A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 5, East Cuttlestone Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1959.
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The church of Brewood served the whole of the ancient parish until the 19th century when district chapelries centred on Bishop's Wood and Coven were formed, in 1852 and 1858 respectively. (fn. 1)
There was a priest in Brewood in 1086. (fn. 2) The church had been appropriated to a prebendal stall in Lichfield cathedral for some time before c. 1176 when the bishop conferred this prebend of Brewood on the newly reconstituted deanery of Lichfield. (fn. 3) In or before 1275 a vicarage was ordained and endowed with the whole of the altar dues, the principal mortuary dues and tithes of lambs and wool except from the dean's demesne in Brewood. (fn. 4) The vicar was to pay to the dean an annual pension of 10 marks. (fn. 5) The advowson remained with the deans of Lichfield (fn. 6) as prebendaries of Brewood until 1868 (fn. 7) when, on the death of Dean Howard, it passed to the bishop (fn. 8) who still holds it. (fn. 9)
In 1305 William de Pecco, then vicar, acquired from John de Horsebrok, one of the vicars choral of Lichfield, a parcel of land in Brewood contiguous to the vicarage manse on the west in exchange for a 'parcel of the curtilage of the vicarage next to the steps (schalera) of the churchyard, which adjoins his messuage on the north and is fenced off from it'. (fn. 10) Because the bakehouse (furnus) of the Vicar of Brewood was on John de Horsebrok's land, William and his successors were to pay an annual rent of 3d. for it. (fn. 11) In 1318 this same William de Pecco reached agreement with the Abbess and nuns of Blackladies, Brewood, that he and his successors should receive tithes of wool and lambs from flocks of other persons folded on the nunnery's lands in Brewood. (fn. 12) The vicarage was assessed at £6 17s. 8d. in 1535. (fn. 13) In 1604 the vicar, described as 'no preacher, a notable swearer and drunkard', had an income of 100 marks. (fn. 14) The living was valued at £20 in 1646 when the Committee for Plundered Ministers granted the vicar £50 from the sequestrated possessions of the Dean of Lichfield, adding £8 from the rents of Blackladies and Whiteladies (in Boscobel, Salop.), sequestrated from John and Peter Giffard, farmers of these lands under the dean. (fn. 15) In 1650 the vicar had no glebe and paid the dean 3d. rent for the vicarage house, but he enjoyed small tithes and Easter offerings worth £20 with an augmentation consisting of the tithes of Chillington and 'the whole rent of Brewood'. (fn. 16) The augmentation seems to have been altered to £23 17s. 4d. from the impropriate tithes in 1654, with the tithes of Chillington added in 1657, the total augmentation being given as £39 a year in 1658 and 1659. (fn. 17) The vicarage received a grant from Queen Anne's Bounty at some time between 1718 and 1728. (fn. 18) The incumbent benefits under the Alport Charity on condition of attending an annual service in Cannock parish church on the Feast of St. Barnabas (11 June), preaching a sermon at this service in annual rotation with seven other beneficiaries, and residing in his benefice for at least ten months in the year. (fn. 19)
A Robert Papagy, probably at the end of the 13th century, gave two selions in 'Whete Croft' as an endowment for a mass on Sundays in Brewood church for the repose of his soul. (fn. 20) This may have been the Priest's Service which was found in 1552 or 1553 to be endowed with messuages, cottages, and lands in Brewood bringing in rents variously given as £5 or £6 which had been enjoyed by a stipendiary priest for four years past. (fn. 21) An 18th-century house in Dean Street is still called the Chantry. (fn. 22)
The large parish church of ST. MARY AND ST. CHAD consists of aisled nave, chancel, and west tower. The building dates from the early 13th century but has undergone so many reconstructions that it is impossible to trace its evolution with certainty. The tower was added early in the 16th century. Alterations took place in the 18th century and again in 1878–80, when it was thoroughly restored by G. E. Street. The chancel contains four altar tombs of members of the Giffard family.
The chancel, except for the rebuilt east wall, dates from the earlier 13th century and remains structurally little altered. There are six lancet windows in each of the north and south walls. In the north wall is a blocked doorway which formerly led to a stonebuilt vestry, possibly an addition of the 14th century.
The nave has wide aisles and a lofty arcade of five bays, the arches supported on tall octagonal piers. Thirteenth-century masonry at the base of the aisle walls suggests that the early plan was similar to the present one. Both internally and externally the north wall shows clear signs that the aisle was originally roofed under a series of five transverse gables. The south aisle, 3 ft. wider than the north, probably had a similar roof but the evidence here has been destroyed. This curious arrangement may have been determined by the unusual width of the aisles. The arches of the 13th-century arcade, in order to be covered by these small gabled roofs, would necessarily be very much lower than the present ones. From the existence of early masonry above the chancel arch it seems probable that the nave was always as lofty as it now is. This large expanse of walling above the early arcade suggests that a clerestory was part of the original design.
