History of Sheffield


History of Sheffield

The history of Sheffield, a city in South Yorkshire, England, can be traced back to the founding of a settlement in a clearing beside the River Sheaf in the second half of the 1st millennium AD.Vickers, "Old Sheffield Town", part 1] The area had seen human occupation since at least the last ice age, but significant growth in the settlements that are now incorporated into the city did not occur until the industrial revolution.

Following the Norman conquest, a castle was built to control the Saxon settlements and Sheffield developed into a small town, no larger than the modern city centre. By the 14th century Sheffield was noted for the production of knives, and by 1600 it had become the main centre of cutlery production in England, overseen by The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. In the 1740s the crucible steel process was improved by Sheffield resident Benjamin Huntsman, allowing a much better production quality. At about the same time, the silver plating process which produced Sheffield Plate was discovered. The associated industries led to the rapid growth of Sheffield; the town was incorporated as a Borough in 1843 and granted a city charter in 1893.

Sheffield remained a major industrial city throughout the first half of the 20th century, but the downturn in world trade following the 1973 oil crisis, technological improvements and economies of scale, and a wide-reaching rationalisation in steel production throughout the European Economic Community led to the closure of many of the steelworks from the early 1970s onward. Starting in the late 1980s, urban and economic regeneration schemes have transformed the city.

Early history

The earliest evidence of human occupation in the Sheffield area was found at Creswell Crags to the east of the city. Artefacts and rock art found in caves at this site have been dated by archaeologists to the late Upper Palaeolithic period, at least 12,800 years ago. [cite journal |last=Pike |first=Alistair W.G. |coauthors=Gilmour, Mabs; Pettitt, Paul; Jacobid, Roger; Ripoll, Sergio; Bahn, Paul; Muñoz, Francisco |year=2005 |title=Verification of the age of the Palaeolithic cave art at Creswell Crags, UK |journal=Journal of Archaeological Science |volume=32 |issue=11 |pages=1649–1655 |doi=10.1016/j.jas.2005.05.002 ] Other prehistoric remains found in Sheffield include a Mesolithic "house"—a circle of stones in the shape of a hut-base dating to around 8000 BC, found at Deepcar, in the northern part of the city. [cite journal | last = Radley | first = J. | coauthors = Mellars, P. | year = 1964 | title = A Mesolithic structure at Deepcar, Yorkshire, England and the affinities of its associated flint industry | journal = Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society | volume = 30 | pages = pp. 1–24 | url = http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prehistoric/pps/contents/contentsbyvolume.html ]

During the Bronze Age (about 1500 BC) tribes sometimes called the Urn people started to settle in the area. They built numerous stone circles, examples of which can be found on Moscar Moor, Froggatt Edge and Hordron Edge. Two Early Bronze Age urns were found at Crookes in 1887, ["Local Names" in Addy, "A Glossary of Words Used in the Neighbourhood of Sheffield", pp. xliii–lxxiii] and three Middle Bronze Age barrows found at Lodge Moor (both suburbs of the modern city).

In the Iron Age the area became the southernmost territory of the Pennine tribe called the Brigantes. It is this tribe who are thought to have constructed the hill fort that stands on the summit of a steep hill above the River Don at Wincobank, in what is now northeastern Sheffield. Other Iron Age hill forts in the area are Carl Wark on Hathersage Moor to the southwest of Sheffield, and one at Scholes Wood, near Rotherham. To the south lay the territory of a rival tribe called the Corieltauvi who inhabited a large area of the northeastern Midlands. [cite web |author=Mills, Corrine |coauthors=Hayton, Richard |year=2003 |url=http://www.yorkshirehistory.com/romans_intro.htm |title=Roman Military Occupation Sites within the County of Yorkshire |accessdate=2005-05-07 |work=yorkshirehistory.com ]

