Burton-on-Trent, a municipal borough (since 1878) of East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire, 25 miles E. of Stafford, on the river Trent, the ancient bridge over which was superseded in 1864 by one 470 yards long. Burton-on-Trent owes its rapid extension to the brewing of ale, the staple of the place. The opening of the Midland Railway in 1839 paved the way for future progress. Cotton-spinning was at first the chief industry, but this has been discontinued since 1849. Its rise and progress as a brewing centre has been largely due to the suitability of the water for this purpose. There was some small local trade in beer in the 16th century here; Burton ale had a repute in London in 1630; and a considerable export trade had been established with the Baltic ports by the middle of the 18th century. In 1791 there were nine breweries, in 1851 sixteen, and now there are nearly twice that number, some of them - e.g. those of Bass and Allsopp, being on a scale of unparalleled magnitude. There are, of course, extensive cooperages, and also iron-foundries. A church or monastery was erected by the Trent in the 9th century; Burton Abbey was founded and endowed by Wulfric, Earl of Mercia, in 1002. The town suffered in the Great Rebellion, and has suffered repeatedly by floods, the water standing 4 or 5 feet deep on some streets in 1875. Pop. (1851) 7944; (1901) 50,386.