel desires to repeat the acknowledgment of the vecy 
Ifreat and nnmized pleamre whidi he derived yesterday from the 
inqwdtfcn of the first oattalion, and the light infantry of the second 
battalion. He congratolates LientcnaniXk>lonel Breynton and the 
cAoen npon the appearance of the corps, their gnaA stcndmese nndcr 



the pndaion with wiiiefa th^ perfomed eveiv part of their 
ezsrdae. He regneets the oflkere to convey ths eipresBon of his lu|^ 
approbation to the non-comniiseioned officere and privates vnder thsir 
command, and to aantre themaelves and them that a continnanoe of the 
same seal and alacrity in the diaham of their duty will place the Loyal 
Binningbam Tolnnteen among Uie fmemoat of those whom the 
gkirioQs and interesting canse of their coontiy has nnited in the defence 
cf everything moat dear and moat aacred to men and firitona an the 
p r ea en t anjoooa moment (Signed) 

** Sandwell, Nor. 10, laoaL" ** Damm onm, Colond. 



TO ABMSl TO AR&IS ONCE MORE ^ 297 

It waa intended that the light infantry of the third battalion should 
have appeared on the same daf, completely doihed, &c, but all their 
appointments not being reacfy, they were unable to attend. They 
paraded, however, yesterday morning in full uniform, and afterwards 
marched to church. The other companies of the second and third 
battalions are expected to be clothed m the course of three weeks. 

This notice was also published : — 

It is generaUy believed that the time of the lon^-threatened invasion 
is at no great distance^ and it must afford great satisfaction to the nation 
to witness the preparations which Qovemment is making for that 
event It is of the ffreatest importance that the internal ffood order 
and tranquillity of the country should be effectually provide for ; and 
with this view the Secretazy of State has received his Majesty's com- 
mands to recommend to the magistrates throughout the kingdom to 
enquire, in their several districts, what trustworthy housekeepers or 
others who are not enrolled in any volunteer corps, or liable to military 
service from being indnded in the first and second dasses UQder the 
general defence ai^ will, in the event ol the enemv landing, engage to 
come forward* and to act as Bp&daX constables within their respective 
parishes and aistricti» and to take a list of sndi names, with their places 
ol residence. It is rscrwnmcmded that the special constables shmud be 
f onnad into small dinsionai with penoos seleeted from each divinon 
and placed at the haadthereol^ as saperintendents^ by the readent 
wi BgifftratflS- 

The pbysiciajis of the town took their share of the good 
work, and looked after the health of the men. The following 
report will show the sendble advice which they gave on the 
occasion: — . . 



Nov. 13, 1803.— Commitlae of the Ydontaen of the TWn of 
nuBgham: the Eari of Dartmouth in tha Chair. TheCdlowiiigAddnss 
from the Fhysidaas of Btnningfaam was read : 

The Phyrieiam of Bi rmimff k am to tk» Lojfol Birmu^Kom Vdunieen. 

Fellow TowBsmeiiy— Our Oountiy is thraataned; and, with trve Bri- 
tish Spirit, von have Tolnntarilj stepped forward and ranged vousdves 
in Arms. But to reader your SeiVices efleetual food health is neces- 
sary ; and, as JadividQsl% wo beliove that, at tnis Conjanetora^ we 
cannot mora esssatisllj serve the commoii Ganse than by pointtna oat 
to yoor Notice SBehBegolationsss may tend to the rrtsalvatioB of that 
Blessing and to the laetssse df your Comfort 

The Lift of a Soldier in aetosi Service will be fonnd widelv to differ 
fromUiat of Iheeomnon Citlssn. Heat and Cold, Hnagerand Fatigne, 
most each bo onooonierad ; hot these Evi]S| by proper Attention on 
your Fart^ may bs auOerially mitifcatedy ana even rendered compsrar 
tively light' and inoppraasive. Flannel ia the proper Clothing £nr a 
Soldier; it not only wevsnts the heat of the Body from being too 
specdilv dissipstsd^ Mt it resdOy absorbs the Moistora, whether pio- 
daced by over Esertioo, or the Effect of external Hamidity. In oar 
variable Climate^ it is a Shield saainst sadden Vtciaaitadea, and, to a 
Conatltation not aceastomed to Blardahips^ it is the best Inventive of 
Disease. Evsij Soldisr, therefore, oaglit to provide himssif with two 
Flann^ Waistcoats^ to bs worn neat the Skin, two F^ ol Flannel 



298 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 



Drawen, two Ttdr of wann Worsted StoekincB, and two Flannel Nigbt- 
cape, and with what is no less necessary, two I^ of warm stout Shoes. 

After Ezposore to the Weather^ wheUier you haye suffered from Cold 
or Heat, or from the Bain, do not remain inactive. If you are hot, 
take ffentle Exercise in the Shade till you are cool ; avoid Currents of 
cold Air, and do not indulge in Draughts of cold Lioulds. If you are 
cold, gradually recover your lost Heat by Friction or Exercise in a tem- 
perate Boom ; but avoid the sudden Approach to a laige Fire. If you 
are wet, whether with Bain or Perspiration, or even should your Clowes 
be damp only, do not neglect to shift yourselves immediately. If, after 
the Fatiffues of a forced March or of a Battle, you should find youreel ves 
much ezbaosted, do not seek to indulge too freelv, but let ^our firugal 
Heal be seasoned with the very moderate Use of Wine, Spirits, or of 
Malt Liquor ; and for this Temperance ^ou will be recompensed b^ 
iound Sleep, horn whidh you will arise with renewed Yigoor and Am- 
teation. 

The popular Belief that the Use of Spirituous Liouora renders a 
Person less susceptible of cold and better enables iiim to endure 
IVtt^e cannot be too much reprobated ; the veiy Beverse is the Truth. 
The Drsm-diinker is eThllfnit.ad for the moment^ but he soon is 
benumbed by cold and exhausted bv fatigue; while he who drinks 
Malt lAcfiar. or Wine, or Spirits tiie most sparingly, sets Cold at 
Defiance, ana performs all his du^witii Ease and Alacrity, But the 
0vil conseymiow to toe Spirit drnucen ire not mersly temporaiy ; his 
Stomadi soon becomes disordered, his Appetite is lost, and mortal 



The MUitary Life is one either o^ very great exertion or of compara- 
tive Lmctivity ; but the latter is the Foe to Health. Do noL therefoie, 
mttar Tiglliwnwi or Sloth to oecapy tiie Soldier, bat let those hoars 
not filled ap with the duties of yoar Prolenon be dedicated to cheetful 
and aetiTe Anwiawnfnt 

. Jiiabettarto pwvent. diaeaea than to core; and by attention to 
these soggestftQiis, a proper obaervaoM of the M^golar Hoors for Food, 
and the strictest Cleanliness of Peiaon, wetmst that your Health may 
be protected, and vour comforta increased. To these general Instruc- 
tiona wa aamoin that, in paiticalar oases of Disease^ any one or all of 
nB will ever be vaady to raider owiy Asaiataoioe to the Loyal Yohu- 



Tboxas Shitr, Bobiit Brbb, 

EowaaD Jonaaron^ Job* Jonvaioiia, 

WiLUiM OiLBT, Faavcn Booaaa, 

John CAnncHAiL, Oao. Edward Maia 

Koti.— The Flannel Waistcoat dioald be made huge, with deeves^ 
and to axteod below the Hip Bone, at least eight indiea. In the dioea 
loose Ooric Boles are admiraole Protectors from Damp. 

Beadved,— That the warmest thanka of this Committee be presented 

to the Phyddana for their very opportune and meritorious attention to 

the Health of the Volunteers ; and that their address be printed a»l 

dia tr ib ttte d to the aeversl Ydonteen^ and inserted in the Birmingham 

''^nsneiaL 

BaaKsa and Uvrt, Secretaries. 

We have great pleasoie in quoting thia brief record of an 
heroic act by a Birmingham man :^- 



TO arms! to arms oncb more! 299 

Dec 19, 1803. — On Friday, the cap of liberty, which waa placed upon 
the top of Pompey's pillar l^ the French, as a memorial of their con- 

a nests in Egypt, and taken from thence by lient. George Meredith, of 
iia town, was tnspended with mnch solemnity from the ceiling of the 
Great Hall, in the British Mnaeom, to be preserved with other monu- 
ments of British trinmph. 

The next two extracts need no comment : — 

One Huvdbed Poukds Bswabd. 

Dea 19, 1803. — Whereas Two Anonymous Letters, signed the one 
** A Private in the Third Battalion," the other '* A Private in your 
B^giment^" have been lately addressed to Lieut-Colonel Johnstone, of 
the Third Battalion of Loyal Birmingham Volunteers, in which the 
Writer or Writers threaten to dhoot Lieut-Colonel Johnstone the first 
time the Regiment fires — a fieward of One Hundred Pounds is hereby 
ofiered by the Committee of the Loyal Birmingham Yolunteers for the 
Detection of the Author : if more than one is concerned, and will 
impeach his Accomplice or Acoomplioas, application will be made to hia 
Majesty for a Pardon. Barkbb and Uxbtt^ Secretaries. 

^ December 26, 1803. — ^We learn with r^:ret that there yet are indi- 
viduals so totally devoid of ]»ineiple as to continue to address letters to 
Lieut-CoL Johnstone, of the third Battalion of our Volunteers^ threaten- 
ing his personal safety ; and we do most sincerely ho])e that the steps 
now taking may succeed in bxinginff to the merited punishment persons 
guilty of so diabolical a practice. Independent of the reward of £100 
ofiered by the Committee for the discovery of the ofienders, the Captains 
of the iiattalion have offend 100 guineas, the Subalterns 100 ^gumeaSi 
and the Serjeants 31 guineas. 

Field days and reviews followed in rapid suooession ; and 
evexywhere the people bdield ''the pride» pomp^ and cir* 
emnstance of gloriood war * with very few of its peiilB, 
although they liad their share in the snfferinCT which it 
produced. The enthusiasm^ however, increased; by January 
80, 1804, the hdies' subacription for providing flannel dresses 
had exceeded £1,000. '' Most highly,*' said the editor, ""do 
we applaud tliat generosity our fair town's women have 
displayed, in so libciully answering the call of the committee, 
ana congratulate them on the probability that now appears 
of the speedv completion of a work at once so useful and 
patriotia" In Februaiy ''The Committee beg leave to in- 
form the Subscribers that 3,600 Wabtcoats and 1,800 Pair of 
Drawers are now completed — 1,800 Flannel Gaps remain to 
be made. The CSommittee will be obliged to those Ladies 
who may be disposed to make any part of them, to send to 
the Blue Coat Qiarity School for them.** 

The method adopted for signalling parade is curious and 
worth quoting : — 

LOTAL BlBMIVOBAM YoLUVTSSBS. 

