Alcester

Alcester Warwickshire Family History Guide

Alcester is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Warwickshire.

Fairs

Alcester, Jan. 23, March 20, April 17, May 18, July 31. Sept. 18, Oct. 17, Dec. 4.

Parish church: The parish church of St. Nicholas was rebuilt in 1792, and again largely restored in 1869.

Parish registers begin: 1560

Nonconformists include: Particular Baptist, Presbyterian, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Industries:- Agriculture and the manufacture of needles and cycles.

Table of Contents

Parishes adjacent to Alcester

Historical Descriptions

Leonard's Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Alcester, Jan. 23, March 20, April 17, May 18, July 31. Sept. 18, Oct. 17, Dec. 4.

Source: History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Warwickshire; Francis White & Co.; 1850.

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1840

Alcester, a parish and market-town in the Alcester division of the hund. of Barlichway, union of Alcester, county of Warwick; 16 miles west-south-west of Warwick, and 103 north-west of London. It is situated in a fine valley, on the western bank of the Alne, at its confluence with the Arrow; and consists of one principal street, with several small diverging ones. Living, a discharged rectory in the archd. and dio. of Worcester; rated at £14 2s. 10d.; gross income £260. The church, a fine structure, was rebuilt in 1792. Patron, in 1835, the marquis of Hertford, who is lord of the manor, and holds his courts in the market-hall. There are also chapels of the Baptists, Old Presbyterians, Wesleyan Methodists, and Quakers, in this town. The Baptist church has existed since 1655. The free grammar-school was founded by Walter Newport in 1592. In 1780, Brook Bridges endowed a school here for 12 boys and 12 girls, with £20 per annum. There a also an alms-house for 4 men and 4 women. The yearly amount of these and the other charities, con nected with this parish, is £279 4s. Tanner says: “Ralph Pincerna, or Le Botelre, of Oversley, built, A. d. 1140, upon an island about half-a-mile north of this town, an abbey of Benedictine monks, which he dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St John the Baptist. But this house, being much decayed, was, about A.D. 1467, united and made a cell to the abbey of Evesham. Its revenues were valued, 26° Henry VIII., at £65 7s. 11d. per annum, Dugd.; £101 14s., Speed; and were granted first to Thomas Cromwell, earl of Essex; after his attainder to Foulk Grevill; and 36° Henry VIII., to William and John Sewster.” Traces of this abbey are still visible. Alcester was made a free borough in the reign of Henry I., and was of some note in the 16th and 17th centuries. It afterwards became the property of the Beauchamps, and subsequently of the Grevilles. It is now within the jurisdiction of the county-magistrates for the Alcester division of the hundred, who hold petty-sessions at Alcester. The Alcester poor-law union comprehends a district of 74 square miles, containing 22 parishes; and a pop. returned, in 1831, at 15,933. The average annual expenditure on the poor of this district, during the three years preceding the formation of the union, was £6,593; expenditure, in 1838, £4,410. The Gloucestershire Banking Company has a branch here. The principal manufacture is that of needles; there are also several malt-kilns and corn-mills. The market is held on Tuesday, and is well supplied with corn. Fairs are held on the Tuesday before the 25th of March, 18th May, 2d Tuesday in July, and 17th October, principally for horses and cheese. Alcester is supposed to have been a Roman station. The Roman way called Icknild Street passed through it, and may still be traced in the vicinity. Some antiquaries identify Alcester with the Alana of Richard of Cirencester. In Saxon times it was a place of great importance; and, at the period of the Conquest, was a royal residence. Pop., in 1801, 1,625; in 1831, 2,405. Houses 491. Acres 1,530. A. P. £6,354. Poor rates, in 1837, £714 — Beauchamp court, in the neighbourhood of Alcester, was the seat of Fulke Greville, Sir Philip Sidney's beloved friend.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1840.

The History Topography and Directory of Warwickshire 1830

Alcester or Aulcester, – usually called Auster, – is a bustling and considerable market town, in Barlichway hundred, 8 miles west from Stratford-on-Avon, 19 miles from Birmingham, and 103 from London; pleasantly, though remotely, situate on the western skirts of the county, at the confluence of the rivers Alne and Arrow, over each of which is a bridge. In 1803 the sum raised by its parochial rates was £1009 8s. 6d, at 6s. 6d. in the pound. In 1811 it contained 416 houses and 1862 inhabitants. In 1821 it contained 465 houses and 2229 inhabitants, of whom, it is supposed, 500 are employed in the manufacture of needles. In 1826 it was valued at £6296; - its proportion to the county rate was £26 4s. 8d. It is a Rectory, value £14 2s. 10d. – Patron, the Earl of Warwick.

