A History of the County of Worcester: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1913.
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From the ancient parish of Bromsgrove the civil parish of North Bromsgrove was formed in 1894, (fn. 1) Catshill, a separate ecclesiastical parish since 1844, (fn. 2) being included in it in 1895. In 1880 Crowfield was transferred from Dodderhill to Bromsgrove and at the same date part of Chaddesley Wood, formerly in Upton Warren, became part of Bromsgrove. Two years later parts of Bromsgrove were transferred to Upton Warren. (fn. 3)
The Spadesbourne brook, rising in the Lickey Hills, flows south-west through the parish, and passing through the centre of the town of Bromsgrove, is joined there by the Battlefield brook, which comes from Chadwick, the united streams forming the River Salwarpe. Dyers Bridge, at the bottom of the town, which in 1778 was the largest bridge in the parish, was built of sandstone in one span of 20 ft. It formed the boundary between the manors of Bromsgrove and Dyers.
The land falls from 940 ft. at Windmill Hill in the north to the south, the lowest point, 261 ft., being in the town of Bromsgrove. The parish lies on the Keuper Marls and Sandstone, and much of the land in the rural districts is agricultural. Catshill is on the Bunter Pebble Beds, and the soil is loam and clay, producing crops of wheat and turnips.
The parishes of Bromsgrove and North Bromsgrove cover an area of 11,656 acres, (fn. 4) of which Bromsgrove includes 196½ acres of arable land and 396¾ acres of permanent grass, while North Bromsgrove has 3,241¾ acres of arable, 4,998¾ of permanent grass and 434½ of woods and plantations. (fn. 5) Bromsgrove was formerly divided into yields named Burnford, Fockbury, (fn. 6) Catshill, Chadwick, Shepley, Burcot, (fn. 7) Padestones or Spadesbourne, Timberhonger, Woodcote and Town Yield, which were recognized at least as late as the end of the 18th century, (fn. 8) and some of which are hamlets of Bromsgrove at the present day. (fn. 9) Bromsgrove was inclosed under an Act of 1799, the award being dated 25 December 1802. (fn. 10) The award for Bonehill is dated 19 November 1813, that for Woodcote Green Common, Great Wood, Little Wood and Hopping Hill Coppice 5 July 1855, and for Chadwick, including parts of Lickey, (fn. 11) Etchy and Wildmoor, 10 December 1795. (fn. 12)
In the 18th century the 'customary or Whitsun ale' was no longer held in the parish, but the custom survived among the farmers of distributing all the milk of their cows on Whitsunday morning to any of their poor neighbours who chose to go for it. (fn. 13)
The town of Bromsgrove is situated about 6 miles north of Droitwich, upon the Worcester and Birmingham road, along which the chief and older part of the town lies. The church stands in a commanding position on the summit of rising ground to the south of the main road, which in its course through the town is known as Worcester Street, (fn. 14) and is approached from St. John Street, a turning leading southwards out of the Market Place by a picturesque flight of steps. On the north side of St. John Street is a house with a brick nogged halftimber gable end, on the tie-beam of which is carved R. D. 1674. The lower part of the house has been faced with red sandstone and all the openings appear to be modern. At the junction of St. John Street with the Market Place a stream which runs at the back of the houses in Worcester Street is crossed by a rebuilt bridge. A stone tablet preserved from the former bridge and reset in the parapet records its erection in the year 1755 with the names of the churchwardens of that date. The town hall is a dreary building coated with unpainted stucco, standing in Worcester Street at the corner of the Market Place. At the opposite corner of the Market Place is a picturesque group of gabled half-timber houses probably dating from the early years of the 17th century. They are of three stories with tiled roofs, but appear to have been much tampered with and restored. In the same street is some excellent Georgian work, notably the Red Lion and Green Dragon Inns. Much half-timber work still survives, of which the best example is, perhaps, the Castle Inn and the two adjoining houses. These are of three stories, the upper stories gabled and oversailing, supported by console brackets. In Hanover Street is a row of red brick cottages. An oval tablet in the wall is inscribed 'Neare St Johns Cross Hanover Street Anno Domini 1715.' The Grammar School stands on the east side of the Worcester Street, near the southern extremity of the town. The oldest part of the buildings dates from 1693 and contains the original schoolroom; this block was originally of two stories, with an attic, but an extra story has been added. A portion of the head master's house appears to be of the same date.
At the north of the town, on the east side of the Birmingham road, is the modern church of All Saints. The building occupied by Lloyds Bank at the corner of Worcester Street and the road leading to the railway station is constructed out of the materials of the Hop Pole Inn, a 16th-century structure of halftimber taken down about 1870 and re-erected. The design appears to have been much altered in the process of re-erection. The almshouses in the Alcester road are modern—one pair was erected in 1820, another pair in 1825 and a third pair in 1842. The remaining blocks were built in 1883. The railway station is about a mile to the east of the town and is really in Finstall, formerly a hamlet in the parish of Stoke Prior, but now a separate ecclesiastical parish. The district which has sprung up in the neighbourhood is known as Aston Fields. At Great Dodford are remains of the priory of Augustine canons established here at the end of the 12th century and incorporated in 1464 with Halesowen Abbey. (fn. 15) The part remaining is of stone and may perhaps have been the refectory. At the southeast angle are buttresses of two offsets and at the south-west is a doorway with a chamfered twocentred segmental head and jambs. In the 16th century the buildings appear to have been razed to the ground with the exception of this portion, which was then converted into a dwelling-house. There is a large stone chimney stack on the south with three diagonal shafts of brick and a smaller stack with similar shafts to the west of this; both belong to the 16th-century reconstruction. At the east end of this main block is a wing of half-timber work projecting northwards, which does not appear to be part of the original establishment. The course of the surrounding moat can still be traced at the south-east, and it seems not improbable that the present road to the west of the house follows the line of the moat on this side. Chadwick Manor House, about 3½ miles north of Bromsgrove, on the west side of the Halesowen road, is a late 17th-century building of brick with stone dressings. Chadwick Grange is a modern farm-house of no particular interest.
Sarah Bache, the hymn-writer, was born at Bromsgrove about 1771, (fn. 16) as were also John Flavel, the Presbyterian divine, about 1630, and William Dugard, the 17th-century schoolmaster and printer. (fn. 17) Benjamin Maund, botanist and fellow of the Linnean Society, carried on the combined businesses of chemist, bookseller, printer and publisher in the town in the middle of the 19th century, (fn. 18) and Elijah Walton the artist resided at Bromsgrove Lickey during the last years of his life, and died there in 1880. (fn. 19)
Among former place-names in the parish were Asseberga and Tuneslega (xi cent.) (fn. 20); Wrante and Brandelay (xiii cent.); Kingstotenhull, Chirnemore Bagfeld, Barneslade, Olde Lynde, Le Beokes, Tylamesland, Baynardesgrove and Lamesey (xv cent.) (fn. 21); Le Stapull and Kylbarnes (xvi cent.). (fn. 22)
There is evidence that a borough existed at Bromsgrove during the 12th and 13th centuries, but it was short lived, and little is known of its history. The mentior of a reeve and beadle in the manor in 1086 indicates that it was even then of somewhat greater importance than an ordinary royal manor. (fn. 23) In 1156 the 'men of Bromsgrove' paid 10s. to the Sheriff of Worcestershire, (fn. 24) in 1169 the 'vill of Bromsgrove' rendered account of £4, (fn. 25) and during the latter part of the century 'the men of Bromsgrove' or 'the town of Bromsgrove' paid tallage which amounted to 20 marks with Norton in 1177, (fn. 26) to 8 marks in 1187, (fn. 27) 100s. in 1195 (fn. 28) and £7 12s. 2d. two years later. (fn. 29) After this time, possibly owing to the fact that the manor was granted out by the Crown, the prosperity of the town diminished, and by 1227 its inhabitants had become so poor that tallage was reduced from 37 to 20 marks, and afterwards from 27½ to 18 marks. (fn. 30) Later an attempt was made to restore the fortunes of the town, and Henry III in 1260–1 granted the manor to the men of Bromsgrove at fee farm for five years, (fn. 31) and two members, Thomas Rastel and Thomas de Burneford, represented the borough in the Parliament of 1295. (fn. 32) This was, however, the only occasion on which Bromsgrove returned members.
