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Rocester

"Rocester is a considerable village, with a cotton mill, betwixt and near the confluence of the Dove and the Churnet, four and a half miles N of Uttoxeter. It has a railway station on the Churnet Valley line, from which a branch railway is about to be extended to Ashbourn. Rocester parish contains 1146 inhabitants, and about 2600 acres of enclosed land, belonging to several freeholders, the largest of whom are the Earl of Shrewsbury, Mrs Whyte, and William Henry Bainbridge, Esq. The latter is lord of the manor, which was the demesne of Algar, Earl of Mercia, in Edward the Confessor's time. In 1146, Richard Bacoun, nephew of the Earl of Chester, founded a priory here for canons of the order of St Augustine. Some of the Stafford family afterwards settled here, and were great benefactors to this priory, of which no vestige now remains.
The hamets in this parish, and their distance from the village, are Combridge, on the Uttoxeter canal, one mile SW; Quixhill, one and a half miles N; and Rocester Green, one mile W.
Woodseat is the pleasant residence of Thomas Wardle, Esq, on an eminence above the Dove, one and a half miles NW of Rocester. Near it is Dove Leys, the seat of TP Heywood, Esq, and one mile S of the village is Barrow Hill, the mansion and estate of Mrs Whyte."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Bibliography

'Excavations at the New Cemetery, Rocester, Staffordshire, 1985-1987'
by AS Esmonde Cleary & A Simon
Published 1996, by Staffordshire Archaeological & Historical Society, Stafford.

Census

The population of Rocester parish was as follows:
1831 -- 1040
1841 -- 1146

Church History

"Rocester Church, dedicated to St Michael, is a neat structure, with a tower, and five bells. It was enlarged on the south side in 1823. The perpetual curacy is in the patronage of WH Bainbrigge, Esq, and incumbency of the Rev George F Williamson, MA.
Here are three chapels, belonging to the Baptists and the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists."

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

Postcard of Rocester Primitive Methodist Chapel c1905.

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Church Records

Church of England Registers
The register of the parish church of St Michael commences in 1564. The original registers for the period 1564-1812 (Bapts, Mar & Bur), and Banns for the period 1754-1802 & 1823-1862 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
The original registers for the period 1812-date remain with the incumbent.
Bishops Transcripts, 1674-1868 (with gaps 1698-1701, 1810-12, 1848-50 & 1853-55) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.

A printed transcript of the register for 1565-1812 was published by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society in 1906 and has been reprinted by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

Nonconformist Registers
The original registers of the Rocester, High Street, Primitive Methodist Chapel for the period 1911-1978 (Mar) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.

Description and Travel

A transcription of the section on Rocester from A Topographical History of Staffordshire by William Pitt (1817)

Poorhouses, Poor Law etc

Rocester parish became part of Uttoxeter Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.

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[Last updated: 1st October 2014, Mike Harbach.  © 1999 - 2014]

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