A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Shereford (St. Nicholas)
SHEREFORD (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union of Walsingham, hundred of Gallow, W. division of Norfolk, 2¼ miles (W.) from Fakenham; containing 89 inhabitants. It comprises 830 acres, of which 678 are arable, 128 pasture and meadow, and 16 woodland. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £9, and in the gift of the family of Townshend: the tithes have been commuted for £192, and the glebe comprises 58 acres. The church is chiefly in the decorated English style, with a circular tower.
Sherfield-English (St. Leonard)
SHERFIELD-ENGLISH (St. Leonard), a parish, in the union of Romsey, hundred of Thorngate, Romsey and S. divisions of the county of Southampton, 4¾ miles (W. N. W.) from Romsey; containing 328 inhabitants. It comprises by measurement 1774 acres. The soil is partly light, and partly of stronger quality, producing excellent crops of barley and potatoes; the surface is undulated, commanding views of the New Forest and the Isle of Wight. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 10. 2½., and in the gift of R. Bristow, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £284, and the glebe comprises 39 acres.
Sherfield-upon-Loddon (St. Leonard)
SHERFIELD-upon-Loddon (St. Leonard), a parish, in the union of Basingstoke, hundred of Odiham, Basingstoke and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 4 miles (N. E. by N.) from Basingstoke; containing 640 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £11. 3. 6½., and in the gift of the Rev. W. Eyre: the tithes have been commuted for £674. 10., and the glebe comprises 36 acres. Besides the church, there are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. James Christian, in 1735, gave £100 to build a school-house, and £25 a year for education.
Sherford (St. Martin)
SHERFORD (St. Martin), a parish, in the union of Kingsbridge, hundred of Coleridge, Stanborough and Coleridge, and S. divisions of Devon, 3¼ miles (E.) from Kingsbridge; containing 450 inhabitants. The parish comprises 2267 acres, of which 26 are common or waste land. The living is annexed to the vicarage of Stokenham. The church contains some good screen-work. Attached to an old farmhouse at Kennedon are some remains of the manorial seat of Justice Hals, who lived in the reign of Henry V.
Sheriff-Hales (St. Mary)
SHERIFF-HALES (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Shiffnall, partly in the Newport division of the hundred of South Bradford, N. division of Salop, but chiefly in the W. division of the hundred of Cuttlestone, S. division of the county of Stafford, 3 miles (N. by E.) from Shiffnall; containing, with the chapelry of Woodcote, 1019 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £11. 1. 8.; net income, £614; patron and impropriator, the Duke of Sutherland. The church is a neat stone edifice, seated on an eminence above a small stream that parts it from Shropshire. There is a chapel of ease at Woodcote; also a place of worship in the parish for Wesleyans. A milky vitriolic water is found among the iron-mines in the neighbourhood.
Sheriff-Hutton.—See Hutton, Sheriff.
SHERIFF-HUTTON.—See Hutton, Sheriff.
Sheringham (All Saints)
SHERINGHAM (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Erpingham, hundred of North Erpingham, E. division of Norfolk, 5 miles (W.) from Cromer; containing 1134 inhabitants. It comprises 2177a. 22p., of which 1300 acres are arable, and 700 woodland and heath; the surface is undulated, and the scenery in some parts beautiful. Sheringham Hall is a handsome mansion of white brick, finely situated in a well-wooded park. The villages of Upper and Lower Sheringham are about a mile and a half apart: in the former is the parochial church; the latter is on the cliffs, near a narrow ravine, through which a rivulet flows into the sea. On the beach are six curing-houses; thirty boats are usually employed in the herring-fishery, and many smaller craft in taking cod, skate, whiting, lobsters, and crabs, of which great quantities are sent to London. Upon the banks of the rivulet is a small paper-mill. The living is a vicarage; net income, £82; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of Ely, whose tithes have been commuted for £361. The church is in the earlier and later English styles, with a lofty embattled tower; on the north side of the chancel is the mausoleum of the Upcher family. Here was a monastery of Black canons, a cell to Nutley Abbey, in the county of Buckingham.
