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* See Tab. I.


OUR Topographical History of the Borough commences with its most northern member,-TUNSTALL; which, from being a small village of scattered habitations, has lately become a large and populous town.

It is situate upon the main road leading through the Potteries from Manchester and Liverpool towards London; three miles from the Cheshire boundary of the county of Stafford. The township contains 795 statute acres, and is within the extensive parish of WOLSTANTON, which embraces eleven other vills or hamlets, and in the whole, encloses an area of more than 10,000 acres. The present population of Tunstall, we have stated at 6,600 persons; and our Table, given before,* exhibits such an extraordinary increase within the present century, as can be scarcely paralleled. Indeed, persons are still living, of very advanced age, who declare, that within their memory, there were not above fifty houses in the whole township, where there are now nearly 1,400.

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The name of this place bespeaks its Anglo-Saxon origin; and has been thought to be compounded of Tun (town), and Stall (an elevated seat); but according to Verstegan,* its etymology should be Tuns-deal, the word deal signifying part; and in this instance, being probably referable to its forming a portion of the parish to which it belongs, or of some adjoining territory. It is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey, and therefore must have been included either in the manor of Wolstanton, which was an unusually large one, comprising ten carucates of cultivated land (equal to 1,400 acres), besides a wood, one mile in length, and a quarter of a mile broad; or, with greater probability, was described along with CHELL, (Celle), to which it immediately adjoins, and which is set down as containing four carucates of land, besides wood-lands two miles in length, and one in breadth; a tract vastly exceeding the two hamlets of Chell at the present time. Wolstanton then belonged to the King,† and in the reign of Edward the Confessor, had been holden by Algar, Earl of Mercia. Chell belonged to Robert de Stafford, having been holden in King Edward's days, by Godeva,‡ (probably the Countess Godiva, wife of Leofric, and mother of Algar).§ There was at Wolstanton, a priest, endowed with lands,

* Restitution of Decayed Intelligencies, p. 325.

+ Extract from Domesday as to Wolstanton (246 b).—RÊx tenet Wistaneton.-Algar comes tenuit. Ibi II Hidæ cum appendicibus. Ibi II carucata in dominio, et XIIII villani et II bordarii cum presbytero habent VIII carucatas. Silva I leuca longa et una quarantena lata. T.R.E. valebit C solidos, modo VI libras.

↑ "Ex eodem quoad Chell” (249 a).—IPSE ROBERTUS (de Stafford) tenet in Celle unam virgatam terræ et Robertus de eo. Godeva tenuit et libera fuit. Terra est IIII carucarum. In dominio est una et VII villani et I bordarius cum I caruca et dimidia. Ibi molendinum de XII denariis et una acra prati. Silva II leuca longa et una lata. Valet XX solidos.

Lady Godiva also held half a hide in MADELEY after the Conquest. (Domesday, 249 a.)



and consequently a church; though the present venerable structure, whose lofty spire forms so striking an object to all the surrounding neighbourhood, is (principally at least) of more recent erection. We propose to add something relative to the ecclesiastical peculiarity of Wolstanton, and to notice the other hamlets in this extensive parish, in our subsequent pages. For the present, we shall confine ourselves more immediately to Tunstall.

Erdeswick conjectured that Tunstall might have been a member of Thursfield,* (Turvoldesfeld in Domesday), but the two hamlets do not immediately adjoin, and Thursfield is described as about only half the extent of Chell, to which we are the more inclined to attach Tunstall, because it always seems to have been consorted with that lordship, and not always with Thursfield.

The MANOR of Tunstall embraces thirteen or fourteen contiguous vills or hamlets; but is not commensurate with, or confined within, the parish of Wolstanton; and comprises portions of the adjoining parishes of Burslem and Norton in the Moors. These several vills or hamlets, in the reign of King John, or Henry III., centred in the ancestor of the Barons Audley, of Heleigh, whose Baronial Castle was seated on a commanding eminence, six miles West of Tunstall, but is now wholly dilapidated; and Tunstall being the nucleus of this adjoining territory, a manor-house was, no doubt, there erected, at which all the neighbouring tenants were required to do suit and service. The situation of the ancient Manor-house is, by tradition, ascertained to have been nearly in the centre of the present town, as will be hereafter noticed.

