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Cannock Parish - 1834 Directory

From "History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire", William White, Sheffield, 1834

Taken from pp. 484 - 489
Transcribed by Julie Reynolds (julie_reynolds[at][dot]au)

CANNOCK is a large and well built village, situated on the western verge of the extensive heath or chase from which it has its name, on the turnpike road between Walsall and Stafford, 8 miles N. by W. of the former, and 9 miles S.S.E. of the latter town. Though not mentioned in the Domesday book, it was a considerable village in the reign of King John, and had formerly a weekly market, which has long been obsolete. It has, however, three annual FAIRS for cattle, & c., held on May 8th, Aug. 24th, and Oct. 18th, and a feast or wake on the Sunday after the latter fair. Dugdale asserts, that Henry 1. had a summer residence here; and there are records of a castle having existed here, though no vestiges of it now remain. Pitt says, "it was formerly a place of great resort, on account of the salubrity of Reaumore-hill well, which was a fashionable watering place in its day."

The PARISH OF CANNOCK is very extensive, comprising about 20,000 acres, of which nearly one-half is uninclosed on Cannock Chase; but the cultivated portions of it are generally fertile, having a good light soil well adapted to the growth of corn, turnips, and grass. It contains 3116 inhabitants and is divided into SIX TOWNSHIPS, viz., Cannock, Great Wyrley, Huntington, Cannock Wood, Hednesford and Leacroft; the three latter of which support their poor conjointly, so that, virtually, the parish may be said to have only four townships. The whole parish, except Wryley and Huntington, is in the Manor of Cannock and Rugeley, of which the Marquis of Anglesey is lord, and holds Courts Leet, Baron and Customary, yearly in October. The greater part of the manor is held by copyholders, who pay small chief rents and heriots. It comprises the whole of CANNOCK CHASE, which is an open heath of about 32,000 acres, extending form the Trent, near Shugborough, southward nearly to Aldridge, a distance of 12 miles, and varying from 1 1/2 to 5 miles in breadth. On this extensive and dreary waste, the landholders of the surrounding townships have a right of common commensurate with the extent of their respective estates; and we hope, ere long, some agreement will be devised between them and the lord for its enclosure, as such a change would, no doubt, be as beneficial here as in the extensive forest of Needwood, and as great distress has prevailed for some years, among the agricultural labourers, certainly no more beneficial employment would be given them than the cultivation of waste lands, which would tend greatly towards the reduction of poor rates, and prevent the strength and sinews of the nation from being weakened by that prevailing evil - emigration, which during the last ten or twenty years, has not only been tolerated, but encouraged by the legislature, greatly to the disparagement of British honour.

Respecting the etymology of the term, Cannock Chase, several different opinions are entertained by antiquaries; some deriving it from the Cangi, and others from Canute, the first Danish King of England. But whatever may be the derivation of its name, it was doubtless a celebrated forest during the Saxon heptarchy, being the favourite chase of the Mercian Kings. It was then, and for many succeeding centuries, covered with a profusion of majestic oaks. Several centuries have, however, passed away since it was wholly stripped of its foliage, and converted into a bleak and dreary heath. This sad change is well described by Drayton in his Polyolbion, but much more beautifully by Mr. Masters, in his Iter Boreale of 1675. At the north end of the chase, near Rugeley, and on some parts of the western border, are several extensive coal mines, in which is found a particular species of iron ore, called Cannock stone, which oxygenates so rapidly as to be capable of much useful application. About 3 miles N.E. of Cannock village, is the Marquis of Anglesey's seat, Beaudesert Park, one moiety of which is the township of Cannock Wood, in this parish, and contains the vestiges of an extensive British encampment, a little to the south of which is RADMOOR, where there are some remains of an ABBEY of Cistercian monks, on whom the Empress Maud and King Stephen conferred a considerable extent of land in this neighbourhood, about the year 1154; but the monks soon afterwards moved to Stoneleigh, in Warwickshire, and their possessions here were given to the Paget family, by Henry VIII., after the Dissolution.

