Towns & Parishes
"Bushbury, or Byshbury parish, comprises the two townships of Bushbury and Essington, the former in Seisdon and the latter in Cuttlestone Hundred. In 1841 its population amounted to 1509 souls, of whom 886 were in Bushbury township, which comprises about 6000 acres of land, extending from two to four miles N of Wolverhampton, and including the hamlets of Bushbury, Ford Houses, Gorsebrook, Coven-heath, Moseley and Oxley. The manor, at the time of the Norman Conquest, was held by William Fitz-Ansculf, whose posterity assumed the name Byshbury. It later belonged to the Grosvenors, and the Goughs, ancestors of Gough, the well known antiquary. In 1790, it was purchased by the late PT Hinckes, Esq, of Tettenhall, whose daughter, Miss Theodosia Hinckes, is now lady of the manor; but TG Whitgreave, John Horton, and Alex Hordern, Esqrs, and some others, have estates here.[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
Moseley, three and a half miles N by E of Wolverhampton, forms a separate manor of about 500 acres, of which TG Whitgreave, Esq, is lord, and resides at Moseley Court, a modern mansion erected near the old hall, a venerable half-timbered building, now occupied by a farmer, but celebrated as one of the hiding places of Charles II.
The small village of Bushbury is sheltered on the east by a lofty hill, covered with a profusion of yew and other trees, and said to have once been crossed by the great road from London to Chester. The summit of this hill is 650 feet ASL, and commands a rich and extensive prospect. On the declivity are several neat mansions, and the remains of a large tumulus, near which was dug up some years ago the brass head of a catapult, supposed to be of Roman construction. The ancient appellation of the parish, Biscopesburie, would seem to point it out as having been the residence of some of the Mercian bishops.
Essington township, four and a half miles NNE of Wolverhampton, is a district of scattered houses, partly occupied by colliers, but the coal mines here are exhausted. It contains about 1600 acres and 623 souls. General Vernon, of Hilton Park, is lord of the manor, and owner of most of the land. Some remains of an ancient residence of the De Essingtons, formerly seated here, may still be traced."
'Bushbury Parish and People, 1550-1950'
by AH Chatwin
Published 1983, by AH Chatwin, Bushbury.
Second Edition published 1991, by Wolverhampton Public Libraries.
by J Evans & M Albutt
Published 1993, by Jim Evans, Essington.
'The People of Essington'
J Evans & M Albutt
Published 1996, by Jim Evans, Essington.
'The Story of St Johns Church'
by R Tomkinson
Published 1992, by Essington PCC.
Wolverhampton Archives have microfilm copies of the burial registers of Bushbury Cemetery, Underhill Lane, for the period 1949-1989.
The population of Bushbury parish was as follows:
1831 -- 1275
1841 -- 1509
A surname index of the 1851 census for Bushbury parish is included in the 1851 Census Surname Index, Staffordshire Volume 12, Penkridge, published by the Birmingham and Midland SGH.
"The Parish Church, dedicated to the assumption of the Blessed Virgin (St Mary), is an ancient fabric, surmounted by an embattled tower, and formerly belonged to the priory of St Thomas, near Stafford. It has many monuments to the families of Byshbury, Moseley, Huntbach, Hellier, Leacroft, Whitgreave, Gough, and Huskisson, the latter of whom possessed the Oxley estate until 1793. The vicarage is in the patronage of Eskrike Phillips, Esq, and others, and in the incumbency of the Rev. William Lister.
At Moseley, is a Roman Catholic Chapel, belonging to the Whitgreave family, and endowed with a farm. It is served by the priests of Wolverhampton.
The Wesleyans have a small chapel at Essington, built in 1846"
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
St John The Evangelist, Essington was originally a chapel of ease to Bushbury St Mary. The original chapel was an iron building, with a small tower containing one bell. The present church was built in 1933 as a memorial to the late JW Forrest of Holly Bank House. Essington was formed into an ecclesiastical parish in 1934.
Church of England Registers
The surviving parish registers of the church of St Mary commence in 1764. The original registers for the period 1789-1908 (Bapts & Bur) and 1764-1906 (Mar), and Banns for the period 1764-1823 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office. Earlier registers were destroyed prior to 1831.
Bishops Transcripts, 1662-1868 (with gaps) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
A transcript of the registers of St Mary for the period 1560-1812 was published by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society in 1957 and has been reprinted by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
The parish registers of the church of St John The Evangelist, Essington commence in 1873. The original registers for the period 1873-1967 (Bapts) and 1934-1962 (Mar) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Wolverhampton Archives have placed on line An Index of St Mary's Parish Registers The index covers Banns 1760-1763, Baptisms 1562-1812 and Marriages 1565-1813
Wolverhampton Archives have placed on line An Index of Essington St John The Evangelist Parish Registers The index covers Baptisms 1873-1959
Nonconformist Church Registers
Registers of the Bushbury, Shaw Road, Methodist Church, Baptisms, 1904-1977 are deposited at Wolverhampton Archives and Marriages, 1907-1976 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Registers of the Moseley Old Hall Roman Catholic Chapel, Baptisms 1773-1826, & Marriages, 1798-1825, are deposited in Birmingham Diocesan Archives.
Bushbury parish became part of Penkridge Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.
[Last updated: 22nd April 2011, Mike Harbach. © 1998 - 2011]