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Title: Worcestershire in the Nineteenth Century - A Complete Digest of Facts Occuring in the County since the Commencement of the year 1800
Author: Turberville, T. C.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcribed from the 1852 Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans edition by
David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org

                                  IN THE
                           NINETEENTH CENTURY.

                                * * * * *

                              THE YEAR 1800.

                                * * * * *

                            T. C. TURBERVILLE.

                                * * * * *

                       AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.

                                * * * * *

                     PRINTED BY JOSIAH ALLEN AND SON,
                             3, COLMORE ROW.

                                * * * * *

                               THIS VOLUME

                         IS, BY KIND PERMISSION,

                               DEDICATED TO


                      OF WESTWOOD PARK, BART., M.P.,



IN this day the man who writes a useless book, commits a great sin
against society.  The aim of this volume is utility; although the word,
as applied to it, must be interpreted in a very limited sense.  Beyond a
circuit of a few miles it will have no interest; and even in respect to
its legitimate sphere it only assumes to be a record of facts by which
the man in public life may refresh his memory as to the particulars of
past events, or by which those who have lived and moved amongst the
occurrences here set down may call up pleasant associations of things and
times gone by.  By its means all persons resident in or connected with
Worcestershire may possess themselves of a knowledge of the history of
the County during the century, besides having at their command a
repertory of all the principal events of the locality.  It would in many
instances have been more gratifying to the writer to have exchanged the
chronicle for the narrative—the annal for something more pretentious as a
history, but the “utility” of the book would thereby have been impaired,
and he refrained.  To have attempted a continuation of _Nash_ would have
been mere pedantry, and the mode would have been wholly unsuitable for a
record of modern Worcestershire.  As for the opinions which may be found
scattered here and there on the following pages, the writer is no further
anxious about them than as being naturally desirous that what he believes
to be truth should be accepted and acted upon by others.  But as to the
facts professed to be narrated, he hopes that they will be found
scrupulously accurate and undistorted by anything like party bias; of the
faults of omission, no one can be so conscious as the writer himself, but
the book, even now, is larger than he had at first intended.  If errors
should be found, those whose censure would be the weightiest will readily
be able to suggest abundance of excuses, and to their forbearance he
unhesitatingly trusts the following pages.



INTRODUCTORY REVIEW                               1
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS                          20
     COUNTY OF WORCESTER                         21
     CITY OF WORCESTER                           28
     EVESHAM                                     39
     DROITWICH                                   45
     BEWDLEY                                     47
     KIDDERMINSTER                               50
     DUDLEY                                      53
ELECTIONS OF COUNTY CORONERS                     55
PUBLIC MEETINGS                                  59
THE COUNTY MAGISTRACY                            88
REMARKABLE TRIALS                               110
     THE ODDINGLEY MURDER                       123
     EXECUTIONS                                 144
RAILWAYS                                        150
     BIRMINGHAM AND GLOUCESTER                  150
     GRAND CONNEXION PROJECT                    154
     THE SCHEMES OF 1845                        156
WORCESTER TOWN COUNCIL                          177
WORCESTER INFIRMARY                             197
WORCESTER MUSICAL FESTIVALS                     204
NATURAL PHENOMENA                               209
MISCELLANEOUS OCCURRENCES                       216
THE COUNTY ARISTOCRACY                          312
THE CHURCH                                      318
THE EXECUTIVE                                   321
APPENDIX                                        328


BEFORE entering on a detail of occurrences which possess, comparatively
speaking, only an isolated interest, I shall occupy a few pages in the
consideration of some general facts and statistics, which may enable the
reader to judge of the advance which the County of Worcester has made
during a truly remarkable half-century.  No former period in the world’s
history ever witnessed such mental activity and progress.

The INCREASE OF POPULATION, though not a perfect test of general
prosperity, yet indicates that the employments which engage the attention
of the inhabitants of any given district are flourishing, that there is
no such apprehended deficiency of the articles of wealth as seriously to
check marriage, and that there is an absence of some of those evils which
are constantly at work to retard the replenishment of the earth by the
human family.  For the statistics of population in this county I refer
the reader to Table 1, in the Appendix, from which he will perceive that
a continuous, and in some instances a rapid increase has taken place in
the manufacturing districts.  Until the last ten years, however, the
increase of population in this county, though exceeding that of many
counties, did not quite come up to the average increase of the entire
kingdom.  The rate of increase from 1801 to 1811, was—

Worcestershire,     15 per cent.  England,   14½ per cent.
1811 to 1821 „      15 „ „                   17½ „
1821 to 1831 ,,     15 „ „                   16 „
1831 to 1841 „      10.4 „ „                 14.5 „

From 1841 to 1851, the rate of increase for Worcestershire was slightly
above the average, being as nearly as possible 13 per cent., while that
of England, as a whole, had declined, and was only about 12.7.  This is a
fact upon which no interpretation can be put, except such as is
flattering to the condition and prospects of our county.  EMIGRATION has
been slowly going on from our manufacturing districts during the last
fifteen years, but there has been no remarkable exodus at any particular
period.  Many farm labourers and small occupants of land have also been
seduced by the Mormons to seek an imaginary paradise in the Far West.
Even this desultory emigration cannot but be beneficial.  Great Britain
has yet, however, to acquire the practical wisdom of the ancients in
carrying out a systematic colonization, and it still remains for her
people to perform the noble mission which their national advantages and
insular position seem to assign them—that of peopling the solitudes of
the earth with a race which has hitherto proved equal to all
difficulties, and who would carry with them the laws of an Alfred, the
language of a Shakspere, and, above all, the ennobling influences of the
Christian religion.

A tabular statement of CRIMINALS convicted, and of the nature of the
sentences inflicted upon them, will also be found in the Appendix.  When
the improvement in the machinery for detecting crimes and bringing
offenders to justice is taken into account, there would not seem to be
any serious increase in the amount of crime committed; but there
certainly is no room for believing that the intelligence of the age, or
the activity of the police, have been successful in diminishing it.
Neither does the comparative leniency of the punishments inflicted afford
any proof that the crimes committed are less heinous than formerly.  The
decrease in severity of punishments is to be attributed solely to the
amelioration of our criminal code, and the humane desire to reclaim
rather than to punish, which now distinguishes our legislature and even
pervades the judiciary.  Worcestershire, it must be admitted, holds a bad
preëminence both in respect to the number and character of the offences
committed within its boundaries: a recent return, made by order of the
Privy Council, assigns it the very lowest place amongst the English
counties as to the proportion of criminals to the population, and within
three of the bottom of the list in degree of crime.

EDUCATION is regarded by many as the panacea which is to empty our
prisons and render the judge’s office a sinecure; and, without being
inclined to attribute to it any such efficacy, it cannot be doubted that
it does act as a check to the commission of many of the grosser offences
against society.  A private individual has not at his command the means
necessary to compile complete statistics on a subject like this; it is a
matter of congratulation, however, that Government caused inquiries to be
made, at the last census, which will by and by put us in possession of
much important information on this head.  Without pretending to accuracy,
I believe it will be found that there are in Worcestershire about 550
private and public day and boarding schools, having accommodation for the
instruction of 20,000 scholars.  It is not, indeed, want of accommodation
that is now so much to be complained of—for few of the school-rooms are
filled—as inferiority in the quality of the instruction imparted.
Earnest efforts are, however, being made by all educational societies and
the supporters of public schools to remedy the admitted deficiency.
Nearly all the schools now existing in the county, with the exception of
the Grammar and Free Schools of which there are some seventy-six, have
been founded during the present century, and owe their existence, and in
greatest part their continuance, to the voluntary benevolence of persons
residing on the spot.  Within the last three or four years, public
attention has been much directed to the lax administration of the funds
of the various charity schools in the county, and should the gentlemen
who have taken the matter so zealously in hand be successful in bringing
about the reforms which these institutions so imperatively need, the poor
of many future generations will have reason to thank them for their
labours.  I must not omit to notice here the means which have been taken
in the latter part of this half-century to induce a love and pursuit of
knowledge amongst the working classes, by the establishment of Mechanics’
Institutions, one of which is now to be found in almost every town in the
county.  The elder born of these societies are, unfortunately, already
passing to decay, and, as at present conducted, they do not seem to
possess any inherent vitality.  They have undoubtedly been useful in
displaying the more attractive results of study and science—the flowers
by the wayside, which may tempt triflers to venture a short distance on
Learning’s easier paths—but they offer little or no assistance to those
who would resolutely dare its difficult ascents.  The efforts of the
friends of education should be directed to making these institutions what
their projector, Lord Brougham, intended they should be—People’s

An estimate of the provision made for RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION in this
county will be found in the Appendix—Table No. 3.  The Established
Church, by new buildings or enlargements, has increased the accommodation
for attendants on its forms of worship, since the year 1800, by one fifth
to one fourth.  Upon looking at the large numbers provided for by
Wesleyanism, in its various forms, the thought cannot but occur that if
the Church of England could have retained John Wesley and his followers,
as Rome did St. Francis D’Assissi, to be its evangelists among the masses
of the population, it must have received a vast accession of strength.
The Wesleyans in forsaking their first simple object of evangelism for
that of building up a permanent ecclesiastical polity, seem to have
mistaken the source of their own power, and during the last two years
their numbers have considerably decreased from disaffection in the body.
The Independents and Baptists have been deficient in proselytism,
conceiving their special mission to be to keep in purity the faith
committed to them from their Puritan forefathers.  The Unitarians and
Friends are stationary sects.  The Roman Catholics have built ten small
chapels in this county during the present century, and as to numbers,
they have barely kept pace with the increase of population.  The annual
value of church livings in this county is about £62,000; the income of
the See of Worcester is fixed at £5,000; and the net revenue of the Dean
and Chapter of Worcester is returned at £8,698.  The various bodies of
Protestant Dissenters raise at least £20,000 annually for the support of
their ministers, Sabbath schools, missions, and other religious

This county yields at once the richest fruits of the soil and the most
practically valuable mineral productions.  The total acreage of the
county, exclusive of roads and rivers, is 431,616; and by far the larger
portion of this surface is devoted to AGRICULTURE.  According to Mr.
Fowler’s valuation, made in the year 1842, the total value of property
assessable to the county rate is £912,863; of which £263,000 may be taken
as representing the rental of buildings and land in the towns and
manufacturing districts, leaving £650,000 as the annual value of
agricultural property.  In this statement the city of Worcester, the
rateable rental of which is about £75,000, is, of course, not included.
If it is assumed that 380,000 acres are arable and grass land, that will
probably be an approximation to the truth.  In the total absence of
agricultural statistics any attempt to compute the present produce of the
county would be quite out of the question, but that it has greatly
increased of late years cannot be doubted.  A gentleman, upon whose
practical knowledge and information the most entire reliance may be
placed, informs me that the average yield per acre throughout the Vale of
Evesham is now about 27 bushels in wheat, 32 in barley, 40 in oats, 27 in
beans; and that there has been an increase of fully 15 per cent. in the
wheat and barley crops, and of 10 per cent. in the bean crop, within the
last 20 or 25 years.  Hops, however, for which this county has been and
still is so famous, have to a great extent gone out of cultivation; and
while at the beginning of the century some 6,000 acres were devoted to
their growth, there are now not more than 1,625 acres of hop plantation.
With regard to the general progress of agriculture, the half-century may
be divided into three periods.  During the war the high prices of
provisions stimulated improvement, and much drainage was then done,
though in so rude and unscientific a way that it has since been found
necessary to replace a great deal of it.  The Earl of Plymouth, the Earl
of Coventry, and A. Lechmere, Esq., in this county, very early bestowed
great pains on the drainage of their estates.  From 1814 to 1830
agriculture, comparatively speaking, was at a stand still; {6} but during
the last twenty years many and signal improvements have been made in its
science.  Many persons still living can recollect whole hamlets and
villages in this county in which there was scarce an enclosure; and
nearly the whole of the land was cultivated in common by the resident
farmers, to each one of whom would be assigned a certain quantity in
wheat, barley, vetches, and fallow.  Between each ploughed land was left
a strip of mere, into which the surface water from the adjoining ridges
all sank and rendered it little better than a constant bog, which
diseased the few poor sheep grazing upon it and made the ague a common
and hereditary ill to farmer and labourer alike.  The amount of
unenclosed land now to be found in the county is quite unimportant;
thorough drainage is regarded as essential to all cultivation; burnt soil
has been much used to lighten the heavy clays; manures of all kinds are
extensively employed; and implements of a very improved and economic
description are used in almost every farming operation.  The increased
cultivation of the turnip, and better management of the clay fallows, are
marked features in Worcestershire agricultural improvements.  Clay lands,
that formerly were allowed to lie fallow every fourth or fifth year, are
now planted with vetches, and sheep-folded.  A remarkable advance, too,
has been made in the character of the stock reared, especially in the
size and quality of the sheep.  The better drainage of the land has
prevented much of the disease which used formerly to thin out the flocks
year by year, and there has been no serious rot in the county since 1831.
The local agricultural societies, which have been established during the
last fifteen years, have done much by their premiums and annual
exhibitions to stimulate improvement, but our chief confidence for
progress in the future lies in our being able to number amongst our
landowners and occupiers men of intelligence and enterprise, who, in all
quarters of the county, are seriously engaged in adjusting the relations
of landlord and tenant to the circumstances of the times, and by improved
modes of farm management and cultivation seeking to meet successfully
unrestricted foreign competition.

Our mineral productions are COAL and IRON, both of which are found in
large quantities at the northern extremity of the county, and coal is
also raised in the neighbourhood of Bewdley.  The Dudley division of the
South Staffordshire coal field is celebrated for producing what is known
as the ten yard or thick coal—so named because the bed is thirty feet in
thickness.  It is, indeed, the largest and most important bed of coal in
the kingdom, and its good qualities are too well known to every
housekeeper in this district to need that I should expatiate upon them
here.  With the associated thin coals and ironstone this bed is worth at
least £1,000 per acre.  The number of tons of coal raised in the Dudley
district (Worcestershire only) during 1851 may be approximately reckoned
at 700,000, worth perhaps £25,000.  It was in this district that coal was
first used for the purpose of smelting iron, in the year 1619.  The
duties on the introduction of foreign iron were cither removed or
rendered merely nominal in 1826, and the production has since nearly
quadrupled, and now amounts to 2,250,000 tons annually.  The South
Staffordshire and Worcestershire iron district ranks second in
importance, far surpassing Scotland in the manufacture of wrought iron,
and the quality is superior to that of South Wales.  The number of
furnaces now in blast in this county is twenty-eight, and eighteen out of
blast.  Nearly 150,000 tons of iron were made here in 1851, and prices
ranged from 50s. to 57s. 6d. hot blast; cold blast, 60s. to 67s. 6d.;
best makes, 120s., and second ditto, 110s. per ton.  The make of iron has
not greatly increased in Worcestershire during the last few years, but no
branch of our productive industry rests on surer foundations, or has more
prospect of continuous extension, than the iron trade.

