A History of the County of Worcester: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1913.
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Heortlanbyrig (x cent.); Heortlabiri, Huerteberie (xi cent.); Herclebery (xii cent.); Hertlebur, Hertlebyr (xiii cent.); Herthulbury (xiv cent.); Hertylburie (xv cent.); Hartilbury, Hurtbery (xvi cent.).
The parish of Hartlebury has an area of 5,355 acres. Upper Mitton, with an area of 359 acres, formerly a hamlet of Hartlebury, was constituted a civil parish under the Local Government Act of 1894. (fn. 1) From the low-lying banks of the Severn and the Stour on the western side of Hartlebury the land rises towards the east, reaching a height of 200 ft. above the ordnance datum on the eastern border and of 300 ft. at Bishop's Wood on the southern boundary. The eastern part of the parish is on the Keuper Sandstones, the western on the Bunter Pebble Beds. There are 1,618 acres of permanent grass and 2,810 acres of arable land, the chief crops being wheat, barley, peas and potatoes. The woods and plantations, of which the largest is Bishop's Wood, cover 172 acres. (fn. 2) The Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton branch of the Great Western railway passes through the parish, and is joined at Hartlebury station by the Severn Valley branch. The main road from Worcester to Kidderminster enters the parish on the south near the Mitre Oak, where the road from Stourport meets it, and running north is joined in the village of Hartlebury by another road from Stourport, on the left of which near the smithy is the old pound.
The village of Hartlebury is on the Worcester and Kidderminster high road. The church stands in the centre of the village in a churchyard of moderate size. The village itself contains few features of particular interest; the best house is, perhaps, the rectory, a good building of the late 17th century built by Bishop Stillingfleet (1689–99). Hartlebury Castle is situated a little to the north-west of the main village, surrounded by an extensive park. On the east side of the road ascending to the southward out of the village, which is built at the foot and upon the sides of small hills of sandstone, is the old grammar school, a small and much modernized building of brick. On the same side of the road, a little distance to the southward again, new and elaborate buildings for the accommodation of the school have been erected, and were opened in 1912.
There used to be in the village an old cross bearing the date 1666, but it was pulled down by a farmer's team in 1839 because it was thought to be in the way, and with it went also the stocks and whippingpost which stood below it. (fn. 3) A sundial covered with quaint inscriptions used to stand in a cottage garden surrounded by a yew hedge. It was called the Wizard's Pillar, being put up in 1687 by a man named Fidkin, who was considered to be a wizard. This now stands in the churchyard of Areley Kings. (fn. 4) On the glebe farm there is a hermit's cave called Hardwick's Cell. The roof is supported by sandstone pillars, and a door and window have been cut in the rock. Two giant oak trees stand in this parish, one in the bishop's park, called the Prior's Oak, and the other called the Mitre Oak, on the high road to Worcester. Probably they marked the boundaries of the bishop's rights in the forest. The Mitre Oak is said, but certainly erroneously, to have been the oak under which Augustine met the Welsh bishops.
In Wilden (Wildon, Wildons, xvi cent.), (fn. 5) a hamlet on the north-west of Hartlebury, near the Stour and the Worcestershire and Staffordshire Canal, are the ironworks of Messrs. Baldwin, Limited.
Torton, on the north-east of the parish, was the 'Torchinton' named in a 13th-century charter as one of the boundaries within which the forest of Ombersley was to be disafforested. (fn. 6)
Titton, another hamlet, and part of the episcopal manor of Hartlebury in the 16th century, was then called 'Titton, Tiddington or Teddington.' (fn. 7)
Waresley is a hamlet and ancient manor to the south of the village. Waresley House was for many years in the latter half of the 19th century the residence of Dr. John Peel, D.D., Dean of Worcester. From about 1876 until his death in 1912 the Rev. Benjamin Gibbons lived there. Waresley Court is now occupied by Lord Hampton.
Whitlench House, (fn. 8) to the east of the village, is the residence of the Rev. J. P. E. Bulteel, M.A., a secretary of the Bishop of Worcester. Charlton House in the hamlet of Charlton is the residence of Mr. R. M. Danks, J.P.
On Hartlebury Common, on the west of the parish, were the rifle ranges of the County Rifle Association, but they are now closed. The common is held by the county council under a lease from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The parish was inclosed under an Act of 1815, (fn. 9) the award being dated 27 July 1821. (fn. 10)
Upper Mitton is separated from Hartlebury by the River Stour. The whole of the northern part of the parish is occupied by a sewage farm. The town, which lies on the outskirts of Stourport, is in the south of the parish, with a station on the Severn Valley branch of the Great Western railway.
