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I 1^ 













J. H. H. FOLEY, ESQ., M.P., 



In winter's tedious nights sit by the fire, 

With good old folks, and let them tell thee tales 

Of ages long ago betid. 

trifling instalment towards the history of 
7 Worcestershire is now respectfully presented to its 
inhabitants, and the Author ventures to express a hope 
that it may meet with the general favour of the reading 
public, equal to that which his previous works have 

The materials of historical works usually consist of tables 
of pedigrees, charters, battles, sieges, enumerations of 
manors, with their successive owners, statistical details, and 
other tedious though useful information. These, however, 
are but the dry bones the skeleton of history. The 
spirit of the past can only be evoked by a deep and 
extensive research among documentary and traditional 
evidences by careful comparison and analysis by judi- 
cious deduction and inference. To perform this effectu- 
ally, even for the limited area of a county, the cooperation 
of many minds is almost indispensable. Let us take Wor- 
cestershire as an instance. Habingdon, Nash, Thomas, 
Green, and others, have accumulated large masses of the 


matter which conventionally passes for history, and I would 
not for one moment desire to detract from the merit of 
their labours : yet the history of Worcestershire remains to 
be written. What do we yet know of the manners and 
customs, the hopes and aspirations, the social every-day 
life, the habits and thoughts, of our ancestors? Yet surely 
this is not the least considerable feature of the tunes of 
which we would fain glean tidings. Who would not vastly 
prefer an hour or two's conversation with one who was in 
the flesh some centuries ago could that be possible to 
studying the pages of the most intelligent contemporaneous 
historian ? Education had rendered the world dissatisfied 
with the old modes and precise forms of this department 
of literature, when such pens as Macaulay's were soon ready 
to supply the new want. Yet Macaulay could have done 
but little service in this way had he been content to receive 
old stereotyped facts which had for centuries been lazily 
copied by preceding writers. It was by industriously and 
perseveringly investigating public and private libraries, hunt- 
ing up all available resources, and systematically comparing 
and arranging the information thus obtained, that he was 
enabled, by the potency of his genius, to erect on a new 
foundation a superstructure that has delighted and astonished 
all beholders. That great man's industry, at all events, if 
not his genius, may, and must be, imitated by all who would 
successfully labour in the field of history for the future. 


The annals of even so circumscribed an area as a county 
must not be written without at least searching the records 
of its principal courts of judicature, nor that of a city before 
consulting the dusty relics in the parochial chests and the 
municipal closets. Yet these fertile sources of authentic 
information have been almost entirely neglected by Worces- 
tershire historians. The Author of this little work has made 
a commencement, humble though it be, towards furnishing 
data for the required undertaking ; yet how much remains 
to be done ! Nor can a single individual, confined to the 
requirements of an absorbing profession, be expected, alone 
and unaided, to achieve much. If some one in each parish 
would undertake to search the register, the old vestry and 
churchwardens' books, and any manuscripts or other mate- 
rial that may exist in the parish ; if others would investigate 
the archives of the municipal towns, the Assize records 
(which I presume are in the possession of Mr. Wilde, at 
Clifford's Inn), the MSS. and rare books which may be 
found in the libraries of private gentlemen and the British 
Museum, and, though last, the most important of all, the 
ancient ecclesiastical registers and other records in Edgar 
Tower the labour of a life some material would then be 
gleaned from which a competent editor might produce a 
history worthy of the county a picture of the life and 
manners of our ancestors, and not a more record of names 
and dates and crude undigested facts. 

The fragments which the Author has rescued from the accu- 
mulating dust of past ages are here presented, in the hope 
that others more competent will be stimulated to similar 
exertions in the various departments above indicated. Two 
insuperable reasons prevent his undertaking the task himself 
first, that it would prove overwhelming and impossible to 
one who can spare only an occasional hour for the purpose, 
while, if divided amongst many, the accomplishment would 
be easy ; and secondly, that much of the work to be 
done especially the examination of ancient ecclesiastical 
documents requires far greater scholastic attainments 
and a more intimate knowledge of the middle ages than 
he possesses. "Divide and conquer" must be the motto, 
if the work is to be done. 

Meanwhile it will be noted with satisfaction that every 
successive exploration into the past indicates more distinctly 
the decided progress we have made, and exposes the fallacy 
of the belief in the " good old times : " 

" The good of ancient times let others state : 
I think it fortunate we're born so late." 

In the few sheets here collected, evidence is given of civil 
and religious strife, such as we are now happily exempt 
from ; of coarse habits, and a reckless expenditure of public 
funds on gross sensuality ; the primitive state of the highways 
and the miserable travelling consequent thereon ; the infancy 
of science in almost every department, and the greater 


prevalence of disease ; superstition pervading all classes ; 
women flogged in public, and the gaol a very specimen of 
barbarism ; the poor hunted out of their cottages in every 
parish like wild beasts, and nearly all descriptions of trade 
fettered by absurd restrictions ; nonconformity persecuted, 
and constitutional liberty, as we now understand the term, 
unknown. Nor were the manners and customs of our 
ancestors much more desirable than our own, although there 
was a greater heartiness in them and apparently a more 
general mixing of classes. When Parry was searching for 
the north-west passage, a boat was one day sent on shore, 
under charge of a petty officer, who received, besides 
the usual instructions to keep a look-out for anything 
remarkable, a printed form, on which, under the heads 
of "Manners," and "Customs," to record what he saw 
among the natives. In due time the boat returned to the 
ship, the man delivered in his report ; and an extraordinary 
one it was for pith and brevity, running thus : 

None at all. 

Very beastly. 

That the same report might have been truthfully applied 
even to English society in the last and preceding centuries 
the following pages prove, and still more conclusively might 
the charge have been brought home had the author felt 
himself justified in printing in extenso some of the docu- 
ments he has consulted, especially among the county rolls. 


Let us, however, not quarrel with our predecessors, but 
rightfully appreciate the blessings of advanced civilization 
by endeavouring, each one in his limited sphere, to 
inculcate contentment with our lot and an earnest 
desire to assist in the great work of human progress, 
both physical and moral. 

In conclusion, the Author begs to offer his warm thanks 
to the patrons of this book (individually named in the dedi- 
cation), without whose kind promises of support the work 
would not have been published ; to Sir T. E. Winnington, 
Bart., M.P., for the inspection of many interesting manu- 
scripts ; to the clergy and churchwardens of the city, for 
their courtesy in permitting the examination of the registers 
and other parish books ; to Mr. Carrington, barrister-at-law, 
for several valuable contributions and highly prized literary 
assistance ; to Mr. Lewis, of the County Clerk of the Peace's 
office, for the trouble he so willingly incurred in displacing 
and re-arranging the Sessions' rolls ; and lastly, to the general 
body of subscribers, who have so numerously signified their 
intention to take copies. 

Abberley, 161, 240, 255, 289. 

Abberton, 207, 297. 

Abbot's Lench, 253. 

Abbot's Morton, 177. 

Abington's Manuscripts, 144. 

Acton family, 264, 267, 270, 293, 315. 

Acton Beauchamp, 159, 173. 

Affiliations, 20, 42, 54. 

All Fools' Day, 210. 

All Saints' parish, 60, 222, 227. 

Alfrick, 157, 173, 200, 204, 249, 289, 316. 

Alvechurch, 102, 109, 132, 241, 253, 256, 271, 316. 

Anabaptists, 117. 

Ancient Inns, 258. 

Archaic words, 251. 

Areley, 202, 294. 

Ascension Day, 208. 

Assize notices, 273. 

Astley, 80, 166, 246, 261, 289, 295, 310, 312, 313. 

Astwood, 189. 

Babes of Bethlehem, 205. 
Badging paupers, 19, 41, 63, 68. 
Badsey, 316. 

Balls at Assizes, 279. 

Baptisms, 176, 206. 

Barneby family, 155. 

Bearcroft family, 311, 315. 

Bees, 179. 

Belbroughton, 125, 182, 132, 254, 260, 310. 

Bells, 17, 34, 47, 48, 52, 64, 177, 214, 240. 

Beoley, 104, 126, 187, 132, 228, 253, 254, 316. 

Berkeley family, 159, 160, 267, 293, 325. 

Berrow, 253. 

Besford, 234, 295. 

Bewdley, 15, 75, 76, 100, 103, 125, 145, 150, 162, 173, 185, 

198, 215, 232, 239, 245, 247, 253, 258, 264, 268, 301, 308, 

318, 322, 328. 
Birlingham, 125, 126, 315. 
Birtsmorton, 203. 

Bishampton, 101, 241, 272, 294, 314. 
Bishop Skinner's Memoirs, 151. 
Bishop Swinfield's Roll, 145. 
Bishop Thornborough's monument, 287. 
Black pear of Worcester, 228. 
Blockley, 126, 272, 312, 315. 
Bloody pond, 263. 
Blount family, 120, 310. 
Bockleton, 155, 315. 
Brawling, 110, 118. 
Bredicot, 297. 

Bredon, 111, 126, 249, 256, 311, 313. 
Bredon's Norton, 112. 
Bretforton, 102,199,241. 
Bricklehampton, 90, 316. 
Bride ales, 218. 
Bridges and highways, 130. 

Broadheath, 64. 

Broadwas, 208. 

Broadway, 98, 238, 252, 266, 301, 312, 317. 

Bromsgrove, 52, 65, 75, 84, 85, 100, 102, 106, 110, 113, 117, 
124, 125, 198, 200, 132, 133, 235, 240, 260, 266, 268, 271, 
289, 294, 296, 301, 305, 310, 312, 313, 316, 321. 

Broughton Hackett, 203. 

Burying in woollen, 26, 50. 

Bushley, 295, 312. 

Carriers, 101. 

Cast-iron grave slabs, 231. 

Castle Morton, 100, 129, 172, 290, 312. 

Cathedral and precincts, 3, 9, 11, 12, 23, 25, 64, 96, 149, 152, 

182, 196, 131, 142, 143, 206. 
Catherning, 215. 
Cattle market, old, 38. 
Chaddesley, 106, 125, 126, 130, 182, 201, 217, 253, 255,271, 

290,310,312, 314. 
Charlton family, 94. 
Charms, 180. 
Chaseley, 316. 
Chimney money, 25, 28. 
China trade, 254. 
Christmas customs, 219. 
Church and the people, 105. 
Churchwardens of Worcester, 17, 26, 39, 45, 51, 56, 59, 62, 

66, 69, 73. 

Civil Wars, 10, 126, 318. 
Claines, 70, 93, 271, 295, 311, 313. 
Cleeve Prior, 316. 
Clent, 196, 206, 240. 
Clergy of seventeenth century, 108. 


Clerks and sextons, 1 7, 259. 

Clifton-on-Terae, 159, 161, 195, 137, 301. 

Clothing trade, 305. 

Club-men of Worcestershire, 324. 

Cofton Hackett, 153, 132, 311. 

Collins's fire, 60. 

Comberton, 79, 127. 

Communicants in 1548, 270. 

Compositions to the king's household, 133. 

Cookes family, 313. 

Corn trade, 99. 

Costume of the bar, 273. 

Cotheridge, 229, 293, 315, 325. 

Council of the Marches in Wales, 8, 15, 47. 

County Sessions Records, 74 to 134. 

Coventry family, 10, 18, 75, 87, 100, 122, 275. 

Crabbing the parson, 206. 

Crime, 82. 

Cromwell pilloried, 229. 

Cromwell's parliament, 292. 

Cromwell's property tax, 264. 

Croome, 75. 

Cropthorne, 102. 

Crowle, 188, 311. 

Cuckolds, 84, 106. 

Curfew, 214. 

Cutnal Green, 181, 189. 

Daylesford, 297. 

Defford, 108. 

Diary of Joyce Jeffries, 1 37. 

Dineley family, 93, 135, 264, 310, 314, 323. 

Dineley Manuscript, 135. 

Dissenting meeting-houses, 124. 

Distemper in cattle, 51, 103. 

Doddenham, 289. 

Dodderhill, 57, 125, 253, 312. 

Doddingtree Hundred 200 years ago, 154. 

Dogs and cats, slaughter of, 317. 

Doverdale, 102, 297. 

Dowdeswell family, 87, 122, 310. 

Dressing a parson in 1627, 9. 

Drinking healths, 210. 

Droitwich, 11, 108, 115, 146, 203, 208, 243, 271, 289, 290, 294, 

297, 301, 305, 308, 312, 313, 317, 321. 
Dr. Prattinton's papers, 232. 
Dudley, 75, 91, 100, 114, 125, 126, 171, 184, 185, 204, 231, 

240, 267, 301, 319, 329. 
Dunclent, 127. 

Easter tokens, 16. 

Eastham, 158,236. 

Echoes, 289. 

Eckington, 245. 

Edvin Loach, 159, 297. 

Elderefield, 265, 272, 314, 316. 

Elmbridge, 291, 295, 310. 

Elmley Castle, 142, 234, 266, 289. 

Elmley Lovett, 79, 290, 312. 

Evesham, 15, 75, 102, 126, 147, 196, 208, 238, 239, 248, 264, 

272, 288, 293, 294, 301, 302, 305, 308, 319. 
Excommunications, 32, 105. 

Feckenham, 41, 75, 105, 118, 132, 148, 201, 242, 255, 258, 259, 

313, 314. 

Fees of Clerk of Peace in 1753, 76. 
Female scolds, 106. 

Fifth monarchy men, 116. 
Figures, introduction of, 13. 
Fishermen of St. Peter's parish, 40. 
Fladbury, 102, 180, 240, 289, 295, 314. 
Floods, 67, 239. 
Flyford Flavel, 207. 
Foley family, 92, 159, 264. 
Foresters of Feckenham, 148. 
Four children at a birth, 296. 
Frankley, 266, 316, 328. 
Funeral customs, 208. 

Gaols, 37, 85. 

Garden and butter markets, 38. 

Ghosts, 187. 

Giants, 237. 

Gloucester city gates, 258. 

Good Friday, 178. 

Grafton, 124, 126, 241. 

Graveyard punning, 265. 

Grimley, 294. 

Guy Faulx, 209. 

Halesowen, 125, 200, 218, 233, 241. 

Hallow, 253, 313. 

Hampton Lovett, 271. 

Hanbury, 15, 57, 102, 124, 147, 295, 311, 313. 

Hanley Childe and William, 158. 

Hanley Castle, 100, 104, 254, 310. 

Hartlebury, 75, 125, 142, 154, 175, 180, 205, 210, 211, 232, 

246, 248. 

Harrington, 148, 215, 219. 
Heaving, 211. 

INDEX. xvii 

Hemp and flax, 102. 

Henry the Eighth's obsequies, 5. 

Hermitages and caves, 246. 

Himbleton, 125, 231, 234, 241, 253. 

Hindlip, 23. 

Holt, 189, 256,293, 295. 

Holy loaf, 233. 

Honeybourne, 102, 238. 

Hop cribbing, 222. 

Hop-pole hotel, 35. 

Hops, 228. 

Hopton family, 322. 

House of Industry, 38, 43. 

Housling pence, or Sacrament money, 31. 

Huddington, 1 88, 205. 

Iccomb, 95. 

Image, destruction of at Worcester, 285. 

Incumbents of Worcester, 17, 26, 39, 45, 51, 56, 59, 62, 66, 

69, 73. 
Inkberrow, 78, 83, 125, 177, 132, 218, 253, 311, 315, 316, 321. 

Javelin men, 281. 
Jeffries' Manuscripts, 136. 

Kempsey, 15, 131, 147, 245, 271. 

Kidderminster, 3, 14, 75, 100, 103, 125, 127, 151, 184, 185, 

201, 21 1, 217, 249, 264, 268, 271, 293, 302, 305, 308. 
King Charles's coins, 228. 
- staff, 236. 
King's Norton, 96, 103, 104, 113, 132, 203, 210, 240, 254, 260, 

265, 271, 283, 292, 294, 310, 313, 314, 316. 
King's tax, 27, 234. 


Kington, 4, 80. 

Knighton, 156, 272. 

Knights of the Royal Oak, 266. 

Knightwick, 128, 142, 166, 200, 252, 326. 

Knightwood, fines for not taking, 309. 

Kyre, 158, 161. 

Lechmere family, 104, 122, 264, 292. 

Lee, Rev. Dr., 261. 

Legends and traditions, 193. 

Leigh, 95, 185, 188, 215, 235, 253, 272, 289, 312. 

Lindridge, 112, 147, 149, 156, 157, 142, 294. 

Littletons, 102, 315. 

Longdon, 90, 220, 240, 259, 311, 312, 314. 

Longevity, 255. 

Love spells, 189. 

Lulsley, 158, 200, 253. 

Lygon family, 37, 87, 88, 121, 123, 184, 264, 267. 

Lyttelton family, 266, 267, 286, 294. 

Magistrates in 1483, 267. 

Malvern, Great, 126, 133, 147, 171, 186, 195, 256, 264, 311, 313. 

Little, 154. 

Mamble and Bayton, 83, 165, 210, 255. 
Manuscripts, county, 135. 
Marine store dealers, 228. 
Martin Hussingtree, 255. 
Marriage custom, 208. 
Marriages by Justices, 57. 

Martley, 129, 160, 165, 252, 255, 257, 310, 313, 326. 
Mathon, 169, 181, 253, 263. 
Maypoles, 112,210. 
Memory, fine, 259. 

Milward evidences, 230. 

Morris dancing, 213. 

Mortuary Cloth of Clothiers' Company, 305. 

Moseley, 126, 265, 294, 317. 

Mothering Sunday, 210. 

Nash family, 37, 57, 119, 121, 123, 265, 310. 

Naunton Beauchamp, 207. 

Needle trade, 228. 

New Year's customs, 221. 

Nicknames, 218. 

Nonconformity, 268. 

Norbury family, 119, 120. 

Northfield, 125, 132, 241, 253, 310. 

Norton-juxta-Kempsey, 131. 

Norton near Evesham, 205, 239. 

Oddingley, 128, 202. 

Offenham, 179, 210, 215, 253, 298, 313, 315. 

Oil lamps first set up, 38, 41, 55. 

Oldberrow, 297. 

Oldbury, 116,305,313. 

Old customs, 205. 

Old family, 239. 

Old sayings, 238. 

Oldswinford, 80, 271. 

Ombersley, 128, 266, 295, 310. 

Organs at Cathedral, 152. 

Orleton, 158. 

Overbury, 262. 

Oxford circuit, 275. 

Pageant-house, 232. 

Pakington family, 71, 122, 130, 270, 294, 310. 


Paper, early mention of, 284. 

Papists, 31, 75, 112. 

Pensax, 155, 165, 288. 

Pensham, 315, 

Peopleton, 270. 

Perambulations, 13, 22, 29, 41, 51, 55, 64, 68, 72, 222. 

Pershore, 125, 174, 179, 239, 245, 252, 265, 270, 271, 303, 310, 

Pillory, 84, 230. 
Plague, 132. 

Plum-pudding and pancake bells, 215. 
Plymouth, Earl of, 87, 93. 
Poor, 89. 
Population of Worcester parishes, 17, 26, 39, 45, 51, 56, 59, 

62, 66, 69, 73. 
Powick, 55, 64, 253, 289. 
Primitive Cathedral customs, 206. 
Printer, first at Worcester, 236. 

Quakers, 36, 39, 53, 112, 114. 
Queen Elizabeth, 292, 298. 
Queries, 228. 

Rats, old English, 284. 

Records of the City of Worcester, 1 to 73. 

Redditch, 132, 228. 

Redmarley, 261, 272, 311, 312, 315, 316. 

Reformation, 4. 

Ribbesford, 75, 163, 165, 193, 272, 294, 315. 

Ridley the martyr, 261 . 

Ringing for the parson, 205. 

Ripple, 75, 237, 272, 289, 314. 

Rock, 150, 161, 204, 255, 256, 257, 272, 312, 314. 


Roundhead's description of Worcestershire, 249. 

Rouselench, 235, 31 6. 

Royalists compounding, 292. 

Royal oak day, 209. 

Rushock, 79, 102, 182, 314. 

Rushout family, 87, 122. 

Saddle silver, 66. 

Saffron, 237. 

Salt, 36, 101, 297. 

Salwarpe, 57, 85, 187, 271, 282, 291, 295, 312. 

Sandys family, 123, 266, 295. 

Sapey, 159. 

Sculptures on churches, 235. 

Seabright family, 295. 

Seal of Worcester, 284. 

Sedgberrow, 289. 

Severn Stoke, 2, 13, 15, 271, 294, 313. 

Shelsley, 75, 137, 159, 160, 185, 187, 199, 253, 256, 297. 

Ship money, 308. 

Shipston, 77, 303, 322. 

Shrawley, 80, 166, 180, 293, 311. 

Small parishes, 296. 

Social regulations, 97. 

Somers, the great Lord, 1 . 

Spetchley, 126, 228. 

St. Alban's, 56. 

St. Andrew's, 45, 197. 

St. Clement's, 66, 197, 225. 

St. Helen's, 52. 

St. John's, 61, 285, 294, 312, 313. 

St. Martin's, 57. 

St. Michael's, 1, 131,295. 

St. Nicholas, 26. 

St. Peter's, 39, 131. 

St. Swithin's, 17. 

Stanford, 137, 142, 145, 164, 161, 204, 248, 252, 314. 

Star and Garter hotel, 35. 

Staunton, 314, 316. 

Stewponey, 232. 

Stockton, 165. 

Stoke Prior, 102, 132, 180. 

Stone, 240, 249, 293, 314. 

Stourbridge, 75, 100, 103, 124, 125, 133, 161, 182, 186,206, 

218, 231, 232, 233, 240, 253, 271, 304. 
Stourport, 289. 

Stourton Castle, 127, 232, 328. 
Strensham, 256, 294, 295, 314. 
Suckley, 158, 173, 249, 272, 296, 310, 314, 316. 
Sunday schools, 38. 
Superstitions, 167. 

Talbot family, 266, 282, 295. 

Tardebigg, 102. 

Tenbury, 75, 103, 125, 142, 147, 149, 158, 180, 200, 220, 237, 

238, 239, 255, 256, 272, 304. 
Tenure, 218. 
Theatres, 132. 
Tibberton, 203, 313. 
Tobacco, 103,242. 
Touching for King's evil, 27, 181. 
Townsend Manuscripts, 141. 
Traces of the Stuarts, 318. 
Tradesmen's tokens, 298. 
Traveller's passport, 129. 
Tredington, 240, 312. 


Trial by combat, 147. 
Trumpeters at Assizes, 282. 
Tything, 93. 

Upton-on-Severn, 75, 85, 125, 130, 146, 270, 311, 313, 314. 
Upton Snodsbury, 61, 245. 
Upton Warren, 132, 253. 

Vacarius' Roman law, 1 43. 
Valentine's Day, 212. 
Vernon family, 264, 295. 
Versified will, 262. 
Vineyards, 288. 
Virtuous parish, 296. 

Wages of Magistrates, 291. 

Waits, 213. 

Wake at Claines, 72. 

Ward, Lord, 87. 

Watchman, the last, 38. 

Weather rhymes and sayings, 306. 

Welland, 57, 126. 

Whipping, 84. 

Whitbourne, 128. 

White Ladies, 212,256. 

Whitsun farthings, 14, 23, 56, 65, 69. 

Whoop custom, 217. 

Wichbold, 312, 313. 

Wichenford, 295, 315. 

Wick, 207. 

Winnington family, 87, 123, 137. 

Witchcraft, 78, 183, 142. 

Witley, 75, 125, 160. 

Wolverley, 142, 201, 259, 311, 325. 

Yardley, 313, 314, 316. 




?HE register of this parish commences with the year 
1546, but as the entries for about half a century are 
apparently in the same handwriting, it is probable 
that in or soon after the year 1597, when an order was issued 
that all parochial registers should be transcribed on vellum, 
an older register of St. Michael's was copied on that now 
existing. It is on vellum and in excellent preservation which 
probably will not be said some two or three centuries hence 
respecting the common and perishable paper registers now 
in use by Government authority. The first entry which 
attracted my attention in this register was 

" 1648. John Somere, gent., and Katherine, the daughter of John 
Seaverne, gent, and Mary his wife, were married Nov. 13." 

And among the births are the following : 

" 1650. John the sonne of John Somere, gent., and Katherine his 
wife, was born the fourth day of March." 

14 1653. Mary, daughter of John Somera, gent., and Katherine hia 
wife, was born 15th Oct." 


" 1655. Katherine, daughter of John Somers, gent., and Katherine 
his wife, born 7th April." 

Here, then, are the means of deciding a fact which has long 
been the subject of dispute. Mr. Cooksey, in his " Life of 
Lord Somers," asserts that he was born at the White Ladies ; 
but Dr. Nash mentions the tradition that the famous Lord 
was born in the College Churchyard, in a house since pulled 
down, adjoining the south side of the old church of St. 
Michael; "but as during the Civil Wars (says that veracious 
and painstaking chronicler, Chambers) the registers were 
discontinued, or very irregularly kept, though the Doctor 
diligently searched, his birth could not be found, either in the 
parishes of Severn Stoke, St. Michael, St. Helen, St. Peter, 
or the Tything." The " diligence " of the Doctor's search 
must now be a matter of doubt, as the four entries copied 
above are not only easily observed, but are somewhat promi- 
nent. The "John Somers, gent.," whose marriage with 
Katherine Seaverne is recorded in 1648, was unquestionably 
the attorney who resided for some time at the White Ladies, 
and afterwards within the Cathedral precincts ; and their 
first-born, who was introduced to the world on the 4th of 
March, 1650, was afterwards the celebrated nobleman who 
became the head of the Whigs and Lord High Chancellor 
of England whose eloquence, knowledge of the law, inflexible 
integrity, and great capacity for public business, made him an 
ornament to his country and whose defence of the seven 
bishops, in opposition to the tyranny of James II, entitles 
him to a place in the foremost rank of the defenders of our 
constitutional liberty. The death of his parents is not 
entered in St. Michael's register, as they both died and were 
buried at Severn Stoke. Lord Somers himself was buried 
in Hertfordshire. 

The period of the Civil Wars is distinguished by blank pages, 


but regularity again commences in 1 660. The burial of *' Sir 
Gilbert Jerrard, governor of Woster," is recorded ou the 
20th of January, 1644 ; and that of John Cox, master of the 
College school, on the 30th Dec., 1663. The prisoners and 
debtors who died in the Castle (the old prison stood on the site 
of the Castle, near the Cathedral, now converted into gardens ) 
were buried at St. Michael's. It appears likewise that St. 
Michael's was considered the parish church for the whole of 
the College precincts, and that if any marriages were performed 
at the Cathedral, they were duly entered in St. Michael's 
register, and the incumbent of course received the fees. 

" Mr. Richard Smith, minister, and Mrs. Anne Foulks, were 
marryed in ye Cathedrall on ye 13 day Feby., 1676." 

"Jonathan Dixon of Kidderminster and Mary Henzey of this 
parish were married at the College by me, Oct 7, 1737, by license. 
Thomas Smith." 

An archdeacon was also married in the chapel of the Bishop's 
Palace at Worcester, and an entry in this register duly 
records the fact. Marriages were solemnized here between 
persons belonging to almost every town or place in the county, 
and entries of those occurrences are more numerous than in 
any other register of the city. The list of marriages closes 
with this note: 

" See a marriage register book from the year 1754, in pursuance of 
an Act of Parliament passed in the 26th year of King George III, 
which restriction commences from the 25th March, 1754." 

In the birth department the children of dissenters were for 
some years put under a separate head, and specified as such, 
and there are frequent records of "children left," and 
"children picked up" in the parish. Lastly, there is mention 
made of Henry Humphreys having, by will in 1729, left 4 
yearly to the incumbent of St. Michael's and 1 to the clerk, 


on condition they take care that his grave shall not be opened 
or touched except for the burial of his wife. This money was 
payable out of " a freehold messuage or tenement, lands, and 
premises in the parish of Kington, Worcestershire;" but the 
bequest has long been lost sight of and the estate is not 
known ; there is, however, no doubt that the identification of 
the estate might be readily made out if its present owners 
were inclined to do justice to the claims of the church. 
Perhaps a former owner compounded with the then incumbent 
for a sum of money or other consideration. 

By far the most interesting and valuable of all the parochial 
records in the city are those of St. Michael's, the oldest 
account book going back to the year 1543, and, with the 
exception of from 1611 to 1640, which years are omitted, the 
records come up to the present century. As these books take 
us back to a period before the completion of the Reformation, 
they contain evidence of religious ceremony and social custom 
which entitle them to the first place in this work. Among the 
ceremonials of the unreformed Church, the most conspicuous 
was that at Easter, when the Resurrection was represented. 
For this purpose a tomb or sepulchre was arranged in the 
chancel (a recess still to be seen in the chancel wall of most 
old churches), in which the effigy of the Saviour was laid, and 
watched day and night by persons appointed for the purpose, 
as well as by religious devotees, till it was raised out of the tomb 
on the morning of Easter Sunday, when the previous darkness 
in the church suddenly ceased, and a flood of light, together 
with the richest music, incense, and every sign of rejoicing, 
celebrated the event. In St. Michael's church, the clerk was 
paid 2d. (worth 2s. 6d. now) for watching on Easter eve, and 
also was presented with a pair of gloves. "Tacketts (small 
nails), pynnes, and thrydde, to dresse the sepulchre," were 
charged 2d., and 4d. for the labour of dressing, great pains 


having evidently been taken. Arras tapestry hangings or 
curtains were provided for the tomb, large wax lights and 
flowers were arranged on the altars ( of which there were three 
in St. Michael's church), and the rood, which was a carved 
representation of the Crucifixion, elevated on the chancel arch, 
was also splendidly lit up and decorated with flowers, as were 
the niches containing figures of the saints. Oil, frankincense, 
and robes, are charged for in the accounts, the lighting of the 
rood and sepulchre amounting to as much as 7s. Id. ; for 
making 25fts of wax, 12d., and for flowers for the tapers and 
rood light, 2d. A taper was also fixed over the font. The 
celebration of this festival did not terminate with the church, 
as the wardens on the same day (Easter Sunday, 1543) spent 
the sum of 3d. at the tavern. There is likewise an entry of 
2d. paid for " nayles and pynnes for the sepulter on Palme 
Sunday, and wyer for the curteynes for the sepulter at Ester." 
The following obsequies were observed at St. Michael's church 
on the death of Henry VIII : 

"At the kyngs highnee dirige and masse. 

Item for fyve tapers . . xrf. 

Item a masse id. 

Item for mendynge of the here and herse M. 

Item for the colourynge of two wodden canstycks blacke . lid. 

Item for brede and ale for the ryngers then .... \\<l. 

Item for ryngynge ........ virf. 

Item for two papers of the kyngs armes to set on the kyngs 

herse Hid. 

The progress of the Reformation during the reign of 
Edward VI is distinctly marked in these records, by the mode 
in which the churchwardens were compelled to set their house 
in order. A man named John Davyes was employed to 
" hewe downe the seates of the images in the church and to 
whytelyme it," for which he received 15d. ; "an ares cov'yng 


(arras covering) wh. was used at the sepulter" was sold to 
Mr. Bland for 6s. 8d. ; the lamp and censer, weighing 20 lb., 
for 4s. ; " two standerdes of brasse, two cansticks, and a tynacle 
of brasse for holly (holy) water, weying 31b.," 14s. ; "a coppe 
crosst," (the priest's cope, with a cross on it) 2s. ; a platter, 
1 8d. ; " a holy water pott of led, and certein organne pypes of 
led, weying half C. and 121b.," 2s. lOd. ; for " 131b. of pewter 
of organne pypes and shelles for tapers, at 2d. a lb.," 2s. 2d. ; 
two small bells were sold for 9d. ; the top of the pulpit went 
for 2s., and the foot for 2d. ; the organs, the " fayle and old 
clothes to cover the saynts," the tables that stood on each of 
the altars, the '* trymmer " of the high altar, the altars them- 
selves, and all the other appointments, disappeared like useless 
lumber. Two inventories of the church goods were written 
out for the commissioners, and the churchwardens and their 
friends made merry on the occasion at the tavern. Instead of 
the gorgeous altars, two "frames," or trestles (or "oyster 
boards," as the Bishop of Exeter would term them), were 
provided for the Lord's Supper ; and in lieu of carved saints 
and mural emblazonments, a man was engaged to " write the 
Scriptures and paint the church at 2d. the yard," on those 
parts of it, at least, where the whitewasher's brush had not 
taken the precedence. In the fifth year of King Edward, the 
old churchwardens handed over to the new ones the church 
goods, of which the following is an inventory : 

" A chalice, two pattens, the cover of a pyx, foot of a silver 
cross, a crucifix that was on the cover of the pyx, a little silver bowl, 
the little bowl of the pyx that the crucifix stood on, six pieces of 
silver and gylte, and a little image of St. Michael of silver gylt, a 
little bell without a clapp., two brasen canstycks, two painted clothes, 
a pawle of silk, two sirplices for childern, two aubs (albs), a table 
cloth, five towels, the parson's sirplice and the clarks sirplice, a course 
pawle, and here cloth." 


Under the reign of Mary, old customs were partly revived, 
as charges were again made for the pascal taper, wax, frank- 
incense, and charcoal in Lent ; Mr. Blunt's man was remu- 
nerated " for his paines when he sett the cross and the rest of 
the stuffe ;" Father Charlemayne was paid 6d. for mending 
the crysmatory ; 7d. was charged for chains for the censer ; 
" Raffe Pynner " mended the pyx ; and apparently the high 
altar was reinstated, for after the death of her Majesty, 6d. 
was paid for taking down the altar, and 3s. " for paving the 
place and making clean of it." The parish went to but small 
expense in solemnising Queen Mary's death, 9d. only having 
been spent "for quene majesty's obit." The Paraphrases of 
Erasmus had been previously purchased at a cost of 11s., and, 
with a Bible in English, chained to a lectern. The rood loft 
was now pulled down, and sold as old timber for 3s. This was 
in 1561, at which time another inventory of the church goods 
was furnished, as follows : 

" A processional, the portuas in two parts for the whole year, a 
missal, a manual, a book for christening and burying, a pall lyned, 
and a old pall onlyned, an old vestment of silk, a front of an alter 
of red and white satten, with flourdelich (fleur de lis), two albes, 
two surplices for childern, a little pillow of green, two towels with 

blew thredd, a bible, a book of comon , six stoles for the 

neck and arm, a book of the paraphrasis, two parelles for albes, a 
lamp, and certaine pieces of an old lamp, two iron roddeg with 
stockynns upon them, and two curteins of red and yellow, the 
pastall tapur and eight endes of other tapurs, the sepultre without 

a hedd, a cross cloth of green silk, a corp case, a chalis and 

patten, two table cloths, two surplises for men, one old cloth to 
cover the com'n bord." 

A " cupp and pott for the com'n bord " was purchased in 
1566 at a cost of 3s., and 6d. for the carriage of it from 
London. The "frame where our little bell hanged" probably 
the sanctus bell was taken down in 1580. Fifteen years 


later, Nicholas Archbold, the churchwarden, chargeth himself 
with 7s. 9d. "received from Fowlke Broughton for the old 
bible of the church, and also with 12d., which this accountant, 
before the sale thereof, received of one Mr. Morrys, a relator 
to the Council in the Marches of Wales, in earnest of the said 
bible, which 1 2d. was forfeited by him, for that he fetcht not 
the book as he p'mised." Mr. Morris, no doubt, was more 
punctual in his subsequent dealings with churchwardens. 
The old communion book was also disposed of for 3s. 4d. ; 
but "a newe fayer Englishe bible of the last translacon 
authorised in the church" was purchased for 16s., and a new 
communion book for 6s. 8d. 

Sittings in the church were paid for yearly, at the rate of 
from 4d. to 6d. each. In 1567, a Mr. Doctor gave 5s. for a 
seat " which the parishioners promised should remain to his 
house for ever." Also, in the same year, " received of Mrs. 
Bland for the seat that her husband paid for her frendes to 
knele in, 12d.;" and the keeper of the Castle (then the county 
gaol) paid the like sum for himself and wife. A Mr. Richard 
Jones was paid 3s. 4d. for preaching two sermons on Palm 
Sunday in the year 1624; but the usual mode of paying 
ministers who did not belong to the parish when they 
preached was by treating them with a quart of sack, claret, 
or other wine. The Bishop sometimes preached here ; and 
on one occasion the vestry treated his lordship to a rundlett 
of sack, costing 1. 10s. 10d., besides a quart of sack and a 
quart of white wine the rundlett probably for the use of the 
numerous suite which bishops in those days always brought 
in their train, and the other for his lordship's own dinner 
table on the day that he honoured St. Michael's pulpit. On 
the same occasion a silk girdle, costing 8s., was given to 
Mr. Parr, one of the Bishop's chaplains, for preaching twice. 
The number of needy and itinerant preachers in the seven- 


teenth century must have been considerable, judging from 
the frequent relief allowed them. Probably one of these is 
referred to in the following curious entry: 

" Given to one that come with Tres patents out of Turkie, that had 
bin long in prison for the maintenance of the ghospel, vid." 

Muscadell was used for the communion wine. At Christmas 
the church was decked with rosemary and bays, sometimes 
with ivy and holly. A curious illustration of the poorness of 
the living occurs in these books. It seems that about the year 
1551, the living, which was a peculiar, in the gift of the Dean 
and Chapter, lapsed to the Crown, and has so continued ever 
since, it not being worth while to pay the expense of the seals, 
&c., on account of the smallness of the rectory. The custom, 
therefore, was for the parishioners to make a present of 40s. 
annually to the parson a sum equivalent to 20 of present 
money. In addition to which, in the year 1627, their bene- 
volence expanded into the donation of a suit of clothes to his 
reverence, Mr. Hoskins. For this purpose they purchased, 
"by general consent," five yards of "russett kersey," three 
yards of white cotton, half an ell of " russett bayes," an ell 
and quarter of linen cloth, three dozen buttons, and silk, also 
a sheepskin to make him pockets ; all of which, including the 
making, cost 1. 5s. A yearly pension was also paid by the 
church of Worcester (the Cathedral) to one Roger Follyott, for 
the use of the parson of St. Michael's, but about the year 1590 
the said Roger fell into arrears ; a great controversy arose, 
which was settled by the Dean ordering him to pay 50s. to the 
churchwardens. Much care seems to have been taken of the 
parish records, and in 1630 a memorandum specifies that "the 
church and parish evidences and writings were removed forth 
of the old chest, and brought and put into the new frame of 
cubbords or boxes by the feoffees of the lands belonging to the 


church and parish, and by the churchwardens and divers 
others of the ancient and better rank of the parish, on Sunday, 
Nov. 5," and five keys were distributed amongst them with 
abundant precaution. The period was approaching in which 
all their care and solicitude were necessary. The first indica- 
tion of the troublous period of the Civil Wars was the outlay of 
12d. for a book of "prayers for the Parliament for a fast." 
Then, in 1642 (the year of the siege of Worcester), on the 24th 
of September, being the day when the Earl of Essex took 
possession of the city, after defeating the Princes Rupert and 
Maurice, and driving them, together with Lord Coventry, Sir 
William Russell, and their forces, over the bridge towards 
Herefordshire, a general pillage ensued, but the churchwardens 
of St. Michael's apparently compromised the matter by "giving 
to captains and soldiers for preserving our church goods and 
writings," 10s. 4d. Widow Ward's chimney, however, was 
broken down by the soldiers, and its reparation cost 1 2d. 

The " coming of the princes " had been welcomed by a 
plentiful ringing of the bells of St. Michael's, but " Colonel 
Essex" was treated to a pottle of white wine and sugar at 
the Talbot. The jumbling together of incidents at this period 
is amusing, for about the same time the sum of half-a-crown 
was spent upon a Mr. Hackett, " in wine, beare, and tobacko, 
he reading pray era and preaching with us;" also 17s. "for 
a musket and bandeleer for the parish use, by command of 
the Governor and Commissioners, remaining with Abraham 
Pilkington, trained souldier for the parish." Providing one 
soldier seems to have been the fixed requirement for this 
parish, as in 1560 a charge of 3s. 2d. was made "for settyng 
forthe of a man in the warres to Berwick." The second 
siege of Worcester was in 1646, but the only allusion to 
military matters in that year are the donations of 5s. to " a 
soldier's wife delivered of a child in the Dark Alley, her 


husband having gone from her;" and 6d. ''given in charity 
to one goodwife Packman, a very pore woman, whose husband 
was killed at Stowe fight, and she beinge at old Gyles his 
house in the Colledge, and in great miserie, was recommended 
by Mr. Moore, one of the committee." The year 1651, when 
Cromwell's crowning victory put the loyal city of Worcester 
to so much trouble, left numerous traces of the event in the 
books of this parish. After an inventory of the church plate 
and furniture then in their possession, the churchwardens say 
that " All the rest of the parish goods were plundered by 
Generall Cromwell's souldiers after the routinge of the Scotish 
army at Worcester ye 4th September last, viz., one flaggon, 
a pewter pott of three pints, one carpet of stript stuffe, half 
silk, being the gift of Richard Wannerton, one fayre carpet 
of branched green velvet, frindged about with deep green 
frindge, being the gift of Nicholas Archbold, gent., one holland 
table cloth for the comm'n table, one covering of fine holland 
to lay over the cushion upon the com'n table, with buttons 
at the four corners thereof, one table napkin of holland for 
the com'n board, two old velvet cushions." It seems that 
shortly after this sanguinary struggle, a County Session 
was held at Droitwich, and the sum of 500 was granted for 
the relief of the poor of Worcester, so much impoverished in 
the war. St. Michael's churchwardens acknowledge receiving 
the tenth part of this sum ; and at the same time there was 
also laid out the sum of 2. 9s. 4d. " for buryall of the Scots 
that were slain and dyed in our parish, the Pallace, the 
Colledge, the Colledge Green, Castle Hill, and ye precincts 
of the said several places, and of divers others that were 
brought out of ye citty of Worcester and layd in the church- 
yard." From this interesting entry it is evident that large 
numbers of the combatants in those eventful days are resting 
beneath the sod of St. Michael's churchyard 


"Their bodies dust their good swords rust 
Their souls are with the saints, we trust." 

Just a century later it was ordered that for all bodies buried 
in the church the sum of one guinea should be paid, and a 
brick arch turned " to avoid the offensive smells which the 
inhabitants too often have been annoyed with ; " and in 
October, 1767, appears the following: 

" Ordered, that whereas it appears to us that the sextons of the 
College having unjustly received for many years past 20s. for the use 
of the Rev. the Dean and Chapter, and 8s. for their trouble in 
receiving the same, making in the whole 1. 3s., for every person 
buryed in the said parish churchyard, not being a parishioner, besides 
tacking of horses, and tolerating pedlars and other strollers to sell 
their ware thereon, as also in the passage leading unto the High 
Street, to the great detriment of the parish and a nuisance to the 
community in general, ordered that the officers of the said parish do 
set forth their grievances to the Rev. Dean and Chapter, and humbly 
request their assistance towards fencing the said churchyard in a 
decent manner, the said parishioners having been at large expense 
in repairing and beautifying the parish church, and a numerous poor 
rendering them incapable of doing the whole." 

About a century ago the parsonage house was ordered to be 
excused from all manner of payments, upon consideration of 
the minister preaching a sermon on Good Friday yearly ; part 
of this parsonage house was called "the coffee-house," and 
was probably used for that purpose. An annual guinea was 
paid to the clerk " for singing a psalm every Sunday between 
the two services ; " the same amount to Mr. Staples to act as 
parish attorney to give his advice at any time ; Mrs. Mary 
Linton was allowed " to have the sole use of the gallery of the 
church in her time, to take her scool there, on condition that 
she be at the expense of a new staircase to the gallery ;" and 
" ordered, that the parish pump be locked down, and not to be 
used (except in case of fire) without the parishioners who 


make use of it will contribute towards the late expense of the 
said pump." 

This brings us to the subject of parochial expenditure. The 
first year that figures are introduced into the accounts ( and 
then only for the dates) was in 1557 ; small numerals were 
used in carrying out the sums of the items until the year 1644, 
when figures regularly superseded them. The churchwardens 
and their friends met and drank together on Easter Day, 
chiefly at the Talbot, when new churchwardens were chosen, 
also at the visitation, at "beating the parish bounds," going to 
inspect the parish property at Clifton, Severn Stoke, and on 
many other occasions. In 1624, on account of the peram- 
bulation, the church was dressed with boughs and rushes, by 
the clerk, at a charge of 4d., and the sum of 5s. 8d. was spent 
at the Talbot ; the prisoners of the county gaol received 6d. 
wherewith to forget their sorrows for a time, bread was given 
to the poor, money to the ringers ( there were three bells and 
a " tinking bell " at that time ) ; and 3d. was "paid to a bottman 
for carrienge by water the minister and other of ye p'ishe 
when they went the p'ambulacon round by the Castle Hill and 
B'pp's Pallace." The poor had grown so numerous and 
burdensome by the year 1701, that an order was made for no 
officer to spend money on any of these public occasions ; but 
the lust of the flesh soon reassumed its ancient sway, for in the 
succeeding year a meeting of twenty of the parishioners, 
including most of those who had been so considerate for the 
parochial purse, ordered that the old custom of spending 1 at 
the perambulation and election of officers should be revived. 
Many other subsequent efforts at economy were made, but 
without any permanent effect ; and in 1778 I find that no less 
than 5 for processioning and 18s. for cakes, besides other 
sums for various parish meetings, were allowed. The total 
receipts of the parish in 1657 were 56. 4s. 3d., and the 


disbursements 55. 2s. 9d., but of the balance in hand the 
accountant observes "in which money there was a leaden 
shilling which had long been in the parish stock, and was now 
broken to pieces by consent of ye parishioners." The Whitsun 
farthings paid by the officials from the beginning of these 
records regularly amounted to 5d. per annum. For an explana- 
tion of this item, as also for hoseling or houseling money, 
which was regularly paid, see some of the following chapters. 

It would seem that the poor were cared for as well as the 
imperfect arrangements of those days permitted. Minute 
details are given of the " rigging out " of parish apprentices. 
In 1623, Gervase and William Johnes, two pauper lads, were 
put out, the former to Thomas Fletcher, who received 1. 6s. 
with him ; and the latter to William Spender, who had 1. 10s.; 
in one case the indentures cost 4s., in the other Is. The two 
suits of apparel given to the lads were made of 8 yards of 
Kidderminster stuff at 14d., 2 ells canvas to line their doublets, 
2 ditto for their hosen, an ell straight lining, buttons and 
thread, 6 yards cotton at 7d. for their hosen, 1 4 dozen points 3d. 
(Query, what were these?) 6| ells "huswife's cloth to make 
fower shirts" 6s. 9d., making 12d., washing old shirts 2d., 
making 2 doublets and 2 pair of hozen 5s., 2 pair of stockings 
2s., 2 bands Is., 2 hats 4s., 2 pair shoes 2s. (id. One Stanton, 
a waggoner, was paid 7s. in August, 1635, to carry a boy to 
London, and 2s. more " to let the sister of the boy ride some- 
times who went along with him," On the carrier's return he 
was allowed 4d., " disbursed by him for victuals." Cider was 
given to Mary Lench, a poor parishioner, in 1722, "to take 
two doses of physic in for the jaundice, and 6d. to let her 
blood;" and subsequently, 6d. "to buy alicampane powder 
and two leeches for her distemper." Mr. Sergeant Groves 
was likewise treated to a shilling's worth of cider in 1707, 
" when he was pleased to give his advice for the parish." In 


1726, " given to a pore widow near ye Palace, to buy a pair of 
specktacles to see to work," 6d. ; and " a pair of pumps for the 
foundling" was on two or three occasions charged for, at lOd. 
each. Did this term denote thin, light shoes ? The sum of 
5 was received by St. Michael's officers every Christmas 
during the life of the good Bishop Hough, being their share of 
100 annually devoted by his lordship to the poor of this city. 
There was beside a liberal amount of charitable bequests from 
property left by benevolent persons, and many small sums to 
be lent for the benefit of young beginners in trade. The 
parish possessed houses in St. Peter's and St. Helen's ; lands 
at Hanbury ; Beanhall Farm, Kempsey ; a small estate at 
Clifton, in the parish of Severn Stoke, and some other property. 
The churchwardens also regularly received a small payment 
* for the Talbot passage," which was probably for a right of 
way to the Talbot inn, there being a house belonging to the 
parish close by the top of the Talbot entry. Considerable 
litigation occurred at various periods with reference to the 
parochial possessions, especially those at Severn Stoke. The 
churchwardens had occasionally to ride to Bridgnorth, Ludlow, 
Bewdley, and Shrewsbury, where the Council of the Marches 
sat, to obtain judgment in their suits, one of which had 
reference to the sale of some trees by the churchwardens. 
More on the subject of the jurisdiction of that Council will be 
found in the chapter on St. Andrew's. The following looks 
like a case of grave suspicion, in reference to a period when 
the character of judges was not like that of Caesar's wife, and 
when juries of "honest and true" men did not disdain a 
"refresher." Robert Walker, the churchwarden in 1573, 
hands in a " reckoning " thus : 

" Paid at Evesham Assizes. 

In p'mis, for the juries dinner ix. vid. 

To John Wiche, for attending upon the jury . . . ivd. 


For m'gment (probably "management") of the p'vie (privy) 

verdict xiis. 

To the judge for the same vi*. viiu/. 

To the baylye Button for watching the jury . . . us. 

The clerk of the assize, the crier, and others, also had their 
fees on the occasion. 

Besides the regular yearly income of the parish, it appears 
that lands were left at Synglebarrow, in the parish of Great 
Horwood, Buckingham, out of which a small payment was 
made (probably in rotation) to the Corporations of Worcester, 
Winchester, and Reading, the towns of Calne and Aylesbury, 
and the parishes of St. Michael and Great Horwood. 

In 1779, the citizens being about to petition Parliament to 
increase the powers under their act for supplying the city with 
water, paving the streets, &c., and having proposed to extend 
the said act to the parish of St. Michael, in order to avoid 
union with the city in the said act, which it was apprehended 
might prove injurious to them, the several proprietors of 
lands and houses situate next the city engaged voluntarily to 
remove obstructions, and to pave their soils from St. Mary's 
Steps to the College Grates, at their several costs, and a 
committee was appointed to direct the execution thereof. 

The only other entries remaining to be noticed are the 
following curious ones : 

1548. " Paid Robert Browne for a jack, two s , and 

a byll ix. 

Paid for another jack to the tayler at Knowle End . . vs. ivd." 

Was this "jack " one of those stuffed figures formerly carried 
about in processions, like the " Jack-o'-Lent," &c. ? 

1559. " For ledd, and making of tokens at Easter . . vid." 

What these tokens were required for at Easter I cannot 
ascertain, but suppose them to have been for some religious 


purpose. Tokens for change do not occur before the time of 
Charles I, and they were made by tradesmen, not parishes, 
and had nothing to do with Easter. 

In the year 1660, John Martin, bell founder, was employed 
in ''casting and hanging the second bell." This was at the 
Worcester foundry, which was in operation a few years only, 
which is still called " Bellfounders' Yard," Silver Street. 
Lastly, in 1769, one of the vestry meetings was attended (or 
at least the minutes are signed by ) seven women and seven 
men. This introduction of the feminine element, however, 
seems to have been a very rare exception to the rule in those 

The present rector of St. Michael's is the Rev. George 
St. John ; churchwardens, Mr. Henry Bennett and Mr. Curtis. 
Population in 1851, 483. The office of clerk has been in the 
family of Bond for nearly a century ; and the records state 
that, in 1763, Nathaniel Bond (an ancestor of the present 
clerk, Mr. Capel Bond) was appointed clerk and sexton, at a 
salary of 4 a year and fees. 


l?HIS register commences with the year 1538, but it 
is obvious from the fact of the items for three 
quarters of a century being in the same handwriting 
and the same ink, that it was copied from an older one, for 
the same reason as in the case of St. Michael's register, 
before-mentioned. During the Civil Wars there are fewer 
entries of marriages than usual, but no other feature of 
interest presents itself. 



The churchwardens' account book begins in 1673, and con- 
tains much that is noteworthy. In those days the church- 
wardens seem to have been the regular factotums of the 
parish. They received from the Mayor, at Midsummer and 
Christmas, the benefaction known as Lord Coventry's money, 
and distributed to nine poor persons, whose names are entered 
in the book, at the rate of 3s. 4d. each ; and there is a longer 
list of those who received charity on St. Thomas's Day. 
Irish vagrants greatly infested the city, and drew largely on 
the parochial funds ; maimed and disabled soldiers and sailors, 
and numbers of distressed persons who had seen better days, 
or who had been " ruinated by fire," constantly appealed to 
the popular benevolence. 

" To a distressed gentlewoman and her company, 14 in all, 2s." 
"To 16 Englishmen that were taken by the Dutch and got on 
land ageine, 2s." 

The regular poor seem to have been treated pretty liberally. 
Pauper children were taught to read: 

" For hornbook and primmer for Jenkins* girle to learn to 
read, 6d." 

" To a woman for curing a foundling boy of a broken belly, 10s." 

Midwives and ** gossips " were paid by the churchwardens, 
and at the christening the parson received Is., the clerk 6d., 
and registration 4d. Minute details of expenses incurred 
for individual paupers are amusing enough: 

" Paid Goodman Dooding for dressing of Mary Leonard's legg, 
and to buy salve by consent of the parish, 5s." 

" Paid Mr. Hill for cloth and thred for two shirts for old Panting, 
he being full of vermin, 5s. 9d. ; and for making, 8d." 

Indications are apparent of the great severity of the small- 
pox at the close of the seventeenth century, and the physicking 


for this and other diseases was considerable: a mixture was 
charged Is. 6d., a bolus 10d., a " vomitt " and a bottle of 
syrup 8d., a "cordiall draught" I4d., "a mass of pils" 3s., 
a glass of tincture Is., and a " Hipnott (?) mixture" Is. 

" Paid Aid. Tyas' bill for medicines to Mr. Blackwell and Joan 
Ilarria' legg wch was cutt off llth Nov. (1698), broke by Mrs. 
I luminous' cart, for subsistence in her distress for 20 weeks and her 
mother-in-law to keep her, 1. 10s." 

" Paid Mr. Blackwell and Mr. Sambach for cutting off the leg and 
curing it, 4." 

" For wooden leg for Joan Harris, 3s. lOd." 

A charge of 2s. is made on several occasions for " a Spanish 
bag" for pauper women. Can any of my medical or other 
readers suggest a solution of this ? 

One " Jones of St. John's " is commemorated as the reci- 
pient of various supplies of "strong waters," but what the 
following entries mean is not very clear : 

"Given to Jones of St. John's to buy her husband 2 galls of 
strong waters and send him abroad that he may not be too 
chargeable, 6a." 

" For a gall, of strong waters to send Jones of St. John's away to 
save him from arrest, 3s. 4d." 

Nor were the poor forgotten in their deaths : charges were 
regularly made for "rosemary and bayes " to put on corpses, 
and in one instance the churchwardens paid for the deceased 
pauper " an alehouse scoare for her 4d., for a plaster for her 
2d., and for the old woman that layd her out 4d." In the 
year 1697 a charge of 8d. was made " for an act of Parliament 
for badging the poor," which was a copy of a statute for 
distinguishing paupers by fixing a badge on their clothes. 
Probably mendicancy was becoming a serious charge, and the 
legislators of the day thought to reduce it by rendering the 
recipients of charity as conspicuous as possible. The act of 


Parliament which directed that every pauper should wear a 
badge was the statute 8th and 9th of William III, chap. 30, 
sec. 2; it was passed in the year 1697. It was not at all 
observed for many years previous to its repeal, which was in 
the year 1810, by the statute 50th of George III, chap. 52. 
The badge contained a large Roman " P " (for poor) and the 
initial letter of the parish to which the pauper belonged. 
Great exertions were made by the parochial authorities to 
shift off the burden of pauperism from their own shoulders to 
other parishes, especially in cases of illegitimate offspring. It 
is said that whenever the plague prevails in the East, the 
afflicted sons of Islam beseech Heaven to relieve their locality 
and send the scourge to the next town. Our own parish 
registers prove that Christians share the same feelings in 
common. Here are instances : 

" Given to Ann Hector, she being ready to cry out for a midwife, 
and to lodge her in St. Martin's parish, 2s." 

" Paid Fabian Lancett's wife and another woman for watching a 
woman a night and a day for fear the woman should lye in our 
parish, 2s. 6d." 

"Paid for a lycence to marry Mary Paine (she being big with 
child) to Sam. Sarles, to prevent more charge to the parish, 
1. Is. 4d." 

" Paid for licence for ye marriage of Widow Holmes, 1. Is. 4d. 

" Ale when the match was made, Is. 6d. 

" Gave them to buy necessaries, 2a." 

Money was likewise paid to women, as a bribe, to divulge 
where their illegitimate offspring were born ; and one William 
Pennell seems to have had the task assigned to him of hunting 
up this class of ladies and escorting them out of the parochial 
bounds, while Ann Williams enjoyed the not more enviable 
vocation of " begging clouts " for the unfortunate youngsters. 
A fellow named Hackluitt, in the year 1680, transgressed the 
rules of chastity with " ye maid at ye White Heart," and the 


result was the birth of a boy ; but the father had then fled, 
and the churchwardens were in great consternation at the 
probability of this illegitimate burden. A considerable number 
of items are entered in the books of sums spent upon the 
inquiry after the vagrant sinner and for maintaining his child. 
At length he was discovered, and negotiation was then resorted 
to, the putative father, apparently under the influence of drink, 
acceding to the " points " proposed as the basis. 

" Spent at White Heart when he agreed to take away his 
child, 4d." 

But in 1682 this heartless Don Juan had again abandoned 
his offspring, and another personage appears on the scene: 

" Spent in discoursing with old Hacklnitt about his sonne's child 
left in this parish, 2s. 4<1." 

A considerable expenditure followed, for " whittles and 
other necessaries " for the child ; but as Hackluitt senior 
does not seem to have seconded the proposition that he 
should pay for his son's delinquencies, the churchwardens 
apparently became tired of the onus, and at last 

" Paid to a poor woman for carrying him out of town, Is." 

How the wretched brat was really disposed of does not appear 
in this rather mysterious record. There was probably a poor- 
house or lying-in hospital at the Cross, as various memoranda 
are made of women being *' delivered at the Cross." Was 
this at the old workhouse at the site of the present Hop 
Market ? There is also one instance of 

" Paid to a woman and her husband that lay in at the widow 
Winn's, Is." 

The love of feasting at the public expense is as apparent 
in this churchwardens' book, though on a small scale, as in 
the old corporation arcliives, which I have already published. 


A dinner was always provided to commemorate the election 
of the churchwardens. When Mr. Thomas Shewring and 
Mr. Thomas Elcox were appointed, in 1673, the following 
provision was made: 

"A crop of beefe, wtt, 47 lb., att 2d., &c., 10s. 3d. 
" Two quarters veale, 9s. lOd. 
" A dozen piggeons, 18d. 

" Butter, flour, making, and baking, altogether, 4s. 9d. 
" 9 Ib. baccon of the ribbs at 5d., 3s. 9d. 
" Mr. Ferryman for tobacco, 3d. 

" Mr. Thomas Vicaris for bread, beare, pipes, tobacco, and all other 
materials, and to cleane the house, and for dressing the dinner, 1." 

A quarter of lamb was Is. lOd. ; 51b. of candles for ye 
parish lanthorn, 9d. ; two fat pigs, 5s. ; a leg of mutton, 
Is. 8d. ; capers, 4d. ; orange and lemon, 4d. ; and a soft cheese 
( probably cream cheese ) is charged Is. in 1691 ; 21b. "candles 
to burn by ye church side winter nights," 8d. ; and " four 
tunnes and a halfe of coles att 6s. 4d. pr tunn," 1. 8s. 6d. 
Dinners or drinking bouts, or both, were given on procession 
days, visitation days, and at " the assessing the rolls " that 
is, when the poor-rate (if so it might be called) was assessed 
on the parishioners. The "processions" probably were the 
same as the perambulations, or "beating the bounds," the 
churchwardens apparently taking a personal survey of the 
parish boundaries once a year, in the month of May, and 
immense preparations were made for that purpose, including 
(in 1674) half a gross of pipes, 6d. ; half a pound tobacco, 
lOd. ; and "paid for ale before our own was tapped," 4d. 
Each parish in those days kept its own "church ales." 
Charges are made for dozens of " white poyntes for the boyes " 
in these perambulation accounts. Were these wands, or what 
else ? The perambulating party generally wound up the day 
at the Globe, where they dined. 


Rentals accruing to the parish in 1695 amounted to 
74. 18s. 7d., which included 2. 3s. a year for the " oatmeal 
market " (Mealcheapen Street), also the rents of the Pheasant, 
the "baccon market," and some meadows at Hindlip. In 
1705 the rents were under 60. Charges were made "for 
work done at the oatmeale bench," probably a bench fixed 
outside the east end of the church for the use of the dealers 
in meal ; likewise " for laths and nails for mending ye church 
penthouse." This penthouse was perhaps the " purpresture " 
a name then given to booths or stalls placed in the streets 
for the exhibition or sale of goods, and for which encroachment 
on the highway a pecuniary acknowledgment was paid to the 

The receipts of the churchwardens in 1680 amounted to 
53. Is. 3d ; disbursements, 57. 13s. 5d. In 1683, receipts, 
117; disbursements, only 48. In 1684, receipts, 144; 
expenditure, 62. In 1705, receipts, 131 ; expenses, 154. 
Pentecostals (a sum raised at a farthing per head from the 
householders in a chapelry or dependent church, and paid to 
the mother church at Whitsuntide hence called " Whitsun 
farthings " ) were paid to the Dean and Chapter, St. Swithin's 
being a rectory in the gift of that body. Dr. Burn in his 
''Ecclesiastical Law," vol. iii, p. 110, says "Pentecostals, 
otherwise called Whitsun farthings, took their name from 
the usual time of payment at the feast of Pentecost. These 
are spoken of in a remarkable grant of King Henry VIII 
[dated January 25, 1541] to the Dean and Chapter of 
Worcester, in which he makes over to them all those oblations 
and obventions, or spiritual profits, commonly called Whitsun 
farthings, yearly collected or received of divers towns within 
the archdeaconry of Worcester, and offered at the time of 
Pentecost. From hence it appears that Pentecostals were 
oblations." " These oblations grew by degrees into fixed and 


certain payments from every parish and every house in it, 
as appears not only from the aforementioned grant of King 
Henry VIII, but also from a passage in the Articles of the 
Clergy in the Convocation in the year 1399, where the sixth 
article is an humble request to the archbishops and bishops 
that it may be declared whether Peter's Pence, the Holy 
Loaf, and Pentecostals, were to be paid by the occupiers of 
the lands though the tenements were fallen or not inhabited, 
according to the ancient custom when every parish paid a 
certain quota. These are still paid in certain dioceses, being 
now only a charge upon particular churches, where by custom 
they have been paid ; and if they be denied where they are 
due, they are recoverable in the spiritual court." A table 
of the Whitsun farthings payable in every parish in the 
diocese of Worcester is given by Dr. Nash in his " History of 
Worcestershire," vol. i. The clerk's wages in 1690 amounted 
to 2. 4s. 8d. ; the sexton's, 18s.; and the ringers seemed 
to have had a perpetual license to make as much noise as 
they liked, and on all occasions, however contradictory : for 

1688. May 29. Wringing for the birth of the Prince of 
Wales, 10s. 

" Paid for the discharging of the bishopps, 10s. 
" July. Wringing on the day of the late king's nativity, 5s. 
" Wringing for proclaiming the King and Queen, 1. 
" At ye news from Ireland, 2s." 

Mr. W. Riley, in 1736, presented an organ to St. Swithin's 
church, and up to the present century it was the only church 
in the city that could boast of either organ or chimes. I find 
that at least half a century before Mr. Riley's presentation 
was made, there was an organ here ; for in 1 692 Mr. Birch 
charges 3 for mending it ; and the organist, Mr. Browne, 
receives 5 a year salary. Wine for the communion for the 


whole year (1672) cost 1. 16s. ; bread for ditto, ls.5d. The 
offerings at tbe sacrament varied from 9d. to 12s., but there 
is the following entry for 8th June, 1673, when the Test and 
Corporation Act first required all officers, civil and military, 
to receive the sacrament according to the Church of England : 

" Beceived at the great communion, when Mr. Mayor and the 
greatest part of the Chamber received the Lord's Supper according 
to an act of Parliament to that purpose, 1. 7s." 

St. Swithin's was probably the then parish church of the 
mayor. I suppose the mayor did not attend the Cathedral 
officially on public occasions before 1 Edward IV, as on the 
20th of January in that year the Prior of Worcester granted 
the corporation a permission to attend divine service at the 
Cathedral, attended by their officers. See "Nash's Worces- 
tershire," vol. ii, p. 309. 

Entries frequently occur of " chimney money " paid for 
poor widows and others during the reign of James II. Was 
this a national or local tax ? Returns were ordered by parish 
constables, in the latter half of the seventeenth century, of 
all fire hearths and stoves in every house rateable to church 
and poor, and this was probably in reference to the " chimney 
money" above alluded to being a tax which poor widows 
and others, not being absolutely paupers, were unable to 
pay. The ministers who preached here probably on special 
occasions only had each a bottle of wine given them ; and 
means were taken to prevent any " backing out " on the part 
of the juveniles when the sermon was commenced ; vide : 

" Paid Henry Richards for timber, boards, and works, for mending 
gallery stayers and stoping the boyes ffrom creeping down, and 
making Mr. Pauling's stayers to his reading pue, 12s. 7d." 

Among the noticeable miscellaneous entries are the fol- 
lowing : 


( 1680.) " Paid Mr. Evans for common prayer book for the church, 

14s. 6d." 

(1681.) "Paid for engrossing Mr. Mayor's warrant for burying 

in woollen. Is." [I believe an act was passed about this time for 

the encouragement of the woollen trade by compelling burials in 


( 1682.) " Paid Is. for charcoal to dry the writings in the 

treasury" (chest). 

"Rosemary and bayes at Christmas, 2s. 6d." 

" 2 Ibs. hogg's liquor ( Query, lard ? ) for the chimes, 7d." 

" Paid Ginks to carry the bones to the scullhouse, 3s." 

The present rector of St. Swithin's is the Rev. R. Sarjeant ; 
churchwardens, Mr. R. West and Mr. F. Inchle. Population 
in 1851, 906. 

BEGINS with 1564, though it is clearly not so old as 
that date, having apparently been copied at a later 
period, like the other registers before-named. There 
is much beautiful writing about the middle and close of the 
seventeenth century, but nothing else noteworthy except 
that the marriages fell off considerably about that period. 
In 1691 a charge of 5s. was made by the churchwardens to 
the clerk for transcribing forty-eight sides of the register. 

The oldest account book belonging to this parish I have 
been enabled to procure commences in the year 1678; giving 
first a catalogue of the parochial charities, in which "poor 
auncient maides " are specially remembered, and " Mr. 
Bowen's guift in wascoates to poor maides " is mentioned. 
Male and female paupers were designated by the terms 
" Goodman " and " Goodwife " or " Goody," in lieu of their 
Christian names: 


"Paid Goodwife Gawler (1684) and her daughter when they 
went to Malvern to be cured," 3s. 

Foundlings seem to have been laid at a great many doors 
in those days, and the cost of feeding and clothing these 
poor little outcasts formed considerable items, of which the 
following are samples: 

1683. " Three yards and a half of cloth to make the foundlinge 
and Crutchington's child two coates, 5s. lOd. 

"For buttons and thrid and making the two coates, 3s. 

" Paid Goody Bray for keeping of a child layd at her doore 
three nights, 6d. 

" For making of a bond to save ye parish harmless of a childe, ls.7d. 

" Paid ye biddle for going to bring ye woman and child laid down 
in the parish, 6d." 

That the elementary education of the youngsters was not 
forgotten is shown by the great fact, that in 1694 the sum 
of Is. 6d. was invested in "1 doz. ABC, 3 hornbooks, and 
one primer." A child's coffin cost half-a-crown ; a man's 5s. 
Badges or marks for the poor, and sewing them on are 
regularly charged for. ** Ye King's Tax (4s.) for buryall of 
pore people" is first mentioned in 1695, when the duty was 
probably first imposed. ( See a note on this subject in a 
subsequent part of this work.) 

One of the latest instances of touching for the " King's Evil " 
occurs in 1711, when lls. were "paid Rogers for carrying of 
Walker to London to be touched," and even children were 
taken all the way to town in those days of snail travelling 
to receive virtue from the royal digits. From hence it would 
appear that the efficacy of the stroke was not presumed to 
be promoted by the faith or excitement of the patient 
(infants being incapable thereof), but purely and solely 
from the hereditary virtue of the royal touch, per se. In 
1684 the churchwardens paid Is. "for ye King's declaracoii 


touching ye evil." More on this subject appears in a note 
on Superstitions. 

The following entry refers to the "chimney money" for 
the poor, already mentioned in St. Swithin's chapter: 

1683. "Spent on the chimney men when the certificates were 
allowed for the poor people," 3s. 

There is a curious item of 26s. 4d. being incurred in 1720, 
"for attending on Kent when she was sullivated," and a 
gratifying instance of the best kind of charity that of 
enabling the poor to help themselves occurs in 1710, when 
5s. were spent in "teaching Eliz. Harrison to spin and 
card, and for her lodging for a month." The parochial 
benevolence does not appear to have been confined to the 
parish boundary, nor even to the class of paupers, for in 
1693 the sum of 5. 2s. Id. (equal to 30 of the present 
money) was raised here "towards the relief of Francis 
Laugher, of St. Peter's, who lost all his corn and other his 
substance by a sad and lamentable fire." The guardianship 
of the poor as also the office of churchwarden, although an 
object of honourable ambition to many, was not welcome to 
others, for it was found necessary, in 1709, to order that all 
guardians should have 2s. 6d. allowed to defray the charge 
of their qualifying; in 1690 Mr. T. Browne offered to be at 
the expense of putting out a parish apprentice if he were 
excused from serving the office of churchwarden; Mr. Baddeley 
and Mr. Westou, in 1720, paid 5 each not to serve as 
churchwardens, while at other times handsome presents were 
made to the vestry for the same indulgence. In 1684 an 
estate at Cradley, called Shewsters, was ordered by the vestry 
to be purchased for the poor, and the amount paid for it 
was 143. Fifteen years afterwards the title to the said 
estate was called in question by one Mr. Millman, and the 


churchwardens were instructed to defend it. In this they 
seem to have been successful, as in 1711 the vestry ordered 
that another lease for three lives should be granted on it. 
The Shewsters' estate still belongs to the parish, and is occu- 
pied by Mr. William Johnson at a gross annual rental of 20. 

Before leaving the subject as affecting the poor of this 
parish, and the benefactions made to them, it may be stated 
that in 1737 the clothing trade was so reduced here that there 
was no " young thriving clothier " to be found to whom the 
sum of 5 could be lent gratis. This and other similar cases 
afford precedents for vestries to amend and regulate the 
appropriation of charities when it is no longer possible literally 
to comply with the stipulations of the donor. 

The disbursements made by the churchwardens in the 
year 1678 were but 46. 15s. 8d. ; in 1685 they amounted to 
357. 14s. 8d. owing to extra assessments for the repairs of 
the church ; but after that period they usually reached to 
upwards of 100 per annum. This increasing expenditure 
occasioned a movement for economy and a suspicion against 
the men in office, who were repeatedly tied down by the 
vestry to spend no more than 20s. on the perambulation 
day, or the excess would not be allowed them. No practical 
result however followed, as the injunction seems to have 
been regularly disregarded, and four or five times that sum 
not unfrequently spent. The outlay was of course popular 
with the people, and hence the impunity. Five shillings 
were generally spent in cakes for the boys, and 6d. given 
to the person who "carried the bush." 

As late as 1798 an order was made for the usual peram- 
bulation, but "no dinner at the parish expense." Holy 
Thursday was the day for this processioning, or going over 
the parish boundary, and the "holy" day was usually ter- 
minated either at the Fish, the Green Dragon, the Falcon, 


the George, the Talbot at the Cross, or the Crown and 
Sceptre "near the Foregate." A transcript of one of these 
processions may not be uninteresting: 

" Holy Thursday, May 5, 1692, the minister, chwdns and p'ishioners 
of ye p'ish of St. Nicholas did goe ye perambulacon, and did remarke 
ye p'ticular places and bounds of ye said p'ish, viz., from the church 
to Mr. Stirrop's parlour window in Angel Lane, over against a stone 
in Mr. Savage's wall, from thence back again round by the Cross 
to Mrs. Powell's house, widd., now inhabited by Nichs. Nash, mercer, 
at the hithermost part of the shop where the ground-sill of the 
house will show an old passage or dore case, at which place there 
was formerly an entry, and the p'ishioners hi ye yeares '61-2-3 
and 4 did passe throw ye said entry, at which time one Mrs. Cooksey 
lived there, to Mr. Huntbatche's, farther parte of ye house, then to 
that parte of ye house next the Crosse, being the back parte of Mr. 
Millington's house, then to the hithermost parte of the White Harte, 
then down the Trinity to the marke in a wall neare ye old goale, 
from thence throw Mr. Blurton's garden, then to the joynt in Mr. 
Blurton's malthouse, then up Sansome Field from that joynt, and 
soe throw to ye liberty post, then downe ye Salt Lane to the stile 
at Marten's workehouse and soe back to the church." 