The GLASS manufacture, of which Stourbridge is a principal seat, affords
a most striking instance of the tendency of excessive duties, collected
under regulations which interfere with and cramp industrial processes.
In 1811 the home consumption of glass amounted to 417,911 cwt.: in 1812
the excise duties on this article were doubled; the average consumption
of the next three years was but 264,931 cwt.; and up to the time of the
reduction of the duties by two-thirds, in 1835, there had been no
increase whatever in the consumption of British glass since the
commencement of the present century.  Since the entire abolition of the
duties, in 1845, the consumption has increased to a surprising extent,
and glass has been applied to uses previously undreamt of.  The
manufacture was introduced into Stourbridge, about 1556, by refugees from
Lorraine, and has continued to flourish there ever since.  The
descriptions principally made here are flint, bottle, and chemical
utensil glass.  There are now twelve glass manufactories in the town and
neighbourhood, employing about 1,050 pairs of hands, and the trade
generally is in a prosperous state.  The manufacture of FIRE BRICKS, and
the sale of clay for glass works, is a trade at Stourbridge, now almost
as important as the manufacture of glass itself; and as it is one with
the details of which the public are not generally conversant, I shall
enter somewhat into particulars.  Beneath all coal strata is found a
clay, which, from the peculiarity of its ingredients, is remarkably well
adapted to stand the action of intense heat.  An analysis of the best
clay raised at Stourbridge, gives

Silica                         72.516
Alumina                        20.264
Lime                            0.891
Peroxide of Iron                3.308
Protoxide of Manganese          1.488
Phosphate of Lime               1.533

The presence of lime or iron in any considerable quantities would render
the clay fusible, but when the silica and alumina so greatly
preponderate, it will stand any amount of heat that can be raised in
ordinary furnaces.  The best clay fetches about 55s. per ton, and is used
for glass-house pots and the bricks used in making glass furnaces, not
only in England but other countries; it is exported to North America in
large quantities, and to South America, France, Holland, and Germany.
Besides the best clay, inferior descriptions called “seconds,” “black,”
and “offal” clay are raised to a considerable extent.  The first (black),
mixed in certain proportions with “seconds,” potsherds, &c., is chiefly
used for making crucibles, in which metals are melted; and of these
Birmingham alone takes about 100 dozen weekly from this district.  The
“offal clay,” or that which is raised from the mine in the mixed or
broken state, is not “picked” (or selected), but ground and sold at 10s.
per ton: with this the great bulk of fire bricks are made.  The trade is
one of ancient date; Rufford’s clay works have been carried on during the
whole of this century under the same name, but its principal development
has taken place within the last forty years.  Formerly the owners did not
get half the best or other clays, and forty years ago there was no better
speculation than taking to what was then considered a broken, or
worked-out mine.  Nor did they attempt any but square or roughly-made
bricks, whereas the trade now can model and finish neatly.  Even now the
capabilities of Stourbridge fire clay are not generally understood.  It
has had a steady unfluctuating demand, and notwithstanding the discovery
of fire clay in various parts of the island, Stourbridge never did a
larger business than at present.  The Stourbridge clays and bricks are
sold freely both in the north and in Wales.  About 15,000 tons of best
clay are raised annually in the Stourbridge district.  There are four
proprietors of clay mines in Stourbridge, and two firms renting mines;
five out of the six being also manufacturers of fire bricks and other
articles in which the clay is used.  The fire bricks are made of all
sizes; the largest kept in regular stock weighs 635lbs.  The glass-house
bricks are sold “green” (dry) and but seldom burnt.  The common
description for gas works, iron works, and all other purposes, are burnt.
About 14,000,000 of bricks of all descriptions are made annually in the
Stourbridge district, consuming about 46,000 tons of clay, and may be
valued at £50,000.  An important branch of the trade, and one which has
been gradually increasing for the last seven years, is the manufacture of
clay retorts for gas works, and they are now generally preferred to
metal.  The most striking purpose to which the fire clay has been turned
is the manufacture of large baths in one piece.  At the suggestion of
Prince Albert, the Society of Arts in 1846 offered a premium for the
production of such an article, and in 1850 one was made at the works of
F. T. Rufford, Esq., which gained the Gold Isis Medal.  It had been
thought impossible to manufacture such an article in one piece because of
the great contraction which all pottery undergoes in burning, but after
much patient experiment, the ingenuity and skill of the practical men in
Mr. Rufford’s works produced a perfect and beautiful vessel which may be
said to be imperishable, will never discolour, is cleansed without
labour, and is incapable of retaining the poison of any contagious
disease in an active form.  The clearness of the colour (white or
marbled) is effected by veneering china on the inner surface of the fire
clay, and the contractile effect of burning is overcome by assimilating
the two clays.  Many public baths are now supplied with this useful
article, which bids fair altogether to supersede the metallic baths.  The
number of hands employed at Stourbridge in the manufacture of bricks and
other articles from fire clay is about 900.  The town has been
considerably improved since 1820: the bridge over the Stour was widened
in 1840; a new market hall has recently been erected, and the inhabitants
generally seem to have somewhat of the spirit and enterprise expected in
a flourishing manufacturing place.

The manufactures of KIDDERMINSTER are of many years standing.  In 1536 it
was enacted that “No person of what degree or quality soever they be,
shall make within the shire of Worcester any manner of woollen cloths,
except only within the city of Worcester, the borough and towns of
Kidderminster, Evesham, Droitwich, and Bromsgrove, under pain of
forfeiting, for every broad cloth elsewhere made, the sum of ten pounds;”
and in the time of Charles II an act was passed “for regulating the
manufacture of Kidderminster stuffs.”  Arras, frieze, cheneys and
ratteens, poplin, prunellas, rich brocades and quilted stuffs were all
made here in their turn, but the CARPET MANUFACTURE, to which the town
has entirely owed its prosperity and fame in later years, was not
introduced till the middle of last century.  At first the Scotch carpets
only were made, but afterwards Wilton and Brussels, and the Kidderminster
goods at once acquired celebrity for substantial workmanship and
brilliancy of colouring.  At the beginning of the present century there
were probably about 400 looms at work here, but there are now at least
3,000.  The trade has of course been subject to many fluctuations, and
there have been several seasons of severe distress amongst the weavers,
which have been for the most part coincident with stagnation in other
departments of manufacture, and are traceable to the same general causes.
During the last ten years the business has been comparatively prosperous,
there has been a great increase of production, and the tapestry carpeting
is largely exported to the Continent, where its cheapness secures sale in
the teeth of the elegant, but costly, “velvets” of France.  The many
improvements which have been introduced into the method of manufacture
during the present century, have principally had reference to the
construction of the looms, and economy in the amount of wool used; in
design there is still something to be accomplished.  The principal
varieties now made are the ordinary Venetian carpeting, the Scotch or
Kidderminster, Brussels, Wilton, Genoa velvets, Axminster, Saxony, and
the patent tapestry carpetings, which last are among the most recent and
important introductions.  Some of the yarns employed in the fabrication
of these were printed and arranged in Halifax, under a patent from
Messrs. Crossley, which however expired in September last.  Steam looms
for tapestry under patents from the same firm are already at work in the
town, and steam looms for the manufacture of Brussels carpeting are about
to be introduced, the effect of which, upon the general character of the
trade, must needs be exceedingly important; but though the change can
scarcely fail to occasion temporary distress, it may fairly be hoped
that, like all other improvements, it will result in a large increase of
the manufacture, and add to the demand for labour and its remuneration.
The other manufactures carried on here, principally relate to the
preparation of leather; damask silks are made by one manufacturer; and
there are one or two spinning mills.  There are various tin forges in the
neighbourhood, and iron, tin, and screw works at Cookley employing many

REDDITCH and its neighbourhood is the principal seat of the needle and
fish hook manufactures in this kingdom, and has been so for upwards of a
century.  In 1800 perhaps 500 persons found employment in this business
at Redditch, while the present number, including children, is at least
2,300, and the quantity of needles made has increased from 150 to 1,000
millions per annum.  A very large population is also engaged in the
manufacture, at Astwood Bank, Feckenham, Crab’s Cross, &c., but all the
needles so made are known as Redditch needles.  The superiority of the
article manufactured here ensures it a sale all over the world, and it is
only in the common and inferior descriptions that the German makers come
into competition with those of this county; in fact, the Germans
themselves send to Redditch for their best goods.  Some very important
improvements have been lately introduced into the manufactories, and
especially a contrivance for carrying off the fine steel dust created in
the operation of grinding the needles, which was formerly very
destructive of the lives of the persons employed.  The fish hook trade is
carried on to a considerable extent in this neighbourhood, and large
quantities of barbs, from the fly fisher’s delicate tackle to the
whaler’s harpoon, are annually exported to all quarters of the globe.
There is also one pin manufactory in the town.  The operative needle
makers are amongst the most intelligent of our artizans, and the future
prospects of the trade are in most respects encouraging.

NAIL MAKING employs a large number of people both at Bromsgrove and in
the neighbourhood of Stourbridge.  In the former town and district there
were, some sixty years ago, only five or six nail masters or factors, and
not more than 400 or 500 persons engaged in the business, but it now
furnishes occupation for ten times that number.  Twenty-five years since
the trade was in a prosperous state, but about this time, owing to the
demand being good, an inferior article was made, with which the customers
were dissatisfied; and the result of this state of things was the
invention of a machine which, by singular ingenuity and application of
mechanical skill, cuts every part of the nail at once out of a solid
sheet of iron.  The rapidity, ease, and cheapness with which nails were
thus multiplied, of course caused a great change in the condition and
prospects of the nail-making districts.  The demand, however, still
continues for many descriptions of the article which cannot be made, or
so well made, by machine, and supplies a tolerable amount of employment.
The French and Germans now successfully compete with us in the
manufacture, and the export trade to America is decreasing in consequence
of the prohibitory duty imposed by the government of that country.  The
nailors, as a class, are almost as destitute as the colliers of
everything like intelligence, and this is chiefly owing to the early age
at which the children work at the trade and are able to earn a livelihood
for themselves.  The truck system—by which the employer pays the wages of
his workpeople, not in money, but in goods of his own providing, and at
prices of his own fixing—is an evil of monstrous growth, which has
greatly assisted in the degradation of the workpeople.  Recently,
however, many benevolent efforts have been made to provide them with
education and to remedy the social evils which exist amongst them.
Thirty or forty years ago there was a considerable linen trade carried on
at Bromsgrove.  A good deal of flax was once grown in this neighbourhood,
and the manufacture by the hand loom was considerable, but the
introduction of machinery superseded this mode of making, and enterprise
and capital, necessary to the establishment of factories with the latest
improvements in machinery, were wanting.  Moreover Bromsgrove linens got
into disrepute, because those of inferior make were sent here for
bleaching and sold as of Bromsgrove manufacture.  Bromsgrove itself has
been much improved within the last twenty years.  In the year 1846 an Act
of Parliament was passed for paving, cleansing, draining, and improving
the town, and for the better assessing and collecting the parochial

The SALT MANUFACTURE of Droitwich is one of the most ancient businesses
in the kingdom, having been carried on for upwards of 1,000 years, and
the salt made here has always been celebrated for its strength and
purity.  From the year 1805 until 1823 salt was subject to a duty of 15s.
a bushel or £30 a ton, and this impost was collected by the excise every
six weeks.  A large capital was therefore required to carry on the trade,
and the price of fine salt was at least £32 per ton.  In that year,
however, the duty was reduced to 2s. a bushel, and in 1825 it was removed
altogether; and the highest price of fine salt, since its repeal, has
been £1. 2s. 6d. per ton.  That such a reduction in price must have led
to a greatly increased consumption is self-evident, but there was no very
immediate or considerable increase in the make.  The proprietors of the
original salt works in this borough sought to protect themselves against
competition, by buying up most of the land that would be available for
the erection of new works, and for a time they kept up their profits.
Rival companies, however, did at length find means of establishing
themselves, and about twelve or fourteen years ago a large increase of
production took place, but the price of the article has been so reduced
by this competition that the business has become very unremunerative.
Repeated failures have taken place amongst the more recent firms; and
half a million of capital, invested in the manufacture within the last
twenty-five years, has been entirely lost.  Within the last fifty years
the primitive method of simply boring for the brine has been improved
upon by casing the pit with wood, and more recently shafts have been sunk
quite through the fresh water springs, the bottom and sides of which are
secured with iron cylinders before boring down to the brine springs.  By
this means the brine (which lies 173 feet from the surface) is obtained
at its full saturation of 42 parts of salt to 100, while formerly it
varied between 28 and 37 percent.  The present annual make at Droitwich
of all kinds of salt is about 80,000 tons, and at the works at Stoke,
from 25,000 to 30,000 tons; the average price per ton is scarcely more
than 10s.  The Droitwich trade labours under considerable disadvantage in
the heavy tonnage which the manufacturers have to pay for the carriage of
the article to the outports, and the iniquitous tax imposed upon the
article in the East Indies, where it is almost a necessary of life, is a
great hindrance to an extension of sale.

The manufactures with which WORCESTER itself is associated, during the
half-century just closed, have reached their meridian and have seriously
declined.  Our porcelain factories were once almost as famous as those of
Sévres, and notices will be found in the following pages of continual
visits from Royal and distinguished personages to witness the art of the
potter, and to give large orders for splendid services of China; but this
is one of those articles the demand for which has been greatly affected
by a change of fashion, and plate has now almost wholly superseded China
for dinner services amongst people of wealth.  Truth requires it to be
said also that our manufacturers have allowed themselves to be
outstripped, in spirit and improvement, by those of other places.  At the
beginning of this century there were forty or fifty master glovers in
Worcester.  The trade received a serious check by the suspension of our
intercourse with America in 1812, nevertheless, the number had increased
in 1826 to 120; but the repeal of the import duty in that year, together
with the more general use of Berlin and silk gloves, has had such a
damaging effect upon the trade, that there are at present only twenty
master glovers in the city.  One firm, however (known as the Messrs.
Dent’s), has a world-wide celebrity, and manufactures on a very large
scale.  It was not so much in price as in quality that the Worcester
makers had to dread foreign competition; the article sent out from their
workshops before the repeal of the duty was clumsily and badly made.
Worcester gloves are now equal in every respect to those imported from
France, and are often sold as French to accommodate the prejudice of the
customer.  It seems hard to say why Worcester, a city so centrally
situated, and, before the railway era, so advantageously situated as
regards the means of communication with other parts of the kingdom, has
not become a manufacturing emporium and a place of much greater
importance.  In my belief, one principal reason has been the hindrance to
speculative or _bonâ fide_ building, which exists in the bad tenure of
land everywhere around the city; there can be no doubt that this has
driven enterprising men to settle in places which in other respects were
less suitable for their undertakings.  There has, moreover, been a lack
of unity and coöperation amongst the inhabitants in the promotion of the
general good which has been “the worm i’ the bud” to many schemes which
would in all probability have greatly advanced the prosperity of the
city.  Considerations of the common weal have been postponed to the
interests of partizanship.  To make an application of our civic
motto—Worcester, if faithful to herself, may flourish ever.  Worcester is
rich in charitable institutions and revenues for alleviating the
distresses of poverty.  It may be a question, indeed, whether these have
not reached the point at which eleemosynary aid ceases to be
advantageous, begins to foster dependence, and eats out the energy of a
community; but their abundance has at any rate not had the effect of
drying up the streams of private benevolence.  At least £40,000 have been
raised in Worcester at different periods of distress and necessity which
have occurred since 1800, for the relief and aid of its own poor.

There are many minor manufactures carried on in the county, especially
the preparation of leather at Bewdley, Stourport, and Worcester, which
need not be further particularised, and for the remaining towns and
boroughs—these—like an honoured aristocracy—repose on their historical
associations; the fame which the touches of a master hand, such as
Fielding’s, may have cast around their name; or the remembrances of
former activity and bustle.  But I must not omit a passing notice of
MALVERN, that gem of nature’s setting, on whose hills the purest air is
breathed, the purest water drank, and the richest and most unique inland
landscape to be seen in all England.  Formerly what is called Malvern
Wells was the only part of the hills at which visitors stopped, but for
the last twenty years Great Malvern has been gradually growing as a place
of resort, and is now a “town” by Act of Parliament.  And whether for
pleasure or for health it must continue to be resorted to, and to
increase in fame and importance; for it abounds in nature’s simplest but
most efficacious restoratives, and its beauties will bear repeated
inspection, and will be appreciated just in proportion to the cultivation
of the mind that dwells on them.

Even from this hasty and cursory glance at the progress of the county
during the first half of the nineteenth century, it will be apparent that
Worcestershire has not been deficient in contributing her quota to the
general prosperity.  The age is remorseless in its demands; we cannot
stand still.  The years that are past press with all their accelerated
momentum on the heels of those that follow and hurry them to a yet
greater speed.  But our resources are not exhausted, nor need we fear
that they shall ever be.  We do not trace the decay of nations to any
failure in the material of greatness, but in the enervation of the mind
that should develop it.  It only remains for us, then, to be found in the
practice of intelligence and industry—which make a people great—and of
the virtues which make a people happy.


