Life in the 19th Century

Willenhall, like other towns in the Black Country, greatly expanded and prospered in the 19th century thanks to the growth of local industries, which dominated the area. Large numbers of people moved into the town to find employment, and by the end of the century there had been a 6 fold increase in the population.



1801 3,143
1811  3,523
1821 3,965
1831 5,834
1841 8,695
1851 11,931
1861 17,256
1871 18,146
1881 18,461
1891 16,852
1901 18,515
By 1801 most of the working population were employed in manufacturing, as can be seen from the following figures taken from the 1801 census:
Inhabited houses 511
Number of families in the houses 572
Uninhabited houses 43
Number of males 1822
Number of females 1321
Number employed in manufacturing 1270
Number employed in agriculture 80
Number in other employment 33
Population 3,143
View the entry for Willenhall in the Staffordshire General & Commercial Directory for 1818

Pigot & Company’s Staffordshire directory of 1842 includes the following description of Willenhall’s industry:

The manufacture of locks and keys is now carried on here more extensively, perhaps, than in any other place in the kingdom; besides which, immense quantities of latches, bolts, currycombs, files, gridirons, chafing dishes etc. for the Birmingham and Wolverhampton markets, as well as bits, spurs, etc. for South America are manufactured in the greatest perfection.

The directory listing for Willenhall is as follows:

Academies and Schools  (12)

Ash, Thomas, Stafford Street
Biddle, Mary Ann, Hall Street
British School, King Street: Henry Binnall, master; Matilda Maria Binnall, mistress
British School, Little London: George Garlick, master; Elizabeth Garlick, mistress
Mason, Ann, Walsall Street
Pearce, Ann (girls), Workhouse Lane
Pearce, George Ley, (and fire office agent) Workhouse Lane
Perry, Elizabeth, Stafford Street
Roberts, George Clemson, Lichfield Street

Accountants  (1)
Harvey, William, Church Street

Bolt Makers  (15)

Banks, Enoch, Noose lane
Banks, Francis, Little London
Banks, Isaac, Little London
Banks, John, Little London
Banks, Joseph, Noose lane
Banks, Timothy, Stafford Street
Clarke, Job, New road
Harper, William, Lichfield Street
Henry, Francis, Little London
Lawrence, Hugh, Water Glade
Lloyd, Joseph, Little London
Marston, Elizabeth, Wolverhampton Street
Pearson, Thomas, South American door bolt, Stafford St.
Rawlett, William, Wolverhampton Street
Wolverson, Rawlett & Wolverson, patent, Union Street

Boot and Shoe Makers (19)
Atkins, George, Walsall Street
Atkins, John, Russell Street
Atkins, John, Walsall Street
Beckett, Robert, Cross Street
Bullivant, Joseph, Wolverhampton Street
Farmer, Thomas, Church Street
Fowke, Elizabeth, Lichfie1d Street
Hadley, Richard, John Street
Howard, William, Church Street
Lane William, Union Street
Lees, Thomas, Lichfield Street
Massey, James, Cross Street
Pedley, Henry, Walsall Street
Pedley, Richard, Wolverhampton Street
Perry, Joseph, Monmore Lane
Pritchard, Dove, Lane Head
Summerfield, Benjamin, Cross Street
Taylor, John, New Invention
Trubshaw, Joseph, Lichfield Street

Brassfounders and Casters  (2)

Pidgeon, Richard Jebb, Little London
Tildesley, Richard, also malleable iron, Cross Street

Bricklayers  (3)

Fisher, Isaac, Mobb's Bank
Taylor, John, New Road
Taylor, Joseph, Birmingham Street

Builders  (5)

Baker, Samuel, Walsall Street
Booth, Thomas, New Street
Clark, Phineas, Hall Street
Lees, Thomas Taylor, Lane Head
Taylor, Joseph, Walsall Street

Butchers  (16)

Aston, Joseph, Church Street
Baker, Joseph, Lichfield Street
Bromwich, Thomas, Little London
Davies, Richard, Lane Head
Davies, Richard, Walsall Street
Davies, Thomas, Cross Street
Hartill, Alfred, Wolverhampton Street
Jordan, John, New Invention
Kidson, George, Lichfield Street
Kidson, James, Wolverhampton Street
Mingley, Benjamin, Church Street
Nicholls, John, Little London
Page, Joseph, Wolverhampton Street
Phillips, William, Little London
Walker, Benjamin, Stafford Street
Walters, William, Wolverhampton Street

Carpenters and Joiners  (3)

Clark, Phineas, Hall Street
Foster, George, Water Glade
Homer, Benjamin, Walsall Street

Chest and Coffin Handle Makers  (1)

Morgan, Henry, also Dutch rings, Stafford Street

Coal Masters  (4)

Hincks, Thomas, Bushpiece Colliery
Kesteven, Thomas, Little London
Mainwaring, Richard, & iron master, Coltham Iron Works
Thorneycroft, George Benjamin & Co. Monmore Colliery

Coopers  (2)

Pitt, William, Wolverhampton Street
Watson, Thomas, New Road

Curry Comb Makers  (8)