Besides the large sums spent on the processioning day, the 
day of accounts, the election of officers, and assessing the 
rolls, charges were constantly made which would sound oddly 
enough in the ears of the present generation, for even services 
in the cause of charity and religion were not deemed complete 
without the unction of large quantities of drink swallowed at 
the parish expense. Here are specimens : 

1687. " Spent at the Ffish after the French Protestants' money 
was gathered," 6s. 8d. 

" Ditto, ditto, when the money was paid in," 2s. 4d. 

" Spent at Fflsh with severall p'ishioners abt ye comandments," 
Is. 6d. 

Among other curious sources of expenditure are the following: 


1B81. " Paid Mr. Lea for howsling pence (or huslinge monej, 
as it U elsewhere called), lid." 

This probably means what is now called Sacrament-money. 
Howsel, an ancient name for bread, was in former times 
applied to the sacrament of the eucharist, as before the 
Protestant Reformation the sacrament of both kinds was 
restricted to the clergy, and the sacramental cup was for- 
bidden to the laity. In the certifiates of colleges and 
chantries for Worcestershire, 2 Edward VT, the persons who 
received the holy communion are called " howsling people " ; 
and in the line in Hamlet, where the Danish prince, after 
complaining that his father had been sent out of the world 
before his time, adds 

" With all his imperfections on his head, 
Unhousdled, unanointed, unannealed," 

he evidently means that his royal sire had not received 
the last offices of religion ; ' unhouselled " meaning that he 
had not received the sacrament of the eucharist ; "un- 
anointed" that he had not received the Roman Catholic 
sacrament of extreme unction ; "unannealed," or as it should 
be unanknelled, that he had not had the passing bell tolled 
for him as he was dying, to cause all pious Christians to 
pray for his soul. 

1679. "For a warrant to take the names of the Papists," 6d. 

This was probably in consequence of the excitement fol- 
lowing the discovery of Titus Oates's Popish plot. 

A subsequent allusion to the Romanists occurs many years 
afterwards, when it was " agreed that Papist Franks' child be 
put on the roll," as though it had been a matter of grave 
deliberation first. I suppose this means, that belonging to 
Popish parents precluded children from the benefit of being 
put on the rolls for parochial relief, but that after some dis- 


discussion this single case (perhaps a pressing one of destitu- 
tion) was admitted. 

1682. " For paceboard for the excomunicated p'sons," 4d. 
1683. " Charges of the excomunication," 6. 10s. 

The above charges were probably for a list of Papists and 
others who had been excommunicated in the Ecclesiastical 
Court here, and which list was fixed to the church door. 
Excommunication may still in some cases form part of the 
sentence of our ecclesiastical courts, but is now regulated by 
the statute 53 George III, chap. 127. 

The most recent remarkable instance of excommunication 
was that of the celebrated Mr. Michael Scales, who, in 
Trinity Term, 1829, was excommunicated for brawling in 
the church of St. Mary, Stratford Bow, in the county of 
Middlesex ; and in this case Dr. Lushington, in delivering 
judgment said, "In the year 1813 an act was passed effecting 
an alteration by changing the punishment annexed to the 
penalty of excommunication ; the court, however, is not 
released from passing a sentence of excommunication, but 
the consequences of that sentence are very different from 
what they were before the passing of the 53 George III, 
chap. 127. Since the passing of that statute the ancient 
punishment of excommunication is taken away the person 
excommunicated incurs no civil penalties except such im- 
prisonment as the court, in the exercise of its discretion, 
may think proper to direct, not exceeding six months." 

Mr. Scales was sentenced to seven days' imprisonment, but 
the King's Advocate (Sir Herbert Jenner Fust) said that he 
would rest contented with the sentence of the court without 
proceeding to enforce its further execution. 

A full account of this case will be found in Dr. Haggard's 
" Consistory Reports," vol. ii, p. 566. 


1691. -Spent at 2 ffaires for the arresting of Wormington and 
p'cureing a bond," 18s. 8d. 

1693." Paid for the prayers for their maties fleete," 6d. 

This was probably during an expedition of William III 
against France. 

1703. " Paid Mr. Cook for printing his sermon," 4. 15. 

1708. "Ordered (in December) that 5 be paid to Mr. Taylor, 
the curate, for preaching a sermon every sacrament day in the after- 
noon since Easter last." 

1720. " Paid for the use of a pillion," Is. 6d. 

" For a litter from Oxon," 2Jd. 

Rosemary and bayes were very regularly distributed about 
the church at Christmas. The bread for the communion for 
the whole year 1678 amounted to but Is. ; the wine, 1. 5s. 6d. 
Money collected at the communion in 1680, about 2, in 
seven collections. In 1684 bread, 3s. 6d. ; wine, 4. 14s. 7d. 
Mr. Stephen Ashby, in 1737, "gave 20s. to the rector for 
preaching a sermon on Good Friday, suitable to the great 
subject of the day ; and it is desired that the inhabitants of 
St. Swithin's may have liberty to attend the service and 
sermon, and that the blessed sacrament of the Lord's Supper 
may be administered that day, if there shall be a sufficient 
number of communicants." An inventory of the furniture 
belonging to the church in 1680 included "one English Bible, 
eleven service books, a book of homilies, Paraphrase of 
Erasmus, one book Jewell's works, one book called Museums, 
one book of the Whole Duty of Man [two years previously 
three books of the Whole Duty of Man were entered as 
having been given to the parish], four books given by Mr. 
Griffith, the rector, being the Companion to the Temple, two 
parts, the Companion to the Altar, and the Occasional Office 
of Matrimony, a book of cannons, a book concerninge God 
and the Kinge," besides books for the poor, communion plate, 


green carpet, &c. A charge of Is. 8d. for chaines and staples 
for the books in the church was made about the same time. 
In the year 1680 an old vestry order was revived, u That the 
clerk should buy and maynteyne sufficient ropes whenever 
required, and to have the benefit of the ringing the bells." 
The clerk was also discharged from keeping the clock, and it 
was ordered that some skilful person should be chosen for the 
purpose and paid 20s. yearly ; but some twenty years after 
that a much more economical arrangement was made with one 
John Cox, who was paid 25s. " for mending the clock, upon 
his promise to keep it in order 21 years at 5s. a year." A 
new ring of bells for this church was cast at Bromsgrove in 
1715. Patching up the old church was a frequent source of 
great outlay for some years before it was determined to build 
a new One. In 1682 the "pillar near the great door" being 
much decayed, and endangering the structure, and other 
repairs being needed, they were ordered to be done. I find 
that the cost of 400 tiles was 6s. 8d., 20 bushels of hair 6s. 8d., 
400 Wyer brick 6s. 8d., 5 loads of sand 7s. 6d., eight loads of 
stone (from Ombersley) 2, lime 5d. a bushel ; the workmen 
generally had Is. a day, while others had more or less. Green 
flannel was bought for "the 48 seats," (the corporation), and 
red tape to be nailed on it. Three years afterwards an order 
was made to repair the church again at a cost of 150, and two 
men named Allibone and Pascall " to have ye job," Mr. Ernes 
to give security for its proper performance. Malt was bought 
to make drink for the workmen. Three and a half yards of 
damask for the communion table were then charged 1. 2s. 9d. 
Next year the chancel was out of order, and a buttress was 
put up. In 1690 the steeple underwent reparation. Then it 
was found that the accommodation of the church was not 
sufficient, and in 1 697 it was ordered, " That my Lord Bishopp 
be waited upon by the minister to desier his fyatt for the 


building a new gallery." The four front seats of this gallery 
were " put in order and matted fitt for ye gentlewomen to sit 
in." Only two years elapsed when the old vestry was ordered 
" to be taken down and removed to next pillar, and to be put 
in decent order for the parishioners to meet on all parish 
accounts." Then, in 1707, a new gallery was ordered to be 
erected under the west window, "in the most decent and 
workmanlike manner that can be found out and advised by 
able workmen, and that the pulpit, seats, and font, be removed 
and made more convenient." At length the old fabric was 
found not to be worth any further outlay, and it was pulled 
down in 1728. The vestry meetings were then held hi the 
Berkeley chapel, also at several inns and private houses. 
[The Hop-pole is first mentioned in 1742, and the Star and 
Garter in 1748. Mr. G. Woodcock was the landlord of the 
former, and Mr. William Dyer of the latter.] The trustees 
appointed under the act for taking down and rebuilding the 
church were Mr. Thomas, Mr. Weston, Alderman Weston, 
Martin Sandys, Alderman Vaughan, Alderman Floyer, Mr. 
Hayles, Mr. John Nichols, Mr. Ashby, Mr. Mence, Alderman 
Hopkins, Dr. B. Purshall, and the churchwardens. Captain 
Wingfield, Mr. Sambach, and Mr. Garway, were afterwards 
chosen trustees to act with the others in carrying on the 
building. It was ordered that all gifts to the parish should 
be paid to the treasurer of the trustees, and the parish to pay 
the interest as directed by the wills of the respective donors. 
[I mention this in consequence of the bearing it has on a 
recent church-rate discussion here.] When the trustees 
should be reduced to thirty, any nine of the survivors were to 
fill up the number. Sums were borrowed at common interest 
and others as annuities, and heavy rates were levied. Great 
difficulty was experienced in raising the amount, the whole 
expense of the church being 3,345. It was ordered to 



prosecute all defaulters in the Ecclesiastical Court, except 
Quakers, who were to be brought before the magistrates ; 
and among other modes of raising funds were the following : 
Alderman Weston gave 20 for a seat under the south 
window next the tower; Mr. Sandys and Mr. Mence 100 
each for having conveyed and assured to them the two gal- 
leries on each side of the tower ; and an order was made 
that the 20 given by Mr. Ashby for preaching a sermon on 
Good Friday be laid out on building a wall and enclosing the 
church-yard. The first vestry was held in the new church in 
1730, when it was ordered that the seats should have numbers 
or figures put on them ; " the persons to sit in them according 
to their weekly payments to the poor ; and if any one should 
sit in a seat above his weekly pay he or she shall be imme- 
diately charged according to the figure on the seat." 

The Salt Market was held in the parish of St. Nicholas. At 
a parish meeting in 1792 it was agreed " That whereas there 
is a stage erected before the Salt Market, to the great prejudice 
and forestalling of the p'ish tenants, who pay considerable 
rents to the use of the poor of St. Nicholas, that all and every 
person," &c., should be proceeded against as counsel should 
advise. The site of the Salt Market was what is now the garden 
in front of the rectory house, close by the church. There was a 
stonemason's yard behind, and in the rear of that yard was a 
house which, by the addition of a new front, has been converted 
into the present rectory. Mr. Young, who is now living at 
the age of about eighty-three, informs me that he can recollect 
a man regularly selling salt at a small open shop or stall on 
the site in question. Three or four centuries ago the Salt 
Market was at "the well of Allhallow," near All Saints' 
church. In 1692 the parishioners were "p'sented for ye 
repaire of the way from Foregate to the Pound, in St. 
Martin's, lying near the town ditch," which had hitherto been 


repaired by the inhabitants living there, or else by the cham- 
berlain of the city, the churchwardens therefore were instructed 
to litigate the point, and no further entry occurs on the subject. 
There was also much disputation about some property in the 
Butts, and at length " Wm. Lygon, Esq., John Price, chan- 
cellor, James Nash, of Hartley, gentleman, and John 
Appletree, Esq., were requested to be arbitrators for the parish 
in a matter between ye p'ishioners and Mary Solley, widow, 
concerning the retakeing of the gravel butts and setting forth 
ye said butts and ye boundaries thereof." In 1770 a lease of 
" the rector's ten tenements at the bottom of Gaol Lane " was 
granted for fifty years, at a rental of 21. 10s., for a work- 
house. This Gaol Lane was the present Nicholas Street, 
where also were several almshouses, repaired by the parish. 
The lane led to the old city gaol, which was situate on the site 
of the gardens and property now belonging to the Avenue 
House (Mr. Powell's) and cottages adjacent in Trinity 
Gardens. The entrance to the old gaol was near the premises 
in St. Nicholas Street, till recently occupied as a savings-bank. 
St. Nicholas Street now the principal thoroughfare to and 
from the railway station was at that time no street at all, 
there being no outlet to Lowesmoor except for foot passengers, 
who had to go through a narrow entry with turnstile. A public 
house called the Dolphin stretched across the street from the 
present police station to the point where Mr. Finch's house 
now stands, and the entry was at the left of that public 
house, close adjoining Mr. Finch's. The last house which 
then stood in the lane is still in existence, being occupied by 
a broker. Its old doorway and timbers speak for themselves. 
Mr. Finch's premises were then a workshop and timber-yard 
belonging to a Mr. Powell. The ten tenements above alluded 
to, as belonging to the rector, were on the opposite side of the 
lane, and were probably used as a parish workhouse only from 


1770 till the building of the present House of Industry, about 
twenty years later. These tenements are now about to be 
sold, under an act passed a few years ago, enabling incumbents 
to sell dilapidated property for its bonafide value, the proceeds 
to be deposited in Queen Anne's Bounty fund, and the 
annual value to be paid to the incumbent. The cattle 
market was held in Gaol Lane within the recollection 
of aged persons now living. A by-law was made in the 
time of Henry VII, setting forth that, as the cattle 
market in Broad Street was a great annoyance, thence- 
forth the Welsh cattle should be brought to Dolday, and 
English cattle to Anger (Angel) Lane, and to the "old gayle." 
The garden and butter markets were also formerly held in 
front of St. Nicholas' church, having been removed thither 
from All Hallows Well. A great part of the area in 
front of St. Nicholas' church is consecrated ground, the 
boundary being still defined by a line of pavement. At 
the corner of the churchyard the old watchman's box was 
formerly placed. Richard Hill, the late beadle of St. 
Nicholas church, had the honour of being the " last man " 
of the ancient dynasty of Charleys in this city. He received 
a concussion of the brain in a night assault, but after lying by 
for some time he recovered and became beadle of the church. 
The first mention of public lamps in the churchwardens' 
books is in 1698 ; when it was ordered " Yt the lamps in the 
parish, and to be putt up in the parish, be fedd with oyle, and 
trimmed and cleaned at the charge of the parish, and that the 
churchwardens doe take care to have them lighted all dark 
nights in the winter season." Mention of a Sunday school is 
made in 1786, when it was agreed that the expense of it 
should be paid out of the money collected for the poor, and 
a committee was appointed to manage the affairs of the 
school. [I find that Sunday schools were ordered to be 
established as early as 1570, by the Council of Malines.] 

ST. PETER'd. 39 

Present rector of St. Nicholas, the Rev. W. H. Havergal ; 
churchwardens, Mr. F. Shrimpton and Mr. T. B. Burrow. 
Population in 1851, 2030. 

>t IBttw's. 

5 oldest register now in this church commences 
ij\l with 1686 ; but this book is No. 2, and it is written 
at the commencement that " No. 1 contains entries 
from 1560 to 1686." No. 1 is, however, missing. In the 
early part of the eighteenth century, the entries of the 
births of dissenters' children are placed apart by themselves, 
as in some other registers which I have inspected. The spirit 
which dictated this is, unhappily, not yet defunct amongst us. 
There is an entry in 1716 of the name of "Gibbon, son of 
Mr. G. Bagnall," who was probably a descendant of that 
loyal gentleman who facilitated the escape of Charles II 
from the battle of Worcester by lending him his horse when 
the king was nearly captured in Sidbury. Several instances 
of adult baptism are recorded here, among which is the 
following : " Rebecka Nicholas, aged 23, born and bred a 
Quaker, was baptised Sep. 3, 1759." Not a few names are to 
be met with, both in the registers and churchwardens' books 
a century or one hundred and fifty years or more ago, which 
are still familiar in the parish such as Burlingham, Gorle, 
Jenkins, Darke, John Dent, Daniel George, Luke Wells, 
Coney, Hartwright, Hickman, Roger Moore, Luke Lench, 
&c. It is probable that many of the poor fishermen's 
families here have been identified with the parish for a 
succession of several centuries, and in particular the name 


of one of them (Leonard Darke) seems never to have been 
missing, as far back as the records go. No doubt, among 
these humble followers of a calling which has been handed 
down from father to son for many generations, as also with 
innumerable instances of agriculturists, if they possessed the 
ambition or the means, they might trace as ancient if not as 
distinguished a pedigree as any Norman or Saxon lord of 
the soil. 

A few notes from the churchwardens' books will suffice. 
The oldest of them now to be found begins with the year 
1739, and the next with 1770. In the latter, one Charles 
Geary exhibits his anxiety to acquaint posterity with the 
fact that the holding a churchwardenship is not incompatible 
with the loftier aspirations of the poetic muse, thus 

"I bought this book, 
And in him the p'ishoners may look 
And thear they may see 
That he 

Was bought by me, 
Charles Geary." 

On the cover of the same book is the following memorandum : 

" I have perused the pleadings in a case between John Berkeley, 
Esq., plaintiff, and John Sparrow and Thomas Butler, churchwardens 
of St. Peter's, defendants, and find that the inhabitants, owners, and 
possessors of lands and tenements within the chapelry of Wliittington, 
in the said parish, are, by the verdict given in the said cause, to pay 
one fourth part only of all levies and charges for repairing of the 
said parish church of St. Peter's and the ornaments thereof, and 
also one fourth of all charges for bread and wine used at the com- 
munion there. John Farmer. July 4, 1752." 

Among the charges pertaining to the church, in the same 
year, a new clock and dial, three feet square, by Mr. John 
Steight, cost 13. 10s. ; and three years afterwards the vestry 
made an order to "buy a new pulpit of the Dean and 

ST. PETER'S. 41 

Chapter for eight guineas, that they had lately made and 
was not then in use." No such heavy expenses were 
incurred in this parish as in St. Nicholas's for perambu- 
lation purposes or other feasting, and indeed the scale of 
the disbursements generally betokened St. Peter's to be 
much the poorer parish of the two. 3. 9s. was charged in 
1761 foregoing the bounds." In 1774, I find that the turn- 
pikes to Feckenham cost 3d. for a horse ; hire of the animal, 
2s. ; hay and corn, 6d. ; dinner and drink for the rider, Is. 6d. 
The lamps first put up in this parish were under the care of 
the churchwardens, who were ordered to appoint a person to 
trim them. Mr. Nathaniel Wilkinson who has been ren- 
dered famous by his erection of the beautiful spire of St. 
Andrew's church was an inhabitant of St. Peter's ; and in 
1 750 I find an order that Mr. Wilkinson's accounts should be 
examined, " and if he do not submit them for inspection an 
attorney be employed." It ever seems the fate of genius to 
contend with pecuniary difficulties. 

I now come to the management of the poor. As in all other 
parishes to whose records I have had access, the greatest 
vigilance was exercised to pass on tramps and get rid of 
paupers, especially that class of females who evidently contem- 
plated an increase of the population, and these are invariably 
designated by a term which will not exactly suit the fastidious 
readers of the nineteenth century. In 1739 Leonard Darke is 
ordered "to have the badche (badge) put upon his sleeve as 
the act of Parliament directs, before the churchwarden relieves 
him or his wife ; and that all other people that receive reliefe 
from the parish be obliged to wear the badge." In the same 
year " Paid to gett a stranger out of the parish troubled with 
fitts, Is." In 1746 "Ordered that the churchwardens do 
agree with the London carryer in the best manner that he can 
to take Ann Nelson back to Christ Church parish in London, 


from which she was sent by a pass directed to the church- 
wardens and overseers of the poor of the city of Worcester." 
See how the authorities of those days enforced seducers to 
make the amende honourable : 

1780. " Paid to Ann Williams, examination and oath relative to 
her parish, 2s. 

" Her examination and oath touching the father of the child, 2s. 

" A warrant to apprehend the father, and expenses of constables 
and assistants in taking nun, 1. 18s. 

" Paid for the ring, 4s. 

" Licence, 1. 8s. 

" Pd parson, clerk, and sexton, 8s. 

"For the wedding dinner and drink, 11s. 6d." 

There was no middle way left for this description of sinner 
but a long incarceration in gaol or a procession to the hymeneal 
altar in company with her whom he had outraged. The 
prospect of the gratuitous " dinner and drink " no doubt 
decided the point. Lunatics were treated in an equally charac- 
teristic manner. 

1753." Paid for necessaries for Rd. Strayne, Is. 6d. 

" Two hopsacks for a bedtick for him, 8s. 4d. 

" Straw for him, 6d. 

" A nurse to look to him, Is. 6d. 

" Paid a man to help to chain him, with expenses, 3s. 

" Two staples, a chain, and a lock, 8d." 

The small-pox and the itch were the two greatest scourges 
of pauperism in those days, and it seems that even then 
(though I was not aware of the fact before) the contract 
system was resorted to in reference to both the sick and able- 
bodied poor. In 1779, Mr. William Dunn, apothecary, 
contracted with St. Peter's vestry to supply the poor of the 
parish in the workhouse with medicines and proper attendance 
for the sum of 7. 7s, for three years. Six years later, Robert 
Tasker, governor of the workhouse, contracted to lodge, clothe, 

ST. PETER'S. 43 

keep, and manage the poor for three years, at 185 per annum : 
and in 1791 Robert Tasker again contracted for 195, and 
10 was then further paid to him "for extras during the last 
three years and for his particular care and attention to 
lunatics." But in reference to the workhouse question we 
must retrace our steps as far back as 1746, when the vestry 
requested the churchwardens "to take to their assistance 
others of the parishioners, and draw a scheme for establishing 
a workhouse in the parish." Ten pounds a year was fixed as 
the salary of the governor, Zachary Humphries, and " a proper 
person was to be employed to instruct young persons and 
others in the workhouse in pareing of leather, sewing of gloves, 
spinning, or other employments." One shilling a week was 
allowed to the governor for every person admitted to the 
house. At the same time it was ordered that " the house now 
rented by the parish of Mr. Brooker, the minister, be converted 
into a workhouse, and fitted up in a fortnight." In 1771 it 
was apparently found that the accommodation was insufficient, 
as an order was made " That a workhouse be set on foot and 
established as speedily as may be." Exactly twenty years 
later it was resolved to concur in the plan of a general work- 
house, and delegates were appointed to attend the general 
committee. Great opposition, however, was raised, in conse- 
quence of an outcry against the suppression of the parochial 
system as usual, no doubt, by interested individuals having a 
tender regard for the abuses of the old plan, for this has ever 
been the experience attending great measures for the public 
good. In the following year therefore (1792), at a vestry 
meeting convened to consider the bill for establishing a House 
of Industry, it was resolved, by a majority of forty-five to reject 
the bill " as unnecessary for this parish ;" and a Mr. James 
Holyoake, referring to his vote at the last parish meeting 
respecting this business, "begs leave to observe as to the 


division of parishes. Out parts of parishes cannot be divided 
from such parts as in the city. Parishes united or consolidated 
must remain so, unless altered or divided by act of Parliament ; 
and if this is, or intended to be, a part of the bill, the said 
James Holyoake doth on his own part protest against such 
clause being inserted therein ; and it is submitted that a review 
should be taken of all the public acts made and passed by the 
legislature for the relief, support, and government of the poor 
in general. Abstract and consider the clauses of these acts of 
Parliament ; consider the acts at large, and give reasons why 
the ministers, churchwardens, and overseers, should not 
continue to be the lawful trustees, guardians, and repre- 
sentatives of their churches and parishes for the relief, support, 
and government of the poor; and determine (if you can) why 
the ministers, churchwardens, and overseers, should be 
restrained from representing and doing the duties belonging 
to their churches and parishes ; and why they, or their 
churches and parishes, should be superseded or directed by 
any particular set of people on earth. And should not the 
clause No. Ixiii in the said bill, intended for the better relief 
of the poor of the city of Worcester, conclude thus 'It is 
intended to be a private act.' " 

The year 1793, however, saw the establishment of the 
general workhouse on Tallow Hill ; and in the first year 
of the operation of the new plan, although the poor were 
very largely increased above the average of preceding years, 
the total cost of their maintenance amounted to a less 
sum than before. The parishes incorporated by this act were 
All Saints, St. Andrew, St. Alban, St. Clement, St. Helen, 
St. Martin, St. Michael, and St. Swithin, and the average 
expenditure of these parishes for the poor for five years 
preceding amounted to 1525 per annum, as follows: All 
Saints, 290 ; St. Andrew, 182 ; St. Alban, 47 ; St. Clement, 


108 ; St. Helen, 187 ; St. Martin, 255 ; St. Nicholas, 303 ; 
St. Swithin, 153. The present Hop Market had been a 
workhouse (prior to the establishment of that on Tallow Hill) 
for probably a century, as I find that in 1699 the Foregate 
was pulled down in order to build a workhouse. 

The present vicar of St. Peter's is the Rev. W. Wright ; 
churchwardens, Mr. W. Otley and Mr. R. Allies. Population 
in 1851, 4025. 

N the first page of the oldest register book here is 
the following memorandum : " This register of St. 
K^h#<5i Andrew's parish, Worcester, was found among old 
rubbish in the churchyard by W. Wormington, rector, 1779." 
The first entry is under date 1549, and a note in the 
margin observes, " Four years before the death of Edward 
the Sixth." A large portion of the book appears to have been 
copied, and births, marriages, and deaths, are irregularly 
intermixed. It terminates with the year 1619. The next 
oldest register commences with 1673. The account book is 
thus prefaced : " The booke of the accomptes of the church- 
wardens of the parishe of St. Andrewes within the cittie of 
Worcester made and begonne this present year of o r - Lord 
God 1587, beynge the thirtyeth yeare of the raigne of o r - 
sov'aigne ladie Queene Elizabeth." The book (which, as 
a memorandum on it states, cost xii pence) ends with 1631 ; 
it is on thin paper, with parchment covers. Two other 
books, both belonging to a later part of the seventeenth century, 
give the accounts of what was received and " disbusted " for 


church and poor. This is therefore one of the oldest paro- 
chial records in Worcester, and as may be expected contains 
much that is interesting. As usual small Roman numerals 
are used in the accounts, figures making their appearance 
about the year 1600, but these were apparently considered 
so awkward or unintelligible as to lead to their abandonment, 
and many years elapsed before they were finally introduced. 
How the venerable guardians of the church could have per- 
sisted in the use of such an impracticable method of arith- 
metic in the face of so great an invention as that of figures, 
is only to be accounted for by the blind and obstinate attach- 
ment of human nature to traditional usages. 

In the time of Queen Elizabeth the seats in this church 
were let, at the rate of from 6d. to Is. per annum each 
sitting, and some instances occur of sittings for a man 
and his wife being charged 3s., and regularly every year 
a large number who removed from their seats to others 
were charged 4d. for each removal. The church was 
whitewashed at Easter Eve, at a charge of 7s. each time. 
In 1600 ocurs an item of 43s. "layed out in bildinge ye 
new porch," and four years afterwards 5s. "for painting 
the king's arms." In 1617, "Paid for mendinge ye chimnie 
to keape out smoke out of ye church, 2s." The smoke 
nuisance however was not abated, for two years later the 
sum of 2s. 6d. was " paid to the goodman* Bushell for 
a day's work and a halfe for him and his man to stopp 
the smooke of the church." The "steeple" is frequently 
mentioned, and in the year 1618 was "Paid for repayringe 
and mendinge of ye wether cocke, 5s. lOd. ; guilding ye 
cocke, 1." A fatal accident occurred at this time, as sums 
are charged for the "buriall of the man who undertook 

* Goodman and goodwife were in those days used in the same -way at 
Mr. and Mrs. are now. 


p&yntinge of ye steeple," and " for coveringe the grave 
where the man was buried that was misventured in the 

Bells were in those days of universal ringing a source of 
very great expense, year after year heavy items being charged 
for ropes, ballribbs, clappers, or recasting the bells them- 
selves. In 1589 is this entry " Laide out on the singinge 
men of the Colledge for hearing the tune of the belles, 6d." 
Some of the bells were probably recast on that occasion, and 
the Cathedral choir were invited to lend their professional 
ears at the tuning of them. " Likewise (in the same year) 
the said churchwardens desire to be allowed of divers summes 
by them laid out in costes and charges expended at the 
Councell in the M'ches in ye parishes cause, concerninge 
the castinge of their fowerth bell, altogether 1 8s. 8d." I have 
been unable to ascertain what took this cause to the Council 
of the Marches instead of to the Worcester Consistory Court. 
At that time the Council usually sat at Ludlow, but for the 
greater despatch of business sometimes assembled at Bewdley 
and Shrewsbury. " The court of the President and Councell in 
the Dominion and Principality of Wales " is mentioned by 
Lord Coke in his " Fourth Institute," p. 242, as a court of 
equity, held before the President and Council, under the 
authority of the statute 34th Henry VIII, chap. 26 ; and his 
lordship says " They sit by force of the King's Commission 
and Instructions, and proceed as in a court of equity, by their 
wisdomes and discretion. Herefordshire, Worcestershire, 
Shropshire, and Gloucestershire, are included in this Com- 
mission, pretending these four shires are within the Marches 
of Wales"; but to show that these four shires were no part 
of the Marches of Wales, but were English counties, he cites 
many authorities, including a decision of all the Judges of 
England and Barons of the Exchequer in Lord Zouche's 


case, in Michaelmas Term, 2nd James II. In reference to 
St. Andrew's bell, some one must have sued the church- 
wardens in this Welsh court of equity. I find that in 1577 
two oxen were given to the bishop on coming to this city, 
he being Lord Vice-President of the Queen's Council of the 

A regulation was laid down in 1595 that the bells should 
be " charged at every churching and wedding, by consent as 
aforesaid 4d. at every churching, and 6d. at every wedding; 
and if any not inhabiting within this parish shall require to 
have ringing hereafter at their wedding, they shall paye 
towards the reparation of the belles, xiid." Among the 
receipts yearly the sum of 2s. is regularly mentioned as 
having been received from the chamberlains for the council 
bell. This was probably the bell by which the corporation 
meetings were called together, St. Andrew's being the nearest 
church to the Guildhall. The receipts for the use of all the 
bells in the year 1602 amounted to 11s. 8d. A clock and 
chimes also existed here. Among the occasions for ringing 
at this church was the following, in 1625: 

" Paid by Mr. Maior's appointment for ringinge when there was 
speeche betwixt our King Charles and the French ladye, 2s. 6d." 

After the expedition of "his sacred Majesty" to Spain, to 
woo the Infanta, that match was broken off, and negotiations 
were begun in 1625 for his marriage with the Princess 
Henrietta Maria, youngest daughter of Henri IV of France 
an union the most unfortunate for Charles and for his country, 
so adverse were her influences over him, and so unmanly his 
acquiescence to her. About the year 1590 the following 
inventory was made "of such stuffe as remayneth in the 
p'rishe church of St. Andrew at the accompt of John Killer 
and Thomas Hemynge, at the daye of choseing wardens, 


when A Bible, ii books of Omilies (one is lost), a book of 
Comon Prayer, a book of Iniuncons (Injunctions), (this is 
lost), The Paraphraces, Emusculus Comon Places, a Comunion 
cuppe and a cover, a surples, a cloath for ye Comunion table, 
ii church pawles with ii pillowes, a Comunion table with a 
frame and a carpet for the same, iii joyned fearms, ii long and 
on short, on longe forme with iv feet, a coffer with a locke 
and a keye, a great cheste with ii locks, the poor men's boxe 
with ii locks and keyes, ii long laddars of the p'rishes, ii other 
laddars, on for the clocke and the other for the steeple, a 
dext (desk), with a frame, sixe bells with a clock, chimes, 
and the whole furniture thereunto belonging, ii bears (biers), 
the rej ester book (the parson hath it)." The Paraphrases, 
above alluded to, were those of Erasmus, which Cranmer 
ordered to be set up in every church. " Emusculus's Comon 
Places " were contained in a work now in the Royal Library 
in the British Museum, which has the following title : " Com- 
mon Places of Christian Religion, gathered by Wolfgangus 
Musculus, for the use of suche as desire the knowledge of 
Godly truthe, translated out of the Latin into Englishe. 
Hereunto are added two other Treatises, made by the same 
author, one on Othes, the other on Usurye. Londini, Anno 
Domini M.D.LXIII." The imprint at the end of the work 
(which consists of 1174 folio pages) is " Imprinted at 
London by Reginalde Wolfe, Anno Domini 1563." In 
1604, "a book of cannons for our parson" was purchased 
for 16d., and "payed for our Bible 36s." It would appear 
that the churchwardens sold Bibles in those days, and it is 
even probable that they let out the church Bible to those 
parishioners who could not afford to purchase one, for in 1610 
occurs tin's item " Imprimis, received for our church Bible, 
x. vid." These officers were occasionally overhauled for 
neglect of duty, for in 1612 is this entry ' Payed for the 


fees of the Consistory Court when we weare called thither for 
not buying Mr. Jewell's works, and likewise about ye broken 
bell, xxiiirf." Jewell's works were printed in 1609, and the 
Archbishop Bancroft, in his letter to the Bishops, dated 27th 
July, 1610 (printed in Dr. Card well's Annals of the Reformed 
Church, vol. 2, p. 154), desires the Bishops, Chancellors, and 
Archdeacons, with the rest of the preachers and ministers, 
"to induce the parishioners of every parish to buy one of 
the works of Bishop Jewel." In 1610 a "Communion table 
with a form" was bought for 6s. 4d., and in 1616 three 
trenchers were ordered for the Communion table at a cost of 
6d. The cost of bread and wine for the year 1613 was 
16s. 8d. ; for 1624, 1. 4s. 6d. ; and the pence collected at 
the communion for the year 1619, 1. lls. Id. Wine and 
sugar loaves were given to the strange clergymen who 
preached occasionally. The vestry resolved in 1598 that 5s. 
should be paid for every corpse above the age of ten years 
buried in the church, and under that age 3s. 4d., " and to 
pave the ground at their own charges." At a later period 
the act for burying in woollen was rigidly enforced, for the 
benefit of the woollen trade. In 1692, '* paid for a warrant 
to seize widdow Yates' goods for not making affadavid yt she 
was buried in woollen, Is." Pope alludes to this custom in 
the following lines : 

" Odious ! in woollen ! 'twould a saint provoke ! 
(Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke.) 
No, let a charming chintz and Brussels lace 
Wrap my cold limbs and shade my lifeless face ; 
One would not, sure, be frightful when one's dead ! 
And Betty give this cheek a little red." 

A "prayer for the navie" was purchased in 1596 at a cost of 
4d. This was probably during one of the expeditions against 
Spain, after the Armada had been disposed of. Of the many 


"briefs" for collections here, one was in 1693 "for the 
redemption of captives from ye coasts of Africa," 19s. 3d. ; 
and another in 1716 "for the cowkeepers about London," 
10s. 7d. (probably to compensate them for the loss of cattle 
by the distemper, which, it will be seen elsewhere, visited 
this and the adjoining counties a few years later). Rents of 
parish property, fees for bells, and letting church seats, were 
the principal sources of income ; and as regards expenditure, 
the parochial authorities seem to have been remarkably self- 
denying in the matter of eating and drinking, as compared 
with other parishes. The first mention of processioning is in 
1614, when 4d. was "payd for a barge to goe over Severne 
when the parishioners went in perambulation ;" nothing was 
then charged for feasting; but in 1622, Is. 4d. was laid out 
" to make the presessiou drinke," aud 3s. 4d. " to make the 
parishioners eat and drink when they went the late perambu- 
lation." The patriotic accountant of 1701 records that there 
was spent in that year " at the election of officers according 
to Magna Carta, 1," and at the perambulation, with ringing, 
13s. The perambulation in 1711 cost 1. 10s. !'<!. The 
meetings were held at the Plough and the Cock. Rent was 
annually paid to the city chamberlains for Lead Lane, after- 
wards called Pipe Lane. Was this a right of way over 
corporation property I Here is the cost of an inquest in 
1678: "Paid to the Jewry that viewed the man that was 
drowned, 4s.; to the sargeant for warning them, Is.; the 
shroud, 2s. 6d. ; four men to carry him to church, Is." The 
Whitsun farthings paid by this parish in 1589 amounted to 
2s. 2d., which, at a farthing per head, would make 104 house- 
holders, and this was probably the arrears of two years, 
as in 1726 only Is. Id. was paid. 

The present rector of St. Andrew's is the Rev. G. Hodson ; 
churchwardens, Mr. Stallard and Mr. Knight. Population 
in 1851, 1678. E2 



REGISTER commences with 1538, but appears to 
have been copied in one handwriting from a book of 
that date nearly a century later. (See remarks on 
St. Michael's.) The period of the Civil Wars is noted by 
much confusion, but there is nothing in the book beyond 
simple entries of births, marriages, and deaths. The account 
books, however, which date from 1682, possess a fair average 
amount of interest. In the beginning of last century various 
minor improvements and renovations were effected in the 
church and with the bells. The " chambermen's seat" 
(meaning the corporation), next the reading pew, " was 
ordered to be enlarged, and the women's seat next adjoining 
to be kept as large as now it is by adding the next seat to it." 
A vestry, held September 10, 1706, ordered "that the church- 
wardens do article and agree with Mr. R. Sanders,* bell- 
founder, or any other founder, for casting the five bells into 
eight," and voted a sum not exceeding 70 for founding and 
hanging the same. An agreement was accordingly made with 
Mr. Sanders. The five bells handed over to him weighed 
85 cwt. 1 qr. lib., and the eight recast 80cwt. 2qrs. 151b., 
making a difference of 5181bs., which is charged at 12d. per 
Ib. This famous octave the inscriptions on which, in 
honour of Queen Anne and Marlborough's victories over 
the French, may be seen in all the local histories and 
guide books weighed separately as follows : Blenheim, 

6 cwt. Oqr. 27 Ib. ; Barcelona, 6 cwt. 2 qr. 26 Ib. ; Ramilies, 

7 cwt. 1 qr. 13 Ib. ; Menin, 8 cwt. 2 qr. 3 Ib. ; Turin, 

* Of Bromsgrove; see article on " Bells." 

ST. HELEN'S. 53 

9cwt. 3 qr. 24 Ib. ; Eugene, lOcwt. 1 qr. 31b. ; Marlborough, 
12cwt. 3 qr. 4 Ib. ; Queen Anne, 18cwt. 2 qr. 27 Ib. A regular 
charge of Is. is made for ringing the pye-bell between twelve 
and one on Christmas Day, which, I suppose, is hi some way 
connected with the proverbial good cheer of that festive 
season, just as the " plum-pudding bell " of St. Martin's, and 
" the pancake bell " which was formerly common everywhere 
at Shrove Tuesday 

" But hark, I hear the pancake bell, 
And fritters make a gallant smell." 

" For tolling ye passing bell as ye prisoners passed by " (to be 
hanged) was also a constant charge, as likewise the bow-bell 
(curfew) at night. On the 29th of May, 1723, the church- 
warden, in the exuberance of his loyalty, records the payment 
of 5s. " ringing happy, glorious, and miraculous restoration." 

The sum of 134 was expended in the repair of the church 
in the year 1718, and seven years later 2. 8s. for a font, 
22. 5s. 8d. for communion plate, and 4. 10s. for a communion 
cloth. The expenditure for sacramental wine throughout the 
whole year 1683 was but 9s. 5d., yet the churchwardens could 
make heavy charges for sack, quarts of " muskadell," and 
bottles of canary, for their own consumption. In 1727, the 
sacramental wine cost 6. 12s. lOd. Every strange minister 
who preached at the church as was then the custom in all 
the parishes was rewarded with a bottle of wine, at a 
charge of 2s., but whether the guinea fee accompanied it or 
not the record doth not say. " Ye parson preaching a 
sermon on the powder deliverance," in 1725, received 
10s. 6d. 

A list is given (in 1683) of the " names of pore persons who 
had coats, &c., sent by Mr. Fra, Haynes when he was mayor, 
as were bought with ye Quakers' money." No doubt from 


the fines which were levied upon that unhappy sect. (See 
subsequent part of tliis work.) Considerable attention to the 
poor is observable in these books. A " Spanish bagg " is 
ordered for Joyce Moorton in 1691, at a cost of Is. What 
this article was I have failed to discover. One Stumps, a 
female cripple, seems to have occasioned a large outlay : there 
is " for Stumps's wooden supporters, 3s. ; " " for Stumps's 
new leggs, 2s. ; " " paid Stumps when she lay in, 6d. ; " 
"mending Stumps's supporters, 4d. ;" "for a new supporter 
for Stumps, 2s. 6d. " and " for buriall, grave, and coffin for 
Stumps's child, 5s. 4d." In 1732, 2s. 6d. was spent in curing 
one Panting of a "whorscold" (What disease was this?); 
and in the same year, "paid Mr. Hooke for bleeding and 
drawing a tooth, Is. 6d." A room was hired in 1718, for 4s., 
for " Captain Hemming's wife to lye in," but how that lady 
happened to come under the cognizance of the parochial 
authorities is one of those mysteries which will probably 
ever remain so. A few years later occurs this graphic entry : 
" Wincot's wife in ye straw (and he not well), Is." About 
the same time Is. was given "to three poor strangers who 
were travelling from Lancashire to Somersetshire, and by ye 
account they gave had been slaves in Africa, permitted by 
ye mayor to ask alms." 

Strenous exertions were made here, as throughout the 
city generally, to check the increase of the pauper population. 
Men were paid to watch vagrant women who were in an 
interesting situation, and escort them out of the parish 
no matter where so that they were not in St. Helen's ; but 
notwithstanding the utmost precautions the number of found- 
lings and illegitimates was very great. Where the fathers 
of these were known it was very long odds against their 
escaping from the wardens, who generally succeeded in tying 
that hymeneal knot for them which they themselves ought 

ST. HELEN'S. 55 

to have fastened some time earlier. The prospect of a 
capital wedding dinner, all expenses to be paid for them, 
and a liberal fee put in their pocket, for the most part 
converted these lascivious libertines into honest Benedicts, 
and saved the parish the maintenance of the pauper infant. 
The accounts abound with such items as these: 

" Spent with Ben. James, p'swading him to marry Han. Hill, Is." 
"At ye marriage of Bury with Brawler of Powick for licence, 

1. 2s. 6d. ; spent at ye wedding, 6s. Gd. ; to ye bridewell keeper, Is. ; 

to ye parson, 5s.; to ye clerke, Is." 

"Expenses for eating and drink, C'orfield's marriage with Gould, 

3d. 7d ; two men for watching, 2s. ; drink when Corfield was taken, 

Is. 3d ; for ye warrant, 4d.; to cash given ym and marrying, 8s.6d." 

In 1 720, the sum of 3d. was paid " to ye clerke for 
keeping a w - out of ye parish;" and "expenses in 
preventing Tomkins marying a w of All Saints, 9d." 
The whole of the parish disbursements in 1682 amounted 
to but 31. 18s. Id., but by 1740 they had reached to 273. 
Perambulation expenses increased during the same period 
from 12s. to 3. 8s. ; and the principal drinking places were 
the Globe, King's Head, and Adam and Eve. The church- 
wardens were in the habit of sending the mayor a brace 
of capons at Christmas "for the house in Dolday," but in 
1719 this chief rent was commuted into an annual payment 
of 2s., being the usual cost of the capons. In 1703 "it was 
agreed to mayntain the lamps with oyle and dressing from 
All Hollantide to Candlemas from the Town Hall to the 
Colledge gates, at the parish charge by the churchwardens 
for the time being;" and in 1740, a sum was "paid ye 
clerk for two nights lighting the lamps ye time of ye musick 
meeting," that being about the period when the Festivals 
were on the point of being established on a permanent and 
enlarged basis. What can be the meaning of the following 


1727. " Paid John Speed for putting flower in ye tub of water 
severall times, Is." 

The Pentecostals or Whitsun farthings paid in this parish 
in 1701 amounted to 3s., which, at a farthing per head, 
would show 144 paying householders then in the parish, 
unless indeed the payment had become a fixed one. There 
were said to be 255 houses here in 1779. Whitsun farthings 
(alluded to in pages 14 and 23) have been made from chapel- 
ries to their mother church up to a comparatively recent date. 
In the Castle Morton parish register is an entry of such pay- 
ment at the commencement of the present century. Nash 
states that the Whitsun farthings belonging to the Cathedral 
of Worcester in 1649, when an act was passed for selling 
the lands, &c., of bishops, deans, and chapters, were estimated 
at about 5. 5s. per annum. He also gives a list of the 
amount due from each parish in the then nine deaneries. 
The share paid by the city of Worcester was 15s. 2d. 

The present rector of St. Helen's is the Rev. J. H. Wilding ; 
churchwardens, Mr. Woods and Mr. T. Bickley. Population in 
1851, 1368. 


records of any interest are to be found here. The 
register begins with 1630, and the account book 1751, 
in which year the total expenditure for this little 
parish amounted to 20. 19s. 10d., including 12 for the 
poor. The Whitsun farthings usually amounted to 6d. per 
annum, which, at a farthing per head per householder, showed 
twenty-four subscribers. 

The Rev. J. H. Wilding also holds this small rectory ; 
churchwardens, Mr. F. St. John and Mr. Nicholson. Popu- 
lation in 1851,286. 


>t. Martins. 

I found a register commencing with ] 538, nicely 
copied in one uniform hand for a series of years. 
An hiatus occurs between 1560 and 1573, where the 
leaves have been torn out. In the 22nd year of Queen 
Elizabeth's reign, "John Wilkinson, the parson," caused to 
be entered on the register his license to one Thomas Heywood, 
" he beinge very sicke in body," to eat flesh in Lent so long 
as his illness continued, and no longer. To show the dis- 
turbing influence of the Civil Wars, it will be sufficient to 
state, that only one wedding is recorded in 1 643, one in 1 644, 
four in 1645, five in 1646, and soon. About the year 1653 
the entries of a peculiar sort of marriages commence of which 
the following are specimens : 

"Mem. John Cartwright of ye parish of Wellan, and Anne 
Elvinges, of ye parish of Handbure, were joined together man and 
wiffe by John Nash, justis of peas, by consent, beinge lawfully 
published 3 severall market dayes in 3 severall weekes, without anie 
exception, ye 3d of Januarie. Witnesses, Richard Harrise, Marie 
Salloway, and John Robere." 

" Memor. That Thomas Baker, of the parish of Daderhill, and 
Ann Wallford, of the parish of Sallwarpe, both in the countie of 
Worcester, weare married the 26th daye of Maye, 1656, by Mr. John 
Nash, on of the justises of the pease of the cittie of Worcester, 
being publiclie proclaimed 3 severall market dayes, in 3 sevenll 
weekes, in the market plase of the sayd cittie, accordinge to the 
actt of parliment." 

John Roberts signs himself the "register of Martin's." 
The above description of marriages ceased with the close of 
Cromwell's protectorate. In 1772 occurs the following: 


"N.B. Through the omission of Mr. John Giles, curate, no 
regular register was kept from this time till Mr. Pearkes, clerk of 
the parish, in Oct. 1772, began a private account, from whose copy 
the following extracts are taken. The intermediate time, from Dec., 
1769, to October, 1772, is very imperfectly supplied by a few altera- 
tions delivered to the churchwardens in consequence of notice of 
the above omissions having been given publicly in the church, and 
by advertising in the Worcester Journal." 

All the old account books belonging to this parish have 
been either destroyed or removed into the custody of private 
persons who have not the honesty to restore them. Vestry 
orders from 1718 and churchwardens' account books from 
1783 are the earliest records, and very little of any interest 
is to be gleaned from them. Enough, however, remains to 
prove that the parish of St. Martin was no exception to the 
general rule observed by men in office of immoderately and 
shamelessly feasting at the public charge. In 1732 an order 
was made that no more public money should be spent at the 
perambulations or " possessionings," as they were some- 
times termed ; and the managers of the workhouse were 
prohibited from spending more than 2s. at any meeting, and 
that not oftener than once a month. The sum of 5 was 
frequently paid to avoid serving the office of churchwarden, 
which in those days drew pretty largely upon the time and 
attention of the holder. An instance occurred in 1739 of a 
strangely perverted feeling in reference to the equality of 
worshippers in the house of God, as an order was made 
" That the two next seats to the mayor's seat be locked up, 
and that the clerk of the parish do attend the said seats upon 
every day of divine service, and not permit any person or 
persons that do not pay to the poor to seat themselves 
therein till after the persons who do pay as aforesaid are 
first seated." How does this agree with the spirit of Chris- 
tianity, as expounded in the Epistle to James, c. ii, v. 2, " For 


if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in 
a goodly apparel ? " &c. 

Great disputes subsequently arose in reference to the free 
use of seats in the church; and hi 1744 an order was made 
that the seat in the first aisle, occupied by Captain Richard 
Hemming and his family, should be declared void, and to 
be used by the parishioners, and that Mr. B. Russell, the 
churchwarden, should take off all locks from the seats in the 
church, except such as were held under a faculty. It forms 
no part of my purpose to expose parochial abuses, or I 
might fill up a large section of this book with the details 
of the shameful mismanagement and peculation which in 
former years prevailed in the finances of St. Martin's. Much 
however has been rectified by the judicious care and public 
spirit of Mr. Clapton, one of the churchwardens, but much yet 
remains to be done. Among other matters, it appears that 
sufficient property has been at various times bequeathed for 
the purpose of repairing the church and providing for the 
celebration of divine worship, but this property has been 
let on long leases for nominal rents, and thus a source of 
income which should amount to about 100, and cover 
all the necessary expenses of the church, has been allowed 
to dwindle away to a bare trifle. It has often been my 
misfortune to witness the most unseemly exhibitions of dis- 
sention, mob oratory, and hatred to the church, within the 
walls of this fabric, on the occasion of demanding a new 
rate. How much would have been spared to the feelings 
of the incumbent and to the friends of the Establishment if 
the then churchwardens had faithfully and concientiously 
discharged their office in the stewardship of the church 
property ! 

Present rector of St. Martin's, the Rev. T. L. Wheeler; 
churchwardens, Mr. Clapton and Mr. Hyla Holden. Population 
in 1851, 4718. 


,11 Saints. 

N this parish the date of the oldest register is 1560, 
many of the earlier years being evidently copied 
by the same hand. An entry of the death of Mr. 
Edward Hurdman, who was the last Bailiff and first Mayor 
of this city, occurs in 1621: his effigy and that of his wife, 
in the attitude of prayer, still remain in an arched niche 
to the south of the chancel. In 1638 is recorded the death 
of widow Evitt, who buried her husband and her three 
children of the plague the year before. The dreadful year 
1637 was memorable for the fact that in this city no less 
than 1551 persons died of the plague in ten months, being 
probably one third of the inhabitants (See " Worcester in 
Olden Times," p. 198). On March 20, 1645, is recorded 
the burial of a Mr. Richard Chetell, who is said by a local 
historian to have been hung before his own door in those 
troublous tunes of Civil War, and to have had a flat stone 
placed to his memory near the south aisle of the church, 
bearing an inscription to his memory as " the masacred gent." 
who died March 19, 1645. Comparing the register with the 
date of death recorded on the tombstone, so sudden an inter- 
ment would give an air of probability to the tradition. The 
coat of arms at the bottom of the slab evidently belongs to the 
family of a Mrs. Rebecca Kyrle, who seems to have been 
buried in the same vault in 1693. " Collins's fire," an extra- 
ordinary event which took place in October, 1703, is entered in 
a red ink or pencil mark, and the register records that, "James 
Collins, his wife Ann, with seven children, Ann, James, 
Thomas, Mary, Charles, Catharine, and Samuel, all wliich 


nine persons were burnt together in the fire that burnt their 
house." This was a singular story. Collins's maid-servant 
was the only inhabitant of the house who escaped from the 
fire, but she sustained a broken limb. Afterwards she went 
into the service of Mrs. Palmer, of Upton Snodsbury, a lady 
who lived on her property. Mrs. Palmer had a son who was 
connected with a gang of villains, and in order to obtain her 
money these wretches murdered Mrs. Palmer and her maid, 
and burnt the house down. So the poor girl escaped from 
one fire only to fall into another. The murderers were hung 
in chains, and Palmer's estates were forfeited to the Bishop 
of Worcester, who applied one of them to found a school 
(still existing as Bishop Lloyd's) at Worcester, and the other 
to charitable uses. 

On inquiring for the churchwarden's account books I was 
informed that since the time when John Dench Wensley 
(some sixteen or seventeen years ago) so agitated the city 
and the old city commissioners with his financial squabbles, 
these books had been missing, and that up to a recent period 
the accounts had been in a state of great confusion. By the 
courtesy of the incumbent and churchwardens, I was enabled 
to explore the parochial chest, and soon found that its triple 
locks had proved no security against invasion, as not a solitary 
book relating to the old accounts was left. Only one fragment 
consisting of eight or nine leaves, in a piece of brown paper 
for a cover, and bearing date 1697 remained, and this, on 
inspection, proved to contain nothing of interest. It is highly 
probable the abstracted books are not destroyed ; and as they 
are of no use to any one, and the party who has been, whether 
rightly or wrongly, implicated, being now dead, I trust this 
will meet the eye of the individual who has them in his 
possession, and that he will be induced at once to restore 
them to the church. 


A fine black-letter Bible, date 1603, was found in the 
chest, and being in tolerable preservation, I am glad to hear 
the churchwardens intend to have it strongly bound with the 
original wooden covers, which have been torn off. 

Rector, the Rev. W. Elliott ; churchwardens, Mr. H. Davis 
and Mr. Kendall. Population in 1851, 2205. 

. $0{ro's. 

BEGINNING with 1558, the register of this parish 
goes on regularly to the present time, with the excep- 
tion of some omissions in the middle of the seventeenth 
century. There are no entries in the year 1637: this was 
the year of the great plague in Worcester, when 1551 persons 
died here ; but as only twenty-six of them were in St. John's it 
can scarcely be supposed that the vicar would have abandoned 
his post, or neglected the parochial records, on that account. 
From 1639 to 1677 all is confusion, entries of various dates 
being jumbled together as though from recollection, at various 
tunes after the Restoration. The greatest part of a century 
of the early part of the register was evidently copied from 
an older one. On one of its covers is the following memo- 

"John Web's Case. 

" 1741. 

" Aug. 2. John Web, of this parish, was buried, with my consent 
first obtained, in his wire's grave, in my freehold, my church. Some 
time after, his sister, Mrs. Wood, was resolved to lay a large stone 
upon his grave without my leave or consent ; for this purpose she 
sent a stone into my churchyard and demanded of my clerk the 
key of my church. My clerk informing me of her intention, I 

ST. JOHN'S. 63 

went into the churchyard and commanded Taylor, the stone cutter, 
to take the stone away; and for the insolence of pretending to 
break up the soil of my freehold without my consent the stone 
should not be put over Mr. Web's grave unless Mrs. Wood payd me 
40s. After some time, Mrs. Wood being not able to obtain her end 
by the help of a proctor, she sent the proctor, Mr. Greenbank, to 
offer me a guinea. I refused the guinea, but told the proctor for 
peace sake I would take 25s. and not under. This day, Oct. 28, 
1741, Mr. John Young, surveyor of the highways, came to me 
from Mrs. Wood and paid me 25s. I then bid him tell Mrs. 
Wood that I was satisfied, and gave her leave to lay the stone 
upon her brother's grave. 


" Mem. The stone was laid upon Web's grave, Nov. 2, 1741." 

St. John's poor's book begins with the year 1692, and ends 
with 1713. The only entry in it worth recording is that of 
a parish meeting held Aug. 23, 1711, when it was "agreed, 
that a penalty of 40s. shall be laid upon the overseers that 
pay any of their said poor that receive weekly pay, except 
they have the badg fastened visible on the arm, which they 
are to wear daily at home and abroad ; and in case true infor- 
mation be made of any or either of the said poor yt neglect 
the wearing of the said badg as aforesaid, they are to have 
no pay for the week wherein they were found defective." 

The oldest account book is one bearing the date 1678, 
and is entitled " a booke ordeined to enter ye churchwardens' 
accompts of the parryshe of St. John's in Bedwardine, in 
the county of Worcester, beginninge in the year aforesaid." 
This book ( which extends over about fifty years ) divulges the 
fact that the former inhabitants of this ancient suburb or 
township were as famous for their feasting and drinking 
propensities as are their descendants of the present day. The 
churchwardens and their friends spent large sums of money 
on every possible occasion at perambulations, at the choosing 


of new wardens on Easter ,Tuesday, at visitations, binding 
apprentices, and so forth. It is curious to remark, as a 
proof of the extent to which selfish appetites will mislead 
men who have no restraint put upon them, that the charge 
for processioning, or "beating the bounds" of this parish, 
increased from 3s. in 1678, to 10 in 1818. At first, only 
one day was spent in the ceremony, and common ale at a 
penny per quart, indulged in, the minister participating ; 
then the task became too heavy for a single day, and two 
were accordingly devoted to the purpose ; brandy, tobacco, 
and pipes, make their appearance ; and before the close of 
the seventeenth century three days were occupied in 
the procession ; dinners at " Powick's bridge " and at 
Broadmore Green, Broadheath, sums given to the servants 
and children treated with "heavy wet" on the route, 
formed the principal features of these drunken scenes. 
A small charge was made for "boatinge over the newe 
Teame " on these occasions. After inquiry I cannot ascer- 
tain the meaning of this term. Three-pence was also usually 
charged " for putting up the Gospel bushes." These were 
bushes or boughs carried in the procession and set upright in 
the ground at every point where a halt was made to read the 
Gospel. Both the Bishop and Dean were treated with wine 
whenever they preached here, as was usually the case when 
any minister preached who did not belong to the parish ; 
and when the Bishop vouchsafed his presence, cushions were 
borrowed from the Cathedral to accommodate his lordship. 
The sum^of 5s. was spent upon the Chancellor "when he 
came up to see the reparacon of ye church." Muskadell 
wine was generally chosen for sacramental purposes, the 
charge for it during the whole year varying from 1. 3s. 
to double that amount. Bell ringing entailed a heavy yearly 
expenditure upon St. John's parish. It seems that they rang 

ST. JOHN'S. 65 

all day here when the king was at Worcester in 1687, as a 
charge of 15s. lid. was made for the luxury, and also 3s. for 
ringing "when the Queen was with child." This child was 
afterwards the "elder Pretender," but at the time of the 
ringing the nation was looking for the advent of William of 

In 1707 it was agreed that the five bells should be cast 
into six, but there was a stout contest before this was decided 
on, there being twenty-five votes for six bells, and eighteen 
votes for casting one. The churchwardens were empowered 
to treat with a bell-founder, and 5s. was spent at the Angel 
during the deliberation. Subsequently 5s. 6d. was charged 
for horse-hire in going to Bromsgrove to look after the bells ; 
Mr. Richard Sanders, of that town, being the founder 
selected. Every stage of progress in the transaction was 
commemorated by drinking Louts. In 1709 a levy of sixpence 
in the pound was made to defray the charge for casting ; and 
in the following year appears an item of 1. 4s. lid. for 
"meat and drink for the gentlemen who gave judgment on 
the bells." These gentlemen were probably of the Cathedral 
choir, or some other musical men of the city, called in to 
give an opinion as to whether the new bells were in tune as 
a similar instance, it will be seen, occurred in another parish. 
Lastly, the sum of 52. 3s. was paid to Mr. Sanders, appa- 
rently his whole bill for the casting. The entire expenses 
of the parish for the year 1680 amounted to 12. 12s. 4d., 
besides 5 distributed to the poor. A barn at Wick was 
frequently mentioned as a place where paupers died. Was 
this used as a workhouse by the parish ? The amount paid 
under the head of " Whitsun farthings" is described as 
" Pentecostals to the dean and chapter, 2s. 3d." Every year 
a regular charge of Is. was made, as paid to the dean and 
chapter's bailiff for what was termed " saddle silver." This 



was probably an annual payment for permission to the 
inhabitants to pass on horseback over certain lands of the 
dean and chapter. In many places a right of passing on 
horseback is called "a bridle-way." 

A bridge on the north side of the churchyard is mentioned 
in 1683, and sums paid for bricks and masons' work to mend 
the same, and for railing and posting it. What bridge was 
this? Another curious circumstance recorded in this book 
is, that in 1717 " Mrs. Margery Carwardine, late of this 
parish, gave 20, the interest of which yearly to be laid out 
in Bibles for ever, to be delivered to the poorer sort of young 
people every Easter who have best rehearsed the church 
catechism in the Lent before ; and if there be any overplus 
it shall be layd out in catechisms to be given to poor children 
yt go to the reading school." In the year 1702 it was 
agreed in vestry meeting " that only one churchwarden should 
be elected year by year, and to continue in his office two 
years, viz., the first year as under churchwarden and the 
second year as head churchwarden." The accounts of these 
officers were regularly entered in the book by a professional 
scribe, who was paid accordingly. 

The present vicar of St. John's is the Rev. Canon Wood ; 
churchwardens, Mr. Philpott and Mr. Lea. Population in 
1851, 1845. 

>t. Content's. 

HE earliest order book for this parish commences 
with 1670, the register 1694, and the account book 
1695. Older records are supposed to have been 
washed away or to have perished through the effects of floods 


to which the old parish church (formerly situate on the Upper 
Quay) was exposed. Even the existing books seem to have 
been thoroughly soaked, or else the ink used on them was 
so pale as to be quite illegible in many places. Early in the 
present century (as the Rev. John Davies, the incumbent, 
informs me) during a great flood, he passed up the aisle of 
the church in a boat, and for some weeks was obliged to 
borrow another church to accommodate his parishioners. 
An old tale is told in this parish that on one occasion a 
clergymen found a salmon left by the subsidence of the 
flood in St. Clement's church, and hence the presentation to 
the living was supposed to include the valuable privilege of 
catching all the fish that can be secured in this way. For- 
tunately for the parishioners, there were but about a score of 
them living on the side of the river where the old church 
stood, while the remainder (about 2000) occupied a delightful 
bank on the west side, where the effects of floods and damp- 
ness are set at defiance, if we may judge from the many 
instances of longevity occurring there. Only a few months 
ago a person died there who remembered George III being 
crowned ; and another, still surviving, regularly walks up to 
the communion-table with firm step, although upwards of 
ninety years of age. Mr. Davies, who for forty years has 
been the beloved and faithful pastor, has during that period 
buried about 2000 persons, being in fact a whole generation 
of the parish. But to return to the records. 

Churchwardens here have partaken of the same flesh and 
blood with their brethren in other parts of the world, judging 
from the regular outlays for eating and drinking apparent on 
their books. The Bear inn (a house belonging to the parish) 
was usually selected for their adjourned vestry meetings 
and drinking bouts, and the Apple Tree, the Mug-house, 
and the Duke of Cumberland's Head, were sometimes 

F J 


chosen by way of change. The following is one of their 
bills for perambulating the parish. It is dated 1737 : 

a. d. 

" To cakes and ale at ye perambulation 94 

For a quarter of lamb 26 

Leg of veal and bacon 43 

For a pigg 36 

Thirty-two quarts of ale 80 

For bread, greens, and dressing dinner . . . . 50 

For cyder 03 

For carrying the bush 10" 

In 1700, the sum of 8s. is charged as "spent agoing the 
bounds of the parish and a boat; at the same time, when 
we came to Anthony Wall's, 10s. 4d." Yet with all these 
appliances of creature comforts, the then really onerous 
office of churchwarden was considered so undesirable that, 
as in other parishes, the persons selected to fill it sometimes 
"bought themselves off" by a good round sum to the parish, 
as was the case in 1776, when Mr. John Williams paid five 
guineas for that purpose. The total disbursements of the 
parish in 1695 amounted to 86. 18s. 10d., out of which 
55. 1 5s. 8d. was paid to the poor ; and the churchwardens 
seem to have taken good care at most times to keep a 
balance in hand. Among the items of expenditure are for , 
mending the church after the floods, for cloth and brass for 
the poors' badges (See chapter on St. Swithin's parish), 
4d. each for hedgehogs, &c. The sacramental wine for the 
whole year (1700) cost but 7s., and only 9s. lOd. was re- 
ceived of the communicants during the twelve months. In 
1712 it was "agreed and ordered, that for every corps 
either parishioner or residing in this p'ish that shal be 
buried in this churchyard there shal sixpence be paid to 
the churchwardens for ye time being toward ye mayntaining 


of ye paling, and for every one brought out of any other 
p'ish to be paid one shilling as aforesayd." 

The church was "bewtifyed" in 1745, but it may be 
reasonably supposed that no " bewtifycation " would long 
resist the frequent irruption of Sabrina's waters (from which 
the building had probably been protected by the old city 
wall before the latter was destroyed) ; and accordingly in 
1 820 it was resolved to abandon the old fabric and build a 
new one on the west side of the river, which was completed 
in 1823. I gather from the records that the Whitsun 
farthings paid by this parish in 1726 amounted to ?4d. ; and 
as this oblation consisted of a farthing a head paid by every 
householder to the mother church, it would seem that (unless 
this was a fixed annual payment) only thirty householders 
then subscribed in this parish ; which is more a proof of 
the smallness of the population at that time than of disaf- 
fection for the church, as the latter was scarcely ever 
permitted in those days to stand in the way of her legal 
claims. Yet in 1779 there were 141 houses in the parish. 
About eighty years ago, I am informed, St. Clement's and 
All Saints' churches were served by the same minister 
an arrangement often made in those days of no discipline 
and church desecration. It appears, however, that many 
centuries ago, in a dispute about the advowson of this church, 
which was then said to be dependent on All Saints, the bishop 
declared it to be a free chapel, having no connection whatever 
with All Saints. 

Present rector of St. Clement's, the Rev. J. Daviea; 
churchwardens, Mr. J. Stallard and Mr. Bo/ward. Popu- 
lation in 1851,2174. 


|c =s3HIS register is likewise copied, from the year 1538 

to the close of that century, in a good plain hand, 
except during the Puritanic period, when the rough 
scribbling of clerks or ill-educated ministers greatly disfigures 
the book. Much confusion and extensive omissions also 
occur from the year 1633 till after the Restoration, and 
from 1749 to 1761, from which time, however, to the present 
the register is regularly kept and in as good order as any 
I have seen. The only curious entry in them is dated 
January 24, 1736 ; when " Thomas, bastard son of Ann 
Husel, was baptised. This Ann Husel was a common 
strumpet, but pickt up and maintayned in a very gallant 
manner by one Baker, a rakish spark of 3 or 400 a 
year, by whom he had the bastard Thomas, as generally 
supposed. They lived together as man and wife in defyance 
of God and man, tho' under ye nose of ye Consistory Court, 
at the Hill." A memorandum is likewise made of the fol- 
lowing benefactions, which I believe are still administered : 
Mr. William Norton, in February, 1721, left lands to the 
value of 7 yearly, the rents and profits of which thus to be 
distributed : " 20s. every year to the minister for preaching 
a sermon on such day of the month yearly as I shall be 
buried ;" 20s. in twopenny household bread to the poor who 
should attend and hear the said sermon ; and the residue 
to clothe five poor men of the parish that usually attend 
the church and also hear the above-named sermon. Mr. 
William Swift also left houses and land to provide 1 2 penny 
loaves of wheaten bread every Lord's day, and 24 more such 

CLA1NES. 71 

loaves at Christmas Day, Easter, and Whit Sunday, to be 
given to 12 poor aged people after service, and the overplus 
to the minister. Another book records that St. George's 
chapel, in this parish, was consecrated by Bishop Cornewall 
on October 26, 1830, and the Rev. J. B. Tyrwhitt appointed 
its minister by the Rev. E. W. Wakeman, then perpetual 
curate of dairies. 

The oldest account book commences with the year 1668. 
Besides the churchwardens and overseers, two sidesmen, 
supervisors of highways, and "destroyers of noisome fowls 
and vermin," were regularly appointed. Foxes and urchins 
still abound in this parish ; and as to " noisome fowls," entries 
frequently occur of sums paid for shooting kites, and in 1678 
Sir J. Pakington's man was paid Is. for killing a fox (tempera 
mutantur). In regard to the appointment of churchwardens 
there seems to have been a dispute between the incumbent 
and the parishioners, as set forth in the following entry : 

" Mr Phidkin, the curate, pretending a right, by virtue of the 
canon, to elect a churchwarden, the parishioners procured an order 
from the Consistory Court for the parishioners to meet, which they 
accordingly did, and chose two new wardens, and made their return 
to the said Court, but Mr. Phidkin insisted on the canon, and 
prayed that the churchwardens should be sworn ; but the chancellor 
declaring that the court had not the power of trying the custom, 
a mandamus was obtained at the King's Bench to swear the two 
churchwardens elected by the parish." 

It appears from another entry that the ancient custom was 
" for the minister, together with the consent of the 
parishioners, to choose the low churchwarden to be head 
churchwarden for the year." The parochial officers as was 
the case in most parishes were occasionally checked in their 
tendency towards an extravagant expenditure, one of the 
vestry meetings ordering that no more than 10s. should be 


spent at the visitation, besides fees ; no more than 2s. 6d. to 
be allowed for ringing on any occasion ; and only 2s. each 
to the officers for attending Sessions. The perambulation 
expenses in 1732 were 1. 10s; three days were usually 
occupied in beating the bounds, and they dined at the Tavern 
(Query, the present Virgin's Tavern?). May day was like- 
wise kept as a festival, and money allowed in these accounts 
for the celebration of it. In the year 1750 the principal 
inhabitants, in vestry assembled, agreed to forfeit 40s. each 
if they did not use their " utmost endeavour to put a stop to 
the evil practices commonly committed on our wake Sunday." 
The wake was held on Trinity Sunday ; and notwithstanding 
the above combination, old custom proved stronger than the 
sense of propriety, for until within the last twenty or thirty 
years the wake was continued, and I am told that some 
extraordinary scenes were usually witnessed here: even on 
the graves, travelling vagabonds plied their profession, and 

" Many a youth the glittering snuff-box eyed 
Paid for his stick forthwith and boldly shied." 

Such scenes of fighting, drunkenness, and debauchery, were 
probably never witnessed in the parish but at those times, 
and close beneath the shadow of its old church too. The 
clergy, aided by the indefatigable exertions of the present 
respectable clerk, Mr. Williams, at length rooted out the 
evil ; and a little dancing which is still carried on at Fearnall 
Heath on the Monday is all that remains of Claines wake. 

The overseers in 1678 were ordered to deduct the third 
part of the pay of such poor as should be found tippling in 
alehouses upon Sundays, for the space of a month after they 
should be found so tippling. Among the curious entries in 
these books are the following : 

1669. "Given to one whose dwelling was drowned by the sea 
coming too late to church, Is." 

c I.V1NKS. 73 

1713. "Whereas several pack horses hath spoiled the road 
leading from Dean Green to Claines Church, not having any right 
to travel the said road, being no inhabitance of the said parish, 
we order that there be a barr with post and railes set upp to prevent 
it over against the house of Richard Onions." 

An interesting document relative to the liability of Claines 
to pay to the relief of the poor of the Tything of Whistones 
will l)e found under the head of "County Sessions Records 
The Poor." 

The Rev. W. Crowther is the present perpetual curate of 
Claines ; churchwardens, Mr. Moon and Mr. Martin Curtler. 
Population in 1851, 1373. 


"Thoughts shut up, want air, 
And spoil, like bales unopen'd to the sun." 

