Parishes: Severn Stoke

A History of the County of Worcester: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1924.

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'Parishes: Severn Stoke', in A History of the County of Worcester: Volume 4, (London, 1924) pp. 192-197. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

In this section


Stoche (xi cent.); Stokes, Stoke, Stokis, Stoka, Sauernestoch, Savernestoke (xii cent.).

The parish of Severn Stoke, inclusive of the hamlets of Clifton, Kinnersley and Sandford, has an area of 3,326 acres, about two-thirds of which are devoted to pasture. (fn. 1) It stands on the left bank of the Severn and contains about 188 acres of woodland. The land, low lying in the west and northwest, rises to the east and south, the highest points being on the southern boundary, where heights of over 160 ft. above the ordnance datum are reached; there are beautiful views of the Malvern Hills and surrounding country. The soil is loam, gravel, sand and clay and the subsoil Keuper Marl and Alluvium. The chief crops are wheat, barley, roots and early peas. There is much meadow-land on the banks of the river. There was a vineyard here in the 12th century, but it existed only as a close in 1315. (fn. 2) The south-west of the parish is watered by several streams which flow into the Severn.

The village of Severn Stoke lies at the foot of a fairly steep hill, about midway between Worcester and Tewkesbury, on the high road connecting those places. It contains several cross-timbered houses. The church of St. Denis, which stands low near the river bank, is backed by the dark woods of Severn Bank. Near it is the rectory; a little to the north of the village there is a pound.

A mile north, on the Worcester road, is the hamlet of Sandford, where there are brick and tile works on the river bank. Half a mile further north is Clifton, in which the chief building of interest is Clifton Court, now a farm-house. Near Clifton is Ashmoor Common, from which a brook runs south through Sandford into the Severn. Black Naunton lies to the south-east of Clifton, and near it is Birch Farm. (fn. 3) The hamlet of Kinnersley is about a mile east of the village.

A little south-west of the village, on a marl bank rising from the Severn, is Severn Bank, a mansion built by one of the Earls of Coventry (fn. 4) and still belonging to Lord Coventry. It is now occupied by Mrs. Long.

During the Commonwealth the minister of Severn Stoke was shot at in his pulpit by John Somers. The hole is still to be seen in the pulpit. (fn. 5) Severn Stoke in 1671 was the head quarters of the 'Levellers, (fn. 6) a number of rude and dissolute people who do many exploits of villainy and roguery in the country.' Warrants were issued for their arrest, but the death of the leaders caused the band to disperse. (fn. 7)

From 1170–89 there are many references on the Pipe Rolls to the 'recluse (inclusa) of Stoke,' who had an annual pension of 30s. 5d. from the king's bounty. (fn. 8) Henry le Truer, king's messenger, in 1264 had a grant for life of 1d. a day 'as the recluse of Severn Stoke received it of the king's appointed alms.' (fn. 9)

The common lands in this parish were inclosed by an Act of 1774 (fn. 10); the award was made 27 June 1775. (fn. 11)

William Loe, divine and author, chaplain to James I, was rector of Severn Stoke from 1611 to 1612. Henry Greisley, a translator, afterwards a prebendary of Worcester, was rector there from 1661 to 1678. (fn. 12) John Somers, father of John Lord Somers, the Lord Chancellor (1697–1700), had an estate at Clifton in Severn Stoke, which was sold by Sir Charles Cocks, towards the end of the 18th century, to Lord Coventry. (fn. 13)

The following place-names occur: Kekynwyche Grounde, (fn. 14) Wynshull, (fn. 15) Benhay (fn. 16) (xvi cent.).


SEVERN STOKE is doubtless to be identified with 'Stoce,' 10 manses in which are said to have been confirmed to the abbey of Pershore by King Edgar in 972. (fn. 17) At the time of the Domesday Survey this land formed part of the manor of Pershore which had been given by Edward the Confessor to Westminster Abbey, (fn. 18) and was held, as it had been in his reign, by Alvred of Marlborough. (fn. 19) It was gelded at 15 hides, and the whole was held in 1086 by Alvred, (fn. 20) of whom two radmanni had a hide, and two men, William and Boselin, had 2 hides and 3 virgates. Alvred's lands soon escheated, for a survey of a rather later date accounts for 15 hides in 'Stokes Roberti,' of which 12 were of the fee of the king and 3 of the fee of Westminster. (fn. 21) In 1166 the king held Severn Stoke, for which he owed to the Abbot of Westminster the service of one knight. (fn. 22) In 1167–8 it was held of the king by Walter Beauchamp, (fn. 23) but was forfeited by him apparently before 1170. (fn. 24) In 1194–5 the sheriff rendered account of £4 10s. for Severn Stoke, escheat of William Turpin. (fn. 25) It was still in the Crown in the next year, (fn. 26) but before 1199 Richard I gave Severn Stoke to Baldwin de Betun Earl of Albemarle, (fn. 27) who gave all his lands in England, including this manor, to William son of William Marshal Earl of Pembroke on his marriage with Alice, Baldwin's only daughter. (fn. 28) The gift was confirmed by King John in 1203, (fn. 29) but Baldwin retained a life interest till his death in 1212. (fn. 30) Alice died without issue before April 1219, and in 1224 William married the Lady Eleanor, sister of Henry III. (fn. 31) In 1229 the manor of Severn Stoke was confirmed to him with reversion to his wife for life (fn. 32); he had, however, subinfeudated it at about this time to Roger Clifford. William died without issue in 1231, (fn. 33) and Eleanor held the overlordship of the manor till her death in 1275. (fn. 34) The overlordship then followed the earldom of Pembroke (fn. 35) till 1245, when it fell to co-heirs. Severn Stoke was afterwards held of the manor of Hanley Castle. (fn. 36)

Marshal. Party or and vert a lion gules.

