Kidderminster Worcestershire Family History


Last updated on September 4th, 2017

Kidderminster, St Mary is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Worcestershire.

Other places in the parish include: Blackdown, Wannerton, Comberton, Commerton, Dunclent, Eyemore, Franche, Habberley, Hoarstone, Kidderminster Foreign, Kidderminster St George, Puxton, Trimpley, and Blackstone.

Parish church: St Mary
Parish registers begin: St. Mary, 1539; St. George, 1824; Trimpley, 1844.

Nonconformists include: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Countess of Huntingdon Methodist, Independent/Congregational, Particular Baptist, Presbyterian Unitarian, Primitive Methodist, Roman Catholic, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Kidderminster Worcestershire

Parishes adjacent to Kidderminster

Historical Descriptions

Kidderminster

Beeton’s British Gazetteer 1870

Kidderminster, a municipal and parliamentary borough, market and post town, and parish of England, in Worcestershire, divided into two unequal parts by the Stour, 15 miles N. from Worcester. It contains six churches, several chapels for nonconformists, a town-hall, market-house, infirmary, and athenæum, a well-endowed free grammar school, and various other schools, baths, and a corn-exchange with public rooms, free library, news-rooms, and school of art. The parish church is a handsome Gothic building, and contains several interesting monuments. The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal passes within 100 yards of the market-place; and near this are a wharf and commodious warehouse for depositing goods, or sending away such as are intended for Liverpool, Hull, Bristol, and other seaport towns. Manf. Kidderminster has long been noted for its broadcloth, its manufacture having been introduced in the reign of Henry VIII. This was succeeded by linsey-woolsey; after which woollen and worsted tammies and flowered stuff’s were manufactured; and since that period, crapes, bombazines, and poplins. But the carpet manufacture is that which has proved of the greatest importance to the town, having been mainly instrumental in raising it to its present pitch of wealth and prosperity. Mar. D. Thurs. and Sat. Pop. of par. 20,870; of bor. 15,399. It is a station on the Wolverhampton and Oxford line of the Great Western Railway, and also a telegraph station.
Source: Beeton’s British Gazetteer 1870. Ward, Lock & Tyler, Paternoster Row, London.