Carpenter, James, also trunk clips, Summerford Place
Kershaw, Thomas, Little London
Porter, William, King Street
Rowley, Jno, also trunk clips, Lichfield Street
Veal, John, also trunk clips, Hall Street
Veal Mary, Wolverhampton Street
Veal, Thomas, also trunk clips, Church Street
Waklam, Thomas, Walsall Street

Die Sinkers - Key  (3)

Ash, Isaac, Mount Pleasant
Broughall, George, Stafford Street
Marston, David, Little London

Druggists  (2)

Parrott, Alexander, also tea dealer, Wolverhampton Street
Robinson, George, also veterinary surgeon, Cross Street

Filemakers  (5)

Jeavons, James, Wolverhampton Street
Neville, Benjamin, Tame House
Newton, Thomas, Rose Hill
Pitt, William, jun, Walsall Street
Simcox, John, Birmingham Street

Gentry and Clergy  (7)

Clemson, John, Walsall Street
Davies, Rev. William, Union Street
Fisher, Rev. George Hutchinson, Walsall Street
Hartill, Mrs. Ann, Stafford Street
Read, John, Walsall Street
Stokes, William, Walsall Street
Whitehouse, Mrs. Sarah, Wolverhampton Street

Gridiron and Chafing Dish Makers  (10)

Davis, Mark, John Street
Green, Francis, Square, Walsall Street
Hinckley, John, Stafford Street
Lawrence, Hugh, Water Glade
Perry, Joseph, Chapel Green
Rawlett, William, Wolverhampton Street
Saunders, Susan, Wolverhampton Street
Terry, John, Mount Pleasant
Whitehouse, John, Water Glade
Wootton, William, Stafford Street

Grocers and Provision Dealers  (4)

Barnes, Sarah, Cross Street
Pitt, Isaac, Walsall Street
Shutt, Richard, Wolverhampton Street
Tildesley, Violetta, Cross Street

Hinge Makers  (1)

Appleby, Daniel, also hasps, Hall Street

Inns and Public Houses  (29)

Acorn, Maria Hartill, Chape1 Green
Angel, William Putnam, Wolverhampton Street
Bell, Martha Parry, Wolverhampton Street
Brown Jug, Walter Colbourn, Snape's, Lane Head
Bull's Head, Jeffrey Tildesley, Wolverhampton Street
Bush, Joseph Trubshaw, Cross Street
Castle, James Bird, New Road
Crown, Richard Butler, Church Street
Crown, Sarah Hooton, New Invention
Engine, James Pritchard, Sandbeds
Gate, Mary Tarbuck, New Invention
Hope & Anchor, Jno. Phillips, Little London
King's Arms, John Warltire, Walsall Street
King's Head, William Rawlett, Wolverhampton Street
Neptune, Henry Hartill, Walsall Street
New Inn, Ann Phillips, Church Street
Plough, Henry Morgan, Stafford Street
Queen's Arms, Amos Bruerton, Walsall Street
Royal Artillery, John Fox, Walsall Street
Royal George, John Riley Hincks, Walsall Street
Saracen's Head, Daniel Thompson, Little London
Swan, Benjamin Smith, Cross Street
Talbot, Henry Hill. Market Place
Three Crowns, James Hodson, Stafford Street
Turk's Head, John Greader, Church Street
United Kingdom, Thomas Taylor Lees, Lane Head
Water Glade, Richard Bradbury, Water Glade
White Lion, Ann Hodson, Lichfield Street
Woolpack, Joseph Duncomb, Short Heath

Iron and Steel Warehouses  (5)

Haddock, Thomas, Lichfield Street
Payne, Hannah, Workhouse Lane
Thompson, Augustine and Isaac, Little London
Tildesley, Henry, Walsall Street
Wolverson, William, Union Street

Ironmongers  (2)

Tildesley, Isaac, Church Street
Tildesley, James, general factor and patentee of Tildesley and Sandars' patent locks, New Road

Keymakers  (90)

