Dudley St Thomas


Ancient Parish [25]
Dudley - the town and the parish of St Thomas - was until 1966 an isolated portion of the Hundred of Halfshire in Worcestershire, surrounded by Staffordshire. In 1966 it was transferred to Staffordshire and was in that county until 1974 when it became a Metropolitan Borough within the county of West Midlands.

Dudley St Thomas was abolished ecclesiastically in 1969 to help create Dudley St Thomas & St Luke Ecclesiastical Parish.[25]


O.S. Ref: SO942901

Parish Church

St. Thomas, High Street

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

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


In Lower Halfshire, Worcestershire though locally in South Offlow, Staffordshire [44]

Poor Law Union

Dudley Municipal Borough [3] [25]

Adjoining Parishes

Sedgley (Staffordshire); Tipton (Staffordshire); Rowley Regis(Staffordshire); Kingswinford (Staffordshire) [1]

Parish Registers at Worcestershire Archives

[Contact details]
From 1646 to 1843 there were joint registers with Dudley St Edmund

    Coverage Source
Microform Christenings 1541-1964 [5]
  Marriages 1545-1954 [5]
  Burials 1542-1964 [5]
Transcripts Burials List of soldiers buried at church
during the Civil War 1643-46
  General 1541-1650 [27]

The original registers are at Dudley Archives & Local History Service. See below

Bishops' Transcripts

Begin 1613 Worcestershire Archives [22]

International Genealogical Index (IGI)


Parish Registers Births / Christenings 1541-1876
  Marriages 1541-1877

Register Copies

St Thomas: Christenings, Marriages & Burials 1541-1649 (Staffordshire Parish Registers Society)

At BMSGH Reference Library [7]
Christenings, Marriages, Burials 1541-1649

At Dudley Archives and Local History Service:

    Coverage Source
Microform Christenings 1541-1948 [82]
  Marriages 1541-1954 [82]
  Burials 1541-1926 [82]
Transcripts Christenings 1541-1691 [82]
  Marriages 1541-1691 [82]
  Burials 1541-1691 [82]
Originals Christenings 1541-1972 [82]
  Marriages 1541-1981 [82]
  Burials 1541-1926 [82]
  Banns 1815-40

Manuscript indexes 1541-1840

Queens Cross Cemetery:
Originals: Burials 1919-37
Microform: Burials 1919-37

At Society of Genealogists [68]
DUDLEY (St. Thomas) : Christenings 1541-1649, Marriages & Burials 1543-1649: Staffordshire registers, vol. 6 IN: Staffordshire registers, vol. 6 Published : Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry, 1997 Author Staffordshire Parish Registers Society (transcription.)

DUDLEY (St. Thomas) : Christenings 1541-1844, Marriages & Burials 1541-1842 [Microfilm.] Published Salt Lake City : Genealogical Society of Utah, 1964 Source S: E Iegge, R Goring & S Cussons.

DUDLEY (St. Thomas) : Christenings 1844-1948, Marriages 1842-1954, Burials 1842-1926, DUDLEY (Queen's Cross cemetery): Burials 1919-37 [Microfilm.] Published Salt Lake City : Genealogical Society of Utah, 1999 Source S: J Godley & B Iegge.

At [FreeREG]
Free Internet searches of baptism, marriage and burial records, transcribed from parish and non-conformist registers of the U.K., are available at: http://www.freereg.org.uk/cgi/Search.pl

FreeREG is a new project. The database currently contains a few million records only, so you should not expect to find all your ancestors in the database.

The coverage for this parish currently stands at: Christenings: 1729, 1794-1812 Marriages: 1808-12 Burials: 1795-1812

Further records may have been added since this posting

Monumental Inscriptions and Associated Documents


At BMSGH Reference Library [7]

At Worcestershire Archives [51]

At Society of Genealogists [59]
DUDLEY (St. Thomas) : Monumental Inscriptions: Worcestershire monumental inscriptions, vol. 3 [Typescript.] IN: Worcestershire monumental inscriptions, vol. 3 Published Birmingham : Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry, 1984 Author Griffiths, Joceyln (transcription.)

