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the property of the workmen themselves. The habit exists The administration of the poor-law is vested in a Board of among all classes of each family (with rare exceptions) Guardians, of sixty members, for the parish Birmingham. occupying a separate house, a practice which greatly The parish of Edgbaston (wholly within affects the area of the town. Thus, to a population of the borough) is in the poor-law union 360.000 there are about 76,000 inhabited houses, giving of King's Norton, and that part of the an average of five persons to a house. Birmingham is a parish of Aston included in the borough town of rapid growth. In 1700 the population was about is in the Aston Union. There are three 15,000. A century later, at the census of 1801, it had workhouses—that for Birmingham paincreased to 73,000 In the next thirty years the popu- rish, situated at Birmingham Heath, is lation doubled, being 147,000 in 1831. The same pro- capable of receiving over 2000 inmates. cess was repeated in the following term of thirty years, In the week ending June 19, 1875, there the population in 1861 being 296,000. Between 1861 were chargeable to the parish (including Arms of Birmingnam. and 1871 the increase was 47,000, and the returns of the lunatics and persons receiving outdoor relief) 6949 paupers, registrar-general show that the same rate of progress is a very small number in proportion to population. still going on. It is, however, likely to be checked by the Birmingham has a grant of quarter sessions, with a increasing value of land within the borough, by the absorp- recorder, and petty sessions are held daily at the Sessions tion of available sites for building, and by the consequent Court, in Moor Street, before a stipendiary magistrate, and overflow of population into the suburbs. If these, inhabited a bench of borough justices. The justices for the solely by borough people, are taken into account, the real popu- borough and Aston division of Warwickshire also sit here lation at present is probably not far short of half a million. occasionally. The borough justices have charge of the
Government. The government of the town resided administration of the gaol. The town is the head of a originally in the high and low bailiffs, both officers chosen at county court district, and is the seat of the probate registhe court of the lord of the manor, and acting as his try for Warwickshire. deputies. The system was a loose one, but by degrees it
Religious Denominations, Buildings, &c.—Until the year 1821 became somewhat organized, and Crown writs were Birmingham was in the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry; it is now addressed to the bailiffs In 1832, when the town was
in the diocese of Worcester and archdeaconry of Coventry, and is a
rural deanery. There was formerly a religious house, the priory of enfranchised, they were made the returning officers.
St Thomas the Apostle, and a Guild of the Holy Cross, an associaAbout the beginning of the century, however, a more tion partly religious and partly charitable, having a chantry in the regular system was instituted, by an Act creating a body parish church. The possessions of the priory went to the Crown at of street Commissioners, who acted for the parish of
the dissolution, and the building was destroyed before the close of Birmingham,—the hamlets outside its boundaries having the 16th century. The lands of the
Guild of the Holy Cross were similar boards of their own.
granted by Edward VI. to trustees for the support of a free gramThe annoyance and difficulty
mar school ; they are now the value of nearly £15,000 a year. caused by these bodies—thirteen in number—led to a Until 1715 there was but one parish church, St Martin's, a rectory, demand for the incorporation of Birmingham as a borough; having the tithes of the entire parish of Birmingham. St Martin's and a charter was accordingly granted by the Crown in
was erected about the middle of the 13th century; but in the 1838, vesting the general government in a mayor, sixteen present no traces except in the tower and spire of its former character.
course of ages was so disfigured, internally and externally, as to aldermen, and forty-seven councillors, The powers of În 1853 the tower was found to be in a dangerous condition, and this body were, however, unusually restricted, the other local together with the spire was rebuilt. In 1873 the remaining part of governing bodies remaining in existence It was not until
the old church was removed without disturbing the monumenis, and 1851 that an Act of Parliament was obtained, abolishing £30,000.
