|1822: A MARKET town, in Shropshire, situated on the borders of Staffordshire, in the hundred of Bradford, 139 miles north-west from London. It is a borough town, and its ancient liberties and privileges were granted by Henry I and confirmed by Edward II, and James I; but the grants from those kings do not define the nature of the liberties which they confirm, except as to murage, pannage, pontage, piccage and stallage, from the payment and performance of which the burgesses and their heirs and successors are exempt.
The corporation consists of a high steward, deputy steward, two bailiffs, and about twenty-five burgesses, who are entitled to some property within the parish; the rents arising from it are applied by them to defray the expense of keeping in repair a water-course and pipes, by which, from a spring about a mile distant, the inhabitants are supplied with water. This water is conveyed into five large cisterns, placed in different parts of the town, four of which have recently been newly erected and beautified, under the direction of the high steward, bailiffs, and burgesses, at a considerable expense, and are rendered a great ornament as well as convenience to the town and its inhabitants.
The living of Newport is a perpetual curacy in the gift of the crown. The style of architecture demonstrates the great antiquity of the church, which was formerly collegiate, but is now within the diocese and under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. There is also a Catholic chapel, supported by the Earl of Shrewsbury, and an Independent meeting-house.
There is here a free school, founded by Mr. William Adams, a native of the place, and haberdasher of London, who, from the most inferior station of life, by steady perseverance and sober industry, and by a fortunate marriage, raised himself to a respectable situation in the mercantile world, and acquired a considerable property. He built two good houses for the masters, and a large school-room. He also founded four alms-houses here, for four poor persons, who are paid 7s. 6d. each every week. The free school was built in the year 1657, and cost 7,500 l. and the repairing of the school in 1821 cost 3,564 l.
There is in this town another school, liberally endowed, for instruction to be given gratis in the English language ; and the donations for the benefit of the poor are numerous.
There is a good piece of building used as a butter-cross, and a spacious market-hall, built in 1662. This market-hall was erected with money left for the purpose by Mr Adams. The market is held on Saturday. Fairs are first Tuesday in February, Saturday before Palm-Sunday, May 28th, July 27th, September 25th, and December 10th. The population is 2,343.
Post-Office, High Street, - Henry Price Silvester, Post Master.
A Horse Post leaves every morning at six, meets the London and Holyhead Mails at Shifnall, and returns every evening (with the London and North Letters) at half-past five, from which place a Horse Post is despatched to meet the Manchester Mail at the Spread Eagles.