The Roman invasion of Britain began in AD 43, and by 51 the Brigantes had submitted to the clientship of Rome, [cite web |url=http://www.roman-britain.org/tribes/brigantes.htm |title=The Celtic Tribes of Britain: The Brigantes |accessdate=2006-12-30 |work=WWW.Roman-Britain.ORG ] eventually being placed under direct rule in the early 70s. [cite book |last=Black |first=Jeremy |authorlink=Jeremy Black (historian) |title=A History of the British Isles |year=1997 |publisher=Macmillan Press |location=Basingstoke |isbn=0-333-66282-2 |pages=p. 4 ] Few Roman remains have been found in the Sheffield area. A minor Roman road linking the Roman forts at Templeborough and Brough-on-Noe possibly ran through the centre of the area covered by the modern city, and Icknield Street is thought to have skirted its boundaries.Hunter, "Hallamshire", chapter 2] The routes of these roads within this area are mostly unknown, although sections of the former can still be seen between Redmires and Stanage, [Leader, R.E. (1906). "The Highways and Byways of Old Sheffield." A lecture delivered before the Sheffield Literary and Philosophical Society ( [http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~mossvalley/mv2/rl/highways1.html transcription] )] and remains possibly linked to the latter were discovered in Brinsworth in 1949.cite book |last=Wood |first=Michael |authorlink=Michael Wood |title=In Search of England: Journeys into the English Past |chapter=Chapter 11. Tinsley Wood |pages=pp. 212–213 |year=2001 |publisher=University of California Press |location=Berkeley |id=ISBN 0-520-23218-6 ] [cite journal |year=1949 |title=Roman Britain in 1948: I. Sites Explored |journal=The Journal of Roman Studies |volume=39 |pages=pp. 96–115 |doi=10.2307/297711 ] In April 1761, tablets dating from the Roman period were found in the Rivelin Valley south of Stannington, close to the likely course of the Templeborough to Brough-on-Noe road. In addition there have been finds dating from the Roman period on Walkley Bank Road, which leads onto the valley bottom. [For example, an early Roman lamp was found at 354 Walkley Bank Road in 1929. "See:" cite journal | last = Taylor | first = M. V. | coauthors = Collingwood, R. G. | year = 1929 | title = Roman Britain in 1929: I. Sites Explored: II. Inscriptions | journal = Journal of Roman Studies | volume = 19 | pages = pp. 180–218 | url = http://www.jstor.org/journals/00754358.html | doi = 10.2307/297347 ] Roman burial urns were also found at Bank Street near Sheffield Cathedral, which, along with the name of the old lane behind the church (Campo Lane [Addy, in "A Glossary of Words Used in the Neighbourhood of Sheffield", pp. 36–37, suggests two alternative derivations for the name "Campo Lane": that it may refer to a field in which football was played, or that it is derived from the Norse "kambr" meaning a ridge.] ), has led to speculation that there may have been a Roman camp at this site. [The Roman finds near Stannington and at Bank Street are discussed in Hunter, "Hallamshire", pp. 15–18.] However, it is unlikely that the settlement that grew into Sheffield existed at this time.

Following the departure of the Romans, the Sheffield area may have been the southern part of the Celtic kingdom of Elmet, with the rivers Sheaf and Don forming part of the boundary between this kingdom and the kingdom of Mercia. [cite journal |last=Cox |first=Tony |year=2003 |title=The Ancient Kingdom of Elmet |journal=The Barwicker |volume=39 |pages=p. 43 (There are two online reproductions of this article: [http://www.hjsmith.clara.co.uk/3943.htm the original article] , and [http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/FeaturesBritain/BritishElmet.htm the article with some additional comments by Richard Watson] —both retrieved on 31 July 2005.)] Gradually, Anglian settlers pushed west from the kingdom of Deira. The Britons of Elmet delayed this English expansion into the early part of the 7th century, however, an enduring Celtic presence within this area is evidenced by the settlements called Wales and Waleswood close to Sheffield—the word "Wales" derives from the Germanic word "Walha", and was originally used by the Anglo-Saxons to refer to the native Britons. [In reference to the villages of Wales and Waleswood, S.O. Addy, in his "A Glossary of Words Used in the Neighbourhood of Sheffield", p. 274, states "The Anglo-Saxon invaders or settlers called the old inhabitants or aborigines of this country wealas, or foreigners." See also, "Welsh" in cite book |last=Simpson |first=J.A. |coauthors=Weiner, E.S.C. (eds) |title=Oxford English Dictionary |year=1989 |publisher=Clarendon Press |location=Oxford ]