THE great change in constituencies and elections which divides with so
marked a line the period over which the records of this volume extend has
long been accepted by all parties as _un fait accompli_, and few, if any,
would revert to the system of former days, even if it were possible.  All
now see that by its means we have been enabled to take Reform as our
watchword, instead of Revolution, and to escape anarchy and despotism—the
Scylla and Charybdis into which the continental nations have been
continually falling.  Elections in Worcestershire have of course been
much the same as elections elsewhere; often scenes of riot and
corruption, now and then the occasions of an irresistible burst of
popular feeling, but very far from being at any time exercises of calm,
deliberative, and patriotic judgment.  As to the changes which should be
made in the constituencies with a view to remedy existing evils, and to
add strength to our constitutional edifice, everybody now-a-days has his
own crotchet, and the writer’s is an educational franchise.  He believes
that it would be perfectly feasible to make a register of all parties who
could read and write, in the presence of the revising officer, some
declaration of the privileges and responsibilities of a vote, and who
could satisfy him that they understood the functions of a representative.
No one that had not so far qualified himself for the exercise of the
franchise could in these days reasonably complain of being denied it, and
it would give a greater impulse to elementary education than all the
grants of public money that ever have or ever will be made for the
establishment of schools.


BEFORE the passing of the Reform Bill the number of electors on the
county register was not much more than 3,500.  At the last revision there
were in the eastern division, 6,515; western, 4,135.

1802—JULY 12—(General Election, the old Parliament having run out its
legal term.)—The Hon. Edward Foley, of Stoke Edith, and Wm. Lygon, Esq.,
reëlected without opposition.

1803—JULY 19—(Vacancy occasioned by the death of the Hon. E. Foley.)—The
Hon. W. Ward elected without opposition.

1806—MARCH 3—(Vacancy occasioned by the elevation of Wm. Lygon, Esq., to
the Peerage.)—The nomination takes place in the Castle Yard, Worcester.
The Hon. W. B. Lygon, son of the peer recently created, was proposed by
the Rev. Mr. Pyndar, and seconded by Thomas Hornyold, Esq.  The Hon. W.
H. Lyttelton, undeterred by the Beauchamp influence, then thought to be
overwhelming, came forward “to assert the independence of the county,”
and was proposed by John Amphlett, Esq., of Clent, and seconded by the
Rev. Mr. Onslow, Vicar of Kidderminster.  The show of hands was in favour
of Mr. Lygon, and a poll demanded by his opponent.  After five days’
polling Mr. Lyttelton resigned, the numbers then being—Lygon, 1,502;
Lyttelton, 1,145—majority for Lygon, 357.  A sharp correspondence,
imputing artifices, fraud, &c., afterwards took place between the
candidates.  The representation of the county had not been contested
previously since the general election of 1741 (64 years before), when the
numbers were Lechmere, 2,309; Pitt, 2,120; Deerhurst, 1,930; Lyttelton,

1806—NOVEMBER 7—(General Election on the accession of the short-lived Fox
ministry.)—The Hon. Mr. Lygon, and the Hon. Mr. Lyttelton, returned
together without opposition; the Hon. Mr. Ward having retired from the
representation in consequence of ill health.

1807—MAY—(General Election—Change of Ministry, and Appeal by the King to
the country on the Catholic Question.)—Hon. W. B. Lygon, and Hon. W. H.
Lyttelton, reëlected without opposition.  A storm came on while the
election was proceeding, and the Sheriff was obliged to retire into the
Castle to finish the proceedings.  It is noticed that the accommodation
in the Castle Yard was of the worst possible description.

1812—OCTOBER—(General Election.)—The Hon. W. B. Lygon, and Hon. W. H.
Lyttelton, returned again without opposition.

1816—NOVEMBER—(On the elevation of Lord Elmley, the Hon. W. B. Lygon, to
the peerage by the death of his father, Earl Beauchamp.)—Col. H. B.
Lygon, younger brother of the former member, elected without opposition.

1818—JUNE—(General Election.)—Col. Lygon, and the Hon. W. H. Lyttelton,
reëlected without opposition.

1820—MARCH—(General Election on the demise of George III)—The Hon. W. H.
Lyttelton retired from the representation from family considerations, and
Sir Thomas Winnington, Bart., offered himself as a candidate in his
stead.  At the nomination, Col. Lygon was proposed by Sir A. Lechmere,
and seconded by Sir William Smith, Bart.; and Sir Thomas Winnington was
proposed by T. S. Vernon, Esq., and seconded by E. M. Wigley, Esq.  There
was no opposition.

1826—JUNE—(General Election.  Parliament dissolved by George IV, its
possible sands having almost run out.)—Col. Lygon and Sir Thomas
Winnington, Bart., reëlected without the shadow of an opposition.

1830—AUGUST—(General Election on the accession of William IV.)—Sir Thomas
Winnington retired from the representation, and the Hon. Thomas Henry
Foley, son of Lord Foley, was elected in his stead, with Colonel Lygon,
who thus for the fifth time was returned without opposition.

1831—MAY—(General Election to take the sense of the country on the Reform
Bill.)—The Reformers from the first moment that this election became
imminent, looked about for a candidate to oppose Col. Lygon.  First, Mr.
Sergeant Russell was mentioned, and then John Richards, Esq., of
Stourbridge.  The last named gentleman actually did one week issue an
address to the freeholders, but, frightened at hearing that the Dowager
Lady Beauchamp had subscribed £50,000 to fight the country, he hastily
withdrew on the next.  However, a few days before the election, Captain
Spencer, brother to Lord Althorp, allowed himself to be named as a
candidate, and a tremendous struggle ensued.  Col. Lygon, while
canvassing in the Corn Market, Worcester, was attacked by a town’s
rabble, and compelled to take refuge in a neighbouring tavern.  On the
morning of the nomination, Col. Lygon assembled his friends at
Madresfield; Mr. Foley at the New Inn, Ombersley Road; and Captain
Spencer, at the Talbot, Tything.  The nomination took place in the Castle
Yard, Osman Ricardo, Esq., High Sheriff, being returning officer.  John
S. Pakington, Esq., proposed Col. Lygon, who was seconded by John
Phillips, Esq.; T. T. Vernon, Esq., proposed, and T. C. Hornyold, Esq.,
seconded, the Hon. Mr. Foley; and Sir C. S. Smith, Bart., and Robert
Berkeley, Esq., were Captain Spencer’s proposer and seconder.  Before the
show of hands was taken, Dr. Beale Cooper demanded proof of Captain
Spencer’s qualification, whereupon the Captain said he had expected such
a demand, and handed to the under sheriff a deed _bearing date April_ 30,
purporting to be a grant from Earl Spencer to Captain Spencer, of a rent
charge to the amount of £600 upon manors and estates in the county of
Herts.  The show of hands was declared to be in favour of Foley and
Spencer, whereupon Col. Lygon demanded a poll, which immediately
commenced.  Col. Lygon headed the poll the first day, but never
afterwards; and on the morning of the seventh day he resigned all further
contest, the numbers then being—Foley, 2,034; Spencer, 1,765; Lygon,
1,335.  At the close of each day speeches were made by the candidates and
their friends, from the booths at the back of the Talbot Inn, Tything;
and the coalition formed between Foley and Spencer, on finding that
Colonel Lygon’s friends were plumping for him, formed a most fertile
topic for talk.  A riot took place in Broad Street one evening, in
consequence of one of Col. Lygon’s friends having imprudently irritated
the mob by throwing a decanter amongst them from the committee-room.  The
windows of the room were immediately broken, and other disturbances took
place.  There can be no doubt that the result of this election had great
effect upon the country generally.

A dinner was given in the next week to the Hon. Mr. Foley and Captain
Spencer, at the Bell Inn, with Sir Thomas Winnington, Bart., in the
chair.  Sir C. S. Smith was in the vice-chair, and Lord Lyttelton and
about 100 other gentlemen were present.  Dinners were also given to the
successful candidates at Hagley, Kidderminster, Evesham, Stourbridge,
Dudley, and Birmingham.  The Birmingham dinner was held at Dee’s Hotel,
with Dr. Edward Johnstone in the chair.

Immediately after the election a meeting of Col. Lygon’s friends was held
at the Hoppole, Worcester, “to take into consideration the best mode of
testifying their approbation of his manly, spirited, and patriotic
conduct upon the late election; and for his faithful services during the
fifteen years he represented this county in Parliament.”  J. S.
Pakington, Esq., was called to the chair, and there was a very
respectable attendance.  Mr. Pakington asserted that the minority who had
voted for the Colonel, comprised the majority of the education and
respectability of the county.  The “discreditable coalition” proved the
theme of much lamentation.  Resolutions approving of Col. Lygon’s
Parliamentary career and general conduct were agreed to, and a
subscription entered into for the purchase of plate.  This was presented
at a dinner at the Hoppole, in February, 1832.  It was a superb vase, 57
inches in circumference, supported on a massive column and plinth,
decorated with embossed Acanthus leaves, and weighing in the whole 600
oz.  It was designed by the inscription to be “a testimony of the
gratitude of his political friends for his long and faithful attention to
their interest in Parliament, and especially for his support of our
glorious and long cherished constitution.”  John S. Pakington, Esq., was
the president of the evening, and presented the testimonial.

1832—DECEMBER—(Election rendered necessary by the passing of the Reform
Bill.)—The county now divided into two divisions.—_West
Worcestershire_.—The Hon. T. H. Foley (Whig), and Col. Lygon
(Conservative), returned without opposition.  The nomination took place
in the space fronting the County Gaol, and the candidates were not
proposed or seconded, the cries of “Foley and Lygon” by the crowd,
without any other person being named, being taken by the Sheriff as

_East Worcestershire_.—The nomination of candidates took place at
Droitwich, Mr. Pakington (Conservative), being proposed by James Taylor,
Esq., and John Phillips, Esq., of Hanbury Hall; Thomas Henry Cookes,
Esq., (Whig) by Sir Thomas Winnington, Bart., and C. E. Hanford, Esq.;
and Wm. Congreve Russell, Esq., (Whig) by T. T. Vernon, Esq., and W.
Acton, Esq.  The High Sheriff declared the show of hands to be in favour
of Mr. Pakington and Mr. Cookes, whereupon a poll was demanded for Mr.
Russell.  After the two days’ poll the numbers were declared to
be—Russell, 2,576; Cookes, 2,516; Pakington, 1,916.  The whole
proceedings were conducted in a peaceable and gentlemanly manner, and Mr.
Pakington, who addressed the electors at the “Declaration,” as well as
the successful candidates, was very well received.  He complained of
broken promises, and the coalition of his opponents as fettering the
“independence” of the county, but declared himself neither disheartened
nor offended.

1833—MAY—_West Worcestershire_.—(Vacancy occasioned by the elevation of
the Hon. T. H. Foley to the House of Peers, on the death of his
father.)—The nomination took place in the field at the back of the Talbot
Inn, Tything.  Sir Christopher Smith, Bart., proposed Captain H. J.
Winnington, who was seconded by Robert Berkeley, Esq.  John Williams,
Esq., and T. C. Brock, Esq., proposed and seconded John S. Pakington,
Esq., who, to the great detriment of his cause, was not present during
any part of the proceedings—having just previously sailed to America.
Major Bund spoke at the hustings on his behalf.  A Mr. Crowther also made
many attempts to be heard, but was hissed down, and he afterwards
explained in a letter to the newspapers that instead of being Mr.
Pakington’s opponent, as formerly, he intended to be his supporter,
because Captain Winnington and the Whigs had voted for the erection of
the New County Courts, while Mr. Pakington, on the contrary, “had always
opposed that unnecessary and shameful expenditure of the freeholders’
money.”  The show of hands was very decidedly in favour of Captain
Winnington, and the Court was declared adjourned (from the Wednesday) to
the following Monday.  At the end of the first day’s poll Captain
Winnington was 79 a-head, and the utmost excitement prevailed.  Lord
Eastnor addressed the multitude on Mr. Pakington’s behalf, and the Rev.
Thomas Pearson spoke for Captain Winnington.  The second day only
increased Captain Winnington’s majority, but the result was not certainly
known till the declaration of the numbers by the High Sheriff, on
Thursday morning, when they were announced to be—for Captain Winnington,
1,369; for Pakington, 1,278: majority for Winnington, 91.  Mr. Pakington
had a majority in the Worcester and Upton divisions, but was beaten in
those of Stourport and Tenbury.  Out of 3,122 voters, 2,647 were polled,
and though there had never been so close a contest in the county before,
it was carried on with very good humour.  Captain Winnington’s return was
celebrated by a dinner at the Star and Garter Hotel, with Sir C. S. Smith
in the chair.

1835—JANUARY—_East Worcestershire_.—(General Election on the breaking up
of the Grey and Spencer cabinet, and the accession of the Duke of
Wellington and Sir R. Peel to power.)—Mr. Russell retired from the
representation at this election, on the score of ill-health, and his
place was taken on the Reform interest by Edward Holland, Esq., of
Dumbleton.  Mr. Horace St. Paul was brought forward late in the day by
the Conservatives.  Sir Thomas Winnington, M.P., and C. E. Hanford, Esq.,
proposed Mr. Cookes, the former member.  James Taylor, Esq., of Moseley
Hall, and Mr. Whitmore Jones, proposed Mr. St. Paul; and Mr. Bate, of
Stourbridge, and Mr. Acton, Mr. Edward Holland.  The choice of the people
at the nomination was declared to have fallen on Messrs. Cookes and
Holland, and a poll was demanded for Mr. St. Paul.  At the end of the two
days’ poll the numbers were—Holland, 2,254; Cookes, 2,192; St. Paul,
2,145.  Majority of Cookes over St. Paul, 47.  4,125 persons voted out of
5,226 on the register.  There was some rioting at Stourbridge, which
necessitated the sending for two troops of lancers from Birmingham, and
Mr. St. Paul, declaring that some of his voters had been prevented from
coming to the poll by violence, presented a protest against the election.
A petition was talked of on this ground, but it came to nothing.  A
dinner was given to the successful candidates, at the Golden Cross Hotel,
Bromsgrove, at which Colonel Davies presided.  A similar dinner at
Stourbridge, with J. H. H. Foley, Esq., in the chair, gave rise to a
correspondence between Messrs. Robins, Hickman, Hodgetts, and Trow, and
Mr. Robert Scott and Lord Lyttelton.  The first named gentlemen chose to
believe that some remarks made by Mr. Scott on the partiality and
incompetency of the county magistracy generally, were intended for
themselves, and they appealed to Lord Lyttelton to institute an inquiry.
The Lord Lieutenant not only refused to accede to their request, but
rebuked them for the language they had used.

_West Worcestershire_.—The candidates were as before, Colonel Lygon and
Mr. Pakington, who professed to coalesce on the Conservative interest,
and Captain Winnington, Whig.  Sir A. Lechmere and the Hon. W. Coventry
proposed Col. Lygon; Mr. Osman Ricardo and Mr. Berkeley, Captain
Winnington; and Lord Eastnor and Mr. T. C. Brock, Mr. Pakington.  The
show of hands was declared to be in favour of Captain Winnington and Mr.
Pakington.  At the close of the poll the numbers were—Lygon, 1,945;
Winnington, 1,938; Pakington, 1,773: majority for Winnington, 165.  3,619
persons voted out of 4,126 upon the register.

