Feckenham Worcestershire Family History Guide

St. John the Baptist Feckenham Worcestershire
St. John the Baptist Feckenham Worcestershire

Feckenham is an Ancient Parish in the county of Worcestershire.

Other places in the parish include: Astwood Bank

Parish Church: St. John the Baptist

Parish registers begin: 1538

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

Fairs, March 26 and September 30.

Table of Contents

Parishes adjacent to Feckenham

Historical Descriptions


Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales 1870

Feckenham, a village, a parish, and a sub-district, in the district of Alcester and county of Worcester. The village stands near the boundary with Warwick, 4½ miles SSW of Redditch r. station, and 7 E by S of Droitwich; and has a post office under Bromsgrove. The manufacture of needles and fish-hooks is carried on; and fairs are held on 26 March and 30 Sept. The parish comprises 6,786 acres. Real property, £11,547. Pop., 3,217. Houses, 701. The property is much subdivided. The manor belonged to the Culpeppers and the Hanburys. A forest anciently covered large part of the area; had in it a prison belonging to the manor; and was cut down for consumption at the salt-works of Droitwich before the introduction of coals. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Worcester. Value, £386. Patrons, Trustees. The church is neat and good; and contains many ancient monuments. There are chapels for Independents and Baptists. Hanbury's free grammar school has £57; and other charities have £50. John de Feckenham, last abbot of Westminster, an opponent of the Reformation, was a native. The sub-district contains three parishes of Worcestershire and one of Warwickshire. Acres, 15,636. Pop., 5,068. Houses, 1,132.

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

Feckenham Worcestershire Delineated C. and J. Greenwood 1822

Feckenham – a parish in the hundred of Halfshire, upper division, 7 miles E.S.E. from Droitwich, and 112 from London; containing 460 inhabited houses. The church is a neat building, containing several curious monuments. A considerable part of the population is employed in the manufacture of needles and fish-hooks, for which the town has long been famous. Sir Thos. Cookes, Bart. established a school here, and endowed it with £50 per ann. with exhibitions to Worcester College, Oxford, in case the vacancies were not filled up from his school at Bromsgrove.

John de Feckenham, Abbot of Evesham, was born of poor parents, residing in a cottage bordering on Feckenham Forest: his proper name was Howman, which was changed according to the monkish custom in those days. Having a good natural genius, he was, on the recommendation of the priest of his parish, taken into Evesham Monastery, and afterwards admitted into Gloucester College, Oxford, from whence he returned to Evesham Monastery, and on the dissolution of that Abbey, in 1535, he received an allowance of 100 florins per ann. from the exchequer. He disputed with Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, previous to their martyrdom, and though a zealous catholic, it is said, he often performed good offices for the persecuted protestants, and even ventured to intercede with the Queen for the princess Elizabeth, for which he was some time in disgrace, but was shortly after made Dean of St. Paul’s, and Abbot of Westminster. On the accession of Elizabeth to the throne, he still continued to deny, and make speeches against her supremacy, in the House of Peers, and was afterwards committed to the Tower. During the preceding reign of Mary, he held a conference with Lady Jane Grey, which he published, with several other things. Feckenham has 2 fairs, viz. 26th March, and 30th Sept. The living is a vicarage; Rev. E. Bate Compson, incumbent; instituted 1813; patron Rev. E. Neil. Population, 1801, 1830 – 1811, 2135 – 1821, 2383.

Source: Worcestershire Delineated: Being a Topographical Description of Each Parish, Chapelry, Hamlet, &c. In the County; with the distances and bearings from their respective market towns, &c. By C. and J. Greenwood. Printed by T. Bensley, Crane Court, Fleet Street, London, 1822.

Laird Description of Worcestershire 1814

Feckenham lies a little to the eastward: it belonged once to the Culpeppers, and then to the Hanburys. The church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is a very neat building, and contains many curious monuments. The iron trade has spread thus far; and the inhabitants have long been famous for the manufactory of needles. Nor is their education neglected; for Sir Thomas Cookes, Bart. established a school here for boys and girls, which he endowed with 50l per annum for ever, out of lands near this place. He was founder of Worcester College in Oxford, and ordered this to be the second school from whence the scholars for that college should be chosen; Bromsgrove being the first.

The Forest of Fakenham [sic] has already been mentioned as having been very extensive: here too was a station for the justices in Eyre; and a prison for delinquents against the forest laws. Drayton, in his Polyolbion, thus notices it:

“ Whilst Clent and Lickey thus, doe bothe expresse their pride,
As Salwarpe slips along by Feck’nham’s shady side,
That forest him affects in wandering to the wych;
But he himself by salts, there seeking to enrich
His Feck’nham quite forgets.”

This village has two annual fairs, both for cattle; and held on the 26th March, and 30th of September.