William Earl of Pembroke had given this manor about 1229 to Roger Clifford (fn. 37) of Clifford in Herefordshire, who died in 1231–2. (fn. 38) His son Roger (fn. 39) had a grant of free warren in Severn Stoke in 1248, (fn. 40) and, as his son Roger had died in 1282, (fn. 41) he settled the manor in 1284 on himself and his wife with remainder to his grandson Roger, a younger son of Roger Clifford, jun. (fn. 42) Roger the elder died in 1286, (fn. 43) and in 1310 the manor belonged to his elder grandson Robert Clifford, Roger, on whom the manor had been settled in 1284, having apparently died childless. Robert, who was summoned as Lord Clifford in 1299, (fn. 44) had in 1310 a grant of a weekly market on Monday and a yearly fair on the vigil, the feast and the morrow of St. Faith (6 October) at his manor of Severn Stoke. (fn. 45) He was slain at Bannockburn in 1314, (fn. 46) being then seised of a messuage and a garden here. (fn. 47) His son Roger joined the rebellion of Thomas Earl of Lancaster and was taken prisoner at Boroughbridge and executed at York in 1322, when Severn Stoke was forfeited. (fn. 48) It was given into the custody of Richard de Foxcote (fn. 49) and afterwards granted to Hugh le Despencer, jun., and Eleanor his wife. (fn. 50) Hugh was hanged in 1326, (fn. 51) and the custody of the manor was given to Henry de Percy and Robert Clifford, brother and heir of Roger, (fn. 52) and to Robert alone on his attaining full age in 1327. (fn. 53) In 1332–3 Robert Clifford was the principal landowner in Severn Stoke. (fn. 54) He died in 1344, his son and heir Robert being then under age. (fn. 55) Robert paid 40s. for a knight's fee in Severn Stoke in 1346. (fn. 56) He died without issue about 1349, holding this manor for life jointly with his wife Euphemia, who survived him. (fn. 57) She married Sir Walter Heselarton and held the manor till her death in 1393. (fn. 58) Robert's heir was his brother Roger, who died in 1389. (fn. 59) His son Thomas died in 1391 holding the reversion of the manor of Severn Stoke after the death of Euphemia. (fn. 60) He was succeeded by an infant son John, during whose minority the custody of the manor was granted to William Lord de Roos. (fn. 61) John was slain at the siege of Meaux in 1422, having granted this manor in 1414 to William del Garth and others, (fn. 62) who held it during the minority of John's young son Thomas Clifford. (fn. 63) Thomas fought on the side of Henry VI, and was slain at the battle of St. Albans in 1454. (fn. 64) His son John was one of the Lancastrian leaders at the battle of Wakefield, 1460. He was known as Bloody Clifford or the Butcher, and was slain the day before the battle of Towton, 1461. He was attainted, his peerage forfeited and his estates confiscated, (fn. 65) Severn Stoke being granted in 1474 to Humphrey Stafford of Grafton. (fn. 66) On the accession of Henry VII the attainder was reversed and the title and estates were restored to Henry Clifford, son of John, who died in 1523. (fn. 67) Severn Stoke was settled by his son Henry on himself and his wife Margaret in 1532–3. (fn. 68) He died in 1542, (fn. 69) having been created Earl of Cumberland in 1525. His son and heir Henry sold Severn Stoke to Elizabeth Onely, widow, (fn. 70) who died 2 August 1556. (fn. 71) Her son Thomas Lee succeeded her, and in 1572 bequeathed Severn Stoke to his wife Mary for life with remainder to Richard son of Richard Lee of 'Wyddebury' (Cheshire). (fn. 72) He died in the same year, his heir being his nephew William Watson (son of Anne daughter of Elizabeth Onely), who had an interest in this manor till 1591 or later. (fn. 73) In 1610 Richard Lee gave Severn Stoke to Robert Barnefield in exchange for an estate in Cheshire. (fn. 74) Barnefield sold it in 1631 to Sir William Courteen, (fn. 75) who held it at the time of his death in 1636. (fn. 76) His son and heir William conveyed the manor in 1636 to Sir Edward Lyttelton. (fn. 77) Though Severn Stoke was seized in 1649 as land of Sir William Courteen and Sir Edward Lyttelton, (fn. 78) delinquents, (fn. 79) it must have been sold before that time to Thomas Lord Coventry, who was holding it at his death in 1640. (fn. 80) Since that date Severn Stoke has descended with Croome D'Abitôt, (fn. 81) the Earl of Coventry being the present owner. (fn. 82)

Clifford. Checky or and azure a fesse gules.