In the 15th and 16th centuries three courts were held for the borough—the great court, the smaller court and the view of frankpledge. The great courts were held at Lickey, and at them were elected the bailiff, reeve, two constables and two aletasters, the common name for the last being 'crab nabbers.' (fn. 33)
John Lacey, writing in 1778, said that the Town Yield, then containing about 400 houses, was governed by a bailiff, recorder, alderman and other officers, and that as they then had no powers a proverb had arisen, 'The bailiff of Bromsgrove has no fellow.' (fn. 34) The bailiffs continued, however, to hold a court in the town hall for the recovery of small debts every three weeks. (fn. 35) Prattinton, writing a little later, states that a court leet and court baron were then held at Whitsuntide and Michaelmas. (fn. 36) Courts leet are held at the present day, and the bailiff and other officers are duly elected, the jury making their presentments at the half-yearly courts. (fn. 37)
James I granted the tolls to John How of Longer Castle, whose heirs sold them to Thomas Earl of Plymouth, who continued to take them until they were abolished. (fn. 38) The tolls were regulated by an Act of 1816, (fn. 39) and three years later the royal family was exempted from paying tolls. (fn. 40)
In 1533 Bromsgrove is mentioned as one of the towns in Worcestershire in which cloth was permitted to be manufactured, (fn. 41) and a flourishing trade in narrow cloth and friezes then existed, and continued till towards the end of the 18th century. In 1778 the manufacture of linsey occupied only about 140 hands, while that of linen employed about 180 hands, and the making of nails about 900 hands. (fn. 42) This last had already been introduced in the 17th century, (fn. 43) and was, until the end of the 19th century, the staple trade of the town. There are now also a silk button manufactory and a brewery.
The right to hold a weekly market at Bromsgrove on Wednesdays was granted in 1200 to Hugh Bardulf, (fn. 44) and in 1317 John de Mortimer obtained from the king a Tuesday market and a fair for three days at the feast of the Decollation of St. John the Baptist (29 August). (fn. 45) In 1468 the market seems to have been held on Thursday. (fn. 46) The market day was Tuesday in 1792, (fn. 47) and has so remained to the present day. Fairs were held on 24 June and 1 October in 1792, (fn. 48) and in 1814, (fn. 49) and on 24 June in 1888. (fn. 50) The June fair is still continued as a horse and pleasure fair.
A Statute fair for the hiring of servants was first held on 24 September 1777 and continued to be held on the Wednesday before Michaelmas Day. Lacey states that in 1778 'a rabbling kind of wake' was held on the third Sunday in July at a place called Sythemore near the church, and also at Catshill, 2 miles out of the town, where bull baiting, bowling, wrestling and cock fighting took place. He adds that on Shrove Tuesday 'that most cruel and inhuman, cowardly and shameful pastime of throwing at cocks is used throughout the parish to the great grief and discontent of all good Christian people.' (fn. 51)
In 1846 an Act was passed for improving the town of Bromsgrove, (fn. 52) and under the Local Government Act of 1858 it became a separate district. Provisional orders were made in 1861 and 1863 for extending the boundaries of the district. (fn. 53) The urban district was governed by a local board of fifteen members and the rural district by one of twelve members, but under the provisions of the Local Government Act of 1894 these have been superseded by the urban district councils of Bromsgrove and North Bromsgrove.
The town is lighted with gas by the Bromsgrove Gas Light and Coke Company, incorporated in 1882. (fn. 54) An Act was first passed in 1866 to enable the town to obtain a better water supply, (fn. 55) and water is now obtained from the East Worcestershire Water Works, the reservoirs of which are situated at the top of the Lickey and at Burcot and Headless Cross.
A cemetery under the control of the Bromsgrove Burial Joint Committee was formed in 1857, and in 1878 the volunteer fire brigade was established with two manual engines and a fire escape. The petty sessions formerly held in the old town hall are now held in the public office adjoining the police station erected in 1890. The Institute, founded in 1859, was removed to New Road in 1894, and the school of art adjoining it was built in 1895. In the same road is the cottage hospital, founded in 1878 at Mount Pleasant and removed in 1891 to its present site.
A great cross standing before the market-house was taken down in 1832, at which time the present town hall was built. A prison called the Tolhouse is mentioned in 1468. (fn. 56)
BROMSGROVE was among the possessions of Ethelric, son of Ethelmund, who in 804 announced his intention of giving eleven 'manses' at Bromsgrove and Feckenham (Feccanhom) to Wœrferth for his life with reversion to the church of Worcester. (fn. 57) According to the annals of Worcester Priory, this disposition of Bromsgrove had been ordained by Ethelmund in his will, (fn. 58) but there is no evidence that it ever took effect. According to an endorsement of a charter relating to Inkberrow, Bromsgrove afterwards belonged to Wulfheard, son of Cussa, and was given by him at the request of King Ceolwulf I of Mercia (821–3) to Heaberht or Eadberht Bishop of Worcester in exchange for Inkberrow. (fn. 59)
In the time of King Edward the Confessor Bromsgrove was held by Earl Edwin, but it passed at the Conquest into the hands of the king, and in 1086 heads the list of the king's lands in Worcestershire. Attached to it were eighteen berewicks, which, with the manor lands, were assessed at 30 hides. (fn. 60) To the manor belonged 13 salt-pans in Droitwich and three salt workers who rendered 300 mits of salt. (fn. 61) The manor also contained four eyries of hawks. It evidently remained in the hands of the Crown until the beginning of the 13th century. (fn. 62) In 1176 lands to the value of £50 in this manor and Martley were granted to Roger de Mortimer by Henry II, (fn. 63) and he was still in possession of lands of half that value in 1194. (fn. 64) In 1200 King John granted the manor at fee farm to Hugh Bard or Bardulf and his heirs to be held of the king, rendering for it the ancient farm and the increment of 20 marks made in the time of King Richard. (fn. 65) Hugh Bard held the manor until 1204, (fn. 66) when he presumably died without heirs, (fn. 67) for it was granted in that year to William de Furnell, clerk, at farm for his life. (fn. 68) The manor was granted in 1215 by King John to his brother William Earl of Salisbury, saving to William de Furnell his right of holding the vill for his life. (fn. 69) William de Furnell, who was rector of Bromsgrove, (fn. 70) continued to hold Bromsgrove at farm until his death in 1236, when it was given by the king to Nicholas Poynz and his coparceners, who seem to have been William's heirs. (fn. 71)
William Earl of Salisbury joined Louis of France against King John, and forfeited the manor of Bromsgrove, which was granted in 1216 to Gilbert de Ayre. (fn. 72) The earl was restored to favour on the accession of Henry III, and this manor was given back to him in 1217. (fn. 73) He died in 1226, (fn. 74) when the manor again came to the Crown. Friar Geoffrey, the king's almoner, was appointed as custodian of the manor in 1236, (fn. 75) and two years later it was given as security to Henry de Hastings and his wife Ada until the latter should have obtained her share of the lands of John, late Earl of Chester, her brother. (fn. 76) The manor returned into the king's possession in 1244–5, (fn. 77) and from that time until 1260–1 remained in the hands of farmers appointed from time to time by the Crown. (fn. 78) At the latter date Henry III granted it to the men of Bromsgrove, to be held at farm for five years. (fn. 79)
Henry III assigned the manor to Queen Eleanor, but it was found in 1274 that for some unexplained reason she had not received it. (fn. 80) In 1263 Henry III granted to Roger de Mortimer an annual rent of £100 from the manors of Bromsgrove and Norton, (fn. 81) and in 1278 Edward I handed over both these manors to his mother Eleanor, on condition that she paid the rent due to Roger de Mortimer. (fn. 82) In 1299 Edward I assigned it to Queen Margaret as dower, (fn. 83) but when it was found that it was burdened with a rent to the Mortimers other land was granted to her in exchange. (fn. 84)
In 1302 Edmund de Mortimer granted the rent from Bromsgrove to Isabel de Clare for life. (fn. 85) His son Roger de Mortimer, who succeeded him in 1304, (fn. 86) granted this rent in 1315 to his brother John in tail-male with remainder to his mother Margaret, Edmund de Mortimer's widow, for life. (fn. 87) In 1317 John obtained from the Crown a grant of the manors of Bromsgrove and Norton to be held in fee at a fee-farm rent of £10 yearly. (fn. 88) John was accidentally slain at a tournament at Worcester in 1318–19 and was succeeded by his son John, (fn. 89) from whom the manor apparently passed to his uncle Roger de Mortimer, Earl of March, for in 1329 the king remitted to the earl the fee-farm rent of £10, which Queen Isabella, to whom it then belonged, had already remitted during her lifetime. (fn. 90) Roger Earl of March was attainted and executed in 1330, (fn. 91) and all his lands were forfeited to the Crown. In 1332–3 the custody of the manors of Bromsgrove and Norton, from which Margaret de Mortimer was still receiving £100, was granted to John son of Guy de Beauchamp Earl of Warwick for eight years. (fn. 92) Four years later the custody of Roger, grandson and heir of the Earl of March, was entrusted to William de Montagu and these manors were assigned to the support of the child. (fn. 93) Roger gave his grandmother, Joan Countess of March, for life 100 marks of land and rent in Bromsgrove and Norton in 1347, (fn. 94) and in 1350 he granted to her the whole manor in exchange for lands in Ireland. (fn. 95)
On her death in 1356 it reverted to Roger, then Earl of March. (fn. 96) He died in 1360 and was succeeded by his son Edmund, third Earl of March, (fn. 97) who died in 1381. (fn. 98) The executors of his will granted the manor to Margaret Countess of Norfolk and others for eight years in 1387–8. (fn. 99)
Roger son and successor of Edmund was slain by the Irish at Kenlis in 1398, (fn. 100) but it seems probable that he never held this manor, for in 1403 it was granted by the king during the minority of the heir to Richard Lord Grey of Wilton, being then described as lately the property of Sir Edmund Mortimer, kt., (fn. 101) who had leased it to William Latimer of Danby and others. This heir was Edmund, fifth Earl of March, son of Roger, who received seisin about 1409. (fn. 102) Edmund, owing to his claim to the throne, was long kept in prison at Trim Castle by Henry IV, (fn. 103) but was released by Henry V in 1413. He conveyed the manor of Bromsgrove in 1415 to trustees, (fn. 104) and after his death in 1424 (fn. 105) his nephew and heir Richard Duke of York sued them for this manor. (fn. 106) Nine years later an agreement was made by which these trustees received from the manor a certain yearly rent for twenty years. (fn. 107) Richard's son Edward succeeded to the estate in 1460, (fn. 108) and on his accession as King Edward IV Bromsgrove became part of the crown estates.
