In the preamble for the directory there are some notes about the City of Bristol. Whilst this preamble is far too long to transcribe in full, it does contain some information useful to the genealogist and these have been abstracted and appear below.
"BRISTOL the second city in population and trade in the United Kingdom is 119 miles from London. It is independent of both Gloucestershire and Somerset having been made a City and County of itself by King Edward III.
Its present name is thought to be derived from the Saxon appellation 'Bright Stowe' i.e. 'A place of great beauty' In 1063 it is said that Harold set sail from Bristowe to invade Wales. It had a castle which was one mile in circumference but which was pulled down by Cromwell in 1654.
Of the churches, St Marys Redcliff was founded in 1294 was taken down and rebuilt by William CANYNGE and completed by his grandson of the same name.
The City Grammar School was founded by Robert & Nicholas THORNE and the College Grammar School was founded by Henry VIII. Edward COLSTON founded and endowed two further schools
The City sends two members to Parliament. The right of choosing the representatives is exercised by Freemen, and the Freeholders of 40 shillings a year and upwards; Freemen or Burgesses become so by birth, by serving an apprenticeship to a Freeman, or by marrying the daughter or widow of a burgess; The number of voters is supposed to be about 7,000. The present Members of Parliament are Richard Hart DAVIS and Henry BRIGHT esquires.
Of the foreign commerce of Bristol most important is the trade with the West Indies; some of the ships engaged in this trade are of 500 to 600 tons.
By Parliamentary Census for 1821 the City of Bristol contained 52,889 inhabitants and the parishes of Clifton & Stapleton contained 34,890 and Bedminster 7,979 - giving a total population of 95,758.
The Hotwells are situated about one mile and a half westward from Bristol in the parish of Clifton. The salutary spring rises near the bottom of the cliff, and so copious as to discharge 60 gallons in a minute. The water is warm as milk, and like those of Bath, famous for the cure of stone and gravel, diarrhoea, diabetes, King's evil, scrofula and cancers.
The principal erections at Clifton are the Royal York Crescent, composed of splendid mansions, with a paved parade; near this is Windsor Terrace, an elegant row of houses."