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Uttoxeter

"Uttoxeter is an ancient and well-built market town, pleasantly seated in the heart of a rich grazing district, upon a gentle eminence above the vale of the Dove, 14 miles NE by E of Stafford, and 17 miles N of Lichfield. It has two railway stations near the junction of the Churnet Valley and the main line of the North Staffordshire Railway. The Canal, from Uttoxeter to Froghall, is now closed, and some parts of it are filled up and converted into the Churnet Valley Railway, which was opened in 1849.
The parish of Uttoxeter contains about 9000 acres of fertile land and in 1841 had 4735 inhabitants, of whom about 3700 are in the town, and the rest in the hamlets and constablewicks of Crakemarsh, Loxley, Stramshall-and-Creighton, and Woodlands. Earl Talbot, Lord Bagot, JV Smythe, Esq, and the Lawrence, Minors, and Farnham families, are the principal owners and joint lords of the manor, but the Hon R Cavendish is lord of Crakemarsh, Creighton and Stramshall, and CTS Kynnersley, Esq, is lord of the manors of Blounts Hall and Loxley.
The town stands on a dry elevation above the vale of the Dove, and has long been remarkable for the salubrity of its air and the longevity of its inhabitants. The market place has several good streets branching from it, and containing many well-stocked shops and handsome houses. Races were re-established here in 1850, and are intended to be held twice a year on the old course at Netherwood, in spring, for steeple chasing and hurdle races, and in September for the more legitimate kind of racing.

The hamlets in Uttoxeter parish, and their distance and bearings from the town, are as follows:
Blount's Green, in the manor of Blount's Hall, three quarters of a mile SW.
Heath, a district of modern scattered houses, half a mile NW.
Hockley, a quarter of a mile S.
Little Bramshall, two miles W, adjoining Great Bramshall, and mostly belonging to CTS Kynnersley, Esq.
Crakemarsh, two miles N, a fertile district belonging to the Hon Richard Cavendish, but formerly held by the late Sir TC Sheppard, Bart, whose relict resides at the Hall, a handsome mansion, delightfully situated near the Dove.
Spath, one mile N.
Stramshall, and Creighton, two to three miles NNW.
Beamhurst Lane, near the River Tean, two and a half miles NW, near which is Springfield Hall, the seat of W Phillips, Esq.
Loxley, a district of fertile farms, from two to three miles SW, including Loxley Hall and Park, the seat of Clement Thomas Sneyd Kynnersley, Esq, ( a minor), but at present occupied by T Malleby, Esq.
Burndhurst Mills, on the Blythe River, and Leese Hills, three and a half miles WSW.
Woodlands, an extensive township of scattered houses, from one to three miles SE, extending to the River Dove, and including Blount's Green, already noticed, Highfields, and Highwood, the seats of Mrs CJS Kynnersley and W Wood, Esq, Wills Lock, and Scoundslow Green, two hamlets, and Hollingsbury Hall, the ancient seat of the Minors family, several of whom were remarkable for their attachment to a seafaring life.
Woodgate is a pleasant village, about half a mile S of Uttoxeter, commanding a fine view of the vale of Dove, and near it is Wood Villa, the seat of S Bean, Esq, but the property of E Phillips, Esq, of Burton, and Moorhouse, belonging to the Clough family. Betwixt it and Uttoxeter is Brook House, where there is a large tan yard, and a ladies boarding school. "

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

Bibliography

'History of the Town of Uttoxeter, with notices of places in its neighbourhood'
by Francis Redfern
Published 1865, London.
Second Ed Published 1886, Allbut & Daniel, Hanley.

'The History of Alleyne's Grammar School, Uttoxeter, 1558-1958'
by WG Torrance
Published 1959, by Old Alleynians Association, Uttoxeter.

'A History of Abbotsholme School, 1889-1989'
by Anon
Published 1989, by Abbotsholme School, Uttoxeter.

'Seven Studies in the Economic & Social History of Uttoxeter
and its Adjacent Rural Parishes, 1530-1830'

by Peter Woolley
Published 1995.

'The Quaker Meeting House, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire'
by Denis Stuart & W Eric Kent
Published 1976, by Dept of Adult Education, University of Keele.

'The Parish Church of St Mary, Uttoxeter'
by Anon
Published 1932, by British Publishing Co, Gloucester.

'A Short History of the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire'
by Anon
Published 1969, by Church Publishers, Ramsgate.

'The Stafford & Uttoxeter Railway'
by Philip Jones
Published 1981, by Oakwood, Trowbridge.

'The Caldon Canal & Tramroads, including the Uttoxeter & Leek Canals
& North Stafford Railway'

by Peter Lead
Published 1979, by Oakwood Press, Blandford.
Second Ed Published 1990, by Oakwood Press, Blandford.