February 20, 18<^. — ^The foUowinc signab for the parade or assembly 
of the battalions, aix* in future to be hoiked on 8t Pnilip's Chnrdi :— 



300 A CENTURY OF BIBMINGHAM LIFE. 

First Battalion . . . ABalL 

Second A Pendant. 

lliiid Two Pendants. 

First, Second and Third A Ball over two Pendants. 

First and Second ... A Ball and a Pendant. 

First and Third . . . A Ball between two Pendants. 

Second and Third . . Two Pendants oyer a BalL 
The signals to be continued until the bi^taliims are dismiiwed ; and 
to be withdrawn if any cause prevent their assembling. 
On the following week a change was made . — 
February 27, 1804. — TiM signals arranged for assembling the Lo^ 
Birmingham Yolimteers being considered too complicated, the following 
are to he made use of in future, and diiqJayed at the top of St Philipt 
Church :— To call out the 

First Battalion . • . ABalL 

Second Battalion ... A Ilaff . 

Third Battalion ... A Pendant. 

In Jane our chronicl6!r pronoonoes the following eulogy 
on our anned citicens : — 

BmcniOBAic Tolubtiib«. 

June 11. 1804.— To record the respective merits of the different Bat- 
falSona of tUa truly Taluable corps is a taak peenliariy gratifying to our 
fMnp, tinea H requires neither the oUatkm of Hattery nor the aaeri- 
fioe of truth. But in a body of men so laudably aecuatad br the same 
noble and geneioua emulation, it is difficult periiaps imposiible^ to make 
distinetiena ; we shall, theremre, eonfine oonelTes to aplain narratiTe 
of thefar operations linoe thsj mardied on permanent duty, up to the 
period of their retmii indoding the lionoQiable and weUeanied testl- 
Moniei ofwprobatien be ato wod upon ifasm fhw all ^pmitaia 

On Monday; , the 4th of Jone^ the firrt Battalion waa renswiad on 
Whittington Heathy by Lient-GeneralQaidlner; altar ffoingthroa|^ 
their efolatioii% they fired three toII^ in hooour of nk imea^a 
Birth-day. The whole of thefar mancMTrss were OKaouted in anoh a 
style of profieien^ as to oall Ibrth the I dA es i apprdbaftion from tfia 
GenetaL On Wedneadar th^ marched fium liehfiald to this plaes^ 
and ware greeted on theb return by the ringing of bell% and other 
pobUe damooatvationi of wileome and esteem. 

On August 29, an enoimoua gathering of the people wit- 
nessed the interesting oeremony of the 

CovswaAnov amd PansTAnov of CoLomwM «o na Lotal 

BmavoHAM YoLUims. 

8ept X 1801— On Wednesday, the fiisl and third batteUooaof our 
Loyal Yoluntaan (thaaeeoad battalion liafingreeeiveditaOoloaialhHn 
the handa of the Ooonteas of DartoMntliy aosM aMmtha past) were pra- 
aentad ^th their Ooloara given by the town, at Meae^y Wake Green. 
The Ooounittee had aude the neeessaiy pnparalioiia to render the 
apeotade intersstingi while at the aame tliM erairy preeuitioii waa 
adopted to aroid ovary oonfbalon and aeoidsBl The assiduity of the 
gentlemen who liad deroted their a t ten t ion to'tliesa dljeeti^ 



«nply,p.tlfi«i^lU««-. Not««.id«tortUU-t«-„ 



oeeumd to mar the brilUaney of tlie aesne^ although upwarda of 3(^000 
paraoaa ware p reae n t from the a4jaeant oooatiy. 



OUR FIBST STATUE. 301 

The pariahes of Edgbaston and Aston joined that of Bir- 
mingham in the formation of volnntea: companies, and 
also in offering to furnish the goyemment with waggons^ 
carts, horses, and drivers for the conveyance of troops, in 
case of invasion, to any part of the country. And thus for 
many more years the volunteer corps were ready and willing 
to defend their homes against any invader. 



OUR FIRST STATUS. 

On the 13th of September, 1842, Birmingham was visited 
by the Gennan traveller, J. G. EohL The industries of the 
town astonished him ; but in all other respects be did not 
think it entitled to much praise. He teUs ns that '^ as far 
as the useful arts are concerned, Birmingham may be a 
paradise, but with respect to the fine arts, it is a very desert 
Of this I had occasion to Convince myself at the theatre, 
where I made the disoovenr that even one of Shakespeare's 
masterpieces mAj be so' plaved as to become weansome." 
But even this ^sooveiy dia not surprise him so much as 
tiie &ct that we had only one statue. He says* " Amonff 
the numberless Nelson statoes to be seen in 00 many EkiglisQ 
towns;, Birmingham has the smalliMt'' After a short criticism 
of the woric, he adds, ^TIob statue, small as it is, is the onlv 
one, literally the only statue that Birmingham can boast of i 
a dty of 200,000 living specimens of humanity, and only 
one marble man among them ! In Rome and Athens there 
was probably a statue or a monument for every fifty in- 
habitants ; but even in cities of more modem date, as iierlin 
or St Petersbui|^, there will scarcely be less than a statue 
for eveiy 4,000 mhabitants. It may be questionied whether 
in the whole world another town of equal extent and im- 
portance could be found, so destitute of public monuments 
as Birmingham. Not onlv Liverpool, Manchester and 
Glasgow, but even Newcastle, Bristol, and Hull, have more 
of embeUidiment to boast of, to say nothing of sudi magnifi- 
cent cities as Dublin and Edinbui^ BirmiMham and 
Leeds appear to me, among all the luge towns of England, 
to be the two most destitute of taste, ornament and enjoy- 
ment" If the worthy traveller were to visit us at the pre- 
sent time he would have to pass a different verdict At iJl 



802 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

events, he might leaM that when he visited tho^^ plaide we 
had not even one *' marble man," for Nelson's statue is in 

bronze. 

The English people have always taken more interest in, 
and displayed more love for their naval than their military 
estabUshmenta They respect and honour the soldier ; but 
they love as well as respect and honour the sailor. Our 
favourite heroes, from Lord High Admiral Howard and the 
" sea-dog," Drake, down to the present time are our great 
naval victors. At the very head of this long list stands the 
name of Nelson — ^the " saviour of the silver coasted isle," 
the '' shaker of the Baltic and the Nile." He is our model 
hero ; "tender and true," and "pure from taint of craven 
guile."' When the news of his final victory reached England 
it was impossible to say which was the deepest and most 
manifest feeUne displayed— ^joy for the triumph of our fleets 
or sorrow for tne death of our hero. The battle was fouriit 
on October S]^ 1806, a&d the news was received in Bit- 

piingham on November 7 1^^ * « 

LosD Nsc«oM*i Yioiovr* 
KoTember 11, 1806^— Tlik Dew% to glorkms yet *o melaiidioljy was 
reoelTed in this town earlj on Thandaj moming» hr an ezpr«M sent 
from Ftymonth to Mr. Oottwalts. tbe'postmaator of this plaoe. who 
took STenr means to difibae the Jojrfiil bnt nnhapiky tidinn x^erer 
waa tba lieiorioaa bannar ao daricHiad aiid diMoloand is Ulia has batti 
IqrfhadaaibofthaflMDwan'iatnpidChis^ lliioiigii whoaa akOfdl 
aRanflamenta, aided by eonganial mntu^ tba oonqnaat waa achisfad. 
Ibis tell duKxnrd marred tba Miaralliannosy of opinion. Ereiy man 
aaodled at the cpreatnawi of netey ; bctt whan the priee waa told tUa 
$mMU waa IbUowM by aa^^' The ganeral iteaalfcm was ana of glad- 
neaaebaaianadlnraofffowysaebaaithaa asvar befiwa bean aor Mto 
witniai, The bella ware nag with daoga of joy, bat thoaa demonatni* 
tioaa of triumph ware again aoltanad by the moamfhl peal of muffled 
bcUa. The inhabtUmta did not |Unminata thehr houea npon thia 
oeoaaba, beeanaethebarothataokte^paidaTidtto thia plaee^ and 
who many tfanaaatoeaaapfeeaed hfaMslf highlypleaaad with the taeapitioa 
be met with, waa no mora I Wa hava^ bowavafy great aetiafaotion in 
atating, from the moat raapaeCahla anthority, that it ia in eontemplalion 
to reqoeat the Hkh Bailiff to oonvane a meeting of the inhabitanti of 



thia town and ne&hboariioody to oonalder of the beat meana of teatiijf- 
irananmon 



ing their iranaialkn and aateea for the diaffactcr of the eonqnaror 
of the battlaa of Abonkhr, OopaeliagiD, and Chdis ; and of handing 
down to the lateat poataritjr a memorial of their giatitada fbr hia 
nnezampled aenrioea to hia fing and Oovntty. 

The paper of the aame date also contained the foUowingi 
in Iai]ge.t7pey leaded : — 

Mors OLoaioua Ncwa ! ! ! 

Nor, 11, 1805.— Jrif*« OasetU Office, half paat elcren o*dock. Sunday 
nigihl— Wa atop the preae to annonnee that Mr. Oottwalts, the Foat- 



OUR FIRST STATUE. 303 

master of this town hus this moment received an Express from the 
Postmaster of Bristol, containing the following despatch from Mr. 
Hawker^ agent, at Pljn\oath : — 

"Plymouth, November 9, 1865. 

" His Majesty's ship JSolns is jnst amved, and brings an aocount 
that the Cs^ar, Sir Richard Strachan, Conragenz, Lee, Bellona, Pater, 
Namar, Halsted, Goliath, Barton, fell in with the Rochefort Squadron, 
and captured Foub Sail of Frsnoh Ships of the Like, commanded 
bv Du Monore, a Rear Admiral, and it is said he is on board the 
JSolns, and his flag has been sent on shore to our port — I am, &c., 
&c, J. Hawker. 