The north aisle was altered in the 14th or early 15th century when the walls were raised, buttresses added and probably larger windows inserted. (fn. 23) It is most probable that the transverse gables of both aisles disappeared at this period. Traces of weather marks on the end walls of the north aisle suggest that at one stage it was covered by a continuous roof with end gables. Carved corbels, projecting into the aisles, still exist at each end of both nave arcades. These now have no function, but they may at one time have formed part of a series supporting aisle roofs of the longitudinal gabled type. This arrangement would still necessitate comparatively low nave arcades. The final raising of the arches probably took place in the 16th century. The walls above them were rebuilt, and all earlier work, except the end corbels, disappeared in the process. The great height of the arcade would now necessitate lean-to roofs to the aisles. A mid-19th-century writer suggests that the transverse gables remained until the 18th century, (fn. 24) but no such arrangement could survive the raising of the arcade to its present height. These gables must therefore have disappeared in the 16th century if not considerably earlier.
The west tower with its tall octagonal stone spire probably dates from the early 16th century. It has double buttresses at the angles, corner pinnacles, and an embattled parapet. The belfry stage has a two-light opening on each face. The west doorway has a four-centred arch, and there is a Perpendicular window above it. The tower arch has been recut but rises to the same height as the nave arcade.
In 1521 Dean Collingwood left £2 to the church for building a porch. (fn. 25) This was probably the south porch which survived until the late 18th century. Accounts of repairs to both south and north porches in 1665 indicate that the former was of wood with a shingled roof and the latter of stone and tiles. (fn. 26) Shingles for the repair of the south aisle roof appear as a constant item during the 17th century. (fn. 27)
At some time during the 18th century the east wall of the chancel was rebuilt in brick, and a Venetian window, (fn. 28) described a century later as 'resembling that of a modern Italian villa', (fn. 29) was inserted. Galleries were also built in both aisles, at the west end, and across the chancel arch. (fn. 30) In 1775 it was resolved at a vestry meeting to take the whole roof off the church and replace it with one of single pitch. (fn. 31) This proposal was opposed, but a year later John Smith of Wolverhampton, builder, reported that 'a one-pitch roof will be much the cheapest'. Later drawings of the church show that, at least on the south side, a single roof over both nave and aisle was adopted. (fn. 32) In 1777 the vestry ordered the north and south doors to be stopped up and the entrance made at the west door. Presumably the porches were demolished at the same time. An opening near the west end of the south chancel wall with its 'monstrous door' (fn. 33) and porch may have been of this date. New metal windows with simplified tracery were ordered for the nave. One such window remains at the east end of the north aisle.
In 1815 a faculty was granted for alterations to the galleries. A new west gallery to accommodate an organ by England was to be erected. Seats were to be allotted to former seat-holders and the remainder sold by auction. (fn. 34) Drastic alterations to the fittings took place between 1827 and 1830. (fn. 35) The church was repewed, two square family pews being provided at the north-west corner of the nave. The east gallery was demolished and the north and south galleries were rebuilt. A carved chancel screen and choir stalls were broken up and dispersed about the parish. A new font was provided, the old one being removed to a garden at Coven. Various memorial tablets are said to have been covered over or destroyed.
