Wollaston - Wolviston

A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.

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'Wollaston - Wolviston', in A Topographical Dictionary of England, ed. Samuel Lewis( London, 1848), British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/england/pp643-649 [accessed 15 July 2024].

'Wollaston - Wolviston', in A Topographical Dictionary of England. Edited by Samuel Lewis( London, 1848), British History Online, accessed July 15, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/england/pp643-649.

"Wollaston - Wolviston". A Topographical Dictionary of England. Ed. Samuel Lewis(London, 1848), , British History Online. Web. 15 July 2024. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/england/pp643-649.

In this section

Wollaston (St. Andrew)

WOLLASTON (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Chepstow, hundred of Westbury, W. division of the county of Gloucester, 5¼ miles (N. E.) from Chepstow; containing 1022 inhabitants. At the time of the Norman survey, William, Count D'Eu, who, after a judicial combat at Salisbury, was executed for high treason, was lord of the principal part of this place. It was afterwards granted to the family of Clare, who gave the manor and church to Tintern Abbey, together with several granges stretching across the parish from the river Wye to the Severn. Towards the Wye the parish is bounded by a range of limestone hills, and towards the Severn by a rich vale of red marl; it is intersected by the road from Gloucester to Chepstow, and comprises by estimation 3160 acres. The living is a discharged rectory, with the livings of Alvington and Lancaut consolidated, valued in the king's books at £13. 11. 5., and in the gift of the Duke of Beaufort: the tithes have been commuted for £327. 12.; there is a parsonage-house, and the glebe comprises 46½ acres. The church is a small cruciform edifice, partly in the Norman style.

Wollaston (St. Mary)

WOLLASTON (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Wellingborough, hundred of Higham-Ferrers, N. division of the county of Northampton, 3 miles (S. S. E.) from Wellingborough; containing 1120 inhabitants. The parish is bounded on the east by a portion of the county of Bedford, and intersected by the road from Bedford to Wellingborough; it comprises 2812 acres. The living is a discharged vicarage, with that of Irchester annexed, valued in the king's books at £13. 6. 8.; net income, £440; patron, the Rev. W. W. Dickens: the tithes were commuted for land and annual money payments in 1788. The church is a handsome cruciform structure, with a stately tower rising from the intersection, and surmounted by a spire. There are places of worship for Independents, Baptists, and Wesleyans. The sum of £10. 8. per annum, the produce of bequests, is distributed in bread among the poor.


WOLLASTON, a chapelry, in the parish of Alberbury, union of Atcham, hundred of Ford, S. division of Salop, 9 miles (W.) from Shrewsbury; containing 427 inhabitants. It is situated near the Severn, on the road between Shrewsbury and Welshpool, from which towns it is equidistant. The substratum contains leadore, of which some mines are in operation, and there are quarries of good building-stone. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £95; patron, the Vicar of Alberbury; impropriators, the Warden and Fellows of All Souls' College, Oxford. The chapel, dedicated to St. Michael, is a neat structure, erected about the year 1720. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. The chapelry contains numerous mineral springs, of which one is chalybeate; and the remains of a Roman encampment. Thomas Parr, who died at the age of 152, was born here.


WOLLASTON, a township, in the parish of Old Swinford, union of Stourbridge, Lower division of the hundred of Halfshire, Stourbridge and E. divisions of the county of Worcester; containing 578 inhabitants, and comprising 442 acres.

Wollaton (St. Leonard)

WOLLATON (St. Leonard), a parish, in the union of Basford, S. division of the wapentake of Broxtow, N. division of the county of Nottingham, 3 miles (W.) from Nottingham; containing 574 inhabitants. It is situated on the road from Nottingham to Ilkeston, and comprises 2066 acres, whereof two-thirds are pasture, and the remainder arable. Coal-mines have been wrought from time immemorial; conveyance is afforded for the produce by the Nottingham canal, which runs through the middle of the parish. Wollaton Hall, the ancient seat of the Willoughbys, is a spacious and lofty edifice in the Elizabethan style, built in 1588 by Sir Francis Willoughby, entirely of freestone brought from Ancaster, in the county of Lincoln, in exchange for coal obtained on the estate. The mansion forms one of the most beautiful specimens of its peculiar style, and is in fine preservation. It is the property of Lord Middleton, the present representative of the family. A manorcourt is held annually in April. The living is a discharged rectory, with the perpetual curacy of Cossal annexed, valued in the king's books at £14. 2. 6., and in the gift of his Lordship: the tithes have been commuted for £700, and the glebe contains about 7 acres, with a good glebe-house. The church contains several monuments to the Willoughbys, among which are, a very beautiful one to Richard Willoughby, who died in 1471, and one dated 1528 to Henry, father of Sir Hugh Willoughby, who, with his crew, was frozen in the North Sea in 1554, in an attempt to discover a north-west passage to China.


