A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 10, Munslow Hundred (Part), the Liberty and Borough of Wenlock. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1998.
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The name Broseley probably means 'woodland clearing of the fort guardian', and much of Broseley remained wooded in the Middle Ages. (fn. 1) For 350 years from the late 16th century coal, ironstone, and clay were successively exploited in the riverside parish, and Broseley grew rapidly from an agricultural village with extensive wood–pasture reserves to be, by the 18th century, one of the county's most populous towns, with mazes of hilly lanes winding around jumbles of brick cottages and the occasional larger house. The town's prosperity ended as the coal ran out in the early 19th century, and it then stagnated and the population declined. Recovery of a sort came after the Second World War when the building of over 1,000 new houses brought the population back to its early 19th-century level. Many of the new houses, however, were for commuters, and there was still little employment to be had locally. The parish also includes Jackfield, the port from which coal and ironstone were shipped out of Broseley, and the main site in the 19th and early 20th century of the parish's celebrated brick and tile industries. When Dawley (later Telford) new town was planned in the early 1960s largely aesthetic considerations demanded the inclusion of 63 ha. of Jackfield in the designated area. (fn. 2) The rest of the parish, which did not contribute to the spectacular scenery of the Severn Gorge, was excluded from the new town. By 1983 Telford's effects were clear: Ironbridge, on the opposite bank of the Severn, had gained an international reputation as an historic centre and had been physically and economically regenerated, while Broseley town centre remained shabby and depressed. (fn. 3)
The parish is roughly triangular, the Severn forming its north-east boundary for 5 km. Extending c. 3 km. north–east and c. 4 km. east–west the parish is bounded on the west partly by Benthall brook, so called by 1686, (fn. 4) which drains to the Severn, and partly by Dean brook, so called by 1609, draining south-east. (fn. 5) The southern boundary follows no natural feature and may once have marked the northern edge of woodland in Caughley. (fn. 6) Until 1966 the parish covered 1,991 a. (806 ha.), (fn. 7) but that year it was reduced to 743 ha. by the transfer of part of Jackfield to Dawley C.P.; (fn. 8) that part was included in the new civil parish of the Gorge in 1988. (fn. 9)
Broseley lies on the southern edge of the east Shropshire coalfield. Most of the parish lies between 122 and 152 m., rising higher in the west between Hockley Bank and Broseley Wood and around the Dunge. Dingles or baches run down from the higher ground to the Severn, the descent to which is steep and extensively wooded. Jackfield, on the river bank, lies at c. 40 m. Extensive outcrops of the Lower Coal Measures occur in the west. To the east the workable coal seams are overlain by the Carboniferous sandstones, marl, and mudstones of the Hadley and Coalport formations. Pockets of sand and gravel occur across the parish, while at the Dunge there is a kilometre-long spread of boulder clay. The slopes down to the Severn are unstable and landslips have occurred, notably in 1881 and 1952. (fn. 10)
Natives of Broseley include John Langley (1596–1661) of the Amies, who was private secretary to the earl of Leicester (d. 1626) and later manager of Sir Richard Leveson's Shropshire estates, and whose knowledge of antiquities was commended by Dugdale. (fn. 11) John Randall (1810–1910), local historian and artist, was born in Broseley. (fn. 12) John Guest, member of a longestablished Broseley family of colliers, moved to Dowlais (Glam.) c. 1758 to manage the ironworks, becoming a partner in 1782. His family prospered, becoming baronets (1838) and Barons Wimborne (1880). (fn. 13) Also originally from Broseley were the Hornblowers, several of whom made notable contributions to engineering in the 18th and early 19th century. (fn. 14) Osborne Gordon (1813–83), a leading Oxford figure of the 1840s and 1850s, was a Broseley man. (fn. 15) Richard Wyke, who like several members of his family was a Broseley surgeon, published Belisarius, Buildwas Abbey, Ludlow Castle, and Other Poems in 1844. (fn. 16)
The medieval roads probably differed little from those of c. 1620. (fn. 17) Broseley village then extended along the road from Bridgnorth that entered the parish at its southern extremity. It continued to Much Wenlock via Posenhall and either Benthall or Arlescott; the Wenlock–Broseley road via the latter route was among those turnpiked in 1756. (fn. 18) About 1220 the lord of the manor allowed Buildwas abbey to make a road from quarries in Broseley wood to the Severn (perhaps the later Quarry Road). (fn. 19)
About 1620 (fn. 20) a road ran from Benthall village down Benthall brook towards Ladywood; the later Ball's Lane ran north-east from Woodlands towards Jackfield. From the south end of Broseley village roads and tracks radiated west, south, and east. West ran a track across or along the northern part of West field to Broseley Gate on the parish boundary, thence via Willey park to Barrow and Wenlock. South ran the 'horseway' to Bridgnorth, from which Hatch Lane (fn. 21) branched south to Willey and Hangstree Gate. In the early 19th century Hatch Lane increased in importance when the road across Willey park was closed. (fn. 22) Lampas Lane ran south-east towards Caughley. East ran a second road to Caughley, off which stood the Amies, Lower Riddings, Rowton, and Swinbatch. Near Broseley that road was called Rough Lane, and to the east Riddings Lane. A track ran north of Riddings Lane and later superseded it, probably by 1757 when the new route was known as Amies Lane. In 1687 the owner of Rowton was granted a way to the Severn (possibly the road closed before 1787 by Thomas Stephens), another to the Broseley–Caughley road, and a burial way to Broseley church. (fn. 23)
Two bridges across the Severn, opened in 1780, greatly altered the local road pattern. A bridge from Preen's Eddy in Broseley to Sutton Maddock (fn. 24) was completed in 1780 under an Act of 1776. (fn. 25) It was known as Preen's Eddy or Wood bridge and, from the growth of Coalport in the 1790s, as Coalport bridge. A two-span wooden bridge, it was designed by William Hayward and built by Robert Palmer, a Madeley timber merchant. It was rebuilt in 1799 as a single-span bridge with cast-iron main ribs. The bridge's proprietors had powers to build connecting roads; that to Bridgnorth opened in 1796 (fn. 26) and that from Broseley to the Wellington–Worcester road near Brockton (in Sutton Maddock), along the former Amies Lane, was completed in 1797. (fn. 27)
The Iron Bridge, from Benthall to Madeley Wood, opened in 1780. (fn. 28) At first the road from the bridge to the Wenlock–Broseley turnpike ran through Benthall parish. (fn. 29) In 1828 a new route from Ironbridge was built using the parish poor as labourers: from the bridge it ran east for 1 km. before turning south for 1.5 km., past a tollhouse, to the south end of Broseley town. Among those involved in its construction were Benjamin Ball, manager of James Foster's Barnett's Leasow ironworks, and Silvanus Ball, a Broseley ironfounder. A private carriageway, with a lodge at its entrance, extended from the road to Willey Hall. (fn. 30)
The Iron Bridge closed to vehicles in 1934. By then two more bridges had opened across the Severn: the ferro-concrete Haynes Memorial (or Free) bridge between the Lloyds and Jackfield in 1909, and the War Memorial footbridge from Coalport to the Tuckies in 1922. (fn. 31)
Even after the bridging of the Severn in 1780 (fn. 32) ferries continued to ply between Broseley and Madeley. After the Coalport china works opened in Madeley in the late 18th century large numbers of workers had daily to cross the river from their homes in Broseley and Jackfield. (fn. 33) In 1799 a Jackfield ferry overturned with 41 Coalport workers on board. (fn. 34) William Reynolds had a private ferry at the Tuckies. (fn. 35) In 1840 three services crossed the river: (fn. 36) Adam's ferry, between Ladywood and Ironbridge; a horse ferry, between Jackfield and the Lloyds; and the Werps, or Tuckies, (fn. 37) ferry, connecting with Coalport. The horse ferry had ceased operating by 1856; (fn. 38) Adam's ferry stopped in 1912, and the Werps ferry c. 1922 when the War Memorial footbridge opened. (fn. 39)
As local mining and industry grew during the 17th and 18th centuries they used the Severn as the cheapest route for coal and manufactures brought to the riverside wharves by a network of railways constructed from 1605 and used until the earlier 19th century. (fn. 40) Trows were carrying coal by 1606. (fn. 41) In 1674 garving (the cleaning and tarring of barge bottoms) (fn. 42) was controlled at Broseley. (fn. 43) In 1756, during a period when the number of boats increased to match the growth in the iron trade, there were 55 barge owners in the parish, most of them probably living in Jackfield. They owned 87 vessels and formed the largest community of Severn watermen between Welshpool and Gloucester. Two main types of vessel were operated: single-masted barges or frigates 12–18 m. long which carried 20–40 tons of coal; and multi-masted trows 18 m. long and 5–6 m. wide which had a crew of three or four and carried 40–80 tons of general cargo such as ore, iron, and bricks. (fn. 44)
In contrast to those on the opposite bank of the Severn, wharves at Ladywood, Calcutts, Lloyd Head, and the Tuckies seem to have been relatively insubstantial, although the river has scoured away much evidence. (fn. 45) One of the better constructed wharves may have been Willey wharf at the end of the Tarbatch dingle railway, from which the New Willey Co. shipped its products. (fn. 46) Boatmen remained an important part of the local economy until the railways arrived. Along the Severn bank ran the Coalbrookdale– Bewdley towpath, made c. 1800, (fn. 47) but from the later 18th century the Severn's navigable season gradually shortened. In 1862 many of the bargemen's houses were demolished when the Severn Valley Railway opened. By 1871 there were only five barge owners left in the Severn gorge; they carried mainly calcined ore from Broseley to the Black Country, bricks, and a few fine castings too valuable to be entrusted to the railways. All barge traffic had ceased by 1895. (fn. 48)
The Severn Valley line of the West Midland Railway (later G.W.R.), opened in 1862, followed the Broseley bank of the Severn. (fn. 49) Coalford, later Coalport West, station near Coalport bridge was open by 1870 (fn. 50) and closed in 1963. (fn. 51) Jackfield halt, opened after 1928, was moved 400 yd. south in 1954 after a landslip, and closed in 1963. (fn. 52) The parish was also served from 1862 to 1963 by Ironbridge and Broseley station (in Benthall). (fn. 53) Several tile works had private sidings. (fn. 54)
GROWTH OF SETTLEMENT.
In 1086 the recorded population of 'Bosle' was 9. (fn. 55) In the 13th century open-field land lay south of Broseley vill, while freehold farms, perhaps made as cultivation expanded, lay in the eastern half of the manor. (fn. 56) Riddings farm existed c. 1240, (fn. 57) Swinbatch by 1255, (fn. 58) and the Amies by 1327; (fn. 59) Rowton, (fn. 60) Woodhouse (fn. 61) and Woodlands (fn. 62) were probably also established by that time. Several of the farms' names suggest they originated as woodland assarts. (fn. 63)
By the 1550s cottages stood on Coalpit Hill (fn. 64) (so known by 1556) (fn. 65) and at Woodlands. Settlement grew rapidly during the late 16th century. James Clifford, lord of the manor, encouraged the immigration of miners, who were allowed to build cottages on irregular plots on the uninclosed commons and wastes north of the ancient village. In 1570 Broseley had a population of perhaps c. 125. (fn. 66) By c. 1620 there were c. 27 houses in Broseley village, with c. 33 scattered on Coalpit Hill and probably a similar number spread between Woodlands Green and the river. (fn. 67) The newcomers' settlements, lacking cohesion, were yet distinct from the ancient agricultural village of Broseley. Their segregation was emphasized by riots in the years 1605–7, when new cottagers were attacked by long-established substantial tenants resentful of the loss of common rights, (fn. 68) and in 1636 by the presentment of encroachments at Woodlands Green. (fn. 69)
During the early 17th century the wealth created by industry began to be displayed in substantial timber framed and brick houses. In 1672 ten of the 92 households taxed had five or more hearths. (fn. 70) Largest, with 14 hearths, was William Crompton's house. Others included John Geares's house (8 hearths) on the north side of Coalpit Hill, and Edward Eaves's (6 hearths) 500 m. north-west of it. (fn. 71) Adam Crompton's house (built 1654, 7 hearths in 1672) (fn. 72) stood at Coalford, close to another large house known later as the Old Hall. A sixth that can be identified is Rowton (7 hearths in 1672) in the east end of the parish near Gitchfield House. (fn. 73) Other large houses outside the main settlement included the Tuckies, Woodhouse Farm, and the Amies, (fn. 74) while Raddle Hall (1663) (fn. 75) and Wilcox's Farm stood near Broseley church. (fn. 76) Broseley village grew further, and by 1686 the streets later known as King Street, Duke Street, and Queen Street and connecting streets to the north end of the town had grown out of small strips of common that had survived between cottages built since the late 16th century. (fn. 77) Cottages continued to multiply in the later 17th century through natural increase rather than immigration, (fn. 78) and in 1681 there were probably over sixty cottages in the part of Broseley Wood that was in Marsh manor. (fn. 79)
As contemporaries recognized, Broseley was becoming one of the county's most considerable towns, (fn. 80) 'a place of great trade' in 1672. (fn. 81) In 1642 the Protestation was taken by 296 men in the parish, apparently none refusing. (fn. 82) By 1676 the number of adults was 793, (fn. 83) and c. 1690 Broseley Wood had become 'as a country town'. (fn. 84) Miners were most numerous but there were also watermen, potters, clay-pipe makers, and a wide range of service traders indicative of the town's new status and potential. (fn. 85)
By 1700 Broseley town had perhaps 2,000 inhabitants, and its population more than doubled again in the 18th century. (fn. 86) Brick, perhaps first used in Broseley in Raddle Hall (1663), (fn. 87) Church Street, came to be widely used both in major buildings such as Broseley and Jackfield churches (c. 1715 and 1759 respectively), (fn. 88) White Hall (early 18th century), (fn. 89) New House (later the Lawns, built in 1727 for Thomas Stephens, a local mine owner, and remodelled by John Wilkinson in the 1760s), (fn. 90) Broseley Hall (probably 1730s), (fn. 91) the market hall (1779), (fn. 92) and lesser buildings. The quality of some of the larger buildings was high, at least three having features designed by T. F. Pritchard. (fn. 93) One of the commonest types of cottage, exemplified by a small terraced row on Barratt's Hill, was of brick and of 1½ storey. The type probably first appeared in the early 18th century. (fn. 94) Subdivision of houses and infilling around them was widespread (fn. 95) and resulted in a denser rather than expanded settlement as the population grew. It is not clear who in general was responsible for cottage building, landlord or tenant. By 1800, however, houses were being built for workers at some of the larger industrial concerns such as Alexander Brodie's, and Banks & Onions's. (fn. 96) It was probably during the 18th century that High Street became the town's commercial centre, a northward shift emphasized and furthered in 1779 by the building of a new market hall at the end of High Street to replace the open site near the church. (fn. 97)
Two centuries of industrial prosperity ended c. 1800 as Broseley's coal ran out. (fn. 98) Broseley became the coalfield's most depressed area, and its population remained static throughout the earlier 19th century. (fn. 99) It was just over 4,800 in 1801 and 1841, having recovered from the loss of c. 500 workers following the closure of five blast furnaces before 1831. Thereafter it slowly declined, to 4,458 in 1881 and 3,037 in 1921. The town altered little throughout the 19th century; the street pattern of 1902 was hardly changed from that of the late 18th century, and few large buildings had been erected since the early 19th century. The names of the main mid 20th-century streets were in use by 1840 and some earlier still, Barratt's Hill being noted in 1790. (fn. 100) Improvements were generally smallscale and tardy. The town's paving and street drainage received attention in the 1840s, (fn. 101) street lighting was introduced from 1847, and iron street-name plates were first put up in 1880. There was no reliable public water supply, however, until the end of the century, and sewage disposal was primitive until the 1960s. (fn. 102)
Cottages and small terraced rows stood between larger houses in the confused tangle of streets and lanes between Broseley church and the north end of Broseley Wood. Different classes therefore lived side by side. Nevertheless there remained a group of large houses in Church Street, where John Onions, the ironmaster, lived at White Hall in 1851, while Broseley Wood was said in 1831 to contain the parish's filthiest and most dilapidated houses, some occupied by poor Irish. Many lanes and properties there were bounded by walls made of old saggars. The town's tradesmen and shopkeepers were widely dispersed, although High Street probably had the greatest concentration and Broseley Wood the least. (fn. 103)
In 1919 the standard of housing was low; only about six new houses had been built in the parish since 1899, and probably two thirds of houses had no more than two bedrooms. About 160 houses, mostly ruinous or substandard, stood empty. (fn. 104) Slum clearance began with the Addison programme in 1919 and the district committee agreed in principle to build 80 houses 'as and when required'. (fn. 105) In practice, however, building was even slower than in Madeley. (fn. 106) The first two pairs of houses, designed by Geo. Ridley & Sons of Wellington, were built in 1925 in King Street and New Road (fn. 107) and gradually added to. By 1936 there were 24 houses in King Street and 28 in New Road; they formed eight per cent of the housing stock. (fn. 108)
After the 1936 Housing Act (fn. 109) slum clearance continued and building schemes became larger. The 50-house Birch Meadow estate east of Broseley was begun in 1938 (fn. 110) and extended between 1945 and 1947, when 48 houses were also added at New Road. (fn. 111) During the 1950s 46 more houses were built at New Road and 124 at King Street. (fn. 112) Other developments by the district committee in the 1950s and 1960s included 26 bungalows in High Street built in 1956; (fn. 113) Pritchard House, a block of six flats erected in the Square in 1959; (fn. 114) 50 houses, flats, and maisonettes constructed at Hockley Bank c. 1962; (fn. 115) and 123 houses and grouped dwellings begun at Church Street c. 1966. (fn. 116) Slum clearance remained a priority throughout.
