WARRINGTON, a town, a township, a parish, and a district, in Lancashire. The town stands on the river Morsey, at an intersection of railways, near the Sankey and the Bridgewater canals, 18 miles by road E of Liverpool; is thought by some antiquaries, but not on good evidence, to date from the ancient British times, and to occupy the site of a Roman station; was known to the Saxons as Weringtun, and at Domesday as Wallintun; belonged in 1379 to the Botelers, who then founded an Augustinian friary at it; possessed importance for commanding a practicable ford on the Mersey; acquired there, in 1496, a bridge which was used by Henry VII. on his visit to Lathom, and which occasioned the place thenceforth to be regarded as a military key to Lancashire; was garrisoned by the royalists, and twice taken from them by the parliamentarians, in the civil wars of Charles I.; was the scene of a defeat of the Scots in 1648, and of a defeat of the royalists in 1651 by Lambert; was the scene also of the capture of part of Charles Edward's insurgent army in 1745; numbers among its natives W. Leland who lived 140 years, the physician Hayward, the theologian T. Barnes, and the physician Dr. T. Percival; had, as masters or pupils of an academy founded at it in 1757, Dr. Aitkin, Dr. Priestley, Dr. Taylor author of the "Hebrew Concordance," Enfield author of the "Speaker," and the Rev. G. Wakefield; sent from its printing-press the works of John Howard, Mrs. Barbauld, Mr. Gibson, Dr. Farrar, and T. Roscoe; gives the title of Earl to Earl Stamford; was made a parliamentary borough in 1832, and a municipal borough in 1847; sends one member to parliament, and is governed by a mayor, 9 aldermen, and 27 councillors; is a seat of petty sessions and county courts; publishes two weekly newspapers; consists partly of spacious well built streets, partly of narrow ill-built ones, some of them recently very much improved; and has a head post-office,? two r. stations with telegraph, two banking offices, two chief hotels, a town hall, a public hall, a corn-market, a theatre, public baths, four churches, ten dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a public cemetery, a museum and library, a mechanics' institution, an endowed grammar-school, a blue-coat school, a people's college, a clergymen's daughters' college, a training-college for schoolmistresses, three national schools, a church institute, a musical society, a dispensary, alms houses, a workhouse, and general charities £24.
The Liverpooland Manchester banking-office is a recent and handsome edifice. The Bank-quay r. station was erected in 1854, at a cost of nearly £30,000. The town hall was built in 1867; and includes court-house, public offices, and bridewell. The public hall was built in 1862, at a cost of £3,500; and has accommodation for 1,200 persons. The public baths were erected in 1866, at a cost of £2,000; and include two large Flemish baths. St. Elphin's church is decorated English and cruciform; and was restored in 1862-7, at a cost of more than £10,250. Trinity church was built in 1761; St. Paul's, in 1830, at a cost of £5,347; St. Ann's, in 1866, at a cost of about £4,500. The English Presbyterian church is in the Italian style; the Wyckliffe Independent chapel is in the early Norman style; and the Bold-street Wesleyan chapel and the Roman Catholic chapel are handsome edifices. The public cemetery was opened in 1857; and has three chapels for respectively Churchmen, Dissenters, and Roman Catholics. The museum and library was erected in 1857; is highly ornamental; and contains about 6,000 volumes. The grammar-school was founded in 1526, and rebuilt in 1864; is a handsome red-brick edifice; and has £718 a year from endowment. The blue-coat school was founded in 1677, and rebuilt in 1782; lodges, boards, clothes, and educates 40 children; admits about 100 day scholars; and has £450 a year from endowment. The clergymen's daughters' college and the training-college are under one roof, and form a great pile of building. The workhouse stands on an isolated spot; and includes a general hospital, a fever hospital, a lunatic ward, and a chapel. A weekly market is held on Wednesday; fairs are held on 18th July and 30 Nov.; and there are three cotton mills, an extensive soap manufactory, a forge, iron foundries, chemical works, breweries, maltings, wire-drawing establishments, and manufactories of pins, files, tools, bar and rod iron, weighing machines, glass, and glass-bottles. The parliamentary borough includes the townships of Warrington, Latchford, and part of Thelwall, the latter two in Cheshire; but the municipal borough excludes small parts of the first and the second. Electors in 1833, 456; in 1863, 778. Amount of property and income tax charged in 1863, £8,415. Pop. of the p. borough in 1851, 23,363; in 1861, 26,947. Houses, 5,146. Pop. of the m. borough in 1851, 22,894; in 1861, 26,431. Houses, 5,044.
The township of W. comprises 2,507 acres. Real property, £67,188; of which £751 are in ironworks, £57 in canals, £164 in railways, and £2,096 in gasworks. Pop. in 1851, 20,800; in 1861, 24,050. Houses, 4,571. The parish contains also the townships of Burtonwood, Poulton-with-Fearnhead, Woolston-with-Martinscroft, and Rixton-with-Glazebrook; and comprises 12,168 acres. Pop. in 1851, 23,651; in 1861, 26,960. Houses, 5,138. The manor came to the Botelers in the time of Henry III.; passed to the Earl of Leicester in the time of Elizabeth; went afterwards through many hands; and belongs now to J. I. Blackburne, Esq. The living of St. Elphin is a rectory; and the livings of Trinity, St. Paul and St. Ann are p. curacies, in the diocese of Chester. Value of St. E., £1,300;* of T., £135; of St. P., £210;* of St. A., £300. Patron of St. E., Lord Lilford; of T., the Bishop of Sodor and Man; of St. P., the Hon. L. Powys; of St. A., W. Beamont, Esq. The p. curacies of Burtonwood, Hollinfare, and Padgate are separate benefices. The district includes also three other parishes and two parts in Lancashire, and another parish and a part in Cheshire; and is divided into the sub-districts of Warrington, Latchford, Rixton, Sankey, Winwick, and Newton-in-Mackerfield. Acres, 29,984. Poor rates in 1863, £19,840. Pop. in 1851, 36,164; in 1861, 43,875. Houses, 8,223. Marriages in 1863, 373; births, 1,902, of which 107 were illegitimate; deaths, 1,580, of which 887 were at ages under 5 years, and 17 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 3,948; births, 16,384; deaths, 9,581. The places of worship, in 1851, were 15 of the Church of England, with 9,823 sittings; 4 of Independents, with 970 s.; 2 of Baptists, with 408 s.; 2 of Quakers, with 655 s.; 2 of Unitarians, with 620 s.; 8 of Wesleyans, with 2,351 s.; 2 of Primitive Methodists, with 389 s.; 1 of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, with 710 s.; 1 of Southcottians, with 80 s.; and 4 of Roman Catholics, with 1,287 s. The schools were 30 public day-schools, with 3,602 scholars; 36 private day-schools, with 1,161 s.; 37 Sunday schools, with 4,255 s.; and 4 evening schools for adults, with 142 s.
John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)