WOLLESCOTT, a township, in the parish of Old Swinford, union of Stourbridge, Lower division of the hundred of Halfshire, Stourbridge and E. divisions of the county of Worcester; containing 1110 inhabitants, and comprising 405 acres.

Wolley (All Saints)

WOLLEY (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Bath, hundred of Bath-Forum, E. division of Somerset, 3 miles (N.) from Bath; containing 89 inhabitants, and comprising an area of 365a. 3r. 39p. The living is a rectory, annexed to that of Bathwick.


WOLSELEY, a hamlet, in the parish of Colwich, S. division of the hundred of Pirehill, union, and N. division of the county, of Stafford, 2 miles (N. W.) from Rugeley; containing 133 inhabitants. The hamlet lies at the south-east end of the parish, and includes the small village of Wolseley-Bridge, where are good inns and extensive corn-warehouses near the river Trent and the Grand Trunk canal, and where a cattle-fair is held annually on the Wednesday before Mid-Lent Sunday. The road from Rugeley to Stafford passes through. Wolseley Hall, the seat of Sir Charles Wolseley, Bart., is situated nearly half a mile west of the bridge, in a spacious park consisting of a romantic succession of small hills, studded with plantations and old oaks, and forming an agreeable contrast with the fertile meadows of the vale of Trent on the east, and the lofty hills of Cannock Chase on the south and west. The Hall has a stately front crowned with an embattled parapet, and the interior is embellished with some beautifully-carved oak panels and other ornaments of the time of Charles II. The family have possessed this estate, and resided here, upwards of seven centuries; one of them was a baron of the exchequer in the reign of Edward IV.

Wolsingham (St. Matthew)

WOLSINGHAM (St. Matthew), a market-town and parish, in the union of Weardale, N. W. division of Darlington ward, S. division of the county of Durham, 10 miles (W. N. W.) from Bishop-Auckland, 16 (W. S. W.) from Durham, and 259 (N. N. W.) from London; containing 2086 inhabitants. This town, which is irregularly built, is pleasantly situated in the narrow, but exceedingly picturesque, vale of the Wear, on the north bank of the river, and near the point where it receives the united streams of the Thornhope and Wascrow rivulets. There are manufactures of linen, woollencloth, edge-tools, and implements of husbandry, in which, and in the neighbouring coal, lead, and lime works, a great portion of the population is employed. Workmen are also engaged in mining for ironstone, which is supposed to be in considerable abundance; and should the result of their operations be satisfactory, it is in contemplation to erect works in the immediate vicinity of the town. An act was passed in 1845 for making a railway called the Wear-Valley railway: the line runs from the Bishop-Auckland and Weardale railway, past Wolsingham, to Frosterley, and has a branch to Bishopley Crag; the total length being 11¾ miles. The market and fairs are held by grant from the Bishop of Durham; the former is on Tuesday, and the latter on May 12th and October 2nd, for cattle and all sorts of merchandise. Petty-sessions are held every Tuesday; and a court leet and baron, under the bishop as lord of the manor, takes place twice a year, at which debts under 40s. are recoverable. The powers of the county debt-court of Wolsingham, established in 1847, extend over part of the registration-district of Weardale. In 1824, a town-hall, of stone, was erected in the centre of the market-place; it contains a spacious newsroom. The parish is divided into the four constableries of Wolsingham, WolsinghamPark, and East and South Wolsingham; and comprises 24,157a. 2r., of which 4000 acres are arable, 12,000 meadow and pasture, 1000 woodland, 6786 common uninclosed, and 371 road and waste. The extensive moors in the neighbourhood abound in game.

