Bewdley Genealogical Records

Bewdley 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.

Worcestershire Baptism Transcripts (1538-1891)

Transcripts of Anglican baptism registers from over 250 churches in Worcestershire.

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.

British Army Birth Index (1761-2005)

An index to births registered to British Army personal at home and abroad.

Birth Notices from The Times (1983-2003)

An index to over 100,000 birth and christening notices from The London Times.

Bewdley 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.

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.

Worcestershire Marriage Transcripts (1539-1907)

Transcripts of Anglican marriage registers from over 100 churches in Worcestershire.

UK Divorce Records (1858-1911)

Digital images of documents from civil divorce cases. The cases cover both the cause of the case and the outcome, such as division of property and visitation rights. These records also contain details of illegitimate children. Cases can be searched by a name index.

FreeBMD Marriages (1837-1961)

An index to marriages registered at the central authority for England & Wales. To March 1912 only the area of registration and name of one party is given. From then on, the spouse's surname is also given. Provides a reference, which can be used to order a marriage certificate with more details.

Bewdley 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.

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.

FreeBMD Deaths (1837-1964)

An index to deaths registered at the central authority for England and Wales. To 1866, only the locality the death was registered in was listed. Age was listed until 1969, when the deceased's date of birth was listed. Provides a reference to order a death certificate, which has further details.

British Army Death Index (1796-2005)

An index to deaths of British Army personal at home and abroad.

Death Notices from The Times (1982-1988)

An index to over 54,000 death notices and obituaries from The London Times.

Bewdley Church Records

Worcestershire Parish Registers (1820-1936)

The parish registers of Worcestershire are a collection of books essentially documenting births, marriages and deaths. Their records can assist tracing a family as far back as 1820.

Worcestershire Parish Church Montages (1990-Present)

Photographs of monuments, stained glass windows, fonts, memorials and other architectural facets of parish churches in Worcestershire.

Worcestershire Church Photographs (2006-Present)

High quality photographs of Worcestershire church exteriors.

Act Books of the Archbishops of Canterbury (1663-1859)

An index to names and places mentioned in act books of the Province of Canterbury. It records various licences and conferments, such as marriage and physician licences.

British Church Albums (1990-Present)

Photographs of churches of all denominations throughout England and part of Wales.

Bewdley 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.

Worcestershire Hearth Tax (1664-1665)

A name index to records recording taxes levied against owners of hearths in Worcestershire.

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.

1891 British Census (1891)

The 1891 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.

1881 British Census (1881)

The 1881 census provides details on an individual's age, residence and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows for searches on multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

Bewdley 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.

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.

Prerogative Court of Canterbury Admon Index (1581-1595)

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.

Prerogative Court of Canterbury Admon Index (1581-1619)

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.

Prerogative Court of Canterbury Admon Index (1559-1571)

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 Bewdley

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.

Worcester Herald (1829-1871)

A local newspaper including news from the Worcester district, business notices, family announcements, legal & governmental proceedings, advertisements and more.

Worcester Journal (1822-1896)

Local news; notices of births, marriages and deaths; business notices; details on the proceedings of public institutions; adverts and a rich tapestry of other local information from the Worcester district. Every line of text from the newspaper can be searched and images of the original pages viewed.

Birmingham Gazette (1741-1871)

A local newspaper including news from the Birmingham district, business notices, family announcements, legal & governmental proceedings, advertisements and more.

Bewdley 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.

Bewdley Cemeteries

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.

Rail & Canal Photographs Catalog (1880-1970)

A searchable database of photographs relating to railways and canals in Britain.

Bewdley Directories & Gazetteers

Kelly's Directory of Worcestershire (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.

Kelly's Directory of Worcestershire (1936)

A directory of residents and businesses; with a description of each settlement, containing details on its history, public institutions, churches, postal services, governance and more.

Cope's Directory & Buyer's Guide for Worcs. (1933)

Contains a classified listing of companies and independent traders by each town or village in Worcestershire.

Kelly's Directory of Worcestershire (1932)

A comprehensive place-by-place gazetteer, listing key contemporary and historical facts. Each place has a list of residents and businesses. Contains details on local schools, churches, government and other institutions.