Shermanbury (St. Giles)
SHERMANBURY (St. Giles), a parish, in the union of Steyning, hundred of Windham and Ewhurst, rape of Bramber, W. division of Sussex, 8 miles (N. E. by N.) from Steyning; containing 411 inhabitants. It is bounded on the south by the river Adur, and comprises about 2000 acres, of which 30 are common or waste; the soil is clay and loam, the surface gently undulated, and the meadows and pastures luxuriantly rich. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £4. 19. 4½., and in the patronage of the Challen family: the tithes have been commuted for £381. 15., and the glebe comprises 14 acres. The church, which is beautifully situated in Shermanbury Park, close to the mansion-house, is a handsome structure; the windows are embellished with stained glass inserted by the late Rev. J. G. Challen, D.D. Here are the groined gateway and some other remains of a castellated mansion surrounded by a moat, called Ewhurst, and anciently a seat of the lords De la Warr.
SHERMANS-GROUNDS, an extra-parochial district, in the hundred of West Goscote, N. division of the county of Leicester; containing 25 inhabitants.
Shernbourne (St. Peter and St. Paul)
SHERNBOURNE (St. Peter and St. Paul), a parish, in the union of Docking, hundred of Smithdon, W. division of Norfolk, 2 miles (S. E. by E.) from Snettisham; containing 133 inhabitants. It comprises about 1300 acres, of which more than 1200 are arable, 50 meadow and pasture, and 10 woodland. The estate was for many generations the property of the Shernbourne family, whose ancient residence, the Hall, is now a farmhouse. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8; net income, £69; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of Ely. The tithes were commuted for land in 1767; the glebe comprises 65 acres of land, on which several farm-buildings have been erected by the incumbent. The church was built by Thorpe, lord of Shernbourne, when Felix, Bishop of the East Angles, came to convert the inhabitants to Christianity; and it is said to have been the second founded in that kingdom. The nave only remains; on the north side are sepulchral brasses with the effigies of Lord and Lady Shernbourne.
Sherrington (St. Laud)
SHERRINGTON (St. Laud), a parish, in the union of Newport-Pagnell, hundred of Newport, county of Buckingham, 1¾ mile (N. N. E.) from Newport-Pagnell, on the road to Olney; containing 856 inhabitants. It comprises about 2000 acres, of which about two-thirds are arable, 25 acres wood, and the remainder pasture; the surface is generally level, and the soil clay. A limestone-quarry supplies stone for the roads and for burning into lime. A little rush-matting is made; the majority of the women and children are employed in making pillow-lace. The river Ouse runs through the parish. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £20. 0. 2½.; net income, £500; patron, the Bishop of Lincoln. The tithes were commuted for land and a corn-rent in 1796: there are 20 acres of glebe, with a good glebe-house. The church is an ancient building with a tower. Here are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans.
Sherrington (St. Michael)
SHERRINGTON (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Warminster, forming a detached portion of the hundred of Branch and Dole, Warminster and S. divisions of Wilts, 3 miles (W. N. W.) from Wiley; containing 194 inhabitants. It comprises 1220 acres by admeasurement, and is situated on the river Wiley. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £11, and in the gift of A. B. Lambert, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £259, and the glebe comprises 21 acres. The church is a small structure in good repair. A school is supported by subscription. There are some barrows in the parish.
Sherston Magna (Holy Cross)
SHERSTON MAGNA (Holy Cross), a parish, in the union of Malmesbury, hundred of Chippenham, Malmesbury and Kingswood, and N. divisions of Wilts, 5¾ miles (W. by S.) from Malmesbury; containing 1393 inhabitants. This place was called by the Saxons Scarston or Scaurston, signifying "the town on a rock." It seems to have been occupied by the Romans: the consular way passed near; and coins of Antoninus, Faustinus, Gordianus, Flavius Julianus, and others, have been found, An obstinate battle was fought here in 1016, between Edmund Ironside and Canute the Great. On the cliff behind the village is an ancient encampment with a remarkably deep well; and in the neighbourhood are the foundations and fragments of three stone crosses. The parish comprises about 6000 acres, of which a considerable portion is waste: the soil is various; the surface is chiefly level, and is watered by two small streams, which uniting form the river Avon. The village stands on an eminence. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10. 2.; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester; impropriators, the Rev. H. Creswell, J. Neeld, Esq., and the churchwardens of Cirencester, as lessees under the Dean and Chapter. The great tithes have been commuted for £250, and the vicarial for £100; the impropriate glebe comprises 288 acres. The church exhibits portions in the Norman and the several English styles, and is a large structure, with a lofty tower rising from the centre. A school is endowed with £10 per annum.