The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £31. 13. 4., and in the gift of the Bishop: the tithes have been commuted for £900, and the glebe comprises 12 acres, with a house. The church, situated on rising ground to the north-west of the town, is an ancient and neat plain edifice, with a low tower, and has a font of Weardale marble, beautifully variegated with petrifactions of shells, &c. There are places of worship for Baptists, Primitive Methodists, and Wesleyans. The grammar school, founded in 1613, with a residence for the master, was rebuilt in 1786, by subscription (Bishop Egerton, and Dr. Sharp, archdeacon of Northumberland, a trustee of Lord Crewe's charity, being the principal contributors), upon a piece of waste granted by the bishop and the landowners of the parish, by whom it was endowed with 16 acres of land. About 7½ acres were added on the inclosure of the moor, and bequests have been made to the school, of £30 by the Rev. William Nowell, in 1782; £100 by Jonathan Wooler, in 1789; and £100 by George Wooler, in 1826. The poor of Wolsingham are periodically relieved by the interest of various benefactions, amongst which are bequests of £200 each, left by the Rev. W. Nowell and the Rev. Robert Gordon, and an annual sum of £18 from land purchased with the bequests of Messrs. Markindale, Aisley, and others. Contiguous to a field called Chapel Walls, are the remains of an extensive building surrounded by a moat, supposed to have been the manor-house of the Bishop of Durham. Henry Pudsey, nephew to Bishop Pudsey, contemplated the erection of a religious institution at Baxtonford, in Wolsingham-Park, the intended site for which is marked by a quantity of stone collected for the purpose. There are several chalybeate springs; and about two miles east of Wolsingham, on the Bradley estate, is a sulphureous spring.

Wolstan (St. Margaret)

WOLSTAN (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union of Rugby, partly in the Kirby, but chiefly in the Rugby, division of the hundred of Knightlow, N. division of the county of Warwick, 5½ miles (E. S. E.) from Coventry; containing, with the hamlets of Brandon, Bretford, and Marston, 1137 inhabitants. The name of this place in Domesday book is written Uluricetone and Uluestone, from one of its Saxon possessors; it was subsequently called Wulfricheston and Wolfrichston, afterwards contracted to Wolston and Wolstan. The parish is intersected by the river Avon, and partly bounded on the south by the road from Coventry to Daventry; the London and Birmingham railway also passes through the parish, in which is the Brandon station. The area is 4579 acres. The village is large, and pleasantly seated on the south bank of the Avon. Wolstan House is an extensive brick mansion, in grounds richly ornamented both by nature and art. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £15. 10., and in the patronage of Mrs. Scott. The church is a large cruciform structure, built at different periods; the tower is supposed to have been erected soon after the Conquest. There is a place of worship for Baptists. An alien priory, a cell to the abbey of St. Peter super Divam, in Normandy, was founded here soon after the Conquest, and granted by Richard II. to the Carthusian priory at Coventry. On the southern bank of the Avon are vestiges of a Roman encampment.

Wolstanton (St. Margaret)

WOLSTANTON (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union of Wolstanton and Burslem, N. division of the hundred of Pirehill and of the county of Stafford; containing 16,575 inhabitants, of whom 1175 are in the township of Wolstanton, 1¼ mile (N. by E.) from Newcastle-under-Lyme. This parish is divided into the North and South sides or divisions, embracing 10,380 acres, whereof 2036 are arable, 8034 pasture, 200 woodland (exempt from tithe, by prescription), and 110 waste and water. It includes the townships of Brieryhurst, Chatterley, Chell, Chesterton, Knutton, Oldcott, Ranscliffe, Stadmerslow, Thursfield, Tunstall, and Wedgwood. There are numerous factories of china and earthenware, collieries, brick and tile works, &c.; and several blast-furnaces have been established for smelting iron-ore, by Thomas Kinnersly, Esq. The Grand Trunk canal passes through the parish on its summit level, and runs northward in two parallel tunnels, under Harecastle Hill. Sir Nigel Gresley's canal, also, from the Apedale collieries and iron-furnaces to Newcastle, crosses the west part of the parish. The living is a vicarage, in the gift of Ralph Sneyd, Esq.: the impropriate rectory is valued in the king's books at £32. 3. 9. The tithes have been commuted for £896 payable to Mr. Sneyd, and £348 payable to the vicar, who has a glebe of 34 acres, with a house. The church is an ancient structure, and contains a curious monument to the memory of Sir William Sneyd, of Bradwell, with others to members of the same family: being seated on an eminence, its lofty spire forms a conspicuous feature in the surrounding country. There are other incumbencies at Chesterton, Golden-Hill, Kidsgrove, Mowcop, New-Chapel, and Tunstall; also several dissenters' places of worship. The union of Wolstanton and Burslem comprises those two places, and contains a population of 32,669.


WOLSTONE, a chapelry, in the parish of Uffington, union of Farringdon, hundred of Shrivenham, county of Berks, 5¼ miles (S. by E.) from Farringdon; containing 337 inhabitants. The chapel is dedicated to All Saints.