Kelly's Directory of Worcestershire (1928)

A comprehensive place-by-place gazetteer, listing key contemporary and historical facts. Each place has a list of residents and businesses. Contains details on local schools, churches, government and other institutions.

Calendar of Worcestershire Quarter Sessions (1591-1643)

Abstracts of legal records that cover numerous affairs of the county of Worcestershire, including military, criminal, land and trade. Contains a name & place index.

Act Books of the Archbishops of Canterbury (1663-1859)

An index to names and places mentioned in act books of the Province of Canterbury. It records various licences and conferments, such as marriage and physician licences.

Home Office Prison Calendars (1868-1929)

Records of over 300,000 prisoners held by quarter sessions in England & Wales. Records may contain age, occupation, criminal history, offence and trial proceedings.

Central Criminal Court After-trial Calendars (1855-1931)

Over 175,000 records detailing prisoner's alleged offences and the outcome of their trial. Contains genealogical information.

Prison Hulk Registers (1802-1849)

From the late 18th century many prisoners in Britain were kept on decommissioned ships known as hulks. This collection contains nearly 50 years of registers for various ships. Details given include: prisoner's name, date received, age, year of birth and conviction details.

Bewdley Taxation Records

Worcestershire Hearth Tax (1664-1665)

A name index to records recording taxes levied against owners of hearths in Worcestershire.

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.

Index to Death Duty Registers (1796-1903)

An index to wills and administrations that incurred a death duty tax. The index can be used to order documents that give a brief abstract of the will and details on the duty. It can be used as a make-shift probate index.

Bewdley Land & Property Records

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.

Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem (1236-1291)

Abstracts of records detailing the estates and families of deceased tenants from the reigns of Henry III and Edward I.

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.

Return of Owners of Land England (1873)

A list of landowners in England giving their primary residence, extent of their land and estimated yearly rental.

Bewdley Occupation & Business Records

Lost Pubs of Worcestershire (1750-Present)

Short histories of former public houses, with photographs and lists of owners or operators.

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.

UK Medical Registers (1859-1959)

Books listing doctors who were licensed to operate in Britain and abroad. Contains doctor's residencies, qualification and date of registration.

Railway Employment Records (1833-1963)

A rich collection of records documenting those who worked for railway companies that were later absorbed by the government. Records include: staff registers, station transfers, pensions, accident records, apprentice records, caution books, and memos. Records may include date of birth, date of death and name of father.

Royal Navy Medical Journals (1817-1857)

Indexed medical journals from British ships containing personal and medical details of patients. The journals list names, ages, rank/status, diseases, illness duration and notes on symptoms and treatment. Contains details on military men as well as people immigrating or being deported to colonies.

Bewdley School & Education Records

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.

Dissenting Academy Database (1660-1860)

Histories of schools operated by non-conformist clergy.

Pedigrees & Family Trees Covering Bewdley

Victoria County History: Worcestershire (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.

Bewdley Royalty, Nobility & Heraldry Records

Victoria County History: Worcestershire (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.

Knights of England (1127-1904)

The most comprehensive listing of Knights of the Crown, listing details where known to the order, date, place and reason for elevation.

Bewdley Military Records

Worcestershire WWI Memorials (1914-1918)

A list of names found on World War One monuments in Worcestershire, with some service details.

Worcestershire WWII Memorials (1914-1918)

A list of names found on World War Two monuments in Worcestershire, with some service details.

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

Bewdley 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.

Bewdley Histories & Books

Victoria County History: Worcestershire (1086-1900)

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

Worcestershire Parish Church Montages (1990-Present)

Photographs of monuments, stained glass windows, fonts, memorials and other architectural facets of parish churches in Worcestershire.

Worcestershire Church Photographs (1890-Present)

Photographs and images of churches in Worcestershire.

Worcestershire Church Photographs (2006-Present)

High quality photographs of Worcestershire church exteriors.

Worcestershire Windmills (1998-Present)

An index of windmills in the county, with brief notes and some photographs.

Biographical Directories Covering Bewdley

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.

Church of England Clergy Database (1500-1835)

A database of CoE clergy, giving details of their education of service. Contains references to source documents. Also contains profiles of various church institutions.