a new and larger edifice was erected in its place, at a cost of nearly
The new church constitutes the chief ecclesiastical all governing authorities excepting the Town Council, and edifice in Birmingham, and indeed the handsomest structure in the transferring all powers to this body Under this Act, and town. St Philip's, a stately Italian structure, designed by Archer, another local Act obtained in 1862, the affairs of the town
a pupil of Wren, was the next church erected. It was consecrated
in 1715. Then followed St Bartholomew's in 1749, St Mary's in are now administered, the whole municipal government 1774, St Paul's in 1779, St James's, Ashted, in 1791, and others, being in the hands of the Town Council. The importance which need not be mentioned, followed in due course. At present of the duties discharged by the Council may be inferred the mother parish is divided into five rectories, and there are within from the fact that it has under its control nearly 200 miles
the borough, including those mentioned, 42 churches (each having
an ecclesiastical district assigned to it) of the Church of England, of street and road, that it has a police force of nearly 500
most of these having schools and missions attached to them. men, and that its revenue, derived from tolls and rates, Under the Commonwealth Birmingham was a stronghold of Puriamounts to about £300,000 a year. These responsibilities tanism. . Clarendon speaks of it and the neighbourhood as "the have been increased by the purchase in 1875 of the gas and hand, commending the garrison of Coventry, says it contained the
most eminently corrupted of any in England.” Baxter, on the other water-works (the latter with a daily supply of 17,000,000 most religious men of the parts round about, especially from gallons), the two purchases making a cost of more than Birmingham.” The traditional reputation for Nonconformity is main£3,000,000. The growth of the revenue and expenditure tained by the town, all varieties of dissenters being numerous and of the town, its rateable value, and its ordinary debt, ex
influential. cluding the gas and water-works, will be seen from the chapels. One of these
, the Old Meeting, is historically interesting,
The Unitarians, the oldest body established here, have six following tabular statement :
the congregation having been formed on the Presbyterian model by a number of ministers ejected under the Act of Uniformity.
Another chapel, the New Meeting, in Moor Street (now occupied by the Borough
the Roman Catholics), is memorable as having been the place of Dr Priestley's ministerial labours. In 1862 the Unitarians removed
from this place to a new Gothic edifice, called the Church of the 1854
Messiah, in Broad Street, where they still preserve a monument of 645,349
120,237 3 5
131,723 366,095 1859 824,869 3 4 157,121 136,987
Priestley, with a medallion portrait in profile, and an inscription
467,002 1864 920,191 38
written by Priestley's friend, Dr Parr. The Society of Friends, 187,620 185,537 638,303 1869 1,052,796
whose first meeting-house dates from about 1690, have now three
199,950 588,449 1874 1,254,911 3 1031
places of meeting. 289,655
The Independents have now eleven chapels, 664,959
several of them large and flourishing. The Baptists first erected a
chapel in Cannon Street in 1738. They have now 16; one of them, N.B.—The amount of property possessed by the Corporation on Wycliffe Chapel, Bristol Road, is a singularly bands.come structure of 81st December 1874, taken at its original cost, was £1,259,047. 14th century Gothic. The Wesleyan Methodists were established
in Birmingham by John Wesley himself in 1745, w'nen he was roughly "Including rate for School Board, 3d. in the £.
handled while preaching on Gosta Green. For some years they
Total Amount Assessment to
of Rate in
the £ Rate
A total pro
worshipped in temporary premises. They have now 17 places of the other departments. The Queen's College, originally a worship; and the other divisions of the Methodist body have 24 in the aggregate. The Presbyterians possess 5 places of Worship, charter in 1843 as a kind of university, with departments
school of medicine, founded in 1828, obtained a royal and the Jews have a handsome synagogue. have paid special attention to Birmingham. From the Revolution of literature, theology, law, science, and engineering. All of 1688 until 1789 they had no place of worship here. They now these branches have now fallen into disuse, excepting have a bishop, (who assumes a title from the town), a cathedral, medicine and theology ; in the latter the college educates ments in the suburbs, including several religious houses, including candidates for the ministry of the Church of England. An the Oratory, founded by Dr Newman. The principal edifice is the important foundation is Sir Josiah Mason's Scientific cathedral of St Chad, built from the designs of Mr Pugin, at a College, for the endowment of which Sir Josiah has con cost of more than £30,000.
veyed to trustees property valued at nearly £100,000, and The religious institutions and societies in Birmingham are very numerous, and with these are associated many establishments of a
a capacious building, estimated to cost probably £40,000, benevolent character, such as almshouses, asylums, refuges, societies is now in erection in Edmund Street, near the Town-Hall. for the aid of discharged prisoners, and for the promotion of religious Among the other educational foundations may be meneducation in Board schools, training institutions for nurses and servants, and others of various kinds, in the management of which Congregational ministers; four industrial schools ; a large
tioned Spring Hill College, Moseley, for the education of persons of different religious opinions are commonly found working reformatory for boys at Saltley, and one for girls at Smethtogether in friendly association.