Appleby, Noah, Short Heath
Appleby, Richard, Short Heath
Ash, John, Lichfield Street
Aston, William, Short Heath
Aston, William, New Invention
Babb, Thomas, Wolverhampton Street
Baker, Henry, Cross Street
Bates, William, Walsall Street
Borrows, Thomas, Wolverhampton Street
Brevitt, Joseph, King Street
Brindley, Ann, New Road
Brindley, Thomas, New Invention
Brindley, William, New Invention
Burrows, Mark, Russell Street
Butler, Henry, Wolverhampton Street
Butler, Richard, Church Street
Cartwright, Thomas, Walsall Street
Cooper, Edward, Cross Street
Cooper, Joseph, Monmore Lane
Cooper, Richard, Wolverhampton Street
Cooper, Henry, Short Heath
Corkindale, James, Lichfield Street
Dawson, Richard, Small Heath
Dugmore, William, Lichfield Street
Evans, John, New Invention
Evans, William, Gashouse Lane
Foster, Abednego, Lane Head
Foster, Samuel, Lane Head
Foster, William, New Invention
Griffiths, Caleb, New Road
Griffiths, James, Short Heath
Hadley, Thomas, Noose Lane
Hartill, Abraham, New Invention
Hartill, George, Bentley Row
Haynes, Robert, Cross Street
Henry, Isaac (mortice) Little London
Horton, Richard, New Invention
Huntbatch, John, Water Glade
Jordan, John, Water Glade
Knowles, Abraham, Stafford Street
Morgan, Isaac, Little London
Parkes, Samuel, Russell Street
Pearson, James, Stafford Street
Perkin, John, Wolverhampton Street
Perry, James, Walsall Street
Phillips, Edward, Square, Walsall Street
Phillips, Thomas, Walsall Street
Phillips, Thomas, Lichfield Street
Pitt, James, Water Glade
Pitt, John, Union Street
Pitt, Richard, Stafford Street
Pugh, Jeremiah, Short Heath
Read, Adam, Union Street
Read, James, Stafford Street
Read, William, Little London
Reeves, George, Wolverhampton Street
Reeves, Isaac, Lichfield Street
Reeves, Samuel, Mount Pleasant
Rutter, James, Birmingham Street
Sambrook, John, New Invention
Silk, Martin, Workhouse Lane
Smith, Joseph, Wood End
Smith, Mark, Short Heath
Smith, Peter, New Invention
Smith, Samuel, Short Heath
Smith, Thomas, New Invention
Smith, Thomas, Short Heath
Smith, William, Short Heath
Squire, Edward, Short Heath
Squire, John, Short Heath
Stanley, Thomas, Little London
Starkey, John, New Road
Terry, Benjamin, Walsall Street
Tomkinson, Aaron, Short Heath
Tonks, Mark, Little London
Tonks, Samuel, Little London
Walhouse, John, New Invention
Walker, Samuel, Short Heath
Walker, Thomas, Walsall Street
Walton, Samuel, Walsall Street
Westbrook, John, Lane Head
Westbrooke, Samuel, Lane Head
Whilock, Andrew, New Invention
Whitehouse, John, Birmingham Street
Whitehouse, Samuel, Short Heath
Wilkinson, Martin, Short Heath
Wilkinson, Samuel, New Invention
Wood, Joseph, Castle House
Wright, Samuel, Wolverhampton Street
Yates, Thomas, Short Heath

Key Stampers  (11)

Ash, Abraham, Wolverhampton Street
Foster, Richard, Little London
Grimley, William &Theodore, Water Glade
Hartill, Jonah, (and piercer), Crescent
Kean, Thomas, Lane Head
Lloyd, Alexander, (and piercer) Stafford Street
Pace, Thomas, Mount pleasant
Pitt, Isaac, Walsall Street
Tildesley, Jeffrey, Union Street
Walton, William, John Street
Williamson, John, Water Glade

Linen and Woollen Drapers  (2)

Hincks, Joseph, Wolverhampton Street
Tildesley, Josiah, Wolverhampton Street

Lock Makers  (280)

Adams, Joseph, cabinet, Walsall Street
Ainsworth, Charles, rim, Walsall Street
Appleby, David, trunk, Short Heath
Appleby, Henry, trunk, New Invention
Appleby, John, trunk, Lane Head
Appleby, Joseph, trunk, Short Heath
Appleby, Josiah, padlock, Stafford Street
Arnett, Thomas, rim, Workhouse Lane
Ash, Charles, rim, Little London
Ash, James, cabinet, Monmore Lane
Ash, Samuel, padlock, Wood Street
Aston, John, rim, Wood Street
Badger, William, rim, Walsall Street
Ball, Joseph, trunk, Lane Head
Banks, Abraham, rim, Little London
Banks, Isaac, padlock Monmore Lane
Banks, Samuel, rim, Little London,
Baxter, Henry, cabinet, Little London,
Beddows, James, mortice, Little London
Beddows, Thomas, rim, Lichfield Street
Beesley, Joseph, chest, Short Heath
Birch, John, and box of wards, Stafford Street
Boyce, Edward, rim, Church Street
Braddock, William, staple Russell Street
Bratt, Charles, mortice, Birmingham Stret
Bratt, Daniel, padlock, Little London
Bratt, Jeremiah, closet, Little London
Brevitt, Henry, padlock, Walsall Street
Bridgen, Sarah, padlock, Birmingham Street
Brindley, William, padlock, Wolverhampton Street
Broomhall, James, trunk, Short Heath
Broomhall, John, trunk, Lane head
Bucknall, John, padlock & closet, King Street
Burrows, John, rim, Cross Street
Butler, Mark, padlock, Walsall Street
Butler, Mark, rim, Beech's lane
Butler, Richard, Church Street
Capper, Thomas, rim, Little London
Carpenter, James, Carpenter and Young's patent rim, and of Sandar's patent fine plate locks, Summerfield Place
Colbourn, Walter, cabinet, Snape Lane Head
Collett, John, rim, Stafford Street
Collett, John, rim, Walsall Street
Constable, Benjamin, rim, Rodney row
Constable, Jno. staples, Rodney Row
Constable, Jno. jun. rim, Rodney Row
Constable, Samuel, rim, Rodney Row
Constable, William rim, Rodney row
Constable, William jun. rim, Birmingham Street
Cooper, Henry, padlock, Little London
Coper, Benjamin, padlock, Little London
Cotterill, Benjamin, rim, Little London
Dalaway, Samuel, rim, Sandbeds
Dugmore, Daniel, rim, Hall Street
Dukes,  Richard, trunk, New Invention
Duncomb, John, cabinet, Short Heath
Duncomb, Joseph, cabinet, Short Heath
Duncomb, Thomas, cabinet, Short Heath
Dunn, Aaron, rim, Little London
Dunton, John, trunk, Stafford Street
Dunton, Joseph, trunk, Union Street
Emery, John, rim, Wolverhampton Street
Evans, Benjamin, cabinet, Workhouse Lane
Evans, Henry, cabinet, Monmore Lane
Evans, Thomas, cabinet, Monmore Lane
Ferguson, Benjamin, mortice, New Road
Ferguson, James, closet, Walsall Street
Ferguson, Thomas, closet, Rose Hill
Fisher, Richard, padlock Wolverhampton Street
Fletcher, Abel, cabinet, New Invention
Fletcher, Abraham, cabinet, New Invention
Fletcher, John, rim, Birmingham Street