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1831

Kidderminster, a parish in the lower division of the hundred of Halfshire, county of Worcester, comprising the incorporated market town of Kidderminster, having separate jurisdiction, the chapelry of Lower Mitton, and the hamlet of Wribbenhall, and containing 15,996 inhabitants, of which number, 10,709 are in the town of Kidderminster, 14 miles (N.) from Worcester, and 126 (N. W. by N.) from London. Its ancient name was Chiderminster, Kid, or Chid, signifying, in ancient British, the brow of a hill, Dwr, water, and Minster, a church; an etymology highly characteristic of its situation. At the time of the Conquest it was a royal manor, and continued so until the reign of Henry II, when it passed into private hands, and among its possessors was Waller the poet. The town is situated on the eastern bank of the river Stour, about three miles from its confluence with the Severn: it is of an irregular form, contains several good and well-built houses, but the greater part consists of small dwellings inhabited by the workmen employed in the different factories. The entrances to the town are spacious; in those from Worcester, Bridgenorth, and Bewdley, where improvements have been made by cutting away the rock to lower the road, houses have been excavated in the sides of the rock. The town is well paved, and lighted with gas, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. In the reign of Henry VIII. Kidderminster was noted for the manufacture of broad cloths, to which, at different periods, succeeded linsey-woolseys, friezes, and tammies and flowered stuffs. About the year 1735 the manufacture of carpets was introduced, which has continued to flourish with progressive improvement, and now constitutes the staple trade of the town. On its introduction the Scotch carpets were the principal articles made, but the Wilton and Brussels carpets (the former begun by the grandfather of the present Mr. Broom, in 1745,) have been within the last few years brought to a high degree of perfection: the elegance and variety of the patterns, the brilliancy and permanency of the colours, arising, as it is supposed, from the peculiar property of the water of the Stour in fixing the dyes, and the great improvement in their texture, have given to the carpets of Kidderminster a decided superiority over those of every other place. In 1772, the number of carpet-looms was about two hundred and fifty; at present there are nearly one thousand six hundred. A considerable quantity of carpets is constantly being exported to almost every part of the kingdom. From a return to parliament it appears that, of the whole quantity of wool produced in the kingdom, one twenty-eighth part is consumed here in the weaving of carpets. The trade in bombazines is also carried on, but not to the same extent as formerly: in 1772, here were one thousand seven hundred silk and worsted looms; at present there are not more than one-fifth of that number. In the town and neighbourhood are five spinning-mills; but a great quantity of the yarn is obtained from Halifax, and other towns in Yorkshire. On the banks of the Stour are several dye-houses, in connexion with the various manufactories. The Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal passes through the town to Stourport, where it joins the river Severn, by which a medium of conveyance by water is afforded to all parts of the kingdom, and a supply of coal and other useful commodities is obtained. The market days are Thursday, chiefly for corn, and Saturday for provisions: the fairs are, the last Monday in January, the Monday before Easter, Ascension-day, June 20th, September 4th, and the last Monday in November. The market-place has been greatly enlarged by the corporation, at an expense of £10,000, and is arranged in separate divisions for the various kinds of goods exposed for sale.
Kidderminster was a borough by prescription, and sent members to parliament in the 23rd of Edward 1., since which time it has made no return. It received a charter of incorporation in the twelfth year of the reign of Charles I., but the charter at present in force was granted August 31st, 1827, by which the government of the town is vested in a high steward, a recorder, a high bailiff, a low bailiff, twelve aldermen (exclusively of the high bailiff) twenty-five assistants, with a town clerk, constables, &c. The high bailiff is elected annually by the aldermen, from among their own body. A singular custom has prevailed at the election of the chief magistrate, when the people assemble in the principal streets to throw cabbage stalks at each other: the bell at the town-hall gives the signal for the commencement of the municipal affray, which, from its duration and the mode of procedure, is called the “lawless hour.“ When it is over, the bailiff elect and the other members of the corporation, in their robes, parade the streets, preceded by flags, drums, and trumpets, inviting the principal families in the neighbourhood to meet and throw apples at them: but, this custom has of late been falling into disuse. The high bailiff, the late bailiff, the recorder, and the three senior aldermen, are justices of the peace, and hold quarterly courts of session for the borough, on the Friday in the week in which the general quarter sessions for the county are held, for the trial of all offenders not charged capitally. A court of requests is also held every fortnight, by commissioners appointed under an act passed in the 12th of George III., for the recovery of debts under 40s., the jurisdiction of which extends over the whole parish. The town-hall is a neat building of brick; the lower part is appropriated as shops, and the upper part to the holding of the courts and the transaction of the public business of the corporation: it also contains a spacious assembly-room, and under the building is a small prison for the confinement of malefactors prior to their committal to the county gaol.
The living is a vicarage with the curacy of Mitton, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Worcester, rated in the king’s books at £30. 15. 7½., and in the patronage of Lord Foley. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a spacious and venerable structure, partly in the decorated, and partly in the later, style of English architecture, with a handsome square embattled tower, strengthened with buttresses, and crowned with pinnacles: the walls of the nave and aisles are finished with panelled battlements, and the whole exterior of the building, which occupies the summit of a hill overlooking the river, has an imposing grandeur of appearance; the chancel, which is in the decorated style, contains several ancient monuments and recumbent figures; the nave is separated from the aisles by a beautiful series of pointed arches and clustered columns, and lighted by a fine range of clerestory windows enriched with elegant tracery. A new church, dedicated to St. George, and containing two thousand and three sittings, of which one thousand two hundred and eighty-nine are free, was built by grant from the parliamentary commissioners, in 1824, at an expense of £16,181. 4. 2., to which was added £2000 raised by the inhabitants: it is a handsome structure in the later style of English architecture, with a lofty and richly-ornamented tower, and, standing on an eminence, forms a prominent feature in the view of the town: the altar-piece is embellished with a representation of the Descent from the Cross, woven in carpet-work, with exquisite brilliancy of colour and elegance of design, by Mr. Bowyer, a manufacturer in the town, and by him presented to the parish; but this characteristic piece of workmanship has been wantonly cut in different places by a sacrilegious outrage, of which the perpetrator and his motive have not yet been discovered. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar. Besides the chapel at Mitton, there is a proprietary chapel at Wribbenhall, the living of which is a donative, in the gift of Lord Foley. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyan Methodists, and Unitarians.
The free grammar school is of uncertain origin: it was made a royal foundation by charter of Charles I., and has an endowment in lands and tenements, from the produce of which the head master receives a salary of £260, and the second master one of £130 per annum: they are chosen by trustees appointed under the charter, and have each a house rent-free, and the privilege of taking private pupils: this school is entitled to the fifth of six scholarships founded in Worcester College, Oxford, by Sir Thomas Cookes, from which the candidates for his fellowships in that college are chosen. An ancient chapel adjoining St. Mary’s church has been for many years appropriated to the use of the school. A free school was also founded, in 1795, by Mr. Nicholas Pearsall, who endowed it with a sum of money for providing a salary for the master, by whom twenty-five boys, chiefly dissenters, receive the rudiments of a classical and commercial education. A National school for boys was erected in 1817; and there is one for girls, originally founded as a small charity school in 1730: in the former two hundred and thirty boys, and in the latter one hundred and ninety girls, are taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, and about twenty in each are clothed. St. George’s National school was built, in 1827, by subscription, aided by a grant from the National Society, for the instruction of two hundred and fifty children of each sex; and there are various other institutions of a similar kind, supported _by subscription, some of which have small endowments. An infant school has been recently established, in which are one hundred and fifty children, but no building has yet been erected for the purpose. The dispensary was established in 1824, and the building erected on a site near the old church. given for that purpose by William Lea, Esq., of Stone: the institution is under the direction of a president, vice-president, and a committee of governors, by whom a resident surgeon is appointed, with a salary of £100 per annum: it receives also the gratuitous attendance of the members of the medical profession in the vicinity. There are six almshouses founded, in 1629, by Sir Edward Blount, for six aged men and their wives, who receive £8 per annum each. H. Higgins, Esq., in 1684, bequeathed four messuages for the same purpose, to which a fifth has been added, for aged persons nominated by the corporation: the inmates live rent-free, but have no pecuniary allowance. Two houses were also given in trust to the corporation for the same use, by Sir Ralph Clare, K.B. There are various charitable donations and bequests for distribution among the poor. On Wassall hill, about half a mile from the bank of the Severn, are the remains of a small camp, supposed by Dr. Nash to have been occupied by Henry IV., in his pursuit of Owen Glyndwr, after the burning of the city of Worcester; and at Blackstone rock, between Stourport and Bewdley, are the remains of a hermitage and chapel, now converted into an out-house for agricultural implements. There are several chalybeate springs in the parish, of which the most strongly impregnated is at Round hill, near the town; and the dropping well, on Burlish common, is celebrated for its efficacy in curing diseases of the eye. Richard Baxter, the celebrated non conformist, was for some time vicar of this parish; on being ejected from his ministry, he established an Independent congregation, consisting of a number of his parishioners who, having adhered to his ministry when ejected from his living, are supposed to have formed the first separate church of that denomination.
Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1831