1837—JULY—(General Election on the death of William IV.)—_West
Worcestershire_.—General Lygon and Captain Winnington reëlected without

_East Worcestershire_.—Here there was a fierce contest, ending in the
return, for the first time, of two Conservatives.  Before the election
took place the Conservatives offered a compromise, and suggested that one
of each party should be allowed to walk over, but the Liberals were so
sanguine of winning that they would not listen to the proposal.  Mr.
Cookes had retired from the representation from ill-health, but his place
was supplied by Mr. J. H. H. Foley, who, with Mr. Holland, came forward
in the Liberal interest, while the Conservative candidates were Mr. H.
St. Paul and Mr. Barneby.  On the hustings Colonel Davies and Sir William
Rouse Boughton, Bart., proposed Mr. Holland; T. H. Cookes, Esq., (the
late member) and James Foster, Esq., Mr. Foley; James Taylor, Esq., and
Thomas Hawkes, Esq., M.P., Mr. H. St. Paul; and Lord Eastnor and Edward
Dixon, Esq., Mr. Barneby.  The show of hands was in favour of Messrs.
Barneby and St. Paul; and after the two days’ poll they were declared
duly elected; the numbers being—St. Paul, 2,595; Barneby, 2,528; Holland,
2,175; Foley, 2,168.  In the Stourbridge, Bromsgrove, and Evesham
districts only, had the Liberal candidates a slight majority.  Mr. Horace
St. Paul’s expenses at this election are said to have been £16,000.

1841—JUNE—(General Election.  The Parliament having declared their want
of confidence in the ministers, the Whigs appeal to the people on the
Corn Law, Sugar, and Irish Registration questions.  Sir Robert Peel’s “no
confidence” motion had been carried by a majority of one against
ministers.)—_West Worcestershire_.—General Lygon and F. Winn Knight,
Esq., nephew of the late John Knight, Esq., of Downton Castle, were
elected without opposition.  Captain Winnington had retired from the
field in consequence of the division amongst his supporters on the Corn
Law question.  He had constantly voted against any alteration of the Corn
Laws, and therefore did not please the constituencies of the towns.  With
this state of things, added to the loss of the Foley interest in the
county, he could have had no chance, and therefore refused to disturb the
division by a contest.

_East Worcestershire_.—John Barneby, Esq., and James Arthur Taylor, Esq.,
returned.  Mr. Horace St. Paul retired from the representation because of
ill-health, and for the same reason Mr. Holland declined to offer on the
Liberal interest.  The Hon. Captain St. George Foley, brother of Lord
Foley, offered himself to the electors as an advocate of Liberal
measures, and of a moderate fixed duty upon corn.  At the nomination at
Droitwich, Mr. Barneby was proposed by J. S. Pakington, Esq., M.P., and
W. Hemming, Esq.; Captain Foley, by James Foster, Esq., and Robert Scott,
Esq.  M.P., in long and able speeches; and Mr. Taylor, by C. Noel, Esq.,
and Whitmore Jones, Esq.  The show of hands was in favour of Barneby and
Taylor, and Captain Foley’s friends demanded a poll.  At a meeting,
however, which was held at Mr. Galton’s, shortly after nomination, it was
decided, much to Captain Foley’s own mortification, not to proceed to a
poll, and that determination was communicated the same evening to the
opposite party.  The Sheriff at first thought that he should be obliged
to take a poll, under the circumstances, notwithstanding, and the
Attorney General’s opinion was taken upon the point, but this being in
favour of the propriety of dispensing with the poll, Messrs. Barneby and
Taylor were declared duly elected without further trouble.

1847—JANUARY—_East Worcestershire_.—(Election to supply the vacancy
caused by the decease of John Barneby, Esq.)—Captain Rushout was the
first candidate announced, but J. H. H. Foley, Esq., having intimated his
intention of contesting the division, a meeting of the Conservative party
was called at Droitwich, at which an arrangement was entered into, by
which Mr. Foley retired from the field at present, and was to be
permitted to come in unopposed at the next election, when it was expected
that a vacancy would be caused by the retirement of Mr. James Arthur
Taylor.  This created a great deal of dissatisfaction amongst the
Conservative electors, but the contracting parties were too influential
to admit of their decision being contravened.  Captain Rushout was,
therefore, on this occasion elected without opposition.

1847—AUGUST—(General Election on the retirement of Sir Robert Peel from
office, after carrying his free trade measures.)—_East
Worcestershire_.—In consequence of the arrangement noticed above, Mr. J.
H. H. Foley was allowed to come in in the place of Mr. J. A. Taylor, who
retired from Parliament, and with Captain Rushout was returned unopposed.

_West Worcestershire_.—General Lygon and Mr. Knight were returned without


THE constituency of the city is no larger now than it was in days of
yore, when freemen were made in any quantity at the pleasure of the
corporation; often while the election was proceeding.  The number of
voters now on the register is about 2,200; of these, 1,099 still qualify
as freemen, and nearly 700 have no other qualification.

1802—(General Election)—The electors having been convened together in the
Guildhall for the nomination in the usual manner, the Mayor (Mr.
Rowlands) proposed the reëlection of Edward Wigley and Abraham Robarts,
Esqs., the previous members.  This proposition was seconded, and the
business of the day went on most smoothly until within seven minutes of
the hour at which the writ was made returnable, when the hall became
suddenly and most violently agitated by the arrival of Joseph Scott,
Esq., of Great Barr, a relative of Lord Dudley and Ward, who came forward
and declared himself a candidate, as he said, in compliance with the
wishes of a number of the inhabitants.  A poll was demanded on his
behalf, which immediately commenced, and continued for four days; at the
end of which, the numbers were—Robarts, 2,163; Scott, 1,197; Wigley,
1,180.  On the fifth morning Mr. Wigley retired, and Robarts and Scott
were declared duly elected.  There was no disturbance.  Politics seem to
have entered very little into consideration, and the matter to have been
decided by person and purse.  Mr. Wigley, in his retiring address to the
“Worthy Freemen of the City of Worcester,” intimated that he had come
forward thirteen years before, at their own request, to rescue their city
from becoming a Government nomination borough, and he did not see why he
should now have been rejected.  To those “who promised him their support,
but voted for his opponent, he had nothing to say, because he could say
nothing that would be pleasing to himself.”  A meeting of his friends and
supporters was afterwards held at the Crown Inn, Henry Wakeman, Esq.,
presiding, at which resolutions were passed thanking Mr. Wigley for his
conduct in Parliament, and his great attention to the interests of this
city, where he and others of his family had resided for more than thirty
years, and “been an example, rarely exceeded, of piety, benevolence, and

1806—OCTOBER—(General Election.)—Candidates, Abrm. Robarts, Esq., the
former member; Colonel Bromley, of Abberley Lodge; and William Gordon,
Esq., who rested his claims to support on the fact of his being a
mercantile man, and, as such, better fitted to represent the city of
Worcester than Colonel Bromley, a country gentleman.  He was supported by
gentlemen who were disgusted by the unblushing bribery of previous
elections.  After three days’ polling, Mr. Gordon retired, the numbers
being—Robarts, 856; Bromley, 563; Gordon, 348: total number of freemen
polled, 902.  Mr. Gordon was afterwards _fêted_ at the Crown Hotel, on
which occasion he attributed his defeat to his being so late in the
field.  Mr. Gordon, however, afterwards presented a petition against
Colonel Bromley’s return, which that gentleman declined to defend, and
accepted the Chiltern Hundreds, so that the seat again became vacant.

1807—FEBRUARY 13—At the election thus rendered necessary, Alderman
Squires proposed William Gordon, Esq., and Alderman Carden, John
Attersoll, Esq., both gentlemen being London merchants.  Mr. Gordon
declared himself to be a staunch Church and King man, and utterly opposed
to the continuance of the Slave Trade.  Mr. Attersoll talked a little
more about civil and religious freedom.  There seems to have been no show
of hands taken, and both parties required a poll, which was commenced
amidst a great deal of fighting and outrage.  After three days’ polling
Mr. Attersoll retired, the numbers being—Gordon, 766; Attersoll, 414:
majority for Gordon, 352.  A petition was next presented against Mr.
Gordon’s return, on the score of bribery, by several inhabitants of the
city.  A meeting was held at the Crown, to take steps to counteract this
petition, Mr. J. Palmer in the chair.  Mr. Hebb moved the resolutions, in
a speech which the reporter of the time says “displayed great
constitutional knowledge and erudition.”  The petition was dismissed in
consequence of the necessary recognizances not being entered into.

1807—MAY 6—(General Election.)—Mr. Robarts and Mr. Gordon returned
without opposition.  Mr. Attersoll having canvassed the electors, and
found that he had no chance, retired on the eve of the contest.

This election was chiefly remarkable for the quantity of pens and ink
wasted upon it.  Mr. Gordon, after being returned as an “independent”
member, followed the example of most of his contemporary M.P.’s, in
turning his position to account, and obtained from the Government a
license to trade with Spain.  He was warned of the consequences of
becoming a tool of Government by Mr. Hebb, in a series of letters bearing
the signature of Cato Uticensis.  Then followed various blasts and
counter-blasts, especially a sheet of rhyme called the _Doctoriad_, to
which there was a smart replication under the title of the _Gordonian_;
and these were for some time the _poemes celébres_ of Worcester

1812—OCTOBER 5—(General Election.)—Mr. Robarts and Mr. Gordon again
candidates, though, as the latter was out of the country, he was
represented by his father-in-law, Sir George Cornewall.  A day or two
before the election, a number of freemen presented a requisition to Lord
Deerhurst, pressing him to offer himself, which he did.  At the
nomination, Mr. Robarts and Lord Deerhurst obtained the show of hands,
and a poll was demanded on behalf of Mr. Gordon.  After eight days’
contest—severer than any which had taken place in the city since the
celebrated one in 1761, between Sir William Watkin Lewes and Mr.
Rouse—the numbers were found to be—Robarts, 1,248; Gordon, 939;
Deerhurst, 855.  Lord Deerhurst then retired, having won golden opinions
from all sorts of men, by the eloquence of his speeches, the courtesy of
his manner, and the good humour he had maintained.  He polled a majority
of the resident freemen, but was beaten by the out-voters.  The number of
freemen polled at this election was 1,765.  No particular political
principle seems to have been at all involved in the contest.  A gold cup
was afterwards purchased by Lord Deerhurst’s supporters, and presented to
him at a dinner at the Crown; Thomas Farley, Esq., in the chair.

1816—DECEMBER—(Vacancy on the death of A. Robarts, Esq.)—Lord Deerhurst
again offered himself as a candidate, and Colonel Davies made his first
appearance in Worcester.  He continued an active canvass for some time,
but at last finding that Lord Deerhurst had indubitably secured a
majority of votes, he withdrew.  Lord Deerhurst was proposed at the
hustings by the Mayor (R. Chamberlain, Esq.), and seconded by E. M.
Wigley, Esq.  The chairing took place immediately afterwards, and the
chair itself was very prematurely demolished by the mob in High Street.
On the following day a grand dinner was given to the new member at the

1818—JUNE 15—(General Election.)—This was one of the severest contested
elections which had been known in the city of Worcester, and it
terminated in the return of Colonel Davies to Parliament for the first
time.  The city had been kept in great excitement for some months before
the election, by the continued canvassing of all the candidates.  All
parties were enthusiastic in their support of Lord Deerhurst, whose
return was safe from the first, and the contest lay between Sir William
Duff Gordon and Colonel Davies.  Sir William Gordon had forfeited some of
his popularity by the course he had taken in voting with Government, for
the orders in council altering the import duties, and which were supposed
to have had a great effect upon the glove trade.  Colonel Davies, shortly
before the election, gave up his commission in the Guards, that he might
make the better Member of Parliament, by having his time entirely
unfettered.  Though not much was said about political principles in the
addresses of the different candidates, it was understood that Colonel
Davies was more Whiggish in his views than either of the other men.
Tumults took place both at Kidderminster and in London amongst the
out-voters, who were canvassed there by the different parties, and at the
polling places the riot and disturbance was worse than ever before
recollected.  At the nomination, Lord Deerhurst was proposed by the Mayor
(S. Wall, Esq.), and seconded by Mr. John Dent.  Sir William Gordon was
proposed by Major Bund and Mr. Thomas Dent; and Colonel Davies by
Alderman Nash and Mr. Richards.  After seven days’ polling, Sir William
Gordon withdrew from the contest; the numbers then being—Deerhurst,
1,422; Davies, 1,024; Gordon, 874.  Colonel Davies had a majority both in
the city and out-votes; but he was principally the gainer among the
London freemen.  The total number polled was 1,963.  The two members were
chaired as usual the day after the election had concluded, and the chairs
demolished by the populace, according to their ancient prerogative and

Petitions were presented against both Colonel Davies’s and Lord
Deerhurst’s return.  The latter, however, was withdrawn.  On the 16th
March, 1819, the committee to investigate Colonel Davies’s return was
ballotted for, and Mr. Alexander Baring, M.P. for Taunton, chosen
chairman.  The petition alleged bribery and treating, but the necessary
witnesses were kept out of the way.  Colonel Davies was declared duly
elected by the casting vote of the chairman, and the news was received in
Worcester with great rejoicings by his supporters.

1820—MARCH—(General Election.)—Lord Deerhurst and Colonel Davies returned
without opposition: the former being proposed by Thomas Carden, Esq., and
seconded by Samuel Crane, Esq.; and the latter, by Richard Nash, Esq.,
seconded by E. M. Wigley, Esq.  The chairing, on this occasion, was a
very splendid affair.

1826—JUNE—(General Election.)—So long before this election as March,
1824, George Richard Robinson, Esq., a London merchant, announced his
intention of becoming a candidate on “independent” principles, and by a
free expenditure of money made himself popular.  All parties had been
engaged in a very active canvass, but in May Lord Deerhurst suddenly
announced his determination not again to offer himself as a candidate.
This caused immense chagrin, not only to his pledged supporters, who said
his victory was certain, but also to all those who had revelled in the
prospect of the high price which votes would fetch in a prolonged and
doubtful contest—such as the forthcoming one promised to be.  Lord
Deerhurst made his appointment as a Vice Lieutenant, and his other
numerous public duties, the plea for retiring.  Richard Griffiths, Esq.,
of Thorngrove, was induced to come forward in his stead at the eleventh
hour.  On the hustings, Colonel Davies was proposed by Mr. Alderman
Carden and Mr. John Palmer; Mr. G. R. Robinson, by Mr. Alderman Ballard
and Major Bund; and Mr. Griffiths, by Mr. John Dent and Mr. Henry
Clifton.  Colonel Davies avowed himself in favour of reform, economy, and
free trade; Mr. Robinson intended generally to support ministers, but
declared himself independent; and Mr. Griffiths was a thorough Church and
King man.  After six days’ poll the numbers were—Robinson, 1,542; Davies,
1,268; and Griffiths, 1,036.  Mr. Griffiths then withdrew from the
contest, having spent, during the week he was in the city, some £8,000,
and thus answered the chief end of the parties who dragged him forward.
There indeed was scarcely ever such a dear election, to all the
candidates, in the city of Worcester—the most unprecedented exertions in
fetching voters from a distance, &c., being made.  The entire sum spent
is said to have been £25,000.  The total number of freemen polled was
1,963—viz., 1,184, city; 246, from London; and 433, country.  This was
the largest number on record as having polled at any election.  Davies
had 322 plumpers; Robinson, 132; and Griffiths, 50.  The chairing took
place as usual, and the elegant cars were broken to pieces at the bottom
of Broad Street, at the imminent risk of the new members’ lives.  A
dinner was given in the succeeding week to Mr. Robinson, at the Hoppole,
Mr. Alderman Ballard presiding.  Colonel Davies’s friends met to form a
committee to secure his return in future at less expense; and Mr.
Griffiths announced his firm intention of offering himself again,
whenever a vacancy should occur.

1830—JULY 30—(General Election.)—Colonel Davies and Mr. Robinson returned
without opposition; all the efforts of the third-man-no-matter-who party
having failed to produce a candidate.