Bewdley Maps

Maps of Worcestershire (1607-1900)

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.

Speed's Maps of Britain (1612)

County and national maps covering the British Isles, extracted from John Speed's landmark work, Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain.

Bewdley 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.

Bewdley Information

Civil Jurisdiction:

Historical Description

The thriving and populous market and borough town of Bewdley, of which Leland speaks in the following terms: "Bewdley, a market and sanctuary towne, hath hard by it the king's maner of Tikile standing on a hill. The towne itself of Bewdley, is sett on the side of a hille so comeley, that a man cannot wish to see a towne better. It riseth from Severne bank by east, upon the hill by west, so that a man standing on the hill trans pontem by east, may discern almost every house in the towne, and att the rising of the sunne from east, the whole towne glittereth, being all of new building, as it were of gold. By the distance of the paroch church, I gather that Bewdley is but a very newe towne, and that of old time there was but some poor hamlett, and that upon the building of a bridge there upon the Severne, and resort of people to it, and commodity of the pleasant site, men began to inhabit there, and because that the plot of it seemed fayer to the lookers, it took a French name Beaudley, quase Bellus Locus. I asked a merchant there of the antientnesse of the towne, and he answered me that it was but a new towne, adding that they had liberties granted by King Edward. There is a fayre manor place west of the towne, standynge in a goodly parke well-wooded, on the very knappe of an hille that the towne standeth on. This place is called Ticken Hill. Whether there were an ancient house in tymes past or noe I am not assured: but this that now is there something new, and as I heard was in a manner wholly erected by King Henry VII. for Prince Arthur. It was repayred for the Lady Marye. Since I heard that Richard, Earl of Marche, and Duke of York, builded there. It was Mortimer's, Earl of Marche's land. There was a privilege of sanctuary given to this towne, that is now wholly abrogated." The ancient name of the whole town was Tunhill, which signifies Goats-hill; this name is at present however confined to the spot where the palace stood, till destroyed with the park in the Civil War.

Before the reign of Edward I. the manor of Bewdley belonged to the Beauchamp family, by whom, in the reign of Edward IV. it was sold to the Sheldons. During the unfortunate contests between Charles I. and his people, the manor-house here shared the same fate as the palace.

From the first notice we have of the inhabitants of Bewdley, we find them attentive to the navigation of the fine river which washes the walls of their town: they have long borne away the palm as barge or trow men, and of their superiority in this way we have the concurrent testimony of the burgesses both of Bristol and of Gloucester, as delivered to the parliament. Besides the employment derived from the navigation of the river, the inhabitants of this town are occupied as corvisers, or cordwainers; as cappers; the period of the introduction of this trade is uncertain; these caps evidently appear to have been worn in the reign of Elizabeth; and we may observe the endeavours made by the legislature to keep up the use of them; for in 1571, an act was passed, requiring "that all above the age of six years, except some of a certain state and condition, shall wear upon the Sabbath and holidays, upon their heads, one cap of wool knit, thicked and dressed in England, upon the forfeiture of three shillings and fourpence." 13th Elizabeth, chap. 19. The introduction of hats first injured this trade; still however it is carried on, though to a less extent than formerly. The tanning business formerly furnished employment for a large number of the inhabitants, and the extent of the trade may be estimated from the remaining tan yards, as also from the many acts of their public munificence which stand upon record. The first attempt at establishing a free grammar-school here was made by a tanner; besides this the benefactions of many others of the same trade are recorded; the number of tan yards at present employed is three. The working of horn seems to have long constituted an occupation of many persons here. From the numerous malthouses, of which traces are still perceptible, it appears that this town formerly drove a very extensive and lucrative trade in that article, the decay of which is not improbably ascribed to the opening of a communication by an excellent turnpike road between the parts of Shropshire bordering upon Tenbury and Ludlow, which were formerly the chief vents for malt, with the city of Worcester. An extensive and highly beneficial trade in groceries has been for a great length of time a source of no inconsiderable wealth to the burgesses of Bewdley, who purchase these articles wholesale, and supply the inland shops of the adjacent country, at the retail prices, with such things as they cannot procure at Bristol; the opening of the Staffordshire Canal seems however to have diminished this trade considerably.