Charities. --These are numerous. The principal is the General | wick. For general education there are many private Hospital, Summer Lane, opened in 1779 ; it was founded by Dr schools, of a good class, for boys and girls. Elementary Ash, an eminent local physician. The yearly average of in-patients education is provided in the Church of England day schools, is about 2300, of out-patients, 25,000. Bath Row, the other large hospital of the town, was founded in Roman Catholic schools, and Board schools. 1840 by Mr W. Sands Cox, F.R.S., an eminent local surgeon, who vision, in all the public elementary schools, is made for also founded the Queen's College as a medical sehool. This hospital 41,791 children; there are (July 1875) 51,334 on the The General Dispensary, the officers of which visit patients at their books, with an average attendance for the previous quarter own homes, relieves about 8000 yearly. The Children's Hospital of 37,894. The School Board, though it was elected only (free), established in 1864 by Dr Heslop, relieves about 15,000 out in 1870, has, by the provision of new schools, and the and 1000 in-patients. It has two establishments--for out-patients exercise of compulsory powers, more than doubled the (a very handsome Gothic building) in Steelhouse Lane, and an inpatient department in Broad Street. There is also a Women's
school attendance. It has already built and opened 9 Hospital (free) for the special diseases of women; a lying-in charity; schools, with accommodation for'8800 children, at a cost, special hospitals for diseases of the eye, the ear, bodily deformi for land and buildings, of about £86,000; and 8 other ties, and the teeth ; and a homeopathic hospital. The parish of schools are now in progress, providing accommodation for Birmingham maintains a large intirmary at the workhouse (Birming
7400 children, at an estimated cost of about £103,000ham Heath), and a dispensary for out-patients in Paradise Street. Nearly aŭ these medical charities depend upon subscriptions, making a total expenditure of nearly £200,000, and
prodonations, legacies, and income from invested property ; and the vision for a total of about 16,000 children. sum raised in this way is probably nearly £30,000 a year. There Libraries, dic.—The principal libraries of the town are the are two public organizations for aiding the charities, both of which Birmingham Library (belonging to a body of proprietors), were begun in Birmingham. One is a simultaneous collection in October in churches and chapels, called the Hospital Sunday, estab
founded in 1798 by Dr Priestley, and containing about lished in 1859, and now yielding over £5000 a year ; the other is the 40,000 volumes, and the Corporation Free Libraries, in Saturday Hospital collection, made by the work-people in March, Ratcliff Place, commenced in 1861. These consist of a which was established in 1873, and yields about £4000. There is also a Sanatorium at Blackwell, near the Lickley Hills,
central reference library and lending library (the former about 10 miles distant, common to all the hospitals. Amongst the containing 36,000 volumes of carefully chosen books), to non-medical charities the principal are the Blind Institution and the which is attached a central reading-room. There are also Deaf and Dumb Asylum, both at Edgbaston ; and Sir Josiah four lending libraries and news-rooms in other parts of the Mason's Orphanage at Erdington, which receives 300 orphan town, and news-rooms are about to be opened by the children, and was built and endowed at the cost of about $250,000 Corporation in connection with the Board schools. The solely by Sir Josiah Mason, a Birmingham penmaker. There are also in the town numerous almshouses for aged persons, the chief total issue of books from the libraries for 1874 was of which are Lench's Trust, the James Charities, the Licensed 521,991. Included in the reference library are a special the Oddfellows', Foresters', &c., which are strongly supported in Shakespeare library, containing almost all known editions Birmingham, the work-people have numerous clubs of a charitable
of the plays and of works illustrating them; a library of kind, and there are several important local provident societies of a nearly 1000 volumes, illustrating the works of Cervantes general character, with many thousand members.