Cannock CHURCH is an ancient stone fabric, dedicated to St. Luke, and has undergone many modern repairs. The south side was re-built in 1753. The interior is neatly pewed, and has spacious galleries, and some monumental memorials of the Walhouse family, of Hatherton, the inhabitants of which township use this church, though they are in the parish of Wolverhampton. The dean and chapter of Lichfield, have had the appropriation of the tithes since the reign of King John, and also the advowson of the benefice, which is a perpetual curacy, now enjoyed by the Rev. John Shiel. Mrs Walhouse, of Hatherton Hall, is lessee of the tithes of the whole parish. An annuity of 8s. left by an unknown donor, is paid out of an estate belonging to Mr Barber, towards the repairs of the church; and the curate has 20s. a-year left by Henry Stone, in 1639. In the village is an Independent Chapel, built by subscription, in 1824, and now under the ministry of Rev. Charles Greenway. In the parish, is a farm, let for £120 per annum, which was purchased for the augmentation of the church livings at Penkridge, Shareshill, Abbott's Bromley, Brewood, Colwich, Weston-on-Trent, and Lapley.

CONDUITS :- As the large village of Cannock stands upon a gentle eminence, with a gravelly soil, the inhabitants frequently suffered considerably from a scarcity of water in summer, until the late Dr. Birch gave them the use of a copious spring, on his estate at Leacroft, distant about 1 1/2 mile to the south. Having obtained possession of this spring, a Mr Blythe granted them a right of road through his grounds, for the purpose of laying pipes into the lane leading to Cannock. A subscription was consequently opened in 1735, and the sum of £478. 9s. was speedily raised by 88 individuals, among whom was Dr Hough, Bishop of Worcester. This money was expended in laying leaden pipes from the spring to a handsome stone conduit, near the bowling-green, in the centre of the village, and the principal inhabitants entered into a bond to keep the works in repair for 7 years. Subsequently, the Bishop of Worcester, in the name of the inhabitants, petitioned the late Earl of Uxbridge to allow them to enclose 30 acres of Cannock Chase, and to employ the rents in the reparation and improvement of the water-works. This prayer was complied with; but the rent of the land being inadequate to the intended extension of the works, two handsome subscriptions were afterwards raised; the last in 1786; since which the old pipes have been replaced by new ones, and several conduits or pumps set up in different parts of the village, so that the inhabitants are now abundantly supplied with excellent water at all seasons of the year.

The School-House at Cannock, was given by John Wood, of London, in the year 1680, and was endowed in 1752, and 1761, by John Biddulph, Esq. with a garden now occupied by the schoolmaster, and a meadow called Pool-yard, let for £8 a year. The master does not teach any free-scholars; but at another School, built in 1829, by Mrs Walhouse, about 200 poor children are educated at the sole expense of that lady.

The BENEFACTIONS to the poor of the parish amount to the following yearly sums,
viz, : 10s. out of Coalpit-field, left in 1567, by Wm. Alport; 10s. by Wm. Wilson, in 1623, out of a close in Great Wyrley; 40s. by Wm. Goldsmith, in 1702, out of Warwell farm; £10. 10s. as the rent of two fields called Parson's Byrch, left by John Troming; £8 from the interest of £160, which arose from the sale of timber cut off Parson's Byrch, and from £20 left in 1707, by John Perrot, Esq. and now vested with the trustees of the Conduit Lands; 40s. out of four fields called Bullford Riddings, left by Mary Chapman; (the foregoing charities amounting to about £21 per annum, are distributed among the poor parishioners on New Year's day;) -- 5s. to the poor of Leacroft, out of the New Lands in Norton, left by Ann Davis; and £5 out of Green-fields, Draper's orchard, and Little School croft, left by Henry Smythe, in 1614, for a weekly distribution of 24 penny loaves at the church. The poor of Huntington township have 5s. yearly out of Butcher's and Hall's crofts, left by Hugh Grately; 20s. out of Poor's piece, left by John Staley, in 1690; 8s. out of the Widow's meadow, left by Francis Stubbs; and 20s. out of land at Hatherton, left by an unknown donor. The poor of Great Wyrley have an annuity of 10s. left by Humphrey Short, and 13s. yearly out of land at Chesterfield, in Shenstone parish, left by Ann and Alice Greensill.