Sherston Parva or Sherston-Pinkney
SHERSTON PARVA, or Sherston-Pinkney, a parish, in the union of Malmesbury, and in a detached portion of the hundred of Chippenham, Malmesbury and Kingswood, and N. divisions of Wilts, 4¾ miles (W.) from Malmesbury; containing 155 inhabitants. The living is valued in the king's books at £3. 14. 4½.: the impropriate tithes have been commuted for £159, and there are 93 acres of impropriate glebe. The church was long since demolished, and no institution has taken place since 1640, when the patronage was in the Crown.
Sherwill (St. Peter)
SHERWILL (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Barnstaple, hundred of Sherwill, Braunton and N. divisions of Devon, 4 miles (N. E.) from Barnstaple; containing 686 inhabitants, and comprising 4762 acres. This parish is supposed to derive its name from the purity of its waters: near the village is a copious well of limpid water, which in the driest seasons affords an abundant supply. The substratum abounds with stone quarried for building purposes. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £30. 3. 11½., and in the gift of Sir Arthur Chichester, Bart.: the tithes have been commuted for £545, and the glebe comprises 91 acres, with a small house. The church is a handsome structure in the later English style, with a tower at the western extremity of the south aisle.
SHEVINGTON, a township, in the parish of Standish, union of Wigan, hundred of Leyland, N. division of Lancashire, 3¼ miles (N. W. by W.) from Wigan; containing 1122 inhabitants. Before the general introduction of dates in the conveyance of landed property, a family existed denominating themselves from this township. The family of Hesketh have possessed property here for several ages, and have been considered as lords of the manor. The township is of some extent, standing on the declivity of the hill between Standish and Wigan, and reaching to the north-east bank of the Douglas: the area is 1708 acres, whereof 133 are common or waste. Some valuable mines of coal are in operation. The Leeds and Liverpool canal, or, as it is here called, the Douglas navigation, runs parallel with the Douglas river. In the township are a number of ancient mansions: the old Hall or manor-house, the property of the Heskeths, is of the date 1653. New Hall is now a farmhouse, and Owlet or Hullet House is merely noted for its rude antiquity. White Hall bears the arms of the Baldwins, its ancient owners. Holt Farm was the residence of the Holts, of whom Alexander Holt, citizen and goldsmith, of London, was one of the benefactors of the parish: Crook Hall was the seat of the Pearsons. Upon Shevington Moor is a causeway called Cripplegate, said to have derived its name from the circumstance of two maiden ladies, to whose house it led, having given alms to every crippled applicant. The tithes have been commuted for £260. 4. 6. A school, with a house and garden for the master, was built during the incumbency of the Rev. Richard Perrin; and in 1845 a national school was built by Edward Woodcock, Esq.
Sheviock (St. Mary)
SHEVIOCK (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of St. Germans, S. division of the hundred of East, E. division of Cornwall, 3 miles (S. by E.) from St. Germans; containing 567 inhabitants. This parish, which is bounded on the north by the river Lynher, and on the south by the English Channel, comprises 2122 acres, whereof three-fourths are arable, and the remainder woodland, with a small portion of pasture. The surface is varied, and intersected by numerous rivulets; the soil on the north side, near the river, is a stiffish yellow clay, and on the south side of much lighter quality. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £26. 14. 7., and in the gift of the Carew family: the tithes have been commuted for £335, and the glebe comprises 62 acres. The church contains a sumptuous monument to the memory of Sir Edward and Lady Courtenay, and several curious tombs of the family of Dawnay. At Wrinkle Cove is an ancient pier; and off the coast a considerable pilchard-fishery is carried on.
SHIDFIELD, a tything, in the parish of Droxford, hundred of Bishop's-Waltham, Droxford and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 3 miles (S.) from Bishop's-Waltham. A church dedicated to St. John, to which a district has been assigned, was erected by subscription in 1829: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Rector of Droxford; net income, £100, with a house.
