A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 14, Lichfield. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1990.
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Ecclesiastically Burntwood remained part of the parish of St. Michael, Lichfield, until the 19th century. By the 18th century, however, a large number of people from Burntwood, Edial, and Woodhouses were baptized and buried at Hammerwich chapel. (fn. 1) In 1818, encouraged by the formation of the Church Building Society, J. C. Woodhouse, dean of Lichfield cathedral, opened a subscription for building and endowing a church to serve Burntwood, Edial, and Woodhouses. He pointed out that the inhabitants were so far from the parish church that they rarely went there and were 'exposed to become a prey to the wildest and lowest of the sectaries'. He led the way by giving £100, and some £900 was contributed by the clergy, leading landowners, and principal inhabitants of the area, by the parishioners of St. Michael's, and by the inhabitants of the Close. Over £80 was raised in small subscriptions. A grant of £350 was made by the Church Building Society. Sir Robert Peel gave ½ a. at the junction of the later Church Road and Farewell Lane as the site of the church, and Lord Anglesey gave an adjoining piece of waste. Building began in 1819. (fn. 2)
Christ Church was consecrated in 1820, with a perpetual curate nominated by the vicar of St. Mary's, Lichfield. (fn. 3) In 1845 it was assigned a parish out of St. Michael's. (fn. 4) The perpetual curacy was styled a vicarage in 1868, and the patronage remained with the vicar of St. Mary's until the union of the benefices of St. Mary's and St. Michael's in 1979. It was then transferred to the dean and chapter of Lichfield. (fn. 5)
A farmhouse south-west of the church and 7 a. were bought from Sir Robert Peel as a house and glebe for the minister. (fn. 6) In 1822 a sum of £2,297 from benefactions and a parliamentary grant was invested to provide an income for him. (fn. 7) Around 1830 his annual income averaged £78. (fn. 8) In 1851 it consisted of £16 10s. from glebe, £66 13s. from other endowments, £2 from pew rents, and £2 7s. 6d. from fees. (fn. 9) In 1860, 1863, and 1876 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners made grants totalling £275 a year. (fn. 10) A new vicarage house was built in the early 1970s on part of the ground attached to the first house; that house was demolished, and Canterbury Close was built over its site and garden. (fn. 11)
The perpetual curacy was held with that of Hammerwich from 1831, and it became the practice to hold the Sunday services alternately in the morning and the afternoon at each church. (fn. 12) The congregation at the afternoon service at Burntwood on Census Sunday 1851 was 90, with a further 29 Sunday school children, the incumbent blaming the bad weather for the fall below the usual number of c. 160. (fn. 13) George Poole, appointed in 1852, decided that he should devote himself to the growing population of Burntwood, and he gave up Hammer wich in 1858. (fn. 14) About then he started a mission at Chasetown, and he was preaching in the open at Boney Hay in 1883. (fn. 15) He introduced the singing of psalms and hymns. (fn. 16) He was friendly towards nonconformists, speaking at Primitive Methodist meetings and contributing towards the cost of a new Primitive Methodist chapel. (fn. 17) He was an advocate of temperance and became a teetotaller, and he persuaded colliers to speak at temperance meetings in Burntwood and Chasetown. (fn. 18) His successor, Richard Weston, vicar 1886–1922, (fn. 19) opened an iron mission room in Ogley Hay Road at Boney Hay in 1893; it had been closed by 1924 and was sold in 1927. (fn. 20) A parish magazine was started by Weston in 1886 but had lapsed by 1925, when there were plans for reviving it. (fn. 21) A mothers' union was formed in 1886. (fn. 22) Quarterly collections were introduced in 1888 and weekly offertories in 1909. (fn. 23)
In 1889 the Sunday school received 50 bibles and 100 New Testaments from Rowland Hill of Tipton, who distributed copies of the scriptures widely as a memorial to his wife. Fifty New Testaments were received in 1891. By 1900 a Rowland Hill New Testament charity had been formed for the parish, consisting of a capital sum of £10, the interest on which was spent by the vicar and churchwardens on New Testaments. The charity still existed in the mid 1980s. (fn. 24) The parish also benefits from several bequests for church purposes: £100 from A. O. Worthington of Maple Hayes by will proved 1918; £100 from Dr. J. B. Spence, superintendent of Burntwood asylum 1881–1924, by will proved 1928; £2,130 from Mrs. S. E. Homer in 1940; and £300 from John Hall of Burntwood by will proved 1948. (fn. 25)