Wolterton (St. Margaret)

WOLTERTON (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union of Aylsham, hundred of South Erpingham, E. division of Norfolk, 4¼ miles (N. N. W.) from Aylsham; containing 43 inhabitants. The parish comprises 660 acres, of which 340 are arable, 253 pasture, and 60 wood and plantation. Wolterton Hall, the seat of the Earl of Orford, was commenced in the year 1727, after the destruction of an ancient mansion by fire, and completed in 1741, by Horatio, second Baron Walpole, from designs by Ripley. It is a brick building, with quoins, chimneys, &c., of Portland stone; is elegantly fitted up, and contains a fine collection of paintings. On its south side is a bold terrace, adjacent to which is a tastefully laid-out garden, sloping to the margin of an extensive lake, the whole forming one of the most imposing specimens of park scenery in the county. The living is a discharged rectory, with that of Wickmere annexed, valued in the king's books at £8, and in the Earl's gift: the tithes of the two parishes have been commuted for £550, and the glebe contains 35 acres. The church is supposed to have been rebuilt by John de Wulterton.

Wolverhampton (St. Peter)

WOLVERHAMPTON (St. Peter), a parish, and the head of a union; comprising the new municipal borough of Wolverhampton, and the market-town of Bilston, in the N. division of the hundred of Seisdon; the townships of Featherstone, Hatherton, Hilton, and Kinvaston, in the E. division of the hundred of Cuttlestone; and Bentley, Pelsall, Wednesfield, and Willenhall, in the S. division of the hundred of Offlow; S. division of the county of Stafford; the whole containing 76,000 inhabitants, of whom 40,000 are in the town, 16 miles (S.) from Stafford, and 123 (N. W.) from London. This place, which is of considerable antiquity, was called Hanton or Hamton prior to the year 996, when Wulfruna, sister of Ethelred II., and widow of Aldhelm, Duke of Northampton, founded a college here for a dean and several prebendaries or Secular canons, and endowed it with so many privileges that the town, in honour of Wulfruna, was called Wulfrunis Hamton, whence its present name. The college continued under the same government till 1200, in which year Petrus Blesensis, who was dean, after fruitless attempts to reform the dissolute lives of the brethren, surrendered the establishment to Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury. It was subsequently annexed by Edward IV. to the deanery of Windsor. In 1258, the town obtained from Henry III. the grant of a market and a fair; from which time no circumstance of historical importance occurs till 1590, when a considerable part of it was destroyed by a fire that continued burning for five days. In the parliamentary war, Charles I., accompanied by his sons, Charles, Prince of Wales, and James, Duke of York, visited Wolverhampton, where he was received with every demonstration of loyalty by the principal inhabitants, who, in aid of the royal cause, raised a liberal subscription, towards which Mr. Gough, ancestor of the learned antiquary of that name, contributed £1200. Prince Rupert, in 1645, fixed his headquarters in the town, while the king was encamped at Bushbury; and immediately after the battle of Naseby, Charles marched into it, and remained until the day following.

Corporation Seal.

The town is situated on an eminence, in a district abounding with mines of coal, iron, and limestone; and consists of several streets diverging from the marketplace to the roads from which they take their names. Among the improvements lately effected, is a new entrance on the east from Bilston, constructed by the Holyhead trust, and which, by means of a street crossing the town, nearly in a direct line, communicates on the west with Salop-street, leading towards Shrewsbury. The houses are in general substantial, neatly built of brick, and many of them are modern and handsome, but in the smaller streets are dwellings of more ancient appearance. The town is paved, lighted with gas, and supplied with water partly from wells sunk to a great depth in the rock on which it is built, and partly from water-works established under an act passed in 1845, by a company having a capital of £20,000. In 1847 an act was passed for uniting the former gas-light company with the new gas company. A public subscription library was founded in 1794, which contains more than 10,000 volumes, and for which a neat and commodious building was erected in the year 1816, when a newsroom was added: over the library is a suite of rooms in which assemblies and concerts take place. A new theatre was built in 1844, which is well arranged for the purpose: prior to the erection of the old theatre, Mrs. Siddons, and her brother J. P. Kemble, performed in the town-hall, since taken down, where they first developed those talents which procured for them so distinguished a reputation. Races are held in August, in an extensive area near the town, where an elegant stand has been erected.