The manor of Severn Stoke was within the boundary of Malvern Chase, the lord of the manor being a free suitor at the court of Hanley Castle. (fn. 83) The wood of Severn Stoke is mentioned in 1086 as being 2 leagues in length and a league in breadth. (fn. 84) Two bucks every week during the season from Severn Stoke were granted in 1231 to Isabel the king's sister dwelling in the castle of Marlborough. (fn. 85)

There was a windmill and a fish-pond in the manor in 1315, (fn. 86) and the lord had a free fishery in the Severn in the 17th century. (fn. 87)

In 1315 Roger Golafre held 3 virgates of land in Severn Stoke of Robert Clifford. (fn. 88) This land in 1505 had passed to Robert Arderne. (fn. 89) It was called 'the manor of Severn Stoke' on the death of John Arderne in 1525, (fn. 90) and was held in succession by his son Thomas and his great-grandson Edward. (fn. 91)

The manor of CLIFTON possibly represents land which, in 1328, when the Prior of Little Malvern claimed the wardship of the heir of Walter le Blake, (fn. 92) was shown to have been held by the Blake family of the priors by ancient feoffment. (fn. 93) It is mentioned at the Dissolution as a manor in the possession of the priory of Little Malvern, of the clear annual value of 62s. 8½d. (fn. 94) It was granted in 1543 to Richard Andrews and Nicholas Temple, (fn. 95) who had licence to alienate it in the same year to Nicholas Clifton and Anne his wife. (fn. 96) They settled the manor in 1577 on their younger son Francis. (fn. 97) Nicholas Clifton was succeeded in 1588 by two granddaughters Anne and Eleanor, daughters of his elder son Thomas, (fn. 98) who had livery of their lands in 1594. (fn. 99) They conveyed Clifton in 1598 to Francis Clifton, their uncle, (fn. 100) who settled it on them in 1615. (fn. 101) He died in 1616, and was succeeded by Anne, then widow of — Greville, and Eleanor, then wife of Francis Buck, who had livery in the following year, (fn. 102) Anne being then the wife of Thomas Rea. In 1633 Eleanor with her son Brutus Buck sold Clifton to Sir William Courteen. (fn. 103) It has since descended with Severn Stoke (q.v.). The site of the manor was conveyed by Richard Moore and Jane his wife in 1605 to Sir John Buck and George Wylde, (fn. 104) and by Francis and Henry Clifton to the same in 1606. (fn. 105)

The manor of BLACK NAUNTON (Newenton, xiv cent.) may probably be identified with the lands of Robert le Blake, or Blac, who in 1180–1 (fn. 106) paid relief for his lands, amounting to half a knight's fee, in Severn Stoke. (fn. 107) This entry is repeated in the two following years. (fn. 108) In 1195 this or another Robert le Blake gave 2 marks 'for having his inheritance in Severn Stoke, which was worth a mark yearly.' (fn. 109) In 1237–8 Robert 'le Neir' gave to Avice widow of Richard de Severn Stoke a third part of 3½ virgates of land in Naunton which Avice claimed as dower. (fn. 110)

John D'Abitot in 1265 granted to Thomas le Blake and Agatha his wife lands in Hillfield in Severn Stoke, (fn. 111) which they in 1271–2 granted to Geoffrey de la Hide. (fn. 112) Nicholas le Blake of Naunton dealt with lands here in 1275. (fn. 113) Adam de Naunton in 1274–5 narrowed the king's way in the vill of Naunton. (fn. 114) In 1276 he was assessed at 2s. under Severn Stoke, while John, Thomas, Richard and Nicholas le Blake also paid subsidies here. (fn. 115) In 1315 Alice de Naunton was returned as holder of a quarter of a fee in Naunton under Robert Clifford. (fn. 116) Reginald le Blake was a landowner in Severn Stoke in 1332–3. (fn. 117)

As a manor Black Naunton first appears in the 15th century in the possession of John Throckmorton, (fn. 118) who enfeoffed John Cade and others to make an estate for one Thomas Greet. (fn. 119) Thomas left it to his wife Margery, who married as her second husband Thomas Washbourne. The manor appears to have reverted to the Throckmortons, however, for in 1518 Sir Robert Throckmorton died seised of Black Naunton Manor, held of Lord Clifford. (fn. 120) He was succeeded by his son George, who in 1543–4 mortgaged the manor to John Legh of London. (fn. 121) Black Naunton is mentioned in the will of Sir George Throckmorton, 1552, (fn. 122) and his son and heir, Sir Robert Throckmorton, sold it in 1562 to John Folliott of Pirton, (fn. 123) with which manor Black Naunton has since descended. (fn. 124)

Throckmorton. Gules a cheveron argent with three gimel bars sable thereon.

BLAKE'S FARM was held of the manor of Clifton, (fn. 125) probably by the Blake family. It is first mentioned in 1539, being given by Richard Monington to his daughter Sybil and her husband Sir Rowland Morton. The latter died in 1554 and was succeeded by a son Richard. (fn. 126) Sybil was holding the property in 1556 (fn. 127) and 1576. (fn. 128) In 1603 Thomas Morton and Anne his wife, Rowland Morton and John Morton granted it to James Morton. (fn. 129) It was conveyed in 1651 by Sir William Morton, kt., (fn. 130) and Anne his wife to Thomas Peirson and Richard Williams. (fn. 131)


The church of ST. DENIS consists of chancel 30 ft. by 17 ft. 9 in., south transept 18 ft. 9 in. by 17 ft. 9 in., nave 69 ft. 6 in. by 21 ft., south aisle 42 ft. by 15 ft. 6 in., tower 11 ft. square, and south porch. The tower stands opposite the transept on the north side of the nave, to which it is open in the lower stage. The width across nave and aisle is 39 ft. 6 in. and the total length of the building is 102 ft. 3 in. All the measurements are internal.