CHRIST CHURCH, a building of red brick with stone dressings, was designed in a Gothic style by Joseph Potter the elder of Lichfield. Originally it consisted of a chancel, a nave with a west gallery, and a west tower incorporating an entrance porch and containing a bell. (fn. 26) A four-bayed north aisle designed by Stevens & Robinson of Derby was built by subscription in 1869–70 to accommodate the growing congregation. The gallery was removed at the same time, though, Poole wrote, 'not without a struggle'. He added that 'the new seats are without doors … Most of the old pews remain.' (fn. 27) A clock in memory of Sarah Worthington (d. 1913), wife of A. O. Worthington, was placed in the tower by her children in 1921. (fn. 28) A vestry was added at the west end of the north aisle in 1929; W. W. Worthington of Maple Hayes gave £100 towards the cost. (fn. 29) The font is dated 1715 and was originally in Hammerwich church. (fn. 30)
In the late 1850s George Poole began holding Sunday evening services in a carpenter's shop in what was to become Chasetown. Soon afterwards the services were transferred to the Colliery school there. (fn. 33) A church of St. Anne east of the school was consecrated in 1865. It was built and endowed by J. R. McClean, managing director of the Cannock Chase Colliery Co.; all the sittings were free. In 1876 his widow Anna gave £1,000 to provide an income for keeping the church in repair. (fn. 34) The patronage was vested in McClean and his heirs during the term of the colliery company's mining lease, with reversion to the marquess of Anglesey and his heirs as the landlords. The first minister was the founder's nephew, D. S. McClean. (fn. 35) A parish was formed out of parts of Burntwood, Hammerwich, and Ogley Hay in 1867 with D. S. McClean as the incumbent. (fn. 36) The living was styled a vicarage in 1868. (fn. 37) On J. R. McClean's death in 1873 the oatronage passed to his son Frank and in 1888 to the vicar of Burntwood, who held it in 1987. (fn. 38)
In 1868 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners assigned the incumbent £11 6s. 8d. a year in respect of a benefaction, which they matched with a further £11 6s. 8d. (fn. 39) When J. M. Seaton was appointed to succeed D. S. McClean in 1871, the colliery company granted him a personal stipend of £255 on condition that the sittings remained free. (fn. 40) When the patronage was transferred in 1888, the Commissioners substituted a stipend of £230 and the vicar's total income was some £293. (fn. 41) Initially a house on the Hammerwich side of the township boundary was provided for the incumbent by the colliery company. (fn. 42) In 1910 land on the east side of High Street, Chasetown, was conveyed as the site for a vicarage under the will of William Pavier Smith, and to meet that benefaction and another the Ecclesiastical Commissioners granted £399 towards the cost of the house. Building began in 1911. (fn. 43) A new house was built on an adjoining site c. 1980. (fn. 44)
A church room was opened in High Street in 1908; it was converted into Elim Pentecostal Church in 1984. (fn. 45) A parish magazine existed by 1896 but had lapsed by 1920 when there was a proposal to revive it. A magazine was again published from 1938. (fn. 46)
The church of ST. ANNE on the south side of Church Street, Chasetown, is a building of polychrome brick with a slate roof and was designed in a Romanesque style by Edward Adams of Westminster. (fn. 47) The dedication may have been an allusion to the name of J. R. McClean's wife Anna. The church consists of an apsidal chancel and an aisled nave of four bays, and there is a bell in a cote over the west end. The interior of the apse has marble panels. The chancel is laid with Minton tiles, while the sanctuary is of stone inlaid with alabaster. A Lady chapel was formed in 1960. (fn. 48) The west end was reordered in 1985; the end bays of the aisles were formed into rooms on two levels, and a stairway was inserted. (fn. 49) A bust of J. R. McClean was installed c. 1947, the cost being met by his descendants. (fn. 50) The church claims to be the first in the country to have been lit by electricity, which from 1883 was supplied from the Cannock Chase Colliery Co.'s no. 2 pit. It also claims to be the first to have a bell rung electrically, a device having been fitted in 1938. (fn. 51)
In 1883 a committee was formed at Chase Terrace to build a mission room there. (fn. 54) The foundation stone of the mission church of ST. JOHN was laid in 1884 by Elizabeth Hussey of Wyrley Grove in Norton Canes, who met much of the cost of building. (fn. 55) The church was opened in 1886. (fn. 56) It had its own wardens and from 1887 its own magazine. (fn. 57) A church room was built in Ironstone Road in 1939, (fn. 58) and a 2-a. burial ground in Rugeley Road was consecrated in 1943. (fn. 59) St. John's became a district church with its own minister in 1986. (fn. 60) Designed by H. E. Lavender of Walsall, (fn. 61) it is a building of brick with stone dressings and consists of a chancel, a nave, and a north-west porch. Originally there was a bell turret on the north side of the roof behind the west gable, (fn. 62) but in 1987 the bell hung in a cote on the west front.
