A History of the County of Worcester: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1913.
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Upton Warren is situated about 3¼ miles north of Droitwich, and has an area of 2,520 acres, of which only 4 are water. In 1905 there were about 886 acres of arable land 1,398¼ acres of permanent grass and 31 acres of woodland. (fn. 1) The Salwarpe River forms part of its southern boundary and the Hampton Brook and one of its tributaries part of the western boundary. The main road from Kidderminster to Worcester forms the northern boundary, and a branch from it passes from north to south through the parish. The land is undulating at a height of about 200 ft. above the ordnance datum. The soil is clay, which at one time was worked, but now agriculture is the only industry, the most important crops being beans and wheat. The village is situated in the south-east of the parish on the River Salwarpe.
Badge Court, formerly Batchcott, is a half-timber and brick house, built about 1630, lying 3 miles west of Bromsgrove. According to Nash an Earl of Shrewsbury lived here, and in his time it was a large pile of buildings. (fn. 2) It is H-shaped in plan and is of two stories with an attic, with tiled roofs and gables front and back. The original timbers are exposed at the back and on the east side, but elsewhere they are covered with ½-in. boards or thin lines have been painted on the brickwork. There is an original brick chimney projecting from the centre of the north side. The main doorway at the front admits to a small square porch, and then to a passage with the kitchen on the east, and the hall on the west occupying the centre of the house; the stairway and parlour, reached through the hall, are in the west wing. The porch is entirely panelled, the lower part being of the 18th century, and the upper, with linenfold panelling, of the 17th century. In a diagonal panel in the ceiling is a painted shield of Winter of twelve quarters with a helm crested with an eagle coming out of a mural crown. The motto is 'Omnia Desuper.' The hall, parlour, and the room above the parlour are all entirely panelled in oak of the original date of the house. The fireplace is flanked by oak twin columns in two tiers rising to the full height of the room, each pair crowned by a single Ionic capital. In an 18th-century frame over the fireplace flanked by diamond-shaped projections is an achievement similar to that in the porch, but part of the motto is missing. The door to the passage is flanked by fluted oak pillars with Corinthian capitals. The heavy chamfered ceiling beams are now supported on 4-in. iron pillars. Over the entrance to the stairway and including some of the panelling is a segmental fanlight with carved angels in the spandrels. The panelling in the parlour is in small squares with a fluted frieze and moulded cornice, and over the fireplace are three semicircularheaded panels divided by fluted pilasters with Ionic capitals supporting consoles. The ceiling beams are moulded and there is a boss at their intersection in the centre of the room. The plain oak stairway leads to the wainscoted room over the parlour, which has three moulded panels over the fireplace divided by panelled pilasters. In the hearth are seventyseven square tiles of the late 15th or early 16th century variously arranged; some are of the four-tile Talbot pattern so often met with in this part of the county, while others have foliated and geometrical designs. Of the heraldic tiles five have a shield of Beauchamp and six a shield of Wyatt of Tewkesbury. The floors, ceiling beams, and roof timbers are of oak, and there are two original iron-studded doors, one with its original iron hinges in the dairy, and another constructed of two thicknesses of oak and heavily studded in an outhouse at the back. In the roof over the kitchen there is a closed chamber which has no entrance, and in which a bell can be rung from the outside.
The inclosure award for this parish is included with Bromsgrove and dated 5 July 1855. (fn. 3)
UPTON WARREN is included in a spurious grant which Ethelbald of Mercia is said to have made to Egwin, first Abbot of Evesham, in 716, (fn. 7) and is among the lands which Abbot Ethelwig redeemed from Edward the Confessor and others shortly before the Conquest. (fn. 8) After Ethelwig's death in 1077 Upton was seized by Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, (fn. 9) and he appears to have given it to Urse D'Abitot, who was holding it in 1086, although the Domesday Survey states that it ought then to have belonged to Evesham. (fn. 10) The overlordship passed from Urse to the Earls of Warwick and remained in their possession until the 15th century. (fn. 11) It then belonged to the Crown until it lapsed some time after 1630–1, when the last mention of it occurs. (fn. 12)
Herlebald was holding the manor under Urse in 1086. Warin Fitz William de Upton is the next under-tenant whose name is known, and he may have obtained it by gift of one of the Beauchamps on his marriage with Hawise de Beauchamp. He and his wife Hawise are mentioned in a charter of William Earl of Pembroke (1224–31), and were benefactors to the monastery of Pershore in the early 13th century. (fn. 13) Warin was succeeded in this manor by a son William called Fitz Warin, (fn. 14) who seems to have been a man of some note in Worcestershire, and was made sheriff of the county in 1229. (fn. 15) In 1254 William Fitz Warin de Upton was exempted for life from being put on juries, &c., against his will. (fn. 16) At about the same time he was engaged in a controversy with Richard de Montviron as to common at Woodcote. (fn. 17) Before 1315–16 the manor had passed to Edmund de Grafton, (fn. 18) and in 1319–20 John son of Edmund with his wife Alice granted the manor to William Fitz Warin for life, with reversion to John and Alice and their heirs. (fn. 19) William Fitz Warin died about 1338, (fn. 20) and the manor reverted to John de Grafton, (fn. 21) and subsequently followed the same descent as Grafton Manor (fn. 22) (q.v.).
