Samuel Bagshaw's 'History, Gazetteer & Directory of Shropshire' was published in Sheffield in 1851 and the beginning of the full title of the work provides a clear indication of the scope of the publication: History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Shropshire; Comprising a General Survey of the County with a Variety of Historical, Statistical, Topographical, Commercial and Agricultural Information, Shewing The Situation, Extent and Population of all The Towns, Parishes, Chapelries, Townships, Villages, Hamlets and Extra-Parochial Liberties; containing more than 700 printed pages and republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom, Bagshaw's Gazetteer and Directory of Shropshire is one of the best reference aids for the county from this period. Indeed, Bagshaw's Gazetteer and Directory provides much more than the breviate of its title might indicate as was noted by the editor, Samuel Bagshaw in his introductory preface. In this Bagshaw notes that every parish, township, village and hamlet had been visited to ascertain and authenticate previously published material and confirm all the principal seats and farmhouses in each. The work is introduced with a general history of the county and its principal town, Shrewsbury. Drawing from published material for its history, Parliamentary Reports, Census of Population Statistics, published charitable reports, biographies and topographies a history of the counties geology, topography and history is presented from the earliest times to the present. The bulk of Bagshaw's Gazetteer and Directory, some 550 pages, is taken-up with an alphabetical topography of the county. Arranged alphabetically by parish and hundred, each town, village and hamlet is represented under its respective parish and the detail provided on each is at least the equivalent of better-known Gazetteers and Directories such as Kelly's. Bagshaw's Gazetteer and Directory provides the population of each parish, township, chapelry and extra-parochial liberty, together with their 'owners of the soil', Lord of the Manors and nature and value of the church livings, places of worship, their patrons and incumbents. In addition, information is provided on public and other buildings of note, public charities, institutions, trade and commerce, communications, remarkable local occurrences, objects of interest and curiosities. The directory portion for each denomination contains an alphabetical listing of the seats of the gentry and other principal residents as well as a classification of trades and professions. For principal places such as Shrewsbury and Oswestry in addition to the information detailed for other locations, Bagshaw's Gazetteer and Directory also provides an alphabetical directory of names, trades, professions and residences, which in the instance of the town of Shrewsbury runs to some twenty pages. Republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom, Bagshaw's Gazetteer and Directory of Shropshire has to be one of the best directories for the county from this relatively early period and is a highly recommended purchase for anyone with a historical or genealogical interest in the county.
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