Among former place-names in this parish were Werkmangreve, the Cross of Waresle, Cheyshoute, Euchencroft, la Chesehouse (fn. 11) (xiii cent.); Murkhous, le Bruche, Killyngham, Carenforlong, le Brodemore in Carentesmede, Briddesgrene, Welhegge, (fn. 12) Escherugg or Asscherugge (fn. 13) (xiv cent.); Lynnall or Lynholt Wood, (fn. 14) Nordalls and Payton or Paynter's Grove, (fn. 15) Perches (fn. 16) (xvi cent.).
Hartlebury Castle was originally the manor-house of Hartlebury, and has always followed the same descent as the manor. Walter Cantilupe began to build in the time of Henry III, (fn. 17) the castle being finished by Bishop Giffard, who in 1268 obtained a royal licence to complete its fortification. (fn. 18) The first royal visitor to the castle was Edward I, who came here on his way to suppress the Welsh rebellion of 1282. He then called upon Bishop Giffard to have ready his forces to join the expedition. (fn. 19) Twelve years later Edward again spent a day here when he was journeying to Wales. (fn. 20)
In the middle of the 16th century the castle is described as a 'fayre Maner Place … having ii lyttel Towers covered with Leade, and the Chamber cauled the Bishop's Chamber also covered with Leade, and there is a Chappell annexed to the said Chamber lykewyse covered with Leade, where ys a lyttell Bell weying by estimacion dimid. hundred Weight. Also there is a Mote and a Ponde adjoyning to the said Castell well stored with Fyshe.' (fn. 21)
Elizabeth stayed at Hartlebury for a week on one occasion, being entertained by Bishop Bullingham. (fn. 22)
The castle was the principal residence of the Bishops of Worcester during the 16th and first half of the 17th century, (fn. 23) until it fell into the hands of the Parliamentarians in 1646. In 1644 the Commissioners of Array, being pursued, fled here from Ombersley, considering it a safer place than Worcester, (fn. 24) but William Sandys, the governor of the castle, surrendered it in May 1646 to Colonel Thomas Morgan without a shot having been fired. (fn. 25)
The castle is said to have been destroyed by the Parliamentary army, but it was afterwards used as a prison for Royalist plotters, and from a survey taken in 1648 it is evident that the building was still standing. It was then described as a strong castle situated upon a rock with a moat round about it filled with water. The Commissioners intended to have it pulled down, and the value of the materials was estimated at £820 15s. 10d. (fn. 26) In 1647 the castle was sold with the manor to Thomas Westrowe. (fn. 27)
Bishop Lloyd was in residence in the reconstructed castle in 1699, and a list of the household goods found there by him is given in Francis Evans's diary. (fn. 28) Bishop Hurd was visited at the castle on 2 August 1788 by George III and the queen accompanied by the Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Princesses Augusta and Elizabeth. (fn. 29) It is said that in 1803, during the panic caused by the projected invasion of the Emperor Napoleon, his Majesty contemplated removing to Hartlebury with the royal family for greater security. (fn. 30) Bishop Hurd actually made the offer, and the king, though considering that he himself ought to be nearer the centre of action, said that in so unhappy an event he would feel much confidence in placing the queen and princesses under the care of the bishop. In 1846 Hartlebury was made the sole palace of the see of Worcester, (fn. 31) and some lands in the parish were vested in the bishop in 1870. (fn. 32)
There has been a chapel in the castle from very early times. In 1285 Bishop Giffard held an ordination in his chapel of Hartlebury. (fn. 33) Bishop Hemenhale received in this chapel the vow of the widowed Lady Isabella de Stepilton in 1337, and blessed her in forma benedicendarum viduarum. As she was not 'of the lord's jurisdiction' Lord William de Birmingham swore that such vow should be kept under penalty of 100d. 'in subsidy of the Holy Land to be applied.' (fn. 34) Orders were frequently celebrated by the bishops in this chapel. (fn. 35)
Hartlebury Castle stands on a plateau of red sandstone, surrounded on three sides by a moat partly filled with water. On the east side the moat has been filled up. The remaining part is about 100 ft. wide, and incloses a space of about 4 acres, on the west side of which the house is placed, the ground at the back falling away sharply to the level of the moat, while on the east or entrance side, towards the village of Hartlebury, there is a large forecourt. The whole of this space seems originally to have been inclosed by a wall, of which the north-west bastion alone remains. The character of its masonry suggests that it belongs to the period of Giffard. Of the house itself, which does not seems to have been more than a fortified manor-house, the earliest portions which can be definitely dated are the hall, the chapel, with the apartments to the west of it, and a small piece of the west wall of the present kitchen. They appear, from the few original details which have survived, to be of the 15th century, though much altered and incorporated into later work. Bishop Carpenter built a gate-house and draw-bridge on the east side of the house, near the present entrance gates, and he may perhaps have been the builder of the hall. The drastic rebuildings and alterations to which the castle was subjected in the last half of the 17th century have rendered the evidence of the structure itself difficult to read. Bishop Carpenter's gate-house has long disappeared, and Bishop Hurd is said to have removed in 1781 the last vestiges of the original keep, which is described as having stood to the east of the present house. (fn. 36) As the buildings stand at present they consist of the hall, with the principal entrance at the south-east, the chapel wing on the south, projecting towards the east, and connected with the hall by a range of buildings of nearly equal length, and a north wing, answering to the chapel wing.