?HE Sessions rolls, now in the custody of the Clerk of 
the Peace, consisting of recognizances, presentments, 
informations, memorials, grand jury bills, &c., com- 
mence with 1600, but the order books do not go further than 
1693. From the latter it appears that a great portion of the 
county business was transacted at inns and private gentlemen's 
houses. The Talbot, in Sidbury, for a great number of years 
enjoyed the magisterial patronage, adjournments being regu- 
larly made from the Guildhall (where the County Assizes 
and Sessions were then held) to that respectable old hostelry, 
where no doubt the magnates compensated themselves for 
the dry and tedious work in hand by generous and stimulating 
potations, as was the custom with the city authorities. Several 
Sessions were adjourned to Hooper's coffee-house at the 
Guildhall, which is first mentioned in 1767 as being kept by 
Lucy Hooper, and also to the Trinity Hall (an old building 
occupied by various trading " companies " or " guilds," on the 
site of which now stand Messrs. Freame's warehouses near 
St. Swithin's church). A committee of magistrates were 
ordered to inspect this hall in 1796, to consider the propriety 


of purchasing it and converting it into an office for the Clerk 
of the Peace ; but this seems to have fallen to the ground. 
The Talbot, Claines ( Tything), was preferred for some time, 
the Star being occasionally used ; then the Crown inn was 
chosen in 1792 by a formal vote of the bench; and in the 
early part of the present century the Hop-pole came in for 
its share. During all this period, however, on many occasions, 
adjournments were made to other towns and villages. The 
Earl of Coventry was frequently visited in this way at 
Croome; the Hon. H. Herbert, at Ribbesford (1710); Rev. 
Dr. William Lloyd, at Ripple ; William Hancock, Esq., at 
Bredon's Norton, and the Bishop's Palace at Hartlebury 
(1715); Lord Herbert, at Ribbesford (1721); and in 1723 a 
circuit seems to have been taken on many consecutive days 
to the Crown, Evesham ; Crown, Blockley ; George, Shipston ; 
Angel, Pershore ; Talbot, Feckenham ; Crown, Bromsgrove ; 
George, Bewdley ; Lion, Kidderminster ; Talbot, Stourbridge ; 
Bush, Dudley ; Hundred House, Witley ; Crown, Tenbury ; 
the house of Mrs. Collins, Shelsley ; and the Sun, Upton. 
By the statute 9th George I, chap. 24, all persons who were 
Papists, and all persons who had not taken the oath for 
securing the throne to the House of Hanover, were to do so 
before the 25th of December, 1723, in one of the courts at 
Westminster or at the Quarter Sessions. This was no doubt 
the cause of the adjournments of the Quarter Sessions in that 
year. In modern times it often occurs that the Quarter 
Sessions are adjourned to different places in the county for 
the convenience of newly-appointed magistrates being sworn 
into office. In the year 1809, Sir Harry Lippincott, Bart., 
was appointed a magistrate for Gloucestershire, and he was 
sworn into office at an adjournment of the Gloucestershire 
Quarter Sessions the Sessions being adjourned to the White 
Lion, the principal inn at Berkeley ( now the Berkeley Arms ), 


the late Earl of Berkeley taking the chair, and administering 
the oaths to the hon. bart. In 1697, Lancelott Jewkes, the 
Worcester county gaoler, was fined .i'20 "for not attending this 
court to do his duty, the court having had several occasions 
for him." It was ordered in 1716, "that the Sheriff for the 
future do not return any freeholders within the burrough of 
Bewdley to serve on jurys for the County Sessions, they 
having Sessions of their own." Another order was made in 
1723, " that there be an advertisement in the Worcester 
newspaper, to give notice to people lyable to serve on jurys 
not to give money to the bayliffe to excuse them, and that 
the treasurer doe pay for the advertisement four weeks suc- 
cessively." The following is a table of fees ordered in 1753 
for justices' clerks, in pursuance of an act of the previous 
session : 

*. d. 

" Swearing every high constable 10 

Swearing every petty constable, tythingman, &c. . . 06 
Every common warrant . . . . . . .06 

Every warrant to search for stolen goods . . . . 10 

Every warrant of the peace or good behaviour . . .26 

Every supersedeas 26 

Signing every pair of parish indentures 10 

Every license to sell ale, the fee to the clerk of the peace for 

filing ye recognizance, stamp and paper included . . 50 
Every recognizance for peace or good behaviour . . .26 
Every warrant for the highways ..... 1 

Swearing the surveyors to their presentment and receiving it . 1 

Every hue and cry 10 

Every warrant for appointing overseers of the poor . .10 
Signing a warrant to distrain for the poor's levy ... 2 
For a warrant to disturb inmates . . . . . .10 

An order and copy for removing a person from one parish to 

another 26 

If drawn by another and only signed by you . . . .10 
Signing a certificate from one parish to another . . . 10 


. d. 

Making and signing every original pass 00 

Signing every other pass 00 

Every mittimus 00 

Taking examn. of a settlement or bastard . . . . 10 
Drawing an order for adjudging the reputed father of a bastard 

child 26 

Signing the same order ....... 1 

Warrant to levy every penalty or forfeiture . . . .10 

For a summons for conveaning Quakers, &c. . . .06 

Every order thereon 10 

A warrant upon refusal 10 

For a summons for a master who refuses to pay his servants' 

wages 06 

For the discharge of a servant from his master . ..10 
A warrant to distrain for servants' wages . . . .10 
Allowing overseers' or constables' levys . . . . 00 

Signing freeholders' lists ." 00 

For every warrant to the collector of the land tax for taking 

up a deserter 10' 

In 1753, William Cooper, of Shipston, was fined 5 for 
taking money of William Taylor, of Armscot, to excuse his 
serving upon the jury at Sessions. The only remaining 
item under this head is an order made in 1789, "that at 
all future Sessions, business be conducted only by counsel, 
and not by attorneys as heretofore ; but that in testimony 
of the respect due to Wilson Aylesbury Roberts, Esq., for 
his integrity and abilities, as well as for the regularity of his 
attendance and the assistance this court has received from 
him through a series of years, he is from henceforth received 
and heard as our advocate or counsel, as if he was a barrister, 
and as if the said order had been never made." 



UR county records do not contain evidence of the 
existence of this superstition to a great extent, 

s& owing to the fact that witchcraft cases were usually 
tried at the Assizes. The first instance occurring in the 
Sessions rolls is in the year 1601, when Edward Buckland 
" exhibited articles complaining of John Genifer, to whom 
he had lent money," and when Buckland's " poor wife " 
asked for it, Genifer used shocking language, and '' charged 
her with being a witch, and had deserved burning seven 
years sithence, and if she was a midwife was not fitt to bringe 
a to bed, much less a woman." 

In 1633 the recognizance of widow Bellett, of Stony 
Morton (?) was taken, to appear at the next Sessions, to 
answer charges brought by William Vaughan, of Inkberrow, 
and others. This document is in some places scarcely legible, 
but it appears that the principal charge was " for the evil 

artt that shee useth with the wich, and she gives 

to finde out goodes lost, and using the name of Peter and 

Paule therein in profane manner, beinge sayde to be 

of that sleight -." I found no account of her trial. 

In May, 1660, the examination of Elinor Burt was taken 
before Gervase Bucke and William Colh'ns, Esqrs., and 
"being examined whether she hath not taken upon her to 
cure several persons afflicted with several diseases and dis- 
tempers in their bodyes, ansheareth and suit,h, that shee did 
not take upon her soe to do, but confesseth that when 
diverse had come to her that hath aches in their heads and 
other infirmities, she had and hath a gifte from God, by good 


prayers and laying her hands npon their heads or faces, 
oftentimes to recover and heal them of their diseases; and 
being examined what other means she useth to recover sick 
persons, saith, noe other means but good prayers ; and further 
doth not materially confess." As the Sessions order book 
does not commence till 1693, there is no means of ascertaining 
the result of this and other cases prior to that date which 
are mentioned in this abstract of the records ; but in the 
same year (1660) it is stated that " Joane Bibbe was bound 
for good behaviour for beinge of evil fame, and suspected 
for wychcrafte, butt not as yet charged." This is undoubtedly 
Joan Bibb, of Rushock, who (as stated in a MS. note-book of 
Mr. Townsend, of Elmley Lovett, who was a county justice 
at that time) ''was tyed and thrown into a poole, as a witch 
to see whether shee could swim." But she brought her 
action against Mr. Shaw, the parson, for his share in this 
transaction, and recovered 10 damages, and Mr. Townsend 
compounded for her and others with Mr. Shaw for 20. The 
same MS. records the bringing of four other persons from 
Kidderminster that year, and ducking them in the Severn at 
Worcester, but the details of their cases have already been 
published by Nash. 

Elizabeth Ranford, of Great Comberton, widow, lays an 
information before the magistrates on the 26th of September, 
1662, "that she heard Joane Willis, wife of Thomas Willis, 
of Great Comberton, say that shee will take her oathe that 
shee, the said informant, is a witch, and bewitched to death 
one Thomas Right's wife and one Robert Price's child, both 
of Comberton aforesaid ; and that shee behegged one of the 
said Joane Willis her children ; likewise the said informant 
informeth, that shee, the said informant, was gooing to one 
Margaret Willis her house, in Comberton aforesaid, about 
her business, and the said Joane Willis came violently upon 


her and gave her several blows with a staffe, and ripped her 
quaife of her head, and prophanely did swear, blood and 
wounds shee would kill her." 

In the month of August, 1666, Ann Powell, spinster, of 
Kington, lays an information that " upon St. James's Day last 
she and one Elizabeth Dafiye, widow, having discours together 
concerning Mary, the wife of Anthony Slater (being this 
informer's dame), the said Elizabeth then told this informer, 
in the presence and hearing of others of the neighbourhood, 
that shee had late before had a heifer strangely amisse, and 
supposing shee might be bewitched, she went to a telster or 
wise woman (as shee termed her), who told her, the said 
Elizabeth, that the said Mary, the wife of the said Anthony 
Slater, had done the said heifer harm, meaning, as this 
informer conceaveth, that the said Mary had bewitched the 
said heifer ; and further this informer sayth, that by reason 
of the speaking of the said wordes, her said dame hath been 
much scandalized in the neighbourhood, and several quarrels 
and fighting between her and others of her neighbours have 
ensued thereupon." Although unable to give the result of 
this charge, the information will be sufficiently interesting 
of itself, as affording us an insight to the state of society at 
that time. Joseph Orford, of Oldswinford, nailer, was pre- 
sented hi the year 1687, " for being a common disturber, 
and for charging Thomas Barnes, a person of good repute, 
with being guilty of witchcraft, and that he hath boasted that 
he would have the said Barnes and his wife duckt for witches, 
and he would procure one John Johnson, a drummer, to be 
present at the doing it, to make the more sport." But here 
comes a case with more curious detail. 

At the Midsummer Sessions of 1698, Martha Farmer, of 
Astley, deposed before Mr. James, a magistrate, that Mar- 
garet Hill, of Shrawley, came to deponent's house about 


Midsummer three or four years ago, during her absence, 
and required her child, who was only seven or eight years 
old, to sell her some oaten meal, but as the child would not 
do so in her mother's absence, " shee pluck'd the child to her 
and hurt her finger, causing blood to come from it. In the 
morning the child fell ill, and continued in a sickly manner 
for some days, till a strange woman came to the dore and 
told her the child was bewitched ; and Margaret Hill was 
sent for to come and pray over the child. She at first 
refused, but at length being prevailed on, shee said her 
prayers and the child recovered ; but after some time it 
relapsed into its former sicknesse, and lay screeching and 
crying." Margaret Hill was sent for the second time, but 
would not come till after she had been " threatened by 
Farmer that if the child died she would have life for life. 
Then shee prayed by the child, which recovered, and conti- 
nued well." During the child's illness Hill's daughter came 
to the deponent's house and offered to go for a doctor, and 
returned the same day, bringing some water in a bottle to 
cure a surfeit which she said the child had, and desired her 
not to be angry, for if her mother had injured the child she 
was sorry for it. Ann Farmer also deposed that when she 
went to fetch Margaret Hill " the hitter called her a Judas 

b , and told her she should not be well whilst she lived, 

whereupon she fell lame, and continues to be soe, beinge 
fairly persuaded that Margaret Hill was the occasion of her 
lameness." Mary Wall made oath that "Margaret Hill 
came to her house and begged for butter-milk, but she had 
none, and the same afternoon the cow which gave the milk 
fell ill, and they sent for a man skilled in distempered cattle, 
who told her that the cow was bewitched ; whereupon they 
sent for Margaret Hill, who came and prayed over the cow. 
My husband went to a wiseman at Worcester, who said his 


cow would be dead before he got home (and it was soe), and 
told him to keepe all suspected persons out of his house. 
Some time before the cow died, Margaret Hill came and 
asked witness whether her husband was gone for help for 
the cow, although they had not informed her of his going." 
Margaret Powell gave evidence that "7 or 8 years ago 
Margaret Hill came to buy half a qtn. tobacco, and was 
refused to trust her, when shee asked witness if shee had any 
piggs ; and going where they were, the piggs began foaming 
and tumbling about and died." Catherine Jones deposed 
that the accused " also came to her house 3 years ago to buy 
a peck of corn, but could not agree as to price, and presently 
afterwards deponent had a calf fell ill, lingered, and dyed." 
So damning a body of proof, it may fairly be presumed, was 
too much for poor Mrs. Hill, but I find no record of the 
result, the case having probably been tried at the Assizes, 
the rolls of which court, I suppose, are in London. More 
particulars respecting witchcraft in this county will be found 
further on in this volume. 


the earliest period to which the county rolls 
refer, the constables and churchwardens were charged 
to present in the Sessions all persons who regularly 
absented themselves from the service of the church and 
would not receive the sacrament, all innkeepers who made 
charges above the scale allowed, all tipplers and houses where 
tippling was allowed during divine service, to report whether 
due watch and ward was kept and all vagabonds duly 

CRIME. 88 

punished ; besides a variety of other returns. The beer- 
house nuisance was even at that time the "most fertile 
generator of crime. In 1602 one Edward Pearce was charged 
for that, " in November last past, he with one other of his 
companions were eatinge of fresherings with two women in 
an alehouse in Inkberrow, and when they had done, Pearce 
went to his chamber and did set a candle lighted in his 
window, and when he returned he said that he had done as 
the scollers in Oxforde did when they meant to doe aney 
exployt, to light a candle, that they might be thought to be 
at their book ; and thereupon he and his companion in the 
night went abroade into the field with the two women very 
suspiciously ;" it was also alleged that they set some corn 
on fire, and u riotously drew drink in kettles and drank it 
with apples ; " and that Pearce drank so long and so hard 
that a catastrophe occurred which cannot be mentioned 
here ; lastly, that about the same time he went into an 
alehouse and called for drink, and because the landlady did 
not make haste he laid her on the fire. A memorial signed 
by nineteen inhabitants of Bayton was sent to the Sessions 
in the year 1612, setting forth "that John Kempster and 
Thomas Byrd do not sell their ale according to the law, 
but doe sell a pynte for a penny, and doe make ytt 
soe extraordynarye strong that itt draweth dyvers ydle 
p'sons into the said alehouses, by reason whereof sondrye 
assaults, affrayes, blodshedds, and other misdeameanors, 
are there daylie comytted by idle and dronken companie 
which doe thither resort and there contyneue in their 
dronckenes three dayes and three nights together, and also 
divers men's sonnes and servants do often resort and contineue 
drinking in the said houses day and night, whereupon divers 
disorders and abuses are offered to the inhabitants of Bayton 
aforesaid, as in pulling down styles, in carrying away of yertes, 


in throwing men's waynes, plowes, and such like things, into 
pooles, wells, and other bye places, and in putting their yokes 
for their oxen into lakes and myery places," &c. A nice 
picture of young England in the seventeenth century. In the 
same year (1612) Henry Cartlage was presented " for hanging 
a pair of horns at the door of Kenelm Gritt, at Bromsgrove, 
insinuating that he was a cuckold," and for other bad actions. 
It was a very general custom in the middle ages to signalize 
the unhappy husbands of false women by means of horns. 
The origin of the custom has always been a matter of dispute. 
In an old ballad, called " The Merry Humours of Horn Fair," 
are these lines : 

" The parson's wife rides with the miller ; 

She said, I hate horns I do declare, 

Yet happy are the men who wear them, 

My husband he shall have a pair." 

The Corn Market in Worcester was the usual scene for 
whipping and using the pillory, as well for county as city 
prisoners, and from twelve to two o'clock on the market day 
(Saturday) the time generally chosen, for the sake of publicity. 
Mary and Elizabeth Squire, alias Skamp (!) were ordered to 
be whipped there in 1710 ; and the regular instructions, for 
women as well as men, were " to be whipped on their backs 
till they be bloody." On some occasions these floggings took 
place through the streets, as in 1732, when John Potter was 
" whipt at the cart's tail from College gate to the liberty-post 
in the Foregate Street," for a felony. This liberty-post stood 
at the north east corner of Salt Lane. At other times they 
were whipped from the bridge to the liberty-post in St. John's. 
On October 7th of the same year it was " ordered that the 
sentence passed on Richard Baylis, John Lawer, and Edward 
Jones, touching their being as this day putt in the pillory, be 
respited till next Saturday, the Corporation of the city of 


Worcester having taken down the pillery, and there being not 
time to get one erected to putt them in the pillery this day." 
In 1765 two guineas were paid to Mr. Baxter, the Under 
Sheriff, for erecting a pillory ; and in 1797, Thomas Wilkinson 
was sentenced to the pillory in the Corn Market " for 
obtaining 4s. from John Waterson, miller, of Salwarpe, on 
pretence that he was an inspector for printing the prices of 
grinding in the said mill." 

At Bromsgrove, men and women were whipt in the market 
place ; and at Upton, from the bridge to the turnpike gate 
leading from thence to Gloucester. At the latter town, in 
1737, John Willoughby and Adam Cook were presented for 
removing and carrying away the prison house or gaol belonging 
to the town ! The circumstances of this very singular charge 
are not detailed, but the presentment was quashed. 

j?HE first mention made of the state of the county 
gaol was in 1616, when a petition was sent to the 
Quarter Sessions from the poor debtors confined 
therein "against various hard usages, exactions, and extor- 
tions offered to prisoners by Mrs. Moore, the keeper," and 
"when one of the justices took pains to amend it she obeyed 
him not but used more extremities." Mrs. Moore, however, 
commenced a cross fire, by petitioning the magistrates at the 
same time, alleging that her late husband had "taken the 
gaol upon a very great and extreme rent," and she and her 
husband had " given trust and credit to many poor distressed 
prisoners, hoping of satisfaction at their enlargement," but 


since the death of her husband divers persons had run into 
debt, and had brought false articles of accusation against her 
to shield themselves. Her plea was ad misericordiam that 
she was " an unprotected female " since the death of her 
husband, and was persecuted by the very parties to whom 
she had shown kindness. But unfortunately the lady's allega- 
tions were not borne out by fact, for Mr. Fleete, the justice 
above-named, who had been commissioned to inquire into 
the matter, caused Mrs. Moore to be bound in 100 "to sell 
an ale quart of beare for a penie " from that time forward, 
as it appeared that she had been in the habit of selling the 
prisoners ale by wine measure, and otherwise so managing 
her retail business, that for a hogshead of drink which cost her 
but 12s., she received 32s. Moreover she "tormented those 
that were of mean condition (i.e., who could not afford to buy 
her ale) with double irons." So Mr. Fleete ordered this to 
be discontinued, and that the debtors should be separated 
from the felons. Nevertheless, next year (1617) out comes 
the following " Humble petition of the pore prisoners in the 
Castle of Worcester, humbly showeth unto your good wor- 
ships that they are many pore men, to the number of thirty 
prisoners and upwards, who lye there, some upon their 
behavior, and the most parte of the reste upon matters 
of small or noe value, having nothinge but the bare allowance 
of a penie a day to relieve their faintinge bodyes, so that yf 
they should be inforced to lye longer in this miserable place 
wold unchristianlike be starved to death with hunger, cold, 
and nakedness; some of them alsoe having many pore 
children like to be left to the wide world. May yt therefore 
please your good worships to consider them, to have their 
present triall before your good worships, who rather desire to 
be out of the world than to indure the misery wherein they 
now are, and your petitioners will ever pray for your 
worships' health." 

THE CADI.. 87 

A system under which a gaoler rents his prison, and makes 
his profit by selling drink to the inmates at an enormous rate, 
reads curiously enough in these' days when the science of 
prison discipline has so greatly advanced as to induce us to 
make the most costly sacrifices. It will be observed that 
the county prison was on the site of the ancient castle, once 
standing near the Cathedral precincts, but which had long been 
destroyed. An order was made in 1723, "that Mr. Hall, the 
treasurer, doe take due care that the partition be made hi 
the women's ward, in order to keep the debtors from the 
felons." In 1767 the Clerk of the Peace was directed to 
apply to the Treasury for the grant of "a certain piece of 
garden ground, about five acres, lying contiguous to the 
public gaol of the county, and particularly serviceable to the 
occupiers thereof for the time being, and also the site and 
remains of the old castle or citadel of Worcester, which now 
is and hath long been used as a public gaol or prison and 
bridewell for the said county," and praying that the grant 
of the premises be made to the Earl of Plymouth, Lord 
Coventry, Lord Sandys, Lord Ward, and other magistrates, 
including the names of Lygon, Rushout, Wilmington, and 
Dowdeswell, " in trust, for the keeping of prisoners and 
otherwise for the use and benefit of this county." A 
petition was, however, transmitted to the Lords of the 
Treasury, by the mayor and aldermen of the city, against the 
grant of the site of these fortifications to the county magis- 
trates, and the city authorities were successful in the appli- 
cation. This seems to have been the first effort made towards 
gaol improvement, but the period was near at hand when 
the outraged laws of health were to vindicate themselves. 
The Worcester county prison, witli several others in the 
midland counties, in the year 1783, was visited with the fatal 
gaol distemper, which swept the cells of their inhabitants and 


proved fatal to that eminent physician, Dr. Jolmstone. At 
that period I find an order on the book " to apply to the 
sheriff for his concurrence to fix a temporary gaol, and 
endeavour by advertisement and otherwise to find one or 
more proper places for the confinement of felons." Extensive 
improvements were set on foot, in which the humane system 
suggested by the philanthropist Howard was introduced, and 
when the works were finally completed (in 1795) a sum of 
between 4000 and 5000 a large amount for that period 
had been expended. In 1785, William Lygon, Esq., was 
thanked " for his great trouble in procuring the removal of a 
number of transports from the county gaol on board the 
lighters on Thames, whereby the county was saved a consi- 
derable expense and the health of the gaol was preserved." 
About four years afterwards, and while the alterations were 
still going on, an order was made not to confine any one in 
the dungeon of the gaol nor to confine any two prisoners in 
one cell. The spirit of reform, however, was not yet satisfied, 
for scarcely had the century closed when it was found that 
the great outlay that had been incurred was useless, and that 
the establishment was altogether insecure; William Davis, 
the gaoler, complaining of the escape of certain prisoners ; 
and a " watchman or guard " was decided on. After an unpre- 
cedented opposition on the score of expense, and a protracted 
scene of strife and contention among the magistracy, the 
Court of Quarter Sessions at length resolved, in the year 
1808 (but not till Lord Chief Baron Macdonald had threatened 
the county with a heavy fine), to build a new gaol in Salt 
Lane, at a cost of 18,000. The details of these transactions 
will be found in " Worcestershire in the Nineteenth Century," 
recently published, the author of which informs us that on 
the Sunday during or immediately following the Assizes, which 
used to be known as Assize Sunday, and kept as a great fair, 


the keepers at the (old) county gaol were accustomed to show 
the prisoners through the bars to the curious crowd, and 
collect money in a boot for pointing out those who were sen- 
tenced to be hanged! In 1814 the prisoners were removed 
to the new gaol ; and at the very next Sessions, Mr. Wells, 
attorney, was requested to apply to Mr. Sandys, the architect, 
relative to the escape of some prisoners therefrom ! ! From 
that time to the present this ill-fated building has seemed 
destined to an endless sinking of capital, for the trial of new 
experiments and for remedying the stupidity of bygone archi- 
tects and committees. About 18,000 was spent on it a 
dozen years ago, and now (1856) nearly 20,000 has been 
voted for the same purpose. 

f (tor. 

SHEN the Monasteries were dissolved by Henry VIII, 
the first authorised parochial machinery was estab- 
lished for the relief of the poor and for suppressing 
vagrancy. An act was passed authorising the head officers of 
every parish to receive and keep all poor applicants, putting 
the able-bodied to constant labour. The necessary funds were 
to be derived from voluntary contributions collected by the 
officers, and also the proceeds of stimulating sermons in 
the churches. But the voluntary system proved a failure, and 
it was left for Elizabeth to introduce the principle of compul- 
sory taxation for this purpose. The statute 43rd Elizabeth, 
chap. 2, was kept in full operation till the passing of the 
Poor-law Amendment Act, in 1834. In the time of Elizabeth, 
cottage building for the poor was an object of great jealousy 


to the inhabitants of towns and villages, who dreaded the 
location of paupers amongst them, and took immense pains 
to "pass on" any mendicants who happened to stray within 
their boundary. Officers were usually appointed to " remove 
intruders," and these knowing '* porrochials " would not infre- 
quently offer a bribe when no other means had availed for 
ejecting the obnoxious tramp from a parish. By an act 
(31 Eliz.) it was declared that " no cottage should be erected 
unless there be four acres of ground of their own freehold 
to be continually used therewith." The operation of this 
statute was often attended with great privation and suf- 
fering to the poor, and the Sessions Rolls of this county 
abound with petitions and memorials to the bench on the 
subject. In 1612, William Dench, labourer, of Longdon, in 
his petition, set forth that " being destitute of habitation, and 
having a wife and seven small children, William Parsons, of 
Longdon, in charity took him to live in a little sheepcot of his 
in the said towne, with the consent of the churchwardens and 
overseers ; but because yr poor orator ( the usual term for 
" petitioner " ) had not licence in open Quarter Sessions, nor 
under the hands and seals of the lords of the manor, and 
because the said sheepcot standeth on the freehold of William 
Parsons, and not on the waste, contrary to the act 43rd 
Elizabeth, chap. 2, therefore he was indicted and is sued to 
an outelary (outlawry), petitions for pardon and for a licence 
to continue in the said sheepcot." 

The Worcester County Quarter Sessions, 1660, made an 
order that all cottages erected since the late war should be 
" pluckt downe " as a " greate grievance," and that no house- 
room should be provided for "lusty young married people," 
who, if they unwisely married before they had got houses, 
were told to "lye under an oke." A few years previously, 
one Corbett, a Parliamentary soldier, settled at Brickie- 


hampton, and purchased half-an-acre of land to build a house 
upon. The parishioners, it seems, were content, but the 
lord of the manor refused. On application to the Sessions, 
leave was granted to build. 

Two lears later, in consequence of great complaints of the 
country being much burdened and impoverished, the magis- 
trates ordered that the constables should cause every parish 
to be surveyed and inspected as to how many cottages (and 
under what conditions) had been erected during the last 
forty years. It had also been ordered that every person 
apprehending a vagrant, and bringing him to a constable 
or tithingman, should have 12d. a piece for them this step 
being considered necessary in consequence of "the great 
charge of wandering beggars and the efforts made in other 
counties to reduce them." Many persons were indicted for 
erecting cottages without having the necessary quantity of 
land attached ; their cottages were pulled down, and all their 
little substance destroyed. Poor people were driven to herd 
together, great numbers in one house, or to sleep in sheds 
and in the open air ; and thus a law which was intended to 
suppress mendicancy resulted in great suffering to the lower 
classes, and undoubtedly to the engendering of filth, disease, 
and crime. So scrutinizing were the precautions against a 
liability to support the poor, that no person who belonged to 
that unfortunate class could travel out of his parish into 
another, and accept employment and a lodging there, without 
a certificate from the churchwardens and overseers of his 
own parish that in case he should ever require relief they 
would take him back. The following memorials are sad 
pictures of poverty and suffering in the seventeenth century : 

" The humble petition of the poore distressed towne of Duddeley, 
most lamentablie complaineth and sheweth unto your good worships 
that whereas heretofore wee have with our willinge ductie and 


bounden service acknowledged our obedience unto his majestie, 
and in the tyme of God's visitation upon your worships' commande 
did compassionatelie contribute unto the citie of Worcester, may 
it now please you that our poore towne havinge greivous experience 
of sicknesse which hath continued almost for three quarters of an 
yeare : and our said towne standing principallie on poore handicrafts 
men : who are much impoverished and now themselves wante ayde 
who heretofore dyd contribute to the releife of the poorer sorte 
and likewise wee havinge att this instant seven score children by 
reason of this sicknesse, who either want father or mother or both 
and many of these besides divers: in like or greater wante. And 
for that the same sicknesse doth continewe and suspected to increase 
unto our farther impoverishment and iminent danger of famishment 
of many amongst us wee havinge strayned our utmost abilitie for 
there succour until this instant and not able furthur to sustayne 
there wants doe most humblie petitionate and beseech your worship 
to tender our miserie and considerate our neede by collection and 
contribution within the countie whereby the poore will be comforted 
and preserved and thus for God's cause. Tendringe our humble 
suit to the consideration of your mercifull aflections, wee in all 
humih'tie remember ye service restinge to protest and conflrme the 
truth hereof at your worships' command. 


"Duddeley, "HENRY JACKSON, Vicar. 

8th of "RICHARD FINCH, Bailiff. 

April, 1616. " (And a number of inhabitants.) 

" The consideration of this petition is referred to Sir Francis 
Egiock and Sir Richard Grevys, knights, who are desired to take 
order therein accordinge to justice." 

The following petition is dated 1693: 

" The humble petition of ye poore inhabitants of ye Tything of 
Whistones, humbly showeth, that the said inhabitants, through the 
greatness of the several taxes and dayley increase of our poore 
(to whom we pay 4s. per pound) and all manner of provision so 
excessively dear, by means thereof most of ye contributors to the 
poore are reduced so low to their very small estates and mean 
imployments that they are not able to mayntain them aney longer 


unless yr worships will be charitably influenced to redress our 
grievances, wee being the true objects of yr compassionate considera- 
tion ; your petitioners therefore most humbly pray that yr worships 
would be favourably pleased to consider our necessitous condition, 
and either to annex and joine us unto Claynes, being our parish, to 
which undoubtedly ye said tything is a member and thereunto 
belongeth, or to order us the hundred money as formerly, or as 
Parshore, by some adjacent parishes to help us and ease the unsup- 
portable burden which our shoulders have and still groan under, 
without which timely assistance many of our poor fellow Christians 
will unavoidably perish and languish through miserable hunger and 

In the parish records of Claines (now in the churchwardens' 
chest of that church) an allusion to this petition is entered on 
one of the account books, to this effect, that upon the complaint 
of the inhabitants of the hundred of Oswaldslow, of the great 
burthen of the poor of the Tything of Whistones, alleging that 
the same township was in the town of Claines, an examination 
into the facts was intrusted to the Lord Windsor, Sir E. 
Dineley, and others, when the inhabitants of Claines showed 
that the township of Whistones was an ancient township, and 
had " parishtionall officers " to themselves, and was not in 
the parish of Claines, but anciently had its own church, and 
that the township was never included in the parish of Claines, 
and that the poor there had received relief of the hundred 
from time immemorial at least from the time of King James 
and never from Claines ; that it had been questioned in the 
time of King James, but could never be shown that Claines 
had paid to their poor. The Court thereupon would not alter 
proceedings observed for so long a time, and discharged 
Claines from the said poor, except by paying its share as a 
part of the said hundred. 

Vagrancy notwithstanding the extraordinary vigilance 
exercised for its suppression maintained a nourishing exist- 


ence. The following is one of the earliest instances of the 
" begging letter imposture," and a greater specimen of impu- 
dence probably was never exhibited by any member of the 
class who have in our own days become so notorious: 

"To the Worshipful Robert Charlton. 

" Though I am unknown to you, yet the report of your courteous 
behaviour towards all gentlemen in distress emboldeneth me to 
beseech yon to take into your favourable consideration the sad con- 
condition which I am now in, who for my loyalty to the King was 
by the great tyrant (Cromwell) banished and sent into the "West 
Indies, where I thought I had shot the very gulfe of affliction, but 
cominge lately from thence (in a ship bounde for London) was by 
tempest at sea driven into Wales amongst a salvadge people, who 
had noe regarde to my misery (although I am become the very- 
object of pittie), soe that in my jorney hither I have tasted of the 
bitterness of adversitie, for I am in such a nasty ragged posture that 
I am ashamed to present myself before aney person of quallitie; 
yet beinge destitute of money to beare my charges to London (or 
acquaintance in these parts to borrow of), fame of your most noble 
and generous disposition gives me encouragement to presume upon 
your goodness, hopeing you will be pleased to accommodate me with 
a small sum, and if it please God that I ever come into this country 
againe I will repay it. Moreover you will perpetually oblige him 
whose ambition is to stile himself 

" Tour servante, 


" Sir, I am well known to your son, Mr. Job Charlton, and I 
doubt not but you have heard of me. I am that Seymour who 
delivered the last letter from his majesty that now is to the late king 
upon the scaffold, a little before he was murthered, therefore I beseech 
you let me receive your answer by one of your owne servants, for I 
am unwilling that aney base peasant should know my condition. 

"May 8, 1661." 

Another handwriting on the same document records that, 
"Upon examination of the above-named Seamour I finde 
nothing of truth in the above letter, neyther that he was 


banished by Cromwell, nor that he hath ever been in West 
Indies, or that he landed in Wales ; but this I find that he 
hath been a wanderer almost all over England, and knoweth 
most men of any quallitie in the kingdom, and hath changed 
his name so oft that he hath almost forgot it. It is also 
reported that he hath one wife at Harford, with another at 
Bristol " (the remainder of the document is destroyed). 

It appears by another that Seamour informed Mr. Charlton 
that he had been the king's tutor and bedfellow for seven 
years, and had preached the late king's funeral sermon!" 
The art of impudence could not much further go ; and it is 
probable, by an information being laid at the Sessions, that 
the fellow received his reward, but the books containing 
convictions and sentences of that date are not in existence. 

In 1698, however, I find on the books that " Wm. Bilson, 
for wandring abroad with a false letter of request, p'tending 
a ffire at Icomb, be publicly whipt on Saturday next." Five 
years later it was "ordered, for the carrying of vagrants, 
that the constable be allowed 2d. per mile for one horse, and 
by the same proportion for two or three horses, or if a teame 
having three or more horses, then to allow them 6d. per 
mile, and to allow the passengers 5d. per head for their night's 
lodging and necessaries." In 1714 an order "touching the 
settlement of Ann Guise " was quashed on the ground of 
" there being no such place as Leye-Shinton." The magis- 
trates' geographical knowledge must have been somewhat 
limited if they were unaware of the existence of a place 
but five miles off. It is probable, however, there was some 
legal technicality in the matter, and that Leigh Sinton, which 
is only a hamlet or place in the parish of Leigh, had been 
represented as a parish of itself, which the bench could not 
admit. I now give an interesting document relative to the 
mode of proving a pauper's settlement in 1738: 


"Upon the appeal of the churchwardens and overseers of the 
poor of the parish of Camden, in the county of Gloucester, to an 
order of removal of Mary Calcott from the parish of Kingsnorton, 
in the said county of "Worcester, it appeared to this court, upon 
the examination of the said Mary Calcott, taken upon her oath 
in court, that the said Mary Calcott was, upon All Saint's Day, 
in the yeare of our Lord 1735, hired with John Ellis, of Camden, 
chapman, for a year, to spin with yarn, at the rate of Is. 6d. a 
stone, and that she was to provide herself with meat, drink, washing, 
and lodging, where she pleased, and that she spunn for him the 
whole year, and lodged in her said master's house, and boarded with 
him at Camden, and received Is. 6d. a stone for her work, allowing 
her master 2s. 6d. per week for her lodging and board. And upon 
her examination she said that by her said contract as aforesaid 
she thought she was not at liberty to work for any other master, 
but she thought she was at liberty to play or be absent from her 
work as long as she pleased, being to be paid att a certain rate 
for her work done. Wherfore it is the opinion of this court that 
the said hyring and service aforesaid was not sufficient to gain for 
the said Mary Calcott a settlement in the parish of Camden, and 
this court doth accordingly reverse the said order of removal." 

A refusal to serve the office of overseer by a resident of 
the Cathedral precincts (in the year 1804) may be unknown 
to the present inhabitants of that locality, to whom it will 
prove interesting: 

" I, Francis Stafford, one of the sextons of the Cathedral Church 
of Christ and the blessed Mary the Virgin of "Worcester, do 
hereby give you and each of you, and all others whom it may con- 
cern, notice that I shall appeal to the next general Quarter Sessions 
of the Peace, to be holden at the Guildhall of the city of Worcester, 
against the nomination and appointment made by you under your 
hands and seals, and bearing date July, 1804, whereby you nomi- 
nated and appointed me by the name and description of ' Francis 
Stafford, a substantial householder of the vill and hamlet of the 
precincts of the Cathedral Church of Christ and the blessed Mary 
the Virgin of Worcester, in the county of Worcester, to be overseer 
of the said vill and hamlet;' and be pleased to take notice, that 


the grounds of my appeal are that the said precincts are not nor 
never were reputed to be a Till and hamlet, nor a place for which 
an appointment of overseer is directed by law. And further, that 
the said precincts are not, nor were, nor at any time have been 
reputed to be, a vill, village, hamlet, or township, nor a place for 
which an appointment of overseer is directed by law. 

" Witness my hand, &c., 

" T. Dowdeswell, Esq., and " FRANCIS STAFFORD. 

" Henry Salmon, clerk." 

The order for the appointment was quashed at the October 
Sessions of the same year. Exemption from the interruption 
of the civil powers was what all the great monastic establish- 
ments sooner or later obtained, but that of Worcester had 
a long struggle with the hereditary sheriffs of the county 
before its immunity from their officers could be obtained. The 
Reformation introduced great changes, and the precincts of 
the Cathedral became part of the outer county, but still they 
remain independent of the city or county interior, being a 
separate district under the superintendence of the Dean and 

&N no one particular does the contrast between the 
M present times and those of which we are treating 
ir> appear more marked, or the progress of society 
more decided, than in the interference of the ruling 
powers of olden times with various descriptions of trades 
and occupations. There were the assizes or ordinances 
regulating the price of bread, ale, fuel, and other common 
necessaries of life ; they clipped or expanded servants' and 


workmen's wages; prohibited or encouraged by bounties the 
growth of various articles of consumption ; adjusted carriers' 
charges and the numbers of horses they might use up certain 
hills ; permitted the sale of many things only by license ; 
and otherwise sadly dammed up the current of human 
progression within their own narrow channel. As regards 
servants' wages, it would appear that the scale allowed early 
in the seventeenth century was far from illiberal, for in the 
year 1613 the authorities of Broadway petitioned " that 
servants' wages be rated according to the statute in that 
case, for we find it a great grievance in this county the 
unreasonableness of servants' wages, so that they have grown 
proud and idle." The rates for wages for servants and 

labourers fixed in 1663 were as follows: 

. s. d. 
"A bailie of husbandrie by the yeare . . . .400 

A cheife hynde by the yeare 368 

An ordinary husbandman 2 10 

A laborer by the day without meat and drinke from the 

feast of All Saints untill Candlemas . . . . 007 

And with meate and drinke 003 

After Candlemas vntill harvest without meate and drinke 008 

And with meate and drinke 004 

A mower by the day without meate and drinke . . 010 

And with meate and drinke 006 

A reaper the like as a mower. 

A woman reaper without meate and drinke . . . 008 

And with meat and drinke 004 

Sawers by the hundred, without meate and drinke . 024 

With meate and drinke 012 

A thatcher by the day without meate and drinke . . 010 

And with meate and drinke 006 

A carpenter by the day without meate and drinke . 010 

And with meate and drinke 006 

A mason the like wages as a carpenter. 
A laborer with a carpenter or a mason by the day without 

meate and drinke . . 10 


. 8. d. 

A made servant, by the yeare 1100 

A dairy maide or cheife maide servant, by the yeare . 200" 

In 1731 it was ordered " that printed advertisements be 
publicly sett upp in all publick places that the wages and 
rates of servants and labourers be the same as last year, 
except masons, who are allowed 14d. a day." 

The corn trade was an object of special attention. An 
instance of the great want of agricultural statistics occurs in 
the year 1631, when the subjoined imperious missive was 
received by the Worcestershire magistrates from the govern- 
ment officials at Whitehall. This document will probably 
be considered confirmatory of the experience derived from 
history namely, that whether a state undertakes to buy for 
the people what they may want for their consumption, or 
regulates the trade by interfering with the supply, it is imma- 
terial as to the result. In either case the people may expect 
to be starved whenever corn is scarce : 

"We cannot but very greatly merveile (marvel) that notwith- 
standing his Majesty's proclamation and book of orders and the 
diverse earnest letters of this Board, the price of come and other 
graine is risen so high, and the same sold at such excessive rates 
in many places ; neyther can wee conceave how this can be if the 
directions sent from hence had been duly executed ; you are ther- 
fore to take notice that wee expect a more careful performance 
thereof and a more particular account then hath hitherto been given 
us, and accordingly wee do hereby, in his Majesty's name, expressly 
charge you to cause presently a diligent and exact survey to be 
made through all that county, what provisions of graine there is, 
and to returne to this Board a certificate thereof with all expedi- 
tion, and likewise to see the markets well served according to 
the orders, and not forestalled by greedy engrossers, to the intoller- 
able wrong and prejudice of those that are to buy, especially of 
the poorer sort. You are likewise to use your best care and 
endeavour that during the continuance of this present dearth the 


maltsters be not permitted to make any greater quantities of malt 
than may be sufficient for necessary use; that soe there may be 
more plenty of barley for the reliefe of the poore; and soe wee 
bid you hartily farewell. 

(Signed by) " LONDON. " H. MANCHESTER. 





In 1715 it was ordered "that Richard Carwardine, of 
Castle Morton, have a licence to be a comon badger of come 
for one year;" and in 1732, "that Thomas Wadley, of 
Hanley Castle, have a licence granted him to be a common 
badger, buyer, seller, and carrier, of all sorts of corn and 
grain in any fair or market within this kingdom of England, 
so that the same continue in force but for one year from the 
date hereof and no longer." These badgers of corn were 
persons who bought corn to sell again. By the statute 
5th Elizabeth, chap. 12, they were compelled to take out an 
annual licence from the Quarter Sessions. At the present 
time, persons who go round to the farms and cottages in the 
neighbourhood of Monmouth to buy poultry and bring it for 
sale to the market at Monmouth are called " badgers." 

In pursuance of an act passed in 1 769, weekly returns of 
the prices of wheat, rye, barley, oats, and beans, were 
ordered from Bewdley, Kidderminster, Stourbridge, Dudley, 
and Bromsgrove ; and the following persons were instructed 
to furnish such returns : Timothy Clare, stationer, Bewdley; 
John Fawcett, weaver, Kidderminster ; Robert West, sta- 
tioner, Stourbridge ; Oliver Dixon, mercer, Dudley ; and 
George Wall, skinner, Bromsgrove. 

Towards the close of the same century many convictions 
took place "for selling loaves of bread without imprinting 
on them the letter W in Roman capital, the said loaves not 


being rasped either before or after the bespeaking or pur- 
chasing thereof, against the form of the statute." Ordered 
(in 1710) "that Wm. Dimock, of Bishampton, have a licence 
for a comon higler, lader, kedder, carrier, buyer, and seller, 
of hens, chickens, capons, eggs, butter, cheese, ffish, and all 
other dead vittualls, except pheasants, hares, and partridges." 
The Clerk of the Peace was instructed in 1730 "to give notice 
by public advertisement in the Worcester newspaper for all 
carriers in the said county to attend this Court at the 
adjourned Sessions, in order to settle the price of carriages, 
according to the form of the statute in that case made and 
provided." It was likewise ordered " that no common 
waggoner or carrier shall take for carrying any goods to or 
from Bewdley to London the sum of more than 7s. per cwt. 
till further order." And in 1752, "that every waggon or 
other carriage drawn up from the signe of the White Hart, 
Broadway, to the top of the hill, so far as in the county of 
Worcester, may be drawn with ten horses if the owner shall 
think proper." Ditto, up the Malvern Hill, with seven. 
Tolerably suggestive this of queer roads and stiff gradients. 
The rates of carriage to be charged by carriers were fixed 
by the Quarter Sessions under the statute 3rd William and 
Mary, chap. 12, sec. 24, and the number of horses by which 
carts and waggons were to be drawn was regulated by the 
statute 5th George I, chap. 12. 

Large quantities of salt were from time to tune lost in the 
Severn, as the vessels laden with that commodity were making 
their way down the river from Worcester, owing to strong 
tides and violent winds ; and the rolls record frequent appli- 
cations to the Court " for certificates to entitle them (the 
owners) to such allowance as the act of Parliament permits." 
These allowances were no doubt the return of a part or the 
whole of the very heavy duty then levied on salt. 


By the 21st George III, chap. 58, and 26th George III, 
chap. 43, certain bounties were offered for the cultivation of 
hemp and flax. Nevertheless, England has never grown a 
sufficient quantity for its own consumption, farmers not 
regarding it with favour, owing to the supposed exhaustive 
nature of the crop. In Worcestershire, for 1782 and some 
following years, claims were made (and allowed by Quarter 
Sessions) for these bounties, by 

Jos. Cooper the elder 

, All Saints, Evesham 
Jos. Cooper the younger ' 

(grown by them at Bretforton, Great Hampton, Fladbury, 
Pershore, Honeybourne, Cropthorne, and the Littletons). 

John Taylor of Bromsgrove. 

Henry Ellins of Stoke Prior, at Rushock, Doverdale, Broms- 
grove, Stoke, and Hanbury. 

Thomas Brooks, Droitwich, at Doverdale. 

John Tolley of Stoke, at Tardebigg and Hanbury. 

Jos. Rose, Bromsgrove. 

George Dunklin, ditto. 

William Moore, Tardebigg. 

Jos. Downing, Bromsgrove. 

James Andrews, Pershore. 

John Corbyn, Tardebigg. 

James Heynes, Alvechurch. 

William Shepherd, ditto. 

Eliz. Eaves, ditto. 

Edw. Pearkes, ditto. 

Thomas Overton, Tardebigg. 

Jos. Duffill, Bromsgrove. 

H. D. Humphries, ditto. 

Jos. Rose, ditto. 

William Hutchins, Wick, Pershore. 

John Tolley, Stoke. 


Clement Nash, Stoke. 

William Tay, Kingsnorton. 

Jos. Everill, Tenbury. 

Jos. Downing, Belbroughton. 

Thomas Brookes, Droitwich. 

From 1787 to 1792 the Worcestershire claims for flax 
bounty amounted to 79. 8s. 10d., and these were allowed. 

Tobacco also was an article of which the Court of Quarter 
Sessions took cognisance, and some interesting particulars 
relative to the growth and suppression of " the weed " in 
Worcestershire will be found in another part of this work. 

In the year 1670 the grand jury presented Henry Sandalls, 
bailiff of Bewdley, " who hath toll of the market, for upholding 
unjust measures ;" Elias Arch, bailiff of Kidderminster, ditto ; 
Thomas Foley, Esq., " who receives the benefit of the toll of 
Stourbridge, for not providing a brass measure according to 
act of Parliament, and for not making the measures of the 
town according to the same ; and that the justices do take 
into consideration the great abuse that the people of this 
county which resort to this city of Worcester to market do 
receive by unjustness of the measures, and by the jogging 
and shaking of the same ;" and suggesting various rewards 
for the capture of several known offenders. 

About the year 1747 a terrible distemper broke out amongst 
horned cattle, which all the vigilance of the authorities could 
not prevent from spreading. The Worcestershire Bench first 
ordered " that 4s. per week be allowed to the several turn- 
pikes where it shall be thought necessary in order to have a 
man sitt up every night to watch the sayd turnpikes, that no 
horned cattle be permitted to goe through the sayd turnpikes 
without propper certificates be first showne, and surveyors 
of the severall turnpikes to appoint propper persons to watch 
at the said turnpikes, the expense to be paid by the county." 


Next year it was ordered " that Grey Devy, of Kingswinford, 
be appointed inspector for the hundred of Halfshire in rela- 
tion to infected cattle, to take care that no infected cattle be 
brought into any parish of the said hundred, and persue the 
order of counsel made for preventing the spreading the infection 
amongst the horned cattle ; and to be allowed 7s. a week till 
farther order." In 1750 the distemper still raged, especially 
in the adjoining county of Salop, and the magistrates licensed 
" Edmund Lechmere, of Hanley Castle, Esq., to buy and sell 
cattle at any fair, market, or place, where the buying or 
selling of cattle is not prohibited, and to drive, sell, or dispose 
of them, at any other fair, market, or place, as aforesaid, 
tho' he shall not have obtained the certificate directed by 
the said court, the said Edmund Lechmere having entered 
into a recognizance with two suretys, according to the direc- 
tions of the said act" (of the previous Session). Many other 
similar licenses were afterwards granted, and the constables 
were ordered to prevent all persons not having such licenses 
from driving cattle to fairs, nor was any person allowed to 
bring cattle into the county without a certificate of their 
freedom from disease. The Clerk of the Peace was also 
ordered to procure 600 copies of an abstract of a certain 
treatise on the distemper, with a prescribed method of cure, 
by an eminent physician in Worcester, and distribute them 
to the chief constables and inspectors in this and the adjoining 
counties of Salop and Warwick. The cordon sanitaire was 
relaxed in 1751, but the following year the distemper broke 
out in this county with great severity, and vigilance was again 
renewed. A meeting having been advertised for buying and 
selling cattle at Beoley, the Sessions ordered that the meeting 
be prohibited, the distemper being at Kingsnorton, and that 
it be advertised in the Worcester and Birmingham journals, 
and notice given in Beoley church. It was not till July, 



1756, that the distemper entirely abated, and all orders were 


Three strangers blaze amidst the bonfire's revel : 
The Pope, and the Pretender, and the Devil. 
Three strangers hate our faith and faith's defender: 
The Devil, and the Pope, and the Pretender. 
The strangers will be strangers long, we hope: 
The Devil, and the Pretender, and the Pope. 
Thus in three rhymes three strangers dance the hay, 
And he that chooses to dance after them may." 

now come to a class of items chiefly connected with 
ecclesiastical control over matters both secular and 
religious instances of the exercise of power by 
the Church for the punishment of offenders against her 
discipline. Every reader of history is acquainted with the 
force and effect of excommunication in the middle ages. By 
a sentence of excommunication, both greater and less, the 
victims were excluded from the right of Christian burial, 
from bringing or maintaining actions, from becoming attorneys 
or jurymen, and were rendered incapable of becoming wit- 
nesses in any cause. Long before the Reformation the 
frequency and abuse of this ecclesiastical weapon proved both 
a scandal and a disadvantage to the Church, by bringing the 
practice in some degree into contempt ; and in the thirteenth 
century many applications were made to the king complaining 
of the resistance of excommunicated offenders who defied the 
utmost that the Church could do to reduce them to submis- 
sion. In 1289, John, vicar of Feckenham, was excommuni- 
cated by Godfrey, Bishop of Worcester, who appealed in the 


same manner for secular aid. When the nation reformed its 
religion, the power of excommunication was still retained by 
the Church, and is in force even to the present day, although 
modified by the 53rd of George III, chap. 127, which restricts 
the maximum term of imprisonment in all such cases to six 
months. (See more on this subject under the head of St. 
Nicholas' parish.) Obstinately refusing to attend divine ser- 
vice in the parish church, incontinency, contumacy in not 
appearing when cited in the Consistory Court, brawling, and 
scolding these were the principal offences for the punish- 
ment of which the Church most frequently put forth her 
power, as also on Quakers and Popish recusants. 

I am sorry to be compelled to state that the first example 
occurring in these rolls is that of a female scold. In 1614, 
Margaret, wife of John Bache, of Chaddesley, was presented 
to the Sessions as " a comon skould and a sower of strife 
and disorder amongste her neyghboures, and hath bynn pre- 
sented for a skoulde at the leete houlden for the manour of 
Chadsley, and for misbehavyng her tonge towards her mother- 
in-law at a vysytacon (visitation) at Bromsgrove, April 29, 
1603, and was excommunicated therefore." In 1617, one 
Elinor Nichols was presented " as a great scold and mischief 
maker, who is said to have been excommunicated and had 
never applied to make her peace with the Church." The 
usual mode of punishing this class of offenders was, however, 
by the cucking-stooL A valued correspondent, in commenting 
upon the details of the gum-stool, or cucking-stool, and other 
punishments mentioned at pages 110 and 111 of "Worcester 
in Olden Tunes " (in which an engraving is given of a curious 
instrument of torture still hanging on the wall of Worcester 
Guildhall), says 

"The gum-stool is evidently the cucking-stool, though it never 
occurred to me that Cooking Street was really Cucking Street, and 


had had its name spelt Cncken in old maps, as you state. The term 
cuckold-stool is inaccurate, as this punishment is for scolding to the 
common nuisance of the neighbourhood, and has no reference to 
conjugal infidelity. The cucking-stool is the legal punishment of 
the criminal offence of scolding ; and if a woman had been indicted 
and convicted of this offence at the last Assizes, the learned judge 
must have sentenced her to the cucking-stool. The common scold 
(Communis Rixatrix) for the law confines it to the feminine gender 
is a public nuisance to her neighbourhood, and may be indicted for 
the offence, and upon conviction punished by being placed on a 
certain engine of correction called the trebucket, or cucking-stool ; 
and she may be convicted without setting* forth the particulars in 
the indictment, though the offence must be set forth in technical 
words and with convenient certainty; and the indictment must 
conclude not only against the peace but to the common nuisance of 
her majesty's liege subjects. It is not necessary to give in evidence 
the particular expressions used : it is sufficient to prove generally 
that the defendant is always scolding. The skimmington is a mock 
procession got up in derision of a woman who has beaten her 
husband. You will find it in Hudibras. When a boy, I saw a skim- 
mington, and in it a man dressed in woman's clothes, who rode on 
horseback behind a stuffed figure of a man, carrying a ladle, with 
which the supposed woman kept beating the stuffed figure about the 
head. This, too, has no reference to conjugal infidelity. But in 
Wilts and Berks there is a mock procession that does relate to con- 
jugal infidelity ; but this is called a ' Woosset,' which is pronounced 
" Oosset.' It is a rough band followed by a person bearing a long 
pole, with a cross-bar across it, on which is placed a shirt, and at 
the top of the pole is a horse's skull with a pair of bull's horns 
attached to it. This I have also seen. I have omitted to mention 
that cucking-stools were of two kinds the one fixed, the other 
moveable. That mentioned in 'Worcester in the Olden Times' 
(p. 110), must have been of the latter kind. A lithograph of each 
to in No. 1 of the Magazine of the Wilts Archaeological Society. The 
bridle for scolds still exists in several places ; there is one in the 
Ashmolcean Museum at Oxford ; another was in the magistrates' 
room at Shrewsbury, but has been stolen within the last few yean ; 
one is figured in one of the volumes of the Penny Magazine, under 
the title Obsolete Punishments,' and another in Plott's Stafford- 


shire ;' but it is very remarkable that though so commonly seen, these 
bridles, called ' Branks,' are nowhere mentioned in our law books, 
though cucking-stools always are whenever the offence of scolding 
is treated of or referred to." 

But to return to ecclesiastical matters. In the year 1620, 
Robert Lucy, of Droitwich, was ordered to appear before the 
Sessions Court "for killinge of fleshe this Lent." By the 
statutes 2nd and 3rd Edward VI, chap. 19, and 5th Elizabeth, 
chap. 5 (an act for maintenance of the navy), the eating of 
flesh in Lent is prohibited under penalties ; but I know of no 
statute which inflicts any penalty on butchers for killing in 

The Sessions rolls contain some sad pictures of clerical 
misbehaviour in the seventeenth century a period when the 
clergy, as a body, had become a plebeian class, when (as 
Macaulay assures us) "for one who made the figure of a 
gentleman, ten were mere menial servants," many of the 
ejected ministers during the domination of the Puritans 
obtaining bread and shelter only by attaching themselves to 
the households of royalist gentlemen. The truth of the 
observation (see Blount's " Reformation"), that "an indigent 
church makes a corrupt and canting clergy," is apparent from 
the history of those tunes. In 1628, articles were exhibited 
against the Rev. Henry Hunt, of Defford, " that he is a 
malicious and contentious person and useth scandalous 
speeches without regard to time or place, but even in the 
church, sometimes before and sometimes after divine ser- 
vice, hath been known to break out into violent swearing 
before he came forth of the pulpit, taunting and reviling 
Rd. Damanne, and throwing stones at him in the field to 
provoke him to strike him, and threatening to make him so 
poor with suits that he should be glad to sell his mortuary 
for 2d. ;" also that he swore falsely at Worcester Assizes. 


" His mortuary " here evidently means the amount of pro- 
perty that he would die worth. In some parishes a sum of 
10s. is still payable to the rectors or vicars on the death of 
each householder in the parish who dies worth 40. This 
is called "a mortuary." The Rev. William Hollington, of 
Alvechurch, was in 1641 reported as "a frequenter of ale- 
houses, where he spendeth much time both day and night, 
as well upon the Saboth as other week dayes in idle and 
riotous company, in excessive drinking, and is a causer of 
much drunkenness by procuring and persuading and enforcing 
others to the drinking of whole cupes. He hath often drawn 
idle company to his own house, where they have sent for 
much ale, and there abusefully have spent in drunkness, 
quarrelling, and fighting. He is greatly defamed of inconti- 
nensie with his neighbours' wives, and one of them hath 
confest he did attempt her chastity, affirminge him to be as 
bad as Bankes his predecessor, who to prevent punishment 
for his unchast and incestuous living run away. That he 
dayley frequenteth houses much suspected of lewdnes, often 
accompanied with a dangerous armed Papist of idle behaviour, 
and assisted by him hath in the open street given out rayling 
and threatning words against his neighbours, calling them 
knaves and partisans, and hath affirmed they were not Papists 
that rebelled in Ireland, and that Papists were noe rebbles 
but honester men than Protestants. He hath been a hindrance 
of the taking of the protestation, and doth omit the words 
in the reading of the remonstrance ' and have cutt all theire 
throates,' to the end to obscure from the people the greatness 
of the danger the House of Commons was in as it is conceived 
in favour of the other side. A constable coming to him in 
execution of his office to deliver the protestations of such as 
were then and there present to take it, he gave him many 
reproachful wordes, calling him knave, blockhead, loggerhead. 


He is a curser and swearer, a nefarious pintious Iyer, and a 
contentious person. He stirred up and mayntained many 
shutes (suits) and much trouble in the neighbourhood, hath 
sided and counselled with the old churchwarden to the detayn- 
ing of goods and money due to the church, and threatned 
aney that durst question it. He hath laboured to hinder 
justice and to countenance delinquents, is a quarreller and 
fighter. He advised and aided in stealing away a wid- 
dowes daughter, the only child of his neer neighbour, not 
above fourteen years old, and marying her to John Price, a 
rude boy of idle behaviour, and noe good cloths to his back, 
though the friends of the girl could have made her portion 
200, and hath never been heard to put up one prayer either 
for the Parliament or for distressed Protestants in the king- 
dom of Irelande except on particular times, and then it was 
with the limitation ' if soe that they be of the same religion 
as wee are on.' " 

It is difficult adequately to estimate the injurious effects to 
society of such examples set on the part of the clergy. The 
judicious Hooker observes that " the examples of clergy and 
great men are important, as being seen afar off, like cities set 
on the tops of hills ; but mean men's actions are not greatly 
inquired into except by those who live at the next door." 

During the Commonwealth and the reign of Charles II, as 
may be expected, the religious disputes and ill-feeling existing 
between the Established Church and the various sects that 
snarled and whined and canted in the racy language of the 
time, are fully exhibited in these records, of which I shall give 
some instances. In 1654, Edward Sheldon and Nicholas Hill 
deposed "that upon the 20th day of August the deponents 
were objecting against one Mr. Spilsbury, who desired to be 
minister of Bromsgrove, that he had a low voyce ; one 
Humphrey Potter then answered that if he had a low voice 


he had a true voice ; unto which Mr. Joseph Amige, now 
minister of Bromsgrove (as these deponents conceiveth) 
answered and sayd, ' Soe have I ;' unto whom the said Potter 
replied, ' Noe, for you have tould lies in the pulpit,' or words 
to that effect." Here is another curious specimen of the 
tunes: In 1656 the jury presented that Thomas Goslinge, 
late of Bredon, yeoman, on the llth November, 1656, at 
Bredon, of purpose to defame, disgrace, and provoke one 
Richard Beeston, a pious and godly minister and preacher 
of the word of God, and to disturb the peace, certain false, 
seditious, scandalous, and provoking English words did put 
into meeter or verse, and the same as a libell did openly, 
maliciously, and of purpose to provoke and disgrace the said 
Richard Beeston, in the presence and hearing of divers 
honeste people of the commonwealth of Englande, with a loud 
voice did saye and singe that is to save: 

" Here cornea Mr. Beeston, 
The man wee nere wiston, 

As high as the pnlpitt topp ; 
And to his disgrace, 
With his impudent face, 

To reape another man's cropp." 

Roger of Wendover tells of a party, who profanely inter- 
rupted divine service, being made to dance in the churchyard 
for twelve months, without the power of stopping their limbs. 
But it seems that the fear of supernatural punishment did 
not deter the brawlers of the seventeenth century. When 
Dr. Thomas (afterwards Bishop of Worcester) was vicar of 
Loughern, about the year 1644, a party of Parliament horse 
went to that place, and inquired whether that popish priest, 
Mr. Thomas, was still there, and whether he continued reading 
the liturgy and praying for the Queen ; one of them adding, 
that he would go to church next Sunday, and if Mr. Thomas 


persevered in praying for that drab of the w of Babylon 

he would certainly pistol him. That good man, however, was 
not to be intimidated : he performed the usual service, and 
while praying for the Queen, one of the soldiers, who sat in 
the next pew to him, snatched the book out of his hand and 
threw it at his head. The preacher bore it with composure, 
but the soldier, it is said, was instantly seized with such com- 
punction that his comrades were forced to carry him away. 
At the Midsummer Sessions of 1660 a deposition was made, 
that "on the 17th of June, being ye last Saboth daye, 
Jeremiah Hewes, servant of Mr. Bishops of Lindridge, spoke 
of Mr. Giles base lascivious words, for he said yt he preached 
in ye church nothing but lyes, and furthermore he called him 
ould munkke (monk) and he said ye ould monkke preached 
in ye forenoon, and his sunn, ye yonge munkker, did endea- 
vour to mend it in ye afternoone ; and he said he would never 
heere him preach again, for if he were in ye church he would 
goe forthe. Mr. Gyles gave a tuch concerning maypoles 
what rudnes is ust (used) to be abought such games, and he 
wisht he had his beard to make him a flaye ( ?) yt he might 
be one of ye fore leaders ; and furthermore, my brother 
Edward tould him yt these words did deserve ye good beha- 
viour (recognizance to keep the peace); and he said again 
he did not care for never a justice's warrant in ye countie, 
for he saith they are all turncootes." In 1665, Edward 
Mutchett, of Norton-juxta-Bredon, informed against Richard 
Hunt, that he heard him say in his prayers ' Downe with this 
King of Babylon, this Poperye, and this idolatrous wayes as 
is now sett upp, and that they may not touch Thy anointed.' " 
The Quakers of the seventeenth century, it is pretty well 
known, were not the mild and gentle beings who compose the 
ranks of the Friends in the nineteenth. They could rail and 
brawl in public, would persist in following their trades on a 


Sunday, and their resistance to the "powers that be" was of 
a much more active character than that which induces a 
modern Friend to allow a rate-collector to seize on his tables 
and chairs. The Quakers met with severer treatment during 
the Commonwealth than any other sect of Christians. We 
trace them obscurely under the denomination of '' Seekers," 
their distinguishing principle being the doctrine of an inward 
light. George Fox, their founder, having bade some of the 
justices who committed him to jail to tremble at the word of 
the Lord, gave rise to the term " Quakers." In this city and 
county they were apparently pursued with great severity after 
the restoration of " Church and King," which undoubtedly 
had the usual effect of considerably sharpening their asperity 
towards the established faith. In the city, they were pre- 
vented entering their meeting-house (in Friar Street), and 
accordingly preached in the open air, while soldiers were 
paid for watching them. George Fox himself was confined 
in Worcester jail. In an ancient library at Kingsnorton 
School, there are treatises against the then recently pro- 
pounded notions of the Quakers. The subjoined extract 
will show that maypoles and long hair were not the only 
troubles the poor vicar of that parish had to contend against. 
It is taken from " Besse's Sufferings of the Quakers," vol. ii, 
chap, iii, p. 60, under date 1657. "Jane Hicks, of Chadwitch, 
was sent to prison at Worcester for some offence which the 
priest of King's Norton took at her speaking to him." The 
same writer also states that at another time she was sent to 
Worcester for disturbing at Bromsgrove church, and that 
she was placed four times in the stocks once for a whole 
night and part of two days. The woman would thus seem to 
have been a notorious disturber ; and doubtless her " speaking " 
to the " priest " was in the church at the time of worship a 
very common custom with the Friends of that day. Viewed 


in this light the vicar's conduct was proper, and was a neces- 
sary precaution against unseemly interruptions. The books of 
the above-named library, thus viewed, become interesting to 
us. They are evidence in the great Quaker battle, and no 
doubt poor Jane Hicks was stirred up with wrath by hearing 
some of the arguments out of this storehouse hurled at her 
then noisy sect. When John Bissell, also in 1657, refused to 
pay the " priest " ten shillings tithe, and had " goods taken 
from him worth \. 5s.," no doubt these identical volumes 
were at hand ready to pour forth their artillery against the 
poor Quaker,* In the County Rolls for 1662 is "A calendar 
of the prisoners called Quakers : Rd. Payton, convicted de 
premunire ; Edwd. Hall, convicted for words spoken in open 
court, fined 5, and committed till payed; Henry Gibbs, 
Wm. Collins, Wm. Webb, Robert Baylis, Rd. Walker alias 
Weaver, Jos. Walker, Rd. Bennet, Wm. Eades, Stephen 
Pitway, committed the 2nd of January, 1662, for having 
lately assembled themselves under the pretence of joyning 
in a religious worship, to the great endangering of the pub- 
lique peace and safetye, and to the terrour of the people in 
severall places of this county." In 1666 the following Quakers 
were " taken at a conventicle and committed by Thomas Wilde, 
Esq.:" Wm. Pitt, Richard Fydo, Abra. Roberts, Rich. Lewis, 
Edward Lewis, Edward Staunton, John Wright, Alexander 
Berdslye, Tho. Fitrale, and John Hoskins. Next year (1667) 
the gaoler's list of prisoners then in gaol included the following : 

" Thomas Payton, late of Dudley, taylor, a p'fessed Quaker, taken 
at a conventicle of Quakers in the said towne of Dudley, a place 
much infested with Quakers and disorderlie p'sons, and comitted to 
ye gaole 10th July, xiiii Caroli, and being a stubborn and incorigible 
p'son, was at ye next Sessions following tendred the oathe of alle- 

* This notice of Kingsnorton Library is taken from an article in " Aris's 
Birmingham Gazette." 


giance, which he refused to take, was indicted, and convicted of 
premunire. Thomas Feckenham, another leader of the same sect, 
was likewise apprehended about three years since, and tendred ye 
oathe of allegiance, and beinge still obstinate and p'verse, hath been 
continued a prisoner, but with some liberty now and then extended 
towards him, which kindness hath not as yet wrought any conformitie 
or submission in him. John Jenkins and William Bardoe, Quakers, 
excommunicated in ye consistory of Hereford, and taken by a writ 
De Excom. Capiend. about a year since. John Roberts, of Droit- 
wich, p'fessed Quaker, for using his trade and calling on ye Sunday 
or Lord's Day, was likewise presented and excommunicated a year 
ago. John Tombs, of Droitwich, for the like offence, and for refusing 
to permit the sacred ordinance of Baptism to be administered to his 
children, likewise excommunicated, and taken up by the like writ 
Job Allibone and William Hodges, for the same offence and refusing 
to come to church. All which persons soe committed are, by the 
overmuch indulgence of the late sheriff, under-sheriff, and gaoler, 
permitted to goe at liberty about their occasions, which we consider 
doth encourage them to persist in their contemptuous and incorrigible 
behaviour ; and they are not to be found in prison unless for about 
an houre or a night once in six or eight weeks time." 

This report of the state of Quakerism, it seems, was 
occasioned by a request from the Government that the 
magistrates should inquire into the subject, and furnish the 
names of the Quakers then in prison, and whether they were 
ringleaders or had been seduced into the commission of 
offence by others. In the chapter on the records of St. 
Helen's church, Worcester, in the earlier part of this work, 
it will be observed that the penalties paid by Quakers were 
converted into a charitable fund for the poor. 

The William Pardoe, mentioned above, was probably the 
individual who was said to have been the pastor of a Baptist 
congregation at Worcester, where he continued in jail nearly 
seven years, and died in this city in 1692. A MS. account 
of his labours, travellings, and writings, was said to have 
been at Leominster not many years ago. Is it still in 

1 s 


existence ? Mr. Pardoe was excommunicated, and was buried 
in a garden at Lowesmoor, near Worcester, where his body, 
with that of his wife, was discovered some forty or fifty 
years ago while digging for the purpose of building. The 
bodies were not disturbed, and a stone was erected to their 
memory. I am not aware that this still remains. 

We now arrive at something more stirring, and may have 
an interesting peep at a conventicle of " Fifth Monarchy Men" 
at Oldbury. This sect of religionists had for their distin- 
guishing tenet a belief in the establishment of a fifth universal 
monarchy, of which Christ was to be the head ; while the 
" saints," under his personal sovereignty, should possess the 
earth. They appeared in England towards the close of the 
Protectorate; and in 1660, a few months after the Restoration, 
they broke out into a serious tumult in London under their 
leader Venner ; many of them lost their lives, some killed 
by the military, and others executed. In the country the sect 
continued for some years later. At the concluding Worces- 
tershire Sessions of 1667, one William Cardale deposed that 
on the 1st of September in that year he took his wife to 
Oldbury to see her sister, Edward Nightingale's wife, who 
was lying-in ; and after dinner, he being inclined to fall 
asleep, his brother-in-law asked him to go for a walk ; they 
accordingly went to Oldbury chapel, which they found full 
of people. After a psalm had been led, the preacher, who 
was a stranger to him, " made a very strange prayer, praying 
neither for king, queen, royal familie, nor clergie," and a still 
stranger sermon followed, from the text "Thy kingdom 
come," "his doctrine beinge, that Christ hath a kingdome 
of rewarde for his sufferinge and workinge servants, which in 
his good time he would possess them, and we ought to pray 
for ; " and he attempted to prove, from the Revelations, 
Daniel, and other mystical writings, that the aforesaid 


kingdom was to be on earth. " On the preacher proposing 
to show when this kingdom was to come, an alarm of soldiers 
was given, a horse was soon got ready for him, and throwing 
off his gown and perriwig, he appeared in a grey coat, and 
speedily worked his way through the crowd and made off. A 
soldier, named William Perrott, deposed that by command 
of his officer, Major Wilde, he with others was sent to appre- 
hend this preacher, whose name was Steele, alias Fraser, a 
Nonconformist ; and on arriving at Oldbury chapel they found 
about 2000 persons there. When the preacher had disap- 
peared, Perrott with two others secured the doors of the 
chapel ; shortly after which some of the congregation " looked 
out of the windows to see whether any more soldiers appeared, 
and observing none, they presently swore that three or four 
were not able to keepe so manye prisoners. Forthwith there- 
upon they broke open the doors upon us, and layd hold upon 
my haire, my pistolls, and cloake, and gave me severall blowes 
upon my head and bodye, and likewise of those soldiers 
that were present with me. They allsoe forced one of my 
pistolls out of my hande, and allsoe broake Mr. Hambden's 
man's pistoll about our heads. After the rest of our partye 
of horse appeared, most of them runn from us. Some few 
were took. Allsoe I observed a great many of benches as I 
supposed newly set upp about ye chapel to receive ye com- 
pany." What became of the unfortunate prophesier of the 
coming kingdom doth not appear. 

In the year 1 669, Thomas Willmot, vicar of Bromsgrove, 
laid an information at the Sessions to the effect that, " being 
ready to attend his duty at the funeral of Jane, the wife of 
John Eckols, was by a tumult of Anabaptists affronted and 
disturbed whilst I was reading the service. They no sooner 
came to the grave but irreverently threw the corps thereinto, 
and having their hats on their heads, immediately, contrary 


to the orders of the Church, without the least respect to the 
service of the same, and without either clerk or sexton, with 
their feete caste in the mold and covered the corps. Amongst 
which tumult there was one Henry Waldron, who entring 
into the belman's house without his leave, took away his spade, 
wherewith John Price, contrary to all civility and decency, 
notwithstanding he was checked by the minister, with his 
head covered, persisted to throwe the mold in the aforesaid 

The last instance of open disaffection to the church service 
which is worth a place in this record occurs in 1692, when 
an information was laid against Michael Bisset, of Feckenham. 
It appeared that Richard Bond and one Foster having publicly 
praised a sermon delivered in Feckenham church by a parson 
named Millard, Bissett swore by God's wounds (a common 
oath in those days) " That there was never a true word in 
the same sermon, and that it was all nought and false, and 
that it would have been a good deede to have sett him 
downe out of the pulpit with a bowe and bolte ( meaning the 
said preacher), and that he could go down in the meadows 
and hear as good a sermon under a hedge." Bolt is a short 
arrow shot from a cross-bow. Hence the saying, "A fool's 
bolt is soon shot." There are several specimens of these 
bows and bolts at Goodrich Castle. 

The Toleration Act of William III gave immunity to all 
Protestant Dissenters, except those who denied the Trinity, 
from the penal laws to which they had been subjected. In 
the Sessions' order book, date 1696, is a "Mem. That the 
persons under-named in open Court of Sessions did take the 
oaths mentioned and appointed to be taken in and by an 
Act made Anno primo Willi et Marie, entitled 'An Act for 
abrogating of the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and 
appointing other oaths;' and also made and subscribed the 



declaration appointed to be made and subscribed in and 
by an Act made Anno 25 Caroli Secundi, entitled ' An Act 
for preventing dangers which may happen from Popish 
recusants,' according to an Act made Annis 7 et Willi tertii 
Regis, entitled 'An Act requiring the practicers of the law 
to take the oaths and subscribe the declarations therein 
mentioned.' " The following are the names of the subscribers 
in this county: 

John Soley, Esq. 

