Kempsey is an Ancient Parish in the county of Worcestershire.

Norton and Stoulton were both chapelries to this parish

Parish Church: St. Mary

Parish registers begin: 1688

Parishes adjacent to Kempsey

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

Kempsey, a village, a parish, and a sub-district, in Upton-on-Severn district, Worcester. The village stands on the river Severn, amid charming scenery, 2 miles NW of Wadborough r. station, and 4 S of Worcester city; and has a post office† under Worcester. The parish comprises 3,105 acres. Real property, £10,449. Pop., 1,433. Houses, 335. The property is much subdivided. The manor belongs to the Bishop of Worcester. A monastery was founded here in 799; and was given, at an early period, to the Bishops of Worcester. A palace of the bishops succeeded the monastery; Henry II. and Edward I. kept court at the palace; and Simon de Montfort, with his prisoner, Henry III., slept in it before the battle of Evesham. The parish contains many genteel residences. Traces exist of a Roman camp of 1 5 acres; and many coins, urns, cups, and other Roman relics have been found. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Worcester. Value, £248. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Worcester. The church was almost wholly rebuilt in 1799; was restored, at a cost of £4,000, in 1865; is a cruciform structure, with deep chancel and large tower; and contains the effigies of an armed knight. There are a national school, and charities £61.—The sub-district contains also four other parishes, and part of another. Acres, 12, 405. Pop., 3, 511. Houses, 821.

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

Pigot & Co.’s Royal National and Commercial Directory 1841 /42

Kempsey is a parish in the hundred of Oswaldslow; the village, which is pleasant, and chiefly inhabited by the gentry, is situated four miles south from Worcester, near to the eastern bank of the river Severn. At this place Henry II held his court; and in 1265, shortly before the battle of Evesham, Simon de Montfort was quartered at the Bishop’s palace here, with his prisoner Henry III. The church is dedicated to St. Mary; the living is a discharged vicarage in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Worcester: the Rev. Matthew Lunn is the present incumbent. The parish contained, in 1831, 1,314 inhabitants, and in 1841, 1,365.

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

Worcestershire Delineated C. and J. Greenwood 1822

Kempsey – a parish in the hundred of Oswaldslow, lower division, 4 miles S. from Worcester, and 108 from London; containing 235 inhabited houses. Norton and Stoulton were both chapelries to this parish, but the latter has lately been made independent by an act of Parliament obtained by Lord Somers. It is a vicarage; Rev. Matthew Lunn, incumbent; instituted 1816; in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Worcester. Population, 1801, 845 – 1811, 1004 – 1821, 1129.

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

Kemsey stands due south of Worcester on the high road to Gloucester, and about three miles distant, near to the Severn (Tanner’s Notitia). Here was formerly a monastery, as far back as 799 at which time it flourished under its Abbot Balthum; but, within less than half a century afterwards, it was united to the church of Worcester. This place seems indeed, in early times, to have been of great consequence; for Henry II held his court here, and was attended by the principal nobility and bishops of the kingdom. In 1265, Simon de Montfort, and his unfortunate prisoner Henry III were for some time here, and lay at the bishop’s palace; this was just before the battle of Evesham. It is worthy of remark also, that “Willyam Canynge” so well known through the forgeries of the unhappy Chatterton, and who was five times Mayor of Bristol, was afterwards Dean of Westbury, and had for his benefit, or rather at his request, the rectory of Kemsey appropriated to that college, on his declaration that the revenues of the church were not sufficient to support the burthens imposed on them. He is said to have been ordained a priest to avoid a marriage proposed by King Edward IV between him and a lady of the Widvile family, relatives of his queen.
Kemsey itself is a very handsome village, and is rapidly increasing, from the villas of many families of small fortune, and being also the thoroughfare between Bristol and Worcester. It has several very neat inns, and the roads, &c. are kept in good order. It has also several academies for youth of both sexes, placed in airy healthful situations; and its church, though not ancient, nor containing any monuments of particular note, is yet sufficiently comfortable and commodious. The Antiquarian Tourist will be interested by the investigation of an ancient camp in the neighbourhood, near to the church, which has been generally supposed to be Roman; but some, under an idea that the Romans had never established themselves in this county, are of the opinion that it is Saxon or Danish: its ruins shew it to have been of considerable strength. The botanist also will meet with much to amuse, particularly the burnet-rose, rosa spinosissima, which grows wild in great profusion in the hedges, and possesses the most beautiful foliage.
This parish includes Stoulton Chapelry, (or Stoughton) in which building are several handsome monuments of the Vincent family, evidently Protestants, being barristers and benchers of Grays Inn, and all set up about the early part of last century; but with the curious notification on each of “pray for his soul!” How Comes this in a Protestant church?
The principal seats here, are of General Ellis and of Mr. Baker; but they require not any particular description.

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.

Marriages at Kempsey 1690 to 1812

Worcestershire Parish Registers. Marriages. Edited by W. P. W. Phillimore, M.A., B.C.L., and W. F. Carter, B.A.

Vol I. Issued to the Subscribers by Phillimore & Co., 124, Chancery Lane, London. 1900.

Author: Phillimore, W. P. W. (William Phillimore Watts), 1853-1913, ed; Carter, W. F. (William Fowler), b. 1856 joint ed.

Note. – The portion of the first volume of the Register of this parish relating to Marriages is headed
“A Register of Marriages in the Parish Church of Kemsey, beginning with the year of our Lord 1690.“
It is of parchment bound in calf, and measures 13in. by 7in. It extends from 1690 to 1753, and contains 13 leaves.

Vol. II is the ordinary printed book used under Lord Hardwicke’s Act, and covers the following periods :- 1753 to Sept. 1783, 1801, 1803-1812; and contains 47 pp. Half the book is blank.

Vol. III, of parchment, bound in rough, measures 13in. by 8in., and commences in 1783. Many of the later entries have been entered in duplicate. It includes 1783 to 1807 (with 1802), and contains 21 pp.

These weddings have been extracted by the Curate, the Rev. Ralph C. Purton, who has also collated the proofs with the originals, and are now printed by leave of the Vicar, the Rev. F. W. Quilter, D.D.


Online Directories

Lascelles & Co.’s Directory and Gazetteer of the City of Worcester & Neighbourhood 1851

Bentley’s Directory of Kempsey 1840 –

Directory Transcriptions

Kempsey Worcestershire Billings Directory 1855

Kempsey Lewis Worcestershire Directory 1820

Kempsey Worcestershire – Universal British Directory 1791

Family History Links for Kempsey

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


The Worcestershire and Dudley Historic Churches Trust Site


  • County: Worcestershire
  • Civil Registration District: Upton upon Severn
  • Probate Court: Court of the Dean and Chapter of Worcester
  • Diocese: Worcester
  • Rural Deanery: Worcester
  • Poor Law Union: Upton upon Severn
  • Hundred: Oswaldslow
  • Province: Canterbury

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