Handsworth is an Ancient Parish in the county of Staffordshire.

Alternative names: Handworth with Soho, Handsworth St Mary

Other places in the parish include: Handsworth with Soho, Perry Barr, and Oscott.

  • Handsworth St Mary Ancient Parish
  • Handsworth St James Ecclesiastical Parish  created 1854
  • Handsworth St Michael Ecclesiastical Parish created 1861
  • Handsworth St Peter Ecclesiastical Parish created 1907
  • Handsworth St Andrew Ecclesiastical Parish created 1914

Parish registers begin: 1558; Separate registers exist for Perry Barr: 1833
Nonconformists include: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Countess of Huntingdon Methodist, Independent/Congregational, Roman Catholic, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Handsworth St Mary

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

View of the Soho Manufactory near Birmingham, 1787
HANDSWORTH, a town, a township, a parish, and a sub-district, in West Bromwich district, Stafford. The town stands contiguous to Warwickshire, on Hockley Brook, near the Birmingham and Wolverhampton railway; is suburban to Birmingham, and averagely 2½ miles NNW of the centre of that borough; partakes of the industry and general character of Birmingham; is the seat of the famous Soho manufactory; and has a post office under Birmingham, and two stations with telegraph, the one called Soho, the other called Handsworth-Smethwick, on the Birmingham and Wolverhampton railway. The township bears the name of Handsworth-with-Soho. Pop. in 1851, 7,047; in 1861, 10,398. Houses, 2,003. The parish includes also the hamlet of Perry-Barr, and comprises 7,680 acres. Real property, £48,532. Pop. in 1851, 7,879; in 1861, 11,459. Houses, 2,179. There are five livings, H. St. Mary, H. St. James, H. St. Michael, Birchfield, and Perry-Barr; and the first is a rectory, the others vicarages, in the diocese of Lichfield. Value of St. Mary, £1, 500; of St. James and Perry Barr, each £200; of St. Michael, £300; of Birchfield, not reported. Patron of St. Mary, the Rev. J. Peel, D.D.; of Perry-Barr, Lord Calthorpe; of the others, the Rector of Handsworth. St. Mary’s church was ancient, but has been mostly rebuilt; includes a recent chapel, with a statue of Watt, by Chantry; and contains a bust of Boulton by Flaxman, and several old monuments. St. James’ church was built in 1840; and had assigned to it, in 1854, a definite territory, the pop. of which, in 1861, was 3,691. St. Michael’s church was built in 1858, at a cost of about £6,000; and is in the decorated English style. Birchfield church was built in 1864. There are chapels for Independents, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics, a convent of sisters of mercy, a middle school, national schools, and charities £199. The convent is a large edifice in Hunters lane, and the chapel connected with it is very elegant. The middle school was built in 1862, at a cost of £3,200. The sub-district is conterminate with the parish.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Parish Records

FamilySearch Historical Records


Below is a list of people that were declared bankrupt between 1820 and 1843 extracted from The Bankrupt Directory; George Elwick; London; Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; 1843.

Banks Chas. Matthews, Handsworth, Stafford, plumber & glazier, Oct. 15, 1839.

Izon Thomas, Handsworth, Staffordshire, merchant, Jan. 21, 1831.


  • County: Staffordshire
  • Civil Registration District: West Bromwich
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Lichfield
  • Rural Deanery: West Bromwich
  • Poor Law Union: West Bromwich
  • Hundred: South Offlow
  • Province: Canterbury

Similar Posts