The parish church of ST. MART
AND ALL SAINTS occupies a high
position in the centre of the town,
the tower being particularly prominent when approached by the wide street leading up to the fine
wrought-iron gates of the churchyard.
The building consists of a chancel 43 ft. 6 in. long
by 19 ft. 6 in. broad, with a south passage called 'the
cloisters' 8 ft. wide, a nave 81 ft. by 19 ft., north
and south aisles and south-west tower. These
measurements are all internal. There are further
buildings at the eastern end of the chancel consisting
of a vestry and the 13th-century chantry of St. Mary,
restored later. The church as a whole is very late
in style and has been much rebuilt in modern times.
The six-light east window of the chancel is modern,
and is designed in the style of the 14th century.
The two piscinae, the sedilia and the side windows
are all modern, but part of the walling is old. To
the north side is an organ bay, built in 1874, and on
the south side a modern arcade of three bays opening
into an eastern extension of the south aisle, built in
1850, beyond which are 'the cloisters,' built in 1888.
The chancel arch has been rebuilt. The nave has
an arcade of six bays on the north and a similar
arcade on the south, but the two western bays are
replaced by the tower arch.
The arches are of two moulded orders with octagonal
capitals and piers of about 1530. The north-east
respond is cut back, probably to allow for a rood-loft,
the entrance to which was by a stair behind the southeast respond. Above the arcade are clearstory windows
of two lights with tracery and square heads of a late
The windows in the north wall of the north aisle
are five in number, and are of three lights, with the
exception of the westernmost, which is of four. The
window in the west wall is of eight lights. All are
modern, in the style of the 15th century.
The tower, as proved by the remains of an internal
buttress, is slightly older than the arcades, and has an
arch with multiple shafts. The west window is similar
to that of the nave, but of five lights.
All the windows to the south nave aisle are modern
restorations in 15th-century style, and to the south
of the tower is a small modern porch, the roof of
which abuts against a five-light window of the same
date in the tower wall. The broken masonry on the
south-west pier of the south aisle arcade seems to
indicate an earlier arcade outside the present one.
The roofs and fittings are modern, as is likewise the
The church contains a number of fine monuments.
In the chancel floor is a beautiful 15th-century brass
consisting of a lady with a knight in plates on either
side of her, and above them a triple canopy with a
row of shields over. The brass is 8 ft. in length and
has a Latin inscription in rhyming hexameters to John
Phelip and his wife Matilda, formerly wife of Walter
Cooksey. John Phelip died in 1415.
Above are the remains of six shields: the first, which
had the arms of Phelip, is lost, the second is Phelip
impaling Harmanville, the third Harmanville, the
fourth Phelip, the fifth Cooksey and the last Cooksey
On the north side of the chancel is a large monument to Sir Hugh Cooksey, lord of Caldwall Manor,
and his wife, 1445. The figures lie in a recess under
a four-centred arch. Above and on the sides the
tomb is panelled and enriched with quatrefoils containing shields. In the centre above the tomb is a
shield of the arms of Cooksey quartering Braose, supported by two others. On the east and west ends
are angels holding shields; the western is quarterly
(1) and (3) Cooksey, (2) Boteler, (4) St. Piers. The
eastern has quarterly (1) and (3) Cooksey, (2) Harmanville, (4) Argent a bend gules within a border
checky or and azure.
West of this is a semicircular panelled arch in the
wall containing a tomb with the effigies of Thomas
Blount and his wife Margery with their five children.
There is a defaced inscription on the wife's tomb,
which states that she died November 1500. Above
the figures is a shield: Quarterly (1) and (4) Blount;
(2) Cornwall of Kinlet; (3) Argent three cheverons
engrailed gules impaling Or a lion sable.
In the chancel is a carved chair which is said to
have belonged to Richard Baxter, 1640.
On the south wall of the church are the marble
effigies of Sir Edward Blount and his two wives
(1630), with a shield, which, like all the rest of the
heraldry of these monuments, has been repainted.
