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From 1791, the Town Commissioners were the main local authority although the Court Leet continued to meet until 1866.

In 1836 the Dudley Poor Law Union was formed, consisting of Dudley itself, and the parishes of Sedgley, Tipton, and Rowley Regis.

Abraham Darby was born near Wrens Nest Hill near the town of Dudley and it is claimed that he may have known about Dud Dudley's earlier work.

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By the early 16th century the Dudley estate, now held by the Sutton family, had become severely in debt and was first mortgaged to distant relative John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, before being sold outright in 1535.

During the English Civil War Dudley served as a Royalist stronghold, with the castle besieged twice by the Parliamentarians and later partly demolished on the orders of the Government after the Royalist surrender.

Dudley presently has two parliamentary constituencies, Dudley North and Dudley South, which cover the town and its surrounding area.

The current MPs elected from these seats to the House of Commons are Labour's Ian Austin, and the Conservative Mike Wood, respectively.

For many years the town (but not the castle, which was outside the boundary in Staffordshire) Despite the more recent changes in county boundaries, the town and borough still remain part of the Anglican Diocese of Worcester.

The town had been a manorial borough from the end of the 13th century, and from at least the 16th century until the passing of the Dudley Town Act of 1791, was governed by the Court Leet of the Lords of Dudley.

impoverished place during the 16th and 17th centuries, but the advent of the Industrial Revolution began to reverse this trend.

In the early 17th century, Dud Dudley, an illegitimate son of Edward Sutton, 5th Baron Dudley and Elizabeth Tomlinson, Abraham Darby was descended from Dud Dudley's sister, Jane, and was the first person to produce iron commercially using coke instead of charcoal at his works in Coalbrookdale, Shropshire in 1709.

The castle provided the centre from which the town and borough grew, with early coal and iron workings helping establish Dudley as a major market town during the Middle Ages, selling not only agricultural produce, but also iron goods at a national level.

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