The only original detail remaining in the hall is the timber roof, now partly concealed by a plaster ceiling at the level of the collars. There are six principals, two being against the wall at either end. They have wall posts, resting upon corbels, from which the collars are strutted by modern curved braces forming four-centred arches. The moulded ribs of the original ceiling following the slope of the sides of the roof are still visible, though the panels are plastered. The entrance is now at the south-east; the original entrance and the screens were probably at the north end, on which side was, and still is, the kitchen, though completely rebuilt. Two recesses with moulded four-centred heads and jambs, plastered and painted, opposite to each other at the south end of the hall, and containing the entrance and garden doorways, may perhaps point to the former existence of oriels at the daïs end. The north wall is now occupied by an early 19th-century stone geometrical staircase, leading to a doorway giving entrance to the first floor of the north wing. There are three plain pointed windows in the east wall. In the centre of the north wall is a fine stone chimney-piece of the late 17th century, placed there by Bishop Hough, with his shield over the opening, Worcester impaling argent a bend sable. South of the hall is the saloon, lighted by three pointed windows in its east wall, balancing those of the hall. The walls and ceiling are fine examples of early 18th-century plaster work. At the rear of the hall and saloon is a long corridor, divided by a lobby, through which the hall is entered from the moat or garden side. Previously to the end of the 18th century this would seem to have been of one story only. At this period Bishop Hurd added the library on the first floor above it. This is a fine apartment, long and narrow, divided into a central and two shorter end bays by Ionic columns, and having a semicircular bay window in the centre of the west wall. The ceiling is coved and flat, and the design is in the Adam manner. The original drawings which have been preserved are dated 1782, and are signed by one James Smith of Shifnall; the plaster work was executed by Joseph Bromfield of Shrewsbury. The elevation presented to the forecourt by this range of buildings is long, low, and uninteresting. The sandstone facing, which renders the earlier and later work externally indistinguishable, is probably the work of Bishop Fleetwood (consecrated 1675), whose shield is placed over the entrance porch. On either side of the porch are the plain pointed windows of the hall and saloon. A print of 1731 shows these as square-headed; by the end of the 18th century the testimony of another print shows that they had assumed their present form. The whole is crowned by an embattled parapet. The elevation towards the moat is of two stories, with the semicircular bay window of Bishop Hurd's library in the centre. The windows are plain square openings, and the parapet is likewise embattled. The slope of the roof towards the forecourt is slated, while the slope on the moat side is tiled. A flèche of Strawberry Hill Gothic, surmounted by a vane, and exhibiting a dial and pointer to show the direction of the wind, is perched on the centre of the ridge.