(presented by Mr W. Bragge of Sheffield); and a large Education.—The oldest and principal institution is the and unique collection of Warwickshire books and antiGrammar School of King Edward the Sixth, founded in quities, known as the Staunton collection. An Art Gallery 1552, out of the lands of the Guild of the Holy Cross, then and Industrial Museum is attached to the Free Libraries; of the annual value of £21, but now yielding about £15,000 and there is at Aston Hall another museum of natural a year, with a prospect of large increase. The principal or history, &c., belonging to the Corporation. Art instruchigh school, in New Street, was erected in 1840, in the tion is provided by the Royal Society of Artists, which has Perpendicular period of the Gothic style, from designs by classes and lectures for students, and which holds two Sir Charles Barry, at a cost, including land, of £71,000. general exhibitions annually; and by the School of Art, This school is divided into two departments, classical and which has 900 students, together with affiliated classes in English, and educates about 600 boys; while connected schools, containing nearly 1700 students. with it there are four elementary schools for boys and girls, Miscellaneous Institutions, Parks, &c.—These include used chiefly by the lower middle class, the number of 8 banks, 4 principal clubs—the Union, the Midland, the pupils being 1500. The classical school has ton exhibitions Arts, and the Conservative—to which a Liberal Club is of £50 each, tenable at Oxford or Cambridge. The next about to be added. There are 3 morning and 2 evening most important foundation is that of the Midland Institute, daily papers—4 of them Liberal and 1 Conservative- and 2 which includes a general literary department (lectures, weekly papers. There are 2 theatres, 2 large music-halls, museums, and reading-rooms), and an industrial depart- and several smaller ones. Musical festivals for the benefit ment, with classes in science, languages, mathematics, of the General Hospital are held triennially, and are arithmetic, history, literature, and the laws of health. usually marked by the production of new and important There are about 600 science students, and about 1600 in works, and by the engagement of most of the leading
vocalists and instrumental performers. There are 5 parks hall at the Children's Hospital in Steelhouse Lane (Gothic) and pleasure grounds belonging to the Corporation are perhaps the finest rooms of their kind in the kingdom. Aston Park and Hall, 45 acres; Calthorpe Park, about 35 Birmingham had till very recently only one public monuacres; Cannon Hill Park, 65 acres; and Adderley and ment, the statue of Nelson, by Westmacott, in High Street; Highgate Parks, each about 12 acres. Beside these there but several others have been erected—namely, those of are numerous pleasure-grounds —the Botanical Gardens, Joseph Sturge, at the Five Ways, and of Thomas Attwood, Edgbaston, open to subscribers, and the Lower Grounds, a the founder of the Political Union, in Stephenson Place, beautiful series of gardens at Aston, in which important both of them by the late Mr Thomas; James Watt, a flower shows are periodically held. Sutton Park, about 8 singularly beautiful work, in Ratcliff Place, by the late Mr miles distant, and including about 3000 acres, is also much Munro; Sir Robert Peel, in New Street, by Mr P. Hollins; used by the Birmingham people. The Corporation has the late Prince-Consort, in the Art Gallery, by Mr Foley; several sets of baths and wash-houses in various parts of Sir Rowland Hill, in the hall of the Post-Office, by Mr the town. There are several extensive cemeteries.
Noble; and Dr Priestley, in New Street, by Mr F. J. WilPublic Buildings.—Of these the Town-Hall, a nobly-pro. | liamson. Chantrey's famous statue of James Watt is in a portioned and impressive edifice, is the principal. It stands at special chapel at Handsworth church. the top of New Street, and on three sides is isolated from all Manufactures.-From an early period Birmingham has other buildings by broad and handsome streets. The hall, been a seat of manufactures in metal. Hutton, the hiscompleted in 1850 at a total cost of £52,000, is severely torian of the town, claims for it Saxon or even British classic, modelled upon a Greek temple. The lower stage antiquity in this respect, but without the shadow of foundaconsists of a vast plinth or basement, 23 feet high, upon which tion. The first or direct mention of Birmingham trades is is reared a fa ade of peripteral character, with 8 Corinthian to be found in Leland's Itinerary (1538). He writes :columns (36 feet high) at the two principal fronts, and 13 “I came through a pretty street as ever I entered into columns on each side. These columns (imitated from those Bermingham towne. This street, as I remember, is called of the temple of Jupiter Stator at Roine) support a bold Dirtey (Deritend). In it dwell smiths and cutlers
. There and enriched cornice, finished at each end with a lofty pedi- be many smithes in the towne that use to make knives ment and entablature. The exterior of the hall is built of and all manner of cutlery tooles, and many lorimers that Anglesea marble. The interior consists chiefly of a make bittes, and a great many naylors, so that a great part regularly-built room, designed specially for meetings and of the towne is maintained by smithes, who have their iron concerts, with an orchestra containing one of the finest and sea-cole out of Staffordshire.” The cutlers no longer organs in the kingdom. The seats are arranged for an exist, this trade having gone to Sheffield; but the smiths audience of 2265 persons, but when cleared of benches, as remain, and the heavier cutting tools are still largely made is the case at great political meetings, 5000 persons may here. The well-ascertained importance of Birmingham as find standing room. On one side of the