From the start of the district committee's house-building programme until the 1960s there were no large speculative developments, and only a few private houses were put up, some on unsuitable ground. (fn. 117) Some small private estates were built in the earlier 1960s: eleven pairs of bungalows at the Rock c. 1960, (fn. 118) and c. 20 houses off Woodlands Road c. 1963. (fn. 119) Between the later 1960s and mid 1980s several big speculative estates were constructed, partly to accommodate commuters to Telford and the west midlands. To the south-east of Broseley the Tileries and two small associated schemes, in all c. 320 dwellings, were built between c. 1967 and 1985; north of Broseley an estate of c. 145 houses including Bramblewood and Underwood was constructed from 1974 onwards; north of Elizabeth Crescent the Cherrybrook estate of c. 90 homes was built 1976–9; and behind the Victoria Hall in High Street 15 flats were put up c. 1978. Following Bridgnorth district council's drafting of a district plan for Broseley in 1979 growth was checked and in 1985 no more major private schemes were foreseen. The only council building in the 1970s and early 1980s was for old people: 12 flats and bungalows south of Foundry Lane, completed c. 1980, and c. 28 dwellings off Park View, built 1984–5. (fn. 120)
The rising quality and number of houses reversed the long population decline. From its low point in the 1920s population rose gradually to 3,457 in 1951 (fn. 121) and then more rapidly to c. 4,920 by 1981. (fn. 122)
Riverside settlement in Broseley always retained a separate identity and character. Between the later 16th and the 19th centuries watermen comprised a large part of the population, while in the 19th century brick and tile works came to dominate the community. (fn. 123) In 1963 the western portion of Jackfield was the only part of the parish to be included in Dawley (later Telford) new town. (fn. 124)
Jakes field, a pasture near the Severn, was mentioned in 1510–11. (fn. 125) Mining at the Tuckies began c. 1575 (fn. 126) and the riverside settlement at Jackfield probably grew up at the same time. Jackfield, however, may only have come to be commonly used as the name of the whole Severnside area after it was made a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1862. (fn. 127) By c. 1620 c. 11 houses stood along the first 750 m. of river bank east of Benthall brook (fn. 128) and there were others further east at Calcutts. (fn. 129) By that time Jackfield had emerged as a notable river port.
As in Broseley, settlement at Jackfield both spread as new encroachments were made and increased in density through subdivision of plots and houses. (fn. 130) At Calcutts in 1730 single houses and some rows stood among 'mughouses' (pottery kilns), pits, and railway lines. (fn. 131) In 1767 blast furnaces were built there, and brick making probably started soon after. (fn. 132) From the start, however, bargemen had probably been the most numerous class, and in 1793 there were 33 bargeowners in the parish. (fn. 133) Lodging houses, alehouses, and brothels were established at Jackfield for resident and passing watermen. By 1800 the river bank had a thriving community, where cottages and alehouses stood among ironstone mines, ironworks, brickworks, pottery kilns, clay-pipe manufactories, and a tar distillery. (fn. 134) Much of the river bank was lined with quays where trows and barges loaded cargoes, increasingly of ironstone rather than coal, from the railways which ran down from the higher ground to the south. (fn. 135)
During the 19th century Jackfield's economy and environment came to be dominated by brick and tile works and, from 1874, their tall chimneys. (fn. 136) Both Broseley and Jackfield had, besides brickmakers, many resident ceramic workers, some of whom in the late 18th and 19th centuries were talented artists employed at Coalport (reached by ferry or bridge) and Caughley. (fn. 137) In the later 19th century the arrival of the railway saw the end of river barge transport and Jackfield's 300-year role as a port. (fn. 138) The number of houses also began to drop, c. 50 being demolished c. 1862 to make way for the railway. (fn. 139) In 1870 Jackfield was described as a very poor bit of the 'fag end' of the world. (fn. 140) Prosperity returned, however, in the late 19th and early 20th century as the products of Maws' and Craven Dunnills' tile works gained international popularity. Although those works did not close until 1952, Jackfield's clay industries began to contract c. 1914. (fn. 141) By then many houses were already substandard and later more became so through increasing local poverty, neglect, and subsidence and slips, although the closure of brickworks reduced smoke pollution. In the 1930s Jackfield's population declined as people moved to new council houses around Broseley. (fn. 142) There were no council houses at Jackfield until 1946, when six were built in Calcutts Road; (fn. 143) 22 (St. Mary's Close) were added 1961–2, (fn. 144) and 10 (Lloyds Head) 1966 × 1974. (fn. 145) Private building in the 20th century comprised mainly single bungalows; the only larger speculation was ten bungalows at Chapel Road, built in 1937. (fn. 146)
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES.
By 1681 many taverns and alehouses served Broseley's industrial communities: at least 8 in the Marsh manor part, most presumably in Broseley Wood, and 17 elsewhere in the parish. (fn. 147) Numbers remained fairly constant until the late 19th century, although many alehouses were short-lived. (fn. 148) There were 30–40 public houses between 1790 and 1810: (fn. 149) in 1835 19 public houses and 5 beer sellers in Broseley and 5 public houses and one beer seller in Jackfield; (fn. 150) and in 1879 22 public houses and alehouses in Broseley and 10 in Jackfield. (fn. 151) The principal 19th-century inn was the Red Lion, near the town hall. (fn. 152) In the 20th century the number of public houses fluctuated in Broseley from 17 in 1900 to 12 in 1922, to 7 in 1941, and 10 (plus 4 social and sporting clubs) in 1986; in Jackfield from 7 to 6, to 3, the same number as were open in 1986. (fn. 153)
Drunkenness was a regular feature of popular pastimes. On Whit Monday 1652 Morris dancers from Broseley with six 'sword bearers' and numerous followers visited Nordley in Astley Abbots and caused an affray at an alehouse. (fn. 154) Until the 1820s bulls were baited at the green in Broseley Wood and at Coalford (Jackfield) during Broseley's wake on St. Leonard's day (6 November). Bulldogs were also matched. (fn. 155) Cock fighting took place oftener and mains were arranged by colliers from Broseley and south Staffordshire. (fn. 156) By 1864 blood sports and insobriety at the wakes had greatly lessened. (fn. 157) In the later 19th century duck hunting with dogs was popular at Jackfield wakes, held at Coalport (in Madeley) as no suitable site existed at Jackfield. (fn. 158) A maypole still stood in Broseley Wood in 1879; though not used for dancing within living memory, it was occasionally garlanded. (fn. 159)
By the 1830s Broseley's fairs were largely for pleasure although pigs were sold. (fn. 160) The April fair ended some time between 1842 and 1856, (fn. 161) but by 1888 fair day was again the last Tuesday in April. (fn. 162) During the 20th century the fairground moved from a site off Bridgnorth Road to a site later occupied by Wilkinson Avenue, and then c. 1920 to Dark Lane. (fn. 163) In the 1970s the October fair was moved to the late summer bank holiday. (fn. 164)
About 1793 there were six clubs or benefit societies in the parish each with c. 100 members. (fn. 165) There were eight friendly societies in the parish in 1794, all still active in 1857; there was one other society in 1857, others having formed and disbanded meanwhile: (fn. 166) in 1804 there had been a dozen societies with 1,003 members. (fn. 167) The Oddfellows had a Rose of Sharon lodge in Broseley from 1823 until 1977. (fn. 168)
In 1798 Broseley supplied a division of c. 50 men, under Cecil Forester of Willey, to the Wenlock Loyal Volunteers. (fn. 169) In 1804 its Broseley division numbered c. 130 and consisted of six companies. (fn. 170)
There was little organized political activity in Broseley, although before 1832 reform was a popular cause, and Chartists met in the town hall in 1842. (fn. 171) A Liberal and Labour Club met 1913–17. (fn. 172)
The town hall, opened as a market hall in 1779, was perhaps the 'assembly room' where John Wesley preached that year. In the mid 19th century it was used for social gatherings, such as concerts by the Broseley Philharmonic Society and demonstrations of conjuring and mesmerism. (fn. 173) In the earlier 20th century dances, wrestling, and lantern-slide shows were held there and it was a venue for both local and travelling theatrical companies. (fn. 174) The hall was demolished in the early 1960s. (fn. 175) About 1905 the Victoria Institute and Assembly Hall opened in the premises previously occupied as the Victoria Hall by the Plymouth Brethren. It was used for concerts and other social, non-sectarian, and public purposes. (fn. 176) Perhaps from the first it had billiards tables. (fn. 177) A prefabricated village hall was built in Jackfield c. 1950 on land belonging to the Severn Trow. (fn. 178)
The Broseley Literary Society established a news room and library next to the town hall in 1853. In 1856 the librarian was Isaac Burnet, a boot and shoe maker. The library had 1,000 volumes in 1891. It was probably moved to the newly opened Victoria Institute, where there was a library and reading room by 1909 and still in 1941. The Institute also offered a wide range of social and sporting activities. (fn. 179) George Maw, tile manufacturer and teetotaller, helped to found a reading room and workman's club at Calcutts House (1869); a working men's club and a British Workman at Broseley (1875, 1879); and a working men's club at Broseley Wood (1881). (fn. 180) County library book centres were opened in Jackfield in 1926–7 and Broseley in 1934. (fn. 181) From 1936 the Broseley district committee made a small annual grant to the 'public library', (fn. 182) probably the book centre. By 1958 there was a county library branch at the Victoria Hall; a new branch library opened in 1968. (fn. 183)
Broseley Social Club was formed c. 1922. (fn. 184) In 1983 its facilities included a bowling green. Bowling had been popular locally at least since the mid 18th century. (fn. 185) Among the various sports clubs that have existed in Broseley, two active in 1983 had long histories: the cricket club, formed in 1860, (fn. 186) and the lawn tennis club, formed c. 1890. (fn. 187) From its inception the cricket club played on the Stocking field, Broseley Wood, and from the 1920s well known professionals played for the club. A wooden pavilion was rebuilt c. 1930 and extended in 1973. (fn. 188) The Jackfield Association, a local football league, existed between 1908 and the 1930s. (fn. 189) In the late 19th and early 20th century many works had football and cricket teams. (fn. 190)
Notable among local musical groups (fn. 191) was the Jackfield Prize Silver Band (active 1986) which may have originated in the 18th century as a fife and drum band. By 1893 it was known as Jackfield Brass Band; it became a silver band in 1923. (fn. 192)
The Elite cinema opened during or after the Second World War in the former Birch Meadow Baptist chapel; it closed in 1959. After briefly being used by the Elite ballroom and the Cabaret Club, the building re-opened c. 1965 as the Bladen Club, (fn. 193) still going in 1986.
MANOR AND OTHER ESTATES.
Evidently by 1198, and certainly by 1255, the manor of BROSELEY was held of the prior of Wenlock. (fn. 194) If Broseley may be identified with the 'Bosle' of Domesday Book, (fn. 195) then it had been held by Gethne before the Conquest and by 1086 was held by Helgot of Roger of Montgomery, earl of Shrewsbury and tenant in chief. (fn. 196) After 1086 'Bosle' is unrecorded, and Helgot and his heirs and successors as barons of Castle Holdgate are never found as lords of Broseley; moreover the earl's chief lordship of 'Bosle' must have been forfeited in 1102 (fn. 197) so that there is no demonstrable tenurial continuity between 'Bosle' and Broseley, (fn. 198) although 'Bosle' could be a garbled (fn. 199) version of the early form of Broseley's name. In the 14th century Broseley was held of the prior by serjeanty service, sometimes described as that of sitting down once a year at the first dish in the prior's guesthouse, or of carving the main dish, or of acting as the prior's steward. (fn. 200) In the early 16th and early 17th centuries Broseley was said to be held in socage of the earl of Shrewsbury; (fn. 201) in 1503 and 1508, however, it was variously said to be held, for services unknown, of the earl of Arundel (1503) and of the Crown (1508). (fn. 202) That share of the demesne lordship which passed to Wenlock priory in 1363 (fn. 203) was sold by the Crown in 1545 to be held in free burgage and common socage by fealty and for a small rent; (fn. 204) the tenure of the former priory share of the manor was thus distinguished from the tenure of the rest of the manor. (fn. 205) By the early 17th century the former priory estate was held in chief as 1/20 knight's fee (fn. 206) and had become known as the 'Priory land' or 'capite land' as distinct from the rest of the manor, the 'socage land'. (fn. 207)
The Lorrainer Warin of Metz, ancestor of the FitzWarins, or his third son William probably obtained Broseley from Henry I, and indeed Warin may have been the demesne lord by c. 1115. William (fl. 1172), styled of Broseley by 1154, (fn. 208) was succeeded by Warin (II) of Broseley (d. 1212 × 1220), probably his son, and he in turn by his son Philip of Broseley. Philip died c. 1240 and was succeeded by his brother Roger of Broseley, who died in 1243. Philip's widow Emme was dowered in the manor 1259 × 1271, but in 1244 the fee had been divided between the three sisters of Philip and Roger: Mabel widow of Adam de Beysin, Alice probably widow of John Eaton, and Margery widow of John Bagot. (fn. 209)
Mabel Beysin, the eldest sister, died 1247 × 1255 and was succeeded in her share of the manor by her grandson Robert de Beysin, a minor. (fn. 210) Robert died c. 1267 and the share passed to Walter de Beysin, a minor and presumably Robert's son. (fn. 211) Walter enlarged his estate. At his death in 1309, in addition to his inherited share of the manor, he held a messuage and virgate from Richard of Pitchford, which had thus presumably been acquired from the share assigned to Margery Bagot in 1244. Walter also held a ninth of the manor (fn. 212) and so may be supposed to have acquired part of the share (presumably a third) in which Roger of Broseley's sister Alice had apparently been succeeded 1244 × 1256 by Roger of Eaton (fl. 1256–72), probably her younger son. (fn. 213) Roger Knighteleye, who held part of the manor in 1316, (fn. 214) perhaps held an interest in that share by the curtesy.