SHIELDS, NORTH, a sea-port and market-town, in the parish, union, and borough of Tynemouth, E. division of Castle ward, S. division of Northumberland, 8 miles (E. N. E.) from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and 276 (N. by W.) from London; containing 25,808 inhabitants, of whom 7509 are in the township. This place, at the commencement of the 13th century, consisted only of a few fishermen's huts or "shielings," which occupied the site of part of the present town, and from which it appears to have derived its name. In the reign of Edward I., the prior of Tynemouth began to erect houses here, established a market, and encouraged the settling of traders; but the burgesses of Newcastle, who possessed the exclusive traffic of the river Tyne, jealous of this encroachment on their privileges, commenced a suit in the court of king's bench against the prior, who, by a judgment of the court, was compelled to relinquish his enterprise. Retiring therefore within the precincts of the priory at Tynemouth, he there carried his purpose into effect, and formed a harbour for trading-vessels, which from that circumstance is still called the Prior's haven. The town of Shields relapsed into its previous obscurity, and remained in a state of insignificance till about the middle of the 17th century, when Cromwell made considerable efforts to place it in that rank to which, from its advantageous situation, it was so obviously entitled. For this purpose he caused commodious quays to be built, granted a charter for a weekly market, and afforded every facility for the promotion of trade; but it was not till about the close of the century that the restrictions on the commerce of the town were effectually removed, and the place began to prosper. From that period its advance has been rapidly progressive, its trade has greatly increased, and since the commencement of the present century, its population has been nearly doubled.
The town is situated on the north bank of the river Tyne, near its influx into the North Sea, and opposite to South Shields on the other side of the river. The older portion consists chiefly of narrow streets and lanes; while that of more recent origin contains numerous spacious, well-formed streets, and several handsome squares, in which are houses of elegant appearance, inhabited principally by merchants and shipowners. A street 60 feet in width, leading from the upper districts of the town to the market-place and the quays, has been recently completed. The streets are lighted with gas, partly from works constructed in the neighbourhood called the Low Lights, in 1820, at an expense of £5000; and partly from others in Hudson-street, established in 1836. The inhabitants are amply supplied with water from reservoirs at Percy Main, Whitley, and Waterville, whence it is conveyed into the town by pipes, under the superintendence of a company incorporated in 1786. A subscription library, originally instituted in 1802, and for which a good building of stone was erected in 1807 by shareholders, has a collection of more than 4000 volumes: and a natural-history society, primarily formed in 1825, and re-established in 1835 in Church street, whence it has been removed to Tyne-street, has a valuable collection of mineralogical, geological, and ornithological specimens. In Tyne-street, also, is a handsome newsroom, and another has been opened in Dockwraysquare. A theatre, a neat building of brick, erected in 1798, is opened during the winter months; and card and dancing assemblies are held at the principal inn, in King-street.
The trade of the port mainly consists in the exportation of coal to London and the eastern coasts of England and Scotland, from the various staiths on the river, of which the principal are the Whitley coal and lime staiths, near the Low Light-house. Since the great extension of steam navigation, the coal-trade to France, the Mediterranean, the ports of the Baltic and the Black Sea, to Spain, North and South America, the West India Islands, Arabia, and recently to China, has much increased. Vessels are also employed in the Greenland and Davis' Straits fisheries. The harbour, which is also the harbour of South Shields, is capable of containing 2000 sail of vessels at one time, and ships of 1000 tons' burthen can safely pass the bar at its mouth, in spring tides. The entrance is defended by several forts, of which the principal are, Clifford's fort, erected in 1672; the Spanish battery, raised at the time of the threatened invasion by the celebrated Armada; and Tynemouth Castle. At Clifford's fort was formerly a light-house called the Low Light, and on an eminence to the west of it was another named the High Light. Both of these, since the shifting of the bar at the mouth of the harbour, within the last thirty years, have been discontinued; and others, under the direction of the Newcastle Trinity Company, have been erected in their stead, one on the bank opposite Dockwray-square, and the other at the Low Light shore. The quay formed by a late Duke of Northumberland, in 1804, is spacious and commodious; several bonding warehouses have been erected here, and near it are the custom-house, the landing-place for the steam-packets, an extensive area in which the market is held, and a handsome hotel. Arrangements are in progress for the erection of a quay extending from that part called the Shepherd's quay to the union road on the east, adjoining the Low Light shore, a line recommended some years since by the late Mr. Rennie. This quay will be fronted with a wall of solid stone 2365 feet in length, and the space behind filled up with ballast from the vessels which here take in their lading of coal: a frontage of 20 feet will be left free for public use, and the remainder attached to the adjacent dwelling-houses. The estimated expense of this work is about £9000. The houses adjoining the customhouse quay will be removed for the construction of docks for repairing vessels. Ships employed in the foreign trade are compelled to clear out from the customhouse at Newcastle; but vessels trading coastwise may clear out from the custom-house at this port. Steamboats ply every half-hour to Newcastle, for the conveyance of passengers and goods; and there is a steam ferry to South Shields.
