In point of size and manufacturing importance, Wolverhampton easily holds premier position among the chief towns of Staffordshire.

Its growth during the present century has been rapid, as a glance at the census returns will show:- In 1821, the population was 18,380; in 1831, 24,732; in 1841, 36,382; in 1851, 49,989; in 1861, 60,858; in 1871, 68,279; in 1881, 75,738; and in 1891, 82,620. It will thus be seen that its progress in population has been steady and substantial, whilst as regards its advance in social, industrial, educational, and administrative directions, no town in the kingdom can show better results.

The Town Hall.

The chief public buildings: Town Hall, Art Gallery and Museum, Library, Hospital, Post Office, Exchange and Markets, Park, etc., all bear evidence of the progressive spirit of its inhabitants, and on the other hand, its philanthropic institutions reflect the highest credit upon the generosity of its more wealthy inhabitants.
Being an essentially manufacturing town, possessing localities of somewhat grimy aspect, particularly as seen in travelling through on the railways, many people for want of closer acquaintance with the place imagine it to be a typical "black country" town of altogether unprepossessing appearance and character, but such is by no means the case, Wolverhampton has really beautiful suburbs, and its main streets are clean and highly attractive. It may be said to lie on the fringe of the black country, partaking somewhat of the character of this renowned neighbourhood on the one side, but embracing charming country in extensive residential districts on the other.
Wolverhampton was known to the Saxons as Hanton or Hamton. It became, in 996, the site of a college for a dean and several prebendaries or secular canons, founded by Wu1fruna, sister of King Edgar; and it then took the name of Wulfrunis-Hamton, afterwards corrupted into Wolverhampton.

Tradition points to the town being known about 650, in the reign of Wulfhere, King of Mercia. In Doomsday Book, the name given is Wulfronhampton.

Queen Square.

Henry III granted a charter for a weekly market and annual fair in 1258; afterwards, Edward III confirmed this charter and made other concessions. During the Civil War, the town was occupied by the Parliamentary forces, and in the same year, 1642, Charles I visited it. The same monarch was here again in 1645 after his defeat at Naseby.

Wolverhampton made little figure in the middle ages; but it rose eventually into high consequence, and made rapid increase, in connection with vast mineral wealth in its immediate vicinity. The Parliamentary Borough of Wolverhampton was created by the Reform Act of 1832. The Municipal Borough was incorporated by Royal Charter, granted in 1847, under the provisions of the Municipal Reform Act of 1835.

The Art Gallery and St. Peter's Gardens.

The Town Council consists of a mayor, twelve aldermen, and thirty six councillors; and the borough had a commission of the peace granted in 1849.

G. B. Thorneycroft, Esq., was the first mayor. Markets are held on Wednesday and Saturday.

Wolverhampton is 122 miles north-west by west of London; 14 miles from Birmingham, 16 miles south of Stafford, 16 miles west south-west of Lichfield, 6 miles west of Walsall, and about 33 miles south of centre of the Pottery district. Three of the principal railway systems connect with the town, namely: the London and North Western, Great Western, and Midland lines. The town has thus easy access with all parts of the kingdom; besides which there is canal communication of an extensive character.


Wolverhampton is a chief centre of iron manufacture, and one of its oldest industries is that of lock manufacturing, which dates back several centuries, and for which the town has always been conspicuously noted.

The production of every description of tinned, japanned, galvanized, and enamelled ware, wrought-iron goods, gates, railings, fencing, trunks, fancy steel goods, nails, horse shoes, gas fittings and tubes of all kinds, finds employment for a great many hands, and there are also extensive engineering and iron foundry establishments, boot and shoe manufactories and leather works, agricultural implement works, wire works, varnish and colour manufactories, large saw mills and cooperages, chemical works, roperies, maltings and breweries, mineral water factories, flour mills, cabinet and pianoforte manufactories, etc., etc.

We have yet to mention the enormous development of the cycle industry during recent years; this trade has increased by leaps and bounds, many new firms having sprung into existence, and a good number have reached most eminent positions.

