Online Encyclopedia

CONGLETON

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 913 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CONGLETON, a market town and municipal borough in the Macclesfield parliamentary division of Cheshire, England, on the North Staffordshire railway, 1571 M. N.W. by N. of London. Pop. (1901) 10,707. It is finely situated in a deep valley, on913 the banks of the Dane, a tributary of the Weaver. To the east Cloud Hill, and to the south Mow Cop, rise sharply- to heights exceeding i000 ft. Congleton has no buildings noteworthy for age or beauty, save a few old timbered houses. The grammar school was in existence as early as 1553. In the 16th and 17th centuries the leather laces known as "Congleton points " were in high repute; but the principal industry of the town is now the manufacture of silk, which was introduced in 1752 by a Mr Pattison of London. Coal and salt are raised, and the other industries include fustian, towel, couch, chair and nail factories, iron and brass foundries, stone quarries and corn mills. At Biddulph, 3 M. S., in a narrow valley, across the border in Staffordshire, are several coal-mines and iron-foundries. The gardens of the Grange here are celebrated for their beauty. Congleton is served by the Macclesfield canal. The borough is under a mayor, 6 aldermen and 18 councillors. Area, 2572 acres. Congleton (Congleton) is not mentioned in any historical record before the Domesday Survey, when it was held by Hugh, earl of Chester, and rendered geld for one hide. In the 13th century, as part of the barony of Halton, the manor passed to Henry, earl of Lincoln, who by a charter dated 1282 declared the town a free borough, with a gild merchant and numerous privileges, including power to elect a mayor, a catchpole and an aletaster. This charter was confirmed by successive sovereigns, with some additional privileges. In 1524 the burgesses were exempted from appearing at the shire and hundred courts, and in 1583 the body corporate was reconstructed under the title of mayor and commonalty, and power was granted to make by-Iaws and to punish offenders. The governing charter, which held force until the Municipal Corporation Act of 185, was granted by James I. in 1624, and instituted a mayor, 8 aldermen, 16 capital burgesses, a high steward, common-clerk and other officers. Charters were also granted by Charles II. and George IV. In 1282 Henry, earl of Lincoln, obtained a Saturday market and an eight days' fair at the feast of St Peter ad Vincula, and the market is still held under this grant. In 1311 a Tuesday market is mentioned, and a fair at the feast of St Martin. Henry VI. in 1430 granted to the burgesses a fair at the feast of SS. Philip and James. James I. confirmed the three existing fairs and granted an additional fair on the Thursday before Quinquagesima Sunday. Congleton suffered severely from the plagues of 16o3 and 1641, and by the latter was almost entirely depopulated. On the whole, however, the town has steadily grown in population and commercial prosperity from the granting of its first charter. See Victoria County History, Cheshire; Robert Head, Congleton Past and Present (Congleton, 1887) ; Samuel Yates, An History of the Ancient Town and Borough of Congleton (Congleton, 1820).
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Additional information and Comments

I take issue with you on Congleton not having any notable buildings. Until November 2003 it had the second oldest silk miull in the country built by John Clayton and Nathaniel Pattison. The White Lion pub in the town is a famous landmark. It is thought to originally have been a mansion where John Bradshaw learned his profession of lawyer. John Bradshaw became mayor of Congleton in 1637 and eventually became President of the Court in London. He was a Regicide and it was his signature that eventually sealed the death warrant of Charles 1st. A blue plaque on the pub commemorates this event. The Lion and Swan pub in the town date back to the early 1600s The kings Arms pub dates back to 1595 St Peter's church is one one of the finest examples of a Georgian church in the country. You have got the date of the charter wrong It is 1272 and not 1262.
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