The oldest parts of the building are the lower part of the west wall and part of the north wall of the nave, which retain several 12th-century features. Other portions of the structure may be of this date, several fragments of masonry exhibiting architectural detail of the same period occurring as named below, but these were in most cases apparently due to the re-use of old materials by the later builders. There is, however, sufficient evidence to show that a building of some importance existed in the 12th century, the north and west nave walls of which stood in the same position as at present. Whether the nave extended so far eastward as now cannot be stated. This 12thcentury building no doubt consisted of a rectangular chancel and aisleless nave and seems to have remained unaltered till the 14th century, when the whole structure was rebuilt in its present form, the plan having since remained unaltered. The 14th-century porch, which had a chamber over it, has, however, disappeared, and a new east window was inserted in the 15th century. The transept is known as the Warwick chapel and is of the same date as the rest of the building. Its south wall projects only about 3 ft. in front of that of the aisle. The chancel was restored in 1872, and following a flood in 1886, when the water rose to nearly 3 ft. above the floor of the church, the building was restored in 1890, when the whole of the nave fittings were removed, the plaster scraped from the walls, the stucco removed from the exterior of the tower, the floor relaid in concrete, and the roofs retiled. The church is built throughout of rubble masonry and the roofs, with the exception of that of the aisle, are covered with red tiles overhanging at the eaves. The aisle has a flat-pitched lean-to leaded roof and the porch is a modern one of timber.

The chancel has square angle buttresses of two stages and the east window is the original 15thcentury one of three trefoiled lights with perpendicular tracery. The north wall of the chancel is blank, but on the south side are two windows, each of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in the head, modern restorations of 14th-century work. The rear arches are original. There is a square-headed piscina recess in the usual position, but no traces of a bowl or drain remain. The priest's doorway, which is between the windows, is modern or a restoration. Below the westernmost of the two south windows are inserted three stones, each carved with sunk ornament within a circle, and on the north side of the chancel arch, facing west, is built a stone with two star ornaments. Above the arch itself is another early fragment carved with a small herringbone pattern. The chancel arch is pointed and of two chamfered orders, both dying into the wall on the east side, but the outer one carried down towards the nave. The oak reredos was erected to the memory of Leila Louisa, wife of the Rev. Henry William Coventry, rector of Severn Stoke; she died in 1899.

The north wall of the nave is divided externally into three bays by 14th-century buttresses of two stages. The 12th-century features consist of a round-headed window high up in the wall in the westernmost bay, a double flat buttress at the northwest angle, a pilaster buttress further east, and a portion of a triangular grooved and chamfered stringcourse in the middle bay, about 14 ft. above the ground level, ranging with the lower part of the window. The window has a plain head in one stone, without hood mould, and splays out internally in the usual manner. The pilaster buttress is about 19 ft. from the west end and goes the full height of the wall, but is partly covered by the later buttress which is built up against it. The middle bay has a built-up pointed doorway and the easternmost one a three-light modern window with perpendicular tracery. Internally, to the west of this window and 5 ft. above the floor, is the lower part of the 12th-century attached shaft with moulded base, together with two loose fragments of the same period, the whole contained within a later recess. There are remains of a 12th-century west doorway, part of the south jamb being visible inside. Externally two 12th-century stones are built into the head of a later square-headed recess below the west window and another fragment carved with cheveron ornament occurs in the wall further south. The west window is modern and of five cinquefoiled lights with the mullions crossing in the head and tracery of 14th-century type, probably a copy of the original window. The jambs inside are ancient. The arcade consists of four pointed arches of two orders springing from square piers with a half-round on each face, and having moulded capitals and bases following the same section. The outer order is simply chamfered, but the inner has the characteristic 14th-century wave moulding and all the detail is good. The easternmost arch opens to the transept, and the arch dividing the transept from the aisle is of similar character, springing from the first pier and from a respond opposite.

The transept is lighted on the south side by an unrestored window of four trefoiled lights with flowing tracery in the head, and on the east by two restored windows of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil above, set within a wide containing rear arch. There is no trace of any mediaeval ritual arrangements, but the roof has a flat wooden ceiling divided into sixty-four small panels by moulded ribs, a modern copy or restoration of an original feature. The south aisle has two windows, one on each side of the porch, and a third at the west end, all similar to those on the east side of the transept and equally restored. The south doorway is original and has a pointed arch of two orders, with hood mould, the inner order with the wave moulding and the outer hollow chamfered, both continued to the ground. To the west of the opening inside is a doorway, now built up, to the former porch chamber. It is square-headed and the sill is 6 ft. 3 in. above the aisle floor. The old porch had a vaulted ceiling, the wall rib and the springers of the vaulting ribs supported by mutilated carved heads still remaining above and on either side of the doorway.

The tower has a projecting vice in the south-west corner carried up as a turret above the embattled parapet, and diagonal buttresses of four stages on the north side. It consists of four internal stages, but they are unmarked outside by string-course or set-off of any kind. The lower stage, which is open to the nave, is lighted by two original windows, each of two trefoiled lights with quatrefoil in the head, one on the north and the other on the east side, and the two middle stages have square-headed single-light openings to east and west. There is a clock dial on the east side facing the road. The tower arch is of two chamfered orders, both dying into the wall. The lower stage is used as an organ chamber and vestry and has a late built-up fireplace in the northwest corner. The doorway to the vice is also built up and a new one formed on the outside. In the vestry is an oak chest with three locks and an old communion table with turned legs. Some 17thcentury panelling has been used up in the organ case.

