Bilston Genealogical Records

Bilston Birth & Baptism Records

England & Wales Birth Index (1837-2006)

An index to births registered throughout England & Wales. Provides a reference to order copies of birth certificates from the national registrar of births, marriages and deaths – the General Register Office.

Bilston Baptism Records (1684-1746)

A searchable database containing transcriptions of the baptism registers of Bilston. These records detail relationships between parents and their children and may detail where they lived and how they made a living.

Staffordshire Birth Index (1837-2007)

A growing index of births registered in the county. Records include a reference to the sub-registration district, making it easier to order the correct certificate.

Staffordshire Baptism Transcripts (1538-1812)

Covering around 70 Staffordshire parishes, these records provide proof of parentage and often list abodes and occupations.

FreeBMD Births (1837-1957)

An index to births registered at the central authority for England & Wales. The index provides the area where the birth was registered, mother's maiden name from September 1911 and a reference to order a birth certificate.

Bilston Marriage & Divorce Records

England & Wales Marriage Index (1837-2008)

An index to marriages registered throughout England & Wales. This is the only national marriage index that allows you to search by both spouse's names. Provides a reference to order copies of marriage certificates from the national registrar of births, marriages and deaths – the General Register Office.

Bilston Marriage Records (1684-1746)

A searchable transcript recording marriages solemnised at Bilston between 1684 and 1746. Details may include residence, marital status and witnesses.

Staffordshire Marriage Index (1837-2013)

A growing index of marriages registered in the county. Records include a reference to the sub-registration district, making it easier to order the correct certificate.

Vicar General’s Office Marriage Licences (1600-1679)

Abstracts of marriage licences granted by the Vicar-General in London. These licences could be used to marry in any church in the Province of Canterbury.

Staffordshire Marriage Transcripts (1538-1839)

Covering around 70 Staffordshire parishes, these records document marriages and often provide the parties' residence.

Bilston Death & Burial Records

England & Wales Death Index (1837-2006)

An index to deaths registered throughout England & Wales. Provides a reference to order copies of death certificates from the national registrar of births, marriages and deaths – the General Register Office.

Bilston Burial Records (1684-1746)

A searchable transcript of Bilston burial registers. They may list the age of the deceased, their residence and name of relations.

St Mary, Bilston Burial Records (1747-1837)

An index of burials recorded at St Mary, Bilston_. The index includes the name of the deceased, the date of burial, age (where available) and occasionally other notes.

St Leonard, Bilston Burial Records (1584-1930)

Burial records covering those buried at St Leonard, Bilston_. This resource is an index and may not include all the details that were recorded in the burial registers from which they were extracted.

Swan Bank Wesleyan Methodist, Bilston Burial Records (1734-1932)

An index to burials recorded in the registers of a Methodist church. The index contains the name of the deceased, the date of their burial and their age where available.

Bilston Church Records

Bilston Parish Registers (1832-1955)

The parish registers of Bilston are a collection of books essentially documenting births, marriages and deaths. Their records can assist tracing a family as far back as 1832.

Bilston Parish Registers (1684-1746)

The parish registers of Bilston are a collection of books essentially documenting births, marriages and deaths from 1684 to 1746.

Lichfield Diocese Parish Clerk Nomiations (1691-1916)

An index to surviving nominations of parish clerks. The index may contain: parish, surname, forename, year, the reason for the appointment (e.g. death, ill-health, retirement or dismissal of predecessor), and occasionally further information, such as occupation or age.

Staffordshire Parish Registers (1860-1936)

The parish registers of Staffordshire are a collection of books essentially documenting births, marriages and deaths. Their records can assist tracing a family as far back as 1860.

Staffordshire Past Track (1300-Present)

A searchable collection of documents, photographs, paintings and other images relating to the county of Staffordshire.

Bilston Census & Population Lists

England, Wales, IoM & Channel Islands 1911 Census (1911)

The 1911 census provides details on an individual's age, residence, place of birth, relations and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows searches on for multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

Birmingham & District Voter Lists (1832-1955)

A collection of records listing those eligible to vote; comprised of electoral registers, burgess rolls, poll books, and absent voters lists. Digital images, searchable by a name index.

Staffordshire Lay Subsidy (1332-1333)

A tax on the county's wealthier residents, ordered by hundred and settlement.

Staffordshire Lay Subsidy (1327)

A tax on the county's wealthier residents, ordered by hundred and settlement.

1901 British Census (1901)

The 1901 census provides details on an individual's age, residence, place of birth, relations and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows searches on for multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

Bilston Wills & Probate Records

England & Wales National Probate Calendar (1858-1966)

Searchable index and original images of over 12.5 million probates and administrations granted by civil registries. Entries usually include the testator's name, date of death, date of probate and registry. Names of relations may be given.

Lichfield and Coventry Diocese Probate Index (1650-1760)

An index to wills, administrations and inventories proved by the Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry. Copies of wills can be ordered or viewed at the record office in Lichfield.