The origins of Sheffield

The name "Sheffield" is Old English in origin. It derives from the River Sheaf, whose name is a corruption of "shed" or "sheth", meaning to divide or separate."The Geographical or Ethnological Position of Sheffield as regards Dialect" in Addy "A Glossary of Words Used in the Neighbourhood of Sheffield", pp. xxviii–xxxiv] "Field" is a generic suffix deriving from the Old English "feld", meaning a forest clearing. It is likely then that the origin of the present-day city of Sheffield is an Anglo-Saxon settlement in a clearing beside the confluence of the rivers Sheaf and Don founded sometime between the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons in this region (roughly the 6th century) and the early 9th century. The names of many of the other areas of Sheffield likely to have been established as settlements during this period end in "ley", which signifies a clearing in the forest, or "ton", which means an enclosed farmstead. These settlements include Heeley, Longley, Norton, Owlerton, Southey, Tinsley, Totley, Wadsley, and Walkley.The earliest evidence of this settlement is the shaft of the Sheffield Cross, thought to have been erected on the future site of Sheffield Cathedral in the early ninth century. The cross was removed from the church yard in 1570, [Hunter, "Hallamshire", p. 141] and is now kept in the British Museum. [cite web |url=http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_mla/s/stone_cross_shaft.aspx |title=Stone cross shaft |accessdate=2005-02-18 |publisher=The British Museum ] A document from around the same time, an entry for the year 829 in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, refers to the submission of King Eanred of Northumbria to King Egbert of Wessex at the hamlet of Dore (now a suburb of Sheffield): "Egbert led an army against the Northumbrians as far as Dore, where they met him, and offered terms of obedience and subjection, on the acceptance of which they returned home". This event made Egbert the first Saxon to claim to be king of all of England. [cite web |url=http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/saxon.htm |title=The House Of Wessex |accessdate=2007-04-05 |work=English Monarchs ]

The latter part of the ninth century saw a wave of Norse (Viking) settlers and the subsequent establishment of the Danelaw. The names of hamlets established by these settlers generally end in "thorpe", which means a farmstead. [cite web |url=http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/changlang/activities/lang/vikings/vikinglang.html |title=Viking words |accessdate=2007-04-05 |publisher=British Library ] Examples of such settlements in the Sheffield area are Grimesthorpe, Hackenthorpe, Jordanthorpe, Netherthorpe, Upperthorpe, Waterthorpe, and Woodthorpe. By 918 the Danes south of the Humber had submitted to Edward the Elder, and by 926 Northumbria was under the control of King Athelstan.

In 937 the combined armies of Olaf III Guthfrithson, Viking king of Dublin, Constantine, king of Scotland and King Owain of Strathclyde invaded England. The invading force was met and defeated by an army from Wessex and Mercia led by King Athelstan at the Battle of Brunanburh. The location of "Brunanburh" is unknown, but some historians [cite book |last=Goodall |first=Armitage C. |title=Place-Names of South-West Yorkshire; that is, of so much of the West Riding as lies south of the Aire from Keighley onwards |year=1913 |location=Cambridge |publisher=University Press ] [cite book |last=Cockburn |first=John Henry |title=The battle of Brunanburh and its period elucidated by place-names |year=1931 |publisher=Sir W.C. Leng & Co., Ltd. |location=London, Sheffield ] have suggested a location between Tinsley in Sheffield and Brinsworth in Rotherham, on the slopes of White Hill. After the death of King Athelstan in 939 Olaf III Guthfrithson invaded again and took control of Northumbria and part of Mercia. Subsequently, the Anglo-Saxons, under Edmund, re-conquered the Midlands, as far as Dore, in 942, and captured Northumbria in 944.