''P.S. — I have just learned bv a note from Admiral Young to 
General England that the four sail were of the number of those which 
escaped from Admiral Collingwood's Fleet." 

Lady Pellew has a letter from Captain Halsted, which states that 
hiB ship has not suffered much in the action, and confirms the account 
that the four nil were part of the Cadiz Fleets which came out of that 
port ttfter the defeat of the Combined Fleet The action lasted three 
noun and an hal^ and only thirteen killed and wounded in the engage- 
ment 

The mourning for Nelson^s death was nniversaL Eveiy 
Englishman shared in the general sorrow, and a whole 
nation put on 'the weeds of grief A correspondent made 
the following suggestion, which, in this town, at least, was 
generally adoptra : — 

To the PrkUen of AtUb Birmmgham OateOe. 
(November 11, 1805. — Gevxral MouairiNo. — ^A« it is unquettionablj 
the wish of enury Bdtiah soul to shew tome diitinguisbed mark of 
vespeei to the meiiKwy of our late gidlant Nelaoii, sAd as it is veiy 
improbable^ beeanae it nji^t bt improper for manj leaaona. that 
Government should order a mblie moonung for him, I would take the 
liberty of sugratiiig a mode oj which the spontaneous sentiment of the 
nation, or ratoer of evenr individual in it, might be expressed without 
even the ezpence of a blade garment, for the expeuee would prevent 
many anxiooa hearts from showing the respect they feel ; and the late 
Court mourning having supplied what might be called the genteeler 
part of the oommunitv witn sable habOimenta, the appearance of a 
partial mourning would, at this moment £dl to be a distinction of that 
unportanee whioi the case demands, it will, no doubt, occur to you 
that the militaiy style of expressing mourning by a black scarf on the 
arm is not only the most eof^euous but the simplest and cheapest; i^ 
therefore, this mode was to be adopted bv those that have not mourning 
already bj thein, there is no ooubt but it would instantaneously 
become general, for every one (except those whose religious teoeU do 
not allow then to wear theee symbols of ffrief), could directly furnish 
himaelf with a yard of crape, or even a riboon, and this mode baa the 
advantage of enablfaig the poor, as well as those in easy circumstances, 
to express their sense of gratitude and respect to the memoiy of an 
hero of such wonderful achievements. Yours, &c. 

In less than a weelc after the receipt of the news tho 

cneigetic spirit of tlie town displayed itself in discussing the 

question, Uow best to do honour to the memory of the dead ? 



304 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

On November 19 we read, ''The High Bailiff has convened 
a general meeting of the inhabitants of this town and 
neighbourhood on Friday next, to take into consideration 
some plan for erecting a Monument, Statue, or Pillar to the 
memoiy of the late gallant hero. Lord Nelson, which, wo 
doubt not, will be most numerously attended. The erection 
of some kind of monument to the memory of such departed 
greatness is most certainly due from every commercial place, 
and the inhabitants of this town will, we trust, hold out a 
most noble example of what should be done to commemorate 
a man that has so often raised the drooping spirits of his 
country. Whatever plan is adopted, whetiier statue or 
pillar, it will, no doubt, be erected in the most frequented 
part of the place, the oftener to excite emulation in others. 
The spot near where the old Cross once stood is suggested 
as the properest place, as there the inhabitants and stran^rs 
will have more fSrequent opportunities of being reminded of 
a character which holds out so many objects of imitation-^ 
as a warrior, a christian, and a man ! We hope and trust 
that a dutiful and loyal address of congratulation and 
condolence to his Majesty, on account of the late victories 
and death of Lord Nelson, will be adopted at the Town's 
Meeting to be held on Friday.** 

The meeting was held on November 23, and it was 
''iinanimoasly resolved that some monument^ statue, or 
piUar should be erected, by subscription, in this town, to 
commemorate the glorious achievements of the Hero thai 
fouriitk conquered, and fell at the battle of TiafiJgar.*' 

One enthusiiatic correspondent advocated a 

Naval Folab. 
To tlie Frintera— GentlemeB,— To sueh a mui at Knjov, djiaf 



saoh a death m man who powaw ed the qwiddam divinwrn 
Sc^noif and who died the death of Epaminonda^ gialefal antiquity 
wonld anfleriy faaTa ereoted monument^ statoee, trophiee, the navil 
pillar, and the triompbal ardL Britain, iDheriting the Boman soul, 
will, no doubt, soon exhibit dmilar veneration for her departed warrior, 
the oravest ainong the hraTe, the pattern of the ofltoer. and the darling 
of the sailor. Almdr hat the poet stroBg his Ijre, tne sealptor pie« 
psred his diieel, ana the pidnter his ooloara Birmingham esnnoi' 
endure to be left behind in thii glorioos eompetition to lament and 
mise a eommander who can never be soiBeientlT lamented and prais«L 
To Birmingham the name of Nebon la endeared oj a train of int er es t 
Ing reooUeotiona Not long ainee oar beilei which the other dajr 
mourned hia death with mofBod aoaode, annoanoed in damonra of 
Joj hie hMppy arriral among na Well do oor gentrj reoollect bis 
manlj, eondeeoending politoneei^ and onr popnlaoe bie noble weather- 
beaten eonntenanee. lie gare and he receiTed genuine eatisfaetion ; 



OUR FIEST STATUE. 805 

spibke IB raptnroiis terms of our ingenmty and improvementt, and was 
perfectly delighted with oar loyalty and public spirit Shall we, of all 
others, be deficient in testimonies of respect and affection to the man 
who respected as ; the hero who has served his ooantrr with the loss of 
his invalaable life ? Forbid it E^tish gratitade and British feeling ! 

With pride and pleasure be it announced that it is in immediate 
contemplation to erect in this town a public memorial to such exalted 
virtae ; and it is humbly saggested that a Nayal Pillar will be the 
most appropriate and the most dassical, and that a tribute of Birming- 
ham gratitude will look better if executed by Birmingham artists, who, 
there is abundant reason to belieye, are fully adequate to the subject. 

Such a memorial will be far more meritorious than those whidi 
decorate the ci^ of Borne. The pillars of Trajan and of Antonine 
were erected to gratify Tain-glorious conquerors, while ours will owe , 
its origin to pumic gratitude and veneration for the best and bravest 
of our Admirals, who seemed peculiariy destined to revive the droop- 
inff spirits of his country : wno, after a series of achievements equally 
spte&did and opportuxie, and after having been repeatedly mangled in 
our service, died, nmlingl^ died, in the midst of onpanJleled victory* 
This cannot be construed into a miuii»,maiM^ an empty unavailing 
honour : on the eontranr, it has a direct tendency to animate posteri^ 
to dmilar ezploiti^ and Ibrm the firtore hera Such monumeDts of 
piety and patriotism as the t*RU Ohubos and NxLMUi'a GoLUior will 
throw a wreath of gloiy roond Birmingham to ** the Isst syllable of 
noorded time." I ami Qentlemen, youci^ &a 

The subscriptions came in lapidly. In a fortnight £1,600 
had been promised, and the treasurer, before the dose of the 
year, had purchased £600 in the Four per centa with a part 
of the sum collected. 

Ndson was buried in St Paul's Oathedral, on tEe 9th of 
January, and ^the bells of the churches in this town b^gaa 
tolling at six o'clock in the mo^linfi^ and continued the 
mournful knell throughout the day. The same testimonies 
of reverence and attawment were observed, on this occasion, 
by the neighbouring towns and parishes.*' * 

In Hay, 1806, the committee received models and designs 
from several artists for the proposed memorial ; and from a 
paragraph which appeared on the 19th we learn something 
of the diversity or opinion which prevailed on thisf sub- 
ject: — 

Nblbo«% Pillab. 

The quettion will soon be brought before the rabeeriben, for their 
dedilon, whether a moauiiMnt, etafiie^ or olllar, ie to be araeted la this 
town to the memory of Lord NelBOii. A eomepoodeat augsests : — 
^That a pllkr would be the moat appropriate memorial tluS can be 
arected to perpetuate the name of the illuetriooe diieC Oar departed 
hero, who was omnpoeed of materials truly Britieh, might be justly com- 
pared to a stately £nglieh oak, that has long undaun t edly stood the 
rsTa^ of etorms and tempeete: therefore, to eommemorats Nelson's 
heroic deed% some pillar ahoold raise its eleTatad head, which, like the 

n. X 



306 A CENTtTRT OF BISMINQHAH LIFE. 

'giant of the forest,' inllboseeiiaiidbdveiientedywillendareiaidbe 
admired, for ages long to come." Another correspondent recommends 
tiiat the funds should be expended in a charitable purpose. 

*' Our ingeoious townsman,'' Mr. Hollins, desired to com** 
bine the useful and the beautiful in the following rather 

peculiar manner : — 

Lord Nelson. 
June 9th, 1806. — Our ingenious townsman, Mr. HoUina^ has made a 
drawing of a memorial to be erected in this town, which consists of a 
pillar one hundred fiset high, vith an ajapropriaU buUdinff wth two 
jroniSf mtUabU for a ditpauoartf and a poU-^jfiee^ or, for ciker pMic 
butinstt. The pilao, we doubt luyC^ will meet the sui^Kxrt of a lur^ ma> 
jority of the subscribem to the Nelson Fund, as it at once combines a 
regard to the memoiy of our naval conqueror, the cause d humanitjy 
of public usefulnesfl^ and will be a great onianient to the place. The 
drawing may now be seen at the printers of this p^wr. 

From a large nxmiber of letters which appeared on this 
sul^ect^ I sel^ three which will show at once the interest 
which it ezdted, and the diversity of opinion amongst the 
leaders in the proposed memoiiaL Thej axe all from the 
Gazette of June 9th, 1806. 

LoBor Nklsov. 