Edward IV appears to have settled it on his daughters Katherine Countess of Devon and Anne the wife of Sir Thomas Howard, from whom in 1511 Henry VIII recovered it, giving them other lands in exchange. (fn. 111)
Before obtaining this release from the heirs of Edward IV, Henry VIII had granted land and rent in Bromsgrove in 1509 to Katherine of Aragon. (fn. 112) Jane Seymour held the manor until her death in 1537 (fn. 113) and Anne of Cleves received it on her marriage in 1540, (fn. 114) Katherine Howard in the following year (fn. 115) and Katherine Parr in 1544. (fn. 116)
In 1553 Edward VI sold the manor to John Dudley Duke of Northumberland, (fn. 117) but on the attainder of the duke in the same year his property reverted to the Crown. The estate was restored to his son Ambrose Earl of Warwick by Elizabeth in 1564, (fn. 118) but he died without surviving issue in 1589. (fn. 119) His widow Anne Countess of Warwick held it until her death in 1603–4, (fn. 120) when the manor reverted once more to the Crown. (fn. 121) James I gave it in 1611 to Sir Richard Grobham (fn. 122) and he held it until his death in 1629, (fn. 123) leaving it by will to his nephew Sir John Howe, who was created a baronet in 1660. (fn. 124) His grandson Sir Scrope Howe sold the estate in 1682 to Thomas Lord Windsor, (fn. 125) who was created Earl of Plymouth in that year. (fn. 126) On his death in 1687 the property passed to his grandson Other. (fn. 127) The four succeeding Earls of Plymouth inherited the property, (fn. 128) but the sixth earl died without issue in 1833, when this estate passed to his younger sister Harriet wife of Hon. Robert Henry Clive. The abeyance of the barony of Windsor was terminated in her favour 25 October 1855. She was succeeded in 1869 by her grandson Robert George, (fn. 129) fourteenth Lord Windsor, who was created Earl of Plymouth in 1905 and is the present lord of the manor of Bromsgrove.
The court rolls and records of the manor of Bromsgrove were formerly kept in the steeple of Bromsgrove Church in a chest of which the steward, bailiff, and reeve had the keys. It was only opened in their presence and in that of four tenants of the manor. (fn. 132)
In the Domesday Survey it is stated that 3 hides at CHADWICK (Celdwic, xi cent.; Chadelwic, Chadleswich, Chadeleiwyz, Chadewyz, xiii cent.; Chadeleswych, xiv cent.; Chaddyswyche, xv cent.) had been formerly held by thegns of Earl Eadwine, but in 1086 it was part of the royal manor of Bromsgrove, and Urse held it of the king, Alvred being the tenant under Urse. (fn. 133) The interest of Urse passed to the Beauchamps and followed the descent of Elmley Castle. (fn. 134)
In the 12th century Ralph de Lens was holding the vill of Chadwick in demesne, and in 1195, (fn. 135) after his death, his widow Beatrice of London held Chadwick and Willingwick as dower, with reversion to her son Roger. (fn. 136) In 1232 Roger son of Ralph de Lens gave to the hospital of St. Wulfstan, Worcester, his capital messuage and lands in Chadwick. (fn. 137) Roger's son Ralph, who probably succeeded him shortly after, (fn. 138) was also a benefactor of the hospital, and in 1248 he gave to it the dower lands of his mother Felicia. In return for this the hospital gave to him and his wife Mary a corner house in Worcester, opposite that of Hugh de Pakenton, and a corrody, half of which was to cease on the death of either Ralph or Mary, and the other half on the death of the survivor. (fn. 139) Thomas de Lens appears at one time to have held the manor, (fn. 140) but before 1274 it seems probable that the Master of St. Wulfstan's had acquired it, for at about that time he appropriated to himself the assize of bread and ale at Chadwick, and unsuccessfully tried to withdraw his suit at Bromsgrove. (fn. 141) Successive Masters of St. Wulfstan's held the manor until the hospital was dissolved in the 16th century. (fn. 142) Henry VIII sold the manor to Richard Morrison in 1540, adding in 1544 a rent reserved in 1540. (fn. 143) In the following year Richard Morrison released it again to the king, receiving other lands in exchange, (fn. 144) and in 1546 Chadwick was given to the Dean and Canons of Christ Church, Oxford. (fn. 145) The whole of the Chadwick estate was sold by the Dean and Canons in 1904 to the Chadwick Estate Ltd., with the exception of the site of the reservoir, which is on lease to the East Worcestershire Waterworks Co. for 99 years from 1902. (fn. 146)
John Lacey, writing in 1778, states that the ancient mansion-house had belonged in the 17th century to the Lowe family, (fn. 147) from whom it came by marriage to Henry Vaughan Jeffries. His son Humphrey sold the lease of it in 1777 to John Hutton of Birmingham. (fn. 148) In 1813 the manor-house was put up for sale. (fn. 149) It afterwards came into the hands of John Carpenter, (fn. 150) a gentlemen farmer, the author of a treatise on agriculture, (fn. 151) who mortgaged it to Mr. Penn. On the bankruptcy of the latter it was bought by Mr. Wilcox, (fn. 152) who left it to his nephew John Osborne, the owner in 1826. In 1849 Manor Hall was the property of Francis T. Rufford. (fn. 153) Chadwick Manor is now a farm-house.