The font is of 14th-century date and consists of an octagonal bowl with panelled sides and blank shields below. In the chancel is a 15th-century prayer-desk with carved ends and front, but all the other fittings are modern. Some old glass remains in the top lights of the south window of the transept and in one of its two eastern windows.

On the north wall of the chancel is a marble monument to John Somers (d. January 1680–1) and Catherine (Severn) his wife, erected by their son John Lord Somers, who wrote the Latin inscription. (fn. 132) An inscribed stone to Richard Somer (d. 1598) with a punning epitaph is now set up against the south wall of the nave near the east end. (fn. 133) Some old encaustic tiles found at the time of the last restoration are now in the recess in the north wall of the nave.

There is a ring of five bells; the treble, third and tenor by John Martin are dated 1648, and the fourth 1605; the second was recast by H. Bond & Sons, of Burford, Oxon., in 1900, when all the bells were rehung. (fn. 134) There is also a 'little bell' without date or inscription.

The plate consists of a chalice of 1571, with the usual floral band and later cover paten, (fn. 135) a salver paten without date letter, inscribed 'Ex dono Thome et Joh'is Somer,' (fn. 136) and a flagon of 1571 inscribed 'Thomas Chapleyne and Joan his wife,' and on the domed lid 'Ex dono Thomae Chapleyne.' (fn. 137)

The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) baptisms, burials and marriages 1538 to 1728; (ii) baptisms and burials 1729 to 1775, marriages 1729 to 1769; (iii) baptisms and burials 1729 to 1812, marriages 1729 to 1769; (iv) marriages 1754 to 1786; (v) marriages 1786 to 1812.

To the south of the chancel is the moulded base and part of the shaft of a churchyard cross on a new stone plinth. The shaft, which is octagonal in section, has a slight taper; it stands 4 ft. 9 in. high, and there is a niche in the base facing south.


A priest is mentioned in the Domesday Survey of Severn Stoke. (fn. 138) In 1229 the advowson belonged to Roger Clifford, (fn. 139) whose son presented to the church in 1273. (fn. 140) His successors in the manor have always held the patronage of the living. (fn. 141)

In 1245 the benefice was found to be insufficient for the maintenance of a priest, and an additional benefice was granted to the incumbent. This arrangement continued for some years, (fn. 142) and the curates under these pluralist rectors were probably also presented by the lords of the manor, for in 1315 Robert Clifford was said to hold the advowson both of the church and vicarage of Severn Stoke. (fn. 143) This practice seems to have given rise to a supposition that the living of Severn Stoke was a vicarage, and at the beginning of the 14th century the bishop sequestered the so-called vicar's portion pending examination into the matter. (fn. 144) Finding that the living had never been a vicarage, the sequestration was removed in 1323 and the living declared entire, i.e., the incumbent to have a right both as rector and vicar to the great and small tithe. (fn. 145) At the Dissolution the rectory was of the clear annual value of £21 17s. 10d. (fn. 146)

In 1325 the churchyard of the church of Severn Stoke (fn. 147) was consecrated.

Nicholas de Aston (fn. 148) in 1313 had licence for an oratory in his own house, which was 3 miles from the parish church, 'and in foul winter (the) ways (were) not to be passed with safety.' (fn. 149)

There was a chantry dedicated to the Virgin in the parish church, founded in the 13th century (fn. 150) by Geoffrey de la Hide, (fn. 151) who gave lands to maintain a chaplain to say mass daily for his soul. Other lands were given to the chantry by John Lokynton (fn. 152) and Bartholomew Corteis. (fn. 153) The advowson belonged to the lord of the manor. (fn. 154) Thomas the chaplain of the chantry is mentioned in 1280. (fn. 155) At the time of the suppression of the chantries the sum of 102s. 6½d. was employed annually for the maintenance of the chantry priest. (fn. 156) The parish at that date was so large that one priest was insufficient to serve the cure. (fn. 157) The chantry lands were granted in 1550 to Thomas Reve and others. (fn. 158)

An obit of 14d. was used to provide lights and lamps in the church. (fn. 159)


The documents relating to the charities of this parish were destroyed in 1770 by an inundation of the River Severn, which flooded all the ground on which the church stands. It appeared, however, from the church tables that Richard Tustian gave by will, 1656, 2 acres in Clifton Ham for the poor in bread; that Mrs. Catherine Fownes, widow of the Rev. Richard Fownes, D.D., a former rector, gave £10 for the use of the poor; that Mrs. Ann Wright, by will, 1705, gave £5, the interest to be given to poor widows; that Job Blissard, by will, 1726, gave £5 for the poor and aged. These charities are now represented by about 3 a. allotted under the Inclosure Act, 1774, producing a net income of £1 a year or thereabouts.

It was stated in the same tables that Margaret Lady Coventry gave £20 to be laid out in land, the yearly rent thereof to be employed for providing bread and wine for the monthly communion, and that Mr. Postumus Salway, by his will, 1703, gave £30 for the use of the poor. These sums, with some addition from the parishioners, were applied in the purchase of 2 a. in Tewkesbury Ham, producing about £3 yearly.