The manufacture of the finer steel ornaments, which was carried on extensively, and brought to the highest perfection, in this town, has given place to the heavier articles of steel and iron. Of these the principal are, smiths' and carpenters' tools of every description, files, nails, screws, gun-locks, hinges, steel-mills, and machinery; locks, for which the place has long been celebrated; furnishing ironmongery and cabinet brasses, with every branch of the iron manufacture; and brass, tin, Pont-y-Pool, and japanned wares in great variety. The Chillington works consist of four blast-furnaces, forge, mill, &c., producing 400 tons of finished iron per week, in railway-bars, nail-roads, sheet-iron, boiler-plates, and other articles, and affording employment to upwards of 1000 hands. The Shrubbery works for the manufacture of boiler-plates and all other descriptions of best iron, were established in 1824, and are carried on by a firm who also conduct the Bradley works near Bilston, erected by the late John Wilkinson, Esq. In both concerns, from 300 to 500 tons of iron are manufactured weekly, and about 650 men are regularly engaged. The Priestfields works, for smelting pig-iron, and for castings of every description, are also very extensive; and the Wolverhampton tin-plate manufactory, established in 1837, employs about 350 men, producing weekly from 1000 to 1500 boxes of tin-plates, which are of high repute in the market. There are likewise extensive chemical-works for the manufacture of oil of vitriol, aqua-fortis, and other preparations connected with medicine and manufactures: the chemical-works of Messrs. Mander Weaver and Co. have been established since 1773. Rowley ragstone is found in the coal-mines in the parish, frequently in large masses, sometimes penetrating the thick stratum of coal at a depth of 300 to 400 feet from the surface. The Birmingham canal, which forms a junction with the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal, runs close to the town, on the west and north, where it is joined by the Essington and Wyrley canal. The Liverpool and Birmingham railway, also, passes within a mile of the town, near which a station is established on the line, which is here carried through a tunnel 200 yards in length. An act was passed in 1845 for a railway to Worcester and Oxford, 92½ miles long; and in 1846 for a railway to Birmingham, commencing in junction with the Worcester and Oxford line, and measuring 11 miles in length. Another act was passed in the latter year for a second railway to Birmingham, beginning at Bushbury, on the Liverpool line, near Wolverhampton, and extending 15¼ miles. A third act was passed in 1846 for a railway to Shrewsbury; and a fourth for a railway to the Calveley station of the Chester and Crewe railway. The market-days are Wednesday and Saturday, and a fair, which continues for eight days, the first being for cattle, commences on July 10th: the market-place is a large area.

By the act 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, the town was constituted a borough to return two members to parliament, to be elected by the £10 householders of a district consisting of the townships of Wolverhampton, Bilston, Wednesfield, Willenhall, and Sedgley, the whole comprising 18,604 acres. The township of Wolverhampton contains 2930a. 3r. 12p., exclusively of the ground on which the town is built. In 1846, an act was passed for appointing a stipendiary justice for the town, who, with the county magistrates acting in the district, still performs the magisterial business. On the 15th of March, 1848, the township was incorporated by Her Majesty in council as a municipal borough, with a mayor, twelve aldermen, and 36 councillors, and divided into eight wards, namely, St. Peter's, St. Mary's, St. James', St. Matthew's, St. George's, St. John's, St. Paul's, and St. Mark's. It is the intention of the common-council shortly to apply for a separate commission of the peace. The powers of the county debt-court of Wolverhampton, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Wolverhampton and Seisdon, and part of that of Penkridge.

The collegiate chapter consists of four (till lately seven) non-resident prebendaries, with a net revenue of £641, formerly payable to a dean, but now received by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners: each of the prebendaries has a separate revenue from his prebend. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Bishop of Lichfield: the tithes payable to the Duke of Cleveland have been commuted for £715. The church, built in the reign of Edward III., and anciently one of the king's free chapels, to which many immunities were granted, is a spacious cruciform structure, partly in the early decorated, but principally in the later English style, with a square embattled tower rising from the centre, the upper part of which is a very fine specimen of the later style. It has been lately repewed by subscription. The piers and arches of the nave and transepts, if not of the early English, are of that style merging into the decorated. The pulpit, of one entire stone, is adorned with sculpture; and the octagonal font, of great antiquity, supported on a shaft, the faces of which are embellished with figures of St. Anthony, St. Paul, and St. Peter, in bas-relief, is richly ornamented with bosses, flowers, and foliage. In the chancel, which is in the Italian style, is a fine statue of brass, erected in honour of Admiral Sir Richard Leveson, who commanded under Sir Francis Drake against the Spanish Armada; also a monument to the memory of Colonel John Lane, the protector of Charles II. after the battle of Worcester. What was anciently the Lady chapel contains an alabaster monument to John Lane and his wife, the former represented in armour. In the churchyard, which is inclosed with a handsome iron palisade, is a column twenty feet high, divided into compartments, and highly enriched with sculpture of various designs, supposed to be either British or Danish. Near the south-western angle of the churchyard is a large vault, the roof of which is finely groined, and supported on one central pillar; the walls are three yards in thickness, and on both sides of the doorway are slight vestiges of sculpture: the interior is in good preservation. It appears to have been the basement of some edifice, probably connected with the monastery of Wulfruna, the exact site of which has not been ascertained.