A thorough restoration at a cost of £6,600 took place between 1878 and 1880 under the direction of G. E. Street. (fn. 36) The east wall of the chancel was rebuilt in stone and given three graded lancets. Buttresses, dripstones, and a basement course were added externally to the chancel, and the north vestry was demolished. The upper part of the south aisle was entirely rebuilt. Street evidently wished to revert to the early arrangement of transverse gables but owing to the much greater height of the nave arcade he could not reconstruct the aisle in its original 13th-century form. He therefore inserted a second pier arcade half-way across the aisle, its arches low enough to be covered by the gabled roofs. These roofs extend over the outer aisle only, and the wall above the new arcade is pierced by clerestory windows. In general Street adopted a 13th-century style and in several places was careful to reuse original stones in the walling. The whole church was reroofed and refloored, plaster ceilings disappeared, the galleries were cleared away, the tower arch was opened up, and the box pews were replaced by rush-seated chairs. The royal arms of Queen Anne were removed from above the chancel arch to the base of the tower. The pulpit dates from 1879 (fn. 37) and the choir stalls date from 1887. (fn. 38)
The tower was restored in 1890, but soon after wards the spire was struck by lightning, (fn. 39) an event which occurred again in 1925. (fn. 40) In 1902 the chairs, being worn out, were replaced by oak pews. (fn. 41) A restoration of the chancel, undertaken by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1904, included the removal of a partition which formed a vestry behind the altar. The chancel was thus restored to its full length. Floor levels were altered and iron railings removed from the Giffard tombs. (fn. 42) In 1911 a new stone reredos designed by W. D. Caroe and carved by N. Hitch was installed, and a vestry was screened off at the west end of the north aisle. (fn. 43) The old organ, which had been partially reconstructed in 1887, (fn. 44) was replaced by a new instrument by Binns. Stone tracery of 14th-century character was inserted in the north aisle windows in 1927 in memory of various parishioners. (fn. 45) At about this time the old circular font bowl, probably of late-16th-century date, (fn. 46) was restored to the church. In 1952 the organ was rebuilt and enlarged at a cost of over £1,500. (fn. 47)
Stained glass in the east windows was inserted in 1879 in memory of the Revd. Jeremiah Smith (d. 1854). (fn. 48) Other windows commemorate Charlotte Simpson (d. 1875); Rebecca Smith (d. 1879); James Hicks Smith (d. 1881); Maria Smith (d. 1884); Charles and Sarah Docker (d. 1893 and 1887); Mariana Wrottesley (d. 1892); Eliza Vile (d. 1894); the Revd. Edward Wrottesley (d. 1901); Sophia Briscoe (d. 1901); Mary Anne Hicks Smith (d. 1911); Frederick J. Keeling (d. 1911); Charlotte Armstrong (d. 1912), the Revd. Charles Dunkley, vicar 1907–27 (inserted 1937). (fn. 49)
The oldest of the altar tombs in the chancel (fn. 50) bears the figures of Sir John Giffard (d. 1556) and his two wives Jane (Hoord) and Elizabeth (Greysley), the latter the widow of Sir John Montgomery. It is of carved alabaster and is thought to be an early work by the Royleys of Burton. The base has twisted baluster shafts, and the panels contain the figures of a son and three daughters, together with thirteen children in swaddling clothes and the arms of Sir John Giffard and his wives. A second tomb, thought to be by the same sculptor, bears the figure of Sir Thomas Giffard (d. 1560), between his two wives, Dorothy (Montgomery) and Ursula (Throckmorton). The base has seven sons, the eldest in armour, six daughters and four children in swaddling clothes. It bears the arms of Giffard, Giffard impaling Montgomery and Giffard impaling Throckmorton. A third tomb with effigies of John Giffard (d. 1615) and Joyce (Leveson), his wife (d. 1608), has an arcaded base bearing the figures of eight sons, five of them in armour, and six daughters. The fourth tomb has a plain arcaded base and carries the recumbent figures of Walter Giffard (d. 1632) and Philippa (White), his wife (d. 1636). In the south aisle is an incised alabaster floor slab, discovered at the restoration of the church in 1879. It bears the figures of Richard Lane (d. 1517) and Anne his wife together with four sons and seven daughters. (fn. 51)
A tablet to Joan Leveson (d. 1572), who married (1) William Skeffington, (2) William Fowke, and (3) Edward Giffard, is said to have been removed in 1772. It was found at Four Ashes in 1863 and restored to the church. (fn. 52) At the west end of the south aisle, removed from one of the piers of the nave, is an alabaster wall monument with two tiers of kneeling figures: below, Edward Moreton (d. 1630), his wife (d. 1633), three sons, three daughters and a child in swaddling clothes; above, Matthew Moreton (d. 1669), his wife (d. 1672), a son, six daughters, and a child in swaddling clothes. This monument is said to have been restored by the Earl of Ducie shortly before 1851. (fn. 53) A floor-slab nearby commemorates Edward Moreton (d. 1687). Fowke tablets in the south aisle include inscriptions to Thomas Fowke (d. 1652), Phineas Fowke (d. 1710), and members of the Holland family, 1715–40. Other tablets in the church commemorate Jane Viscountess Galway (d. 1788); the Rt. Revd. Charles Berington, Roman Catholic Vicar Apostolic of the Midland District (d. 1798); John Parrot (d. 1802); John Turner (d. 1824) and his wife; the Hon. Edward Monckton (d. 1832), his widow (d. 1834), and their issue, 1814–78; Mary Countess of Cork and Orrery (d. 1840); the Revd. A. B. Haden, vicar (d. 1863) and his wife; the Revd. William Rushton (d. 1875) and the Revd. Henry Kempson (d. 1881), both of Brewood Grammar School; William Parke (d. 1876), in whose memory the church restoration was begun in 1878; the Revd. Richard Wall (d. 1899), formerly headmaster of the grammar school.