The Domesday Book of 1086, which was compiled following the Norman Conquest of 1066, contains the earliest know reference to the districts around Sheffield as the manor of "Hallun" (or Hallam). This manor retained its Saxon lord, Waltheof, for some years after the conquest. The Domesday Book was ordered written by William the Conqueror so that the value of the townships and manors of England could be assessed. The entries in the Domesday Book are written in a Latin shorthand; the extract for this area begins:

:"TERRA ROGERII DE BVSLI":"M. hi Hallvn, cu XVI bereuvitis sunt. XXIX. carucate trae":"Ad gld. Ibi hb Walleff com aula..."Translated it reads::"LANDS OF ROGER DE BUSLI":"In Hallam, one manor with its sixteen hamlets, there are twenty-nine carucates [~14 km²] to be taxed. There Earl Waltheof had an "Aula" [hall or court] . There may have been about twenty ploughs. This land Roger de Busli holds of the Countess Judith. He has himself there two carucates [~1 km²] and thirty-three villeins hold twelve carucates and a half [~6 km²] . There are eight acres [32,000 m²] of meadow, and a pasturable wood, four leuvae in length and four in breadth [~10 km²] . The whole manor is ten leuvae in length and eight broad [207 km²] . In the time of Edward the Confessor it was valued at eight marks of silver [£5.33] ; now at forty shillings [£2.00] .:"In Attercliffe and Sheffield, two manors, Sweyn had five carucates of land [~2.4 km²] to be taxed. There may have been about three ploughs. This land is said to have been inland, demesne [domain] land of the manor of Hallam."

The reference is to Roger de Busli, tenant-in-chief in Domesday and one of the greatest of the new wave of Norman magnates. Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria had been executed in 1076 for his part in an uprising against William I. He was the last of the Anglo-Saxon earls still remaining in England a full decade after the Norman conquest. His lands had passed to his wife, Judith of Normandy, niece to William the Conqueror. The lands were held on her behalf by Roger de Busli.The Domesday Book refers to Sheffield twice, first as "Escafeld", then later as "Scafeld". Sheffield historian S. O. Addy suggests that the second form, pronounced "Shaffeld", is the truer form, as the spelling "Sefeld" is found in a deed issued less than one hundred years after the completion of the survey. [The deed is transcribed in Hunter, "Hallamshire", p. 28] Addy comments that the "E" in the first form may have been mistakenly added by the Norman scribe.

Roger de Busli died around the end of the eleventh century, and was succeeded by a son, who died without an heir. The family's lands passed to William de Lovetot, the son of a Norman baron who had come over to England with the Conqueror. William de Lovetot founded the parish churches of St Mary at Handsworth, St Nicholas at High Bradfield and St. Mary's at Ecclesfield at the start of the 12th century in addition to Sheffield's own parish church. He also built the original wooden Sheffield Castle, which stimulated the growth of the town.

Beauchief Abbey was founded in 1176 or 1183 (sources differ) by Robert FitzRanulf de Alfreton and dedicated to Saint Mary and Saint Thomas Becket.