That a proposal to unite substantial Good witii a gratefbl Hianiorial 
should eitbar oe c e nsu r ed or ridiculed, to impartisl minds^ miHt appear 
estnordlnaxy. But Oeosuie and Bidienle^when imivopsrij diieete^ 
have ndtherFcroa nor Pdgnaacj. It is impossible tnat aar JEtaprsse n - 
tatioQ ol the departed Hero should be mistakoD, as that' Aleyander or 
Julius OMsr should be forgotten. Itis little toihe Purpose to stats 
bj wliom ths Proposal was first made ; bst the lasinustlMtthal It Is 
bitNight fivwaid fai OompUaiMs with tha Wiriiss of a eertain DsiMni^ 
tkm of ChristiaDS is at ones arropeooi ^ lnTidioq^ and iirdetant. The 
Plea of Deoeptioii upon the Gontribntors fiJls to the Gromid, when 
they themsslTes are rsspeetliillrrsquestsd to direct the amogemoDt of 
the Plan; anditwillnotbeeasjtoprofs thal|WhsotwoI>es|giiBavs 
iBTitedyOiieol themisdsBtiojedorn^Qrsd. A plain Uttdsistsodlm 
would rather iafai hat saehwOl atrnyUMn the oOier and that the 
Adfooates of sadi an Union naj Uj Claim to as unsuUled TfuHj of 
Intention as thejr who oppose it: and all should rsooUeet, that no siieh 
Pnri^ can exist where tbBrs is Uie least Iiiitalioii or Besentment 

June 7th, 1808. & Paaarann^ 

To the Printers^— Gentlemenr-The Odnmns of your P^mt prove 
that there ia some amicablo Discord respeeting the Mode of celebntiQg 
our illmtriotti Hsro^ ^hattl^-daifC* llie patrietie Oppositioiiists am/ 
be diTided into throe CSaasos: the first and most aumeroiMaro in fiiToar 
of a Naval Pillar, cr trophied Ooluma ; the seoond prefer a Brwue 
Statue ; and the third, small in Kumbor, but highhr roopeetahlo ia 
Chaiaetor, seem dosiroiis of oonneeting the NaiM of xfelson with an 
enlarged Dispeniacy. With deforonco to my FeUow-8abeeriber% I 
cannot help giTing a decided preference to the first Mode of Calebratioii. 
as the most classiwil and apprcqpriate, the most diaractsristie ana 
sublime. Cosunon Heroes have been honoured with Statues : Neiaoii*s 



OUR FIEST STATUE. 307 

Merits are o£€oiou(d Magnitude : compared with the Grandeur of his 
AehieFements a mere Statoe, whether of Bronze or of Marble^ dwindles 
into Insignificance. M^ Feelinfi;8 will not suffer me for a Moment to 
countenance sndi a trivial Tribute to transcendent Excellence. Milton 
seems to have been of the same Opinion when, speaking of Shakespeare, 
he eajs, — 

** What needs my Shakespeare, for his honouiM Bones, 

The Labour of an Age in piled Stones, 

Or that his hallow'd Eelics should be hid 

Under a staz^ypointed Pyramid Y 
. . Bear SonofMemorj, flreatHttrofFame, 

What need*st thou such weak Witness of th j Name ? 

.Thou, in our Wonder and Astonishment, 

JQast built th jMlf a live-long Monument^ 

And so sepuldu'd in such Pomp dost lie, 

That Kings far such a Tomb would wish to die f ' 

The loftj Qenius of Milton never thought of such a pun j Memorial as 
a Statue ; be ^xm upon a "star-yp(iintlng l^iamid" as the noblest 
IMbuta of natiopsl Esteem, but considered even iAai unaecesBaiy, 
beeanse Shakespeare, like Kelsoo. was ** aqraldired in the Bm*t" 

Tet^ though the Pillar towers &r above the Statue in P(dnt of Qran- 
denr aad Sublimity, itasems desiiable to pfssenre the Lineaments of 
the Hera^ scnlptuxM by the Hand of Qenius in ^mrlaHi)^ Baaas ; and 
it is equalij Aesirahle that his glorious Lift^ and still more glorious 
Death, alioold operate «a a Stimulus to Benevdenoe and Humanity. 
Hene^ tberefiiriL it is devoutly to be wished that tliese thrse Sdiemes 
ahould be combined in one grand Wliole^ and that a Plan ahould be 
adopted that would cquaUly gnlijQr the Lonrer of his Gountiy, the Ama- 
teur of the Aiti^ and the Atnm of the Side aad helpless Poor. On 
thiabtoad, libenl, and aeoommodaliii^ Principle, Mr. W. Hollins, a 
Native of this Town (whose Ii^gsiiuitv is well known, aad whoss Nali- 
vity, I trusty will Botopente to his DisadvaatageX has diawna Plan 
worthy la mj Opiaion, of Sukgium aad Adopuoo. It eontaias a 
adbla Qreeian Hated PlUar, 100 fiet hig)^ fnpaij embellished, aad 
nf^i^ffrt^^P^gff^ with aa intemsl Btairoassb At the Bc tt wa are thrse 
graad Cooipaitneata, oa whidi may be sealptorsd, ia high or low 
Belief the BMst nleadid of the Kelaonie Tieloffis% aad abuadaat Spaes 
is lessired ia a Nidie fiir the latroduelioa of the fitvourile Broaas 
Statue. As a baek Ground to this nsgaifieeat Column, he has desigaed 
aa Edillesuequally eonuiodious aad elefuit, one Fsrt of which may be 
used as a JOisMassiy, aad the other aa a Post Officer The Sitaatioa 
proposed is the Bottom of Bull Street, oa the Suppositioa of Mr. 
&a|ght*s House beiag takea dowa. Itisspadousaadeoospieuousyaad 
beiageeatialiseUgiEKpartieuhtflvwithrmsettoaPeetOAes. The 
Whdewill famastrikhtf AassmUage of Uee uaited with Oraameat 
aad PlUriolism with Oharitv. 

The only rational Olgectton to this Plaa Is a dlf/teAweriisisii, orla- 
■ufl eieaey of Itod ; but let it be eoasldersd, that the Advocates of a 
Dispeasaiy will, it is hoped, ealarge their fiinBer8aboeriptions,aad that 
aa opuleat aad liberal Seel, who detest War,aad shudder evea at Military 
Heroisn^ will, it Is ezpeeted, aiake a haadeome Doaation to the same 
ezesUeat Charity. Add to this that then is ao Beason to distrust the 
LibenJity of Miaister^ should that Put of the Plaa which leguds the 
Post Offiee be adopted; aad that thsj will do so^ we may roadily believe^ 



308 A CENTUBT OF BIBMINQHAH LIFE. 

since it is connected with the liobleet Principles and most patriotid 
Views, and will be equally honourable to the Town and advantageons 
to the Kingdom. Lsetlj, let it be considered that great Efforts, though 
uosaccessraiy are always meritorions. A Subscribsb. 

Mdcort of. Lord Nelsov. 

To the Frinter& — ^Had I not read in the Commercial Herald of the 
Second Instant, in the Reasons given for preferring a Statue to a Pillar 
with Astonishment, ''.Because thereat present exists no situation in 
Birmingham, in which a Pillar can be advantageously placed,** I should 
not have troubled you with any Thoughts of mine ; but have now to 
beff the Favour of you to publish, in your Paper of Monday next^ the 
following Seasons why I tnink a Pillar preferable to a Statue : — 

Not because there is not any Person in Birmingham who msj be 
competent to the Completion m. a Bronze Statue, Imt because a PUlar 
would be a much more conspicuous Ornament^ and may be so constructed 
as always to convey the Idea lor which it was erected. Because there 
are Artists in this Place who are capable of designing and erecting a 
Plllary which will do Credit to the Town and Honour to the depaiied 
Hero. 'Beoaose it may be composed of Materials, and in a Manner, 
that will last for Ages without Kepair, and be of dngular Use in the 
Celebration of all future Naval YictorieSi Because there is ahready ex- 
isting In this Town a place where a Pflhv may be erected with eveiy 
'Advantage of Uniformity of Building and ElevaUon of Ground. And 
the Plaee alloded to Is now wiihctitaBy specific Titles except that of its 
qaadrangnlar IVmOtthan which I know not wlmt can be more appropri- 
ate to the Bsseof aPOlar, and henceforth bmt be called NelsoniB oquare^ 
whieh will perpetuate the memory of our Hero to the latest Posterity. 
Because It n presumed that this Ground mav be had without expenoe 
to the Town, and whattvermay be ereoled m the Centre thereot will 
not only be seen from the Grand ▲vennes of the Town, but at the great- 
est disteiiee fitim the Plaosb it being fMMv /Waters elevated than any 
Spot where endhaBqU d ingeanirith any h ^op i ie ty be pbced. Because 
h may be less liable to Aeddents fai tfafe IW y«t eoilleieBt]; aeeo, than 
if erseled In a more fmbllo Bltoaftftoa If this Ground can be had, the 
EkveUoii will be proeeeded vpoo wlihovt Ddar, and If a proper FWee 
be pot rovnd the FlUar there will be no Occasion for the prseent Bail- 
fng, wlisrsli;y the pssssge through the Square will be rmdered much 
more eoainodiooa. and, I triMti thought oongsnial with the present 
libsral^prsvalling Spirit of Improvement 

Jnne 7U^ 1808. Mnoavom. 

..All these differenoes of opinion were set et rest at a 
meeting of the tub8criben» held on June 18th, at which it 
was reaolved that a statna ihonld be ereeted firom the model 
pneented hj Mr. Weetmaoott^ and a committee was 
appointed ''to canv the reeolution into effect** At 
another meeting, held at the beginning of December, 1807* 
the aite waa detennined : — 

NnM>v*a Statcb. 

December 7th, 1807.— At a meetiaf hM* week the committee uh 

poiated by the aobaoriben for rueing a stetoe hi this town to toe 

ttsmeiTof Lord NelsoB, ICr. Weotmaeott, the artist employed, being 

pcesstt^ it waa rssolved the most eUgible plaoe to erect a aUOaeb when 



:OUE FIBST STATUE. 309 

finished, will be the centre of the Market Place, nearly oppoeite to the 
I>og Inn, subject^ however, to the approval of the Commiseioners of 
the Street Acta. The statue, we understand, is in great forwardness. 