In 1957 the plate included a silver-gilt chalice and paten cover, 1634; a silver-gilt paten, 1705; a silver paten, 1718; two Sheffield plate chalices, one of which is gilt inside the bowl, 1833; seven alms plates of pewter; a flagon with lid of old Sheffield plate, 1832, given by A. B. Haden, vicar. (fn. 54)
In 1553 there were four bells with a sanctus bell and three sacring bells. (fn. 55) A bell added in 1638 (fn. 56) was no longer there by 1889 when there was a ring of seven. (fn. 57) There are now eight bells recast from the old bells with the old marks reproduced, all 1896, J. Taylor &; Co., (fn. 58) the bequest of Charles Docker. (fn. 59)
The registers date from 1562. Those from 1562 to 1649 have been printed. (fn. 60)
A vicarage house stood on the west side of the churchyard until 1864 when it was demolished and the road built over the site. (fn. 61) It was a gabled building apparently of 17th-or very early-18th-century date. (fn. 62) The foundations of an earlier and smaller house were found on the site at the time of demolition. (fn. 63) The vicarage was considered 'unfit for residence' between 1804 and 1807 when the incumbent was living either in Lichfield or in his own house in the parish. (fn. 64) It was occupied by a curate in 1851. (fn. 65) In 1833 the Revd. A. B. Haden built Deansfield for his own occupation on the eastern outskirts of the town. (fn. 66) This is a large square red-brick house with extensive grounds and stabling. In 1860 he built and occupied Elmsley, a smaller house of similar type about a quarter of a mile nearer the church. After his death in 1863 the old house west of the churchyard was demolished and Elmsley was bought as a vicarage by the Revd. E. J. Wrottesley. (fn. 67) It was still occupied by the incumbent in 1957.
The church of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, Bishop's Wood, was opened in 1850 and consecrated in 1851. (fn. 68) The vicarage, a perpetual curacy until 1868, is in the gift of the Vicar of Brewood. (fn. 69) A building of local red sandstone, it was designed by G. T. Robinson (fn. 70) in the Early English style and is cruciform with a shallow chancel, a north vestry, and a south porch which terminates in a square tower with a spire. The windows are lancets, graded at the east end and in the transepts. The trusses of the open roof form an elaborate intersection at the crossing. The oak pulpit and choir seats were installed in memory of Maria Jane Garland (d. 1894). (fn. 71) The organ, which occupies the south transept, replaced the original instrument in 1902 and was given by subscription to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the church. (fn. 72) Stained-glass windows have been inserted in memory of the Revd. John Buckham, vicar (d. 1868); Elizabeth Evans, Frances Evans and Sir Thomas Evans Bt., inserted 1895; the Revd. Thomas B. Garland, vicar 1888–1907; and Mary Archer (d. 1911). Mural tablets commemorate Howard T. Spencer (d. 1914) and the Revd. Marshall S. Walker, vicar (d. 1946).
In 1957 the plate included a silver chalice, 1850; a silver paten; a silver and glass flagon; and an electroplated paten on foot. (fn. 73) There is one bell, 1858, C. &; G. Mears. (fn. 74) The register dates from 1852.
The church of ST. PAUL, Coven, built largely at the expense of George Monckton, was consecrated in 1857. (fn. 75) The living, a vicarage by 1885, is in the gift of the Vicar of Brewood. (fn. 76) The church was designed by E. Banks of Wolverhampton (fn. 77) and is late-13th-century in style. It is cruciform in plan with an octagonal turret at the south-west angle. The stonework has a rustic finish externally and the windows are cusped lancets or have Geometrical tracery. Stained glass in the east window was inserted in 1857 to commemorate George Monckton's contribution to the church. (fn. 78) The brass lectern dates from 1871. (fn. 79) The organ formerly occupied the west gallery but was moved in 1926 to the south transept when a vestry was formed below the gallery. (fn. 80) Mural tablets commemorate I. G. Monckton (d. 1899) and G. Roper (d. 1902), vicars; Howard Rushton, organist and choirmaster (d. 1928); Rachel Edwards (d. 1928).
In 1957 the plate included a flagon, two chalices and a paten, electro-plated, all given by Thomas Hartley, and another paten. (fn. 81) There is one bell, 1857, C. &; G. Mears. (fn. 82) The register dates from 1857.