Richard Nanfan, \ Samuel Grove, \ 

Henry Toye, 

Thomas Parker, 

Joshua Bradley, 

Richard Cowcher, 

John Yarranton, 

Richard Teynton, 

John Ffownes, 

Edwyn Eyre, 

Robert Bird, 

Thomas Partington, 

Charles Cocks, Esq. 

Samuel Grove, 
Thomas Hayward, 
Thomas Hart, 
William Cardale, 
Epaphroditus Bagnall, 
William Hart, 
Richard Norbury, 
Henry Hodges, 
Richard Herbert, 
Thomas Oliver, 
Edmund Rose, 

22 Maii, 1696. 

Godman Atwood, 
Anthony Ashneld, 
James Gilbert, 
John Morris, 
Robert Parr, 
Henry Prescott, 
Edward Walker, jun., 
James Nash, 


Samuel Hunt, 
Edward Walker, Ad- 
John Price, 
William Bowkey, 
Henry Philpott, 
Edward Hallen, 
Thomas Millward, 
Edward Dyson, 
Die eadem the same time the persons under-named sub- 
scribed the association : 



Richard Norbury, 
Anthony Ashfield, 
James Gilbert, 
John Morris, 
Robert Parr, 
Henry Prescott, 
Edward Walker, jun. 
Godman Atwood, 

Thomas Milward, 
Edward Hallen, 
Henry Philpott, 
John Price, 
Edward Walker, Ad-/ 

William Bowkey, 

Samuel Hunt, / 

An explanation is necessary with regard to " signing the 
association," as stated above. In Harris's Life of William III, 
p. 143, under the date of 1688, it is stated that after the 
arrival of the gentlemen of Somerset and Dorsetshire, at 
Exeter, " Sir Edward Seymour asked Dr. Burnet ' Why they 
had not got an association, without which they were only a 
rope of sand, and none would think themselves bound to 
stick to them.' The Doctor told him ' It was for want of a 
man of his authority and credit to support such an advice.' 
He then proposed it to the Prince, who, with the Earl of 
Shrewsbury and all present, approved the motion. Accordingly 
the Doctor did urge an association, containing "a solemn 
engagement firmly to adhere together in pursuance of the 
ends of the Prince's declaration, and in defence thereof, and 
never to depart from it till the religion, laws, and liberties of 
the people should be secured by a free Parliament ; and if any 
attempt should be made on the person of the Prince, that it 
should be revenged on all by whom any such attempt should 
be made." This association was speedily signed there and in 
other places, particularly by many in the University of Oxford. 
Lord Herbert of Cherbury, and the principal gentlemen of 
Worcestershire and Herefordshire, met at Worcester, and 
declared for the Prince of Orange, when Sir Walter Blount 
and the Sheriff of Worcestershire were sent prisoners to 
Ludlow Castle. The declaration, I presume, continued to be 
signed for several subsequent years. 


In the Summer Sessions of the same year "the persons 
under-named did take the oaths and made and subscribed the 
declaration of 30 Car. II :" 

Thomas Cornewall Thomas Nash 

William Lygon William Grove 

William Tillam Thomas Dewell 

Richard Towaye William Search 

Francis Sedgwiek Thomas Evans 

Henry Coupland Thomas Wells 

Samuel Wilcocks Thomas Parker 

Joseph Adams J. Parker 

S. Taylor Richard Mann 

Joseph Jones Edward Sylls 

Josiah Rogers Arthur Lindsey 

Robert Durham Richard James 

Thomas Lowe Richard Smalbrooke 

William Sherborne Edward Wheeler 

J. Harper Pa. Philpott 

Henry Davis Timothy Parker 
The persons next following did take the oaths and subscribe 
the declaration of 25 Car. II : 

Thomas Cornwall Josiah Rogers 

William Tillam Robert Durham 

William Lygon William Sherborne 

Richard Towage J. Harper 

Francis Sedgwiek Henry Davis 

Henry Coupland Thomas Nash 

Thomas Pearsell William Grove 

Thomas Lowe Thomas Dewell 

Joseph Adams William Search 

Samuel Wilcocks Thomas Evans 

Sy. Taylor Thomas Wells 

Joseph Jones Thomas Parker 



J. Parker Richard Smalbrooke 

Richard Mann Edward Wheeler 

Edward Sylls Pa. Philpott 

Arthur Lindsey Timothy Parker 

Richard James 
The persons under-named did sign the Association : 

Thomas Coventrye 
Edmund Lechmere 
Samuel Pytts 
William Walsh 
Timothy Parker 
Jo. Fleetwood 
Wenman Winniatt 
A,. Ashfeild 
Martyn Ballard 
James Michell 
Richard Feild 
Thomas Rudge 
J. Packington 
James Rushout 
R. Dowdeswell 
Chambers Slaughter 
William Harris 
Charles Cocks 
Thomas Chetle 
WiUiam Tillam 
Francis Sedgwick 
Richard Towaye 
Henry Coupland 
Stephen Marche 
Henry Toye 
Jo. Jevon 
Jo. Harris 

Samuel Grove 
William Grove 
Thomas Hayward 
Edw. Cookes 
Richard Wooley 
Joseph Jones 
Thomas Parker 
William Rudge 
Richard Cowcher 
Edmund Rose 
Ja. Gilbert 
S. Jewkes 
Rowland Battell 
Thomas Yarnald 
Edward Reynolds 
Adam Cave 
John Rudge 
John Terbervile 
George Lench 
Richard Smalbrooke 
Edward Wheeler 
Pa. Philpott 
Samuel Freeman 
Edward Bunce 
Francis Ross 
Francis Maleroy 
John Jeffery 



F. Jeffery 
Ja. Ingoldsby 
Abraham Stapleton 
John Dowglass 
John Archer 
Francis Wythes 
Sampson Farley 
John Baron 
Francis Russell 
William Bromley 
Robert Wylde 
John Soley 
Francis Sheldon, jun. 
Thomas Cornewall 
Robert Foley 
Higons James 
Salwey Winnington 
Ed. Sandys 
J. Apletree 
Fra. Sheldon 
John Sheldon 
Thomas Parrott 
Pest. Sheldon 
Obadiah Alforde 
Thomas Bradley 
Robert Bushell 
John Tilsley 
William Lygon 
Thomas Bushell 
William Hancocke 
Henry Hodges 
Thomas Burlton 
Thomas Harris 
And divers others put the roll. 

Thomas Mackey 

The mark of Thomas Segar 

Thomas Savage 

William Cowells 

Rowland Bradstock 

Jarritt Smith 

William Ffreet 

William Waring 

Richard James 

Josiah Rogers 

Joseph Adams 

J. Harper 

Samuel Wilcocks 

Thomas Nash 

William Sherborne 

Henry Davis 

Thomas Wells 

George Harris 

Richard Mann 

Sy. Tayler 

J. Barker 

Thomas Pearsall 

Thomas Dewell 

William Search 

Thomas Evans 

Thomas Theasker 

Thomas Gardiner 

Thomas Lowe 

Robert Durham 

Edward Sylls 

Arthur Lindsay 

William Reynolds 


The only remaining noticeable item affecting Nonconformity 
is an order made in or about the year 1716, "that an 
indenture of apprenticeship made between John Cookes and 
his master, Samuel Gill, be discharged and set aside, it 
appearing to this court that the master gave his said ap- 
prentice imoderate correccon and alsoe employing him in 
another trade, viz., plateing of gunn barrells and obligeing 
Mm to goe to the Presbyterian meeting." It may be stated, 
in concluding this chapter, that the law enforcing attendance 
at the parish church on Sunday was not abolished till 1846. 
Other notes on Nonconformity will be found in this volume. 

5N the first year of William and Mary an act was 
passed "For exempting Protestant Dissenters from 
penalties of certain laws, on condition only that 
meeting-houses should be certified to the Bishop or Arch- 
deacon or Justices at Quarter Sessions." In 1693 (the first 
year of the Sessions order book) "The wallhouse in the 
parish of Hanbury, and in the possession of Dame Ann 
Rouse," was certified to be "a meeting-house according to 
ye new Act of Parliament." Also "a house adjoining the 
foldyard of Mr. Blick, at Bromsgrove." 1695. The house 
of Henry Hanson, of Grafton Flyford, a place for religious 
worship. 1696. The house of John Ernes, Bishampton, a 
meeting-house for dissenting Protestants. 1697. The house 
of John Scott, of Stourbridge, and the house of William 


Dugard, of Dodderhill. 1700. The house of Humfrey Potter, 
of Bromsgrove. 1702. Samuel Windle (place of residence 
not stated) " upon petition is allowed to have ye word of God 
preached in his house ; " and a house at Dudley licensed on 
the petition of John Stokes. 1703. Ordered that "The 
house of Peter Payton, at Tenbury, be set apart for the 
worship of God for dissenters from ye church, according to 
the prayer of a petition for ye vp'pose." 1704. The house 
of Mary Greene, widow, in Little Witley, called the New- 
house ; and the house of John Sparry, at Belbroughton. 
1705. Dwelling-houses of Henry Hunt, Cradley; James 
Thompson and William Tilt, Bromsgrove ; Thomas Taylor, 
Hartlebury ; and John Taylor, Chaddesley. 1715. House 
of Samuel Cater, Stourbridge ; and of Jos. Harrison, Thomas 
Reynolds, John Reynolds, Mary Payton, and Arthur 
Radnall, of Bewdley; also that of John Carpenter, jun., 
Bromsgrove. 1720. The house of Richard Windle, Ink- 
berrow. 1723. The house of Ann Thomas, of Pershore, 
''licensed for Anabaptists." 1733. House of John Harris, of 
Birlingham ; and " a newly-erected house at Upton mentioned 
in the certificate of R. Baskerville and Thomas Skey ;" also 
" the house at Bewdley wherein Thomas Watson and William 
Carter now dwell." 1735. Ordered, "That the barn and 
court-yard thereto belonging, now in the occupation of John 
Williams, at Tenbury, be licensed for Quakers." 1744. The 
house of Thomas Baker, at Himbleton, licensed for Baptists ; 
and that of William Sadler, at Halesowen, for ditto. 1757. 
House of Joshua Kettleby, Church Street, Kidderminster, for 
Anabaptists; and in 1760, that of James Hill Baker, Black 
Star Street, Kidderminster, for Presbyterians. 1773. A 
tenement at Bartley Green, Northfield, licensed for dissenters ; 
and a building in the occupation of G. Parsons, Mill Street, 
Stourbridge; also "a chapel lately erected in the hamlet of 


Westencot, Bredon, certified as a place of religious worship 
for Baptists." 1787. The house of John Harwood, of 
Moseley, licensed for Baptists ; and one at Birlingham occu- 
pied by Benjamin Bedford, for Protestant dissenters ; also 
the house of William Purser, at Welland ; a Baptist meeting- 
house in New Street, Dudley ; and a building in Mill Street, 
Evesham. In the year 1791, Robert Berkeley of Spetchley, 
T. Hornyold the younger of Blackmore Park, John Baynham 
of Purshall Hall, clerk, Thomas Parker of Heath Green, 
Beoley, and Mary Williams, of Little Malvern, subscribed 
certificates that they had set apart rooms in their respective 
houses for Roman Catholic worship. 1792. A building in 
Gilson's Lane, Blockley, certified for dissenters. 1796. Andrew 
Robinson, clerk, of Grafton Manor, set apart a room for 
Roman Catholic worship ; and Richard Cornthwaite, clerk, of 
Harvington Hall, Chaddesley, ditto dit^p. 


.. -?HE year 1643, so distressing to the city of Worcester, 
l]| when a great portion of the heavy levies on the 
citizens, for defence against the Parliament army, 
could not be raised, was nearly to the same extent a cause 
of pecuniary embarrassment to the county at large. At the 
April Sessions of 1643 the grand jury ordered "that the 3000 
ordered last Sessions to be paid monthly towards the pay- 
ment of his majesty's forces sent and raised for the defence 
of this county be continued till next Sessions, and paid over 
by John Baker, gen. collector to Sir William Russell, High 
Sheriff of the county and Governor of the city." But con- 


siderable difficulty appears to have been experienced in the 
collection. Here follows a picture of those critical times, 
worth preserving: 

" The information of Edward Raynolls, of Kitherminster, taken 
uppon oath the 28th of March, 1651, before Gervase Bucke and 
John Latham, Esqs., two of the Justices of the Peace for the county 

"Hee saith and doth informe that Edward Broad of Duncklin, 
Esq., about the time of the beginning of the warre betwixt the late 
kinge and the Parliament did raise a troope of horse for his sonne 
Edmond to engage in the king's service, That afterwards about the 
time when Sir Gilbert Garret, the gov'nor of Worcester for the kinge 
went to beseige Sturton Castle a garrison for the Parliament the 
said Edward Broade sollicited and earnestly pressed the contry 
thereaboute to rise together and to goe along with the said Sir 
Gilbert Garrett, telling and threatening divers of the country people 
that they should be hanged at their owne doores if they would not 
goe with hun against the said Castle : That many of the country 
people came in to the said Edward Broade accordingly and hee was 
himselfe captaine over them and furnished them with arms and 
amunition and marched before them to Sturton Castle and continued 
before that Castle untill the governor whoe held the same for the 
Parliament was inforced, beinge overpowred by the enemye to yeeld 
yt upp. That afterwards, about 7 dayes before Sir Henry Lyngum 
did rise against the Parliament and surprised and tooke the county 
troope of Hereford, the said Edward Broade spake to this informer, 
beinge his tenant and his warriner, to goe to John Brancill, dwelling 
at Kidderminster, beinge a joyner and well skilled in stockinge of 
guns, to come with all speede to stock gunnes for him. And willing 
this informer alsoe himselfe to be in redinesse. And this informer 
askinge him what use there would be for soe many gunnes the said 
Edward Broade answered there would be use for them verry speedily, 
and further said that Mr. Hugh Vicaridge of Comberton and Mr. 
Thomas AVannerton, other Roundheaded Rogues, should be hanged 
to beginn withall. And the said Brancill came to Duncklyn 
accordingly, but how many gunnes he stocked this informer knoweth 
not. And afterwards when the newes was fresh that Sir Henry 
Lingin had surprised the Hereford county troope, the said Edward 


Broade asked this informer whether Sir Henry Lyngin was gone, 
whereunto this informer answering that hee did not know, the said 
Edward Broade replyed and said Sir Henry Lingin was not as 
good as his word ; and about a weeke after Sir Henry Lingin was 
surprised the said Edward Broade hid divers gunnes which hee had 
provided as aforesaid under a rick of hay and afterwards remooved 
them thence and hid them under a corne mowe in one of the barnes 
att Duncklin where they weare seene within a yeare and a halfe 
last past by one Thomas Lovell, a workman belonging to that 
house, as he tould this informer. 

"And this informer doth further informe upon his oath that 
about a year last past beinge att Bridgnorth in company with 
Edward Powys, of the citty of Worcester, bookbinder, and others 
drinking together, hee this informer heard the said Powys begin A 
health to the good proceeding of the king's army in Scotland, 
likewise A health to the queene his mother, and the third health 
to the confusion of the Parliament, and that hee began all these 3 
healths together, but none of the company would pledge the same, 
some of them answering that they would drinke to ye conversion 
but not to the confusion of any. And that Steephen Dowty of the 
Morphe and his servant William Lawde were then in company, and 
further doth not informe." 

"Articles" were "exhibited" (that is, an information was 
laid) in the year 1655, against Walter Moyle, of Ombersley, 
yeoman, for being a profane man, and for that " one day he 
publicly drank the health of the devil, and fell down as one 
dead, to ye amazement and terrour of ye beholders ; and that 
in the time of the late war he did threaten his neighbours, 
when the king's forces were in rendevouze at Oddingley 
Heath, with plunder unlesse they would repaire in armes to 
that randezvooze." 

On the 5th of October, 1685, John Bartlam, of Whitbourne, 
laid an information that "in hay harvest last (before this 
neighbourhood heard that Monmouth was routed), this infor- 
mant, riding upon the road near Knightsford bridge, there met 
a man that tould him that Monmouth was then the head 


man in England, and that it was in every man's mouth in 
Worcester, and that any man might speak it, and that he 
would proclaim it at Knightsford bridge (as he had at Broad- 
heath, Martley, and other places, as he came along), although 
it was so near Captain Clent's ; and that if any one questioned 
it he would be at Knightsford bridge to answer it ; that his 
name was Kent, and he lived in Powick's Lane, Worcester." 
In 1687, Thomas Knight, of Castlemorton, was summoned to 
appear at the Sessions, and to give evidence against Charles 
Jakeman for drinking the Duke of Monmouth's health. 

SJraireller's |) assort. 

HE following document, included among the rolls, is 
dated 1680, from Whitehall: 

"Dame Mary Yatc, having asked his majesty's permission to 
pass beyond the seas, for the recovery of her health, his majesty 
was most graciously pleased to grant her request, under the usual 
clauses and provisoes, according to which ye said Dame Mary 
Yate having given security not to enter into any plott or conspiracy 
against his majesty or his realms, or behave herself in any such 
manner as may be prejudicial to his majesty's government, or 
the religion here by law established, and that she will not repaire 
to the city of Roome, or return unto this kingdome without first 
acquainting one of his majesty's principal secretaries of state, and 
obtaining leave for the same, in pursuance of his majesty's commands 
in council hereby will and require you to permit and suffer the 
said Dame Mary Yate to imbarque with her trunkes of apparel 
aiid other necessaries not prohibited at any port of this kingdom, 
and from thence to pass beyond the seas, provided that she? 



departe this kingdom within 14 days after the date hereof" 
April 14. 

If the above refers to the celebrated Lady Mary Yate 
(a daughter of the house of Pakington) who is commemorated 
on a monument in Chaddesley Church as having died in 1696, 
at the age of 86, she must have been 70 years old when these 
precautions were taken by the Government against the poor 
old lady attempting to invade the country or to comfort the 
Pope with her presence and support. Dame Mary Yate 
was no doubt a Roman Catholic, and the permission above 
referred to was granted under the 7th section of the statute 
3rd James I, chap. 5, which was virtually repealed by the 
statute 43rd George III, chap. 30, which exempted Roman 
Catholics from all the penalties and restrictions mentioned 
and enjoined in the older acts, if in one of the Courts at 
Westminster or at the Quarter Sessions they made a declara- 
tion which to them was unobjectionable. 


>PTON bridge seems to have been a nuisance to the 
county ever since the time of the Civil Wars, when 
one of its arches was destroyed for purposes of 
defence. Frequent complaint was made of its dilapidations, 
and in 1757 the Sessions ordered that a frigate should be 
bought "for carrying workmen, stone, and other purposes, 
about the said repairs." Mr. Sheward was appointed super- 
intendent of the said bridge in 1775, at the salary of one 
guinea a year. 

A presentment was made in 1661, that "the causeways and 


horse bridges leading from the city of Worcester to London, 
and towards the city of Gloucester, which ought, as wee 
humbly conceave, to be mayntayned and repaired by the 
Dean and Chapter, are very defective and out of repaire." 
About five years later the capitular body were again presented 
" for not repairing a certain causeway leading from a certain 
messuage called or known by the name of ye Three Crowns, 
St. Peter's, to a place called Red Hill Cross, in the said 
parish, and soe from thence to a place called Whitton Pound, 
thence to a place called Staple Cross in the parish of Norton, 
being the London road, and likewise one other causeway 
leading from the newly-erected inn called ye White House, 
through the parish of St. Peter's, at a place called darken 
Lipp, in the parish of Kempsey, being the road leading to 
Bristol." And for the third time, in 1689, the Dean and 
Chapter were presented "for not repairing their causeways 
from outside Sidbury gate to the further end of Clarkenlip, 
upon ye Gloster road." In the Townsend Manuscript (else- 
where alluded to) it is recorded that " by virtue of a commis- 
sion dated March, 1 652, out of Chancery for charitable uses, 
the Commissioners sat on the 12th January, 1653, and by the 
oaths of 12 men on the inquiry, did order and decree that the 
several manors and lands of the Dean and Chapter of the 
Cathedral Church of Worcester were charged by way of 
repriz. for the payment of 40 yearly towards the repayres 
of the several highways therein expressed, and should so 
continue for ever. The like for 106. 13s. 4d. for 40 poor 
schollers of the grammar school at the Colledg unto every of 
them four marks per annum, the high master 40 marks, the 
under master 10 marks, 52. 10s. per ann. towards ye releefe 
of ten poore old men, and 40 yerely to the poore of 
Worcester and St. Michael's, by 7s. 3d. in money and 7s. 8d. 
in bread to be distributed weekly ; and it was ordered, 3 June, 


10 Car., for the Clerk of the Peace to see the 40 for the 
Dean and Chapter to be imployed for the use of the causeys, 
one from Worcester to Redhill Cross, and the other towards 
Kempsey, and he to pay the same to the surveyors." The 
Dean and Chapter were liable to repair these roads ratione 
tenures, that is by reason of their being the owners of certain 
lands. These roads are now repaired by the turnpike tolls ; 
but if the tolls became inadequate, and the Dean and Chapter 
were before liable to the repair, they would still continue to 
to be so now. 

-o-> -o- 

Cfct flspe. 

)EDDITCH is stated as having been visited with 
this scourge in 1625, when the poor people being 
thrown out of work, it was ordered, under the 
statute of 1st James I, that Bromsgrove pay 12s. per 
week, Belbroughton 6s., Cofton Hackett Is., Northfield 4s., 
Kingsnorton 9s., Alvechurch 5s., Beoley 6s., Feckenham 7s., 
Inkberrow 5s., Stoke Prior 4s., Upton Warren and Cookesey 
3s. towards the relief of the said poor. 

JERE somewhat numerous in the county towards the 
close of the last century. It is recorded in 1789, 
that, " upon the application of John Boles Watson, 
of Cheltenham, comedian, ordered that a licence be granted 
for the performance of such tragedies, comedies, interludes, 


operas, plays, or farces, as now are or hereafter shall be 
acted, performed, or represented at either of the patent or 
licenced theatres in the city of Westminster, or shall have 
been submitted to the inspection of the Lord Chamberlain of 
the King's household for the tune being, in the town of 
Stourbridge for the space of sixty days." William Meill, 
of Worcester, comedian, who in 1794 held the theatres of 
Worcester, Wolverhampton, Ludlow, Shrewsbury, and Stour- 
bridge, obtained similar licences for Bromsgrove and Malvern. 

Compositions to tju Ring's 

N the 20th of November, 1613, a certificate was 
sent down from Whitehall to "our very loving 
friends, the Justices of the Peace and compounders 
for the county of Worcester," which, after the usual " heartey 
commendations," &c., set forth that " Thomas Gunner, his 
Majesty's servant, under-tacker for the countie of Worcester, 
hath delivered for the service of his Majestic and his most 
hon. house, for the compost of the llth yere of his Highnes 
raigne, 20 fatt oxen, 20 fatt muttons, 20 stirks, and 40 lambs, 
all good and serviceable, and soe wee bid you heartily fare- 
well." There were two certificates in the year 1640 the one 
"that Thomas Hill, your undertaker for the composition of 
lambes, hath, on behalfe of the country, delivered into the 
office of his Majesty's Poultry at the Court, the full number 
of 150 lambes," due for the year ending the last day of Sep- 
tember ; and the other, for 20 fat oxeii, 200 fat muttons, and 


20 stirks, due for the year ending the last day of December. 
Nash states that the purveyance for this county in 1660 was 
20 oxen, or a composition of 4 a head, to be paid June 16th ; 
200 muttons, or 6s. 8d. a head, paid July 10th; 150 lambs, 
or Is. a head, August 15th ; and 20 stirks, or 10s. a head, 
October 8th. 

These compositions arose out of the prerogative of purvey- 
ance. Mr. John Bruce, F.S.A., in his "Verney Papers," 
published by the Camden Society (p. 86), says: 

" The prerogative of purveyance was one of those ancient rights 
of sovereignty which in practice were most annoying to the people. 
It consisted of the power of taking, at certain fixed low prices and 
with or without the consent of the owner, for the use of the royal 
household, any provisions which an officer called a purveyor thought 
proper to select. With that wisdom which distinguished the 
government of Queen Elizabeth, we find that this ancient right was 
not harshly enforced, but made the subject of a clear arrangement, 
which avoided in practice all the heartburnings and contentions 
which are sure to follow from carrying out an indefinite authority." 

The powers of purveyance having been suspended during 
the time of the Commonwealth, Charles II at his Restoration 
consented to resign entirely these branches of his revenue 
and power, and they were abolished by the statute 12th 
Charles II, chap. 24, Parliament granting him in lieu an 
excise duty on beer and ale of 15d. a barrel and a propor- 
tionate sum for other liquors. But temporary acts were 
subsequently passed suspending this statute in favour of the 
King's royal progresses, and in favour of the navy and 

--: > 




JI'/SMONG the valuable manuscripts in existence relating 
<?) t this county are the Dineley, Jeffries, and Town- 

V 11 send, besides those of Dr. Prattenton, now in pos- 
session of the Society of Antiquaries. To preserve these, 
with a view to publication, should be an object of solicitude 
to all literary men of the county. The Dineley Manuscripts 
(now in the possession of Sir T. E. Winnington, Bart., M.P.) 
consist of three volumes, written between 1670 and 1680 by 
Thomas Dineley, Esq., a member of one of the oldest Wor- 
cestershire families. One of the volumes contains accounts 
of his visits to many churches in this county as also to 
adjacent towns and about a dozen cathedrals ; pen and ink 
sketches of monuments, coats of arms, dresses, &c., many 
of them exquisitely done ; copies of inscriptions, both quaint 
and curious ; tracings of pedigrees, &c. ; showing the compiler 
to have been a gentleman well versed in ecclesiastical anti- 
quities, a classical scholar, acquainted with heraldry, and 
an accurate draughtsman. The second volume is entitled 
" Observations in a Voyage in the Kingdom of France, 
being a collection of several monuments, inscriptions, draughts 
of towns, &c." date 1675; and the latter part of this 
volume is devoted to a similar description of Ireland, 
with a curious dissertation on the manners and customs of 
the Irish. The filthy habits of that people in the seventeenth 
century are treated of in rather broad language, not adapted 
for the present day. The third volume has the following 
title : " The Jovrnall of my Traveils through the Low- 


Countreys, Anno D'ni 1674." It appears that in December, 
1671, Mr. Dineley went in the suite of "Sir G. Downing, 
Knt. and Bart., Ambassador from his most sacred Ma'tie to 
ye States Generall of the United Provinces." His journal 
is written in a minute but beautiful caligraphy, and denotes 
habits of judicious observation. In his notice of the town of 
Dort, in Holland, he alludes to the great abundance of salmon, 
and mentions a custom which I had long thought was by 
no means confined to our own city of Worcester : he observes, 
" It is sayd that prentices and maid servants, before they 
enter into service, indent not to be oblig'd to eat salmon 
above twice a week;" and in his account of the Irish 
(chapter on Limerick) Mr. Dineley alludes to a "salmon 
weire, out of town, having a castle without timber or nayle, 
in the middle of the river," where the custom was "to 
grant tickets for salmon gratis to all strangers who will eat 
them upon the place ; this the corpora'con is obliged to, 
though they set it for 200 per ann." In some common- 
place notes at the end of the volume is the following entry: 

"Hops among other things brought into England 15 Hen. 8. 
wherefore this rithme 

"Turkeyes, carps, hops, pickerel, and beer, 
Came into England all in one year." 

There is another of Mr. Dineley's volumes in the collection 
of the Duke of Beaufort, at Badminton ; it describes a tour 
through Wales with the President of the Marches, an an- 
cestor of the Duke's. It is mentioned in Blakeway's History 
of Shrewsbury. 


Henry Jeffries (who died in 1709), the last heir male and 
proprietor of the manor of Clifton-upon-Teme, was a man of 
some learning, and left a manuscript memorandum book in 


which he had jotted down his own observations de omnibus 
rebus, and generally in so easy and familiar a way as to render 
them agreeable as well as instructive. This relic likewise 
belongs to Sir Thomas Winnington, one of whose ancestors 
married the heiress of the Jeffries family about a century and 
a half ago. Specimens of its multifarious contents are given 
in vol. ii of " The Rambler in Worcestershire," from which 
they appear to be invested with great local interest to the 
neighbourhood of Clifton, Stanford, and Shelsey, as also to 
the general antiquary. 


There is also a Manuscript Diary of Miss Joyce Jeffries in 
the possession of Sir T. Winnington. The diary contains an 
account of the state of domestic life among the upper classes, 
during the reign of Charles I, in the counties of Worcester 
and Hereford, and relates to Ham Castle, in the parish of 
Clifton-on-Teme, where this lady resided, and the siege of 
the city of Hereford, where she also possessed a residence, 
during the calamities of civil war. It is hoped that the 
Manuscript will be published, and no one can be found more 
able for the task of editor than the Rev. J. Webb, of Tretire, 
near Ross, who has already published a most valuable work, 
of local as well as general interest, on the Household Roll of 
Bishop Swinfield of Hereford, of which I have given an 
abstract further on. 

Mistress Joyce Jeffries was the half-sister of Humphrey 
Coningsby, Esq., of Neen Sellers, a gentleman remarkable 
for his chivalrous enterprise as a traveller in the reign of 
James I. This autograph account book embraces a period 
of nine years, and embodies many curious particulars bearing 
upon the events, persons, and manners of the age, also setting 
forth the writer as the representative of a class now only to be 


seen in family pictures of the time. She lived unmarried, 
had an income of more than 500 per annum, in the expendi- 
ture of which she was very generous. Her dress was costly ; 
she employed false curls and curling irons, wore many rings, 
used spectacles, and carried a whistle suspended at her girdle 
by a yard of loop black lace probably for a little dog. A 
Cypress cat was given her by the Lady Dansey of Brinsop, 
and she kept a throstle in a twiggen cage. She had many 
god-children, to one of whom (Mistress Eliza Acton) she 
gave ,800 as a marriage portion. Madam Jeffries kept 
several servants, and went abroad in a coach drawn by two 
mares. She was very observant of the festivals and cere- 
monies of the church, and contributed to the wassell of the 
hinds when they lighted their twelve fires, and made the 
fields resound with their revelry ; and on Valentine's Day 
gave Tom Aston, Dick Gravell, or any other male, a present 
in money for coming to be her Valentine. She sent the 
mayor a present of ten shillings on his law-day, and on one 
occasion dined with him, when the waits were in attendance, 
to whom she gave money ; and she was generous to travelling 
minstrels and showmen, as "to a boy that did sing like a 
blackbird," " to Cherlickcombe and his jackanapes," and 
" to a man that had the dancing horse at the Hereford 
Midsummer fair." As to what befel her in the troubled 
time of the Civil War, the book passes from the year 1638 
to the end of 1647, during which England toiled and suffered 
under intestine strife. No county was more loyal to the royal 
cause than that of Hereford. In 1638, Mrs. Jeffries pays 
ship-money and another impost called " the king's provision," 
and finds a soldier for her property in Hereford and else- 
where. In 1641 she purchases pamphlets and news-books 
and takes an interest hi passing political events. In September, 
1642, when the Earl of Essex entered Worcester, and sent 


the Earl of Stamford to occupy Hereford, she quitted her 
town house and went to Garnons, the residence of Mr. Geere, 
a few miles distant, thinking she would be there in security ; 
but iu the plundering which took place by the Earl of 
Stamford's soldiers, immediately upon their arrival, the house 
of Mr. Geers was visited and pilfered by Captain Hammond, 
who carried off much goods, including her two bay coach 
mares. At the same time she had other property secreted 
and saved in other places. The Parliamentarians having left 
the city in December, it was reoccupied by the Royalists, and 
her friend and cousin, Fitzwilliam Coningsby, was made 
Governor ; when, besides her regular assessment, she sent 
him a present of 50 to pay his soldiers, and a bullock worth 
6. In the spring of 1643 he marched with the rest of the 
commissioners of the county and the Herefordshire levies to 
join the little army of Lord Herbert of Raglan, at Highnam 
near Gloucester, where they were all captured by Sir William 
Waller. Hereford continued unmolested till the month of 
April, and Mistress Jeffries returned for a few days to her 
house, but the report of the Parliamentarians coming once 
more to assail the city under the command of that general 
drove her once more to her retreat. Her house at Wideniarsh 
Gate suffered during his attack on the city, but she remained 
in quiet at Garnons until April, 1644. As the county was 
now seriously disturbed by the contending parties she sud- 
denly took flight again, visiting Hereford for the last time, 
and carrying off her trunks and chests and servants to Ham 
Castle, the seat of her cousin Jeffries, on the banks of the 
Teme, on the edge of the county of Worcester. Soldiers 
were still quartered in her house at Hereford, and she pays 
for work done iu making bulwarks to defend the city. At 
length, in 1645, when the whole of the suburbs were laid 
bare up to the walls by order of the governor, Colonel 


Barnabas Scudamore, her new house and several others her 
property without Widemarsh Gate were pulled down. She 
takes this as a matter of course, without comment upon the 
hardship of the proceeding, and upon all occasions shows a 
cheerful and contented mind. In many other respects she felt 
the effects of the war, and symptoms of them frequently 
appear in her accounts. She contributed to the lecturers 
introduced into the churches ; her cousin's child was " baptised 
after the new directory;" and the committee men laid their 
hands on her property and straitened her means, though she 
still persevered in the unwearied exercise of humanity and 
in bestowing her charity on others. As she advances in years 
her accounts exhibit a trait or two of her approaching infirmi- 
ties : she loses various small articles of value spectacles and 
rings, which her servants find and bring to her, and are 
rewarded accordingly ; and the recurrence of this excites 
some suspicion of their knavery. The death of her cousin 
Herbert Jeffries, at Ham Castle, in consequence of his 
breaking his leg, disturbed her tranquillity, and is described 
with melancholy minuteness. Age seems to have neither 
abated her generous feeling nor the ardour of her domestic 
affections. She was always interested in those events which 
usually bring joy to families and occasion entries in our 
parochial registers. The union of Miss Acton, her god- 
daughter, with Mr. Francis Geers, and a christening that 
took place at Ham Castle a very short time before her death 
(the child receiving her own Christian name), was to her a 
source of infinite pleasure. She went on, " giving " to some 
and " forgiving " others, to the close of her beneficent career. 
She died in April, 1648, and was buried in the chancel of 
the parish church of Clifton-upon-Teme, where her memory 
is still revered by those to whom her existence and character 
are known. 



One of the Townsend Manuscripts is in the possession of 
Mr. G. E. Roberts, of Kidderminster. It is an interleaved 
copy of " The Compleat Justice. London, 1661," in octavo; 
and consists of 420 pages letterpress, and 470 in manuscript. 
It is well bound in calf, with initials of the Knight ("H. T.)" 
impressed on sides, and autograph on fly-leaf. Sir Henry's 
aim may have been to render it a book of legal reference, as 
upon one of the first leaves he gives a key to a great part of 
the Manuscript in a list of authorities quoted. But amongst 
them exists much matter of a more interesting nature. The 
following list of the more valuable mems. will afford an idea 
of their character. 

"1. Orders at Quarter Sessions for the raising of monies for the 
repair of Worcester after the battle, 13th Jan.. 1651. 

"2. Sundry criminal cases tried at Sessions, between 1651 and 1662. 

" 3. Laws respecting ' Alehowses consented to, vpon presentmt of 
ye Grand Jury,' within the county, 1660. 

"4. Limitation of 'Alehowses' within the county, 1649; with lists 
of ' ye certeyn number allowed.' 

"5. Forms of binding 'Apprentizes to Husbandry,' 1650. 

" 6. Copies of Royal proclamation : 17 Jan. 1660, 12 Car. 2. 
Commanding all officers to forbear seizing arms or other munitions 
without warrant. 26 April, 1662, 14, Car. 2. Setting rates for all 
provisions sold within the limits of the Court. 29 Jan., 1660. For- 
bidding the eating of flesh in Lent, and all other fish days. 17 Jan. 
1662 The same. 16 Aug., 1661. Limiting the number of horses 
in carriers' waggons. 29 Sept., 1662. The same. 19 April, 1661. 
Against seamen sen-ing foreign Princes. 13 Aug., 1660. Against 
duels. 30 Dec., 1661. For the better discovering of thefts, offering 
rewards of knowledge of the offenders. 9 May, 1661. To put in 
execution an old statute, for the relief of the poor. 30 May, 1660. 
Against profanity. No date. Against the planting of tobacco. 
(With orders of Sessions respecting it, 1662 ) 16 Jan. 1660. 


Authorising search for seditious papers. 10 Jan., 1660. Forbidding 
seditious meetings. 

" 7. Mems. on the Act of Oblivion, 1660, also notes from Sir E. 
Hyde's speech thereon. 

" 8. Orders of Court respecting bridges at Tenbury, Rnightsford, 
Home, Stanford, 'Stone bridg in Alfric,' and Haford; also, the 
parishes of Hartlebury, Lindridge, and Wolverley exempted from 
county payments towards repair of bridges. 

" 9. ' My Lord Couentry's Letter to ye Justices of ye County, con- 
cerning Certificats about fyre,' 1661. 

" 10. Heads of the Act of Uniformity, 1662. 

"11. Charges of Sir Waddem Wyndham and Sir Robert Hyde, 
at Worcester and Gloucester Assizes. (Many.) 

" 12. Order of Sessions, 3 Jan., 1660. That all cottages erected 
in the time of the late wars be plucked down. 

" 13. Table of fees agreed on, Worcester Sessions, 15 April, 9 Car., 
for Clerk of Assize ; also fees for Clerk of the Peace, 1662. 

" 14. Orders and mems. respecting the County Gaol, 1660. 

" 1 5. Inquiry by a Royal Commission into the Cathedral School at 
Worcester, 1653 ; and results in detail. 

" 16. Orders of Sessions respecting the New House of Correction, 
1659, and against making of malt within the county, 6th Car. 2. 

" 17. Orders respecting the pensions of the Muster Master and 
Provost Marshall, 1660. 

"18. Punishment of Quakers at Sessions, 1661. 

" 19. Orders of the King's Majesty, made 1636, concerning the 

" 20. Orders of Sessions respecting the poor people of this county. 

" 21. Charges of Mr. Baron Atkins, Worcester, 1683-4. 

" 22. Orders of Sessions for payments to wounded soldiers, 1651. 

" 23. Heads of the charges delivered by Bp. Gauden, Worcester, 

" 24. Interesting notes on witchcraft, and trial of witches." 

The original Diary of Mr. Henry Townsend, of Elmley 
Court, Worcestershire, for 1640-2, 1656-61, is in the posses- 
sion of Sir T. Phillipps, Bart., and has been recommended to 
the Camden Society to be edited by Mrs. Mary Ann Everett 


Green, whose intention, I believe, it is to do so this year 


A Manuscript was recently discovered in the Worcester 
Chapter library, which is believed to be unique in this 
country at least there is no record of any similar one 
having ever been found here it is Vacarius's Epitome of 
the Roman law. A description of this valuable manuscript 
was recently published in the " Legal Examiner " by Mr. 
Hastings, barrister -at -law, of Worcester. Vacarius was 
a celebrated Italian doctor of law, a native of Lombardy, 
who it is supposed was brought to this country by Theobald, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, and became professor of law at 
Oxford, in the reign of Stephen. There he introduced the 
study of the Roman law, just then reviving throughout 
Europe, after the discovery of the Pandects at Amalfi ; there 
also he wrote his famous work, comprising an epitome of the 
whole Roman law, for the use of his very numerous pupils. 
At length, either through jealousy or Papal influence, he was 
forbidden to lecture, was banished from the University, and 
his books ordered to be destroyed. It is supposed that he 
himself took holy orders and retired to a monastery. Although 
his numerous pupils, on leaving Oxford, had each, no doubt, 
for the most part secured a copy for themselves, no record 
exists of one having ever been found in England during the 
seven centuries which succeeded, so effectual was the royal 
mandate for their destruction. The only instance in which 
Vacarius is known to be mentioned by any of our legal writers 
is by Blackstone, who merely states the fact of the introduc- 
tion of the civil law into England by such a personage, and 
for a long time Vacarius was thought to be nothing more than 
a mythological embodiment of the introduction of Roman 


law into this country. On the continent the only four copies 
of his work known to be in existence are deposited in the 
libraries of Konigsberg, Prague, and Bruges, and one in the 
possession of the Emperor of Russia. Great search has been 
made in our public libraries, and those of the cathedrals espe- 
cially, as it was thought that had any copies survived the 
order for their destruction, they would have been stored in 
the monasteries, and from thence been transferred to our 
cathedrals at the Reformation ; but the inquiry was entirely 
unsuccessful until a few months ago, when a copy was found 
in the Worcester Chapter library, concealed under the name 
of the ''Code of Justinian." Every reasonable proof of its 
identity has been given, although the title is missing. It is 
otherwise in good preservation, and beautifully written and 
illuminated. It need not be added how valuable the manu- 
script is as a monument of the first introduction of the Roman 
law into England after the Norman Conquest. The manuscript 
should be preserved, newly bound, and the missing portions 
supplied by copying from one of the other existing manu- 
scripts. Then some enterprising publisher should give it to 
the world in English (as Mr. Bohn has done for the Norman 
and Saxon Chronicles). 


Mr. Cadby, bookseller, of 83, New Street, Birmingham, 
recently advertised for sale " Some Memoirs relating to the 
Church and City of Worcester, collected by one of the Antient 
Family of the Abingtons, which came to the hands of Robert 
Dobyns, late of Easbath, and now of the City of Hereford, 
Esq., who, out of the Love he bears to the said Church and 
City where he was Born and Baptised, transmitted this Copy 
to the Library at Worcester, there to be kept, supposing the 
original to be lost in the late Civill Warrs ; small folio, old 


vellum, neatly written in contracted German characters, 
about the period of Elizabeth and James I, 143 pp., 20 
Guineas. The original could not be found when the above 
was bequeathed, nor has it been heard of since ; consequently 
this is the only one in existence, and must now take the place 
of the original." I have not myself seen this Manuscript, 
but a friend informs me that it wears the appearance of genu- 
ineness. After referring to Worcester in connection with 
Roman times, its possession by the Wiccian Kings is spoken 
of, and then the foundation of the bishopric in A.D. 680. Year 
by year it records the events in the history of the bishopric 
up to 1486, which is the last date. Some reference is also 
made to the city, but the bishopric and its various prelates 
occupy most of the book. The chief towns and villages in 
the county are also referred to. 


" A roll of the household expenses of Richard de Swinneld, 
Bishop of Hereford, during part of the years 1289 and 1290." 
This valuable Manuscript was discovered about forty years 
ago by Dr. Prattinton, of Bewdley, among the muniments at 
Stanford Court, the seat of Sir T. E. Wilmington, Bart. Dr. 
Prattinton made an abstract of it, which he presented, with 
his other Worcestershire papers, to the Society of Anti- 
quaries; but it was not till the year 1853 that the roll was 
edited and published, when the Rev. John Webb, of Tretire, 
undertook the task, and by his extensive research in mediaeval 
history has succeeded in converting the meagre materials 
of the roll presenting as it does nearly the earliest picture 
of English life in existence into a most interesting detail 
of the character and events, the manners and customs of the 
thirteenth century, so as to attract considerable notice among 
antiquaries. The work was printed in two volumes, in 1853 



and 1854, for the Camden Society; and as some portions of 
the Bishop's itinerary through his diocese is connected with 
Worcestershire I shall make a few extracts and comments 
thereon : 

Salt was purchased by the Bishop's household (when at 
Col wall) from Worcester, and supplied from the pits at Droit- 
wich. His lordship's cook also made purchases at Worcester, 
(having been sent from Colwall for the purpose), and a large 
supply of ware in cups, plates, and dishes, was laid in against 
the Paschal entertainment at Colwall ; so that this city, it 
would seem, was famous even six centuries ago for the manu- 
facture of table ware, though composed of a different material 
from that which has rendered its products celebrated in the 
present day. Here also the prelate sent for a new bridle 
and saddle, on which Mr. Webb remarks " Worcester might 
then have been, what it certainly in after times has been, 
more advanced than Hereford in the arts of life." The 
Bishop had some land in this county and a house in the city 
of Worcester. 

The editor notices the prolific vines that cover the cottages 
in the counties of Worcester, Gloucester, and Hereford. 
Bishop Swinfield's vineyard at Ledbury yielded seven pipes 
of white wine and nearly one of verjuice in the autumn of 
1 289. Bristol was the great mart for foreign wine, and the 
custom was to send a " squire " to make the purchase there 
and accompany the cargo up the Severn home, to prevent 
the malpractices of boatmen, who it seems were as much 
inclined to " suck the monkey " in those days as at present. 
The wine was usually landed at Upton and thence conveyed 
by land carriage to Bosbury, where was the Bishop's favourite 
residence. No mention is made of Herefordshire cider in 
that century, nor is the date of its introduction known. 

John de Kemesye, the Bishop's steward and treasurer ( and 


the writer of this roll ), belonged to a good family who took 
their name from the village of Kempsey, four miles south of 
Worcester. Walter of that name was instituted to the vicarage 
of Lindridge in July, 1 277, and presented, in November, 1292, 
by the convent of Worcester, to the church of St. Martin, in 
the same city. Thomas de Kemesye was the abbot of 
Tewkesbury who received the benediction from Godfrey 
Giffard, Bishop of Worcester, on Trinity Sunday, 1282. The 
Bishops of Worcester had a palace at Kempsey, at which 
Henry II held his Court, and Simon de Montfort, with his 
royal prisoner, Henry III, lodged previously to the battle of 
Evesham. The writer of this roll was long remembered 
in the church of Kempsey, where he founded a chantry 
well endowed for masses at the altar of the blessed Virgin, 
for his welfare in life, his own soul, those of his parents 
and benefactors, and of all the faithful departed. He left 
rents for a taper to burn before her altar, and in his grants 
for these purposes took special heed to secure the respect- 
ability of such as should officiate at these services, by regu- 
lations drawn up with the minutest care. 

In the year 1275 two questions respecting church property 
in the county of Worcester came under the decision of trial 
by combat : one on June 25th, in Hardwick Meadow, for the 
church of Tenbury, which was adjusted, after all, without 
duel, in favour of the Abbot of Lyra ; a second, on July 9th, 
was for the bailiwick of Hembury (Hanbury ?) and here the 
Bishop of Worcester's champion vanquished the champion of 
Philip de Stok. The Bishop of Hereford likewise kept a 
champion in his suite, who received regular wages ; and when 
Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, laid claim to the chase 
on the western slopes of the Malvern range, the Bishop's 
representative was prepared to do battle in the lists if need 
were ; but a jury, composed of men drawn from the counties 

L 9 


of Worcester and Hereford, decided in favour of the church, 
and a trench of separation between the two possessions was 
made by the disappointed Earl along the ridge of the hill, 
where it remains a memorial of the contest to the present 

Foresters were in general an impudent and abandoned 
race. Those of Feckenham, where the king had a palace or 
hunting seat, incurred his particular displeasure by their 
depredations. He dealt summarily with them in the spring 
of 1289-90, when he progressed there, by committing some 
of them to prison, and some he fined. On April 2nd he 
admitted all the latter to bail to appear at Woodstock by 
the 5th of that month, in Easter week, and there he fixed 
their fines. In the following autumn they insulted the Prior 
of Worcester, near Herforton (Harvington 2) as he was tra- 
velling along the road, robbed his servants of their bows 
and arrows, and sounded their horns on all sides against 
him. But the monk of Worcester who narrates this circum- 
stance does not tell us what may be learned elsewhere, and 
was perhaps one cause of the insult, that his own Prior had 
'been a trespasser in the said forest, and was fined for it. 
The Bishop of Worcester also was a trespasser, and paid 500 
while the Prior paid 200 marks. (See further account of 
this in vol. iii, p. 149, of the "Rambler in Worcestershire.") 
In case of trespass by hunting or border hostility the foresters 
and others used to shout and blow their horns, to bring in 
the country to their aid. Hence the northern border tenure 
of cornage. 

On occasion of episcopal visitations, the clergy visited were, 
except in special cases, bound to provide food, &c., for the 
Bishop and his attendants, but sometimes the suite was so 
numerous as to lead to great inconvenience. In 1290, 
Godfrey, Bishop of Worcester, in spite of canonical prohi- 


bition, being at variance with the Prior and Convent of 
Worcester, came to visit them with 140 horses and a multi- 
tude of attendants, and continued with them three days ; but 
this was not done without an appeal on the part of the Prior. 
The Bishop turned the Prior out of the chamber ; and it 
seems like an aggressive act that need not have been com- 
mitted, if then, as since, the Bishop had a palace hard by 
the Cathedral. For remedy of such encroachments the 
Lateran Council, under Pope Alexander III, had specially 
defined the limits of bishops' and archdeacons' trains. Bishop 
Godfrey Gifiard frequently preached at visitations, and some 
of the texts of his discourses addressed to religious houses 
are extant in his register ; an instance of which is as 
follows : " Procurationes Episcopi. Item, die Jovis in crastino 
beati Michaelis, dominus Episcopus visitavit apud Sanctum 
Augustinum Bristollise, et prsedicavit ibi, prsesentibus priore 
et monachis Sancti Jacobi de Bristollia, et magistro ac suis 
fratribus Sancti Martii de ordin', cujus thema fuit : ' Videam 
voluptatem Domini et visitem templum ejus.' ( Psalm xxvi, 4.) 
Et procuratus fuit eodem die sumptibus domus." 

In the course of a visitation tour, Bishop Swinfield came 
to Tenbury, in the archdeaconry of Salop and deanery of 
Burford. The Norman abbey of Lyra held the great tithes ; 
the vicarial amounted to just one half of them, 6. 13s. 4d. 
The associate of the dominus proctor, who helped to manage the 
revenues of the convent, was ready with his procuration for 
the party. After visiting Burford, they came to Lindridge, 
and visited the church, which had been both a rectory and 
vicarage ; these, however, upon the recent death of the late 
vicar, Walter, in 1288, had been united under the present 
rector, John de Buterlee ( Bitterley ), and were valued 
jointly at 13. 6s. 8d. per annum. The reason for this 
proceeding, illustrative of the state of affairs in the church, 


is expressly set forth in the instrument framed for that 
purpose ; that whereas it had been canonically provided that 
ecclesiastical benefices should not be divided ; and that such 
as for certain causes had been divided, upon cessation of such 
causes should on the first opportunity be restored to their 
integrity, so that it should be one church, one rector ; and 
that no rector of a parish church should employ a vicar, 
but be bound to serve it himself, as the cure thereof requires ; 
unless a dignity or prebend be annexed to the said church, 
when the institution or creation of a vicar might be allowed. 
And whereas he (John de Bitterley) professed himself ready 
to reside personally on his church of Lindridge as the law 
required, there being no reasonable cause why there should 
be a vicar in the said church, the vicarage and rectory were 
perpetually united with all rights and appurtenances, emolu- 
ment, burden, and cure. It may however be added, that 
this integrity came again, within a few years, to be more 
permanently violated by the appropriation of the great tithes 
to the Prior and Convent of Worcester, by special grant of 
the King, with consent of the Bishop of Hereford. Edward 
wrote a letter to his chancellor in French, directing that it 
might be translated into Latin, and sent by a clerk of the 
chancery to the chapter of Hereford ; another instance of 
the employment of the French language in this reign. The 
rector of Lindridge discharged his duty of procuration ; 
and on the following day (April 15) they moved forward 
in the direction of Bewdley to Aka ( Rock ). The parishes to 
which the visitor was directing his attention in this quarter 
lay within a small compass. Master William Brun was 
rector in 1276, and no subsequent incumbent has been 
detected up to this year of visitation. The value of the 
benefice was the same as that of Lindridge. Out of many 
of these benefices payments were made in other quarters ; 


as in this instance: the Prior of Ware was paid 2. 13s. 4d. 
and the Prior of Conches 2. Out of Lindridge the Prior of 
Worcester received 6. 13s. 4d. Procuration was duly fur- 
nished here ; and this is the fifth day since any expense 
on the part of the Bishop was incurred. On arriving at 
Kinlet, the visiting party were obliged to have recourse to 
Kidderminster for supplies. Robert the carter was the 
purveyor ; he had a guide to attend him, probably through 
the intervening forest of Wyre, and paid for passing the 
Severn on his way to and from the town. 

I cannot conclude my notice of this interesting Manu- 
script without strongly reccommending my readers to possess 
themselves of a copy of Mr. Webb's admirable publication. 


u Memoirs of Dr. Robert Skinner, Bishop of Worcester, 
who died 1670." Several manuscript volumes, in the hand- 
writing of the Right Rev. Dr. White Kennett, Bishop of 
Peterborough, are to be found in the British Museum (MS. 
Lansdown, 986, fol. 135), containing biographies of distin- 
guished ecclesiastics, one of whom was Bishop Skinner of 
Worcester. This prelate was elected to the see of Bristol in 
1*136, translated to that of Oxford in 1641, and to Worcester 
in 1663. While he lived in the tunes of usurpation, being 
deprived of his see, he remained in his diocese comforting 
his clergy, and ordaining those who were willing to enter 
the church, and was supposed to be the sole bishop that 
during that time conferred holy orders. Immediately after 
his Majesty's return an hundred and three persons did at 
once take holy orders from him in the Abbey Church at 
Westminster. At his death it was computed that he had sent 
more labourers into the vineyard than all his brethren he 
then left behind him had done. His biographer observes 


that, in the see of Worcester, he became by his many tenants 
more esteemed than family or friends because of his goodness 
as a landlord. He died an octogenarian, and was buried in 
a chapel at the east end of the choir of the Cathedral Church 
at Worcester ; over his grave was soon after laid a flat stone, 
at the head of which are engraved the arms of his family, 
impaled with those of the see, surmounted by a mitre, and 
underneath is a long Latin inscription. 

In the Bodleian Manuscript, Tanner 45, fol. 19, is a letter 
to Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury, interesting, though 
trivial, as applicable to the affairs of Worcester Cathedral. 

"May it please your Grace, Tandem aliquando I present your 
grace with all the papers that make (and as with humble submission, 
I conceive) are requisite in Mr. Deane of Worcester's defence against 
Mr. Hathaway's pretences and allegations about the choire organ 
made and fixt, and the great organ to be made, but now bargained 
for. And the reason I sent these papers up no sooner was my 
longing hope and endeavour to have made Mr. George Dallow's 
testimonie more pregnant and evident touching the promise of 
Hathaway and Dr. Gibbons to help him to this organ-worke at Wor- 
cester, but, to my satisfaction, there is more than probabilitie there 
had been monie enough to have satisfied Gibbons and Hathaway and 
Talbott, had it been in the Deane's power to have made a bargain, 
they well knew Mr. Deane's (Dr. Warmstrey) utter ignorance in re 
musica. They knew he was, as it is in the Greek proverbe, OVOQ 
vpoc \vpav, had no more skill in an organ than a beast that hath 
no understanding, and 'tis very considerable that Hathaway should 
dare to addresse a complaint at Council Board, when for above a 
whole yeare, Mr. Deane having forbidden him to proceede to the 
worke of the great organ, he never applied himselfe neither to Mr. 
Deane nor to the Chapter, nor to the Visitor, continuing his visitacion 
for nine months at least, no complaint all this while ever heard of, 
and for y e materials provided it signifies nothing, unlesse it did 
appeare they were provided for this organ, when soone after he had 
made the choire organ he was forbidden to proceed any farther. 
With Mr. Harrison (who was old Dallow's servant and married his 


daughter) I twice conferred about his testimonie, and he told me he 
would make good all he said upon oath, and make it good to all the 
organists in England, and if your grace shall secretly object, old 
Hesiod's testimonie in y case, Kat KTipafiivg K;por/m <j>9ovvti, an 
artist malignes his brother artist. I rely very much on Mr. Tomkin's 
skill, bred in his cradle and all his life among organs, who is an 
excellent organist, and has ever maintained an organ in his house, 
his letter will show what his judgment was before this difference was 
started. Little reason have I had to interpose in the least in Mr. 
Deane's case, but I cannot forbear to stand up for innocence, though 
joyned with much follie. I have returned a certificate to his 
Majestie's instructions about hospitalls, and by the grace of God shall 
returne a full answer to your grace's instructions about church 
affaires in y* due time. The Lorde in the meane time preserve your 
grace in health and safetie and y e comforts of his blessed spirit. 

" May it please your grace, I am your grace's most obliged and 
most obedient humble servant, 

" Worcester, Aug. 5, 1665." " RO. WIGORN. 

The Bishop was cousin of Richard Skynner, of Cofton 
Hackett, the eldest son of Edward Skinner, of Ledbury, 
who purchased that manor for him from the Dyneley family, 
upon his marriage with his first wife, Miss Dyneley ; and of 
Dr. William Skynner, his brother, fellow of All Soul's, 
Oxford; 1612, LL.D. March 31 ; 1625, chancellor of Hereford, 
April 29,1626; rector of Beckenham, Kent, 1628; and in 
1650 deprived of his living by the Parliament in favour of 
John Soter, and never restored, as he died at Ledbury, 1657, 
aged 66. This Richard's will showed, by his selection of 
his executors, and the course pursued by them in the Civil 
Wars, how friendships were broken ; two, his brother-in-law, 
Sir Edward Lyttleton, Baronet, and Sir Edward Sebright, 
Baronet, were fined by Parliament as Royalists, and one was 
Humphrey Salwey, also married to a Miss Lyttleton, whom 
he styles his dear brother Humphrey Salwey, and whose son 
sat as one of the judges on the trial of King Charles I, 


and was M.P. for Worcestershire in the Long Parliament. A 
younger son of the Bishop's, William, was by his father 
appointed rector of Hartlebury, and there is a monument to 
his memory in that church. There was also another member 
of the Ledbury family connected with this county, as having 
been a member of the Oxford circuit, the Right Hon. Sir 
John Skynner, Knight, Lord Chief Baron. He was grandson 
of Edward Skynner, of Ledbury, and Margaret, his wife. 
On the 15th March, 1757, he was one of the counsel present 
in court, at the Worcester Assizes, when, between two and 
three o'clock, p.m., as Sir Eardly Wilmot began to sum up 
in the last cause, a stack of chimneys fell through the roof, 
killing many. The counsel then in court, being five in number, 
saved themselves under the stout table, and of these, four 
Aston, Nares, Ashurst, and Skynner after became judges ; 
the fifth dying a king's counsel. We find traces of this old 
Ledbury family hi this county, for in Nash's History of 
Worcestershire, vol. 2, we read that in the east window of 
the south aisle of Little Malvern Church are the arms of 
John Alcock, who was Bishop of Worcester from 1476 to 
1486, and, in the south part of the same window is written 
"Orate pro animabus Roberti Skinner et Isabellse, uxoris 
ejus, et filiorum suorum et filiarum." Richard Skinner, of 
Cofton, served the office of sheriff of Worcestershire in the 
4th of Charles I (1628), and Edmund Skinner, of Wich- 
enford, in the 12th George I (1726). The arms of Skinner 
are " Sable, a chevron or, between three griffins' heads 


In Sir Thomas Winnington's library at Stanford is a bundle 
of manuscripts, being a survey of the parsonages and other 
church livings in the Doddingtree hundred of Worcestershire, 


date 1665, or returns made to a visitation by order of the 
Lord Protector Cromwell. These returns include thirty-three 
parishes or places, namely, Bockleton, Pensax, Knighton-on- 
Teme alias Kington, Lindridge, Alfrick, Suckley, Little Kyre, 
Hanley Child, Orleton, Hanley William, Eastham, Tenbury, 
Cotheridge, Edwyn Loach, Shelsley Walsh, Lower Sapey, 
Clifton-on-Teme, Acton Beauchamp, Great Witley, Shelsley 
Beauchamp, Abberley alias Abbotsley, Stanford, Kyre Wyard, 
Aka alias Rock, Bewdley, Ribsford, Stockton, Martley, Bayton, 
Mamble, Dodenham, Astley, and Shrawley. As an abstract of 
some of the details may be interesting, I here present them. 

The warrant from the Commissioners, dated October 20th of 
the above year, required " fower or five sufficient inhabitants 
of every parrish to enquier by all good wayes and meanes to 
finde out the trueth and worth of the true value, by the yeare, 
of church lyvinges, and the qualityes of the severall incum- 
bants," &c. Accordingly the presentments are signed by 
constables, churchwardens, and, as it is quaintly expressed in 
some instances, by " other knowinge men of the said parrish." 
The Commissioners were " the Right Worship'le Edward 
Pits, Esq., William Jeffreys, Esq., Nicholas Acton, Esq., 
John Lathum, Esq., Henry James, Gent." 

BOCKLETON. John Barneby, Esq., had recently obtained a 
lease of the parsonage house, glebe lands, and tithes, for the 
lives of his three sons, paying a yearly rent of 8 for the 
same to the treasurer of Hereford Cathedral. Mr. Timothy 
Harris was curate at 10 a year, paid by Mr. Barneby. 
" Hath a very spacious church and seaventy-three houses and 
ffamilyes within itt." Tithes worth about 50. 

PENSAX. Church "supplied by Richard Wilkes, minister 
of gods holy word, who is an able pracher and doth for the 
most pte prach twise every Lords day ; and hath for hia 
sallary all the promts ecclesiasticall yssuing out of Pensax 


aforesaid wch doth amount unto eleven pounds p. ann. or 
thereaboute ; and the reason why it is soe small is ; because 
all the tyeth come and graine (except home closses) formerly 
belonging to the Deane and Chapiter doth not come to the 
minister but is leased out to one Henry Pennell worth 20 
pounds p. ann. or there aboute ; and as for our minister we 
are very well contented wth him and he wth us and doe desire 
we may continue as we are, and wee desire the greate tythes 
may come in for the maintaineance of the minister when the 
leasse is expired. Item. Our church is scituate wth very 
great conveniency as neere as may be iudged about the 
midst of the p'ish where the congregation may come twise 
in the day in due and seasonable times to heare Gods 
word taught and prached and is an auncient place of 
buriall ; and yf it should be united to any other church 
some of our congregation would have two miles and a halfe 
to the neerest church to us ; or there aboute ; and besides 
we have a populous congregation insoemuch that our church 
is very full upon most Lords dayes ; and we have many 
aged many lame and impotent p'sons of our congregation ; wch 
(yf our church should be annexed to any other p'ish) would 
be deprived of hearing the word of God the spirituall food of 
their soules wch is the onely ordinary meanes of salvation." 
KNIGHTON. Chapel appendant to Lindridge ; Dean and 
Chapter of Worcester, patrons ; the tithes which came to the 
minister's share were ,20 per ann. " Our mynister is Mr. 
Edward Shawe whoe preacheth and expoundeth constantly 
uppon the lords dayes." " The teyth corne and grayne are 
leased out to on Maior Inet for a terme yet endurynge at a 
c'teyne yearly rent wch goeth to pay augmentacon in this 
county as we are informed ; the value is aboute thirty pounds 
a-yeare." " Our townshipp of Knighton and the villages 
thereunto belonginge are distant from Lindridge church about 


two myles and some pts thereof three myles and the waves 
thereof verry fowle and deepe in the tyme of wynter neyther 
is the church of Lyndridge large enough to hould or conteyne 
the one half of Knighton and Lindridge prishioners as hath 
been heretofore c'tified to the p'liamt* by Mr. Jon. Gyles 
mynister of Lyndridge and div'rs others p'ishion'rs there. 
Moreover our chappell of Knighton hath all p'ochial rytes 
belonginge unto it and our chappell is larger then the church 
of Lyndridge and besydes we have a very fayre gallary 
therin. There are also in Knighton above threescore 
ffamylies and div'rs of them very aged, And furthermore 
Knighton by p'porcon ( proportion) is the one half of a towne 
of oyer, And our chappell standeth neere aboute the middest 
of Knighton aforesaid and therefore we conceave that o'r 
chappell is fitt to be made a p'ish church in regard the 
place is very populous & large as aforesaid, And therefore 
we conceave if the teyth of corne and grayne might be 
annexed to the said chappeU it would be a considerable 
meanes to mayteyne a preachinge mynister in regarde it 
goeth to pay augmentation to other places." 

LINDRIDGE. "The Dean and Chapter of Worcester had 
the presentation thereof, but now wee know not in whose 
presentation it is." Mr. John Gyles present incumbent ; 
"profits" received by him 70 a year. 

ALFRICK. The Lord Protector patron ; tithes, great and 
small, 30. " Wee p'sent that the cure is carfully supplyed 
twice ev'y Lords day, dayes of thanksgiveing and humilia- 
tion, by Mr. John Slade, a preaching minister, and hath from 
the (now) Incumbent Mr. Litleton for his sallery xxiv. 
marks p. ann." Hamlet consisteth of tliree score and ten 
families (beside other) at present uninhabited and most of 
them being aged people. " Lastly wee p'sent, that wee have 
* ' ' Parliament" probably. 


a decree for a resident minister to bee amongst us." Chapel 
distant two miles from parish church. 

SUCKLEY. Lord Protector patron. Tithes, great and small, 
of Suckley, Alfrick, and Lulsley, 90. "The cure carefully 
supplyed twice every Lord's day, dayes of thanksgiving and 
humiliation, and that Aufricke is supplyed we believe with a 
preachinge minister at the charge of Mr. Thomas Littellton 
the now persone." Lulsey by one William Doughty, not a 
preaching minister ; salary 5 paid by Mr. Littleton. 

LITTLE KTRE. In the gift of Lord Protector, and united to 
Stoke Bliss ; glebe worth 5 ; tithes, 10 ; Edward Russell, 

HANLEY CHILD. Sir Gilbert Cornwall patron ; glebe worth 
4 ; tithes, 10. Edward Benson, incumbent. 

ORLETON. Chapel to Eastham ; patron, Sir G. Cornwall ; 
tithes, 16 ; Mr. Benson incumbent, who paid a preaching 
curate 8 yearly. 

HANLEY WILLIAM. Sir G. Cornwall patron ; Mr. Benson 
incumbent ; tithes, 1 5. Mr. John Phillips, " an able 
preacher, doth supply the cure." Orleton is represented as 
fit to be united to Hanley William. 

EASTHAM. In gift of Sir G. Cornwall. Glebe and tithes 
worth 67. 17s. 2d. Minister, Mr. Edward Benson, "an 
honest man and a preacher of the gospel." Hanley William, 
Hanley Child, and Orleton, are chapels. Parish very populous. 
Two curates, Mr. John Phillipps, who received 20 for serv- 
ing the two Hanleys ; Orleton curate, 8 ; the tenths 3. 8s. 5d. 

TENBURY. Robert Lucy, of Charlcote, patron ; Joseph 
Smith the preaching minister. "That there is belonginge 
to the sayd vicar the vicaredge house and backside, and 
the churchyard, worth by the year 2 ; " tithes, 38. 
" That there is a p'sonage impropriate, wch was for the most 
part soulde by the ancestors of the sayd Robert Lucye long 


since, and the rest leased out for lives, worth by the yeare 
40." Tithe of corn and grain in Tenbury town and foreign, 
and Berrington, which Robert Lucy received, 50, Rochford, 
a member of Tenbury church, worth 30. 

COTH BRIDGE. Appropriated to William Berkeley, Esq., 
" who doth hire Mr. Theophilus Cooke to supply the cure 
there, who is an able preaching minister ;" salary, 4 ; 
tithes, 40. 

EDVIN LOACH. Fitzwilliam Coningsby,Esq.,patron; Richard 
Jay, minister, " and an able painfull man in his office." 
Glebe, 5 ; tithes, 10. Tedston Wafer is united to Edvin 

SHELSLEY WALSH. Patron, Thomas Foley, Esq. ; Mr. 
Edward Lane, incumbent, " who pracheth duely and con- 
stantly at convenyent tymes ;" house, glebe, and tithe, 
17. 10s. 

LOWEE SAPEY. John Cliff, minister and patron ; glebe, 9; 
tithes, 30. 

CLIFTON-ON-TEME. This place is called "the borough and 
pariah of Clifton," it being a place of some importance, and 
constituted a borough by Edward III, when it was privileged 
with fairs (now again revived, 1855), a weekly market on 
Thursday, and many other franchises and immunities, by a 
charter granted to Mortimer. The house, glebe, and tithe, 
worth 26. 6s. 8d. William Jeffreys, Esq., patron. "Also 
since the sequestration of Mr. John Greene, the late minister, 
one Mr. Samuell Ffiler was by the order of the comittee of 
the county of Worcester made minister thereof, who is an 
able preaching minister, and Mr. John Hill doth in his absence 
supply the cure and preacheth duely every Lords day twice, 
and receaves the proffitts." Shelsley Walsh worth 17. lOs^ 
and Sapey Pritchard 39 ; both fit to be united to Clifton. 

ACTON BEAUCHAMP. Rectory, endowed with all tithes, and 


hath glebe. No chapels annexed ; nor any payments but 
the tenths, being 8s. a year. W. Berkeley, Esq., patron ; 
Mr. George Fyncher, preaching minister, who received the 
profits and dues of tithes, and was also rector of Thornbury, 
Herefordshire, of which place, as also of Stanford (a chapel 
belonging to Bromyard), he likewise received the profits and 
tithes. One Mr. Richard Todd, a young man, was employed 
by the rector to preach at each of those places, but what 
salary the poor hard-worked curate obtained from the wealthy 
pluralist the deponents knew not ; " but betweene them both 
wee at Acton Beachamp aforesayd have preachinge some 
tymes in the morninge onely, and nothinge at all in the 
eveninge, and some tymes noe excercise in the morning nor 
eveninge of the Lords day or dayes of humiliation; but are 
forced to goe to other places." Profits and tithes of Acton 
Beauchamp worth 37, but the house greatly decayed. Glebe, 
13. "We humbly desier that wee may not bee constrayned 
to goe to any other parish or chappell for the causes aforesaid, 
and in regard it hath cure of sowles and wee are at least 
fower and ffortie familyes, poore, aged, and weake people, 
and the soyle very hilley and durtie in the winter tyme and 
the out side of Worcester Shire and dioces, and remote from 
Thornebury aforesayd, which is in the county and dioces of 
Hereford, or any other church in the county or dioces of 
Worcester. Suckley is the nearest, which is two miles dis- 
tant at least from church to church in our estimations." 

GREAT WITLEY. Thomas Russell, Esq., patron ; Francis 
Marshall the "very able minister for the cure of soules." 
Living worth 50. No chapel. The inhabitants of Hil- 
hampton, a hamlet in Martley parish, had been in the habit 
for some years of coining to Witley church on the Lord's 
day, burying their dead there, and receiving the sacrament. 

SHELSLEY BEAUCHAMP. A rectory in the patronage of 


Mr. John Travell, merchant, of London; incumbent, Mr. 
Charles Nott. Glebe lands and tithes, 60, whereof 4 paid 
yearly to a free school at Stourbridge. 

ABBERLET. " A rectory in the presentation as we suppose 
of on Mr. Joseph Walsh esquier whose ancestors were wont 
to pr'sent. That our present minister is on Mr. John 
Dedicott an able constant preacher of the word and a man 
of unblameble life and co'versation." Profits of the rectory 
50, which would be more if the lord of the manor had not 
detained some of them. Only an acre of glebe. 

STANFORD. Tithe, glebe, and profits, 30, out of which 
16s. 8d. paid yearly to the vicar of Clifton. Patron, Edward 
Salwey, Esq. ; Thomas Steadman, incumbent, by whom the 
cure was "sufficiently served." 

KYRE WVARD. Edward Pytts, Esq., patron. The par- 
sonage is reported to have " alwaies ben an entire thinge of 
it selfe and not united unto any other, beinge distant from 
any other church one mile and a halfe." Glebe, 10; tithes, 
20. Hugh Thomas, the minister, "preacheth twice every 
Lord's day." 

ROCK. Parish is three miles and a half in length and 
two and a half in breadth. Tithes, 120 ; glebe, 8. 6s. 8d. 
Chapelry of Heighington belonging to it, which, containing 
thirty families, it was desired, should be made a parish of 
itself. "The p'sent in cumbent is Edward Partington m'r 
of Artes and minister of the Ghospell hee was p'sented by 
the right and title of John Newce, Esq., late lorde of the 
ma'or of Rocke. The p'sente patrons (as wee conseave) are 
Edward Partington, Clearke, and Charles Cornwalis, Gent, 
in right of theyre wives Mary and Edith dawteres and coheires 
of the said John Newce, Esq. The cure at Highingeton 
chappell is supplied by George Boraston m'r of Arte for 
w'ch he is allowed by Edward Partington Rector all the 



tithes belonging to that hamlet, both small and greate, to 
the value of 30." 

