Historical Accounts of Middlesbrough
From JG Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles (1905):
Middlesbrough parliamentary and county borough, parish , and river port, with railway station, North Eastern Railway, North Riding, Yorkshire, on right bank of Tees estuary, 3 miles North East of Stockton parliamentary borough, 4466 acres, population 116,546; county borough and parish, 2685 acres, population 91,302. Middlesbrough is an almost unparalleled example of rapid growth; in 1831 its population was 383. It was incorporated in 1853, enfranchised in 1867, and made a county borough in 1888. It dates from 1829, when its site was occupied by a solitary farmhouse, representing the ancient priory of St. Hilda; in that year its erection as a port for the shipment of coal was suggested by the construction of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which would bring the great coal fields of Durham into easy access. The first ship was freighted with coal at Middlesbrough in June 1831. Originally founded as a coal exporting port, Middlesbrough quickly became, with the discovery of the mineral riches of the Cleveland district, the principal seat of the English iron trade. This trade dates from 1840, when the works of Messrs. Bolckow & Vaughan were established on the banks of the Tees. There are now numerous blast-furnaces and large iron and steelworks; there are also shipbuilding yards, chemical works, potteries, and a salt trade. There is a large dock 1200 ft. long, and an anchorage area of 20 acres (For shipping statistics, see APPENDIX.) The town is well laid out, and has many handsome public buildings ; the Municipal Buildings (1889) were erected at a cost of £10,000. A park of 72 acres was presented to the town by Mr. H. W. F. Bolckow, the first mayor and the first member of the borough. Middlesbrough returns 1 member to Parliament ; its parliamentary limits were extended in 1885 ; the parliamentary constituency contains 18,542 electors.
Extract above from: The Survey Gazetteer of the British Isles. Topographical, Statistical and Commercial. Compiled from the 1901 Census and the latest official returns. Editor JG Bartholomew. George Newnes Ltd. (1904). Some abbreviations in the original text have been expanded.