Here is a free Grammar-school, founded towards the close of Elizabeth's reign, and supported by the voluntary contributions of the benevolent, whose names are recorded on a tablet hung up in the schoolroom. Besides the free-school, another charitable school has been established, and is supported by the annual subscriptions of the burgesses and other inhabitants; besides their education, which is wisely adapted to their situation in life, the boys and girls are annually clothed, and regularly attend upon divine service.

With a view to furnishing the poor with employment, a fund has been established, by voluntary subscription, for setting on foot an extensive flannel manufactory, whereby numbers who were before without employment are enabled to support themselves without the disgrace of coming upon the parish in their old age; this establishment resembles one at Shrewsbury, except that this is unaided by parliament. Besides the foregoing charitable institutions, there are several comfortable almshouses here which are well endowed.

The bridge over the Severn was, we believe, erected by Edward IV. whose predecessor Henry VI. in the 38th year of his reign, contributed all the stone requisite for its construction. Upon the middle pair is situated a wooden gatehouse, the north end of which serves as a dwelling-house for the toll-gatherer, while the corporation use the other for a prison, which is commonly called the Bridge-house. Of the tolls taken at the gate here, that for a millestone, amounting to six shillings and sixpence, is most enormous.

Bewdley is situated in the parish of Bibbesworth, to which the church here is a chapel of ease. Previous to the reign of Edward VI. there were chantries annexed to the chapel here, which was constructed of timber; these chantries, however, with the rest in various parts of the kingdom, were suppressed by Stat. 1, of that monarch, and their estates vested in the crown; but the chapel remained unaltered. Philip and Mary, by their letters patent, granted to this chapel an annual stipend of 8l. per annum. At the west end of the old chapel just above the south door, there was a strong tower, with an inscription on its front towards the Town Hall, mentioning the builder, and the date of its erection; both which were taken down in 1745, in order to be rebuilt; William Bowles, Esq. who at that time was member for this borough, contributed largely towards the repairs" of the chapel; the Rev. Thomas Knight, who then was rector of the parish of Ribbesford, took down the steeple, and rebuilt it, as far as the old materials went, at his own expense: besides these there were other contributors to the work. The new chapel, which is a neat edifice, situated nearly in the centre of the town, was finished, and divine service performed in it, for the first time, upon the 25th day of March 1748.

At no great distance below the chapel, were the old shambles on the walk, as commonly called, being a long range of timber building open on both sides, which upon the building of the new shambles in 1783, were taken down.

The first charter of incorporation was that granted to them by Edward IV. by which they obtained many valuable privileges by land and by sea; in this charter they are styled "the Burgesses of Bewdley and the precincts thereof." Henry VIII. twice confirmed these immunities. The charter of James I. is that under which the corporation is at present governed; the corporation consists of a bailiff, twelve aldermen, and burgesses, who are empowered to enact such regulations as may seem to them necessary for the government of the borough, the free school, &c.

Bewdley at present returns but one member to parliament; the electors are the bailiff, twelve capital burgesses, and such of the minor burgesses as they elect. This town was formerly built, like most of our other ancient towns, of timber, but most of the wooden structures have latterly given place to more secure and permanent habitations of brick. The number of houses is 632, and the inhabitants 3,454.

Besides members of the established religion, there are several sectaries, as Presbyterians, Anabaptists, and Quakers, resident here; each of these sects has a meetinghouse for persons belonging to it.

Formerly there were two weekly markets, and four annual fairs held here; the markets being on Wednesday and Saturday, and the fairs upon the feast of St. Agatha, the 5th of February; upon the feast of St. George, 23rd of April; upon the feast of St. Ann, 26th of July; and upon St. Andrew's day, 30th of November. The market on Saturday, with the three last mentioned fairs, were confirmed to the bailiff and burgesses by the charter of James I. But the fair upon the 5th of February, and the market upon Wednesday, have been long disused. The trade of Bewdley is almost entirely ruined by the Staffordshire Canal, which has caused the prosperity of the town of Stourport.