Mediaeval Sheffield

Following the death of William de Lovetot, the manor of Hallamshire passed to his son Richard de Lovetot and then his son William de Lovetot before being passed by marriage to Gerard de Furnival in about 1204. [Hunter, "Hallamshire", p. 26] The de Furnivals held the manor for the next 180 years.Hunter, "Hallamshire", p. 31] The fourth Furnival lord, Thomas de Furnival, supported Simon de Montfort in the Second Barons' War. As a result of this, in 1266 a party of barons, led by John de Eyvill, marching from north Lincolnshire to Derbyshire passed through Sheffield and destroyed the town, burning the church and castle. A new stone castle was constructed over the next four years and a new church was consecrated by William II Wickwane the Archbishop of York around 1280. In 1295 Thomas de Furnival's son (also Thomas) was the first lord of Hallamshire to be called to Parliament, thus taking the title Baron Furnivall. [cite web |url=http://www.leighrayment.com/peers/peersf3.htm |title=Furnivall |accessdate=2007-03-30 |work=Leigh Rayment's Peerage Page ] On 12 November 1296 Edward I granted a charter for a market to be held in Sheffield on Tuesday each week. This was followed on 10 August 1297 by a charter from Lord Furnival establishing Sheffield as a free borough. [Hunter, "Hallamshire", pp. 38–39.] [] The Sheffield Town Trust was established in the Charter to the Town of Sheffield, granted in 1297. De Furnival, granted land to the freeholders of Sheffield in return for an annual payment, and a Common Burgery administrated them. The Burgery originally consisted of public meetings of all the freeholders,Clyde Binfield et al, "The History of the City of Sheffield 1843-1993: Volume I: Politics"] who elected a Town Collector.Sidney and Beatrice Webb, "The Manor and the Borough"] Two more generations of Furnivals held Sheffield before it passed by marriage to Sir Thomas Nevil and then, in 1406, to John Talbot, the first Earl of Shrewsbury.

In 1430 the 1280 Sheffield parish church building was pulled down and replaced. Parts of this new church still stand today and it is now Sheffield city centre's oldest surviving building, forming the core of Sheffield Cathedral. [Harman & Minnis, "Sheffield", pp.45–56] Other notable surviving buildings from this period include the Old Queen's Head pub in Pond Hill, which dates from around 1480, with its timber frame still intact, Bishops' House and Broom Hall, both built around 1500, [Harman & Minnis, "Sheffield", pp. 4–7] and the Church of St. Mary, Ecclesfield. [Simon Jenkins, England's Thousand Best Churches]

The fourth Earl of Shrewsbury, George Talbot took up residence in Sheffield, building the Manor Lodge outside the town in about 1510 and adding a chapel to the Parish Church c1520 to hold the family vault. Memorials to the fourth and sixth Earls of Shrewsbury can still be seen in the church. [cite web |url=http://www.sheffield-cathedral.co.uk/links.asp?articleID=135 |title=Tudor monuments |accessdate=2007-04-12 |publisher=Sheffield Cathedral ]

In 1569 George Talbot, the sixth Earl of Shrewsbury, was given charge of Mary Queen of Scots. Mary was regarded as a threat by Elizabeth I, and had been held captive since her arrival in England in 1568. [cite book |last=Schama |first=Simon |authorlink=Simon Schama |chapter=The Body of the Queen |title=A History of Britain I: At the Edge of the World? 3500 B.C.–1603 A.D. |year=2000 |publisher=BBC Books |location=London |isbn=0563487143 ] Talbot brought Mary to Sheffield in 1570, and she spent most of the next 14 years imprisoned in Sheffield Castle and its dependent buildings. The castle park once extended beyond the present Manor Lane, where the remains of Manor Lodge are to be found. Beside them is the Turret House, an Elizabethan building, which may have been built to accommodate the captive queen. A room, believed to have been the queen's, has an elaborate plaster ceiling and overmantle, with heraldic decorations. [cite web |url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?pid=1&id=455553 |title=Turret House 150m west of Manor House ruins |accessdate=2007-03-23 |work=Images of England ]

During the English Civil War, Sheffield changed hands several times, finally falling to the Parliamentarians, who demolished the Castle in 1648.

The Industrial Revolution brought large-scale steel making to Sheffield in the 18th century. Much of the mediaeval town was gradually replaced by a mix of Georgian and Victorian buildings. Large areas of Sheffield's city centre have been rebuilt in recent years, but among the modern buildings, some old buildings have been retained.