DUDLEY (Queen's Cross cemetery): Burials 1919-37 [Microfilm.] Published Salt Lake City : Genealogical Society of Utah, 1999 Source S: J Godley & B Iegge. Society of Genealogists [68]

War Memorials

In Dudley Town Centre, alongside the Town Hall, stands an impressive clock tower war memorial. In a chamber at the base of the tower is recorded the names of the fallen of Dudley in the Great War, carved into the walls. For a list of the names see :

For the names of those included on a WW1 Memorial at Dudley Post Office, Trinity Road Sorting Office see:

For the names of those included on the Dudley Conservative Club War Memorial at the Brambles, 2, Priory Road see:

For the names of those included on the Dudley High Elementary School WW1 Memorial now at the Claughton Centre see:

For the names of those included on a WW2 Memorial at Dudley Post Office, Trinity Road Sorting Office see:

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. These include:

1841 51 at Worcestershire Archives [14]

Street index for 1851 Worcestershire Archives

1861-81 Dudley Archives & Local History Service

1891 Dudley Archives & Local History Service

At Society of Genealogists

1851 Staffordshire 1851 census returns : Dudley registration district HO 107/2028-2033 [Microfilm.] - Published London : Public Record Office 1996

Staffordshire 1851 census surname index HO 107/1999-2033 (excluding parts in other counties) [CD-ROM] - Published Birmingham Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry, 2001

Surname index 1851 census Staffordshire vol. 16 : Dudley registration district part 1 - Rowley Regis & Tipton; part 2 – Sedgley; part 3 - Dudley town HO 107/2032-2033 - Published Birmingham : Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry, 2001

Worcestershire 1851 census index HO 107/2030 : Dudley registration district [Microfiche] – Published 1998 - Author: Friend, A F

Worcestershire 1851 census index HO 107/2032-33 : Dudley registration district [Microfiche] – Published , 1997 - Author: Friend, A F

1861 Staffordshire 1861 census returns : Dudley registration district (part) RG/9 2037-2058 [Microfilm.] – Published: London : Public Record Office, 1996
Staffordshire 1861 census [RG9/1905-2062] [CD-ROM.]- Published S & N British Data Archive Ltd. 2005
Worcestershire1861 census index : Dudley registration district RG 9/2059 & RG 9/2060 [Microfiche.]- Published 1998 - Author Friend, A F

1891 Staffordshire 1891 census returns: Dudley registration district RG 12/2279-2298 [Microfilm.] - Published London Public Record Office, 2003

Staffordshire 1891 census surname index: Dudley & Sedgley sub-districts (Dudley registration district) RG 12/2287-2298 & Wolverhampton registration district RG 12/2223-2244 [CD-ROM.] & [Microfiche] - Published Birmingham Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry, 2001

Manorial Records

Worcestershire Archives [50]
Court books 1709-1866

Other Sources

St Thomas, Dudley: Churchwardens' Book 1618-1725

At BMSGH Reference Library [7]
Churchwarden's Book 1618-1725

At Worcestershire Archives [27]
Transcript: Churchwardens Book 1618-1725 - Published : Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry, 1981 - Author: Roper, John S (trans.)

At Society of Genealogists
The churchwardens' book of St. Thomas, Dudley, Worcestershire, 1618-1725 Published : Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry, 1981 Author Roper, John S (transcription.)

Hearth tax returns for Dudley & Stourbridge 1664 - 1666 - 1674 Published Kingswinford : P E Chandler, 1992 Author Chandler, Peter (transcription.)