In 1086 there were two holdings at WILLINGWICK (Willingewic, xi cent.; Welingewic, xii cent.; Wylincwyke, xiii cent.; Winlyngwyche, xiv cent.; Welynchewyk, xv cent.), each being parcel of the royal manor of Bromsgrove. One part, held by thegns of Earl Eadwine in the time of Edward the Confessor, was in 1086 held by Urse, whose knight Walter then held 2 hides and 3 virgates there. (fn. 154) The other holding of 3 virgates had been held by Wulfwine, a thegn of Earl Eadwine, and was in 1086 among the lands of William Fitz Ansculf, Baldwin holding it of him. (fn. 155) That part of the vill held under Urse evidently followed the same descent as the manor of Chadwick (q.v.) in the Lens family, (fn. 156) by some member of which it was evidently granted to the hospital of St. Wulfstan, for the master of the hospital was in possession of it in 1346. (fn. 157) It probably became incorporated after 1428 with the manor of Chadwick, for no further mention of it has been found. (fn. 158) In the early 16th century a tenement called 'Wylengeswyke' belonged to William Curtes 'of old enheritaunce.' (fn. 159)
Of the land at Willingwick held in 1086 under William Fitz Ansculf no further mention is found, (fn. 160) unless, as appears probable, it is to be identified with land at Willingwick held in 1431 for a sixth of a knight's fee by Joan Lady Beauchamp, (fn. 161) to whom it may have passed from William Fitz Ansculf in the same way as Northfiled. Joan died in 1435, (fn. 162) and this manor apparently passed to her grandson James Earl of Ormond, for it belonged to his brother Thomas, who eventually succeeded as Earl of Ormond and died in 1515. (fn. 163) This manor passed to his youngest daughter Margaret wife of Sir William Boleyn of Blickling, co. Norfolk, and was sold in 1518 by her sons Sir James and Sir Thomas Boleyn to Richard Fermour. (fn. 164) From this time all references to it cease.
TIMBERHONGER (Tymberhongle, Tymberhonghre, xiv cent.), a berewick of the royal manor of Bromsgrove in 1086, (fn. 165) was held of that manor until near the end of the 15th century, the last mention of the overlordship occurring in 1473. (fn. 166) The earliest tenants who held this manor of whom there is record are the Portes. Elizabeth de Portes held Timberhonger in 1297–8 and 1300. (fn. 167) In 1332 Richard de Portes had land there, (fn. 168) and five years later William de Portes and his wife Maud sold the manor to Hugh de Cooksey. (fn. 169) From that time the manor followed the same descent as the manor of Cooksey in Upton Warren (fn. 170) (q.v.), and it now belongs to the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot.
The manor of WOODCOTE is partly in Upton Warren and partly in Bromsgrove, the manor-house being in the latter parish. Before 1066 the manor belonged to Wulfsige, a thegn of Edward the Confessor, but by 1086 it had passed to Herlebald, who held it of Urse D'Abitot. (fn. 171) The overlordship passed from Urse to the Beauchamps as in Elmley Castle (fn. 172) (q.v.). The next mention of Herlebald's successor as underlord occurs about the middle of the 13th century when Richard de Montviron was tenant of the manor. (fn. 173) He or a successor of the same name was impleaded for common of pasture at Woodcote by William son of Warin de Upton in 1254–5, (fn. 174) and was holding in 1299–1300. (fn. 175) He had been succeeded before 1315–16 by John de Bishopston, (fn. 176) who was said to be his heir. (fn. 177) John settled the manor in 1316–17 on Joan daughter of Edmund de Grafton, (fn. 178) afterwards married to his son Roger. John de Bishopston was living in 1319, when he obtained a grant of free warren in the manor. (fn. 179) Roger de Bishopston and Joan, having no son, settled the manor in 1345 on their only daughter Alice and her husband Walter, son of Richard de Clodeshale. (fn. 180) Richard de Clodeshale, great-grandson of Alice, left Woodcote to his only child Elizabeth (fn. 181) wife of Sir Thomas Aston, kt., and she in 1410 settled it on her daughter Margaret wife of Richard Brace and their heirs. (fn. 182) Richard Brace and Margaret had two daughters, Elizabeth, who married John Ewnet, and Margaret, who married firstly Robert Bromwich and secondly Reginald Monington, and they claimed the manor after her death under the above settlement, their right to it being confirmed in 1472 by Walter Arderne, (fn. 183) son of Elizabeth Clodeshale by another husband, Robert Arderne of Park Hall, co. Warw. (fn. 184) In 1504 John Arderne son of Walter (fn. 185) tried to obtain the manor from Rowland Ewnet son of Elizabeth and William Bromwich, grandson of Margaret, but a case before the King's Bench was decided in favour of the defendants. (fn. 186) In 1494 William Bromwich sold his share of Woodcote to Thomas Bromwich, (fn. 187) who in 1521–2 acquired the other half from Rowland Ewnet son of the above Rowland. (fn. 188) Nothing further is known of the manor until 1550, when Ralph Fane and Elizabeth his wife released their interest in it to Anne wife of Edmund Horne, to whom the reversion, after Elizabeth's death, belonged. Edmund and Anne (fn. 189) in 1551 sold Woodcote to Sir John Pakington, kt., (fn. 190) who appears to have settled it on his daughter Bridget when she married Sir John Lyttelton of Frankley, kt. (fn. 191) The latter died seised in 1591, and by his will left the manor to his second son George and Margaret his wife, with reversion to their son Stephen and his heirs male, and contingent remainders to John, another son of George and Margaret, and to Gilbert eldest son of the testator. (fn. 192)
Stephen Lyttelton was one of the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot, and was arrested with Robert Winter at Hagley (fn. 193) through the treachery of one of his mother's servants at Holbeach. (fn. 194) Woodcote is not mentioned in the list of his lands forfeited to the Crown, probably because his mother, Margaret Lyttelton, was still living and held it for her life. After her death it passed to Gilbert Lyttelton and Etheldreda his wife. (fn. 195) Gilbert in 1617 became bound in the sum of £2,000 in trust for the use of Anne Lyttelton, widow, who afterwards became the wife of Francis Fowke, and of her two daughters Frances and Elizabeth. Woodcote appears to have been mortgaged on this account, but Gilbert afterwards sold it to Sir Brian Cave of Ingarsby (co. Leic.). (fn. 196) Sir Brian does not seem to have obtained possession, for the manor was afterwards held in moieties by Elizabeth wife of Walter Fowke and Frances wife of Henry Cupper, (fn. 197) evidently the two daughters of Anne Lyttelton mentioned above. Henry and Frances gave up their share to Walter Fowke and Elizabeth, (fn. 198) who conveyed the whole to John Cupper and Leonard Chamberlain in 1641. (fn. 199) This conveyance was apparently made for the purpose of paying Walter's debts, and in 1652 Cupper and Chamberlain were sued for not fulfil ing the trusts of this conveyance. (fn. 200) Chamberlain, however, stated that Walter Fowke sold the manor to him in 1639, and that he maintained the said Walter and his wife 'weekely in theyre expences in London for a long tyme.' When the Civil War began Walter Fowke became an officer in the royal army, and Henry Cupper also took up arms for the king, and begged Chamberlain's estate in the manor from the king, taking the profits until Worcester was besieged in 1646, when the manor was sequestered. It was subsequently restored to Henry Cupper, who went to the Isle of Man with the Earl of Derby, thus preventing Chamberlain from suing him. (fn. 201) It would seem that Chamberlain never recovered seisin, for in 1668 John Baker and his wife Sarah sold the manor to Thomas Foley, and a clause is inserted in the conveyance assuring it from all claims by Walter Fowke and his wife Elizabeth and Henery Cupper and his wife Frances. (fn. 202) From that time it evidently passed in the Foley family, following the descent of Oddingley (q.v.), being in the possession of Thomas Lord Foley in 1802. About 1820 it was purchased by James Deakin, who sold it in 1828 to John Earl of Shrewsbury. It has since descended with the title. (fn. 203)