Industrial Sheffield

Sheffield's situation — amongst a number of fast-flowing rivers and streams surrounded by hills containing raw materials such as coal, iron ore, ganister, and millstone grit for grindstones — made it an ideal place for water-powered industries to develop. Water wheels were often built for the milling of corn, but many were converted to the manufacture of blades. As early as the 14th century Sheffield was noted for the production of knives:

quotation|Ay by his belt he baar a long panade,
And of a swerd ful trenchant was the blade.
A joly poppere baar he in his pouche;
Ther was no man, for peril, dorste hym touche.
A Sheffeld thwitel baar he in his hose.
Round was his face, and camus was his nose;
Geoffrey Chaucer|"The Reeve’s Tale" from The Canterbury Tales

By 1600 Sheffield was the main centre of cutlery production in England, and in 1624 The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire was formed to oversee the trade. [cite book |last= Binfield |first= Clyde |coauthors= Hey, David |title= Mesters to Masters: A History of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire | chapter = Introduction: The Cutlers' Company and the Town | editor = Clyde Binfield and David Hey |publisher= Oxford University Press |year= 1997 |id= ISBN 0-19-828997-9 ] Examples of water-powered blade and cutlery workshops surviving from around this time can be seen at the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet and Shepherd Wheel museums in Sheffield.

Around a century later, in "Letter 8, Part 3: South and West Yorkshire", of his book "A tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain", Daniel Defoe commented:

quotation|This town of Sheffield is very populous and large, the streets narrow, and the houses dark and black, occasioned by the continued smoke of the forges, which are always at work: Here they make all sorts of cutlery-ware, but especially that of edged-tools, knives, razors, axes, &. and nails; and here the only mili of the sort, which was in use in England for some time was set up, (viz.) for turning their grindstones, though now 'tis grown more common.

Here is a very spacious church, with a very handsome and high spire; and the town is said to have at least as many, if not more people in it than the city of York. [cite book |last=Defoe |first=Daniel |authorlink=Daniel Defoe |title=A tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain |year=1723–27 |publisher=G. Strahan |location=London ( [http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/text/contents_page.jsp?t_id=Defoe transcription] )]

Charles Wesley, the Methodist preacher, visited Sheffield several times. He recorded some details of his 1747 visit in his journal, which was subsequently published in 1849. [Charles Wesley, The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (London, 1849) | [http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/text/chap_page.jsp?t_id=C_Wesley&c_id=22] ]

quotation| Fri., January 30th. I preached at Sheffield, where the rioters threatened much, but did nothing.
...I warned the hardened sinners at Sheffield from those awful words, "Except the Lord of hosts had left us a very small remnant," &. He filled my mouth with judgments against this people, except they repent, which I trembled to utter. So did most who heard, particularly some of our fiercest persecutors. I found relief and satisfaction in having delivered my own soul, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear. |Charles Wesley|"The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley" from the chapter January 1- April 27, 1747

In the 1740s Benjamin Huntsman, a clock maker in Handsworth invented a form of the crucible steel process for making a better quality of steel than had previously been available. At around the same time Thomas Boulsover invented a technique for fusing a thin sheet of silver onto a copper ingot producing a form of silver plating that became known as Sheffield plate. In 1773 Sheffield was given a silver assay office. Innovations continued; in the late eighteenth century, Britannia metal, a pewter-based alloy similar in appearance to silver, was invented in the town. [ [http://www.simt.co.uk/collections/collections-1-2-2.html Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust: The Holloware Industry Collection] ]

Huntsman's process was only made obsolete in 1856 by Henry Bessemer's invention of the Bessemer converter. Bessemer had tried to induce steelmakers to take up his improved system, but met with general rebuffs, and finally was driven to undertake the exploitation of the process himself. To this end he erected steelworks in Sheffield. Gradually the scale of production was enlarged until the competition became effective, and steel traders generally became aware that the firm of Henry Bessemer & Co. was underselling them to the extent of £20 a ton. One of Bessemer's converters can still be seen at Sheffield's Kelham Island Museum.

The Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century saw the population of Sheffield increase rapidly. In 1800 Sheffield had a population of around 31,000 people.

