In transcribing the following paragraphs from the Internet Archive online version, I have expanded the abbreviations for easier reading and added paragraphing and subtitle South The illustrations are in the original. — George P. Landow]

WALES, a principality, adjoining the west of England. It was formerly more extensive than now; it included, besides its present area, all of what is now Monmouthshire, and considerable portions of what are now Herefordshire, Salop, and Cheshire; and it now comprises the counties of Anglesey, Carnarvon, Merioneth, Denbigh, Flint, and Montgomery forming North Wales, and the connties of Cardigan, Radnor, Brecon, Glamorgan, Carmarthen, and Pembroke, forming South Wales. It is bounded, on the north, by the Irish sea and the estuary of the Dee; on the east, by Cheshire, Salop, Herefordshire, and Monmouthshire; on the south, by Bristol channel; on the west, by St. George’s channeL Its length from north to south, is 136 miles; its breadth varies from 37 to 92 miles; its circuit is about 540 miles,—of which 390 are coast; and its area is 2,003,297 acres in North Wales and 2,731,189 in South Wales, or altogether 4,734,436 acres.

The surface, in a general view, is imposingly mountainous in the north, grandly hilly in the south; aggregately a land of soaring heights and magnificent acclivities, —of limited plains, narrow vales, aud gorgy ravines, —of endlessly diversified uplands, with interesting pieces of lowland, rich in the ornature of river, lake, and wood. Details as to contour, waters, rocks, minerals, soils, agriculture, manufactures, commerce, railways, roads, government, statistics, history, and antiquities are given in our articles on the several counties.

The History of Wales to Ancient Times

The territory all was anciently inhabited by the Cymri, comprising the Ordovices, the Silures, and the Dimetae; was overrun by the Romans in 50-73, called by them Cambria, and constituted their Britannia Secunda; was afterwards, in the Saxon times, with allusion to Gael or Gaul, called Cambria Wallia or Wealias; was divided, in 843-77, into the three principalities of Gwynedd, Dinevor, and Powys; was ravaged in 375, in its southern parts, by the Danes; was appropriated, to some extent, in 1102-8, by the Normans; was annexed to England by Edward I., and finally incorporated with it by Henry VIII.; and since the time of Edward I., has given the title of Prince to the eldest son of the English monarch.

Religion in Wales

The principality contains the entire dioceses of Bangor and St. Davids and the greater part of the dioceses of St. Asaph and Llandalf. The places of worship, in North Wales, at the census of 1851, were 364 of the Church of England, with 107,159 sittings; 273 of Independents, with 49,945 sittings; 143 of Baptists, with 22,114 x; 1 of Quakers, with 60 sittings; 2 of Unitarians, with 710 x; 260 of Wesleyans, with 45,782 sittings; 14 of New Connexion Methodists, with 2,534 sittings; 33 of Primitive Methodists, with 3,379 sittings; 11 of the Wesleyan Association, with 1,019 sittings; 1 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 470 sittings.; 47S of Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, with 105,148 sittings; 1 of Brethren, with 70 sittings.; 16 of isolated congregations, with 3,010 sittings; 7 of Latter Day Saints, with 360 sittings; and 5 of Roman Catholics, with 335 sittings.

The places of worship in South Wales, at the census of 1851, were 615 of the Church of England, with 129,491 sittings; 367 of Independents, with 103,997 sittings; 297 of Baptists, with 75,921 sittings; 7 of Quakers, with 714 sittings; 25 of Unitariaus, with 4,890 sittings; 168 of Wesleyans, with 31,313 sittings; 37 of Primitive Methodists, with 4,152 sittings; 1 of Bible Christians, with 140 sittings; 1 of the Wesleyan Association, with 253 sittings; 2 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 120 sittings; 302 of Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, with 77,949 sittings; 1 of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, with 650 sittings; 1 of Brethren, with 200 sittings; 12 of isolated congregations, with 1,541 sittings; 18 of Latter Day Saints, with 2,170 sittings; 7 of Roman Catholics, with 1,93S sittings; and 2 of Jews, with 112 sittings.


The schools in North Wales were 369 public day-schools, with 29,712 scholars; 279 private day-schools, with 7,372 s.; 1,389 Sunday schools, with 132,967 scholars; and 13 evening schools for adults, with 261 scholars. The schools in South Wales were 449 public day-schools, with 35,712 scholars; 572 private day-schools, with 15,209 scholars; 1,332 Sunday schools, with 136,411 scholars; and 26 evening schools for adults, with 647 scholars.

Property and Population

The amount of real property, in 1815, was £2,343,715; in 1843, £3,365,818; in I860, £4,774,523,—of which £398,246 were in mines, £1S6,600 in quarries, £19S,225 in ironworks, £355 in fisheries, £32,233 in canals, £129,520 in railways, and £10,913 in gas-works.

Population in 1801, 541,677, in 1821, 718,353; in 1841, 911,705; in 1851, 1,111,780. Inhabited houses, 226,074; uninhabited, 10,412; building, 1,945. The poor-law or registration arrangement includes most of Monmouthshire; makes considerable interchanges of area with the other contiguous English counties; and divides Wales into Monmouthshire with 6 districts, North Wales with 18 districts, and South Wales with 26 districts. Acres, 5,218,583. Poor-rates, in 1853, £602,969. Ton. iu 1851, 1,186,697; in 1561, 1,312,834. Inhabited houses, 264,634; uninhabited, 12,576; budding, 2,204. Marriages in 1863, 10,570, —of which 4,998 were not accordiug to the rites of the Established church; births, 45,755,—of which 3,235 were illegitimate; deaths, 2S,159,—of which 10,292 were at ages under 5 years, and 1,005 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 9S,468; births, 411,892; deaths, 265,980. [VI, 995]


Wilson, John Marius. The Imperial Gazetteer. of England and Wales. . . . 6 vol. Edinburgh, Glasgow, etc.: A. Fullarton, [1871]. Internet Archive online version of a copy in the University of California Library. Web. 23 August 2022

Last modified 23 August 2022