Near Bewdley is the seat of Sir E. Winnington, beautifully situated on the banks of the Severn; and not far from the town is Bluckstone Hill, where there is an hermitage curiously cut out of a rock, and consisting of several apartments besides a chapel. Upon the edge of the river in its vicinity, is a picturesquely wooded rock, which is interesting to the botanist, on account of the many rare plants it produces. In the parish of Roch, not far from hence, is an oak conjectured by several to be the same with the famous Augustine's oak, whose true situation has been the source of so much contention among the learned, and is still undetermined. Camden says "there is a place whose situation is not exactly known in this county, called Augustine's Oak, where Augustine the Apostle of the English, and the British bishops met, and after some squabbling about the observance of Easter, the preaching of the gospel) and administration of Baptism according to the ritual of the Romish church, separated with as little agreement as before." Spelman imagines the vicinity of Aufric, a village on the confines of Herefordshire, to have been the site of this tree; but it is no less remote from our inclination, than it is from our province to enter into the lists of controversy.

Tickenhill is now vested in the crown, and leased, with the manor of Bewdley, to Sir Edward Winnington, who built a seat in the vicinity called Winterdyne, now the residence of W. M. Moseley, Esq. Spring Grove is the seat of S. Skey, Esq. and Sandbourn, that of J. Soley, Esq. Part of the ancient forest of Wire, formerly celebrated for the excellence and abundance of its timber, is situated near this; a gold coin of the Emperor Tiberius was found, in a state of uncommon preservation, in this forest about the year 1770. The court for the marches of Winterdyne, was kept alternately here, and at Ludlow castle, Prince Henry's physicians being of opinion that the situation of Tickenhill was healthier than that of Ludlow, in consequence of which, he ordered the house to be repaired and fitted up for him; but he did not live to visit it.

Crossing the Severn, we digress a little to the left of the road to visit Wassel Hill, which is situated about half a mile from the banks of the river, and has upon its summit the remains of a small camp, about four or five miles to the east of which, on Kniver Edge, is another of greater extent, with which it appears to have been intended to form a line of fortification, extending across this part of the county, as at about an equal distance to the east of Kniver Edge camp, is another upon Whitenbury hill. Gough conjectures these to have been the posts of Henry IV. when he blocked up Owen Glendour after the burning of Worcester in the year 1405.