Prior to 1818, the town was run by a mixture of bodies. The Sheffield Town Trust and the Church Burgesses, for example, divided responsibility for the improvement of streets and bridges. By the nineteenth century, however, both organisations lacked funds and struggled even to maintain existing infrastructure.Clyde Binfield et al, "The History of the City of Sheffield 1843 - 1993: Volume I: Politics"]

The Church Burgesses organised a public meeting on 27 May 1805 and proposed to apply to Parliament for an act to pave, light and clean the city's streets. The proposal was defeated. but the idea of a Commission was revived in 1810, and later in the decade Sheffield finally followed the model adopted by several other towns in petitioning for an Act to establish an Improvement Commission. This eventuallly led to the Sheffield Improvement Act 1818, which established the Commission and included a number of other provisions.

In 1832 the town gained political representation with the formation of a Parliamentary borough. A municipal borough was formed by an Act of Incorporation in 1843, and this borough was granted the style and title of "City" by Royal Charter in 1893. [cite web | title = History of the Lord Mayor | work = Sheffield City Council website | url = http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/your-city-council/lord-mayor/history-of-lord-mayor | accessdate = 14 May | accessyear = 2005 ] By 1900, the City of Sheffield had grown to a population of around 400,000 people. In this time, Sheffield became known worldwide for the production of cutlery; utensils such as the bowie knife were mass produced and shipped to the United States.From the mid-eighteenth century, a succession of public buildings were erected in the town. St Paul's Church, now demolished, was among the first, while the old Town Hall and the present Cutlers' Hall were among the major works of the nineteenth century.

In order to cope with the exponential population growth, the Sheffield Waterworks Company built a number of reservoirs around the town. Parts of Sheffield were devastated when, following a five year construction project, the Dale Dyke dam collapsed on Friday 11 March 1864, resulting in the Great Sheffield Flood. The growing population also led to the construction of a large number of back-to-back slums, which, along with severe pollution from the factories, inspired George Orwell, writing in 1937, to declare, "Sheffield, I suppose, could justly claim to be called the ugliest town in the Old World". [cite book |last=Orwell |first=George |authorlink=George Orwell |title=The Road to Wigan Pier |year=1937 |chapter=Chapter 7 |publisher=Victor Gollancz Ltd |location=London ]

Steel production at this time involved long working hours, in unpleasant conditions that offered little or no safety protection. Friedrich Engels in his "The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844" described the conditions prevalent in the city at that time:

Sheffield became one of the main centres for trade union organisation and agitation in the UK. By the 1860s, the growing conflict between capital and labour provoked the so-called 'Sheffield Outrages', which culminated in a series of explosions and murders carried out by union militants. The Sheffield Trades Council organised a meeting in Sheffield in 1866 at which the United Kingdom Alliance of Organised Trades — a forerunner of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) — was founded. [cite web |url=http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-2878-f6.cfm |title=Events that led to the first TUC |accessdate=2006-12-03 |work=TUC website ]

Stainless steel was invented by Harry Brearley in 1912, at the Brown Firth Laboratories in Sheffield. [cite web |url=http://www.tilthammer.com/bio/brear.html |title=Harry Brearley 1871–1948 |accessdate=2006-12-30 |work=Tilt Hammer ] His successor as manager at Brown Firth, Dr. W. H. Hatfield, continued Brealey's work. In 1924 he patented '18-8 stainless steel', which to this day is probably the widest-used alloy of this type.

The 20th century to the present

In 1914 Sheffield became a diocese of the Church of England, [cite web |url=http://www.sheffield.anglican.org/ |title=Homepage of the Anglican Diocese of Sheffield |accessdate=2006-12-30 ] and the parish church became a cathedral. [cite web |url=http://www.sheffield-cathedral.co.uk/txtimg_1.asp?articleID=60 |title=History |accessdate=2006-12-30 |format= |work=Sheffield Cathedral website ] During World War I the Sheffield City Battalion suffered heavy losses at the Somme [cite web |url=http://www.pals.org.uk/sheffield/ |title=The Sheffield City Battalion: 12th (Service) Battalion, York & Lancaster Regiment |accessdate=2006-12-30 ] and Sheffield itself was bombed by a German zeppelin. [Vickers, "Old Sheffield Town", p. 20] The recession of the 1930s was only halted by the increasing tension as World War II loomed. The steel factories of Sheffield were set to work making weapons and ammunition for the war. As a result, once war was declared, the city once again became a target for bombing raids. In total there were 16 raids over Sheffield, however it was the heavy bombing over the nights of 12 December and 15 December 1940 (now known as the "Sheffield Blitz") when the most substantial damage occurred. More than 660 lives were lost and numerous buildings were destroyed. [cite web |url=http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~engsheffield/blitz/blitz.htm |title=The Story of the Sheffield Blitz, 12th & 15th December 1940 |accessdate=2006-12-30 |work=Sheffield Genealogy Family & Social History ]