Walter de Beysin was succeeded by his sons Thomas (d. 1318 or 1319) and Walter in turn. At his death in 1344 the younger Walter, who held two thirds of the manor, owed service of 40d. a year to John 'de Eyton', probably for the share of the manor formerly the Eatons'. Walter's son John Beysin, a minor, succeeded in 1344 (fn. 215) and died in 1360 holding Broseley jointly with his wife Anne. She married Sir Thomas Latimer (d. 1401) and retained two thirds of Broseley until her death in 1402. Under a settlement of 1377 the two thirds then passed to Agnes, sister of John Beysin and widow of John de Morehall. (fn. 216) Agnes obtained possession in 1402 and was later succeeded by their daughter Gillian, who had married first John Clopton and secondly (by 1389) Thomas Crewe. Gillian died in 1411 and Crewe retained a life interest in her estates until his death in 1418. Broseley then passed to Gillian's son Sir William Clopton (d. 1419), (fn. 217) whose widow Joan still held the manor in 1426. (fn. 218) Their son Thomas died without issue and on Joan's death Broseley passed to his elder sister Agnes (d. 1453), wife first of Roger Harewell, of Wootton Wawen (Warws.), and secondly of Thomas Herbert. Agnes's son William Harewell (fn. 219) became lord c. 1462, died in 1500, and was succeeded by his son John (d. 1505), who left a son Thomas aged 11. (fn. 220) By 1511 Thomas had died a minor and without issue, and that year his grandmother (William's widow Agnes), dowered in Broseley, also died: Broseley thus passed to John's daughters, coheirs of their brother Thomas. The daughters surviving in 1534 partitioned their inheritance, and Broseley fell to James Clifford's wife Anne. (fn. 221) The Cliffords' grandson James Clifford bought the third of the manor that had belonged to Wenlock priory 1363–1540, thus reuniting the shares separated in 1244. (fn. 222)
The third of the manor which was alienated to Wenlock priory in 1363 was probably that allotted to the youngest Broseley coheir Margery Bagot in 1244. In 1248 Margery granted it to her daughter and son-in-law, Margery and Ralph of Coven. Ralph let it to Geoffrey of Pitchford c. 1260 and died soon after. Ralph and Margery's elder daughter Alice and her husband Robert de Pendeford later sold the fee of her parents' estate in Broseley to Pitchford, apparently disregarding Margery's dower rights. Lawsuits ensued between her and Alice, both of whom contracted later marriages. Pitchford's title, however, was secure by 1275. He was dead by 1299, and in 1312 his son Richard sold his estate in Broseley (presumably reduced from the share allotted to Margery Bagot by the messuage and virgate acquired by the Beysins) to Richard of Harley (d. 1316) and his wife Burga, (fn. 223) the heiress of Willey, (fn. 224) still alive in 1337. (fn. 225) The third descended to Burga's grandson Robert of Harley whose trustees conveyed it, with manorial rights, to the prior of Wenlock in 1363. (fn. 226) The priory retained the estate until its surrender in 1540, though at some time after 1379 it was incorporated in the priory's manor of Marsh. (fn. 227)
Robert of Harley may have retained some of the woodland and pasture belonging to his third of Broseley, so that it descended with the manor of Willey to the Lacons; Broseley presentments were heard at Willey court baron in 1460 and 1528. (fn. 228) In the 16th and 17th centuries the Upper Riddings and part of the Woodhouse estate probably descended with Swinney, belonging to the Lacons. (fn. 229) They had property in Broseley sometimes described as a manor, (fn. 230) probably with little justification. In 1615–16 Sir Francis Lacon mortgaged many of his estates to John Weld, who, in 1618, after Lacon's default and just as he was beginning to negotiate the purchase of other Broseley lands with William Porter, acquired the Lacons' mortgaged estates, a 'manor of Broseley' being mentioned in some of the conveyancing instruments. (fn. 231) Thereafter, however, the Welds' Broseley estate was incorporated in their manor of Marsh (fn. 232) and neither Weld nor his heirs claimed a manor in Broseley before George Forester bought the manor in 1795. (fn. 233)
The Broseley property formerly Wenlock priory's was sold by the Crown in 1545 to William and Elizabeth Pinnock. (fn. 234) The Pinnocks sold it to John Munslow in 1550, and in 1563 he sold it to Richard Cupper. (fn. 235) It was acquired from Cupper by James Clifford of Frampton on Severn (Glos.), who had inherited the other two thirds of the manor, and his wife Dorothy. (fn. 236)
James Clifford excepted the third of the manor he had bought (the 'capite land' or 'Priory land') from settlements of 1598 and 1603 entailing his inherited two thirds on his daughter Mary and her husband Henry Clifford, of Boscombe East (Wilts.) (fn. 237) The 'Priory land' was excepted again in 1609, when James Clifford resettled the other two thirds after Mary and Henry had been divorced. (fn. 238) On James Clifford's death in 1613 the fee simple of the whole manor passed to Mary and her second husband John Cage. (fn. 239)
In 1620 the Cages sold the manor to Francis Langley of the Tuckies (d. 1650); (fn. 240) it was an estate much reduced by the Cages' previous sale of the 'socage land' freehold to William Porter (1618) and by Porter's acquisitions of long leaseholds of the 'Priory land'; (fn. 241) Langley had nevertheless succeeded in preventing the sale of the 'Priory land' freehold. (fn. 242) The manor descend ed to Langley's son John (d. 1693) (fn. 243) and probably to John's son Samuel (d. 1697). (fn. 244) Samuel's son Samuel (d.s.p. 1698) succeeded, (fn. 245) probably followed by his brother Mennes (d.s.p. 1699), whose heir was his cousin Herbert Langley (d. 1711). (fn. 246) Herbert's daughter Elizabeth succeeded, and by 1722 had married Edward Purcell (d. 1768) of Stafford. (fn. 247) She sold the manor in 1770 to Thomas Stephens (d. 1787) of Benthall. (fn. 248) His son John succeeded and sold the manor in 1795 to George Forester of Willey. (fn. 249) It descended thereafter with Willey, and Lord Forester was presumed to be lord in 1983. (fn. 250)
Roger of Eaton lived in Broseley in 1272 (fn. 251) and Thomas de Beysin (d. c. 1319) had a manor house and dovecot there. (fn. 252) The house was worth nothing in 1363, (fn. 253) and in 1426 Lady Clopton let the site of the manor house, then built over with houses, to two Broseley yeomen, reserving only a gatehouse, which apparently had an upper chamber. (fn. 254) From the mid 16th century the manor house site was included in the property leased in survivorship to Rowland and Eleanor Wilcox and their son Richard (d. 1614). (fn. 255) It was near the church, forming the site of Wilcox's Farm, known as Broseley Hall in the 17th century and as the Old Hall in the 18th when a new Broseley Hall was built; (fn. 256) it was demolished in the mid or later 19th century. (fn. 257)
In the earlier 16th century a manor house on Wenlock priory's third of the manor was let to Roger and Joyce Wilcox. (fn. 258) James Clifford, who reunited the two parts of the manor by his purchase of the 'Priory land', was probably the first resident lord for centuries. He built the 'mansion' known c. 1620 as Priory House which stood in spacious grounds south of Broseley. (fn. 259)
James Clifford died in 1613 (fn. 260) leaving the manor charged with family annuities and encumbered for payment of his debts. From 1612 William Porter, a Bristol attorney intent on speculating in Clifford's Broseley estate, gained possession of the land by acquiring the long leases and buying out the other interests created by Clifford's embarrassments. (fn. 261) In 1618 Porter also bought (from the Cages) the freehold of the 'socage land' ('Wilcox's farm'), some 574 a., (fn. 262) selling almost all of it in 1620: (fn. 263) c. 224 a. to William Whitmore (kt. 1621), (fn. 264) 134 a. to Francis Adams of Cleeton, (fn. 265) and 119 a. to John Weld of Willey. (fn. 266) Next year Whitmore sold 57 a. on to Weld (fn. 267) and evidently the rest to Sir Edward Bromley. (fn. 268) Weld also bought c. 9 a. of Adams's purchase in 1621. (fn. 269) Porter had wished to buy the 'Priory land' freehold too, but Francis Langley had succeeded in having that conveyed to him with the manor in 1620. (fn. 270) In 1620–1 therefore, Porter, although he had undertaken to convey freehold estates from the 'Priory land', (fn. 271) could actually sell only long leaseholds: John Weld bought 177 a. including the 96-a. Upper farm and Priory House, some small properties let for lives, 22 cottages, and 29 a. of waste near the Benthall boundary; Francis Adams bought over 30 a. with Kynehill House; and Francis Old bought Prior's Hawksyard and Gitchfield. (fn. 272)
Porter retained the freehold of c. 70 a. around the CALCUTTS which in 1624 he sold to his cousin William Willett of Bristol, who still owned it in 1631. (fn. 273) Nevertheless under a lease of 1619 and a settlement of claims in 1628 possession of the Calcutts passed to Porter's creditor Alderman William Young and his heirs. In 1659 Richard Young, administrator of William Young's goods, assigned the lease to John Huxley of Broseley (fn. 274) and Stanley Hall (in Astley Abbots). (fn. 275) The Huxleys, who had long occupied the Calcutts estate and worked the coals, (fn. 276) still enjoyed it in 1685. The descent of the freehold is obscure and in 1685 William Porter's grandson James Porter, apparently unaware of the 1624 conveyance to Willett, requested 'plainer information' from John Huxley about the freehold. (fn. 277) It is possible that the freehold passed to, or was thought to belong to, the lord of the manor. Around 1696–1700, in connexion with a conveyance to him of the 'inheritance' of the 'Priory land' estate that his grandfather had bought leasehold, George Weld was suing Martin Eele (presumably for his costs in acquiring the freehold) as occupier of the Calcutts: Eele's possession presumably derived from the remaining term of the 1619 lease, (fn. 278) and a 1693 conveyance to Eele by Samuel Langley may indicate that Eele had then acquired the freehold. (fn. 279) In 1753 the Calcutts was owned by Francis Freeman of Bristol and in 1767 by his son-in-law Sir Onesiphorus Paul (d. 1774). It descended to the latter's son Sir George Onesiphorus Paul (d. 1820). The Calcutts ironworks was sold to James Foster c. 1831 but much of the estate remained in the hands of Paul's trustees c. 1840. (fn. 280) It was later (fn. 281) dispersed by sale.
The lands bought by John Weld and Francis Adams c. 1620–1 laid the foundations of what were, c. 1840, the two most considerable landed estates in the parish. (fn. 282) Weld (kt. 1642) (fn. 283) administered his Broseley estate as part of his manor of Marsh with which it descended thereafter. (fn. 284) The Weld (later Forester) estate was much the larger, though Weld's purchases were not added to for over 120 years (except for the freehold of his 'Priory land' estate, acquired in the 1690s), the major acquisitions being the Woodlands (1745); Upper and Lower Riddings and Swinney (1790); Gitchfield (1791); the manor (1795); the Amies and Swinbatch (1813); the Dunge (1818) and Ladywood (1820); and Rowton (1821). (fn. 285) The Forester estate in Broseley comprised 1,230 a. c. 1840, (fn. 286) and was further extended by the 2nd Lord Forester (succ. 1828, d. 1874) who bought many small properties. (fn. 287)
Sir Thomas Lacon passed an estate in Broseley called THE WOODLANDS or CHILDS WOODLANDS (so named after 14th-century tenants), (fn. 288) in which he had gained at least a part interest from Richard Clerke of the Marsh in 1512, (fn. 289) to his second son Edward. (fn. 290) In 1575 Edward's illegitimate son Lancelot Lacon sold half of the estate to his cousin Thomas Bromley (kt. 1579), who died a freeholder of the manor in 1587. Lancelot Lacon's son Silvanus bought it back from Bromley's son Sir Henry, of Holt (Worcs.), in 1594. (fn. 291) Thereafter the Woodlands descended in the Lacon (fn. 292) and (from 1720) Edwards families with West Coppice (in Buildwas) until George Weld bought the Woodlands in 1745. (fn. 293) Woodlands Farm stands on the northern edge of Broseley Wood; its core is perhaps 17th-century.
ROWTON was a freehold estate in the eastern part of the manor. Richard Old (d. 1626) owned it in 1605. (fn. 294) In 1620 Francis Old (perhaps Richard's son, d. 1622) bought GITCHFIELD (or WITHIESFIELD HOUSE) and PRIOR'S HAWKSYARD further east, parts of William Porter's leasehold 'Priory land'. (fn. 295) The brothers Francis (d. by 1678) and Michael (d. 1681) Old were described as 'of Rowton'. Michael left Rowton between his sons Samuel and John and Gitchfield to Samuel. Samuel was dead by 1685 (fn. 296) and Rowton and Gitchfield had apparently passed to John's son, the Revd. Richard Old. In 1687 Richard settled Gitchfield on his aunt and uncle, Mary (née Old) and Richard Manning, a lawyer (d. 1719); (fn. 297) their son Samuel Manning bought the freehold from the lord of the manor in 1697, (fn. 298) and Gitchfield descended in the Manning family until George Forester bought it in 1791. (fn. 299) Rowton was left by Richard Old (d. 1692) to his brother John and sisters Jane, later wife of Richard Edwards of Chesterton (Hunts.), and Mary, wife of Nicholas Addenbrooke. In 1701 Richard Edwards acquired the whole estate, the minerals being divided between him and Addenbrooke. (fn. 300) In 1766 the Edwards estate was bought by Thomas Stephens of Broseley, whose son John, of Bridgnorth, conveyed it in part exchange to George Forester's trustees in 1822. (fn. 301) Rowton Farm appears to have been formed partly from a large brick barn, perhaps in the later 18th century. Its outbuildings include a later 16th-century timber framed barn and a dovecot built of clay lump, perhaps also of the later 18th century. (fn. 302)
THE AMIES, almost certainly named from preceding owners, (fn. 303) belonged to the Langleys, probably by the late 14th century, and descended from 1694 with the manor of Golding (in Cound). (fn. 304) The Amies remained in the Langleys' hands until 1717, when Thomas Langley sold it to Richard Littlehales, of Bridgnorth. Dr. John Littlehales (d. 1810) had the estate, then 56 a., in 1802, and his son Charles sold it to George Forester's trustees in 1813. (fn. 305) The Amies, 1 km. east of Broseley, was a large timber framed house, ruinous in 1879 and demolished soon afterwards. It is not known why in the 19th century it was considered the old manor house of Broseley. Possibly, however, the Amies may have been tenanted by Richard Eves at whose house the manor court was held in the 1650s. In 1661 John Langley left a life interest in the Amies house to his sister Elizabeth, widow of Robert Eves, and earlier the wife of William Langley, elder son of the purchaser of the manor in 1620. (fn. 306)
SWINBATCH farm was bought from the Revd. John Langley by George Forester's trustees in 1813. (fn. 307)
By 1608 John Huxley, soon thereafter tenant of Upper farm and the 'fair dwelling house' or mansion called Priory House (fn. 308) that James Clifford had built and recently lived in, (fn. 309) was apparently clerk of Clifford's coalworks (fn. 310) or perhaps acting more generally as bailiff, as he subsequently seems to have done for William Porter; (fn. 311) later he was steward of Marsh manor for John Weld. (fn. 312) In 1620 he was one of several mortgagees for Francis Langley, the new lord of the manor, (fn. 313) and in 1623–4 Langley sold him a freehold property. (fn. 314) The Huxleys, of Stanley Hall (in Astley Abbots) from c. 1658, (fn. 315) and their successors (from 1730) the Joneses (fn. 316) were freeholders in the manor, (fn. 317) with property around THE DUNGE and LADYWOOD. Edward Jones, of Windsor, sold what was evidently the Dunge property to R.C. Hartshorne, (fn. 318) and Jones's son Thomas (kt. 1760) (fn. 319) sold off the Ladywood property c. 1760. Both properties, or the greatest part of each, were bought up by George Forester's trustees in 1818 and 1820. The Dunge was put in the Forester farm to the north (fn. 320) run from a house that came to be called Dunge Farm.
THE TUCKIES belonged to the descendants of William Langley, younger son of William Langley of the Amies (fl. c. 1500); (fn. 321) one of them, Francis Langley of the Tuckies, bought the manor in 1620. (fn. 322) The Langleys mortgaged the Tuckies and their heirs the Purcells lost it in 1741. (fn. 323) The estate was gradually sold piecemeal thereafter, (fn. 324) the residue, with the house, being bought by Lord Forester in 1863. (fn. 325)
The Tuckies is a large H shaped building. (fn. 326) The north wing, probably 16th-century, is timber framed and once comprised part of a larger building. In the late 17th century 2½-storeyed central and south parlour ranges, of red brick on sandstone lower courses, were added to form a symmetrical front. The central hall range had a central door on its east side and a staircase with heavy turned balusters at its south end.
In 1787 the house was leased to Archibald Cochrane, earl of Dundonald, and in 1800 to his associate and fellow industrialist William Reynolds, (fn. 327) and it was probably at that time that a balcony (later removed) was added to the front of the house to command the magnificent views over the Severn Gorge. Shortly before 1860 the Tuckies was divided into 'two respectable dwelling houses'; (fn. 328) it was perhaps then that alterations were made including refenestration, remodelling of the main staircase and some of the interior, and extension of the second storey over the east front in an overhang. Later still the house was divided into three tenements, as it was in 1986.
The BROSELEY HALL estate, so called by 1728, (fn. 329) derived mainly from that bought by Francis Adams of Cleeton from William Porter in 1620, including 134 a. of the 'socage land' (with the site of the medieval manor house) and 30 a. of the 'Priory land' (including Kynehill House). (fn. 330) Adams died in 1668 (fn. 331) leaving a daughter and heiress Sarah, (fn. 332) the wife of William Crompton, and the estate (part of which Samuel Langley owned from 1670, (fn. 333) the freehold being presumably acquired from the Langleys in the 1690s) (fn. 334) eventually passed to their granddaughter Elizabeth Crompton. (fn. 335) Her uncle Henry Crompton had bought Woodhouse farm in 1710 and had sold small parts of it (to George Weld) in 1717. (fn. 336) Henry's property passed c. 1725 to his niece Elizabeth Crompton (fn. 337) and descended thereafter with Broseley Hall.