Thousands of hands are employed in the manufacture of cycles and component parts, and the town now enjoys world-wide fame for its high-grade productions.

Darlington Street.

Wolverhampton-made goods find their way to all quarters of the globe, and hold their own for quality and utility in the very best markets.

Notable Buildings etc.

The Town Hall in North Street is a handsome building in the Italian style of architecture, and was built at a cost of £20,000. It comprises sessions and magistrates courts, council chambers, municipal offices, committee rooms, mayor’s parlour, recorder's rooms, etc., etc.

The Exchange, adjoining the Market Place, was built in 1851, at a cost of £ 15,000. The main room is 120 feet long, and 50 feet wide. The Agricultural Hall, Snow Hill, covers an area of 1,200 square yards. It was opened in 1863, at a cost of £6,000. The Market Hall in North Street cost £30,000 in 1853.

The Art Gallery and School of Art in New Lichfield Street, is a handsome edifice, occupying a splendid position, and is an institution of which the town has reason to be proud. The site was devoted to the purpose by the Corporation, and the building, together with many valuable gifts, were given by the late Philip Horsman, Esq. A fine collection of oil paintings and water colours were presented by the late Mrs. Sydney Cartwright.

The Free Library in Garrick Street comprises library, reading rooms, lecture hall, science classrooms, etc.

The new Post Office.

The beautiful Public Park is 50 acres in extent, contains two lakes, an ornamental waterfall, a fine conservatory, two drinking fountains, bandstand, clock, etc. One of the largest floral fètes in the kingdom is held in the park annually in July.

The New Post Office in Lichfield Street, opened March 29, 1897, is a spacious edifice of imposing appearance, and a little distance from this is the Grand Theatre, a building likewise conspicuous and attractive in architectural features.

The Prince Consort Statue in Queen Square was erected by public subscription, and inaugurated by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, in 1866.

Wolverhampton is behind no other town in the Midlands in the number and excellence of its scholastic, benevolent, and charitable institutions. The Wolverhampton and Staffordshire General Hospital, Cleveland Road, contains 225 beds. It was erected by subscription. The Wolverhampton Eye Infirmary, Compton Road, was established in 1881, and is supported by voluntary contributions. The Wolverhampton Borough Hospital, Green Lane, was opened in 1885, and there is a Women's Hospital at Chapel Ash.

The Wolverhampton Orphan Asylum at Goldthorn Hill, was founded by Mr. John Lees, in 1850. It has been enlarged since, and its entire cost has exceeded £25,000. There is accommodation for about 400 boys and girls. There are many lesser known, but useful and benevolent institutions.

Churches, Chapels etc.

St. Peter's (formerly Collegiate, and dedicated to St. Mary, until the reign of Henry VIII), is a stone edifice rebuilt in 1864-5, and since enlarged.

This is the church supposed to have been founded by Wulfruna, but there is no part of the existing edifice older than the thirteenth century.

St. Peter's Church.

The interior of St. Peter's Church.

The other principal churches are All Saints', in Steelhouse Lane; St. Jude's, Tettenhall Road; St. Paul's, Penn Road; St. Mary's, Stafford Street; St. Matthew's, Walsall Street; St. Mark's, Chapel Ash; St. Luke's, Blakenhall; Christ Church, Waterloo Road; St. Andrew's, Whitmore Reans; St. George's, Cleveland Road; St. James', Horseley Fields; and St. John's, St. John's Square.
The Roman Catholics, Congregationalists, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, Baptists, Methodist New Connexion, Presbyterians, and Welsh Presbyterians have large and commodious places of worships in various parts of the town.

Parliamentary representatives:

West Division (including part of Bilston), representative - Sir Alfred Hickman, M.P., D.L., J .P.

East Division (includes Willenhall and Wednesfield, etc), Representative - Rt. Hon. Sir H. H. Fowler, G.C.S.I., M.P., J.P.