John Giffard was before the Privy Council for recusancy in 1575, (fn. 83) and the fact that the Giffards for the most part remained Roman Catholic until 1861 (fn. 84) doubtless explains why there has always been a large number of Catholics in Brewood. In 1604 there were 'very many recusants' here, (fn. 85) and the figure was given as 74 in 1641 (fn. 86) and 399 in 1780. (fn. 87) Until the mid-19th century most of the tenants of the Giffards were Catholics. (fn. 88)
The chapel at Chillington was regularly used for baptisms and marriages from at least 1721, (fn. 89) and about this time the altar plate there included a gold chalice and paten, six silver candlesticks, a silver crucifix, and a silver ciborium. (fn. 90) The chapel at Longbirch was used for public worship from at least 1779 and had its own priest-in-charge. (fn. 91) The chapel at Chillington was demolished c. 1786 while the Hall was being enlarged, but by 1791 the chapel at Blackladies had been opened for public worship under the priest from Chillington. (fn. 92) The Longbirch chapel was enlarged after the departure of the vicar apostolic in 1804 by the inclusion of the vicar's sitting-room, (fn. 93) while by 1834 the Blackladies chapel was served by two priests. (fn. 94) Both chapels were closed in 1844 when the church of St. Mary was opened. (fn. 95) In 1851 it was certified that the church was always filled to its capacity of c. 400 at the 10 a.m. Sunday mass and was usually about two-thirds full at the afternoon service. (fn. 96) The average attendance at Sunday mass in 1956 was 250. (fn. 97)
The Roman Catholic parish benefits from the following bequests: £400 from A. Plant in 1901 and £900 from the Revd. Walter Groom in 1912, which with various bequests made before 1899 were producing £80 in 1956; £500 from Miss A. Plant in 1916, producing £18 in 1956; £270 from Miss B. Howell in 1922, producing £11 in 1956; £100 from Teresa Moreton in 1933, producing £3 in 1956; £1,250 from Mrs. M. Hubball in 1951, producing £43 in 1956; and £1,000 from Mrs. M. J. McIntyre in 1956, producing £45. (fn. 98)
The convent of the Immaculate Conception, occupying the building earlier used as the union workhouse, was opened in 1920 by the Dominican sisters, who later also opened the convent school there. (fn. 99)
The church of ST. MARY, built 1843–4, was designed by A. W. N. Pugin (1812–52), who also gave three stained-glass windows. (fn. 100) The stone is local, the masonry being coursed rubble, and the style of the church is of the late 13th century. The building consists of an aisled nave of five bays, chancel, north vestry, south porch, and a west tower with a small broach spire. Internally there are pointed nave arcades and an open roof. The chancel screen and the crucifix in the south aisle, both of painted wood, are of the original date. The church was redecorated in 1887 when the stone altar was placed in the Lady Chapel. (fn. 101) The wooden image of the Virgin and Child on this altar was brought after 1846 from the chapel at Blackladies. (fn. 102) A stone pillar stoup of 12th-century character outside the south porch is said to have come from Whiteladies (Boscobel, Salop.). (fn. 103) Stained glass in the west window was inserted as a memorial of the First World War. Near it are mounted the sword and medals of Major E. Vaughan. Other windows commemorate Frances and Mary Magrane; the Vaughans of Blackladies (1924); George and Elizabeth Evans (1926); William and Mary Yates (1926); Anne McDonnell (1940). In the chancel are two floor slabs bearing figures in priest's robes. These are in memory of Robert Richmond, first rector (d. 1844), and William Richmond (d. 1848), his nephew and successor. North-east of the church a rectangular stone building is now used as a church hall. The priest's house and the school, both of brick and of approximately the same date as the church, lie to the north-west.
In 1736 the house of Joseph Mountford in Crateford in Brewood was licensed for use by Protestant Dissenters. (fn. 104) George Whitefield's preachers visited Brewood in 1745. (fn. 105) George Burder, who later became a prominent Congregational minister, when preaching in a barn there in 1777, was interrupted by a mob who banged on the doors and threw missiles. (fn. 106) No Congregational cause was established until the beginning of the 19th century. John Simpson, who resigned his office as parish clerk in 1800, then had a cottage certified for nonconformist worship, and in 1803 a small chapel was opened in Sandy Lane, the whole cost of which had been defrayed by James Neale of London, husband of Simpson's sister. (fn. 107) Brewood became a centre for the mission work of Hackney College students during vacations c. 1806. (fn. 108) The chapel there was enlarged in 1825 (fn. 109) and rebuilt in 1842, with 275 free sittings and 100 others. (fn. 110) By 1940 the chapel was no longer in use as a place of worship and was sold in 1950. (fn. 111) It is an impressive red-brick building with round-headed windows and is fitted with galleries. The tall front gable has stepped sides and a segmental head.
Houses in Brewood were certified for dissenters' meetings, possibly Methodist, in 1800 (Joseph Underhill), (fn. 112) 1822 (Humphrey Webb), (fn. 113) 1824 (Thomas Leek), (fn. 114) 1826 (John Beaumont), (fn. 115) 1840 (Richard Lakeham), (fn. 116) and 1851 (Edward Blakemore). (fn. 117) The first Wesleyan Methodist chapel in the parish was erected at Coven in 1828. (fn. 118) This was replaced in 1839 by the present chapel in Lawn Lane, Coven. (fn. 119) A new Sunday school building was added in 1924, and in 1940 the chapel had seating for 120. (fn. 120) The chapel is a rectangular brick building with round-headed windows and a later porch. In 1868 a Wesleyan chapel was built in School Road, Brewood, and in 1940 seated 120. (fn. 121) It is a small brick building.