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

DUDLEY, a market town and parish, in the lower division of the hundred of HALFSHIRE, county of WORCESTER, though locally in the southern division of the hundred of Offlow, county of Stafford, 26 miles (N.N.E,) from Worcester, and 127 (N.W. by N.) from London, containing 18,211 inhabitants. This place derives its name from Dodo, or Dudo, a Saxon prince, to whom it belonged at the time of the Heptarchy, and who built a castle here about the year 700, which was afterwards, during the contest between Stephen and the Empress Matilda, garrisoned for the latter, by Gervase Paganell, to whom the barony at that time belonged. Gervase having subsequently, taken part in the rebellion of Prince Henry against his father, Henry II, his castle was demolished in the 20th year of that monarch's reign. Roger de Somery having obtained possession. of the barony, began to convert his mansion into a castle, and for his firm adherence to Henry III, in his wars with the barons, was permitted by his sovereign to complete the fortifications. In the early part of the parliamentary war the castle was garrisoned by the royalists, and in 1644 defended by Colonel Beaumont with great bravery against the parliamentarians, who were compelled to raise, the siege by the arrival of a detachment from Worcester; it does not appear to have been repaired after the damage it sustained during the siege, and an accidental fire, which, occurred in 1750, is said to have completed its demolition. The castle was built on an extensive and elevated limestone rock, the summit and acclivities of which are richly wooded; the remains, which are extensive and highly interesting, consist of the gateway-tower leading into the outer court, the keep, of ponderous strength, situated on a lofty mount of artificial elevation, part of the postern tower, the walls and windows of the state apartments, the kitchens, and other offices : the site is extra-parochial. The prevailing character is that of the early decorated style of English architecture, of which there are several fine portions remaining, intermixed with others of the later English style. The grounds are very extensive, and have been beautifully laid out in shrubberies and walks, affording a succession of different views of this highly picturesque ruin. About half a mile from the town was a monastery of Cluniac monks, founded about the year 1161, by Gervase Paganell, and dedicated to St. James, as a cell to the abbey at Wenlock, the revenue of which, at the dissolution, was £36. 3: there are still considerable remains, forming an interesting feature in the view from the castle hill; and near them, the Earl of Dudley has erected within the last few years a handsome building, which, from its proximity to the ruins, is called the priory, in the later style of English architecture, as a residence for his mining agent. The town is pleasantly situated in a tract of country, the surface of which is finely varied, though in several places disfigured by mining operations, which are extensively prosecuted in the vicinity; the principal street is spacious, and the whole town is well paved, and lighted with gas; the houses are in general neat and well built, and many of them are large and elegant; the inhabitants are supplied with water from wells of considerable depth; and the environs, besides the castle hill, which is a favourite place of resort, abound with pleasant walks and rides. A public subscription library, established in 1805, contains an extensive collection of books: assemblies are held occasionally at the hotel.

The trade arises chiefly from the geological character of the neighbourhood, which is remarkable for the variety and extent of its mines of coal and iron-stone, lying on each side of a line of basaltic rock and limestone. Among the beds of coal is one vein of excellent quality and extraordinary thickness, called the "Ten-Yard coal," which is supposed to be now nearly exhausted: other strata, but much thinner, have been found at a greater depth from the surface within the last twenty years, and many other mines have been discovered in the neighbourhood, which supply the great consumption of the surrounding iron-works and manufacturing places: the produce, by means of the canals, is also conveyed to several of the inland counties. The iron manufacture is carried on to a very considerable extent; a large quantity of ore is smelted in the neighbourhood, and the metal is not only formed into pigs, bars, sheets, and rods, but in extensive foundries cast into every kind of article for use or ornament, and manufactured into implements of agriculture, and tools of every description: the vicinity, for a circuit of several miles, abounds with nail-manufacturers. The limestone is used for various purposes: exclusively of what is consumed in the iron-works, a con- siderable quantity is burnt for agricultural uses, and some is manufactured into chimney-pieces, which are much admired for the beauty and variety of the fossils with which the stone abounds. The basalt is chiefly obtained in the adjoining parish of Rowley, and is well adapted to the purpose of making and repairing roads, being little, if at all, inferior to granite. The manufacture of flint-glass is carried on extensively, and there are several cutting-mills. Here is a brewery; and the business done in malting is very considerable. A tunnel, one mile and three quarters in length, thirteen feet high, and nine feet wide, has been cut through the rock on which the castle is built, for the conveyance of the limestone from the caverns under the castle hill, in which it is procured, to the kilns; it is in some places more than twenty yards below the surface, and forms a communication with the Birmingham and Stourbridge canals. The market is on Saturday: the fairs are on May 8th, for cattle, cheese, and wool; August 5th, for lambs; and October 2nd, for horses, cattle, cheese, and wool.

