"Burslem is a populous and well built market town, which claims the honour of being 'the mother of the Staffordshire Potteries', and holds a healthy and elevated situation in the northern division of that extensive and celebrated seat of the china and earthenware manufactures, being seated between Hanley and Tunstall, about a mile E of Longport Railway Station, three miles N of Stoke, and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
The parish of Burslem now has upwards of 18,000 inhabitants, in Burslem, Rushton Grange, Sneyd, and Abbey Hulton lordship. These four adjoining liberties comprise about 2930 acres, and include the villages and suburbs of Brown-Hills, Dalehall, Hamill, Longport, and the greater part of Cobridge, all lying within a mile of the town.
Burslem and Sneyd are in the manor of Tunstall-Court, of which Ralph Sneyd, Esq, is lord of the manor, and he is also lord of Hulton Abbey manor, but a large portion of the parish belongs to other landowners, the largest of whom are the Earl of Macclesfield, Lady Chetwynd, Lord Camoys, Miss Sparrow, the representatives of the late John Wood, Esq, William Davenport, Esq, and HH Williamson, Esq.
The villages in the parish may be considered as populous suburbs of the town, and are situated as follows: Brown-Hills, half a mile N, Hamill, on the north side of the town, Hulton Abbey, two miles E, near the Caldon Canal, Sneyd and Hot Lane, forming the south-eastern suburbs, Cobridge, including Rushton Grange, and the populous southern part of Burslem, near the top of Waterloo Road, and also a small part of Shelton, and Dalehall and Longport, extending one mile westward to the Trent & Mersey Canal, and Burslem Station on the North Staffordshire Railway.
Longport was anciently called Long-bridge, from a kind of bridge or stepping stones laid across the swampy meadows, but after the completion of the canal it obtained the name Longport.
The town of Burslem has nearly tripled in extent and population during the last fifty years, and until the year of 1807 it was a chapelry of the parish of Stoke-upon-Trent, but it was then made a separate parish and rectory."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]


Burslem Parishes



'A History of Burslem'
by MW Greenslade.
Published 1983, by Staffordshire County Libraries, Stafford.

'Inns and Inn Signs in and near Burslem, in Stoke-on-Trent'
by William Edward Tate.
Published 1944, by Warwick Savage, Burslem.

'The Wood Family of Burslem. A Brief Biography of those of its members who were Sculptors, Modellers, & Potters.'
by Frank Falkner.
Published 1912, by Chapman & Hall, London.
Reprinted 1972 by EP Publishing, Wakefield.

'A Pride of Potters (On the Adams Family of Burslem and their Work)'
by David Peel.
Published 1957, by Arthur Baker, London.



The population of Burslem parish was as follows:
1801 -- 6,578
1831 -- 12,714
1841 -- 16,091


Church History

Church of England History
For Anglican church history see individual Parishes

Nonconformist Church History
"The dissenting Chapels in the town and parish are eleven in number; four belonging to the Wesleyans, in Chapel Square, Longport, Hot Lane, and Sneyd Green; two to the New Connexion Methodists, in Waterloo Road and Cobridge; two to the Association Methodists, in Liverpool Road and Longport; one to the Primitive Methodists, in Nile Street; the Baptist Chapel, in High Street, of which the Rev William Barker is minister; and the Independent Chapel, in Queen Street, built in 1837, in lieu of the old one in Prince's Row,and now under the ministry of the Rev SB Schofield.
The Catholic Chapel at Cobridge was erected in 1780, and enlarged in 1816. The Rev J Abbot is the priest"

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


Church Records

Church of England Registers
For Anglican church records see individual Parishes

Nonconformist Church Registers
The original registers are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office (SRO) or the Public Record Office (PRO) as indicated below:
Clowes Memorial Chapel, Church Street, Burslem, Primitive Methodist, Baptisms 1927-1937, Marriages 1920-1956 (SRO)
Zion Chapel, Dale Hall, Burslem, Methodist, Baptisms 1925-1955, Marriages 1951-1955 (SRO)
Hamil Road, Burslem, Primitive Methodist, Baptisms 1915-1968 (SRO)
Hill Top, Burslem, United Methodist, Marriages 1931-1976 (SRO)
Bethel Chapel, Waterloo Road, Burslem, United Methodist, Marriages 1914-1955 (SRO)
Zoar Chapel (later Bethel Chapel), Burslem, Primitive Methodist, Baptisms 1811-1955 (SRO)
Burslem, Baptist Chapel, Births 1791-1837 (PRO)
Queen Street, (formerly Nile Street), Burslem, Independent, Births & Baptisms 1823-1837 (PRO)
Navigation Street, Burslem, Primitive Methodist, Births & Baptisms 1823-1837 (PRO)
Elder Road, Cobridge, Providence Chapel, United Methodist, Baptisms 1840-1955, Marriages 1945-1956 (SRO)
Cobridge, Methodist New Connexion, Births & Baptisms 1867-1879 (SRO)

The original registers of Cobridge, St Peter, Roman Catholic church for the period 1797-1915 (Bapts), 1838-1929 (Mar) & 1837-1877 (Deaths) are deposited at Birmingham Diocesan Archives.


Description & Travel

A transcription of the section on Burslem from A Topographical History of Staffordshire by William Pitt (1817)

Conservation Area Appraisals for Burslem  - interesting accounts of the area, with excellent historical detail, numerous photographs and map

You can see pictures of Burslem which are provided by:



The transcription of the section for Burslem from the Topographical Dictionary of England (1859)

The transcription of the section for Burslem from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.

The transcription of the section for Burslem from the Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Burslem has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



The transcription of the section for the history of  Burslem from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.



A map showing the pre-1850 boundaries of Newchapel Chapelry & Townships

Bill Dwyne's site includes details of a Town Map of Burslem, 1740 with a transcription of place names and inhabitants.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SJ890497 (Lat/Lon: 53.044485, -2.165936), Burslem which are provided by:


Military Records

A transcription of the Muster Roll of 1539 for Hulton



"In the suburbs and the town are many extensive china and eathenware manufactories. Messrs W Davenport & Co have glass works and three large potteries at Longport, and employ about 1200 hands. They were appointed porcelain manufacturers to William IV and Queen Adelaide, and are the largest earthenware and china manufacturers and exporters in the kingdom.
The elegant Parian Brooches, Bracelets, etc, manufactured by Mrs M Brougham of Burslem, have deservedly received the patronage of Her Majesty, the Duchess of Sutherland, Jenny Lind, and many other distinguished ladies, as also have the rich fuchia bloom Parian Ear-Drops, manufactured by Mr H Timmis.
Messrs T & R Boote, of Waterloo Pottery, have highly distinguished themselves as manufacturers of Parian Statuary, White Granite Porcelain, and Royal Mosaic Ware, of which latter they are the patentees.
Burslem is undoubtedly the most ancient seat of the earthenware manufacture in Staffordshire and is remarkable as the place where the first clod of that great national undertaking, the Trent & Mersey Canal, was cut by that eminent potter, the late Josiah Wedgwood, Esq.
Nearly the whole of the land on which the town stands, as well as that which surrounds it, has at various periods been deeply excavated for those valuable minerals, coal, clay and ironstone, to the abundance and variety of which, the Staffordshire Potteries owe nearly all their present importance."

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


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Burslem parish became part of Wolstanton & Burslem Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.
The Union was amalgamated with Stoke-upon-Trent Union in 1922.



A transcription of the Hearth Tax Returns 1666 for Burslem

A transcription of the Hearth Tax Returns 1666 for Hulton