In the south aisle wall opposite the chancel arch
are the mutilated remains of a 15th-century recessed
tomb having four panels divided by groups of shafts,
the lower panels with as many angels holding shields.
Above these the panels are pierced and open on a
recess with an effigy of Lady Joyce Beauchamp, who
founded the chantry of St. Catherine. Above the
opening are four figures, under rich crocketed canopies: the first two, perhaps, represent the Annunciation, the third is an angel, and the fourth figure,
which holds the base of a chalice, may be St. John.
The tomb extended above these, but is broken off,
and has been inserted for preservation in its present
The exterior of the church has been to a great
extent refaced at various dates in modern times.
The tower, west front and clearstory were the last
renovations. The former is a good copy of what the
15th-century tower was, and has three stages with
crocketed angle pinnacles, canopied niches and panelled
and embattled parapet, the latter feature being repeated
to the nave clearstory. The wrought-iron gates of
the churchyard are modern copies of an older pair.
There are eight bells, cast in 1754, and four more
for chimes added in 1882.
The plate consists of a paten presented by Thomas
Jennens, 1623, mark obliterated; a second paten
similar to this, but uninscribed and with obliterated
mark; a third, modern. There are three modern
chalices, a modern flagon and three glass cruets with
silver lids. There are also a silver straining spoon and
six pewter plates marked S.H.B.
The registers are a remarkable set, being complete
from 1539, and, besides being in excellent preservation, are enriched with colours in the titles and
capitals and with various pen designs. Before 1812
they are as follows: (i) all entries 1539 to 1636;
(ii) 1636 to 1672; (iii) 1672 to 1706 (these books,
especially the first, being elaborately enriched); (iv)
1706 to 1722; (v) 1722 to 1761, the marriages
stopping 1754; (vi) baptisms and burials 1761 to
1784; (vii) the same 1784 to 1800; (viii) the same
1801 to 1812. The marriage books from 1754 are
five in number, 1754 to 1767, 1767 to 1777, 1777
to 1789, 1789 to 1802, 1802 to 1812.
The church of ST. GEORGE was erected in 1824
in early 15th-century Gothic, and consists of a short
chancel, the sanctuary projecting into the body of
the building, a nave, north and south aisles, a west
tower—the bottom stage of which is used as the main
vestibule—and vestries at the east end of the chancel.
Over the aisles and the west end of the nave is a
The church of ST. JOHN BAPTIST consists of a
chancel, with an organ chamber and vestries on the
north, a nave, three aisles, one on the north of the
nave and two on the south, a south transept, a south
porch and a tower at the west end of the inner south
aisle. The church was originally built in 1843, but
was, with the exception of the tower, completely
rebuilt and greatly enlarged from 1890 to 1894.
It is a large and dignified structure in 14th-century
The church of ST. JAMES is a small red brick
building erected in 1872 in the pointed style, and
consists of chancel, nave, north vestries, with a small
bell-turret and a west porch. The open pitch pine
roof is tiled.
The church of ST. BARNABAS, Franche, which
was consecrated in 1871, is a small red brick building,
consisting of a chancel, a nave, a south porch—above
which rises a small lead-covered bell-turret—and a
north vestry. It is built in 13th-century style, and
has an open pitch pine roof covered with tiles.
The old church of ST. MICHAEL, Lower Mitton,
now disused, is a late 18th-century red brick building
consisting of transepts, nave with galleries, north and
south porches, and west tower, with an apsidal
chancel added in the 19th century. The galleries
are reached by two external stone stairways, one on
each side of the nave. The tower is in three stages
separated by stone strings. To the north is the new
church, also dedicated to St. Michael, begun in 1887.
It consists at present of a nave of six bays with clearstory, north and south aisles, and a vaulted south
porch, built in the style of the 14th century, of
ashlar sandstone dressed both internally and externally.
The chancel and west tower included in the design
have not yet been built.
The church of HOLY TRINITY, Trimpley, consisting of chancel, nave, and vestry, was built in 1844.
