Warwick Warwickshire Family History Guide

Warwick comprises of the following Parishes:

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

WARWICK, a town, two parishes, a sub-district, a district, and a division, in Warwickshire. The town stands on the river Avon, and on the Oxford and Birmingham railway, near the junction of the Warwick and Birmingham and the Warwick and Napton canals, 2¼ miles W by S of Leamington, and 21 SE of Birmingham; is supposed by some antiquaries, but not on good evidence, to date from the ancient times; appears to have been a place of some note, with a fortress, in the times of the Saxons; went into possession of the Saxon Warremund or Waring, and took from him the name of Warrewyke or Waringwick, afterwards contracted into Warwick; suffered much injury by incursions of the Danes; was restored, with reconstruction of its fortress, in 915, by Ethelfleda, daughter of King Alfred; is associated, in old legend, with the story of the giant Guy, who is said to have died in 929 at Guy's-Cliff, 1½ mile to the NNE; suffered much injury again, in 1016, from the Danes; figured, soon after the Norman conquest, as a town of military strength, surrounded with walls; had 261 houses at Domesday, and belonged then to Turchil the Dane; passed to Henry de Newburgh, who was created Earl of Warwick, and died in 1123; acquired from him, on the site of its ancient fortress, a great castle which will be noticed in next paragraph; enjoyed a run of prosperity, marred by some disturbing events, in connexion with the castle; was the scene of several tournaments in the time of Edward I.; was visited, in 1572, by Elizabeth, in 1617, by James I., in 1695, by William III.; suffered commotion, and sustained a royalist siege of 14 days, in the civil wars of Charles I.; was devastated, in 1694, by a great fire, which destroyed property to the value of £90,600; underwent subsequent reconstruction, over the area of the fire, in an improved style, at a cost of £120,000; numbers among its natives the antiquary John Rous, and the monkish historian Walter of Coventry; was chartered by Henry VIII., and is governed, under the new municipal act, by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors; has sent two members to parliament since the time of Edward I.; is a seat of assizes, quarter-sessions, and county courts, and a polling-place and the place of election for South Warwickshire; publishes a weekly newspaper; carries on brewing, malting, hat-making, rope-making, and iron-founding; has a weekly market on Saturday, 13 annual fairs, and annual races; occupies elevated ground, amid beautiful and diversified environs; presents a well-aligned, well built, and pleasant appearance, with many handsome houses, and much recent improvement; and has a head post-office, a r. station with telegraph, three banking offices, six chief inns, a county hall, a court-house and assembly-room, a county-jail, a one-arched bridge of 100 feet in span, a market house, a corn exchange built at a cost of £5,500, four churches, five dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, an ancient priory now a private residence, an ancient hospital now a private academy, an endowed grammar-school with £143 a year, another endowed school with £236, six other public schools, Earl Leicester's hospital with about £3,000 a year, Eyfler's alms houses with £31, White's charity with £100, several other charities, a dispensary, and a workhouse.

The castle stands on a rock, contiguous to the Avon, at the SE side of the town; passed, with the earldom of W., to the Plessetis, the Maudits, the Beauchamps, the Nevilles, the Plantagenets, the Dudleys, the Riches, and the Grevilles; was garrisoned by King Stephen, and given up to Prince Henry; suffered surprise and partial demolition by the rebels in the time of Henry III.; underwent repair, in 1312, by Earl Guy, who brought hither Piers Gaveston, and beheaded him on Blacklow-Hill; was further repaired and greatly strengthened, in the time of Edward III., by Earl Thomas; underwent restorations and additions, at subsequent periods by other Earls; held Edward IV. as a prisoner in 1468, and received him as a visitor in 1470, in the time of Warwick the king-maker; went, in the time of James I., to the Grevilles, afterwards Lords Brooke, but not Earls of Warwick till 1759; was magnificently restored and embellished, by Sir Fulke Greville, at a cost of £20,000; repelled an attack of the royalists in the civil wars of Charles I.; was further embellished, and fitted with state apartments, in the time of Charles II., by Robert Lord Brooke; is described, by Sir Walter Scott, as the "fairest monument of ancient and chivalrous splendour, which yet remains uninjured by time;" occupies an area of about 3 acres, partly rising to about 100 feet above the level of the Avon; presents an irregular but most imposing appearance in frontage towards the river; consists of towers, turrets, battlemented-walls, and other structures, around a large irregular court; includes Cæsar's tower, the oldest part of the entire structure, 147 feet high, octangular, vastly strong, and well-preserved,-Guy's tower, built in 1394, less lofty than Cæsar's, but occupy ing a higher site and overlooking it, a great hall, 62 feet long, 40 feet wide, and 35 feet high, the first of a suite of apartments, aggregately 330 feet long, all in one range or viewable at one glance, a dining-room, 43 feet long, 25 feet wide, and 18 feet high, three drawing-rooms, one of them 47 feet long and 25 feet wide, and all, as also the other apartments, magnificently furnished; and has pleasure grounds, charmingly laid out, adorned with old cedars and other stately trees, and containing, in a greenhouse, an exquisite work of ancient Grecian art, found near the site of the Emperor Hadrian's villa at Tivoli in 1774, and now known as the Warwick vase.