Elizabeth Crompton died unmarried in 1747. The last of her family, she left her estates to Mary Browne, spinster daughter of Ralph Browne of Caughley. (fn. 338) Mary Browne, having built Jackfield church on part of Woodhouse farm, (fn. 339) died in 1763 and the Broseley Hall estate subsequently passed to her widowed sister-inlaw Anne Browne (d. 1767), (fn. 340) to Anne's brother Francis Turner Blithe (fn. 341) (d. 1770), and to Francis's widow Jane Elizabeth (née Crawley) who married William Yelverton Davenport. In 1804 the bulk of the estate comprised the Hall, Coneybury, and Woodhouse farms. Mrs. Davenport died in 1811, her husband in 1832, when the estate passed to her grandson Francis Blithe Harries, who owned 374 a. in Broseley c. 1840. Harries's son Francis succeeded to the estate, and from 1848 it descended with Cruckton Hall in Pontesbury, passing to the Jenkins family in 1879. (fn. 342) In 1941 Maj. C. E. Jenkins, of Cruckton, remained the principal landowner in Broseley parish after Lord Forester. (fn. 343)
What became known as Broseley Old Hall (fn. 344) was superseded as the chief house by a new house, Broseley Hall, built nearby for Elizabeth Crompton (fn. 345) (d. 1747). The Hall is a five bayed, three storeyed house of brick with stone details. Between 1766 and 1770 various improvements were made inside the house to designs by T. F. Pritchard, who also designed a gothic temple or summerhouse for the garden and perhaps a gothic 3-seater boghouse. (fn. 346)
Coneybury and Woodhouse Farms are 18thcentury brick buildings incorporating earlier cores. (fn. 347)
Agriculture was the parish's mainstay until the late 16th or early 17th century when large-scale coal mining began, much coal being exported by river. Ironstone and local clays were also mined; iron and engineering industries developed, and tobacco pipes, bricks, and tiles were made from the 16th to the 20th century. (fn. 348)
Broseley became one of Shropshire's most considerable towns during the 18th century. In the late 17th century there were mercers (fn. 349) and a tailor there, (fn. 350) and in the early 18th a glazier, (fn. 351) and the surgeon Caesar Hawkins's move from Ludlow in 1688 signifies Broseley's increasing importance: he founded a dynasty of eminent surgeons and died rich in 1707. (fn. 352) The Wyke family were surgeons in Broseley in the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 353) In the later 18th century a market hall was built in High Street and a spring fair begun. As the town's trade increased local manufacturers and professional men joined in the provision of banking services. Edward Blakeway, owner of the former Thursfield pottery in Jackfield, was engaged in banking by the early 19th century, (fn. 354) and the attorney John Pritchard, moving from Ironbridge to Broseley in 1791, became agent for the Forester estate in 1794 and in 1799 a partner in the bankers Vickers, Son & Pritchard, with Broseley and Bridgnorth offices. (fn. 355)
In the mid 19th century the town retained marks of its former economic importance. After his death (1837) Pritchard's sons George (d. 1861) and John (d. 1891) had given up the law but stuck to their more gentlemanly occupation at the bank, (fn. 356) which was taken over by Lloyds Bank in 1888. (fn. 357) In 1851 the town remained fairly well supplied with tradesmen serving middle class needs. (fn. 358) The Pritchards, however, were attempting to gentrify themselves, (fn. 359) and the town's more substantial professional men had avocations elsewhere, especially in Madeley (superintendent registrar and county court clerk and high bailiff), whose county court had superseded Broseley's court of requests, and Much Wenlock (borough clerk of the peace and coroner). (fn. 360) In fact the town had declined in economic importance both relatively and absolutely in the earlier 19th century and the decline was not halted for over a century. (fn. 361) Nevertheless the parish derived some compensation from the thriving ceramic industries of Jackfield, whose encaustic decorated tiles were internationally renowned in the later 19th century.
When Helgot, lord in 1086, obtained 'Bosle' it was waste. There were two ploughteams in 1086, but apparently little arable land, though the 4 bordars' share in one of the teams may imply that cultivation was then being expanded. (fn. 362) Broseley's open arable fields were referred to c. 1226–40, and by 1328 names of three fields around the village were recorded. South-west lay the field known in the 14th and 16th centuries as Polfield or Polefield, (fn. 363) in 1620 as West field, (fn. 364) and c. 1749 as Codbrook field. (fn. 365) South of the village lay the field generally known as South field (fn. 366) but referred to as Switfeld (recte Smitfeld?) c. 1230 (fn. 367) and Smithfield in 1620. Eastwards lay the field known until the 17th century as East field (fn. 368) and thereafter usually as Amies field, (fn. 369) but in the 16th and early 17th century also as Strangemarsh field. (fn. 370) Lands were c. 150 m. long. (fn. 371) Locally dug marl was added to the soil c. 1270. (fn. 372) In the Middle Ages, however, relatively little of the parish was open arable land; in 1310 a third of the manor was said to comprise 60 a. arable, 10 a. wood, and meadow worth 18d. (probably c. 3 a.). In 1341 it was claimed that much of the parish lay uncultivated because of the tenants' poverty. (fn. 373) In 2/3 of the manor rent of demesne lands totalled £3 6s. 8d. 1417–18, while income from customary tenants totalled £6 13s. 3d. (fn. 374)
The name Broseley suggests extensive early medieval woodland. (fn. 375) Broseley was disafforested in 1301. (fn. 376) Despite assarting and the establishment of outlying farms extensive woodland reserves remained around the village at the end of the Middle Ages. (fn. 377) Rights of common were enjoyed in it, (fn. 378) and in 1379–80 nine men had 77 pigs in the prior's wood. (fn. 379) In 1407 among the pigs were 4 hogs owned by the bailiff of Cressage. (fn. 380) Much of the manorial woodland lay north of Broseley, covering the slopes and dingles down to the Severn. (fn. 381) Sales of wood from the demesne 'Astwood' produced £5 6s. 8d. in 1417– 18. (fn. 382) Probably before the mid 16th century the land between Broseley and the river was divided by merestones into large blocks of common, and, despite encroachment by squatters, the divisions survived in the 17th century. (fn. 383) The surviving woodland lay in discrete blocks: Holly grove is first mentioned in 1510–11, Lady wood in the 1550s, and Mone wood in 1605. (fn. 384)
As well as the common woods and wastes the river was an important resource and during the Middle Ages there were fishponds and fish weirs on the Severn at Broseley. (fn. 385) In 1226 Buildwas abbey sold a weir at Swinney; (fn. 386) it was probably at Gitchfield (fn. 387) or Prior's Hawksyard. (fn. 388) There was a weir at Broseley in 1310, (fn. 389) and in the early 15th century John Fisher paid 32s. rent for a weir. (fn. 390) In 1575 there were three weirs. (fn. 391) James Clifford, lord of the manor, owned Robin's weir, probably that at Ladywood known in the early 17th century as Coppice or Upper weir, (fn. 392) and Lyed's weir, probably opposite the Lloyds in Madeley; the earl of Shrewsbury owned Swinney weir.
Reduction of the open fields by engrossment and inclosure was well advanced by c. 1620, (fn. 393) but the process was not complete until c. 1800. (fn. 394) Inclosure of arable and pasture was probably stimulated by the contraction of common grazing north of Broseley as squatters settled there in the late 16th century, (fn. 395) and by improvements to other former common land such as Riddings Lane east of Broseley. (fn. 396) Lime, burnt in coal-fired kilns, was being added to arable land by 1600. (fn. 397) By the end of the 18th century manuring, land drainage, and the floating of meadows were all commonplace. (fn. 398)
John Weld, who acquired much land in Broseley c. 1618–21 as he expanded his Willey estate, was an enterprising and energetic landowner. (fn. 399) In 1631, fearing for his health, he drew up instructions to his heirs for the management of his estates. He suggested that in Broseley rack rents should replace leases for lives, and that the landlord should have the option of taking his rent in corn from mills. (fn. 400) Weld, however, lived until 1666 and, while his rent income increased, he appears not to have tried to rack. (fn. 401) In 1634 heriots were demanded from both copyhold and freehold tenements, and also a relief of a year's rent on the latter. (fn. 402)
In 1609 Broseley manor comprised 600 a. of arable, 400 a. of pasture, 100 a. of heath, and 60 a. of wood, proportions similar to those of Childs Woodlands farm in 1594 (100 a. of arable, 100 a. of pasture, 20 a. of meadow, 20 a. of wood), and Rowton farm in 1701 and 1766–7 (60 a. of arable, 60 a. of pasture, 20 a. of meadow, 8 a. of wood). (fn. 403) In the later 17th and early 18th century farms were mixed. (fn. 404) Clover was grown by 1660. (fn. 405) Dairy farming was relatively important, and some farmhouses had cheese chambers. Barley was grown to supply local alehouses with malt. Few farms had many sheep. Horses were replacing oxen as draught animals. Colliers and small tradesmen tended to keep one or two animals, especially pigs. On the Forester estate in Broseley in 1799 the two largest farms were 189 a. and 130 a. Five others were 40–85 a., and five 10–25 a. (fn. 406) In 1801 56 per cent of recorded cereal acreage in the parish was wheat, 32 per cent oats, and 12 per cent barley. (fn. 407) About 1840 there were 649 a. of arable, 940 a. of meadow and pasture, 202 a. of wood and waste, and 82 a. of gardens. The seven main farms then lay east of a line between Dean and Calcutts. (fn. 408) In the later 19th and early 20th century farmers turned increasingly to livestock farming, particularly cattle, and in 1938 pasture occupied ten times as much land as arable in the parish. After the Second World War there were more cattle than any other kind of stock as sheep farming declined; pig rearing also increased, and in 1964 the disused brickworks at Gitchfield was occupied by a model pig and poultry farm owned by Coalport Enterprises Ltd. (fn. 409)
Sources: P.R.O., MAF 68/143, no. 15; /1340, no. 5; /3880, Salop. no. 259; /4945, no. 259.
In 1188 Warin of Broseley was fined by the justices of the forest for building a mill, (fn. 410) most probably in Broseley. In 1312 there were two mills near the Dean, (fn. 411) south of Broseley, and a mill or mills remained on the site until the mid 19th century. (fn. 412) Two mills which had formerly belonged to Wenlock priory were mentioned in 1545 and 1550; one of them was at Birch batch. (fn. 413) In 1728 a water mill and mill house stood on a stream near Woodhouse Farm. (fn. 414) A watermill on the river bank at Calcutts was ruinous in 1788. (fn. 415) In 1793 and 1801 there were two water mills at Calcutts, south of the 1788 mill. (fn. 416) One of those, probably that called a colour mill c. 1840, (fn. 417) was a grinding mill for the Caughley porcelain works. (fn. 418) The other was demolished 1830 × 1840. (fn. 419)
There were two windmills in Broseley in 1776, worked by Leonard Jennings, an original shareholder in the Iron Bridge. (fn. 420) In 1801 windmills (perhaps those of 1776) stood at Syner's hill and Fernybank. (fn. 421) It was perhaps the remains of one of them which stood in 1983 west of Fox Lane. There was a miller in Church Street in 1870. (fn. 422)
Coal and ironstone.
Coal was being got in Broseley by the early 15th century and intensive exploitation of the Coal Measures, which outcrop near the river, was the basis of Broseley's prosperity in the 17th and 18th centuries. The coal belonged to the lords of the manor and the owners (and sometimes the lessees) of freehold land. Access to seams and transport of coal required the co-operation of neighbouring landowners and their tenants; in the absence of agreements, or when they broke down, disputes were common and sometimes violent. (fn. 423)
In the two thirds of the manor owned by the Cloptons there was a mine for which John Hadyngton and John Horsley paid 20s. rent in 1417–18. Horsley had a lease for life in 1420–1 and he and Adam Collier paid 16s. 8d. for it in 1426–7. It was probably the mine which supplied the lord's household with 50 clods (cledez) of coal, worth 49s. 8d., in 1418–19. (fn. 424) Wenlock priory had coal pits in Broseley in 1514–15 and c. 1523, and also owned 'Coal meadow' near High Ridding. (fn. 425) In 1528 Robert Kirby and Alexander Wood, tenants of Sir Thomas Lacon, were mining for ironstone in the part of Broseley that belonged to Willey manor. (fn. 426) The priory received 1s. 4d. in 1540 from a coal work in its share of the manor; (fn. 427) it was perhaps the 'pit called a coal delf' that was held by William Hobson and William Adams in 1545 and thereafter descended with the share of the manor known as the 'Priory land'. (fn. 428)
About 1620 there were three parallel insetts or adit mines in the north-west corner of Broseley; they ran back from the Severn into the hillside near Ladywood. The easternmost mine was called the Priory insett; the other two were known as 'Mr. Cage's insetts'. (fn. 429) The insetts were perhaps then the longest-worked mines in Broseley, the group apparently reflecting the manorial divisions of 'Priory' or 'capite' land (⅓) and 'socage land' (2/3). (fn. 430) In 1615 William Porter had noted that the Priory insett (then in Edward Pacie's occupation) yielded him only £40 a year, and he valued it at only £100. It was evidently the only mine on the 'Priory land' though Porter noted that more insetts might be made 'which will yield a great profit'. On the 'socage land' mines were more numerous and more valuable, (fn. 431) and large-scale mining dated from the 1570s. In 1575 James Clifford, lord of the manor, was found to have dumped large amounts of spoil into the Severn from a pit near the Tuckies. (fn. 432) Over the next thirty years Clifford encouraged immigrant miners to settle on the waste, and attempted to exploit coal not only under his own estate but also under the land of one of the main leaseholders in the manor. From c. 1588 there were mines at Calcutts on land leased to Richard Wilcox, which Wilcox allowed his landlord Clifford to open up and work. By 1605, however, when railways began to be laid, the agreement had broken down and there were violent disputes involving also Wilcox's undertenant William Wells. (fn. 433) In 1608 Clifford's mines in Yates's coppice (four insetts) were let to Jesse Whittingham, a Gloucester baker, for five years at a rent of £200 a year. In 1613, when William Porter was newly in possession, (fn. 434) the 'socage land' was said to contain 300 a. 'wherein there are two levels of coals very certain'. Every acre of coal was said to make £600 a year, £300 being allowed for charges and a like sum 'clear gain'. The clear annual profit of 'these coalmines lying on Severn side' was said to be £300 and upwards and their capital value 10 years' purchase, £3,000. The two insetts known before 1620 as Mr. Cage's doubtless accounted for part of the profit but more must have come from mines further down river opened by Clifford. Some of those lay in Calcutts, the 'great pasture ground where the coalmines are', (fn. 435) opened after Richard Wilcox had agreed to release the Calcutts to Clifford for the mining of 'stone coal or sea coal'. By 1615 they may have begun to repay a large capital investment. John Weld alleged in 1622 that £1,000 had been spent on them and that their clear annual profit was £100 and sometimes less. He had nevertheless considered the Calcutts mines adequate to indemnify him against encumbrances on the lands he bought from William Porter. (fn. 436) They were therefore probably the principal mines in the parish.
The Calcutts mines were managed in Clifford's and Porter's time by John Huxley, (fn. 437) and after 1620 the Huxleys evidently continued to manage them for the leaseholders interested in them. They acquired the leasehold for themselves in 1659 and were still working the mines in 1685. (fn. 438) In 1681–2 an average of 116 tons of coal a month was raised from Calcutts and Peartree croft (or close). (fn. 439)
Earliest recorded of the manor's freeholders to mine under their land were the owners of the Woodlands estate in 1578. (fn. 440) It was probably those mines which were at lease for £100 a year in 1607. (fn. 441) From 1620 Francis Adams worked mines on Coalpit hill and had a way to the Severn for his coal, probably across his own land and then over the Calcutts. He was still involved in mining when he died in 1668. (fn. 442) In the 1670s his widowed daughter Sarah Crompton owned adits running south from near the river to Cockshutt in Broseley Wood. (fn. 443) John Weld was the most substantial freeholder in the manor after 1620 and the leasehold 'Priory land' which he had bought included the Priory insett with wagons and access to the Severn. He became an important mine owner, and the extent of his interests enabled him to employ a variety of tactics in dealings with his local rivals. By 1631 he estimated that he had added £500 to the value of his lands in Broseley by persuading Silvanus Lacon of the Woodlands to allow him to run galleries beneath his land. At the same time he considered that Francis Adams might be hindered from taking his coal to the river if a lease of the Calcutts could be obtained from the Youngs. In 1634 he allowed Lawrence Benthall of Benthall to mine under Woodlands Green via an insett from Benthall. Nevertheless Weld's experience of mining led him to warn his son in 1631 'not to be busy . . . in searching for coals nor in iron works' and to beware 'colliers or miners or projectors whose fair speech is but to get themselves money'. His own expense in 'seeking for coals' he listed as one of the reasons why his estate was not greater. (fn. 444)
Long-wall mining, whereby a network of galleries lead to a long working face, began in the area in the earlier 17th century; (fn. 445) investment costs could be high (fn. 446) and the dangers considerable. (fn. 447) Some coal was used locally, for instance in clay-pipe manufacture, but already Broseley coal was reaching Gloucester down the Severn. The importance of the parish's collieries was demonstrated by the Parliamentarians' seizure of them in 1645, along with those of Benthall and Stourbridge, to prevent passage of coal to royalist forces along the Severn. (fn. 448)
About 1700 extraction began on the Olds' Rowton estate, east of the earlier mines. (fn. 449) Nicholas Addenbrooke and Richard Edwards, husbands of Old coheirs, joined in partnership with Robert Evans, Richard Pearce, and Michael Stephens of the Amies. Coal, ironstone, and limestone were to be got in what was clearly a well capitalized venture, with the minerals being conveyed by railway across Gitchfield meadows to the Severn. In 1707 Thomas Sprott of the Marsh and Nicholas Harrison, master collier, of Broseley, lessees of Nicholas Addenbrooke's mineral moiety, agreed with Michael Stephens, lessee of Richard Edwards's moiety, to get coal from Tarbatch dingle. Stephens was to receive a royalty for the use of his Tarbatch dingle railway. By 1718 Stephens was also mining on the Woodhouse and Amies estates, allegedly gaining access by one of those pits to the Flint coal under Rowton. Stephens and Harrison remained lessees of the manorial coal rights in 1726. (fn. 450) Nicholas Harrison's son Thomas died in 1731 possessed of shares in mines including Rowton and Lower Ridding. (fn. 451) From 1731 or earlier Michael Stephens, with John Onions, also mined at Gitchfield east of Rowton. (fn. 452) In 1766 when Stephens's son, Thomas Stephens, bought Rowton the property included the Gitchfield coalwork. (fn. 453) Mines, probably near the south end of Corbatch Dingle, were bought in 1757 for £350 by Mary Browne of Broseley Hall from William Bromley. (fn. 454)
In the 18th century coal apparently remained the main product of Broseley's mines, although in 1717 and until the 1730s or later mines at Ladywood supplied ironstone to the Coalbrookdale furnances. (fn. 455) In 1739 the commonest river freight at Bridgnorth was said to be Broseley coal, (fn. 456) and in 1758, when Henry Rainsford of Much Wenlock, a partner in the Madeley Wood Co., became lessee of the Broseley manorial mineral rights, an estimated 100,000 tons of coal a year were shipped from the Broseley and Madeley collieries. In the 1750s coal was sent to Willey Old furnace, and from 1757 to the New Willey Co.'s works. (fn. 457) By the 1760s Broseley's collieries, particularly those north of the town, were beginning to be worked out, (fn. 458) and in the next 50 years all the available clod coal, the only suitable Shropshire coal for coking, was exhausted. (fn. 459)
In the early 19th century ironstone replaced coal as the main product of the parish's mines and by 1810 was supplied to John Onion's Brierley Hill (Staffs.) Ironworks. As the production of Broseley's furnaces declined ore was sent increasingly to the Black Country, and by 1820 considerable amounts of calcined ironstone were reaching Brierley Hill. That trade, in which the Fosters were prominent, continued until the later 19th century. (fn. 460) About 1840 there were c. 126 people employed in Broseley's mines. (fn. 461) In 1870 the export of ore was one of Broseley's principal industries (fn. 462) but by 1881 nearly all the pits were closed and the two largest that remained were about to shut. (fn. 463) In the late 19th and early 20th century a few small mines continued to produce coal, but by then most pits in Broseley were for clay. (fn. 464)
Iron and engineering.