CANNOCK WOOD extends from two to four miles N.E. of Cannock, and is the township which includes part of Beaudesert Park, and the ruins of an abbey on Radmoor, as already noticed. It has a few good farms, and includes a large portion of the open heath, where there are a number of cottages, with small plots of garden ground attached to them.

CHURCH BRIDGE is a small village in Great Wyrley township, 1 mile S. of Cannock, on the Watling street, and on one of the tributary streams of the Penk, where Mr Gilpin established, about 35 years ago, an extensive manufactory of edge tools, augers, hammers, & c., and a forge, a tilt, rolling and grindmills, and furnaces for converting and refining iron and steel; all of which are now in a flourishing state, and give employment to a considerable number of workmen. About one mile to the west is WEDGES MILL, a hamlet in Cannock township, where Mr Gilpin has another edge tool manufactory on the Hedgford rivulet.

HEDNESFORD, or HEDGFORD, 2 miles N.E. of Cannock, and 5 miles S. by W. of Rugeley, is an enclosed hamlet on Cannock Chase, containing a number of scattered houses, and a large lake called the Hedgford Pool, covering about 27 acres, and abounding in pike, perch, and roach. Here is also a good inn, and extensive stabling for blood horses, of which about 100 are generally trained here in the season, and exercised on the excellent turf of Hedgford hills, where the ground, being a sound gravel, seldom breaks into mire. On the margin of the lake, Edmund Peel, Esq. of Fazeley, built a handsome mansion about two years ago, called Hedgford Lodge, with stabling for the accommodation of his race-horses. He occasionally resides here in summer.

HUNTINGTON is a hamlet and township on the Stafford road, 2 miles N. of Cannock, and contains upwards of 900 acres of land, a large portion of which was enclosed about 15 years ago. The Right Hon. E. J. Littleton, of Teddesley Hall, is owner of nearly all the soil, and lord of the manor, which adjoins the western side of Cannock Chase, and is celebrated for its white gravel, of which large quantities are sent to distant places for covering garden-walks, & c.

LANDY WOOD is a hamlet in Great Wyrley township, 5 miles N. by W. of Walsall.

LEACROFT, 1 mile S. by E. of Cannock, is a hamlet, which joins with Cannock Wood and Hednesford for the support of its poor. Here are Reaumore Hills, where there was once a noted medicinal spring.

WYRELEY (GREAT) is a township, containing a long village of detached houses, 2 miles S. of Cannock, and 6 miles N. by W. of Walsall, where there are several collieries, which employ most of the inhabitants of the neighbouring village of Wyrley-Bank. The Duke of Sutherland, and C. E. V. Graham, Esq.. of Hilton Park, are owners of most of the soil, and the former is lord of the manor. In Mr Lycetts's field, are vestiges of a moat, which once surrounded a spacious hall of castellated building, but the foundation stones were cleared away some years ago.


POST OFFICE, at John Cook's, tailor ; Letters from all parts are received by a penny post from Walsall at 11 mg. and despatched at 2 aft. daily.

Barlow Richard, castrator
Biddle Wm. tailor
Collis Rev. Wm. Blow, incumbent of Norton Canes
Cope Wm. plumber, glazier, and painter
Cotton Wm. corn miller
Field Miss Penelope
Gilpin Geo. mfr. of edge tools, augers, & c. Wedges mill
Greenway Rev. Charles, (Ind.)
Haddock Mary, blacksmith
Hall Mrs Mary
Harvey Mrs Sarah
Jenney Rd. Esq. barrister
Knight Mrs Sarah
Lawrence Wm. joiner
Marshall Mttw. horse breaker
Marshall Wm. farrier & druggist
Paddock John gardener
Parkes Mrs Ann
Poyner Joseph, farmer
Sant Edward, gent.
Sheil Rev. John, inc. curate
Shenton Thomas, farmer
Spring John, jockey
Stubbs George John, gent.
Tomlinson George, bricklayer
Tompson Mr Wm.
Tompson & Worsey, wool dlrs.
Worsey Mr Charles