The church of ALL SAINTS, Wribbenhall, consisting of chancel, vestry, nave, south aisle, south
porch, and north-east octagonal tower, is built of
coursed sandstone rubble in the decorated style with
tiled roofs. The lower part of the tower is square
and serves as the organ chamber.
Manasser Biset had a church at
Kidderminster of which he gave
the reversion, contingent upon the
death of Robert of Hurcott the Clerk, to his foundation for lepers at Maiden Bradley, co. Wilts., before
1175. (fn. 1) This grant was confirmed both by the
king and by Bishop Roger. (fn. 2) Later Henry de Soilli,
Bishop of Worcester, appropriated the church to the
priory. (fn. 3)
The prior and monks pensioned Robert, appointing a vicar, Adam of Hurcott, who paid 100s. to
him and 100s. to the priory yearly; but when the
vicar 'went away' John Biset claimed the right of
presentation as lord of the manor, and the dispute
resulted in the appointment by the bishop of a
'rector,' Master Thomas de Upton paying 20 marks
yearly to the priory. Upon the death of this 'rector'
John Biset presented another, the priory having
certain tithes assigned to it (1241). (fn. 4)
The advowson formed part of the dower of Alice
widow of John Biset, and litigation ensued, both in
England and at Rome. (fn. 5) In spite of the prior's
release of his rights in 1250 in return for 40s., land
and rent in 'Wytford,' (fn. 6) a dispute arose about 1265
between the rector appointed by Alice Biset and the
prior as to tithes, (fn. 7) and was finally settled by arbitrators appointed by the pope. (fn. 8)
After the death of Alice Biset two of the three
co-heirs of John Biset surrendered all their rights in
the advowson to John Rivers, the third co-heir, who
re-granted the church, 'with all liberties rights and
customs belonging thereto,' to the priory. (fn. 9) In 1270
the prior obtained royal confirmation of these grants. (fn. 10)
The prior subsequently petitioned the pope for a
renewal of the former appropriation, (fn. 11) and in consequence a portion was assigned to the vicar, with a
house, curtilage and dovecot adjoining the south side
of the churchyard (1336). (fn. 12) In 1340 the recently
presented vicar, John de la Doune, 'like an ungrateful
man,' obtained for himself a larger portion, including
the manor of Hurcott. (fn. 13) The Priors of Maiden
Bradley continued to present until the dissolution of
the house. An attempt to seize the advowson made
by Richard II was reversed by Henry IV. (fn. 14)
A new ordination of the vicarage was made in
1401 and again in 1403. (fn. 15)
After the dissolution of Maiden Bradley Priory the
rectorial rights and the advowson were granted, with
the other property of the priory, to Viscount Lisle. (fn. 16)
After his attainder Queen Mary granted the rectory
and advowson to Richard Pates, Bishop of Worcester,
14 November 1558. (fn. 17) In June 1559, after Mary's
death, (fn. 18) he was deprived and imprisoned, and Elizabeth granted the rectory and advowson to Thomas
Blount, 1559–60. (fn. 19) The subsequent history of the
advowson is identical with that of Hurcott (q.v.),
but the rectorial tithes were sold by Edmund Waller
to Daniel Dobbyns, who divided them into portions
and bequeathed them to his several sons. (fn. 20)
The parishes of St. George, Kidderminster, and
St. John the Baptist, Kidderminster, were chapelries
of St. Mary and All Saints until 1867, when they
were constituted separate parishes. (fn. 21) The livings are
in the gift of the vicar of St. Mary and All Saints.
St. James is a chapelry of St. Mary and All Saints.
St. Barnabas, Franche, is a chapelry of St. Mary
and All Saints, dating from 1871.