The living of St. Johns is a perpetual curacy; patron, the Earl of Stamford and Warrington. The church, which was erected at an expense of £10,000, including £1000 given by the then patron, was consecrated in 1760. It is an elegant structure in the Grecian style, with a handsome tower surmounted by a lofty and finely-proportioned spire; the prevailing character is a mixture of the Ionic and Corinthian orders. A pleasing and appropriate effect is produced from the arrangement of the interior, and the altar is ornamented with a good painting of the Descent from the Cross, by Barney, a native of the town. In this church is the celebrated organ built in the 17th century, for the Temple church, London, by Harris, the competitor on that occasion of Schmidt; it was purchased for the cathedral of Christ Church, Dublin, where it remained until about 50 years ago, when it was sold for £500, and set up here. St. George's district church, of the Grecian-Doric order, with a tower and spire, was erected in 1830, at an expense of £10,325, towards which the inhabitants subscribed £3400; it contains 2300 sittings, of which 1200 are free. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £155; patron, the Bishop. St. Paul's church was built in 1835, and the living is a perpetual curacy in the gift of the Rev. W. and Mrs. Dalton, at whose expense the edifice was chiefly erected and endowed; it is capable of accommodating about 1400 persons, and more than onethird of the sittings are free. St. Mary's church was built in 1842, at a cost of £10,000, including the parsonage, at the sole expense of Miss Hinckes, of Tettenhall-Wood. The edifice is in the early English style, with a square tower surmounted by a Flemish spire, and has 1000 sittings, of which 400 are free; it contains a superb altar-piece of carved oak, and in the eastern window, of stained glass, are representations of the Descent from the Cross, and the Resurrection. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Miss Hinckes, who endowed it with the interest of £1000, and also presented a splendid communion-service. Another church, dedicated to St. James, was built by subscription in 1843: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of certain Trustees, and endowed with the interest of £1054 three per cents. Two church districts, respectively named St. Matthew and St. Mark, were constituted in 1846, under the act 6th and 7th Victoria, cap. 37; and the erection of churches was commenced in the following year: each living is in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop, alternately, and has an income of £150. At Bilston, Pelsall, Wednesfield, and Willenhall are other incumbencies. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyans, Methodists of the New Connexion, Unitarians, Irvingites, and Roman Catholics. An act for a cemetery was passed in 1847, under which a company has purchased about 20 acres of land at Meredale, for the purpose.

The free grammar school was founded under letterspatent of Henry VIII., in 1513, by Sir Stephen Jenyns, Knt., a native of the town, and lord mayor of London in 1508, who endowed it with estates in the parish of Rushock, in the county of Worcester, producing an income, aided by other benefactions, of about £1170 per annum. The building was erected in 1713, by the Merchant Tailors' Company, London. Sir William Congreve; John Abernethy; and John Pearson, advocategeneral of India, were educated at the school. The Blue-coat charity school, for 100 boys and 50 girls, who are educated and clothed, is an ancient establishment, with an endowment purchased with benefactions, and producing more than £240 per annum. Two miles on the Sedgley road is situated Sedgley Park school, established in 1761, for the education of Roman Catholic children on an economical scale; it is under the direction of a president and vice-president, assisted by teachers. National schools, and a British and an infant school, are supported by subscription; and a spacious hospital has been just erected. There are numerous bequests for the poor. The union of Wolverhampton includes only a portion of the parish, comprising, with the town itself, the three chapelries of Bilston, Wednesfield, and Willenhall, and containing a population of 68,412.


WOLVERLEY, a township, in the parish of Wem, Whitchurch division of the hundred of North Bradford, N. division of Salop; containing 91 inhabitants. It is situated near the road from Wem to Ellesmere, west-north-west from the former town.

Wolverley (St. John the Baptist)

WOLVERLEY (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Kidderminster, partly in the Upper division of the hundred of Halfshire, but chiefly in the Lower division of the hundred of Oswaldslow, Kidderminster and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, 2 miles (N. by W.) from Kidderminster; containing 2091 inhabitants. The parish comprises 5532 acres; the surface is diversified with hill and dale, and the soil is light, resting on red-sandstone, and generally fertile. In one part are some houses of a singular description, cut out of the natural sandstone. Among the seats, is Lea Castle, a noble mansion surrounded by 550 acres of land enriched with plantations of oak and other timber: it was purchased of John Knight, Esq., by the late John Brown, Esq., who much improved the property; and is now the residence of J. P. Westhead, Esq. The Court, formerly the residence of the Attwoods, of Park Attwood, was almost destroyed by the parliamentarians after the battle of Worcester: the present house is modern, with a part of the old mansion incorporated; it is the property of Mr. Knight, and the residence of Mr. Hancocks. The grounds at Sion Hill, The Hill, and Blakeshall, other residences in the parish, are extremely picturesque. The village is very neat, and pleasantly situated on the right bank of the Stour. The Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal passes through the parish.