Town-Hall are a centre of manufactures began towards the close of the the buildings of the Midland Institute and the Free 17th century, one great source of it being the absolute Libraries (of Italian design), occupying the whole of freedom of the town, there being no guilds, companies, or Ratcliff Place, with fronts to Paradise Street and Edmund restrictions of any kind; besides which the easy access to Street. A new Art Gallery is in course of erection, front-cheap coal and iron indirectly helped the development, ing the latter street. At the back of the Town-Hall is the It is remarkable that two important trades, now located site of the new building of the Mason College (Gothic), elsewhere, were first established here. Steel was made in and in front of the hall, in Paradise Street, are Christ Birmingham until 1797, and was then disused for quite Church (classic), the Queen's College (Gothic), and the 70 years, when an experiment in steel-making (still carried Post-Office. On the side of the hall in Ann Street, opposite on) was made by a single firm. Cotton-spinning was to the Midland Institute, are the new Corporate Buildings begun in Birmingham by John Wyatt, and Lewis Paul, (Italian), now being erected at a cost of nearly £200,000. and Thomas Warren as early as 1730; but the speculation These will give accommodation for the Town Council, was abandoned before the end of the century. The great law courts, public offices, and the mayor of the borough. staple of Birmingham is metal-working in all its various Lower down New Street is the building of the Royal forms. The chief variety is the brass-working trade, Society of Artists (classic), with a noble portico; then which employs several hundred masters, and about 10,000 comes the Exchange (Gothic) in Stephenson Place; and at work-people, and consumes probably 50,000 tons of metal the bottom of the latter street is the Central Railway annually, which is worked up into an infinity of articles of station, used by the North-Western, the Midland, and ornament and utility. Iron-working, though largely cartheir branch railways, and fronted by the Queen's Hotel. ried on, is a much less important trade, works of this kind The station is more than a quarter of a mile in length. being chiefly established in the Staffordshire district. The roof, a magnificent specimen of engineering, consists Jewellery, gold, silver, and gilt come next to brass. of a vast arch of glass and iron, carried on pillars on each Then follow small arms of all kinds, some of the larger side, and measuring 1100 feet in length, 80 feet in height, establishments being capable of turning out 2000 stand and 212 feet in width in a single span. The glass in the per week. Buttons, hooks and eyes, pins, and other roof weighs 115 tous, and the iron-work 1400 tons. Below articles used for dress, constitute a large class of manufacthe station, in New Street, is the Grammar School ; and tures. Glass, especially table glass, is a renowned staple in High Street, close at hand, is the Market-Hall, a magni- of the town. Screws, nails, &c., are made in enormous ficent classic building, erected in 1833 at a cost of nearly quantities ; indeed, Birmingham has a monopoly of the £70,000, with an area of 4380 square yards, and affording English screw trade. Steel pens are also a specialty-as room for 600 stalls. Amongst the other public buildings much as, probably, 15 tons or more of steel being the are the Borough Gaol at Winson Green, with 467 cells, weekly consumption of these articles; the largest maker, arranged on the separate system ; near this the Lunatic Sir Josiah Mason, rolls 5 tons weekly for his own conAsylum, with accommodation for 600 patients; and close sumption, and has about 60 tons of pens constantly in at hand the workhouse, which receives about 2000 inmates. manufacture in various stages. About 20,000,000 pens The General and Queen's Hospitals are also handsome are made weekly in the town, and are sold at prices rang. buildings, the latter especially so, it being remarkable for ing from izd. to 12s. per gross of 12 dozen. The fact a very noble out-patient hall. This and the out-patient that each gross requires 144 pieces of steel to go through
12 different processes, renders this cheapness of sale one of people. A “ Birmingham man " is usually a man of strong the greatest marvels of manufacturing skill and industry. individuality, independence of character, facility of resource, Electro-plating, first established about 1848 by Messrs and with an enduring love for “the old town." These Elkington and Mason, is one of the leading trades. Amongst traits of character are the result of a variety of circumother branches of manufacture are wire-drawing, bell stances. Birmingham is peculiar in opening a career even founding, metal rolling, railway carriage building (a large to the humblest who are gifted with ingenuity and industry. and important industry), steel-toy making (including cut- The great number of trades keeps work fairly constant, the ting implements and tools of all kinds), die sinking, papier- skill required in them sustains wages of artizans at a high maché making, and a variety of others, for which refer- level, and the distribution of labour, and its dependence ence may be made to a volume entitled Birmingham and upon direct personal aptitude, afford chances of rising in the Midland Hardware District, prepared on the visit of the social scale which cannot be found in places where the British Association in 1865, and extending to more manufactures are mainly of one class and are conducted in than 700 pages. It is impossible, indeed, in smaller com- factories demanding large capital. It is easy in Birmingpass to give an adequate idea of the variety and extent of ham for a man to become a small master, and gradually Birmingham industry. To quote a modern writer: to push his trade until he is able to establish a factory.