BEWDLEY. *' The presentment or certificate of the con- 
stables, churchwardens and burgesses of the borrough of 
Bewdley given in ye 7th Novem. 1 655. Wee p'sent and certify 
yt neere the middle of the towne of Bewdley afforesad wee 
have a decent chappell w'ch was heartofore (as wee are 
informed) a free chauntery and had revenewes belonging to 
it, to the value of 200 p. ann. untill the same was trans- 
ferred to the Crowne by Acte of Parliament, made in the 
raigne of King Edward the Sixte ; since w'ch tune the 
minister of the said chappell hath had an allowance of eight 
pounds p. ann. heartofore paied by the Auditors or Receivers 
(out of the King's revenue) and now paied out of the Rectory 
of Ombersley. 

" That the said minnister before the incorporation of the 
said towne was elected by the townesmen there, as wee are 
informed, and since the incorporation theareof by the Bayliffe 
and Capital Burgesses. That Mr. Henry Oseland is our 
present minnister there in such sorte elected, who of right 
can onely claime the said annuity of eight pounds, forth of 
w'ch alsoe is deducted and the said minnister is forced to 
allowe, for portage and taxes two and twenty shillings and 
eight pence now by the yeare, and when assessments are 
more the disbursement is greater (besides w'ch) he hath an 
augmentation of fifty pounds p. ann. graunted to him soe 
longe as hee officiats there. 

" That the said towne is a populous markett towne, whearein 
there are fifteene hundred or more fitt to be taught ; that it 
hath been reputed to be within the parrish of Ribsford, that 
the parrish church is allmost a mile distant from the towne, 
that Mr. John Borraston is rector theareof, and hath out of 
our said borrough to the value of 48. 15s. 8d. p. ann. or 


thereabouts. And the said Mr. Borraston nor his predecessors 
have not given any mainetenance to the minnisters of the 
chappell aforesaid, neither have had the choice of the 
minnisters to yt place as wee have heard. 

" Alsoe we humbly conceive there is a necessity that wee 
should have both places continued and minnisters to supply 
them for these reasons following : 

" 1. Because neither of the places will contayne the whole 
people of the towne and parrish. 

" 2. Because of the inconveniences yt a whole towne should 
goe neare a mile to the publick ordinance many being aged 
sicke and weake, when there is a convenient chappell in the 
midst of the said towne, that will contayne most of the people 

" 3. Because the chappell hath had for neare 60 yeares 
past praching minnisters successively (as we are credibly 
informed) And now wee have in the chappell a very godly 
man, well affected to the p'sent government, whom the 
Lord hath made an instrument to bring in many soules 
(wee hope) to Christ. 

" 4. Because of the greatness of the number of the people 
the worke of the minnistery will be too much worke for one 
man and the incombes of the p'sonage to little for the mainte- 
nance of two minnisters, thearfore we shall humbly pray that 
the augmentation of 50 p. ann. alreaddy graunted with the 
stipend of 8 p. ann. may be made up a competent mainete- 
nance for the present minnister of the chappell and soe for 
succession of minnisters there, w'ch being done will conduce 
much to the glory of God and good of the place. 

" Furthermore wee humbly desire that both the meetinge 
places at Bewdley and Ribsford be kept up and each have its 
p'ochall bounds fixed, the fittest and most convenientst way 
(as we humbly conceive it) for the parrish of Ribsford to 


conteyne the whole Lordship of Ribsford entire, and the 
division to be onely in the borrough as followeth. 

" To begin at Seavern side where the towne liberties end ; 
w'ch is at the lower end of the Lady meadowes, and soe along 
by Bewdley parke wall as its bounded by the Lordship of 
Ribsford and soe about the parke end to John Monnop his 
house at Blakemans Sitch ; and from his house crossing the 
way to the outside bounde of the lande belonging to John 
Clare called Blakeman's Sitch ; and soe from thence to Good- 
water Brooke, and then downe the brooke to Bowles Brooke 
to the bounds betweene the Borrough and Dowles, down to 
Seaverne-side to the bottome of the Lady meadowes where we 

" The tithes of yt parte w'ch belonge to the borrough wee 
conceive fittest to be settled one ye minnisters at the chappell 
(after ye decease of the p'sent incumbent at Ribsford), and 
the tithes belonging to the parrish w'ch is cutt of from the 
borrough may be continued to the minnister of Ribsford. 

Our reasons for the division thus made (amongst others) 
are these. 

"1. In this way provision will be made for each auditory 
to have two sufficient congregations for two able men to 
preach unto and allow for private inspection and oversight. 

" 2. In this way provision may be made for a competent 
maintenance for two approved preachers in both parrishes if 
the augmentation and the other supplies beforenamed be 
continued and settled one the minnister at the said chappell. 

" 3. By this way the people that are devided from the 
borrough and settled in Ribsford parrish are all (within a very 
few houses) as nigh to Ribsford meetinge place as Bewdley 
chappell and many neerer. 

" 4. In this way there is no devision of houses yt are 
contiguous but those yt are united in one parrish and those yt 
are scattered in the other parrish. 





RIBBESFORD. Consistcth of two manors or lordships Rib- 
besford and Bewdley. Sir Henry Herbert, patron ; John 
Buraston, incumbent. Tithes in Ribbesford manor, 30 ; 
in Bewdley, 48 ; glebe, 2. Said John Buraston preacheth 
and catechiseth every Lord's day. Bewdley chapel is 
declared to be altogether unfit to be made a parish church, 
because there was no land attached to be made into a 
burying place. 

STOCKTON. Mr. Edward Walsh, patron, " whose fore- 
fathers have for many generations p'sented clerks* unto the 
* same." Tithes, 30 ; glebe, 6. Mr. Thomas Roberts, rector, 
"supplyeth the cure himselfe and is a constant preacher of 
the word." "The tenths yearly payd out of the sayd par- 
sonage is the sum of ten shillings eleven pence halfpenny 
farthing, and that the sayd tenths are payd to the use of the 
co'mon welth of England." Pensax chapel (belonging to 
Lindridge) is declared as fit to be united to Stockton. 

MARTLEY. Parsonage without a chapel ; John Clent, Esq., 
patron ; house, glebe, and tithes, 1 00 ; Mr. Thomas Clent, 
incumbent, " who receaves the p'ffits of the said p'sonage, 
and by reason of his being weake and sick he hath one Mr. 
Charles Godwin who supplyes the cure under him and hath 
for his sallery about 20 pound and he preacheth constantly 
at due tymes." 

BAYTON. A vicarage, value 20 ; patron, Lord Protector 
John Simons vicar, "an able and painfullf teacher," who 
received all the profits of the living. The "church is very 
* Clergymen. f Painstaking. 


well situated in a hansum and convenient place for a p'ish 
church, there is noe convenient place for a church to bee 
built in our liberty." 

MAMBLE. Vicarage, with house, garden, and tithes, worth 
25; patron, the Lord Protector; incumbent, Daniel Mullurd, 
"who by reason of his age and weakness is not able to 
supply the cure but hath p'vided Tymothy Pyp (?) to officiate 
there who preacheth duely ev'y Lord's Day and receaveth 
the p'ffiitts for his sallary and paynes takeing there." Bayton 
is in this return said to be worth 30, and the church "is 
fitt to be united to Mamble (it being the more convenyent 
church both for largeness and fittness for the people to meete 
there )" [They were accordingly united March 6, 1669.] 

DODDENHAM. "Imprimis, the parsonage of Doddenham 
and Knightewicke have ever tune oute of minde belonged to 
one man, They are very unfitt (as wee conceive) to bee 
divided having ever beene united and are both very well 
worth 60 p. arm. Reprizes goeing oute of the same wee 
knowe none butt only 2s. 8d. a yeare that is paid to Mr. 
Henry Pitt of London." Glebe and tithes, 30. The Dean 
and Chapter were formerly the patrons, "butt since the 
sale of Deane and Chapter land, wee conceive Mr. Henry 
Pitt to be the patron thereof. The cure of both parishes 
Mr. Tayler beeing sequesterd is now supplyed by Mr. 
Mathew Boulton whoe receiveth the profittes thereof, whoe 
is an honest man, an able scoller, and a sound devine, as 
wee suppose him to bee." In Knightwick there were twenty 
families, and in Doddenham thirty-one. 

ASTLEY. Rectory, worth 110. John Winford, Esq., 
patron ; Mr. Samuel Bowater, the " able minister, who con- 
stantly preacheth twice a day." 

SHRAWLEY. Patron, the Lord Protector ; value, 80 ; Mr. 
John Jordan the " preaching minister." The living not fit 
to be united or divided. 


"In all cases of preternatural pretensions a nice question must always 
present itself as to how many of the believers are fools, how many of 
them knaves, and how many both one and the other." 

some parts of this county the following tilings are 
considered unlucky : 

To meet a squinting woman, unless you speak to 
her, which breaks the charm. 

To go a journey on a Friday. 

To be one of a party of thirteen at Christmas. 

To have a cut onion lying about in the house breeds dis- 

To cross knives accidentally at meal times. 

To walk under a ladder. 

For the first young lamb you see in a season, or a colt, 
to have its tail towards you. 

To kill a lady-cow (in Dorsetshire called " God Almighty's 
cow ). 

For a sportsman to meet an old woman when going out 
shooting is a sure sign of bad sport. 

To put the bellows on a table will evoke a quarrel. 

To keep Christmas holly about the house after Candlemas 
Day, in which case it is believed the Father of Evil will 
come and pull it down himself. 

To put salt on another person's plate at table. The super- 
stition that overturning salt at table is unlucky is said to >x 
have originated with Leonardo da Vinci's picture of the 
Last Supper, where Judas is represented as overturning the 


salt ; but this little incident in the picture was more likely 
the result than the cause of the superstition. 

To see the first of the new moon through a window, or 
glass of any sort, is also unlucky. But if you see it in the 
open air, turn the money in your pocket, and express a 
wish for luck during the ensuing month; you are supposed 
to ensure it. 

" Always kill your pig in the new moon, or the fat will 
run," is an old saying. 

It is unlucky to point to the moon, there being a notion 
that the " man " who was transported to that satellite for 
stealing sticks won't stand being pointed at. 

To have a female come into your house the first thing on 
New Year's morning. So extensively does this absurdity 
prevail, that in many towns young lads make " a good thing 
of it" by selling their services to go round and enter the 
houses first that morning. 

As to cutting your nails on a Sunday, the following couplet 
is very expressive : 

" Better a child was never born 
Than cut his hoofs of a Sunday." 

This is varied in some districts, thus 

" Better a child were never born 
Than on the Sunday shear the horn." 

The itching of the nose is a sign of bad news, or, as some 
have it, that " you will be kissed, cursed, or vexed, or shake 
hands with a fool." If the ear itches, you may expect news 
from the living ; if the face burns, some one is talking about 
you ; when you shudder, a person is walking over the spot 
where your grave will be ; and if your foot itches it is a sign 
you will tread on strange ground. 

To make presents of knives or scissors will be sure to cut 

* Some say Friday. 


off love or friendship; but if something is given in exchange, 
it prevents this bad effect. 

Babies must never have their nails cut, but bitten, to pre- \s 
vent their becoming thieves. 

To snuff out a candle accidentally entails the fate of not 
getting married in the same year. 

It is in the highest degree unlucky to give your neighbour a 
light at Christmas time, or New Year's Day; and those who 
have neglected to lay hi a stock of matches at that season 
often have to repent the oversight by being unable to light 
their fires in the morning, and in most cases amongst the poor 
neither prayers nor entreaties will induce them to part with 
their fire. 

At Mathon, some people believe that if land is left unsown 
in a field, there will be a death in the family within the year ; 
and when the accident is discovered they do not sow it again 
(see Mr. Watson's sketch of that parish). 

Omens, or tokens of death, adhere to the popular belief 
to a more general extent than any other relic of superstition, 
perhaps one third of the population attaching more or less 
credit to them. It would be impossible to enumerate all these 
idle fancies, but among them are prominently the howling of a 
dog, a winding sheet in the candle, and the issuing of light 
from a candle after it is blown out. 

A piece of curled tallow (winding sheet) on a candle has 
been scarcely ever known to fail as prophetic of death in the 
family or among friends. 

When a single crow flies over you it is the sign of a 
funeral ; two are a certain prognostication of a wedding. 

A bit of coal popped from the fire must resemble either a 
purse or a coffin, and consequently good luck or death. 

To have a long succession of black cards (spades or clubs) 
dealt to a person while at play is prophetic of death to 
himself or some member of the family. 


When a corpse is limp, it is a sign that another death will 
happen in the house. 

To hare apples and blossoms on a tree at the same time is 
a sign of a forthcoming death in the family. 

If a white bean grow in the garden it is a sure sign of 

Any appearance among plants in the garden not understood 
is considered " a token." Thus a rose whose flower has 
any leaves intermixed with the red petals, as sometimes 
happens, is called a " death rose," and foretells death to some 
of the family. 

The first snowdrop brought into the house betokens the 
death of the gatherer. 

It is bad luck for any one to go through a house with a 
spade on his shoulder. 

If a woman go into a neighbour's house before she is 
" churched," some great misfortune will befall her. 

It is unlucky to have rain on a wedding day. 

"Happy the bride the sun shines on; 
Happy the corpse the rain falls on." 

Old shoes thrown after a person leaving the house are 
supposed to be a source of great prosperity. This is practised 
by the highest classes in the county, especially at weddings. 

So many mince pies you eat at Christmas, so many happy 
months you will spend during the year. 

A donkey braying is an infallible sign of rain. 
i To cut your hair during the increase of the moon is said to 
ensure its favourable growth. 

A bright speck in the candle is a sure indication that a 
letter is coming to the individual to whom it points. 

If the sun shines warmly on Christmas Day there will be 
many fires in the ensuing year. 


"A great year for nuts a great year for (the birth of) 
children," is a common saying, and double nuts presage twins. 

Tea-drinking is made to foreshadow a large number of the 
casualties of life, including the receipt of presents, the visits 
of strangers, obtaining sweethearts, and the like, merely from 
the appearance of the tea and the " grounds " or settlement 
in the cup. 

To leave a teapot lid open undesignedly is an indication 
that a stranger is coming ; and when a cock crows in your 
doorway, or a bit of black stuff hangs on the bar of the grate, 
it is a sign of a similar event. 

It is believed in many districts that some persons have 
white livers, and that if a woman marry a man having such 
a phenomenon inside him, she must die within twelve months. 

The first time a baby is taken out of the lying-in room 
the nurse must carry it to the highest part of the house for 
good luck, and that it may " rise in the world." 

The colliers at Dudley, in the event of a fatal accident to 
one of their number, all in the same pit immediately cease 
from working until the body is buried. A certain sum is also 
spent in drink, and is called " dead money." The same 
custom, more or less modified, prevails in many districts. 

The " seventh son of a seventh son " is believed to be 
endowed with extraordinary curative powers in certain 
diseases, and the same with regard to a daughter under 
similar circumstances. 

In the vicinity of the Malvern hills there is a superstition 
among the poorer people that when any one is bitten by a 
viper which reptile is occasionally to be met with in bushy ,. 
ground about the southern part of the range if it can be 
killed forthwith, an ointment made from its liver will be a 
specific for the wound. 

A "handsel," or first money received for an article sold, 


if taken from a particular person or under particular circum- 
stances, Mr. Lees says, is supposed to be productive of good 
luck; and some complain that they cannot do business for 
want of a handsel from the person of whom they wish to 
receive it. 

In the year 1 643, when some thieves plundered the house 
of Mr. Rowland Bartlett, at Castle Morton, among other 
things they took a " cock eagle stone, for which thirty pieces 
had been offered by a physician, but refused." These eagle 
stones were setites, a variety of argillaceous oxide of iron ; 
they were hollow, with a kernel or nucleus, sometimes 
moveable, and always differing from the exterior in colour 
and density. The ancients superstitiously believed that this 
pebble was found in the eagle's nest, and that the eggs could 
not be hatched without its assistance. Many other absurd 
stories were raised about this fossil. 

The custom of burying exclusively on the south side of 
/churchyards prevails very generally in the rural districts of 
this county, except where the smallness of the ground or 
the extent of the population has rendered it compulsory to 
use the north side, which, however, was formerly reserved 
for suicides and strangers. Many fanciful theories have been 
invented to account for this preference of the south side, 
but the most probable is, that, as the principal entrance to 
the church was usually on that side, it was natural for burials 
to be there also, that the deceased might have the benefit 
(so accounted in those days) of the prayers of the congre- 
gation as they walked to and fro and beheld the inscriptions. 

The very ancient custom of divination by the flight of 
birds is not yet forgotten. The robin and wren are birds 
of good augury: if a raven flies over a house, there will 
soon be a corpse there. The number of magpies met with 
as you set out on a journey indicates what is to happen : 


"One for sorrow, 
Two for mirth, 
Three for a wedding, 
Four for a birth." 

Mr. Allies tells of a remarkable superstition that prevailed 
not many years ago at Suckley, where the country people 
used to talk a great deal about " The Seven Whistlers," 
and that they oftentimes at night heard six out of these 
seven whistlers pass over their heads, but that no more than 
six of them were ever heard at once, for when the seven 
should whistle together there would be an end of the world. 
This is supposed to have some reference to fairy lore, and is 
still believed by the Leicestershire colliers, who, when they 
hear " the whistlers," will not venture below ground, thinking 
that death to some one is foreboded. The superstition has 
probably a German origin. 

Fern seed is supposed to make the gatherer walk invisible ; 
but as the fern is said to bloom and seed only at twelve 
o'clock at Midsummer night, the seed can only be caught by 
using twelve pewter plates ; the seed will then pass through 
eleven of the plates and rest on the twelfth. 

There was formerly a "holy thorn" at Redmarley Farm, 
Acton Beauchamp, but it was cut down a few years ago 
because of the number of persons who went to see it. It is 
stated that the person who cut it down broke his leg and 
his arm soon afterwards, and the premises were burnt down. 
A similar thorn may be seen (as Mr. Lees informs us) in 
the hedge of a garden at Cherry Green, Alfrick. 

A superstition exists in some parts of the county that if 
pieces of the alder tree are carried in the waistcoat pocket 
they will be a safeguard against rheumatism. In Wyre 
Forest, near Bewdley, is a botanical curiosity, namely, the 
celebrated old /tyrus </ms/ica, said to be the only tree of 


the kind growing wild in England. It is of the same kind as 
the " Rowan," or mountain ash, which was and even now is 
vulgarly worn as a remedy against witchcraft. It is most 
thought of by the common people, and there are various 
traditions concerning it. The name given to the tree is 
"the witty pear-tree" the mountain ash being also called 
"the whitty tree," and the leaves of this tree are very 
similar. One of our Naturalist Field Clubs visited it in 
August, 1853 : vegetation was then entirely confined to its 
top boughs, which however still held a few pears on them. 
Some hermit, or reputed " wise man," probably planted this 
tree, and derived part of his subsistence by distributing its 
leaves and fruit, as a protection against witchcraft. 

In April, 1856, a poor woman, residing hi a village about 
three miles from Pershore, acting upon the advice of her 
neighbours, brought her child, who was suffering from 
whooping cough, to that town, for the purpose of finding out 
a married couple answering to the names of Joseph and Mary, 
and soliciting their interference on behalf of her afflicted 
child, as she had been informed that if two married persons 
having those names could but be induced to lay their hands 
on her child's head, the whooping cough would be immediately 
cured. After scouring the town for a considerable time in 
search of "Joseph and his fair lady," they were at length 
discovered in the persons of a respectable tradesman and his 
wife residing in Bridge Street, to whom the poor silly woman 
made known her foolish request, which at first excited a smile 
from the good woman of the house, but was quickly followed, 
not by "the laying on of hands," but by good advice, such 
as mothers only know how to give in these matters. The 
poor mother then thankfully departed a wiser woman. 

In the rural districts great faith is put in rings made of 
the shillings and sixpences given at the sacrament, and many 


clergymen have told me of repeated applications having been 
made to them for sacrament shillings, for the purpose of 
keeping away the evil spirit, or as a remedy for fits. Mr. 
Watson, in his History of Hartlebury, says that he believes 
nearly every person in that district who was subject to fits 
wore such a ring. And there is another parish in the county 
where I am told even Protestant poor go to the Romanist 
priest to have the relics of saints applied for the cure of 

The Worcester papers in the year 1845 recorded that a 
person from this city, being on a visit to a friend about four 
miles distant, had occasion to go into the cottage of a poor 
woman, who had a child afflicted with the whooping-cough. 
In reply to inquiries as to her treatment of the child, the 
mother pointed to its neck, on which was a string fastened, 
having nine knots tied in it. The poor woman stated that 
it was the stay-lace of the child's godmother, which, if applied 
exactly in that manner round about the neck, would be sure 
to charm away the most troublesome cough! 

An infallible recipe for the cure of ague is said to be the 
following : Go to a grafter of trees, and tell him your com- 
plaint. You must not give him any money, or there will 
be no cure. You go home, and in your absence the grafter 
cuts the first branch of a maiden ash, and the cure takes 
place instantly on cutting the branch from the tree. 

A Worcestershire woman was asked the other day why she 
did not attend church on the three Sundays on which her 
banns of marriage were proclaimed ? She replied that she 
should never dream of doing so unlucky a thing ; and on 
being questioned as to the kind of ill-luck that would have 
been expected to have followed up her attendance at church, 
she said that all the offspring of such a marriage would be 
born deaf and dumb, and that she knew a young woman who 


would persist in going to church to hear her banns " asked 
out," and whose six children were in consequence all deaf 
and dumb ! 

At a certain country church in Worcestershire, on a Sunday 
early in 1856, there were three christenings, two boys and 
a girl. The parents of one boy were in a very respectable 
class of life; the parents of the two other children were in 
humble circumstances. The parties at the font had been duly 
placed by the officiating clergyman, and as it happened, the 
girl and sponsors were placed last in order. When the first 
child who was the boy of the poor parents was about to be 
baptized, the woman who carried the little girl elbowed her 
way up to the clergyman, in order that the child she carried 
might be the first to be baptized. To do this she had (very 
contrary to the usual custom of the poor, who, in essential 
points, are generally as refined as their superiors) to rudely 
push past " her betters " t. e. the sponsors of the second boy. 
As she did so she said to one of the sponsors by way of 
apology " It's a girl ; so it must be christened first ; " and 
christened first it was. But the peculiar manner in which this 
was brought about showed that the woman was influenced by 
some curious feeling; and on the next day, an opportunity 
was taken to discover her motive. This was her explanation : 
''You see, sir, the parson hain't a married man, and con- 
sequentially is disfamiliar with children, or he'd a never put 
the little girl to be christen'd after the boys. And though it 
sadly flustered me, sir, to put myself afore my betters in the 
way which I was fosed to do ; yet, sir, it was a doing of a 
kindness to them two little boys, in me a setting of my girl 
afore 'em." " Why \ " " Well, sir ! I har astonished as you 
don't know. Why, sir, if them little boys had been christened 
afore the little girl, they'd have had her soft chin, and she'd 
have had their hairy beards the poor little innocent ! But 

BELLS. 177 

thank goodness ! I've kep her from that misfortin ! " And 
the woman really believed that she had done so; and the 
generality of her neighbours shared her belief. Let this be 
a warning to clergymen, more especially to bachelors, who 
would stand well in the opinions of their poorer parishioners ! 


were formerly a prolific source of superstition. There is 
a valley in Nottinghamshire, where a village is said to have 
been swallowed up by an earthquake, and it was the custom 
on Christmas Day morning for the people to assemble in this 
valley and listen to the fancied ringing of the church bells 
underground. At Abbot's Morton there is a tradition that 
the silver bells belonging to the abbot are buried in the site 
of his old residence there. At Ledbury, a legend relates 
that St. Katharine had a revelation that she was to travel 
about, and not rest at any place, till she heard the bells 
ringing of their own accord. This was done by the Ledbury 
bells on her approaching that town. When the church at 
Inkberrow was rebuilt on a new site in ancient days, it was 
believed that the fairies took umbrage at the change, as 
they were supposed to be averse to bells; they accordingly 
endeavoured to obstruct the building, but, as they did not 
succeed, the following lamentation was occasionally heard by 
the startled rustics : 

" Neither sleep, neither lie, 
For Inkbro's ting-tangs hang so nigh." 

Many years ago the twelve parish churches in Jersey each 
possessed a beautiful and valuable peal of bells ; but during 
a long civil war, the states determined on selling these bells 
to defray the heavy expenses of their army. The bells were 
accordingly collected and sent to France for that purpose ; 


but, on the passage, the ship foundered, and everything was 
lost, to show the wrath of Heaven at the sacrilege. Since 
then, before a storm, these bells ring up from the 
deep ; and to this day the fishermen of St. Ouen's Bay 
always go to the edge of the water before embarking, to 
listen if they can hear "the bells upon the wind;" and, if 
those warning notes are heard, nothing will induce them to 
leave the shore ; if all is quiet they fearlessly set sail. As 
a gentleman, who has versified the legend, says: 

" 'Tis an omen of death to the mariner, 

Who wearily fights with the sea, 
For the foaming surge is his winding sheet, 

And his funeral knell are we : 
His funeral knell our passing bell, 

And his winding sheet the sea." 


is the occasion of great superstition. It is believed that 
anything planted on that day will prosper, and that if the 
seeds of the stock are sown in the evening, as the sun goes 
down, the flowers will be sure to come double. Hot-cross 
buns, or other bread made on a Good Friday, are supposed 
never to grow mouldy, and if kept for twelve months and 
then grated into some liquor, will prove a great soother of 
the stomach-ache ; acorns dried and grated will have the same 
effect. The origin of the buns was the consecrated loaf made 
from the dough, whence the host itself was formerly taken and 
given by the priests to the people ; they were marked with 
the cross, as our Good Friday buns are. The superstitious 
frequently preserved Good Friday buns from year to year, 
from the belief of their efficacy in the cure of diseases. And 
Poor Robin, in his Almanack for 1753, says : 

" Whose virtue is, if you'll believe what's said, 
They'll not grow mouldy like the common bread." 

BEES. 179 

The poorer people of Offenham will by no means allow any 
washing to be about on a Good Friday, which would be con- 
sidered the forerunner of much ill-luck. At Cutnal Green 
it is thought that if you do not empty your lie tub on Good 
Friday, you will have bad luck in the ensuing year. 


In many places in this county, when the master of a family 
dies, the old nurse goes to the hive of bees, knocks, and saya : 

"The master's dead, but don't you go; 
Your mistress will be a good mistress to you." 

A bit of black crape is then pinned to the hive. It is firmly 
believed that but for this precaution the bees would all desert 
the place. A correspondent at Pershore says : " While con- 
versing with a farmer's wife in this neighbourhood, I was 
gravely informed that it was certainly the truth, unless the 
bees were 'told' when anybody died in the house, some- 
thing would happen either to bees or honey before long. 
She considered it a great want of foresight not to go from 
the house in which the ' departed one ' had breathed his or 
her last to the hive without delay, and ' tell the bees ' what 
had happened." In some places the custom is to take the 
key of the front door to the hive and tap it gently, saying, 
" Bees, bees, your master (or mistress) is dead." The hives 
also are usually covered with crape. If a swarm of bees 
return to their old hive, it is believed that a death will 
happen hi the family within the year. This superstition pro- 
bably prevails nearly all over the kingdom, and is believed 
to be of great antiquity. In Oxfordshire, it is said that if a 
man and his wife quarrel, the bees will leave them. In 
Devonshire, the custom is (or was in the year 1790) to turn 
round the bee-hives that belonged to the deceased at the 


moment the corpse was being carried out of the house ; and 
on one occasion, at the funeral of a rich old farmer at Col- 
lumpton, as a numerous procession was on the point of 
starting, a person called out, " Turn the bees ;" upon which 
a servant, who had no knowledge of the custom, instead of 
turning the hives about, lifted them up, and then laid them 
down on their sides. The bees, thus invaded, quickly fast- 
ened on the attendants, and in a few moments the corpse 
was left quite alone, hats and wigs were lost in the confu- 
sion, and a long time elapsed before the sufferers returned 
to their duty. 


are still believed in to a great extent among the poor. In the 
neighbourhood of Hartlebury they break the legs of a toad, 
sew it up in a bag alive, and tie it round the neck of the 
patient. There were lately some female charmers at Fladbury. 
The peasantry around Tenbury and Shrawley have also great 
faith in charms, and the toad remedy is applied at the former 
place, the life or death of the patient being supposed to be 
shadowed forth by the survival or death of the poor animal. 
At Mathon, old women are intrusted with the cure of burns 
by charming, which they do by repeating a certain number of 
times the old doggrel rhyme, beginning 

" There were two angels came from the north," &c. 

In the neighbourhood of Stoke Prior a charm was some time 
ago used by a labouring man for the removal of the thrush (or 
"throcks " as it is locally termed) in children : he would put 
his finger into his mouth, and then into that of the child, 
rubbing the gums, while he mumbled out something termi- 
nating with " Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," then put down 
the child without speaking another word, and leave the house 
without eating or drinking. Charming for the toothache is 


still customary at Cutnall Green. The charm is written on 
paper, and sealed up, which the afflicted person carries about 
with him, and it is believed to be a sure cure. A " poke " or 
wart on the eye is " charmed away " by rubbing it with a 
wedding ring. Drinking out of a sacramental cup is con- 
sidered a cure for the hooping cough. A pillow, filled with 
hops and laid under the patient's bed, is an undoubted cure 
for rheumatism. This charm was prescribed to George III 
by a physician at Reading, recommended by Lord Sidmouth, 
and administered to the royal patient accordingly. 

The following lines are very generally taught to children in 
the rural districts, to say at night with their prayers : 

" Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, 
Bless the bed that I lie on ; 
There are four corners to my bed, 
There are four angels round my head, 
One to watch, and one to pray, 
And two to carry my soul away." 


was in old times an established institution. In 1666 the 
Chamberlain of the Worcester Corporation spent 10. 14s. 
in an entertainment to Mr. Gratrix, "an Irishman famous 
for helping and curing many lame and diseased people only 
by stroking of their maladies with his hand, and therefore 
sent for to this and many other places." Valentine Gratrix 
surnamed the Stroker was a great proficient and master 
of the art ; and by a letter of his (still in existence) to the 
Archbishop of Dublin, it appears that he believed himself 
to be inspired by God for the purpose of curing this disease. 
He was entertained with great hospitality at many of our 
citizens' houses, and was thus fortunate in having a long 
start of the mesmerizers of the present day. The parish 


register of Chaddesley Corbett contains a " Mem. That Nov. 
24, 1685, a certificate was granted to Gervase Burford, to be 
touched for the King's evil;" and two years later King 
James II was at Worcester, and attended at the Cathedral 
for the purpose of touching persons affected with the evil. 
From the Worcestershire county records it appears that in 
1688 one Susannah Rose petitioned the Court of Quarter 
Sessions on behalf of her brother, George Gilbert, a black- 
smith, of Stourbridge, upon whose toes a hammer having 
fallen, had disabled him from work, and " after much suffering 
he was persuaded it was gone to the King's evil, went to 
London, and was touched by his Majesty, but afterwards was 
forced to go to a surgeon, at Rushock, under cure for above 
half-a-year, when he left him off, and would not let him be 
entertained in the parish any longer," and the poor petitioner 
being unable to provide for him, prays for. his settlement at 
Bellbroughton, where he was born and apprenticed. In the 
parish records of St. Nicholas, it is stated that in 1711, one 
Walker, a pauper, was sent to London to be touched ; and I 
believe that Dr. Johnson was touched by Queen Ann, as late 
as 1712. In the reign of Charles II a royal proclamation 
was issued stating the time when that monarch would touch 
persons afflicted with this disease. A broadside containing 
a printed copy of this proclamation still exists at Painswick, 
in Gloucestershire, in the possession of Mr. Gyde, the surgeon 
there. William of Malmesbury, who flourished in the twelfth 
century, alleges the origin of the Royal touch to have been 
on this wise : a young married woman, having some enormous 
glandular swellings on her neck, was admonished in a dream 
to have it washed by the King (Edward the Confessor). His 
Majesty readily fulfilled this labour of love by rubbing her 
neck with his fingers dipped in water, and before a week had 
expired, the tumour subsided and a fair new skin covered 


the affected part, so that a perfect cure was the result and 
not only that, but the woman, who had been previously 
childless, in less than another year became the mother of 
twins, which (the sage chronicler gravely remarks) "greatly 
increased the admiration of Edward's holiness. Those who 
knew him more intimately affirm that he often cured this com- 
plaint in Normandy ; whence appears how false is their notion 
who in our times assert that the cure of this disease does 
not proceed from personal sanctity but from hereditary virtue 
in the Royal line." 


"A thousand fantasies 
Begin to throng on my memory, 
Of calling shapes and beck'ning shadows dire, 
And aery tongues, that syllable men's names 
On sands and shores and desert wildernesses." 

A lingering belief in witchcraft still remains among the 
most ignorant of our population, both rural and urban. Some 
particulars relative to the existence of this superstition in 
this county in the seventeenth century will be found among 
the county records in the early part of this volume. The law 
against witchcraft, passed in the tune of James I, being very 
stringent, the driving out evil spirits, allaying of ghosts, and 
abjuring witches, became, for nearly a century, a profitable 
employment. Witch-finders existed as public officers ; and 
beside the public executions which disgraced every assizes, 
multitudes of accused were destroyed by popular resentment, 
while others were drowned by the test applied, for if, on being 
thrown into the water, they did not sink, they were presumed 
witches, and either killed on the spot or reserved for burning 
at the assizes. In the year 1649, four persons were tried at 
Worcester for this supposed offence, and all were executed, 
two of them confessing tlievr crime, viz. : Margaret Landis and 


Susan Cook ; Rebecca West and Rose Holybred died obstinate. 
The custom at Worcester was to duck the accused in the 
Severn (Cooken Street, or " Cucken Street," as it is spelt in 
some old maps, being no doubt the line of route on these 

Baxter, in his " World of Spirits," speaks of those men 
who told of things stolen and lost, and who showed the face 
of a thief in a glass, and caused the goods to be brought 
back, who were commonly called " white witches." " When 
I lived (he says) at Dudley, Hodges, at Sedgley, two miles 
off, was long and commonly accounted such a one ; and when 
I lived at Kederminster, one of my neighbours affirmed that, 
having his yarn stolen, he went to Hodges, ten miles off, and 
he told him that at such an hour he should have it brought 
home again and put in at the window, and so it was ; and as 
I remember he showed him the person's face in a glass. Yet 
I do not think that Hodges made any known contract with 
the devil, but thought it an effect of art." 

About the year 1672 a prebend of Worcester (Joseph 
Glanville) seriously wrote a book, entitled, " Some considera- 
tions touching the being of Witches and Witchcraft," which 
engaged him in a controversy that lasted as long as his life. 
The statute 9th George II, chap. 5 (1736), at length repealed 
the disgraceful Witch Act, and stopped all legal prosecutions 
against persons charged with conjuration, sorcery, &c. ; yet 
what has once taken so firm a hold of the popular mind is 
not to be so easily eradicated ; and Dr. Nash, who wrote his 
" Worcestershire " towards the close of the last century, 
asserts that not many years previously a poor woman, who 
happened to be very ugly, was almost drowned in the neigh- 
bourhood of Worcester, upon a supposition of witchcraft ; 
and had not Mr. Lygon, a gentleman of singular humanity 
and influence, interfered in her behalf, she would certainly 


have been drowned, upon a presumption that a witch could 
not sink. Later still, Mr. Allies informs us, that when the 
late Mr. Spooner kept a pack of hounds, whenever they passed 
through a certain field in Leigh Sinton, the hounds would 
invariably run after something which nobody could see, until 
they came to the cottage of an old woman named Cofield, 
when they would turn back again, the old witch having then 
got safely into her own " sanctum." The exploits of Mrs. 
Swan, of Kidderminster, who pretended to discover stolen 
property for everybody else except what she herself had lost, 
and who died in an awfully tempestuous night in November, 
1850, when her cats so mysteriously disappeared, cannot yet 
be forgotten ; nor the recent existence of " the wise man 
of Dudley," and many others of the same class, though 
not quite so celebrated, who are now living. Some of the 
Mathon people still believe that witchcraft makes their 
pigs waste away ; and, when convinced of the fact, they 
kill the animal, and burn a part of the flesh, to prevent 
any ill effects to those who eat the remainder. Mr. Lees 
informs us of a pear tree in Wyre Forest, the fruit of which 
is even now hung up in the houses of the peasantry as a 
protection against witchcraft. The witch elm (Ulmus mon- 
tana) was the one commonly employed for the purpose, 
as most easily attainable. That was good; the mountain ash 
or witten tree was better ; and the sorb tree or true service 
(Pyrus domestica) was the strongest of all. Nine withes of 
witch hazel, banded together, is used as a rustic appliance to 
guard against witching influence. There is a place called 
" Witchery Hole," in Little Shelsley, concerning which, 
whenever a violent wind blows from the north, the people 
say, " The wind comes from Witchery Hole," insinuating 
that certain "broomstick hags" had something to do with 
raising the wind. For a baker to cross the flour before he 


commences baking is regarded as a security against the witch 
entering the bread. The horse-shoe is still seen over doors, 
in many places, and fastened to bedsteads to keep witches 
away. At the Police Office, at Stourbridge, only a few months 
ago, a woman named Wassail charged a Mrs. Cartwright, a 
poor woman afflicted with paralysis, with threatening to do 
her some bodily injury. The defendant alleged that the 
affliction under which she was suffering was caused by the 
complainant, who had bewitched her; and that when she 
begged her to remove the spell, complainant told her it had 
been upon her for twelve weeks, and it should continue six 
weeks longer. Finding entreaties vain, the defendant made 
use of some idle threat, which led to the summons. A 
" charm " was shown to the Court, which the deluded creature 
had worn by the advice of a " wise " man to remove the spell ; 
it was a small black silk bag, containing pieces cut out from 
the Prayer Book and Bible, and some hair, evidently from a 
cat's back. The Bench endeavoured to assuage the fears of 
the poor woman, and told her not to impute her affliction to 
the evil machinations of any one, at the same time severely 
lecturing the complainant for practising such deceit upon an 
ignorant and afflicted fellow-creature. 

There were reputed witches at Malvern in the last gene- 
ration ; and at Colwall the common people are said even 
now to dislike peewits (lapwings) which visit that place, 
believing that their cry is "bewitch'd, bewitch'd;" and 
should any person capture one of these birds he is strongly 
recommended not to keep it for fear of misfortune or 
accident. Peewits are believed to be departed spirits who 
still haunt the earth in consequence of something that 
troubles them. 



At Beoley, about half a century ago, the ghost of a reputed 
murderer managed to keep undisputed possession of a certain 
house, until a conclave of the clergy chained him to the bed 
of the Red Sea for fifty years. When that term was expired 
the ghost reappeared (two or three years ago), and more than 
ever frightened the natives of the said house slamming the 
doors, and racing through the ceilings. The inmates, how- 
ever, took heart, and chased him, by stamping on the floor 
from one room to onother, under the impression that, could 
they once drive him to a trap-door opening into the cheese- 
room (for which, if the ghost happened to be a rat, he had a 
very natural penchant), he would disappear for a season. The 
beadle of the parish, who also combined with that office the 
scarcely less important one of pig-sticker, declared to the 
writer that he dared not go by the house now in the morning 
till the sun was up. ( It was an ancient superstition that evil 
spirits flew away at cock-crowing.) 

The Droitwich Canal, in passing through Salwarpe, is said 
to have cut off a slice of a large old half-timbered structure 
supposed to have been formerly a mansion-house ; and in 
revenge for this act of mutilation, the ghost of a former 
occupier revisits his old haunts, affrights the domestics, and 
may be seen on dark nights, with deprecatory aspect, glide 
down the embankment, and suicidally commit himself to the 
waters below. 

The Little Shelsley people will have it that the Court- 
house in that parish is haunted, and that a Lady Lightfoot, 
who was said to have been imprisoned and murdered in the 
house, comes at night and drives a carriage and four fiery 
horses round some old rooms that are unoccupied, and that 
her ladyship's screams are sometimes heard over the whole 


Court. She has likewise been seen to drive her team into 
the moat, when the whole disappeared, the water smoking 
like a furnace. 

Many of the ancient manor-houses of Worcestershire have 
similar superstitions. At Huddington, there is an avenue of 
trees, called " Lady Winter's Walk, " where the lady of 
Thomas Winter, who was obliged to conceal himself on 
account of the share he had in the Gunpowder Plot, was in 
the habit of awaiting her husband's furtive visits ; and here 
the headless spectre of her ladyship is still seen occasionally 
pacing up and down beneath the sombre shade of those aged 
trees. A headless female also appears at Crowle brook, by 
which it would seem that the poor heart-broken lady some- 
times extended her visits. 

At Leigh, a spectre, known as "Old Coles," formerly 
appeared, and at dead of night, with vis insana, would drive 
a coach and four down a part of the road, dash over the great 
barn at Leigh Court, and then cool the fiery nostrils of his 
steeds in the waters of the Teme. Mr. Jabez Allies also 
records that this perturbed spirit was at length laid in a 
neighbouring pool by twelve parsons, at twelve at night, by 
the light of an inch of candle ; and as he was not to rise 
again until the candle was quite burnt out, it was therefore 
thrown into the pool, and, to make all sure, the pool was 
filled up 

"And peaceful ever after slept Old Coles's shade." 

This Coles (as is recorded by Mr. Lees) was on intimate 
terms with a neighbour at Cradley, and being distressed for 
want of money, heard that his friend was going to Worcester 
to receive a large sum, and thereupon waylaid him on his 
return by night. Coles seized the bridle and threatened 
his friend's life; but the Cradley yeoman drew his sword 


and made a furious cut, which freed him at once from the 
robber, and he rapidly rode home; on his arrival there he 
found a bloody hand firmly grasping his horse's bridle, and 
one of the fingers bore the signet ring of his friend Coles. 
Next day he went to Leigh, and found Coles in bed ; he 
acknowledged his crime, and begged for mercy, which was 
granted in consideration of his awful punishment. 

At Astwood Court, once the seat of the Culpepers, was an 
old oak table, removed from the side of the wainscot in 1816, 
respecting which tradition declares that it bore the impress 
of the fingers of a lady ghost, who, probably tired of appearing 
to no purpose, at last struck the table in a rage, and vanished 
for ever ; but the ghost was also in the habit of walking from 
the house to " the cloven pear-tree." 

At Holt Castle, it was not long ago believed by the servants 
that a mysterious lady in black occasionally walked at dead 
of night in a certain passage near to the attics ; and likewise 
that the cellar had been occupied by an ill-favoured bird 
like a raven, which would sometimes pounce upon any person 
who ventured to approach a cask for drink, and having 
extinguished the candle with a horrid flapping of wings, 
would leave its victim prostrated with fright. A similar 
legend prevails at Leigh Court. A solution has been given 
to this legend, however, which would imply a little cunning 
selfishness on the part of the domestics who had the care 
of the ale and cider depot. 


A correspondent at Cutnall Green says that it is believed 
there that for a single female to sleep in a new pair of shoes 
and stockings is a sure means of her dreaming of her future 
husband ; and for a female to sleep with a breast bone, knife 
and fork, and a plate, carefully put under her bolster, also 
is sure to make her dream of her lover. 


Another informant a lady, who forgot to state the place 
of her residence sends me the following : If a maiden 
wishes to know her future husband, let her on Midsummer Eve, 
at midnight, descend backwards from her bed-room to the 
garden, and, still walking backwards around it, and scattering 
hemp seed with her right hand as she goes, repeat these lines : 

" Hemp seed I sow 
Hemp seed is to mow, 
And the man that my husband is to be, 
Let him follow after and mow," 

when he will suddenly appear with a scythe in his hand, which, 
unless the poor damsel be particular in keeping her right 
hand stretched out, may prove a dangerous weapon. Also on 
Midsummer Eve, take two flowers called among the country 
people " Midsummer Men," and planting them in the thatch, 
repeat your own and sweetheart's name. Should they grow, 
a wedding is certain, but if not, the lovers will be parted. 
On All Saints, commonly called " All Hallows," let a young 
woman take a ball of new worsted, and holding the end in her 
fingers, throw the ball through the window (at midnight) 
saying, " Who holds ? " the man who is to be her husband will 
pick up the worsted, mention his name, and disappear. On 
Christmas Eve, let three, five, or seven young girls take each 
a sprig of rosemary and place it in a bowl of water, putting 
the vessel in the centre of the room. Stretch a string across 
directly before it, hanging thereon a white garment of each 
person. They must then sit speechless until the witching hour 
of midnight, when each of their lovers will appear and take 
a piece of rosemary out of the basin, and mention his own 
name and his sweetheart's. When the first new moon in the 
year appears, she may go to the garden, and looking steadily at 
it, say 


" New moon, new moon, 

Tell unto me 
Which of these three is my husband to be," 

mentioning the names of three young men, and curtseying to 
each one. When next she sees them, let her notice if they 
have their backs or faces towards her. The one who has his 
face towards her will he her husband. Hang a peapod con- 
taining nine peas over the doorway; the young man who 
passes under it first (not one of the family) will be the husband 
of the young woman who hangs it there. When a young girl 
receives a letter from her lover, let her pin it in nine folds 
and place it next her heart, on retiring to rest. If she dream 
of gold or jewellery, he is sincere in his professions; if not, let 
her beware. Take a ring and hang it upon one of your own 
hairs, hold it steadily over a wine glass half full of water, 
and wish to know how many years it will be before you are 
married. As many times as it hits against the side of the 
glass, so many years it will be before you are joined in 
holy wedlock. 

If a girl pluck a rose on Midsummer Eve, and wear it on 
the succeeding Christmas Day, whatever single man takes it 
from her must marry her. 

To ascertain whether a pretended lover is sincere, take an 
apple-pip, and naming one of your followers, put the pip on 
the fire : if it make a noise in bursting it is a proof of love ; 
if there is no crack, it is a sign that he has no regard for 
you : 

" If you love me, bounce and fly ; 
If you hate me, lie and die." 

Another charm consists in sticking pips upon the cheek, and 
naming several lovers, the truest being shown by that which 
remains longest. 


Fingered leaves are supposed to have a magical character. 
If the terminating leaflets of the common ash are even (they 
being usually odd) they bring " luck or a lover." 

The herb Paris, a common plant in thick woods, has very 
frequently its four leaves multiplied into five or six, and thus 
generally gets the name of true love. So the common 
Cinquefoil, called " Five-leaved grass," from having its leaves 
in five digitated divisions, are made six or seven by accessory 
leaflets, and the following rhyme is repeated in rural places: 

"Five-leaved grass, with six leaves on, 
Put it under your pillow, and you'll dream of your mon." 

A powerful love-spell is produced by what is called the 
" Speechless hawthorn." In May or June a flowering branch 
of the hawthorn must be silently gathered in the evening, and 
the maiden gathering it must refrain from speech that night, 
as a single word spoken would break the spell. Hastening 
to bed as soon as possible, speechless she must place the 
hawthorn branch under her pillow, and then, in the visions 
of the night, the man whom fate has destined for her future 
husband will certainly present himself. 

The common brake fern (Pteris aquilina), cut in two 
obliquely, shows the initial letters of a sweetheart's name. 

Get a maiden egg, carefully break it, and fill half the shell 
with salt ; then eat the salt as you go to bed, walking up 
stairs backwards, and backing into bed also ; be sure and 
keep silence and you will dream of your lover : if he should 
offer a glass of water he will be a poor man ; if a glass of 
wine, a gentleman. 

On some Friday night go to bed, and put your shoes under 
your pillow, crossing the left shoe over the right, and say 

" On this blessed Friday night 
I put my left shoe o'er my right, 


In hopes this night that I may see 
The man that shall my husband be, 
In his apparel and in his array, 
And in the clothes he wears every day; 
What he does and what he wears, 
And what he'll do all days and years; 
Whether I sleep or whether I wake, 
I hope to hear my true love speak." 

Silence must be preserved till the morning, when the lover is 
expected to appear in a dream. 

Another love spell is " the dumb cake." This cake must 
be made on New Year's Eve, and eaten in silence by a 
number of young girls ; one of them must place a clean 
chemise, turned inside out, on a chair before the fire ; this 
must be sprinkled with water by a branch of rosemary ; all 
must then sit round the fire in silence till twelve o'clock. If 
any among the party wish to be married during the ensuing 
year, the form of her husband will approach the fire and turn 
the chemise. 

-o- ^-o- 

f egntbs aito 

?HE legends of Worcestershire, as of most other 
counties, are mainly traceable to middle-age eccle- 
siastical influences or to the popular ideas of the 
author of all evil. Some few are derived from an exaggerated 
recollection of historical facts, and a still smaller number 
have descended to us from pagan times. Of these, with 
others whose origin is buried in obscurity, I shall now pro- 
ceed to give a sample. 

Ribbesford church contains an ancient sculpture on the 



tympanum of its principal doorway, representing an archer, 
with a doe or some other animal near him, which he has 
apparently shot at, but missing his aim, the arrow passes 
through what some have supposed to be a salmon, others a 
seal or a beaver ; and the legend is, that Robin of Horsehill, 
the ranger to the manor, went out to shoot a buck, but incon- 
tinently pierced a salmon in the river. It is probable, how- 
ever, in accordance with the known custom of the Norman 
builders, that the sculpture is merely intended to represent 
the leading feature of the locality, where an abundance of 
game was to be procured, the occupants of the manor being 
bound to furnish sporting for the monks of Worcester. Mr. 
Lees says that only recently another sculpture has been 
discovered at this church which seems to establish the proof 
that they are symbolical in design. 

In the sandstone blocks lying in Whelpley and Sapey brooks, 
on the borders of this county and Herefordshire, are indenta- 
tions which are accounted for in this way. St. Katharine 
and her maid Mabel (who ultimately took up their abode at 
Ledbury in consequence of having heard the bells of that 
town ring of their own accord), while travelling, had their 
mare and colt stolen, upon which the saint prayed that 
wherever the animals and the thief trod, the marks of their 
feet might be left, as a means of tracing them. The thief, 
it seems, was a girl in pattens, who took the animals down 
several brooks to avoid detection, and hence the marks of 
patten-rings and horses' feet visible to this day. Science, 
however, cold-blooded and unfeeling, has declared, by the 
mouth of Messrs. Murchison and Buckland, that the cavities 
alluded to are void spaces from which concretions of marl- 
stone and other matter have been worked out by the action of 
the water. It has been subsequently urged by other geologists 
that these indentations were old water-marks made on the 


shore when the consolidated " old red " was an ancient sea 
beach, that they were filled up with soft marly matter, which 
in modern times was washed away by the continued action of 
streams in flowing among the stones, and thus the simulated 
mare and colt's tracks became evident. Two of them, at a 
place called Jumper's Hole, are very conspicuous, but it is 
certain that they have been deepened year after year by 
the action of the water that covers them in time of flood. 
Between Clifton-on-Teme and Stanford Bishop the best 
specimens may be seen. 

The legend of St. Werstan, the founder of an oratory at 
Great Malvern, was detailed by Mr. Albert Way in the 
Journal of the Archaeological Institute, in 1845, and illustra- 
tions given from the ancient painted glass in the third window 
of the clerestory, north of the choir in Malvern Abbey 
church. The glass was probably executed towards the close 
of the fifteenth century, when a part of the structure was 
renovated. The first subject represents the hermit, under 
the guidance of angels, indicating the spot for the erection 
of an oratory, then the angels are seen dedicating the building, 
next is a figure of Edward the Confessor granting a charter, 
and lastly the saint is undergoing martyrdom at the hands 
of two executioners armed with swords, and the choristers 
or youths belonging to the establishment are being punished 
by similar tormentors. The series is highly curious, and 
seems unaccountably to have escaped notice before. 

Our neighbours, the Danes, when they piratically infested 
this country and plundered and burnt so large a number of 
churches, were sometimes caught in fiagrante delicto, and 
their sacrilegious crimes were punished by flaying their 
skins being nailed on church doors, as a terror to all other 
evil doers. The late Dr. Prattinton, of Bewdley, in his 
Manuscripts now in the possession of the Society of Anti- 

o 2 


quaries, states that some old doors then in the crypt of 
Worcester Cathedral were covered with fragments of human 
skin said to have belonged to a man who had stolen the 
sanctus-bell from the high altar. Portions of this skin have 
been since examined microscopically by Mr. Quekett, of the 
Museum of the College of Surgeons, and pronounced decidedly 
to be human. I have myself examined some old doors in the 
crypt and found on them patches of a substance like leather, 
of which I have a specimen now in my possession ; but if 
it ever belonged to a Dane it affords substantial proof that 
they could not have been a thin-skinned race. 

Similar specimens have been discovered at Westminster 
Abbey, and the churches of Hadstock and Copford, Essex ; 
and Pepys, in his Diary (1661) mentions having seen Danes' 
skins on the great doors of Rochester Cathedral. 

Evesham Abbey is said to have derived its origin from the 
same means which have been assigned to many other religious 
establishments namely, supernatural interposition. Eoves, 
a swineherd, was attending his pigs in the forest on the site 
of which Evesham now stands, when the Virgin appeared to 
him in a vision, which he communicated to his master, the 
Bishop of Worcester. The Bishop repaired to the place, 
and saw a repetition of the vision, the Virgin enjoining him 
not only to erect a monastery on that spot but to prepare 
an image of herself, which was to be worshipped at Worcester. 
This prelate, in atonement for the sins of himself and the 
people, bound himself with chains, locked them together, 
and threw the key into the Avon, declaring that nothing 
but Divine interposition should loose his chains. Then he 
undertook a pilgrimage to Rome, where his servant, pur- 
chasing a fish for dinner, found in it the key which had been 
thrown away ; and so they returned triumphantly to Evesham. 

St. Kenelm's chapel, on the Clent Hill, near Stourbridge, 


has also its legend. Kenulph, King of Mercia, who died in 
819, left his young son Kenelm under the protection of his 
sister Quendreda, who, however, being ambitious for the 
throne, procured her lover, Askobert, to take the youth out 
hunting, and there, in a secluded valley, he cut off his head, 
and buried him. However, a dove dropped a scroll on the 
high altar at Rome, whereon was written a couplet giving 
information of the murder : 

"In Clent Coubath, Kenelm, kinbarne, 
Ly'th under thorne, heaued bereaved." 

The lovers accordingly met with their desert, the murdered 
King was canonized, and on the spot of his murder a chapel 
was erected, and a spring of holy water burst forth which 
for many centuries proved an undoubted specific for sore 
legs and eyes, and a tolerably good source of emolument to 
the ecclesiastics. 

The old church of St. Clement's, Worcester, stood on the 
eastern side of the Severn, close to the city wall ; and the 
legend says, that it was begun to be built on the side of the 
river where the parish lies, but that angels, by night, took 
away the stones to the place where the church was afterwards 
erected. Modifications of this old tale, as also of the following, 
may be met with in almost every town. The original spire of 
St. Andrew's church is said to have been erected by a wealthy 
individual, out of gratitude for having, on a certain foggy 
night, been preserved from walking into the Severn, in con- 
sequence of hearing St. Andrew's bells suddenly strike out. 

It is a curious circumstance that while the vulgar mind has 
been at all times prone to attribute extrordinary or unac- 
countable results to Satanic influences, and to regard the evil 
one as the very essence of craft and cunning, a, tendency has 
always been apparent to reduce his pretensions as a prudent 


or successful bargain-maker, especially in those instances 
wherein he was supposed to have come in contact with ec- 
clesiastical antagonism, and he is almost invariably shown up 
in popular legends as being outwitted and frustrated in his 
diabolical designs, not less by expedients of the most simple 
kind, than by evasions as transparent as they are dishonest. 
We are told by Dr. Adam Clarke that Satan is far from 
excelling in knowledge, being more cunning and insidious than 
wise and prudent, and that we in general give this fallen spirit 
credit for much more wisdom than he possesses; an estimate 
of character which cannot be far from correct, if the following 
recollections of his doings in Worcestershire may be relied on : 
On the north boundary wall of Bromsgrove churchyard lies 
an old stone effigy of a man in the attitude of prayer, and it 
is said that the original of this figure sold himself to the 
wicked one for certain stipulations, one of which was, that 
when he died, he should not be buried either in or out of the 
churchyard; and the man accordingly gave directions to be 
buried under the boundary wall, and the effigy to be placed 
above it. This was a similar trick to that of the teetotaller, 
who, having taken the pledge not to drink liquors in or out of 
his house, compromised the matter to his own conscience by 
striding across the threshold and draining a jug to the bottom. 
So the people of Bewdley were once saved from destruction 
by a drunken cobbler, who foregather'd with the man of 
sin, as the latter was travelling with a spadeful of earth to 
dam up the Severn, and thereby inundate the country. The 
devil had lost his way, and inquired of the cobbler, who, 
smelling sulphur, and foreseeing annihilation to all his 
customers at Bewdley, coolly assured the father of lies that 
the distance to that town was so great that he had worn out a 
whole lot of shoes he carried in a bag at his back. Where- 
upon the fallen spirit at once dropped the earth, and there 


remains to this day the hill called " The Devil's Spadeful," or 
'* Spittleful." A similar legend prevails in many counties, 
especially in reference to the Wrekin and High Ercall Hills, 
Shropshire, and " Robin Hood's Butts," Herefordshire. 

Near Little Shelsley grows a plant called " Devil's-bit " 
(Succisa pratensis}, which it is said was given to heal any 
deadly wounds, but as the devil saw how many wicked persons 
were thus rescued from his grasp, he bit the roots off this 
plant, whereupon it miraculously grew without them, and 
follows up the habit to this day. 

In Bretforton church is the legend of " Maid Margaret " 
carved on one of the north pillars. It is said that a nun, 
being tempted by the devil, resisted, and was devoured by 
him, whereupon the holy sister, who always went armed with 
a cross, used it with such effect, that the evil one burst 
asunder, and she emerged. 

Oliver Cromwell's compact with the devil, before the battle 
of Worcester, has been a favourite fable probably ever since 
the restoration of Charles II. Echard, the rev. historian, 
condescends to propagate the fable, that Cromwell, on the 
morning that he defeated the king's army, had conference 
personally with the devil hi Perry Wood, and made a contract 
with him, that to have his will then, and in all things else for 
seven years from that day (he unsuccessfully proposed twenty- 
one or fourteen years), he should, at the expiration of the said 
term, have him at his command, to do at his pleasure, both 
with his soul and body. A valiant officer called Lindsay, 
an intimate friend of Cromwell's, is said to have been so 
horror-struck at the interview, that he fled from the battle 
that day, escaped to a friend's house at Norfolk, and foretold 
Cromwell's death would happen in seven years, which ac- 
cordingly so happened on the anniversary day of the battle. 

A few remains of fairy lore are yet to be picked up here 


and there, and Mr. Jabez Allies has furnished us with as much 
probably as can be gained on this subject. He says that the 
peasantry of Alfrick and Lulsley occasionally suppose them- 
selves " Puck-laden " (i. e. misled by that mischievous sprite 
Puck, alias good old cider), and so drawn into ditches and bogs, 
whereupon the evil genius sets up a horse-laugh; also that 
Rosebury Rock, opposite Knightsford bridge, was a favourite 
haunt of the fairies, concerning whom he tells some curious 
tales of the patronage they bestowed upon those who had done 
them a good turn. 

In the same locality is a place called "Callow's Leap," 
where it is said that a mighty hunter, named Callow, leaped 
down the precipice ; what became of him afterwards no record 
saith, but it may be presumed that the consequences of the 
leap were not fatal, as Callow's grave, or at least the name 
of it, exists near Tenbury, a considerable distance from 
Alfrick. Many are the tales of sights unearthly to be seen 
at the former spot by night of hideous black dogs running 
about, and of the difficulty of getting horses by that part of 
the road at times. 

The " Jovial Hunter " is a legend of some note at Broms- 
grove, and an old ballad is still remembered there which 
records the wondrous achievements of " Sir Ryalash " in 
ridding that country of an enormous wild boar, which, nerved 
by the promise of a fair lady's hand, he succeeded in de- 
spatching after a four hours' conflict. Bromsgrove, it is 
said, received its name from Boar's-grove, and there is a 
place called Burcot, or Boar's-cot, about three miles to the 
east of the town. An old story has also been handed down 
that the devil kept his hounds at Halesowen (Hell's Own), 
and, with his huntsman, Harry-ca-nab, riding on wild bulls, 
used to hunt the boars on Bromsgrove Lickey. Feckenham 
forest extended round this neighbourhood for many miles, 


and there are some historical evidences left of the zest with 
which the sport of hunting was formerly pursued here, among 
which is the mandate issued by Edward I to Peter Corbet, an 
ancestor of the family at Chaddesley, who, like other hunters 
of wolves, was in the king's pay. (See "Rambler," vol. iii, 
p. 220.) An argument has been raised from the fact of Robin 
Hood's name being applied to some trees and other objects in 
this neighbourhood that the great outlaw must have been at 
one time a resident in Feckenham forest ; but there is no 
tangible evidence to support the conjecture, as the name of 
Robin Hood, like that of the Duke of Wellington or Lord 
Nelson, may probably be met with on signboards or otherwise 
in every county in England. 

The parish of Wolverley has likewise its legend, derived 
from the period of the holy wars. Wolverley Court belonged 
to one of the Attwoods, who went out as a Crusader, was 
taken by the Saracens, and kept so long in a dungeon, that 
his lady at home, supposing him to be dead, was about to 
marry again, when the knight, having made a vow to the 
Virgin to present a large portion of his lands to the church 
at Worcester, was supernaturally liberated from his cell, 
whisked through the air, and deposited near home, when of 
course he lost no time in forbidding the banns. The 
prisoner's fetters are still preserved at the Court, as also the 
sculptured figure of the warrior, which formerly lay in the 
old church. 

The name of Kidderminster is said to have been derived 
from the mythological period of Britain's history when King 
Cador resided at that town ; his Majesty having been the 
founder of a minster there hence Cador-minster ; or, still 
more whimsical, comes the following versified legend: 

" King Cador saw a pretty maid : 

King Cador would have kissed her: 


The damsel slipt aside and said 
' King Cador, you have miss'd her.' " 

(And echo answered " Cador-mister.") 

As to the etymology of the parish of Oddingley, Dr. Nash 
informs us that Odd and Dingley, two Saxon giants, were said 
to have fought upon the common at that place, till the former, 
beginning to feel anxious for his own personal comfort, 
roared out 

"O Dingley, Dingley, spare my breath: 
It shall be called Oddingley heath." 

Oddo and Doddo were two powerful dukes of the Mercian 
kingdom, whose history is connected with that of several 
towns in this district, and they were buried in Pershore 
church. Odding-ley, however, most probably means "the 
field of Oding." 

In Areley Kings churchyard is a curious monument formed 
of sandstone blocks, like a portion of a wall, being part of 
the ancient fence ; it bears this inscription in old capitals : 

" Lithologema quare ? 
Keponitvr Sir Harry." 

Sir Harry Coningsby, who is thus commemorated, lived in 
a moated grange in Herefordshire, and was early left a 
widower, with one child, a daughter, on whom all his happi- 
ness was centred. He was standing one day at an open 
window with the child in his arms, when, in some playful 
action, she threw herself out of her father's arms, and fell 
into the moat beneath, where life soon became extinct. The 
wretched parent could no longer bear to reside at that fatal 
spot, and removed into Worcestershire, to a house called 
" The Sturt," in Areley Kings, where he led a solitary life, 
went usually by the name of " Sir Harry," and when he died 
was buried in a corner of the churchyard, the epitaph being 


carved on that part of the churchyard wall which formed 
Sir Harry's " pane.* " A walnut tree was planted close to 
the grave, and the boys of the parish were to have the 
walnuts, and crack them on " Sir Harry's " gravestone ; but 
the tree was cut down by the late rector. 

The ancient parish of King's Norton keeps up the memory 
of two traditions first, that Queen Elizabeth once slept in 
a large and picturesque building still shown there ; and 
second, that some centuries ago, letters were usually directed 
to " Birmingham near Kingsnorton." Droitwich likewise 
boasts of having, in some remote period, been a town of so 
much more importance than Worcester, that the latter was 
known chiefly by its vicinity to the former. There is indeed 
every probability that the salt springs of Droitwich were 
worked by the earliest settlers in this island. 

The register of Broughton Hackett is said by Nash to con- 
tain an entry, that in the reign of Queen Anne the minister 
of that parish was tried, convicted, and executed, for baking 
his shepherd's boy in an oven ! 

There is a tradition at Birtsmorton that Cardinal Wolsey 
was once a servant in the Court-house of that parish. 

Tibberton also has its traditions. It is said there that one 
Roger Tandy (temp. James I) was so very strong, that being 
at Sir John Pakington's, at Westwood, he took up a hogshead 
full of beer, drank out of the bunghole, and set it down again, 
without resting it on his knee or elsewhere. Also that one 
Hugh Pescod, alias " the little Turk," in the time of Oliver 
Cromwell, was hung up by the neck for half-an-hour by some 
Parliamentarian soldiers, and being cut down and thrown into 
a saw-pit, he recovered ; in memory of which era in his history 
he planted some elm trees near his orchard at Wood Green. 

* The tenn "pane" means that portion of the churchyard fence which 
was allotted to each parishioner to keep in repair. 


At Dudley there is a tradition that many years ago a giant 
lived in Dudley castle, as did also one in the castle of Bir- 
mingham. The Birmingham giant had done suit and service 
to the Dudley giant for many years, but growing fat he began 
to kick, and refused to serve the Dudley giant longer. A 
furious dispute thereupon broke out ; the Dudley giant in his 
rage threw a large stone all the way from Dudley at the Bir- 
mingham giant, and demolished his castle and killed him. 
Some of his surviving followers erected a stone in the lane 
as a memento of prowess and rage, and called it the war stone, 
whence the name Warstone Lane. When the lord of Dudley 
castle began the dispute which ended in the ruin of the lord 
of Birmingham, the latter had a large and deep hole made 
in the castle yard, in the which were buried the treasures 
and the muniments of his house, with a full charge to his 
familiar spirit every great man in those days had one to 
watch over them until better days came and justice were done 
to him. Some years ago, as a gentleman was digging a well 
in his garden he came unexpectedly upon a strong box. He 
began to dig round it, and had got it slung in ropes for the 
purpose of hauling it up, when an ugly dwarf jumped upon 
it (no one seeing where he came from or went to), exclaiming, 
" That 'a mine." Immediately all the earth fell in the hole 
he had made. He tried many times to get the box, but 
every time the same thing occurred, so he gave up the attempt 
in despair. My grandmother has often told me she did not 
know the gentleman, but she had frequently seen the pick 
and spade with which the hole had been made. J. VERNAL. 

St. Augustine's Oak the celebrated tree under which the 
" Apostle of the English " is said to have held a conference 
with the British bishops has been claimed by many places 
in this county as a plant of Worcestershire growth : Rock 
and Alfrick, a place called " The Apostle's Oak," near Stan- 


ford Bridge, the Mitre Oak at Hartlebury, and other places, 
have been pointed out, but the record left of the site of this 
famous oak is so vague that any attempt at fixing it must be 
mere matter of conjecture. Some have supposed that the 
parish of Rock, whose original name was derived from the 
Saxon word signifying an oak, must have been the site, as 
Dr. Nash informs us that there was a hollow oak there held 
in great veneration by the country people, and called by 
them " The Apostle's Oak." When the turnpike was first 
erected, it served as a habitation for the keeper, and through 
his carelessness was burnt down. 



is an ancient custom at Norton, near Evesham, on 
the 28th of December (Innocents' Day) to ring a 
muffled peal, in token of sorrow for the slaughter of 
the hapless "babes of Bethlehem," and, immediately after- 
wards, an unmuffled peal, in manifestation of joy for the 
deliverance and escape of the infant Saviour. 


At Huddington church a custom prevails not to ring the 
bell for service till the clergyman appears in sight which 
probably originated in that interesting period of church dis- 
cipline when congregations were not always sure of a parson 
till they had caught him. 



The number of godfathers and godmothers to attend at 
baptisms was fixed at Worcester, at a synod held in 1240, 
when the same provision was made as is now required by our 
rubric, viz., " That there should be for every male child that 
is to be baptized two godfathers and one godmother, and for 
every female one godfather and two godmothers." 


The custom of " crabbing the parson " was observed till 
lately at St. Kenelm's chapelry, near Stourbridge. It was 
the practice for the villagers, and all who chose, to arm 
themselves with crabs on the wake Sunday, and as the 
parson approached the church they were plentifully and 
vigorously discharged at him in the most approved mode of 
" horizontal firing " until he reached the haven of the church 
porch. The substitution of sticks and stones for crabs led 
to the suppression of the practice. It is said that the origin 
of this curious game was at some " time immemorial," when 
a certain clergyman who served this chapel abstracted some 
dumplings from a pot at a farm-house near and deposited 
them in the sleeves of his surplice^ from which they rolled 
out during service time on the head of the clerk, who, 
thinking himself insulted, retaliated upon the parson by 
pelting him with a quantity of crabs which he had acci- 
dentally got in his pocket. 


Two ancient customs are observed at Worcester Cathedral 
first, the separation of men from the women ; and second, 
the division of the morning service into two. The allotment 
to each sex of a distinct place in the church was very strictly 


observed among the primitive Christians, and Geoffrey of 
Monmouth states that the Britons observed the ancient 
custom of Troy, by which the men and women used to 
celebrate their festivals apart. There is an old jeu d'esprit 
in relation to the custom at Worcester : 

44 The churches in general, we everywhere find, 
Are places where men to the women are joined ; 
At Worcester, it seems, they are more cruel hearted, 
For men and their wives are brought here to be parted." 

As to the division of the morning service (one portion being 
performed between eight and nine o'clock ; and the Litany, 
Communion, and sermon, from eleven to one), it is to be 
observed that these services were originally intended to be 
distinct, so that the curate might have time between them 
to receive the names of those who intended to communicate. 
The Communion Office still everywhere retains the old name 
of "the second service;" and Bishop Overal imputes it to 
the negligence of ministers and the carelessness of the people 
that they are huddled together into one office. (See Wheatley 
on the Common Prayer.) 


The neighbourhood of Abberton, Flyford Flavel, Wick, 
Nauntou Beauchamp, and other rural parishes in that district, 
celebrate weddings by serenading the house of the newly- 
married pair at night, and firing off guns, pistols, or any 
other instrument which will explode. Some parties at Wick 
were not long ago summoned before the magistrates for 
having participated in one of these popping-bouts, but the 
indignation of the district was greatly aroused by their being 
mulcted in certain expenses and ordered to discontinue the 
practice, for it is believed to be nearly " as old as Adam," 
and as indispensable a ceremony as the marriage vow itself. 



At Broadwas, at all funerals, the bearers invariably set 
down the coffin in the middle of the lane leading to the 
church, and forming a circle around it, they all bow most 
reverentially a remnant, no doubt, of those ceremonies 
observed in Catholic days, to mark respect for the departed 
and to bid him farewell. 


Brand, in his " Popular Antiquities," states that a servant, 
named Betty Jelkes, who lived several years at Evesham, 
informed him of an ancient custom at that place for the 
master-gardeners to give their workpeople a treat of baked 
peas, both white and grey, and pork, annually on Holy 

On Ascension Day the inhabitants of Nantwich formerly 
assembled and sang a hymn of thanksgiving for the blessings 
of brine, and a very ancient pit there was held in great 
veneration and bedecked with boughs, flowers, and garlands ; 
a jovial band of young people encircled the place, celebrating 
the occasion with song and dance. The custom also was yearly 
observed at Droitwich, on St. Richard's Day. This " Saint 
Richard" was Richard de Burford, Bishop of Chichester, 
who was born at Droitwich about the year 1200. Leland 
says that the principal salt springs " did fayle in the tyme 
of Richard de la Wich, or Burford, Bishop of Chichester ; 
and that after, by his intercession, it was restored to the 
profit of the ould course ; such (he adds) is the superstition of 
the people. In token whereof, or for the honour that the 
Wichemen and saulters bear unto this Richard, their countrie- 
man, they used of late tymes on his daye to hange about the 
sault springe or well, once a yeere, with tapestrie, and to 
have drinking games or revels at it." One year "in the 


Presbyterian time (as Aubrey hath it) it was discontinued, 
and after that the spring shrank up or dried up for some time ; 
so afterwards they revived their annual custom, notwith- 
standing the power of Parliament and the soldiers, and the 
salt water returned again and still continues." 

The 5th of November so long celebrated as 

" The day that God did prevent 
To blow up his king and parliament," 

is still faintly remembered among us by means of squibs 
and.crackers stealthily discharged by mischievous boys in 
the streets. The good old system of bonfires always a 
most popular mode of rejoicing would probably not have 
been abandoned but for the numerous conflagrations it must 
have occasioned at a time when thatch generally covered our 
houses. In 1789, the Worcester corporation caused the bell- 
man to cry down bonfires, although previous to that time the 
expense of providing fuel, and drink to hand round to the 
happy spectators, had been regularly defrayed out of the 
civic purse. Last year (1855) the notoriety of the day was 
partly revived, though on another account namely, its being 
the first anniversary of the battle of Inkermann. 


is wonderfully shorn of its honours since people have 
generally taken to read history, and have learned how little 
reason they have to bless the memory of the Stuarts. The 
marvellous escape of Charles II, when his pursuers passed 
under the oak tree in which he was secreted after the 
battle of Worcester, is now only commemorated in the city 
which boasts of being " faithful " to its kings whether their 



memory be odorous or not, by some half-dozen boughs of oak 
being affixed over as many doorways in different streets. 