In 1767 George Matthews leased the riverside Calcutts estate from Sir Onesiphorus Paul. (fn. 465) Two furnaces were built: their bellows were operated by water wheels, the water being pumped back to a reservoir (later Mapps pool) (fn. 466) by a steam engine. By 1772 Calcutts pig iron was used in Stour Valley forges. In 1778 Matthews was in partnership with one of the Homfray family, and by 1786, when the leasehold was offered for sale, a partnership called Baille, Pocock & Co. operated Calcutts. It then included two blast furnaces each capable of producing 40 tons of iron a week, air furnaces, two bar iron forges, and three steam engines. By that time cannon were being manufactured and sold to the government.
The lease was bought in 1786 by Alexander Brodie, an inventive and enterprising Scottish blacksmith from London. (fn. 467) He soon closed the forge and concentrated on the foundry, whose main products were a ship's stove (patented by Brodie) and cannon. In 1796 32-pounder cannon were cast two at a time, and then bored up to eleven at a time in a steam-powered boring mill. Before 1796 Brodie, with James Glazebrook, a carpenter, had produced a steam blast engine for use at Calcutts. In the 1790s pig iron was sent to Lancashire. (fn. 468) In 1803 the two furnaces there in blast produced 29 and 15 tons a week; much was used on the premises in armaments production. (fn. 469) By c. 1804 there were four furnaces there including a 'snapper' worked at times of heavy demand, (fn. 470) and Brodie had set up a boring mill. (fn. 471) In 1811, when Brodie died, the works included two large blast engines, a steam-powered cannon-boring machine, a boring mill for cylinders, and a water-powered boring and turning mill.
Brodie was succeeded by his nephew Alexander Brodie (d. 1830). (fn. 472) The works suffered badly in the war years and were almost ruinous in 1815. About 1817, when two furnaces were in blast, the works was taken over by William Hazledine. In 1823 1,822 tons of iron were made there and production continued, albeit unprofitably, until the last furnace was blown out in 1828. (fn. 473) Broseley's population fell by 515 in the 1820s, largely owing to the closure of five blast furnaces. (fn. 474) James Foster acquired the works c. 1831, apparently to use its railway to take ore to the Severn. The foundry was demolished in 1836. (fn. 475)
A second ironworks, the Coneybury or Broseley Bottom Coal furnace, stood on the Broseley Hall estate, north-east of Broseley. (fn. 476) The works probably began to operate in 1786–7, and in 1788–9, when it was operated by Banks & Onions, it started to supply pig iron to the Stour Valley forges. By 1800 William Banks and John Onions operated the works, probably as Banks & Co., along with a foundry west of Church Street; in 1801 William Wilkinson described the products of Onions's new Broseley foundry as the neatest he had seen anywhere. (fn. 477) At that time the one furnace's make was 30–35 tons a week. (fn. 478) There in 1810 was produced the 50-ton Victory, one of the first iron boats. (fn. 479) Banks died in 1803 and Onions then bought out his son Christopher. (fn. 480) Onions died in 1819 and was succeeded by his son John (d. 1859), who in 1806 had married Frances, daughter of the local ironmaster John Guest. John Onions continued to trade as an ironfounder and brickmaker, (fn. 481) in 1810 as the Broseley Furnace Co. (fn. 482) The furnaces are said to have been blown out in 1823 but limited production continued for some time: 270 tons were made in 1830, and buildings still stood at the foundry site in 1844. (fn. 483)
Another furnace, built in 1806–7 by John Guest south-east of Broseley on the site of the later Broseley Tileries, was acquired by the Onions family soon after. (fn. 484) It was apparently blown out by 1840. (fn. 485)
John Wright and Joseph and Richard Jesson of West Bromwich (Staffs.), forgemasters and patentees in 1773 of a process to produce wrought iron with coke by heating pig in clay pots, took a lease of land in 1796 at Barnett's leasow, (fn. 486) above the Severn bank near the site of the later Free bridge. (fn. 487) In 1801 the company was called the Barnett's Leasow Co. (fn. 488) Two blast furnaces, blown by Watt engines, came into operation in 1797 and 1801, and pig was sent to the partners' Wrens Nest forges (in Astley Abbots and Linley) and to the Black Country. (fn. 489) In 1803 the joint make was c. 65 tons a week. (fn. 490) By 1815 Charles Phillips, probably an undertenant, had taken over, but in 1820 he and his partner William Parsons went bankrupt. James Foster took a new lease of the works from Lord Forester in 1821 and continued to produce iron there: 2,755 tons in 1823, and 1,316 tons in 1830. The furnaces went out of blast soon after 1830. (fn. 491)
W. H. Smith opened the Calcutts foundry on the former ironwork's site in the 1870s, specializing in the production of machinery for the local clay industries. (fn. 492) Smith's was taken over by Marshall Osborne & Co. Ltd., precision engineers, c. 1957, and had 185 employees in 1964. The foundry closed in 1982 when the firm moved to Stafford Park industrial estate, Telford. (fn. 493)
The Capacity Engineering Co. opened in King Street in 1914. Motor car accessories were made until after the Second World War when the firm, open in 1984, became general machin ists and toolmakers. (fn. 494) In 1964 Gaunt & Co. of Birmingham made metal buttons and badges. (fn. 495) C. H. R. (Development) Ltd. opened in King Street c. 1972, and moved to premises in an old malthouse in Queen Street c. 1978. The firm made domestic gas fires and employed thirteen people in 1984. (fn. 496)
The production of goods from local clays was established by the early 17th century, and as industry developed around Broseley demand grew for bricks and tiles for shafts, furnaces, and houses. Mining exposed the abundant high-quality local clays, which were got along with coal and ironstone; by the 19th century, however, clay was mined separately as the local manufactories of clay goods expanded and began to supply a wide market. (fn. 497) In the later 19th century both Maws and Craven Dunnill gained international reputations for their encaustic tiles, but the brick and tile industries were badly hit by the slump in building during the First World War (fn. 498) and by the import of tiles from Belgium and France in the 1920s. (fn. 499) Many yards recovered to continue production until the Second World War, but on a much reduced scale and with increasing emphasis on the more profitable fireclay products. (fn. 500) Clay mining continued until the early 1950S. (fn. 501)
A 'tyle house' (kiln) adjoining a coal pit on the 'Priory land' was mentioned in 1545 and 1550. (fn. 502) Production of bricks and tiles probably increased as mining and population grew in the late 16th century, and during the 17th century many substantial houses in the parish were built at least partly of brick. (fn. 503) Between 1754 and 1756 large numbers of Broseley bricks were used at Horsehay in blast-furnace construction. By the later 18th century brick production was well established at Calcutts and Coalford (fn. 504) while durable blue roof tiles were made at Jackfield and traded via the Severn. (fn. 505) Bricks were also made on site for specific projects. (fn. 506) By 1835 Broseley fire bricks enjoyed a national reputation in furnace construction and were sent countrywide via the Severn. (fn. 507) After c. 1840 the local brick and roof tile industry boomed; new machines and processes became available, and the coming of the railway in 1862 allowed the local industry to reach wider markets. (fn. 508)
During the 19th century and until the First World War there were usually about nine firms in business. In the later 19th century roof tiles supplanted bricks as their main product, and the numbers employed increased dramatically as wider markets were reached. In 1851 there were c. 130 brickyard workers in Broseley and Benthall; by 1871 that number had trebled. In many brickyards production was concentrated in the summer months, when sub-contracted and, until the 1860s or later, child labour were extensively used. (fn. 509) Many businesses were long lived; (fn. 510) the Broseley Tileries Co. Ltd., which traded at the Dunge until 1940, claimed 1760 as its foundation date. By 1870 the firm produced tesselated and encaustic floor tiles as well as roof and plain floor tiles. (fn. 511) When incorporated in 1877 it had registered capital of £10,000. Not all the £20 shares, however, were taken up and the firm was in difficulties in the 1880s. The work force then numbered c. 40– 50. (fn. 512) In the 1920s the works were combined with Milburgh and Wallace as the Prestage and Broseley Tileries Ltd. (fn. 513) Also at the Dunge between 1811 and c. 1903 was the Davies family's Dunge Works. (fn. 514) The younger John Onions, ironmaster, also made bricks and, in the 1840s, elaborate terracotta reliefs such as were used, for example, at Badger Hall and at Holland House, Kensington. (fn. 515) All the other main works were near the Severn, conveniently for river, and later rail, transport.
Most brick and tile works were concentrated around Jackfield. The Coalford works, which began in the late 18th century and was later known as the Excelsior Broseley Roofing Tile Works, was probably the largest brick and tile works in the east Shropshire coalfield, and exported goods abroad. It employed 80–90 men c. 1901. The firm closed in the 1930s. (fn. 516) The Hollygrove Red Brick and Tile Works operated from the late 18th century until 1895 or a little later, manufacture in the last 20 years concentrating on lighter-weight roof and floor tiles. (fn. 517) Nearby works included the Doughty family's, operating from before 1842 until 1939 on a site previously occupied by the Calcutts iron works; (fn. 518) the Ladywood works, where various proprietors made red and white bricks between at least 1761 and 1939; (fn. 519) the works of William Exley & Sons, reputedly established at the Rock before 1840 and open until c. 1940, where in 1876 one of the coalfield's first down-draught chimneys was built; (fn. 520) Hargreaves & Craven, a tileworks operative under several partnerships in the 1860s; (fn. 521) Prestage & Co.'s Milburgh Tileries, open between 1870 and 1938, which specialized in exterior ornamentation for buildings and had c. 70 hands c. 1901; (fn. 522) and the Wallace Tileries, also operated by the Prestage family, which opened in 1889, had c. 25 hands c. 1901, and closed c. 1903. (fn. 523) About 1892 Exleys opened a large second factory, the Coalport Brick and Tile Works, at Gitchfield, soon among the largest roof-tile manufactories. (fn. 524) In 1949 the works was bought by G. W. Dickins who continued production for a time. (fn. 525) In 1879 and until at least 1900 Hopkins & Co. had a tile and terracotta works, the location of which in Jackfield is unknown. (fn. 526)
As well as these firms of local or regional importance two Broseley companies gained an international market in the late 19th century in decorative tiles. There had been at least two earlier attempts to make such tiles in the parish; 'Dutch tiles' were supposedly made at Jackfield by Maurice Thursfield c. 1750–60, (fn. 527) while c. 1835–45, under the guidance of the leading Coalport china modeller Peter Stephan (fl. in the Broseley area c. 1830–1860s), Exleys produced the first encaustic tiles in the district. Herbert Minton, a patentee of the process, threatened legal action, however, and production ceased. (fn. 528) Hargreaves, Craven & Dunnill, formed in 1870, occupied a tile works previously run by Hawse and Denny (in 1867), and by Hargreaves & Craven, who in 1867 made geometric tiles by the clay dust process. The resident managing partner was Henry Dunnill (d. 1895), since 1867 manager of Hargreaves & Craven. (fn. 529) A new factory, the Jackfield Encaustic Tile Works, designed by Charles Lynam of Stoke-uponTrent, opened on a 4-a. site in 1874. In 1881, 53 men, 26 youths, and 16 women were employed there. Some of the impetus behind the new enterprise was provided by A. H. Brown, merchant banker and Liberal M.P. for Wenlock. (fn. 530) A profit-sharing scheme of 1870–2 was among benefits introduced for the workers. The factory's product, less diverse than those of Maws and primarily medieval-style encaustic floor tiles, were widely used in building and restoration work. By 1890 the product range had widened to include a variety of floor and wall, or furniture, tiles, both plain and mosaic, with painted, printed, and majolica decoration. These were widely exported. In the earlier 20th century considerable quantities of plain tiles and art deco friezes were produced. The firm closed in 1952, and the buildings were taken over and used until 1982 by Marshall Osborne & Co. Ltd., precision engineers. In 1984 the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust opened a tile museum there.
In 1883 Maw & Co. (Ltd. 1888) moved their works from Benthall to the new 5-a. 'Benthall' works at Jackfield, (fn. 531) also designed by Charles Lynam. (fn. 532) That move was already intended in 1862. (fn. 533) Maws had previously had an auxiliary branch of their Benthall factory here. (fn. 534) A wide range of tiles of frequently innovatory design continued to be produced, many for export, by a paternalistically managed firm: it introduced benefits such as a savings bank, and before 1887 it considered allowing workers to buy shares. (fn. 535) Maws was then the largest decorative tile factory in the world. In the early 1900s, in response to changing tastes, Maws' products became simpler, more like Craven Dunnill's. Maws' profits fell in the early 20th century. During the 1920s and 1930s bathroom and hearth tiles were the main products, although decorative friezes were also made. In 1961 Maws became part of the Campbell Brick & Tile Co. of Stoke-upon-Trent, itself bought out by the H. & R. Johnson–Richards Group in 1962. In 1964 the works had 224 employees. By then local clays were no longer used. Tile production ended in 1969. The works was partly demolished 1974–7, the remaining buildings being used for craft and residential units. (fn. 536)
In 1889 the area's leading manufacturers of roof tiles, which for some years had been known by the generic name 'Broseley tiles', formed the Broseley Brick and Tile Manufacturers' Association. (fn. 537) Its objectives were to fix minimum prices, to curb over-production, to promote 'Broseley' tiles in the face of growing competition from Welsh slate, and to attempt to restrict the description 'Broseley tiles' to products of the Association's members; legal action was taken in 1892 against a Hanley firm producing 'Broseley' tiles, but it failed. The association remained in existence until roof-tile production ended in Broseley during the Second World War.