1831—MAY—(General Election.)—The Tory party three days before the
election brought forward a candidate in the person of the Hon. Colonel
Henry Fitzroy, brother to Lord Southampton, but the Reform enthusiasm was
so strong that his voice was drowned in the disapprobation of the people
the moment he opened his lips, and all the significant hints that he had
plenty of money to spend were thrown away.  The Colonel soon found that
he was in a false position, and did not appear on the hustings at the day
of nomination.  Colonel Davies was proposed by George Farley, Esq., and
seconded by Mr. John Palmer; while Archibald Cameron, Esq., proposed, and
Thomas Scott, Esq., seconded, Mr. Robinson.  They were declared duly
elected, and the chairing took place forthwith, but the chair was
demolished sooner than usual.

1832—DECEMBER—(General Election.)—Colonel Davies and Mr. Robinson again
returned.  A few weeks before the election a third candidate appeared on
the scene, in the person of R. A. Dundas, Esq., cousin of Viscount
Melville, intending to contest the city on Conservative principles, but
after a canvass he gave the matter up as hopeless.  Mr. Robinson having
in an address to the electors, said that Mr. Dundas had been “deluded
with hopes of success, which proved utterly fallacious”—his supporters
sent for him back again, and declared that he should stand a poll unless
Mr. Robinson withdrew these “offensive” expressions.  A long conference
took place, and some modification of the terms, or explanation of their
intention, was conceded, and Mr. Dundas once more made his bow.  Colonel
Davies was proposed by Mr. Hebb and Mr. George Allen; and Mr. Robinson by
Mr. Spooner and Mr. Munn.  The members went through the city in an open
carriage drawn by six grey horses, instead of in a chair, and the mob
having shewn some disposition to destroy the carriage, they were
disappointed by the postillions turning suddenly along the back streets
into the Hoppole yard.  Some of the crowd climbed the gates, and began to
tear the decorations, but they were beaten off.  A dinner was afterwards
given to the two members unitedly, at the Bell Inn, Mr. Hebb in the

1835—(General Election.)—On this occasion a candidate was brought forward
by the Conservatives in the person of Joseph Bailey, Esq., a very opulent
ironmaster from Glanusk, in Monmouthshire.  Mr. Robinson appeared to be
an universal favourite, as by the comparative moderation of his views he
had conciliated many of the Tory party, but they concentrated all their
animosity against Colonel Davies, who had not only been a very determined
but very active promoter of Reform measures in the House of Commons.  The
Colonel had lost favour with some of the glovers by his support of free
trade principles.  The most strenuous exertions were made by the Colonel
and Mr. Bailey, between whom it was at once seen that the struggle would
lie, while Mr. Robinson rested upon his oars in security.  At the
nomination, Mr. Hebb and Mr. Allies proposed Colonel Davies; Dr. Hastings
and Mr. Thomas Scott, proposed Mr. Robinson; and Mr. John Williams, of
Pitmaston, and Mr. Dent, proposed Mr. Bailey.  The show of hands was
entirely in favour of the two old members, and a poll was demanded by Mr.
Gutch in favour of Mr. Bailey.  At the end of the first day’s poll the
numbers were—Robinson, 1,309; Davies, 882; Bailey, 835; but the second
day altered the state of things, and the final return, as made by the
Sheriff, was—Robinson, 1,611; Bailey, 1,154; Davies, 1,137: majority for
Bailey, 17.  There was a sharp affray between the street partizans of the
various candidates on Tuesday evening, and several heads were broken.
Immediately after the election a dinner was given to Colonel Davies and
Mr. Robinson, at the Bell Inn, W. Sanders, Esq., in the chair; at which
it was announced to be the intention of Colonel Davies’s friends to bring
the result of the election before a committee of the House of Commons.
Captain Winnington, Mr. Cookes, and Mr. Holland, the three recently
elected Whig members for the county, were present.  A dinner was given to
Joseph Bailey, Esq., M.P., at the Hoppole, in February.  The party
numbered nearly 200, and Mr. Richard Spooner was in the chair.  The
various speakers boasted of the “reaction” which had taken place in
favour of Conservative principles.  Mr. Bailey paid his first visit to
Worcester after his election in October; dinners were provided for his
supporters, and _eighty public houses_ were “opened” in the evening.  The
principal party was given at the Unicorn Inn, Broad Street, where Mr.
Richard Spooner presided.  Mr. Henry Clifton and Mr. Pierpoint were

As soon as the session opened, a petition was presented against Mr.
Bailey’s return, and a scrutiny of votes took place before a committee of
the House of Commons, which was ballotted for March 31st, and consisted
of seven Tories and four Whigs; Mr. J. E. Denison (Nottinghamshire) being
chairman.  After a sitting of eleven days, fifty-five votes were struck
off by the petitioners, and forty by Mr. Bailey, still leaving that
gentleman in a majority of one; and the petitioners then gave up the
struggle, in consequence of several adverse decisions on the part of the
committee.  The following is a summary of the votes struck off on each

      BY THE PETITIONERS.                  BY MR. BAILEY.
Pauper votes                  33  Pauper votes                   8
Personation                    2  Change of qualification       17
Employed and paid             11  Employed and paid.             9
Change of qualification        8  Not registered                 3
Wager                          1  Dead before election           1
                                  Wagers                         2
                              55                                40
Objections not admitted.      16  Objections not admitted.       4

The petitioners alleged three cases of bribery on Mr. Bailey’s part, but
failed in the proof; and the votes of a number of Mr. Bailey’s
professional agents, objected to by the petitioners, were retained, in
consequence of the memorable evidence of one of their number—that their
services were all gratuitously rendered.  The conduct of the petition was
intrusted to Mr. John Hill, and by him managed most admirably.  The
expenses were all covered by the subscriptions, which had been previously
raised, and that almost entirely among the citizens themselves.  Mr.
Bailey’s expenses are said to have been £16,000.  The expenses of the
election itself were but trifling.  Of course the greatest excitement
prevailed in the city during the progress of the petition, and Mr.
Bailey’s party had great rejoicings on the issue.

In September, 1836, a dinner was given by the Worcester Conservative
operatives to Mr. Bailey, at the Theatre.  427 persons sat down to table,
and there were many spectators.  The chief speakers were Mr. Bailey, Mr.
Spooner, Mr. Pakington, and Mr. John Dent.  There were great
congratulations on the “reaction” which had taken place in the city, as
elsewhere, in favour of Toryism.

Immediately afterwards (October 24) the operative Reformers got up a
great dinner in the Town Hall, to refute the cry about “reaction.”  Eight
hundred persons sat down to dinner in the outer hall, 500 in the assembly
room, and others at different inns.  Mr. Arrowsmith was in the chair;
supported on his right by the Mayor, and on the left by Colonel Davies.
The whole party met in the outer hall after dinner (this being
brilliantly lighted up for the occasion), and a number of appropriate
toasts were given.

1837—(General Election.)—The candidates at this election were Mr. Bailey
and Mr. Robinson (the former members), and Colonel Davies; but on the day
of nomination Mr. Robinson retired in the most unexpected manner.  This
was owing to many of the Liberal electors having refused to give him
their promises on his canvass, because they thought he had not behaved
well to Colonel Davies at the previous election, and had, moreover,
offended them by some votes in the House, which did not savour
sufficiently of party.  Mr. Bailey and Colonel Davies were declared duly
elected, under protest from Mr. J. D. Stevenson, who had proposed (but a
little too late) Mr. James Morison, of London.

Mr. John Hood and Mr. Joseph Lingham proposed Mr. Robinson on this
occasion; Mr. John Williams and Mr. John Dent, Mr. Bailey; the Mayor and
Mr. George Allies, Colonel Davies.

Barristers’ opinions were afterwards obtained, declaring that the return
of the Sheriff was, under the circumstances, incorrect.  In anticipation
of another election, therefore, a Mr. Turton, son of Sir Thomas Turton, a
Sussex baronet, was introduced to the electors as a candidate on the
Liberal interest.  He addressed a public meeting in the Guildhall in
October, at which it was resolved—first, to petition; and, secondly, to
support Mr. Turton if a vacancy then occurred.  Colonel Davies’s friends
refused to promise a coalition with Mr. Turton.  At the eleventh hour the
petition was abandoned, and Mr. Bailey brought an action against the
petitioners to recover £174, the sum which he had expended in preparing
to defend his seat; but on an appearance being put in, the claim was

1841—JULY—(General Election.)—Colonel Davies retiring from the
representation, because of ill-health, was succeeded by Sir Thomas Wilde,
who, during his candidateship for the city, was made Attorney General, in
the room of Sir John Campbell, elevated to the Irish Chancellorship.  Mr.
Bailey again offered himself on the Conservative interest, and Mr. Robert
Hardy, of the firm of Hardy and Padmore, ironfounders, being determined
that the Tories should not have the seat uncontested, presented himself
as the candidate of the Radical party, of which he had long been a
leading member.  Mr. Hardy’s personal character and liberality had caused
him to be greatly respected in the city; but his ultra opinions, and
especially the fact of his being a Dissenter, left him little chance of
success.  The usual meetings took place before the election, and Sir
Thomas Wilde availed himself of the opportunity to make some most able
speeches in exposition and defence of the policy of the ministry.  The
nomination in the Guildhall presented more than the usual scene of
confusion, and a fight with bludgeons took place in the midst of it,
which had well-nigh proved fatal to one young man, who was accidentally
struck on the head.  Mr. Bailey was proposed by Mr. John Dent and Mr.
Pierpoint; Sir Thomas Wilde, by Mr. George Farley and Alderman Corles;
and Mr. Hardy, by Mr. Edward Lloyd and Mr. Ledbrook.  Sir Thomas Wilde
and Mr. Hardy had a great majority on the show of hands, and a poll was
demanded by Mr. Bailey.  The numbers, as declared by the Sheriff,
were—Wilde, 1,187; Bailey, 1,173; Hardy, 875.  All parties were surprised
to find that Mr. Hardy had obtained so many votes.

The supporters of Mr. Hardy afterwards presented him with a large silver
salver “for his generous and patriotic conduct in coming forward to
vindicate, by his example, purity of election, and to afford his fellow
citizens an opportunity of redeeming their opinions from
misrepresentation by a Tory.”

1846—JULY—(Election caused by Sir Thomas Wilde taking office under the
new Whig ministry.)—Sir Thomas Wilde having been appointed Attorney
General, he came to Worcester to be reëlected by his constituency, and on
the Monday (July 6) he addressed his supporters in the large room of the
Bell Hotel.  They unanimously agreed to renew their adhesion, and no
other candidate was thought of.  The election was fixed for Wednesday,
but on Tuesday evening Sir Thomas was apprised by Lord John Russell of
the sudden decease of Sir Nicholas Tindal, and of the intention to
elevate Sir Thomas to the chief justiceship of the Common Pleas.  Of
course, under these circumstances, Sir Thomas could no longer be member
for Worcester, but Government had taken care to provide a candidate in
the bearer of the message, Sir Denis Le Marchant, Bart., now chief clerk
of the House of Commons.  The Liberal party were hastily summoned
together on Wednesday morning, and on the recommendation of their late
representative, they transferred their support from Sir Thomas to Sir
Denis.  Walking from the place of meeting to the hustings, Sir Denis was
proposed by the Mayor, and seconded by Francis Edward Williams, Esq., as
the member for the city of Worcester.  Sir Thomas Wilde spoke on his
behalf, and no other candidate having been proposed, Sir Denis was
declared duly elected.  He afterwards spoke at some length, declaring
himself a thorough free trader, and generally a supporter of the Liberal
government.  Edward Evans, Esq., and George Allies, Esq., then moved a
vote of thanks to their late representative, Sir Thomas Wilde, and it was
carried with loud acclamations.  Sir Thomas replied with great
_empressement_ and feeling, and after a vote of thanks to the Sheriff,
Mr. Elgie, the singular election of 1846 ended.  The gentleman thus
suddenly made the representative of Worcester proved, during the short
time he held that office, one of the most practically useful members
which the city ever had.  Four days elapsed between the election and the
usual procession, and in that interval Sir Denis returned to town to
negociate, as is generally believed, the support of the _Times_ to the
Whig ministry.  The subsequent tone of the “leading journal” may be
supposed to give some corroboration to this rumour.

1847—JULY—(General Election.)—Sir Denis Le Marchant and Mr. Bailey,
having each withdrawn their pretensions to represent the city (the
latter, in order that he might be elected for his native county of
Breconshire), both political parties had to look out for fresh
candidates.  The Liberals fixed upon Osman Ricardo, Esq., of Bromsberrow
Place, a country gentleman who had taken little part in public matters,
but was known as a man of principle, and who laid himself out for the
substantial good of the neighbourhood in which he lived.  The
Conservatives were not quite so easily suited, or so unanimous in their
choice.  Mr. Sergeant Glover was first named by one section of the party,
but he at length gave way to Mr. F. Rufford, who, as chairman of the
Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway Company, possessed some
amount of popularity in the city.  Mr. Rufford, in his addresses to the
electors, indignantly denied that he was a monopolist, and certainly led
people to believe that he was what was called in common parlance, “a free
trader,” and on the hustings said, “I am here to advocate free trade to
its fullest extent,” but in practice he turned out to be a Protectionist.
Mr. Robert Hardy again came forward on the Radical interest, avowed his
desire to see a separation of Church and State, and disapproved of
Government education.

Mr. Alderman Lilly and Mr. Alderman John Hall proposed Mr. Hardy; Mr.
William Stallard, jun., and Mr. H. D. Carden, Mr. Rufford; and Dr.
Hastings and Mr. Alderman Edward Evans, Mr. Ricardo.  The show of hands
being in favour of Messrs. Ricardo and Hardy, a poll was demanded for Mr.
Rufford, and at its close the numbers were—Ricardo, 1,163; Rufford,
1,142; Hardy, 930.  The “open house” iniquity rioted in a rankness which
had never been equalled at previous elections.  Probably, too, half the
electors were paid for their votes under what is called “the messenger
dodge.”  Mr. Rufford, in 1851, became a bankrupt, and his examinations
showed that he certainly was not solvent when he offered himself as a
candidate at this election, yet he admitted that he expended considerably
more than £4,000.


EVESHAM has enjoyed the privilege of sending two representatives to
Parliament from a very early date.  In 1295 two burgesses were chosen to
represent the town in a parliament of Edward I, but there is no record of
any return from that date till the incorporation of the borough by James
I.  Some of the elections which have taken place here during the present
century have been remarkable for profuseness of expenditure and tricks of
party warfare.  The number of voters now on the register is 345.

1802—JULY—(General Election.)—Charles Thelluson, Esq., the former member,
Patrick Crawford Bruce, Esq., a London merchant, and Humphrey Howorth,
Esq., for many years a physician in India, were the candidates.  After
five days’ poll the latter retired from the contest, the number of votes
then being—Thelluson, 261; Bruce, 249; Howorth, 183.  A petition was
afterwards presented against the return, on the score of alleged bribery,
but the committee report that the sitting members were duly returned,
though the petition was not frivolous.

1806—NOVEMBER—(General Election.)—Mr. Howorth and W. Manning, Esq., a
West India merchant, returned without opposition, neither of the former
members standing again.

1807—MAY—(General Election.)—Sir Masseh Manasseh Lopez, Bart., entered
the field at this election against the former members, and after six
days’ poll, the numbers of votes recorded stood thus—Manning, 494; Lopez,
334; Howorth, 320.  This result was obtained by the returning officer
admitting 122 freeholders to the poll, contrary to former decisions,
which had determined that freemen and paymasters alone had the right to
vote.  “A most gratifying interchange of compliments passed,” says the
reporter of the period, “during the closing of the poll books, between
the candidates, the mayor (W. Soley, Esq.), the assessor, and the
professional gentlemen employed; and though perhaps there never was a
severer contest, yet never was the conduct observed more honourable to
all parties.”  It seems to have been altogether, and undisguisedly, a
matter of money.  In a few days after the election an address was
presented to Mr. Howorth, by E. Rudge, Esq., and 189 burgesses,
complimenting him upon his conduct in the House of Commons, and begging
him “to bring their joint cause before a committee of the House,” assured
that “their insulted rights will be henceforward fixed on such a basis as
will baffle the attempts of those who will dare to violate them.”  A
petition was accordingly presented, and in 1808, February 22nd, the
report of the committee was brought up, and Sir M. M. Lopez, Bart., was
declared to have been unduly elected, and Mr. Howorth ought to have been
returned; opposition to petition not frivolous.  Mr. Howorth, in his
published address after this result, declares that he was ousted at the
election by the votes of “a class of persons having no common interest or
common feeling with the freemen and inhabitants of the borough.”  He had
“vindicated their rights, and triumphed over this foreign influence.”
Mr. Howorth’s constituents afterwards presented him with a piece of

1812—OCTOBER—(General Election.)—W. Manning and H. Howorth, Esqs.,
reëlected without opposition.

