When I first walked around Shrewsbury and looked up at the Old Market Hall, I read, as many visitors do, the inscription about the small statue (possibly of the Duke of York) which was ‘removed by order of the Mayor from the tower on the Welsh Bridge in 1791.’ I’ve been cataloguing the Mayor’s accounts for the late 18th century and have found two bills relating to the statue in the accounts for 1791. The first is a bill from Carline and Tilley, who I believe designed and built the Welsh Bridge. It is dated 12th March 1791 and is for £8 8s. The bill says: ‘To putting up the old figure and harmonial stones at the end of the Market Hall brought from the tower taken down at the Welsh Bridge.’ I also came across another bill of 9th March from John Fradgley for ‘cramps and plugs for fixing the statue at the Market House: 27 @4d – 9s’
For me, as a newcomer to Shropshire, it was exciting to find an entries in the Mayor’s accounts that I recognised and to make the link with something we can all still see today.
Maggie Hudson (Volunteer)