A mug dated 1634 is the first evidence of pottery production in Broseley, although there may have been earlier kilns. (fn. 538) In the 1720s the scale of the industry increased, and potters moved from Stoke-upon-Trent to Broseley potteries run by William Bird and Joseph Garner. Trade may have slumped in the 1730s when at least thirteen potters claimed poor relief. (fn. 539) As in other local potteries the main manufacture was coarse earthenware mugs (the usual drinking vessel in the Severnside inns or 'mughouses'), other products including pans, dishes, and hornshaped drinking vessels known as 'tots'. Some wares were decorated with slip. Salt-glazed stoneware similar to contemporary Staffordshire wares was produced in Jackfield from the 1720s, perhaps at Salthouses by the immigrants from Stoke. By 1728 there were three 'mughouses' at Jackfield—rows of cottages with attached kilns— as well as a 'potworks' operated by Morris Thursfield. (fn. 540) In general in the 18th and 19th centuries there was much interaction between the Staffordshire and Jackfield industries. (fn. 541) In 1788, for instance, William Greatbatch, a leading potter at Etruria (Staffs.) then seeking to avoid creditors, came to Broseley to test a new kind of kiln to fire enamel with coal. (fn. 542)
About 1750 the Thursfield works, one of several in Jackfield, began the manufacture of Jackfield ware, a highly vitrified black-glazed earthenware. By the 1780s a range of good quality wares, including mugs and teapots, was being exported to America; most celebrated were the large jugs or 'black decanters'. The Jackfield industry consisted of several kilns built on the ends of cottages and, like much of the contemporary Staffordshire industry, was 'little more than a haphazard collection of family businesses'. (fn. 543) Locating the various 18th-century potteries is difficult. (fn. 544)
After the death of W. M. Thursfield in 1783 the family's pottery passed to Edward Blakeway, ironmaster, entrepreneur, and a former (1755) mayor of Shrewsbury. He was joined c. 1793 by John Rose (b. 1772), a native of Barrow who had been apprenticed at the Caughley pottery. Blackglazed ware continued to be made at the works until c. 1800, although production of 'Jackfield ware' continued afterwards in Staffordshire. (fn. 545) Rose may also have made porcelain, and by 1800 Mocha wares, cream wares and blue transfer wares were all manufactured in Jackfield. (fn. 546)
By the mid 19th century it was more mundane goods that were made, such as yellow- and brown-glazed earthenwares and flower pots; (fn. 547) earthenware was still produced in Jackfield in the late 19th century. (fn. 548) A 'new' pottery was established by John Myatt in 1826, and in 1838 Myatt and Yates were making brown and yellow stonewares at the later Craven Dunnill site. (fn. 549) The business may have continued as the Ash Tree pottery (fl. 1845–6), which itself may have continued under the guise of the Ivanhoe pottery (fl. 1851–4). In 1851 that employed 27 men and boys. After 1854 a succession of Staffordshire partners ran the works, which closed c. 1865. In 1851 another earthenware pottery was run by William Exley at his brickworks. About 1930 the Benthall & Ironbridge Pottery Co. was making domestic pottery, including teapots, pancheons, and casseroles at William Southorn & Co's clay pipe works. (fn. 550)
By the time of their move to Jackfield in 1883 Maw & Co. were making decorative vases as well as tiles, (fn. 551) and art-pottery production continued after the First World War. Ashtrays were made in the 1950s. Craven Dunnill made similar products, including lustre wares, from about the same time as Maws. (fn. 552)
The manufacture of clay tobacco pipes probably began in Broseley c. 1630 using locally available white clays. (fn. 553) The well established industry seems to have expanded considerably c. 1680. Between then and 1700 there were probably more pipe makers active in the parish than at any time before the mid 19th century, and 'Broseley' became synonymous with clay pipes everywhere. Pipe making was largely a cottage industry, and from c. 1660 until the early 19th century both men and women makers stamped their own products. Like other local industries pipe making was conservative in its methods. Local clays were used until the early 18th century when the import of clay from Devon or Derbyshire (fn. 554) began; not until c. 1850 did Broseley pipes begin to be decorated.
In the 19th century several larger businesses were formed and, while few were long-lived, total production in the mid 19th century was considerable, and 'Broseley' remained a widely used term to denote any long-stemmed pipe. (fn. 555) About 50 people, mostly young women, were usually engaged in making clay pipes in Broseley in the later 19th century. William Southorn began making pipes in 1823, and William Southorn & Co. produced nationally distributed pipes in a factory at Legge's Hill. It had 36 employees in 1851. In the 1930s the firm moved to the Crown Pipeworks (Smithemans' 1881— 1923), where it maintained production until c. 1960. 'Churchwarden', later a generic name for any long-stemmed pipe, probably originated as a Southorn trade name c. 1860. (fn. 556)
About 1220 Philip of Broseley granted Buildwas abbey the right to quarry stone in his Broseley quarries, probably near the later Woodlands Green. (fn. 557) While there are small outcrops of limestone in the parish it was probably Carboniferous sandstone that was got there. (fn. 558) In 1631 John Weld noted that limestone could be got at the Dunge. (fn. 559) Later stone quarries included one of sandstone in Corbatch dingle, which supplied the stone c. 1843–5 for Broseley church. (fn. 560)
Salt may have been made on a small scale from before 1550 until the 18th century at Salthouses, Jackfield, using saline water from coalpits. (fn. 561)
Lime was manufactured between the 17th and 19th centuries north of Broseley. (fn. 562)
Thomas Blakeway (fl. 1765, d. 1805), William Hartshorne (fl. 1793), and Peter (fl. 1760) and W. Onions (fl. 1790) were Broseley clock makers. (fn. 563)
In the early 17th century John Weld considered establishing a glass or soap works at Broseley; no action was taken. (fn. 564) Benjamin Batchelour, a glass maker from Amblecote (Staffs.), began to work a glasshouse north of Broseley c. 1730. Flint glass was probably made. By 1743 Batchelour had absconded to London in debt, leaving the premises ruinous. (fn. 565)
Barges were built, and rigging blocks made for the navy, in the parish in the mid 17th century. (fn. 566) There was a boat builder at Jackfield in the later 19th century. (fn. 567) Coracles were among the vessels built there. (fn. 568)
Local pitch was probably applied to barges at Broseley in 1674. (fn. 569) In the 1690s tar, pitch, and oil were extracted from bituminous shale at Jackfield under a patent granted to Martin Eele of Calcutts. The products remained flexible for longer than available alternatives and were especially used to caulk ships. (fn. 570) The works continued in 1711. (fn. 571) Tarbatch dingle was so called by 1707, and the products of bituminous wells there were reputed medicinal. (fn. 572) In 1711, perhaps not for the first time, (fn. 573) a 'burning well' was discovered, where carburetted hydrogen rose to the surface from the Coal Measures. It attracted much attention, as did a 'burning well' of 1750. (fn. 574) Lord Dundonald (d. 1831) (fn. 575) established a manufactory with 12 kilns or stoves at Calcutts in 1784–6 to distill pitch, tar, and oils by coking coal in closed vessels according to his patent of 1781. In 1794 there were 20 kilns there, but the works was not in use 'nor ever likely to be again'. Production, however, had restarted by 1803, (fn. 576) and as late as 1836 tar was collected there. (fn. 577)
In the earlier 18th century cloth was made and finished in the town. (fn. 578) There was a flax house in 1755. (fn. 579) In 1792 Messrs. Jennings, Latham, and Jennings had a textile warehouse in Broseley next to the 'cotton manufactory'. This otherwise unrecorded cotton mill is the only one known in the east Shropshire coalfield. (fn. 580)
The Burroughs family made rope at Ladywood, where they had a rope walk, from c. 1836 until c. 1900. (fn. 581) James Harrington operated as a rope and sail maker, probably also in Ladywood, in the 1830s and 1840s. There was a rope walk at Preens Eddy too. (fn. 582)
Thomas Mapp manufactured cement and ground colour at the old mill at Calcutts from c. 1850 until the 1870s. He had two employees. (fn. 583) In the 20th century concrete was made on the site of Doughty's tile works. (fn. 584)
There was a chemical works employing one labourer at the Werps in 1861 and 1881. (fn. 585)
Clogs were perhaps made in Jackfield in the late 19th century. (fn. 586)
The area's industrial buildings continued to be adapted to new uses in the later 20th century. Maws' tile works was divided into small craft and industrial units with attached housing. The remaining building at Doughty's tile works was used in 1988 by Westons Portable Buildings, and the site of the Rock tile works by the Rock Metal Co., who recycled waste metal. Hornsey Gates made aluminium gates on the site of the Milburgh Tileries. Previously the Coalport Brick and Tile Works had been used by the Wolverhampton Metal Co., afterwards by the Nuway Rubber Mat Co. (fn. 587)
One of the country's first wagon railways, for carrying coal, was laid in Broseley in 1605 by Richard Wilcox and William Wells. (fn. 588) It ran north-east for over 1 km. from north of Broseley village via Birch batch to Calcutts and the Severn. The line crossed the land of James Clifford, lord of the manor and rival coalmaster; perhaps in anticipation of his opposition, Wilcox and Wells had sought a licence from the Privy Council for its construction. Within weeks Clifford's men had attacked and seriously damaged the railway. Apparently soon afterwards Clifford built his own railway from his mines near Calcutts to the river; those rails in turn were removed by Wilcox, and replacements of them by Wells. By 1608 Clifford had also laid rails from mines west of Calcutts, (fn. 589) and by the 1630s railways were an integral part of the local mining industry. (fn. 590)
In the later 17th century the main line was apparently still that down Birch batch, with branches from surrounding pits. Known later as 'Jackfield rails', the line continued in use well into the 19th century. (fn. 591) The parish's other main railway, along Tarbatch dingle, was begun either in 1702 by Richard Manning of Gitchfield and Lancelot Taylor or before 1707 by Michael Stephens, their successor as lessee of the Rowton mines. In 1757 the line was extended to the New Willey furnaces, giving them direct access to the Severn almost 4 km. away at Willey wharf, east of Swinney (in Caughley). In 1759 the amount of traffic necessitated the construction of a second line alongside the first. (fn. 592) By 1790 the line had been shortened and stopped c. 1 km. short of Willey furnaces, (fn. 593) but by 1827 the railway had been extended north-west to pits south-east of Broseley town. The line still led to the Severn in 1833, and perhaps did so until the opening of the Severn Valley line in 1862. (fn. 594) By 1882 its western termination was apparently at Broseley Tileries. In 1901 it still extended east as far as Upper Riddings Farm, with an extension to Turnersyard colliery in Caughley, but it closed before 1925. (fn. 595)
Other lines included one of the earlier 18th century which ran west of Corbatch dingle to the Tuckies, (fn. 596) and one which in 1827 ran along the riverside at Jackfield and connected several lines running to the river from the area east of the town. (fn. 597) By 1758 wagonways were in use underground in pits as well as in adits. (fn. 598) As mining and ironmaking declined so did the need for railways and by 1840, except for the Tarbatch dingle line, only short stretches survived. (fn. 599)
Market and fairs.
A Wednesday market begun without warrant in 1744 was short lived. Before 1779 a market was held in the yard of Whitehouse farm, near the rectory. (fn. 600) In that year a market hall, paid for by local charities, was erected by the vestry on the west side of High Street. It was a red-brick building of five bays with a pediment over the three central bays; over the ground floor concourse were upper rooms. (fn. 601) By 1826 the building was known as the town hall. (fn. 602) Until the later 1860s (fn. 603) Wednesday was market day, but the market was then discontinued owing to a lack of support already apparent in 1833. In 1872 the market was revived on Saturday outside the town hall. (fn. 604) In 1910 the district committee asked the churchwardens to abate the nuisance caused by market stalls on Saturday evenings. (fn. 605) The town hall was sold by its trustees in 1960 (fn. 606) and demolished soon after. (fn. 607)
Fairs perhaps began about the same time as the market. In 1792 Easter Monday was fair day. In 1803 and later fairs were held on the last Tuesday in April and on 28 October, (fn. 608) and by the 1830s were largely for pleasure. (fn. 609)
In 1568 Broseley township was said to be in Marsh manor—by which the leet jurisdiction of Marsh was probably meant, for Broseley was itself a manor. (fn. 610) Moreover only the 'Priory land'—⅓ of the manor—was in Marsh (which had absorbed it 1379 × 1540), for in the 17th century the 'socage land' (2/3 of the manor) owed suit to Bourton hundred. (fn. 611) Though the 'Priory land' was a scattered estate, its extent and bounds were familiar enough in the early 17th century for its inhabitants to be listed (fn. 612) and thus for suit to the Marsh leet to be exacted from them. The break-up of the manorial estate in and after 1620, (fn. 613) however, evidently blurred the old distinction between 'Priory land' and 'socage land', and by 1680 (fn. 614) it appears that all the Welds' lands in Broseley, even those (fn. 615) bought from the 'socage land' sixty years earlier, were 'reputed Priory land' (fn. 616) and owed suit at Marsh leet; (fn. 617) 'socage land' owners other than the Welds owed suit to Bourton hundred. (fn. 618)
In the 1660s, 1670s, and earlier 1680s, when Bourton hundred court often met in Broseley, (fn. 619) offenders from the town against the assize of ale were regularly fined. (fn. 620) Other offences presented in the 1670s included grazing offences, (fn. 621) assault, (fn. 622) and making an affray. (fn. 623) Exaction of suit continued in the 1760s. (fn. 624) From 1634 many of the presentments being made at the twice-yearly leet of Marsh manor were presumably for the increasingly populous Broseley Wood area; they were mainly for breaking the assize of ale, maintaining cottages on the waste, and harbouring inmates; (fn. 625) other offences included affray and bloodshed. (fn. 626) In the 1670s and 1680s offences included assaulting the manorial bailiff, (fn. 627) getting stone at Woodlands Green, (fn. 628) pound breach, pulling down the parish butts, and coursing with a greyhound. (fn. 629) Cottagers were amerced in the 1820s and 1830s. (fn. 630)
The April and October courts leet for Broseley, held in the town hall in the 1830s, were probably those of the manor of Marsh, the Bourton leet and the Broseley court baron having lapsed. Four constables for Broseley were then appointed each October. (fn. 631) The constables were paid by the vestry until 1840 (fn. 632) but not thereafter, the borough of Wenlock having begun to contribute to the new county police force. (fn. 633) Broseley had a police officer by 1845. (fn. 634) Formal appointment of constables charged with the duty of making presentments at the leet nevertheless continued, but after 1879 neither the leet (which used then to meet at the Lion inn) (fn. 635) nor the constables are heard of again.
Marsh manor (with its court leet) and Bourton hundred belonged to the Welds of Willey from 1620 and 1639 respectively. (fn. 636) In 1677 therefore the Welds opposed an attempt by the lord of Broseley, John Langley, to establish a title to a court leet with the right to take waifs, strays, and felons' goods. (fn. 637) In 1678 his son Samuel obtained a Crown grant of a twice-yearly leet with view of frankpledge for his own estate, (fn. 638) though nothing is known of any successful exercise of the jurisdiction.