The Jubilee Day of Qeorge III. was selected on which to 
open the Nelson statue. At midnight the scaffolding was 
taken down, the people assisting the workmen in their 
labours ; and such was their enthusiasm that the whole was 
removed in a few minutes. On October 25, 1809, amid 
great rejoicing, the Statue was opened to the public. A 
description of the work from the pen of the sculptor, Mr. 
Westmacott, was distributed to those present, and is as 
follows : — 

In this work, intended to perpetuate the frreatest example of naval 

genius, simplicity iias beeen the chief object in the arrangement The 
ero is represented in a reposed and dignified attitude, his left arm 
reclining on an anchor ; ne appears in the costume of his native 
eounti^, invested with the ins^piia of those honours bj which his 
sovereign and distant princes distinguished him. To the rtsht of the 
statue uie grand symbol of the navu profession is introduced Victory, 
the constant attendant upon her fitvourite hero, embellishes the prow. 
To the left is disposed a sidl, which, beinf^ placed behind the statue^ 
gives breadth to tnat view of the composition. Above the ship is a 
&e simile of the Flag Staff Truck of L'OrienL which was fished up by 
Sir Samuel Hood the dav following the battle of the Kile, and pre- 
Moted by himflo Lord if elson, the same being deposited at Mitlord as 
a trophy of that ever memorable aetloiL This group is mounted 
upon a pedestal of statuary marble, a cireular form having been 
■elected as best adapted to the sitnation. To personify that affectionate 
regard which caused the present patriotic Uibute to be raised, the 
town, Birmingham, is representea in a dejected attitude, murallv 
crowned, mourning her loss ; she being accompanied by jRoups of genii, 
or diildren,.in allusbn to the rising geueration, who offer c o nsolati o n 
to her, by producing tLe trident and the rudder. 

In fitmt of the pedestal is the following inscription : — 

This Statctb 

Iv Hovoun or 

Admiral 

Lord Nblsov 

Was Ebbctxd 

BTTHS 

IVHABITAVTS OF BlRVIVOBAM. 

A.D. lf.DOOC.IZ. 

The whole is enckwed by bon palisadoes, in the fonn of boarding 

gees, connected by a twisted cable, and at each of the four corners is 
ed a cannon ereet^ from whidi issues a lamp post, r e pre s< mflng a 
duster of pikes supporting a dhip lantern. 

Mr. Joseph Farror, an aactioneer, who lived in Hififa 
Street, bequeathed the sum of sixpence per week, to be 
naid for ever out of the rent of a house in Bradford Street^ 
for cleaning the statue and basement The money to be 
received by the churchwardens of St Martin's. 



310 A CENTURY OF BIBMINGHAM LIFE. 

The first mention of oilr townsman, Mr. Samuel lines, 
the artisl, is in connection with Nelson's Statue. On 
November 6, 1809, a short paragraph informs us that " Mr. 
Samuel Lines, drawing master, of this place, has published 
an accurate likeness of the Nelson Statue, erected in this 
town, drawn and etched by himself." 



APPEARANCE OF THE TOWN. 311 



CHAPTER III.— 1811-1821. 



§ 1. APPEARANCE OF THE TOWN. 

Slowly, but surely, the town is encroaching on thecountiy, 
and, bit by bit, Birmingham is losing its niral picturesoue- 
ness and country aspect It wUi be a long time yet before 
all its gardens and pleasant suburbs are absorbed by the 
growing demand for new habitations for the ever-increasing 
people. The rapid growth of population is especially due 
to the enormous immigration which was continually going 
on from all the surrounding towns and villa^^, and from 
places far away throughout the kin^om. We shall see 
that the pleasant vales and beautiful hill countiy of Wales 
send their quota of food-seekers hero, who formed quite a 
little colony to themselves. From the east;, and from the 
west^ and m>m the north, and from the south, they came ; 
and all strangers wero welcome. For Birmingham was a 
free town, rfo guild or corporation impo^ rules of 
restriction unon citizenship; and so the industrious, the 
in£;enious, ana the persevering, found this their natural home, 
whero each could develop his abilities unfettered, and at 
once profit by the gifts with which he was endowed. Still, 
notwithstanding uus perpetual flow of immigrants, the 
town continued for some vears yet to wear those counfay 
robes of garden and field, which, combined with ito 
admirable situation, made it> even in the memories of men 
not farther advanced towaixb the '^sero and yellow leaf" 
than the present writer, a place lovely to behold. The 
stranger visiting us in this year of mce, 1868, can form no 
idea of the extreme beauty of the Birmingham of the 
present decade. 

We now proceed to cull a few examples iHustrative of the 
appearance of the town between 1811 and 1821. And first 
we quote two advertisements of gardens at Summer Hill : — 



312 A CENTURY OF BIBMINOHAM LIFE. 

March 16, 1812. — ^To be Sold, and immediate FoaBesBioD giren, 
a Garden, No. 72, in the Upper Walk, &cing the Bottom of Sammer 
TTiH Terrace, in a high State of Coltiyation, and well planted with 
▼aloable and neeftiljmiit Trees in full Bearing ; there are two laige 
and productive Aspaxagos Bedii, a Brick Sammer Hooae, with boarded 
Floor, Tool-honae a4joining^ Ac, &a 

The next adveriiseinent takes us to a place onoe fieunoiis 

for pleasant rambles in the '^gloaming." It was the haunt 

of '^ happy lovers/' and hence its nama Yet this ''Love 

Lane" vras close to the Crescent; and very appropriately 

close to the Cottage of Content : — 

GABDnr OH Saul 
May 11, 1818.— To be Bold, a Qardcoi in Lore Lane^ near the 
Ootta^B of Content, well planted with Qooeeherrr and Conant Treeg^ 
fine Baspberriei^ Fiowera Shrahi^ fta, and stocked with iispan«iia 
and YogetaUes of Tariooa Idnc^ containing a Siuuner Hoom^ a shaded 
8eat» && The Bent is one Qoinea per Annwn. 

At this date Camden Hill Villa vtbb a very pleasant 

countiy residence ; .a house to which a wealthy .merchant 

or a hard-worked professional gentleman could retire at 

the end of the day and enjoy his Mitfm with satiiifaction : — 

Gakdbi Hux YiLLa. - 

April 26, 1813^To be Bold, by private Oontraet^ thai beantifid 
Villa, the Beddenee of Mr. John fiekerinff, ddk^tfoUj situated on 
Ounden Hill, in the Keighboariiood of Ladj Wood, Bbmingham 
Haath^and Boho^ and coimnandlng in T ngpeei the Dndlij and Bowkj 
Hill% ttor Beaoon,and an ScteiU of cidi m Tiriad Ctaataj. 

^e Bioase is a modem Btractnrab with a Btona Piortioo and Steps to 
the IVont^ and Verandahs to the principal Wlndowii eoptalning Break- 
frst Boom, 16 hr 14; Pittloiir, 18 br 16; BlBiiiig Boau^ tl bji6; and 
sern Lod^^ Boemi^ with Oot^mees eompls^ oil a aieat eoBT^ 
Han* • ■■ •/ * . . t . ■ 

The Lawn, omamaotal Plantation, and Qaideos are taiteftillT laid 
ovt^ and the whole forms one of the most pleasant and deslmble 
Beridenees in the Vlei^ of Bbmioriiam. 

Apply to Mr. R*W. dem, Roaettor, Kaw BtMst 

Sommer Bow was at tins period 'a place of gaidens- 
Qnly those who remember this state of thinge can fiiUy 
rselise the picture contained in the following advertise- 
ment}-^ 

May 31, 1813/— A Urg$ and wnr prodaetifa OAanor to be Bolol ta 
iki/mAm 9f0mdm» bejfamd StUmrdm Bntfj^mtk^ Mood iotJ^ 
SoMd Pin, in an axeellent atate of CBmnUloo.*-Appl7 J. JeaTom^ 
Gardener, No. 10^ Sammer Bow. 

From Summer Bow we pass to Holloway Head, and 

there we find houses not only witii Gardens, bat Orchards: — 

Jane 7, 1813.— A. Pleasnt Hooee to be Let, and may Im aDteied 
vpon immadfaitelx, sitaate near the WbdmlU, Easter Bow, vith a good 
Gardea, Ordiard, and Soft Watar. Bentmodsfate.— Af^j Mr. Jarrii^ 
Lombard Hoese^ Deritend; 



APP£iRAKC£ OF THE TOWN. 313 

The Streets were not kept in a very good condition by our 
forefathers. The reports of accidents aiising from the bad- 
ness of the roads are common. We have not materially 
improved in this respect. Our streets are good and well 
maiie, but our care of them is often no care at all ; and we 
trust to heavy rains to do our scavenger work. La the year 
1814, Bradfordnstreet was almost a new street ; in the year 
1868, some of our new streets might have been the scene 
of an accident like the following, had we not passed the 
coach era : — 

Sept. 18, 1814. — ^We are sony to learn that the Prinoa Begent ooachy 
on its way out of Town, on Fndaj eyeninff, waa nnfortonately OTer- 
torned in Bradf ord-atreet, owing to the darkneaa of the night, and the 
bad atate of the road, by whidi nnfortnnate ooeorrenoe the coachman had 
hia leg dreadfolly fxaotnred, and a gentleman waa so much broised that 
he has nnoe contmned in a atate of complete inaenaibility ; aeyeral other 
pawcngeii were mneh hort Upon enqoiiy we find that no blame can 
poaribljr be attadied to the coachman. 

We are also about to lose the Moat The seat of the 
£Eunily of the Birminghams is to be converted into a cattle 
market The fflory of Pudding Brook is also about to 
pass away ; and with it the mud in which unfortunate 
devotees of Bacchus so often stuck, and in which some of 
them lost their Uvea The anoestral home of the lords of 
the manor, and its moat, ^ defensive to the house,** have been 
boug^ by the Oommisnoners ; and antiquity, historioEJ 
a8S(wiations,are as nothingto the urgent wants of the peoplei 
The markets had long been in unsuitable . places, and 
were altogether inadequate for the growing demands of the 
fiurmers, mitchers, and dealers ; and so another link connect- 
ing U8 with the past is about to be destroved, and being 
buaneas men, the CommisrionerB go about their work in a 
meet business-like manner. Here is their advertisement : — 

NbW SmTBflKtD. 