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Census

The population of Uttoxeter parish was as follows:
1801 - 2,779
1831 - 4,864
1841 - 4,735

A surname index of the 1851 census of Uttoxeter parish is included in the Staffordshire 1851 Census Surname index, Volume 8 & 10, Uttoxeter & Tamworth Districts, published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

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Church History

"Uttoxeter Church, St Mary, is a handsome structure, which was all rebuilt, except the tower and spire, in 1828. The spire, which rises to a height of 179 feet, was injured by lightning in 1814, and had to be partly rebuilt. The tower contains six bells and chimes, which play every three hours. The vicarage is in the patronage of the Dean and Canons of Windsor , and incumbency of the Rev Clement Fras. Broughton, MA, of Norbury, in Derbyshire, where he is rector.
Stramshall Church, St Michael and all the Angels, is a small handsome structure, in the Early English style, erected in 1850-1, as a chapel of ease for the northern parts of the parish, and is about two miles from Uttoxeter. The benefice is a curacy, annexed to the Vicarage of Uttoxeter.
The Roman Catholic Chapel, in Balance Street, was built in 1839, with a house for the priest, the Rev George Morgan, DD. It is in the Early English style, and is handsomely fitted up.
The Independent Chapel, in Carter Street, was built in 1828. The Rev J Cook is the present minister. In the same street is a Friends Meeting House, and a small Primitive Methodist Chapel. In High Street is a commodious Wesleyan Chapel, which was erected in 1812, and enlarged in 1844. The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists have also small chapels at Stramshall."

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

A view of St Mary's Church, Uttoxeter (1).
A view of St Mary's Church, Uttoxeter (2).

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Church Records

Church of England Registers
The parish register of the parish church of St Mary, Uttoxeter, commences in 1596. The original registers for the period 1596-1958 (Bapts), 1596-1987 (Mar), & 1596-1973 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1668-1858 (with many gaps) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.

Nonconformist Registers
The following original registers are deposited at the Public Record Office:
Carter Street, (formerly Bear Street), Uttoxeter, Congregational, Births & Baptisms 1793-1836.
High Street, Uttoxeter, Wesleyan Methodist, Births & Baptisms 1812-1837.
Carter Street, Uttoxerer, Society of Friends, Births 1662-1836, Marriages 1663-1835, Burials 1649-1837.

The original registers of the Roman Catholic Church of St Mary for the period 1835-1927 (Bapts), 1876-1910 (Confirmations), 1855-1927 (Mar), & 1873-1925 (Bur) are deposited at Birmingham Diocesan Archive.

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History

"Uttoxeter is undoubtedly of great antiquity, and was probably a British settlement, and afterwards occupied by the Romans. Leland calls it 'Uttok-Cester', and says 'the menne of the towne usith grasing, for there be wonderful pastures on Dove. It longith to the erledom of Lancaster, and has a free school, founded by a priest, Thomas Alleyne, who founded another at Stone, in the reign of Queen Mary.'
At the Norman Conquest, the manor belonged to the King, but it was afterwards given to Henry de Ferrers, whose descendents were subsequently created Earls of Derby, one of whom forfeited it in the rebellion against Henry III, who bestowed it, with the honour of Tutbury, upon his younger son, Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, from whose family it passed to the Crown, with the other possessions of the Duchy of Lancaster, but the manorial claims of the Crown were satisfied, early in the 17th century, by an allotment made of the forest enclosure.
In 1252, Earl Ferrers granted the burgesses a charter of various privileges, and in 1308, they obtained from the Earl of Lancaster a charter for a market every Wednesday, and a fair on the eve, day, and morrow of St Mary Magdalen.
During the civil wars of the 17th century, Uttoxeter was much harrassed by the forces of the contending parties, and large sums were levied on the inhabitants, both by the Royalists and Parliamentarians. The King was here several times, and the loyalty of the town was evinced by the ringing of the church bells during his presence.
In 1646, the town was visited by the plague. In 1672, most of the lower part of the town was consumed by an accidental fire. At the glorious Revolution of 1688, the town partook of the general alarm which was raised throughout the country by the enemies of the Catholics.
The late distinguished Admiral Lord Gardner was born here in 1742, and died at Bath in 1810. Another eminent native was Sir Simon Degge, an antiquary, well known for his manuscript notes on Plot's Natural History of Staffordshire."

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

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Occupations

"Uttoxeter was long noted for the manufacture of clock cases and movements, but this trade has been ruined by the cheap Dutch and American clocks.
Here are several maltsters, tanners, fellmongers, nail makers, bendware manufacturers, woolstaplers, rope and twine spinners, timber merchants, etc, and a Joint Stock Bank, and a large brewery.
A large trade is likewise carried on here in preparing calves maws, to be used in curdling milk for making cheese, and there is considerable traffic in coal, lime, etc, at the Railway Station."

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

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Poorhouses, Poor Law etc

The parish gave name to, and became part of Uttoxeter Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.

Uttoxeter Union comprised 21 parishes and townships, as follows:
Sudbury, Somersall-Herbert, Boylestone, Cubley, Doveridge, and Marstone Montgomery, in Derbyshire
Abbot's Bromley, Blithfield, Bromshall, Croxton, Draycott-in-the-Clay, Field, Gratwich, Kingston, Leigh, Marchington, Marchington-Woodlands, Newborough, Norbury, Rocester, and Uttoxeter, in Staffordshire.
The union had an area of 63 square miles, and in 1841 a population of 14,452, of whom 2,780 were in Derbyshire.
The Union Workhouse was built in 1838-9, on the site of the old parish workhouse, on the Heath, half a mile from Uttoxeter, with room for more than 200 inmates.

The records of the union deposited at Staffordshire Record Office include:
Minutes 1847-1930
Ledgers 1897-1930
Assessment Committee 1863-1949
Correspondence 1903-1917

The following records of the union are deposited at the Public Records Office, Kew:
Correspondence, etc 1834-1900 (Class ref MH12/11559-75)
Staff Registers 1837-1921 (Class ref MH9/17)

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[Last updated: 10th October 2002, Mike Harbach.  © 1999, 2000, 2002]

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