Lower Mitton was a chapelry from very early
times. A certain Philip was chaplain of Mitton
1200–14. (fn. 22) The chapelry was valued at 53s. 4d.
circa 1334, and the altarage and the heriots in
Mitton were set aside for the chaplain's use. (fn. 23) A
burial-place was consecrated in 1625. (fn. 24)
In 1844 Lower Mitton was formed into a separate
ecclesiastical district, (fn. 25) and in 1866 the living was
declared a vicarage. (fn. 26) The vicar of St. Mary and
All Saints, Kidderminster, was patron of the living
until the building of the new church, the advowson
now being vested in the bishop. Until 1860 the
rectorial tithes formed a part of the Lower Mitton
and Lickhill estate. (fn. 27)
Holy Trinity, Trimpley, is a chapel of ease to
St. Mary and All Saints, Kidderminster. The chantry
chapel of Trimpley was dedicated to the Virgin
Mary. (fn. 28) Tradition locates this chapel near the present
chapel of Holy Trinity, possibly on the site of the
orchard now attached to the Trimpley post office.
This supposition is borne out by the fact that the
name 'Guyldones' is still applied to land in the
neighbourhood, while land called 'Gyldons' lay near
the chapel in 1501. (fn. 29)
John Attwood, usher of the king's chamber, of
Wolverley and Trimpley, had licence to hear divine
service in his oratory at Wood Acton, Wolverley, and
Trimpley in 1357. (fn. 30) He built the chapel of Trimpley,
endowing it with lands sufficient to maintain a priest
to celebrate there daily for the souls of himself, his
wife Alice, and his parents, (fn. 31) and obtaining indulgences
and relaxation of penance for those who visited the
chapel and gave alms for its repair. (fn. 32)
The advowson of the chapel remained with the
successive lords of Park Attwood (q.v.) until 1547,
when it was seized by the Crown under the Chantries
Act. In 1549 the messuage called the Chantry
House, with the chapel yard and the land belonging
to it, was purchased by John Cupper and Richard
Trevor. (fn. 33) It subsequently came into the possession of Hugh Lee (d. 1576), (fn. 34) under whose will it
ultimately passed to Sir Hugh Wrottesley, kt., who
died seised of it in 1633. (fn. 35) By this time, however,
the chapel had been pulled down. (fn. 36)
All Saints', Wribbenhall, is in the gift of the vicar
of Kidderminster. The original chapel, built in 1719
upon ground leased by John Cheltenham from Lord
Bergavenny, was for some time unconsecrated. The
vicar of Kidderminster nominated two successive curates,
but in 1742 and again in 1749 Lord Foley, as successor of Lord Bergavenny, nominated a curate and
claimed the room as his private property. (fn. 37) In 1844
Wribbenhall was constituted a separate chapelry. (fn. 38)
There were two chantries attached to Kidderminster
Church. (fn. 39) The one dedicated to the Virgin Mary
existed in 1305, when the lord of the manor joined
with the commonalty of the town in presenting a
chaplain. (fn. 40) It was built within the churchyard, (fn. 41) and
is now part of the main building. Apparently the
patronage remained with the lords of Kidderminster
Biset, although in 1499 a chaplain was presented by
Sir John Mortimer, Thomas Jenyns, bailiff, William
Colsell, and others of the more worthy parishioners, (fn. 42)
doubtless reviving the former rights of the commonalty.
Simon Rice (who died in March 1529–30) of
Over Mitton, rebuilt the chantry. It was suppressed
in 1547, and the building was used as a school in the
early part of the 17th century. (fn. 43)
The chantry of St. Catherine in the south aisle was
founded by Lady Joyce Beauchamp in 1469, and
was well endowed with lands at Trimpley, Puxton
and Habberley, (fn. 44) which were granted after its suppression to Robert, Thomas and Andrew Salter, and afterwards became the property of Simon Clare. (fn. 45)
In 1401 a devotional gild of the Holy Trinity came
into collision with the rector and vicar, and applied to
the pope for licence to have mass celebrated very early
in the morning by their own priest at the altar of the
Holy Trinity in the parish church. (fn. 46)
The history of Nonconformity in Kidderminster
dates from the time of Richard Baxter, the famous
divine and author of 'The Saint's Everlasting Rest.'