Cock, Wm. Henshaw, Wedges mill
Crown Inn, Thos. Leadbeater
Roebuck, John Smith
Royal Oak, Edw. Withnall, (& bricklayer)
White Swan, Daniel Grocutt

Hordern Ann
Lightwood John
National, Saml. Wilson & Ann Read
*Sheridan Daniel Taite
*Wright Misses

Bailey Robert
Ganderton Jno.

Belcher Wm.
Sellman Thos.
Smith Samuel

Benton James
Corns John
Lindop Thos.
Worsey Nathl.

Brassington My
Cope Wm.

Hall Thomas
Smith Samuel
Watwood Jas.

Bailey Robert
Buxton Jph. (& saddler)
Hall Thomas
Wright Samuel

Downes Wm.
Holland Trevor Latham

Brindley Jph.
Fellows Geo.

COACHES from the Crown Inn.
The Red Rover, to London, at 3, and to Manchester at 1/2 p. 9 mg; the Aurora to London, at 1/2 p. 3, and to Liverpool, at 10 mg; the Railway, to London, at 8, and to Manchester, at 11 night.

CARRIERS. -- Thos. Barns & Wm. Shaw, to Walsall, Sat. and to Wolverhampton, Tues.; and Jas. Gibson, Wed.

Bailey James, farmer
Brindley Charles, farmer
Darling Thos. land agt. Chestal
Greatrix Thos. farmer, Lodge
Hodson James, vict. Parkgate

Fletcher Mrs Mary
Massey John, vict. & maltster, Cross Keys
Peel Edmund, Esq. Lodge

Hitchins Jph.
Martin Edw.

Benton Robert
Grimley Thos.

* are YEOMEN
Beard John
*Benton Danl.
Benton George
*Benton John
Clewly David
Dean Wm.
Eaton Robert
Forester Wm.
Gooch George
*Thackray Geo.
Walbank John

Arther Henry, (& jockey)
Flintoff Thos.
Lord Samuel
Sanders Saml.
Spencer Rd.

Jenkins Thos. (& shopr.)
Sanders Hy.

Bacon Thomas, farmer
Goodwin David, farmer
Harvey John, beer house
Jennings Charles, farmer
Shemilt Mr William
Tolfree John, malster

Marked * are at Reaumore Hills
Byrch Mr Henry
Greensill Wm. vict. Swan
Holland Richard, gent.

Cooper Chas.
*Hall Thos.
Holmes Wm.
Paget John, Kingswood
Stokes Thos.
*Wood Michl.

Marked 1 are at Church Bridge, 2 Landy Wood, and 3 at Wyrley Bank
1 Bettson John, draper & grocer
Edgerton W. vict. Bird-in-Hand
1 Gilpin Geo. steel converter, & edge tool, & c. mfr.
Greensill John, wheelwright
Greensill Joseph, vict. Swan
1 Hall John, corn miller
3 Hall Mary, butcher
Harvey Wm. shoemaker
Lewis Thomas, cooper
Marshall Rd. blacksmith
Smith Edw. agricl. machine mkr.
Smith Fras. butcher & shopkr.

Bate Saml.
Farnhill Saml.
1 Purshouse William
Smith Wm.
1 Webb Wm.

1 Gilpin Geo
Graham C.E.V. Esq.
3 Poyner Hy.
Sayer & Smith

Benton John, Jacob's hall
1* Bettson Thos.
* Bird Widow (& butcher)
Cartwright Foxhall, Jacob's hall
Creswell John
Evans Eliz.
Fisher Wm.
Green James
Green Robert
2 Hatton John
*Hatton Thos.
Hickman Wm.
2 Jones Thos.
*Lycett Jph.
*Messenger Charles
3 Poyner Hy.
Sayer Edward
*Smith Wm. & John