Worcestershire Delineated C. and J. Greenwood 1822

Kidderminster – a borough and market town, in the hundred of Halfshire, lower division, 14 miles N. from Worcester, 7 from Stourbridge, and 125 from London: the parish is divided into two equal parts by the river Stour, and extends over a surface of twenty-one square miles; containing 2353 inhabited houses. John De Beauchamp of Holt, who was the first baron created by patent, received his title from this place; it now gives the title of baron to Lord Foley, whose family came into possession of it by purchase in the early part of the last century. The borough is governed by a recorder, bailiff, two justices, (the bailiff being one,) 12 aldermen, and 25 common councilmen, who, by a charter of Charles the First, have the power to make by-laws, and are exempt from being under the jurisdiction of the county magistrates. The town-hall is a large commodious brick building, standing near the market place; the ground-floor is occupied by a prison and a number of butchers’ stalls, over which is the council-chamber for transacting public business: the Lord of the manor holds a court-leet for the prevention of encroachments and public nuisances; and here is a court of requests for the recovery of small debts. The principal manufacture of the town is stuffs, bombasins, and carpets: the trade of the latter has considerably increased within these few years, the number of manufacturers being now upward of twenty, some of them employing from 200 to 250 looms each: several spinning mills have lately been erected, which are worked with steam, and lighted with gas, by which means the raw article is prepared for the manufacturers with greater expedition and much less expense than when this process was performed by hand, as was the case a few years since. The Kidderminster carpets greatly excel in the brilliancy and durability of their colours, owing to the peculiar properties of the water of the river Stour for striking the dye; arising probably from the number of iron works and forges upon its banks. The Staffordshire canal passes through this town, in its progress to Stourport, where it opens a communication with the river Severn, by which means Kidderminster has the advantage of a conveyance by water to all parts of the kingdom. Adjoining the church is a good free school, for the classical education of all children whose parents chose to avail themselves of its advantages. It is governed by special trustees, chosen under the control of the Bishop, who likewise superintends the appointment of the masters. There are likewise eight charity schools for boys and girls, several Sunday schools, twelve alms-houses for the aged poor, a dispensary supported by voluntary contributions, and twenty-five friendly societies. The market is on Thursday; fairs, Monday in the week before Easter, Holy Thursday, June 20th, and September 4th. The church is a Gothic structure, with a handsome tower, in good preservation, containing a ring of eight bells. The interior is well pewed, has a commodious gallery lately erected, and a good organ; and every attention has been paid, in the repairs it has undergone, to preserve its original style of architecture. In the chancel are several ancient monuments of the Cookseys, Blounts, and others who have formerly been in possession of this manor.
Mr. Richard Baxter, well known by his posthumous works, long resided here as vicar, and was indefatigable in reforming the manners of the people; and as a proof that he was highly disinterested, it is recorded, that to Cromwell he openly expressed his attachment to monarchy, while from Charles II he refused the bishopric of Hereford.
The living is a vicarage, with the chapelry of Lower-Mitton annexed; the Venerable and Rev. R. F. Onslow, incumbent; instituted 1801; patron, Lord Foley. Population, including the Foreign, 1801, 7036 – 1811, 10,025 – 1821, 12,752.
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.

