"St Leonard's Church, the original chapel of ease for Bilston township, was rebuilt in 1825, upon a large scale. It has a tower, eight bells and 2200 sittings, of which 750 are free. The interior was repaired, and partly remodelled, in 1846.[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
The benefit is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Inhabitants of Bilston, and incumbency of the Rev HS Fletcher, BA."
'The Story of St Leonard's Church, Bilston'
by Roy N Bissell.
Published 1962, by British Publishing Co, Gloucester.
The whole of Bilston Township originally formed a chapelry to Wolverhampton, St Peter which retained the right to perform Bilston marriages. There was considerable dispute and litigation between the churches regarding the status of Bilston and as a result, St Leonard's church performed marriages between 1747 and 1754, but between 1755 and 1841 the right to perform marriages was withdrawn and marriages again took place at Wolverhampton.
A view of St Leonard's Church (1).
A view of St Leonard's Church (2).
A view of St Leonard's Church (3).
Church of England Registers
The register of St Leonard, Bilston, commences in 1684. The original registers for the period 1684-1988 (Bapts), 1747-1754 & 1841-1984 (Mar) & 1727-1955 (Bur), and Banns for the period 1935-1949 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Baptisms for 1694-1746 and Burials for 1727-1740 are recorded in the Churchwardens & Constables Account Books, 1669-1733 which are also deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bilston marriages were performed in the mother church of Wolverhampton, St Peter between 1754-1841 and are recorded in that register.
Bishops Transcripts, 1799-1835 (with gap 1827, Bapts & Bur only) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office. Marriages are included in the Wolverhampton BTs.
A transcript of the St Leonards registers for the period 1684-1746 (Bapts & Bur) was published by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society in 1938 and has been reprinted by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
Wolverhampton Archives have placed on line indexes of the Bilston St Leonard registers covering Baptisms 1684-1837, Marriages 1687-1754 & Burials 1727-1837.
Nonconformist Church Registers
Records of Nonconformist churches in Bilston can be found on the Bilston page.
[Last updated: 21st April 2011, Mike Harbach. © 1999 - 2011]