1818—JUNE—(General Election.)—A very sharp contest distinguished by all
sorts of manœuvres, violence, and questionable practices.  The poll was
kept open for twelve days, and the numbers at its close were—for Mr.
Howorth, 410; Mr. Rouse Boughton, 359; and Sir Charles Cockerell, 341.
Mr. Rouse Boughton was son of Sir Charles William Rouse Boughton, Bart.,
and Sir Charles Cockerell, was a brother to Lord Northwick.  Two
petitions were presented as soon as Parliament met, against Mr. Rouse
Boughton’s return; one from Sir Charles, alleging bribery, and another
from voters of Evesham, against the admission of the votes of certain
persons.  It seemed that it had actually been the custom to admit any man
to vote who had paid poor-rates for six months prior to an election, so
that Evesham almost enjoyed universal suffrage.  It was, however, against
these votes that the petition was presented.  The committee decided that
Mr. Boughton was not duly elected, and struck off all the scot and lot
voters from the roll, declaring that the election of members for Evesham
was vested in the mayor, aldermen, capital and other burgesses, members
of the corporation.  The name of Sir Charles Cockerell was ordered to be
inserted in the return in lieu of that of Mr. Rouse Boughton.  Lord
Palmerston was taken into custody for not being present when this
committee was ballotted for, but discharged, of course, on payment of the
fees, amounting to £30.  A handsome piece of plate was afterwards
presented by the supporters of Mr. Boughton, to Mr. Edward Lawes, of
Sergeant’s Inn, for his exertions on that gentleman’s behalf.

1820—MARCH—(General Election.)—Sir Charles Cockerell, Bart., and Mr.
William E. Rouse Boughton elected without opposition; Mr. Howorth having
retired from the representation because of continued ill-health.

1826—JUNE—(General Election.)—There were three candidates in the field
when this election was first talked of: Sir Charles Cockerell (one of the
former members), Sir Roger Gresley, Bart., and Mr. Protheroe; but a
coalition was formed between Sir Charles and Mr. Protheroe, and Sir Roger
Gresley retired from the contest.  Mr. William E. Rouse Boughton did not
again offer himself.  Many of the electors were very angry at being
“sold,” as they called it, and looked out for a third candidate, who
would spend a proper quantity of money, and they found one in the person
of Patrick Grant, Esq., of Spring Gardens, London, who drove up to the
hustings just in time to be put in nomination.  Having stood a three
days’ poll, however, he retired; the numbers then being—Cockerell, 235;
Protheroe, 137; Grant, 87.

1830—AUGUST—(General Election.)—Sir C. Cockerell and Lord Kennedy (heir
apparent of the Earl of Cassilis) returned.  Alexander Raphael, Esq., of
London, was a third candidate, but retired after two days’ poll; the
numbers then being—Cockerell, 231; Kennedy, 148; Raphael, 110.  The
return was immediately petitioned against, on the score of bribery and
treating, and it was proved that sixteen freemen had gone down from
London and received £12 each (for their loss of time it was said),
independently of their expenses.  The election was declared void (Mr.
Raphael being implicated in this bribery), and both Sir Charles Cockerell
and Lord Kennedy were thus incapacitated from sitting in that Parliament.
The issue of another writ was suspended, on the motion of the Marquis of
Chandos, to allow of time for further Parliamentary inquiry.  The Marquis
afterwards brought in a bill for the disenfranchisement of the borough,
which was read a second time; but Parliament was dissolved before it
could be passed, and a writ was, therefore, issued to the returning
officer in the usual course.

1831—MAY—(General Election.)—Sir Charles Cockerell and Lord Kennedy (the
lately ousted members), and Thomas Hudson, Esq. (Reformer), a Portuguese
merchant, were the candidates at this election; and the numbers at the
close of the poll were—Sir Charles, 208; Mr. Hudson, 157; Lord Kennedy,
136.  The two former gentlemen were then declared duly elected.  Lord
Kennedy did not appear in the town at all during the election.

Evesham having been retained in schedule C of the Reform Bill, continued
to send two members to Parliament in spite of the smallness of the
population—at that time only numbering 3,998 individuals.  The out-voters
being deprived of their right to poll, the number of electors was only

1832—DECEMBER—(General Election.)—Sir Charles Cockerell and Mr. Hudson
reëlected.  Mr. Rudge, Mr. Skirrow, and other gentlemen had “come like
shadows and so departed,” declaring their intentions to be third
candidates, but suddenly retreating from the field.  However, at the
eleventh hour, Mr. Peter Borthwick, who had signalised himself by
lectures in favour of negro slavery, was put forward by the Tory party,
but only received 126 votes—Sir Charles Cockerell polling 234, and Mr.
Hudson 212.  The number of electors who voted was 329.

1835—JANUARY—(General Election.)—Sir Charles Cockerell again came forward
as a candidate; but Mr. Hudson retired at the last moment, being opposed
by Mr. Peter Borthwick, the unsuccessful candidate at the previous
election.  However, Mr. Rudge was put in nomination in his absence by the
Liberals, and a poll demanded on his behalf; the show of hands being in
favour of Sir Charles and Mr. Borthwick.  On the hustings Mr. George May
charged Mr. Borthwick with having failed as a bookseller in Dalkeith, and
having been excommunicated by the Scotch United Secession Church.  Mr.
Borthwick denied it, and said it was a relative whose debts he had paid
for him.  Mr. Rudge eventually declined to stand the poll, and Sir
Charles Cockerell and Mr. Borthwick were declared duly elected.  In June
a dinner was given to Mr. Borthwick in the Guildhall, the chair being
taken by Lieutenant Amherst; and a party of 160 sat down.  The charge
made against Mr. Borthwick having been repeated in the _Bath Guardian_,
near which town he then lived, he commenced an action against the
proprietors for libel, which was tried in April, 1836, and ended in a
verdict for Mr. Borthwick on some counts of the indictment, with £100
damages; but the jury held it proved that Mr. Borthwick had been a
bookseller in Dalkeith—had failed—had been in gaol—and had been a
professional, but unsuccessful, performer on the stage of the Surrey

1837—FEBRUARY—(Election in consequence of the death of Sir Charles
Cockerell.)—The candidates were Lord Marcus Cecil Hill, brother of the
Marquis of Downshire, on the Liberal interest, and George Rushout Bowles,
Esq., nephew of Lord Northwick and the Dowager Lady Cockerell, on the
Conservative side.  On the hustings, Lord Hill was proposed by Mr.
Benjamin Workman and Mr. T. N. Foster; and Mr. Bowles by Mr. Thomas
Blayney and the Rev. Joseph Harling.  The Mayor declared the show of
hands to be in favour of Mr. Bowles, though his decision was questioned.
The contest was a close one, ending in Mr. Bowles’s election; the numbers
being—Bowles, 165; Hill, 140.  About 60 electors did not vote.

1837—JULY—(General Election.)—The Hon. George Rushout and Mr. Peter
Borthwick, the former members, coalesced to prevent the return of Lord
Marcus Hill—who, for the second time, came forward on the Liberal
interest—and they were successful; the numbers being—for Rushout, 168;
Borthwick, 166; Hill, 156.  Of 490 votes recorded, 124 were plumpers; and
119 of these were for Lord Hill.  The Liberal party were loud in their
indignation against the bribery which they asserted to have been
practised.  The return was petitioned against; and the committee
ballotted for, consisted of six Conservatives and five Liberals: Sir
Robert Peel, Bart., being chairman.  Mr. Cockburn and Mr. Rushton were
the counsel for the petitioners, and Mr. Thessiger, Mr. Austin, &c., for
the sitting members.  Shortly after the opening of the case, the
petition, as far as regarded Mr. Rushout, was abandoned, and Mr.
Borthwick alone proceeded against.  Mr. Borthwick was charged with
bribery, both by himself and his agents; he was also declared to want
qualification; and as many as 100 of his votes were objected to.  The
cases of bribery alone were gone into; and the one proved was that of
Ebenezer Pierce, to whom Mr. Borthwick had presented a silver snuff box.
He canvassed this voter personally, about a week before the election, and
promised him a silver snuff box, which Mr. Charles Best afterwards
brought him, with Mr. Borthwick’s compliments, and told him to put it by
till after the election.  It was proved that the box had been purchased
at Stow and Mortimer’s by Mr. Borthwick, in the interim, and he had
ordered them to engrave on it—“_Ex dono amici sui conducit_.”  The
committee, upon this, decided that Mr. Borthwick had been guilty of
bribery.  Mr. Austin abandoned the scrutiny, and permitted Lord Marcus
Hill to be put in a majority of one, by permitting the votes of several
persons, who admitted that they had been Mr. Borthwick’s paid agents, to
be struck off; but he declared that the decision of the committee in the
snuff box case had struck him with the utmost surprise, and begged to be
allowed to call evidence to clear Mr. Borthwick’s character.  Mr.
Cockburn did not object, but the committee refused to hear any more
evidence.  The committee reported on March 20, 1838, and the return being
amended, Lord Marcus Hill took his seat immediately afterwards.  Soon
after the decision of the committee was known, a dinner was given to Mr.
Borthwick, and he was presented with an oblong silver salver, which had
been subscribed for by the wives and daughters of the Conservative
electors.  The Rev. Mr. Harling presented the plate, and J. Amherst,
Esq., presided at the dinner.  Mr. Borthwick made a very long speech,
reviewing his connection with the borough, and animadverting upon his
late colleague, Mr. Rushout, in unmeasured terms, for having forsaken him
before the committee.  The language he made use of caused a challenge,
and the two gentlemen met at Wormwood Scrubs.  After a second discharge,
without effect, Mr. Borthwick withdrew the offensive expressions.  Lord
Marcus Hill was also entertained at a dinner at the Town Hall, over which
T. N. Foster, Esq., (the Mayor) presided; and a party of 200 gentlemen
sat down to the tables.

1841—JULY—(General Election.)—The candidates were again Lord Marcus Hill,
Mr. Rushout, and Mr. Peter Borthwick; the latter, indeed, did not make
his appearance throughout the election, but he was strongly supported by
a section of the Conservatives, who thought he had been ill used by Mr.
Rushout in the matter of the previous election—and, generally, he seemed
to be a favourite with the populace.  At the hustings, Lord Marcus Hill
was proposed by Edward Rudge, Esq., and the Rev. B. Bonaker; Mr. Rushout
by Dr. Beale Cooper and the Rev. M. Shaw; and Mr. Borthwick by R.
Blayney, Esq., and G. Eades, Esq.  Mr. Francis Holland spoke for Mr.
Borthwick; and on the show of hands, three-fourths of the meeting held up
theirs for that gentleman, about one half for Lord Marcus, and but few
for Mr. Rushout.  At the close of the poll the numbers were—Hill, 188;
Borthwick, 161; Rushout, 137.  Lord Hill had 108 plumpers; Borthwick, 42;
and Rushout, 34.  After the canvass, but prior to the election, Lord
Marcus was made a privy councillor, and appointed to the office of
Comptroller of the Royal Household.

1847—JULY—(General Election.)—Mr. Borthwick retired from the
representation, and his place was taken by Sir Henry Willoughby, a
moderate Conservative and free trader.  A third candidate came into
field, late in the day, in the person of Sir Ralph Howard, formerly
member for Wicklow, who professed Radical views.  At the nomination, Lord
Marcus Hill and Sir Ralph Howard had the show of hands.  The polling was
a very quiet affair, and at the close of the struggle Lord Marcus Hill
was found to have 195 votes; Sir Henry Willoughby, 172; and Sir Ralph
Howard, 131.


DROITWICH was formerly one of the closest of Whig boroughs, and was
entirely under the influence of the Foley family.  To the return for the
first election recorded below, the names of nineteen persons are appended
in the books of the Droitwich Corporation; and at a much more recent
date, ten persons returned two members to Parliament.  The present
constituency of the borough numbers 368.

1802—JULY—(General Election.)—Sir Edward Winnington, Bart., and the Hon.
Andrew Foley, reëlected.

1805—FEBRUARY—(Vacancy on the death of Sir Edw. Winnington.)—Thomas
Foley, Esq., son of the Hon. Andrew Foley, elected.

1806—NOVEMBER—(General Election.)—The Hon. Andrew Foley, and Lieutenant
Colonel Foley.

1807—MAY—(General Election.)—Colonel Foley becomes a candidate for
Herefordshire, and the Hon. A. Foley and Sir Thomas Winnington, Bart.,
are returned for this borough.

1812—OCTOBER—(General Election.)—Hon. A. Foley and Sir T. Winnington

1816—APRIL—Sir Thomas Winnington having accepted the Chiltern Hundreds,
Lord Sefton is elected in his stead.

1818—JUNE—(General Election.)—Hon. A. Foley and the Earl of Sefton

1819—FEBRUARY—(Vacancy on the death of the Hon. Andrew Foley.)—Colonel
Foley, son of the late member, elected.

1820—MARCH—(General Election.)—Earl of Sefton and Colonel Foley

1822—FEBRUARY—(Vacancy on the death of Colonel Foley.)—John Hodgetts
Hodgetts Foley, Esq., elected.

1826—JUNE—(General Election.)—Lord Sefton and J. H. H. Foley, Esq.,

1830—(General Election.)—Earl of Sefton and J. H. H. Foley, Esq.,

1831—MAY—(General Election.)—Mr. J. H. H. Foley and Sir T. E. Winnington
elected; the Earl of Sefton making way for the hon. baronet.

1832—DECEMBER—(General Election.)—The borough was deprived of one of its
members by the Reform Bill; and on this occasion J. H. H. Foley, Esq.,
was returned alone, having been proposed by Sir A. Lechmere, Bart., and
seconded by T. T. Vernon, Esq.

1835—(General Election.)—For the first time since 1711 this borough was
contested and a Tory returned.  The candidates were J. H. H. Foley, Esq.
(the former member), and John Barneby, Esq., of Brockhampton.  The former
was proposed by Captain Vernon and Mr. Francis; the latter, by Dr.
Steward and Mr. Lilley, of Wichbold.  The Rev. Mr. Topham also addressed
the populace in Mr. Foley’s favour, and bore testimony to his attachment
to the Church.  The show of hands was in Mr. Foley’s favour.  At the end
of the first day the numbers were—Barneby, 115; Foley, 113: and at the
close of the poll—Barneby, 125; Foley, 122: majority for Barneby, 3.  Out
of a constituency of only 281, 34 did not vote.  The election issued in a
petition against the return, and on the 17th of March a committee of the
house was ballotted for to decide the matter; but it was constituted very
unfavourably to Mr. Foley, having at least eight Tories upon it.  They
refused to reopen the register, so the inquiry was limited to a few
disputed votes on either side.  Mr. Foley succeeded in striking off three
of Mr. Barneby’s votes, and so reducing matters to an equality; but Mr.
Barneby then struck off Lord Southwell’s vote, objected to on account of
his peerage.  This left Mr. Foley in a minority of one, and Mr. Barneby
retained his seat.