The town, though formerly a borough, having returned two members to parliament in the 23d of Edward I, is within the jurisdiction of the county magistrates; a mayor, bailiff, and other officers are appointed annually at the court leet of the lord of the manor, but exercise no magisterial authority. An application is at present being made for the renewal of certain privileges, under an ancient charter which is said to have been granted to the town.

Dudley formerly comprised the parishes of St. Thomas and St. Edmund, now united, the church of the former being parochial, and that of the latter used as a chapel of ease. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Worcester, rated in the Icing's books £7.18. 6½ , and in the patronage of the Earl of Dudley. The church of St. Thomas was rebuilt in 1819, at an expense of £23,000, of which sum, £ 7600, including £2000 contributed by the Earl of Dudley, was raised by subscription, and the remainder by a rate; it is a handsome structure in the later style of English architecture, with an elegant and lofty spire, and is not only an ornament to the town, but from its elevated situation forms a fine feature in the landscape. The church of St. Edmund having been demolished during the parliamentary war was afterwards rebuilt, chiefly at the expense of two brothers of the name of Bradley, assisted by a subscription among the parishioners, about the commencement of the last century. At Netherton another large chapel of ease, dedicated to St. Andrew, has recently been erected, by grant from the parliamentary commissioners, the site having been given by the Earl of Dudley. There are three places of worship for the Primitive, one for the Kilhamites, and two for the Wesleyan, Methodists, and one each for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, and Unitarians.

The free grammar school was founded in 1562, by Thomas Wattewood, clothier, of Stafford, and Mark Bysmor, of London, still-worker, and endowed by letters patent of Queen Elizabeth, with land, the present annual rental of which is from £300 to £400: out of this the master receives a salary of about £200: the average number of scholars is from thirty to forty, who are admitted by the master as soon as they can read, and may remain until fit for the University. Besides the classics, they are taught mathematics, history, geography, French, Italian, &c., the course of study being varied according to circumstances. Under the superintendence of the present master, the school has much improved. A charity school, for clothing and educating forty girls and another charity, for clothing seven poor men, were established on the 3rd, and enrolled in Chancery on the 19th, of June, 1819, by Mrs. Cartwright, in consequence of a legacy bequeathed for that purpose by the Rev. Henry Antrobus, formerly minister of St. Edmund's, who died about forty, years ago: the girls are taught to read, knit, and sew, and are brought up in the principles of the established church. A school, for clothing and instructing fifty boys was founded in 1732, and endowed with land, by Messrs Robert and Samuel, and Mrs. Ann Baylis: the school-room has been recently rebuilt, and, exclusively of those on the foundation, about two hundred other boys are now educated, the funds having much increased, from the improvement of the land, &c.: the school is now under the care of the Unitarians. The Blue-coat school was founded in 1708, in which there are now about two hundred and thirty boys; part of the funds is applied to the support of an infant school recently established. A school of industry has been established, in which two hundred and twenty girls are educated and taught to work. The. Unitarians also support a similar school for girls, the number at present being about eighty.

In Lady-wood is a valuable spring, called the Spa Well, in high estimation for its efficacy in cutaneous disorders, and complaints arising from indigestion. There are also several chalybeate springs. In the lime quarries a fossil, called the Dudley locust, is found in great numbers and variety of size, and supposed to be a petrifaction of an extinct species of the monoculus. About a quarter of a mile from the town is a tract of country, comprising about twenty acres, vulgarly called the Fiery Holes, from, which smoke continually issues, and sometimes flame; veins of coal underneath are supposed to have been set on fire by some accident, and to have continued burning ever since. Richard Baxter, the celebrated non-conformist divine in the reign of. Charles II, was for some time master of one of the schools in this parish.

Dudley confers the title of earl on the family of Ward.

Last Updated: 15/10/2016