Alcester was formerly a place of much greater importance than at present, as well as a principle Roman station, ascertained not only from the various coins, urns, and bricks which have been found near it, but from the Roman way, called Ickneild Street, which passes through it. It is said formerly to have had three parish churches and an abbey, on a piece of ground encompassed by the Arrow and a moat. It was the residence of some of the kings, and anciently a borough, by prescription; and, as it has been already observed, “the buildings of Alcester prove the commercial respectability of the place in the 16th and 17th centuries. The chief houses have now received modern fronts, but the interior of many is yet unaltered, and here are seen the massy timbers and abundant carvings of past days.” There is a Free School in the town, founded in the reign of Elizabeth, in pursuance of the will of Walter Newport, gent. There are also almshouses for aged men and women, and a workhouse. The church, a gothic structure, is much admired, and the monument of the Marquis of Hertford, recently erected, is particularly fine. It also contains the well preserved altar tomb of Sir Foulke Greville and Lady Elizabeth his wife. On the top are the recumbent effigies of the deceased. Over the ornamented Market Hall the Marquis of Hertford, as Lord of the Manor, holds his courts. The colonnade below is appropriated to the market people. The market, on Tuesday, is always abundantly supplied with corn, and well attended. Not only Camden and Dugdale, but all modern writers agree on the antiquity and consequence of this place; and Mr. Brewer justly remarks, and agrees with Dugdale, “that this was a Roman station may be asserted on secure grounds. Its name evinces its antiquity, as the word Cestre or Cester, was invariably used by the Saxons to express a fortified place; and the situation of the town Ickneild, or Ryknild Street, readily points to the people by whom those fortifications were raised. Vestiges of the Romans are, likewise, frequently discovered.” Dugdale mentions “old foundations of buildings, Roman bricks, and coins,” which were often found here in his time. Gibson says, that “about fifty years ago, in digging a cellar, there was an urn taken up, with 600 and odd pieces of Roman coin in it’” and Gough notices coins found in making the turnpike road, to lead from Alcester to Stratford.  Remains of the Romans are frequently turned up by the spade and plough, at the present period.  In the 17th volume of the Archaelogia, is an account of two urns found in a piece of ground, termed Blacklands, near Alcester: one contained many fragments of human bones, which had evidently passed through the fire; the other was of squat proportion, and held on a small quantity of human dust or ashes. – These urns were submitted to the Society of Antiquaries, by Joseph Brandish, Esq. and are now in the possession of that gentleman, who kindly favoured us with a view of them.  From the remarks with which we were also favoured by Mr. Brandish, during our investigation respecting Alcester, we are enabled to observe, that urns are occasionally met with in every quarter of this vicinity, though they are usually knocked to pieces by the inadvertence of the rustic labourers: while here we also procured a vast number of small Roman coins.  It is likewise a curious fact, that the earth is seldom penetrated to the depth of more than two feet, without the discovery of a human skeleton.  It seems evident that Alcester was a Roman station of some importance, and its situation shews it to be the Alauna of Richard of Cirencester.  A general synod is supposed to have been held in this place early in the eighth century, at which were present Bertwald, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Wilfrid, Archbishop of York; but there is not any mention of Alcester in Doomsday-book, nor does the name directly occur in any record discovered by Dugdale, till the time of Henry I.; in that reign Alcester was styled a borough, and in 23rd of Henry II. it paid four marks to the King, amongst the other boroughs of this county.  A monastery was founded here by Ralph Boteler, in the 5th of King Stephen, and stood on the north of the town, on a spot now called Prior Close.  The site was completely insulated; the river Arrow forming a boundary on the north and east, and a moat being constructed on the other sides.  This moat is still apparent, though in many places filled with earth, and overgrown by trees.  The area within comprehends somewhat less than two acres, and was considered arable in the early part of the 17th century.  On ploughing within the limits of the monastery a few years back, a stone coffin was discovered, with places formed to admit the head, the elbows, and the heels of the corpse. A moiety of the manor being purchased by the Beauchamps, in the latter part of the reign of Henry III, that powerful family fixed their chief seat in the vicinity, and became munificent patrons of the town.  By the Beauchamps were procured several charters for fairs, and the family of Greville, which succeeded to the lordship by marriage of the daughter of Sir Richard Beauchamp, in the reign of Henry VIII, continued to reside in the ancient mansion, and to protect the interests of the town.  Some of the old materials of this city, (which stood where the Blacklands now are) are said to have been made use of in building Bidford Bridge.  In the 15th century, there was a description of trade here called Town Knitters.