Lock Makers continued

Fletcher, William, cabinet, New Invention
Ford, John, rim, Walsall Street
Foster, Simeon, cabinet, Lane Head
Fowke, Charles, padlock, John Street
Fowke, William, rim, King Street
Fox, John, mortice and cabinet, Walsall Street
Gough, Henry, rim, Lichfield Street
Haddock, Thomas, Lichfield Street
Hadley, Henry, trunk, New Invention
Hadley, Joseph, rim, Little London
Hadley, Joseph jun. rim, Little London
Haldern, Richard, rim, Beech's Lane
Hall, Thomas, rim, Stafford Street
Hall, William, alcove padlock, Stafford Street
Hargrove, William, padlock, Workhouse Lane
Harper, William, trunk, Russell Street
Harper William, and factor, Walsall Street
Hartill, Jno., portmanteau, Little London
Hartill, John, padlock, Lichfield Street
Hartill, Jonah, general padlocks, Crescent
Hartill, Thomas, padlock, Little London
Hedley, Thomas, padlock, Little London
Henney, Isaac, mortice, Little London
Hill, Joseph, rim, Monmore Lane
Hill, William, rim, Monmore Lane
Hodson, James, cabinet, Stafford Street
Hodson, Joseph, rim, Walsall Street
Hodson, Richard, padlock, John Street
Hodson, William, padlock, New Road
Huffadine, George, trunk, Union Street
Huntbatch, George, rim, Wolverhampton Street
Hutchinson, John, cabinet, New Invention
Jackson, Benjamin, padlock, Little London
Jackson, John, padlock, Little London
Jackson, William, cabinet, New Invention
Jeffs, Samuel, padlock, Little London
Jones, Henry, mortice, Church Street
Jones, Robert, padlock, King Street
Jukes, John, padlock, Little London
Jukes, Richard, trunk, New Invention
Jukes, Thomas trunk, New Invention
Kean, John, cabinet, Short Heath
Kempson, William, padlock, Little London
Lamsdale, Elias, mortice Water Glade
Lloyd, Alexander, padlock, Stafford Street
Lloyd, Daniel, gate, Stafford Street
Lloyd, James, box staple, Noose Lane
Loat, Thomas, padlock, Monmore Lane
Lowe, James, padlock, Little London
Lowe, Thomas, padlock, Russell Street
Marsh, Enoch, rim, Little London
Marsh, James, padlock, Stafford Street
Marsh, Richard, rim, Walsall Street
Marston, Benjamin, padlock, Little London
Marston, Daniel, padlock, Bentley row
Marston, Edward, padlock, Stafford Street
Marston, Joseph, padlock, Union Street
Marston, Philip, padlock, Little London
Marston, Samuel, rim, Hall Street
Marston, Thomas, padlock, Little London
Marston, William, rim, Little London
Martin, George, rim, Lichfield Street
Mason, William, rim, Little London
Matthews, William, cabinet, Lane Head
Mills, Thomas, padlock, Lichfield, Street
Minors, John, padlock, Gashouse lane
Minors, Thomas, padlock, Church Street
Morgan, Joseph, padlock, Little London
Mumford, Joseph, cabinet, New Invention
Myatt, Thomas, rim, Little London
Newman, James, closet, Stafford Street
Nicklin, Abraham, padlock, Union Street
Nicklin, Enoch, padlock, Little London
Nicklin, Timothy, padlock, Little London
Oakley, Andrew, cabinet, New Invention
Ordidge, Edward, padlock, Chapel Green
Ordidge, Job, padlock, Birmingham Street
Ordidge, Joshua, padlock, John Street
Osborne Benjamin, mortice, Little London
Parkes, James, cabinet, New Invention
Parkes, Walter, padlock, Walsall Street
Parkes, William, padlock, Walsall Street
Pearson, Edward, cabinet, Short Heath
Pearson, George, cabinet, Workhouse Lane
Pearson, Henry, S. American, Spanish, Workhouse Lane
Pearson, John, rim, Lichfield Street
Pearson, Joseph, cabinet, Short Heath
Pearson, Thomas, South American, Workhouse Lane
Pearson, William, gate, Wolverhampton Street
Pendlebury, James, rim, Ashmore lake
Perry, Barnett, cabinet, New Invention
Perry, James, general, Walsall Street
Perry, John, closet, Water Glade
Perry, Jonathan, closet, Water Glade
Perry, Richard, closet, Water Glade
Perry, William, rim, Lichfield Street
Pitt, Benjamin, padlock, Little London
Pitt, Joseph, padlock, Little London
Pitt, Samuel, mortice, Little London
Pitt, Stephen, padlock, Little London
Pitt, Stephen, padlock, John Street
Pool, Charles, cabinet, Short Heath
Pool, Joseph, cabinet, New Invention
Pool, Thomas, rim, Hall Street