For the charities of Geo. Lloyd and Richard Spencer see under Kempsey, Oswaldslow Hundred. A sum of about £4 10s. yearly is received as the proportion of the income due to Severn Stoke.

The church table also states that William Palin, by his will in 1764, gave £20 to the poor, but only £10 15s. 5d. was received in respect of the legacy. The money is now on deposit in the Post Office Savings Bank and produces 5s. yearly.

The income of the above charities is applied in the distribution of 10s. yearly among the poor, and a loaf of bread is given to every poor inhabitant of the parish.


  • 1. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 2. Pipe R. Hen. II (Pipe R. Soc.), passim; Hunter, Gt. R. of the Pipe, 1 Ric. I (Rec. Com.), 249; Chan. Inq. p.m. 8 Edw. II, no. 62, m. 13.
  • 3. A messuage at 'Le Birche' was granted to John Thatcher in 1544 (L. and P. Hen. VIII, xix [1], g. 812 [57]). It afterwards passed to Sir John Bourne (Chan. Inq. p.m. [Ser. 2], clxxii, 142).
  • 4. Noake, Guide to Worcs. 317.
  • 5. Noake, op. cit. 316.
  • 6. For an account of their political faith see Harl. Misc. iv, 544; Gardiner, Hist. of Great Civil War, iii, 379.
  • 7. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1671, pp. 18, 19.
  • 8. Pipe R. Hen. II (Pipe R. Soc.), passim.
  • 9. Cal. Pat. 1258–66, p. 355.
  • 10. Priv. Act, 14 Geo. III, cap. 4.
  • 11. Blue Bk. Incl. Awards, 191.
  • 12. Dict. Nat. Biog.; Cal. S. P. Dom. 1611–18, pp. 94, 110.
  • 13. Nash, Hist. of Worcs. ii, 345.
  • 14. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xviii (1), g. 981 (77).
  • 15. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), lxxiv, 99.
  • 16. Pat. 4 Edw. VI, pt. vii, m. 24.
  • 17. Cott. MS. Aug. ii, 6; Birch, Cart. Sax. iii, 585.
  • 18. Pershore was held in two parts by the two abbeys.
  • 19. V.C.H. Worcs. i, 304.
  • 20. Two 'radmanni,' Ælfward and Wulfric, had formerly held 2¾ hides.
  • 21. Cott. MS. Vesp. B. xxiv, fol. 6.
  • 22. Red Bk. of Exch. (Rolls Ser.), 59, 132, 188.
  • 23. Pipe R. 14 Hen. II (Pipe R. Soc.), 113.
  • 24. Ibid. 16 Hen. II, 54; 27 Hen. II, 24.
  • 25. Pipe R. 6 Ric. I, m. 1.
  • 26. Ibid. 7 Ric. I, m. 1 d.
  • 27. Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), 43.
  • 28. G.E.C. Complete Peerage, i, 56.
  • 29. Cal. Rot. Chart. 1199–1216 (Rec. Com.), 113.
  • 30. Assize R. 1021, m. 7; Red Bk. of Exch. (Rolls Ser.), 567; Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), 43.
  • 31. G.E.C. Complete Peerage, vi, 201.
  • 32. Cal. Chart. R. 1226–57, p. 102.
  • 33. G.E.C. loc. cit.
  • 34. Cal. Close, 1227–31, pp. 518, 555.
  • 35. For a fuller account of the Earls of Pembroke see Inkberrow in Oswaldslow Hundred (V.C.H. Worcs. iii, 421–2).
  • 36. Chan. Inq. p.m. 8 Edw. II, no. 68, m. 55; 8 Edw. II, no. 62; 49 Edw. III, pt. ii (1st nos.), no. 46; 15 Ric. II, pt. i, no. 17; 10 Hen. IV, no. 37; 33 Hen. VI, no. 33; Exch. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), file 1196, no. 3; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cx, 164.
  • 37. Cal. Pat. 1225–32, p. 249.
  • 38. Excerpta e Rot Fin. (Rec. Com.), i, 219.
  • 39. Ibid. 373.
  • 40. Cal. Chart. R. 1226–57, p. 338. In 1281 he impleaded Adam Inelbrid for intrusion on his free warren at Severn Stoke (Abbrev. Plac. [Rec. Com.], 200, 201).
  • 41. Cal. Inq. p.m. 1–19 Edw. I, 290; Cal. Fine R. 1272–1307, p. 172.
  • 42. Feet of F. Worcs. 12 Edw. I, no. 8.
  • 43. Cal. Fine R. 1272–1307, p. 225.
  • 44. G.E.C. Complete Peerage, ii, 289.
  • 45. Chart. R. 3 Edw. II, m. 7, no. 11.
  • 46. G.E.C. Complete Peerage, ii, 289.
  • 47. Chan. Inq. p.m. 8 Edw. II, no. 62.
  • 48. Cal. Pat. 1321–4, pp. 112, 118.
  • 49. Abbrev. Rot. Orig. (Rec. Com.), i, 266; Cal. Pat. 1321–4, pp. 263, 356.
  • 50. Chart. R. 15 Edw. II, m. 2, no. 6; m. 5, no. 13; Cal. Pat. 1321–4, p. 183.
  • 51. G.E.C. Complete Peerage, iii, 92.
  • 52. Abbrev. Rot. Orig. (Rec. Com.), i, 304.
  • 53. Ibid. ii, 2.
  • 54. Lay Subs. R. Worcs. 1332–3 (Worcs. Hist. Soc.), 25.
