West Bromwich Staffordshire Family History Guide

West Bromwich Parishes

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BROMWICH (West), a town, a parish, two subdistricts, and a district in Stafford. The town stands on the river Tame, on branches of the Birmingham canal, and on the Birmingham and Wolverhampton and the Stour Valley and South Stafford railways, 4¾ miles NW by W of Birmingham. It was, at the close of last century, a rural village amid a barren heath; but is now a town upwards of 3 miles long, all a stir with industry, and progressing rapidly. The High street runs north and south, and is 1½ mile long; many handsome streets go east and west; and public buildings, churches, factories, and fine private residences show a grand aggregate of striking feature. St. George's hall, in Paradise street, originally a Wesleyan chapel, is a tasteful edifice, accommodates about 708 persons, and serves for concerts, lectures, and public meetings. The market place, at the south end of High street, is well supplied. The police station, erected in 1851, is the residence of officers with a strong body of men. All-Saints church, on an eminence at the north-east side of the parish, is an ancient structure, of nave, chancel, and aisles with a tower; and contains a curious Norman font, two very ancient effigies, and a memorial window of 1854 to the late Earl of Dartmouth. Christ Church, in High street, was built in 1828, at a cost of £18,446; and is a stone edifice, in the later English style, with a square embattled tower, 114 feet high. Trinity church, in Trinity road, was built in 1841, at a cost of nearly £3,000; and is a brick structure, in the early English style, with a turreted tower. St. James' church, at Hill-Top, was built also in 1841; and is a neat brick structure, without a tower. St. Peter's church, in Oldbury lane, was built in 1859; and is a neat stone edifice, with a small tower. An Independent chapel is a pleasing Doric structure; a Wesleyan chapel is a square brick building of 1835, raised at a cost of £3,401; and the Roman Catholic chapel is an edifice in the early English style, with a turret at each angle. There are likewise, within the parish, two other Independent chapels, five other Wesleyan, two Baptist, six Primitive Methodist, and one New Connexion Methodist. All-Saints schools, in All-Saints-street, were erected in 1851, and form a handsome pile. The Temperance and Educational mission, in High street, contains popular library and reading rooms, and has lectures during winter. The workhouse, in Hallam street, was erected in 1858, at a cost of about £27,000; is in the Gothic style; and has capacity for 600 inmates. The new cemetery, on an eminence near the old church, was opened in 1859; comprises about 8 acres; and has two Gothic chapels. An infirmary, to cost about £5,500, was founded in 1869.
The prosperity of the town has arisen from rich local mines of ironstone and coal. Extensive manufactures are carried on in all the departments of Birmingham hardware; also in malt, malt liquors, chemicals, bricks, cement, and paper. A grand gas-work, authorized in 1825, and constructed at a cost of £120,000, has an aggregate of nearly 150 miles of pipes, and supplies, in addition to West Bromwich itself, parts of Birmingham, Wednesbury, Dudley, Walsall, Darlaston, Tipton, and Great Bridge. Two stations of the Birmingham and Wolverhampton railway, of the names of West Bromwich and Swan village, each with telegraph, are at the town; and four stations of the Stour Valley and South Stafford railway are within a mile of the parish church. Numerous branches of canals also give great facility for traffic. A weekly market is held on Saturday; and a pleasure fair on 1 Nov. There are a head post office,‡ two banking offices, and three chief inns.-Pop., 17,024. Houses, 3,363.
The parish comprises 5,710 acres. Real property, £126,660; of which £35,961 are in mines, and £25,016 in iron-works. Pop. in 1841, 26,121; in 1861, 41,795. Houses, 8,109. The surface is pleasingly undulated; and some of it is in a state of high cultivation. The manor belonged, in 1230, to the barons of Dudley; in 1293, to Walton de Everons; in 1533 to the Stanleys; in 1660, to Sir Richard Shelton; and in 1682 to the family of Legge, one of whom became Baron Dartmouth, and was the ancestor of the present Earl. A Benedictine priory was founded here, in the time of Henry II. or of Richard I., by William de Offney; was given, at the dissolution, to Cardinal Wolsey; and passed soon to the Legges. Sandwell Park house rose on or near the site of the priory; is a square structure of stuccoed brick: and serves now as a training college for servants. The park itself possesses much beauty; and is now let in parts of from 20 to 30 acres. A "holy well" was within the park; and a chalybeate spring is at Wigmore. The livings of All-Saints, Christ Church, and St. James are vicarages, and those of Trinity and St. Peter are p. curacies, in the diocese of Lichfield. Value of All-Saints, £530; of Christ-Church, £300; of St. James, £300; of Trinity, £200; of St. Peter, not reported. Patron of All-Saints and St. James', the Earl of Dartmouth; of Trinity, Trustees; of Christ Church, the Earl of Dartmouth and Trustees; of St. Peter, the Bishop of Lichfield.
The two subdistricts are West-Bromwich-South-West and West-Bromwich-North-East; they are divided from each other by the road from Birmingham to Dudley; and they are jointly conterminate with the parish. The district comprehends also Wednesbury subdistrict, conterminate with Wednesbury parish; Handsworth subdistrict, conterminate with Handsworth parish; and Oldbury subdistrict, containing Oldbury and Warley Salop townships, and Warley Wigorn hamlet, all in Halesowen parish, and electorally in Worcester. Acres, 19,364. Poor-rates, £23,592. Pop. in 1841, 52,578; in 1861, 92,480. Houses, 17,567. Marriages, 858; births, 3,965, of which 186 were illegitimate; deaths, 1,681, of which 834 were at ages under 8 years, and 22 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 8,013; births, 34,686; deaths, 19,807. The places of worship in 1851 were 18 of the Church of England, with 13,020 sittings; 9 of Independents, with 3,966 s.; 6 of Baptists, with 1,371 s.; 1 of Unitarians, with 300 s.; 13 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 6,434 s.; 5 of New Connexion Methodists, with 1,763 s.; 12 of Primitive Methodists, with 2,808 s.; 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 300 s.; 2 undefined, with 300 s.; and 2 of Roman Catholics, with 344 s. The schools were 36 public day schools, with 4,486 scholars; 82 private day schools, with 1,964 s.; 51 Sunday schools, with 11,012 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 43 s.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Lewis Topographical Dictionary of England 1845

