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High Offley

"High Offley, so called from its elevated situation upon a bold eminence, four miles SW of Eccleshall, is a scattered village, comanding an extensive prospect, and comprising within its parish 658 inhabitants, and about 3520 acres of land, including the hamlets of Shebden and Woodseaves. Miss Theodosia Hinckes is lady of the manor, which for many generations was held by the Skrymsher family, but a great part of the soil belongs to other proprietors, the largest of whom is T Cartwright, Esq. From the foundations of a Roman road, traceable in the fields a little north of the church, and from the great numbers of Roman coins, bricks, armour, pottery, etc, having been dug up on the side of the hill south of the churchyard, it has been conjectured that the Roman station Mediolanum, was at High Offley.
Shebden, or Shebdon, is a hamlet and large estate, occupying the southwestern and lower side of the parish, extending to Batchacre, and was, until the enclosure in 1809, mostly an extensive waste, abounding in peat, and having two large pools. Hill Hall, one and a half miles W of High Offley, is a large and handsome mansion, and is the seat and property of Thomas Cartwright, Esq, together with an estate of 500 acres, which was purchased of the late Richard Whitworth, Esq, by the late John Walford, Esq, who built the hall. The Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal crosses this estate through an embankment 45 feet in height, and over three aqueduct bridges.
Woodseaves hamlet is one mile SE of High Offley. "
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

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Census

The population of High Offley parish was as follows:
1801 -- 523
1831 -- 759
1841 -- 658

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Church History

"High Offley Church, St Mary, is an ancient Gothic fabric, neatly pewed with oak. It has an excellent organ, which was given by John Salmon, Esq, of London, a native of this parish. It has several monuments of the Skrymsher and other families, and a handsome one was erected in 1851 in memory of the late Bishop Ryder, at the expense of the present vicar. The vicarage is in the patronage of the Bishop of Lichfield, and incumbency of the Rev EB Seckerson, 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 Mary commences in 1659. The original registers for the period 1689-1876 (Bapts), 1689-1836 (Mar) & 1689-1868 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts for the period 1659-1875 (with gaps 1662-71, 1678-81, 1692-96 & 1721-27) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
A transcript of the register for the period 1659-1812 has been published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

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Poorhouses, Poor Law etc

High Offley parish became part of Newport Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.

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[Last updated: 29th May 2000, Mike Harbach.  © 1998, 2000]