The early history of the manor of GANNOW is uncertain. In 1330 Hugh de Mortimer obtained a grant of free warren at 'Gamion,' (fn. 204) and in 1407 the manor of Gannow was said to have been held of the Earl of Warwick by Richard Ruyhale and his wife Elizabeth. (fn. 205) James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire, forfeited this manor on his attainder in 1461, (fn. 206) and it was given by Edward IV to Fulk Stafford. (fn. 207) He died without heirs in 1463, and the king then gave two thirds of it to Sir John Scott, with the reversion of the remaining third on the death of Margaret the widow of Fulk. (fn. 208) Sir John Scott surrendered the manor to the king in 1481 in exchange for other lands, (fn. 209) and the king then gave it to the Dean and Canons of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, (fn. 210) with the reversion of the third part, still in the hands of Margaret Stafford. The manor does not appear to have remained long in the hands of the dean and chapter, for, according to Nash, it was granted, like the manor of Old Swinford, to Thomas Earl of Ormond, (fn. 211) and it subsequently passed with the manor of Willingwick to Richard Fermour, (fn. 212) a wealthy merchant who was amassing vast property in land at that time. He was later convicted under the Statute of Provisors and deprived of his property, Gannow being given by Henry VIII in 1545 to John Dudley, Viscount Lisle, Great Admiral of England, (fn. 213) but in 1550 Richard Fermour's property was restored. (fn. 214) He died in 1552 (fn. 215) and was succeeded by his son John, who was knighted in the following year. (fn. 216) Thomas Fermour, who was holding it in 1571 and died in 1580, was apparently brother of John. (fn. 217) He left it to his son Richard, (fn. 218) who probably sold it to the Lloyd family. In 1624 Thomas and Robert Lloyd and William Porter conveyed it to Anne Porter, a widow. (fn. 219) In 1650 Henry Porter owned land in Gannow. (fn. 220) Nash writing about 1782, states that the manor was owned by Thomas Jolliffe, (fn. 221) and it is probably to be identified with the manor of Ganway which he was holding in 1720–1. (fn. 222) The manor passed with that of Coston Hackett (q.v.) to Robert Biddulph, who was in possession in 1795. (fn. 223) It is believed to have passed with Coston Hackett to the Earl of Plymouth in the 19th century. A court was still held for it once a year in the early 19th century. (fn. 224)
The Prior of Dodford had land and rents at DODFORD to the yearly value of £4 17s. in 1291. (fn. 225) The priory with all its possessions was granted to the abbey of Halesowen in 1464, (fn. 226) and Dodford Priory then became a cell of that abbey. (fn. 227) In 1538 the Abbot of Halesowen surrendered the manor and priory of Dodford to the king, (fn. 228) who granted them in the same year to Sir John Dudley. (fn. 229) In the following year he gave the manor to his brother Andrew, (fn. 230) who in 1551 sold it, with the exception of the mansionhouse, by which the site of the priory was perhaps meant, to Thomas and Hugh Wylde. The latter sold the estate in 1559 to Thomas and Robert Wylde Thomas died before 1561 and Robert was distrained for homage for it in 1564. (fn. 231) It remained in this family until, in the middle of the 17th century, it passed to Richard Bourne of Acton Hall on his marriage with Anne daughter of Robert Wylde. (fn. 232) Page Bourne, a descendant of this lady, owned it at the beginning of the 19th century, when the manor courts were still held. (fn. 233) The Rt. Hon. William Sturges Bourne, who died in 1845, left it to his wife and daughter, but it was soon afterwards sold, a farm forming part of it being bought in 1856 by Mr. Robert Deakin. (fn. 234)
The SITE OF THE PRIORY OF DODFORD was granted with the manor in 1538 to Sir John Dudley, and alienated by him to Andrew Dudley, who sold his ' chief mansion house or messuage' at Dodford to John Fownes in 1539. (fn. 235) His son or grandson Thomas Fownes, sen., at the time of his death in 1631, held the reversion of this estate after the death of Jane wife of Henry Dyson, widow of Thomas's son Thomas, on whom it had been settled at the time of her marriage with Thomas. (fn. 236) Thomas, the son, had died without issue in 1620, (fn. 237) and in 1633 livery of the manor was made to his brother John Fownes, (fn. 238) who continued to hold it as late as 1664. (fn. 239) He was succeeded by Thomas Fownes, who was living in 1675, (fn. 240) after which all trace of this property is lost.
The priory is now a farm. The walls to a height of about 6 ft. are those of the old priory. The chapel has entirely disappeared, but stood on the left of the court. (fn. 241)
The earliest mention of the so-called manor of DYERS is in 1537, when Edward Dewpy or Bewpye and his wife Elizabeth sold it to John Pakington. (fn. 242) John Pakington was knighted in 1545, and died fifteen years later, leaving two daughters, of whom Bridget, who married Sir John Lyttelton, inherited this manor. (fn. 243) Her grandson, John Lyttelton, was attainted in 1601, owing to his share in Essex's rebellion. (fn. 244) James I granted the manor to his widow Muriel in 1603, (fn. 245) her son, Sir Thomas Lyttelton, afterwards holding the manor. He sold it in 1639 to Ralph and John Taylor. (fn. 246) Ralph Taylor conveyed it in 1664 to Nicholas and Edmund Lechmere, (fn. 247) and in 1692 Edward Taylor conveyed it to Sandys Lechmere and Edward Milles. (fn. 248) The manor of Dyers still existed at the end of the 18th century when Nash wrote his History of Worcester, (fn. 249) but he does not give the name of the owner. The old manor-house was pulled down in 1777, and the Golden Lion Inn was built on its site. (fn. 250) Prattinton calls this manor 'Diocese or Dyers manor,' and in his time two courts were held yearly. (fn. 251)
The manor of BUNHILL (Bollenhill, xv cent.; Bovenhill, Bonehill, xvi cent.; Bornehill, Beaconhill, Bavenhill, xviii cent.) seems to have originated in land at 'Bollenhull' held at the time of his death in 1473 by Sir Ralph Boteler of Sudeley. (fn. 252) It was appurtenant to the manor of Fairfield in Belbroughton (q.v.) until the latter was sold by John Talbot about 1595, (fn. 253) but it is mentioned as a separate manor in 1560–1. (fn. 254) It must have been sold by the Talbots to Robert Caldwell, for in 1619 and 1630 he made conveyances of it to John Westwood. (fn. 255) It was in the possession of Thomas Jolliffe of Coston Hackett in 1720–1, (fn. 256) and passed with Coston Hackett to Robert Biddulph, who was holding it in 1795. (fn. 257) No further mention of this manor has been found.
The Abbot of Bordesley had lands in Bromsgrove at least as early as 1155. (fn. 258) In the 13th century Alured Jordan sold land which he held of the king there to the abbot. (fn. 259) In 1267 the convent quitclaimed to Henry III 24s. which 'they were wont to receive from the king's manor of Bromsgrove of the king's appointed alms,' and received other lands and rent in return. (fn. 260) The abbot attended the court of Bromsgrove in 1389, (fn. 261) but nothing further is known of his estate here.
During the 15th century land in this parish, occasionally described as the manor of Bromsgrove, was in the hands of the Staffords. Sir Humphrey Stafford of Grafton bequeathed it by his will dated 1442 to his son Richard, but Richard died without issue, and the manor passed to his brother Sir Humphrey. (fn. 262) It then followed the same descent as Kenswick in the parish of Knightwick (q.v.) until 1546, when Humphrey Stafford succeeded his father Sir Humphrey in this manor. (fn. 263) This Humphrey forfeited all his possessions by an attainder, and Bromsgrove was granted in 1592 to William Tipper and Robert Dawe. (fn. 264) From this time the estate disappears.
BARNSLEY HALL was held during the 17th century by the Barnsley family, who are known to have been holding land in Bromsgrove in the 15th and 16th centuries. (fn. 265) Their pedigree is entered in the Worcestershire Visitation of 1569. (fn. 266) John Lacey, writing in 1778, states that the Barnsleys sold the hall to the Lowes, from whom it was bought by Edward Knight of Wolverley. The old hall was taken down in 1771 and a large farm erected near its site. (fn. 267) It was purchased about 1900 by the Worcestershire County Council, who erected a large lunatic asylum upon the site.
There were three mills in the manor of Bromsgrove in 1086, worth 13s. 4d. (fn. 268) Bromsgrove Mill,' on the churche and markett waye,' (fn. 269) was given with the manor to Ambrose Earl of Warwick by Elizabeth. James I separated the mill from the manor in 1609 and gave the former to Edward Ferrers and Francis Philipps. (fn. 270) In the following year Edward and Francis sold the mill to Giles Richards, but ten years later the mill-house and buildings were in ruins and the footbridge and horsebridge and foodgates had entirely disappeared. (fn. 271) A water corn-mill at Bromsgrove was advertised for sale in 1817. (fn. 272) Mr. W. A. Cotton, writing in 1888, stated that this mill had been recently removed to effect a public improvement. (fn. 273)
The Lower Mills at Bromsgrove were held of Edward Knight at a fee-farm rent of £1 16s. 6d. in 1769. (fn. 274) Fockbury Mill was leased by Sir John Lyttelton in the 14th century to Joan widow of Gilbert Penn, who left it in her will to Gilbert Barnsley. (fn. 275) Fockbury Mill, a corn-mill on the Battlefield Brook, still exists. A mill existed at Whitford (fn. 276) or Wyteford in 1266. (fn. 277) There is now a cornmill called Whitford Mill on the Battlefield Brook.