Adjoining the saloon on the south is a projecting two-storied portion containing the drawing room, a small library, and the principal stairs, while south of this again is the chapel, two stories in height, which projects nearly its whole length into the forecourt. At the west end of the chapel is a two-storied range of apartments of equal height, the west wall of which is flush with the west wall of the central range of buildings described above. Neither the drawing room nor the adjoining apartment possesses any feature of interest. The stairs appear to be of the last half of the 17th century, at which date this block appears to have been rebuilt. The chapel is a good example of the 'Gothic taste' of the 18th century. The date of the walls is uncertain. The print of 1731 referred to above shows an east window of four lights with intersecting tracery in the head and a gable over it. If any reliance can be placed on this view, it would put the date well back into the 14th century. Here again the refacing of the walls inside and out renders it impossible to dogmatize. The buttresses, of which there are five, two angle buttresses at the east end and three on the south wall, one belonging to the apartments at the west end, are suspiciously wiry in their proportions, but their mouldings seem too good for the 18th century. Some of the windows of the west part of the chapel range are evidently openings of the 15th century, having four-centred heads; on the whole, it seems most likely that the whole of the range, chapel included, may be assigned to that date. The chapel in its present form has an east window of three pointed lights, with three pointed two-light windows in each side wall, all of the 18th century. The chapel and the adjoining apartments on the west are covered by one hipped roof covered with slate. Internally the chapel is wainscoted with 'Gothic' panelling of the Batty Langley school. The ceiling is a plaster fan-vault. In the upper lights of the side windows are the shields of some of the most noteworthy of the former bishops. These, which are by Price, are good specimens of 18th-century glass painting. In the west wall is a window opening into the first floor of the adjoining apartment.
The northern wing balances the chapel wing and seems to be almost entirely of the 17th century, with the exception of part of the west wall of the kitchen, against which is a large buttress of one offset, which may belong to the 15th century.
The forecourt is inclosed by low brick walls on the north and south; on the east side are the entrance gates with small lodges on either side. These are the work of Fleetwood, though, like the rest of his work, Gothicized in the 18th century. An outer court is formed by stables running east and west on either side of the lodges. Those on the north side have been altered into a clergy-house. All trace of the moat on this side has disappeared.
There has for long been a PARK at Hartlebury. In the 16th century there was a 'lyttell Parke conteanying one Myle abowte … wherein be lxxvi Deare.' The keeper, Francis Blount, had pasture there for one horse and two kine by a grant of the dean and chapter, and by a grant for life from the bishop pasture for 5 kine. (fn. 37) In a deposition of the reign of Charles II it was said that the park of about 100 acres was impaled and well stocked with deer in early times, the bishop paying to the rector in lieu of tithes one shoulder of every deer killed there. It was disparked before it was sold with the manor to Thomas Westrowe in 1647, and was then divided up, one half of it being fenced. (fn. 38) In 1701 the park pale was in a state of dilapidation and Bishop Lloyd allowed timber for its repairs to be taken from Monks Wood and his demesne at Grimley and Hartlebury. (fn. 39) A detailed account of the deer in Hartlebury Park from 1699 to 1709 was kept by the bishop's secretary and is still preserved.
HARTLEBURY is said to have been given to the Bishop of Worcester by Burhed, King of Mercia (c. 850). (fn. 40) It certainly belonged to the bishopric in 985, when Bishop Oswald granted half a ' mansa' there to his 'familiar friend' Leofwine for three lives. (fn. 41) The manor is enumerated among the lands of the see in the Domesday Survey, (fn. 42) and in 1199 John granted to the bishop in this manor such liberties as he enjoyed in his other manors. (fn. 43)
The bishop obtained a grant of free warren at Hartlebury in 1254 and 1255. (fn. 44) In 1291 the manor, containing 2 carucates of land, was worth £25 13s. 4d. (fn. 45) It remained in the possession of successive bishops (fn. 46) until Bishop Hooper, during his short occupation of the see, gave it to Edward VI, (fn. 47) who in 1553 granted it to the Duke of Northumberland. (fn. 48) In the same year the duke sold it to Sir Francis Jobson. (fn. 49) On the restitution of Bishop Heath he re-entered into possession of the manor, (fn. 50) but Sir Francis Jobson, through the influence of the Earl of Leicester, obtained an Act confirming his title in March 1558, (fn. 51) in spite of the protests of the bishop. Sir Francis died in 1573, (fn. 52) and before 1578 the manor again became a possession of the see of Worcester. (fn. 53) In 1647 the Parliamentary Commissioners sold it to Thomas Westrowe. (fn. 54) At the Restoration it was given back to the see, (fn. 55) and passed in 1860 into the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, (fn. 56) who are the present lords of the manor.
