History. BIRMINGHAM. 36. Route. 269
hotels. — Winter's Tea-Rooms, 47 City Arcade, New St.; Birmingham Dairy Co.,
112 New St., etc.; Wyllie (ices), 14 Arcade.
Cabs. Hansom, 1 M. Is., each addit. 72 M. 4d.; per hour 2s. 6d., each
addit. 7< hr. 6d. Four- Wheeler, 1M. Is., each addit. 72 M. 6d.; per hour 3s., each
addit. 7< hr. 9d. Double fare 12-6 a.m. For each package carried outside, 2d.
Omnibuses and Motor-Omnibuses traverse most of the principal streets.
— Tramways ply to numerous points in the environs: from Summer
Row (PL It; A, 3) to Smethwick, Oldby, and Dudley (p. 273; I73 hr.); from
Navigation St. (PI. II; C, 3) to Selly Oak; Old Square (PL II; F, 3) to Villa
Cross, to Saltley, and to Perry Barr; John Bright St. (PL H; C, 3) to
Moseley; Station St. (PL II; C, 3) to Small Heath and to Sparkhill; etc. —
A Cable Tramway runs from Colmore Row to New Inn. — Fares ld.-6d.
Coaches generally ply in summer to Berkswell (p. 273) and other
places of local interest, starting from the Grand Hotel (p. 268).
Theatres (comp. PL II, p. 270). Theatre Royal (PI. D, 3), New St.; Prince
of Wales (PL A, 1), Broad St.; Grand (PL G, 3), Corporation St.; Miiropole
(PL F, 1), Snow Hill. — Tivoli Music Hall (PL C, 5), Hurst St.; Gaiety
Concert Hall, Coleshill St.; Empire Palace, Hurst St. (PL C, 5); Curzon Hall,
Suffolk St.; Canterbury Music Hall, Digbeth (PL E, 6). — Hippodrome,
Post and Telegraph Office (PL C, 2), opposite the Town Hall; numer¬
ous branch-offices and pillar letter-boxes.
American Consul, Marshall Halstead, Esq.; vice-consul, F. M. Burton, Esq.
Public Baths, all with first and second class swimming-baths and
hot and cold private baths: Kent Street Baths (PL I; C, 5), with Turkish
and vapour baths; Woodcock Street Baths (PL I; D, 4); Monument Road
Baths (PL I; A, 4), with Turkish and vapour baths; North Wood Street
Baths (PI. I; B, 3). Turkish bath Is., first-class swimming or warm bath 6d.,
second-class 3d. — There are also Turkish and Warm Baths in Broad St.,
High St., and the Crescent.
Birmingham (450 ft. above the sea), the fourth town of England
in size and population (522,182 inhab. in 1901), and the see of an
Anglican (since 1905) and of a Roman Catholic bishop, stands on
a series of gentle hills in the N.W. corner of Warwickshire. In plan
it is irregular, and many of its older streets are narrow and crooked;
but the modern business thoroughfares are broad and handsomely
built. It is the chief centre in England, if not in the world, of the
manufacture of brass, iron, and other metallic wares of all kinds,
and it is the most important industrial town in England after Man¬
chester. In spite of its numerous tall chimneys and often smoky
atmosphere, Birmingham has the reputation of being healthier than
most large manufacturing towns.
In the social and political sphere Birmingham has always, with the
exception of the unhappy lapse of 1791 (p. 271), been distinguished as a
centre of liberality and freedom of thought. Nowhere has the system
of municipal government been more fully developed, and nowhere has
a municipality been more distinguished for enlightened promotion of
popular culture. Trades Unions were very powerful in Birmingham and
managed to a great extent to prevent the introduction of machinery. Hence
'the manufactures of Birmingham are to this day in a great degree con¬
fined to those branches of industry which require comparatively a much
greater amount of manual labour than machinery' (Fawcett). About 200
separate trades are carried on by its 'small masters'.
The early history of Birmingham is very shadowy, but it is not im¬
probable that it occupies the site of a small Roman station on the Ick-
nield Street (p. 368). The name, which appears in Domesday Book as
'Bermingeham', is supposed to be derived from 'Berm' or 'Beorm', the name
of some Saxon tribe. During the middle ages it appears under the pro-