Ifan^ S7, ISIIL— The CVimmfaricncra d the BinBii^;liam Street 
Act do hntAsj give Notice, thai thej are in want d a Flan for adi^itinff 
the Plraniiaei, which they have lateljr pnrdiaaed, called the Moat ana 
Moat Home, for the Acoonunodation ol the intended Smithfield, and 
thejr do hereby oAer a Preminm of Ten Poonda for the Plan whi^ 
shall be moat arorored of, and live Poonda for the nest Gktmnd 
Bketdiea of the ramiaea may be had, and other PMrttcatora known, by 
applying at our Oflloe in New Street, Binningfaam, where the Plana are 
to De delivered in by the reapectiTe Gandidatea on or before the 30th 
Day of March instant By Order of the Commiaaioneri^ 

Smitb akd AmvoLD, Clerks. 

In the next advertisement the advantages of a honse are 
told in rhyme by the gushing agent : — 



314 A CENTURY OF BIBMINGHAM LIFE. 

*Ma7 22. 1815.— To be Let^ a House, it the top of Frederick Street, 
Hajper'sHilL 

The Hoiue genteel, oompact^ and neat, 
i The Neignboun kind, the Proepect wide, 

The Water soft, the Yud complete, 

'■r ' And smaller Comforts well sappl/d. 

»• • ■ ^^ 

The next takes us to our old £dend. Pudding Brook, once 

more: — 

May 29, 1615.— ^To be Sold by Auction, by James Tregent, Senior, 
on Wednesday next, the 31st Day of May, between the houra of Five 
and Six o'clock in the Eveninjg, on the Premises, a Qaboev, situated in 
the third Walk oh the left Hand leading from Hurst Street^ Pudding 
Brook, Birmingham. The Qarden contains choice Goosebeny, Gurran^ 
and other Fruit Trees and Variety of Y^getablei^ with a Wood Summer- 
house recently built 

Birmingham was, even at this period, and much later, 
par esDoeUmce, the place of cardena . These abounded in all 
parts of the town, and were let at all prices from ten shillings 
and sixpence a year. The "'sainea gardens" were in veiy 
large numbers. . It was a ''nobby" with the Birmingham 
working-man; and the cultivation of flowers was carried to 
great perfection Vy him. Summer evenings and Sunday 
knomings were the usual times of labour in this his 
taiodem paradise ; and on Sunday afternoons and evenings he 
used to take his wife and fimily to rejoice in his floral trea- 
ties. Until very faoently there were Jarape numbers of them 
near Bromsgrove Street^ Essex Street^ followay Head, Mid 
many ottier now almost central parte of the town; while 
the present Wheeler Street^ the St George's district^ includ- 
ing Dunmier Lane, and the neighbourhood of Nova Scotia 
Street^ were almost entirely covered with these ''guinea 
wardens." On Maidi 11, 1815, in a lon^ advertisement cf 
houses and other property to be sold, is mduded "the very 
excellent Garden, being number 154 in the third walk on 
the lower side of Nova Scotia Street** The increase of the 
population has absorbed them nearly alL A remnant of 
our former glories stiU exists in the vicinity of Saltiey. I 
quote an advertisement of a ^ three guinea garden;* — ^which 
also aifords us a ^pood illustration of the country aspect of 
the General Hospital at this time : — 

CSariTAL OAKDcr. 

June 2^1815.— By J. P. Tr^gent To be Sold by Aaetkm, on the 
Spot, on Fridar, the dOth of June inttant, at Six o'dock in the 
EVeniQS^ the iWney of a rery prodoctiTe three Quioea Qardeu, 
abonndmg with numerooe ehofee young Fruit Trees of superior Sorts. 
Ftowering Shrabe, and Vegetable^ a o^Htal Wood Summer House, and 



APPEARilNCE OF THE TOWN. 315 

a Pomp of Soft Water ; the whole jadicionsly displayed, situate and 
being the third Garden on the Left Hand side of the first Walk on the 
Bight of Summer Lane, behind the Hospital, Birmingham. 

An advertisement, September 4, 1815, announcing that 
that ** capital Public House and Liquor Shop," the Saracen's 
Head in Snow Hill, is to be let, affords a good illustration of 
the enormous changes which, in a comparatively few years, 
have taken place in the town. It is described as a '' first-rate 
situation ; " and in a K.B., which, like a postscript to a 
lady's letter, is the most important part of it, we are 
told that " Snow Hill is one of the greatest Thorough-fSares 
in Birmingham, upon the great North West Road, andi 
Tnore than 40 Maica and Post Coaches pass daily, and the 
Situation is really, without Flattery, inferior to none." 

Hie following announcement of a sale recals the old 
aspect of Temple Bow, and gives some information on the 
improvements then being mMe in the town : — 

Fnekold Property in Temple Row^ oppoeiu St. PhU^e, BimUnghaim, 

Maj 13, 18ia— To be Sold bj Auction, by Joeiah and Comeliufl 
Bobint, on Taeidaj, the 18th Day tf Jnne nex^ 

Lot 1.— The very Ezeellent Botaii Shop, of large Dimenriona • » 
• • • together with the very eenteel Family Hooae connected there- 
with, affixroing ample Acoommooation on a lam Scale, with the Ooort 
Yaro, Garden^ ana othe& Cbnveniencei^ aoooraing to the Plan, behug 
Na 7 in Temple Bow, with a Bight of Boad along the FlHnge or 
Entry into Chary Street 

Lot i.— 'The Terjr letpeciaUe and wdl ammged FamOy Hodm 
adjoining Lot 1, being No. 8 . • . • toffetber with a Yard and 
Garden, and the joint Uee of the said Fluaafle into Oheiry Street 

Lot 3.— The yerj capital Warehooaes and AooompUng Home, with 
a three-etall Stable and other Premieea, at the back of the two firat 
Lota, having a flood Boad into Cherry Street The above 

highly reapeetaule and deairable Pkoperty ia IVeehold, meet pleaaantly 
aitnate in Temple Bow, opposite the Ayenaes and Area of St Philii/^ 
and is very important, oeing a ndghbonrhood very fiivonrable for 
eztendTe Badness, and at the same Ane of the firtt Kespeetability as 
Gentlemen's Besidencss ; and will begreatlw improved by the Rcm^e of 
eeniral Street, or new weetem Road through tke Town^ intended to open 
UnM of Sight from the Hold to Ckriet Ckurek and Patadiee StreeL 

A earden with a iishpond near the Hospital is advertised 
for saia The words at ** the further ena of the Avenue* 
refer to a pleasant state of things which has long ceased to 
exist : — 

A large capital and highly cnltinkted Garden, planted with a great 
▼ariety of choice Fmit Trees^ Flowering Sbmbs and Vegetables, having 
a neat Arbonr and Fishpond therein, and the Walks tastefnlly laid on^ 
well gravelled and boxed, aitoated at the farther end of the Atwum^ 
near the HosjHtal, Sommer Lane, Birmingham. 



31 G A. CENTUBT OF BIBHIKGHAH LIFE. 

Heath Mill Lane is soon to lose its distinctive character, 
and he cut up into huilding lots. In one advertisement we 
have ameadow, hounded hy the river Bea^ thus disposed of: — 

JqIt 1, ISie. — ^Freehold Mentutgea.— To be Sold hy Anciion, bj 
IflaaoFarror. 

Lot 8.— The Tannety, near the High Street^ in Deritend aforeaaici, 
late in the oocapation of the said Thomas Shajle^ ooDsiatinff of a Leather 
Warehoiue, Back Sheds, Tan Yard, Tan Vats, Lime fits, Stables^ 
Piffities, and Apportenances. ...... 

lK>t 10.— Fonr front and two back Meesnaffes, and part of a Meadow, 
containing in the whole 1,657 aqoare yards, aitoated in Mill Lane 
aforaaaid. 

Lot 11. — ^Another part of the aud Meadow, containing eleven yarda 
to the front of Mill Lane, npwarda of 60 yarda in depui, and in the 
whole 082 aqoare yarda. 

Lot IS. — ^Another part of the aud Meadow, containing eleren yarda 
to the front of Mill Lane, upwards of SO yarda in depth, and in the 
whole 886 aqoare yarda. 

Lot 13. — ^Another Part of the aaid Meadow, containing eleven yards 
to the front of MiU Lane, npwarda of 00 yarda in dept^ and in the 
whole 808 aqoare yards. 

LoU a^ 11, Ifi, and 13 are boonded on the North by the Biver Bea. ' 

Maov/now living vnllrememher the gardens alluded io in 
the ibliowing advertiaement^ and the lovely walk fitnn the 
Deritend Brewery to Vaughton'a Hole ; now one of the least 
attract! ve parts of the town : — 

. Aiigoat 6. 18l(L— To be aold by AuotioiL \}j Doonea and Thomas 
a wiiricably dboice Ojjkdo, at present in the Oocnpatkn of Mr. 



Hila deUghtfol Garden is situated in the ATonne^ leadhiv from the 
Deiitaad Brrwvy to Yan^ton'iB Hole^ and ia well stocked with IMt 
IVeaa^ sdeeCed with the graatast Oue and Jadgmenti haTiqg produced 
thefbeat Fhiit within sersral Idea d the FIms, and for a nnmbor of 
Teaisgiined the first Priaea at the aanoal Shew of Fhdt, abonndiog 
in dicioa Fbwen and Shmba^ and ahmidanoe of VegctaUa^a o^imi 
Brick Sonuner Hoosci and a Well always sappBed with watar, di# 
whole andoaed with a ramaikaUy strong doable Fence; the Soil is In 
hidli Coaditifln, and hi no Probabilily d svw being disbuhad &r 
boildii^ 

ma will be f oond a deairshle O upo r Uud ^ for a Fanon wishing to 
pnrehasa a Garden on whidi neither Byna nor E ipanes have bean 
spared in bringing Things to perfection. The qnanty of the Fhdt 
Traea saeaeda all Oanunant» and ass on^y to be apps^afliitsd hj those who 



Tower Street was, in fiict» in the ooontiy as recently as 

1816, and houses, with '^ gardens bdiind, and plantations in 

firont^* were to be found in it Let the dwellen in that now 

not veiy pleasant street think of the time when the 

following aavertisement was published: — 

September 16, 1816L— Two genteel Houaaa, sitoafted hi Tower Street 
i^qrloa Bead, Btrmingham To be Sold byAnction, byJoaiah and 



APPEARANCE OIF THE TOWK. 817 

t>omelius Bobins, at a time and place to be fixed in a futare paper, 
unleflB dispoeed of by private Contract, two mibetantial newljr-erected 
Beddences, on a very convenient plan, with Oarderu behind and 
PlofUatums in front, commanding extensive and varied Y iews in the 
Midst of the Improvements which axe daily making in that increasingly 



respectable and pleasant Part of Miss Colmore's Estate, lining between 
Walmer Lane and Hockley Brook, being in Front of Tower Street, 
which is 16 yards wide, and the principal Boad between those two 
Points, in the Environs of Birmingham. 