• Harwood's Erdeswick, p. 17.

+ The hamlets and places within the jurisdiction of Tunstall Court, are Tunstall, Burslem, Sneyd, Chell, Bemersley, Wedgwood, Thursfield, Stadmoreslow, Brierehurst, Ranscliff, Oldcott, Chatterley, and Bradwell. Though Rushton Grange has been rated as a member, it cannot be really such, for reasons which will hereafter appear when speaking of that vill.

It cannot be uninteresting, or irrelevant, to say something here concerning the origin of Manors. They were, strictly speaking, not known in England prior to the Norman Conquest, but were then introduced; and the vills and places mentioned in Domesday, are all designated Manors, when a term of repetition was needed. After that survey, the Conqueror divided his kingdom into Knight's fees; one of which is said to be equal to five hides, or six hundred acres of improved land; and these were held by the King's tenants in capite (or vassals of the Crown), who were bound to render military and other stated services, and pecuniary aids. The holders of large territories were the greater Barons: those who held less than twenty Knight's fees, were stiled lesser Barons. Such of these Barons as had extensive fees or possessions adjacent, united them into one Manor, for the convenience of holding their Courts; and granted out the lands to their tenants, upon rents and services to be rendered at the Manorial Court; but our most early public Records shew, that each vill or hamlet was still considered a distinct Manor.

In a grant of Free Warren to James de Audley, (37 Henry III., 1253), a copy of which is inserted in the Appendix,* the Manors of Tunstall, Chatterley, Burslem, Chell, and several others now merged in Tunstall, are separately named, proving that they were not then consolidated, but were alike independent lordships. But, by the practice we have described, the place where the Manor-house stood, became, in process of time, paramount; and so, we believe, originated the extensive Manor of Tunstall, as well as many others. Probably too, they fluctuated in their extent, according to the pleasure of their Lords, until, by the statute, Quia emptores" (18 Edward I.), no fresh subinfeudation being allowed,


* No. IV. And vide Testa de Nevill, pp. 50, 52.

+ Introduction to Domesday, vol. I. p. 234.

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they became permanently fixed, as they have ever since continued.

Henry de Audley held the lordship of Tunstall in the early part of the reign of King Henry III.; it having descended to him from his father Adam, who, in right of his wife Patronella, the daughter of Eugenulphus de Gresley, by Edelina his wife, had Tunstall, Chatterley, and Chell, in frank marriage, (as Erdeswick supposes), which had all aforetime belonged to the Earldom of Chester, and been granted out in fee-farm. Henry de Audley obtained a release of the rent-services from Ranulph de Blundeville, Earl of Chester and Lincoln, his wife's uncle, and his great friend.* On the death of Henry, in 1246, these lordships went to his son, James de Audley, who obtained from the Crown the grant of Free Warren, already mentioned. His son, Nicholas, the first Baron Audley, (anno 21 Edward I., about four years before he had summons to Parliament), was sued by the King for two parts of the Manor of Tunstall, and his mother Ela for the other third part (which she held in dower); and he was required, by writ of Quo Warranto, to shew by what title he held pleas of the Crown in Endon, Tunstall, Aldythle, Horton, Chesterton, Bettlelegh, and Alstonefield; and he pleaded, as to the Manor of Tunstall, a prescriptive title to View of frank pledge (viz. a Court-Leet, &c. &c.) by virtue of the gift made to his ancestor Adam, by Eugenulphus de Gresley and Edelina ux. which plea was adjudged in his favour upon the Grand Assize.†

The Manor of Tunstall, with Chatterley, Bradwell, Thursfield, and Normacott, was held by Henry de Audley, as a fief under the Manor of Newcastle; as appears by the Testa de Nevill, an ancient Record,‡ by grand serjeantry,

* Vide Chartam, No. III. (Appendix).

+ Placita de Quo Warranto, vol. I. p. 710, et Abbrevatio placitorum, p. 231.

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