Source: The History Topography and Directory of Warwickshire 1830. Wm. West. Printed and Published by R. Wrightson, Athenaeum, New-Street; and sold by Baldwin and Craddock, and Hurst, Chance and Co., London. 1830.

Complete Pocket Gazetteer of England and Wales 1807

Alcester, or Aulcester, (Warw.) a market town situate at the confluence of the rivers Alne and Arrow, with a bridge over each. It is a neat town, with a consideiable manufacture of needles; and, from many Roman coins and other antiquities discovered here and in the neighbourhood, it was evidently a Roman station. It is also conjectured to have been formerly a place of greater importance than at present; and, according to some, it contained 3 parish churches.

Market Day, Fairs, Inn. The weekly market is held on Tuesday. Fairs, Thurs. before Ap. 5, May 18, and Oct. 17. Principal inn, the Swan.

Bankers. Messrs. Haynes and Co. draw on Bloxam and Co. Gracechurch-street.

Alcester is distant from London 103 miles. 3 furlongs. On the left is a turnpike-road to Evesham and. Worcester

Source: Complete Pocket Gazetteer of England and Wales; Crosby Rev. J. Malham; 1807.

Alcester Warwickshire Marriages Out of Parish

Below is a list of people who were from Alcester but who were married in another parish.

William Young, of Alcester, & Sarah Woodward 22 June 1763 at North & Middle Littleton, Worcestershire.

John Wall, of Alcester, w., & Margaret Cull, w., lic. 22 Oct. 1790 at North & Middle Littleton, Worcestershire.

Henry Mander, of Alcester, co. Warwick, b., & Sarah Brookes, s., lic. 28 Jan. 1808 at North & Middle Littleton, Worcestershire.

Parish Records

People from Alcester Warwickshire can be found in the following records.

Birth, Marriage, & Death Records - FamilySearch

Census Records - FamilySearch

Migration Records - FamilySearch

Military Records - FamilySearch

Other Records - FamilySearch

Probate & Court - FamilySearch

England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-19572 results

Poll Books

Alcester Warwickshire Poll Book 1868

Below are the names of those that voted in the South Warwickshire Election, 1868.

1 Adkins, Jesse

2 Aldington, Thomas

3 Allwood, William, jun.

4 Archer, Joseph

5 Arnall, Francis

6 Averill, Thomas

7 Baylis, William

8 Bennett, Stephen

9 Boulton, John

10 Brandis, William

11 Brooks, John

12 Brown, Hugh Frazer

13 Bruton, George

14 Cale, William

15 Cook, Charles

16 Crow, Frederick Alfred

17 Davis, John

18 Dipple, John

19 Farr, Joseph

20 Findon, James

21 Fourt, Henry

22 Franklin, James

23 Freer, William

24 French, Francis Goodson Pantling

25 Garrard, George Henry

20 Grizzell, William

27 Grove, Charles

28 Haines, George Henry Heap

29 Haines, Henry

30 Harbridge, Richard Henry

31

32 Harrison, Joseph

33 Hawkins, William

34 Hill, Joseph

35 Hitchings, Thomas

36 Holyoake, Joseph

37 Hopkins, Thomas

38 Horton, Thomas

39 Hughes, Benjamin

40 Hughes, John

41 Hunt, William

42 Ingram, Thomas

43 Iorns, Thomas

44 Jackson, Alfred Herbert

45 Jephcott, Eobert William

46 Jones, Charles

47 Jones, John Langston

48 Lewis, William

49 Long, John

50 Malins, John

51 Malins, Thomas

52 Mander, Francis

53 Morgan, John

54 Morrall, Edwin

55

56 New, Herbert

57 Overbury, Henry

58 Parr, Edmund

59 Perry, John

60 Philpin, Moses

61 Prance, Courtenay Connell

62 Reeve, Edward

63 Richards, John

64 Rimmer, Thomas

65 Russen, William

66 Sherriff, Edward

67 Smallwood, William

68 Smith, Lant Thomas

69 Smith, Edwin

70 Smith, James Knight

71 Spilsbury, Francis Mosley

72 Stephens, John

73 Terrill, William

74 Terrill, Charles

75 Timms, Charles

76 Wadams, William

77 Walker, Henry

78 Ward, John

79 White, William

80

81 Williams, John

82 Windle, Richard William

83 Wright, Josiah

84 Wright, William

85 Wyman, George

List 2.