  • 55. Chan. Inq. p.m. 18 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 50. His manor of Severn Stoke had evidently been settled on his son Robert.
  • 56. Feud. Aids, v, 305.
  • 57. Chan. Inq. p.m. 23 Edw. III, pt. ii (1st nos.), no. 169.
  • 58. Ibid. 17 Ric. II, no. 27.
  • 59. G.E.C. Complete Peerage, ii, 290.
  • 60. Chan. Inq. p.m. 15 Ric. II, pt. i, no. 17.
  • 61. Cal. Pat. 1391–6, pp. 482, 535.
  • 62. Chan. Inq. p.m. 10 Hen. V, no. 37.
  • 63. Feud. Aids, v, 322, 327.
  • 64. Chan. Inq. p.m. 33 Hen. VI, no. 33; G.E.C. op. cit. ii. 291.
  • 65. G.E.C. loc. cit.
  • 66. Cal. Pat. 1467–77, p. 470
  • 67. G.E.C. Complete Peerage, ii, 292.
  • 68. Close, 24 Hen. VIII, no. 27.
  • 69. Exch. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), file 1196, no. 3.
  • 70. Habington, Surv. of Worcs. (Worcs. Hist. Soc.), ii, 277; Nash, op. cit. ii, 343.
  • 71. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cx, 164; Recov. R. Mich. 3 & 4 Phil. and Mary, m. 660.
  • 72. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), clxii, 135; Habington (op. cit. i, 551) says that Anne Watson, widow, entailed Severn Stoke on her son Onely, who died childless, when the manor came to Thomas Lee, from whom it came to Richard Lee. Again (ibid. ii, 277), he says that Anne wife of William Watson sold the manor to Richard Lee (see also Nash, op. cit. ii, 343).
  • 73. Recov. R. Hil. 32 Eliz. m. 18; Feet of F. Worcs. East. 33 Eliz. Possibly these conveyances were made in the process of selling Watson's interest as heir-at-law, to Lee.
  • 74. Habington, op. cit. i, 551; ii, 277; Feet of F. Worcs. East. 8 Jas. I.
  • 75. Feet of F. Worcs. Trin. 7 Chas. I.
  • 76. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccclxxix, 96.
  • 77. Feet of F. Div. Co. East. 12 Chas. I.
  • 78. Palmer's Ind. (P.R.O.), lxxiv, fol. 27, 51, 52.
  • 79. Cal. Com. for Comp. 2080.
  • 80. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccccxcii, 68.
  • 81. Recov. R. Trin. 34 Chas. II, m. 24; Trin. 16 Geo. II, m. 210.
  • 82. Inform. from Mr. John Hill.
  • 83. Rentals and Surv. (Gen. Ser.), portf. 16, no. 78.
  • 84. V.C.H. Worcs. i, 304.
  • 85. Cal. Close, 1227–31, p. 533.
  • 86. Chan. Inq p.m. 8 Edw. II, no. 62, m. 13.
  • 87. Feet of F. Worcs. East. 8 Jas. I; Trin. 7 Chas. I; Div. Co. East. 12 Chas I.
  • 88. Chan. Inq. p.m. 8 Edw. II, no. 62, m. 13.
  • 89. Pat. 20 Hen. VII, pt. iii. The Golafres' land in Ryall in Ripple also passed to Robert Arderne.
  • 90. Exch. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), file 1183, no. 7.
  • 91. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), lxxxv, 75.
  • 92. Probably the same as Walter de Naunton, who in 1315 held half a virgate of land in Clifton of Robert Clifford (Chan. Inq. p.m. 8 Edw. II, no. 62, m. 13).
  • 93. Aug. Off. Misc. Bks. lxi, fol. 112b; De Banco R. 273, m. 25; 274, m. 6 d.; 275, m. 306.
  • 94. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii, 242.
  • 95. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xviii (I),g. 981 (57).
  • 96. Ibid. (77).
  • 97. Feet of F. Worcs. Hil. 19 Eliz.
  • 98. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccxxii, 17.
  • 99. Fine R. 36 Eliz. no. 23, 24.
  • 100. Feet of F. Worcs. Mich. 40 & 41 Eliz.
  • 101. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccclv, 97.
  • 102. Fine R. 15 Jas. I, pt. ii, no. 35.
  • 103. Feet of F. Worcs. East. 9 Chas. I.
  • 104. Ibid. Mich. 3 Jas. I.
  • 105. Ibid. East. 4 Jas. I.
  • 106. A Nicholas le Blac occurs in Worcestershire in 1157–8 (Hunter, Gt. Roll of Pipe, 2–4 Hen. II [Rec. Com.], 157).
  • 107. Pipe R. 27 Hen. II (Pipe R. Soc.), 24.
  • 108. Ibid. 28 Hen. II, 80; 29 Hen. II, 133.
  • 109. Pipe R. 7 Ric. I, m. I d.
  • 110. Feet of F. Worcs. 22 Hen. III, no. 5.
  • 111. Ibid. Div. Co. 50 Hen. III, no. 1.
  • 112. Ibid. Worcs. 56 Hen. III, no. 35.
  • 113. Ibid. Div. Co. 3 Edw. I, no. 18.
  • 114. Assize R. 1026, m. 48.
  • 115. Lay Subs. R. Worcs. c. 1280 (Worcs, Hist. Soc.), III.