The tithe of the mill of the Chadwick was granted with the manor in 1232 to the hospital of St. Wulfstan by Roger de Lens, (fn. 278) and in 1271–2 Walter de Montviron and Annora his wife gave a mill at Chadwick to the hospital. (fn. 279) The present Chadwick Mill is on Battlefield Brook near Chadwick Farm. A corn-mill at Wildmoor (fn. 280) in Chadwick belonged in 1791 to William Viscount Dudley and Ward. (fn. 281)
There is a corn-mill at Lickey End on the Spadesbourne Brook, and there are many mills in the town, including Townsend Mill and Blackmore Mill, corn-mills on the Spadesbourne Brook, and in the south of the town Moat Mill, Lint Mill and Bant Mill. Sugarbrook Mill lies on the boundary between this parish and Stoke Prior, and there is a disused cotton-mill at the junction of the Spadesbourne and Battlefield Brooks.
After Henry III granted the church of Bromsgrove to the priory of Worcester in 1232 (fn. 282) the monastery appropriated the tithes and lands belonging to it, a portion being set aside for the payment of a vicar. (fn. 283) From this appropriation the RECTORY MANOR appears to have arisen. It was leased in 1253 to Samson de Bromsgrove for two years, (fn. 284) and in 1306 it was found that the prior and convent had had the amercements under the assize of bread and ale among the men and tenants of their appropriate church of Bromsgrove until Queen Eleanor had the custody of the manor of Bromsgrove. (fn. 285) The priory retained the rectory until its dissolution, when Henry VIII granted it in 1542 to the Dean and Chapter of Worcester, (fn. 286) in whose possession it remained until the manorial rights lapsed. (fn. 287) The Ecclesiastical Commissioners still hold the rectorial tithes and about 40 acres of glebe land. Both have been for many years leased to the lord of the manor for the time being. Prattinton, writing in the beginning of the 19th century, states that the rectory manor was formerly part of Feckenham Forest, and that a court leet was held twice a year. (fn. 288) Lord Plymouth still holds courts annually. (fn. 289)
The church of ST. JOHN BAPTIST consists of chancel 40 ft. 6 in. by 32 ft. 3 in., north vestry, clearstoried nave 67 ft. 6 in. by 36 ft. 6 in., a north aisle 20 ft. 3 in. wide and a south aisle 20 ft. 9 in. wide, a south porch, and west tower 19 ft. 6 in. by 18 ft. These measurements are all internal.
The earliest church, of which there are remains in the south door and the eastern respond of the north arcade of the nave, was a late 12th-century cruciform aisleless building, having a chancel smaller than the present one.
In the middle of the 13th century the chancel was rebuilt, lengthened and widened on the south side, a 13th-century arch replacing the Norman one to the nave. The south aisle is also of this date, and it may be presumed that a narrow north aisle was added at this time.
The position of the piscina here may indicate that the old transept was retained and used as a chapel. There is no evidence of an early tower. In the 14th century the vestry was added to the chancel, and late in the same century the present west tower and spire were built. In the 15th century the north wall of the north aisle was probably rebuilt in line with the north wall of the transept, the west wall of which was then removed and windows were spaced along the wall, using up two 14th-century windows from the former aisle and perhaps the jambs of the north transept window. Later in the century the aisle was carried on by the side of the chancel as far as the vestry, though it is possible that a chapel already existed east of the transept at this point, before the east wall of the transept was removed.
During the 15th century a steep-pitched ceiling existed over the nave, but at the end of that century or the beginning of the next this was removed, the south arcade being rebuilt at the same time and a clearstory added.
In the south aisle the square projecting tomb recess was added to the south wall and a porch built to replace the earlier one. The church was thoroughly restored by Sir Gilbert Scott in 1858, and the upper part of the spire was rebuilt in 1892.
In the north wall is a two-light trefoiled window of about 1300 with a quatrefoil over. The vestry is lighted by a three-light trefoiled east window and a similar two-light window in the north wall, with a modern door below. The doorway communicating with the chancel is also modern. West of the vestry is a wide four-centred arch with panelled soffit, moulded ribs and carved bosses opening into the eastern end of the north aisle. In the wall round it are traces of a previous arch of higher pitch, suggesting the existence of a chapel to the east of the north transept, previous to the 15th century. A rib on the east wall of the north aisle and corbels with angels, set in the northeast and south-east angles, are perhaps remains of the chapel vault. The segmental arch from the east wall, now blocked, originally connected with the vestry.
The south wall of the chancel has two windows similar to that on the north. The sedilia are composed of old work re-used and carved with quatrefoils inclosing shields. There is also a trefoiled piscina, the drain of which is old. At the south-west end of the wall is an arch, apparently of the 14th century, opening into the aisle. The chancel arch is twocentred and of three moulded orders with labels; the responds have three half-shafts with moulding and nail-heads on the capitals. Above the arch on the west side is the line of the steep pitch 13th-century ceiling. On the north side is the opening of the rood-loft, with the stair passing up through the wall.
The north arcade is of five bays, the eastern arch having square moulded abaci of late 12th-century type. All except the arch, however, is now modern. West of this is a small trefoiled arch forming a second bay inserted by Scott at the restoration of the church. The three western bays are of late 13th-century date, and have two-centred arches of two chamfered orders, supported by piers of quatrefoil plan which have been much restored. The south arcade consists of four bays of about the year 1500, with small moulded capitals and shafts similar to the arch mouldings. The clearstory has five two-light windows on each side of the nave, contemporary with the south arcade.
The east window of the north aisle is of the 15th century, with two lights and tracery in the head, and the first two windows in the north wall are of similar date. This part of the aisle is occupied by the organ. The third window has also 15th-century tracery, but its jambs are perhaps those of the original transept window, and are similar to the jambs of the corresponding windows of the south aisle. The fourth and fifth windows are of about 1320, and consist of three lights, a central cinquefoiled light flanked by trefoiled lights. Between these windows is a blocked 14th-century door, the stones of the outside arch numbered for re-setting. The west window of the aisle is 15th-century work of four lights with cinquefoiled heads and tracery over. The tower arch of three moulded orders dates from the end of the 14th century. In the south aisle the east window with three uncusped lights and interesting mullions is of 13th-century date; the first window in the south wall of three lights with tracery over is of the 15th century, and is similar in detail to the four-light window in the west wall. West of this is a piscina, partly old, of about 1300, and a square projecting bay, probably for a tomb, with a three-light, squareheaded window in its south wall and similar singlelight windows in its east and west walls, all of 15th-century date. Above the south porch and on either side of it are three 15th-century windows of three lights each with square heads. The south door appears to be late 12th-century work re-used when the original nave door was moved out to the aisle wall. The late 14th-century west tower is of three stages, with diagonal buttresses of four offsets and panelled battlements having pinnacles at the angles, above which rises a lofty octagonal spire of stone with roll-moulded angles, and two sets of finialled lights. The moulded west doorway of the tower, with an obtuse pointed head externally, may be 13th-century work. The Roman numerals on the stones of the arch suggest that the door has been reset in its present position. In the north and south walls of the ground stage of the tower are three-light windows of 14th-century date with cinquefoiled lights and intersecting mullions. A door leads to the belfry stair in the south-west angle. In the north and south faces of the second stage are small pointed windows, and on the west three crocketed niches with figures of St. Peter, St. Paul, and an unidentified saint, and a small arched recess on either side. In the third stage the belfry windows are of two lights with quatrefoils over. On either side of these is blank arcading with tracery, crockets and finials. The porch itself is of 15th-century date; but traces of that which it replaces are to be seen on the wall above. It is lit by two-light windows in the side walls, and to the east of the door is a stoup with a niche for an image on the other side. The roof of cambered beams is old, and above the outer doorway is a canopied niche. Generally the exterior of the church is faced with large sandstone, and the walls, with the exception of the chancel, have embattled parapets, surmounted by pinnacles marking the bays. The south aisle retains its 13th-century buttresses to the south and west walls, and on the latter is the line of an earlier roof. On each side of the tower are straight joints in the masonry. The chancel roof is apparently old, those of the aisles and nave modern. In the chancel is a 17th-century desk with a chained copy of Jewell's Apology, and in the vestry is an old poor-box. The font and fittings of the church are modern.