BROMWICH, WEST (All Saints), a parish, and the head of a union, in the S. division of the hundred of Offlow and of the county of Stafford ; adjoining the town of Wednesbury, and containing 26,121 inhabitants. This place, which is in the centre of an extensive manufacturing and mining district, has, within a few years, risen with amazing rapidity from a state of comparative insignificance to a degree of importance, for the variety and extent of its manufactures and trade, which is almost unparalleled. The rich mines of iron-stone and coal beneath the soil, in almost every direction, affording the utmost facility of establishing works upon a large scale, attracted the notice of the enterprising and ingenious ; and, from little more than a barren heath, a populous and flourishing village has risen, extending for more than three miles along the high road from Birmingham to Wolverhampton. Among the various branches of manufacture, all of which are conducted on the most extensive scale, are gun and pistol barrels and locks, swords, bayonets, fenders, fire-irons, locks, bolts, hinges, nails, saddlers' ironmongery, coach-furniture; iron culinary utensils, chains, traces, spades and other implements of husbandry, steel toys, gas-tubes and fittings, palisades, and ornamental ironwork : among the larger works are blast furnaces for the smelting of iron-ore, foundries, forges, rolling and slitting mills, in which, and also in the various collieries, many steam-engines are employed. Very extensive gasworks have been established by a company of proprietors, from which part of Birmingham, seven miles distant, is lighted, and from which the different towns of Wednesbury, Dudley, Bilston, Darlaston, Tipton, and Great Bridge, are also supplied with gas. There is a large glass-manufactory employing several hundred workmen. The trade of the place, and the transport of the produce of its mines and the heavier articles of manufacture, are greatly facilitated by the numerous branches of canals which intersect the parish ; and the Grand Junction railway also passes through it. The town is within the jurisdiction of the county magistrates, who hold a petty-session every Saturday.
The parish comprises by measurement 5155 acres; the soil is gravel, alternated with red sand, and in some parts clay, alternated with loam; and the subsoil abounds with coal and iron-stone. The surface is hilly, and the surrounding scenery richly wooded and pleasingly diversified : Sandwell, the seat of the Earl of Dartmouth, is a handsome mansion, situated in an extensive park, embellished with stately timber; and there are several other good residences in the neighbourhood. The living is a perpetual curacy ; net income, £566; patron and impropriator, Lord Dartmouth. The parochial church is an ancient structure, which, notwithstanding numerous alterations and additions, still retains a portion of the original character.
Christ Church, of which the first stone was laid by the Earl of Dartmouth, was completed in 1828, at an expense of £18,446, part of which was defrayed by grant from the Parliamentary Commissioners ; it is a handsome edifice of stone, in the later English style, with a lofty square embattled tower. An ecclesiastical district has been assigned, and the living is a perpetual curacy in the patronage of the Earl and Trustees ; net income, £330. Holy Trinity district church, an elegant building, containing about 1000 sittings, was erected in 1841, at a cost of £3400, and the incumbency, which is in the gift of five trustees, has been endowed with £1000, by Thomas Wood and Edwin Bullock, Esqrs. Lord Dartmouth has given a piece of land near Hill Top, and £1200, for the erection of another church, with £300 as a fund for keeping it in repair; and a subscription, has been entered into to carry the desirable object into effect. There are places of worship for Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, Baptists, and Independents ; also a Roman Catholic chapel, and national and other schools. The union of West Bromwich comprises six parishes or places, and contains a population of 52,596. A priory of Benedictine monks was founded at the close of the reign of Henry II., or the beginning of that of Richard I., by William, son of Guy de Opheni, at Sandwell,which was dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene ; it flourished till the Dissolution, when its revenue, amounting to £38. 8. 7., was granted to Cardinal Wolsey for the endowment of his intended colleges, and the site is now occupied by the splendid mansion of the Earl of Dartmouth. A tessellated pavement was discovered in 1741. William Parsons, the gigantic porter of James I., was a native of the parish.
Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis Fifth Edition Published London; by S. Lewis and Co., 13, Finsbury Place, South. M. DCCC. XLV

