"OSWESTRY, (Salop) 130 cm. 157 mm. from London, is a very old T. with a castle, a wall, and a ditch, was anciently a Bor. and took its name from Oswald K. of the Northumbrians, who was killed here in battle with Penda the pagan K. of the Mercians, and torn limb from limb. Its Ch. was formerly a mon. and was called Blancminster. In the years 1542 and 1567, this T. suffered much by fire. It is governed by 2 bailiffs, burgesses, &c. and once drove a great trade in Welsh cottons and flannels, which is now very much decayed; and here is scarce a tolerable house for travellers. But besides a good grammar sc. here, it is noted for an excellent ch. sc. for 40 boys, besides girls, which has the best methods for exciting the emulation of the children in their learning; for 20 of the boys are set to strive against 20 others for shoes, and the 20 who perform their tasks best, have shoes first; then 10 of the boys are set against 10 others, for the like praemium, and so on till they are all shod: So in the girls sc, a shift is put up for the best spinner, a headdress for the best sempstress, a pair of stockings for the best knitter, a bible for the best reader, and a copy-book for the best writer. On the course here used to be horse-races. Here is a Mt. on M. and Fairs May 1, and Nov. 30, the last granted by Hen. III. for 4 days, at the suit of one of the Fitz-alans, to whom the manor and castle anciently bel. and by whom the wall of the T. was built."
[Transcribed information from England's Gazetteer - Stephen Whatley - 1750](unless otherwise stated)
[Description(s) transcribed by Mel Lockie ©2015]