Tuesday, 8 November 2011

An Infant Hercules (c.NZ494210)




Yes, “Middlesbrough in 1832”.  To the uninitiated, it seems incredible.  The former medieval village had shrunk to little more than a farmstead by the turn of the nineteenth century, but would soon see its population boom beyond belief in the ensuing decades…

Yarm was, Stockton is, Middlesbrough will be.
[Old Teesside proverb, believed to have been uttered by industrialist Joseph Pease in the 1830s]

Population of Middlesbrough:
1801:   25
1829:   40
1831:   131
1841:   5,500
1851:   7,600
1861:   19,000
1871:   40,000
1881:   58,000
1891:   75,000
1901:   90,000
1932:   139,000
Present:  c.140,000

A growth rate believed to be unprecedented in Victorian England.

This remarkable place, the youngest child of England's enterprise, is an infant, but if an infant, an infant Hercules.
[William Gladstone, 1862]


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