Povey, William, mortice, New Road
Powell, Thomas, rim, Church Street
Pritchard, James jun. trunk, Sandbeds
Proffit, John, cabinet, Little London
Read, Benjamin, padlock, Stafford Street
Read, Daniel, iron chest, Walsall Street
Read, Enoch, padlock, Workhouse Lane
Read, John, padlock, Union Street
Read, Richard, padlock, Monmore Lane
Read, Robert, rim, Rose Hill
Read, Thomas, padlock, Birmingham Street
Read, William, box of wards, Little London
Reeves, Thomas, closet, Wolverhampton Street
Richards, William, rim, Little London
Rissbrook, Lewis, padlock, Church Street
Robinson, Edward, rim, Lichfield Street
Rowley, Joseph, cabinet, Little London
Rutter, Richard, closet, Workhouse Lane
Salt, Thomas, cabinet, Short Heath,
Shepherd, Thomas, cabinet, Union Street
Smith, Abraham, cabinet, Short Heath
Smith, Benjamin, padlock, Cross Street
Smith, Isaac, cabinet, Short Heath
Smith, Jacob, cabinet, New Invention
Smith, John, cabinet, New Invention
Smith, Joseph, cabinet, Short Heath
Smith, Joseph, padlock, Little London
Smith, Samuel, rim, Stafford Street
Smith, Sidney, rim, Hall Street
Smith, Thomas, cabinet, Walsall Street
Smith, Thomas, cabinet, Sandbeds
Smith, William, padlock, S. American door, Beech's Lane
Squire, David, cabinet, Short Heath
Squire, George, cabinet, Short Heath
Squire, James, cabinet, New Invention
Squire, Thomas, cabinet, Short Heath
Squire, Titus, cabinet, Short Heath
Squire, William, cabinet, New Invention
Stanley, Isaac, closet, Little London
Stanley, James, rim, Little London
Starkey, Charles, rim and brass case, Wolverhampton St.
Starkey, George, padlock, Noose Lane
Starkey, Thomas, brass case, Stafford Street
Stone, John, rim, Little London
Stringer, Daniel, mortice, Stafford Street
Sturmay, Ann, brass case, Little London
Summerfield, Charles, rim, Lichfield Street
Summerfield, Thomas, rim, Lichfield Street
Summerfield, William, rim, Lichfield Street
Tarbuck, Simeon, cabinet, New Invention
Tarbuck, Thomas, cabinet, New Invention
Taylor, Daniel, closet, Cross Street
Taylor, William, padlock, Little London
Thompson, Abraham, padlock, Little London
Thompson, Daniel, padlock, Little London
Thompson, James, padlock, Little London
Tomkinson, John, rim, King Street
Tonks, George, padlock, Monmore Lane
Tonks, Timothy, padlock, Monmore Lane
Townsend, Edward, closet, Lichfield Street
Townsend, John, mortice, John Street
Tuckley, Humphrey, cabinet, Short Heath
Tuckley, Isaac, cabinet, Short Heath
Tuckley, John, cabinet, Short Heath
Tuckley, Joseph, cabinet, Short Heath
Tuckley, Thomas, cabinet, Short Heath
Turner, Benjamin, cabinet, Sandbeds
Turner, James, padlock, King Street
Turner, John, closet, Stafford Street
Turner, Joseph, closet Wolverhampton Street
Turner, Thomas, rim, Monmore Lane
Vaughan, Abel, mortice, Birmingham Street
Vaughan, Stephen, trunk, Monmore Lane
Veal, William, mortice, Sandbeds
Walker, Jno., iron gate, Little London
Walker, Jonathan, closet, Water Glade
Walker, Joseph, rim, John Street
Walker, Richard, rim, Water Glade
Walker, Thomas, cabinet, Short Heath
Walters, James, padlock, Wolverhampton Street
Walton, Henry, rim, Walsall Street
Warltire, John, padlock, Walsall Street
Whitehouse, Edward, cabinet, Sandbeds
Whitehouse, Joseph, rim, John Street
Whitehouse, Samuel, cabinet, New Invention
Whitehouse, Thomas, rim, Wolverhampton Street
Whitelam, Henry, rim, Rose Hill
Wilkes, Charles, cabinet, Short Heath
Wilkes, Richard, cabinet, Short Heath
Williams, Thomas, French letter, carpet bag, Market Place
Williams, William, closet, Water Glade
Wolverson, Rawlett & Wolverson, patent, Union Street
Wolverston, Samuel, rim, Stafford Street
Wolverston, Thomas, mortice, King Street
Wood, Joseph, padlock, Monmore Lane
Woodcock, Edward, rim, Hall Street
Woodcock, Thomas, rim, John Street
Wootton, Caleb, rim, Little London
Wootton, Enoch, rim, Birmingham Street
Wootton, George, rim, Little London
Wootton, James, rim, Stafford Street
Wootton, Job, padlock, Little London
Wootton, John, padlock, Walsall Street
Worrall, John, rim, King Street