The corporation is justly proud in the possession of
an autograph copy of the first edition of this book,
and the townspeople have perpetuated his memory
by erecting a statue in the Bull Ring.
He was appointed lecturer at Kidderminster in
April 1641 by a committee of fourteen, in consequence
of an agreement between the congregation of All
Saints and their vicar, George Dance, whom they
blamed for 'weakness in preaching, drunkeness and
turning the table altar-wise.'
Baxter found in the town 'a small number of converts not much hated by the rest.' His eloquence
in preaching, his diligence in catechizing and visiting,
and his skill in medicine won the hearts of all classes;
he persuaded the weavers to read or to enter into
edifying converse at their looms, and his congregations
were so large that 'they were fain to build galleries'
in the church. Upon the outbreak of war he retired
to Coventry, for the 'rabble,' who clung to their
'fooleries,' parading the streets yearly with painted
forms of giants, were angry at the churchwardens'
attempt to destroy the crucifix on the churchyard
cross and vented their malice on Baxter, crying 'Down
with the Roundhead!' In 1647 he returned, after
'the rabble had all gone into the King's army and
About 1647 the vicarage was sequestered, and the
townspeople, who had the sequestration, offered the
living to Baxter, and ultimately procured it for him
against his will. (fn. 47)
He allowed the vicar, Mr. Dance, to 'live a
reformed life in peace,' at the old vicarage, himself
occupying a few rooms in the top of another man's
house. (fn. 48) This house is said to be the building at
present occupied by a confectioner on the north side
of the High Street.
At the restoration Mr. Dance became 'malapart'
again, and supported by Sir Ralph Clare, whose zeal
for conformity was greater than his (considerable)
respect for Baxter, recovered the living, and prevented
Baxter from resuming the lectureship. (fn. 49)
The 'Old Meeting' in Kidderminster is said to
have been founded in Mill Street by the Rev.
Thomas Baldwin, one of Baxter's assistants. (fn. 50)
Certainly in 1672 Thomas Baldwin and Thomas
Ware, Presbyterians, had licence to hold conventicles
in their houses. (fn. 51) A site for a meeting-house was
purchased in Bull Ring Street, 1694; the meetinghouse was rebuilt in 1753 and 1824, (fn. 52) and the
present 'Baxter Church' erected on the same site in
Another Congregational meeting in Park Street
was founded in 1774, and a chapel was built at
Stourport in Mitton Street, 1871. (fn. 53) A new Congregational Hall was opened at Kidderminster in
The Unitarian chapel in Church Street was built
in 1782 and rebuilt in 1883. Its founders seceded
from the 'Old Meeting' in 1780. (fn. 54) The chapel
contains Baxter's pulpit, removed from the parish
church at one of the restorations.
John Wesley frequently visited Kidderminster and
Stourport. The Wesleyan chapel in Mill Street
dates from 1803; it was built on the site of the
Countess of Huntingdon's chapel, (fn. 55) and is regulated
by a scheme of 4 November 1844. A second chapel
has recently been built in the Birmingham Road.
There are also a Wesleyan chapel at Stourport and
Primitive Methodist chapels in George Street (1824)
and at Lickhill Road, Stourport. New chapels have
been built to supply the needs of Foley Park and
other extensions of the town. The Baptists have a
chapel in Church Street. Their first chapel was
built in 1813 in Union Street. The present
building was erected in part by proceeds of the
sale of the former chapel under an order of the
Charity Commissioners 2 April 1878, on land comprised in a deed of 1864. It has a subordinate
meeting at Blakedown. Milton Hall was built in
1890. (fn. 56)
The Countess of Huntingdon's Free Church in
Dudley Street was built in 1818 to replace the one
sold to the Wesleyans. (fn. 57)
A Swedenborgian church was erected on Comberton Hill in 1908.