The living is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Worcester (the appropriators), valued in the king's books at £13. 6. 8.; net income, £300. The great and small tithes were partly commuted in 1775, and a commutation of the remainder of the former has taken place under the late act, for £811, and of the latter for £39; there is a glebe-house, and the glebe contains 8½ acres. The church, erected about 80 years ago, is a neat brick edifice, on an elevated site commanding beautiful views of the Stour valley. William Seabright, in 1620, bequeathed property in and near London, now producing a rental of about £700, to establish a free grammar school, and for other purposes. In 1829, in consequence of the improved state of the funds, it was determined to extend the charity, in furtherance of which the school premises were re-erected. The buildings now constitute a handsome range in the later English style, comprising a Latin school in the centre, a spacious schoolroom at each wing, one for boys and the other for girls, and adjoining residences, with gardens attached. The sum of £3 per annum is paid to each of seven parishes for distribution in bread; and the trustees expend annually about £30 in clothing, and £15 in coal, for the poor of Wolverley. John Smith, Esq., in 1823, bequeathed £600 for founding an afternoon lectureship, about one-third of the interest to be applied to the relief of superannuated husbandmen and widows. John Baskerville, the eminent printer, was born here in 1706.—See Cookley.


WOLVERSHILL, a hamlet, in the parish of Bulkington, union of Nuneaton, Kirby division of the hundred of Knightlow, N. division of the county of Warwick; containing 9 inhabitants.

Wolverton (Holy Trinity)

WOLVERTON (Holy Trinity), a parish, in the union of Potter's-Pury, hundred of Newport, county of Buckingham, 1 mile (E. N. E.) from Stony-Stratford; containing 1261 inhabitants. This parish, which comprises upwards of 1000 acres, is situated nearly half way between London and Birmingham, and contains one of the principal depôts for locomotive-engines and goods of the London and Birmingham railway. The buildings, which have a frontage on the Grand Junction canal, are 221 feet wide by 315 deep, occupying the sides of a quadrangular area in the centre, which measures 127 feet by 216, and has a central gateway 13 feet above the rails, and two side entrances. Several streets are formed round the building, consisting of houses for the numerous workmen employed; and on the south side of a bridge over the railway is a station for passengers. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10. 3. 9.; net income, £38; patrons and impropriators, the Trustees of Dr. Radcliffe, who are owners of the Wolverton estate. St. George the Martyr's church, for the railway station, was erected by the trustees, at an expense amounting, with the parsonage, to about £5000; they also provided the site, and the railway company raised £2000 towards the stipend of the minister. The edifice was consecrated May 28th, 1844. The living is in the Trustees' gift; income, £150. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; also a reading-room and library.

Wolverton (St. Peter)

WOLVERTON (St. Peter), a parish, in the union and hundred of Freebridge-Lynn, W. division of Norfolk, 7 miles (N. N. E.) from Lynn; containing 165 inhabitants. It is bounded on the east by the road from Lynn to Wells, and comprises 2714a. 3r. 29p., of which about 460 acres are arable, 998 pasture and meadow, 368 salt-marsh, 697 heath and warren, and 162 woodland. The strata afford good building-stone. A wall was erected by the late Major Hoste, at a cost of £1800, against the encroachment of the sea. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12, and in the patronage of the Hon. C. S. Cowper: the tithes have been commuted for £260, and the glebe comprises 22 acres. The church consists of a nave, chancel, and aisles, with an embattled tower; on the south side of the chancel are three stone stalls and a piscina.

Wolverton (St. Catherine)

WOLVERTON (St. Catherine), a parish, in the union and hundred of Kingsclere, Kingsclere and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 1½ mile (E.) from Kingsclere; containing 208 inhabitants. It is situated on the road from Basingstoke to Kingsclere, and comprises by computation 1439 acres, of which 772 are arable, 276 pasture, 223 wood, and 88 common. The soil consists in general of clay resting on chalk, alternated with heavy loam, but in some parts is wet and sandy, and well adapted to the growth of timber. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £13. 2. 8½., and in the patronage of the Duke of Wellington: the tithes have been commuted for £290, and the glebe contains 80 acres. The church is an ancient edifice cased with brick, with a tower built about 1717, and contains 170 sittings. A rent-charge of £16 was bequeathed by Sir John Browne, for the poor.