Following the war, the 1950s and 1960s saw large parts of the city centre cleared, new buildings were erected and a new system of roads, including the Inner Ring Road, were laid out. Also at this time many of the old slums were cleared and replaced with housing schemes such as the Park Hill flats, [Vickers, "Old Sheffield Town", p.21] and the Gleadless Valley estate.

The 1980s saw the worst of the collapse of Sheffield's industries (along with those of many other areas in the UK), culminating with the UK miners' strike (1984–1985).Fact|date=April 2007

The building of the Meadowhall shopping centre on the site of a former steelworks in 1990 was a mixed blessing, creating much needed jobs but speeding the decline of the city centre. [cite book |title=A Tale of Two Cities: Global Change, Local Feeling, and Everyday Life in the North of England : a Study in Manchester and Sheffield |last=Taylor |first=Ian R. |coauthors=Evans, Karen; Fraser, Penny |year=1996 |publisher= Routledge |location= Abingdon |isbn=0415138280 |pages=pp. 145–147 ] Attempts to regenerate the city were kick-started by the hosting of the 1991 World Student Games [cite web |url=http://www.fisu.net/site/page_518.php |title=FISU History |accessdate=2007-03-12 |work=International University Sports Federation ] and the associated building of new sporting facilities such as the Sheffield Arena, Don Valley Stadium and the Ponds Forge complex. Starting in 1992, Sheffield began construction of a tram system with the first section of the new system opening in 1994 (an earlier tram system had closed in 1960). Starting in 1995, the "Heart of the City Project" has seen a number of public works in the city centre: the Peace Gardens were renovated in 1998, the Millennium Galleries opened in April 2001, and a 1970s town hall extension was demolished in 2002 to make way for the Winter Gardens, which opened on 22 May 2003. A number of other projects grouped under the title Sheffield One aim to regenerate the whole of the city centre.

On June 25 2007, flooding caused millions of pounds worth of damage to buildings in the city and led to the loss of two lives. [ [http://www.itv.com/news/c26a47fa4e83823647b0c701b003122d.html Floods leave city crippled] ITV News, recovered 26 June 2007 ]

ee also

*Timeline of Sheffield history
*History of Yorkshire
*History of Derbyshire
*History of England

Bibliography

*cite book |last=Addy |first=Sidney Oldall |title=A Glossary of Words Used in the Neighbourhood of Sheffield. Including a Selection of Local Names, and Some Notices of Folk-Lore, Games, and Customs |year=1888 |publisher=Trubner & Co. for the English Dialect Society |location=London ()
*cite book |last=Harman |first=R. |coauthors=Minnis, J. |title=Pevsner City Guides: Sheffield. |year=2004 |publisher=Yale University Press |location=New Haven & London |id=ISBN 0-300-10585-1
*cite book |last=Hunter |first=Joseph |authorlink=Joseph Hunter (antiquarian) |title=Hallamshire. The History and Topography of the Parish of Sheffield in the County of York |year=1819 |publisher=Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mayor & Jones |location=London ()
*cite book |last=Vickers |first=J. Edward MBE |title=Old Sheffield Town. An Historical Miscellany |edition=2nd |year=1999 |publisher=The Hallamshire Press Limited |location=Sheffield |id=ISBN 1-874718-44-X

References and notes


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