Five 'manses' at WARESLEY (Waresley, x cent.; Wearesleah, xi cent.; Waereslege, xii cent.; Warbelsley, Warvysley, Wardesley, xvi cent.) were given by Bishop Oswald in 980 to his clerk Wulfgar. The land (fn. 57) remained subject to the church until shortly before the Conquest, when, Bishop Wulfstan having granted it to Alfwine son of Beorhtmœr, it was seized on the death of Alfwine by Urse the sheriff. (fn. 58) Thus, according to the monastic chronicler, the church lost this land. The bishop's right of overlordship seems, however, still to have been recognized, for in the 12th century the land was held of the manor of Hartlebury, (fn. 59) and was still said to be held of the bishop in 1505. (fn. 60)
Urse's interest passed to the lords of Elmley, and the manor was held of the honour of Elmley until the end of the 14th century. (fn. 61)
Towards the end of the 12th century Walter de Bromsgrove held Waresley of William de Beauchamp. (fn. 62)
The family of Bishopsdon held land under the Beauchamps at the beginning of the 13th century, if not earlier, for in 1208 a writ of mort d'ancestor was brought by William Black and his wife Eleanor in the name of Neste, the mother of Eleanor, against William de Bishopsdon for 2½ hides in Pepwell and Waresley. William called to warranty the son of William de Beauchamp to prove that the latter had given the land to Frarinus (fn. 63) de Bishopsdon. The plea concludes: 'William Black being asked by what warranty he married Eleanor said that he found her penniless and married her for herself.' (fn. 64) William de Bishopsdon, in the rebellion of the barons against John, followed his lord Walter de Beauchamp, and on that account forfeited his lands, but they were restored to him in 1216. (fn. 65) William was dealing with land in Waresley in 1220, (fn. 66) and it was perhaps his son William who granted land at Waresley in 1225 to Hawisia daughter of Eleanor, (fn. 67) who may have been his sister. William de Bishopsdon joined the barons against Henry III, and forfeited his lands, which were, however, restored to him in 1268, under the 'Dictum of Kenilworth.' (fn. 68) Thomas de Bishopsdon afterwards held the manor, his widow Joan holding dower of his lands in 1339. (fn. 69) John de Bishopsdon, who obtained a grant of free warren in his demesne lands here in 1319, was probably grandson of Thomas. (fn. 70) In 1339 this John, then Sir John, settled land in Waresley upon himself and his wife Beatrice for life, with remainder in tail-male to his sons Roger and John. (fn. 71) Beatrice survived her husband and her son Roger, and was still holding land at Waresley in 1374, when Thomas son of Roger de Bishopsdon conveyed the reversion after her death to trustees. (fn. 72) Thomas died in 1386 in possession of the manor of Waresley. (fn. 73) His son William succeeded and granted all his land in Waresley to his daughter Iseult in frank marriage. (fn. 74) Iseult apparently left no children, for the manor passed into Castesby family through the marriage of Philippa daughter of William de Bishopsdon with Sir William Catesby. (fn. 75)
Their son William Catesby was attainted and forfeited all his estates in 1486, but they were restored to his son George in 1495. (fn. 76) He died in 1505, leaving a son William, (fn. 77) on whose death in 1517 the estate passed to his brother Richard. (fn. 78) Richard died in 1553, leaving as his heir his kinsman William Catesby, then a minor. This William was his grandson, son of his son William. (fn. 79) The manor of Waresley was assigned as dower to Katherine widow of William son of Sir Richard Catesby, who afterwards became the wife of Anthony Throckmorton. (fn. 80) William (then Sir William) Catesby leased the manor in 1577 to Edmund Catesby and others for twenty-one years after the death of Katherine Throckmorton, who still held the manor as jointure. (fn. 81) This lease was assigned in 1591 to Thomas Best. (fn. 82) Habington states that Sir William Catesby sold the manor to Mr. Henry Cookes, 'in whose heirs Waresley for the greatest part continued,' (fn. 83) but it seems probable that the property was sold to Thomas Best by Sir William Catesby, for in 1619 William Best and his wife Margery were holding the manor, (fn. 84) and in 1646 Gervase Wheeler and his wife Joyce had come into possession of it, (fn. 85) and continued to hold it as late as 1694. (fn. 86) In 1764 William Wheeler was owner of the manor. (fn. 87) In 1817 it was conveyed by Thomas Harward and his wife Anne to William Prattinton. (fn. 88) Mr. Watson writing in 1839 said the manor then belonged to the Rev. Thomas Harward of Winterfold. (fn. 89) Part of the manor passed under his will to the Rev. Thomas Littleton Wheeler, whose son Canon Thomas Littleton Wheeler acquired the rest under the will of Miss Mary Jane Harward in 1908. On the death of Canon Wheeler in 1910 the property was vested in trustees for sale, his widow Mrs. Katherine Ewart Wheeler being tenant for life. (fn. 90)
There is no mention of PEPWELL (Pipewell, xiii cent.; Peopwell, Pepewell, xiv cent.; Peppwall, Popewelle, xv cent.) in the Domesday Survey, but it was probably one of the berewicks belonging to the manor of Hartlebury at that time, as it was held of that manor in 1281, when William de Portes did suit at the bishop's court of Hartlebury by reason of his tenure of Pepwell. (fn. 91) No other mention of the overlordship occurs.