The Roman Catholic church of St. Ambrose,
Leswell, built in 1858, through the efforts of Father
Courtenay, replaced a chapel built in 1834. (fn. 58)
The Free Grammar School. (fn. 59)
Thomas Butcher, as appears from an
inquisition of commissioners of charitable uses, 16 Charles I, by his will gave an annuity
of £2 12s., issuing out of a public-house in Kidderminster, for poor every Sunday in bread.
In 1620 William Seabright, by his will, gave
£3 0s. 8d. yearly for the poor in bread and 6s. 8d.
yearly for the parish clerk for his trouble. The
annuities are received from the governors of Seabright's Endowed School, Wolverley.
In 1690 John Oldnall, by his will proved at
Worcester, gave 20s. yearly for the poor of the borough
and 20s. yearly for the poor of the foreign of Kidderminster.
In 1693 Thomas Cook, by his will, gave £2 12s.
yearly for the poor in bread issuing out of a house and
garden in Church Street.
The rent-charges above mentioned are duly paid
and distributed in bread together with the interest of
a legacy of £100 in the Post Office Savings Bank by
will of Edward Crane, dated in 1820.
In 1664 Abraham Plimley, by will, gave an annuity
of £3 2s. issuing out of two houses in the Bull Ring
for a poor person of the borough, the trustees to retain
2s. for their expenses.
In 1701 Elizabeth Bowyer, by deed, gave an annuity
of £3 5s. for a poor man or woman, the trustees to
retain 5s. for their expenses. The charge is now
represented by £108 6s. 8d. consols with the official
trustees, producing £2 14s. yearly.
In 1717 John Sparry, by his will, gave an annuity
of £2 5s. issuing out of three houses at Stourbridge
for a poor, honest man, the trustees to retain 5s. for
In 1833 Joshua Cotton Cooper, by will, left a
legacy, now represented by £105 10s. 8d. consols
with the official trustees, the annual dividends amounting to £2 12s. 8d. to be given in equal parts to two
poor persons not being man and wife.
The income of the four above-mentioned charities,
together with the income of £110 16s. 6d. on deposit
at the Metropolitan Bank, amounting to £3 6s.
yearly, representing a legacy by will of Thomas
Doolittle, is applied in the distribution of money.
In 1908 twenty-eight persons received about 10s.
In 1709 the Rev. Joseph Read, by deed, gave a
yearly sum of £7, £5, part thereof, to be applied for
the relief of a poor widow of the age of sixty years
and upwards, or for apprenticing a poor boy, and
the residue for the poor.
The legacy is now represented by £280 consols
with the official trustees. In 1908 £5 was paid to a
poor widow and £2 distributed among six poor
In 1710 Edward Butler, by deed, gave an annuity
of £2 2s. issuing out of two houses in the Bull Ring,
to be distributed equally among six poor men or
women on New Year's Day, the trustees to retain 2s.
for their expenses. The charge is duly paid and
In 1734 Mrs. Mary Glynn, by a codicil to her
will, directed £200 to be invested in land, the rents
thereof, subject to the repair of the vault of her
husband and herself, to be divided yearly among ten
poor old women. The land purchased was sold in 1880
and the proceeds invested in £551 14s. 4d. consols
with the official trustees, producing £13 15s. 8d.
yearly, which is duly applied.
— The charities known as Witnells Alms,
and the almshouses founded in 1670 by will of Sir
Ralph Clare, are regulated by a scheme of the Charity
Commissioners 15 May 1900. They comprise the
charities of Edmund Broad, founded by deed,
1596–7; Edward Mills, will 1614–15; Elizabeth
Mills, will, 1626; Thomas Dawkes, will, 1611;
Edward Dawkes, deed, 1632; Alice Dawkes, deed,
1614–15; and the charity of William Thomas
Cowper, founded by will proved at London
21 January 1888.
The trust property consists of three almshouses in
Church Street and a house in Hall Street used as an
almshouse, fourteen cottages in St. Mary Street and
Dudley Street, 2 a. l r. 34 p. in Broad Street, and
small pieces of land in Dudley Street, Clensmore
Lane, and Church Fields, producing a rental of £166
a year or thereabouts; six rent-charges amounting
together to £7 a year issuing out of certain properties;
also a sum of £1,745 12s. 7d. consols (including
£281 0s. 8d. consols belonging to Cooper's charity),
and £1,239 2s. 2d. Local Loans 3 per cent. stock,
producing together £80 16s. in annual dividends.