Lichfield Diocese Probate & Administration Index (1516-1652)

A searchable database providing brief details of surviving probates and administrations granted by the Diocese of Lichfield, which covered parts of Derbyshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire. Contains a reference to order the original documents.

Derbyshire Will Index (1858-1928)

An index to wills, proved by the Derby Probate Registry. Index includes name, residence and year of probate. Contains entries for Yorkshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and other counties.

Prerogative Court of Canterbury Admon Index (1649-1660)

An index to estate administrations performed by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. The index covers the southern two thirds of England & Wales, but may also contain entries for northerners.

Newspapers Covering Bilston

Lichfield Mercury (1883-1965)

This fully searchable newspaper will provide a rich variety of information about the people and places of the Lichfield district. Includes family announcements.

Tamworth Herald (1870-1950)

A searchable newspaper providing a rich variety of information about the people and places of the Tamworth district. Includes obituaries and family announcements.

Birmingham Daily Gazette (1865-1889)

News, family announcements etc. from Birmingham, Warwickshire & Staffordshire.

Birmingham Daily Post (1857-1900)

A searchable newspaper providing a rich variety of information about the people and places of the Birmingham district. Includes obituaries and family announcements.

Birmingham Journal (1837-1869)

Original images of a local newspaper, searchable via a full text index. Includes news from the Birmingham area, business notices, obituaries, family announcements and more.

Bilston Obituaries

iAnnounce Obituaries (2006-Present)

The UKs largest repository of obituaries, containing millions of searchable notices.

United Kingdom and Ireland Obituary Collection (1882-Present)

A growing collection currently containing over 425,000 abstracts of obituaries with reference to the location of the full obituary.

Quakers Annual Monitor (1847-1848)

A collection of 364 obituaries of Quakers from the British Isles. The volume was published in 1849 and includes obituaries of those who died in late 1847 through 1848.

Musgrave's Obituaries (1421-1800)

This transcribed and searchable work by Sir William Musgrave contains 10,000s of brief obituaries. The work is a reference point for other works containing information on an individual.

British Medical Journal (1849-Present)

A text index and digital images of all editions of a journal containing medical articles and obituaries of medical practitioners.

Bilston Cemeteries

Staffordshire Church Monuments (1300-1900)

Photographs and descriptions of Staffordshire's most illustrious church monuments, often featuring effigies, medieval inscriptions and heraldic devices.

Deceased Online (1629-Present)

Images of millions of pages from cemetery and crematoria registers, photographs of memorials, cemetery plans and more. Records can be search by a name index.

Billion Graves (1200-Present)

Photographs and transcriptions of millions of gravestones from cemeteries around the world.

Mausolea and Monuments (1500-Present)

Profiles of several hundred mausolea found in the British Isles.

Maritime Memorials (1588-1950)

Several thousand transcribed memorials remembering those connected with the nautical occupations.

Bilston Directories & Gazetteers

Wolverhampton Red Book  (1892-1941)

An almanac and directory of businesses and private residents in the Wolverhampton area.

Steven's Directory of Wolverhampton (1879)

A directory of the district of Wolverhampton. For each area, there is a list of private residents and of traders.

Manufacturing District Classified Directory (1853)

Classified directory of the manufacturing district fifteen miles around Birmingham, including Worcester & the Potteries. Does not include Birmingham.

Bridgen's Directory of Wolverhampton Borough (1833)

A directory of traders; with sections on local institutions, bankers, conveyances and ironmasters.

Kelly's Directory of Staffordshire (1940)

An exhaustive gazetteer, containing details of settlement's history, governance, churches, postal services, public institutions and more. Also contains lists of residents with their occupation and address.

Birmingham & District Voter Lists (1832-1955)

A collection of records listing those eligible to vote; comprised of electoral registers, burgess rolls, poll books, and absent voters lists. Digital images, searchable by a name index.

Staffordshire Feet of Fines (1327-1547)

Abstracts of records that detail land conveyances.

Staffordshire Feet of Fines (1216-1272)

Abstracts of records that detail land conveyances.

Stafford Gaol Photograph Albums (1877-1916)

An name index to photographs of prisoners in Stafford Gaol photo albums.

Staffordshire Poor Law Admissions & Discharges (1836-1900)

An index to comings and going in Staffordshire's civil workhouses. The index contains: name, age or year of birth, occupation and original parish.

Bilston Taxation Records

Staffordshire Lay Subsidy (1332-1333)

A tax on the county's wealthier residents, ordered by hundred and settlement.

Staffordshire Lay Subsidy (1327)

A tax on the county's wealthier residents, ordered by hundred and settlement.

Land Tax Redemption (1798-1811)

This vital collection details almost 1.2 million properties eligible for land tax. Records include the name of the landowner, occupier, amount assessed and sometimes the name and/or description of the property. It is a useful starting point for locating relevant estate records and establishing the succession of tenancies and freehold. Most records cover 1798, but some extend up to 1811.