86 Ainge, John

87 Allwood, Joseph

88 Allwood, William

89 Archer, Edward

90 Baylis, George

91 Bennett, Thomas

92 Bomford, James

93 Brotherton, Enoch

94 Brown, John

95 Care, Joseph

96 Court, Thomas

97 Crossley, George

98 Cale, William

99 Chambers, Enoch

100 Currier, William

101 Day, Emanuel

102 Dowdeswell, Charles

103 Edginton, Joseph

104 Fisher, Richard

105 Hallam, Thomas

106 Hall, Charles

107 Hawtin, William

108 Hemming, John

109

110 Heath, Thomas

111 Hinton, William

112 Hunt, Charles

113 Hopkins, William

114 Harman, Joseph

115 Jackson, Thomas

116 Mortiboys, William

117 Oughton, Henry

118 Overbury, Joseph

119 Owen, John George

120 Perkins, William

121 Pinfield, Joseph

122 Raybould, Joseph

123 Richards, George

124 Slide, Samuel

125 Smout, Thomas

126

127 Thackwell, Rev. William Henry

128 White, William

129 Wright, Edward Moor

130 Wright, Charles Sheriff

Source: Poll Book, South Warwickshire Election, 1868: H Mills. Printed and Sold by H. T. Cooke and Son, High Street, Warwick; 1869

Directories

Alcester Bennett's Business Directory for Warwickshire, 1914

Alcester The Universal British Directory 1791 - Google Books

Transcriptions

Alcester 1791 (Principal Inhabitants of)

Gentlemen, &c.

Arnway John, Esq.
Brandish Samuel, Esq. (F.)
Cheston John, Esq. (F.)
Bartham, Mrs. Anne

Clergy

Rev. Matthew Booker, Curate, and Master of the Grammar School
Rev. Joseph Gill
Rev. Joseph Evans
Rev. –, Maurice, Dissenting Minister

Physic

Brandish Joseph, (F.) Surgeon, &c.
Bloxam Richard, (F.) Druggist and Apothecary
Oldham – , Surgeon & Man Midwife

Law

Jones Walter, (F.) Attorney, and Master in Chancery
Showel John, Attorney, and Master in Chancery

Traders, &c.

Adkins William, Blacksmith
Allen Thomas, Victualler, Red Horse
Ashmead H. Mantua-maker & Milliner
Archer and Mascall, Needle-makers
Archer James, Needle-maker
Avorill Thomas, Flax-dresser

Briggs Dimmok, Collar-maker
Brain John, Victualler & Salt Dealer
Bristow Francis, Shoe-maker
Bristow John, Baker
Bourne James, Excise Officer
Biddle George, Taylor
Brandis Anne, Ironmonger
Brandis John, Chandler
Butler Ed. Breeches-maker & Fellmonger
Bruton John, Victualler & Blacksmith

Crukshanks John, Book-keeper to London Carrier
Cheston and Morralls, Needle-makers
Clarson Thomas, (F.) Dyer
Clarson Robert and John, Hosiers
Cheston Thomas, (F.) Tanner
Corfield William, Victualler & Dealer
Clarke R. Maria, Brazier
Clarke Elizabeth, Shopkeeper
Clark Wm. Mercer & Liquor Merchant
Cox John, (F.) Grazier

Davis Charles, Clock & Watch-maker
Denton – , Mantua-maker
Davis James, Victualler
Doncaster Mary, Mantua-maker
Draper James, Blacksmith

Edkins John, Butcher
Edkins Margaret, Butcher
Edkins Rd. (F.) Butcher & Grazier
Edwards John, Farmer

Franklin Thomas, Joiner
Field Edward, Mercer & Draper
Fisher Richard, Farmer

Garfield Wm. Victualler, Rose & Crown
Gardner Thomas, Taylor
Greaves John, Farmer

Hicken Elizabeth, Mantua-maker
Higgins Henry, Breeches-maker
Haines William, Baker
Haines Margaret & Henry, (F.) Curriers and Maltsters
Haines Elizabeth, Milliner
Hands W. (F.) Victualler & Shopkeeper
Harbridge Thomas, (F.) Timber Merchant and Victualler
Harbridge Thomas, jun. Maltster
Hughes Benjamin, Gardener
Hodgets Lovel, Schoolmaster
Harris William, (F.) Sadler & Collar-maker, Ironmonger, &c.
Higgins Anthony, Peruke-maker
Hopkins Joshua, (F.) Grocer & Chandler
Hooper Philip, Wool Comber
Heming Thomas, (F.) Mercer, Draper, and Bookseller
Heming Thomas, jun. Maltster, Dealer in Cheese and Horse Corn
Heming Elizabeth, Milliner
Hobbins S. Mercer, Draper, & Grocer
Hemming John, Butcher and Victualler
Hemming Thomas, Taylor
Hemming Sarah, Mantua-maker
Haines John, (F.) Mercer and Grocer
Harbone Thomas, (F.) Maltster
Hall Elizabeth, School Mistress
Harman W. (F.) Gardener & Seedsman
Huband R. Victualler, Cat & Bagpipes
Huband William, Baker & Maltster
Hart Thomas, Butcher
Hobbins John, Victualler, Mughoue [sic]