The manufactures in the town and immediate neighbourhood are principally connected with, shipping. There are two yards for ship-building, and others for smaller vessels and boats; several roperies, and manufactories for sailcloth, tobacco, starch, hats, and gloves; some salt-works, a mill for grinding flint, and a large establishment for earthenware and stained glass; numerous iron-foundries; several forges, one of which has machinery for the manufacture of scrap-iron; and some manufactories for chain-cables and anchors. Patent windlasses are also manufactured. Messrs. Waite established a manufactory for steam-boat engines in 1821, and have a flour-mill at Low Lights. The market is on Saturday, and is abundantly supplied with provisions of all kinds; there are fairs on the 1st of March and of November. Courts leet and baron are held at Easter and Michaelmas, by the steward of the manor of Tynemouth, which belongs to the Duke of Northumberland; and the magistrates for the division hold petty-sessions every Tuesday. The powers of the county debt-court of North Shields, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Tynemouth. A handsome building in the Elizabethan style has been erected in Savillestreet, in which is the office of the superintendent-registrar, and in which also the board of guardians for the union of Tynemouth hold their meetings. A town-hall, having a handsome interior, was opened in August 1845. The Newcastle and Tynemouth railway has a station here, occupying an area of about two acres in front, of Bedford-street.
The parochial church of Tynemouth is on the north side of the town. In the western part is a chapel of ease, dedicated to the Holy Trinity on the 27th of October, 1836, having been erected at a cost of £3760, by subscription, aided by a donation of £350 from the Duke of Northumberland, and a grant from the Church-Building Society. His a handsome structure in the early English style, with a square embattled tower, surmounted by an octagonal turret crowned with pinnacles, and contains 1200 sittings, of which 602 are free. At the north-west entrance of the town is a cemetery, formed in 1834, and having a gateway of four finelysculptured columns. There are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Methodists of the New Connexion, and Wesleyans, a Scottish church, and a Roman Catholic chapel. A school has been established and endowed by the trustees of the late Mr. Thomas Kettlewell, who for that purpose bequeathed property which has been invested in the purchase of £2000 new four per cents, and £2000 three per cent, consols. An asylum for decayed master-mariners was erected on a site given by the late Duke of Northumberland, comprising about an acre on the Tynemouth road. The buildings are of the Elizabethan style, and consist of nine houses forming a semi-quadrangle, in the centre of which is a statue of the duke; they will accommodate 32 inmates, each of whom has two apartments, and receives an annual gratuity. There are numerous benefit and friendly societies, and various bequests for distribution among the poor. In excavating the ground for the formation of the new street to the market-place, an immense boulder of mountain limestone, with some specimens of copper-ore, was discovered at a depth of 20 feet.
SHIELDS, SOUTH, a sea-port, newly-enfranchised borough, and township, and the head of a union, in the parish of Jarrow, E. division of Chester ward, N. division of Durham, 20 miles (N. N. E.) from Durham, and 278 (N. N. W.) from London; the township containing 9082 inhabitants. This place, the importance of which is comparatively of modern date, lays claim notwithstanding to an origin of remote antiquity, and has strong indications of having been a Roman station. At the western extremity of the town is an elevated pavement, near the mouth of the Tyne, corresponding with a similar work near the end of the wall of Severus on the opposite bank of the river. It was evidently constructed by the Romans, for the safe landing of their forces at the ebbing and flowing of the tide; and at a place called the Lawe, between the town and the river, a hypocaust, some altars, coins, and numerous other vestiges of Roman occupation, have been found. In the opinion of some antiquaries, the place seems almost identified with the ancient Segedunum, the first station on the wall of Severus. A military road branching from the Watling-street, passing over Durham and Harbrass moors, and by Lumley Castle, terminates here; it is called the Wreken Dyke by Hutchinson, who derives that name from its probable restoration by the Danes, for the more easy access to the Tyne. The trade of South Shields was greatly promoted by the establishment about the year 1499 of the manufacture of salt, which, in the reigns of Elizabeth. James, and Charles I., attracted many strangers, who settled in the town. During the parliamentary war, a guard-house with a battery of four guns was erected on the Lawe, which was taken by the Scottish general Leslie in 1644, and which at the close of the late war was dismantled.
