Staffordshire, a west midland county of England, bounded by the counties of Cheshire, Derby, Leicester, Warwick, Worcester, and Salop. Measuring 54 by 35 miles, it has an area of 1169 sq. m. or 748,433 acres. The only hilly district is in the north, where the wild ' Moorlands,' the southern extremity of the Pennine range, extend from NW. to SE. in long ridges, separated by deeply-cut valleys, and subside as they near the valley of the Trent. Several points exceed 1500 feet above sea-level, but Axe Edge Hill (1756), falls just within Derbyshire. The rest of the county is gently undulating, with the low upland of Cannock Chase in the centre. The Trent, flowing first south-eastward through the interior, and then north-eastward along the Derbyshire border, is the chief river, and receives the Sow, Tame, Blythe, and Dove. In the north and south are the Pottery and Dudley coalfields, which, besides containing nearly 600 collieries, yield also (especially the northern one) vast quantities of ironstone. The climate is cold and humid; and, though more than four-fifths of the area is arable, much of the soil is cold and clayey, and agriculture is in rather a backward condition. In the 'Potteries' of North Staffordshire, embracing Stoke-upon-Trent, Etruria, Hanley, Burslem, etc, most extensive manufactures of china and earthenware are carried on; and in the 'Black Country' in the south, with Wolverhampton and Walsall, iron is very largely manufactured. The Burton breweries are world-famous. There is a perfect network of railways and canals. Staffordshire, which is mainly in the diocese of Lichfield, contains five hundreds and 247 parishes. It has been divided since 1885 into seven divisions, each returning one member - Leek, Burton, West, North-west, Lichfield, Kingswinford, and Handsworth. The thirteen municipal boroughs are Burslem, Burton-on-Trent, Hanley, Lichfield, Longton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stafford, Stoke-upon-Trent, Tam-worth, Walsall, Wednesbury, West Bromwich, and Wolverhampton. Pop. (1801) 242,693; (1841) 509,472; (1881) 981,009; (1901) 1,234,382. Staffordshire has no great wealth of antiquities, and has been the scene of no battles more important than Blore Heath (1459) and Hopton Heath (1643). Among its natives have been Lord Anson, Ashmole, Dr Johnson, Thomas Newton, Cardinal Pole, Earl St Vincent, Izaak Walton, and Josiah Wedgwood.
See county histories by Plot (1686), Erdeswick (1717; 4th ed. 1844), Shaw (1798-1801), and Garner (1844-60); the Proceedings of the William Salt Archaeological Society (1880 et seq.); and other works cited in Simms's Staffordshire Bibliography (Lichfield, 1892).