Duties Paid for Apprentices' Indentures (1710-1811)

An index linked to original images of registers recording apprenticeship indentures. Details are given on the trade and nature of apprenticeship. Many records list the parents of the apprentice.

Red Book of the Exchequer (1066-1230)

A compilation of records from the Court of the Exchequer primarily dealing with taxes and land. These records are in Latin.

Bilston Land & Property Records

Birmingham & District Voter Lists (1832-1955)

A collection of records listing those eligible to vote; comprised of electoral registers, burgess rolls, poll books, and absent voters lists. Digital images, searchable by a name index.

Staffordshire Feet of Fines (1327-1547)

Abstracts of records that detail land conveyances.

Staffordshire Feet of Fines (1216-1272)

Abstracts of records that detail land conveyances.

Land Tax Redemption (1798-1811)

This vital collection details almost 1.2 million properties eligible for land tax. Records include the name of the landowner, occupier, amount assessed and sometimes the name and/or description of the property. It is a useful starting point for locating relevant estate records and establishing the succession of tenancies and freehold. Most records cover 1798, but some extend up to 1811.

UK Poll Books and Electoral Rolls (1538-1893)

Poll books record the names of voters and the direction of their vote. Until 1872 only landholders could vote, so not everyone will be listed. Useful for discerning an ancestor's political leanings and landholdings. The collection is supplemented with other records relating to the vote.

Bilston Occupation & Business Records

Staffordshire Past Track (1300-Present)

A searchable collection of documents, photographs, paintings and other images relating to the county of Staffordshire.

Staffordshire Police Force Registers (1842-1920)

An index to records detailing every member of Staffordshire's police force. Original records contain many details, such as physical description, age, date of birth, previous occupations and career.

Staffordshire Apprenticeship Records (1600-1900)

An index to a variety of records, particularly apprenticeship indentures issued by parish guardians. The index contains details on age, parish, occupation and master. Original documents will contain further details such as the name of the apprentice's father or guardian.

Staffordshire Photographers (1861-1940)

A directory of commercial photographers in Staffordshire.

Midlands Mines Index (1896)

Profiles of coal and metal mines in the Midlands region of England.

Bilston School & Education Records

Staffordshire Past Track (1300-Present)

A searchable collection of documents, photographs, paintings and other images relating to the county of Staffordshire.

Teacher's Registration Council Registers (1870-1948)

A name index linked to original images of registers recording the education and careers of teachers in England & Wales.

Oxford University Alumni (1500-1886)

A name index linked to original images of short biographies for over 120,000 Oxford University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Cambridge University Alumni (1261-1900)

A transcript of a vast scholarly work briefly chronicling the heritage, education and careers of over 150,000 Cambridge University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Cambridge Alumni Database (1198-1910)

A searchable database containing over 90,000 note-form biographies for students of Cambridge University.

Pedigrees & Family Trees Covering Bilston

Victoria County History: Staffordshire (1086-1900)

A detailed history of the county's hundreds, parishes and religious houses.

British & Irish Royal & Noble Genealogies (491-1603)

Extensive and impeccably sourced genealogies for British, Irish & Manx royalty and nobility. Scroll down to 'British Isles' for relevant sections.

FamilySearch Community Trees (6000 BC-Present)

A searchable database of linked genealogies compiled from thousands of reputable and not-so-reputable sources. Contains many details on European gentry & nobility, but covers many countries outside Europe and people from all walks of life.

Visitation of England and Wales (1700-1899)

Over 600 pedigrees for English and Welsh families who had a right to bear a coat of arms.

Ancestry Member Family Trees (6000 BC-Present)

A compilation of lineage-linked family trees submitted by Ancestry users. The database contains over 2 billion individuals and is searchable by numerous metrics.

Bilston Royalty, Nobility & Heraldry Records

Victoria County History: Staffordshire (1086-1900)

A detailed history of the county's hundreds, parishes and religious houses.

Staffordshire Church Monuments (1300-1900)

Photographs and descriptions of Staffordshire's most illustrious church monuments, often featuring effigies, medieval inscriptions and heraldic devices.

British & Irish Royal & Noble Genealogies (491-1603)

Extensive and impeccably sourced genealogies for British, Irish & Manx royalty and nobility. Scroll down to 'British Isles' for relevant sections.

FamilySearch Community Trees (6000 BC-Present)

A searchable database of linked genealogies compiled from thousands of reputable and not-so-reputable sources. Contains many details on European gentry & nobility, but covers many countries outside Europe and people from all walks of life.

Visitation of England and Wales (1700-1899)

Over 600 pedigrees for English and Welsh families who had a right to bear a coat of arms.

Bilston Military Records

South Staffordshire Home Guard (1940-1944)

A detailed history of the home guard during World War II.

Staffordshire Past Track (1300-Present)

A searchable collection of documents, photographs, paintings and other images relating to the county of Staffordshire.