In 1310 the pleas and perquisites of Broseley manor court were said to be worth nothing because the lord of the manor and his tenants made suit to the prior's court. (fn. 639) The prior held a court for his part of the manor in 1379, of which a record survives, (fn. 640) but before 1540 the prior's Broseley estate was in his manor of Marsh. (fn. 641) By 1418 the lord of the rest of Broseley manor had a court worth 8s. 10d. a year. (fn. 642) Rolls for that court survive for 1406–8, 1501, 1588, 1621–9, 1633–4, and 1657–63. (fn. 643) There is also record of a court of recognition of 1462 for William Harewell's tenants. (fn. 644) In the 17th century the court baron was usually held once a year but at no set time. By 1680 it may have been held less often. (fn. 645) Presentments for underletting or for encroaching on the waste were commonest, and those for petty agricultural offences and public disturbances were also frequent. Abandoned and unfilled coalpits were subjects of concern. (fn. 646) In 1795 it was stated that the manorial court was seldom held and that most of the court rolls were lost. (fn. 647) A pound south of Lower Church Street, there by c. 1620, survived into the 20th century. (fn. 648)
Presentments from Broseley (probably from Lacon tenants at Upper Riddings and the Woodhouse) were heard at Willey court baron in 1460 and 1528. (fn. 649)
There were two overseers in 1642, and in 1654 they paid small monthly doles to up to four people, usually widows. The money came from gifts, communion offerings, and fines collected by the constables, including one of 10s. on a Sunday tippler. (fn. 650) As in the other coalfield parishes various methods of poor relief were tried in the 18th and 19th centuries. Licence to build cottages for the poor at Harris's (or Harrison's) Green, the site of the later workhouse, was granted in 1734. (fn. 651) Between 1770 and 1793 the poor rate fell by half, and latterly between thirty and forty people relied on the parish. There was a workhouse, as contracting had proved oppressive. (fn. 652) It had 36 occupants 1803–4, c. 80 1812–14, and c. 50 in 1814–15. Rather more people usually received out relief. (fn. 653) During the winter of 1816–17, the worst period of distress following the French wars, 1,250 of the parish's 5,000 inhabitants received relief. The poor rate doubled and was paid by only 300 households. (fn. 654) By 1826 there was a select vestry and the poor were once again farmed, for £850. (fn. 655) Farming continued, at c. £1,000 a year, until 1835 when an assistant overseer was appointed at £50 a year. (fn. 656) The parish was in Madeley union 1836– 1930. (fn. 657) The workhouse at Harris's Green, which had a garden south of Broseley, had three inmates in 1841. (fn. 658) It was probably where the Madeley union school was held between 1836 and 1851. (fn. 659)
Broseley court of requests was formed in 1782 (fn. 662) despite the opposition of Morgan Jones, rector of Willey and Barrow, who allegedly acted at the instigation of a Much Wenlock attorney. (fn. 663) Usually held on alternate Wednesdays, the court, for the recovery of debts under 40s., had jurisdiction over the parishes of Barrow, Benthall, Broseley, Dawley, Linley, Madeley, Little Wenlock, and Willey. It consisted of a commissioner for each parish, and there was a serjeant or bailiff. According to the Act a ruinous building near the workhouse was to be converted to a gaol. (fn. 664) The court was abolished under the County Courts Act, 1846. (fn. 665)
Broseley was in Madeley rural sanitary district 1872–6. (fn. 666) In 1876 Broseley civil parish was formed into an urban sanitary district under a local board of health; it contained the districts of Broseley and Jackfield. (fn. 667) In 1879 the local board employed a medical officer, a collector and surveyor, and an inspector of nuisances. (fn. 668) By 1917 the offices of surveyor and rate collector (then under the district committee) (fn. 669) were separate. (fn. 670) Broseley U.S.D. was absorbed into the borough of Wenlock U.S.D. in 1889, (fn. 671) and thereafter formed one of the borough's four wards and sanitary divisions under a largely autonomous district committee until 1966. (fn. 672)
On the dissolution of Wenlock M.B. in 1966 the part of Jackfield in Dawley new town was transferred to Dawley U.D. and the thereby reduced civil parish of Broseley to Bridgnorth R.D. (fn. 673) In 1974 those respective parts of the old parish were assigned to the Wrekin and Bridgnorth districts. (fn. 674)
As population grew and more mines were sunk the water supply to Broseley town and Broseley Wood became more precarious. In the mid 17th century the main public supply was probably Down well, c. 300 m. north-east of the church, (fn. 675) while there may have been some private supplies via oak-lined channels. (fn. 676)
In the earlier 19th century Down well remained the town's main public supply, but demand, particularly in the summer, considerably exceeded supply. The only other public source was the Delph, an open pool in the Square, formed before 1728 from an infilled coalpit, and described in the 1860s as 'an open cesspool', green and bubbling. (fn. 677) There were apparently few private wells. Rainwater was sold, and in the mid 19th century a barrel of water from Wenlock made an acceptable gift. (fn. 678) Broseley Wood was better supplied from the Cob and Footroad wells and the 'mine spout' in Benthall. About 1840 a reservoir was built to store Down well water, largely at the expense of the banker George Pritchard, but it soon fractured owing to mining subsidence. In 1861 a local doctor, F. H. Hartshorne, found a good supply in his garden. At Pritchard's instigation it was made freely available to the public and the Delph was filled in. Pritchard's death in 1861 led to a dispute between Hartshorne and the local board over payment for the water. Hartshorne cut off his supply, but the board dug a deeper well nearby. At the same time the leaking reservoir was repaired and an ornate Pritchard memorial fountain, designed by Robert Griffiths, (fn. 679) was erected in the Square. The fountain was intended to provide water for the poor, but the water's high iron content rendered it unusable. The fountain was demolished in 1947. (fn. 680)
About 1885 Broseley local board built a storage tank at Down well (fn. 681) and in 1896–8 the district committee laid on piped supplies from bore holes at Posenhall and a spring adjoining Willey Hall. (fn. 682) About 1902 the Madeley & Broseley Water Works began to supply water from Harrington and c. 1946 Broseley also began to receive water from Beckbury. (fn. 683) Jackfield, where Severn water was still drunk in 1913, received water from Madeley via a main on the Free bridge by 1936. (fn. 684)
Sewage disposal, as in Madeley on the opposite bank of the Severn, remained inadequate until the late 1960s with large amounts of sewage discharged into the river. (fn. 685) Attempts between c. 1909 and c. 1914 to make the district committee adhere to the 1876 Rivers Pollution Prevention Act were fruitless. (fn. 686) Coalport sewage works at Gitchfield serving south Telford and Broseley opened in 1970. (fn. 687)
A board of health, including three local surgeons, operated during the cholera epidemic between 1831 and 1833 and Calcutts House became a hospital. (fn. 688) Wenlock Municipal Borough Small Pox Hospital opened in the parish in 1903 with eight beds. (fn. 689) It closed in the late 1920s. (fn. 690) The Lady Forester Memorial Hospital, opened in Church Street in 1907, was designed in a 'cottage' style, with timber framed and pebble dashed buildings. It had 24 beds and special wards for radium treatment; there were 30 beds in 1941. (fn. 691) In 1948 it became part of the National Health Service. In 1984 the hospital had fifteen beds, and the Lady Forester Trust continued to give grants for new equipment and improvements. (fn. 692)
Gas was supplied from 1844 by the Ironbridge Gas Light Co., and by 1847 street lighting in Broseley was well advanced. (fn. 693) In 1850 Wenlock borough council assumed the powers of lighting inspector for Broseley. (fn. 694) The Broseley Gas & Coke Co. was formed with local shareholders in 1872 when a gasworks was built at Ladywood and the existing network of pipes and appliances in Broseley parish was bought from the Ironbridge company. (fn. 695) The number of street lamps in Broseley and Jackfield rose from 21 in 1922, to 49 in 1932, and 68 in 1936. (fn. 696)
Electricity was available in Broseley by 1934, although parts of Jackfield remained unconnected in 1956. (fn. 697)
Broseley had a receiving house of the ShifnalLondon fast horse mail by 1790. (fn. 698)
Fear of vagrants led to the construction of a parish lock-up at the Hole-in-the-Wall c. 1832, the cost being borne by subscribers and the poor rate. It was insecure and escapes were made via its closet and a sewer. (fn. 699)
Broseley Association for the Prosecution of Felons was formed in the later 18th century. Annual dinners ceased during the First World War, the last reward was paid in 1934, and the association was wound up in 1959. (fn. 700)
Broseley did not have a fire brigade until 1904. In 1905 it was uniformed and rented a room in the town hall, and covered the area encompassed by Broseley's water supply. A station at Jackfield closed in 1911, and that at Broseley was reduced to auxiliary status in 1938. The station finally closed in 1947 although the brigade agreed to continue as an unpaid 'rural fire party'. (fn. 701)
A mortuary chapel, probably designed by G. C. Haddon of Hereford, was built c. 1883 (fn. 702) on land which the local board of health had bought for a cemetery c. 1881. The local board was constituted the burial board in 1884 and the cemetery opened in 1885. (fn. 703)
A parson was serving Broseley chapel c. 1230, and there had probably been a chapel there since the 12th century or earlier. (fn. 704) In the Middle Ages the priest was sometimes called chaplain, sometimes rector. The benefice did not then include cure of souls. Broseley remained part of the parish of Holy Trinity, Much Wenlock, in 1332 and long after, and the chapel owed an annual pension to Wenlock priory in 1331. There was, however, presentation and institution to the living, usually described as a rectory. (fn. 705) The rectory was combined with Linley 1528–1930 and with Benthall from 1930. (fn. 706) Broseley's independence of Much Wenlock was probably achieved in 1595 with the grant of burial rights. (fn. 707)
The advowson descended with the manor by 1279, the coparceners exercising turns. (fn. 708) By 1359, and still in 1422, the patrons nominated the chaplain to the prior of Wenlock who then presented him to the bishop. (fn. 709) After 1363, when the priory acquired a third of the manor, the right of nomination to the prior remained with the holders of the other thirds. (fn. 710) For part of the 14th century the king held the priory's rights as those of an alien house. (fn. 711) After the priory's surrender in 1540 (fn. 712) its right of presentation to the bishop seems to have lapsed to the owners of the manor and merged with the right of nomination to become a normal advowson. The two thirds of the advowson that had not belonged to the priory descended with the respective two thirds (later the whole) of the manor to John and Mary Cage. (fn. 713) In 1618 their right of advowson was included in the property that they sold to William Porter and that he sold to John Weld in 1620. (fn. 714) The other third of the advowson, formerly the priory's right of nomination, though it had lapsed after 1363, may have been the advowson claimed later by the Lacon family and bought by Weld in 1618. (fn. 715) Nevertheless there is no record of the Lacons having bought the third share of the advowson from the Crown since 1540, and the origin of their claim is as obscure as their claim to manorial rights in Broseley. (fn. 716) From 1620 the Weld (later Forester and Weld-Forester) family enjoyed an unchallenged right to the advowson, (fn. 717) and Lord Forester was patron in 1985. (fn. 718)
The rectory was worth £6 13s. 4d. in 1291 (fn. 719) and £8 in 1379. (fn. 720) The gross value of Broseley and Linley combined was £8 5s. 8d. in 1535 (fn. 721) and £7 18s. 8½d. c. 1708. (fn. 722) In the 17th and 18th centuries there were c. 11 a. of glebe scattered in Broseley and 1 a. in Linley. (fn. 723) In 1801 it was proposed to sell two houses to exonerate the living from the land tax. (fn. 724) The rector's glebe had been consolidated into three closes by 1840, and his tithes were commuted to £453. (fn. 725)
In the early 17th century the parsonage stood south-west of the church. (fn. 726) It was rebuilt in brick on the same site in the mid 19th century.
James, chaplain of Broseley (occ. c. 1240), was perhaps a stipendiary curate. (fn. 727) Medieval pluralists included Robert Turberville, incumbent c. 1290–1300, who was also rector of Wheathill and a prebendary of St. Mary's, Bridgnorth. (fn. 728) Richard of Pitchford, presumably a relative of one of the lords of Broseley, was rector c. 1300 and also held the cure of 'Covelham'. (fn. 729) He was succeeded in 1310 by his brother Geoffrey of Pitchford (d. by 1332), who also held a cure near Bray (Berks.). (fn. 730) Geoffrey was twice granted leave of absence; in 1314 to study for three years, and in 1320 to attend a baron of the Exchequer for two years. (fn. 731) Geoffrey's successor John Aaron was rector of Broseley until 1359 and of Madeley 1323–44. (fn. 732) Thomas Yate, rector 1414–22, apparently had a chaplain in 1416. (fn. 733) Edmund Mychell (d. 1555), first known rector of Broseley and Linley, was a former monk of Buildwas, (fn. 734) as was John Lee (or Lye) minister in 1560. (fn. 735) John Huxley, rector 1572–1616, left many local descendants. (fn. 736)
The first known graduate incumbent, Edmund Barton, instituted 1617, (fn. 737) was ejected 1642 × 1646 and Robert Ogdon, M.A., instituted. (fn. 738) In 1648, however, Barton as 'pastor of Broseley' signed A Testimony of the Ministers in the Province of Salop, (fn. 739) and he was minister in 1651. (fn. 740) Ogdon later regained the living and held it until his death in 1680 probably with his nephew as curate from 1671. In the 1670s Ogdon also served as schoolmaster and was rector of Willey. (fn. 741) He was active against Quakers in Broseley, as was his successor John Crow, rector 1680–9. (fn. 742)
In 1716 there was an unlicensed curate and communion was celebrated at the main feasts. (fn. 743) By 1749 and until at least 1840 sacrament money was distributed among the poor. At first c. 4d. each was given to 10–15 people two or three times a year, (fn. 744) while in the year 1808–9 £14 17s. 6d. was distributed among many poor. In the 1830s fewer people received larger sums. (fn. 745)
R. C. Hartshorne, rector 1727–52, was also rector of Badger. (fn. 746) From the 18th century long incumbencies were usual in Broseley, notably those of Daniel Hemus, 1752–99, (fn. 747) and his successor Dr. Townshend Forester, brother of Cecil Forester (later Weld-Forester, cr. Baron Forester 1821). Forester held several other livings. (fn. 748) His curate 1817–18 was a bogus cleric, 'W. C. Gregory', actually Lawrence Hynes ('Henry') Halloran (1764–1831). Exposed, and convicted of forging a postal frank, Halloran was transported to Australia where he became a notable educational pioneer. (fn. 749) C. H. Hartshorne, the antiquary and a native of Broseley (d. 1865), was curate c. 1827–8. (fn. 750) Dr. Forester was succeeded by his nephew O. W. W. Weld-Forester, rector 1842–59, (fn. 751) author of tracts and sermons and eventually (1886) 4th Lord Forester; the church was rebuilt in his time. (fn. 752) On Census Sunday 1851 there was a morning congregation of 320 adults and 286 children, an afternoon one of 53 and 18 respectively, and an evening one of 490 adults. (fn. 753) Weld-Forester's successor R. H. Cobbold, rector 1859–73 and formerly archdeacon of Ning-po, published an ethnographic work, Pictures of the Chinese Drawn by Themselves (1860). During Cobbold's time and for the rest of the century there were morning and evening Sunday services with monthly communion. Communicants averaged c. 40 in 1859 and c. 30 in 1882. By 1926 there were three Sunday services and communion was weekly. (fn. 754)
A stipendiary curate was sometimes appointed to serve Linley in the later 19th century. (fn. 755)
All Saints' church hall opened in 1961. (fn. 756)
A mission church at Broseley Wood opened c. 1928 in the former Primitive Methodist chapel. There was weekly evensong and monthly communion 1931–46; communion was weekly or fortnightly from 1955 until the church closed in 1971. (fn. 757)
The church of ST. LEONARD, so known by c. 1740, (fn. 758) comprised a west tower, nave with south porch, and chancel; a north aisle was added c. 1618, apparently at the instigation of Richard Old, (fn. 759) and a timber framed eastward extension of the chancel was built in 1654. A three-decker pulpit with tester stood in the south-east corner of the nave, while pews occupied the nave, aisle, and chancel. In 1701 the font stood in the centre of the west end of the nave, and south doors pierced the west end of the nave, and the chancel. (fn. 760)
In 1707 a brief was issued for rebuilding (fn. 761) which began probably after 1710 and was complete by 1716. (fn. 762) The new, much larger church (fn. 763) retained the squat, two-stage, crenellated and pinnacled stone tower, probably partly refenestrated during the rebuilding. (fn. 764) New work consisted of a four bayed nave (53 ft. 4 in. long) and two bayed chancel (24 ft. 8 in. by 20 ft. 4 in.), both with south doors, and a south nave porch, all of brick with stone details, including rusticated quoins and a balustrade surmounting the porch. It was lit by round headed and circular windows. There was a west gallery. (fn. 765) A north gallery, largely for the poor, was added in 1749 by Mrs. Susanna Barrett, while the chancel was completely covered by a gallery built 1794– 5. (fn. 766) By 1815 a large aisle and a north vestry had been added, and an organ had been put in the west gallery. (fn. 767) There was a well paid organist from 1835. (fn. 768) The church then had c. 782 kneelings; 168 were free but largely appropriated to Sunday school children. (fn. 769)
In 1841 the vestry decided to rebuild the church at an estimated cost of £3,000. It first intended to build nearer the main centre of population at Broseley Wood, but no stable site was found and the old one was retained. (fn. 770) ALL SAINTS', built 1843–5 by William Exley & Sons to a design of Harvey Eginton, (fn. 771) was in a 'serious' Perpendicular style 'rather Somerset in character'. (fn. 772) The actual cost was £9,474, raised mainly by subscriptions. (fn. 773) The church had chancel, clerestoried nave with north and south aisles, two storeyed south porch, south vestry, north, south, and west galleries, and a west tower containing six bells. The stone came from Corbatch dingle. Of the 1,240 seats 546 were rented. (fn. 774) During the rebuilding, when structural difficulties led to modification of Eginton's design, services were held in the town hall. (fn. 775) Choir stalls were fitted in 1890 when the church was reordered. (fn. 776) Glass by Kempe was installed about the same time. The tower pinnacles were removed c. 1950 (fn. 777) and the north and south galleries taken down during a reordering in the late 1970s, (fn. 778) when a reredos by G. F. Bodley, formerly at Eardisley (Herefs.), was fitted. (fn. 779)
The church of ST. MARY, Jackfield, was built in 1759 as a chapel of ease to Broseley at Mary Browne's expense. Surplice fees were reserved to the rector of Broseley, and in 1766 Mrs. Anne Browne, of Benthall, endowed the curacy with £20 a year and the clerk with £2 10s. a year out of Woodhouse farm. (fn. 782) The curacy or perpetual curacy (as it was called in 1835) was in the gift of the owners of the Broseley Hall estate. (fn. 783) It was worth £40 in 1835, which was paid to the curate who served there. (fn. 784) In 1861 George Pritchard left £150 a year for the Jackfield curacy provided that Jackfield was constituted a separate ecclesiastical parish. (fn. 785) Jackfield parish was accordingly formed out of Broseley in 1862. (fn. 786) The patronage of the new living was divided between Francis Harries of Cruckton, owner of Broseley Hall, and the rector of Broseley, presenting alternately. (fn. 787) The patronage was conveyed to the bishop of Hereford in 1927. (fn. 788)
In 1851 attendance averaged 53 adults and 125 children in the morning, 110 adults and 50 children in the evening. Evening service was held in the National school at Calcutts, (fn. 789) as the church stood some distance from the riverside settlement.
