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Wychnor (Wichnor)

"Wichnor (Wychnor), or Whichnour, is a scattered village, township and chapelry, forming the south end of Tatenhill parish, six and a half miles SW of Burton-upon-Trent and the same distance NE of Lichfield. The whole belongs to the lord of the manor, John Levett, Esq, of Wichnor Lodge, a handsome mansion, seated in a beautiful park of 300 acres, on the north bank of the Trent.
The river Trent here runs in two circuitous streams, crossed by a range of noble aquaducts, forming part of the canal, and by a stone bridge, of many arches and culverts, on the Lichfield and Burton road, which latter is the Icknield Street of the Romans. Near the bridge is an iron forge, established about 90 years ago. King James I visited Wichnor, on August 21st, 1621, and held a court at the hall, and he dined there again on August 19th, 1624. The corn mills here were burnt down in 1596."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Bibliography

'The Story of Wychnor. Written for the Schoolchildren of Wychnor'
by Edith Harrison
Published 1934, by AC Lomax's Successors, Lichfield.

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Cemeteries

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

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Census

The population of Wychnor township was as follows:
1841 -- 155
1851 -- 131

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Church History

"Wichnor Church, St Leonard, is a small ancient edifice, seated on an eminence betwixt the park and the Trent.
The perpetual curacy is in the patronage of J Levett, Esq, and incumbency of the Rev. John Muckleston."

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

The church of St Leonard, Wychnor, was a chapelry of Tatenhill parish, details of which can be found on the Tatenhill parish page.

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Church Records

Church of England Registers
The register of St Leonard commences in 1731. The original registers for the period 1731-1983 (Bapts), 1731-1983 (Mar) & 1731-1989 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1660-1864 (with gaps 1836-63) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.

Description and Travel

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

Poorhouses, Poor Law etc

The chapelry became part of Burton-upon-Trent Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.

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Social Life and Customs

"In 1338, this manor was held by Sir Philip de Somerville, under the famous John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, who, during his residence at Tutbury Castle, established several curious customs, for the purpose of gaining the affection of his people, and none of them is more singular than the tenure of this manor, which requires the Lord to keep a flitch of bacon hanging in his hall at Wichnor at all times of the year, except in Lent, that it may be delivered to any man or woman who shall come and claim it, and at the same time swear that he or she has been married for a year and a day without quarrelling or repenting; and that if they were then single, and wished to be married again, the demandant would take the same party before any other in the world.
Two neighbours were required to testify the truth of this deposition, and if the claiment was a freeman, he received, besides the bacon, half a quarter of wheat and a cheese, and if a villein, half a quarter of rye. These things, with the bacon, were carried before him with trumpets, tabernets, minstrels, and a procession of the tenancy, through the lordship of Wichnor, and then, without music, to his abode.
Since this custom was established very few have dared to claim the prize, and three couples only have obtained it, one of which, having quarrelled about the method of cooking the bacon, was adjudged to return it, and the other happy couples were a sea officer and his wife, who had never seen each other from the day of their marriage till they met at the Hall, and 'a simple pair in the neighbourhood, the husband a good natured sensible man, and the wife luckily dumb'.
No claimant for the flitch having appeared for several centuries, a wooden one was long since substituted in its stead, and still hangs in the Hall, a friendly monitor to the young and free, to be cautious of trusting themselves in the hymeneal noose.
A similar custom forms part of the tenure of Dunmow Priory, in Essex."

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

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