Prisoners of War of British Army (1939-1945)

A searchable list of over 100,000 British Army POWs. Records contains details on the captured, their military career and where they were held prisoner.

British Prisoners of World War II (1939-1945)

Details on around 165,000 men serving in the British Army, Navy and Air Force who were held as prisoners during WWII.

British Army WWI Medal Rolls (1914-1920)

Index and original images of over 5 million medal index cards for British soldiers It can be searched by individual's name, Coprs, Unit and Regiment. Due to the loss of many WWI service records, this is the most complete source for British WWI soldiers

Bilston Immigration & Travel Records

Passenger Lists Leaving UK (1890-1960)

A name index connected to original images of passenger lists recording people travelling from Britain to destinations outside Europe. Records may detail a passenger's age or date of birth, residence, occupation, destination and more.

UK Incoming Passenger Lists (1878-1960)

A full index of passenger lists for vessels arriving in the UK linked to original images. Does not include lists from vessels sailing from European ports. Early entries can be brief, but later entries may include dates of births, occupations, home addresses and more. Useful for documenting immigration.

Alien Arrivals in England (1810-1869)

Details on over 600,000 non-British citizens arriving in England. Often includes age and professions. Useful for discerning the origin of immigrants.

17th Century British Emigrants to the U.S. (1600-1700)

Details on thousands of 17th century British immigrants to the U.S., detailing their origins and nature of their immigration.

Migration from North America to Britain & Ireland (1858-1870)

A list of over 40,000 passengers traveling from North America to the British Isles. Details of passengers may include: occupation, nationality, gender, age, martial status, class, destination, and details of the vessel they sailed on.

Bilston Histories & Books

Black County Image Gallery (1300-Present)

A large collection of images, comprising largely of photographs and paintings of people and places, but also including photographs of physical items and other images.

Chartism in the Black Country (1839-1848)

A history of the chartist movement in parts of Staffordshire and Worcestershire; a movement which attempted to widen the voting franchise. Includes the names of sympathisers.

The Staffordshire Views Collection (1800-1850)

A collection of over 3,000 watercolours, drawings, sketches, engravings and lithographs depicting scenes in Staffordshire.

A Survey of Staffordshire (1593-1600)

A topographical and historical survey of the county and its settlements.

Staffordshire Past Track (1300-Present)

A searchable collection of documents, photographs, paintings and other images relating to the county of Staffordshire.

Biographical Directories Covering Bilston

Who's Who in Staffordshire (1844-1930)

A searchable directory of biographies depicting the leading residents of Staffordshire. Contains details on family relations, education, careers, hobbies and associations.

Oxford University Alumni (1500-1886)

A name index linked to original images of short biographies for over 120,000 Oxford University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Cambridge University Alumni (1261-1900)

A transcript of a vast scholarly work briefly chronicling the heritage, education and careers of over 150,000 Cambridge University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Crockford's Clerical Directories (1868-1914)

Brief biographies of Anglican clergy in the UK.

The Concise Dictionary of National Biography (1654-1930)

A directory containing lengthy biographies of noted British figures. The work took over two decades to compile. Biographies can be searched by name and are linked to images of the original publication.

Bilston Maps

Staffordshire & Stoke Maps (1670-2000)

A large collection of maps, primarily depicting Stoke and its environs.

Maps of Staffordshire (1602-1905)

Digital images of maps covering the county.

Ordnance Survey 1:10 Maps (1840-1890)

Maps showing settlements, features and some buildings in mainland Britain.

A Vision of Britain (1190-Present)

A sprawling website setting out and describing the historical divisions of Britain. Also contains countless maps of various sorts. Covers the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man & has fleeting details of other localities.

Ordnance Survey One-inch to the Mile Maps (1945-1947)

High-quality digital reproductions of maps plotting, settlements, roads, natural features and other features in England & Wales.

Bilston Reference Works

England Research Guide (1538-Present)

A beginner’s guide to researching ancestry in England.

Parish Register Abstract (1538-1812)

Compiled in 1831, this book details the coverage and condition of parish registers in England & Wales.

Building History Research Guide (1066-Present)

A comprehensive guide to researching the history of buildings in the British Isles.

Surname Origins (1790-1911)

A service that provides advanced and custom surname maps for the British Isles and the US.

British Family Mottoes (1189-Present)

A dictionary of around 9,000 mottoes for British families who had right to bear arms.

Bilston Information

Civil & Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction:

Historical Description

Bilston, one of the largest villages in England, being more than a mile and a quarter in length, and containing near 1000 houses. It is situated on a rising ground, upon the great road from London to Holyhead, which, till lately, ran through the whole length of the town, but it now leaves what is called the Old Town, on the left, and only passes by the S. W. end of it, and at the distance of 121 miles from the former place. The road from Birmingham to Manchester and Liverpool runs through it. The navigable canal from Birmingham to the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canals, likewise passes close to it. In consequence of these circumstances it has a constant and very active communication with the capital, the western ports, and the large numerous towns betwixt them, so justly distinguished for their manufactures. Here are very considerable mines of coal, iron stone, quarry stone, and clay. The quantity of coal got in this township may be conjectured from this circumstance, that the works of the late John Wilkinson, Esq. alone consumed 800 tons per week. Furnaces for smelting iron ore, forges, and slitting-mills, which are worked by steam-engines, abound here.

