Burton on Trent in 1836
BURTON-UPON-TRENT, a market-town in the hundred of North Offlow, on the Trent, in Staffordshire, 22 miles E. from Stafford, and 109 N.W. from London. The parish of Burton-upon-Trent is partly in Staffordshire and partly in Derbyshire; it is in the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry ; the average gross annual income of the living is stated at £192. The area of the parish is 9,030 acres, with, in 1831, 6,988 inhabitants. The town, though usually called a borough, is not incorporated. On the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII granted to an ancestor of the marquis of Anglesey, the present lord of the manor, the manor of Burton-upon-Trent, including the town and. several hamlets, which formed part of the possessions of the Abbey of Burton, together with various privileges which had been enjoyed by the abbots. By virtue of this grant, the lord of the manor appoints a steward and bailiff, who hold their offices during his pleasure. The bailiff has the management of the police and the general regulation of the town, except as to paving and lighting, which is vested in commissioners under a local act.
The abbey of Burton was founded in the beginning of the eleventh century by an earl of Mercia, and it received charters and immunities from several kings. Some of the abbots sat in parliament There are scarcely any remains of the once extensive buildings of this abbey. The most remarkable object connected with the town is the bridge, which is of considerable antiquity, and is the longest bridge in England. It has thirty-six arches, and is 1,545 feet in length. The bridge connects at this place the counties of Stafford and Derby, and towards the middle of it is the legal boundary.
Leland states that in his time Burton was noted for its alabaster works. How long these works continued to flourish is unknown. Alabaster is found in the neighbour hood of Needwood Forest. Burton has long been, and still is, celebrated for its ale, which constitutes the chief manufacture of the place. The town consists of two principal streets, one running parallel to the river, and another cutting it at right angles. The market-day is Thursday ; there are four annual fairs, one of which lasts five days.
The Education Returns of 1835 state that there are nineteen daily schools and six Sunday schools in the parish. The free grammar-school was founded and endowed in 1520 by the then abbot of Burton. Considerable estates for charitable and other purposes for the benefit of the town are vested in trustees. The grand Trunk Canal, which is called also the Trent and Mersey Canal, passes Burton, and communicates with the Trent about a mile below the town. The Trent. which falls into the Humber, is navigable for barges up to Burton-upon-Trent.