A parish room opened in 1931. (fn. 790)
In 1863 the living was worth £104 derived from £1,000 given by George Pritchard together with a matching grant by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, £20 from Queen Anne's Bounty, and £20 from Woodhouse farm, the latter a revision of the original endowment. (fn. 791) The income was augmented by £24 10s. in 1864 when the rectorial tithes arising from Jackfield were annexed to the living, (fn. 792) which became a rectory in 1866. (fn. 793) Following a benefaction and further endowments the living was worth £150 in 1871, £170 in 1900, and £348 in 1932. (fn. 794)
In 1851 the curate lived close to the church at Rock House; (fn. 795) in 1891 the rector resided at the Dunge in Broseley. (fn. 796) A parsonage, designed by Ewan Christian, was built in 1893 near Rock House. It stood 1 km. south-west of the new church. (fn. 797) The site, convenient for the old church, had been given in 1865 by W. O. Foster. (fn. 798)
Old St. Mary's, reputedly designed by T. F. Pritchard, (fn. 799) was of red brick with stone dressings and comprised nave, chancel, and west tower with flanking vestries. (fn. 800) Its details suggest the influence of Gibbs's Book of Architecture (1738). (fn. 801) It seated 188 adults, and 88 children in a gallery. (fn. 802) It had a graveyard which served Jackfield until at least 1879. In 1832 a cholera burial ground opened nearby. (fn. 803) The Pritchard Memorial, or new, church, built by subscription, opened at Calcutts in 1863 on land given by Francis Harries. (fn. 804) Annual services continued at the old church until the 1920s, (fn. 805) but it was demolished c. 1961, having been ruinous for several decades. (fn. 806) The new church, known by 1870 as St. Mary's, (fn. 807) was designed by Arthur Blomfield in the 'French pointed' style. Built of stone and locally made polychrome bricks and tiles, the church comprised nave, south porch, and polygonal apse. It seated 312 adults and 84 children. (fn. 808) A vestry was added in 1873–4. (fn. 809) In 1960 a reredos made of hand painted tiles was installed. (fn. 810)
Ten papists were listed in 1676 (fn. 811) and 7 in 1767, including Edward Purcell, lord of the manor. (fn. 812) In 1869 Broseley became a preaching station; a house was used as a school and for mass. In 1888 an iron church opened on land whose purchase was assisted by Lord Acton. St. Winifred's, west of Barber Row, was served originally from Madeley but by 1900 from Shifnal; it closed in 1913. (fn. 813) In 1962 a temporary wooden church was built in Barber Row. That was replaced by a permanent building in 1979. Never a Catholic parish, Broseley was served between 1959 and 1978 from Much Wenlock and after 1981 from Dawley. (fn. 814)
Quakers lived in Broseley by 1660, and by c. 1800 there were apparently flourishing Baptist and Wesleyan societies. Primitive and Independent Methodist societies began to meet in the 1830s when Broseley was considered to be fairly 'open', and on the evening of Census Sunday 1851 526 adult nonconformists worshipped in the parish as opposed to 601 Anglicans. There was not always harmony between Anglicans and nonconformists: in the earlier 1860s the Pritchards' bank engaged in a public correspondence against street preaching, and nonconformist meetings were not permitted in the town hall. (fn. 815) The Plymouth Brethren arrived in the 1860s, and the Broseley Brotherhood was established in the 1930s. This section treats the Quakers, Baptists, Methodists, Congregationalists, Plymouth Brethren, and Broseley Brotherhood in that order, the order of their establishment in the parish.
Quakers, present in the parish by 1660, (fn. 816) were distrained for unpaid tithes in 1673, and in 1676 there were three protestant nonconformists in the parish. (fn. 817) Particular meetings probably began c. 1684, whence births are recorded. (fn. 818) A meeting house was built off Duke Street in 1691–2 (fn. 819) and land for a burial ground was bought in 1706. (fn. 820) The most prominent members of the meeting were the Darbys of Coalbrookdale, and Abraham Darby (I) was buried in Broseley in 1717. After the Coalbrookdale meeting house opened in 1741 the Friends ceased to meet at Broseley regularly. Nevertheless, the meeting house (possibly rebuilt in 1769) remained open until 1778. (fn. 821)
A chapel for Particular Baptists was built in 1741 and opened in 1742 in what became known as Chapel Lane. It was paid for by Isaac Wyke, a surgeon, who told neighbours he was building a 'house to cure mad people'; he may have constructed a baptism pool just over the Benthall boundary, perhaps representing it as a medicinal cold bath. By 1749 there were about fifteen members and their meeting became a church. At times in the 1770s there were over 150 worshippers. About 1801, following a dispute between the members, the Birch Meadow chapel was opened. The original membership, or Old Baptists, declined in numbers during the 19th century, from 66 in 1803, to 39 in 1827, and 17 in 1878. (fn. 822) Worshippers on the morning of Census Sunday 1851 included 96 adults. (fn. 823) The brick chapel, extended to the west in the mid 19th century, seated 300. Attached on the south were a schoolroom and manse, both of about the same date as the original chapel. (fn. 824) A detached schoolroom was added in 1949. (fn. 825) There was a membership of c. 20 in 1985. (fn. 826) The chapel possesses a two-handled silver communion cup presented in 1763.
Half the cost of the new Birch Meadow chapel was borne in 1801 by the ironmaster John Guest. (fn. 827) It had 100 free and 250 paid seats; on Census Sunday 1851 morning service was attended by 90 adults, evening service by 120, about 80 below average in the latter case. (fn. 828) As at the Old Baptist chapel numbers declined in the later 19th century, when Calvinism was preached, and there were 33 members in 1872. (fn. 829) The chapel, which had a burial ground, closed c. 1927. (fn. 830)
Wesleyan meetings in Madeley in the time of the Methodist vicar J. W. Fletcher (vicar 1760– 85) were attended by people from Broseley parish. (fn. 831) John Wesley preached at Broseley in 1773, 1774, 1779, and 1781. (fn. 832) A Wesleyan chapel was reputedly first erected in Broseley in 1772; it apparently moved site at least once before 1811. (fn. 833) In the early 1800s the congregation sought to celebrate Holy Communion, and in 1815 Broseley was made the centre of a circuit covering most of the southern half of the coal field. Broseley chapel then had 96 members. (fn. 834) On Census Sunday 1851 there were 60 adults at the morning service and 160 at that in the evening. (fn. 835) The Duke Street chapel, seating 384 in 1940, (fn. 836) was in a classical style with pedimented porch and façade. (fn. 837) It was closed as unsafe in 1964. (fn. 838) A new chapel in blue brick replaced it in 1971. (fn. 839)
Wesleyan Methodists met regularly at Coalford by 1815 (fn. 840) when there were 15 members, and a simple brick chapel opened in 1825. In 1851 it had 50 free and 60 paid seats; 30 adults attended afternoon service on Census Sunday and 35 the evening one. (fn. 841) The chapel closed in 1980. (fn. 842)
'Salthouse', presumably a meeting in Jackfield, came onto the Broseley Wesleyan circuit in 1826; it amalgamated with the Coalford meeting in 1832–3. (fn. 843)
In 1839 the Primitive Methodists opened a chapel in Broseley Wood. On Census Sunday the chapel, with 108 free and 84 paid seats, was attended by 37 adults in the afternoon and 91 in the evening. It closed c. 1920. (fn. 844)
Congregationalists came to Broseley in 1837 thinking it to be a more open settlement than others in the area. (fn. 847) The disused Friends' meeting house and some adjacent land was bought, and c. 1841 a new chapel with 100 free and 210 rented seats was built; the meeting house became a schoolroom. The minister from 1842 to 1845 was Samuel Newth (1821–98), later professor of mathematics and ecclesiastical history and principal of New College, St. John's Wood. On Census Sunday attendance at chapel was below average: 92 adults in the morning and 120 in the evening. (fn. 848) The chapel closed in 1965 and had been demolished by 1978. (fn. 849)
The Plymouth Brethren built Gospel Rooms, later called the Victoria Hall, in High Street in 1867. Building was partly financed by the Maws. (fn. 850) About 1905 the Brethren moved to Broseley Wood, where they met until c. 1927. (fn. 851)
There was a Gospel Army mission room in Ferny Bank, Broseley Wood, in 1883. It had closed by 1896. (fn. 852)
In the 1930s the multi-denominational Broseley Brotherhood enjoyed success and was visited by nationally known speakers. (fn. 853)
In the 1670s the rector was schoolmaster. (fn. 854) In 1716 a schoolmaster was teaching the catechism, and his pupils had to attend church services. (fn. 855) There was a schoolhouse in 1767, (fn. 856) and in 1770 there was one at Harris's Green and an old schoolhouse near the Delph. (fn. 857) For many years from the late 18th century a school was held in the former Quaker meeting house. (fn. 858) Schools were being kept in 1785, 1809, and 1817. The Misses Wyke kept another from 1816 to 1829 or later. (fn. 859) By 1819 there were 174–200 children attending day schools, and about the same number the Sunday school. (fn. 860)
In 1835 there were three day schools, all begun between 1823 and 1830, attended overall by 58 boys and 27 girls. Larger numbers went to the six Sunday schools. One was C.E., three (one with a lending library) were run by the Baptists, and the other two were Wesleyan. There were also four very small day and boarding schools. (fn. 861)
Until the 1890s there were usually at least two private schools in the parish. (fn. 862) Short lived were two nonconformist day schools: a Wesleyan one of c. 1842 (fn. 863) and Broseley undenominational school (1871–4) founded by the Quaker industrialist George Maw. (fn. 864)
Madeley poor-law union school was held at Broseley, probably at the workhouse. Education given there from 1836 was very poor (fn. 865) and conditions were bad. In 1848 16 pupils under 11 were being taught by an infirm, crippled schoolmaster. (fn. 866) The matron acted as teacher from 1849 (fn. 867) until when the children moved to the South-East Shropshire District school at Quatt. (fn. 868)
By 1837 there was a National school (fn. 869) which before 1843 was being held in a room, 61 × 21 ft., over the market hall. (fn. 870) In 1849 it had 205 places and attendance averaged 113; there were three pupil teachers. (fn. 871) A new National school, with three departments, was built in 1855 on a site south-west of the Square provided by Lord Forester; (fn. 872) a teacher's house adjoined. Built of blue brick to a design by Robert Griffiths in the Tudor style, the school cost £1,600; the National Society made a grant. (fn. 873) It was enlarged in 1876 to hold 550 pupils. (fn. 874) By 1852 the school was under inspection and earning pupil teachers' grants; by 1868 it also earned drawing grants and in the 1860s and 1870s night-school grants. (fn. 875) By 1878 there was a Standard VII. (fn. 876) Some pupils left to attend the undenominational school (1871–4) but returned when it closed. (fn. 877) The school was overcrowded in the 1870s and 1880s, with c. 400 pupils in 1885. Overcrowding became worse despite the opening of Broseley Wood C.E. Infant school in 1892, and attendance averaged c. 474 by 1913. (fn. 878) Seven head teachers served for long periods but assistants changed frequently. (fn. 879)
From 1939 to 1943 the school accommodated evacuees from Liverpool; (fn. 880) classes were held at the rectory (fn. 881) and the town hall. (fn. 882) Pupils aged 13 transferred to Madeley Modern school in 1950. (fn. 883) Next year the school became controlled; (fn. 884) the boys' and girls' departments amalgamated in 1952. (fn. 885) In 1958 it merged with the infant school. (fn. 886) Next year it became a primary school when 11 year-old pupils transferred to Madeley Modern school; in 1970 seniors began to attend the William Brookes Comprehensive school, Much Wenlock. (fn. 887) Accommodation had been reduced in 1937 (fn. 888) and the successive schools were often overcrowded. (fn. 889) Moreover, despite improvements, (fn. 890) by the 1960s the building was outdated, inconvenient, and dreary; it had poor facilities. (fn. 891) In 1967 it was replaced by a new open-plan school in Dark Lane, with 400 places. Pupils from the closed Broseley Wood C.E. (Controlled) Infant school were admitted. (fn. 892) Within two years the school was overcrowded. (fn. 893) The roll rose from 321 in 1967 to 438 in 1976 (fn. 894) when the open-plan John Wilkinson County Primary school in Coalport Road, with 140 places, opened. (fn. 895) In 1982 the C.E. school roll was 244 and the county school's 174. (fn. 896)
In 1843 the rector opened a Sunday school and an infant school in Jackfield for 90 pupils in a small old building. It was demolished next year to provide a site for a schoolhouse and a new National school (fn. 897) with 88 places (fn. 898) in its schoolroom (55 × 22 ft.) and classroom (20 ft. sq.). (fn. 899) Planned and erected by Samuel Nevett of Ironbridge, the school cost £350, met by local subscribers and grants from the government and the National Society. It was enlarged for 250 pupils in 1870. (fn. 900) Income in 1848 came from subscriptions, collections, school pence, and Betton's Charity. (fn. 901) As early as 1852 the school was earning government grant and training pupil teachers. (fn. 902) By the 1890s, however, when industrial decline was affecting the parish, its managers were struggling to maintain it and to ward off a school board. (fn. 903)
The school had a separate infant department from 1903 to 1930. (fn. 904) In 1926 51 pupils transferred from the Lloyds school, which was then closed. (fn. 905) After senior pupils transferred to Madeley Senior Council school in 1939 the school became Jackfield C.E. Junior Mixed and Infant school. (fn. 906) Evacuees from Liverpool attended 1939–1942. (fn. 907) Long-serving and efficient teachers created a successful school despite its poor buildings and facilities. (fn. 908) The school was altered and improved after it became controlled in 1956 (fn. 909) but the schoolhouse was demolished in 1972. (fn. 910)
The removal of families from Jackfield to new housing at Broseley in the 1930s (fn. 911) and after 1945, (fn. 912) the closure of local factories in the 1960s and 1970s, (fn. 913) and the opening of the John Wilkinson County Primary school at Broseley in 1976 (fn. 914) resulted in a gradual decline in the roll at Jackfield school: from 195 in 1932 to 13 in 1981 when it closed. (fn. 915)
Broseley Wood C.E. Infant school, with 150 places, was built at Legge's Hill and opened in 1891. (fn. 916) The headmistress and pupils of the closed Benthall Parochial Mixed school (fn. 917) and 25 infants from the overcrowded Broseley National Infant school transferred to it. (fn. 918) Attendance averaged 117 in 1895. (fn. 919) In 1941 the roll comprised 33 local pupils and 18 Liverpool evacuees. (fn. 920) The school was controlled in 1949 (fn. 921) and although scheduled to close was considerably renovated in 1956 (fn. 922) to take the area's increasing school population. (fn. 923) The roll rose to 84 in 1958 (fn. 924) but was only 45 when the school closed in 1967 (fn. 925) and the pupils transferred to the newly built Broseley C.E. (Controlled) Primary school. (fn. 926)
In 1857 twenty Broseley artisans were attending an evening art class taught by the Coalbrookdale drawing school master. (fn. 927) County council classes were held in Broseley between 1891 and 1907, and an evening continuation school from 1894 to 1899. At Jackfield an art school master conducted well attended evening classes from 1893 to 1908; they enabled successful students to find employment in local tile and china works. Also well supported in Jackfield were ambulance classes from 1899 to 1902 and an evening continuation school from 1899 to 1903. (fn. 928) Evening classes were held in the Victoria Hall, Broseley, in the 1950s (fn. 929) and later in the schools. (fn. 930)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR.
In the later 17th century various legacies and gifts contributed to a stock for the poor amounting to £51 10s. Two of the benefactors were Langleys of the Amies, another was the lord of the manor, John Langley (d. 1693) of the Tuckies. The other benefactors seem to have been parishioners who died between 1666 and 1681 such as Mary Goodman (d. 1671), who left £3 for the stock. (fn. 931) Later there were larger legacies, amounting in all to £380. John Barrett of the Madeira Islands left £200, Mrs. Frances Morgan left £50, and in 1730 Mrs. Esther Hollyman left £20 to be added to the poor's stock. Also in 1730 Richard Edwards of Chesterton (Hunts.), owner of Rowton farm, left £110 to be laid out in land for poor widows of the parish; in 1783 the parish acknowledged receipt of the sum, with interest, whereby the owner of the farm had discharged his estate. About 1777 the vestry borrowed the stock of £380 towards the building of a market hall and two shops; part of the income, not to exceed £18 a year, was earmarked for the poor. In 1802 the vestry resolved that £15 a year from the hall and shops be paid to the poor, with a further £3 a year to discharge a debt of £43, perhaps representing the stock accumulated in the late 17th century; though the debt was presumably discharged in 1816, £18 a year was still being paid in 1819. (fn. 932) In 1802 c. 100 beneficiaries received between 1s. 3d. and 2s. 6d., and in 1836 the £18 was divided between c. 90 people. (fn. 933) By 1891 the charities' income had fallen to £9. (fn. 934) A scheme of 1961 reorganized the charities as the Broseley Town Hall Trust Fund, which in 1975 had an income of £36. (fn. 935)
Andrew Langley (d. 1687?) left a rent charge of 12s. on the Woodhouse estate, to be distributed to twelve widows. (fn. 936) The charity, known as Langley's bread charity, was still given in 1891. (fn. 937)
Charles Oare of Bridgnorth left £100 to provide men's clothing. In 1882 the charity had an income of £2 16s. (fn. 938)
In 1740 William Lewis granted a rent charge of £1 for distribution among twenty widows. The charity lapsed between 1820 and 1856. (fn. 939)
Four Pritchards made charitable benefactions during the 19th century. Mrs. Fanny Pritchard (d. 1839) (fn. 942) left £100 to be invested to provide warm clothing for widows. Ten women benefited in 1840 and 1882. (fn. 943) George Pritchard (d. 1861) (fn. 944) left the income on £100 for widows' clothing. Ten benefited in 1882. (fn. 945) Miss Mary Anne Pritchard (d. 1882) left £100 for charitable purposes; her brother John Pritchard added £100 more, and again the income was used to provide warm clothing for widows. (fn. 946) By 1891 the three legacies and John's gift were combined in Pritchards' charity, which provided 36 widows with clothing tickets. (fn. 947) In 1975 the charities of John Pritchard and others had an income of £20, and the George Pritchard Clothing Charity one of £3. (fn. 948)