The Heveninghams and their successors as lords of Pipe, the Simeons and the Welds, were Roman Catholics, at least from the earlier 17th century, and they provided a focus for a small Roman Catholic population in the area. (fn. 63) Edward Sprott of Ashmore Brook (d.1591) may have been the man of that name who was one of several laymen arrested at Stafford in 1588 while attending a mass celebrated by Blessed Robert Sutton; like the other laymen he was condemned to death but released on payment of a fine. (fn. 64) In 1609 another Edward Sprott, of Bilston Brook, was presented for not attending his parish church. (fn. 65) In 1657 five papists were recorded at Pipe Hall, three at Woodhouses, five at Burntwood, and one at Pipehill; they were yeomen, labourers, husbandmen, and tailors. (fn. 66) There were nine papists at Woodhouses and Burntwood in 1706, including John Bates, the tenant of Pipe Hall, and his wife and two children; the other five were described as poor. (fn. 67) Thomas Bridgewood, a priest serving several Roman Catholic centres in Staffordshire in the early 18th century, was at Pipe Hall in 1718. In 1737 the hall was one of the Midland centres served by the Franciscan Laurence Loraine (alias Thomas Hall). (fn. 68)
Edward Weld, having rebuilt Pipe Hall c. 1770, made provision for a resident priest, with Weld paying a stipend of £15 a year and the tenant, William Bates, providing board and lodging. (fn. 69) When a new priest, John Kirk, was appointed in 1788, Thomas Weld increased the stipend to £20, but out of it Kirk had 'to find his washing and supply the altar'; board was still provided by the tenant, then Edward Weetman. Kirk remained at Pipe Hall until 1792, and during his time there he enlarged the chapel by the addition of a sanctuary. The chapel was probably on the first floor: a wall between a firstfloor bedroom and a smaller room behind retains the outlines of a central arch and two smaller side arches which could have connected the body of the chapel with the sanctuary. The furnishings probably included an altarpiece depicting the Crucifixion by the Flemish painter Nicolaes de Bruyn (d. 1656). (fn. 70)
Nine Roman Catholics were confirmed at Pipe Hall in 1774 and 19 in 1788. About 1790 the congregation included some dozen people from Lichfield. The chapel was closed when the hall was sold in 1800, and in 1801 a mass centre was opened in Lichfield. The Pipe Hall vestments, chalice, and furnishings were transferred to the Lichfield mission, and the Burntwood area was then served by the priest at Lichfield. In the 1840s Lady Fitzgerald of Maple Hayes was a member of the congregation.
The population of the Chasetown area in the later 19th century included a large number of Irish immigrants, and c. 1870 a local group began to raise money to build a Roman Catholic church. (fn. 71) Land was bought on the west side of High Street, Chasetown, and building started in 1882. It seems that a mass centre, served by the priest from Lichfield, was opened the same year in a shop. The church, dedicated to St. Joseph, was opened in 1883, and later that year the Chasetown area became a separate mission with its own priest. The church was also used as a school until 1915. A presbytery was completed east of the church in 1884. The church, which fronts on New Street, was designed by G. H. Cox of Birmingham and is a brick building with stone dressings. Originally it consisted of a chancel, a nave of four bays, and a sacristy. A clubroom was added on the north side in the late 1890s. A fifth bay was added at the west end c. 1933, and a choir gallery was erected there; the entrance, previously at the west end, was moved to the south-west corner facing New Street. In 1978 land on the south side of Cannock Road in Burntwood was bought as the site for a church, hall, and presbytery intended to replace the Chasetown buildings.
A service was held at Burntwood asylum every alternate Saturday in 1891. (fn. 72) A mass centre was started there during the Second World War, presumably as a result of the opening of an emergency hospital on the site. At first mass was said in the wards, but in 1948, after the closure of the emergency hospital, a hut was converted into a Roman Catholic chapel. (fn. 73) From 1982 mass was said in the hospital chapel.
A Quaker named Robert Harrison was living in Burntwood in 1680. (fn. 74) In 1707 John Derry of Burntwood had his daughter baptized at the Presbyterian meeting house in Longdon. (fn. 75) In 1808 William Salt, the Congregational minister at Lichfield, opened a preaching house at Burntwood Green; he found the people there 'as ignorant as heathens - but many disposed to hear the Gospel'. (fn. 76) A house at Burntwood Green was registered for worship in 1811, Salt again being involved. (fn. 77) In 1819 he registered a chapel there, (fn. 78) but its later history is not known.
