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Smethwick in 1817

Description from A Topographical History of Staffordshire by William Pitt (1817)


Smethwick is situated to the north of Harborne, to the south of Westbromwich, and two miles to the west of Birmingham.

This manor was formerly the joint property of Mr. John Reynolds and Mr. John Baddeley. The latter gentleman was a most ingenious self- taught mechanic, and mathematical instrument-maker. He was a native of Shropshire, and consequently his biography belongs to the history of that county.

A neat chapel was erected in Smethwick, in the year 1719, by a donation from Mrs. Dorothy Parkes, and voluntary contributions in this and the neighbouring parishes.

The population of this parish has rapidly increased since the Birmingham Canal passed through it. The iron foundry belonging to the Soho manufactory is erected at Smethwick, on the bank of the canal; and there is also a large manufactory of gun-barrels here, which are forged and bored by the aid of the steam-engine.

According to the population returns to Parliament in the year 1811, Smethwick contained 631 males, 697 females: total 1328