SHIELDS, SOUTH, a seaport, market-town, and municipal and parliamentary borough of Durham, is situated on the south bank of the Tyne, at its mouth, immediately opposite North Shields and Tynemouth, and on the North-Eastern Railway, 18 miles north-east of Durham and 9 east of Newcastle-on-Tyne. It is connected with North Shields and Tynemouth by steam ferries. The town possesses a spacious market-place, and seine of the newer streets are wide and handsome, but the old street running along the shore is narrow and mean. Formerly salt was largely manufactured, but the principal industries now are the manufacture of glass and chemicals, and shipbuilding and ship refitting and repairing, for which there are docks capable of receiving the largest vessels. The North-Eastern Railway Company possesses extensive docks, and the port has a large trade in coal; but, owing to the fact that in the shipping returns of the United Kingdom it is included under the general title "Tyne Ports," it is impossible to give an accurate statement regarding the number and tonnage of vessels. The number of fishing vessels connected with the port in 1884 was 15, of 204 tons and employing 98 men. At the mouth of the Tyne there is a pier about a mile in length. A townsman of South Shields, William Wouldhave, was the inventor of the lifeboat, and the first lifeboat was built there by Henry Greathead, and first used in a storm in 1789. The principal public buildings are the church of St Hilda, with a picturesque old tower ; the town-hall in the marketplace ; the exchange ; the custom-house ; the mercantile marine offices ; the public library and museum, which includes a large hall for public meetings and a school of science and art in connexion with South Kensington ; the high school, the grammar school, the marine school, the master-mariners' asylum, the Ingham infirmary, and the union workhouse. There is a pleasant marine park near the pier. On elevated ground near the harbour are the remains of a Roman station, where numerous coins, portions of an altar, and several sculptured memorial stones have been dug up. The site of the old station was afterwards occupied by a fort of considerable strength, which was captured by the Scots under Colonel Stewart 20th March 1644. The town was founded by the convent of Durham about the middle of the 13th century, but on account of the complaints of the burgesses of Newcastle an order was made in the 43d year of Henry III., stipulating that no ships should be laden or unladen at Shields, and that no " shoars" or quays should be built there. This early check seems to have been long injurious to its prosperity, for until the present century it was little more than a fishing station. It received a charter of incorporation in 1850, and is divided into three wards, governed by a mayor, eight aldermen, and twenty-four councillors. In 1832 it received the privilege of returning a member to parliament. The corporation act as the urban sanitary authority, and the town has a specially good water supply from reservoirs at Cleadon. The population of the municipal and parliamentary borough (area 1839 acres) was 45,336 in 1871, and in 1881 it was 56,875.