Midlent, or, as it is called in Worcestershire, " Mothering 
Sunday," is still observed as a minor festival, upon which all 
the children and grandchildren visit their parents, and the 
pride of the feast is invariably a loin of veal. 


The first of April, too, is not forgotten by the young fry, as 
"April fool day;" when all sorts of traps are set to make 
each other look ridiculous. 


The old custom of drinking healths is on the decline. In a 
book of rhymes, published about 1660, in "a catch made 
before the king's coming to Worcester with the Scottish 
army," is the following : 

" Each man upon his back 
Shall swallow his sack, 

This health will endure no shrinking; 
The rest shall dance round 
Him that lies on the ground : 
'Fore me this is excellent drinking." 


The May-pole, it has been already stated, is still in 
existence at Offenham, Hartlebury, Bayton, &c. Thomas 
Hall, a puritanical writer (1660), author of the "Downfall 
of May Games," says " The most of these May-poles are 
stollen, yet they give out that the poles are given them. 
There were two May-poles set up in my parish (Kingsnorton) ; 


the one was stollen, and the other was given by a profest 
Papist. That which was stollen was said to bee given, when 
'twas proved to their faces that 'twas stollen, and they were 
made to acknowledge their offence. This pole that was stolen 
was rated at five shillings : if all the poles, one with another, 
were so rated, which was stollen this May, what a considerable 
sum would it amount to ! Fightings and bloodshed are usual 
at such meetings, insomuch that 'tis a common saying, that 
'tis no festival unless there bee some fightings." 


" Heaving " or " lifting " at Easter has not long been dis- 
continued at Worcester, the locality where the writer last 
heard of its performance being in Birdport and Dolday. On 
Easter Monday the women would surround any man who 
happened to be passing by, and by their joint efforts lift him 
up in the air, and on the next day the men did the same to 
the women. The only mode of escaping this kind of eleva- 
tion was by " forking out " (as they term it in the classical 
phraseology of that neighbourhood) a certain sum to be 
spent in drink. At Hartlebury, a few years back, the farm- 
house mistress would give the male servant a treat on Easter 
Tuesday, to heave the female servant, for she superstitiously 
believed that it would prevent the female servant from 
breaking the crocks during the ensuing year. At Kidder- 
minster, on Easter Monday, the women would deck themselves 
gaily for the occasion, dress a chair with ribbons, and place 
a rope across the street to prevent the escape of any un- 
fortunate man who chanced to pass that way. He was then 
seized, placed in the chair, elevated up on high, turned round 
three times, set down again, and was then kissed by all the 
women. He was also expected to pay something towards 
the evening's entertainments of tea and dancing. Next day 


the women were heaved by the men. This custom was 
observed in the streets till about a dozen years ago, and 
even to a later period in the factories and public-houses in 
Kidderminster. Heaving was no doubt originally designed 
to represent the resurrection. 


is one of the best preserved customs of the middle ages, and 
will probably last as long as "young men and maidens" 
have a tender regard for each other. The first woman seen 
by a man on the morning of this day, or vice versa, is called 
their Valentine, though the parties never see each other 
again. Since the establishment of the penny postage system 
and the cheapening of paper and print, the custom of sending 
Valentines has been much on the increase, some of our 
Worcester booksellers having found the trade sufficiently 
important to warrant the insertion of advertisements in the 
newspapers announcing a varied stock of these little missives 
on hand ; while the progress of education and taste among 
the people is shown by the elegance with which some of the 
amatory designs are " got up." There is no satisfactory 
account of the origin of this custom, which has been proved to 
have existed at least five centuries ago. In the life of St. 
Valentine there is nothing that could have given rise to it. 
There was a rural tradition that on this day every bird chose 
its mate : 

" Look how, my dear, the feather'd kind, 

By mutual caresses joined, 

Bill, and seem to teach us two 

What we to love and custom owe. 

Shall only you and I forbear 
To meet and make a happy pair ? 
Shall we alone delay to live? 
This day an age of bliss may give. 


But ah! when I the proffer make, 
Still coyly you refuse to take ; 
My heart I dedicate in vain, 
The too mean present you disdain. 

Yet, since the solemn time allows 
To choose the object of our vows, 
Boldly I dare profess my flame, 
Proud to be yours by any name." 


is still resorted to by the boatmen of the Severn and the 
canals, whenever the frost interrupts their ordinary occupa- 
tion, on which occasion small parties of them, dressed up 
fantastically with ribbons, and carrying short sticks, which 
they strike together in time with parts of the dance, perform 
in the streets, soliciting alms. The Morris Dancers made a 
considerable figure in the parochial festivals of the olden 
times. It is said the custom was introduced by the Moors 
into Spain. A few years ago a dance was performed in 
Herefordshire by eight men whose united ages amounted to 
eight hundred years ; and Sir William Temple mentions that 
in a certain year of King James's reign there were ten men 
in Herefordshire who went about that county as Morris 
Dancers whose ages altogether numbered twelve hundred 
years! 'Tis not so much (says he) that so many in one 
county should live to that age, as that they should be in 
vigour and humour to travel and dance. 


linger yet among us, but their operations are confined to an 
early serenading of the citizens with soft music a few 
mornings in the Christmas time. Formerly the Worcester 
Corporation kept a " company of waites," paying them wagea 


and dressing them in livery (cock'd hats and blue coats or 
cloaks), to be ready to play on all public occasions ; but towards 
the close of the last century they were gradually superseded 
by another order of minstrels, " ye drums and fifes." Busby, 
in his Dictionary of Music, says the term " wayghts or waites " 
formerly signified '' hautboys," and, what is remarkable, has 
no singular number. From the instruments, its signification 
was for a time transferred to the performers themselves ; 
who, being in the habit of parading the streets by night with 
their music, occasioned the name to be applied generally to 
all musicians who followed a similar practice ; hence those 
persons who annually, at the approach of Christmas, salute 
us with their nocturnal concerts, were, and are to this day, 
called Wayghts. 


still is occasionally rung at St. Helen's church, in this city, 
and at Bewdley and King's Norton, also at Pershore from 
October till March. At Evesham it is rung in the fine old 
bell- tower at eight o'clock every evening, except on Saturdays, 
when it is rung at seven o'clock during the Christmas holidays 
the week before and the week after Christmas Day it is 
rung at seven o'clock ; and probably at other old towns in 
the county which I have not ascertained ; but the perpetuation 
of the old custom seems to be dependent solely on the poor 
ringers' respect for ancient usages, as they apparently get 
no money for their pains. At St. Helen's, after ringing the 
eight o'clock bell, it was usual to strike upon it the number 
of the day of the month. 


At St. Martin's church, a few weeks before Christmas, a 
bell is nightly rung, the expense of which, I believe, is pro- 


vided for under the will of one Sir Robert Berkeley, Knight, 
who left a fund for bell-ringing on certain days, and to pur- 
chase bell-ropes. The bell at St. Martin's is called "the 
plum-pudding bell," probably in allusion to the approaching 
Christmas festivities, as the " pancake bell " was formerly 
rung in many places at Easter. In most old towns, as at 
Worcester and Bewdley, a very early morning bell was 
formerly rung, probably for the purpose of waking up appren- 
tices and arousing the working classes generally, as also 
school-boys to their studies ; but these parties are now 
mainly left to manage their early rising as they can, unless 
some friendly factory bell be at hand. There was also a 
passing bell, tolled while persons were dying. In the articles 
of visitation for the diocese of Worcester in 1662 occurs the 
following : " Doth the parish clerk or sexton take care to 
admonish the living, by tolling of a passing bell, of any that 
are dying, thereby to meditate of their own deaths, and to 
commend the other's weak condition to the mercy of God ? " 


" Catherning," or " Cattaring," that is, the observance of 
St. Catharine's Day (Nov. 25) has not yet gone out of remem- 
brance in Worcestershire. It was formerly the custom of 
the Dean and Chapter that day being the last of their audit 
to distribute amongst the inhabitants of the College pre- 
cincts a rich compound of wine, spices, &c., called "the 
Cattern bowl." A modified edition of the custom, I believe, 
is still observed. At Leigh, Harvington, Offenham, and other 
parishes, the young people had a custom of going round to 
the houses and asking for apples and beer, using a doggrel 
rhyme on the occasion which differs in most places, and St. 
Thomas's and old Christmas Day are sometimes selected for 
the purpose. The St. Thomas's Day perambulation is in 


some places called " Going a gooding." The rhyme or carol 
more usually sung on St. Catharine's Day began thus : 

"Catt'n and Clement comes year by year, 
Some of yr apples and some of yr beer; 
Some for Peter, some for Paul, 
Some for Him who made us all. 
Peter was a good old man, 
For his sake give us some: 
Some of the best and none of the worst, 
And God will send yr souls to roost." 

Concluding thus : 

"Up the ladder and down with the can, 
Give me red apples and I'll begone." 

The ladder alluding to the store of apples, generally kept in 
a loft ; and the can, doubtless, to the same going down into 
the cellar for the beer. In some districts of the county the 
following doggrel is repeated: 

" St. Clements ! St. Clements ! A cat by the ear ! 
A good red apple a pint o' beer! 
Some o' your mutton, some o' your vale 1 [veal] 
If it's good, gie us a dale, [deal] 
If its naught, gie us some saut! [salt] 
Butler, butler, fill the bowl 
If you fill it of the best, 
God will send your soul to rest ; 
But if you fill it of the small, 
The Devil take butler, bowl, and all ! " 

A correspondent states that this custom originated, or was 
revived, when Queen Elizabeth visited Worcester, the inhab- 
itants sparing no expense to give her Majesty a gracious 
reception upon St. Catharine's Day, when a number of apples 
were strung before the fire and the citizens went with a can 
from house to house, begging apples and beer, and repeating 
the above lines. 



At Kidderminster is a whimsical charity for the benefit of 
the inhabitants of Church Street. Mr. Brecknall, a bachelor, 
in 1778, bequeathed a farthing loaf and twopenny cake annu- 
ally to every single person born in that street who should apply 
for it on the 21st of June; the applicant is eligible during the 
whole of his or her life, or in whatever part of the world 
residing. The mere residents of Church Street, if not born 
there, are also entitled to a cake, but their claim is forfeited 
when they leave the street. The recipients make themselves 
truly "jolly" on the night of the distribution. In the same 
town the inhabitants formerly assembled at a particular hour 
on Michaelmas Day, on the occasion of the election of a 
bailiff, which was announced by the ringing of the town- 
house bell, and during one hour termed "lawless hour" 
the poorer classes amused themselves by throwing cabbage- 
stalks at each other, while the higher classes threw apples. 
Sometimes the apples were thrown from windows, to be 
scuffled for, and many a black eye was the consequence of 
this fruit being used as a projectile. After a whole street had 
been amused by this practical fun, it was given out by some 
leader of the mob what locality was next to be favoured, and 
thither they all proceeded at once. This custom was observed 
within the last twenty years. 


On the second Sunday in July there was a custom at 
Chaddesley Corbett to put strangers "through the whoop." 
I cannot ascertain exactly what tins practice was, as the 
inhabitants from whom I have sought information fight 
exceedingly shy of it, and some even deny the existence of 
the custom ; but one gentleman informs me that it was usual 


on that day for the lower order of the parishioners to play 
some practical joke anything which first presented itself 
to their imaginations upon whatever stranger happened to 
come within their boundary. 


There is a curious tenure at Inkberrow. The manor and 
advowson were granted by Philip and Mary to an ancestor 
of the present Lord Abergavenny, on condition that in default 
of male issue the same should revert to the Crown. Up to 
the present time, however, there has been no lack of males 
in the family, and the present noble lord "hath his quiver 
full " of promising sons. 


Among the colliers in the north of this county, as also that 
singular race of beings known as the " Lye- wasters," near 
Stourbridge, the custom is observed of adopting nicknames, 
so that they are but very little known by their Christian or 
surnames, and an officer who goes to serve a writ or summons 
has a task which he finds himself unable to perform. 
Amusing instances are given in "The Rambler," vol. ii, p. 
80, and vol. iii, p. 253. 


At Halesowen, in former times, the celebration of bride-ales 
or love-ales, at a wedding, prevailed, and led to such disorder 
that during the reign of Elizabeth it was found necessary by 
the Borough Court to make some most stringent orders 
thereon. The custom was for the bride to sell a quantity of 
ale, for which she received, by way of contribution, whatever 
handsome price the friends assembled chose to pay; the 
object being to assist the young people in commencing 


housekeeping. The custom is now reversed, for the entertain- 
ment to be given by young married people to their friends 
is at present a serious item. 


The way of relieving parochial paupers at Harvington in 
the seventeenth century was by assigning them for certain 
days to any of the inhabitants who would employ them. 
An entry occurs in the parish register thus: 

" April 6, 1697. A particular of the several days as Thomas 
Godfrey is to worke with the persons under written, for which they 
are to give him 8d. a day, or if they doe not employ him, 4d. per 
day ; to begin from the 6th of April, 1697, and soe to goe thro' the 
towne as thus : " 

Then follows a list of thirty-six persons who were to employ 
the said Thomas Godfrey, giving him a month's intermission 
at harvest time. 


On the confines of Worcestershire, towards Ledbury, it was 
some years ago the custom, on Twelfth Night, for the farmers 
to make twelve fires upon the head (east side) of one of their 
wheat fields. One of these fires was larger than the others, 
which they called "Old Meg," and around this the farm 
servants, with their families and friends, congregated to drink 
warm cider, with plum-cake toasted in it, and with loud 
hurrahs wishing success to the master and his crops ; then 
they proceeded to the cow-house, which had been nicely 
cleaned for the occasion, and the cows had also been cleaned 
and tied up, being allowed a good supply of their best pro- 
vender. A large plum-cake, bound round with tape, was 
stuck on the horns of the best cow, and buckets of cider with 
plum-cake were carried in. Each person present then drank 
to the health of the cow, using this doggrel : 


" Here's to thee, Ball, and to thy white horn ; 
Pray God send thy master a good crop of corn, 
Of wheat, rye, and barley, and all sorts of grain, 
And at this time twelve months we meet here again. 
The leaves they are green, 

The nuts they are brown, 
They all hang so high 

That they cannot come down. 
They cannot come down until the next year, 
So thee eat thy oats and we'll drink our beer" (or cider, as the 
case might be.) 

Then the cowman went up to the cow, and caused her by 
some movement to shake her head, and if the cake tumbled 
over in front of her it belonged to the cowman ; if it fell 
behind, it became the property of the dairymaid. The party 
then retired to the house, and made the evening jolly, never 
concluding the festivity without a dance. I have heard that 
to this day the custom of lighting twelve fires on the same 
night still prevails at Preston, near Ledbury, and other places. 
A correspondent informs me that he remembers a custom 
similar to the above being observed in the neighbourhood of 
Tenbury on Christmas Eve, and that Neen Sollars was the 
last parish in which he witnessed it. 

The twelve fires on the eve of Twelfth Day, kindled with 
great rejoicing before a pole wrapped up in straw, called 
" the old woman," in a field that has been sown with grain, 
are supposed to be the remains of some heathen ceremony 
derived from the Romans or Saxons, allusive to Ceres and 
the months, but afterwards adopted to a holiday season of 
the Christian year. This practice (as the Rev. J. Webb, 
of Tretire, near Ross, informs us) is still continued in parts 
of Herefordshire. 

It is the custom at the present day in some parishes in 
Worcestershire (Longdon for instance) for boys and girls to 


go early on New Year's morning to all the farm-houses and 
say as follows, all in one breath : 

" Bud well, bear well, 
God send you fare well, 
Every sprig and every spray 
A bushel of apples next New Year's Day. 
Morning, master and mistress, 
A happy New Year, 
A pocket full of money, 
A cellar full of beer. 
Please to give me a New Year's gift." 

A clergyman in Worcestershire communicated to the editor 
of " Brand's Antiquities " the following doggrel lines, but 
the occasion and use of them appear to be unknown, and 
it is not unlikely that some corruption has crept into them : 

"Wassail brews good ale, 
Good ale for Wassail ; 
Wassail comes too soon 
In the wane of the moon." 

In the neighbourhood towards Ledbury it was customary 
for the farmers to complete wheat-sowing by what was called 
Allontide (Allhallows) Nov. 1st. If they had finished by 
the previous night, a cake was divided between the dairymaid 
and the waggoner. If the latter could succeed in going into 
the kitchen by a certain hour at night, and cracking his whip 
three times, the cake belonged to him ; but if the dairy- 
maid, by any means in her power, could prevent the per- 
formance of the whip ceremony, she claimed one half of the 
cake. The maid was on the look-out an hour or so before 
the required time, and the wits of both parties were on the 
alert to counteract each other's movements, affording much 
amusement to the rustic spectators. Respecting the period 
for the completion of wheat- sowing, the following old saying 
prevailed in the above district many years ago : 


"At Michaelmas fair (Oct. 2) 
The wheat should hide a hare." 

Everybody knows that in the present day they do not begin 
sowing till after that date. 

Old Christmas is still observed, especially in the western 
parts of the county. In old-fashioned farm-houses the 
misletoe remains till the following Christmas Eve, when it 
is burned, and a fresh bough put up. 


though nearly banished by the advance of education and 
improved manners, is occasionally performed in the secluded 
parts of this district. The usage is, that when a male 
stranger has to pass through the hop ground, he is seized by 
the women of the picking party, and threatened to be pitched 
into the crib (an article like a large cradle or child's crib, 
into which the hops are picked), and then to be smothered 
with the caresses of all the oldest and most snuffy women 
present, unless he will " shell out " something handsome to 
be spent in liquor. If he be young and cleanly, the chances 
are ten to one that he prefers paying the fine. Sometimes 
respectable women have been cribbed ; but in all instances 
that have been brought before the magistrates, the law's 
supremacy over absurd custom has been vindicated. 


Under the head of " Holy Thursday and its old customs 
at Worcester" the "Worcester Herald" of May 27, 1854, 
contained the following sketch, which is worthy of a place 

The ancient custom of " processioning," or " beating the 
bounds," on Ascension Day, it seems, has not yet become 
a dead letter in this city. The parishes of All Saints and 


St. Clement are among the most determined upholders of 
antiquity in this respect ; and although it is but seldom that 
either parish rejoices in these " free-and-easy " carnivals, 
there are, nevertheless, a few jovial spirits left in each, who 
occasionally become so overcharged with a desire for practical 
fun and adventure that "go it they must," and straightway 
the venerable custom of " beating the bounds " is as good 
an excuse as any other for indulging their appetite. The 
practice, we believe, has not been observed in the parish of 
All Saints for ten years past, till Thursday last, when it 
came off with all that eclat and superabundance of relish 
which had been accumulating during the interval of a decade 
of years. The steeple being, of course, the rallying point, 
the party met in the morning at the vestry-room, from 
whence sallied the Rev. Dr. Bartlett, the curate, Messrs. 
H. Davis and . Clarke, churchwardens, Messrs. Hill and 
William Hole, overseers, and a party of about twenty parish- 
ioners, accompanied by a shoal of larkish striplings a body 
which considerably augmented during the line of route 
vires acquirit eundo. Down Quay Street they went and down 
the steps towards a boat, but not without misgivings did the 
party cast their eyes aloft to the rough-and-ready customers 
assembled on the bridge, under the centre arch of which the 
" processioners " were doomed to go. Two policemen had 
been impressed into the boat for purposes of defence, but 
what is a policeman more than any other mortal under the 
combined influences of a cataract of mud and water ? And 
what avails a staff, sword, or dagger, when the enemy grins 
upon you from a perpendicular height of some twenty or 
thirty feet ! Accordingly the party went through the ordeal 
with all the calm courage of victims whose only consolation 
is, that when custom sanctions, neither law nor personal 
comfort is accounted as of the slightest consequence. On 


the whole they escaped as well as could have been expected, 
having encountered only a little water, mud, and a few et 
ceteras. Thence they proceeded, and cast anchor in Dolday 
Bay, and after landing there, our informant assures us, " the 
game was tremendous." Six or seven shillings' worth of 
buns were scattered about to produce some scrambling among 
the boys, and the consequences, as might be supposed, were 
a considerable exhibition of juvenile activity, amid which dirt 
and rubbish " around their heads were flying ; " and one 
venerable dame, declaring she had nothing else to part with, 
discharged the contents of her teapot so effectually as to 
plaster up the eye of our informant, who insists upon it that 
he couldn't see why the old lady should have resorted to such 
extremities for putting him into hot water. Dolday and 
the Butts were passed, and the interior of eight or ten houses 
inspected, the wall of the Independent Chapel, Angel Street, 
scaled, and the Crown yard reached, when another drenching 
shower slightly damped the ardour of the borderers ; but, 
like Cromwell's Invincibles, armed to the teeth with pluck, 
on they went, through Mr. Loxley's house and back premises, 
down Powick Lane, through Tanner's yard, and so back to the 
vestry, where progress was duly recorded in the books. We 
should not omit to state that the chaplain, who accompanied 
the party, had done his best to turn the old ceremony to good 
account, by delivering appropriate addresses, &c., at various 
points on the line of route. On again emerging from the 
vestry, a final salutation was given to the explorers by the 
assembled crowd, in which the policemen got thoroughly 
rinsed ; a worthy Boniface, known as " The old fellow," was 
prostrated to the ground, in which position he shouted most 
piteously, " Blow me if I ain't blinded ; " and an overseer was 
so roughly handled, that his usual amiable temper became 
ruffled, and he swore a deadly oath, that if they gave him 


three months for it, he would punch the head of the first 
fellow he caught. The boys were treated to a scrambling for 
pence, and so ended the out-door performances. After the 
fatigues of the day, a jolly party of about twenty-five sat down 
to dinner at Mr. Hill's, the Herefordshire House, Newport 
Street, whose admirable catering soon made them forget the 
mishaps of the morning, and a very pleasant evening was spent. 

The St. Clement's officials (Mr. Bozward, churchwarden, 
Messrs. Spilsbury and Fenn, overseers ) and a number of 
the parishioners, armed with a flag and a bough of oak, took 
to the water like ducks, from Tearne's meadow, near the 
Dog and Duck, passed down the middle of the Severn to 
the Watermen's Chapel, where they landed to take in a part 
of the Cattle Market and the site of the old parish church ; 
embarked once more, passed the Rubicon of the centre arch 
of the bridge, landed on the west side of the river, opposite 
the Cathedral, and performed all the remainder by land. 
The usual ablutions, bedaubings, scramblings, and so forth, 
were not forgotten. Afterwards the party dined at the very 
comfortable hostelry of the Dog and Duck. 

A word or two on the origin of the above old ceremony 
may not be misplaced here. We find that formerly it was 
the custom to go round the bounds and limits of the parish 
on one of the three days before Holy Thursday, or the feast 
of Ascension, when the minister, accompanied by the church- 
wardens and parishioners, was wont to deprecate the vengeance 
of God, beg a blessing on the fruits of the earth, and to 
preserve the rights and properties of the parish. To this 
Wither alludes in his "Emblems" (1636), as follows: 

" That every man might keep his own possessions, 
Our fathers us'd, in reverend processions, 
With zealous prayers and praiseful cheere, 
To walke their parish limits once a yeare; 


And well-known raarkes (which sacrilegious hands 
Now cut or breake) so border'd out their lands, 
That every one distinctly knew his owne, 
And many brawles, now rife, were then unknowne." 

These gang days, as they were called, not only brought to 
the recollection of Englishmen the settlement of the Christian 
faith on the soil, but they also impressed on the memory 
correct notions concerning the origin and nature of proprie- 
torship in land. These religious processions marked out the 
limits of certain portions of land, under which the whole 
kingdom was contained ; and in all this the principle of 
" God's fee " was recognised by the law and the people. 
The walking of the parish bounds in religious processions 
very materially contributed to form and keep fresh in the 
minds of each passing generation the terms on which pro- 
perty was held, and some of the duties belonging to the 
holding. There was a short service ordered to be read 
occasionally, composed of such sentences as the following: 
"Cursed is he that translateth the bounds and doles of his 
neighbour," &c. The custom of processioning (like the large 
majority of Christian ceremonies) was no doubt derived from the 
heathens, being an imitation of the feast called " Terminalia," 
which was dedicated to the God Terminus, whom they con- 
sidered the guardian of fields and landmarks and the keeper 
up of friendship and peace among men. The primitive custom 
used by the Christians on this occasion was for the people 
to accompany the Bishop or some of the clergy into the fields, 
where Litanies were chanted and the mercy of God implored, 
that He would avert the evils of plague and pestilence, that 
He would send them good and favourable weather, and give 
them in due season the fruits of the earth. The boundaries 
in some places were marked by what they called " Gospel 
trees," from the custom of having the Scriptures read under 


or near them by the attendant clergyman. One of these 
trees was till lately standing at Stratford-upon-Avon. A 
vivid recollection of the exact extent of each parish was kept 
alive in the breasts of the juveniles by many kinds of prac- 
tical jokes. 

When religious processions were abandoned at the time 
of the Reformation these parochial processions also generally 
fell into disuse, although it was then ordered that they should 
be continued, but a principal cause of their discontinuance 
of late years was the passing of the Parochial Assessment 
Act in 1836, which gave power to Boards of Guardians to 
cause the various parishes under their jurisdiction to be 
properly mapped and valued. Where this was complied 
with, the existence of the new maps rendered it less necessary 
that a minute personal recollection of the boundaries of the 
parish should be impressed on the minds of the youthful 
generation by means of processions. The Worcester Board 
of Guardians have not availed themselves of the power con- 
ferred by this Act, for under the Parochial Assessment Act 
not a single parish of this city has hitherto been mapped 
and valued, until now that All Saints' is under contract for 
that purpose. The Guardians have not felt it necessary to 
do so, as no churchwardens or overseers have yet (1855) called 
upon them to exercise their powers ; and it seems that the 
concurrence of the latter officers is necessary for the ordering 
of maps and valuations. Processioning, however, is still 
recognised by the law, for by an act passed so recently as 
1844 (7th and 8th Victoria, chap. 101) power is given to 
charge for all necessary expenses properly incurred in peram- 
bulations and in setting up and keeping in repair the boundary 
stones of the parish, provided that such perambulation do not 
arise more than once in three years. 



&HAT was the origin of ordering military troops out 
of the city at times of assizes and sessions, and in 
what other places besides Worcester is the custom 
observed ? 


How many (if any) trees of the celebrated black pear of 
Worcester still remain hi this city and suburbs ? 


Is there, in any private collection of coins in Worcester, 
one of King Charles's Worcester half-crowns or a specimen 
of the leaden halfpenny struck at the mint in this city ? 


Were hops cultivated in East Worcestershire? In many 
places in Beoley parish, hops are found growing hi the hedge- 
rows, and there is a large field there which is called " The 
Hop-garden." The year 1855 is believed to have produced 
a larger crop of hops than has ever been known (duty 
398,635. 6s. 5fd.). In 1801 the Worcester district paid a 
larger duty than had been on previous record, though far 
below the duty of 1855; and in 1826 the duty was higher 
than in 1801, being 269,331 ; or 129,304 less than in 1855. 
Can any one tell, by document or otherwise, what was the 
hop acreage in this district in the year 1801 ? 



In what year was the needle trade introduced into 
Redditch, by whom, and where from I 


What was the origin of applying the term " marine store 
dealers" to shopkeepers buying and selling old metal, &c. I 


When was the practice of planting groves, or avenues of 
trees, as approaches to family mansions, commenced, and when 
and why abandoned I Nothing can speak more of grandeur or 
of ancestral dignity than these solemn avenues of trees for 
instance, those of Spetchley, Cotheridge, &c. In Rome, no 
great house was formerly built without an avenue of trees, 
and Plato taught his scholars to love the groves of Academus 
almost as well as his philosophy. 


On the key-stone of the arch of the Guildhall entrance-door 
is the figure of a man's head, having the expression of pain, 
and with his ears nailed back. Is there any ground for sup- 
posing that this was intended to represent Oliver Cromwell 
in the pillory, while the two Charleses stand in regal state 
on each side ? I have heard the fag-end of an old song, of 
which the following is the burden : 

" The Worcester people being hurt full sore, sir, 
Nail'd Cromwell's head by the ears above the Town-hall door, sir. 

Chorus. Ileigho, what will they do ? 

They're always finding something new." 

It is, however, probable that the sculpture in question is 


intended, with the other heads and figures adorning the Hall, 
merely to represent some abstract idea, such as Justice, 
Punishment, Pain, &c. 


When were the last known instances of bull-baiting and 
cock-fighting in Worcester, and when was the pillory last 
used ? About forty years ago the present Lord Dundonald 
(then Lord Cochrane) was sentenced by Lord Ellenborough 
" to stand in and upon the pillory for the space of one hour." 
The public and the press were justly indignant at a distin- 
guished and enterprising naval officer being sentenced to 
such an infamous punishment, and it was not carried into 
effect ; the Legislature took up the matter, and in their zeal 
abolished the punishment of the pillory altogether. 


Can you, sir, or any of your correspondents, inform me of 
the whereabout of the *' Milward Evidences" which were 
used by Shaw and Nash in their histories of the counties of 
Worcester and Stafford. The heiress of the Milwards, 
of Wollescott, married Hungerford Oliver, Esq., whose 
descendants, till about fifteen or twenty years ago, resided 
at the family seat of Wollescott (which had been in the 
possession of the Milwards before the reign of Elizabeth), 
and since then they have gone down in the world, and probably 
these valuable Manuscripts are destroyed. C. J. D. 

Answer. The Milward family possessed good landed posses- 
sions and resided at Wollescote (called Ousecote in Nash) 
in the reign of Henry VIII. The last of the family bearing 
the name was Thomas Milward, Esq., who died in 1784. By 
his wife, Prudence, daughter of Captain Oliver Dixon, of 


Dixon's Green, Dudley, he had four daughters, viz., Elizabeth 
and Ann Milward, who died unmarried ; Prudence, the wife 
of Mr. Hungerford Oliver, who had issue the late Edward 
Oliver, Esq., of Wollescote, and others ; and Mary, the wife 
of John Foster, of Leicester Grange, county Warwick, Esq. 
(Sheriff of Worcestershire, 18th George III), who had issue 
one child, John Foster, of the Middle Temple, who died 
unmarried. Mr. Edward Oliver succeeded to the property 
of his grandfather and the papers referred to by your corres- 
pondent. Being afterwards in embarrassed circumstances, 
he left Wollescote and resided in a distant part of the 
kingdom for several years. The papers, in sacks, were left 
at tenants' cottages, and by removal, damp, and other causes, 
became gradually lessened, until about twenty years ago, 
after Mr. Oliver's return to Wollescote, when he was induced 
by a relative, Mr. J. H. Dixon, of Oldswinford, to look over 
the papers with him, and they retained such as possessed 
any topographical or family interest, made extracts from 
some, and destroyed the rest. Mr. Dixon, who has made 
topographical collections relative to Stourbridge, Dudley, and 
some other neighbouring places, possesses, I believe, the few 
Milward papers remaining. 


A cast-iron slab may be seen on a grave in Himbleton 
church, having an inscription to Philip Fincher and his wife, 
who died, the former in 1660 and the latter in 1690. Is 
any earlier instance known of the use of cast-iron for such a 
purpose ? Answer. In Mr. Lowe's paper in the Sussex collec- 
tions is a description of a cast-iron grave slab of the fourteenth 
century, existing in Burwash church. It has an ornamental 
cross, and inscription in relief, and is considered as unique 
for the style and period, being probably the oldest existing 
article of the kind produced by our foundries. 



Can any one supply a more probable origin of the odd 
name of the " Stewponey " inn, near Stourbridge, than the 
following : In ancient times there was probably a bridge 
over the Stour near Stourton Castle, and an inn would be 
necessary for the traffic passing over the bridge. This hos- 
telry would be described in the Latin documents of the day 
as that by Stourbridge (Stour ponte), easily corrupted into 
11 Stour pone " and '* Stewponey." Or the word may be a 
corruption of the French Pont and the word Stour. 


Is any inhabitant of Hartlebury enabled to give information 
respecting the tradition that when Queen Elizabeth visited 
Worcestershire she slept one night at a public-house, formerly 
called the " Dog " inn, Hartlebury, and that she left at that 
house one of her slippers as a pledge of her stay. She is 
said to have granted to the above inn some privilege such 
as the exemption from taxes. About forty years ago the 
Dog inn was occupied by one Mr. Prince, and the slipper 
was then said to be preserved at the inn. It is now called 
" The Dealers' " inn, and is in the occupation of Mrs. Cole. 


I should be glad to ascertain whether the extensive and 
valuable collection of Worcestershire papers made by my late 
friend, Dr. Prattinton, of Bewdley, and bequeathed by him to 
the Antiquarian Society, have yet been arranged and indexed. 
J. H. D., Bark Hill, Bewdley. 

Can any one supply information as to the Pageant House, 


an ancient building which formerly existed in this city. 
Was it used for plays or trade pageants in connexion with 
the guilds? And was it on or near the site of the present 
Music Hall? An old document belonging to the Clothiers' 
Company describes it as " neer unto the Corn-market of the 
said city, adjoining on the south side to a house or tenement 
now in the occupation of Thomas Hill, blacksmith ; on the 
east side to the town wall ; on the north side to a house 
in the possession of John Oliver ; and on the west side to the 
way that leadeth from Foregate to the said Corn-market." 


In removing the old church at Oldswinford a few years 
ago there was an unavoidable exposure of coffins and human 
remains, and in one of the coffins a lady was found full- 
dressed in ancient costume, and an enormous multitude of 
pins in her dress and lying strewed about. Was this con- 
nected with superstitious motives, or in what other way 
may the presence of the pins be accounted for ? 


In the Halesowen churchwardens' book (commencing temp. 
Edward IV), among other entries is one in the year 1499 
" Item, for bred to the holy loffe for the township of Rom- 
mesley, 12d." In those days the elements for the sacrament 
were taken from the people's oblations of bread and wine, 
until at length wafers were substituted. It was the custom 
for every house in the parish to provide in turn the "holy 
loaf," and the good man or woman who provided it was 
specially remembered in the church's prayers that day. As 
the substitution of wafers generally took place in the twelfth 
century, is not the above one of the latest instances of the 
"holy loaf" on record! 



Can any one throw light upon an inscription in Elmley 
Castle churchyard, which records the death of John Chapman, 
whose name, it is said, "sounds in (or throughout) the 
world ? " The following is the inscription : 

" Memoriae defunctorum sacrum. 

Kai Tw^wi'ia 

" Siste gradum, viator, ac lege. In spe beats resurrectionis hie 
requiescunt exuviae Johannis Chapmanni et Isabellas uxoris, flliae 
Gulielmi Allen de Wightford, in comitat. War. Ab antique proa- 
vorum stemmate deduxerunt genus. Variis miserarium agitati 
procellis ab strenue succumbentis in arrescenti juventutis aestate, 
pie ac peccatorum pcenitentia expirabant animas. 
" May 10 die Anno Dom. 1677. 
" Sistite Pierides Chapmannum plangere, cujus 
" Spiritus in ccelis, nomen in orbe sonat." 

A correspondent observes " Sir, I know the Elmley Castle 
epitaph that has astonished you, and I am rather surprised 
you havn't bottomed it. Why it's transparent as crystal, 
and is simply a verdant try-on at a pun. 'Nomen in orbe 
sonat^ 1 says Mr. Chapman's epitaph and right enough too ; 
for what other name does so sound over the world as 
Chapman's ? ' Dealer and Chapman ' is the generic designa- 
tion of the vendors of commodities from pole to pole, and so 
the mystery fadeth." 


In the register of Besford parish is an entry of 
" King's duty paid for four christenings, 4s." In the Him- 
bleton register there are traces of a similar tax, as follows : 

"Baptisms in 1783, since the commencement of a late Act of 
Parliament, to demand 3d. for each baptism." 


" Burials in 1783," ditto ditto. 

" Examined and received the duty to 1st of Oct., 1785. For Ben 
Pearkes, sub-distributor J. Wensley." 

I believe the duty on bachelors and widows, and on 
marriages, births, and burials, was imposed in 1 695. In that 
year a charge is made in the parish books of St. Nicholas, 
Worcester, for the King's tax for burials. By the Act 6th 
and 7th William III, every clergyman was directed to keep 
an exact register of all persons married, buried, christened, 
or born in their respective parishes, under a penalty of 
100 for every neglect. This regulation, however, was not 
properly attended to for ten years afterwards. By the 4th of 
Anne, chap. 12, sec. 10, it is mentioned that many of the 
clergy not being sufficiently apprised of the full import of the 
above Act, had incurred the penalties thereof, whereby they 
and their families remained exposed to ruin ; the Legislature 
therefore directed that they should be indemnified from the 
consequences of such omissions provided the duty for every 
marriage, birth, or burial, should be really answered or paid, 
or notified and brought in charge to the collector of the duties. 
Can any one state how long this Act was in force, and when 
it was allowed to expire ? 


At the churches of Leigh and Rouse Lench, above the 
doors, exteriorly, is in each case a niche containing a figure 
one of the Saviour, and the other supposed to be of St. Peter. 
These examples of figures are of rare occurrence in con- 
sequence of the destruction of all such representations and 
images at the Reformation, and subsequently by the Puritans. 
Above the western window of St. John's church, Bromsgrove, 
are three figures of the full si/e of life, said to represent 
St. Peter, St. Paul, and the Blessed Virgin. They are in a good 


state of preservation, although they have no doubt been there 
450 years, and very likely escaped mutilation at the Reforma- 
tion from the great height they are from the ground ; for 
the window is one of the highest, if not the highest, of all the 
western church windows in the county. On the south wall of 
Eastham church are two rudely carved bas-relievos, repre- 
senting apparently the two signs of the zodiac, Leo and 
Sagittarius, and on the wall of the chancel arch, facing the 
nave, are two similar carvings the one of the lamb and 
cross ; and the other, two lions' bodies united in one head. 
It is said the church belonged to the Knights Templars, and 
hence these devices. The lamb and cross was one of the 
ensigns of that body, but how do the other devices apply I 
Are there any other similar relics in the county ? 


John Oswen, of Worcester, who flourished about the 
middle of the sixteenth century, was appointed by Edward VI, 
the printer of all books for the service of the churches 
in Wales and the Marches, and he first printed the New 
Testament here. Mr. Eaton, of this city, has one of Oswen's 
books in his possession ; it is entitled " The Godly sayings 
of the old auncient faithful fathers upon the sacrament of 
the body and blood of Christ. Imprinted the xi day of 
Oct. 1550, at Worcester, by Jhon Oswen. They be also to 
sell at Shrewsbury." Are there any other specimens of his 
printing existing in this city ? Oswen printed twenty-one 
books here. 


At the British Archaeological Association's meeting in the 
Isle of Wight, August, 1855, it was stated, in a paper 
contributed by Mr. H. S. Cuming, that the gold-headed staff 


which Charles I leaned on during his trial, and the head of 
which breaking off suddenly, made a great impression on the 
King, as a bad omen, was in the possession of a lady residing 
at Worcester. In the " Gentlemen's Magazine " for January, 
1846, the cane was said to be in the possession of Mr. 
Cooke, of Newclose, Isle of Wight. Which account is correct, 
or has the relic (like many others) miraculously multiplied! 
The writer would be glad to be informed if it is in Wor- 
cester, and where it may be seen. 


In the churchyard of Ripple is a grave-stone bearing the 
following distich : 

" As you passe by, behold my length, 
But never glory in your strength." 

The individual buried here was Robert Reeve, who died 
in 1626, aged fifty-six. Tradition says that he was a giant 
(7ft. 4in. high), the length of his body being indicated by 
the distance between the head and foot stones of his grave ; 
and it is said that he met with his death through over-exer- 
tion in mowing an acre of land one day in Uckingshall 
meadow. But there is a similar inscription in Welland 
churchyard, from which it would seem probable that it was 
a general one, intended as well for individuals under the 
standard height as for men of larger growth. Can any parish 
clerk inform me of similar inscriptions elsewhere ? In Burford 
church, near Tenbury, is a monument to Edward Cornwall, 
with his picture in a shroud, painted on board. Tradition 
tells wonderful stories of his size and strength, and he is 
there represented as 7ft. Sin. long. 

Dr. Nash, in his " Worcestershire," says that great quau- 


tities of wild saffron (Crocus sativus) grow in the parish of 
Kyre Wyard, south of Tenbury. If so, the naturalized 
plant must point out that saffron was formerly extensively 
cultivated at Kyre Wyard. Can any inhabitant of that 
vicinity say if the crocus, from which saffron was made, now 
grows to any extent in the parish, and if there is any tradi- 
tion about the cultivation of saffron. Shakspeare alludes to 
"villanous saffron," which in his time so coloured silks, 
bread, and everything, that people became sick of it, and so 
it got out of fashion, and there was less demand for the drug. 
The Easter simnels, however, used to be made yellow with 
it to a late period, and perhaps some may be yet manufactured. 
In Cornwall there is still a taste for saffron cakes, as I 
observed this very year (1855) at Helstone, where I unex- 
pectedly bought one. The crocus that produces saffron must 
not be confounded with the purple-flowered meadow saffron 
(Colchlcum autumnale), which is a very different plant. This 
last bears the name of " Naked Ladies," from the flowers 
springing from the ground without any investiture of 
leaves. L. 



HERE is an old saying at Honeybourne, near 
Broadway, as follows : 

" There was a church at Honeyborn 
When Evesham was but bush and thorn." 

There is a saying that 


" When elmen leaves are as large as a farden, 

It's time to plant kidney beans in the garden." 

" When elm leaves are as big as a shilling. 
Plant kidney beans, if to plant "em you're willing ; 
When elm leaves are big as a penny, 
You must plant kidney beans if you mean to have any." 

Another saying is 

" On Candlemas day 
Every good goose should lay." 

It is proverbial in Worcestershire that "you never hear 
the cuckoo before Tenbury fair or after Pershore fair." 
Tenbury fair is on April 20, and Pershore fair is on June 26, 
which two dates pretty correctly mark the duration of the 
cuckoo's visit. 


The happy village of Norton, near Evesham, contains no 
inn, public-house, meeting-house, lawyer, doctor, or curate ! 
(at least this was the case a few months ago, when the author 
of this work was there.) 


G. E. R., a correspondent at Kidderminster, has found the 
following curious note on the fly-leaf of a rare tract, entitled 
" The Infancie of the Soule, by William Hill. Printed at 
the Signe of the Holy Lainbe, 1 605 : " " November ye 29, 
1620. In the river Severn was the greatest flood that ever 
was sinse the flood of Noah ; there was drowned at Horn- 
tone's Loade 68 persons as they whare going to Bewdley 


In the Domesday Book, mention is made of a family 


residing at Bromsgrove, of the name of Dipple, and at the 
present time there are living in that town three distinct 
families of the same name, so that in all probability this 
family never became extinct, and is therefore one of the 
oldest in the county. 


The majority of the Worcestershire bells were cast by 
Rudhall, of Gloucester, and his successor, Mears ; Chapman 
and Mears, of London, towards the close of the last century, 
and T. Mears, of London, in the present, also have their 
names in some places, as at King's Norton ; but a cor- 
respondent says he has one of Mears' lists, and finds only 
nine of his peals in Worcestershire, viz., Dudley, peal of ten, 
weight of tenor, 21 cwt.; Stourbridge, eight, tenor, 19 cwt.; 
King's Norton, eight, tenor, 17 cwt.; St. John's, Worcester, 
six, tenor, 16 cwt.; Fladbury, six, tenor, 13 cwt.; Longdon, 
six, tenor, 12 cwt.; Cookley, six, tenor, 12 cwt.; Abberley, 
six, tenor, 9 cwt.; and Stone, six, tenor, 6 cwt. On the 
Tredington bells the names of G. Purdye and Mr. Bagly 
appear (seventeenth century). The Clent bells are by Bagly, 
whose services were much called into requisition in War- 
wickshire, and it is said by enthusiastic ringers that the bells 
cast by the Baglys are not to be surpassed in the country : 
they are all light peals, with fine musical tones, and run 
down as true as a musical instrument can do. At Tan- 
worth, Warwickshire, the tenor bell has this inscription : 
"Richard Saunders of Bromsgrove made we all, 1710." 
How long the trade of bell-founding existed at Bromsgrove 
does not appear, but the bells of St. Helen's (1706), St. 
John's (1710), and St. Nicholas (1715), were founded there by 
Mr. Saunders. The Worcester foundry, which had existed 
in Silver Street in the seventeenth century,* had probably 
* There is a place in that street still called Bellfounders' Yard. 


closed at the above period when Bromsgrove was resorted to. 
On the third bell of Himbleton church is the inscription : 

"John Martin, of Worcester, he made wee, 
Be it known to all that do wee see. 1675." 

The Worcester foundry is also traceable on the hells of St. 
Michael's, Worcester, Bishampton, Himbleton, and Grafton 
Flyford, from 1660 to 1676; John Martin, of St. Martin's, 
being the founder. 

The Bretforton peal is by Westcote, of Bristol, 1823; 
Lester and Peck, of London, founded some of the Halesowen 
bells a century ago. Joseph Smith, of Edgbaston, and R. 
Wells, of Aldbourne, others of them, at the beginning and 
end of the same century. The old peal of bells, prior to 
these, at Halesowen, it appears from the churchwardens' 
accounts, were completed in 1518, and the bell-founder came 
from Nottingham. Joseph Smith, of Edgbaston, also founded 
the Alvechurch and Northfield bells the first in 1711, the 
latter in 1730. On the third bell at Alvechurch is the following 
euphonious couplet : 

"If you would know when we was run, 
It was March the twenty-second, 1711." 

The Alvechurch bella are kept in excellent condition by Billy 
Bourne, a poor demented creature, who however is famous 
for his skill in clock cleaning and his adhesiveness to the 
church belfry, in which he sleeps regularly on a hard plank, 
with an old mat for a coverlid ; he has hardly ever been 
known to miss ringing the matin bell at five and the curfew 
at eight, and constantly defends the sacred precincts from all 
resurrectionists by a rusty old sword and pistol. 

The Northfield bells are distinguished by some original 
versification, thus : On the first 


" We now are six, tho' once but five," 


" And against our casting some did strive ;" 


"But when a day for meeting they did fix," 

" There appeared but nine against twenty-six. 

"Joseph Smith, 1730." 

" Samuel Palmer and Thomas Silk, Churchwardens, 1730." 

"Thomas Kettle and William Jervis did contrive 
To make us six that was but five." 

The last-named couplet, which seeks to perpetuate a piece 
of parochial thrift in the casting of six bells out of five, is 
likewise to be found on a bell at Feckenham, with, of course, 
other names substituted. 


" Sublime in hookahs, glorious in a pipe, 

When tipp'd with amber, mellow, rich, and ripe." 

The introduction of tobacco (now become so important 
an article of general demand) is a subject worthy of a few 
notes, especially as regards the traces of its cultivation and 
consumption in this district. It is true that Worcestershire 
cannot boast of being the first place in England where 
" the wicked weed " was grown. That was an honour 
claimed by our near neighbours of Winchcombe, in Glouces- 
tershire, who are said to have profited greatly (in a pecu- 
niary sense, I suppose) by its cultivation. Tobacco was, 
however, grown at Worcester, Feckenham, Eckington, Per- 
shore, Upton Snodsbury, Pensham, Kempsey, and other 
places in this county. The first mention of its use at 


Worcester is in the chamberlain's accounts for the year 
1643, about fifty-seven years after its introduction to this 
country. At that time it was evidently esteemed an especial 
luxury. The entry is as follows : 

" Item : For one ounce of bacca which Mr. Maior sent for to 
spend upon Colonel Sandys, and for tobacco pipe, eighteen pence." 

The sum of Is. 6d. being then equal to at least 10s. of 
our present money, some idea may be formed of the scarcity 
and value of tobacco in its earlier days. The Droitwich 
corporation, it seems, were very liberal in the consumption 
of the weed, for at a feast in 1656 it is recorded that the 
sum of 9s. was spent "for tobacco of both sorts." This is 
the first and only instance of " both sorts " being mentioned. 
The price of the article had fluctuated in a most unaccountable 
manner, for while in 1643 it cost Is. 6d. an ounce at 
Worcester ( the same price which was given for it at Droitwich 
in 1632), in 1646 it was entered only at 2s. 8d. per pound 
by the constable of Droitwich, in his bill of charges for 
soldiers who at that time had taken up their abode in 
Dodderhill church, as a barrack. In 1659, "Mr. Maior 
Ashbie," of Worcester, charges 6s. 8d. for a pound of 
Spanish tobacco ; but it is gratifying to observe that, in the 
midst of this heavy expenditure on matters of luxury, some 
compunction of conscience was evident from the fact that 
the corporation made their pipes perform double duty, 
frequent entries occurring of a charge of 6d. per gross for 
burning them ! The price of the article was much reduced 
by the time of James II, when the " best Virginia " was 
but 2s. per pound, and " two gross of best glazed pipes 
and a box with them, 3s. 4d." Previous to that time tobacco 
had become almost a necessary among the upper classes, 
nor could the Parliamentary representatives of the city of 


Worcester be despatched up to town until the " collective 
wisdom " had smoked and drunk sack with them at the 
Globe, or some other hostelry. 

As early as 1621 it was moved in the House of Commons 
by Sir William Stroud, that he " would have tobacco banished 
wholly out of the kingdom, and that it may not be brought 
in from any part nor used amongst us," and Sir Grey Palmes 
"that if tobacco be not banished it will overthrow one 
hundred thousand men in England ; for now it is so common 
that he hath seen ploughmen take it as they are at plough." 
At a later period of the century, so inveterate had the 
practice become, that an order appears on the journals of 
the House, " That no member of the House do presume to 
smoke tobacco in the gallery, or at the table of the House, 
sitting at committees." Indeed we are told by M. Jorevin, 
who visited Worcester in the reign of Charles II, put up 
at the " Stag inn," and published his doings in the " Anti- 
quarian Repertory," that the women smoked as well as the 
men. As early as the end of the sixteenth century, com- 
plaints were made of this "imitation of the manners of a 
savage people," as it was feared that by this practice English- 
men would degenerate into a barbarous state. So great 
an incentive was it thought to drunkenness, that it was 
strictly forbidden to be taken in any alehouse in the time 
of James I, and his Majesty exhausted much ponderous 
wit in attempting to cry down the weed ; his celebrated 
performance, " A Counterblast to Tobacco," denominating 
it " the invention of Satan," and the custom of smoking as 
"loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the 
brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black stinking 
fume thereof nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke 
of the pit that is bottomless." 

In 1659, Win. George, of Eckington, was indicted at the 


Worcester County Sessions " for planting, setting, growing, 
making, and curing tobacco there," on 400 poles of land, 
and a fine of 400 inflicted the informer being Wm. Har- 
rison, of Pershore. Ralph Huntingdon, of Upton Snodsbury, 
John Redding, of Kempsey, Humphrey Tay and Rd. Beddard, 
of Eckington, and Edmund Baugh, of Pensham, were simi- 
larly fined. In the above-mentioned year it was ordered 
"that no person plant tobacco after January 1, 1660, according 
to Act of Parliament, 12th Charles II, within England, to 
sell, upon forfeiture of the same or value thereof, or 40s., 
for every rode or pole so planted, set, or sown, one moiety 
to the King and the other to the informer ; not to extend 
to physick gardens in the university." 

In 1662, letters were issued from the Lords of the Council 
which commanded that " all tobacco planted within the county 
of Worcester should be speedily destroyed by order of the 
sheriff and justices of the peace," to whom the said letters 
were directed ; and for many years subsequent to that period 
(as appears from the Sessions rolls) the chief constables of 
this county sent warrants to the various constables for cutting 
and destroying the weed, and regular returns were made by 
them as to whether they had found any growing within their 
constablewicks. The tobacco plant, I am informed (Nicotiana 
rustica), still grows in a half naturalized state near Bewdley 
in the vicinity, no doubt, of spots where it was formerly culti- 
vated. This shows how easily tobacco might be produced 
in England, if there were no prohibitory taxation opposed to 
it. The following quaint stanzas are from a forgotten book 
of " Gospel Sonnets," by Ralph Erskine, a Presbyterian 
clergyman, whose object was to improve whatever subject he 
touched upon, and thus he tunes his pipe in a 



The pipe, so lily-like and weak, 
Does thus the mortal state bespeak: 

Thou art even such, 

Gone with a touch ! 
Thus think, and smoke Tobacco. 

And when the smoke ascends on high, 

Then thou behold'st the vani-ty 
Of worldly stuff- 
Gone with a puff! 

Thus think, and smoke Tobacco. 

In vain th' unlighted pipe you blow, 
Your pains in outward means are so, 

Till heavenly fire 

Your heart inspire ; 
Thus think, and smoke Tobacco. 

And when the pipe grows loul within 
Think on thy soul defiled with sin; 

For then the fire 

It does require ; 
Thus think, and smoke Tobacco. 

And see'st the ashes cast away, 
Then to thyself thou mayest say 

That to the dust 

Return thou must ' 
Thus think, and smoke Tobacco." 


abound in Worcestershire. One of the most interesting of 
them is that at Redstone, in a rock by the Severn, in the 
parish of Astley. It was said^ to be " a place of great resort 
for devotees of high quality in Papal times : " and the fol- 
lowing remarks respecting it occur in a letter of Bishop 
Latimer, written from Hartlebury to Lord Cromwell, August 


25th, 1538. The letter was printed in the Parker Society's 
edition of his "Remains," p. 401 : " Hereby is an hermitage 
in a rock by Severn, able to lodge five hundred men, and as 
ready for thieves or traitors as true men. I would not have 
hermits masters of such dens, but rather that some faithful 
man had it." Habingdon says he had heard " that many who 
trafSck'd on the river gave, as they passed by in their barges, 
somewhat of their commodities to charity at this hermitage ; 
and to show how much great men have valued this place, 
there appear in the very front of the hermitage the arms of 
England, between those of Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, with 
his crosses croslet on the right hand, and those of Mortimer 
with an escutcheon ermine, quartered, as far as I can guess, 
with a cross on the left ; but these monuments of honour 
are here so worn as they are instantly perishing." Nash 
states that the hermitage was anciently the inheritance of 
Sir T. Bromley, and, with two acres directly over the cell, 
was let to a poor tenant. It was afterwards sold and turned 
into an ale-house ; and more recently it was converted into 
dwellings, but which were most unfit for human residences. 
Indeed, about thirty years ago a school was kept in a part of 
the rock ! The entrance to the hermitage is through what is 
called the chapel ; and an arched passage, with openings at 
the sides, seems to have led to the dormitories (now formed 
into dwellings), and to the right is the refectory. Over the 
doorway is an opening which is reached by some steps in the 
inside, and from which, according to tradition, one of the 
monks would address the people and pray for the safety of 
passengers crossing the ferry. Another tradition is, that a 
subterraneous passage once led from the hermitage to the 
priory, near the site of the present church. 

Blackstone Rock, near the Severn at Bewdley, is also a 
most interesting relic. Here is an hermitage, cut in the 


rock, to which entrance is gained by a low doorway into the 
kitchen, which has for a chimney a circular hole cut perpen- 
dicularly through the rock ; there are also a chapel, a pantry, 
with a chamber over, an inner room, closets with loft over, a 
study with shelves cut for books, and another opening in the 
rock, either for a belfry or chimney. Small and rudely cut 
openings in the rock served for windows. In the front of 
the cell is a seat carved in the rock, from which the hermit 
looked forth on the Severn (which then ran closer to the rock 
than it does now) and the beautiful meadows and wooded 
banks adjacent. There is a tradition that this was at one 
time a smuggler's cave ; it has of late been used as a cider- 
making house, &c. 

About a mile from Stanford church is Southstone Rock, 
said to be the largest mass of travertine hitherto disco- 
vered in this country, extending for half an acre. Its 
northern extremity terminates in a precipice, hanging over 
a most romantic dingle. Some cells were formerly hewn in 
the rock, and at the top was a chapel dedicated to St. John, on 
the feast of whose nativity there was a solemn offering, after 
which the assembly ascended, by stairs cut out of the rock, 
to the chapel, where they finished their devotions, and after- 
wards drank the waters of the well. This hermitage and land 
belonged to the abbey of Evesham. From the Jefferies Manu- 
script it appears that on St. John's Day a "pedling faire" 
was kept here, when the young people treated their acquaint- 
ance with roast meat, "ye smoke whereof yet remains upon ye 
rock," and that a wooden offering-post was fixed in the rock, 
having a cavity in it for money to pass into a hole underneath. 
The offertory dish in which these offerings were made (an 
exceedingly curious relic) was till lately in the possession 
of the Wilmington family, but is now lost. 

A hermit's cell may be seen in the parish of Hartlebury, 


cut in a rock in a secluded part of a meadow belonging to the 
glebe land ; its roof is supported by two pillars, and two 
deeply splayed holes are cut in the wall. 

A cave once existed on the top of Bredon Hill (as we are 
informed by Dr. Derham, who wrote about 1712); it was lined 
with stalactical stones on the top and sides ; but this was 
believed to have been an ancient granary, as a quantity of 
wheat was found near there at the beginning of the present 
century, when a land-slip occurred. The cave was probably 
destroyed by one of these land-slips. 

At Drakelow, near Cookley Wood, is a sandstone ridge, 
excavated and inhabited, that still bears the name of 
" Hollyaustin," corrupted, probably (as Mr. Lees suggests), 
from " holy Austin," or Augustine, a hermit that once resided 
there. There is a cave also in " The Devil's Spittlefull," on 
Blackstone Farm, in the Foreign of Kidderminster, and there 
was a hermit's cell at the old Sorb-tree in the forest of Wyre. 

In the Red Cliff, near Suckley, Mr. Allies states, is a 
hole called " Black Jack's Cave," said to have been inhabited, 
about ninety years ago, by a convict named Farnham, who 
had returned from transportation before his time, and who 
used to climb up this cliff with all the agility of a cat, even 
when laden with the spoils of the neighbourhood. 

The parish of Stone contains a rock in which is a cave 
called " The Devil's Den," and some horrifying tales are 
told of the fatal results which happened to persons who 
attempted to penetrate therein. 

There is a hole in a rock, called "The Fairies' Cave," 
in the hamlet of Alfrick. 


In the Essex papers published three or four years ago 


the following description is given of this county and city, and 
also of Hereford: "On the 30th, Wharton writes again 
'Worcestershire is a pleasant, fruitful, and rich country, 
abounding in corn, woods, pasture, hills, and valleys, every 
hedge and highway beset with fruit, but especially with pears, 
whereof they make that pleasant drink called perry, which 
they sell for a penny a quart, though better than ever you 
tasted at London. The city is more large than any I have 
seen since I left London ; it abounds in outward things, but 
for the want of the Word the people perish. It is pleasantly 
seated, exceeding populous, and doubtless very rich, on the 
east bank of that famous river the Severn, the walls in a 
form of a triangle, the gates seven. There is a very stately 
Cathedral called St. Mary's, in which there are many stately 
monuments ; amongst the rest, in the middle of the quire, 
is the monument of King John, all of white marble, with his 
picture thereon to the life. Sir, our army did little think ever 
to have seen Worcester, but the Providence of God hath 
brought us thither, and had it not, the city is so vile, resembles 
Sodom, and is the very emblem of Gomorrah, and doubtless 
it would have been worse than either Algiers or Malta a 
very den of thieves, and a receptacle and refuge for all the 
hell-hounds of the country.' From Worcester, Essex sent 
a detachment under the Earl of Stamford to surprise Here- 
ford, in which Nehemiah Wharton served. He states that 
they got into Hereford by telling the Mayor that Essex was 
at hand with all his army. ' The city is well situated on the 
Wye, environed with a strong wall, better than I have seen 
before, with five gates, and a strong stone bridge of six 
arches, surpassing Worcester. In this place there is the 
stateliest market-place in the kingdom, built with columns 
after the manner of the Exchange ; the Minster every way 
exceeding Worcester ; the city not so large ; the inhabitants 


totally ignorant of the ways of God, and much addicted to 
drunkenness and other vices, but principally unto swearing, 
so that the children that have scarce learnt to speak, do 
universally swear stoutly. Many here speak Welsh. Sab- 
bath-day, the tune of morning prayer, we went to the Minster, 
where the pipes played, and the puppets sang so sweetly, 
that some of our soldiers could not forbear dancing in the 
holy quire ; whereat the Baalists were sore displeased.' " 


Among the archaic or peculiar words used in Worcester- 
shire (as also in some of the neighbouring counties), are 
the following : " Tabber," to strike repeated blows with 
the fist ; heft," weight ; "colly," the black from a tea-kettle 
or from coal ; u wowing," selling ale without a license ; 
" leazing," gleaning (this is used in many counties); "cott," 
or " Molly Cott," a nickname given to a man who interferes 
unduly in domestic affairs ; " lungeous," being awkward, 
heavy, and dangerous in play ; " off his head," deranged ; 
" squilt," a small wart or pimple on the skin ; * moithered," 
a state of great bewilderment in the head ; " glat," an 
opening in a hedge; "unked," or "unkid," to denote lone- 
liness and awkwardness ; " butty," a companion, also a sort 
of overseer among colliers ; ** fettle," to mix or interfere 
with, also means condition ; "gain," and " kind," both words 
used to represent the condition of crops or anything else the 
appearance of which is promising ; " dollop," a good share or 
quantity. A person was cutting cloth, and was recommended 
to rip it, as more expeditious. " That is not so good," he 
replied, " because the thread fazles." A lady told her servant 
the "string was broken;" the servant replied, "Yes, and 
I tried to mend it, but I couldn't odds it." The servant 
came from a village in Gloucestershire. u Odds it " means 


to alter it. The word is very common in Gloucestershire, 
and in some parts of this county. In the above list severa 
words of Saxon origin are perceptible, showing that old 
languages linger among the poorer classes longer than with 
the better educated, whose vocabulary has been more en- 
larged by finer, though perhaps not more expressive words, 
which are constantly being imported from foreign sources. 
Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart., says : " I have recollected 
a remarkable term which I heard formerly in Broadway. 
It is the word anant or enant, spoken when it was intended 
to express that one thing was opposite to another, by poor 
people. " He lives anant such a place," " anant that yat," 
&c. It is remarkable, because it is almost the Greek word 
tvavTioQ, Are we to suppose it to have been introduced 
when the Saxon kings adopted Greek phraseology and terms 
in their grants to monasteries ? Pershore, to which Broad- 
way belonged, was a Saxon monastery, therefore it is not 
impossible but it may have been introduced by the monks 
in their visits to Broadway." 


An unusually large number of places in Worcestershire 
in ancient times seemed to have been dedicated to the Dii 
Inferi, as also to the more sprightly beings which have hardly 
yet ceased to exist in our woods and groves, in shady glens, 
and by babbling streams. The Devil's Leap is a deep dingle, 
partly in Dodenham and partly in Martley. There are the 
Devil's Den, Hell Hole, and Death's Dingle, in Stanford ; 
this u den " is a black wood in a narrow dell, deeply enclosed 
in entangled woods ; and Mrs. Sherwood says that the country 
people give it names which commemorate its former evil 
character "The Devil's Den" being the mildest of the 
epithets bestowed on this sequestered scene. In the above- 


named Hell Hole grows the plant called Devil's-bit, which, 
tradition says, was given to heal man of any deadly wounds, 
but when Satan saw what numbers of the human race it 
deprived him of, he in spite bit the roots off, whereupon it 
miraculously grew without those usually necessary appendages, 
and this is the reason we find it growing apparently without 
roots. There is the Devil's Pig-trough, near Leigh ; and the 
Devil's Bowling-green at Inkberrow, ironically so called, it 
is said by Mr. Allies, as, till lately, it was one of the roughest 
pieces of ground in that parish. The Devil's Spadeful is the 
name of a large mound of earth near Bewdley, traditionally 
said to have been so denominated in consequence of the great 
impersonation of evil having once intended to drown the 
Bewdleyites by damming up the Severn, but being misin- 
formed by a drunken cobbler as to the distance he had to go, 
he dropped the spadeful of earth and decamped. This tradi- 
tion, slightly modified, is common in various counties, and is 
one of a numerous class tending to mark the popular contempt 
for Satan's want of sagacity. Hell Holes abound in the 
county, and there is Hell Bank near Stourbridge, Hell Kitchen 
near Newbold-on-Stour, and Hell Patch in Upton Warren. 
Whether, however, these names had reference to the " shades 
below" or originated in the Celtic word hel (to assemble) is 
a question. In Shelsley Walsh is a place called Witchery 
Hole ; and the souvenirs of fairy-hind are exceedingly 
numerous in many parishes of the county, such as Hob's 
Hole, in Offenham ; Hob Moor, in Chaddesley Corbett ; Little 
Hob Hill, in Beoley ; Little Dobbin's Hill, in the Berrow ; 
Dobbin's Meadow, in Mathon ; Puck Meadow, in Hallow ; 
Puck Hill, in Himbleton ; Puck Croft, in Powick ; Puck Piece, 
in Abbot's Lench ; Pixam, or Pixies' Ham, in Powick ; Cob's 
Croft, in Dodderhill ; in Northfield, several places called Hob, 
Cob, and Jack ; Impey, in Alvechurch ; The Whistlers, in 
Lulsley, and innumerable others. 


While on the subject of curious names it may be mentioned 
that at Bellbroughton the word " Bell " is constantly heard 
ringing in your ears such as Bell Hall, Bryan's Bell, 
Moorhall Bell, Bell End, the Bell inn, &c.; and at Hanley 
Castle the word " End " is as frequently repeated, in Gilbert's 
End, Church End, North End, Robert's End, Severn End, &c. 
There are also Hunt End, a straggling village near Crabb's 
Cross; Dagtail End, near to Astwood Bank; Neen End, 
near the Ridgway ; Alcester Lane's End, between King's 
Norton and the Birmingham road ; and Holt End, at the 
loot of Beoley Hill. It is probable that the addition of the 
word " End " to so many places means that the spot so 
designated is the extreme end of some enclosed plot of ground 
or farm, as Robert's End, &c. The Grimsend House in 
Alfrick is situate at the extreme end of the estate, and there 
is a place called Coppy (coppice) End or Ind in the neigh- 
bourhood. With respect to Bellbroughton, it was called by 
the prefix only in very early times, therefore that may 
account for the names " Bell End," &c., in that parish. 


Mr. Thursfield, of Broseley, at the meeting of the Ar- 
chaeological Institute, at Shrewsbury, in 1855, read a paper 
in which he stated that about the year 1750, a manufacture 
was commenced at Caughley, near Broseley, for the production 
of porcelain, by two persons named Gallimore and John 
Turner, the latter originally a silversmith at Worcester. 
They carried on the works with considerable spirit towards 
the close of the last century, having introduced several 
French artizans. The distinctive mark of the Caughley 
porcelain is supposed to be the letter S., and some pieces 
bear the mark " Salopian." The manufacture continued 
till 1799, when the works were purchased by Messrs. Rose, 


and it was subsequently carried on at Coalport. During 
Turner's management, Worcester porcelain was sent to 
Caughley to be printed and coloured. The process of 
printing decorations upon porcelain, originally invented by 
Dr. Wall at the Worcester works, was transferred as it 
is believed to Caughley, by R. Holdship, who had been 
employed at Worcester in 1757. 


Chaddesley Corbett, Mamble and Bayton, Rock, Tenbury, 
Hartley, Abberley, and two or three other places in this 
county, are famous for the longevity of their inhabitants. 
Perhaps a larger number of very old people can be enume- 
rated in the neighbourhood of Hartley and the Berrow hills 
than in any other given space in the kingdom. The late in- 
incumbent of Chaddesley, who was himself nearly 90 years of 
age, buried, in 1813, Sarah Yates, at the age of 101; and in 
1841 he did the same service for Elizabeth Young, aged 103. 
At Feckenham, a Hrs. Eadee died, in 1802, at the age of 103. 
At Abberley, Hary Bagnall died, in 1836, aged 102 ; and the 
venerable rector of that parish, the Rev. F. Severne, is only the 
tenth incumbent since the beginning of Elizabeth's reign a 
period of about three centuries ! The grandfather of the pre- 
sent rector held the living 48 years, his father a similar term, 
and he himself bids fair to imitate the longevity of his 
ancestors. Two of his predecessors who, as he also does, 
held the incumbency of Kyre, held that h'ving between 
them for 108 years! The Rev. G. Williams, of Hartin 
Hussingtree, but recently deceased, held that living from 
the year 1790; and it is said that some ale brewed when he 
was first inducted was only drunk out (at the rate of a 
bottle per annum, at the audit) just prior to his decease an 
instance of longevity quite as remarkable as any now being 


enumerated. The parish of Strensham has had only three 
rectors in a century and a half. Betty Palmer, who was 
born at Rock, died in 1782, aged 113; she had a sister and 
three brothers: Richard lived to be above 100, and their 
father and mother to 1 02 and 1 03. At Mawley, Jane Corkin 
was living, in 1710, at the ripe age of 126. A man died 
at Coreley, in 1849, aged 107 years 7 months. Mrs. Perkins 
died near Tenbury, in 1810, aged nearly 105. Mr. Mapp, of 
Shelsley, is, I believe, living in his 94th year ; and the burials, 
in 1853, of old people between 80 and 100 years of age, at 
Rock and the vicinity, were remarkable. At Alvechurch is 
an inscription to Joseph Davies, who died in 1831, " who 
for nearly 70 years assiduously fulfilled the office of clerk 
of this parish with a distinct, pleasing, melodious voice, and 
inoffensive life, till within a few days of his death." A 
Mrs. Elizabeth Bourne died at White Ladies Aston, in 1812, 
aged 106. At Bredon, for the whole term between 1813 
and 1846, the greatest number of deaths occurred between 
the ages of 70 and 75. The celebrated Countess Dowager 
of Coventry died at Holt in 1798, aged 96. At Henwick, 
near Worcester, a person died recently who remembered 
the coronation of George III, and others are still living 
there between 90 and 100 years of age. There is a saying : 

" All about Malvern Hill 
A man may live as long as he will." 

Dr. Addison, in 1834, showed that there were then living in 
that parish, on the eastern side of the hill, nearly double 
the number of persons, at 80 years of age, than were in 
all England at the same rate of population ; and at 90, three 
times the number, without taking into account still older 
persons. In January, 1835, at Great Malvern, there were 
60 persons residing, who were 70 years and upwards. Miss 


Sarah Davis, of Rock, died on the 17th of June, 1856, at 
the age of 103. She possessed all her faculties till within a 
few hours of her death, and had only suffered a little lame- 
ness from rheumatism. Till very lately she could see to 
thread her needle, and had been employed for half a century 
on Hollins' farm, as a market and charwoman. She had 
been a spinster all her life, and had a strong aversion to 
the male sex. 

The Worcester papers of July 12, 1856, recorded the death 
(on the 10th of the same month) of the Rev. James Hastings, 
rector of Hartley, in his hundred and first year, and also 
that of Jane Doughty on the 8th, in her ninety-fifth year. 
The latter was a very remarkable instance, because the poor 
woman belonged to a class who enjoy but few of those com- 
forts which would seem necessary for the prolongation of life 
to such a span. She had lived for many years in a humble 
tenement in Pye Corner, Bull Entry a situation which no 
one would point out as apparently conducive to long life. 
Formerly, she was a fruit-seller in Fish Street, and many of 
the citizens probably recollect her as the little old woman 
who used to take her seat on the Old Bank steps, with her 
basket of fruit, &c., for sale. Up to the last she could hear 
and see well enough, and was only a little bent from age. 
She would eat heartily, but of plain diet, and her neighbours 
do not recollect her taking ale till the day before her death, 
when she wished to have some, and it being brought, she 
drank a good draught. A few hours only of indisposition 
brought her to her end being one of the rare instances of 
really natural death (t. e. not dying from disease) which occur 
amongst us. Deceased was the grandmother of Sergeant 
Doughty, of the city police. She was born in the proverbially 
healthy district of Martley (where also, it will be observed, 
the other individual mentioned in this narrative formerly 



resided); and married Abraham Doughty, sergeant in the 
29th, at All Saints in this city. She had four children, all 
of whom she survived, twenty-five grand-children, fifty great- 
grand-children, and four great-great-grand-children. Pre- 
vious to her death, Sergeant Doughty could say what very 
few can that he had a grandmother and grand-children 
living at the same time. 


It is said in the history of Gloucester that shortly after 
the Restoration of Charles II, the King, bitterly remembering 
his father's defeat before that city, ordered the doors belonging 
to the gates to be pulled down, and presented them to the 
city of Worcester, which had long remained faithful to his 
cause. On the south gate of Gloucester, which was battered 
down during the siege by the King in 1643 (but was rebuilt 
in the same year), was inscribed in capital letters round the 
arch " A city assaulted by man but saved by God : Ever 
remember the 5th of September, 1643." This was the day 
the siege was raised by Essex. 