Maltsters  (3)

Fisher, John, Wolverhampton Street
Hincks, Thomas, Water Glade
Stokes, William, Walsall Street

Millers  (2)

Clemson, John, Walsall Street
Walker, James, Pool Hayes

Milliners and Dressmakers  (4)

Ashwin, Ann, Union Street
Bucknall, Sarah, Stafford Street
Lawrence, Mary, Workhouse Lane
Mancell, Mary, Wolverhampton Street

Pawnbrokers  (2)

Atkins, John, Church Street
Hartill, Abel, Stafford Street

Plumbers, Painters, and Glaziers  (5)

Bruerton, Amos, Walsall Street
Coleman, John, Church Street
Fryer, William, Little London
Hughes, John, Church Street
Reeves, Samuel, John Street

Retailers of Beer  (21)

Ash, Abraham, Wolverhampton Street
Coleman, John, Church Street
Crowshaw, Mary, Wolverhampton Street
Evans, John, Lane Head
Hartill, Abraham, New Invention
Hodson, Lucy, Church Street
Jobber, John, Stafford Street
Marston, Philip, Little London
Newton, Thomas, Rose Hill
Robinson, Edward, Lichfield Street
Smith, Joseph, Little London
Summerfield Benjamin, Cross Street
Tarbuck William, New Invention
Tildesley, Isaac, Church Street
Tildesley, Richard, Cross Street
Turner, Benjamin, Sandbeds
Veal, Edward, Stafford Street
Walters, James, Wolverhampton Street
Walton, William, John Street
Whitehouse, Thomas, Wolverhampton Street
Wilkes, Charles, Short Heath

Saddlers (1)

Keiran, George, Church Street

Shopkeepers and Dealers in Groceries and Sundries (34)

Austin, John, Stafford Street
Barnes, Sarah, Market Place
Beard, Samuel, Market Place
Binnall, Henry, King Street
Burrows, Thomas, Wolverhampton Street
Carpenter, Lucy, New Road
Cooper, Charles, Church Street
Cooper, Joseph, Walsall Street
Dugmore, William, Lichfield Street
Ferrington, Ann, Little London
Fisher, John, Wolverhampton Street
Fletcher, William, Wolverhampton Street
Ford, John, Church Street
Hadley, Joseph, jun. Little London
Hicklin, Phoebe, Little London
Holland, Thomas, Lichfield Street
Jackson, Benjamin, Little London
Knowles, Abraham, Stafford Street
Ordidge, Joshua, John Street
Pearce, Charles, Union Street
Pearson, Elizabeth, Little London
Pedley, Hannah, Walsall Street
Pedley, Richard, Wolverhampton Street
Pitt, Isaac, Church Street
Shorter, Jabez, Market Place
Silk, Richard, Stafford Street
Stringer, Joseph, Church Street
Taylor, Jeremiah, New Road
Terry, John, Birmingham Street
Tildesley, Jeffrey, Workhouse Lane
Tildesley, Violetta, Cross Street
Vaughan, Thomas, Monmore Lane
Wolverson, Thomas, King Street
Wolverson, William, Union Street

Smiths, Jobbing etc.  (11)

Carter, George, Stafford Street
Griffiths, John, black, Sandbeds
Jeffries, Abraham, black, Hall Street
Page, John, Wolverhampton Street
Parkes, Joseph, Wolverhampton Street
Ray, William, Birmingham Street
Robinson, John, Union Street
Silk, Richard, Stafford Street
Stevenson, George, Church Street
Wilkes, Samuel, Walsall Street
Wright, John, Stafford Street

Spring Latch Makers  (17)

Fox, Humphrey, John Street
Fox, John, Walsall Street
Fox, William, Little London
Harper, John, Wolverhampton Street
Hinkley, John, Stafford Street
Jordan, John, Square, Walsall Street
Morgan, George, Little London
Morgan, Mark, French, Wood Street
Povey, William, New Road
Rawlett, Wm. door spring, shutter bar, Wolverhampton St.
Stringer, Daniel, Stafford Street
Taylor, Thomas, Stafford Street
Whitehouse, John, French, Water Glade
Whitehouse, Titus, Water Glade
Wolverson, Rawlett & Wolverson, patent, Union Street
Wootton, Thomas, Little London
Wootton, Thomas, Stafford Street

Spur Makers – South American  (2)

Pearson, John, Gashouse Lane
Pearson, Thomas, also bit, Stafford Street

Straw Hat Makers  (2)