Two houses at Burntwood were registered for worship by protestant dissenters in 1830 and 1842. (fn. 79) In 1846 a house in what became Chase Road was registered for Primitive Methodist worship, and it continued to be used until 1849 when a Primitive Methodist chapel was opened in the same road. The attendances on Census Sunday 1851 were 16 in the afternoon (with 26 Sunday school children) and 25 in the evening; the average congregations were claimed to be respectively 35 and 50. The chapel was replaced in 1875 by one in Cannock Road, now Burntwood Methodist church. (fn. 80) A rear extension was built in 1900, and a hall was added in 1983 when the church interior was refurbished also. (fn. 81)
The club room at the Queen's hotel in Queen Street, Chasetown, was being used for Wesleyan Methodist meetings in 1860. A site for a Wesleyan chapel at the southern end of High Street was bought in 1863 and the chapel opened in 1864. It was rebuilt on a larger scale in 1884 and later became Trinity Methodist church. (fn. 82) Zion's Hill Primitive Methodist chapel further north in High Street was built in 1866. It was closed in 1970, and by 1986 the building was used as a carpet warehouse. The congregation united with that of Trinity, which was renamed Chasetown Methodist church. (fn. 83) It was replaced by a new church in Queen's Drive off Queen Street in 1977; the Joseph Rank Benevolent Trustees contributed towards the cost. (fn. 84)
The first Primitive Methodist meeting in Chase Terrace was held in a room at the Two Oaks inn. Mount Calvary Primitive Methodist chapel in Princess Street, Chase Terrace, was built in 1870; in 1987 it was Chase Terrace Methodist church. (fn. 85) At Boney Hay Wesleyan Methodists, having met in the home of John Howells and his wife, registered a chapel in Rugeley Road in 1879; it was closed in 1970. (fn. 86) A Methodist New Connexion chapel was built in Chapel Street, Chase Terrace, by 1883; later renamed Carmel Methodist church, it was closed in 1964 and subsequently demolished. (fn. 87)
The Salvation Army had a barracks at Chase Terrace in 1899. (fn. 88) Emmanuel Tabernacle in Cannock Road, Chase Terrace, was registered by the Assemblies of God in 1940. The original prefabricated building was replaced in 1962 by the new Emmanuel Pentecostal church on the same site. Its name was changed to Emmanuel Church New Life Centre in 1984. (fn. 89) Elim Pentecostal church was opened in 1984 in the former St. Anne's church room in High Street, Chasetown. (fn. 90)
A school board was compulsorily formed for Burntwood civil parish in 1876. (fn. 91) The county council reorganized the schools on Hadow lines in 1932. In 1946 or 1947 the two senior schools became secondary modern schools. Comprehensive secondary education was introduced in 1965. In 1977–80 Burntwood became one of the few areas in which the county council adopted a three-tier pattern of schools (first schools for children up to the age of 9, middle schools for children 9–13, and high schools for children 13–18). The intention was to provide a greater flexibility in meeting demand in a district with a rising population. In the mid 1980s, however, a combination of falling school rolls and restraints on local government finance led to several closures or threats of merger or closure. The three-tier system was abandoned in a reorganization of 1988 which gave Burntwood 10 primary schools for children up to the age of 11 and two high schools. (fn. 92)
Burntwood Charity (National) school.
By will proved 1770 Elizabeth Ball of Castle Bromwich (Warws.) left £600 to build and endow a school at Fulfen, where she owned a farm. (fn. 93) From the income a master and mistress were to be paid to teach the elements, knitting, and sewing to poor children of Fulfen, Burntwood, Edial, Woodhouses, and Hammerwich. Books were to be bought for the children as necessary. (fn. 94) Miss Ball asked her cousin and heir James Birch to make up any deficiencies in her various charitable bequests.
In 1769 Miss Ball built a schoolroom and a teacher's cottage at the junction of Coulter Lane and the later Church Road. On her death later the same year Birch began to make the stipulated charitable payments. The school had cost £200 to build, and he therefore paid a master a stipend equal to the interest on £400. The money for that and for Miss Ball's other charities in and around Burntwood was drawn from the rent paid by the tenant of the farm at Fulfen. The farm descended from Birch to his son and then to his two grandsons in succession. All of them apparently made regular payments from the rent, but none established a permanent charge on the farm to create an endowed charity.