1837—JULY—(General Election.)—John Barneby, Esq., having determined to
contest the county, made way for Mr. Pakington to come in for this
borough, of which he has ever since been the representative.  J. H.
Galton, Esq., of Hadsor, made a canvass of the electors on the Liberal
interest; but finding that his chances were not very good he retired from
the contest.  Mr. Allen, barrister, also made a flying visit to the
place, intending to put up as a Reformer, but soon took his departure.
Mr. Pakington was proposed at the hustings by W. H. Ricketts, Esq., and
Mr. John Tolley; and having made a long confession of his political creed
(in which he avowed himself a staunch Conservative, but would not vote
for a repeal of the Malt Tax, and approved of the new Poor Law), he was
declared duly elected.

1841—JULY—(General Election.)—J. S. Pakington, Esq., reëlected without

1847—JULY—(General Election.)—Mr. C. Lloyd, nephew of Lord Mostyn,
canvassed the electors on the Liberal interest, and had some promise of
support from the agents of a noble lord in the neighbourhood (Lord Ward),
who was expected rather to have thrown his influence into the
Conservative scale; but, notwithstanding this, Mr. Lloyd found that he
had very little chance of success, and consequently retired, leaving the
field free for Sir John Pakington, Bart., who was reëlected.


THIS, before the Reform Bill, was a close Tory borough, with some thirty
or forty self-elected burgesses, who returned their member with no
confusion or turmoil.  Under the new state of things, Stourport joins
with it in the exercise of the franchise, and the united constituency now
includes 371 electors.  Parties have been very evenly balanced here of
late years.

1802—JULY—(General Election.)—Miles P. Andrews, Esq., who had for some
time represented the town, again chosen.

1806—NOVEMBER—(General Election.)—Mr. Andrews reëlected.

1807—MAY—(General Election.)—Mr. Andrews reëlected.

1812—OCTOBER—(General Election.)—Mr. Andrews reëlected.

1814—AUGUST—(Vacancy occasioned by the death of Mr. Andrews.)—Charles
Edward Wilson, Esq., of Bognor, Sussex, chosen.

1818—JUNE—(General Election.)—Wilson Aylesbury Roberts, Esq., returned;
Mr. Wilson having retired in his favour.

1820—MARCH—(General Election.)—W. A. Roberts, Esq., reëlected.

1826—JUNE—(General Election.)—W. A. Roberts, Esq., reëlected.

1830—JULY—(General Election.)—W. A. Roberts, Esq., reëlected.

1831—MAY—(General Election.)—W. A. Roberts, Esq., reëlected.

1832—DECEMBER—(General Election.)—After the passing of the Reform Bill,
Mr. Roberts did not choose again to offer himself, and Sir Thomas
Winnington, Bart., was elected without opposition.  He was proposed by
Arthur Skey, Esq., and Jonathan Worthington, Esq.

1835—JANUARY—(General Election.)—Sir Thomas Winnington reëlected without

1837—JULY—(General Election.)—Sir Thomas Winnington resigned in favour of
his son, T. E. Winnington, Esq., who was elected without opposition.

1841—JULY—(General Election.)—For the first time this century this
borough was contested, Mr. Robert Monteith, son of a Lanarkshire
gentleman who had accumulated a fortune as a Glasgow merchant, coming
forward to oppose Sir Thomas Edward Winnington.  At the nomination Sir
Thomas was proposed by A. Skey, Esq., and seconded by J. Williams, Esq.;
and Mr. Monteith by W. A. Roberts, Esq., and K. Watson, Esq.  Sir Thomas
declared himself for an alteration of the Corn Laws, but for some measure
of protection.  Mr. Monteith declared himself a thorough Conservative.
The show of hands was in favour of Mr. Monteith, and the struggle
throughout was a most severe one.  In the Bewdley district Mr. Monteith
had a majority of eight, but this was more than counterbalanced by Sir
Thomas’s advantage at Stourport.  The total numbers were—Winnington, 173;
Monteith, 168: majority, 5.  A scrutiny was threatened but not proceeded
with.  A dinner was afterwards given at the Swan Inn, Stourport, to
congratulate Sir Thomas Winnington on his return.  The chair was filled
by George Harris, Esq., and the vice chairs by B. Devey and P. Baldwin,
Esqs.; and the company numbered 180.  In September, the Conservative
party entertained Mr. Monteith at a dinner in a large marquee—400 persons
sitting down to the tables; Slade Baker, Esq., presided.  In the ensuing
month Mr. Monteith sent £100 to be distributed amongst the various
charities of the two towns.

1847—JULY—(General Election.)—Sir T. Winnington was again opposed, and
this time successfully, by Thomas James Ireland, Esq., of Hooton Hall,
Suffolk, professing high Church and State principles, and liberal in the
expenditure of his money.  At the hustings, Sir Thomas was proposed by
Mr. Skey and Mr. Baldwin; and Mr. Ireland by Mr. Nicholas and Mr. Heath.
The show of hands was in Mr. Ireland’s favour, and after a most exciting
struggle Mr. Ireland was declared to have 160 votes, and Sir Thomas only

The return was petitioned against; and on the 4th March, 1848, the
inquiry commenced before the Parliamentary committee, consisting of three
Liberals and two Conservatives.  Mr. Sergeant Wrangham and Mr. Sergeant
Kinglake were the principal counsel employed by Sir Thomas Winnington;
and Mr. Alexander, by Mr. Ireland.  After five days’ examination of
witnesses, the committee decided that Mr. Ireland was not duly
elected—that it had been proved that a voter, named Price, had received
£15 for his vote—and that treating had been proved against Mr. Ireland’s
agents.  The recriminatory case against Sir Thomas Winnington occupied
six days, and the committee decided that he had been guilty of treating,
by his agents, and that therefore the election was void.  Mr. Elgie, his
principal agent, was himself examined, and proved that 26 or 27 inns were
opened on Sir Thomas’s side, some of which supplied as many as 1,000
gallons a day.  The committee made a special report to the House that a
most pernicious system of intimidation, kidnapping and treating prevailed
in the borough, and the writ was suspended, on the motion of Mr. Hume,
until the evidence was printed and laid before the house.  On the 12th of
April, Captain Rushout moved that a new writ should issue, but Sir John
Hanmer proposed its further suspension.  After a debate, in which the
corruption disclosed in the evidence before the committee was pretty
freely commented upon, the House came to a division, and 80 members voted
for issuing the writ, and 38 against it; so the writ was ordered, and a
fresh election took place in—

1848—APRIL 17—The candidates on this occasion were Viscount Mandeville,
son of the Duke of Manchester (Conservative), and the Hon. Spencer
Lyttelton (Liberal).  On the hustings, Mr. Lyttelton was proposed by Mr.
Skey and Mr. Pierce Baldwin; and Viscount Mandeville by Mr. Nicholas and
Mr. Heath.  The show of hands was in favour of Mr. Lyttelton, but
Viscount Mandeville headed the poll throughout; the numbers at the close
being—Mandeville, 171; Lyttelton, 156.  Of course this election was, to a
great extent, free from the corrupt practices of former ones, but the
circumstances under which it occurred furnished matter enough for


KIDDERMINSTER once returned two members to Parliament, but not liking to
have to pay them was, upon its own petition, relieved of the “honour.”
It was again enfranchised by the Reform Bill; but had only one member
allotted to it.  The constituency here is remarkably small, in comparison
with the population, owing to so few of the operatives living in houses
which pay £10 a year rent.  The number of electors now on the register,
including duplicates, is 490.

1832—(General Election.)—In anticipation of the passing of the Reform
Bill, Richard Godson, Esq., a barrister on the Oxford Circuit, who was
very popular with the weavers because of his successful defence of some
of their number when tried for riot, made an entry into the town on the
4th April, 1831, and gave a public statement of his political principles.
He was not, he said, the nominee of some lord, but one of the people,
come to represent the people.  The Reform Bill was merely a restoration
of the good old constitution, which would give every man his proper
weight in the national assembly.  All other reforms must follow it; the
defects of the church must be removed; and, especially, there must be a
free trade in corn.  And though he was interested in a West Indian estate
he should advocate Emancipation, &c. &c.  His reception was, altogether,
most enthusiastic.  He was, however, opposed by G. R. Phillips, Esq., of
Weston House, Warwickshire, also professing reform principles.  Mr.
Phillips was proposed, on the hustings, by J. Newcombe, Esq., and H.
Talbot, Esq.; and Mr. Godson by William Boycot, jun., Esq., and Mr. James
Cole.  A very severe contest took place, and the numbers at the close
were—Godson, 172; Phillips, 159: majority for Godson, 13.  The total
constituency was 388.

1835—(General Election.)—Mr. Godson was again opposed by Mr. Phillips.
Mr. Godson still professed to be a Reformer, but was supported by the
Conservatives.  The show of hands was almost even, but decided by the
High Bailiff in Mr. Godson’s favour, and a poll was demanded by Mr.
Phillips, who was, eventually, returned by a majority of 73; the numbers
being—Phillips, 197; Godson, 124.  Mr. Phillips refused to be chaired,
saying that he should spend the money amongst the people in other ways.
On the 10th of June, a piece of plate (ornament for the dinner table, in
silver, worth £150) was presented to Mr. Godson, by 1,975 inhabitants of
the borough, “in grateful remembrance of his ever watchful, independent,
and patriotic conduct when in Parliament.”  The presentation was made by
Mr. Alderman Joseph Boycot, on the balcony of the Lion Hotel, in the
presence of some 7,000 persons.

1837—(General Election.)—Mr. Phillips, some time before the writ was
issued for this election, declared his intention of withdrawing all
pretensions to the representation; being evidently afraid of a defeat, or
that a triumph could only be purchased on terms too dear.  Mr. Godson,
however, found an opponent in the person of John Bagshaw, Esq., ex-M.P.
for Sudbury.  Mr. Godson was proposed by Mr. Morton and Mr. Cole; Mr.
Bagshaw by Mr. Turner and Mr. Joseph Newcombe.  The show of hands was
considerably in Mr. Godson’s favour, and a poll was demanded for Mr.
Bagshaw.  Mr. Godson headed the poll from the first, and in the course of
the afternoon Mr. Bagshaw retired; the numbers being—Godson, 198;
Bagshaw, 157.

1841—(General Election.)—Mr. Godson was opposed by Mr. Sampson Ricardo,
brother of Osman Ricardo, Esq., who came forward at the last moment,
after the Liberals had been disappointed by the candidate they had fixed
upon—a Mr. Rennie.  Mr. Godson was proposed by Mr. Morton and Mr. Cole;
Mr. Ricardo by Mr. Charles Talbot and Mr. H. Worth; and the Mayor fairly
enough declared the show of hands to be in his favour, though, for so
doing, he was assailed by the Conservatives in a most discourteous
manner.  The contest was, what Kidderminster contests always have been, a
very sharp one; but Mr. Godson was returned by a majority of 12; the
numbers being—Godson, 212; Ricardo, 200.

1847—(General Election.)—Mr. Godson was reëlected without opposition.

1849—SEPTEMBER—(Vacancy occasioned by the sudden demise of Mr. Richard
Godson.)—The first candidate in the field was John Best, Esq., a
barrister of short standing, son of W. B. Best, Esq., of Blakebrook
House, who came forward as a Conservative and Protectionist.  Thomas
Gisborne Esq., of Yoxall Park, near Burton-on-Trent, next made his
appearance on the Reform side, professing very liberal opinions.  He had,
formerly, been member for Nottingham.  A diversion was speedily effected
by the arrival of a third man, in the person of Crawshay Bailey, Esq., of
Tredegar, South Wales, who was also Conservative in his views, and
apparently entertaining similar opinions to those of Mr. Best upon all
subjects.  He was supported by a very influential section of the
Kidderminster Conservatives, and a downright split amongst them seemed
inevitable.  However at the end of a week Mr. Bailey finding he had
little chance, withdrew from the contest, and left the two first to fight
it out.  Considerable soreness of feeling, however, was felt amongst the
Conservatives by this temporary division, and the opponents built
thereupon very sanguine expectations of success.  At the nomination Mr.
Best was proposed by Mr. William Boycot, sen., and Mr. Henry
Chellingworth; and Mr. Gisborne by Mr. William Holmes and Mr. Henry
Brinton, in whose favour the show of hands was declared to be.  Mr.
Gisborne headed the poll till twelve o’clock, when some thirty voters,
who had been supporters of Mr. Bailey up to the time of his retirement,
and who, it was hoped by one party, and feared by the other, would now
remain neutral, came to the booths and recorded their votes for Mr. Best.
This decided the struggle; and when the clock struck four, Mr. Best was
found to have 217 votes against 200 only recorded for Mr. Gisborne.  The
election, on the whole, passed off quietly, and with decorum.

In the session of 1850 a petition was presented by some of the Liberal
electors against Mr. Best’s return, on the score of bribery and
corruption, and the matter came before a committee of the House of
Commons, on the 15th of April.  The committee consisted of Mr. Bouverie
(chairman), Lord Enfield, Mr. Augustus Stafford, Mr. David Morris, and
Sir William Joliffe; the majority being Liberals.  Mr. Sergeant Kinglake
led the case for the petitioners, and Mr. Alexander, Q.C., for Mr. Best.
The committee sat seven days, and a variety of witnesses were examined on
behalf of the petitioners; but bribery was only attempted to be proved in
two cases, the evidence, on all points, being decidedly weak.  The
committee confirmed Mr. Best’s return.


THE privilege of sending a member to Parliament was conferred on this
borough by the Reform Bill.  The number of voters now on the register is

1832—(General Election.)—Sir John Campbell—then the Whig Solicitor
General, and long a practitioner on the Oxford Circuit, now Lord Chief
Justice of England—was returned.  He had an opponent in the person of
Horace St. Paul, Esq., who contested the election on Tory principles.
Sir John was proposed by Mr. Twamley and Mr. Braidley; and Mr. St. Paul
by Mr. Dixon and Mr. Salisbury.  The numbers, at the close of the poll,
were—Campbell, 315; St. Paul, 225: majority for Campbell, 90.

1834—FEBRUARY 27—(Election rendered necessary by Sir John Campbell’s
elevation to the Attorney Generalship.)—Sir John was this time opposed,
on the Conservative interest, by Thomas Hawkes, Esq.  The show of hands,
at the nomination, was in favour of Sir John; whereupon a poll was
demanded by Mr. Hawkes’s friends, and commenced immediately with great
briskness.  At three o’clock, Sir John’s committee, finding great
difficulty in bringing their friends to the poll, gave up in a huff, and
Mr. Hawkes was declared duly elected; the numbers being—Hawkes, 322;
Campbell, 242: majority, 80.  This result was said to be mainly owing to
the Dissenters and ultra-radicals refusing to vote for Sir John, “in
order to teach ministers a lesson;” but the effect was rather to disgust
the Whigs than to urge them forward with church reform.  Sir John had
also made enemies by an attack, in the House, on the Dudley magistrates.

1835—(General Election.)—Mr. Hawkes returned by a majority of 93 over his
Whig opponent, Captain Forbes.

1837—(General Election.)—Mr. Hawkes again elected.  Mr. Merryweather
Turner was the candidate on the Liberal interest, and obtained the show
of hands at the nomination; but at the poll the numbers were—Hawkes, 385;
Turner, 289: majority for Hawkes, 96.  A challenge resulted from some
speeches at this election, and the Dudley magistrates issued their
warrants to bind over both Mr. Turner and Mr. Hawkes to keep the peace.
Mr. Turner did not get the challenge till half an hour after he had been
bound over at the instigation of Mr. Hawkes’s friends.

1841—(General Election.)—Mr. Hawkes again elected; though opposed, on the
Liberal interest, by Mr. W. A. Smith, son of the then member for Norwich.
Mr. Downing and Mr. B. Best proposed Mr. Hawkes at the hustings; and Mr.
Thomas Lister and Mr. Thomas Hill proposed Mr. Smith, who had the show of
hands.  The numbers on the poll were—Hawkes, 436; Smith, 189: majority
for Hawkes, 247.