Addenbrook, Elizabeth, Stafford Street
Bullivant, Edith, Wolverhampton Street

Surgeons  (2)

Biddle, John, Walsall Street
Hartill, Jeremiah, Church Street

Tailors  (7)

Foley, John, also draper, Wolverhampton Street
Johnson, Joseph, Cross Street
Mason, William, Cross Street
Putman, John, Lichfield Street
Troath, Joseph, Bell Alley
Trubshaw, John, Lichfield Street
Veal, Edward, Stafford Street

Turners in Wood  (5)

Glynn, William, Russell Street
Perry, James, ebony and fancy wood, and bell furniture fitter, Walsall Street
Roberts, George, Workhouse Lane
Salmons, Thomas, Church Street

Varnish Makers  (2)

Jobber, John, Stafford Street
Parkes, William, also auctioneer, Walsall Street

Wheelwrights  (5)

Beech, John, Wolverhampton Street
Mann, William, Hall Street
Mann, William, Beech's Lane
White, Thomas, Wolverhampton Street
Wilkes, Samuel, Walsall Street

Miscellaneous  (19)

Austin, John, baker and chief constable, Stafford Street
Berry, Charles, bookseller, stationer and printer, Wolverhampton Street
Brierley, George, snuffer maker, King Street
Butler, Willis, hairdresser, Lichfield Street
Constable, William, seedsman, Rodney Row
Duffey, James, crate maker, Walsall Street
Foster, Richard, registrar of births, deaths and marriages for the Willenhall district of the Wolverhampton & Seisdon Union, Little London
Goodwin, Moses, bridle bit maker, New Invention
Greader, Henry, watch maker, Walsall Street
Greader, John, agent to Gas Works Co., Church Street
Harper, John, glass, china, etc. dealer, Wolverhampton St.
Kimberley, William, wood screw maker, John Street
Lloyd, Daniel, box staple maker, Little London
Neville, Benjamin, patent nail manufacturer, New Road
Newton, Thomas, fellmonger, Rose Hill
Phillips, Thomas, constable & town crier, Church Street
Read, Daniel, steel truss maker, Church Street
Taylor, Thomas, tinman, John Street
Woodward, John, canal contractor, New Road


Pigot & Company’s directory provides us with a snapshot of life in Willenhall during the middle of the 19th century. The town had become a centre for metal working industries, many of which were based in small workshops, often in a yard behind the business owner’s house, such as the workshop in today’s Lock Keeper’s House in New Road.

The main products were locks, keys and allied industries. The directory lists 280 lockmakers, 90 keymakers, 11 key stampers, 17 spring latch makers, 15 door bolt makers, 2 brass founders and casters, 3 die sinkers, 5 filemakers, 5 iron and steel warehouses, and 2 varnish makers.

There was also an iron works and colliery at Lane Head owned by local ironmaster Daniel Bagnall. Coltham Ironworks and Colliery opened in the late 1790s after the opening of the Wyrley and Essington Canal, and stretched from Lane Head to Coppice Lane. The colliery no doubt supplied the ironworks. Both the colliery and the ironworks closed around 1850.

Local products were exported to many parts of the world, including Europe, South America, and the colonies. Luckily the country’s first long distance railway, the Grand Junction Railway, had its station in the town, followed by the Midland Railway in 1872. In 1846 the Grand Junction Railway became part of the country’s largest rail network, the London & North Western Railway, which ran services throughout much of the country, and must have greatly benefited local manufacturers. By 1855 Willenhall came to dominate the local lock making industry. At the time there were 340 lockmakers in Willenhall, 110 in Wolverhampton, and 2 in Bilston.

In 1855 Willenhall Furnaces began to operate on a site between the Bentley Canal, Sandbeds Road, and Forge Road. The business was initially owned by Fletcher and Solly, who were later joined by Mr. Urwick, who provided extra capital. They had three 45 ft. high blast furnaces, with a maximum width of 13 ft. 6 inches. There were two calcining kilns where crushed lime was burnt with the ore before being transferred to the furnaces, and a large coke hearth which converted coal to coke for smelting. The blast for the three furnaces was provided by a 150 hp. condensing beam engine. The whole iron-making process soon became more efficient when the waste gases were trapped at the top of the furnaces and used to heat the blast engine boilers, and later the blast itself.

The company owned several coal mines in the area including the nearby Clothiers Colliery, which supplied coal to the iron works via a 2 ft. 6 inch gauge tramway, with about a mile of track. The wagons were hauled by horses until 1862, when they were replaced by an 0-4-0 steam saddle tank locomotive, designed and built by John Smith, at the Village Foundry in Coven. The following year a second, more powerful 0-4-0 John Smith saddle tank locomotive came into operation on the site. They hauled around twenty five tons of coal each day from the nearby mines, and coal from the nearby canal basin that came from Sneyd Colliery, near Bloxwich, which was also owned by the firm. The locomotives also hauled limestone and iron ore, which also arrived by canal.