Blackdown

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Blackdown, a hamlet in Kidderminster-Foreign, in the neighbourhood of Kidderminster, Worcester.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Eyemore

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Eyemore, a hamlet in Kidderminster parish, Worcester; near Kidderminster
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Wannerton

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Wannerton, a hamlet in Kidderminster parish, Worcester; near Kidderminster.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Comberton

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Commerton, or Comberton, a hamlet in Kidderminster parish, Worcester; 1 mile SE of Kidderminster.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Dunclent

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Dunclent, a hamlet in Kidderminster parish, Worcester; near Kidderminster.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Franche

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Franche, a hamlet in Kidderminster parish, Worcester; 1 mile NNW of Kidderminster. It has a post-office under Kidderminster.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Worcestershire Delineated C. and J. Greenwood 1822

Franche, near Kidderminster, the residence of James Hooman, Jun. Esq.
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.

Habberley

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Habberley, a hamlet in Kidderminster-Foreign, Worcester; near Kidderminster.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

The National Gazetteer 1868

Abberley, High, a hmlt. in the par. of Kidderminster, and lower div. of the hund. of Halfshire, in the co. of Worcester, 2½ miles N.W. of Kidderminster, and a short distance from the rivers Stour and Severn.
Source: The National Gazetteer: a Topographical Dictionary of the British Islands compiled from the latest and best sources and illustrated with a complete county atlas and numerous maps. Vol. 1. Virtue & Co. London. 1868.

The National Gazetteer 1868

Abberley, Low, a hmlt. adjoining High Abberley, 2 miles W. of Kidderminster.
Source: The National Gazetteer: a Topographical Dictionary of the British Islands compiled from the latest and best sources and illustrated with a complete county atlas and numerous maps. Vol. 1. Virtue & Co. London. 1868.

Hoarstone

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Hoarstone, a hamlet in Kidderminster parish, Worcester; near Kidderminster.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Puxton

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Puxton, a hamlet in Kidderminster parish, Worcester; 1 mile N of Kidderminster.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Trimpley

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Trimpley, a chapelry in Kidderminster parish, Worcester; 3¼ miles NW by W of Kidderminster r. station. Post town, Kidderminster. The statistics are returned with the parish. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Worcester. Value and patron, not reported. The church was built in 1844.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Blackstone

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Blackstone, a hamlet in Kidderminster-Foreign, Worcester; on the river Severn, 2 miles below Bewdley. A picturesque range of cliffs, called the Blackstone rocks, here flanks the Severn.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Directories

The entry for Kidderminster from Pigot and Co.’s National Commercial Directory 1835 provided by Google Books. The image can take a few seconds to load. Once loaded you can zoom in and out and navigate page to page.

Title: Pigot and Co.’s National Commercial Directory …: Worcestershire
Publisher: J. Pigot & Company, 1835

Administration

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

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Credits

Photo of Kidderminster Church. Scanned from Laird’s book on Worcestershire dated 1814. by Sally Lloyd.