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

BEWDLEY, anciently “Beaudeley” otherwise “Beaulieu,” is a municipal borough, market town and parish, with a station on the Severn Valley branch of the Great Western railway, 3 miles south-west from Kidderminster, 3 north-west from Stourport, 20 east from Ludlow, 24 south-west from Birmingham, 14 north-west from Worcester, and 137 from London, in the Western division of the county, lower division of Doddingtree hundred, Kidderminster union, petty sessional division and county court district, and in the rural deanery of Bewdley, archdeaconry of Ludlow and diocese of Hereford. The Severn Valley and Kidderminster and Bewdley and Tenbury sections of the Great Western railway form a junction here, and there is also a loop line on the Severn Valley line from Bewdley through Stourport to Hartlebury: the town is on the north-west border of the county and on the west bank of the river Severn, which is here navigable, and is crossed by a handsome stone bridge of three arches, designed by Thomas Telford F.R.S, the famous engineer, begun in 1797 and completed in 1801, at a cost of £10,000: The old Bewdley Bridge, erected about 1440, was repaired in 1574, but was entirely destroyed by a flood in 1795. In 1886 the river bank on the north side of the bridge was raised seven feet, at a cost of £1,004, in order to improve and retain the road which thereby minimised the flooding to which this part of the town was subject at times of high water. The town consists chiefly of three streets, one of which, containing the principal shops and inns, and the Town hall, is a broad thoroughfare, with two other streets diverging from its western extremity: it is lighted with gas by a company: it was formerly extra-parochial, but was added to Ribbesford in the reign of Henry VI. and was made a part of the county of Worcester in the time of Henry VIII. having previously belonged to the Marches of Wales. The first charter of incorporation is dated the 12th of Edward IV. (1472) and was confirmed and added to by Henry VII. and VIII. In 1606, James I. granted to the town a new charter, but this was surrendered in 1684, and in the following year another was granted by James II.; the previous surrender being, however, considered informal, this grant was thereby invalidated, and a fresh, charter was granted in the 7th year of Queen Anne (1708) in the same terms as the charter of King James I. and is still the governing charter of the borough. The Corporation consists of four aldermen and twelve councillors, from whom the mayor is generally chosen: the name of the chief magistrate was changed from “bailiff” to “mayor” by the Municipal Reform Act of 1835: the borough has a commission of the peace, and the mayor is an ex-officio justice of the borough and the county. Bewdley sent members to parliament at a very early period, but the privilege, which had previously been allowed to lapse, was renewed by the charter of 1606. By the Reform Act of 1832 the neighbouring town of Stourport was added to the parliamentary borough, which, however, by the “Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885,” was merged in that of the county, and now gives its name to the Western division. By an Order of Her Majesty in Council, August 18, 1892, that part of the borough of Bewdley that had been previously within the ecclesiastical parish of Ribbesford has been transferred to the ecclesiastical parish of St. Anne, the boundaries of which parish became thereby coterminous with those of the civil parish of the borough of Bewdley. The civil and ecclesiastical parishes now cover the same area with the exception of the lordship of Ribbesford. The church of St. Anne, erected in 1748, at a cost of £2,200, is a spacious building of stone in the semi-classic style of the 17th century, and consists of chancel, nave and aisles, with galleries on the north, south and west, and an embattled western tower containing a clock and 8 bells: in 1879 a memorial window was erected in the chancel in memory of the Rev. John Fortescue, a former vicar. In 1892 the whole of the windows in the nave were re-glazed as a memorial to the Rev. Philip Alfred Pughe, a former vicar. The organ was restored in 1894 at a cost of £75. There are 750 sittings, 500 being free. The Bewdley parish register dates from the year 1853; earlier entries are found in the Ribbesford register. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £120, with 60 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of the rector of Ribbesford, and held since 1898 by the Rev. Rowland Tracy Ashe Money-Kyrle M.A. of New College, Oxford, who is also rector of Ribbesford. There is a Baptist chapel, built in 1764, and seating 180 persons; a Wesleyan chapel, built in 1795, with 200 sittings; and a Unitarian chapel, built in 1680, with sittings for 180 persons; there is also a meeting house at Lower Park, for the Society of Friends, built in 1691, and seating 80 persons. The Town Hall, in Load street, erected in 1808, and renovated and enlarged in 1873, is a handsome edifice of stone, with butchers shambles, and cells for the confinement of prisoners in the rear. The borough magistrates hold petty sessions here on alternate Mondays, and the lord of the manor holds a court-leet yearly. The Bewdley Institute, first established in 1848, occupies premises opposite the church, erected in 1877 at a cost of £1,000, and comprising reading, refreshment, social and billiard rooms and a good library of over 1,000 volumes, transferred here from the Grammar school. There are now (1899) 130 members. Mr. Wm. S. Mackay, hon. sec., Lower Park house. Adjoining and forming part of the institute is a coffee tavern. There is a branch here of the Kidderminster and District School of Science and Art. The Convalescent Home of the Odd Fellows M.U. Friendly Society, in the Park, was purchased and opened in 1893 for