In 1872 when the Wolverhampton and Walsall Railway opened, the company constructed a standard gauge siding to Stafford Street Station and acquired a second-hand standard gauge Sharpe Brothers 0-6-0 saddle tank. The firm went public in 1875 and became the Willenhall Furnaces Company Limited. At the height of production around 500 tons of iron were produced each week. The company became a victim of the depression in the iron trade, and suffered from flooding problems in the mines. By 1881 only one furnace was still in use. The business went into receivership, and closed on the 9th April, 1881.

The Market Place around the end of the First World War.

Willenhall has had a thriving market for several hundred years. In the 19th century the stalls were erected below the old market cross, until a handsome covered market was built.

Traders had to pay a rent to use the new building, which soon closed because they preferred to set up their stalls in the Market Place, which was free.

The old market cross, as it was called, consisted of a 2 storey building, with market stalls on the ground floor, and a school room above. In the 18th century it was the site of the first open air Methodist service in the town, and a site used for bull baiting, until it was banned in 1825.

Today’s elaborate market clock was built in 1892 as a memorial to Joseph Tonks, a popular local figure, who kept the Forge Inn in Spring Bank, and practised medicine. The clock still has its original drinking fountain and horse trough.

The town was well served by a variety of shops. The directory lists 46 shops in the town centre, although in actuality there were many more. The Market Place was full of small shops, selling all kinds of goods and services, so that locals could do most, if not all of their shopping in the vicinity. In Lichfield Street was Willis Butler’s hairdressers, and in Walsall Street stood Henry Greader’s watch makers shop. Glass and china could be obtained from John Harper in Wolverhampton Street, and books, stationery, and printing were available at Charles Berry’s premises, also in Wolverhampton Street. The chief constable, John Austin, could be found at his bakers shop in Stafford Street, and in Church Street there was even a steel truss maker in the form of Daniel Read.

The post office in Wolverhampton Street was run by postmaster John Tildesley.

Letters from Walsall and parts east and south arrived by foot post, every morning at eight, and were despatched every afternoon at half past three.

Letters from Wolverhampton and parts north and west, arrived by foot post every afternoon at four, and were despatched every morning at half past seven.

Wolverhampton Street in the 1920s.

Public Transport

People could easily travel to most parts of the country by train, and local coaches and omnibuses passed through the town.

Coaches called at the Neptune Inn, which was run by the Hartill family and stood almost opposite St. Giles Church in Walsall Street. The coach to Lichfield from Wolverhampton called at the inn every morning except Sunday, at twenty minutes past nine. The coach to Wolverhampton from Lichfield called at the Neptune every afternoon except Sunday, at five p.m.

Omnibuses also called at the Neptune. There were two omnibuses daily, except on Sundays, to Birmingham, and two daily to Wolverhampton. There were also omnibuses from the Three Crowns and the Queen's Arms.

Local carriers transported goods to Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and Walsall. They included Benjamin Smith, Wheatcroft and Company, John Shepherd, Ezekiel Stokes, Pickford & Company, Mrs. Knowles, James Beddows, William Fletcher, William Kendrick, and Joseph Lloyd.

Looking into Walsall Street from outside Dale House. From an old postcard.

Public Utility Services

The town was supplied with gas by the Willenhall Gas Company, which also supplied Essington, Hilton, and parts of Bilston, and Darlaston. The company was formed in 1837, and an Act of Parliament for incorporation was Passed in 1857. The company’s agent was John Greader, based in Church Street. The gas works was originally in Lower Lichfield Street, but couldn’t keep up with demand.

The new gas showroom and offices.

In 1891 the company purchased a piece of land in Short Heath from the Hincks family, on which to build a larger gas works. The company was one of the first to charge for gas using British thermal units, after obtaining an Order under the Gas Regulation Act of 1920. The company’s prices were some of the lowest in the Midlands, with special discounts for industrial customers. Labour saving devices were installed at the works, which in the late 1930s carbonised around 27,000 tons of coal a year. The company also produced around 11,000 tons of coke annually.

In 1935 a new office and showroom was built in the Market Place, with a general stores, fitting shops, and a cookery demonstration room. The building opened in 1937 during the company’s centenary celebrations.

The town was also supplied with gas from the Mond Gas Company at Dudley Port, which specialised in selling cheap gas to industrial users. Electricity was supplied by the Midland Electric Corporation for Power Distribution Limited, based at Toll End Road, Tipton. The supply consisted of 200 volts, 2 phase, A.C. at 50Hz.

Water Supply

In 1859 water was obtained from the Wolverhampton New Waterworks Company, founded in 1852. In 1868 it was taken over by Wolverhampton Corporation.

Isolation Hospital

On 12th May, 1894 the Local Board of Health decided to set up an isolation hospital to isolate patients suffering from Small Pox which had reached epidemic proportions in the town. Messrs. Wards 'Casting House' was acquired, and wooden buildings were added for additional wards. Patients were transported to and from the hospital in a horse-drawn ambulance, acquired for the purpose. The hospital was built at a cost of £520, furnished for £300, and had a maintenance bill of £500.

An early problem was the cost of keeping patients at the hospital. Initially they were each asked to pay 20 shillings a week, which was a lot of money at the time. This was soon withdrawn, and they were asked to pay whatever they felt they could afford.

The hospital was eventually taken over by the County Health Authority, and survived until the 1920s when it became surplus to requirements.

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