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Elford

"Elford is a pleasant village, upon a declivity on the north bank of the Tame, four and a half miles N by W of Tamworth, said to have derived its name from the great number of eels with which the river here formerly abounded. Its parish comprises 468 inhabitants, and 1840 acres of highly cultivated land. Before the Norman conquest this manor belonged to Earl Algar. In the reign of Henry III, it was held by William de Arderne, whose descendants continued to enjoy it till the marriage of Maud, sole heiress of Sir John Arderne, with Thomas, second son of Sir John Stanley, of Latham, carried it into that family. By a succession of females it passed, in like manner, to the families of Stanton, Smith, Huddleston and Bowes. After remaining for several generations with the latter, it devolved on the Hon. Craven Howard. The Hon. Mrs Mary Howard is now lady of the manor and owner of most of the soil, and resides at Elford Hall, a handsome mansion, erected about 1758, and having a fine avenue of young elms, planted by the late Hon. Fulke Greville Howard.
A neat stone bridge crosses the Tame at Elford, and a little above it is a corn mill, formerly occupied by the late Robert Bage, who was born at Derby, in 1728, and wrote five popular novels
Elford Lowe, on the summit of a hill, about one mile east of the village, is distinguished by a large oak tree and opposite it, at the distance of a mile, is a smaller lowe. These lowes are denominated by the common people 'Robin Hood's Shooting Butts', from a belief, that he sometimes practised here, and was able to throw an arrow from one to the other.
Comberford, a hamlet two miles S of Elford, is mostly in Tamworth parish."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Bibliography

'The Monumental Effigies and Tombs in Elford Church, Staffordshire.
With a Memoir and Pedigree of the Lords of Elford'

by Edward Richardson
Published 1852, London.

'Some Account of Elford Church..'
by Francis Edward Paget
Published 1870, Lichfield.

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Cemeteries

A transcript of the Monumental Inscriptions of the church of St Peter, Elford, has been published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

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Census

The population of Elford parish was as follows:
1831 -- 483
1841 -- 468

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Church History

"The church, St Peter, is a fine old building, in the pointed style of architecture. It has many antique monuments and effigies of the former lords of the manor. The church was restored in 1848, and decorated with stained glass windows, so that the interior now has a very handsome appearance. The tower has six bells and a clock. The rectory is in the patronage of the Hon. Mrs Howard, and incumbency of the Rev FE Paget, MA."

From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

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Church Records

Church of England Registers

The register of St Peter commenced in 1558. The original registers for the period 1558-1872 (Bapts), 1558-1966 (Mar) & 1558-1907 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts for the period 1663-1864 (with gaps) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.

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Poorhouses, Poor Law etc

Elford parish became part of Lichfield Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.

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[Last updated: 27th May 2000, Mike Harbach.  © 1998, 1999, 2000]