In 1821 Maj.-Gen. Thomas Birch Reynardson, the second of the grandsons, was paying £20 a year to a schoolmaster appointed by his land agent. The money was handed to the master by the tenant of the farm, who also nominated the 20 or 30 pupils. (fn. 95) Each child was given two years' schooling; some stayed longer. All were taught the Catechism. The boys were taught the elements, and the girls reading, sewing (by the master's daughter), and, if their parents demanded it, writing and arithmetic. Each child paid 1s. a year towards fuel for the schoolroom. The executors of Andrew Newton, a Lichfield philanthropist (d. 1806), had given the school £20, the interest on which (18s.) was added to the master's stipend.
Supervision of the school seems to have been lax. By 1821 masters had taken to demanding fees of 4d. a week whenever a pupil was an only child whose parents could afford to pay. In 1809 David Moss, master at least from 1782 until his resignation in 1808, was fined and imprisoned for indecently assaulting girl pupils. (fn. 96) In 1792 and 1793 he and Elizabeth Moss were running a boys' boarding school at Burntwood; whether it was a separate venture or an attempt to transform the charity school is not clear. (fn. 97) The master in office in 1821 was alleged to suffer from 'certain defects of temper' which rendered him unsuitable as a teacher and deterred parents from using the school. The Charity Commissioners urged Reynardson to establish a properly managed charity.
No formal steps were taken, but Reynardson continued to support the school. In 1833 it had 50 children attending it; 11 boys and 11 girls were taught free and the rest paid fees. At a Sunday school, added in 1820, 44 children were being taught free. The master's income in 1834 was £40. (fn. 98) In the mid 1840s 50 children were attending the day school, 21 both the day and Sunday school, and 8 the Sunday school alone. There were a master and a mistress, both salaried. (fn. 99)
Reynardson died in 1847, (fn. 100) and in 1849 an endowed charity was finally created. (fn. 101) In accordance with his wishes his heirs settled the school building in trust with an endowment of £1,000 stock. The building was to be used as a National school for Burntwood, Edial, Fulfen, Woodhouses, and Hammerwich and as a teacher's house. The endowment income was to be used to pay the master up to £20 a year, to keep the building in repair, and for general school expenses. In 1852 the new incumbent, George Poole, considered the National school 'a pretty roomy cottage'. By 1865 he and his wife were helping to run a night school there. (fn. 102)
In 1876, when the school board was set up, the population of Burntwood village itself was still small, and the board's first thought was apparently to acquire the National school, which could accommodate 80 children and was adequate for immediate needs. Poole was in favour of handing the school over, but negotiations failed and a board school was built in the village. The National school was closed at the end of 1878, and the board school was opened in January 1879. (fn. 103)
The National school building continued to be used as a Sunday school. During winter months in the 1880s it was also used as a night school, and in the 1890s an art class and young men's improvement classes were held there. (fn. 104) In June 1890 the day school was reopened as a higher grade National school with two certificated teachers and 14 pupils. There were 24 children on the books by December, and by 1892 there were 36. (fn. 105) The school had closed by 1898. (fn. 106) There was probably little local demand for it. The curriculum was limited, and the fees were 4 guineas a year, although reductions were offered for younger siblings. (fn. 107) Possibly the building was inadequate: a classroom had apparently been added in 1887, (fn. 108) but although an appeal for funds to build a large room was launched in 1888, it was not until 1904 that a room was built. (fn. 109)
Under a Scheme of 1898 the building was conveyed for use as an Anglican Sunday school and an undenominational night school for the poor of Burntwood ecclesiastical parish and the part of Chasetown parish in Burntwood civil parish. The trustees were permitted to maintain a lending library and run science and art classes, while the vicar was allowed to use the building for parochial purposes. One third of the charity's net income was allotted to the rector of Hammerwich for his day and Sunday schools; in 1903 the allowance was commuted to £8 a year. In 1905 the charity's gross income was c. £28. The aims of the charity, subsequently renamed the Ball and Birch Reynardson Educational Foundation, were later modified to provide support for an Anglican Sunday school and general educational help for poorer children. A proposal in 1929 to sell the buildings failed as a result of local opposition, and they continued to be used for the Sunday school and for meetings and social gatherings, mainly connected with the parish church, until c. 1965. In 1987 the former teacher's house was occupied but the rest had been closed and partly demolished. The charity's annual income, c. £50, was disbursed according to the modified trust deeds. (fn. 110)
Chasetown county primary school (formerly the Colliery school). The Cannock Chase Colliery Co. was formed in February 1859, and by July it was supporting a school, presumably for its workers' children. A schoolroom had been built on the south side of the later Church Street, Chasetown, by 1861, (fn. 111) and a Sunday school was also held there. (fn. 112) From the mid 1860s, and probably from the beginning, the school took girls and infants as well as boys. There was an evening school by the mid 1860s. (fn. 113) The master of the boys' department from 1864 was Elijah Wills, who came direct from Saltley training college (in Aston, Warws., later Birmingham); he retired in 1906 as head of the whole school. (fn. 114)