The old Black Boy, at Feckenham, is now closed as an inn. 
It had been in the family of the Gardners about 139 years. 
The sign, which was of copper, stood the whole of that time, 
until taken down in 1854. 

The present occupiers of " Mopson's Cross " inn, near 
Wyre Forest, boast that their ancestors have occupied that 
inn for more than two centuries, and that it is the oldest 
licensed house in the county. The Talbot inn, Sidbury, 
Worcester, and the Talbot in the Tything, are very ancient, 
and the County Sessions were formerly adjourned regularly 
to those old hostelries. 



In Yardley church is a memorial to one of the Este family, 
who, though blind, was said to have attained a perfect know- 
ledge of the Scriptures, by heart, from beginning to end. 


The Longdon marshes (formerly a waste of nearly 10,000 
acres) are believed to have formed a backwater of the Severn 
estuary, subject to tidal influence, in those very ancient times 
when, according to Sir R. Murchison, the " Straits of Malvern " 
existed. Various sea birds still come there in the whiter 
season, as though a traditionary remembrance had been 
wafted down among the feathered tribes of the tune when 
this wild spot was more particularly their own sporting 


There are many instances in Worcestershire of the offices 
of sexton and clerk having been held as hereditary ones for 
very lengthened periods. At Feckenham, the late Mr. David 
Clarkson (literally, the clerk's son), who died in March, 1854, 
after having been a model clerk for many years, could boast 
of his ancestors having occupied the same office for two 
centuries. He served in his youth as drum-major in the 
artillery, and when he succeeded his father in the clerkship, 
became the tutor of choir after choir, and was the founder of 
that celebrity which has long attached to the Feckenham 
singers. He was also leader of the ringers. His death took 
place in his 79th year, and he was greatly respected. The 
late clerk of Wolverley, Thomas Worrall (whose father had 
been thirty years clerk, and to whose memory some curious 
verses are inscribed on a stone in the churchyard ), was him- 

s a 


self clerk forty-eight years, schoolmaster for thirty-three, and 
registrar for a long period, besides being leader of the choir 
and ringers. He was never absent from his duties at church 
but twice ! The Field family have been connected with the 
clerkship and beadledom of Kingsnorton for upwards of two 
centuries. Two of them alone held it for one hundred and 
two years! The last of the race, I think, died in 1818. The 
Fields were an ancient family in that parish, for there is an 
indenture in existence between William Wyllington and John 
Field of Kingsnorton, dated the 30th year of Henry VIII. 
The family of the Roses has provided the church of Broms- 
grove with clerks and sextons time out of mind ; and at 
Belbroughton the Osbornes have done the same thing. One 
of this family was clerk till a very recent period. It appears, 
also, that the Osbornes had been tailors from very remote 
time, and the late clerk had several brothers who followed 
that very useful avocation. From a letter of Mr. Tristram 
(then the patron of Belbroughton) to Bishop Lyttelton, the 
Osbornes were tailors in the reign of Henry VIII, but they 
can trace their descent much higher, having been lineally 
descended from William Fitz-Osborne, who about seven 
centuries ago unjustly deprived Half Fitz-Herbert of his 
right to the manor of Bellem, in the above parish. At 
Oldswinford, on December 28th, 1855, died Charles Orford, 
aged seventy-three ; he had been parish sexton from his 
youth, having succeeded his father in that capacity, and 
leaving a son to follow. The office of clerk at St. Michael's, 
Worcester, has been in the family of Bond for nearly a 
century. John Tustin, the present clerk and sexton of 
Broadway church, has held those offices fifty-two years, 
and his father and grandfather also held them. 



The mansion of Glasshampton, in the parish of Astley, 
was some years ago totally destroyed by fire. The Rev. 
D. J. J. Cookes, on coming into possession of the property, 
enlarged, repaired, and beautified the family seat. When 
the work was nearly completed, a dinner was given to the 
workmen in the mansion ; but one tipsy fellow among them 
let fall the contents of his pipe upon some shavings, and 
the place was soon in a blaze. The entire edifice was 
destroyed, but among the furniture saved was an organ 
built by Green, the favourite artist of George III ; it was 
afterwards sold to the parish of St. Nicholas, Worcester, and 
may be still heard in the church of that parish. Disastrous 
as was the Glasshampton fire, it nevertheless was an aus- 
picious event for genius and literature, by bringing into notice 
that remarkable man, the Rev. Dr. Lee, late Professor of 
Arabic and then of Hebrew in the University of Cambridge. 
At the time of the fire he was employed as a carpenter 
in the mansion. The loss of his chest of tools and most of 
his books in the fire compelled him to solicit pecuniary help 
towards the purchase of another set. This circumstance 
led to such a development of his character and attainments, 
as resulted in his acquaintance with the late Archdeacon 
Corbett, and his matriculation and career at Cambridge. 


In Redmarley church is an inscription to one George 
Shipside, as follows: 

" All flesh is grasse worme's meat an<l clay, and here it hath short 

time to live, 
For proofe whereof both night and day all mortall wiphts ensamples 



Beneath this stone fast closde in clay doth sleepe the corpes of 

George Shipside, 

Wch. Christ shal rayse on ye last day and then with him be glorifide. 

Whose sovle now lives assvredly in heaven with Christ ovr Saviovr 

In perfect peace most ioyfvlly with Gods elect for evermore. 

Obit die De'bris An. D'ni 1609, Ac An. ^Etatis 

svae 84. Ecce quid eris." 

This is believed to be the George Shipside whose wife was 
sister to the martyr, Bishop Ridley. The bishop had the 
free warren of Bury Court, in this parish, arid a George 
Shipside was his sister's second husband ; he was the bishop's 
park-keeper at Bushley, was incarcerated at Oxford, and 
attended the martyr to the stake. Ridley's affectionate fare- 
well on that occasion to George Shipside and his wife will 
not be forgotten. Ridley was led to the stake in 1555, at 
which tune the above George Shipside was just thirty years 
of age. 


The following is a copy of the will of John Baxter, of 
Conderton, Overbury, as proved in the Consistory Court of 
Worcester, in 1724 : 

"July the 25 Anno 1723; 
With God's good leave this is my last will 
Which to deceive is past man's skill 
I do bequeath unto his hill. My soul for to abide 
My body to be turned to dust nere to my wives yt my sonnes nurst 
To meete my soul againe I trust ; when it is glorifide 
For this world's good as God did lend it 

If I heve not for to spend it; after this manner I commend it 
As hereafter is directed 
My goodes and cattle greate and small, to my son John I give 

them all 

And unto him my land doth fall. Hes my executor 
And though to my wife I little give. I mean with John that she 

to live 


And boath my sonns her to releive, and not to let her want 

I leand som pounds to my sonn Thomas 

Thirty of which by bond and promis 

He must pay back at the next lamas after my decease 

Nine thereof I bequeath unto his seede, three a piece I have 


Which being paid his bonde is freede I meane the thirty pounds 
I give and bequeath tenn pounds to my sonn in law John Jones 
And three pounds a piece to his 3 youngest ones, Samuel, Jone, 

and MH ivy Jones 

I give and bequeath to my sisters three children John 
Moses and Ann one pound nobles a peece. A slender fee 
I give and bequeath to my sonn in lawe William Withorn 
And to his wife Elizabeth and to his sonne William and to his 

daughter Sarie five shillings a peece 

Last of all if my daughter Jones do out live her husband 
I desire she may have free abiding at Conderton or 
At K iii-hum." 


In some of our old histories occasional mention is made of 
pools suddenly changing from water to blood, or putting on 
a sanguine aspect, which in those " muddy-evil " times was 
considered a prodigy portending wars and direful slaughter. 
A similar appearance was presented a short time ago 
in a pool at Snead's Green, Mathon, in this county, the 
surface of which was so closely covered with a film of crimson 
and vermilion as to present a most extraordinary appearance. 
The gentleman who first observed this sanguine aspect of the 
pond, not thinking much of portents or omens, thought that 
the rural wheelwright had been emptying some refuse red 
paint in the water, which had got dispersed over the pond. 
But on inquiry this was not the case, and botanical science 
was then called in to solve the mystery. In the mean time, 
more than a week having elapsed, the curious appearance 
was almost gone when the spot was visited by some members 


of the Malvern Club ; but the clay on the margin of the 
pool displayed several patches of what looked very much 
like clotted blood, evidently the relics of what had been 
previously seen. On these being examined by Mr. E. Lees, 
who noticed the subject at a recent meeting of the Worces- 
tershire Naturalists' Club, they were found to consist of 
innumerable minute globules containing a coloured fluid that 
oozed forth into a gelatinous mass, leaving the globules empty 
like small beads of glass ; but so numerous and minute were 
they, that 6000 were contained within the superficial space 
of half a square inch. The bloody appearance was thus 
occasioned by the sudden fructification of an algoid plant, 
belonging probably to the genus H&matococcus, and allied to 
the singular production called Red Snow, though appearing 
in a different medium and under altered circumstances. 


In 1656, Oliver Cromwell and his Parliament laid on a tax 
very much like the present property and income-tax, and its 
machinery of commissioners, assessors, &c., was also very 
similar. The commissioners for the county of Worcester 
were " Sir Thomas Rous, Baronet, John Wilde, sergeant-at- 
law, Major-General James Berrey, Wil. Lygon, John Egiocke, 
Edw. Pit, Hen. Bromley of Holt, Rich. Grevis, Nicholas 
Lechmere, Gervase Buck, Wil. Geffreys, Joh. Corbet, Henry 
Bromley of Upton, Edw. Dingley, Charles Cornwallis, Nich. 
Acton, Rich. Foley, Walter Savage of Broadway, John Bridges, 
Richard Vernon, Thomas Foley, Thomas Milward, Talbot 
Badger, Thomas Tolley, John Latham, John Fownes, Theo- 
philus Andrews, William Collins, Esquires ; Thomas Young, 
Edmund Gyles, Edw. Moore, Nicholas Harris, Nicholas Blick, 
John Corbyn, John Baker, Gentn. ; the Mayor of Evesham, 
Bayliff of Bewdley, and Bayliff of Kidderminster, for the 


time being ; Edmund Gyles, one of the Masters of the 
Chancery, Walter Gyles, Thomas Symonds of Peershore, 
Gentlemen ; John Nanfan, Edward Salwey, Esquires. For 
the city of Worcester Major-General James Berry, Edmund 
Pit, John Nash, Edward Elvins, Henry Ford, Francis Frank, 
Aldermen ; Gervase Buck, Thomas Hall, Esquires ; Capt. 
Thomas Wells ; Richard Henning, Anthony Careless, John 
Higgins, William Cheatle, Arthur Lloid, Thomas Harrison, 
John Philips, Thomas Baker the Elder, Foulk Estop, Richard 
Ince, Robert Gorl, Gentn. ; Edmund Gyles, one of the Masters 
of the Chancery ; Wil. Collins, Esq. ; Tho. Hackett, Alder- 
man." To this tax the county of Worcester was to contribute 
101 3. 6s. 8d. per month, and the city of Worcester 53. 6s. 8d. 
per month, the value of the money in each case being then 
about ten times as much as it is now, as farms which were 
then let for 100 a year are now let for nearly 1000. The 
ordinance by which this tax was imposed is the ordinance of 
the Parliament, chapter 12, of the year 1656. 


Specimens of punning are sometimes to be met with in our 
churches, and they will be found chiefly to belong to the 
seventeenth century, when all kinds of odd conceits and 
frippery in language abounded. In Eldersfield church, the 
widow of u William Helme, gentleman," thus laments his 


" My ship, long on the seas of this world tost, 
Of Mine bereav'd, lo here is sunk at" 

King's Norton church contains a monument to " Richard 
Greves, of Moseley, Knight," part of which is made of 
touchstone, and the inscription is in gold letters, concluding 

thus : 

" Wherefore hia name hath broke detraction's fetters. 
And well abides the touch iu golden letttrs." 


Affixed to the principal porch of Bromsgrove church is a 
dial, at the bottom of which are the words "We shall;" 
the constructors of the instrument having left its name to 
complete the sentence, thus : u We shall (dial) die all." An 
excruciating pun, forsooth. 

In Ledbury church is an inscription to one Charles Godwin 
and his wife, ending 

" Godwyn the one ; God-uoon the other." 


This order was intended by King Charles II as a reward 
to several of his followers, and the Knights of it were to wear 
a silver medal with a device of the King in the oak, pendant 
to a ribbon about their necks ; but it was thought proper to 
lay it aside, lest it might create heats and animosities, and 
open those wounds afresh which at that time were thought 
prudent should be healed. There is, however, a manuscript 
in the handwriting of Peter Le Neve, Esq., Norroy King of 
Arms, the title of which is " A list of persons who were fit 
and qualified to be made Knights of the Royal Oak, with the 
value of their estates. Anno Domino 1660." This list con- 
tains the name of Baronets, Knights, and Esquires, with the 
value of their estates, and embraces every county of England 
and Wales. The list, so far as it relates to Worcestershire, is 
as follows : 

Per ann. 

Sir William Russell, Knight and Bart. . . . 3,000 
Sir Henry Littleton, Knight and Bart., of Frankley . 3,000 
Samuel Sandys, Esq., of Umbersley .... 1,000 

Sherrington Talbott, Esq 1,000 

Thomas Savage, of Elmley Castle, Esq. . . . 800 

Sheldon, of Broadway, Esq 600 

Mathew Morphew, Esq 1,000 


Per ann. 

Major Thomas Weld, Esq. .... 600 

Thomas Acton, Esq 1,000 

Sir Rowland Berkley, Knight 1,000 

Henry Bromley, Esq 1,000 

Philip Brace, Esq 600 

Francis Sheldon, Esq 600 

Joseph Walsh, Esq 1,000 

Sir Joseph Woodford, Knight 2,000 

Thomas Child, Esq 2,000 

The following are the names in the Commission of the 
Peace and of Oyer and Terminer for the county of Worcester, 
dated December 5th, 1st Richard III, as they occur on the 
patent rolls of that year : 

J., Bishop of Worcester. 

John, Duke of Norfolk. 

John Sutton de Dudley, Knight. 

Richard Ratcliff, Knight. 

Humphry Starky, Knight. 

Thomas Tremayle. 

William Catesby, Esquire, of the Royal Body. 

William Littleton. 

Humphrey Stafford. 

Roger Harwell. 
Thomas Lygon. 

William Lygon. 

Robert Handy. 

Robert Russell. 

The Bishop here mentioned was John Alcock, who was 
Lord Chancellor in the reign of Henry VII ; Humphrey 
Starky was Lord Chief Baron in the reign of Richard III ; 
and Thomas Tremayle, a King's Serjeant, and afterwards a 


It is worthy of observation, that at this period the Com- 
mission of Oyer and Terminer under which the criminal 
business of the Assizes is still transacted was not separated 
from the Commission of the Peace ; and the very small 
number of Magistrates is accounted for by the fact of so much 
of what is now business at the Quarter Sessions, and before 
Magistrates, going to the Sheriff's Torn and the Courts Leet, 
of which Courts the Sheriff's Torn was the most important. 


From 1651 until 1834, a period of 183 years, the Baptist 
Church at Bromsgrove had but five pastors, namely Revds. 
J. Eccles, W. Peart, G. Yarnold, J. Butterworth, and J. 
Scroxton. Mr. Scroxton resigned the pastorate at the above 
date (1834), on account of his age, and died in 1854, at the 
advanced age of 90. The first mention in history of Baptists 
in this county was in 1645, and the first minister the 
celebrated clergyman of Bewdley the Rev. Dr. John 
Tombes, a native of that borough. In early life this noted 
individual studied at Oxford, and having made good use of 
his time, he was, at the age of 21, chosen lecturer at Mag- 
dalen Hall. In 1643 he held a private meeting with the 
principal London clergy, to whom he avowed his belief in 
adult baptism, and in the same year he transmitted his 
belief to the Westminster assembly of divines, in a well- 
written argument in Latin ; the assembly, however, did not 
send him a reply. He returned to his native place in 1645, 
and both preached and administered baptism by immersion, 
and formed in Bewdley a distinct church, which continues 
till the present time. He also preached with great success 
at Worcester and other places. His popularity procured 
for him a great many opponents, and among others Richard 
Baxter, who at that period (1648) resided at Kidderminster. 


Mr. Baxter courageously challenged Dr. Tombes to a public 
discussion. This took place at Bewdley, on New Year's Day, 
1649, before a large number of individuals, some of whom 
came from distant parts of the country, including several 
from 4 the Universities. Wood, the historian, noticing this 
controversy, says, " All scholars then and there present, 
who knew y way of disputing and managing arguments, 
did conclude that Tombes got y e better of Baxter by far." 
He also held several other discussions, both in England 
and Wales. 

The House of Lords, in their conference with the House 
of Commons, on the " Occasional Conformity Bill," speaking 
of him, says that he was " a very learned and famous man." 
Among others he baptized at Bewdley were the Rev. Richard 
Adams and John Eccles. Mr. Adams was a short time 
afterwards ejected from his h'ving at Humberstone, Leices- 
tershire, and, in 1651, was minister of Devonshire Square 
Chapel, London. Mr. Eccles commenced preaching at Broms- 
grove in 1 650, and soon afterwards formed the church there 
which still exists. The opposition and persecution he met 
with was very severe, but it appears that, notwithstanding, 
the members greatly increased, for in 1670 there were 97 
at Bromsgrove who professed the Baptist belief; at the 
present time, although the population has more than doubled, 
there are but 103. Mr. Eccles was for a considerable time 
confined in a dungeon in Worcester gaol, but was restored 
to liberty through the influence of Mr. Swift, M.P., one of 
the county members, who was bound for him in 1000 bond. 
Dr. Tombes also suffered greatly, and on two occasions was 
robbed of all he had by the King's forces at Leominster and 
Bristol: at the latter place he narrowly escaped with his 
life. Mr. Eccles continued at Bromsgrove till 1697, when 
he retired to Salisbury, where he died (1711) at an advanced 


age, after being a minister upwards of 60 years. Dr. Tombes 
retired to Coventry, where he died in 1676, aged 73. The 
Baptist church at Worcester was founded in 1651; Pershore, 
1 658 ; and Upton-on-Severn, 1 670. Several very noted indi- 
viduals have been baptized at Bromsgrove David Crossley, 
who became minister at Currier's Hall, London ; Rev. R. 
Claridge, M.A., rector of Peopleton, afterwards a noted 
minister in the metropolis ; Rev. Miles, M. A., master 
of Kidderminster Grammar School ; Solomon Young, who 
become tutor at Stepney College, &c. During the ministry 
of the Rev. G. Yarnold, at Bromsgrove, and principally by 
a few of the Baptists of that town, the first Birmingham 
Baptist Church was founded, 1737, in Cannon street, and 
is at the present time the most influential and, with two 
exceptions, the largest Baptist interest in the United King- 
dom. Another chapter on Nonconformity will be found 
in this book. 


The number of communicants at the holy sacrament in 
1548 in thirty-five parishes in the diocese of Worcester is 
given in the certificate of Colleges and Chantries, No. 60, 
now remaining in the Carlton Ride Record Office. This 
certificate was made by "Sir John Pakynton, Knyght, Sir 
Robert Acton, Knyght, John Skewdamour, Esquyer, William 
Sheldon, Esquyer, George Willoughby, William Grove, Wil- 
lyam Crouche, and John Bourne, Gentilmen," under a 
commission from King Edward VI, bearing date the 14th 
day of February, in the second year of his reign. This 
certificate contains a column headed " The names of the 
Townes and Parishes withe the nomber of hosslyng people 
in the same;" and each entry is in the following form: 
" 1. The parishe of Saynt Ellyns within the said Citie, 
wherein bee of hoselyng people the nombre of six hunderd." 


For the sake of brevity the names and numbers are here 
given. It is impossible to give the population of these 
places at the earlier date. The numbers of the communi- 
cants were carefully preserved by the ecclesiastical authorities, 
although the civil authorities paid no attention to the num- 
bers of the population ; but it is curious to mark, at a time 
when the numbers of the population must have been so 
much less than at present, how large a proportion the 
numbers of religious communicants in some instances bear 
to those of the present population. 

Communicants Pop. 

in 1548. in 1851. 

1. St. Ellyns 600 .. 1368 

2. St. Swythyns . . . . . 400 . . 906 

3. St. Andrews 600 .. 1678 

4. All Saints 600 .. 2205 

5. St. Nicholas 600 .. 2030 

6. St. Peters . . . . . . 500 4588 

7. St. Martins . . 5050 

8. Kemsey 420 .. 1375 

9. Claines 400 .. 6819 

10. Kingsnorton . . . . . 910 .. 7759 

11. Bromesgrove 1000 .. 10308 

12. Severn Stoke 300 .. 726 

13. St. Andrews, Droitwich . . 200 . . 983 

14. St. Peters, Droitwich . . . 812 

15. Hampton Lovet 80 .. 172 

16. Salwarpe . . . . . . 200 . . 446 

17. Alvechurch 400 .. 1600 

18. Holy Cross, Pershore . ... .. 2528 

19. Kethermyster 700 .. 23845 

20. Olde Swyneford 700 .. 20038 

21. Chiddesley Corbett . . . . 500 . . 1420 


Communicants Pop. 

in 1548. in 1851. 

22. Tenbury 400 .. 1786 

23. Knyghton ' . 160 .?" 523 

24. Rocke, otherwise called Raka . . 260 . . 1435 

25. Rybbesford 940 3435 

26. Rypple 300 .. 1097 

27. Byshampton 200 . . 444 

28. Blockley ... 400 2587 

29. Icombe 80 . . 131 

30. Rydmerley . / . . . 230 . . 1192 

31. Suckley 200 .. 1193 

32. Lygh 340 .. 2342 

33. Elderfyld 280 .. 794 

34. All Seynts, in Evesham . . .1300 . . 1698 

35. St. Laurence, in Evesham . . . 500 . . 1733 

It has been suggested that the large numbers specified in 
this certificate were not the numbers of actual communicants, 
but merely the numbers of persons who were of an age to 
be so, or perhaps the total number of communicants during 
the year. This seems, however, not to have been the case, 
and that these were the numbers of the actual communicants 
is shown by the fact that in the certificates for Gloucestershire 
and Wiltshire the numbers are equally high ; and on the 14th 
of May, 1637, the Bishop of Salisbury issued an injunction 
to the curate and churchwardens of Aldbourne containing 
(inter alia) as follows : " I doe further appoint that thrice 
in the yeare at the least there be publique notice given in the 
church for fower Comunions to be held vpon fower Sundaies 
together, and that there come not to the Comunion in one day 
above two hundred at the Most." The population of Aldbourne 
is 1622. It has been suggested by a Roman Catholic 
gentleman that, before the Reformation, if any one beyond 


the age of confirmation had not received the Holy Communion 
at Easter, he would not be entitled to Christian burial if he 
died within the year, unless some very special cause could 
be shown. This also would go to account for the number of 
communicants in the different places being very large. 


The costume of the Bench and the Bar is the first thing 
which attracts the attention of the stranger visiting our 
Courts of Justice, and on this we will remark, beginning with 

THE WIG. " All the wisdom's in the wig " is a saying 
familiar to us all, and yet the wig was the latest addition 
to forensic costume. The first species of wig worn in the 
Courts is that now worn by the Judges at our Cathedrals, 
called the full-bottomed wig. This was introduced by Louis 
XIV in France, and copied by Charles II in England ; and 
after that it was worn down to the time of George II as the 
full-dress wig of noblemen, generals, admirals, churchmen, 
lawyers, and private gentlemen. It is still worn as the full- 
dress wig of the Lord Chancellor, Judges of law and equity, 
the Speaker, Queen's Counsel, Serjeants-at-Law, Masters in 
Chancery, Recorders, and Judges of the Local Courts. In 
one of Hogarth's prints of Speaker Onslow and several 
members of the House of Commons, sitting in the House, 
all are represented with the full-bottomed wig; and in the 
prints of the same celebrated artist, Mr. Kettleby, who was 
the last barrister who merely as a barrister wore the full- 
bottomed wig, is so represented. 

Mr. Meadows, of Gloucester, who is the oldest wigmaker 
in this part of England, states that those wigs which had the 
tails knotted were called " tie-wigs," and those short at the 
back were called "bob-wigs." Thus, a Judge's Niri Priut 
wig was called a "friz-tie," it being frizzed all over; a 


Bishop's wig being a ''friz-bob." And it is stated by Mr. 
Planche, in his admirable little work on British costume, 
that the tie-wig and the bob-wig were both introduced in 
the reign of George II, the latter being sometimes worn 
without powder. Mr. Planche also informs us that the 
bag-wig was introduced in the reign of Queen Anne. 

THE FRIZ-TIE WIG. This is worn by the Judges at Nisi 
Prius and by the Judges of the local Courts, but this wig 
was not originally forensic, as it appears in the portrait of 
Mr. Beaumont, a London attorney of the reign of George II. 

THE TWO-CCRL BOB-WIG. This was a powdered wig with 
a peak in front, frizzed all over, except two rows of curls 
all round the bottom of the back of it. It was worn by 
Judges when opening the commission, and down to the time 
of Lord Denman, when they received the Magistrates and 
the Bar at dinner in the circuit towns ; and down to the 
time of Baron Garrow, when the Judges dined with our 
Diocesan or Lord Lieutenant, they wore this wig, a black 
silk gown, and bands. This species of wig was worn by 
private gentlemen at the beginning of the reign of George 
III ; and Mr. Walter Horton, an eminent shoe manufacturer, 
at Stafford, who died about 1776, is represented wearing this 
wig in his portrait, now in the possession of Dr. Knight, 
the physician and magistrate at that place, who married 
his granddaughter and co-heiress. 

THE CURL TIE-WIG. This is the Barrister's wig. It was 
worn by the late Lord Melville when at the House of Lords, 
although he was not a barrister. This noble Lord died 
in 1811. 

THE SCRATCH-WIG. This was a brown wig curled all over, 
worn by the Judges in the streets, with a hat now only worn 
by Bishops and dignified clergy. This wig was introduced 
by George IV when Prince of Wales, and was worn by the 


Judges when not in Court, down to the time of Lord Gifford. 
It was stated by Mr. Meadows that all these wigs were well 
known by their names before-mentioned when he was an 

THE MOUSTACHE. On the Bench and at the Bar the mous- 
tache was the immediate predecessor of the wig. In the 
reigns of Queen Elizabeth and Kings James and Charles I 
the Bench and the Bar wore moustaches, as may be seen in 
the council-room at Lincolns' Inn and elsewhere in the por- 
traits of Lord Coke, Lord Hale, Lord Keeper Coventry, Lord 
Ellesmere, and many others. In the reign of King Charles 
II the moustache generally disappeared, and on went the 
wig ; but there is in Berkeley Castle a fine portrait of King 
Charles II, by Sir Peter Lely, in which that monarch is repre- 
sented in a large full-bottomed wig, like that of a Judge at 
our Cathedral, with the exception of the powder, and wearing 
a small but well-trimmed moustache. The moustache, how- 
ever, which had been almost universally worn by all (eccle- 
siastics, lawyers, and laymen, Archbishop Laud included), did 
not reappear at the Bar till very recently, when it was worn 
in our Courts by Mr. Bernhard Smith, Mr. Chandos Pole, 
Mr. Woodhouse Owen, Mr. Compigne, and other members 
of the Oxford circuit. 

THE BAND. Dr. Burn, in his " Ecclesiastical Law," in 
treating of the costume of the clergy, says "The band is 
not so ancient as any canon of the church. Archbishop Laud 
is pictured in a ruff, which was worn at that time both by 
clergymen and gentlemen of the law, as also long before, 
during the reigns of King James I and Queen Elizabeth. 
The band came in with the Puritans and other sectaries upon 
the downfall of Episcopacy, and in a few years more became 
the habit of men of all denominations and professions." It 
was worn by Oliver Cromwell ; and in the portraits of some 

T s 


of the Judges (temp. Charles II) in the Courts at Guildhall, 
London, the band appears to be nothing more than the ends 
of a turn-down collar, of the kind worn by young boys now. 

THE GOLD COLLAR. This is worn by the two Lords Chief 
Justices and Lord Chief Baron, and is called the collar of 
Esses, from the letter S occurring in it. The origin of this 
is not known : it was worn by the personal friends of Henry 
IV, and is found represented on the monuments of noblemen, 
warriors, and even ladies. 

THE SCARLET ROBE. This is of great antiquity. Lord 
Chief Baron Gassy is represented wearing such a robe on 
his monument in Deerhurst church, near Tewkesbury ; he 
died 1401. 

THE BLACK SILK GOWN. This is an undress gown of the 
Lord Chancellor, Judges, Queen's Counsel, and Serjeants-at- 
Law, none of them wearing his full dress gown in an assize 
town except the Judges. The Queen's Counsel's full dress 
gown is of figured black silk, tufted all over like a parish 
clerk's. The Serjeant's full dress is a cloth robe, scarlet for 
state occasions, black in term time, and purple on the red 
letter days of the almanac if in term. 

THE TIPPET. This is a piece of cloth about two feet long, 
shaped something like a gun-case ; it is worn by the Judges 
in the Crown Court, and by the Serjeants in term time, hung 
from the right shoulder by a strong metal hook. The tippet 
is mentioned as a portion of ecclesiastical costume in the 74th 
canon of 1603. In a very interesting article, which recently 
appeared in the " Quarterly Review," entitled " Rubric against 
Usage," some question is raised as to what the tippet was, but 
on this there ought to be no doubt, as it is still worn by the 
Judges and Serjeants-at-Law. 

THE BLACK SILK SCARF. This is worn by the Judge in 
the Crown Court ; it is the same as the scarf worn by the 


clergy, and is evidently derived from the stola, an eccle- 
siastical vestment. 

THE BLACK SILK GIRDLE. This is worn by the Judge in 
the Crown Court ; it was a part of the civil costume of the 
reign of King Henry VII, and is often seen represented in 
monumental brasses of that period. 

THE HOOD. Judges sometimes wear the ermine hood 
with their scarlet robes. The barrister has a black hood 
(useless from its small size) attached to the back of his 

THE JUDGE'S COURT HAT. An equilateral cocked hat. 
The gentleman's hat temp. George II. 

THE BLACK COAT AND WAISTCOAT. The bar did not uni- 
formly wear these till after the general mourning for Queen 
Anne. Before this time the barristers wore coats and waist- 
coats of any colour under their gowns, as the undergraduates 
of Oxford do now. But at this general mourning the Judges 
thought that the bar in the uniform black dress looked so 
well that they suggested its continuance, and it has been 
continued ever since. Indeed, it seems to be pretty clear 
that a black waistcoat was not always a part of the costume 
of the bar, as even now, on full dress occasions, the Queen's 
Counsel wear waistcoats of gold or silver tissue, or of white 
silk embroidered with coloured flowers. On ecclesiastical and 
forensic costume in general the Rev. Dr. Burn (before cited) 
observes that "most of the peculiar habits, both in the 
Church and in Courts of Justice, and in the Universities, 
were in their day the common habit of the nation, and were 
retained by persons and in places of importance only as 
having an air of antiquity, and thereby in some sort con- 
ducing to attract veneration, and the same, on the other 
hand, in proportion do persuade to a suitable gravity of 
demeanour, for an irreverent behaviour in a venerable habit 
is extremely burlesque and ungraceful." 


THE BARRISTER'S BAG. At present the younger barristers 
have blue bags, the elder having red ones. Down to the 
reign of George IV no barrister carried a bag in Court unless 
it had been given to him by a King's Counsel, which arose in 
this way. Down to that period the King's Counsel had no 
salaries, but each was allowed every year a ream of foolscap 
paper, a ream of draft paper, six pieces of red tape, six bags, 
a penknife, a paper of sand, and a paper of pins. These 
bags being more than they wanted for their own use, some of 
them were given by them from time to time to their younger 
friends, who were getting into business, to entitle them, as 
the phrase was, "to carry a bag," the clerk, who was the 
bearer of the present, having a fee of a guinea for it. But 
at last the King's Counsel complaining that the paper was 
bad, the amount paid by the Government for the allowances 
was given to them instead, and so matters continued until 
Mr. (afterwards Lord) Denman was appointed King's Counsel, 
when fearing that this commuted allowance might be the 
means of vacating his seat in Parliament, he was appointed 
King's Counsel "without any fee, gain, or reward what- 
soever," and so have been all the King's and Queen's 
Counsel ever since. 

OPENING THE PLEADINGS. At present the junior counsel 
for the plaintiff, in a Nisi Prius cause, shortly states the 
effect of the pleadings. This is called "opening the plead- 
ings." This practice was introduced at the suggestion of 
Lord Mansfield, early in the reign of George III. The 
Nisi Prius business in London was then monopolised by 
Sir .Fletcher Norton, Mr. Dunning, and a few other leaders, 
and to throw something into the hands of the juniors Lord 
Mansfield suggested the practice that in every case where a 
King's Counsel was alone for the plaintiff a junior should 
have a guinea fee to state or open the pleadings. This was 


acceded to ; but as the clients thought this of no use to them, 
they had a second brief delivered to a junior with two guineas, 
and the junior then assisted the leader throughout the cause, 
as the practice is now ; but even at present, if a plaintiff has 
only engaged Queen's Counsel or Serjeants, the youngest 
counsel present is paid a guinea to open the pleadings only, 
and do nothing more in the cause ; and this is called a 

ASSIZE BALLS. The late Mr. Bellamy, who went the 
Oxford and other circuits for sixty-two years, and who 
died in 1845, remembered that in every county on this 
circuit there was an assize ball on the commission day of 
each assize. This ball was attended by the nobility and 
gentry of the county and the Judges and Bar. The Judges 
used to wear to the balls the black silk gown, band, and 
the two-curl bob-wig. They were attended by the High 
Sheriff, wearing a full court dress, bag-wig, and sword ; and 
his chaplain, in his gown, cassock, and band. The Judges 
did not dance, but they usually played at whist. The assize 
ball was continued in Buckinghamshire within the memory 
of the Rev. Edward Owen, one of the present magistrates 
of that county. 

THE COURTS. In the recollection of Mr. Bellamy, in every 
assize town on the Oxford circuit the two Courts were held 
in the same room, without any division or partition, so that 
one Judge could see the other. This continued at Gloucester 
till the year 1816, and the alteration was occasioned by this 
circumstance: Baron (then Judge) Bayley was trying a 
man for murder, and his jury burst into a laugh at one 
of Mr. Dauncey's jokes in a horse cause in the other Court. 
The learned Judge thought it was time this was altered. 

ASSIZE PRESENTS. Formerly the Judges on their circuits 
had an immense number of presents venison, fruit, wine, 


&c. which half kept their house during the assizes; but 
in the year 1794, when so much was subscribed for the 
defence of the nation against the threatened invasion, the 
value of the different presents was subscribed, and the pre- 
sents discontinued, and never again renewed. About thirty 
years ago a story was current in Worcester that the Mayor 
always sent the Judges a present of a loaf of sugar, and 
that the Judges in return invited the Mayor to dine with 
them ; but that the Mayor being once uninvited, the sugar 
was discontinued ever after. Till the passing of the Municipal 
Reform Act the Corporation of Gloucester always sent each 
Judge in spring a salmon and a house lamb, and in summer 
a salmon and a whole sheep ; and at present the Corporation 
of Oxford give to each Judge a pair of white kid gloves, 
edged with gold lace, and ornamented with gold tassels. 

THE HIGH SHERIFF'S COSTUME. Of late years, in Worces- 
tershire, the High Sheriff has dressed as any other gentleman. 
In Berkshire and Oxfordshire the High Sheriff's costume is 
a court dress, and it was so till lately in Gloucestershire 
and Monmouthshire; but as the present court dress was 
first introduced in the early part of the reign of George III, 
the bag-wig in the reign of George II, and as swords were 
worn by all the gentlemen as part of their usual evening dress, 
within the memory of Mrs. Hannah Shenton, of Stafford, who 
is now living at the advanced age of ninety-seven, it is manifest 
that the High Sheriff only appeared in the full dress of a 
gentleman of his time. And as a further proof that the 
costume of the High Sheriff was the full dress of the private 
gentleman of the period, there is a portrait of Francis 
Goddard, Esq., High Sheriff of Wiltshire, in the reign of 
King William III, now in the possession of Major Goddard, 
of the Wilts Militia, in which the High Sheriff is wearing 
a full-bottomed wig. 


JAVELIN MEN. These, no doubt, were the vassals and 
retainers of the High Sheriff, who attended to protect and 
guard the Judges, the weapon they carried being the partizan, 
which is still carried by the yeomen of the guard, which 
was introduced in the reign of Henry VIII. Mr. Aubrey, 
the Wiltshire antiquary of Charles IPs reign, in a letter 
published by him in a work called " Miscellanies on several 
Curious Subjects," says, from information obtained from hia 
grandfather (temp. Henry VIII) "Lords had their armouries 
to furnish some hundreds of men. The halls of Justices 
of the Peace were dreadful to behold: the screens were 
garnished with corslets and helmets, gaping with open mouths 
with coats of mail, lances, pikes, halberts, brown-bills, bat- 
terdashers, bucklers, and the modern calivers and petronels 
(in King Charles I's time turned to muskets and pistols). 
Then an esquire, when he rode to town, was attended by 
eight or ten men in blue coats with badges ; " and it would 
seem that from the reign of King Charles II the javelin 
men have continued to be much the same as at present, as 
in the printed articles of agreement entered into in that 
reign by sixty-four Wiltshire gentlemen, who were liable to 
serve the office of High Sheriff, it is stipulated (inter alia} 
" That no one of the said persons, when he is made sheriff 
of the said county, have above thirty livery-men, nor under 
twenty, for his attendance at the assize. * ' ' * And that 
when any of the said subscribers shall be made sheriffs of 
the said county, the livery shall be a plain cloth coat or 
cloke, edged and h'ned through with sarge, a black hat, and 
suitable javelin." This curious document, which was signed 
by one of his ancestors, still remains in possession of Major 

THE TRUMPETERS. These were part of the state of every 
Nobleman, Bishop, and High Sheriff. Mr. Aubrey, in his 


letter before cited, says "The Lords kept trumpeters, even 
to King James ;" and as late as the reign of George II 
there were trumpeters in the establishment of the Archbishop 
of Canterbury. At ancient banquets, trumpeters were always 
in attendance. At the Peacock Feast given by Robert 
Braunche, Mayor of Lynn, to King Edward III, and repre- 
sented on the tomb of that magistrate, in Lynn Church, 
the sonorous blast of the trumpets accompanies the intro- 
duction of the viands ; and at the Lord Mayor's Dinner at 
Guildhall, on the 9th of November, every toast is' announced 
with a flourish of trumpets, at the top of the hall, which 
is answered by another flourish from the bottom. 


John Aubrey, Esq., F.R.S., in his Natural History, written 
between the years 1656 and 1691, says (p. 70) "Dame Olave, 
a daughter and co-heire of Sir Henry Sharington, of Lacock, 
being in love with John Talbot, a younger brother of the 
Earle of Shrewsbury, and her father not consenting that she 
should marry him, discoursing with him one night from the 
battlements of the Abbey church, said shee, 'I will leap 
downe to you.' Her sweetheart replied he would catch her 
then, but he did not believe she would have done it. She 
leapt down, and the wind, which was then high, came under 
her coates, and did something breake the fall. Mr. Talbot 
caught her in his armes, but she struck him dead. She cried 
out for help, and he was with great difficulty brought to life 
again. Her father told her that since she had made such a 
leap she should e'en marrie him. She was my honoured 
friend, Colonel Sharington Talbot's grandmother, and died at 
her house at Lacock, about 1651, being about a hundred 
yeares old." To this passage the veteran antiquary, John 
Britton, Esq., F. A.S., has added this note : " Olave, or Olivia 


Sherington married John Talbot, Esq., of Salwarpe, in the 
county of Worcester, fourth in descent from John, second 
Earl of Shrewsbury ; she inherited the Lacock estate from 
her father, and it has ever since remained the property of 
that branch of the Talbot family, now represented by the 
scientific Henry Fox Talbot, Esq." Sir Henry Sherington 
was the son of Sir William Sherington, one of the ecclesias- 
tical commissioners for Wiltshire on the dissolution of the 
Chantries; and to him Henry VIII granted the posses- 
sions of Lacock Abbey, and a good deal of other monastic 
property in Wiltshire. Mr. Aubrey was one of the original 
members of the Royal Society. He attended Charles II and 
his brother, afterwards James II, on their visit to the 
Druidical Temple, at Avebury, in 1663 ; and dined with Oliver 
Cromwell, the Protector, at Hampton Court, in 1657 or 8, as 
is stated in his work before cited, pp. 97 and 103. 


An interesting relic of the seventeenth century exists in 
the old Theological Library in the School hi King's Norton 
churchyard, founded by Thomas Hall, the ejected Puritan of 
1 662. Hall is well known to literary men as the author of 
" Funebriae Fierce, or Downfal of May-day Games," the 
" Treatise against Long Hair," and other works. An inte- 
resting sketch is given of him by Calamy, in his account of 
the ejected ministers, affixed to his life of Baxter ; and also 
by Wood, in his " Athense Oxonienses." The library consists 
of from six to eight hundred volumes, of all sizes, ranging 
from about 1580 to 1645 or 1650, and the books contain the 
name of the donor on the title-page. All the works are 
devotional, and many of them controversial. There are dis- 
coveries of and safeguards against the subtleties of Jesuitism, 
and against the then recently propounded notions of the 


Quakers, as well as treatises on doctrinal points, commentaries 
on the Scriptures, translations from Ovid, and sermons 
preached before Parliament. The entire collection shows 
strikingly how, even in the stirring times of civil war, a 
minister could devote himself to the duties of his sacred 
calling ; and, judging from the evidence presented by hia 
choice, how completely he could isolate himself from the 
seductions even of theological polemics, for the grand old 
truth held by all orthodox Christians. It is to be regretted 
that the library is so little known. It is said that a similar 
library was established at the little village of Sheldon, near 


The old English black rat (Mus rattusj, which has been 
nearly superseded in this country by the brown Norway rat, 
still lingers at retired farm-houses in this county, as, for 
instance, at Grimsend, Alfrick, Clay Green, and Wick, near 
Worcester. The brown rat was unknown in England till 
1730. It is said that the great numbers of these intruders 
in the Isle of France drove the Dutch from that settlement. 


The earliest mention of the purchase of paper in England 
is believed to be in an original computus roll of the 43rd 
year of Edward III (nearly five centuries ago) relative to 
the receipts and disbursements of Halesowen Abbey; it is as 
follows : " Et in paper empt. pro literis et aliis necessariis 
domus, 12 d" 


After being lost for hah* a century, the seal of the Corpo- 
ration of Worcester has been found at Rouen, in Normandy. 
The antiquity of this seal is not so curious, perhaps, as the 


locality where it has been found. The device is a church, 
surrounded by a wall, having battlements on it, and round 
the device is the inscription "SIGILLUM COMMUNE CIUIVM 
WIOORNIE," with something like the date " 952." The figures, 
however, are very indistinct, though it is supposed by a writer 
in the " Worcester Herald " that they may refer to the date 
of King Edgar's reign, who was a great friend to the city 
of Worcester, and might have fortified it about that era; 
but then the use of figures was not adopted in England, 
or in Europe generally, till some centuries after the date 


In Macaulay's " History of England," vol. iv, p. 461, it is 
stated, that when the Dutch army was marching from Torbay 
towards London, in 1 688, Sir Edward Harley, of Brampton 
Brian, and his son Robert (afterwards, as Earl of Oxford, 
Queen Anne's minister, and a high churchman) declared for 
the Prince of Orange and a free parliament, raised a large 
body of horse, took possession of Worcester, and evinced 
their zeal against Popery by publicly breaking to pieces, 
in the High Street, a piece of sculpture which, to rigid 
precisians, seemed idolatrous. 


"A Stranger," writing to one of the local newspapers a 
few months ago, drew the attention of antiquaries to some 
painted glass in the great east window of the above church 
which is not noticed by Dr. Nash or Mr. Green, the Worcester 
historians. There is (he says) a head with long flowing hair 
and a forked beard, and another head with the face close 
shaven and a coronet. The first of these, I should suggest, 
was painted in the reign of Richard 11 ; on his tomb in 


Westminster Abbey there is his effigy with a forked beard ; 
and on the tomb of Edward III, in the same place, his effigy 
has the long flowing hair. The head with the coronet is 
exactly like one in the great church in Cirencester, of which 
there is a coloured engraving in Mr. Lyson's Gloucestershire 
Antiquities : that is supposed to be the head of Edward IV's 
father, whose "feodary" (an official something between 
an English steward and an Irish middleman), built this 
part of the church. Dr. Nash mentions two circumstances 
connected with St. John's which coincide with these dates. 
He says that in 1371, only six years before the reign of 
Richard II, William de Lynne, Bishop of Worcester, sup- 
pressed the Chapel of Wyke and constituted St. John's a 
vicarage ; and that in the first year of the reign of Edward 
IV, the Prior of Worcester granted to the Corporation the 
privilege of attending Divine service at the Cathedral with 
then? officers, but if any officer should arrest, or do any act in 
the monastery sanctuary, or St. John's, he should "forfeit 
his mace and office without any hopes of restitution." This 
grant is witnessed by John Carpenter, then Bishop of Wor- 
cester; Sir Thomas Littleton, Serjeant-at-Law (the very 
celebrated Judge who was buried in the Cathedral); and 
others. There is also a figure kneeling. This is a Saint, as 
he has the nimbus round his head, and from his young and 
beardless face it is probably St. John. There is also between 
this figure and the coronetted head a grotesque head with 
the mouth open and the tongue protruded. This I never 
before saw in a window, or inside a church, though it is very 
common in carving on the outside of churches. These 
grotesques are by some supposed to represent the deadly 
sins the evil passions and the like. May not this device be 
founded on Isaiah ch. Ivii, v. 4 ? 



The Rev. 0. Fox, incumbent of Knightwick-cum-Doden- 
ham, late head master of the Worcester College School, has 
advanced the following ingenious theory to account for the 
remarkable epitaph on the above monument in the Lady 
Chapel of Worcester Cathedral, which has long puzzled our 
local and other antiquaries. The epitaph {he says) was 
prepared by the Bishop himself fourteen years before his 
decease in 1641, at the age of 94. He was addicted to 
alchemy, and published a book in 1621, entitled AiOoOnopucoQ, 
&ive, Nihil aliquid, omnia, S^c. In the course of some recent 
studies in the Pythagorean philosophy, my attention was 
accidently engaged by this inscription ; and it at once struck 
me that it was thence that the explanation was to be derived. 
The epitaph is as follows : on one side, 

"Denarius Philosophorum, Dum Spiro Spero." 
on the other 

"In Uno, 2 3 4 10. non Spirans Spera&o." 

The two latter letters are now effaced. 

It is well known that the Pythagoreans found all the 
modes of space in the relations of numbers. 

The monad, or unit, was not only the point whence all 
extension proceeds, but it further symbolised the First Prin- 
ciple, the origin of all. The decad represented the line, as 
being bounded by two points or monads. The triad stood for 
surface, as length and width. The tetrad for the perfect 
figure the cube, length, depth, and width. The decad, or 
denarius, indicated comprehensively all being, material and 
immaterial, in the utmost perfection : hence the term decas, 
or denarius, was used summarily for the whole science of 
numbers, and in the title of Meursius's tract, " De Denario 


Pythagorico," which was published four years after the date 
of the inscription, and when the philosophy was attracting 
much attention among European scholars. To be as concise 
as possible, then, I presume that the old bishop intended that 
the tomb on which his effigy lies was his access to that per- 
fection of existence which philosophers had designated by 
the decas, or denarius. During the present life he was hoping 
for it. " Dum Spiro Spero." On the other side : " In Him, 
who is the source, the beginning, the middle, and the end of 
all existence and perfection (in Una, 2. 3. 4 or 10. non Spirant 
Sperabo), though I breathe no more, yet shall I hope." 

Such is probably the meaning of his pious conceit, and I 
offer it as a solution of what has long served for a riddle to 
the visitors of our Cathedral. Beyond this, your readers 
and myself may be equally indifferent to such cabalistical 
quaintness. But let us treat it with charity, as the devout 
consummation of an aged alchymist. 


Traces of ancient vineyards are abundant in this county. 
At Great Hampton is a place called "Vineyard Hill," 
where a vinery was established in the Conqueror's time. 
( t( Et vinea novella ibi" Domesday.) In South Littleton is 
" Vineyard Orchard," " Vine Street " in Evesham, and " Vine- 
yard Hill " near that town. At Pensax is a field called " The 
Vineyard," and there is a tradition that a Mr. King, about a 
century ago, endeavoured to establish there a vineyard of 
considerable extent, and created an artificial atmosphere by 
means of flues spread over the piece of land. The appear- 
ance of the field justifies the tradition. Is there any allusion 
to this wild scheme in the archives of the Dean and Chapter, 
to whom the land belonged ? In the rector's garden at 
Fladbury is the supposed site of the " Vineyards," which in 


the time of Henry III were cultivated there (Item percepit 
duos paries decimarum terrarum quondam ubi vinece fuerunt 
apud Fladbury : Priory Ledger.) Vines still flourish and 
ripen well in that garden. To the south of Astley church, 
across the road, lies the "Church-bank," whereon, tradition 
says, the monks of Astley Priory were wont to cultivate the 
vine ; and traces are still visible of terraces whereon probably 
the vines were planted. Documents exist relative to vine- 
yards at Ripple, Leigh, Sedgberrow, and Elmley Castle ; and 
at Droitwich is a place called " The Vines ; " " Vine Hill " 
and the "Vineyards," at Doddenham ; "The Vinne," ''Vinne 
Orchard," " Big Vinne," " Little Vinne," and " Great Viney," 
at Abberley ; " Vineyard," in Stoke Bliss ; " The Vineyard," 
Powick (belonging to St. Martin's parish, and appropriated 
to the repairs of the church); "The Vineyard," Lower 
Mitton, &c. Some writers have supposed that the Romans 
planted vines in Britain. Tacitus intimates that the olive 
and the vine were deficient here ; but it is clear from Bede 
and others that they were cultivated at a subsequent period, 
and perhaps were neglected only when the inhabitants found 
they could purchase better wines at a low price from France, 
or employ their lands to greater advantage by growing corn. 
(See also the chapter on Bishop Swinfield's Roll, p. 146.) 


Mr. Allies, in his " Antiquities and Folk-lore," mentions a 
remarkable echo at the Upper House, Alfrick, which is so 
distinct that it will allow about ten syllables to be uttered 
before it begins to repeat them. A pointer-dog in the neigh- 
bourhood used to resort to the spot, and bark till he was tired 
at his supposed antagonist. Nash records that in the parish 
of Bromsgrove were several echoes one at the white gate, 
between Dyer's bridge and the turnpike ; another in the 



Crown Close behind High Street ; a third at the east and 
west corners of the church ; a fourth at Woodcot ; and a 
fifth on the east side of High Street, near the Presbyterian 
meeting-house, opposite New Barn. Whether any of these 
mocking nymphs have left their cells since the days of Nash, 
the writer is unable to say. There is a good echo in the Bath 
Road, about two miles from Worcester Cross, and another on 
Lansdowne Terrace. In the garden of Chaddesley Corbett 
vicarage an echo is produced by the tolling of the great bell 
of the church, which, after an interval of two or three seconds, 
returns distinctly upon the ear, as though it were the tolling 
of the bell of Stone church, which is two miles distant. 


The last country gentleman who kept a fool that is, a 
professional jester in his house, was said to have been Mr. 
Bartlett, of Castlemorton. Jack Havod, or Hafod, was the 
name of "the squire's fool," and his tricks and drolleries 
were remembered by the inhabitants of Castlemorton long 
after his death, and are related even in the present day. 
It is still a common saying there "As big a fool as Jack 
Havod ;" and it is also told of him that on one occasion he 
was assisting in storing peas in a barn, and there being insuf- 
ficient room for the crop, Jack very coolly shovelled them out 
of a window into a pool of water underneath, saying, " We've 
got a vent for them now ;" and to this day it is a proverb in 
the neighbourhood "We've got a vent for them, as Jack 
Havod said." 


The only doctor of medicine known to have resided in 
this parish for the last 200 years was John Aaron, Esq., of 
the Moat House, Cutnal Green, who died in 1767, aged 83. 


He was descended from an ancient family of Little Drayton, 
near Shiffnal, Salop. Dr. Wanley, of Elmley Lodge, who 
died in 1776, aged 69, was the only "D.D." that has held 
that rectory for the last two centuries. Between the river 
Salwarpe and Bury-hill Estate, near Droitwich, is some 
meadow land belonging to the parish of Elmley Lovett. 
This land is more than two miles distant from the nearest 
boundary of the parish, and there runs some part of three 
other parishes between it, viz., Elmbridge, Hampton, and 
Salwarpe. The area of this land is about five acres, and is 
the property of Mr. Roberts, and rented by a gentleman at 
Droitwich, who pays the rates to Elmley Lovett. 


By a statute as old as the tune of Richard II, County 
Magistrates were allowed to make a charge of 4s. per day, 
and the Clerk of the Peace 2s., as wages for attending 
Quarter Sessions. That charge has been regularly made and 
allowed by the Sheriff up to the close of last year ( 1 855 ), 
when the ancient statute was repealed by the passing of the 
Criminal Justice Act, 18th and 19th Victoria, chap. 126. 
In this county these wages were clubbed together as a 
dinner and wine fund for the magistrates, but the old 
practice is now discontinued, and the magistrates will hence- 
forth be thrown upon their own resources. In the year 
1810 a long and bitter controversy, at one time wearing a 
serious aspect, arose among the magistracy of this county, 
in consequence of Mr. Welch, the chairman, having 
been charged by Mr. Johnson, a fellow magistrate, with 
misappropriating a part of these "justice wages" that had 
been intrusted to him. The Bench acquitted Mr. Welch. 



There is a common tradition at King's Norton that Queen 
Elizabeth came thither, and was entertained at an ancient 
house adjoining the churchyard, probably the residence of 
the Manorial Bailiff; but the name of the Queen has per- 
haps been mistaken for that of Henrietta Maria, wife of 
Charles I, she, according to Dugdale's Diary ( p. 52 ), having 
come to King's Norton from Walsall on July 10, 1643. 
The manor was part of the Queen's dower. 


Names of the members for Worcestershire returned for 
Cromwell's second Parliament, July, 1 654 : Sir Robert Rouse, 
Knt. and Bart., Edward Pitt, Esq., Nicholas Lechmere, 
Esq., John Bridges, Esq., Talbot Badger, Esq., ( Worcester 
City), William Collins, Esq. (ditto), Edward Elvines, Alder- 
man (ditto). The names of the gentlemen returned to 
Parliament on September 17, 1656, are Major-General 
James Berry, Colonel of Horse, and Major-General of the 
counties of Worcester, Hereford, and Salop, and also North 
Wales ; Sir Thomas Rouse, Bart., Edward Pitt, of Kiere 
Park, Esq., Nicholas Lechmere, Esq. ( Attorney of the 
Duchy of Lancaster), John Nanfan, Esq., Worcester City. 
Edmund Giles, Esq., one of the Masters in Chancery, 
who married a relation of the Lord Protector; William 
Collins, Esq. 


By an ordinance of the Parliament* made on the 31st of 
March, 1643, it was ordained that the estates of the two 

* This ordinance will be found in extenso in ScobelTs Collection of Acts 
and Ordinances of Parliament (a work in the Worcester Law Library) p. 37. 


Archbishops and twelve of the Bishops, including the Bishops 
of Worcester, Hereford, Gloucester, and Coventry and Lich- 
field, and of all persons ecclesiastical and temporal as had 
raised arms or been in active war against the Parliament, or 
had voluntarily contributed any money, horse, plate, arms, 
munition, or other aid or assistance, towards the maintenance 
of any forces against the Parliament, should be sequestered. 

The owners of these estates were allowed to pay a compo- 
sition for the restoration of their property. A list of the 
compounders and the sum paid by each was printed in 1655 
by Richard Dring. The following is a copy of the title page 
of this work : 

"A Catalogue of the Lords, Knights, and Gentlemen, that 
have compounded for their estates. London : Printed 
for Thomas Dring, at the signe of the George in Fleet- 
street, neare Clifford's Inn. 1655." 

[Extract so far as relates to Worcestershire.] 

. . d. 

Acton, George, Stilden, Worcest., Esq. . . . 0120 00 00 

Ablely, John, of Worcester, Yeoman . . . 0010 16 00 
Berkley, Sir Rowland, of Cotheridg, Com. 

Worcester 2030 00 00 

Bromley, Henry, Holt Castle, Wore., Esq. . 4000 00 00 

Bushell, Anthony, Cleeve Prior, Wore. . . 0005 00 00 

Barkley, Thomas, of Wore., Gent 0423 13 04 

Broad, Edm., of Stone, Wore., Gent. . . . 0115 00 00 

Bache, Tho., of Wore. Citty, Gent .... 0002 10 00 

Bayly, Thomas, of Evesham, Wore 0003 06 08 

Clare, Sir Ralph, Cawdwell, Wore 0298 00 00 

Churge, Burbage, of Wore., Gent. .... 0008 06 08 

Child, Will., of Shrawley, Wore., Esq. . . . 1844 18 08 

Cupper, Henry, Woodcock, Wore., Gent. . . 0101 15 00 


. 8. d. 

Davis, Edward, Droitwich, Wore., Gent. . . 0190 00 00 

Day, Philip, of Witchfield, Wore., Gent. . . 0015 00 00 

Defell, Thos., Senior, Sturbridg, Wore. . . . 0060 00 00 

Evet, John, of Woodhall, Wore., Gent. . . 0225 00 00 

Evans, William, of Worcester, Gent. . . . 0359 00 00 

Freeman, John, of Buckley, Wore., Gent. . . 0380 00 00 

Fortescue, John, Cookhill, Esq 0234 15 5 

Racket, Henry, Grymley, Wore., Gent. . . . 0300 00 00 

Herbert, Sir Hen., of Ribsford, Wore., Knt. . 1330 00 00 

Ingram, Henry, of St. Jones, Wore. . . . 0021 00 00 

Lawrance, Giles, Bengworth, Wore 0016 13 04 

Littleton, Sir Edward, p. Fisher Littleton, 

and Francis Nevell, Esq 1347 06 08 

Midlemore, Robert, Mosley, Worcester, Gent. 0400 00 00 

Mucklow, Thomas, Arley, Worcester, Gent. . 0045 00 00 
Midlemore, George, of King's Norton, Com. 

Worcester, Esq 0167 14 08 

Mucklow, William, of Arley, Worcester, Gent. 0360 00 00 
Moore, Francis, Seavern Stock, Worcester, 

Gent 0121 00 00 

Not, Sir Thomas, of Obden, Com. Worcester, 

Knight 0354 07 00 

Norwood, Henry, Bishampton, Worcester . . 0015 00 00 

Nanfan, Bridges, of Worcester, Gent. . . . 0080 00 00 
Packington, Sir John, of Alisbury, Bucking- 
ham, Baronet, with 190 per annum, as 

settled 5000 00 00 

Fennel, Edward, Lineridge, Worcester, Gent. 0060 00 00 

Pitts, Scudamore, St. John's, Worcester . . 0018 00 00 
Russel, Sir William, of Strentham, Worcester, 

Baronet,with50perannumsetledfor10 1800 00 00 

Shelden, William, of Bromsgrave, Worcester . 0096 00 00 


. it 4 

Shrimpton, lohn, Norton, Worcester . . . 0000 12 00 

Sandis, Martin, Ombersly, Worcester, Gent. . 0041 03 04 
Stratford, Anthony, Bushly, Worcester, Gent. 0040 00 00 
Shrimpton, Thomas, of Kingsham, Wore. . . 0000 16 00 
Sands, Sir Martin, of St. Michael in Bedwar- 

dine, Worcester, with 50 per annum setled 0210 00 00 
Seabright, Sir Edward, Besford, Worcester . 1809 00 00 
Talbot, Sherrington, Salwarp, Worcester . . 2011 00 00 
Tyat, Daniel, of Worcester, Apothecary . . 0270 00 00 
Tomkins, Nathaniel, Elmridge, Worcester . 0208 16 08 
T witty, Thomas, of Claines, Worcester, Gent. 0002 10 00 
Tyrer, John, of Ludley, Worcester, Gent. . 0650 00 00 
Twynning, John, of Fladbury, Worcester, 

Yeoman 0019 10 08 

Vernon, Edward, of Hanbury, Worcester, 

Gent 0400 00 00 

Wilde, Robert, of Wore., Gent 0576 00 00 

Wash bum, John, Wickenford, Wore., Gent. . 0797 10 00 
Winford, Sir John, of Astly, Worcst., Knight 0703 13 00 
Wainwright, Robert, of Hoi, Worcester . . 0001 00 00 
Washington, Henry, of Worcester, Gent. . . 0015 00 00 
Wainwright, Francis, Holt, Worcest., Yeoman 0012 00 00 
To this payment Worcestershire does not appear to have 
been very heavily charged, as the entire list contains upwards 
of 3500 names, extending over the whole of England and 
Wales. The largest payment was that made by Baptist Noel 
Lord Cambden, which amounted to 9000, "with 150 per 
annum settled," which in the case of Sir Richard Tancred, 
Knt., is explained to be "settled on the Ministry." The 
smallest payment is that of Mr. John Shrimptou above- 
mentioned. It is stated in the " Pictorial History of 
England " [vol. iii, p. 525] that by these compositions 


above 4,500,000 were raised in England, and 1,000,000 
in Ireland. 


About the year 1823 were born at Bromsgrove four female 
children at a birth, all of whom lived for many years. They 
were the children of Mr. and Mrs. Robinson, who had five 
other children, all single births. The writer of this note saw 
them when about three months old, when they were small 
for their age. He saw them again when they were about 
ten years old. They were then very pretty children, with 
dark hair and eyes. Three of them were very much alike, 
and exactly of the same height and size. The fourth re- 
sembled the others, but was about half a head shorter. 


It is a remarkable fact, that from October 2nd, 1842, to 
October 23rd, 1 848, during which period there were entered 
in the parish register of Suckley 106 baptisms, not one ille- 
gitimate birth took place ; but this happy state of things did 
not continue, for in the next six years, ending October, 1 854, 
with 89 entries, there were 5 illegitimate births. Thus, during 
the last twelve years, the latter have numbered scarcely 1 in 
38 of the rising population of Suckley. The average through- 
out the kingdom is 1 in 16. It is rather a singular coin- 
cidence that the illegitimate births, and consequently the 
illegitimate portion of the community, bear the same propor- 
tion to the general population as the paupers do, viz., 1 in 16. 
This remark must, however, be somewhat modified, for 
although it cannot be classed amongst statistical facts, it is 
probable that there die a larger proportion of illegitimate 
than legitimate children. 



A correspondent says that the Droitwich brine has for a 
considerable time been declining in strength ; so much so, 
that constant complaints emanate from the working men that 
they have considerable difficulty in earning the ordinary 
wages of labourers ; and the coal which is consumed hi 
manufacturing a ton of salt is considerably more than was 
formerly required. By some of the practical men of the 
place this deterioration is attributed to the excessive con- 
sumption of the last few years, and to the immense quantity 
that has been wantonly pumped into the river and canal ; but 
the correspondent suggests the probability of the pits being 
insecure, and in consequence the fresh water mingling with 
the brine, and thus reducing its natural strength. It has 
always been an error (according to his opinion) that shafts 
should be sunk down to the brine, as they enlarge the 
difficulty of keeping out the water considerably more than 
the old-fashioned small bore-holes. 


The smallest parishes in Worcestershire are Oldberrow, 
Doverdale, Daylesford, Edvin Loach, Abberton, Bredicot, 
and Little Shelsley. The last named place contains the 
smallest population, being but 49 in 1851; Bredicot, 67; 
Abberton, 80 (although the worthy clerk alone mustered 19 
children in Ins own family ) ; Edvin Loach, 69 ; Daylesford, 
66 ; Doverdale, 56 ( here there are but five houses in the 
parish, besides the rectory and mill, and there is no recol- 
lection of any labourer's cottage being in existence ) ; and 
Oldberrow, about 50 (here also is no labourer's cottage, 
and the only child in the parish is the rector's little boy; 


the parson's surplice fees in eleven years amounted to one 
shilling only, and but one interment took place during that 
time ). 


The parish of Offenham is remarkable for some of the 
richest land and one of the poorest churches in the county 
of Worcester. 


A paragraph recently appeared in the London publication, 
known as " Notes and Queries," as follows : 

" ' Good Queen Bess," when she visited Worcester, borrowed 
JE200 of the Corporation, which still stands as a 'bad debt' on 
the town books." 

On the occasion of the Royal visit alluded to, a "fare 
cupp " was bought at London " for the presenting the gyfte 
to the Queen's Majestic, and xl. pounds in sov'raignes and 
angells of her own coign and stamp ; " a crimson velvet purse, 
with 20 in it, was also presented to the Queen on her 
visit to the Cathedral. The total outlay by the city for en- 
tertaining her Majesty was 173. 8s. 4d., but the writer is 
not aware of any record of the Queen's having borrowed 
200, or of such an item standing as a " bad debt " on the 
books, which he has closely examined from a date prior to 
the Queen's visit. 


Traders' tokens were issued from the year 1648, towards 
the close of the reign of Charles I, until the year 1672, when 
they were cried down by proclamation of Charles II, and a 
new copper currency issued, the first we had in England, all 
previously being Royal tokens. During the Commonwealth 


they were not very numerous, but after the Restoration, in 
1660, to the year 1672, they are exceedingly abundant, and 
were issued in nearly every town and village in England. 
They were issued without authority, no doubt, as many of them 
state, for necessary change. In London alone nearly 4000 
were issued, and the remainder of England are estimated 
at 15,000 more. In the year 1669 (when this kind of coinage 
was first checked) the citizens of Norwich had a pardon 
granted them for all transgressions, and in particular for 
their coinage of halfpence and farthings, by which they had 
forfeited their charter, all coinage being declared to be the 
King's prerogative; and in 1670 the Worcester Corporation 
petitioned his Majesty's pardon for " putting out farthings 
in this city." The following list of Worcestershire tokens, 
recently published by Mr. W. Boyne, in " Aris's Birmingham 
Gazette," I now reprint, with a few additions: 


1. (Obverte) A WORCESTER FARTHING . Anns of Worcester; a castle 

with a bird above it. 

(Reverie) FOR NECESSARIB CHAING . C. W. ( City of Worcester) 

1G67 id 


3. 0. EDWARD BARON OF YE ciTTY . . E.B. conjoined. 

R. OF WORCESTER HIS HALF PENY . Arms of Worcester ; three 

pears id. 

4. 0. RICHARD BBDDORS OF YE ... Arms of Worcester. (16)59. 

K. CITTY OF WORCESTER Mercers' Arms. R. B. . . Jil. 

5. 0. RICHARD BEDOF.S Arms of Worcester. 

R. HIS HAI.KK PENNY Mercers' Arras. R. B. . . id. 

6. A variety with the date 1664 

7. 0. JOHN CHERRY HIS HALF .... Arms of Worcester. 

It. PBNY IN WORCESTER. 1664 . . . L S. C id. 

8. 0. WILL. CHBTLK IN BROD STRT. IN . Merchant's mark. W. 8. C. 

R. WOR8TBR CLO. HIS HALF PENY . Arms of Worcester ... |d. 

9. 0. WILLIAM < HKTTI.K 1666 .... Merchant's mark. W. C. 

R. or WORCESTER, CLOTHIER . . . Anna of Worcester . . . Jd. 



10. 0. HIS HALPE PENNY. 1667 .... WILL. COLBATCH. 

R. THB CITTY OF WORCESTER . . . Arms of Worcester . . . Jd. 

11. 0. WILLIAM COLBATCH OF .... W. C. conjoined. 

R. YE CITTY OF WORCESTER . . . Arms of Worcester . . . Jd. 

12. WILL. FINCH id. 

13. DITTO 4:!. 

14. TROS FOWNE 4 'I. 

15. THOS. RACKETT $d. 


17. 0. JOHN HILL DISTILLER Arms of Worcester. 

R. CITTY OF WORCESTER. (16)64 . . HIS HALF PENY . . . . Jd. 

18. 0. THOMAS JONES. 1669 A hat and glove ; Feltmakers' 



19. JOHN JONES . id. 

20. 0. JOHN LILLIE IN WORCESTER . . Weavers' Arms. 

R. HIS HALFE PENNY. 1667 .... Arms of Worcester . . . id. 

21. 0. ARTHUR LLOYD IN Arms of Worcester. 


22. 0. WILL. MOORE OF WORCESTER . . Arms of Worcester. 

R. HIS HALFE PENNY. 1668 .... Mercers' Arms. W. At. . . d. 


24. 0. FRAN. RICHARDSON OF YE ctTTY . Arms of Worcester 


25. 0. HIS HALFE FENY. 1664 .... JOHN SEABORN. 

R. THK CITTIS OF WORCESTER . . . Arms of Worcester ... id. 


27. 0. HIS HALF PENY. 1662 WILL. SWIFT. 

R. THB CITTY OF WORCESTER . . . Arms of Worcester ... id. 

28. A variety is without date, and the centre is brass, the other 

part copper $d. 

29. Another variety has the date 1663. 

30. 0. WILLIAM SWIFT OF YE . . . . W. S. conjoined. 

R. CITTY OF WORCESTER Arms of Worcester . . . Jd. 

31. A variety is silvered, and has the initial S. joined to the last limb of 

W.; in the other it is joined to the first limb id. 

32. 0. JOHN TUBERVILLE A rms of Worcester 

R. WORCESTER HIS HALF PENNY . . Mercers' Arms. I. T. . . id. 


There were 36 of these tokens coined at Worcester, Rd. Bedoes having 
issued three varieties besides those attached to his name above, and Wm. 
Colbatch another variety. 


33. 0. EDWARD pimvAY AT THE ... A lion rampant. 



34. 0. THE WARDENS BALpc PUNY OF BEWDLEY. In four lines across 

the field. 
R. 1668. An anchor between a sword 

and rose (Octagonal) id. 

35. 0. SAMUELL CART A lion passant. 

R. IS BSAUDLY. 1663 S. M. C id. 


the field. 
R. IN BEWDLEY. ( Three cloves. ) . . SQUARE DEALING (SQUARE) id. 

37. 0. WALTER PALMER OF A hat. 

K. BEWDLEY, CAPPER. 1656. . . . W. A. P Jd. 



R. OF BROADWAY. 1670 M. A. R |d. 


39. 0. HENRY JEFFREYS Grocers' Arms. 


40. 0. SAMUEL ROGERS. 1668. . . . . 8. R. 






R. APOTH. IN DROYTWicu Arms of Droitwich ; quarterly 

1st and 4th, cheeky, 2d and 3d, two barrows id. 


R. OF DROITWICH. 1667 Arms of the Town of Droit- 
wich J<L 


44. 0. WILL. BIGGS OF DUDLEY IN ... MerCtTs' AlTOS. 

R. 8TAFFO * * * W. M. B Jd. 




R. IN WORCESTERSHIRE Ironmongers' Arms . . . J,i. 

( Dudley properly belongs to Worcestershire, though it is surrounded by 
Staffordshire. Singularly enough, the two tokens above give it to both 


46. 0. THE BURROW OF EVBSHAM . . . Arms of Evesham ; a prince's 

coronet between two ostrich feathers, a garb in base, the whole 
within a border bezantee. 


47. 0. No inscription Arms of Evesham. 



R. OF EVESHAM. 1664 P. B Jd. 

49. 0. RICHARD BENNETT Wheat sheaf. 

R. OF EVESHAM. 1666 HIS HALF PENNY. . . . Jd. 


R. IN EVBSHAM A sugar loaf id. 


R. IN EVESHAM. 1656 W. A. B }d- 

52. 0. PETER CROSS P. M. C. 

R. IN EVESHAM. 1649 P. M. C Jd. 

There is another described as "PHILLIP CROSS," in all other respects the 
same; it may be an error of the die-sinker or describer. This is interesting 
from having the earliest date that is found on these tokens. No. 57 is also 
of the game early date. 


R. IN E8HAM. 1666 I. S. F Jd. 

54. 0. RIC. GODDARD, IN BRIDG. . . . R. M. G. 


. . . R. M. G 

. . id. 

55. 0. JOHN LACEY 

. . . A flower. 

R. OF EVESHAM. 1654 . . . 

. . . I. M. L 

. . id. 

56. 0. MATHEW MICHELL . . . 

. . . Grocers' Arms. 

R. OF EVESHAM. 1653 . . . 

. . . M. M. M 

. . id. 

57. 0. WILLIAM RUDOE .... 

. . . W. A. R. 

R. IN KVB8HAM. 1649 . 

. W. A. R. 

. id. 

58. 0. AT THE RAVEN IN A raven. 




59. 0. THOMAS RALAMEY IN Weavers' Arms. 


60. 0. FRANCES CARTBR A pair of shears. 




62. 0. EDWARD CRAMBERLIN A man making candles. 


63. 0. WILLIAM MOUNTFORD A tankard. W. M. 