“We cannot move without finding traces of the great hive of Many of the largest employers have either been workmen metal-makers—the veritable descendants of Tubal-cain. At home themselves or are the sons of workmen ; while of the or abroad, sleeping or waking, walking or riding, in a carriage or upon a railway or steamboat, we cannot escape reminiscences of handicraft work carried on in their places of business.
smaller manufacturers almost all take a direct part in the Birmingham. She haunts us from the cradle to the grave. supplies us with the spoon that first brings our infant lips into Wealth is more evenly distributed than in most other acquaintance with “pap,' and she provides the dismal • furniture' places. There are no colossal fortunes in Birmingham, and whole world under contribution for her materials. For her smiths, comparatively few large ones, and of these very few are and metal workers, and jewellers, wherever nature has deposited made by speculative operations. To compensate for these stores of useful or precious metals, or has hidden glittering gems,
distinctions there is an unusually large comfortable classthere industrious miners are busily digging. Divers collect for her people of good though not excessive incomes derived from button makers millions of rare and costly shells. For her, adven
solid trade, or from savings made by hard personal and turous hunters ritle the buffalo of his wide-spreading horns, and the elephant of his ivory tusks. There is scarcely a product of any
associated work. This class, touching the actually wealthy country or any climate that she does not gladly receive, and in on one side, by easy and almost imperceptible stages touches return stamps with a richer value."
the actual working-class on the other, and this latter class These labours Birminghain performs with the aid of many is constantly rising into the middle rank. thousands of willing hands, moved by busy and ingenious The Birmingham work-people, in their way, are courteous brains, and aided by her own great invention, the steam- and helpful. This is probably owing to the free and engine; for by the genius of Watt and the intrepid courage open and common discussion of subjects of political and of Boulton, Birmingham may claim the perfection of this social interest engaged in without distinction of class. discovery as her own. The memory of the great Soho The same principle is adopted educationally—in the Midfactory is one of the most precious heritages of the town, land Institute, for example—the Act of Parliament which and the name remains, for though the old factory has long established the Institute providing that the governing since disappeared, the firm of Boulton and Watt still con council shall always include artizan members. Another tinue to make steam-engines in the immediate neighbour-noticeable characteristic of the town is the development of hood; and James Watt's own private workshop continues means of self-instruction and of self-help. Birmingham just as he left it, with no single article disturbed, carefully was amongst the earliest places to establish a mechanics' preserved in the garret of his house at Heathfield.
institution, the place of which is now more efficiently supThe mention of Watt and of Soho recalls the memories plied by the Midland Institute. Birmingham, again, was of distinguished inventors and others who have been con the birthplace of the freehold land and building societies, nected with Birmingham. Johnson was a frequent visitor by which workmen are enabled, on easy terms, to acquire here to his friend Hector, the surgeon, on whose house in houses of their own; and in addition to these institutions, the Old Square a tablet (erected by the Shakespeare Club) which are numerous and flourishing, it has a very large bears witness to the residence of the great moralist. Then number of sick and friendly societies, savings-clubs, and Baskerville, the printer, carried on his work here. The other organizations of a provident kind,-more in proportion famous Lunar Society, fully described by Mr Smiles in his to population than, probably, any other of the large towns Lives of the Engineers, brought together a brilliant com in England. Amongst the social characteristics it should pany-Watt, Boulton, Priestley, Josiah Wedgwood, Darwin, be mentioned that there are few serious disputes between Parr, Withering, Edgeworth, Sir Joseph Banks, Herschel, masters and workmen, and that strikes are infrequent, and Dr Solander, Fothergill, Roebuck, Galton, Keir, and many when they do occur are found capable of easy adjustment others. Murdoch, the inventor of gas, was a Soho man, by friendly negotiation. One point more is worthy of and first used his invention to light the Soho factory at record—the constancy of the town to those who serve it. the peace of Amiens in 1802. Rickman, the reviver and Many of the leading manufacturers and other citizens are historian of Gothic architecture, practised as an architect members of the local governing bodies, and these and the in Birmingham. Hutton, the antiquary and historian, parliamentary representatives are rarely changed by their carried on his bookselling business here. Many of the best constituents. engravers were Birmingham men, notably Willmore and
History.-Owing to its rapid expansion, and the consequent Pye, the special translators of Turner's marvellous creations. newness of most of the public and other buildings, Birmingham is In the ranks of landscape painters the name of David Cox often supposed to be a modern town. It is really one of the oldest will ever confer honour upon the town. Attwood, Joseph period. Proof of this
was given in 1309 by William de Bermingham,
in the country, and was in existence as a community in the Saxon Parkes, and Bright speak for it in the region of politics then lord of the manor, who showed in a law-suit that his ancestors and statesmanship. The series of inventors is continued had a market in the place, and levied tolls, before the Conquest. to our own day by the names of Gillott, Elkington, Chance, posed roman station called Bremenium, but this claim has long Mason, and others.