The town is situated on the southern bank of the Tyne, at its influx into the North Sea, and nearly opposite to the port of North Shields on the other side of the river. The older portion of it consists of long and inconveniently narrow streets, extending for more than a mile and a half along the shore of the river; the more modern portion contains many handsome ranges of buildings, among which are Winchester, Saville, and Frederick streets. Ogle and Albion terraces, and numerous pleasant villas on the east side of the town. The streets are lighted with gas by a company who have erected works for that purpose at an expense of £4000; and the inhabitants are supplied with water conveyed by pipes from springs in the neighbourhood, by a company established under an act of parliament obtained in 1788. A subscription library was established in 1803, and a literary, scientific, and mechanics' institution in 1825; the latter contains a library, and the requisite apparatus for experiments. There is a public newsroom in the town-hall; and at Bank Top is a theatre, erected in 1791.
The chief trade of the port is the shipping of coal from the various mines in the surrounding districts. Two collieries in the immediate vicinity of the town are in active operation, and connected with them are staiths for vessels, which were also used by the late Stanhope and Tyne, or Pontop and South Shields Railway Company. This company was established in 1833, and in the course of two years completed a railway from the town of Stanhope, in the western part of the county, to South Shields, a distance of thirty-four miles, at a cost of about £250,000. The staiths here are constructed on the most scientific and improved principles, and are capable of loading a vessel of 700 tons' burthen from each of the eight drops of the railway, in a period of six hours; 100,939 tons of coal were shipped at these staiths from the company's mines, in 1836, and about 166,500 tons are annually shipped from other collieries. Large cargoes are also brought down the river in keels, to be shipped in the colliers here. Considerable quantities of superior lime are carried by the railway, and distributed through a very extensive agricultural district; a portion of it is shipped from the staiths for Scotland. The Brandling Junction railway connects Shields with MonkWearmouth on the south, and Gateshead on the west; with the Newcastle and Carlisle railway, by the inclined plane from Gateshead to Redheugh; and with the York and Newcastle railway. The Pontop and the Brandling railways now belong to the York and Newcastle company. The number of vessels registered as belonging to the port is about 350, of the aggregate burthen of 77,000 tons. By far the greater number are employed in the coal-trade; a few are engaged in the American, Baltic, and Indian trades. The insurance of vessels is conducted by mutual assurance societies, of which one of the largest in the kingdom is established at this place, with a capital of more than a million sterling.
The port is capacious, the river here expanding into a wide bay capable of affording secure shelter to more than 2000 sail of merchant vessels; but the entrance is extremely dangerous. On the north of the channel are clusters of rugged and elevated rocks, and on the south a treacherous sand-bank with a great bar, which in easterly, north-easterly, and south-easterly winds, raises breakers to a tremendous height; so that vessels attempting to enter the harbour in a gale, are often by a single sea precipitated on the rocks or driven on the sands. In 1789, the "Adventure" of Newcastle was wrecked on the sands, and the whole of the crew perished in the sight of thousands of spectators, who could afford no assistance. Upon this, a number of gentlemen formed themselves into a committee to devise some means, if possible, for the prevention of the loss of life from these melancholy catastrophes, and in the same year, with the aid of Mr. Henry Greathead, constructed the life-boat, which, on the 30th of January 1790, rescued from destruction a crew which no other means could have saved. This important discovery was duly appreciated by government; parliament voted a present of £1200 to Mr. Greathead, the Royal Humane Society presented him with their gold medal, and the Empress of Russia with a diamond ring. In commemoration of the event, the device of a life-boat has been adopted in the public seal of the borough. In 1826, James Mather, Esq., of this place, invented the life-boat for ships, which is at present generally used for packet-vessels and steamers.