In March 1831 the house of William and George Holland was certified as a meeting-house. (fn. 122) This was undoubtedly for Primitive Methodists since William Holland, a plate-lock maker, was manager of the Primitive Methodist meeting in 1851, then held in part of a dwelling-house in Shop Lane. (fn. 123) The congregation was small at this time. (fn. 124) A Primitive Methodist chapel was built in Pendryl Avenue in 1858, (fn. 125) with seating for 80, (fn. 126) but was closed c. 1895. (fn. 127) The building was subsequently used as a carpenter's shop but had been demolished by 1956. (fn. 128)
A branch of the Salvation Army in Brewood had been closed by 1895. (fn. 129)
Abraham Barwicke was a schoolmaster in Brewood in 1641. (fn. 130) The charity school said to have existed there in 1724. (fn. 131) may have been the 'charity school' for Somerford liberty at which thirteen poor girls were being educated and clothed by the Misses Monckton in 1834. (fn. 132) In 1851 18 girls were said to be taught and clothed in this Somerford school, (fn. 133) and 'Miss Monckton's school still existed in 1854. (fn. 134)
A scheme for a National school in Brewood seems to have been started in 1816, (fn. 135) and by 1818 subscriptions had already been raised toward the projected building of a room for the 'daily instruction' of 350 children, in expectation of further annual subscriptions and donations from district or diocesan funds. (fn. 136) By 1834 about 140 children were being educated in this National school by subscription, (fn. 137) and the numbers in 1851 were about 60 boys and 50 girls, under a master and mistress. (fn. 138) The school received an annual parliamentary grant from 1858, and the original building in the Market Place was replaced in 1860 by the present school and schoolhouse, (fn. 139) of which the Monckton family bore half of the cost. (fn. 140) This included a department for infants. (fn. 141) In 1870, on the death of the widow of the Revd. Henry Kempson, formerly headmaster of Brewood Grammar School, the schools inherited a bequest of £2,000 stock under his will (proved 1857), half the interest to be applied to the infant school. (fn. 142) The provisions of the will, including attendance of master, mistress, and children at such services as might be appointed on saints' days in Brewood church, and the attendance of the children to be catechized on one Sunday in every month if the vicar or curate should institute such a practice, were embodied in a Scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 1871. (fn. 143) The average attendance c. 1884 was 140 girls and boys and 60 infants. (fn. 144) In 1894 attendance averaged 154 (fn. 145) and in 1910 35 infants and 122 older children. (fn. 146) By 1905 the income from the £2,000; endowment was £50 which by Order of the Charity Commissioners that year was wholly assigned to the general purpose of the school. (fn. 147) In 1907 and 1923 the accumulated balance of the trust fund was assigned for improvements to the building. (fn. 148) The school, now called Brewood Church of England Voluntary Primary School (Mixed and Infants), became aided in 1955, (fn. 149) when it had an average attendance of 292. (fn. 150)
The building of 1818 consists of a long single story of brick situated near the south end of the Market Place. The present school building, that of 1859 and 1860, lies immediately to the south and includes a master's house.
By 1834 there was a Roman Catholic School attached to the Blackladies chapel where 33 boys and girls were educated at the expense of Mr. Evans of Boscobel (Salop.), (fn. 151) a charge which was met in 1851 by Miss Evans. (fn. 152) A school for Roman Catholic boys and girls, and to have been built in 1844, (fn. 153) seems to have been in the charge of a lay mistress from at least 1854 to 1916 (fn. 154) although in 1860 and 1868 it was said to be under the superintendence of the Sisters of St. Paul. (fn. 155) It was said in 1884 to hold 80 children, with an average attendance of 72. (fn. 156) By 1894 the average attendance was 63, (fn. 157) with 60 in 1900 and 69 in 1912 and 1916. (fn. 158) In 1919 a Domincan sister was appointed headmistress of this school, by then St. Mary's primary school, and began duty the next year. (fn. 159) Since this time there has always been at least one Dominican sister in the school, generally two, and sometimes three, though the appointment of nuns is not obligatory. (fn. 160) The school managers are chosen partly by the Local Government Authority and partly by the trustees of the premises, which include a teacher's house, and have full responsibility for the school including appointment of teachers. (fn. 161) It is now known as St. Mary's Roman Catholic Voluntary Primary School (Mixed and Infants). (fn. 162)
The school for 'Protestant' children, said to have been maintained in a cottage at Park Pales by Miss Evans of Boscobel, (fn. 163) may have been the forerunner of the National school at Bishop's Wood projected in 1851 (fn. 164) and built in 1855 to take 71 children, the average attendance c. 1884 being 54 boys and girls (fn. 165) and 49 c. 1894. (fn. 166) The attendances in 1910 were 20 infants and 37 older children. (fn. 167) It was enlarged in 1912 to take 100 children, (fn. 168) but had fallen into serious disrepair by 1933. (fn. 169) It came under the control of the County Council in 1951, (fn. 170) and is now Bishop's Wood Church of England Voluntary Primary (Controlled) School (Junior Mixed and Infants). (fn. 171) The original school building has been extended and has lancet windows with diagonal glazing.