South Division (comprises Sedgley, and part of Bilston) Representative - Rt. Hon. C. P. Villiers, M.P.

A horse-drawn tram at the Newbridge terminus.

Wolverhampton Town Council

Stephen Craddock, Esq., Mayor. St. Peter's Ward: Alderman T. V. Jackson, J.P., Councillors R. A. Willcock, C. P. Plant, W. Gough Allen.

St. Mary's Ward: Alderman B. F. Williams, Councillors L. W. Hodson, B. Smith, J. G. Hodgson.
St. James' Ward: Alderman Francis D. Gibbons, J.P., Councillors T. Beckett, W. H. Edwards, Price Lewis.
St. Matthew's Ward: Alderman Joseph Jones, J.P., Councillors E. Bull, J. Lawrence, W. Shepherd.
St. George's Ward: Alderman S. Theodore Mander, .JP., Councillors E. C. Pratt, T. D. Greensill, F. Parkyn.
St. John's Ward: Alderman W. H. Jones, J.P., Councillors J. W. Hamp, L. Johnson, R. R. Rhodes.
Blakenhall Ward: Alderman J. Saunders, J.P., Councillors F. T. Langley, R. Stroud, Jeremiah Mason.
Graiseley Ward: Alderman H. C. Owen, Councillors James Stevenson, R. E. W. Berrington, Evan Evans.
Merridale Ward: Alderman J. Marston, J.P., Councillors T. F. Waterhouse, A. Weaver, B. Stanton.
St. Mark's Ward: Alderman S. Craddock, Councillors E. Blakemore, H. Pinson, Dr. F. Edge.
Park Ward: Alderman C. T. Mander, J.P., Councillors W. G. Sherwood, E. D. Crane, H. W. Ash.
Dunstall Ward: Alderman John Annan, J.P., Councillors A. McBean, F. Evans, C. H. Cousins, J.P.
Corporate Officials, etc.: Town Clerk, Horatio Brevitt; Chief Constable, Capt. Burnett; Water Engineer, E. A. B. Woodward; Borough Engineer and Surveyor, J. W. Bradley; Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Henry Malet; Borough Analyst, E. W. T. Jones, F.I.C.; Borough Accountant, W. Howell; Inspector of Nuisances, S. Blanton; Superintendent of Markets, C. Dawson. Recorder, F. A. Bosanquet, Q.C., London. Clerk of the Peace, Horatio Brevitt. Borough Coroner, W. H. Phillips. Borough Magistrates Clerk, E. H. Thorne. Offices, Town Hall. Stipendary Magistrate, N. C. A. Neville. Clerk, W. A. Green. Offices, Corporation Street. County Court Judge, His Honour Judge Griffith. Official Receiver E. Pritchard, St. Peter's Close.
Wolverhampton Board of Guardians: Chairman, Frederick William Plant, Esq., C.C., Wellington Road, Bilston. Vice-Chairman, Dr. James Yeomans Totherick, Park Dale, Wolverhampton. Members: Bilston - Mr. J. W. Sankey, Mrs. Reeves, Mr. W. Blair, Mr. F. W. Plant, Mr. T. Harris.

Heath Town - Mr. J. Cope.

Short Heath - Rev. G. W. Johnson.
Wednesfield - Mr. J. Hyde, Mr. W. H. Pritchard.
Willenhall - Rev. W. L. Ward, Mr. I. Pedley, Mr. H. Wolverson.
Wolverhampton - Mr. R. Lowe, Mr. T. H. Sawyers, Mrs. E. Hatton, Mr. F. Price, Mr. Wm. Dilke, Mr. T. Norbury, Rev. J. M. J. Fletcher, Dr. J. Y. Totherick, Mr. T. D. Greensill, Mrs. A. Dunkley, Mr. P. O'Kane, Mr. W. Shepherd, Mr. H. J ones, Mr. Benjamin Williams, Mr. G. B. Mitchell, Mr. C. Boyes, Mr. H. Moreton, Mr. W. Price.

Wolverhampton Grammar School.

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