As early as 1208 the Bishopsdon family held land here as well as in Waresley, (fn. 92) and it continued in their hands until about the end of the 14th century, when William de Bishopsdon gave it to his daughter Iseult in free marriage. After this little connexion can be made out between the successive owners. John Lench, who was attainted in 1461 and put to death 'for having followed his holy king and master Henry VI,' (fn. 93) owned a messuage and land in Pepwell. (fn. 94) In 1537 John son and heir of William 'Stapull' granted the manor to Richard Hunt for £30, part of it being then held by Elizabeth Grewell, John's grandmother. (fn. 95) John Stapleton sold it in 1538 to Henry Morgan, (fn. 96) who with his wife Agnes is known to have owned the property until 1549. (fn. 97) William Cookes had acquired it before 1595, and after his death in 1619 he was succeeded by his son Edward. (fn. 98) Prattinton, writing at the beginning of the 19th century, states that Pepwell then belonged to Mr. Glasebrook. (fn. 99)
The manor of UPPER MITTON (Mutton, xiv cent.) is in the hundred of Lower Halfshire, and is separated from the rest of the parish of Hartlebury by the River Stour. It is not mentioned by name in the Domesday Survey, but it was probably one of the six berewicks of Hartlebury, of which manor it was held until the 17th century. (fn. 100)
In 1359–60 John Sapy and his wife Isabel sold a messuage, a mill, and a carucate of land in Over Mitton to Edmund de Brugge. (fn. 101) John Lench held land at Mitton at the time of his attainder in 1461, (fn. 102) and this was granted in the following year to Sir Walter Scull. (fn. 103)
Agnes widow of John Dombleton died seised of the manor of Over Mitton in 1495. (fn. 104) Her heir and successor Margery daughter of William Dombleton was involved in the following year in a lawsuit with Richard Habington and Richard Brown as to a watermill belonging to this manor. (fn. 105) According to the Visitation of Worcester of 1569 the two plaintiffs were sons of Elizabeth or Parnell and Perino, daughters of John de Dombleton and his wife Agnes. (fn. 106) The manor of Over Mitton seems eventually to have passed to Richard Brown, for he and his wife Anna sold it in 1522 to Henry White, William Jefson, and Edward Saxilby, (fn. 107) who conveyed it three years later to Simon Rice. (fn. 108) It then passed with Croome D'Abitot (q.v.) to Sir Francis Clare, who inherited it in 1580. (fn. 109) From that date it followed the same descent as Caldwall Hall in Kidderminster (q.v.) until 1777, when it passed with that manor from Anthony Deane to Matthew and Thomas Jeffreys. (fn. 110) Its descent after that time has not been found.
POOLLANDS FARM was leased by John Pooler from the Bishop of Worcester in 1655, when he was accused of being an adherent of the King of Scotland and his estates sequestered. (fn. 111) Evidence having been brought before the Treasury Commissions to prove the accusation groundless, his estates were restored, but four years later they were again sequestered for his complicity in Sir George Booth's rising. (fn. 112) Hugh Pooler was holding a lease of Poollands in 1664, (fn. 113) and in 1710 an Act was passed for the sale of the estate of Humphrey Pooler. (fn. 114)
There were belonging to the Bishop of Worcester (fn. 115) in this parish in 1086 two mills worth 4s. and 10 horseloads of grain yearly. They were worth £3 in 1291. (fn. 116) Eight years later one water-mill 'next the vivary' was leased by the bishop to Adam de Hartlebury and his wife Agnes. (fn. 117) This mill was known as 'Polemulne,' and there was also a fullingmill in the manor. (fn. 118) In 1302 the water-mill was leased for 58s. and the fulling-mill for 23s. (fn. 119) In 1644 an order was issued to all commanders in the service of the king and Parliament to forbid the plunder of cloth in the fulling-mills in Hartlebury belonging to Robert Wilmot. (fn. 120) At the present day there is a corn-mill at Titton on a tributary of the Severn and another on the Stour.