The boys' department began to receive a government grant in 1864 and the girls' in 1866. There were infants in both departments. By 1866 there were c. 140 pupils, the building was becoming overcrowded, and children were being turned away. (fn. 115) In 1867 the company built a separate schoolroom for the girls and some of the infants, leaving the original building to the boys and the rest of the infants. (fn. 116) By 1873 there were over 400 pupils. (fn. 117) Renewed overcrowding was eased slightly in 1875 when the company opened a school at Chase Terrace, but government inspectors continued to demand a separate infants' department, and for several years part of the school's grant was withheld. (fn. 118) An infants' schoolroom was finally built in 1881; within a month the new department had an average attendance of over 60. (fn. 119)
Until 1875 the school was generally known simply as the Colliery school. From 1875 until 1878 it was the Colliery no. 1 school; it then reverted to its earlier name. It was sometimes known as St. Anne's school. (fn. 120) At the end of 1887 the company handed it over to the school board, which reopened it in January 1888 as its no. 3 board school. (fn. 121) In 1892 the boys' and girls' departments were merged to form a mixed department. In 1896 the school had an average attendance of over 400. (fn. 122) A new infants' school was built on the north side of Church Street in 1912. (fn. 123) The mixed department became a junior school in 1932. It was merged with the infants' school in 1940, and the 19th-century buildings were closed. In 1950 the school had 254 pupils. It became a first school in 1980 and a primary school in 1988. (fn. 124)
Chase Terrace county primary school (formerly the Colliery no. 2 school). In 1875 the Cannock Chase Colliery Co. opened its no. 2 school, for 300 children, on Cannock Road, Chase Terrace. (fn. 125) In 1878 the company decided that it could no longer afford to maintain it, and the school board took over the management of what then became no. 2 board school. Subsequently, in spite of protests from the ratepayers, the board apparently bought the buildings. (fn. 126) The school was enlarged in 1883, and in 1896 it had accommodation for 600 and an average attendance of 500. (fn. 127)
In 1907 the county council opened a school for 312 girls and 316 infants in Rugeley Road, Chase Terrace, leaving the Cannock Road buildings as a boys' school. The new school, with two blocks separated by a playground, was one of the first of the so-called 'Staffordshire schools', the architect using verandahs instead of closed corridors in accordance with the education committee's emphasis on adequate ventilation. (fn. 128) In 1931 the boys' school was closed because of mining subsidence, and in 1932 the girls' school became a junior mixed school. In 1976, while the buildings were remodelled, the junior school was moved temporarily to new buildings in Chorley Road, Boney Hay. It was moved back to Rugeley Road in 1977 and became a middle school. At the same time the infants' school became a first school. (fn. 129) A nursery unit was added to the first school in 1978. (fn. 130) In 1988 the middle school was closed and its buildings became an annexe of Chase Terrace High School. The first school became a primary school, retaining its nursery unit.
St. Joseph and St. Theresa R.C. (Aided) junior mixed and infants' school.
The church of St. Joseph was opened at Chasetown in 1883, and a school for boys, girls, and infants was started in the building in December with 70 pupils. (fn. 131) By 1891 there were 137 on the books. Only 83 were Catholics; it had earlier been claimed that some parents sent children to St. Joseph's when they failed to win prizes at the other Chasetown school or were asked for fees. (fn. 132) There was an average attendance of 108 in 1896. (fn. 133) In the late 1890s some of the classes were held in the clubroom attached to the church. By 1913 the conditions in which the school was held had been condemned, and in 1914 the foundation stone was laid of a school in High Street dedicated to the memory of Theresa of Lisieux (d. 1897), who had not yet been beatified. It was opened in 1915. In 1940 it became a junior mixed and infants' school. The building was extended in 1957, 1966, 1969, and 1974. Later there was a gradual decline in numbers; in 1983 there were 144 on the roll, fewer than half the number in 1971. (fn. 134)
Burntwood no. 1 board school (later Burntwood first school). The school board opened its no. 1 board school in Church Road, Burntwood, in 1879. There was accommodation for 300 children, and a master's house was attached. After a fortnight there were some 200 on the roll. By 1896 the average attendance was 285. The school became a junior school in 1932, a junior mixed and infants' school in 1957, and a first school in 1979. A large extension was built in the early 1960s. The school was closed in 1988. (fn. 135)
Schools opened by the county council from the 1930s. (fn. 136)
Chase Terrace high school in Bridge Cross Road was opened in 1932 as two senior schools on a single site, one for 320 boys and one for 320 girls. In 1946 or 1947 they became secondary modern schools. (fn. 137) They were merged in 1961 to form a mixed secondary modern school which became a comprehensive school in 1965 and a high school in 1977.
