Shrewsbury (Shrowzbury), the county town of Shropshire, on the Severn, 36 miles SSW. of Crewe, 42 W. by N. of Birmingham, and 163 NW. of London. The river here makes a serpentine curve round a hilly peninsula, and is spanned by the English Bridge (rebuilt 1774) of seven arches, the Welsh Bridge (rebuilt 1795) of five, and the iron Kingsland Bridge (1882), which lead to the suburbs of Abbey-Foregate, Coleham, Frankwell, Castle-Foregate, and Kingsland. With its steep, narrow streets, and its black and white half-timbered houses, Shrewsbury is picturesque as very few English towns. Its Norman castle has been greatly modernised; Holy Cross or Abbey Church belonged to a Benedictine abbey (1083). St Mary's is Norman to Perpendicular in style, with a Jesse window, the tomb of Admiral Benbow, and a spire 222 feet high (restored in 1894 after partial wreckage). Noteworthy also are the Roman Catholic church (1856), by Pugin; the council-house (1501-60), where Charles I. stayed in 1642, and James II. in 1687; the old market-house (1595); the new market-hall (1868); the shire-hall (rebuilt 1836, and again, after fire, 1883); the corn exchange (1869); the post-office (1877); the county infirmary (1747-1830); the eye, ear, and throat hospital (1881); the 'Raven Hotel, where Farquhar in 1704 wrote the Recruiting Officer; the 'Quarry,' a pretty park of 23 acres-, with its lime-tree avenue (1719); a Doric column (1816) to Lord Hill, 134 feet high; and a bronze statue (1860) by Marochetti of Olive. The county museum and a free library now occupy the old buildings (1630) of the grammar-school, which was transferred to a fine new site of 26 acres (now 50 acres) in 1882, since which time the number of the boys has increased from 170 to over 300. Founded by Edward VI. in 1551, though not actually opened till 1562, and augmented by Queen Elizabeth in 1571, this school was recognised as one of the seven great public schools in the Public Schools Act of 1868, and owes its greatness partly to its rich endowment (£3100 per annum), but still more to the exertions of two successive headmasters, Dr Samuel Butler (1798-1836), afterwards Bishop of Lichfield, and Dr Kennedy (1836-66). Among its alumni have been Sir Philip Sidney, Fulke Greville, Wycher-ley, Judge Jeffreys, the Marquis of Halifax, Charles Darwin (a native), Bishop Fraser of Manchester, Archbishop Thomson, Viscount Cran-brook, the Right Hon. H. C. Raikes, S. J. Weyman, and such scholars as Professor Kennedy, F. A.
Paley, Professor Munro, R. Shilleto, and Professor Mayor. Glass-painting, malting, iron-founding, and the manufacture of agricultural implements are industries; ' Shrewsbury cakes ' and the brawn made here have long been famous. Chartered by Richard I., the borough returned two members till 1885, when the representation was reduced to one. Pop. (1851) 19,681; (1881) 26,481; (1901) 28,396. The Cymric Pengwerne ('alder hill'), after its capture in 778 from the king of Powys by Offa of Mercia the place changed its name to Scrobbesbyrig ('town in the wood'), of which the modern name is a corruption. It has been visited by most of the English kings, and repeatedly besieged - e.g. by Llewellyn (1215) and the parliamentarians (1644). In the battle of Shrewsbury, fought at Battlefield, 3 miles NE., on 21st July 1403, Henry IV. routed Hotspur and his confederates. See works by T. Phillips (1779), H. Owen and J. B. Blakeway (1825), H. Pidgeon (1857), and W. Phillips (1878).