Two gates, ancient ornamental entrances to the town, stand at the extremities of one of the principal streets; have, from time to time, been repaired and recased, without due preservation of their original character, and each is surmounted by an ancient chapel. The county-hall was built in 1776; is in the Grecian style; and contains a room 100 feet by 65. The courthouse and assembly-room was rebuilt in 1730, and contains a hall 60 feet by 27. The county jail is a recent and ornamental structure, and has a capacity for 400 male and 70 female prisoners. St. Mary's church dates from the Norman times; became collegiate in 1123; was restored or rebuilt in 1394; suffered destruction by fire, excepting the choir, the Lady chapel, and the chapter-house, in 1694; was rebuilt, in bad later English style, in 1704; is cruciform, measuring 180 feet from E to W, and 106 feet along the transept; and presents, in its ancient portions, very interesting features. St. Nicholas' church also dates from the Norman times, or earlier; has a tower and spire rebuilt in 1748; and was itself rebuilt in 1779. Six other ancient churches were in the town, but have disappeared. St. Paul's and All Saints' churches are modern. The Baptist chapel was built in 1866, and is in the early English style. An abbey and a nunnery were burned by the Danes in 1016. A black friary was founded in the time of Henry III.,-a white friary in 1345; and both have disappeared. A commandery and a lepers' hospital. were founded in the time of Henry I.; and the latter is now an alms house. The grammar-school was founded in the time of Henry VI., and chartered by Henry VIII.; is an edifice of antique appearance; and has two exhibitions, of £70 each, at Oxford. The other endowed school is held in St. Peter's chapel, built by Henry VI., and situated on the E town-gate. Leicester's hospital belonged originally to guilds; went, after the dissolution of monasteries, to Dudley, Earl of Leicester; was endowed by him as a collegiate institution for a professor of divinity, a master, and 12 brethren; is a fine specimen of an old half-timbered edifice; is connected with St. James' chapel, situated on the W towngate; and was placed under a new scheme of distribution of its funds by act of parliament in 1813. The borough is of the same extent municipally as parliamentarily, and consists of the two parishes of W.-St. Mary and W.-St. Nicholas. Acres, 5,410. Real property, £51,296; of which £107 are in quarries, £2,508 in canals, and £647 in gasworks. Electors in 1833, 1,340; in 1863, 660. Pop. in 1851, 10,973; in 1861, 10,570. Houses, 2,272. The two parishes are ecclesiastically divided into St. Mary, St. Paul, St. Nicholas, and All Saints. The livings of St. M. and St. N. are vicarages, and those of St. P. and A. S. are p. curacies, in the diocese of Worcester. Value of St. M., £300; of St. N., £218; of St. P., £175; of A. S., £129. Patron of St. M., the Lord Chancellor; of St. N., the Earl of Warwick; of St. P., the Vicar of St. Mary; of A. S., the Vicar of St. Nicholas. The sub-district includes also Guy's Cliff extra-parochial tract, with a pop. of 19. The district comprehends also Leamington, Kenilworth, Budbrooke, and Radford sub-districts; and comprises 66,639 acres. Poor rates, in 1863, £23,028. Pop. in 1851, 41,934; in 1861, 44,047. Houses, 8,961. Marriages in 1863, 307; births, 1,308, of which 87 were illegitimate; deaths, 1,053, of which 377 were at ages under 5 years, and 17 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 3,266; births, 12,315; deaths, 8,892. The places of worship, in 1851, were 37 of the Church of England, with 15,417 sittings; 7 of Independents, with 2,718 s.; 2 of Baptists, with 922 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 200 s.; 2 of Unitarians, with 300 s.; 7 of Wesleyans, with 1,504 s.; 1 of Primitive Methodists, with 110 s.; 1 of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, with 500 s.; 1 of the Catholic and Apostolic church, with 30 s.; and 4 of Roman Catholics, with 860 s. The schools were 42 public day-schools, with 4,009 scholars; 67 private day-schools, with 1,303 s.; 39 Sunday schools, with 3,492 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 26 s.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Warwick County Gaol

The state of Warwick county gaol in the late 1700s extracted from The state of the prisons in England and Wales : with preliminary observations, and an account of some foreign prisons / by John Howard, F.R.S.


Bartram Thomas, Warwick, slater, Oct. 29, 1825.

Bartram Thomas, Warwick, slater, June 7, 1831.

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.