Oakdene junior mixed and infants' school in Sycamore Road, Chasetown, was opened in 1972. It became a first school in 1980. By 1983 part of the building was no longer in use, and in 1985 the school was closed. (fn. 138)
Fulfen primary school in Rugeley Road, Burntwood, was opened in 1978 as a middle school and was temporarily accommodated at Chase Terrace high school. It moved into the Rugeley Road buildings in 1979. It became a primary school in 1988.
Boney Hay primary school in Chorley Road was opened as a middle school in 1977 in buildings which had been used in 1976–7 as temporary accommodation for Chase Terrace Junior school. It became a primary school in 1988.
The 'Borned Wodde' where the antiquary Robert Talbot was teaching a school in 1531 has been identified as Burntwood. (fn. 139) It is more likely to have been Brentwood (Essex).
Samuel Johnson opened an academy at Edial Hall in 1735 or 1736. He had abandoned the enterprise by March 1737 when he and David Garrick, one of his pupils, set out from Lichfield to seek their fortune in London. (fn. 140) The hall was again being used as a school in 1807. (fn. 141)
In 1792 and 1793 David and Elizabeth Moss were running a boys' boarding school at Burntwood. The curriculum was limited to the elements and drawing; the Mosses also offered free dancing lessons and a cold bath, erected 'at a considerable expense' within 20 yards of the school. (fn. 142) No more is known of the venture. Moss was master of the charity school, and he may have been trying to change that school's character and discourage poor children from attending it. That may explain why, some time between 1794 and 1797, Francis Barber, Johnson's former servant, thought it worth his while to open a school in Burntwood; it is unlikely that it was more than a dame school. He had apparently abandoned the venture by 1799. (fn. 143)
A small boarding school was opened at Burntwood in 1809 and was still being advertised in 1811. The proprietor, J. Child, seems to have specialized in commercial education: extras which he offered included gauging and surveying. (fn. 144)
From 1869 dame schools were recorded at Burntwood and Chasetown, while at Chase Terrace in 1871 a dame school was opened in a chapel. In the early 1880s there were two dame schools in Burntwood and two in Chasetown, with between 30 and 40 pupils in all. One of the Chasetown schools was run by a certificated teacher, a former assistant mistress at the Colliery school. In 1883 the school board expressed annoyance that some parents were taking their children from board schools and sending them to her. (fn. 145)
H. W. Hambling, after running a short-lived boarding school at Hammerwich, apparently set up in Burntwood in the late 1890s but with no success. (fn. 146)
A day and boarding school for dyslexic children was opened by Dr. E. N. Brown at Maple Hayes in 1982. In 1989 it had 120 pupils. (fn. 147)
From the early 1870s the Cannock Chase Colliery Co. provided evening classes in colliery working and management at its Chasetown school for its employees. (fn. 148) The work was later undertaken by the county council, which was among the first local authorities to appoint a full-time organizer for mining instruction. From 1891 it employed lecturers to give courses at centres in the Staffordshire coalfields. Chasetown was one of the original centres, and thereafter courses were held there regularly. (fn. 149)
The 1911 Coal Mines Act, by requiring firemen in most collieries to pass an examination, produced an increased demand for practical instruction. It was partly that demand which led the county council to open a small mining institute in Queen Street, Chasetown, in 1913. The two-storeyed building contained a laboratory, a drawing office, and two lecture rooms. There was test equipment in the basement and also an electricity generator which provided light and power for the building. (fn. 150) From 1929 the mining institute was one of three senior centres grouped round a new county mining college at Cannock. (fn. 151) It became an annexe of the college (later the Cannock Chase Technical College) in 1962 and was closed in 1987. (fn. 152)
By 1896 a local committee was running lectures and classes in practical subjects such as gardening and home nursing at the Chasetown Institute in High Street. It worked in conjunction with the county council's technical instruction committee. (fn. 153)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR.
