"WEM, a parish, post and market town, partly in the hundred of Pimhill, but chiefly in that of North Bradford, county Salop, 10 miles N.E. of Shrewsbury, and 8 N.E. of Baschurch. It is a station on the Crewe and Shrewsbury branch of the London and North-Western railway. The parish comprises, besides the town of Wem, the chapelries of Edstaston and Newtown, and the townships of Aston, Cotton, Horton, Lacon, Lowe-with-Ditches, Northwood, Sleap, Soulton, Tilley, Trench, and Wolverley. The town, which is a polling place for the county, is situated on the northern bank of the river Roden, near a branch of the Ellesmere canal, and on the road from Shrewsbury to Chester. It consists principally of one thoroughfare called the High-street. It contains a townhall, rebuilt in 1848, market-house, union poor-house, and branch of the National and Provincial Bank. The population of the parish in 1851 was 3,747, and in 1861, 3,802. There are tanyards, malting-houses, and a watermill. It is governed by two bailiffs, with other officers, annually appointed at the courts leet of the lord of the manor, which at the time of the Domesday survey belonged to William Pandulph, and afterwards came to the Howards and Judge Jeffreys, on whom it conferred the title of baron in the reign of James II. The county court is held in the townhall monthly, and petty sessions fortnightly. The Poor-law Union comprises 12 parishes, and the guardians meet once a fortnight at the union workhouse. The living is a rectory,* value £2,000. The church is dedicated to SS. Peter and Paul. Its body was rebuilt after the fire of 1677, but the tower is ancient. There are also churches at Edstaston and Newtown, the former dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, with three Norman doorways and a painted memorial window. The Baptists, Presbyterians, and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel. The free grammar school, founded and endowed in 1650 by Sir Thomas Adams, was rebuilt in 1776. It has an income of about £350, with two exhibitions to the universities. There are besides National, British, and infant schools. An extra-mural cemetery has been formed with a chapel. Wycherley, the dramatist, and Ireland, author of "Hogarth Illustrated," were born at Clive, in this parish. Market day is on Thursday. Fairs are held on the first Thursdays in March, June, and August, the last Thursday in September, and on the 6th May for linen, 29th June for cattle, and 22nd November for pigs.[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2015]
- The transcription of the Parish Registers for Wem Part 1 provided by Mel Lockie.
- The transcription of the Parish Registers for Wem Part 2 provided by Mel Lockie.
- The transcription of the Parish Registers for Edstaston provided by Mel Lockie.
- The transcription of the Parish Registers for Newtown provided by Mel Lockie.
- The transcription of the Non-Conformist Register for Wem Presbyterian Chapel provided by Mel Lockie.
- The transcription of the Non-Conformist Register for Wem Chapel Street Independent Chapel provided by Mel Lockie.
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- A transcript of the Wem parish entries from Samuel Lewis's 1831 Topographical Dictionary of England,
- A transcript of the Wem parish entries from Gregory's 1824 Gazetteer of Shropshire,
- A transcript of the Wem parish entries from Stephen Whatley's 1750 Gazetteer of England,
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