The Buildings are well arranged, each House consisting of a neat 
Entrance and Hall, Parionr, Sitting Boom, three Lodgmg Booms, 
Kitchen, Lanndry, Cellars, &c., the Whole well fimshed ana fitted up 
in a neat manner. Tbere is also a pleasant Qardsn of ridi Soil at the 
back of each Hoose^ and the IVont is tastQ^ laid oat, the Buildings 
hehut set seven Yards from the Boad, which is the judicious Plan 
actea upon on both Sides of the Street, making the whole Length open 
and aiiy. as well as pleasant and respect a ble. 

The aWre are Leasehold for upwards of 96 Yean^' at a low Qround 
Bent, For other pMrticolars. and to treat for the same, apply to 
Messrs. Webb and Tyndall| SoUdton, Little Charies Street^ or to the 
Aoctioneen, New Street^ all d Birminghainj where Plans may be 



The valae of land has changed since the following adver- 
tiaement appeared . — 

September ao, 1810.— YaluaUe Situation in Islington Bow, near the 
Five ways. To be sold, lyyinivate CSontne^ a valuable Tract of Land, 
thhrtj Yards in Fkuoti opposite the best Pixt of Islington Bow, now 
used as a cultivated Garaen, eontaining upwards of 8,000 mpan Y ards, 
endosed with kfty Wall% and is held bj Lean for 90 Years, at about 
one Penny per amre Yard, in the Pulah of Edgbaston. 

£nq[Qlre, AOi, fte. 

The new Cattle Market was opened on May 29, 1817. 
There is only the following anticipatory notice of this 
rather important event : — 

Ha^ 88, 1817.— Our Whitsun lUr will be held on Thunday next, 
on whidi da^ the New Market Plaoe, on the site lately occupied by the 
Moat BnildmgSi will be opened for the reception and sale of cattle, 
sheep^ rig% fta, and on the IViesday following for hay and straw.— The 
sale of noises on the fur day will continue at the nsoal place. 

The official notice was as follows)— 

Ksw Bbast Mamr. 

MsT 6^ 1817.— Notice is hereby «▼«, that tiie Land porehased for 
a Manet Place^ and commonly called and known fajr the Name of the 
MoBt» will be completed and opened as a Matket Place for the Sale of 
neat Oittle, Horsey Sheep^ and Pin en Thursday, the SOth Day of 
May matanti beina Whitsun lUr day. and for the ade of Hay and 
Straw on the Tuesoay foUowiog; and if aiqr Ptoson or Persons shall, 
at any Time thereafter, expose to 8al» aar neat Qtttlle. Horses^ Sheep^ 
and Pigs, Hajr or Straw, m any other nit of the sud Town, erenr 
such Person will, for erenr such Head of neat or other Oattle. or Load 
of Hay or Straw, be su Dject and liable to the Penalty of Twenty 



318 A CENTURY OF BIBMINaHAH LIFE. 

ShiUings (except as to the Sale of Hoiees in the two public Fairs held 
in this Town, which wiU, on those Days, be held in a Place called the 
Hone Fair, aa umuJ). By Order of the GommiflBionere, 

Smith and Arkold, Clerks. 

A garden and a water-mill were to be let near to the 

Smithfield Market . — 

May 3, 1819. — ^To be Let, on a Building Lease for scTenty-^ight 
Years, the Mill Ghunden, in Bradford Street, near Smithfield Market^ 
containing 5^70 Square Yards ; the Water from the Mill runs at the 
back of it 

In this vear the Commissioners commenced a work which 

was greatly needed, and which, if it had been thoroughly 

carriM out, would have materially improved the appearance 

of the town. Unfortunateljr the attempt was not supported 

by the inhabitants ; and Birmingham remains to tnis day 

the worst paved of all our large towns : — 

Sept 13^ 1819. — ^The OommlMlDnerB of our Street Aci, we are happv 
to say, have adopted a plan which, if seconded by the Inhabitants^ wiU. 
lead to the deainbla reinilt of having the footpaths of our prindpal 
streets well flagged* The manv advantages that would be derived from 
sneh alteiBtioii must be so obnofos that we are sore they can need no 
remaik in reoommendatlon of our townsmen's eoaeureAee. Stnngers 
have loDfc sad with great leasen, oomplsiaed of the ineonYsnisnoe and 
pain they sofBff from walkiMOor e ti ee te , in oonseooenoe of the present 
mode in pavinff them, wa vndentaad the CommisBionerB have 
aathoriaed the nving Oomlnittee to pay one4ialf the szpenoe of 
flagging any of the fiwtpaths of the town, pioHded the Inhabttsnts of 
the atreet will fiist ndae by sabseription. and pay Into their hands a 
soiBeie&t sum lo defray the other half; they are no^ howerw, aatho- 
riaed to make eBQgMmnente for leas than one side of a stieeti or a 
distmee of two honoiad yarda 

The aspect presented by little Hill Street when the fol- 
lowing advertisement was published is in striking contra^ 
with tbat presented at the present time : — 

CUriTAL Gaanmr. 

Oct 1& 1819^To be Sold bj Aoetloo, by H. P. Sfsna^ this pneeat 
Mooday, Oetober 18^ oo the spot| at Three o^eloek in the afternoon, a 
oapital QAaonr, in the ATsnae leading from little Hill Strfwt. 
Bristol Street^ and the ksi Garden in the IM walk on the left hand 



From the advertisements of ISSO which relate to the 
appearance of the town we select the following : — 

GaAsnra Lava. 

Kay tl; 18ia— To be Le^ and entered upon Iflunedktely, several 
Pieeee oCesosUeat Qraiing Gioand, now iaeqiital eoaditioay and veiy 
fell of GrMS, wfakh mav be had upon Leaae for Garden Gnmnd, eitaate 
In Warstoae LaaOy In the Parish of BinningfasoL 

Forpartleakrsspiily toMsBKs. Smith, Anoldi and Haiasi^ 8oliel> 
tot% Rinnlnghsm, 



APPEARANCE OF THE TOWK. 319 

A Capital Qardbn, Handsome DEsrsvr Gio, &a 

July 3, 1820. — ^To be Sold by Private Contract, a laxve and most 
excellent Garden, fally planted with all kinds of choice Fniit Trees, 
Yegetables, scarce Flower Boots, Shnibe, &a, with a good Brick Snm- 
mer-hoose, Tool-house, Arbour, Privy, and Pamp ; the same is situated 
among the npper Novascotia Gardens, eommandmg fine Views of the 
Country. 

Two Capital Gaedevcl 

July 24, 1820.— To be Sold by Auction, on the Spol^ by Isaac Farror, 
this present Monday, July 24, at Six in the Evening, m two Lots :— - 

Lot 1. — ^An excellent, well-planted Garden, aw>iinding with the 
choicest Fruit Trees and Vegetables of all kinds, with a Well of good 
Water, and surrounded by a capital Fence, now in the highest possible 
State of Cultivation, having a remarkably rich Soil, pleasantly situated 
near the Sand Pits Terrace, being No. 139, in the Walk &cing the 
new Bead leading from the Crescent to the Sand Pits, Birmingham. 

Lots. — Another Garden, adjoining the above, being 144^ with 
Entrance up to the next Walk, also al^unding with a {Te&t Variety of 
Fruit TreeL Vegetables^ &&, having a neat, well-bailt Brick Summer- 
house theretn. 

A Person will attend to shew the Gardens the whole of the After- 
noon of the Day of Sale, and other Particulan may be Imown of the 
Auctioneer. 

For 1821 tbe following brief references will soffice : — 

June 18^ 1881.— SupnioB Gardsk, tastefully laid out with Shmba 
and Flowers.— ByBoderiek. To be Sold by Auction, on the Spot, with- 
out Beeenro, on Wednesday next, the 20th of June^ a l»gOb exoslient, 
well-plaated Garden, tastmlly lud out with Shrubs and Flowers^ 
boxea Walk% and oontunioff several Hundred remarkably fine Filbert^ 
Plum, Cherry, Apple, Pear,fiaspberrT,andGooeeben7Trees^ Aspangus^ 
Artichoke, and StrawbenryBeds, and welUtoeked with Vegetables ; it 
hasalaige Briek Arbour, Wood ditto^ Privy and Wall, fenced all round, 
situate and being Ka 18^ in the first Walk beyond Thomas Hilfs. 
Gardener, in Walmer Lane^ at the Back of the Asylum. The Garden 
may be seen on Application to Thomas Hill, Gardener. 

I*or parUenlars apply to the Auctioneer. 

August 80^ 1881.— We are dad to bear that it Is intended by the 
Commissioners of our Street Acts, to make considerable alteration in 
the level of the steep descent of the Hirii Street in this Town. 

Oetobv 1ft, 188L— To be Let, a good House and Premises, situated 
in Bradlbrd Street, near Smithfield, eonsisting of six Bed Booms, two 
Psriours to the Front, two Kitchens, with good Cellaring, together 
with Stabling and an excellent Garden, a Warehouse andShopping 
attached thereto, and also a Oom Mill now in full work. 

The above will be. let free of Levies^ and may be entered upon 
immediatelT. 

For further PkrUcuIars apply to Thomis Gibson. 



320 A CENTUBY OF BIBMINGHAH LIFE. 



§ 2. PUBLIC LIFE AUD EVENTS. 

The public events of this decade axe of a very varied and 
important character. In the pubKc life of this period we 
first meet with many of the names which have since become 
fiunous, not only in our local, but in the national annala 
We shsdl now frequently meet with Attwood and Spooner, 
Muntz and Scholefield, Edmonds and Salt, and the heroes 
of the Political Union, the agitators for and the procurers 
of the Reform Bill of 1832. It will be seen. that these 
leaders took an active. part in almost all the public events 
of their time, and proved themselves earnest workars for. 
the prosperity of their native town; and that they earned 
and richly deserved the confidence and gratitude of their 
fellow citazena They fought a good fi^t, and won a great 
victoiy, and added their names to tne long list of Bir- 
mingham worthies. 