By will of unknown date John Ward of Edial (fn. 154) left a rent charge of £1 6s. 8d.; £1 was to be distributed on St. Thomas's Day (21 December) among the poor of Burntwood, Edial, and Woodhouses (15s.) and the poor of Hammerwich (5s.), and the rest was for a sermon at Hammerwich chapel on Whit Sunday. In 1821 the tenant of a farm at Edial chose 30 poor of Burntwood, Edial, and Woodhouses and gave them 6d. each on Christmas Day at Hammerwich chapel. He gave a further 5s. to an inhabitant of Hammerwich who distributed it among the poor there. (fn. 155) A Scheme of 1933 provided that three quarters of the net income was to be paid to the vicar of Hammerwich and the rest used for the benefit of the poor. The charity had been lost by 1966. (fn. 156)
By will proved 1709 William Cadman of Edial, a tailor, left two 40s. rent charges, one for four sermons a year at Hammerwich chapel and the other to provide doles for the poor of Burntwood, Edial, and Woodhouses at Hammerwich chapel on the Sunday after Christmas and the Sunday after Midsummer. He left his cottage and croft at Edial in reversion to provide two more sermons each year at Hammerwich and to augment the doles to the poor. He did not specify how the income was to be divided, but a trust deed of 1806 assigned £1 a year for the sermons and the rest to the poor. In 1807 the cottage, then derelict, was let with the croft on a 10-year repairing lease at 40s. a year. It was rebuilt with the aid of a bequest from James Watkins, and from 1817 it and the croft were let for £4 10s. a year. The trustees were thus able to distribute £5 10s. a year to the poor. (fn. 157) In the 1920s and 1930s the income from the property was £8 a year. (fn. 158) A Scheme of 1970 provided that £2 5s. of the income was to be paid for sermons and the rest used for the relief of those in need. (fn. 159) In the later 1980s the charity was managed by Burntwood town council, which distributed annually most of the income of between £600 and £700. In 1986–7 the Burntwood and Hammerwich War Fund, established in 1919 to provide a nurses' home, was added to Cadman's charity. (fn. 160)
By will proved 1770 Elizabeth Ball of Castle Bromwich (Warws.) left £250 to the poor of Fulfen, Burntwood, Edial, Woodhouses, Hammerwich, and St. Michael's, Lichfield; the money was to be invested and the income distributed annually. A codicil assigned the interest from a further £100 for distribution in Christmas week among the poor of Fulfen, Burntwood, Burntwood Green, Edial, Woodhouses, Cannock Wood (in Cannock), Gentleshaw (in Longdon), and Hammerwich. The management of her charitable bequests was entrusted to her cousin and heir, James Birch, and to his heirs. They made regular payments in accordance with her wishes but took no steps to establish an endowed charity. In 1821, to cover the bequests, Birch's grandson, Maj.-Gen. Thomas Birch Reynardson, was allowing £14 to the poor out of the rent from his Fulfen estate. A 'respectable inhabitant' from each of the four hamlets of Burntwood, Edial, Woodhouses, and Hammerwich submitted a list of suitable beneficiaries to Thomas Derry, the tenant at Fulfen, received cash from him, and distributed it on Lady Day. In 1821 ninety-three people in the four hamlets received £13 6s. in sums ranging from 1s. to 6s. and the poor of Cannock Wood and Gentleshaw received 14s. in bread; there were complaints that the recipients, although poor, were not always industrious or deserving. The later history of the two bequests is unknown; payments to the poor may have lapsed on Reynardson's death in 1847. (fn. 161)
By will proved 1805 James Watkins of Edial left £20 towards the repair or rebuilding of the cottage devised by Cadman. He also left the residue of his personalty, after the payment of legacies and expenses, to the poor of Burntwood, Edial, and Woodhouses. Trustees were to invest the residue, which turned out to be 'somewhat above £100', and to distribute both income and capital at their discretion in sums of up to £5. By 1821 the invested capital had increased to almost £190, and the surviving trustee proposed to use it to establish a Sunday school. (fn. 162) What in fact happened is not known.
By will proved 1918 A. O. Worthington of Maple Hayes left £100, the interest to be distributed annually in clothing, food, and coal among the poor of Christ Church parish, Burntwood, on St. Thomas's Day. The charity was still paid in 1986. (fn. 163)
By will proved 1928 Dr. J. B. Spence, superintendent of Burntwood asylum 1881–1924, left £100 for the relief of the poor of Christ Church parish, Burntwood, the interest to be distributed in a similar way to that of Worthington's charity. It was still paid in 1986. (fn. 164)
Woodhouses benefited under the charity of Theophila Reading of Woodhouses. (fn. 165)