Jones Abel, Excise Officer
Johnson William, Schoolmaster, Boarding School for young Gentlemen
Jorns Thomas, Clock & Watch-maker
Jorns William, (F.) Victualler & Miller

Langston John, (F.) Baker & Miller

Murrell Mary, Victualler, Dog
Middleton Thomas, Victualler, Bear Inn
Millward Esther, Baker & Victualler
Morrall Abel, (F.) Peruke-maker and Victualler
Mascall Hannah, Milliner
Mills Anthony, (F.) Gardener
Morrell John, Baker
Morton Mary, Milliner

Nicholls Anne, Confectioner
Niblet Robert, Alcester, Evesham, and Birmingham, Carrier

Osborn Thomas, Hatter
Osborn Thomas, Whitesmith

Pumphrey Thomas, (F.) Cooper
Pumphrey Anne, Mantua-maker
Phillips William, Butcher
Perks George, Mercer, Draper, &c.
Padgett William, (F.) Joiner
Pritchett Richard, Victualler & Grazier
Pettypher James, Blacksmith, and Dealer in Bar Iron
Petford Robert, Farmer
Powell James, Alcester, Evesham, and Birmingham, Carrier
Patterson James, Shoe-maker & Broker

Smith Joseph, Glazier and Plumber
Skillet Frances, Victualler, Farrier’s Arms
Scriven Joseph & Tho. Needle-makers
Simes – , Widow, Ironmonger
Sarsons William, (F.) Stay-maker
Shakell Thomas, Maltster
Scriven John, Factor
Scambler John, Turner
Scriven – , Widow, Grocer
Scriven Joshua, (F.) Baker & Maltster
Scambler Edmund, turner, Chair-maker, and Parish Clerk
Stephens John, Victualler, Swan
Spooner Jerem. Sieve & Basket-maker
Stiles Arthur, (F.) Joiner
Smith William, Mason
Savage Thomas, Shoe-maker
Smith Ralph, Farmer

Tovey Joseph, Shoe-maker
Tidmarsh Richard, Wheelwright
Timms John, (F.) Shoe-maker
Timms Charles, (F.) Shoe-maker
Terrill Th. Nail-maker & Shopkeeper
Townsend Samuel, (F.) Mason
Terrill Margaret, (F.) Baker & Maltster

Vyse Edward, Shoe-maker

Wakefield William, Cooper
Watts M. Victualler, Buck & Breeches
Watts Joseph, Breeches-maker
Watton – , Widow, (F.) White Lion
Whissell Brandon, (F.) Mason
Whissell James, Toyman
Whissell Elizabeth, Post Office
Whissell George, Victualler & Mason
Wilks Joseph, Heel-maker
Warner Henry, Maltster
Whitford Thomas, Peruke-maker
Wall John, (F.) Victualler, White Lion
Warner Mary, (F.) Shopkeeper
Watson Wm. (F.) Plumber & Glazier

Source: Universal British Directory 1791

Bankrupts

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.

Allen Peter; and John Smith; Alcester, Warwickshire, millers, Aug. 11, 1826.

Butler Edward, Alcester, Warwickshire, fellmonger, March 18, 1823.

Butler Edward, Alcester, Warwickshire, fetlmonger, Oct. 22, 1839.

Grafton Martin Charles, Alcester, Warwickshire, tanner, July 15, 1836.

Harris Charles, Alcester, Warwickshire, saddler and seedsman. May 8, 1829.

Snow John, Worcester, and Alcester, scrivener, Feb. 12, 1830.

Stratton George Frederick, Park Hall, near Alcester, pipe manuf., Dec. 11, 1832.

Administration

  • County: Warwickshire
  • Civil Registration District: Alcester
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Worcester
  • Rural Deanery: Warwick
  • Poor Law Union: Alcester
  • Hundred: Barlinchway
  • Province: Canterbury