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Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London with 1,074,300 residents (2011 census), an increase of 96,000 over the previous decade. The city lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a population of 2,284,093 (2001 census). Its metropolitan area is also the United Kingdom's second most populous with 3,683,000 residents.
Administrative CountyBirmingham
Traditional CountyWarwickshire
OS GridSP0987
OS Settlement ClassificationCity
RegionWest Midlands
Police AuthorityWest Midlands

Other names by which Birmingham has been known in the past

Bremicham ~ Bromwicham ~ Brummagem ~ Brummagen ~ Brummidgeham ~ Bermingeham

Birmingham in John Bartholomew's "Gazetteer of the British Isles" (1887)

Birmingham, parl. and mun. bor. and par., on NW. border of Warwickshire, 88 miles SE. of Liverpool and 113 NW. of London by rail -- par., 2955 ac., pop. 246,353; mun. bor. (comprising also Edgbaston par. and part of Aston par.), 8400 ac., pop. 400,774; parl. bor., pop. 437,076. Birmingham is situated on the verge of a great coal and iron dist., nearly in the centre of England, and built on a rising ground, the workshops and warehouses being in the lower parts of the city. Among the principal public buildings are the Town Hall, erected for public meetings and festivals as well as municipal purposes, and containing one of the largest and finest organs in the world; the County Court Buildings (1883); the Institute; the Exchange; the Post Office; and Corporation buildings; a new public gallery of art; a free library, which, with its branches, possesses over 70,000 vols.; Queen's College, for the study of theology, medicine, and arts; the Royal College, for medicine, arts, engineering, and law; Springhill College, for the education of clergymen of the Independents; the Wesleyan College, opened 1881: the College of Science and Art, founded by Sir Josiah Mason and opened in 1880; the Free Grammar School, founded by Edward VI; the R.C. College at Oscott; the R.C. Cathedral of St Chad, &c. It is the principal centre of metal mfrs., consisting of articles in iron, gold, silver, brass, steel, &c., valued at over £5,000,000 per annum. Of these the most important are the mfr. of fire-arms and swords, in some recent years as many as 500,000 gun-barrels being tested annually; the mfrs. of boilers and engines, the largest works, founded in 1757, being at Soho; the steel pen mfr., 900,000,000 pens being annually produced; the making of railway carriages and waggons; jewellery and electro-plate mfrs., which are continually on the increase; iron casting of all kinds; galvanised ironware; fancy-goods in leather, wood, papiér-maché, &c. Erasmus Darwin, poet and naturalist (1731-1802), resided here. Prior to the great civil war, B. had no prominent place in history, and only since 1832 has it taken a conspicuous part in politics. B. returns 7 members -- 7 divisions, viz., Edgbaston, West, Central, North, East, Bordesley, and South, 1 member for each; its representation was increased from 3 to 7 in 1885, when the parl. limits were extended so as to include the local government districts of Balsall Heath (Worcestershire), Harborne (Staffordshire), and Saltley (Warwickshire), and the hamlet of Little Brom wich (Warwickshire).

Birmingham in "A Topographical Dictionary of England" edited by Samuel Lewis (1848)

BIRMINGHAM, a celebrated manufacturing town and a borough, locally in the Birmingham division of the hundred of Hemlingford, N. division of the county of Warwick, 18 miles (N. W. by W.) from Coventry, 20 (N. W.) from Warwick, and 109 (N. W.) from London; containing in the parish 138, 215, and, with the parish of Edgbaston, and the hamlets of Bordesley, Deritend, and Duddeston with Nechels (which, though in the parish of Aston, form parts of the town, and are included within the borough), 182, 922 inhabitants. The name of this town has been traced by its local antiquary, the late Mr. Hamper, through no less than 140 variations, and its etymology is involved in great uncertainty. Dugdale, from its Saxon termination, deduces it from the first Saxon lord; while others assign to it an origin of much higher antiquity, inferring that, with more probability, the first Saxon proprietor took his name from that of the town, which they suppose to have been originally "Bromwych," from the quantity of broom formerly growing in the neighbourhood; from which circumstance also are derived the names of two villages in the immediate vicinity, called respectively Castle Bromwich and West Bromwich. In proof of the high antiquity of the place, and also of its having been distinguished for the manufacture of arms and warlike instruments prior to the Roman invasion, may be adduced the great number of exhausted coal-mines on a common of large extent, called Wednesbury Old Field, within a short distance of the town, and the prodigious accumulation of scoria produced by the smelting of iron, at Aston furnace, on the border of the parish. Both of these it is concluded must have been the work of many centuries; as in the latter, though continually receiving additions, no perceptible increase has been observed within the memory of the oldest inhabitant. From its situation near the Ikeneld-street, the town is supposed to have been the Bremenium of the Romans. During the time of the Saxons, it appears to have been governed by two constables, and to have obtained the grant of a weekly market on Thursday.


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