Its manufactures consist chiefly of japanned goods and tin wares, and the remains of the enamelled trade is still kept on here, which was once an article of considerable manufacture in this part of the country. A great many buckle chapes were formerly made here, when buckles were in common use.

Here is a deep orange-coloured sand, which is sent for by the artists far and near, to be used as a spaud to cast metals in; and it is also noted for a quarry of remarkable stones, lying horizontally one under another, in 12 beds deep, every bed thicker the lower they go; so that the lowermost is about a yard thick. The inhabitants make cisterns, troughs, &c. of the stone; some of which is curiously streaked with black.

The township of Bilston is in the parish of Wolverhampton, but is a distinct township for all parochial purposes. The chapel is a modern building, covered with slate. The chapelry is within the exempt jurisdiction of the dean of Wolverhampton, and is a perpetual curacy; the right of nomination and presentation to which is in the inhabitants at large, and its endowment is about 200l. per annum. Here are also several dissenting meeting-houses, and likewise a charity-school.

At Bradley, in this township, is a remarkable phenomenon A fire in the earth has been burning upwards of forty years, and, notwithstanding various attempts have been made to extinguish it, it still continues, and has reduced upwards of five acres of land to a mere calx. The inhabitants call it a wild-fire, but modern philosophers term it a pseudo-volcano, and it is treated of by Dr. Thompson in the Philosophical Transactions. It is in fact a bed of coal, which is burning, about four feet thick, and about eight or ten yards deep, to which the air has free access by reason of the thick or main coal having been dug from under it. The calcined earth, occasioned by the fire, affords a very useful material for the repair of the reads, and the workmen, in getting this material, frequently find large quantities of alum, of a very good quality. It is also remarkable, that the surface, for many yards, is, at times, covered with sulphur, in such quantities, as to be capable of being collected.

Topography of Great Britain, written: 1802-29 by George Alexander Cooke

BILSTON is a market town and township, on the old road from London to Holyhead, in the parish of Wolverhampton, from which town it is 2 ½ miles south-east, the same distance northwest from Wednesbury, 4 ½ south-west from Walsall, 4 north from Dudley, 10 ½ north-west from Birmingham, is from Stafford, 34 ½ from Stoke, 39 from Derby and 118 ½ from London: it is the head of a petty sessional division, in the parliamentary borough (South division), union and county court district of Wolverhampton, Kingswinford division of the county, North Seisdon hundred, rural deanery of Wolverhampton, archdeaconry of Stafford and diocese of Lichfield. The Great Western railway passes through the town, and has a central station at Pipe’s Meadow; the West Midland branch of the same company has a station at Coseley Street, to the west of the town; and the London and North Western railway a station at Ettingshall, about 1 mile distant.

Bilston is a place of considerable antiquity, mention being made of it in a charter, granted A.D. 996, by Lady Wulfruna to the Church of the Virgin at Wolverhampton, in which it is called “Bilsretaune” (in Domesday Book it is called “Billestune”), and it has also at different periods borne the names of “Bylstune,” “Bylston, “Bilson,” and “Bilston.”

The town, which occupies an elevated position, extends for about a mile; it is well supplied with water and lighted with gas, and was governed by the Bilston Township Commissioners, a Local Board formed by special Act of Parliament in 1850; but this body has been superseded under the “Local Government Act, 1894” (56 & 57 Vict. cap. 73) by an Urban District Council.

The question of its ecclesiastical and civil relationship to Wolverhampton has been the subject of much litigation at various times, but in virtue of its endowment by Queen Anne’s Bounty in 1727, and the operation of Act 1 George I. s. 2. c. 10, confirmed by the 2 and 3 Vict. s. 2, c, 49, it became a perpetual curacy and freehold benefice.

The church, originally an edifice of considerable antiquity, is mentioned in letters patent granted in 1445 for a chantry in Bilston to be dedicated to St. Leonard; this chantry was not, however, actually founded till 1458 (36 Henry VI.), when several residents granted large tracts of land for its support, and amongst these 20 acres called “Le Prieste Fields,” now Priestfield. In 1536 an Act was passed for the dissolution of all religious houses whose income was under £200 yearly, in pursuance of which the King’s Commissioners made the following return:-“Examined into the state of the Chantrie of St. Leonard’s, called Erdington’s Chantrie, Bilston; its income is very small, and the priest guilty of unlawful practices; we have therefore commanded that it be dissolved:” the church goods, ornaments and bells, one of which bore the following inscription:

“I am callede ye Curfue belle, I ryngen at VIII. or more To send ye alle to bedde And wake ye up att IV.” were consequently sold by the Commissioners, and years then elapsed before any provision was made for the spiritual Instruction of the inhabitants, but in 1557 (4 Queen Mary) the church was re-opened, when Clement Perrye, a native of the town, was appointed curate: from that date several additions and alterations were made to the fabric, and in 1826 the church was rebuilt at a cost of £9,000: it is now a plain brick building in the Classic style, consisting of chancel and nave, western porch and a western tower of stone, surmounted by a cupola and containing a clock and 6 bells, cast in 1745: there is a painted altar-piece, now suspended near the font, representing “Our Saviour Blessing Little Children:” in 1882—3 the church was re-cased in cement, the tower rebuilt in stone and the approaches restored, at a cost of £1,777; the interior was also entirely renovated and some alterations made at a further cost of more then £2,000; the stained east window is a memorial to Edward Pugh esq. who in 1884 purchased the advowson and transferred the patronage to five trustees: a brass lectern was presented in 1877 by John Mason esq. in memory of his wife: the Rev. Richard Ames, a former incumbent, is surmised to be buried in the thickness of the tower wall: there are sittings for 2,000 persons. The register of baptisms and marriages dates from the year 1684; burials, 1716. Owing to litigation upon the ecclesiastical status of Bilston, marriages were intermitted in the parish church between 1754 and 1841. The living is a vicarage, gross yearly value £900, net £750, including 132 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of trustees, and held since 1871 by the Rev. Charles Lee M.A. of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and surrogate.

The ecclesiastical parish of St. Mary the Virgin was formed April 21, 1848, from the civil parish of Wolverhampton; the church, in Oxford street, erected in 1830 by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, out of what is known as the “Million grant,” is an edifice of stone, in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, west porch and an embattled eastern tower with pinnacles and containing a clock and one bell: the interior was redecorated and improved in 1866 and restored in 1890—1 at a cost of £1,400, and the organ enlarged in 1883 at a cost of £150: there are 1,000 sittings, 600 being free. The separate register dates from the year 1848: the register from 1830 up to 1848 is kept at the parish church, St. Leonard’s. The living is a vicarage, gross yearly value £250, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Lichfield, and held since 1872 by the Rev. Cornelius Batchellor M.A. of Trinity College, Dublin.

St. Luke’s is an ecclesiastical parish, formed Sept. 3, 1845, from Wolverhampton civil parish; the church, in Market street, is a building of stone in the Early English style, erected in 1852 at a cost of £4,825, including the vicarage house and school, and consists of chancel with organ chamber, nave, aisles, south porch and tower on the south side with octagonal spire containing one bell: the interior of the church was thoroughly restored in 1884 at a cost of £500; a new font was given by the father of the present vicar, whose family also gave the organ, and a carved oak lectern has been presented by the widow of a late incumbent: there are several memorial windows, and sittings for 600 persons. The register dates from the year 1849. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £300, with residence, in the gift of trustees, and held since 1880 by the Rev. William Prosser M.A. of Hertford College, Oxford, and surrogate.

There is a Mission church (St. Michael’s) in Wolverhamptan street, and a Catholic church, erected in 1834 and dedicated the Holy Trinity; there are also Baptist, Congregational, Wesleyan, Methodist New Connexion and Primitive Methodist chapels.

The Cemetery, opened in 1855, at a total cost of about £5,000, is about 1 mile from the town, on the Wolverhampton road; it comprises upwards of 11 acres, containing a mortuary chapel of blue brick with stone facings and a small spire, and is under the control of the Urban District Council.

The Town Hall, erected in 1872, is a building of stone in the Italian style, with frontages to Church street and Lichfield street: it contains offices for the town commissioners, town clerk, collectors and surveyor, and a free library and reading room: on the first floor is an assembly room, with retiring rooms.

The Free Library, opened in 1873, and contained in a wing of the Town hall, has a lending department of nearly 7,864 volumes, and a reference department of over 1,500 volumes, the weekly average issue being about 700 volumes. The reading room is well supplied with the metropolitan, local and provincial newspapers and periodicals, and is well attended: the cost of that portion of the Town hall assigned to the Free Library was about £1,700, and in 1882 it was considerably extended at a cost of £1,200.

There is a Temperance Hall in Broad street and a Theatre in Mount Pleasant.

In May, 1890, a new Post Office was erected in Hall street, from designs by Mr. H. Tanner, of H.M. Board of Works.

In 1824 an Act of Parliament was obtained fox a market on Mondays and Saturdays, and a cattle fair on Whit-Monday. The Market Hall, in Church street, was rebuilt in 1894 at a cost of upwards of £9,000, and is lit by the electric light.

The Baths and Washhouses, in Hall street, erected in 1853, at an expense, inclusive of the site, of £2,700, include a swimming bath and 23 private baths; the buildings are the property of the Township Commissioners, and are now (1895) being rebuilt.

