Towns & Parishes
"Rushall is a village and parish on the Lichfield road, one mile NE of Walsall, containing about 1800 acres of land, abounding in excellent coal and limestone, the latter much celebrated for its superior quality, taking a polish almost equal to marble, and raised from mines nearly 80 yards below the surface. The recent large increase in population has occured chiefly in Ryecroft, on the north side of Walsall, where the inhabitants are chiefly miners.[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
The most attractive objects in Rushall are the ruins of the ancient Manor house, which, during the wars of the Roses, and of those between Charles I and Parliament, was strongly fortified and defended by a numerous garrison.. During the civil wars, a Mr Pitt, of Wolverhampton, attempted to bribe Captain Tuthill to betray the garrison of Rushall, but his treachery was discovered, and he suffered death for it in 1640. Rushall Hall, a modern house, has been built near the ruins and is occupied by Mr Cowley.
The manor anciently belonged to the family of Boweles, who passed it to that of Grobbere, and afterwards to the Harpurs, one of whom, John Harpur, Esq, endowed the vicarage, and rebuilt the church about the year 1444. Early in the 17th century, the manor became the property of the Leighs, from whom it passed to the late Rev Edward Mellish, whose executors, W & G Mellish, B Gurdon and W Tritton, Esqrs, are now the principal proprietors and lords of the manor.
Dawend and the Butts are two hamlets within half a mile of Walsall. The limestone mines of this parish are situated at the former, where there is a branch of the Wyrley & Essington Canal. Near to them and Walsall is the populous mining district of Ryecroft, where fine sand is got for the glass manufacturers, and an excellent loam for the foundries."
'Records of Rushall, County Stafford, with a transcript of the old Parish Register
& extracts from the Churchwardens' Accounts'
by Frederic William Willmore
Published 1892, by WH Robinson, Walsall.
'The History of Rushall Hall'
by WH Duignan
Published 1924, by Walsall Historical Association, Walsall.
'Aldridge, Rushall & Pelsall Yesterdays'
by Richard Dudley Woodall
Published 1954, by Norman A Tector, Streetly.
The population of Rushall parish was as follows:
1831 -- 693
1841 -- 1609
1851 -- 1946
A full transcript and surname index of the 1851 census for Rushall parish is included in the 1851 Staffordshire census Vol 14, Walsall Part II index published by the Birmingham and Midland SGH.
"The Parish Church, St Michael, was said anciently to have been a chapel of ease to Walsall, and formerly had several monuments of the Leigh family, one of whom, Edward Leigh, was a member of the Long Parliament, who died in 1677 and is buried in the chancel of the church. The vicarage is in the patronage of W & G Mellish, B Gurdon and W Tritton, Esqrs, and incumbency of the Rev. H Chavasse, MA."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
Postcard of St Michael's Church c1919.
Church of England Registers
The surviving registers of the parish church of St Michael commence in 1686. The original registers for the period 1686-1968 (Bapts), 1715-1982 (Mar) & 1771-1961 (Bur) and Banns for the period 1773-1839 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1660-1868 (with gaps 1693-98, 1713-15, 1741-44 & 1770-76) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
A transcript of the registers for the period 1660-1685 (Bapts), 1660-1734 (Mar) and 1660-1770 was published in 1985 by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society and has been reprinted (with Pelsall) by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
Walsall Local History Centre holds copies of the following local newspapers covering Rushall:
Walsall Observer 1868-date
Walsall Spectator 1874-1875
Walsall Advertiser & Newspaper 1862-1915
Walsall Free Press & General Advertiser 1856-1881
Walsall Free Press & South Staffordshire Advertiser 1882-1903
Rushall parish became part of Walsall Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.
Electoral registers for the parliamentary constituency of which Rushall formed part are shown below together with dates and locations of the registers which are held at Staffordshire Record Office (SRO) or Walsall Local History Centre (WLHC)
South Staffs 1844, 1845-1867 (SRO)
East Staffs 1868-1884 (SRO)
Handsworth Division 1885-1888, 1892-1908 (SRO)
Lichfield 1931 (SRO)
Walsall 1865-1965 (WLHC)
Walsall South 1956-66, 1968-1969 (WLHC)
Aldridge-Brownhills 1970, 1975-date
[Last updated: 28th September 2002, Mike Harbach. © 1999, 2000, 2002]