Urse the sheriff was overlord of COOKSEY (Cochesei, Cochesie, xi cent.; Cokeseia, Kokeseye, xiii cent.), a member of the manor of Bromsgrove, at the time of the Domesday Survey, (fn. 23) and the overlordship afterwards formed part of the barony of Elmley, being mentioned for the last time in 1630. (fn. 24) Under the lords of Elmley the manor was held by knight service.
There were two manors at Cooksey, held before 1066 by Alfwine and Atilic, two thegns of Earl Edwin, and in 1086 by Herbrand and William. (fn. 25) About 1218 a controversy arose between Maud daughter of Henry and Richard de Montviron and others as to the title to a hide of land at Little Cooksey. (fn. 26) It seems probable that Richard de Montviron won the suit, for Little Cooksey appears to have subsequently followed the same descent as the manor of Woodcote, of which Richard was lord at that time, as it passed to the Bishopsdons in the 14th century. (fn. 27) Before 1346 it appears, however, to have passed to the Cookseys, (fn. 28) lords of Great Cooksey, and probably became merged in that manor after the middle of the 15th century. (fn. 29) Nash, writing in the latter part of the 18th century, says that 'the distinction of great and little Cokesey still prevails, though both are comprised in one manor.' (fn. 30)
The other manor, GREAT COOKSEY, gave its name to the important family of Cooksey. Walter de Cooksey held the manor about the middle of the 13th century, (fn. 31) and he or a descendant of the same name held it about 1280. (fn. 32) Elizabeth de Cooksey was lady of the manor in 1300, (fn. 33) and Walter son of Walter was holding it in 1316, (fn. 34) and it was perhaps he who, as Walter de Cooksey, received the custody of the earldom of Warwick in 1325 during the minority of Thomas de Beauchamp (fn. 35) and paid a subsidy at Cooksey in 1327. (fn. 36) In 1335 Hugh, brother and successor of the last-mentioned Walter, who had succeeded him before 1333, (fn. 37) received a grant of free warren in Cooksey. (fn. 38) He died in 1356, and his wife Denise, one of the daughters and heirs of Edward le Boteler, who survived him, held the manor in dower until her death in 1376–7. (fn. 39) Walter, their son and heir, was only thirteen at the time of his father's death, but had been married three years before to Isabel daughter of Urrian de St. Peter. (fn. 40) He settled the manor on his son and heir Walter, who succeeded him in 1404. (fn. 41) Hugh son of Walter, who succeeded his father in 1406–7, (fn. 42) settled the manor on his wife Alice in 1441 and died four years later without issue. (fn. 43) Alice married Sir Andrew Ogard and on her death in 1460 the manor passed to Joyce Beauchamp, widow sister and co-heir of Hugh. (fn. 44) Joyce appears to have been married three times, first to — Beauchamp, secondly to Leonard Stapleton, and thirdly to John Grevill. (fn. 45) Her son and heir Sir John Grevill, kt., succeeded her in 1473, at the age of forty, (fn. 46) and died seised of the manor in 1480. (fn. 47) Owing to the importance of the estates which he had inherited from his mother his only son Thomas took the name of Cooksey, (fn. 48) but died without issue in 1498–9. (fn. 49) His property passed to Robert Russell and Roger Winter, the heirs of Cecily (fn. 50) wife of Thomas Cassy, another sister of Hugh Cooksey, the manor of Cooksey being assigned to Roger Winter. (fn. 51) The manor then followed the same descent as Huddington (fn. 52) (q.v.).
There seems no longer to be a manor of Cooksey, (fn. 53) and probably when it passed into the hands of the Earls of Shrewsbury it became merged in the manor of Upton Warren.