The principal trades carried on here are in iron, coal and stone, from the numerous and extensive mines and pits which abound for many miles around. Orange-coloured casting sand and superior cutlery grindstones are also local products. Japanned and fancy iron goods are manufactured here extensively, and every branch of metal casting is carried on. Among the productions are trays, waiters, iron buckets, hurdles, boilers, chains, fireproof safes, iron boats, wood screws, mill screws and presses; there are also brass foundries, maltings and rope walks.

Charities:-In the year 1716 Humphrey Perye left by will a yearly rent-charge of £26 out of his copyhold estate in Bilston, to be distributed as follows: £8 to two poor relations; £6 as an apprentice fee for one poor boy or girl of Bilston or Stafford alternately; £8 for clothing and teaching six poor children; £2 12s. to be distributed in bread weekly; 10s. for a sermon and 18s. for an accountant: this was regularly paid until the year 1847, when the owners of the lands charged refused further payment. The Charity Commissioners thereupon took proceedings in Chancery, and after a delay of is months the charity was restored in 1862; when, instead of the yearly rent-charge, a sum of £1,114 5s. 10d. was recovered, of which £933 14s. 5d. was invested in Consols: since then two other sums have been recovered, amounting to £219 17s. 5d. and the annual income is now about £35: the trustees give £2 each for 8 boys and 4 girls at Bilston, and 1 boy and girl at Stafford, to provide for their clothing and education in the several elementary schools. Mr. Matthew Birch, by his will, dated July 4, 1756, charged his copyhold house in Bilston with the payment of £1 6s. yearly, for ever; to be given in a sixpenny dole of bread by the churchwardens for the time being, every Sunday after evening service, to six poor persons then at church and not in receipt of parish relief. William Shale, coal master of Bilston, bequeathed in 1869 a sum of money in trust, which provides 9s. each, to be distributed yearly on St. Thomas’ Day, to 10 old men and 10 old women belonging to the parish. Ambrose Tibbitts, by his will, dated 2nd May, 1815, gave to the poor of the township of Bilston £100, to be invested in one of the public funds and the dividend to be distributed yearly by the said trustees on St. Thomas’ Day amongst 10 poor and decayed tradesmen or housekeepers of the said township of the age of 50 and upwards, not being in receipt of alms and parochial relief, as they may think most fit and deserving of such charity; and he further desired that no small house and garden which any such poor person might occupy, or be possessed of, should exclude from the benefit of this gift.

In 1867 John Mason, solicitor of Bilston, erected three handsome public drinking fountains in the town, and invested the sum of £1,200 in Consols, in foundation of a charity known as “Sarah Mason’s Charity,” in honour of his wife: the income is distributed amongst 30 poor women upwards of 60 years of age and resident in the town and not in receipt of parochial relief, by the churchwardens in each parish yearly, on the 10th September, being the anniversary of the wedding day of John and Sarah Mason. Mr. Mason, in 1870, invested a like sum in foundation of “John Mason’s Charity,” which is distributed in a like manner yearly on St. Thomas’ Day, among 30 old men who have resided at least five years in the parish of Bilston, and have not been in the receipt of parochial relief during the previous six months.

There is an old charity, known as “Robert Rawley’s Charity,” from which the sum of 10s. is payable out of copyhold property, and 8s. is to be given to the curate for a sermon to be preached on the 1st of January in every year, and 2S. in bread to the poor then in church.

The overseers are entrusted with the distribution of a large number of tickets for the hospital at Wolverhampton.

The Duke of Sutherland and the trustees of the late Thomas William Giffard esq. (d. 1861) are lords of the manor.

The principal landowners are Sir Alfred Hickman M.P. of Spring vale Furnaces; Henry Ward esq. J.P., D.L. of Rodbaston Hall, Gailey; George Ward esq. J.P. of Lower Penn and John Eyre Sparrow esq.

The soil is a rich loam; subsoil, sand and gravel.

The area of the township is 1,845 acres; rateable value, £65,200; the population in 1891 was 23,453; the population of the ecclesiastical parishes in 1891 was: St. Leonard, 7,862; St. Luke, 4,050; St. Mary the Virgin, 3,891; Bradley, 5,146.

Petty Sessions are held at the Police Station, Bilston, every tuesday & friday at 11 a.m. The stipendiary justice, Nigel Charles Alfred Neville esq. sits every alternate tuesday, The places in the division are Bilston, part of Moxley. Bradley & part of Sedgley, Priestfield, Ettingshall & part of Princes End; the special sessions include the whole of the above places.

Places of Worship, with times of Services

St. Leonard’s Church, Church street, Rev. Charles Lee M.A. vicar; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; daily 10 a.m. & wed. 7 p.m.

St. Mary’s Church, Oxford street, Rev. Cornelius Batchellov M.A. vicar; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; wed. 7 p.m.

St. Luke’s Church, Market street, Rev. William Prosser M.A. vicar; 8 & 11 a.m. & 5.30 p.m.; daily, 10.15 a.m.; wed. 7.30 p.m.

St. Martin’s Bradley, Rev. W. Walker Chettle, vicar; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Thur. 7 p.m.

