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defect in the plan of our work; but it must, necessarily, be confined within due limits, and we have sought to render it chiefly descriptive and popular; for, had we entered into minute details of the various establishments, and their productions, a volume must have been written for such a purpose, and other aid would have been requisite than we could readily command. We had calculated on some assistance and information where we have not found it, though, in other quarters, it has been most liberally supplied. For all offences, whether of commission or omission, to this period of our labours, we crave a generous indulgence, unless falsehood, flattery, or ill-nature should be detected in our pages, our pages, which we have studiously
endeavoured to avoid.
We cannot, however, acquit ourselves of passing over, without a distinct notice, the oldest literary institution within the district, established about fifty years ago, and still kept up under the title of "THE POTTERY SUBSCRIPTION LIBRARY," which is supported by a considerable body of members and subscribers, of the upper classes, in Hanley, Shelton, and the neighbourhood.
This Library contains about 3,000 volumes, and consists of the best publications in history, geography, voyages, travels, novels, and miscellaneous literature, which have issued from the press within the last halfcentury, with others of earlier date, but excludes divinity, law, and physic. The property of the Institution belongs to the members, about 60 in number, who are elected by ballot, and pay a premium of two guineas each on admission, and a subscription of one guinea per annum. They choose a committee of management, who decide on the purchase of books recommended. The rules are framed with proper regard to the character of the books as well as the members. The Commissioners of Public Records have bestowed on this Library a series of their valuable publications, which are the only antiquarian works it possesses.
The depository is at the shop and premises of Mr. Thomas Allbut, Hanley, who has held the office of librarian and treasurer about forty years, and succeeded Mr. James Straphan, the first bookseller in the Potteries, who commenced the Library in the year 1790.
THE BIRTH PLACE OF ELIJAH FENTON THE POET
FOR THE HISTORY OF THE STAFFORDSHIRE FOTTERIES
SHELTON IDENTIFIED WITH THE MANOR OF NEWCASTLE.-AREA OF THE TOWNSHIP. COPYHOLD TENURE, BELL'S MILL AN EXCEPTION.-TRADITION THEREON.-FAMILY OF BELL. ANCIENT VILLAGE.-OLD HALL, THE SEAT OF THE FENTON FAMILY.-BIOGRAPHY OF ELIJAH FENTON, THE POET.-FAC-SIMILE OF A LETTER OF ALEXANDER POPE.-PEDIGREE OF THE FAMILY OF FENTON. ACCOUNT OF THE FAMILY OF TWEMLOW, AND PEDIGREE. REV. THOMAS LIGHTFOOT.—ERECTION OF ST. MARK'S CHURCH.-DESCRIPTION THEREOF.-FUTURE RECTORY.SCHOOLS ADJACENT.-LANDED AND OTHER PROPRIETORS IN SHELTON.
THE present chapter will be exclusively devoted to matters relating to the Township of SHELTON, as our sixteenth chapter had exclusive reference to Hanley; but Shelton having no distinct manorial character, and being wholly identified with the Manor of Newcastle, furnishes little additional scope for the pen of local history beyond what is contained in our preceding pages, yet it has distinctive claims of its own, which we now proceed to specify.
We have spoken of Shelton as part of the royal possessions at the period of the Domesday Survey, in which it is written Scelfitone, a name we suppose descriptive of its situation on a shelf, or abrupt rise, above the valley of Stoke.* The Township contains 995 acres, (more than
Scylf, in the Ang. Sax. a shelf. See "shelf" and "shallow" in Richardson's Eng. Dict.
We follow Erdeswick in supposing our Shelton to be the Scelfitone
double the superficies of Hanley,) and is, or was until very recently, altogether of copyhold tenure, if we except some glebe land, belonging to Stoke Rectory, called Winton's Wood, which may be of dubious or epicene quality, and a water-mill and pool adjacent, called Bell's Mill,* concerning which the following curious tradition has been handed down from remote antiquity. That when Henry, Earl of Richmond, (afterwards King Henry VII.) having landed at Milford Haven, advanced to encounter Richard III., before the battle of BosworthField, marching through Staffordshire, and being straitened for provisions for his army, the miller of Shelton generously supplied him with the whole of his little stock, a favour which Henry, when he mounted the Throne, did not overlook, but requited by making a gift to the miller of the fee simple of his mill and pool, and making him independent of the monopoly which the lessee of the King's mills at Newcastle claimed to the grist of the copyhold tenants of the Manor.' This story has some probability in favour of its main facts, though Richmond himself did not approach nearer to Shelton than Stafford, (marching thither from Shrewsbury,) but Lord Stanley, to whom the decisive issue of that battle was mainly owing, proceeding from Latham-house, halted at Newcastle, and there paid his troops; and it is likely enough that the millers of the neighbourhood would be eager to sell, if not to give, their flour to the gallant
of Domesday, but are rather doubtful whether Shelton under Hareley, be not the place there referred to. It is enumerated among the devastated manors of the king, a condition we can hardly suppose applicable to Shelton and Hanley, lying intermediate between the cultivated manors of Penkhull, Wolstanton, Burslem, and Rushton. The entry is as follows: "IN SCELFITONE EST UNA VIRGATA TERRE. ALVIET Tenet. TERRA EST II. CARUCARUM." (In Shelton is one virgate of land which Alviet holds, and there are two plough-lands.) Domesday 246. b. + Fought 22d August, 1485.
*See Appendix, p. xlvi.