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.

Parishes adjacent to Feckenham

Historical Descriptions

Feckenham

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

Census returns for Feckenham, 1841-1891

Directories

Feckenham Pigot’s Directory of Worcestershire 1842

Feckenham is a village, and parish, in the hundred of Halfshire; 108 miles N.W. from London, 7 E. from Droitwich, and the like distance south-east from Bromsgrove – both the latter towns being stations near the line of the Birmingham and Gloucester railway. The village was formerly surrounded by a forest (to which it gave name) the which was of great extent and densely wooded, but thinned from time to time for supplying the salt works at Droitwich with fuel. This place has been long noted for the manufacture of needles and fish-hooks, but in other respects its importance is very limited. The Earl of Coventry is lord of the manor, and holds a court-leet in October, when two constables are chosen. The places of worship are the parish church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and a chapel for independents: the living is a discharged vicarage, in the gift of the Rev. Edward Neale, and incumbency of the Rev. James Beesley. The free grammar school, here, was founded by Sir Thomas Cookes, Bart.: a regular attendance at this school (wherein a liberal education is obtained) for two years renders young men eligible for scholarships, established by the founder, in Worcester College, Oxford. John de Feckenham, an eminent Roman catholic divine, and the last abbot of Westminster, was born here. Fairs for cattle are held on the 26th of March, and the 30th of September. The parish contained, in 1831, 2,762 inhabitants.
POST OFFICE – Elizabeth Gardener, Post Mistress – Letters from all parts arrive from Bromsgrove Railway Station (by foot post) every morning at eight, and are despatched every afternoon at half-past four.

GENTRY AND CLERGY

Barnett Mrs. Mary
Bayliss Mrs. Nancy
Beesley Rev. James
Bird Miss Mary
Harris Mrs. Ursella
Ladbury Mrs. Sarah, Ham green
Smith Rev. James, Astwood bank
Sorrill Mr John, Astwood lane

PROFESSIONAL PERSONS

Beesely Rev. James, head master of the Blue Coat School
Harrison Richard Steel, surgeon
Harrison Thomas, surgeon
Ladbury Robert, second master of the Blue Coat School
Peart Henry, surgeon
Taylor Henry Bayley, surgeon, Astwood bank

PUBLIC HOUSES

Black Boy, Elizabeth Gardener
Crown, Sarah Sanders
Rose and Crown, James James
White Lion, Ann Richards, Astwood bank

NEEDLE AND FISH-HOOK MANUFACTURERS

Avery William & Son, Headless cross
Boulton J & P. Hunt end
English John & Co (and pin)
Evatts & Son, Hunt end
Hemming & Son, Astwood
Smith James & Sons
Webb Thomas & John

SHOPKEEPERS & TRADERS

Baker Wm. Shoe maker, Astwood
Bayliss John, blacksmith
Beekin John, grocer and draper
Benton William, blacksmith
Brown Nestor, painter and glazier
Clarkson David, boot and shoe maker and schoolmaster
Davis Thomas, butcher
Day Gabriel, saddler
Deakin John, shoe maker and beer retailer
Deakin William, boot and shoe maker
Ford Thos. Carpenter, Astwood bank
Greenhill George, boot and shoe maker, Noah’s green
Haines John, boot and shoe maker
Haynes Edmund, miller, Ham green
Hemming Henry, grocer and draper and beer retailer, Astwood bank
Hewitt James Edwin, saddler
Holtham John, tailor
James James, malster, Headless cross
Ladbury John Boulton, malster, Ham green
Ladbury Richard, saddler & shopkeeper
Ladbury Robert, grocer, draper and schoolmaster
Lea William, bricklayer
London Charles, carpenter
Mason Joshua, tailor
Mason Thomas, blacksmith & wheelwright
Morris Thomas, builder
Paine Hannah, grocer and draper
Palmer Henry, baker
Pearman William, butcher
Perks John, grocer & tallow chandler
Renaud David, grocer, draper and Fire Office agent
Richards Benjn. Butcher, Astwood
Rouse Richard, boot and shoe maker
Sandles John, watch & clock maker
Sorrell John, jun. blacksmith, Astwd
Stevens Richard, malster
Surmon James, butcher
Willmore Joseph, blacksmith
Wilson Edward Lewis, grocer
Wiltshire William, retailer of beer and shoe maker
Young Anthony, shopkeeper & needle stamper
Young Solomon, baker

CONVEYANCE BY RAILWAY

On the Birmingham and Gloucester Line. The nearest stations are the Droitwich and Bromsgrove, of equal distance from Feckenham, as previously noticed.

CARRIER

To Worcester, Samuel Williams, from his house, every Wednesday and Sat.