The bishops had fishing rights in Hartlebury, a weir in the Severn being leased at 16s. in 1299, (fn. 121) and at 11s. 3d. in 1302. (fn. 122) There were four fishponds in the manor in 1299. (fn. 123) In 1359 Bishop Brian wrote denouncing 'certain sons of iniquity who have incurred excommunication' for entering his manor and taking away fish. (fn. 124)
The tenants of the bishop in the 16th century were allowed common pasture for their cattle on the bishop's meadow of 16 acres from Michaelmas to Candlemas, in return for which they cut and made the hay on 10 acres of the meadow without payment, the bishop supplying them with meat and drink during this work. (fn. 125)
The church of ST. JAMES (fn. 126) consists of a chancel, with south chapel and north organ chamber and vestry, nave with north and south aisles, continued west to form staircases to the side galleries, a western tower and a west porch. The building is almost completely modern, having been designed by Rickman in 1836, and as such is not without interest. The detail is scholarly but the general design is poor. The chancel is three bays long with open arcades to the two eastern bays. On the north side this is original early 14th-century work with pointed arches of two chamfered orders resting on piers of four halfround columns with moulded circular capitals and bases, and is the only part of the chancel not entirely modern. The arcading on the south is a modern copy. The east window is of four lights with geometrical tracery, and the moulded chancel arch has shafted jambs. The nave, of similar design, is four bays long with attenuated sandstone piers supporting two-centred moulded arches, above which is a groined and vaulted plaster ceiling. The north and south aisles are lit by five three-light windows divided horizontally by the north and south galleries. The tower is of 16th-century date and bears on a pedimented tablet the arms of Bishop Sandys and the date 1587. It is of three stages with diagonal buttresses and an embattled parapet with modern angle pinnacles. The belfry openings are of two lights under a three-centred main arch. Against the west side of the tower is a modern two-storied porch, and above the west door is a window of three lights. Only the lower part of the bowl of the font is original 12th-century work. It is circular with nail-head ornament.
The tower contains a ring of eight bells with a sanctus. The treble and second are modern, and were cast in 1900 by Mears & Stainbank of Whitechapel when the belfry was restored. The third was cast by J. Briant of Hertford in 1812, and the fourth was recast in 1900. The fifth and seventh are dated 1640, and are the work of Thomas Hancox, the latter bearing the inscription in Roman capitals 'Master Eyre the coroner gave to this bell thirty pounds.' The sixth is an interesting mediaeval bell by a 16th-century Worcester founder, and bears the inscription in Lombardic capitals 'SANCTA MARIA VIRGO INTERCEDE PRO TOTO MUNDO QVEYA (sic) GENVISTI REGEM ORBIS.' The eighth was cast by Abraham Rudhall in 1704, and the sanctus bears the churchwardens' names and the date 1678.
The plate consists of a set presented by William Lloyd, Bishop of Worcester, and Ann his wife, 1714, having been made in the previous year. The set comprises two cups, one handle paten and one flat paten, two flagons and an almsdish, all silver gilt.
The registers are as follows: (i) mixed entries from 1540 to 1754 with gaps 1553 to 1560 and 1672 to 1673; (ii) baptisms and burials 1755 to 1787; (iii) baptisms and burials 1788 to 1812; (iv) marriages 1754 to 1803; (v) marriages 1803 to 1812.
The church of ALL SAINTS at Wilden was built in 1879 by the late Mr. Alfred Baldwin as a chapel of ease to St. Michael, Stourport. It consists of chancel, nave, organ chamber, south porch and western bell-turret. Wilden was constituted a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1904, the living being a vicarage in the gift of Mr. Stanley Baldwin.
The Mission Church of ST. MARY, Bishop's Wood, was presented to the parish by Bishop Philpott, who opened it in 1882. It is built in the half-timbered style of the surrounding houses, on a beautiful site overlooking the Severn. Bishop Philpott was buried in the churchyard, which was added in 1892. Archdeacon Lea presented a little silver cup said to be of 1571 for use in this church. (fn. 127)
There is a church mission room at Summerfield.