Wolverton (St. Mary)

WOLVERTON (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Stratford-upon-Avon, Snitterfield division of the hundred of Barlichway, S. division of the county of Warwick, 4 miles (W. S. W.) from Warwick; containing 162 inhabitants, and comprising 1110 acres. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 10. 7½.; net income, £300; patron and incumbent, the Rev. Benjamin Winthrop. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1826; the glebe altogether contains 194 acres.

Wolves-Newton (St. Thomas à Becket)

WOLVES-NEWTON (St. Thomas à Becket), a parish, in the union of Chepstow, division of Trelleck, hundred of Raglan, county of Monmouth, 7½ miles (N. W. by W.) from Chepstow; containing 224 inhabitants. It is situated near the road from Chepstow to Usk, and comprises by admeasurement 2675 acres, of which about two-thirds are arable, and 251 acres woodland; the soil is clay, producing excellent wheat, and there is some very fine oak-timber. Stone is quarried for building. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £8. 2. 8½., and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes have been commuted for £244; the glebe contains 23 acres. The church is an ancient structure, and accommodates about 110 persons. Here is a place of worship for Independents. On an eminence is an oblong encampment called Gaer Vawr, the most extensive in the county; and not far from it is a small circular one named Cwrty Gaer.

Wolvey (St. John the Baptist)

WOLVEY (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the Kirby division of the hundred of Knightlow, N. division of the county of Warwick, 4 miles (S. by E.) from Hinckley; containing 923 inhabitants. This parish is bounded on the north-east by the great Watling-street, which separates it from the county of Leicester. It comprises by measurement 3407 acres, chiefly arable, with about 30 acres of plantation. One-fourth of the soil is light, having been formerly heath-land; the remainder is heavy, more suitable for wheat, and the surface is generally level, lying in a hollow. The parish is intersected by the roads from Rugby to Hinckley, and from Leicester to Coventry; also by the river Anker, which takes its rise about one mile above the village. Part of the population is engaged in weaving stockings and ribbons. Little Copston, now called Smockington, in the parish, situated on the line of the Watling-street, was formerly a considerable village, and had a chapel. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6. 6. 5½.; net income, £206; patrons, the Bishop of Worcester, and James Smith, Esq. There is a parsonage-house, and the glebe consists of 101 acres. The church is an ancient structure, with windows in the early English style; the south entrance is a mixture of the pointed arch and the circular arch of the Norman style. In the interior are two tombs, each having recumbent figures, one the tomb of Sir Thomas de Wolvey (a Knight Templar) and his lady, dated 1330; and the other, at the east corner, of Sir Thomas Astley and his wife, dated 1603. There is a place of worship for Baptists; and 50 children are educated by means of a recent endowment.


WOLVEY-HILLS, an extra-parochial place, in the hundred of South Witchford, union and Isle of Ely, county of Cambridge; containing, with Wolvey-Holes, 18 inhabitants, and 183 acres of land.


WOLVISTON, a chapelry, in the parish of Billingham, union of Stockton, N. E. division of Stockton ward, S. division of Durham county, 4½ miles (N. by E.) from Stockton, on the road to Sunderland; containing 588 inhabitants. The church of Durham probably held lands here under ancient grants of the manor and the church of Billingham; and other portions, extending in time to nearly the whole vill, were acquired by purchase or exchange from various proprietors. The chapelry comprises upwards of 4000 acres. The soil is chiefly a sound clayey loam, well adapted for wheat and beans, with fertile patches peculiarly suited to the culture of potatoes and turnips: about two-thirds of the whole are under tillage. The scenery is pleasing; the views embrace the Tees bay, near Redcar, and the Cleveland hills for many miles. The Clarence, and the Stockton and Hartlepool railways pass about a mile and a quarter from the village, at which point the Billingham station is fixed; and about four miles further to the east is Port-Clarence, where is the terminus of the Clarence railway. In the chapelry are some tile-works, a brick-yard, and a pottery on a limited scale. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, with a total net income of £250; there is a glebe of 60 acres in portions of land variously situated, and the incumbent has also a farm near Billingham, of 60 acres. The tithes, vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, have been commuted for £337. 16. The chapel is dedicated to St. Peter; it was enlarged in 1830, and is a neat stone structure, consisting of a nave and chancel, with a handsome tower. Here is a place of worship for Wesleyans; also a school on the national plan, built, with a house for the master, in 1836, and capable of admitting 120 scholars. In 1838, a handsome brick building was erected in the village by the Marchioness of Londonderry, containing twelve apartments, for six aged persons, chiefly widows.