Kidderminster St Mary

Descriptive Notes

Also known as Kidderminster St Mary & All Saints [5] [49]

Status

Ancient Parish [25]
Included:
The township of Kidderminster Borough, which was a separate Civil Parish in 1866 as Kidderminster Borough.
The township of Kidderminster Foreign, which was not in the Borough and a separate Civil Parish in 1866 as Kidderminster Foreign.
The township of Lower Mitton a separate Civil Parish in 1866 and a separate Ecclesiastical Parish in 1844, sometimes called 'Stourport')
Kidderminster (St Mary) therefore has no separate civil identity after 1866 [25]

Location

O.S. Ref: SO830769
14 miles north of Worcester along the A449 & 18 miles S.W. of Birmingham on the A456

Parish Church

St. Mary & All Saints, St Mary's Ringway

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

Archdeaconry & Diocese of Worcester until 1921, Archdeaconry of Dudley & Diocese of Worcester (1921 - *) [1] [25]

Hundred

Lower Halfshire [44] [25]

Poor Law Union

Kidderminster [3] [25]

Adjoining Parishes

Upper Arley (Staffordshire); Wolverley; Churchill; Chaddesley Corbett; Stone; Hartlebury; Lower Mitton; Ribbesford; Bewdley; Dowles (Shropshire) [1]

Parish Registers at Worcestershire Archives

[Contact details]

    Coverage Source
Microform Christenings 1539-1964 [5]
  Marriages 1539-1971 [5]
  Burials 1539-1941 [5]
  Banns 1754-67, 1906-34 [5]
Transcripts Christenings 1586-88/9,1592,1593-1600,1621-26/7 [27]
  Marriages 1586-88,1592,1593-1600,1621-26/7 [27]
  Burials 1586-88,1592-1600,1621-26/7 [27]

Bishops' Transcripts

Begin 1612 Worcestershire Archives [22]

International Genealogical Index (IGI)

[19]

    Coverage
Parish Registers Births / Christenings 1539-1875
  Marriages 1539-1875

Register Copies

At BMSGH Reference Library [7]
Banns 1906-1934
Marriages 1832-1841

Kidderminster St Mary:
Baptisms 1861-1870, Marriages 1857-1862
Bishops' Transcripts, Baptisms 1854-1863, Burials 1856-1863
Marriages 1767-1789
Marriages 1862-1875 Burials 1868-1934
Marriages 1893-1902, Baptisms 1898-1922
Marriages 1902-1920
Marriages 1950-1964

At Society of Genealogists [68] :
KIDDERMINSTER : Christenings & Marriages 1539-87, 1631-36, Burials 1540-87, 1631-36; toll book 1694-95 [Typescript.] Published , 1994 Author Goulding, Miss (transcriptions.)

KIDDERMINSTER (St. Mary): Christenings, Marriages & Burials 1540-53, Christenings 1559-1940, Marriages 1559-1927, Burials 1559-1941, banns 1754-67 [Microfilm.] Published Salt Lake City Genealogical Society of Utah 2004 Source S: W P Jaycock, P Loveridge, M Stevens,

KIDDERMINSTER (St. Mary) : Christenings, Marriages & Burials 1586-1600, 1621-26 [Typescript.] Published , 1969 Author Massey, Robert W (transcriptions.) Source D: R W Massey

Monumental Inscriptions and Associated Documents

At BMSGH Reference Library [7]
Monumental Inscriptions in Churchyard

At Worcestershire Archives [51]
St Mary & All Saints

At Society of Genealogists [59]
KIDDERMINSTER : Monumental Inscriptions: in Bloom's Worcestershire Monumental Inscriptions, part 1 [Manuscript.] IN: Bloom's Worcestershire Monumental Inscriptions, part 1 Published , Nd. Author Bloom, J Harvey (transcriptions.)

War Memorials

For the names of those included on the Kidderminster War Memorial (located next to St Mary's Church) see:
http://www.rememberthefallen.co.uk/Casualties/ListByMemorial/Kidderminster War Memorial

For the names of those included on a War Memorial for King Charles 1st School pupils (now located in Kidderminster Register Office) see:
http://www.rememberthefallen.co.uk/Casualties/ListByMemorial/Kidderminster King Charles 1st School now in Kidderminster Register Office

Census Records

All the censuses between 1841 and 1901 are now available on a number of fee-paying (Subscription or PayAsYouGo) sites including Ancestry.co.uk, FindMyPast.co.uk, thegenealogist.co.uk and genesreunited.co.uk. The 1911 census is available in full or in part on some of these sites. We are unable to advise on the choice of site since researchers' personal preferences will be influenced by the content and search facilities offered by each site. Some sites offer a free trial.

Access to the library edition of Ancestry.co.uk is widely available at most record offices, including Worcestershire Archives, and some libraries. You are advised to book time on their computers before making a visit.

A free-to-view site is being developed at freecen.org.uk for the 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1891 censuses. Coverage of Worcestershire parishes is rather sparse at this time.

Census returns can usually be viewed at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' Family History Centres.

Some repositories offer census details on microform, disc or printed copy. See Kidderminster Borough

Search Services (Fee paying) - BMSGH and Independent

Burial 1707-1840 Worcestershire Burial Index
Marriage see Worcestershire Marriage Index

Parish Records on microform

At Worcestershire Archives [13]
St Barnabas C of E school managers' minute books 1891-1943
St Mary's National School Managers' minute book 1933-51
St Mary's All Saints Parochial Church Council Standing Committee Minute Book 1939-47
St Mary's Non-provided School Minute Book 1903-15
Household Account Book 1804-08
Census books [1801], 1811, 1831
Account book of Sparrows taken in Wribbenhall 1811-26
Descriptive particulars of the boundaries of Kidderminster 1818
Names taken for the Militia bewteen the ages of 18 years & 45 years 1824-31
Church rate book 1829
Churchwardens accounts 1833-6
Church Alms Fund 1854-80
St Barnabas School Log book. Franche 1874-1900
List of residents in Kidderminster 1889
School Managers minute book 1915-33
Collection of pamphlets & documents re Charity School - 19th & 20th cent.
Communicants roll

Schools Records

The following school records are original documents. Note reference number and contact staff at Worcestershire Archives:
King Charles I Grammar School
Admission Book - 1901-17; 1917-26 - Ref: BA 8741/ (iii)
Admission books - microfilm - 1901 - 26 - -Ref: BA 8741
Admission Register - 1874 - 82 - Ref: BA 8741/ (iii)
Admission register - microfilm - 1874 - 82 - Ref: BA 8741
Staff register - microfilm - 1894 - 1974 - Ref: BA 8741
Staff Register - 1894 - 1974 - Ref: BA 8741/ (iii)

King Charles I School
Entrance book - 1908 - Ref: BA 10470/
Photographs of Staff - 1948 - 49 - Ref: BA 4766/25 (i)

A handlist of other records of schools and of other educational establishments held by

Worcestershire Archives

for this parish can be found here.

Other Sources

Transcript of documents in parish chest - Kidderminster [Typescript.] - Author Adams, J H (comp.) Society of Genealogists

Directories

An extract from the Topographical Dictionary of England 1831 by Samuel Lewis:

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 15,296 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 nourish 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 I, 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 this 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 £16,131. 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 £100per 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 Wassail 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 nonconformist, 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.

Last Updated: 01/01/2014