Ship-building was formerly carried on here to a vast extent, and during the late war not less than 30 ships were annually launched, but the number is now much reduced, and the trade almost confined to the repairing of vessels, for which there are two patent-slips. The manufacture of salt, to the introduction of which the town owed its earlier increase, was also extensive; and in 1696 there were 200 salt-pans, affording employment to many hundred persons: it is now conducted on a very reduced scale, not more than five tons of salt being produced weekly. The principal articles of manufacture at present are, plate, flint, and crown glass; bottles; alkali, salts, soda, soap, and oil of vitriol; anchors and chain-cables, and boilers for steam-engines. The plate-glass works were established in 1827; the glass is polished at Newcastle, and chiefly sent to London. Altogether there are nine glass-houses in constant operation, with mills for glass-grinding; and previously to the reduction of the duty, the amount for glass manufactured here exceeded £120,000 per annum. The Jarrow alkali-works, established in 1823, by Messrs. Cookson and Co., are situated on the margin of the river, near the entrance to the town. They are unrivalled for the production of alkalis, soda, alum, Epsom-salts, oil of vitriol, bleachingpowders, sulphates of copper, and other chemical substances, for which they are supplied with common salt from works at East Howden, in Northumberland: from 700 to 800 persons are employed. Here are also, a paint manufactory, worked by steam; five roperies, in some of which patent cordage is made; six breweries, and various other establishments. The market is on Wednesday; a customary market is held on Saturday; and there are fairs, granted by charter of Bishop Trevor in 1770, annually on the 24th of June and the 1st of September. The markets are held in a large area in the centre of the town.
The municipal, affairs are managed by commissioners under a local act of the reign of George IV. The docks, manufactories, and other important works, are exempt from one-half of the rates charged on other property. Petty-sessions for this part of the Eastern division of Chester ward are held here every Wednesday; and courts leet and baron for making presentments, and for the recovery of small debts, are held in the town-hall, under the Dean and Chapter of Durham, as lords of the manor. The powers of the county debtcourt of South Shields, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of South Shields. The townhall, situated in the market-place, was erected in 1768, by the Dean and Chapter, and is a neat and commodious structure, supported on a colonnade, within the area of which the market for butter, eggs, and poultry is held. It is used by the merchants for the purpose of an exchange. The borough returns one member to parliament; the franchise is vested in the £10 householders of the townships of South Shields and Westoe, together comprising a population of 23,072, and the returning officer is appointed by the sheriff. A large portion of the land within the borough belongs to the Dean and Chapter, under whom it is held on building leases of 21 years, renewable every seven years on payment of a fine; and the old tenants are acknowledged to hold a beneficial interest in their leases (which are objects of sale, mortgage, or settlement) as freeholders. The township of South Shields comprises an area of 89a. 2r. 20p.
The ancient chapel of St. Hilda, with the exception of the tower, was rebuilt in 1810 at an expense of £5000, and retains but little of its original character, though it still contains some fine monuments; the living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £330; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter. A church was erected in 1818, in that part of the town which is in the township of Westoe. Another dedicated to the Holy Trinity was erected in the Western Commercial-road, in 1834, at a cost of £3350, chiefly defrayed by the Dean and Chapter; it is a handsome structure with a square embattled tower, containing 1200 sittings, of which 800 are free: the living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £350; patrons, the Dean and Chapter. There is an oratory at Harton, which is a curacy in the patronage of the Incumbent of South Shields; and an additional church has been erected at the east end of the town, within the chapelry of St. Hilda, at a cost of about £2000: it was consecrated in October 1846, and is dedicated to St. Stephen. The design is of the early English style, with a tower surmounted by a spire, and the building contains 800 sittings, including 500 free. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter, with a net income of £200. There are three places of worship belonging to the Wesleyans; two each to the Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists of the New Connexion; and one each to the Independents, Primitive Methodists, and members of the United Secession Church. A school was founded in 1769, by bequests from Christopher Maughan in 1749, and Ann Aubone in 1760, which, augmented by subsequent benefactions from Ralph Redhead and others, produce an income of £82 per annum. The poor-law union of South Shields comprises six parishes or places, containing a population of 28,907. In the chapelry is a saline spring, the water of which was found on analysis to contain in one gill, of muriate of lime 2 grains, muriate of magnesia 1.6, muriate of soda 3.9, carbonate of lime and magnesia 10, and of sulphate of lime 3: this water, which contains neither any particle of iron nor of free acids, is used by some poor families instead of yeast, in making their bread. Near Marsden Rock, on the coast, is found elastic limestone, which does not occur elsewhere in England; it is perfectly flexible to the touch, and is regarded as a singular curiosity.— See Harton and Westoe.