( This is one of the few FARTHING tokens which has the value 
expressed on it. ) 

66. 0. RICH. RADFORD, HIS HF. PENY . . Weavers' Arms. 

R. OF KIDDERMINSTER, 1666. . . . Merchant Tailors' Arms. . .'<!. 

67. 0. EDMUND AND WILLIAM READE . . Weaver's A mis. 


68. 0. JOHN ROWDEN IN Nag's head. 

It. KIDDERMINSTER. 1656 I. A. R Jd. 



70. 0. THO. SADLER, HIS HALF PRNY . . Chandlers' Arms. 

R. IN KIDDERMINSTER. 1664. . . . T. A. 8 .5(1. 

71. 0. WALTER THATCHER A shuttle. 




R. IN PBR8HORE. 1666 II. (J id. 

73. 0. GIDEON PALMER Mercers' Arms. 

R. PERSHORE. 1667 HIS HALF PENY. G. S. P. . Ail. 

74. 0. EDWARD PERKINS, His HALF PENY. Apothecaries' Arms. 

R. OF PERSHORE, APOTHECARY. . . 1664. . . . E. P. ..'<!. 


75. 0. RICHARD COOPER OF. ..... A bee-hive. 

R. BH1PSTON UPON STOWKR .... HIS HALF PENT. 1669. . . id. 



76. 0. HBNRY COTTERELL. IN 1666. . . . Mercers' Anns. 


77. 0. ROBERT FITZHUGH Apothecaries' Arms. 

R. IN SHIPSON. 1664. HIS HALF PENY .... Jd. 

78. 0. EDWARD PITTWAY Ironmongers' Arms. 


79. 0. SIMON SIMONS Mercers' Arms. 



80. 0. A STOWERBRIDO. HALF PENY. . Ironmongers' Arms. 

R. FOR NECESSARY CHANGE. . . . Clotliworkcrs' Arms. . . id. 
This is a town piece, the arms showing the principal trades carried on. 
There is a specimen in the collection of the Society of Antiquaries, having 
the reverse indented, doubtless caused by the previous struck token not 
having been removed from the die. It was bequeathed with many other 
Worcestershire Tokens to the Society by Dr. Prattinton. 

81. 0. JONATHAN BUTLER, MERCER . . Arms of Worcester City ; three 


R. IN STOWERBRIDGE, 1665 . . . HIS HALF PKNY. . . . Jd. 


across the field. 
R. OK STOWKRBRIDGK. 1669 . . . Ironmongers' Arms. . . . Jd. 


R. IN STOWER BRIDG. 1665. . . . E. M. P Jd. 

84. 0. JOHN PRATT OF A bridge of four arches. 




86. 0. HUMPHREY BUTTON 11. S. S. 




R. OULD SWINFORD. 1669 Arms of Worcester ; three 

pears id. 


88. 0. EDMO.SD LANE Arms ; a chevron between three 



89. 0. EDMOND LANE Arms as the last. 





R. IK TKWBURY Mercers' Anns. .... id. 


91. 0. OLIVER ROUND St. George and the dragon. 



This must have been formerly an important trade in our 
county and city. The city of Worcester, and the towns of 
Broinsgrove, Kidderminster, Droitwich, and Evesham, were 
extensively engaged in it ; and when many persons dwelling 
in other parts of the county had begun cloth making, much 
to the injury of these towns, an act was passed in the 25th 
year of Henry VIII, prohibiting all persons from making 
cloth, except such as resided in the above-mentioned places, 
but all persons were allowed to make cloths for their own 
wear, or for their children, servants, &c. At the present 
day only one loom is in existence in Bromsgrove, and in 
Worcester the trade has ceased for many years, although the 
Clothiers' Company still exists as a body for the administration 
of charitable funds. 


The assumption of Miss Strickland that the mortuary cloth 
in the possession of the Clothiers' Company at Worcester was 
the pall used at the funeral of Queen Catherine, the first 
wife of King Henry VIII, who was buried in Peterborough 
Cathedral, has been, upon examination, refuted. At a recent 
meeting of the Archaeological Institute at Cambridge, the 
Rev. C. H. Hartshorne read a paper on the funeral of 
Catherine of Arragon, and produced a document from the 
Rolls' Court which had never been consulted before, and 


which gave a full account of the Queen's funeral. The rev. 
gentleman afterwards alluded to the life of Catherine of 
Arragon, hy Miss Strickland, who says that the pall used 
on this occasion is now in the possession of the Clothworkers' 
Company at Worcester. Mr. Hartshorne then produced this 
pall, which he had been allowed to bring with him. It was 
spread out and examined, and it clearly appeared that it 
could not be that used at the Queen's funeral. It consisted 
of three or four old capes [copes ?] put together, and it was 
utterly impossible to recognise it from the description given 
in the document produced from the Rolls' Court. 


If the moon on a Saturday be new or full 
There always was rain and there always will. 

If it rain on Good Friday or Easter day, 

It's a good year of grass but a sorry year of hay. 

If Easter be early, 
Or if it be late ; 
It's sure to make 
The old cow quake. 

The weather's always ill 
When the wind's not still. 

When the wind is in the East 

It's neither good for man nor beast. 

A storm of hail 
Brings frost in its tail. 


A May wet 

Was never kind yet. 

As the day lengthens 
The cold strengthens. 

A rainbow at night 

Is the shepherd's delight. 

When the reds are out at night 
It's the shepherd's delight, 
But when out in the morning 
It's all the day storming. 

At New Year's tide 
A cock's stride : 
By Twelfth-tide 
Another beside. 

When Bredon hill puts on his hat, 
Ye men of the vale, beware of that. 
(This alludes to the rain -cloud settling on the hill.) 

A peck of March dust is worth a king's ransom. 

When the new moon " lies on her back," as the saying is 
that is with its concavity upwards, it is expected to be a dry 
time, " the rain being kept from running out," but, vice versa, 
it will be wet. 

It is said that if the little beetle, the Carabus, should be 
trodden upon, rain will fall. This little glittering insect runs 
about only in fine weather. 



The first writ for the levying of ship money was issued by 
King Charles I, addressed to the Lord Mayor and citizens of 
London. It is dated October 20th, in the 10th year of the 
reign of King Charles I [1634], and after reciting that 
"certain thieves, pirates, and robbers, of the sea, as well 
Turks, enemies of the Christian name, as others, being 
gathered together, taking by force and spoiling the ships and 
goods and merchandises not only of our subjects, but also of 
the subjects of our friends in the sea, which hath been accus- 
tomed anciently to be defended by the English nation, and 
the same at their pleasure have carried away, delivering the 
men in the same into miserable captivity." The writ com- 
mands the citizens of London to provide seven ships of war, 
varying in size from 900 to 300 tons, with 1,460 men, with 
ordnance, gunpowder, spears, and weapons, and other neces- 
sary arms for war; and directs that their ships shall be at 
Portsmouth on the 1st of March then next. In the year 1636, 
King Charles I, by the advice of his Privy Council, sent writs 
to the different counties for the raising of money to provide 
ships. This was called ship money ; but although it was 
levied for the nominal purpose of providing ships, the counties, 
instead of providing any, paid the amount into the Royal 
Exchequer, and this was really a mere device to raise money 
without the authority of Parliament. 

The county and city of Worcester were assessed as follows : 

Tunnes. Men. Charge. 

"Worcestershire, one ship . . 350 140 3,500 

Corporate Towns 

City of Worcester 233 

Burrough of Evesham 74 

Burrough of Bewdley 62 

Burrough of Droitwich 62 

Town or Burrough of Kidderminster .... 27 " 


On the 10th of November, 1639, King Charles I, by the 
advice of his Privy Council, caused other writs for ship money 
to be issued to the several counties of England ; and by one 
of these writs the county of Worcester was assessed thus : 

Ship. Men. Tons. 

"Worcester 1 112 280" 

But at this tune thirty-five of the English counties and seven 
of the Welch counties were in arrear for their earlier ship 
money, as appears from a table of the arrears, in which there 
is the following entry as to Worcestershire : 

Arrears. Arrears. Arrears. 

An. 1636. An. 1637. An. 1638. 

"Worcester . . 096 1070 710 00" 

Ship money was declared to be illegal by the statute 16th 
Charles I, chap. 1 4, which was passed in the year 1 640. 

For this information we are indebted to John Rushworth, 
Esq., Secretary to the Lord General Fairfax, in whose collec- 
tion it will be found (vol. ii, pp. 257, 335, 975, !78.) 


Mr. Rushworth, Secretary to the Lord General Fairfax, in 
his Historical Collections, vol. ii, p. 71, under the date of July 
6, 1630, says that "the King having sent writs to several 
sheriffs of the several counties for the summoning of all that 
had forty pound land or rent by the year to appear at the 
day of the Coronation and prepare themselves to receive the 
Order of Knighthood, did award a Commission to certain 
Lords and others of his Privy Council to treat and compound 
with all those who had made default. This was founded on 
the Statute De Militibus, a statute stated by the Record Com- 
missioners to be of uncertain date, but which is usually printed 


as of the first year of the reign of King Edward II. By the 
statute 16th of Charles I, chap. 20, compulsory Knighthood 
is abolished. The following is a list of Worcester gentlemen 
fined by King Charles I for not taking the order of Knight- 
hood ; it is extracted from the " Book of Compositions for 
not taking the Order of Knighthood at the Coronation of 
King Charles I. 16301632. Auditor of the Receipt*." 

"Wigorn. p. 196. 
Sir William Sandy, Knight, Collector. 

. s. d. 

Walter Blunt, of Sillington, Esquire 1500 

John Barnabie, of Bockleton, Esquire . . . . 12 10 

Mathias Maysey, of Hakenhurt, Esquire . . . . 11 13 4 

John Nash, of Markeley, Gent 10 

John Winford, of Astley, Esquire 12 10 

Hunfrey Packington, of Chadsley Corbet, Esquire . 31 5 

Humfrey Parrott, of Bellhall, Gent 1210 

Roger Lowe, of Bromsgrove, Gent 1000 

Robt. Go wer, of King's Norton, Esquire . . . . 12 10 

John Crabbe, of Bromsgrove, Gent 10 

Walter Brace, of Bromsgrove, Gent 1000 

William Chambers, of Northfield, Gent 1000 

Ffoulke, Bourne, of Elmbridge, Gent 12 

Thomas Ffawnes, of Bromsgrove, Gent 1000 

John Bourne, of Ombersley, Gent 12100 

John Horniold, of Hanley Castle, Esquire . . . 27 10 

Thomas Moore, of Suckley, Gent . 12 

Edward Dingley, of Sherif clench, Esq 10 

Roger Dowleswell, of Rushley, Gent 10 

William Wheeler, of Wicke iuxta Parshore, Gent. 10 

Edward Turvey, of Walcott, Gent 15 

* This Manuscript was recently discovered by Mr. Black in the It oils 
House Record Office. 


. a. d. 

Armell Greene, of Vpton Snodsburie ....1000 
Francys Haselwood, of Wick iuxta Parshore, Esq. 12 10 

John Bridges, of Estington, Esquire 25 

Thomas Copley, of Norton iuxta Bredon, Esquire . 1210 

John Clent, of Wicke Epi, Gent 1000 

Henry Bromley, of Vpton sup. Sabrina, Esquire . 10 

Thomas Nashe, of Claines, Gent 10 

Thomas Hornihold, of Breedon, Esquire . . . . 12 10 

Thomas Saunders, of Moore, Gent 1000 

Thomas Coxe, of Crowle, Esquire 17 10 

John Jones, of Crowle, Gent 1000 

Giles, Blount, of Wicke Epi 1150 

Philip Bearcroft, of Hanburie, Gent 12 10 

John Russell, of Mai verne Pva, Esquire .... 12 
George Lench, of Inkeberrow, Esquire . . . . 11 13 4 
Samuel Atwood, of Wooverley, Esquire .... 10 

Raphaell Hunt, of Hanbury, Gent 12 10 

Thomas Hunt, of Inkeberrow, Gent 1000 

Robt. Wyld, of the Commanders, Gent 1000 

.John Holberrow, of Wooverley, Gent 10 

Nicholas Langstone, and Will. Langstone, his sonne 

and heire 15 

54 Hi. 16s. &d. vnde solut. 

200 25 Oct., 1630. 

200 27 Oct., 1630. 

141 16 8 4to Martij, 1630.* 

Richard Skinner, of Coston Hacket, Esquire . . 25 

Thomas Good, of Redmarley Dabitot, Esquire . 30 

William Child, of Shrawley, Esquire 25 

John Wreuford, of Longden, Gent 1100 

* As the year then began on the 25th of March, the 4th of March, 
1<>30, is the latest date. 


. 8. d. 

William Cave, of Lighe, Gent 1000 

Thomas Trinnell of Salwarp, Gent 12 

William Ingram, of St. Johnes in Bedwardine, Esq. 32 

William Child, Senior, of Blockeley, Esquire . . 33 

William Barnes, of Treddinton, Esq 16 

Henry Townesend, of Elmley Lovett, Esquire . 14 

John Cowcher, of Redmarley Dabitot, Esquire . 14 

William Parsons, of Longdon, Gent 10 

Edmund Giles, of White Ladie Aston, Gent. ..1000 

John Norris, of Chadsley Corbett, Gent. ... 10 

Thomas Barraston, of the Rocke, Gent. ... 1000 

Thomas Parker, of Longdon, Gent 10 

John Ffreman, of Busheley, Gent 15 

Richard Ffrench, of Salawarp, Gent 1000 

Geo. Morinle, of Lighe, Gent 16 

Gibt. Wheeler, of Droytwich, Gent 16 

William Amphlett, of Hadzor, Gent 12 

Tho. Gower, of Droytwich, Gent 20 

John Woodhouse, of Salwarp, Gent 10 

John Wheeler, of Droytwich, Gent 10 

James Naeshe, de ead, Gen 1800 

Tho. Symonds, of Whitelady Aston 13 6 8 

William Hill, of Castell Morton, Gen 10 

John Hill, de ead, Gen 10 

Richard Arden, of Martley, Gen 16 

Arthur Bagshawe, of Inkeberrowe, Gen 15 

Wm. Stevens, of Broadway, Gen 10 

John Wheeler, of Whichbole, Gen 1368 

Nicholas Lilley, of Bromesgrove, Gen 968 

John Giles, of Astley, Gen 1000 

Tho. Wild, of Dodderhill, Gen 1000 

Wm. Stevens, Jun., of Brodway, Gen 1000 


. 8. d. 

Henry Garrett, de ead, Gen 10 

Francis Rosse, of Great Malverne, Gent. ... 12 

Jo. Hobdins, als Ffeckenham, Gen 10 

Tho. Burie, of Abbotsley, Gen 10 

Wm. Hackett, of Vpton sup. Sabrina, Gen. ... 10 

Henrie Sheylard, de Hanburie, Gen 10 

Henry Coller, de ead, Gen 1200 

John Perkes, of Wickbole, Gen. 1000 

Edward Barret, of Draitwch, Gen 22 

Tho. Chaunce, of Hadzor, Gen 1000 

Edward Hall, of Hollowe, Esquire 12 

Rich. Baughe, of Tibbton, Gen 1200 

John Cookes, of Bentley, Gen 10 

John Ballard, of St. John's in Bedwardine, Gen. .1200 

Robt. Boulton, of Ffeckenham, Gent 1000 

Daniel Rawliugson, of Vpton sup. Sabrina, Gen. 10 

Robt. Wheeler, of Offenham, Gen 1368 

Wm. Wichelowe, of Ardeley, Esquire ...'.1400 

Wm. Ffeild, of King's Norton, Gen 20 

John Westwood, of Bromesgrove, Gen 1200 

Jo. Chambleine, of Astley, Gen 1000 

John Coxe, of Claines, Gent 1600 

Richard Moore, of Seauerne Stooke, Esquire ..1500 

Robt. Yates, of Yardley, Gen 1200 

John Knotsford, of Holfast, Gen 10 

Thomas Powck, of the Rocke, Gent 10 

John Halford, of Armescott, Gen. 1368 

Geo. Ffrench, of Parshore, Gen 12 

Tho. Lunde, of Breedon, Gen 1000 

Anthony Palmer, of Combtin Magna, Gen. ... 10 

Phillip Parsons, of Oldburie, Gen 1500 

John Homer, of Martley, Gen 13 6 8 


. 8. d. 

James Hill, of Vpton sup. Sabrina, Gen 1000 

Tho. Woodward, of Ripple, Esquire 30 

John Marston, of Yardeley, Gen. ..... 12 

Richard Acocke, de ead. Gen 12 

Richard Rotten, of Kingsnorton, Gen 10 

John Rosser, de ead. Gen 13 6 

George Middlesmore, de ead. Esquire 1800 

Thomas Cooke, of Longdon, Gent 15 

Nicholas Ffletcher, of Paxford, Gent 1400 

Thomas Horton, of Staunton, Esquire 30 

John Hanburie, of Ffeckenham, Gen 1000 

Thomas Hayward, of Eldersfield, Gent 10 

Richard Terrett, of Chadsley, Gent 1500 

George Palmer, of Suckley, Gent 1000 

Geo. Darley, of Ffladburie, Gent 1000 

Jo. Callow, of Bishampton, Gent 10 

Edward Booth, of Pershore, Gent 1400 

Wm. Walle, of the Rocke, Gent 10 

Humfrey Salwaie, of Stanford, Gent 25 

Wm. Dingley, of Strensham, Gent 11 

Thomas Rushell, of Rushocke, Gent 1500 

Humfrey Hill, of Stone, Gent 13 6 8 

Civitas Wigorn. 

John Coucher, Esquire 12 

John Hassellocke, Esquire 12 

John Tomkins, Esquire 1000 

John Ffrogner, Gent 1500 

Edward Hardman, Esquire 1200 

Wm. Wyatt, Esquire 10 

Thomas Huntbach, Gent 1200 

Thomas Writer, Gent 1000 


. 8. d. 

Edward Sowley, Gent 10 

John Hanburie, Gent 10 

Hughe Greenes, Gent 1000 

Daniel Tyas, Gent 10 

John Smith, Gent 10 

John Collins, Gent 1000 

Robt. Mason, Gent 10 

Edward Ffleete, Gent 1368 

Christopher Woodward, Gent 10 

John Breinton, Gent 10 

Wigorn, 14to Maij, 1631. 

William Barkeley, of Cotheridge, Esquire ... 40 

John Washborne, of Wichenford, Esq 35 

John Liddiat, of Wollason, Gent 1800 

William Ffreman, of Blockley, Gent 10 

Edward Cookes, of Shiltwood, Esquire .... 40 

Edward Ffreeman, of Emlode, Gent 1500 

Thomas Andrewes, of Bathenhall, Esquire ... 15 

Thomas Acton, of Bockleton, Esquire 20 

William Walshe, of Redmarley, Esquire .... 40 

Wigorn, lo Augusti, 1631. 

Robt. Acton, of Ribsford, Gent 1500 

Wm. Middlemore, of Hawkesley, Esquire . ... 14 

Wm. Mason, of Birlingham, Gent 12 

Edward Baugh, of Pensham, Gent 12 

Edmond Bearecroft, of Inkeberrow, Gent. ... 10 

John Kightley, of Littleton, Gent 1000 

Tho. Bloxham, of Ouffenham, Gent 1200 

Tho. Ffletcher, of Taxford, Gent 10 

John Ffincher, of Inkeberrowe, Gent 10 


. s. d. 

John Smith, of Ffranckeley, Gent 1000 

John Manne, of Ridmley, Gent 1368 

Ralph Pear-sail, of Alchurch, Gent 10 

Fflourris Cowper, of Ridmley, Gent 10 

Thomas Purton, of Ridmley, Gent 10 

Tho. Browne, of Eldersfeild, Gent 12 

Ffrancis Huband, of Rouslench, Gent 1200 

Jo. Atwood, of Staunton, Gent 1200 

Jo. White, of Dome, Gent 1200 

Tho. Widdones, of Aston Magna, Gent 12 

Tho. Doughtie, of Suckeley, Gent 1100 

Wm. Webley, Jun., of Aufricke, Gent 11 

Richard Darke, of Alston, Gent 12 

Ffrancis Palm, of Bricklehampton, Gent. ... 12 

Thomas Smith, of Badsey, Gent 10 

Thomas Hames, of Inkeberrow, Gent 1200 

Wm. Johnsons, of Aufricke, Gent 1200 

Tho. Bushell, of Prior's Cleeve, Gent 13 6 8 

Thomas Greene, of King's Norton, Gent. ... 1 1 

Richard Burnford, of Bromsgrove, Gent. ... 12 

Simon Rowney, of Darlingscote, Gent 1000 

Tho. Cheatle, of the Cittye of Worcester, Gent. . 20 

Edw. Neast, of Chaseley, Gent 1800 

Simon Batch, of Suckeley, Gent 1000 

Paul Romney, of Suckley, Gent 1200 

William Martin, of Hampton, Gent 10 

Edward Anslowe, of the Citty of Worcester, Gent. 1400 

Ffrancis Dison, of Bradeley, Gent 1000 

26to Martij, 1632. 

Ralphe Poole, of Beoley, Gent 10 

Humfrey Grissall, of Yardeley, Gent 1000 


. *. d. 

William Sambadge, of Broadwaie, Esquire ... 14 

Thomas Greenes, of Moseley, Gent 10 


vnde solut. 

. a. d. 

25 10 Maij, 1631. 

300 eod die. 

100 xjo Maij, 1631. 

400 xiijo Maij, 1631. 

175 xxiijio Maij, 1631. 

400 xxviijo Maij, 1631. 

132 23tio Julij, 1631. 

450 2do Nov., 1631. 

80 22do Dec., 1631. 

121 0014 Junij, 1632. 


The onslaught made on dogs found in the streets of Wor- 
cester, when the cholera was expected three or four years 
ago, suggests an extract from history bearing on the point. 
In the Droitwich records, the bailiff's accounts for the year 
1 637, a time of great pestilence, contain the following among 
other entries: 

s. d. 
* To Win. Watkina for burienge of doggs and katts hi 

the sickness* time 50 

' To Wm. Harrw for mendinge his gunn to kill doggs Aug. 26. 18 
" To Ed. Turke for killing two katts 04" 

In the parochial records of the city of Westminster for 
the year 1603 mention is made of one person having "mas- 
sacred the amazing number of 500 dogs;" and in 1605, 83 


others. Thus it seemed the practice of making a hecatomb 
of dogs and cats on these sad occasious. Can any one 
explain the reason of this ? Was it that these animals 
were deemed to be peculiarly obnoxious to the pestilence, 
and that it was contagious ? Similar practices prevailed in 
ancient times: we read in the "Iliad" 

"On mules and dogs the infection first began; 
At last the vengeful arrows fix'd on man 
For nine long days throughout the dusky air, 
The pyres, thick flaming, shot a dismal glare." 


The following notes contain a few historical facts, either 
not fully related, or omitted altogether in the local histories, 
relative to the progresses of Charles I and his son through 
this county during the Civil Wars : 

The unhappy contest between King Charles and his people 
first brought that Sovereign into Worcestershire in the year 
1644, when he fled from Essex and Waller at Oxford. The 
city of Worcester presented his Majesty with 200 and the 
Princes Rupert and Maurice 100 each, the purse for his 
majesty costing 8d. (as recorded in the Corporation books), 
and those for the Princes 4d. each. An order had been issued 
to raise 1000 (equal to 15,000 of the present time) in less 
than two days, and the above sums were probably all that could 
be extracted out of the half-ruined inhabitants at that time. 
His Majesty retreating with his army to Bewdley, two guides 
for the royal carriage were engaged at a cost of 4s. 6d., and 
six axletrees (articles frequently requiring renewal in those 
days of un-M'Adam-ized roads) were charged 4s. At Bewdley, 
Charles wrote a letter from Tickenhill Palace to Prince 
Rupert, urging him to relieve York. This led to the battle 
of Marston Moor. The letter is given in the appendix to 


Guizot's History of the English Revolution. About the same 
time a Royal missive was addressed to the Corporation and 
inhabitants of Droitwich, thanking them for the assistance 
they had sent into Worcester when Waller assaulted it. 
While at Bewdley also the King dispatched a party of horse 
to relieve Dudley Castle, which was then besieged by the Earl 
of Denbigh, but they were defeated with considerable loss. 
Waller having now outflanked the King, his Majesty returned 
suddenly to Worcester, and hastened through Evesham to 
join the remainder of his forces at Oxford. At Evesham, he 
took the Mayor and certain Aldermen prisoners and carried 
them to Oxford ; but the Royalists were closely pursued by 
the forces of the Parliament under Waller, and were obliged 
to break down the bridges behind them to make good their 
retreat. The Royalists also burned down many houses in 
the suburbs of Worcester, the better to secure the city. 
Between Evesham and Oxford are several memorials of his 
Majesty's misfortunes. In a bed-room at the White Hart 
inn, at Moreton-in-the-Marsh, appears the following: 

" When friends were few, and dangers near, 
King Charles found rest and safety here. 


slept at this inn on his way to Evesham, 

Tuesday, July 2, 1644." 

In August, 1644, offers were made to the Parliament by divers 
gentlemen of Worcestershire to raise forces for their service, 
and an ordinance was passed for that purpose. At the 
beginning of 1645 the King appointed Prince Maurice, his 
nephew and son of the Elector Palatine of the Rhine, " General 
of Worcester, Hereford, and Shropshire." It is apparent, 
from other records besides those of the corporation, that his 
brother, Prince Rupert, was also, at short intervals of inaction 
in the field, present at Worcester, and there is sufficient 


evidence to show that these arrogant, fiery, and remorseless 
soldiers of fortune bled the city more copiously than Dr. 
Sangrado did his patients. Here is an extract from a warrant 
of Prince Rupert's, which will exhibit his peremptory tone 
and fierce character, and afford some idea of the horrors of 
civil war. It commands labourers and provisions to be sent 
to him "upon your utmost peril, as the total burning and 
plundering of your houses, with what other mischief the 
licensed and hungry soldiers can inflict upon you." Early 
in 1 645, the " clubmen," as they were called, appeared in 
large bodies in Worcestershire, assumed a defensive attitude, 
and refused to serve the King according to his proclamation. 
These clubmen first arose in the west of England, where for a 
time their efforts were principally directed to the checking of 
the cruelties and licentious outrages of Goring, the Royalist 
commander, and his desperate bands. Gradually gentlemen 
of rank and substance joined the yeomen and peasantry, and 
gave a new direction to the association. The original motive 
of the " clubmen " was sufficiently explained in the motto on 
one of their ensigns or standards 

" If ye offer to plunder or take our cattle, 
Be you assured we'll give you battle." 

The Worcestershire clubmen first mustered to the number 
of about two thousand, and put forth a declaration of their 
intentions against the Popish party and to preserve the 
King's rights and the privileges of Parliament. They rapidly 
increased in force ; Prince Rupert strove to pacify them, but 
in vain ; the constables refused to bring in a list of the names 
of those who thus assembled. By the middle of March their 
number had increased to fourteen thousand well armed men, 
and they applied to Colonel Massey, then in command at 
Gloucester, for assistance to enable them to besiege Hereford. 


Massey replied that if they would fully declare for the Parlia- 
ment he would join with them. They requested two or three 
days for consideration, but their answer is not recorded that I 
am aware of. It is probable, however, that they did declare, 
either at this period or a little later, for the Parliament. 

On Sunday, the llth of May, 1645, the King and his 
forces were at Inkberrow, at the vicarage of which place 
I have seen an old book of maps, said to have been left 
behind him by the King when he slept there. The title 
page is as follows: 

" The Kingdome of England and Principality of Wales, exactly 
described with every sheere and the small townes in every one of 
them, on six mappes portable for every man's pocket; useful for 
all commanders for quarteringe of souldiers, and all sorts of persons 
that would be informed where the armies be never so commo- 
diously drawne before this 1644. Described by one that travailed 
throughout the whole Kingdome for its purpose." 

Thorn farmhouse, at Inkberrow, also claims the honour 
of having sheltered the royal head ; and there is a farm- 
house at Cookhill, in the same parish, in which a portrait 
of the King remained hidden behind a sliding panel (probably 
ever since the days of the Commonwealth), and would not 
have been discovered to the present time but for the decay 
of a peg on which it was hung, occasioning it to fall with 
a great noise in the night time some years ago. So large 
a number of old houses in this county are said to have been 
temporary resting places for the King or his fugitive son 
that it is probable one half of these traditions cannot be 
correct. The King marched from Inkberrow to Droitwich, 
where he stayed from Sunday till Wednesday, and then 
went to the siege of Hawkesley House, which was at once 
surrendered, and set on fire. That night the King lay at 
Cofton Hall, near Bromsgrove, occupied by Mr. Thomas 


Jolliffe, who was faithful to his Sovereign to the last, and 
attended his execution. There is a tradition that when the 
King was in prison he gave a key to Mr. Jolliffe, to visit 
him when he pleased ; and in Dr. Nash's time there was 
a picture in the house, representing that gentleman, with a 
key in his hand, his pistols and sword hanging on a pillar 
before him. After leaving Cofton Hall the King marched 
to Himley, then inhabited by Lord Ward. 

In June, 1645, was fought the famous battle of Naseby, 
which crushed the Royal cause. Soon afterwards, the Scotch 
army was ordered to march from Nottingham to Worcester ; 
and in July, Canon Froome, in Herefordshire, then a gar- 
rison of the King's, was taken by the Scotch army with little 
loss, and Col. Harley, progenitor of the famous Tory minister 
of Queen Anne and of the Earls of Oxford and Mortimer, 
was appointed governor of the place. Whether the property 
at Canon Froome then belonged, as it does now, to a member 
of the ancient family of Hopton, I have not the means of 
ascertaining, but it is recorded in the memorials of Whitelock 
that about this time a Mr. Hopton, with a small band of 
followers, fell in with, and, after a gallant conflict, destroyed 
a party of the Royalists in the vicinity of Ledbury. 

In August, 1645, the King came with his army from 
Shipston-on-Stour to Worcester, where they rested several 
days, the guards lying at Claines. The Worcester Corpora- 
tion accounts of this period contain numerous items of 
expense incurred by "the Scots' king," as his Majesty was 
then somewhat contemptuously termed ; and the chamberlains 
also " pray to be allowed for butter potts and napkins, bottles, 
&c., sent to the Denary ( his Majesty's quarters ) and there 

Charles again passed through Bewdley, where a skirmish 
took place with his pursuers, and sixty Royalists were taken 


prisoners. It is said that he slept for two nights at the Angel 
Inn, in that town, and that the inhabitants granted the sura 
of half-a-crown for his entertainment, but there is probably 
some mistake either in the amount or in the alleged object 
to which it was applied. Tickenhill Palace was so much 
damaged during these wars that it was taken down soon 
afterwards. From Bewdley the King went to Bromyard, 
and at length the hunted monarch found shelter in the 
princely halls of Ragland with the Marquis of Worcester. 
It is recorded that in November of this year divers persons 
of Worcestershire, under Mr. Dingley he was an officer 
who had served in the Low Countries declared for the 
Parliament and complained of the "insolence and injuries" 
of the garrison of Worcester. Probably the clubmen now 
gave in their adhesion to the only party which was able to 
protect them, and against which resistance would have been 
unavailing, for the fortunes of King Charles were rapidly 
sinking to the lowest ebb. In proof of these " insolences 
and injuries" a copy of a warrant from Col. Bard (probably 
Baird), the governor, to the constables who were accustomed 
to collect the contributions, was laid before the Parliament. 
It was drawn after the most approved Rupert style : 

"Know that unless you bring into me (at a day and house in 
Worcester) the monthly contribution for six months, you are to 
expect an unsanctitied troop of horse among you, from whom, if 
yon hide yourselves, they shall fire your houses without mercy, hang 
up your bodies wherever they find them, and scare your ghosts, &c." 

This probably led to the organisation of the Worcestershire 
Committee of defence and safety, of which mention first 
occurs immediately after the declaration of Mr. Dingley and 
others and the representation made by them to the Parlia- 
ment. Early in December, 1645, Prince Rupert and Prince 
Maurice set out from Worcester with 160 horse in the direction 


of Oxford. They were obstructed on their march by a party 
of the " clubmen " under Sir Edward Dingley, the then head 
of this old Worcestershire family. But these raw levies were 
no match" for the trained cavaliers and their ardent leaders. 
The Princes and their troop cut their way through Dingley's 
yeomen, killing and wounding several of them, and so got 
safely to Oxford. 

The unfortunate upholder of "divine right in kings" passed 
to his account in January, 1649. In 1651, Charles II escaped 
with his forces out of Scotland, and marching through the 
northern and midland counties, entered Worcester on the 
23rd of August. Major- Generals Lambert and Harrison 
had despatched some forces to secure the place, lest the King 
should make it a quarter or garrison. These and the country 
levies made a brave resistance and beat back the Royalists 
several times, but the townsmen having laid down their 
arms, and some of them shooting at the Parliament soldiers 
out of the windows, they removed their ammunition, while 
a party of only thirty men kept the enemy at bay. They 
then retired in good order upon Gloucester, the King's troops 
being too much fatigued by their long marches from the north 
to pursue them. Charles was proclaimed King in this city. 
The result of the disastrous battle of Worcester has been 
already described by various historians. William Bagnall, 
then living in Sidbury. being one of the " Chamber," or Cor- 
poration, turned out a horse, ready bridled and saddled, for 
the use of his Majesty, when the latter was so near being 
captured. Mr. Bagnall died in a year afterwards, but the 
family would never afterwards receive any consideration for 
the horse or saddle. In Chambers's " Biographical Illustra- 
tions " it is stated that " Sir Charles Wogan is said to have 
been robbed of the honour of saving King Charles II after 
the battle of Worcester, as he stopped those who were in 


chase of his Majesty and Colonel Carless." At Wolverley, 
in the dell upon the brink of which Lea Castle stands, is still 
shown the spot over which the King crossed on his way to 
Kinfare and Boscobel. 

On the Bromyard road, some three miles and a half from 
the city of Worcester (says a writer in the publication called 
"Notes and Queries"), is Cotheridge Court, the manorial 
residence of the Berkeleys. The Mr. Berkeley who held it 
at the date of the battle of Worcester was a stout Royalist, 
and went to help the fallen fortunes of his King. It so 
chanced that he had two piebald horses, who were exactly 
like each other, "specially Sambo," as the niggers say. He 
made one of these horses his charger, and rode him to the 
fight. When Cromwell had gained his "crowning merits," 
Mr. Berkeley escaped to Cotheridge as best he might ; and 
planning a very skilful ruse, left his exhausted charger at 
one of the farmhouses not far from the court. He then 
betook himself to bed, and, as he had foreseen, a troop of 
crop-headed Parliamentarists now made their appearance 
before his doors and sought admittance. Mr. Berkeley was 
ill in bed, and could not be seen. Fudge ! they must see him. 
So they go to his bed-side. " So you were fighting against us 
at Worcester to-day, were you ?" say the crop-heads. " Me ! " 
says Mr. Berkeley, faintly and innocently ; " why, I am sick, 
and forced to keep my bed." " All very fine," say the crop- 
heads, "but you were there, my dear sir, for you rode a 
piebald charger, and were very conspicuous." " It could not 
have been me," says the sick man, " for though I certainly do 
ride a piebald charger when I am in health, yet he has never 
been out of the stable all day. If you doubt my word, you had 
better go to the stable and satisfy yourselves." So the crop- 
heads go to the stable, and there, of course, find piebald 
No. 2, as fresh as a daisy, and evidently not from Worcester. 


So they conclude that they had mistaken their man, and leave 
the sick Mr. Berkeley to get well and laugh at the ruse he 
had so successfully played upon them. 

After his flight from Worcester and concealment at White 
Ladies, the King appeared as "Will Jones," attired in a 
leather doublet, with pewter buttons, a pair of old green 
breeches, a green "jump coat," a pair of stockings with the 
tops cut off, a pair of stirrup stockings, a pair of shoes cut 
and slashed to give ease to his feet, an old grey greasy hat 
without a lining, a " noggen shirt " of the coarsest linen, his 
hands and face made of a "reechy complexion" with the aid 
of walnut leaves. He attempted to reach Wales, but got no 
further than Madeley, being obliged to return, as there were 
no means of crossing the Severn, without danger. He 
returned to his shelter in Staffordshire, and quitted his suit 
for a new grey one, as the holiday attire of a farmer's son, 
and thus as " Will Jackson " he rode before Mrs. Jane Lane, 
and ultimately effected his escape. 

In Martley church is still, I believe, an inscription to 
Lettice Lane, sister to the above Mrs. Jane Lane, who rode 
with Charles II, disguised as her servant, on his retreat to 
the south-west coast. On the floor of the old church of 
Knightwick (recently closed) was also a plain stone to Grace 
Lane, another of the same family. It is said that his Majesty 
halted at Knightwick, and was glad to turn shoeblack at the 
Talbot inn, to avoid the suspicion of pursuers. Colonel Lane, 
of Bentley, Staffordshire, had property at Knightwick, and 
the young lady, with her royal master, probably rested here 
on that account. The gold pouncet box given by the King 
to Mrs. Jane Lane during their journey from Bentley to 
Bristol, after the battle of Worcester, and a beautiful portrait 
(a miniature) of Colonel Lane, were exhibited by Miss Yonge, 
at the Archaeological Institute Meeting at Shrewsbury, October, 


1855. On the former are engraved, on a lozenge, the arms of 
the Lane family, with the canton of England granted as an 
honourable augmentation. These interesting relics were in 
the possession of Dr. Arden, who married a lady of the Lane 
family, and they were presented by Miss Arden to their 
present possessor. In " Colston's Life and Times " is the 
following interesting allusion to the progress of the royal 
fugitive : " At the close of the year, the vessel which con- 
veyed the body of the Lord-Deputy Ireton, who had died of 
the plague, at Limerick, came into King Road, 'notice of 
which having been forwarded to the Mayor of Bristol, he 
sent a boat, covered with black, in which the corpse was 
brought to the city. When the body was landed, a velvet 
pall was placed over the coffin, and the Mayor, Aldermen, and 
Common Council, in their formalities, and the Governor and 
his officers, with a multitude of citizens, attended the body. 
On this occasion the great guns were fired from the castle and 
fort.' Nearly coincident with the above, a horseman, with 
apparently his mistress seated behind him, on a pillion, 
entered Bristol at Lawford's Gate. He was unknown, un- 
noticed ; but between him, and the ashes that with gloomy 
solemnity were paraded, there was a connecting link con- 
necting yet repulsive. They were the ashes of a fallen foe, 
the mortal remains of an enemy of one who had sentenced 
to a traitor's doom the august sire of the menial who now 
journeyed through a city, whose allegiance to him and his 
cause had been severed, where there awaited a thousand 
arms to deliver him to captivity, perhaps to death. The 
place is evidently familiar to the rider. He made no in- 
quiries, but conducted his horse unheeded through the streets. 
He arrives in view of the lofty bulwarks of the castle, its 
towers and gigantic keep. Their sight may have called forth 
latent memories, for here the horse was stayed, turned aside, 


as though the travellers would take a passing survey of the 
stately pile ; but this was all ; they halted not to rest at inn 
or hostelry, nor dismounted to refresh the steed, but quietly 
and leisurely continued their course, through a narrow gloomy 
street, over the bridge, and thus in safety passed from out 
the ancient town, unsuspected, unchallenged, and unknown. 
How strange are life's vicissitudes, its contrasts ! A king, 
disguised passing obscurely through a half hostile city ! 
The mortal remains of the son-in-law of the usurper of his 
kingdom received with military honours and Royal etiquette. 
In one quarter, pomp and state following the ashes, as would 
befit a monarch's obsequies ; in another, a deserted crownless 
sovereign, in lowly garb, eludes the pursuit of his enemy, and 
passes in safety to a less doubtful shelter from the city, of 
which he was the lawful lord. In after years, all this quaint 
and gorgeous pomp will be displayed to welcome this fugitive, 
and he will be escorted triumphantly through its lately hostile 

In reference to the Civil Wars in this county, the following 
extracts from Dugdale's Diary will be found to possess some 
interest : 

" March 22, 1644. This night, brother to Fox ye tinker 

(wch. keeps a garrison of rebells in Edgbaston House, com. Warr.) 

entred Sturton Castle, com. Stafford, with 200 men from 

to plant a garrison there. 

" May 3 [1644]. Sr. Tho. Littleton, of Frankley, com. Wigorn, 
taken prisoner by a p'ty of horse (sent by Fox, the tinker from 
Edgbaston) to Ticknall Mannor near Beaudley." 

John Fox "the Tinker," as he is here and before called, 
and " that rogue Fox " as the Royalists sometimes term him, 
appears to have been a very active officer, and no small 
annoyance to his adversaries. Amongst the papers of the 


republican Earl of Denbigh, who was commander in chief 
of the forces in the counties of Warwick, Worcester, Stafford, 
and Salop, is a memorandum, made about March, 1643-4, 
of a commission granted to John Fox to be colonel of a 
regiment to consist of six troops of horse and two companies 
of dragoons, and a commission to Reynold Fox to be his 
major. The same collection (which is arranged in two large 
folio volumes) contains several letters from Fox, during his 
occupation of Edgbaston House, where nothing but the 
enthusiasm of party could have kept his ill-clothed and ill- 
paid soldiers together. Indeed, at one time, he confesses 
that he durst not leave them to wait upon his Lordship, " for 
feare of mutunyes and a general departure." Fox signs 
in an illiterate manner, and his letters are always in the 
writing of another hand, probably that of a German, as he 
mentions "Hampton, Brewood, and the Dorpes [villages] 
thereabouts." By referring to October 5, following, it will 
be found that the united forces from Worcester and Dudley 
Castle were not able to unkennel him in his little garrison 
at Edgbaston, but "returned without doing anything;" or 
as Fox would probably have said were repulsed with loss. 
Odious enough in the eyes of the Cavaliers, for his successful 
opposition, he was surcharged with being one of King 
Charles's executioners : " Some have a conceit that he that 
gave the stroke was one Collonell Foxe, and the other 
Captain Joyce, who took the King from Holmby, but that 
ia not believed." Journal of the Earl of Leicester, in 
Sydney Papers, by Blencowe, p. 61. 

"October 5. Forces went out of Worcester and joyned 
with others from Dudley Castle to recover Edgbaston House 
from ye Rebells. Returned without doing anything." 





( Established upwards of a Century) 

In enumerating the following list of articles, I shall not adopt the 
system most general of quoting prices, which are only calculated to 
delude, but respectfully solicit a trial, at the fair remunerating prices 
charged for them. Quality is the first consideration Economy with 
regard to price the second. 




Lapsang and Pekoe Souchong Pearl and Silvery Leaf Gunpowders 

Pekoe flavoured Congou 
Hough ft Strong Breakfast Congou 
Scented, Flowery, & Plain Pekoes 
Scented and Plain Capers 

Rich Cowslip Hyson 

Choice & Fine Hysons & Imperials 

Young Hyson (much approved) 


COCOA AUD CHOCOLATE. These articles, so beneficial to invalids, 
require great care in obtaining qualities pure from adulteration : this 
has been my principal study. 1 have always on hand a stock from 
the most celebrated Manufacturers, in plain and soluble descriptions, 

Fresh roasted Cocoa Nibs ; Refined and Moist Sugars ; Foreign 
Fruits of all kinds ; Pickles and Sauces of every description ; Orange, 
Quince, and Lemon Marmalade ; Jordan, Bitter, and Shell Almonds. 

COFFEE. This being an article of such increasing consumption, 
has claimed a large share of my attention, both in selection and the 
most approved plan of roasting, whereby the aromatic property so 
essential is preserved. 


Wax, Sperm, and Composition Candles, Kensington Moulds and Store Dips. 


Every description of 


f'tinnlir* rending in the eotinty trill Jinil an advantage in dealing at the abate 
F.itaWthmtut, as the Proprietor hat entered into arranyementt /or supplying general 
family Orden (for prompt payment j Carriage free. 

Order* per Post or Carrier carefully and promptly attended to. 


H A D L E Y, 


His practice in Hair Cutting now exceeds 400 Hair Cuttings 
per month. Those Ladies and Gentlemen who really value a 
good Head of Hair, and otherwise approve of being respectfully 
served without flattery or deception, will do well by giving him 

a call at 









(Near the Music Hall, one minute's walk from the Cross) 

Continues to supply every article in the trade at the lowest possible 
prices consistent with good materials and workmanship. 





I P CSf >U ^/ Ai<ii iJ 6i y f 



(Next Door to the OLD BANK, the Shop lately occupied by Jamet Beete) 


Co f)er late iRajefitp (Queen Sfoelafte, 


FRUIT. Apricots ; Apples and Pears, in variety; Almonds, 
Jordan ; Ditto in shell ; Figs, Green and Dried ; Grapes, 
English and Foreign ; Honey, dripped ; Ditto, in comb ; 
Jellies, Jams, &c. ; Kent Cobs and Filberts ; Worcestershire 
Ditto ; Melons ; Nectarines ; Peaches ; Pine Apples, English ; 
Ditto, West India ; Pickles and Sauces ; Preserved Fruit, in 
bottles ; Preserved Ginger ; Raisins ; Walnuts, English and 

GAME. Grouse, Hares, Ptarmigan, Partridges, Pheasants, 
Plover, Rabbits, Snipe, Woodcock and Wild Fowl, Venison. 

SEEDS, &c. Agricultural Seeds ; Asparagus Knives ; Cuba 
Matting ; Cucumber G lasses ; Dried or Everlasting Flowers ; 
Dried Grasses ; Dutch Flower Roots ; Flower Gatherers ; 
Flower Seeds, English ; Ditto, Foreign ; Flower Pots, plain 
and fancy ; Garden Seeds ; Ditto, Implements ; Gloves, of 
sorts ; Hyacinth Glasses ; Crocus ditto ; Tulip ditto ; Knives, 
of sorts ; Mats, Russian ; Pruning Scissors ; Ditto Saws ; 
Ditto ditto, Grecian, with handles from 1 to 6 ft. ; Sets of 
Garden Implements for ladies and children. 


Catalogues of Garden and Flower Seeds, Implements, &o.. Agricultural 
Seeds and Bulbous Roots, may be had on application. 

Importer of tlukb ^lofocr $ooisa-<rrman Jlofocr Snbs. 

.1 S <:,! Srr.i Calalnavr it puUithrd in January ; Agricultural St*i Lift in April; anil 
- ' ' Flower Root Lut IN StptnAff. 







Where every article in the trade is kept, and rendered at such 
prices as must satisfy the most economical. 

Orders from the country, enclosing size round the head, depth 
of crown, width of brim, &c., in inches, will insure a good fit, and 
be promptly attended to. 






Jftefr monger, &r,, 

(Next door to Mr. Newton's) 


A regular supply of all kinds of Fish from the first Fisheries 
and Markets in the Kingdom. 






Purchasers are respectfully requested to inspect the LARGE AND 








(Ettabliihed upwardt of a Century.) 





In fine Elastic-steel and other Frames. 






The general stock at 70, Broad Street, comprising Ladies' 
and Gentlemen's Saddles, Riding and Driving Whips, Canes, 
Rugs and Horse Clothing, Railway Wrappers, Spurs, Brushes, 
Sponge, &c., &c., is well selected, and will receive continued 
augmentation as novelties are introduced. 






Conducted in all its branches, on the most liberal terms. 

By the moit eminent Makers, for Salt nr Hire ; 

With all other MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, and a constant supply of 

Xcto it! u steal publication*. 

Executed in the best style. 

The Musical Profession, Artists, and Schools, dealt liberally with. 






Mr. GEORGE DICKS, London Road. 
JAMES NASH, M.I)., High Street. 
G. J. A. WALKER, Esq., Norton Villa. 
Mr. JOHN STONE, Bath Road. 

The business of this old-established Office has been successfully 
conducted on the principle of charging moderate rates of premium, 
and dealing in a prompt and liberal spirit with all Losses by Fire. 

As some evidence of the desire of this Office to contribute in the 
most effectual manner to the security of the Insured and the Public, 
it may be mentioned that this Company maintains no less than twenty- 
seven First Class FIRE ENGINES, all stationed m the Midland Districts, 
of which the following are the 









Alvechurch J. Bonlton I Gloucester George Green 

Bewdley G. Griffiths 
Bredon Joseph Lloyd 
Bromsgrove John Cordell 
Bromyard James Davies 
Cheltenham H. Dartnall 

and Thos. Butcher 
Cirencester James Creese 
Droitwich James Emuss 

Great Malvern J. B. Harper, jun. 
Halesoweu Wm. Hayes, Esq. 
Hereford Thomas A. Court. 
Kidderminster Jas. Batham, Esq. 
Ledbury John Burden 
Pershore William Goodall 
Redditch W. T. Heming 
Stourport Miss Lane 

Dudley C. F. G. Clark and I Stourbridge G. W. Prescott 

John Leadbetter 

and Win. Edwards 

Evesham H. Burlingham Studley Thos. Richards 

By order of the Directors, 



33s 5-prdnI &jip0tntmit to *i>rr late 

^telaite, attii $.&.$ tf)* IBudjntf at Itatt. 





Beg most respectfully to solicit a continuance of the favours so long 
conferred upon the late Proprietor by the Nobility, Clergy, Gentry, 
and Public generally, of this and the neighbouring Counties. 

J. S. & Co. can state with the utmost confidence that all orders 
will be executed with the greatest care and attention, and with more 
than usual accuracy, and at the same time at much lower prices 
than can be afforded by the Trade generally. 

J. 8. & Co. are Agents to the far-famed Coalport China Works, 
the Proprietors of which have just had a First Class Gold Medal 
awarded them by the Emperor of the French ; they are also the 
manufacturers of the magnificent Turquoise Dessert Service, pur- 
chased at the French Exhibition by Mons. Heine, the eminent 
Banker of Paris, for One Thousand Guineas. 
Many choice Specimens of this rare manufacture now on view at 


where is also collected an immense Stock of every article connected 
with the China, Glass, and Earthenware Trade. 







(Established upwards of a Century.) 



tHmbirllas anil parasols in SrtlU, Alpaca, an& Cotton. 





Respectfully informs the Public of Worcester and Vicinity that he 
to those Central Premises, 


where he will constantly have on hand a Supply of all kinds of Fish 
in Season, at reasonable prices. Daily Supplies of Fresh Fish from 
Billingsgate and the Fisheries of England, Scotland, and Ireland. 

SAMUEL JAMES continues to carry on the Business of CURER 
OF BLOATERS, in which department he has now been well known 
for some time as a Wholesale and Retail Dealer. 

At the Premises in Broad Street, in a few days, S. JAMES will 
be prepared with 


which will be found convenient and comfortable in all respect*. 
13, Broad Street, Worcester. 



F. C. EARL, 


Respectfully announces that he practises the above Art in all its 
various departments, viz.: 







LANDSCAPE, ARCHITECTURAL, or other description of 
OCT-DOOR PHOTOGRAPHY, executed with despatch, on reasonable 
terms, daily, from Nine a.m. until dusk. 

A Selection of Local Views for the Album or Stereoscope always 
on Sale. 

Amateurs' Negatives printed from in a superior manner. 


Having perfected great Improvements in the Manufacture of 


are enabled to execute all orders connected with the Trade at 
economical prices and in the best style. 

N.B. The Trade supplied with Gilt and other Mouldings, Room 
Borderings, &c. 


t- f 42, HIGH STREET. 



( From Cornhill, London ; and upwards of the last nine yean Watch 
Maker to the late Mr. W. Tuning, of the Cross) 





. s. d. 

Silver Lever Watches . . .550 
Ditto Horizontal ditto . . .300 








tdr Orders received for Hones to meet the Trains at Spetchley, punctually 
attended to. 





Che 8Rortt*in 


Established in 17O1. 

The WORCESTER HERALD has been for years at the head of the 
Worcestershire Press, having a circulation nearly double that of any 
other paper published in tlie County ; and contains a complete digest 
of the news of the week, with ample details of interesting local events. 
The HERAI.D is entirely independent of political party, and circulates 
among all classes and individuals of every shade of opinion. 


Forms an important feature in its columns, and besides the principal 
Markets of the week the 

S ? 












(Established upward* of a, Century.) 







C0rn antr Sutr Jfart0rs t 


o Agent for the West of England Fire and Life Insurance Office. 

Printed by JOSIAH ALLKN, Jun., 10, Livery Street, Birmingham. 








Agriculture and Rural Affairs. 

griculture . 


Curd's Letleri or 

Cecll'i Stud Farrt 

Loudon'i Encyclopedia of Agriculture . 14 

Low'i Element! ol Agriculture . . 14 

,, Domesticated Animals . . . 14 

MMntosh mid Kemp's Year Book for the 

Country 16 

Arts, Manufactures, and 

Arnott on Ventilation .... 6 

Brnnde's Dictionary of Science, etc. . 6 

CheTreul ou Colour 8 

Cresy's Kucvclo. of Ciril Engineering . 8 

Eastlake on Oil Painting .... 8 

Gwilt's EucTclopdla of Architecture . 9 

Herring oti 'Paper Making .... 10 

Jameson's Sacred and Legendary Art . 11 

., Commonplace Book . . IS 
London's Rural Arrhitecture . . .14 

Moseler's KiiKineeriiiK and Architecture 17 
Piesse's Art of Perfumery . . .18 

Richardson's Art of Horsemanship . . 19 

Srriv.-m,r on the Iron Trade ... 19 

Stark's Printing 22 

Steaui Engine, by the Artisan Club . 6 

Tate on Strength of Material! . . 31 

lire's Dictionary of Arts, etc. . . 23 


Arago's Autobiography .... 22 

,, Lives of Scientific Men . . 5 

Bodenstedt and Wagner's Schamyl . 22 

Buckingham's (J. .] Memoirs . . 6 

Bunscn 7 s Hlppolytus .... 7 

Clinton's (Fr lies') Autobiography . . 8 

Cockayne's Marshal Turenne ... 22 

Denniitoun's Strange and l.nmisden . 8 

Fnrster's DC Foe and Churchill . . 22 

Hajrdon's Autobiography, by Tom Taylor 10 

Harward's Chesterfield and Selwyu . . 22 

Hoicroft's Memoirs 22 

Lardner's Cabinet C r ctopdU . . 13 

Maunder's Biographical Treasury . . 16 

Memoir of the Duke of Wellington . i-J 

Memoirs of James Montgomery . . 16 

MerlTale's Memoirs of Cicero . . 16 

Russell's Memoirs of Moor* ... 17 

,, Life of Lord William Russell . 1<I 

St. John's Audubon the Naturalist . . 19 

Southej's Life of Wesley ... 21 

Southey'a Life and Correspondence . 20 

Select Correspondence . . 20 


Stephen's Ecclesiastical Biography . 21 

Taylor's Loyola 21 

Wesley 21 

Waterton's Autobiography and Essays . 23 
Wheeler's Life of Herodotus ..'.--) 

Books of General Utility. 

Actoii's Modern Cookery Book 
Black's Treatise on Brewing . 
Cabinet Gazetteer . 

,, Lawyer . . 

Gust's InTalid's Own Book 
Gilbart's Logic for the Million 



- to Nurse Sick Children 
b Executor's (iuide 

,, On Making Wills 
KesteTen's Domestic Medicine 
Lardntr's Cabinet Cycloptedla . 
Maunder's Treasury of Knowledge 

Biographical Treasury 

,, Scientific Treasury 
Treasury of History 
Natural History 
Piscator's Cookery of Fish 
Pocket and the Stud . . . 

Pycroft's English Reading 
Recce's Medical Guide . 
Rich's Companion to Latin Dictionary 
Richardson's Art of Horsemanship 
Riddle's Latin Dictionaries 
Roget's English Thesaurus 

Rowton's Debater 

Short Whist 

Thomson's InterestTablei . 
Webster's Domestic Kconomy 
West on Children's Diseases . 
Wi Ilich's Popular Tables . . 

Wilmot's Blackstone's Commentaries 

Botany and Gardening. 

Hooker's British Flora .... 10 

,, Guide to Kew Gardens . . 10 

,, Kew Museum . . 10 

Llndley's Introduction to Botany . . 14 

,. Theory of Horticulture . . 14 

Loudon's HortusBritannicus . . .14 

(Mrs.) Amateur Gardener . 14 

EncyclopzdiaofTrecsd Shrubs 14 

,, ,, Gardening . 14 

Plants . . 14 

MMntosh and Kemp's Year Book for the 

Country I., 

Perelra's Materia Medic* .... 18 

RlTers's Rose Amateur's Guide . . 19 

Wilson's British Mosses . . .24 

Louduu: Printed by M. MAIOK, Ivy Lauc, 1'uttruostcr iiu. 




Blair's Chronological Tablet ... 6 

Bunnen's Ancient Egypt .... 6 

Haydn's Beatson's Index .... 10 

Jacquemet's Chronology . . . . 1- 

Johns and Nicolas's Calendar of Victory 12 

Nicolas's Chronology of History . . 12 

Commerce & Mercantile Affairs. 

Francis on the Stock Exchange . . 9 
Gilbart's Practical Treatise on Banking . 9 
Loriroer's Letters to aYoungMaster Mariner 1-1 
M'Culloch's Commerce aud Navigation . 15 

MacLeod's Banking 15 

Scrivenor on the Iron Trade . .19 
Thomson's Interest Tables ... 23 
Tooke's History of Prices . 23 

Criticism, History, & Memoirs. 

Austin's Germany 6 

Blair's Chrou. aud Historical Tables . 6 
Bunseu's Ancient Egypt ... 6 

,, Hippolytus .... 7 

Burton's History of Scotland ... 7 
Chapman's Gustavus Adolphus . . 8 

Conybeare and Howson's St. Paul . . 8 
Kastlake's History of Oil Painting . g 

Erskine's History of India ... 9 
Uleig's Leipsic Campaign . . .22 

Gurney's Historical Sketches ... 9 
Hamilton's Discussions in Philosophy, etc. 10 
Haydon's Autobiography, by Tom Taylor 10 
Jeffrey's (Lord) Contributions . . 12 
Johns and Nicolas's Calendar of Victory 1 'I 
liemble's Anglo-Saxons in England . I- 
, Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopdia . . 13 
Le Quesue's History of Jersey . . 12 

Macaulay'i Kssays 14 

,, History of England . . 14 

Speeches .... 14 

Mackintosh's Miscellaneous Works . 14 

History of England . . 14 

M'Culloch's Geographical Dictionary . 15 

Manstein's Memoirs of Russia, . . 16 

Maunder's Treasury of History . . 16 

Memoir of the l)uke of Wellington . 22 

Mefivale's History of Rome . . .16 

,, Roman Republic . .16 
Milner's Church History . . . .16 

Kubsia 16 

Moore's (Thomas) Memoirs, etc. . 17 
Mnre's Greek Literature .... 17 

Raikes's Journal 18 

Ranke's Ferdinand and Maximilian . . 2i 
Rich's Companion to Latin Dictionary . 18 
Riddle's Latin Dictionaries ... 19 
Rogers'! Esuays from Kdinbnrgh Review 1'J 
Roget's English Thesaurus ... 19 
Russell's (Lady Rachel! Letters . . 19 

,. Life of Lord William Russell . 19 
Schmltz's Historv of Greece ... It 
Smith's Sacred Annals .... 20 
Southey's The Doctor, etc. . . . 21 
Stephen's Ecclesiastical Biography . 21 

,, Lectures on French History . 21 
Sydney Smith's Works . . . . 20 

Select Works . . 22 

,, Lectures ou Moral Philoopby 10 

., Memoirs . . .20 

Taylor's Loyola ... . .21 

,. Wesley Jl 

Thirlwall's History of Greece ... 21 
Thornbury's Sbakepeare's England . . 3 
Towiiseud's Slate Trials . . . .23 
Turkey and Christendom . .22 

Turner's Anglo-Saxons .... 23 

Middle Age 23 

Sacred History of the World . 23 
Vehse's Austrian Court .... 23 
Whitelocke's Swedish Embassy . . 24 
Woods' Crimean Campaign . . .24 
Yonug's Christ of History . . 24 

Geography and Atlases. 

Arrowsmith's Gee*. Diet, of the Bible . 5 
Brewer's Historical Atlas ... 
Butler's Geography and Atlases . 
Cabinet Gazetteer 
Cornwall, its Mines, Scenery, etc. 
Durrleu's Morocco 
Hughes'* Australian Colonies .. 
Johnston's General Gazetteer .. 
Lewis's English Rivers . 
M'Cnlloch's Geographical Dictionary 
Russia aud Turkey . 
Milner's Baltic Sea 

Murray's Encyclopedia of Geography 
Sharp's British Gazetteer . 
Wheeler's Geography of Herodotus 

Juvenile Books. 

Amy Herbert 



Earl's Daughter (The) . . . . 19 

Experience of Life 20 

Gertrude 19 

Gilbart's Logic for the Young ... 9 

Howitt's Boy's Country Book . . .11 

(M'ary) Children's Year . . 11 

Katharine Ash'tou 20 

Laneton Parsonage 19 

Mrs. Marcel's Conversations ... IS 
Margaret Percival ..... 20 
Pycroft's English Reading ... 18 

Medicine and Surgery. 

Brodie's Psychological Inquiries . . 6 

Bull's Hints to Mothers .... 6 

,, Management of Children . . 6 

Copland's Dictionary of Medicine . . 8 

Cast's Invalid's Own Book ... 8 

Holland's Medical Motes and Reflections 10 

,, Mental Physiology . . . lu 
How to Nurse Sick Children . . .11 

Kcsteveu's Domestic Medicine . . 1} 

Latham On Diseases of the Heart . . 12 

Moore On Health, Disease, and Remedy . 17 

Pereira On Food and Diet ... 18 

., Materia Medica .... 18 

Reece's Medical Guide .... 18 

West on the Diseases of Infancy . . 24 

Miscellaneous and General 

Austin's Sketches of German Life . . 6 
Carlisle's Lectures and Addresses . . 22 

Chalvbeua's Speculative Philosophy . 
Greg's Political and Social Essays . . 

Haydn's Book of Dignities . .10 

Holland's Mental Physiology ... 10 
Hooker's Kew Guide .... 10 

Howitt's Rural Life of England . .11 
,, Visits to Remarkable Placet . 11 
Jameson's Commonplace Book . . 12 
Jeffrey's (Lord) Esays .... 11 
Last of the Old Squires . . .17 

Mackintosh's (Sir J.) Miscellaneous Works IS 


Pages Pages 

Msrtineau's Miscellanies . . . 


. 22 

Desprei'i Apocalrpse Fulfilled . . . 8 
Discipline ... . . . , 8 

Pascal's Works, br Pearce 
Pycrofl'f English Reading 
Rowton's Debater .... 

. 18 
. 19 

Earl's Daughter (The) . . . 
Kclipse of Faith . .... 
Englishman's Greek Concordance . 


Sir Roger De Coierley 

. 20 

,, Heb. and Chald. Concord. 


Smith's (Rer. Sydney) Works . . 

. 20 

Experience of Life (The) . 


Southey's Common-Place Book* 

. 21 



,, Doctor . . . . 

Sourestre's Attic Philosopher . 



Harrison's Light of the Forge . 
Hook's (Dr.) Lectures on Passion Week 


,, Confessions of a Working Mi 

fl 22 

Home's Introduction to Scriptures 


Spencer's Principles of Psyrholoiry 


,, Abridgment of ditto . 


Railway Morals and Policy 


,, Communicant's Companion 


Stephen's Essays . 


Jameson's Sacred Legends . 


Stow's Training System . 

a 21 

Monutic Legends . 


Stracher's Hebrew Politics . . 


, , Legends of the Madonna 


Tagart on Locke's Philosophy . .21 
Thomson's Outline of the Laws of Thought 23 
Townsend's State Trials .... 23 

,, Sisters of Charity . . 
Jeremy Taylor's Works . 
Kalisch's Commentary on Efodul . 



Tnson's British Consul's Manual 


Katharine Ashton ... 


Wiilich's Popular Tables . 


Laneton Parsonage .... 


Youge's English Greek Lexicon 


Letters to my Unknown Friend* 


,, Latin Gradus . . 


on Happiness . 


Znmpt'sLatiuGrammar ... 

. 24 

Long's Inquiry concerning Religion 



Natural History in General. 

Maitlaiid's Church in the Catacombs 
Margaret Perci.aJ .... 



Callow's Popular Conchology . . 
Kphemera and Young on the Salmon 
Gosse's Natural History of Jamaica 
Kemp's Natural History of Creation 
Klrby and Speuce'a Entomology 
Lee's elements of Natural History 

. 9 
. 9 

. 32 
. 12 
. 12 

Martineau't Christian Life 
M liner's Church of Christ . 
Montgomery'* Original Hvmns 
Moore On the Use of the Body . 
,, Soul and Body . 
' Man and his Motire. . . 


Mannder's Treasury of Natural History 
Tnrtou's Shells of the British Islands 
Von Tscbudi's Animal Life in the Alps 
Watertoii's Kssays on Natural History 

. 15 
. 16 
. 23 

. 22 
. 23 

Neale's Closlug s'cene' I 
Newman'. (J. H.) Discourses . . 
Ranke's Ferdinand and Maximilian . 
Readings for Lent .... 


Youatt'sThe Dog . . . 

. 24 

Robins against the Roman Church 


M J ae ii 16 .... 


Robinson's Lexicon to Greek Testament 


Saints our Example .... 


1-Volume Encyclopaedias and 

SincJnir's"journeyo n fLlfe .' 
Smith'* (Sydney) Moral Philosophy 



Arrowsmith's Geog. Diet, of the Bible 
Blaine'n Rural Spocts 
Brande's Science, Literstnre, and Art 
Copland's Dictionary of Medicine . 
Cresy's Civil engineering 


(8.1 Sacred Annals . 
Southey's Life of Wesley . . . 
Stepbeu's (Sir J.) Ecclesiastical Biognph 
Tayler's (J.J.) Discourses . . 
Taylor's Loyola 


Gwilt's Architecture .... 
Johnston's Geographical Dictionary 
London's Agriculture 
, Rural Architecture 
Gardening . . 
Plants .... 


Theologia Germanlca ' '. 
Thumb Bible (The) .... 
Tnrner'sSaered History . . 
Twiuing's Bible Types 
Wheeler's Popular Bible Harmony . 




Trees and Shrubs . 


Young's Christ of History . . 


M'Culloch's Geographical Dictionary 


Mystery of Time. . . 


,, Dirtionaiy of Commerce 


Murray' sEniyt lopajdia of Geography 
Sharp's British Gazetteer . . . 



Poetry and the Drama. 

Ure's Dictionary of Arts, etc. . 


Arnold's Poems . . 


Webster'sDomestlc Economy . 


Allan's! Dr.) British Poets 


Religious and Moral Works. 

Baillie's (Joanna) Poetiral Works . 
Bode's Ballads from Herodotus . 
Calrert's Wife's Manual . 





Arrowsmith's Geog. Diet, of the Bible 


Flowers and their Kindred Thought* 


Bluomneld's Greek Testament* 


Goldsmith's Poems, illustrated 


Bode's Bampton Lecture* . 


L.K.L.'s Poetical Works . . 


C.lrert's Wife's Manual . 

Linwood's Antttologia Oxoniensl* . 


Conjrbeare's Essays . 
Conybeare and Howson's St. Psul 


Mauaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome . 
M.cDon.ld's Within and Without . 



Dale's Domestic Lilnigr . . 
Defence Of Setiptt / faith . 


Moutgomery'sPoetlcal Works 
Original Hymns 



Moore '(PoetlcalWorki .... 17 
., LallaRookh 17 
,, Irish Melodies .... 17 
, Songs and Ballads ... 17 
Reade's Man in Paradise .... 18 
Shakspeare, by Bowdler .... 20 
Sonthey's Poetical Works . . .31 
,, British Poets .... 21 
Thomson's Seasons, illustrated . . 23 

Political Economy & Statistics. 

Caird's Letters on Agriculture ... 7 

r die's Hints on Shooting . . . .11 
Pocket and the Stud 10 
Practical Horsemanship .... 10 
Richardson's Horsemanship ... 19 
Stable Talk and Table Talk . .10 
Stonehenge on the Greyhound . . . 21 
The Stud, for Practical Purposes . . 10 

Veterinary Medicine, etc. 

Cecil's Stable Practice .... 7 

The Hunting Field . ... 10 
Miles's Horse Shoeing .... 16 
on the Horse's Foot . . . 16 
Pocket and the Stud 10 
Practical Horsemanship .... 10 
Richardson's Horsemanship ... 19 
Stable Talk and Table Talk ... 10 
The Stud for Practical Purpose! . . 10 
Youatt's The Dog 24 
The Horse 24 

Voyages and Travels. 

Allen's Dead Sea S 
Barnes's Vaudois of Piedmont . , . . 22 
Baker's Wanderings in Ceylon ... 5 
Barrow's Continental Tour . .22 
Barth's Africau Travels . . . . i 
Burton's Medina and Mecca ... 7 
Carlisle's Turkey and Greece ... 7 
De Custine's Russia 22 
Duberly's Journal of the War ... 8 
E6then 22 
Ferguson's Swiss Men and Mountains . 22 
Forester's Rambles in Norway ... 22 
Girouiere's Philippines .... 22 
Gregorovius 's Corsica . " 

Dodd's Fond in London .... 8 
Greg's Political and Social Essays . . 9 
Laing's Notes of a Traveller . .22 
M'Culloch's Geograhpical Dictionary . 15 
,, Dictionary of Commerce . . 15 
,, London 22 
Marcel's Political Economy ... 15 
Tegoborski's Russian Statistics . . 21 
WiTllch's Popular Tables .... 24 

The Sciences in General and 

Arago's Meteorological Essays . . 5 
,, Popular Astronomy ... 5 
Bourne on the Screw Propeller . . 6 
Brande's Dictionary of Science, etc. . 6 
Lectures on Organic Chemistry 6 
Brougham and Routh's Prir,cipia . . 6 
Cresy's Civil Engineering ... 8 
DelaBeche's Geology of Cornwall, etc. 8 
De la Rive's Electricity .... 8 
Fairbairn's Information for Engineers . 9 
Faraday's Non-Metallic Elements . . 9 
Grove's Correlation of Physical Forcei . 10 

Holland's Mental Physiology . * . .10 
Humboldt's Aspects of Nature . .11 

Hunt's Researches on Light '. '. ".11 
Kemp's Phasis of Matter .... 12 
Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopedia . .13 
Mann on Reproduction .... 15 
Marcel's (Mrs.) Conversations . . 15 
Moseley's Engineering and Architecture 17 
Owen's Lectures on Comparative Anatomy 18 
Our Coal Fields and our Coal Pits . . 22 
Pereira on Polarised Light ... IS 
Peschel's Elements of Physics . . 18 
Phillips's Fossils of Cornwall, etc. . . IS 
Mineralogy .... IS 
Guide to Geology ... 18 
Portlock's Geology of Londonderry . 18 
Powell's Unity ofWorldi . . . .18 
Smee's Klectro-Metallurgy ... 20 
Steam Engine, by the Artisan Club . 6 
Tate on Strength of Materials . .21 
Wilson's Electricity and the Electric 
Telegraph ..,,. 22 

Rural Sports. 

Baker's Rifle and Hound in Ceylon . 5 
Berkeley's Reminiscences .... 5 
Blaine's Dictionary of Sports . . 6 
Cecil's Stable Practice .... 7 
Records of the Chase ... 7 

Hope's Brittany and the Bible . ? 
,, Chase in Brittany .... 22 
Howitt's Art Student in Munich . . H 

Hue's Chinese Empire . . . .11 
Hue and Gubet's Tartary and Thibet . 22 
Hughes's Australian Colonies ... 22 
Humboldt's Aspects of Nature . . 11 
Huu-hinson's African Exploration . . 22 

Jerrmann's Pictures from St. Petersburg 22 
Kenuard's Eastern Tonr . . . ..12 
Laing's Norway 22 
Notes of a Traveller ... 22 
M'Clure's Narrative of Arctic Discovery . 15 
Marryat's California IS 
Mason's Zulus of Natal .... 22 
Mayne's Artie Discoveries ... 22 
Miles' Rambles in Iceland ... 22 
Monteith's Kara and Erzeroum . . 16 
Pfeiffer's Voyage round the World . . 22 
Second ditto .... 18 
Scott's Danes and Swedes .... 19 
Seavard's Narrative of his Shipwreck . 19 
Weld's United States and Canada . . 23 
Wheeler's Travels of Herodotus , . 24 
Werne's African Wanderings ... 22 
Whittingham's Pacific Expedition . . 24 
WUberforce's Brazil and the Slave Trade Zl 

Works of Fiction. 

Arnold's Oakfield ... .5 
Lady Willoughby's Diary .... 24 
Macdonald's Villa Verocchio ... 15 
Sir Roger De Coverley .... 20 
Sonthey's Doctor 21 

The Cricket Field 8 
Davy's Angling Colloquies ... 8 
Ephemera on Angling . . . . 9 
,, ' Book of the Salmon . . 9 
Hawker's Young Sportsman . . .10 
The Hunting Field JO 





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