There was a National school in Coven by 1854, (fn. 172) held probably in the room used for divine service under the bishop's licence for some years before 1857 when St. Paul's Church was consecrated. (fn. 173) The building was presumably used after 1857 exclusively as a school, and this received an annual parliamentary grant from 1858. (fn. 174) In 1884 it had an average attendance of 110 (fn. 175) and in 1894 127. (fn. 176) Attendances in 1900 averaged 111 (fn. 177) but by 1910 had risen to 150, (fn. 178) and in 1937 were about 130. (fn. 179) The school became controlled in 1951 (fn. 180) and is now known as Brewood, Coven Church of England (Controlled) School (Mixed and Infants). (fn. 181)
Charities for the Poor
The Revd. Francis Collie, or 'Collick', Vicar of Bushbury (Seisdon hundred), settled, probably by deed of 1625, a rentcharge of 33s. 4d. on a house and land at Essington (Bushbury parish) for doles of 12d. each to 30 poor of Brewood every Good Friday, 8d. to the minister of Brewood for announcing the forthcoming distribution on the previous Sunday, 8d. to the clerk for ringing the great bell from 7 to 8 a.m. on Good Friday morning, and 12d. each to the churchwardens for distributing the money. (fn. 182) The rent-charge had risen to £10 by 1820 when the money was part of the general fund distributed to the poor of Brewood parish in doles of between 1s. and 4s. on Good Friday and St. Thomas's Day. (fn. 183) By 1889 the common fund was distributed in coals and money, £10 of the total income being assigned to Bishop's Wood ecclesiastical district and £10 to Coven district. (fn. 184) In 1956–7 the total income was £10 11s. which was added to the distributions in February and December (see below). (fn. 185)
For some time before the Civil War the poor of Brewood received a benefaction on Good Friday from a rent-charge on land in Coven, bought with £40 given by Thomas Smith of Blackladies and £20 from the sons and sons-in-law of Richard South of Chillington. (fn. 186) Because the tenant had ceased to pay this rent-charge during the war, the land was sold for £40, which, with £20 given by will of William Smith of 'Sondford' and £10 given by Jane Lane, widow, of The Hyde, was used in 1659 to buy land in Brinsford (in Bushbury, Seisdon hundred) to produce a rent-charge of £3 10s. a year. (fn. 187) By 1820 this income was part of the general fund distributed to the poor. (fn. 188) By 1861 the rent from the Brinsford land was £12 with a further £1 from a garden at Penkridge given by the L.N.W.R. as compensation for damage done to the Brinsford land. (fn. 189) Part of the estate was sold in 1944 and the proceeds invested. (fn. 190) In 1956–7 the income was still added to the twice-yearly distributions, the rent then being £7. (fn. 191)
Bequests to the poor of Brewood of £20 and £10 were made by William (d. 1653) and John (d. 1665) respectively, sons of Thomas Fowke of Brewood, together with the interest on £20 given in their lifetime by Mrs. Mary Skrymsher, eldest daughter of Thomas, were assigned in 1670 for doles at Christmas and Midsummer. (fn. 192) Henry Fowke (d. 1681) left by will £50, the interest to be distributed among the poor of Brewood town, 'Kerrimore Lane' and Park Lane, on the Feast of St. James (25 July), after the deduction of 1s. to the clerk of the church for ringing the bell for an hour, 6s. 8d. to the vicar for a sermon on that day, and 1s. to whoever should distribute the dole. (fn. 193) In 1683 the £100 given by these four benefactors was laid out in the purchase of land called Dealf Hayes, in Bloxwich (in the Foreign of Walsall), which by 1820 was leased for £12 12s. a year, with £1 11s. 6d. as compensation for land taken c. 1799 under the Wyrley and Essington Canal Act. (fn. 194) The whole income was by 1820 added to the general fund distributed to the poor, although 6s. 8d. was paid to the vicar until 1804. (fn. 195) About 1869 Dealf Hayes and the Canal Company's payment were sold, and the income in 1889 was £17 11s. 1d. interest on stock. (fn. 196) The income was added to the general distributions in 1956–7. (fn. 197)
Thomas Fowke (d. 1692) gave £50, the income to be distributed among the poor of Brewood, Kerrimore Lane, and Park Lane on 24 June after the vicar had been paid 6s. 8d. for a sermon and 8d. for giving notice of the dole and the clerk 1s. for ringing the great bell. (fn. 198) The money was on loan at interest in 1716 but by 1786 had been laid out in land in Great Wyrley (in Cannock) for which a rent of £1 6s. 8d was received. (fn. 199) By 1820, when the rent was £10, the whole income was part of the general fund distributed to the poor of the parish, although 6s. 8d. had been paid to the vicar until 1804. (fn. 200) The income was added to the general distributions in 1956–7. (fn. 201)
