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Stockton-On-Tees

STOCKTON-ON-TEES, a market town, municipal and parliamentary borough, and port of Durham, England, on the N. bank of the Tees, 53 m. above its mouth, and on the North Eastern railway, 236 m. N. by W. from London. Pop. (1901), 51,478. The parliamentary borough extends across the river into Yorkshire, to include the municipal borough of Thornaby- onTees. At Norton, i m. north, the church of St Mary, formerly collegiate, shows fine Norman work. The chief buildings are a town hall, with clock-tower and spire, borough-hall, exchange and public library. The quays are accessible to vessels drawing 20 ft. at high water spring tides. There are extensive steel works, blasting furnaces, iron and brass foundries and rolling-mills; and iron shipbuilding is an important industry. There are also sailcloth works, potteries, breweries and brick and tile works. Exports (iron manufactures, coal and agricultural produce) were valued at 435,439 in 1900; imports (timber, iron, grain, etc.) at 280,371; trade being chiefly with Holland and the Baltic ports, and coastal. The parliamentary borough returns one member. The municipal borough is under a mayor, 10 aldermen and 30 councillors, and has an area of 2935 acres.

It would seem that Stockton (Stokton) grew up round the castle of the bishops of Durham, to whom the town belonged even before their purchase of the earldom of Sadberge. In 1183 the Boldon Book records that the whole town rendered one milch cow and the ferry twenty pence to the bishop. The castle was probably built between 1183 and 1214. King John visited Bishop Philip of Poitou (d. 1 208) there and is said to have granted the place a charter similar to that of Hartlepool in 1214. Of this, however, no traces remain, the rights of the borough, which must have come into existence during the 13th century, being purely prescriptive. Stockton was divided into two parts: the " town," governed by the bailiff of the bishop and afterwards by the vicar and vestrymen, and the borough, under a mayor and aldermen. The bishop's bailiff was also the keeper of the castle, though in the tyth century the office belonged to the boroughbailiff. The borough is first mentioned in 1283, when the king took tallage from it during the vacancy of the see. It occurs again in a record of 1328, and in 1344 the mayor and bailiffs entered into an agreement with the mayor and bailiffs of Newcastle for the regulation of trade between the two places. Bishop Hatfield's survey (1377-1382) gives a list of tenants within the borough: 22 burgages and 15 half-burgages are mentioned, the rent of which varies from twenty-two pence to a penny halfpenny. In 1644 the parliamentary troops besieged and captured the castle, which was dismantled in 1652. Iri 1666 the population was only 544, for Stockton was an isolated place with little trade. It became a parliamentary borough, returning one member, in 1867. In 1310 the bishop gave the town a market and a fair during the octave of the Translation of St Thomas the Martyr, reserving to himself the tolls; Bishop Morton revived the market, which had lapsed at the beginning of the 17th century. Camden speaks of Stockton as a neat, well-built corporation town and especially commends the ale brewed there and sent to various parts of the country. The importance of Stockton as a port dates from trie-end of the 18th century, when there was a considerable trade in lead, dairy produce and timber.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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