In the north aisle is a large alabaster altar tomb with effigies of Sir John Talbot and his two wives (Margaret Troutbeck and Elizabeth Wrottesley). The north and part of the east sides of the tomb are modern and blank. On the west are three cusped and traceried panels inclosing shields; the first has three piles and a quarter ermine, for Wrottesley; the second, a large shield, quarterly of nine, for Talbot, 1, a lion, 2, a lion, 3, bendy, 4, barry ten martlets, 5, a saltire with a martlet, 6, a bend between six martlets, 7, a fret, 8, two lions passant, 9, a lion; the third is a small shield, quarterly, 1, a fleur de lis between three men's heads, 2, three piles, 3, two cheverons with a crosslet fitchy in the quarter, 4, a lion passant. On the south side of the tomb are four traceried panels, the first and third with a talbot, the second blank, and the fourth, in a cabled circle, three trout interlaced, which are the arms of Troutbeck. On the east face of the tomb one panel only is left and bears the letter M. The marginal inscription, cut in raised letters on the slab, runs: 'Hic jacent corpora Johannis Talbot militis et domine Margarete prime uxoris atque domine Elizabethe uxoris secunde filie Walteri Wrocheley armigeri qui quidem Johannes obiit X° die Septembris Anno Domini M°CCCCL°. Quorum animabus propicietur deus amen.' The effigy of Sir John is placed between those of his wives and is in plate armour with hauberk, the head and hands being bare. He wears a collar of SS, and his feet with rounded sabbatons rest on a lion. The figure on his right has a kennel head-dress with voil. The lady on his left wears a jewelled coif. To the north is a second tomb to Sir Humphrey Stafford and Elizabeth his wife, ob. 1450, in stone, the east and west ends only, which have quatrefoiled panels, being old. On it are two fine alabaster effigies of a man and woman. The man wears a pointed bascinet with orle and raised visor; his plate armour shows traces of gilding, the hands are gloved with finger tips exposed and the feet have pointed sollerets. The head rests on a helmet crested with a boar's head. The lady has a mitred head-dress, and at her feet are a griffin and a talbot. In the north-east corner of the chancel is a white alabaster altar tomb with the effigy of a lady. The tomb has probably been shortened, and has a double row of cinquefoiled panels, three angels with blank shields and a small image bracket. The figure wears a jewelled head-dress and long mantle; a metal necklace and cloak clasp as well as the brass inscription have been removed. The figure represents Elizabeth daughter of Ralph Lord Greystock and first wife of Sir Gilbert Talbot of Grafton, ob. 1517. On the wall above is a good monument in grey marble to John Hall, Bishop of Bristol, with the arms of his see, three crowns, impaling crusilly three talbots' heads razed. He died in 1710.
In the north aisle is a brass tablet to Dame Bridget Talbot, wife of Sir John Talbot of Castle Ring, Ireland, daughter of Sir John Talbot the elder of Grafton, ob. 1619. Another tablet is to Dame Margrete Lygon, wife of Sir Arnould Lygon, of Beauchamp Court, ob. 1632.
In the south aisle is the marble and alabaster monument of George Lyttelton (1600) with his effigy. Behind is a panelled arch (wherein is a slab with an inscription) between Corinthian columns with a cornice over, supporting a shield of the cheveron and scallops of Lyttelton, quartered with the old coat, Argent a bend cotised sable in a border engrailed gules bezanty.
In the tower are ten bells, the first, second and seventh cast by T. Mears of London, 1816; the third, fourth (with inscription 'When you us ring, We'll sweetly sing') sixth, and tenth by Thomas Rudhall of Gloucester, 1773; the ninth ('I to the church the living call, And to the grave do summon all') by John Rudhall, 1790; the eighth was recast by Barwell of Birmingham in 1897, and the fifth, the only remnant of the original ring, by Abraham Rudhall, 1701, inscribed 'God prosper this parish.' There is also a priest's bell bearing merely the date 1816.
The bells of Bromsgrove Church were recast about 1622 by John Tydman for £61 2s. 4d. The old bells weighed: the great bell 19 cwt. 1 qr. 4 lb. 10 oz., the second 15 cwt. 13 lb., the third 14 cwt. 1 qr. 14 lb., and the fourth 9 cwt. 3 qr. 8 lb. When they had been recast, however, they were found to be worthless, and the five contained far less weight than the four old ones. (fn. 290)
The registers previous to 1812 are as follows: (i) all entries 1590 to 1652; (ii) 1653 to 1719; (iii) 1719 to 1733; (iv) 1734 to 1754, also baptisms and burials 1783 to 1793; (v) baptisms and burials 1753 to 1803; (vi) baptisms and burials 1774 to 1783; (vii) marriages 1754 to 1773; (viii) marriages 1773 to 1812; (ix) baptisms and burials 1793 to 1806; (x) baptisms and burials 1806 to 1815.
The church of ALL SAINTS, erected 1872–4, consists of an apsidal chancel, with a north organ chamber and a south vestry, north and south transepts, nave, north and south aisles and a north-west tower. The nave is of six bays. The design is in the style of the late 13th century and the materials are quarry faced and coursed rubble, with wrought stone dressings and tiled roofs.
There was probably a church at Bromsgrove in 1086, (fn. 291) as there was then a priest in the manor. The advowson apparently remained in the Crown until 1232, when Henry III granted the church of Bromsgrove to the Prior and monks of Worcester, (fn. 292) who appropriated it in 1235. (fn. 293) This gift was confirmed by Gregory IX in 1237 (fn. 294) and by Bishop William de Blois, who assigned the chapel of Grafton to the sacristan of the church of Worcester instead of 10 marks which the sacristan used to receive from the church of Bromsgrove for finding tapers at the tomb of King John. (fn. 295)
The advowson of the church remained in the possession of the prior and convent (fn. 296) until the dissolution of their house, and was granted in 1542 by Henry VIII to the Dean and Chapter of Worcester. (fn. 297) This was confirmed by James I in 1608, (fn. 298) and they continue to hold it at the present day.