Richard Brookes at some date before 1786 devised a rent of 8s. charged on a field in Coven for the poor of Brewood, Coven, and Standeford. (fn. 202) This was still paid in 1956–7 when it was added to the general distributions. (fn. 203)
Thomas Salt, probably after 1786, gave a rent of 10s. charged on his croft in Brewood, to be distributed among the poor on St. Thomas's Day. (fn. 204) As the land forms part of the site of the Roman Catholic church in Brewood, the rent is paid by the priest and in 1956–7 was added to the general distributions. (fn. 205)
William Woolrich, or Woolridge, by will dated 1774, left three annuities of 10s., 5s., and 5s. from Bowling Alley Piece in Coven, to be distributed by the occupant of the land among the poor of Brewood, Coven, and Standeford townships not receiving parish relief. (fn. 206) By 1820 1s. each was given at Christmas to 10 poor of Brewood, 5 of Coven, and 5 of Standeford. (fn. 207) The income seems still to have been added to the general distributions in 1956–7. (fn. 208)
Lawrence Grove (d. 1685) left £10, the interest to be distributed on Good Friday among 20 of the poorest widows and others of the poorest inhabitants of the parish at 6d. a head. (fn. 209) By 1786 the money was vested in the parish officers who allowed 10s. interest upon it, as they did also on sums of £10 each given by Joseph Phipps of Somerford, and Richard Higley of London (will dated 1725), for doles on St. Thomas's Day. (fn. 210) The income by 1820 formed part of the general fund distributed to the poor. (fn. 211) What was described in 1786 as a rent-charge of £1 12s. a year, vested in the parish officers under the will of a Mr. Gilbert, (fn. 212) and in 1797 as a dole of £1 12s. from land in Coven, was probably the 4 per cent. interest on £40 payable during her lifetime by Mrs. Cotton under the will of her brother Henry Sherratt, dated 1789. (fn. 213) After her death the estate at Coven was freed of the incumbrance and sold, and from the proceeds £40 was assigned to the minister and churchwardens of Brewood, who by 1820 were still receiving 40s. as interest on this from her executors and were distributing it with other doles on St. Thomas's Day. (fn. 214) The capital seems to have been lent subsequently to the guardians of the poor (see below). Thomas Slater, by will dated 1804 left £100 (reduced by legacy duty to £90) in trust to provide bread for the poor on St. Thomas's Day. (fn. 215) The parish officers to whom this was paid used it in 1817 towards the repair and enlargement of the workhouse and by 1820 were paying £4 10s. interest, which was added to the general fund distributed to the poor of the parish. (fn. 216) Joseph Smith of Brewood Forge by will proved in 1837 left £100, the profits to be distributed among the 'industrious' poor on St. Thomas's Day. (fn. 217) The money was put towards the building of the workhouse and subsequently added to the rent paid by the guardians. (fn. 218) By 1852 the income from all these charities was represented by a payment from the guardians of the poor to the general fund. (fn. 219) James Smith, by will proved 1856, left £50 to provide bread and fuel for the poor of Brewood, and by 1889 this formed part of what was called the Workhouse Charity consisting of payments to the common fund from the overseers of the poor in respect of the charities of Joseph and James Smith and probably of Henry Sharratt also. (fn. 220) The workhouse was sold for £900 in 1878, and the proceeds were invested. (fn. 221) The total income from the Workhouse Charity and the charities of Grove, Phipps, Higley, and Slater in 1889 was £28 1s. 9d. interest on £936 5s. 7d. stock. (fn. 222) All these charities were still added to the general distributions in 1956–7. (fn. 223)
In 1956–7 the total charity income was £96 5s. 8d. which was distributed to widows, old-age pensioners, and other deserving cases, normally in sums of 10s., in February and December. (fn. 224)
Joseph Careless of Water Eaton (in Penkridge) was reputed to have given to the poor, by 1740, a close called the Poor's Butt in Butts Field. (fn. 225) A rent of 10s. was paid by 1786, (fn. 226) and by 1820 the owner of the whole field was distributing doles of 1s. to 10 poor of the parish. (fn. 227) It seems to have lapsed by 1889. (fn. 228)