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Newcastle-under-Lyme

"Newcastle-under-Lyme is an ancient market town, parish and parliamentary borough in the north division of Pirehill Hundred, and is pleasantly seated at the foot of a range of hills, two miles W of Stoke-upon-Trent and ten miles NNW of Stafford. The chief manufacture of the town is felted hats, which are prepared chiefly for the London finishers, but this trade has been much depressed for some years. Here are two large silk mills, a cotton thread mill, and a number of malt kilns, etc. A considerable quantity of shoes and clocks are also manufactured here, and many of the inhabitants find employment in the Potteries. The town has two canals, one cut by Sir Nigel Gresley, from his collieries in Apedale, and afterwards extended around the eastern side of the town by the Junction Canal Company, and the other extending in a circuitous route of four miles to the Trent & Mersey Canal, at Stoke. Being on the direct turnpike road from Liverpool and Manchester to Birmingham and London, the town was a great thoroughfare for coaches, waggons, vans, and travellers, till the opening of the railways, which have robbed it of this once important traffic.
The parish comprises about 640 acres of land and has a population of about 11,000 souls. The manor of Newcastle was formerly very extensive, and still comprises, in addition to this parish, the liberties of Wolstanton, Shelton, Hanley and Penkhull, of which the Duke of Sutherland is the lessee lord. The soil belongs to a number of proprietors, and the mines of coal and ironstone are still the property of the Crown, and now yield a considerable revenue, being worked by Earl Granville and other lessees."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Bibliography

'A History of Newcastle-under-Lyme'
by John Gilbert Jenkins
Published 1983, by Staffordshire County Library, Stafford.

'Newcastle-under-Lyme, 1173-1973'
by John Briggs
Published 1973, by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council.

'The Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme. A Portrait in Old Picture Postcards'
by Dennis Morris
Published 1987, by Brampton, Loggerheads.

'Wartime Newcastle-under-Lyme'
by Dave Adams
Published 1988, by Hendon Publishing, Nelson.

'Newcastle-under-Lyme as it was'
by Dave Adams
Published 1986, by Hendon Publishing, Nelson.

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Cemeteries

A transcript of the Monumental Inscriptions of St Giles, Newcastle-under-Lyme, has been published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

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Census

The population of Newcastle-under-Lyme parish was as follows:
1801 -- 4604
1831 -- 8192
1841 -- 9838

A surname index only of the 1851 census for Newcastle-under-Lyme is included in the 1851 Staffordshire Census Surname Index, Vol 3, Newcastle-under-Lyme, published by the Birmingham and Midland SGH.

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Church History

Church of England History

"The Parish Church is dedicated to St Giles the Abbot, and was a chapel to the extensive parish of Stoke-upon-Trent till 1807, when the curacy was made a rectory by Act of Parliament. Except the tower, it was rebuilt in 1720, in the Italian style, not in accordance with the fine old tower, which is in the Early English style, and has a clock, eight bells and chimes. The ancient church had three chantries, dedicated to St Mary, St Katherine, and St Leonard, and the chantry houses were in Friar Street, Bridge Street, and Higherland. The rectory is in the patronage of Simeon's Trustees, and incumbency since 1815 of the Rev Clement Leigh, MA.

St George's Church, on the north-east side of the town, is a large and handsome Gothic structure, which was finished in 1828. A district comprising about half the town was annexed to St George's in 1844. The perpetual curacy is in the patronage of the Rector, and incumbency of the Rev JS Broad, MA."

[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Postcard of St Giles Church c1905.

Nonconformist Church History

"The Roman Catholic Chapel, in London Road, is a much admired Gothic structure, and one of the finest specimens of ornamental brickwork in the kingdom. It was built in 1833-4, and consists of a nave and side aisles. The front is chiefly constructed of vitrified bricks, which have the appearance of cast iron, and are relieved by ornamental bricks, in quatrefoils and other devices. The Rev James Massam is the priest.

There are six dissenting chapels in the town:
The Independent Chapel, in King Street, is a handsome brick fabric, erected in 1784, and now under the ministry of the Rev William Chambers.
The Baptist Chapel, in Bridge Street, is a small building.
The Wesleyan Chapel, in Lower Street, erected in 1799.
The New Connexion Methodist Chapel, in Marsh Street.
The Primitive Methodist Chapel in Higherland
and the Unitarian Chapel in Holborn, built by Nonconformists, and afterwards used by Presbyterians, but now unoccupied."