In 1669 the advowson fell to the king, no presentation having been made for eighteen months. (fn. 299) The vicarage of Bromsgrove was held together with the bishopric of Rochester by special licence from 1544 to 1550, (fn. 300) and again from 1828 to about 1846, when George Murray, Bishop of Rochester, was vicar of Bromsgrove. The Trustees for Ministers recommended an augmentation of £50 to the living of Bromsgrove in 1656, as it was a great market town and the means small. (fn. 301)
There were five chapels dependent on the church of Bromsgrove, i.e. Chadwick, Moseley, Wythall, Grafton, and King's Norton. The last four have become parochial. (fn. 302)
The chapel of St. James in Chadwick was given by Roger son of Ranulf de Lens to the hospital of St. Wulfstan, and his gift was confirmed by the king in 1232. (fn. 303) In 1401 the Preceptor of St. Wulfstan's was sued by the inhabitants of Chadwick and Willingwick for not providing a chaplain to serve the chapel of Chadwick. (fn. 304) The Prior of Worcester seems to have claimed the advowson of the chapel in the 15th century, but renounced it in 1432. (fn. 305) Nash states that the chapel was in ruins at the end of the 18th century. He adds that it was said to be the duty of the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, to keep the chapel in repair and to find a chaplain, but that service had not been performed nor the chapel been fit for service within living memory. (fn. 306)
In 1405 the Bishop of Worcester licensed those of the parishioners of Bromsgrove who lived near King's Norton to attend service at the chapel of Moseley, as being nearer and more convenient for them than the church of Bromsgrove. (fn. 307)
Richard de la Lynde endowed a chantry in the church of St. John the Baptist of Bromsgrove in 1304–5, (fn. 308) and in 1335 Richard, called the clerk of Bromsgrove, obtained licence to have divine service celebrated in an oratory in his manor of Bromsgrove. (fn. 309)
In 1447 Sir Humphrey Stafford of Grafton obtained licence of the king to found a perpetual chantry of two chaplains in the church of Bromsgrove, at the altar of St. Mary, to celebrate divine service for the good estate of the king and queen and of Humphrey and Eleanor his wife, to be called 'the chantry of Humphery Stafford of Grafton kt.' (fn. 310) The chantry was not actually founded until 1476–8, when Eleanor, Sir Humphrey's widow, endowed a chaplain with a rent of £6 13s. 4d. from the manor of Dodford, co. Northants. (fn. 311) The advowson of this chantry belonged to the Staffords, lords of Dodford. (fn. 312) In the reign of Edward VI, when the chantry was dissolved, £7 was being paid to a priest who was bound to keep a school and assist the curate at Bromsgrove, while there was also a chantry priest receiving a stipend of £6 13s. 4d. A sum of 6s. 8d. was given to the poor and 6s. was reserved for lamps, the remainder being employed for the 'repairs of the church, sending soldiers to the wars, repairing highways, and bridges, and suchlike charitable deeds within the parish.' (fn. 313) Lands forming part of the endowment of this chantry were sold in 1550 to William Winlove and Richard Feild, (fn. 314) but in 1556–7 the school was re-endowed by Queen Mary, as the 'free grammar school of King Philip and Queen Mary,' with £7 per annum, and the government of it was entrusted to six men of the town. (fn. 315)
The ecclesiastical parish of All Saints was formed in 1875. (fn. 316) The vicarage is in the gift of the vicar of Bromsgrove. Christ Church, Catshill, Holy Trinity, Lickey, and St. Mary, Dodford, are parishes formed from Bromsgrove in 1844, 1858, and 1908 respectively. (fn. 317) The livings are vicarages, the first two in the gift of the vicar of Bromsgrove and the third in the gift of the Rev. W. G. Whinfield. There are chapels of ease at Linthurst and at Rubery in Lickey, and a mission chapel at Sidemoor. The Roman Catholic church at Bromsgrove was erected in 1860.
There are Baptist, (fn. 318) Congregational, (fn. 319) Wesleyan Methodist and Primitive Methodist chapels in Bromsgrove, a Baptist chapel at Dodford, founded 1865, (fn. 320) and a Methodist chapel at Sidemoor. At Catshill and Bourneheath are Baptist, (fn. 321) Wesleyan, and Primitive Methodist chapels, and at Lickey Wesleyan, Congregational and Primitive Methodist chapels.
The Free Grammar School. (fn. 322)
The consolidated charities are regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners 1 March 1907. They include certain donations for the poor, recorded on a table of benefactions in the church, dated 1636; also the charities of Anthony Cole, will, 1660, Mrs. Roberts, will (date unknown), Humphrey Cooke, will, 1720, and other charities referred to below.
The properties originally belonging to the charities have undergone considerable changes by allotments on the inclosure, exchanges and sales and accumulations of income, and now consist of the almshouses, erected for the most part from accumulations of income; land situated at Sidemoor, Bourneheath and Bromsgrove containing in the aggregate 17 acres or thereabouts, two houses in St. John's Street and a house in Birmingham Road producing a gross rental of £92; an annuity of £3 issuing out of land at Wildmoor in respect of Anthony Cole's Charity; an annuity of £5 out of an estate at Fockerby in respect of Joseph Smith's Charity; and an annuity of £1 out of land at Shepley mentioned in the ancient table of benefactions as 'worthy Stafford's dole.' Also £171 8s. 4d. India 3 per cent. stock derived under the will of Mary Kettle, 1791; £1,019 5s. 1d. like stock under the will of Thomas Haukes, 1809; £112 10s. 3d. like stock by will of Elizabeth Moore, 1819; £354 6s. 5d. like stock by will of James Ridgeway, 1837; and £1,956 1s. 11d. like stock under the will of James Holyoake, proved at Birmingham 2 April 1859. The several sums of stock are held by the official trustees, who also hold a further sum of £968 16s. 5d. India 3 per cent. stock and a sum of £3,352 19s. 7d. Bank of England stock, producing together in annual dividends £457 18s. 6d.
In 1910, in pursuance of the scheme, a sum of £50 was paid in grants to institutions, about £350 in stipends, in coals, and for nursing the almspeople, who by a scheme of 17 August 1909 may be forty in number, reckoning a married couple as two; a sum of £76 19s. in pensions to poor people of sixty years and upwards.
An annual sum of £2 is paid to the churchwardens of St. John's for distribution among poor widows in respect of Mrs. Roberts's Charity and £3 a year is distributed among poor widows resident in Chadwick Yield in respect of Anthony Cole's Charity.
Joseph Martin's Charity, founded by will, proved at Worcester 19 February 1881. The legacy of £1,500, owing to insufficiency of assets, is represented by £858 3s. 2d. India 3 per cent. stock, the annual dividends of which, amounting to £25 14s. 8d., are applicable under the scheme in pensions to poor widows resident in the town of Bromsgrove, as defined in 1881.
Hannah Richardson's Poor Widows' Trust, founded by declaration of trust 1862, consisting of £101 8s. 3d. like stock, the annual dividends of £3 0s. 8d. being applicable in payments of 2s. each to poor widows at Christmas.
Bishop Hall's Charity, founded by deed poll 19 March 1708 by John Hall, Bishop of Bristol, consists of 66 a. 3 r. at or near Elmbridge, comprised in deed of 21 March 1711, producing about £50 a year, and a sum of £100 consols. Out of the income £20 a year is expended in clothing poor men and women of Bromsgrove and the residue in the distribution of Bibles in Bromsgrove, Kidderminster, Worcester, Stourbridge, Bewdley and Droitwich.
In 1821 James Wilkinson, by his will proved in the P.C.C. 10 April, bequeathed an annuity of £2 to be applied, subject to keeping in repair his parents' tomb in the churchyard, for the benefit of the poor inmates of the almshouses in Alcester Road. In 1909 a sum of 17s. 6d. was expended in repairs of the tomb and £3 2s. 6d. in coal to the almspeople, of which £2 was received from land in Kidderminster Road and £2 from houses in St. John Street, presumably in respect of this and some other charity.
In 1832 Mary Makeg, by her will proved in the P.C.C. 14 December, bequeathed £200, the interest —subject to the repair of her brother's tomb in the churchyard—to be distributed to the poor in sums not exceeding 3s. to any one family. The sum of £180, being the legacy less duty, is secured by a mortagage of premises at Lickey End at 4½ per cent., and is distributed in certain proportions by the vicars of the several ecclesiastical districts.
In 1874 the Rev. Thomas Warren, by his will proved at Worcester 15 September, left £200, now represented by £212 4s. 4d. consols, the annual dividends, amounting to £5 6s., to be applied— subject to the repairs of tombstone to his wife in the cemetery—in supplying warm clothing for the poor of the congregation of St. John's. In 1910 flannel was distributed to about forty recipients.
In 1903 Robert Anthony Hall, by his will proved at Worcester 8 December, left £500 to be placed to the endowment fund of the Cottage Hospital. The legacy with other gifts, amounting together to £1,200, has been invested on mortgage in the names of the trustees of the hospital. The trustees of the Cottage Hospital, under the terms of the will of the late Mr. James Lea, proved at Worcester 12 January 1905, acquired for the sum of £50 the testator's dwellinghouse, known as 'Fernleigh,' and other land adjoining on the New Road, and subsequently sold the same for £871 2s., of which £471 2s. was transferred to the extension and improvement fund and the sum of £400 invested on mortgage as an endowment fund.
The Baptist Ministers' Endowment Fund consists of a sum of £591 14s. 10d. consols, including the charities of Richard Johns, founded in 1772, originally a cottage sold for £50; of Jonathan Bell, originally nine cottages comprised in deed 1808, sold in 1883 for £370, and of Humphry Potter, originally a dwelling-house, sold in 1883 for £176.
In 1872 the Rev. Thomas Warren by deed gave £150 for the benefit of the congregation of the old Baptist Chapel. The principal sum has been lent on mortgage at 4 per cent. By a scheme of the Charity Commissioners 3 May 1910 the income of £6 a year is made applicable for the benefit of poor members of the Baptist Chapel in New Road.