the benefit of members residing within 50 miles of Birmingham, and is self-supporting. The manufacture of horn combs, powder flasks, foresters and drinking horns and horns for lanterns, is carried on here, but only to a small extent, Messrs. G. J. Humpherson and Sons, of 64 High street, being the principal makers; there is also some malting, tanning and rope making; large quantities of fruit, especially cherries, are also grown here. Brass founding was established here in the year 1697 by the Bankes, of Wigan, and the manufacture of Maslin (or Mechlin) pans is still carried on at the works of Messrs. G. T. Smith and Son, Load street: in the reign of Queen Elizabeth this place was celebrated for the manufacture of caps, the wearing of which was enforced by Act of Parliament. The principal hotels are The George, a very old posting house, established at the beginning of the last century, and the Black Boy, Wribbenhall. The principal fair is held on the 23rd of April, but this is fast falling into disuse. A stock sale is held at The George Hotel sale yard monthly, Mr. G. H. Banks being the auctioneer. There are almshouses in Park lane, for 14 poor women, founded by Edward Burlton in 1654, with an endowment of £50 yearly. The Lower Park Almshouses, for 6 poor men, built and endowed by Samuel Sayers in 1625 with a £30 rent-charge, were rebuilt by Sir E. Winnington bart. M.P. in 1763 and restored in 1871. The High Street Almshouses, built by Thomas Cook, in 1693 and endowed with £6 yearly for each inmate, were restored by the late Rev. J. Crane M.A. in 1860, at a cost of £200. Sir John Hibbot's and Francis Geldings Charity consists of £1,309 6s. 9d. derived from the sale of a corn mill and meadow, and the rent accruing from certain house property; the annual income from these invested funds, amounting to about £80, is distributed among the poor of Bewdley and Ribbesford. Crump’s Charity, the interest of £188 1s. 3d. is divided amongst 20 poor widows yearly on St. Thomas day. John Sherriff’s Charity consists of property in Astley parish, for apprenticing poor boys. Richard Vickriss Charity consists of certain properties conveyed in trust in 1661, to pay yearly £5 to Grammar school, £3 to poor women in childbed, and the residue to the preacher for the time being of Bewdley chapel. Miss Blackford's Charity consists of £2,200, the interest of which is distributed to the poor in coals and blankets and clothing on St. Thomas day. Miss Vobe’s Charity, the interest of £5 10s. 4d. is distributed amongst 12 old maids every Christmas. W. A. Roberts's benefaction of £200 produces £5 3s. 8d. yearly for the benefit of ten widows. Miss Roberts's of £219 4s. 9d. realizes about £6 yearly. Ticknell House (formerly Tickenhill palace), the property of Joseph Tangye esq. and now occupied by James Moxon esq. was originally the council house of the Lords Presidents of the Marches of Wales, and a royal residence here, in 1499, Prince Arthur was married by proxy to Catherine of Arragon; the princesses (afterwards queens) Mary and Elizabeth, frequently resided here and it was from Tickenhill that King Charles, in 1644, wrote the letter to Prince Rupert, which resulted in the battle of Marston Moor, July 2, in that year; very little of the original building remains, but it is still a handsome residence, surrounded with fine undulating scenery. Winterdyne, the residence of Giles Shaw esq. is a mansion overlooking the west bank of the Severn, and is chiefly noted for its beautiful grounds, the walks forming a series of terraces one above another, on the sides of an eminence, thickly covered with trees and shrubs of many varieties. From the time of the Norman Conquest the manor appears to have been the property of the Mortimer family, until forfeited by the execution of Roger Lord Mortimer in 1330: in 1337 the lands were held by the Priory of Worcester, becoming Crown property in the reign of Edward IV. and held, by lease successively, by the families of Blount, Clare, Winnington and Dudley, until the manorial rights in 1870 became by purchase the property of William Nichols Marcy esq. Richard Hemingway esq. of Park lodge, is now lord of the manor, the Crown retaining the right to the minerals only. The present house was built in 1760 by Sir Edward Winnington. The principal landowners are Giles Shaw esq. the Countess of Portsmouth and George Baker esq. J.P. of Beaucastle. The area of the municipal borough and parish is 2,105 acres; net rateable value, £8,610; the population in 1891 was 2,876.

Places of Worship, with times of services

St. Anne’s Church, Load street, Rev. Rowland Tracy Ashe Money-Kyrle M.A. vicar; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 8 p.m.

Baptist, High street, Rev. F. J. Aust; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Mon. & Wed. 7 p.m.

Society of Friends, Lower park; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 11 a.m.

Unitarian, High street, 3 p.m.

Wesleyan, High street, Rev. Arthur Boden; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.

Schools

Grammar School, founded by William Mounox in 1591 & refounded by charter of James I. in 1606; in 1865 it was rebuilt on a new site & is now administered under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, framed in 1882; an extensive public library of upwards of 1,000 volumes, given by the Rev. Thomas Wigan in the year 1819, & formerly at the school, has been transferred to the Bewdley Institute the school endowment amounts to about £120 yearly, & there is a house for the master; the management is vested in a body of governors, of whom the high steward is chairman & the mayor deputy-chairman; it will now hold 50 scholars; average attendance, 30.

National, Lax lane (mixed), built in 1838, for 360 children; average attendance, 300.

Infants, Wyre hill, built in 1868, for 60 children; average attendance, 40.

Kelly's Directory of Worcestershire (1900)