The sums of stock which arise from sales of land
from time to time and the investment of accumulations
are held by the official trustees.
In 1909 a sum of £149 18s. was paid to the
inmates of the almshouses, and a sum of £17 was
applied in relief of the poor generally.
The almshouses founded in 1630 by will of Sir
Edward Blount for six poor decayed housekeepers are
endowed with a house now known as the Fox Inn,
let at £55 a year, and a sum of £1,173 4s. 4d.
consols, producing £29 6s. 8d. yearly arising from
the sale of land.
The stock is held by the official trustees, who also
hold a further sum of £146 19s. 7d. consols, arising
from the sale in 1868 of four tenements used as
almshouses devised in 1684 by will of Henry
Higgins. The annual dividends amounting to
£3 13s. 4d. are applied in coal to the inmates of
Sir Edward Blount's almshouses.
The charities founded by Humphrey Burlton and
Edward Burlton, by deeds, 1645 and 1707, now
consist of a sum of £493 16s. 6d. consols held by
the official trustees, arising from the sale in 1898 of
7 acres of land allotted on the inclosure of the foreign
of Kidderminster. The annual dividends amounting
to £12 6s. 8d. are distributed among the poor of
the districts of Wribbenhall, Foley Park, Franche,
In 1708 the Rev. John Hall, D.D., by his will,
directed that the rents of his estate called Hollow
Fields should be applied for charitable purposes, of
which £5 was made applicable for the teaching of
The land was sold in 1865 and the proceeds invested
in £1,553 8s. consols with the official trustees, of
which £200 stock has been set aside as an endowment of Bishop Hall's Educational Foundation. The
dividends upon the residue of the stock, amounting
to £33 16s. 8d. yearly, are applied in gifts of money
and clothing tickets of the value of 6s. to 10s. each.
In 1776 John Brecknell, by his will, left £150, the
interest to be applied in providing every child or
unmarried person born in or an inhabitant of Church
Street with a twopenny plum cake upon the eve of
every Midsummer Day, and pipes and tobacco and
ale for the male inhabitants then assembled, and the
remainder to the poor in gifts of 2s. to 5s. The
legacy is represented by £275 consols, producing
£6 17s. 4d. yearly, of which about £2 is expended
on a supper, £1 10s. in cakes and loaves, and the
remainder in the distribution of money.
It further appears that a maiden lady gave 40s. a
year for providing farthing cakes for every child born
or living in Church Street.
In 1822 Joseph Lea, by will proved in the P.C.C.
17 January, bequeathed a legacy, now represented by
£1,007 11s. 1d. consols with the official trustees.
The charity is regulated by a scheme of the Charity
Commissioners, whereby the annual dividends, amounting to £25 3s. 8d., are applicable in making grants of
not less than £2 or more than £5 to poor persons
resident in the borough, with a preference to persons
who have been employed by any of the family or
relatives of the founder.
Brinton Park consists of 23 a. 2 r. 31 p., comprised
in the deed of gift by Mr. John Brinton, D.L., J.P.,
of Moor Hall, Stourport, then member of Parliament
for the borough, dated 1 August 1887.
In 1837 Miss Sarah Colley, by will proved in the
P.C.C., bequeathed £1,000, which was invested in
£1,061 2s. consols in the names of trustees, the annual
dividends, amounting to £26 10s., to be applied in
warm clothing to old and infirm poor, each person to
have a suit valued at £1 10s. on 24 December every
Charities of William Thomas Cooper.