The first public act of the decade was another vain 
attempt to form a Water Works Company. 

On March the 4th a meeting was held ''to. take into 
oonsideration the meeent state of the mannfiiotaiiBS ' and 
commerce of the United Kingdom, and the proptiety of 
petitioning both Houses of Parliament to diBContinue such 
parts of the East Indian Charter. as esEdode Britisb mer* 
chants fiom trading to the Easf* Thonuis Attwood, Esq.; 
the High Bailiff, opened the business with a long and 
interestmg speech, of which a more than ordinar^ foil 
rqport is given; and the meeting resolved ^bat ''The 
commerdal monopoly of the East udia Company must be 
abolished.** 

In 1807» was issued the order in Council prohibiting all 
trade between England and the parts occupied Dy the French. 
In 1809, further wders were issued which pkoed still greater 
restrictions on Trade. The early part of 1812 was manDsd by 
great disturbanoes in the manufacturing districts^ Mills 
were bumt^ machineiy was destroyed, and many m urd eni 
committed. The merchants and manufactarers agitated 
for the repeal of the fiital orders in CouiHsiL Meetings 
were held m Birmingham, and veiy decided resolutioiis were 
passed on the subject Ilie agitation was so tu suc c es sfu l 
that in June the orders were revoked, so fiu* as the U. S. of 



PUBLIC LIFB AND EVENTS. 321 

America were concerned. In March a very unportant meet- 
ing was held, in reference to the Birmingham Street Bill, at 
which it was resolved, that it contained : — "many unprece- 
dented, arbitrary, and extraordinary powers which ought to 
be modified, or opposed." 

One of the most earnest and devoted supporters of the 
General Hospital, and the master oi^ganiser of our great Musi- 
cal Festivals, was Mr. Joseph Moore. For years ne devoted 
himself to this work with that zeal, eneigy, and ability which 
in the end command success.* It is not the habit of Bir- 
mingham people to let such services as these pass unrecog- 
nised and unrewarded. Accordingly, on April 6, 1812, we 
read the foUowing account of the manner m which the in- 
habitants testified their value of the labours of Mr. Moore : — 



On IViday lasti at the Qenend Hoipital, near this town, a splendid 
silver vase and stand, and four al ver didiee, with ooven, provided by a 
sabKription of the gentlemen of the town and neighbourhood, w«re 
p i e e en ted to Mr. Joseph Moore, as an acknowlednneat of hk disinte- 
Tested services to that most nsefol oharity ; on whioh oocanon tfie Ber. 
Dr. Ontnun, Bector of 8t Philippe, t^pcke as follows : — 

^Mr. Joeeph Moore, it ia a nal gntifioatian to me that it has fallen 
to my lot to present to yon, in the name of a very nnmerons and most 
respectable body of oentlemen, tibese elmnt and beantifnl memorials 
of the high sense which they entertain oi the services randeced bj.^ 
to this exceDcnt institataon. They well know, sir. that the floonahing 
•tale of that important bnindi off its revennes wfaidi is derived from 
oar Triennial Mnsical Festtvmla is to be attriboted, in a great measure^ 
to your hmnane, spirited, and iniAiusifiil exertjona IVmt it deserves to 
be^ and it will be^ remembered, thal^ wheieae, before yoo, sir. stepped 
forwatd in thii canse, about thiiteen yean aflo. the grosi receipts mm 
oar festivak did not, in ahv instanee, ezceea ue som of two tbowaand 
and f orfy-three poonds ; t^oy have since that time piogiesrive^y and 
lapidly mcreaaed; so that at the festival eelebtaied in the month of 
Octoher laat, there were received, within three dm^ the soma to the 
unprecedented groes amooiit of aix thoosand six hnndred and eighty 
ponnds. — Sir, had a perMn of the highest profmimuU fame, a Handel 
or a Haydn, effeetea this, it would, with rtason, have been deemed a 
great aiMl memorable wqhl But for a private gentleman, without any 
•elfiah end in view, without anv other motive flian that of compasrion 
for the afflkied, to have oombmed repeatedly the first mnsical talents 
of the empire^ and harmonised the jarring interesti that are^ per h aps, 
insqiavahle from soch oomUnatkn of ^1, so as at length to have 
raked the Birmingham Feativab from the state of respectable coontry 
meeti]^ to nnrivalled, and what may jnstly be called iiahoiial grandeur 
and celehrity, is an jnsfamce of enteiprising snd perwvering philanthropy 
worthy to m recorded in the annab of any age or natkn. It has be«n 
nsoal, air, for pubUc Jbodies of men to present to statesmen and warriors 



^Fora very good aceoost of the eervicee readered by thk **B!nningham 
Worthy,* the reader k rekrred to '<The Birmingham Ckaenl Boepital, and 
the Tkkanial Feetivak.*' [By J. T. Bonce.] p.p. lOS-S. 

n T 



322 A CENTURY OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE. 

tokens of Teneration, for their havinff, bj their cotinsels or their heroism, 
established the independence and the glory of their cooutiy. Yours, 
sir, have not been services or triumphs of this nature. But it will be 
admitted that a tribute of respect, of esteem, of gratitude, is not 1^ 
due to him, who, bv enriching a great charitable asylum, established in 
the very heart of tne kinf;dom, tor the maimed, the diseased, and the 
destitute around it, has mfused into the lower ranks,' in wnich the 
physical strength of the community consists, a love of their oountiy, and 
thereby added to the power of the national aim, whidi has so often, 
under the divine Proviaence, beien found irresistible in the heat of battle. 
It is, sir, in acknowledgment of such beniefits, donfeired by you on the 
place in which we live, and on our countiy, that I now present to you 
what I have in cfaazve. And althou|^h you have generously declined 
receivinjg any acknowMdgment provided from the funds of this charitable 
institution, .;^et this vase, and tnese other memorials, provided, as they 
have been,'m a manner so highly creditable, both to them that give 
and to he that takes, you will not, I trust, hesitate to aooept; aadlong, 
very lonff^ may you live in health and hiq^pineas to view. them. Mav 
these^ when you behold them, bring to Ytmr mind reflections that wiU 
cheer and comfort you in days of nealtn or hours of wckiiew I And 
when voa aie removed to another state of beiiu;^ where the bri^ 
rewards of true charity await you, may they, ashaUowed gifts oonae- 
crated at the shrine of Benevdlflnce, be preserved by those to whom joa 
shall beqaeath them, and by their poeterityy without spot or Jblemishy 
forever!" 

Mr. Moore replied in the following words i^ 

*'8ir^— My humble services to this great duaity, whose interests I 
shall ever have at hearty must^ I fear, have been nuMsh too highly 
appreciated.' ^JBot It is jnore. gnti^jioff to me than J ma sxptess, to 
reoJBJve these valqabla py eaunta ihos ofired onihe.paii.d those whose 
i^robalaan:aiid gpod qpinioiis are most dear to me^ iTo them my 
inomest aoknowlMgments wiU ]be always doe ; and to yon, air, for the 
Te>7 flattsring teims jnwhidi voii.have been pleased io.con^ their 
generous ssnaments to me^ I Mgleavs to rstism my sinoers and 
reqwetful thanks.* 

Distrees was prodnciiig its nsaal resnltc The people 

were becomii^^ oiscontented, and displayed a tendency to 

lioi ^Ott Apm^7, we read t--- 



A disporitlon totmnolt wearasony to annoenes^ was manifested ly 
the popiuaee in this town lasi week who asssmbled on Monday, Tues- 
day, and Wednesday,in laigs nnmoers In the Marfcsi Plsei^ and pro- 
eeeded to some sots ofvioleiics; bntthepRMiptiindieioai^anddaefatve 
measnres imrsoed }jj the Magistrates, aided Iqr ttis polios offissr% the 
North Bmiih Dragoon^ the warwi^EshiM Yoonaniy. the Haadsworth 
Oavali3r,a party of Marines and other militery, spse d Hy restored ipood 
order, and the town has been free from the lesstafipearanee of riot ainoe 
Wednesday ovoningi 

Fatal Emoss or Bion. 

April S7th, ISI&P-Wailsm Cotton, TWoasai DaT^ and Matthew 
Riiston, were foond goiltv of banning to desMlish and poll down the 
dwelling house of Mr. John Whssl^, ofRjgbssten, near this town, and 
received sentenee of death at a late Assias frr this oonnty, bnt which 
sentence was eommnted to tiansportation kit, and daring, thsfar natoral 



PUBLIC LIFE AND EVENTS. 823 

lives. From the &te of these young men, let yonth inerery situation 
of life take an impressive warning, and resist, with firmness, under what- 
ever form it may present itself every temptstion to outraffo and riot. 
'These unfortunate prisoners, who, in the first instance, might nave joined 
the moh with the mtention of witnessing only the aots of others, were 
induced to commit a capital felony, for which crime they justly forfeited 
their lives to the laws of their country. By an act of Bioyal mercy, they 
have been permitted to live, but under the bitter reflection of being es- 
tranged fit>m all their dearest connexions in this world for ever. 

The usual efforts were made to relieve the distress : — 

Town's MscnNQ. 

Majr 4, lS12.^0n Friday a meeting of the inhabitants of this town 
and neigliboorfaood was held at the Public Office^ whidi was most re- 
q)eetabfy attended, to take intoconsideration the best mode to be adopted 
at this juncture for the relief of the poor. A most liberal subscription 
was entered into, and a committee appointed to carry the laudable view 
of the meeting into effect 

Tlie obfeet of the Oommittee will be to procure such artides as will 
reduee the eonsamption of flour, meat and potatoes. With this view, 
large porehasss will be made at distant markets^ and which will be 
dimbated to the poor at half price. This at present Is the outline of 
the plan whidi is to be adopted ; and we trust that every one will con- 
tribute aoeorduig to Us abih^ in aid of a measure upon whidi the com* 
fort and welfare of the town so materially depends. It b«ng intended 
that eadi snbsoiber ahall have a number of tiekets proportionate to the 
amoontof his snbseriptionyit la evident that the master maaufiMtorsrs 
will thereby have the opportonity of relieving those who are Immediately 
under thefar emp