since been abandoned as fabulous. The origin of the name is unIn many respects Birmingham is a peculiar town, and
traceable ; the spelling of it is traceable in about 100 different in none more than the hold it has upon the affections of its forms. Dugdale, the historian of Warwickshire, adopts Brom
wycham, and regards it as of Saxon derivation. Hutton, the United States of America, where he spent the rest of his life. A historian of Birmingham, has the fanciful etymology of Brom late atonement was made by the town to his memory in 1873, by (broom), wych (a descent), and ham (a home), making together, the erection of a statue in his honour in front of the Town Hall, and the home on the hill by the heath. As regards the history of the the foundation of a Priestley scholarship at the Midland Institute. town, we must agree with Hutton that “the way is long, dark, and As if ashamed of the excesses of 1791, Birmingham thenceforth slippery." In Domesday Book it is rated at four miles of land with became a thoroughly Liberal and, with one or two exceptions, half a mile of woods, the whole valued at £203. Two hundred a peaceful town. In the dismal period from 1817 to 1819, when years later the family of De Bermingham, the owners of the place, the manufacturing districts were heavily distressed and were discome into sight, --one of them, William, being killed at the battle turbed by riots, Biriningham remained quiet. Even when some of of Evesham, in 1265, fighting with Simon de Montfort and the the inhabitants were tried and punished for demanding parlia. barons against Henry the Thiril. The son of this William after mentary representation, and for electing Sir Charles Wolseley as wards took part in the French war, and was made prisoner ; his their delegate, there was no demonstration of violence-the wise father's estates, forfeited by treason, were restored to himn. Thence counsels of the leadiers inducing orderly submission to the law. The forward we find the family engaged in various local and other offices, same prudent course was observed when in the Reform agitation of but seemingly abstaining from politics. They held the place until 1831-32 the Political Union was formed, under the leadership of 1527, when Elward de Bermingham was deprived of his property Thomas Attwood, to promote the passing of the Reform Bill. Alby means of John Dudley, duke of Northumberland, who trumped up most the whole town, and great part of the surrounding distriet, a pretended charge of riot and robbery against him, and procurei joined in this agitation ; vast meetings were held on Newhall Hill; Birmingham for himself. On the attainder of Dudley the manor there was much talk of marching upon London 100,000 strong; passed to the Crown, and was granted to Thomas Marrow, of Berks but, owing to the firmness and statesmanship of Mr Attwool well, from whom by marriage and descent it went to Christopher and his associates, there was no rioting or any sign of violence. Musgrave, and finally, as regards the only valuable part--the Ultimately the Political Union succeeded in its object, and Birmarket tolls-by purchase to the town itself. In the Wars of the mingham helpeil to secure for the nation the enfranchisement of Roses it does not seem that Birmingham took any part ; but energy the middle classes and other political reforms. One exception to the revived in the civil war under Charles I., when the town sided tranquillity of the town has to be recorded—the occurrence of riots actively with the Parliamentarians. In 1642, when Charles was in 1839, during the Chartist agitation. Chartism took a strong hold marching from Shrewsbury to relieve Banbury, the Birmingham in Birmingham, and, under the influence of Mr Feargus O'Connor people seized part of his baggage, including much plate, money, and and some of his associates, nightly meetings of a threatening charwine, which they sent to the Parliamentary garrison at Warwick. acter were held in the Bull Ring. The magistrates resolved to put Before the battle of Edgehill Charles rested for two nights at these down, and having obtained the help of a detachment of the Aston Hall, near the town, as the guest of Sir Thomas Holte. / metropolitan police—the town then having no local police force-The Birmingham people resented this by helping the Parliamen a meeting was dispersed, and a riot ensued, which resulted in injury tarians to cannonade the hall and to levy a fine upon Sir Thomas to several persons, and required military force to suppress it. This Holte. They also set to work, and supplied the Parliamentary happened on the 4th of July. On the 15th of the same month army with 15,000 sword blades, refusing to make a single blade for another meeting took place, and the mob, strongly armed and numthe Royalists. These manife titions of hostility were avenged in bering many thousands, set fire to several houses in the Bull Ring, April 1613, by Prince Rupert, who, with 2000 men and several some of which were burned to the ground, and others were greatly pieces of artillery, attacked the town, planting his cannon on an damaged. The military again interfered, and order was restored, eininence near Sparkbrook, still known as Camphill
. The towns. several of the ringleaders being afterwards tried and imprisoned for people resisted, but were beaten, muy persons being killed or their share in the disturbance. There was another riot in 1867, wounded. Amongst the former was Lord Denbigh, one of the caused by the ferocious attacks of a lecturer named Murphy upon Royalist officers. Having captured the place, Prince Rupert allowed the Roman Catholics, which led to the sacking of a street chiefly his troops to pluniler it, to burn about eighty houses, and to set inhabited by Irishmen ; but the incident was comparatively trivial, their prisoners to ransom. He also levied a fine of £30,000, equal and further disorders were prevented by the prompt action of the to at least £100,000 of the present value of money. This bitter authorities.