[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

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Church Records

Church of England Registers
St Giles, Newcastle, was a chapelry to Stoke-upon-Trent, becoming a parish in 1807. The register commences in 1563. The original registers for the period 1563-1965 (Bapts), 1563-1982 (Mar) & 1563-1872 (Bur), and Banns for the period 1901-1914 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1662-1864 (with many gaps) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
A transcript of the registers of St Giles was published in three parts by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society as follows:
Part 1 1563-1705 (published 1931)
Part 2 1706-1770 (published 1939)
Part 3 1771-1812 (published 1981)
All three parts have been reprinted by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

The register of St George, Newcastle, commences in 1829. The original registers for the period 1832-1932 (Bapts), 1837-1946 (Mar) & 1829-1959 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1829-1874 (Bapts & Bur) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.

Nonconformist Church Registers
The original registers are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office (SRO) or the Public Record Office (PRO) as indicated below:
Marsh Chapel, King Street, Independent, Births & Baptisms 1777-1836 (PRO)
Higherland, Primitive Methodist, Births & Baptisms 1817-1837 (PRO)
Lower Street, (later Brunswick Street), Weslyan Methodist, Births & Baptisms 1804-1837 (PRO), Marriages 1921-1956 (SRO)
Ashfields, Methodist, Marriages 1931-1968 (SRO)

The original registers of the Roman Catholic Church of Holy Trinity, Newcastle, for the period 1831-35 & 1839-59 (Bapts), and 1831 & 1842-59 (Mar), are deposited at Birmingham Diocesan Archive. Later registers remain with the incumbent.

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Directories

'Cottrill's Police Directory of Newcastle-under-Lyme for 1836' was produced by Isaac Cottrill, a local police officer, originally for his own use. It contains a much fuller list than usual directories, including many labourers.
Cottrill produced a further edition in 1839.

'Ingamells Directory of Newcastle-under-Lyme' published by D Dilworth, Newcastle-under-Lyme, in 1871 and 1881 includes historical records of the ancient borough.

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History

"Newcastle derived its name and origin from the new fortress built here about the year 1180, by Ranulph, Earl of Chester, in lieu of the then decayed old castle, at Chesterton. It was called Newcastle-under-Lyme from the ancient forest of Lyme, which comprised all the hilly country extending hence into Cheshire. On the death of Ranulph without issue, in 1231, the town and manor of Newcastle reverted to the Crown, and the manor was granted in fee-farm by Henry III, in 1232, to Gilbert Lord Segrave, but the castle and town were retained by the King, under the government of a constable, which office, in 1250, was held by one of the Audley family, and afterwards by William de Fenton.
In 1235, Henry III granted a charter to the town, constituting it a free borough, and granting the burgesses a merchants guild, and other privileges. The castle and the town appear to have continued in the possession of the Crown until 1263, when Henry III was compelled to transfer them by grant to his rebellious brother-in-law, Simon de Montford, Earl of Leicester and Chester, who was killed at the battle of Evesham, in 1265, when all his possessions were forfeited to the Crown, and were granted by Henry III to his younger son, Edmund Plantaganet, Earl of Lancaster. The manor subsequently passed to the celebrated John of Gaunt, the first Duke of Lancaster, whose son and successors afterwards ascended the throne of England, in consequence of which, these and all other possessions of the Duchy became annexed to the Crown, as they remain, though most of them have been parcelled out at different periods, to various lessees."

[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

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Poorhouses, Poor Law etc

Newcastle parish became part of Newcastle-under-Lyme Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.
Newcastle-under-Lyme Union comprised the seven parishes of Audley, Betley, Keele, Madeley, Maer, Newcastle-under-Lyme, and Whitmore, and the two townships of Balterley and Chorlton, with a total population of 19,476 in 1841.
The Workhouse was a large building in the Elizabethan style, built in 1838, with accommodation for 350 paupers.

Staffordshire Record Office holds some records including:
Relieving Officers Report Books, 1902-1921
Medical Relief Lists, 1904-1915
Vaccination Records, 1881-1920
Minutes, 1837-1930
Returns of Births and Deaths, 1894-1924

The Public Record Office holds:
Correspondence, 1834-1900 (Class MH12/11363-83)
Staff Registers, 1837-1921 (Class MH9/12)

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Voting Registers

Staffordshire Record Office holds poll books for Newcastle-under-Lyme as follows:
1734, 1790, 1792, 1793, 1802 & 1818

Stoke on Trent City Archive holds poll books for Newcastle-under-Lyme as follows:
1734, 1774, 1790, 1792, 1793, 1802, 1807, 1812, 1815, 1818, 1820, 1823, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1835, 1837, 1841 & 1842

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[Last updated: 30th April 2010, Mike Harbach.  © 1999 - 2010]