Cooksey with a house there called Batchcott (now Badge Court) (fn. 54) was left by Sir George Winter to his widow Mary for life with reversion to Gilbert Talbot, a younger brother of Francis Earl of Shrewsbury, who agreed to pay £1,500 for it. (fn. 55) On Sir George's death Gilbert at once laid claim to Badge Court, asserting that Sir George Winter had no power to leave it to his widow; but a suit which Mary Winter brought against him was 'after long debate' decided in her favour. (fn. 56)
A mill was in existence at Upton Warren at the time of the Domesday Survey, (fn. 59) and another appears to have belonged to the manor of Cooksey during the 17th and 18th centuries. (fn. 60) There is now a corn-mill in the village on the Salwarpe.
A church probably existed here at the time of the Domesday Survey, but was rebuilt towards the end of the 13th century and consecrated in 1300. (fn. 61) The whole structure except the tower was rebuilt in the 18th century, the chancel in 1724 and the nave in 1798. The tower, which is of two stages, is evidently a late 14th-century rebuilding. The tower arch has a pointed head of two orders. The south window of the ground stage is of the same date, and has two ogee-headed lights with a quatrefoil above; a similar window on the east side has been filled in. In the west wall is a small circular light with a segmental rear arch, and below the offset on the south side is a small lancet window.
The windows to the bell-chamber, which have evidently been reset, are survivals from the earliest building on the site and date from c. 1220. Each has two trefoiled lancets inclosed by an outer order with a two-centred drop arch; the spandrel above the lancets is pierced by a trefoil. The embattled parapet is probably modern, and from it rises an octagonal stone spire of ashlar work.
In the chancel are several slabs, one to John Hill, son of John Hill, rector, and Sarah his wife, died 1667, aged six years, and another to the above-mentioned (rector for more than forty years), died 1699. In the nave is a mural monument to John Sanders, died 1670.
There are three bells: the first by John Martin of Worcester, 1653; the second by William Brooke of Bromsgrove, 1743; the third by John Greene the younger of Worcester, 1618; this last bears his mark, three bells and I. G.
The registers are as follows: (i) baptisms 1604 to 1645, burials and marriages 1605 to 1645; (ii) all entries 1657 to 1722; (iii) all 1722 to 1801; (iv) baptisms 1793 to 1812; (v) burials same period, and (vi) marriages 1754 to 1812.
There was a priest at Upton in 1086. (fn. 62) The advowson apparently belonged originally to the lords of the manor, (fn. 63) and passed with the manor in 1350–1 to Thomas Earl of Warwick. (fn. 64) When the manor passed to the Hastings family the earl retained the advowson, (fn. 65) and it passed to his son Thomas Earl of Warwick, who forfeited it in 1396. (fn. 66) The glebe land and advowson were granted in 1398 to the king's nephew Thomas Duke of Surrey, (fn. 67) but the advowson was evidently restored to the earl in 1399, as he died seised of it in 1401, (fn. 68) and it afterwards passed to his descendants the Earls of Warwick. (fn. 69) Richard Nevill Earl of Warwick presented in 1463, (fn. 70) and the advowson probably passed on his death in 1471 to the Crown, as it was included in 1485 in the grant of the manor to Gilbert Talbot. (fn. 71) Since that time the advowson has descended with the manor, (fn. 72) the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot being the present patron.
In the time of Edward VI a parcel of land at Cooksey given for the maintenance of a lamp in the church at Upton Warren was valued at 12d. (fn. 73)
John Saunders, some time alderman of the City of London—as appears on a monument in the church— settled an annuity of £10 to be for ever paid by the Grocers' Company, London, for placing out a boy of this parish as an apprentice in London, and for lack of such a boy, then a boy of Stoke Prior or Chaddesley. In 1910 a premium of £10 was paid, and there was a balance of £40 in hand.
Charities of Elizabeth Lacy, the Earl of Shrewsbury, Alice Nash and other benefactors mentioned in the Parliamentary Returns of 1786.—The endowment now consists of four cottage; and gardens at Staple Hill and 2 a. 2 r. at Rock Hill, near Bromsgrove, of the annual rental value of £30 10s.
By an order of the Charity Commissioners 18 September 1906 five-sixths of the net income was determined to be the proportion applicable for educational purposes, under the title of the Lacy Educational Foundation, and the remainder for the poor.
In 1828 William Cole, by his will proved in the P.C.C. 18 February, left £30, now £30 consols, with the official trustees, the annual dividends of 15s. to be distributed on the first Sunday after Candlemas in bread to poor persons brought up to the Church of England.