A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland 1833

Bromwich, West, co. Stafford.
P.T. Wednesbury (117) 2 m. SE. Pop. 9503.
A parish in the south division of the hundred of Offlow; living, a curacy in the archdeaconry of Stafford and diocese of Lichfield and Coventry; certified value 22l.; chapel ded. to St. Clement; patron (1829) the Earl of Dartmouth.
Source: A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland by John Gorton. The Irish and Welsh articles by G. N. Wright; Vol. I; London; Chapman and Hall, 186, Strand; 1833.


Vision of Britain historical maps


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.
Bache Charles, West Bromwich, iron bedstead maker, April 11, 1826.
Barusley Benjamin, Greet's green, West Bromwich, builder, Dec. 18, 1840.
Bates William, jun., West Bromwich Staffordshire, grocer, Oct. 15, 1833.
Bill Samuel, Hill-top, Westbromwich, timber merchant, Sept. 15, 1821.
Bratt James, Westbromwich, Staffordshire, draper, April 13, 1838.
Cope Philip, Westbromwich, chemist and druggist, March 16, 1832.
Danks Thomas, Westbromwich, Staffordshire, grocer, Dec. 2, 1831.
Davis Edward, Westbromwich, Staffordshire, timber dealer, Nov. 9, 1841.
Devey Henry Fryer; Thomas Tickell; and Jonathan Saunders; Goldshill, Westbromwich, Staffordshire, iron manufacturers, May 14, 1822.
Elwell William, Westbromwich, Staffordshire, chemist, July 6, 1822.
Henderson William, West Bromwich, Staffordshire, ironmaster, Nov. 3, 1835.
Hodson Thomas. Westbromwich, Stañ'ordshire, baker, March 8, 1833.
Holland Henry, Westbromwich, Staffordshire, scrivener, March 3, 1840.
Homer Chas., sen., Westbromwich, Staffordshire, wine merch., May 27, 1842.
Horton John Pool, Westbromwich, Staffordsh., engine boiler maker, July 19, 1836.
Horton Thomas, Spon Lane ironworks, Westbromwieh, ironfounder, Dec. 1, 1840.
Ingle Edward, Westbromwich, Staffordshire, builder, June 8, 1832.
James William, Westbromwich, Staffordshire, coal master, July 15, 1823.
Mason Thomas, Westbromwich, Staffordshire, grocer, April 10, 1840.
Onions Wm. Michael, Westbromwich, Staffordsh., ironfounder, April 7, 1840.
Parke Thomas, Westbromwich, Staffordshire, plumber & glazier, Jan. 17, 1832.
Raybould David, Westbromwich, Staffordshire, builder, Aug. 24, 1838.
Reeves John, Westbromwich, Staffordshire, coach smith, Jan. 12, 1836.
Shaw John, Westbromwich, Staffordshire, tailor, Aug. 10, 1832
Tickell Thomas. West bromwich, Staffordshire, ironmaster, March 19, 1822.
Turton William, Westbromwich, Staffordsh., coal & iron master, Mar. 12, 1822.
Wood John, jun., Westbromwich, Staffordshire, shoe maker, March 29, 1831.