Thomas Cooper, by his will proved 21 January 1888,
bequeathed a legacy of £400 to each of the following
institutions, namely— the Children's Hospital, the
Infirmary, the School of Art, the School of Science
and to Witnells Alms Charity (see above). The
several legacies were—owing to insufficiency of the
personal estate, legacy duty and expenses—each
reduced to £264 3s. 6d., which have been invested
and the income applied for the benefit of the interested
Nonconformist Charities: New Meeting Chapel.
In or about 1731 Jane Matthews gave £50 for the
poor belonging to the New Meeting House. This
gift, with accumulations, was invested in land, which
has been sold, and the trust fund is now represented
by £1,437 6s. 5d. consols with the official trustees,
producing £35 18s. 8d. yearly, which is distributed
to the poor in sums of about 5s. each.
In 1787 Serjeant Crane, by will, gave £100, now
represented by £152 consols with the official trustees,
the annual dividends, amounting to £3 16s., being
applied in the same manner as the charity of Jane
The same testator likewise bequeathed £200 towards the support of the 'New Meeting,' now represented by £357 2s. 10d. consols with the official
trustees, the annual dividends of which, amounting
to £8 18s. 4d., are paid to the treasurer of the
In 1798 Nicholas Pearsall, by his will, proved in
the P.C.C. 20 October (among other things), bequeathed £300, the income to be applied in certain
proportions in support of the New Meeting House,
the Sunday schools and instruction of children in the
borough or foreign of Kidderminster. The legacy is
represented by £428 11s. 6d. consols, with the official
trustees, producing £10 14s. a year, of which onethird is apportioned as the Pearsall Educational
Foundation and two-thirds in support of the New
In 1868 George Talbot, by his will, proved
10 November, bequeathed a legacy, now represented
by £531 1s. 3d. India 3 per cent. stock, standing in
the names of A. G. Hopkins and three others, the
annual dividends of which, amounting to £15 18s. 8d.,
are applicable as to three-fifths for the day schools
and Sunday school in connexion with the chapel and
two-fifths in support of the same chapel.
The same stockholders hold a sum of £460 stock
for the benefit of the minister arising under the will
of Richard Eve, proved at London, 28 August 1900.
The almshouses founded by Thomas Banks and
endowed by his will, proved at London, 11 November
1891, are under the management of the deacons of
the Baxter Congregational Church. They consist of
six almshouses in Broad Street, and are endowed with
£1,000, secured by a mortgage at £4 per cent. per
annum. In 1909 the sum of £31 16s. was divided
amongst the eleven inmates.
The minister of the Particular Baptist chapel in
Church Street receives £20 a year from the charity of
the Rev. George Brookes, founded by deed 2 October
1840 and will, proved 2 April 1844.
—The girls' Sunday school is
endowed with a sum of £244 8s. 10d. consols, arising
from the gifts of Mrs. Christie and Mary and Richard
Barnett, producing £6 2s. yearly.
The National school was conveyed upon the trusts
declared by deed 17 November 1842.
— The Wesleyan chapel, school and trust
property, comprised in deeds 1799, 1805, 1829 and
1831, were by an order of the Charity Commissioners
29 September 1882 vested in trustees, thereby
appointed on the trusts of 'The Wesleyan Chapel
— Henry Chillingworth, by deed,
11 July 1832, founded and endowed a school for
this district. The endowments consist of the school
buildings and schoolmistress's house, and a house
given by John Crane of High Habberley, let at £8
a year, and by a further deed, dated 20 April 1838,
the donor settled a sum of £500 consols, the
annual dividends to be applied in payment of schoolmistress and for books and clothing for eight poor
The official trustees also hold a sum of £839 17s. 11d.
consols, producing £20 19s. 10d. a year, arising from
the sale in 1891 of buildings and 13 a. 2 r. 15 p.
— In 1882 Mrs. Anne Hallen, by will,
proved 2 November, bequeathed a legacy, now represented by £88 11s. 2d. consols, the annual dividends,
amounting to £2 4s. 2d., to be applied for the benefit
of the poor of this district.
The same testatrix bequeathed a further legacy,
represented by £1,771 10s. consols, the annual dividends amounting to £44 5s. 8d. to be paid to the