Shiffnall (St. Andrew)
SHIFFNALL (St. Andrew), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the Shiffnall division of the hundred of Brimstree, S. division of Salop; containing, with the townships of Hatton and Woodside, and the chapelry of Prior's Lee, 5244 inhabitants, of whom 1872 are in the town, 17½ miles (E. by S.) from Shrewsbury, and 143 (N. W.) from London. This place, formerly called Idsall, appears to have been of greater note than it is at present. It belonged to Earl Morcar prior to the Conquest, and at a period considerably later was the property of the family of Dunstanville, one of whom, Walter de Dunstanville, by the special command of Henry III., resided in the Marches, to protect them against the ravaging incursions of the Welsh. The estate afterwards came into the possession of the Badlesmeres, who obtained from Edward I. a market for two days in the week, and two yearly fairs. Bartholomew de Badlesmere having been executed for his participation in the battle of Boroughbridge, it subsequently became the property of various families of distinction, among whom were those of Bohun, Tiptoft, Ab Rees, Mortimer, and Talbot. The town is supposed to have been destroyed by fire, and then built on its present site eastward of the church, having been, prior to its destruction, situated to the west. A book printed towards the end of the fifteenth century, entitled The Burnynge of the Town of Idsall, alias Shiffnall, is said to be in existence, though very scarce. Shiffnall is on the road from London to Holyhead, in a country abounding with coal and iron-ore, and the inhabitants are supplied with good water from wells. A subscription library is maintained. The market is on Tuesday; and there are fairs on the first Monday in April, August 5th, and November 23rd, for hops, horses, and cattle of different kinds. A pettysession for the division is held monthly by the magistrates, and a court leet annually. The coal and ironstone with which the substratum abounds are worked on a very extensive scale, by a company at Prior's-Lee. The parish comprises 11,433a. 28p. of land, chiefly arable; the soil is fertile, and produces excellent crops of wheat, barley, beans, and peas.
The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £15. 6. 8.; net income, £450; patrons, the Brooke family. The great tithes have been commuted for £1634, and the small for £305: the vicar has a glebe of 60 acres. The church is a large cruciform structure, with a tower in the centre; the prevailing character is the Norman, with alterations of less ancient date, and the four pointed arches supporting the tower are good specimens of later Norman architecture. The chancel, in which are two round-headed windows (now blocked up), with slender-shafted columns and decorated capitals, is evidently of very early date, and is separated from the tower by a large semicircular arch, a fine specimen of the early Norman style. The roof of the chancel, which is of a high pitch, is supported by framework of oak, of elegant design, richly carved, and springing from corbels on the walls; the roof of the nave, which is of similar character and equally beautiful, is hidden by a plaster ceiling added in 1810, when the church underwent a thorough repair. At Prior's-Lee is a separate incumbency. The Baptists and Independents have places of worship. A free school established in 1595, by John Aron, had from endowments a sum of £13. 7. 4., which was paid until 1816, when an addition was made from a fund raised by subscription, making the income £30 per annum, and the national system was adopted. There is an exhibition to Christ-Church College, Oxford, founded in 1689 by Edward Cares well; but the course of education now pursued not qualifying the scholars for the university, the benefit of it is enjoyed by a private school, the master of which is nominally classical roaster of the free school. Several small sums called Dole charities, have been left by different persons for the benefit of the poor. The union of Shiffnall comprises 15 parishes or places, of which 11 are in the county of Salop and 4 in that of Stafford, the whole containing a population of 11,050. In a field near the vicarage-house are the remains of a military station, consisting of a circular mound with a ditch. Shiffnall is the birthplace of Dr. Beddoes, a physician eminent as well for his literary attainments as for professional skill.
SHIFFORD, a chapelry, in the parish and hundred of Bampton, union of Witney, county of Oxford, 6 miles (S. E.) from Witney; containing 52 inhabitants. It appears from a Saxon MS. in the Cottonian library, that Alfred the Great held one of his first councils here, probably on a piece of ground near the chapel, called Court Close. The chapel is an ancient structure.