St. Michael’s Mission Church, Wolverhampton street; 6.30 p.m.; tues. 8 p.m.

Holy Trinity Catholic, Oxford street, Rev. William Austin Waugh M.R. priest; mass 8.30 & 11 a.m.; catechism & benediction 3, sermon & benediction, 6.30 p.m.; holidays of oblig. mass 8 & 9 a.m. & benedict. 7.30 p.m.; daily mass 8 a.m. & benedict, Thur. 7.30 a.m.

Baptist, Broad street; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.

Baptist, Wood street; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; tues. & thurs. 7.30 p.m.

Calvinistic Methodist (Welsh), Railway street, Rev. Isaac Davies (non-resident), Wolverhampton, every alternate Sunday 2.30 & 6 p.m.

Congregational, Oxford street; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; wed. 7.30 p.m.

Congregational Mission Room, Chapel street, Charles Ashley, missionary: 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.

Methodist Free Church, Bradley; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Thur. 7 p.m.

Methodist New Connexion, Oxford street: 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; tues. 7 p.m.

Primitive Methodist, High street, Rev. John Jopling; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; tues. 7 p.m.

Primitive Methodist, Salop street; 10.45 a.m. & 6 p.m.; wed. 7 p.m.

Wesleyan, Bradley; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; thurs. 7 p.m.

Wesleyan, Church street, Rev. George B. Saul & Rev. C. H. P. Nicholson; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m. wed. 7.13 p.m.

Schools

St. Edward’s, Wolverhampton street (mixed & infants), erected in 1878, for 200 children & 101 infants; average attendance, 130 children & 72 infants.

St. Leonard’s National, Greencroft (mixed & infants), erected in 1858, for 500 children & 120 infants; average attendance, 450 children & 110 infants.

St. Luke’s National, Market street (mixed & infants), built in 1850, for 212 children & 120 infants; average attendance, 212 children & 87 infants.

St. Martin’s National, Bradley (mixed & infants), erected in 1866, for 430 children & 218 infants; average attendance, 418 children & 165 infants.

St. Mary’s National, Tame street (mixed & infants), erected in 1844 & enlarged in is 94, for 490 children & 144 infants; average attendance, 303 children & 81 infants.

Catholic, Oxford street (mixed & infanta), for 220 children & 115 infants; average attendance, 163 children & 115 infants.

Primitive Methodist (mixed), High street, erected in 1861 & enlarged in 1890, for 414 children; average attendance, 408.

Wesleyan, Swan Bank (mixed & infants), erected in 1868, for 470 children & 150 infants; average attendance, 420 children & 140 infants.

Kelly's Directory of Staffordshire (1896)

Surnames Found in Bilston

RankSurnameNo. of People% of Population
1Jones7073.70
2Smith3952.07
3Evans1911.00
4Fellows1600.84
5Hill1580.83
6Griffiths1550.81
7Davies1530.80
8Williams1420.74
9Morris1350.71
10Price1330.70
11Johnson1280.67
12Cooper1280.67
13Baker1250.65
14Hughes1180.62
15Richards1170.61
16Roberts1150.60
17Thompson1140.60
18Davis1070.56
19Lewis1030.54
20Lloyd1030.54
21Green970.51
22Taylor940.49
23Cox900.47
24Harper900.47
25Hall870.46
26Brown840.44
27Aston840.44
28Clark810.42
29Edwards810.42
30Fletcher810.42
31Thomas800.42
32Caddick800.42
33Ward770.40
34Pritchard770.40
35Harris760.40
36Owen720.38
37Wilkes720.38
38Adams680.36
39Walters670.35
40Turner660.35
41Rogers630.33
42Mason620.32
43Pugh580.30
44Lawley580.30
45Phillips550.29
46Butler540.28
47Bailey500.26
48Higgins490.26
49Hickman490.26
50Onions490.26
51Barker480.25
52Legg480.25
53Walker470.25
54Perry470.25
55North470.25
56Dyke470.25
57Beddow460.24
58Beebee460.24
59Riley450.24
60Pitt450.24
61Parker430.22
62Ford430.22
63Sutton420.22
64Corbett420.22
65Walton400.21
66Hammond400.21
67Haynes400.21
68Deakin400.21
69Wood390.20
70Cross390.20
71Howells390.20
72Wallett380.20
73Shaw370.19
74Stokes370.19
75Dodd370.19
76Kinsey370.19
77Allen360.19
78Wilkinson360.19
79Reynolds360.19
80Whitehouse360.19
81Humphries360.19
82Ralph360.19
83Martin350.18
84Dudley350.18
85Colley350.18
86Mills340.18
87Bate340.18
88Robinson330.17
89Webb330.17
90Horton330.17
91Westwood330.17
92Baugh330.17
93Wedge330.17
94White320.17
95Wright320.17
96Bennett320.17
97Holmes320.17
98Hayes320.17
99Nash320.17
100Bowen320.17