  • 116. Chan. Inq. p.m. 8 Edw. II, no. 62, m. 13.
  • 117. Lay Subs. R. Worcs. 1332–3 (Worcs. Hist. Soc.), 25.
  • 118. Early Chan. Proc. bdle. 16, no. 449. This document has been approximately dated 1406–57.
  • 119. Land at Severn Stoke was settled in 1340–1 on Peter de Greet, his wife Agnes and their children Peter, John, Nicholas and Agnes (Feet of F. Worcs. 14 Edw. III, no. 43).
  • 120. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xxxiii, 14.
  • 121. Close 35 Hen. VIII, pt. ii, no. 10.
  • 122. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xcviii, 75.
  • 123. Feet of F. Worcs. East. 4 Eliz.
  • 124. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), clxxxiii, 96; ccclxxviii, 137; cccclxxix, 96; Feet of F. Worcs. Hil. 35 Eliz.; East. 20 Jas. I; Mich. 22 Jas. I; Hil. 8 Chas. I; Recov. R. Trin. 34 Chas. II, m. 24.
  • 125. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cvi, 86.
  • 126. Ibid.
  • 127. Recov. R. East. 2 & 3 Phil. and Mary, m. 529.
  • 128. Feet of F. Div. Co. Trin. 18 Eliz.
  • 129. Ibid. Worcs. East. 1 Jas. I.
  • 130. See Recov. R. Mich. 1650, m. 112.
  • 131. Feet of F. Worcs. East. 1651.
  • 132. It is given in Nash, Hist. of Worcs. ii, 345.
  • 133. The epitaph is as follows: 'Alas the flower whom | winter hath decayd | revives in sommer | gloriously araid | so sommer shall det | hs winter at an end | spring out of dust and | vnto Christ assend.'
  • 134. The inscriptions on the old bells are as follows: (1 and 3) 'God be our speed 1648'; (2)'Soli Deo Gloria Pax Hominibus 1661. William Jones, Fransis Redding'; (4) 'Be yt knowne to all that doth we see that Newcombe of Leicester made mee. 1605'; (5) 'All men that heare my mourneful sound, repent before you li in ground. 1648. John Hardman, William James, C.W.'
  • 135. The Chalice has the date engraved on the side. The stem has been renewed, but the foot is original. The cover has been lost, but a substitute was made for it, inscribed '1787,' but it bears no hall marks (Lea, Church Plate of Worc. Archd. 28).
  • 136. The paten is probably of 17th-century date; it bears the maker's punch, J.N. (ibid.).
  • 137. On a board of benefactions in the vestry it is recorded that 'Mr. Thomas Chapelyne and Joane his wife gave in the year 1571 one silver Flagon containing Two Quartes and also one silver Challice with a cover for the use of the Comunion.'
  • 138. V.C.H. Worcs. i, 304.
  • 139. Cal. Pat. 1225–32, p. 249.
  • 140. Reg. G. Giffard (Worcs. Hist. Soc.), 54.
  • 141. Feet of F. Worcs. 12 Edw. I, no. 8; East. 33 Eliz.; Trin. 7 Chas. I; Chan. Inq. p.m. 15 Ric. II, pt. i, no. 17; (Ser. 2), lxvii, 166; ex, 164; Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.).
  • 142. Cal. of Papal Letters, i, 220, 376; iii, 119.
  • 143. Chan. Inq. p.m. 8 Edw. II, no. 62, m. 13.
  • 144. Nash, Hist. of Worcs. ii, 347; Worc. Epis. Reg. Cobham (1317–27), fol. 94.
  • 145. Nash, Hist. of Worcs. ii, 344, 347; Worc. Epis. Reg. Cobham, fol. 94.
  • 146. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii, 232.
  • 147. Worc. Epis. Reg. Cobham, fol. 108.
  • 148. In 1315 he held 9s. rent for a quarter of a fee of Robert Clifford (Chan. Inq. p.m. 8 Edw. II, no. 62, m. 13). He was alive in 1327 (Cal. Pat. 1327–30, pp. 83, 151).
  • 149. Nash, Hist. of Worcs. ii, 344; Worc. Epis. Reg. Reynolds, fol. 87.
  • 150. Chant. Cert. 25, no. 7.
  • 151. He held land in Severn Stoke of the gift of Thomas le Blake in 1272 (Feet of F. Worcs. 56 Hen. III, no. 35), and in 1287 gave a messuage and land here to his daughter Margery (ibid. 15 Edw. I, no. 14). He paid a subsidy of 20s. in 1276 (Lay Subs. R. Worcs. c. 1280 [Worc. Hist. Soc.], III).
  • 152. Chan. Inq. p.m. I Ric. II, no. 84.
  • 153. Chant. Cert. 25, no. 7.
  • 154. Chan. Inq. p.m. 8 Edw. II, no. 62, m. 13; Cal. Pat. 1313–17, p. 667.
  • 155. Lay Subs. R. Worcs. c. 1280 (Worcs. Hist. Soc.), III.
  • 156. Chant. Cert. 25, no. 7; 60, no. 12.
  • 157. Ibid. 25, no. 7.
  • 158. Pat. 4 Edw. VI, pt. vii, m. 24.
  • 159. Chant. Cert. 60, no. 50.