(J. T. B.) lesson kept Birmingham quiet during the rest of the civil war, though the sympathies of the people with the Parliamentarians were BIRON, ARMAND DE GONTAULT, a baron and marshal unabated. În 1665 Birmingham suffered heavy losses by the plague, great numbers of dead being buried in the Pest Field, at Lady: self by his valour and conduct in several sieges and battles
of France, and a celebrated general, who signalized himthickly covered with buildings. In 1688 the Revolution provoked in the 16th century. He was made grand master of the a temporary outbreak of Protestant feeling. James II. had given artillery in 1569, and commanded at the siege of Rochelle, timber from the royal forest of Needwood, near Burton, to build and in Guienne. He was one of the first who declared for a Catholic chapel and convent in a place still called Mass-house Lane. This edifice the mob promptly destroyed when James gave
Henry IV.; he brought a part of Normandy under his subplace to William and Mary. Rather more than a century of quiet jection, and dissuaded him from retiring to England or prosperity ensued, and then occurred the serious and most lament Rochelle. Biron was killed by a cannon-ball at the siege abie outbreak of popular fury known as the Church and King riots of 1791. For some years there had been much political activity in
of Epernay, July 26, 1592. He was a man of considerable Birmingham, the dissenters, particularly the Unitarians, being de
literary attainments, and used to carry a pocket-book, in sirous of relief from the political and religious disabilities under which he noted everything that appeared remarkable. This which they laboured. The leader in these movements was the gave rise to a proverb at court, when a person happened to famous Dr Priestley, who kept up an active controversy with the
say anything uncommon, “ You have found that in Biron's local clergy and others, and thus drew upon himself and his coreligionists the hatred of the more violent members of the Church pocket-book.” and Tory party. The smouldering fire broke out on the occasion
BIRON, CHARLES DE GONTAULT, son of the above and of the French Revolution. On the 14th of July a dinner of Bir born in 1562, created duke of Biron and admiral of France mingham Liberals was held at the Royal Hotel to celebrate the by Henry IV., was a man of great intrepidity, but fickle destruction of the Bastille. This was the signal of a popular out
In 1601 he was sent as ambassador to break. A Church and King mot, encouraged and organized by leaders and treacherous. of better station, but who were too cowardly to show themselves, the court of queen Elizabeth to announce his royal master's began an attack upon the Uni trians.. Dr Priestley was not present marriage with Mary of Medici ; but being discovered in a at the dinner, but his house at Fair Hill, Spark brook, was one of the first to be sacked and burnt-his library and laboratory, with all
treasonable correspondence with Spain, he was beheaded in his manuscripts, the records of life-long scientific and philosophical
the Bastille at Paris, July 31, 1602. The extent to which inquiries, perishing in the flames. The house and library of Hutton, he had carried his treason was not great, and Henry by the historian and antiquary, were also destroyed. The Unitarian sparing his life would not have shown undue clemency. chapel was burnt, and several houses belonging to members of the BIRS NIMRUD. See BABYLON, page 183. sect were sacked and burnt. The riot continued until a strong
BISACCIA, a city of Italy, in the Principato Ulteriore, body of troops was marched into the town, but before their arrival damage to the amount of more than £60,000 had been done. Soine
60 miles E. of Naples. It is a bishopric in conjunction of the rioters perished in the burning buildings, in the cellars of with St Angelo, and contains 5342 inhabitants. Formerly which they drank themselves into stupefaction. Others were tried it was the chief city in a principality belonging to the and imprisoned, and four of the prisoners were hanged. The per: Pignatelli family, and it is believed to occupy the site of county ; but Dr Priestley himself, owing to the unworthy preju- the ancient Romulea, a Samnite tuwu of considerable size, dice against him, was in a great measure forced to remove to the which was captured by the Romans about 297 B.C.