Source: Pigot & Co.’s Royal National and Commercial Directory and Topography of the Counties of Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Rutlandshire, Northamptonshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire 1841/1842

Feckenham Bennetts Business Directory 1899

Alcester Co-operative Industrial Society, Limited, Market square
Barrett J V, sadler, Astwood lane
Dunne t, draper & milliner, High st
Feckenham Post Office, High st – J D Green, postmaster
Field & Son, drapers, High st
Edkins L, boot & shoe dealer, Brook rd
Eight Bells Inn, High st – A A Lewis
ENGLISH J & CO, LTD, mnfrs of every description of sewing needles, sewing machine needles, knitting pins, etc., The Square. Estbd 1756
Gould W W & Sons, needle & fish hook mnfrs, Feckenham mills
HICKS J, grocer, tea dealer, provision merchant, baker, corn, flour and mealman, High st. Ham and bacon curer. Families waited on daily
Hawkes G, stationer & bookseller, High st
Lygon Arms, Brook st – G Laight
LYGON ARMS HOTEL, High st – Proprietor, F R Sprosen. Every accommodation for cyclists and visitors
MILWARD J, butcher & farmer, High st. Families waited on daily for orders and supplied with best quality of English meat
Mogg T A H, physician & surgeon, High st
Morris J, general dealer
Morris H, wheelwright & coffin maker, Rock hill
Newman G, shoeing smith, Astwood lane
Old Rose and Crown Hotel, High st – G Laight
Pearce W, coal dealer & smith, Astwood lane
ROGERS M A, grocer & general grindery dealer in all kinds of small goods, Brook st. White’s celebrated seeds
Rouse G, boot maker, High st
STYLER W W, butcher & ham & bacon curer. Families supplied daily on lowest terms
VIGERS W J, family grocer, tea dealer, provision & wine merchant, wholesale & retail miller and corn factor, The Square

Source: Bennetts Business Directory (Worcestershire Section) 1899; Bennett & Co. Printers and Publishers, Birmingham.

Astwood Bank Bennetts Business Directory 1899 

Ainge T, confectioner, fruiterer, greengrocer and general dealer, Market place
Alcester Co-operative Industrial Society, Ltd., Evesham rd
Andrews Bros., chemists, grocers & wine & spirit merchants, Worcester st
Arthars R., draper & hosier, Market place
Baylis G and Sons, manfrs of iron, zinc, and galvanised goods, Evesham rd
Bell Inn, Evesham rd – S Walker
Bourne T Z, toilet pin mnfr, Foregate st
Brooks J., painter, Foregate st
Capital & Counties Bank, Ltd., Worcester st
Chatterley T., carpenter, Angle place
Chatterley W G, fancy repository, Melbourne place
Daniel M, baker & corn dlr, Evesham rd
Fleetwood W J, timber dealer, Evesham rd
Gibbons F, confectioner & tobacconist, Evesham rd
Gibbons J, boot & shoe maker, Evesham rd
Gregory H, boot, shoe & hosiery warehouse, Evesham rd
Harris B & Sons, box and case makers, Foregate st
Harris & Walford, printers
Heath C, grocer, High st
Hodges A, tailor, Evesham rd
Hodges C, bookseller, stationer, & fancy goods repository, agent for the General Life Assurance Co.; London & Lancashire Fire; Ocean, Sickness and Accident Association. All orders for bookbinding, &c. promptly attended to
Hough E A, family grocer, tea dlr & provision merchant, The Stores, Evesham rd. Home-cured hams and bacon of the finest quality.
Hodges C, hairdresser
Houghton W, general Smith, Evesham rd
Hunt W, boot & shoe maker, Foregate st
Huntley & Whitney. Astwood Bank Livery Stables, house furnishers & general dealers in paraffin, benzoline, oils, hollowware, lamps, bushes, &c. All Kinds of vehicles for hire. Furniture removed at moderate charges. Also complete funeral undertakers.
Hurst T, chimney sweep, Foregate st
Huxley G, builder & contractor, Evesham rd
Kendall W & Son, cycle spokes mnfrs, Avenue works.
Lloyd’s Bank, Evesham rd – E Perkins manager
Morris & Yeomans, mnfrs of all kinds of needles & crochet hooks, Blake, and all other hooks. Springs, etc. Telegraphic address, “Yeomans, Astwood Bank”
Morton Dr, surgeon, Evesham rd
Odd fellows Arms, Foregate st – G Milward
Paice T & Son, machine needle mnfrs, Anchor works
Parker E, grocer & provision dealer, Butler st
Perkins J & Sons, Ltd., sewing machine needle mnfrs, Albion works
Peters D, wheelwright & coffin maker, Foregate St
Pollard C, carpenter, joiner, & coffin maker
Sarsons W E, baker, confectioner, provision dlr and grocer, Foregate st
Shrimpton W, tea dealer, stationer, newsagent, and glass & china dlr, Post Office
Smith E, cycle maker, Reliance Works. The cheapest shop in the district for repairs.
Smith J & Sons, needle manufacturers
Thornton A, needle hardener, Butler st
Trout W, family butcher, Worcester st
Walker G t, Crown Hotel, Market place. Choicest wines, spirits, ales, Cigars, &c. Every accommodation for commercials, visitors, etc.
Ward Mrs J, family grocer and provision dlr and high-class confectioner, Evesham rd. The noted shop for home-cured hams and bacon
White Lion Hotel, Evesham rd – James Gathescole, proprietor. Every accommodation for visitors, Cyclists, and others. Headquarters of C.T.C. Flowas and Sons celebrated ales; choicest Wines and spirits. Good stabling: bowling green
Woodman Commercial Inn, Evesham rd –W M Newberry, propr. Good accommodation for visitors, commercial gentlemen, and others. First- class refreshments at moderate prices. Conveyances for hire.

Source: Bennetts Business Directory (Worcestershire Section) 1899; Bennett & Co. Printers and Publishers, Birmingham.

Astwood Bank Bennett’s Business Directory for Worcestershire, 1914

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

Taxation

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

Family History Links

Genuki

The Worcestershire and Dudley Historic Churches Trust Site

Administration

  • 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

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