A priest at Hartlebury is mentioned in 1086, (fn. 128) and the church was granted by Bishop Samson in 1097 to the monks of Worcester with a hide of land and the tithes. (fn. 129) In 1148 Bishop Simon confirmed to them the church with a chapel and lands belonging. (fn. 130) Bishop Giffard consecrated a church at Hartlebury in honour of St. James the Apostle in 1269. (fn. 131) Wishing to enrich the college of Westbury-on-Trym Giffard tried to appropriate the rectory of Hartlebury to it, (fn. 132) and for a short time Hartlebury became a vicarage, the rector presenting a vicar in 1280. (fn. 133) On account of the expostulations of the monks of Worcester the bishop revoked the appropriation, and in 1290 he presented John de Rodeberewe (fn. 134) to the church, having previously given it to him as a prebend of Westbury. (fn. 135) The advowson of the church of Hartlebury has belonged from that time to the Bishops of Worcester. (fn. 136)
The living of Hartlebury was a peculiar, the rector holding concurrent jurisdiction with the chancellor in proving wills and granting administrations. It was visited by the bishop triennially, the other two years by the rector of Hartlebury. (fn. 137)
In 1291 the church of Hartlebury was valued at £20, (fn. 138) and at 30 marks in the 14th century. (fn. 139) In 1535 the rectory was valued at £30. (fn. 140) At this time the rector of Hartlebury received from the rectory of Elmley Lovett 20s. 6d. and from the rectory of Doverdale 2s. (fn. 141) The rector of Hartlebury sued the xrector of Doverdale in 1450 for this latter sum, which he claimed had been paid from time immemorial. (fn. 142) Bishop Simon in the 12th century granted all tithes of hay in his vill of Hartlebury to the use of the monks and for hospitality. (fn. 143) These tithes were said in 1303 to be worth 16s. (fn. 144) A rent of £1 6s. 8d. was paid to the monks of Worcester out of the rectory of Hartlebury in 1291, (fn. 145) and in 1542 Henry VIII granted this rent to the Dean and Chapter of Worcester. (fn. 146) This gift was confirmed by James I. (fn. 147)
A chantry dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin was founded in the church of St. Mary the Virgin of Hartlebury in 1323 by Richard Mayel for the souls of John de Rodeberewe (fn. 148) and his father and mother and all the faithful departed, certain lands in Waresley 'Wetelyng' (?Whitlench), Stone, Shenston, Walton and Lychmor being granted to a chaplain to celebrate daily service there. (fn. 149) In 1337 Richard Mayel and Maud, formerly wife of Alexander D'Abitot, presented the chantry priest, (fn. 150) but before 1457 the patronage had devolved upon the bishop. (fn. 151) The chantry is mentioned again in 1472, (fn. 152) but appears to have been dissolved before 1549, its revenues having, perhaps, been granted before that time to Hartlebury School, for among the property of the governors of the school are Chantry Meadow and the meadow of St. Mary. (fn. 153) Kenrick Watson, writing in 1839, states that in the churchyard under an arch in the wall of that part of the church which was formerly called St. Mary's chantry was a monument of John de Rodeberewe, but that the monument was destroyed when the old church was taken down. (fn. 154) It is uncertain whether this chantry was the same as the chantry of Waresley to which the bishop presented in 1362. (fn. 155)
In 1548 there was an obit in the parish maintained by the rent of a piece of meadow then worth 1s. 6d., (fn. 156) and in 1638 Charles I granted to Sir Edward Sawyer a meadow called Netherton in the parish of Kidder-minster, which had been given for obits in Hartlebury Church. (fn. 157)
Upper Mitton, part of the benefice of Hartlebury, was transferred to Lower Mitton in 1877. (fn. 158)
The Congregationalists have a mission chapel at Crossway Green in connexion with Baxter Chapel, Kidderminster, erected in 1860, and there is a Baptist chapel at Upper Mitton.
The Free Grammar School and charity of Mrs. Hannah Eyre for education. (fn. 159)
In 1634 Samuel Manninge, by will proved at Worcester, gave a close of land to the poor. The trust property consists of about 5 a. in St. Peter, Droitwich, producing £10 yearly, which is distributed in sums of 4s. each to poor widows.
The Almshouse Charity—as recorded on the table of benefactions—about 2 a. of land with two cottages thereon in the manor of Waresley were appropriated to the use of the poor. The property is let at £11 6s. a year, which is also distributed in sums of 4s. each to poor widows.
In 1821 William Hyde by will left a legacy of £400, now represented by £430 13s. 8d. consols with the official trustees, the annual dividends of which, amounting to £10 15s. 4d. are applied as to £2 5s. to the bell-ringers for ringing peals on the anniversary of testator's birth, 10s. to the parish clerk and 2s. to the sexton for attending to the grave of testator's mother, the residue being distributed in bread.
In 1874 Mary Hurst by deed gave a sum of £50 for coals for the poor. It was invested in £53 16s. 6d. consols with the official trustees, producing £1 6s. 8d. yearly.