John de Feckenham, a man deserving of particular record, was thus called, because his parents, who were poor people, lived in a Cottage bordering on the forest: his proper name, however, was Howman, which seems to have been changed for the other, according to monkish custom. Wood, in his Athenae, gives an interesting account of him, and says, that while he was yet a child, he was very apt to learn, having a natural genius to good letters, and to any thing that seemed good; which being perceived by the priest of the parish, he was, by the endeavours and persuasions of several considerable persons, taken into Evesham monastery, from whence he was taken to Gloucester College, Oxford, where there were apartments for the young monks of that abbey to lodge in; but on his return to Evesham, that abbey being dissolved in 1535, he had an allowance of 100 florins per annum from the exchequer. Being committed prisoner to the Tower, during the changes of the reformation, he was released, “or rather borrowed hence for time, by Sir Philip Hobie, for no other reason but to dispute about matters of religion, to satisfy Protestants, who then thought that their religion could not be denied.” He disputed with Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, about these points, a short time preparatory to their martyrdom; yet during the whole time of Queen Mary’s reign, he employed himself in doing good offices for the persecuted Protestants of every rank in life; and even ventured to intercede with the queen for the princess Elizabeth, for which he was for sometime in disgrace. He was shortly afterwards made Dean of St. Paul’s, and Abbot of Westminster, which office he was the last to hold; and when Queen Elizabeth came to the crown, and the reformation again began to take place, he still ventured to deny, and to make speeches against her supremacy in the House of Peers. (About this period he planted the elms in Dean’s yard, Westminster.) It is recorded that the Protestant queen was so struck with his character for learning, piety, charity, humility, and other virtues, as to offer him the archbishopric of Canterbury, provided he would take the oath, and conform to the ritual of the church of England as then established; but this he refused. After this he seems to have suffered persecutions, was committed prisoner to the Tower, and obliged to undergo several disputes with Protestant divines about religion; yet it is remarkable that he was not permitted to be one of those that were publicly to dispute with their antagonists, as happened more than once in the early part of Elizabeth’s reign. During the preceding reign of Mary, he held a conference with Lady Jane Grey, prior to her death; this he published. He wrote many other things; and performed and established many charities, as yet but little known, but which are now in a train of elucidation, from the genius and industry of a gentleman well qualified for the task, who has been for sometime occupied with the investigation of the Habyngdon and other MSS. in order to leave nothing unknown respecting the county which is worthy of enquiry.

Source: A Topographical and Historical Description of the County of Worcester, by Mr. Laird. Printed for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, Paternoster Row; and George Cowie and Co. successors to Vernor, Hood, and Sharp, 31, Poultry, London. Printed circa 1814.

Universal British Directory 1791

Feckenham, twelve miles from Worcester, had a forest in the reign of Henry II. Here the lords and justices kept their courts to determine breaches of the forest laws, and had a prison-house which stood near the church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The principal persons in trade here are Mr. Jones, Surgeon and Apothecary; and Thomas Bates Eades and John Eades, Attorneys. Beanhall, in this parish, was the ancient seat of the Hanburys, of Hanbury-hall. Feckenham is remarked for being the place of nativity of John Feckenham, D.D. so eminently distinguished for his learning and piety in the reign of Edward VI. Here are several needle-manufactories. Its forest has been very much thinned by the wood consumed in the salt-works. Fairs, March 26 and September 30. Here is a charity-school founded, and endowed with 50l a-year, and a neat church.

Source: Universal British Directory 1791

Astwood Bank

Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

ASTWOOD-BANK, a village in Feckenham parish, Worcestershire; near Studley r. station, 3½ miles S of Redditch. It has a post office under Redditch, needle factories, and Baptist and Wesleyan chapels.

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

John English & Co Needles

John English & Co. was located in Feckenham, Redditch, Worcestershire. The business was also known as John English & Son; the page in Grace's Guide is called "English's Needles". These pages are from the 1893 staple and notions catalog of Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. of Chicago, Illinois.

Parish Records

FamilySearch - Birth Marriage & Death records, Census, Migration & Naturalization, and Military records - Free

Church Records

Births, deaths and burials of Feckenham and Astwood-Bank, Worcester, and Alcester, Warwick, Baptist Church, 1788-1837- Astwood Chapel (Feckenham, Worcestershire : Baptist) - Publication: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1969 

Births, deaths and burials of Feckenham and Astwood-Bank, Worcester, and Alcester, Warwick, Baptist Church, 1788-1837 - Astwood Chapel (Feckenham, Worcestershire : Baptist) - Publication: Public Record Office - London, 1986 

Bishop's transcripts for Feckenham, 1609-1875

Parish chest and poor law records for Feckenham, 1675-1947

Parish registers for Feckenham, 1538-1957

Church Records - Indexes

Parish printout of Feckenham, Worcester, England, christenings, 1538-1875


Census returns for Feckenham, 1841-1891


Feckenham Pigot’s Directory of Worcestershire 1842


Feckenham Bennetts Business Directory 1899  

Astwood Bank Bennett's Business Directory for Worcestershire, 1914

Astwood Bank Bennetts Business Directory 1899

Bentley's history, guide and alphabetical and classified directory of Bromsgrove, the borough of Droitwich, the parishes of Feckenham and Ombersley and the manufacturing town of Redditch : and a history and directory of thirty parishes in the eastern part of the county ... forming volume I of Bentley's history, directory and statistics of Worcestershire

Poorhouses, Poor Law etc.

Parish chest and poor law records for Feckenham, 1675-1947

Land and Property

Parish chest and poor law records for Feckenham, 1675-1947


Parish chest and poor law records for Feckenham, 1675-1947

Family History Links


The Worcestershire and Dudley Historic Churches Trust Site


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