1844—AUGUST 8—Mr. Thomas Hawkes’s acceptance of the Chiltern Hundreds, in
consequence of the embarrassed state of his affairs, having caused a
vacancy, John Benbow, Esq., agent for Lord Ward, and, therefore,
possessing much influence in the borough, was put in nomination on the
Conservative interest, and opposed by Mr. William Rawson, an
Anti-Corn-Law lecturer.  Mr. Benbow was proposed, on the hustings, by Mr.
Thomas Badger and Captain Bennitt; and Mr. Rawson by Mr. Charles Twamley
and the Rev. J. Palmer.  The show of hands was in favour of Mr. Rawson.
The polling was a very quiet affair, and at the close the numbers
were—Benbow, 388; Rawson, 175: majority, 213.

1847—(General Election.)—A Mr. Joseph Linney, Chartist operative from
Bilston, was put in nomination on the day of election, in opposition to
Mr. Benbow—addressed the crowd, and got the show of hands; but having no
money to pay his share of the expenses of a poll, was obliged to
withdraw, and Mr. Benbow was declared duly elected.


THE number of coroners appointed for each English county was formerly
regulated by usage, the statute of 3 Edw. I, cap. 10, merely enacting
that “in all shires a sufficient number of men should be chosen as
coroners;” but it was competent for the Lord Chancellor to issue a writ
for the election of additional coroners, upon a petition from the
freeholders of the county and the approbation of the justices in quarter
sessions.  The manner of the election was regulated by the statute of 58
Geo. III, cap. 35, and the poll might be kept open ten days.  By cap. 6
of 28 Edw. III, it was enacted, “that all coroners of the counties should
be chosen in the full counties, by the commons of the said counties, of
the most meet and lawful people that should be found,” &c.  Although by
this statute the election is not expressly confined to freeholders, yet
as none but freeholders are suitors at the county court (who were “the
commons of the counties” referred to by this statute) the usage has been
for freeholders only to vote.  The amount of estate not being defined,
any _bonâ fide_ freehold interest in lands in the county, however small,
will confer the right to vote.  Previous to the division of the counties
into districts—power to do which was given to the Privy Council, on
petition of the County Justices, by 7 and 8 Vic., cap. 92—each coroner
acted throughout the whole county, and every freeholder was entitled to
vote at each election.  Now, however, the coroners, though still
considered coroners for the whole county, cannot hold inquests out of
their respective districts, except in special cases; and only the
freeholders residing within the district are entitled to vote at the
election for that district.  The justices, of course, virtually assign
the districts; and a dispute which arose in this county, between the
magistrates and one of the coroners, on his claiming compensation for
loss of emolument by the division they had made, will be found noticed in
a subsequent part of this work.  The poll at elections for coroners is
now limited to two days.

1801—AUGUST 13—Richard Barneby, Esq., elected coroner in the room of
Humphrey Littleton, Esq., deceased.  No opposition.

1809—APRIL 26—Election of a coroner for the county, in the room of Mr.
George Best, removed, took place this day at the Talbot Inn, Claines.
Mr. Godson, of Tenbury, Mr. Cheek, of Evesham, and Mr. Griffiths, of
Broadway, were the candidates; but to save the expenses of a poll, they
agreed to leave the choice to three gentlemen—one nominated by each
candidate.  The gentlemen chosen were—J. Philips, Esq., H. Wakeman, Esq.,
and T. Bund, Esq.; and they determined (by drawing lots) on Mr. Godson,
of Tenbury, who was thereupon declared duly elected.

1810—FEBRUARY 14—Election for a coronership in consequence of the
resignation of Mr. Richard Barneby.  The candidates on this occasion were
Mr. J. H. Griffiths, of Broadway, and Mr. George Hill, of Worcester.
Both candidates rested their claim for support on the locality of their
residence—Mr. Griffiths saying that, as the other coroners lived one at
Chaddesley and the other at Tenbury, the Evesham side ought to have one
resident there—and Mr. Hill contending that there should be one, at
least, living in the county town.  The nomination took place at the
Talbot, in the Tything, Worcester; and Mr. Griffiths was proposed by T.
Bund, Esq., of Wick, and seconded by — Knowles, Esq., Broadway; Mr. Hill
by R. Berkeley, Esq., Spetchley, and seconded by Philip Gresley, Esq.,
High Park.  The numbers after the first day’s poll were—Hill, 395;
Griffiths, 79: and then Mr. Griffiths retired from the contest.

1815—FEBRUARY 10—Mr. Thomas Hallen, of Kidderminster, elected a county
coroner, in the room of Mr. Fidkin, deceased.  Mr. H. Robeson, of
Bromsgrove, had been a candidate, but retired before the election.  Mr.
Hallen was proposed by E. M. Wigley, Esq., of Shakenhurst, and seconded
by the Rev. R. F. Onslow, vicar of Kidderminster.

1822—SEPTEMBER 27—Election to supply the place of William Godson, Esq.,
of Tenbury, then lately deceased.  The nomination took place in the
College Yard, at the east end of the Cathedral.  Earl Mountnorris
proposed Mr. Charles Best, of Evesham, and this nomination was seconded
by Thomas B. Cooper, Esq.; T. S. Vernon, Esq., proposed, and John
Phillips, Esq., of Hanbury Hall, seconded, Mr. S. H. Godson, of Tenbury,
son of the deceased coroner.  The show of hands was in favour of Mr.
Best, and Mr. Godson demanded a poll.  This went on vigorously till five
o’clock in the evening, when the numbers were—Best, 635; Godson, 230.
Mr. Godson then retired from the contest, and Mr. Best was duly sworn in.

1826—DECEMBER 13—The most determined contest ever known in this county
for a coronership commenced this day.  Immediately on the death of Mr.
George Hill, five candidates announced themselves for the office—viz.,
Mr. William Smith, Worcester; Mr. Frederick Stokes, Worcester; Mr.
Stephen Godson, Worcester; Mr. Charles Beville Dryden, Worcester; Mr.
Thomas Davis, Worcester; and Mr. Skey, Upton.  Of these, however, all had
withdrawn before the nomination day, excepting Mr. Smith and Mr. Stokes.
The Sheriff had at first fixed that the nomination should take place in
the Castle Yard, but this property had recently been sold by Government
to Mr. Eaton, with a reservation of it for the nomination of members of
Parliament; but nothing had been said (according to Mr. Eaton’s view of
the matter) about coroners, therefore he refused to allow it to be used.
The nomination, therefore, took place at the Hare and Hounds Inn,
Sidbury; where Mr. Smith was proposed by Major Bund and John Williams,
Esq.; and Mr. Stokes by Sir Thomas Winnington, Bart., and the Rev. George
Turberville.  The show of hands was declared to be in favour of Mr.
Smith, and a poll was demanded for his opponent; and this was continued
for ten days—the utmost period allowed by law.  For the first three days
Mr. Stokes headed his adversary considerably; Mr. Smith, on the fifth
day, however, obtained the ascendancy, and kept it, though with varying
numbers, to the last day, when he very materially increased his majority,
which, in the end, amounted to 189 votes.  The numbers polled were—Smith,
3,875; Stokes, 3,686: total number of freeholders polled, 7,561.  The
contest resolved itself quite into a political struggle—Mr. Smith
representing the Tory and Mr. Stokes the Whig interest.  The city, during
the progress of the election, was in a state of the utmost excitement—the
voters being brought in to the sole polling place, with flags and bands
of music, in every possible description of vehicle.  On the sixth day, a
fierce fight took place between the partisans of the two candidates, on
their accidental meeting in the Tything; and several men with broken
heads were taken to the Infirmary.  Mr. Stokes, at the conclusion of the
poll, demanded a scrutiny; and the matter of right and power, on the part
of the Sheriff, to grant one, was formally argued; but it was ultimately
refused, and Mr. Smith was sworn into the office.  The contest cost each
of the candidates about £3,000 a day, while it lasted.  [The copy of the
reservation clause in Mr. Eaton’s conveyance was afterwards produced, on
special application to Government, and it seemed that the Sheriff was
empowered to hold any court in the Castle Yard which he pleased.]

1832—NOVEMBER 7—Mr. W. S. P. Hughes, solicitor, elected a county coroner,
in the room of Mr. Smith, who had absconded.  Mr. Hughes was proposed by
the Rev. George Turberville, seconded by John Williams, Esq., and no
other candidate having offered himself, he was at once declared duly

1838—NOVEMBER 28—Election for county coroner, in the room of Mr. Thomas
Hallen, of Kidderminster, who had resigned.  Mr. William Boycot, jun., of
Kidderminster, Mr. Henry Corser, of Stourbridge, and Mr. Ralph Docker, of
Kingsnorton, had offered themselves as candidates; but the two first
withdrew, and it was expected that Mr. Docker would “walk over.”  It was
said that the three gentlemen had “tossed up,” and so decided the matter,
but that was denied.  However, on the evening before the election, Mr.
Thomas Waters, Clerk of the Peace for the city, offered himself to the
freeholders for election, and there was every expectation of a sharp
contest.  Mr. Spooner proposed Mr. Docker, who was seconded by Mr. Ellis;
Mr. Waters was proposed by Mr. Alderman R. Evans and Mr. Alderman
Stephenson.  The show of hands was in favour of Mr. Docker, and Mr. Evans
demanded a poll for Mr. Waters.  At the end of the first day the numbers
were—Docker, 246; Waters, 138: and Mr. Waters then retired from the


IT may be that the interest attaching to many of the meetings detailed
here is gone for ever, but the interest of others will perhaps increase
as time advances, and curiously serve to mark the ebb and flow of human
feelings and affairs.  Though there is often reason to coincide with the
Duke’s apothegm—“Public meetings are public farces,” yet they at least
give us the results of the popular instinct, which is often as sure a
guide as the popular reason would be; and, when most foolish in their
conclusions, they are to be regarded as fortunate escapements for those
excitements without which a community cannot exist long together.  If any
explanation should be felt necessary by the reader, of the public
occurrences which called forth these meetings, he will find it in another
portion of this work.

1800—MAY 14—County meeting held in Worcester Town Hall, to consider what
steps should be taken in consequence of the high price of provisions,
which was very numerously attended.  Resolutions were passed, begging
holders of corn to bring it into the market at reduced prices; and
requesting millers to grind for the poor at half their usual charge.  The
Town Hall was granted as a place of deposit for corn, to be retailed to
the poor at prime cost.  The greatest pleasure was evinced by the meeting
at hearing that vessels were arriving from abroad with importations of
wheat.  It is recorded that many farmers attended Worcester market, in
consequence of this meeting, and sold wheat at 15s. to 18s. a bushel.

1800—JUNE 7—County meeting to congratulate the King on his escape from
assassination by Hadfield; and meetings for a similar purpose held at
Stourbridge, Bromsgrove, &c.

1800—OCTOBER 9—A common hall held at Worcester, at which resolutions were
passed to petition Parliament for fresh enactments against “engrossing,”
&c., and begging the legislature _to fix a certain price_, _beyond which
it might be unlawful to sell wheat_.

1801—MAY 25—Common hall held at Worcester, at which a petition to
Parliament was unanimously agreed to, praying that wheat, and all other
grain, might be made saleable by weight only.

1806—MAY 28—A public meeting of the inhabitants of Worcester convened in
the Town Hall, John Dillon, Esq., in the chair, to petition against the
proposed tax on beer.  Amongst other reasons against it the petition
alleged—“That it will prevent, in a great measure, the frugal offices of
hospitality and charity.”

1807—APRIL 24—Common hall at Worcester to take into consideration the
critical state of public affairs, at which an address, thanking His
Majesty for his strenuous opposition to the Catholic Services Bill, and
rejoicing in its rejection, was unanimously agreed to.

1808—APRIL 14—A common hall, convened in Worcester, over which Mr. J.
Palmer presided; at which petitions were agreed to to both houses of
Parliament, in favour of the Bill then pending, for restricting the
grants of offices in reversion.

1809—APRIL 13—A common hall, convened in Worcester, to adopt resolutions
relative to the investigation of the conduct of the Duke of York, as
Commander in Chief, in selling military promotions through his mistress,
Mrs. Clarke.  The Mayor occupied the chair.  Mr. J. Palmer moved
resolutions, thanking Colonel Wardle, M.P., for promoting the inquiry,
and Mr. Gordon, one of the city members, for voting for it; which were
seconded by Mr. Pope.  Mr. J. Williams moved, as an amendment, that the
resolutions should be couched in more general terms and no names
mentioned in them; and Mr. B. Johnson, Town Clerk, seconded it.  The
original resolutions were, however, carried by a large majority.  In this
meeting occur the first mutterings of the Reform agitation; for the last
of the resolutions declares that “the late decision of the honourable
Commons (negativing Colonel Wardle’s motion for the Duke’s dismissal) has
disappointed the hopes and expectations of the people, and convinced us
of the necessity of a speedy and effectual reform in the representation
of the Commons in Parliament, as a security to the throne, a support to
the nobility, and a safeguard to the people—against that tide of
corruption which has laid so many nations of Europe prostrate at the feet
of the ruler of France.”

1809—OCTOBER 25—County meeting.  Henry Bromley, Esq., Sheriff, in the
chair.  To present an address to His Majesty on his entering the fiftieth
year of his reign.

1811—JULY 8—A common hall, Worcester, called by requisition to the Mayor,
to consider the best means of preventing the destruction of small fish in
the Severn, and the first Association formed for the protection of the
Fisheries: the great decrease of salmon lamented; and it is said to fetch
3s. to 4s. a lb.  The corporation subscribed twenty guineas.  A great
many seizures of illegal nets speedily made.

1812—MAY 11—A public meeting, held at the Guildhall, Worcester, Thomas
Carden, Esq., in the chair, to consider what steps should be adopted for
the relief of the poor, who were suffering severely from the excessive
price of all provisions.  A very large subscription was raised, and it
was unanimously resolved that it should be appropriated to the purchase
of bacon, peas, and rice, to sell again at reduced prices.  The total
number of persons applying thus to be assisted was 7,418, and the sum
raised about £1,500.

1813—FEBRUARY 10—A common hall held at Worcester, with the Mayor
presiding, at which a petition was unanimously agreed to against the
renewal of the monopoly of the East India Company.  The resolutions were
moved by Mr. Johnson, Town Clerk, and seconded by Mr. Richards.

1813—APRIL 28—A requisition, signed by seventy-four respectable freemen
and inhabitants of Worcester, was presented to the Mayor, requesting him
to call a common hall, for the purpose of addressing H. R. H. the
Princess of Wales, “on the late atrocious attempt against her honour and
her life;” but His Worship refused to call one.  A public meeting was
therefore held at the Bell, Mr. Robert Felton in the chair, at which such
an address as had been contemplated was unanimously agreed to.

1814—MAY 25—A common hall held in Worcester, the Mayor presiding, to
petition against the proposed imposition of corn duties.  Mr. Nichols
moved a petition, which was seconded by Mr. Moseley, carried unanimously,
and received 6,000 signatures in two days.  The petitioners declared that
corn, during the last twenty years, had been dearer in this country than
in any other in Europe, and, what was of the utmost importance, the
manufacturers of this country could not vie with other markets if the
prices of the necessaries of life could not be brought nearer to the
prices of other countries.  If it was imagined that at the then prices of
corn (wheat averaging 8s. 6d. per bushel, and the quartern loaf selling
at 10½d.) the present rent of land could not be paid, the petitioners
submitted that the proper remedy was to lower the rents.  The artisans,
during the war, when the price of corn and meat was excessive, had
behaved themselves in the most patient, loyal, and laudable manner, and
it was hard that they should not be allowed to share in the blessings of
the peace, &c.

Dudley, Droitwich, &c., petitioned against the measure, which was
rejected by the House of Commons, in bringing up the report, by 116 to

1814—JUNE 30—A public meeting held in Worcester to petition the
legislature against that part of the recent treaty of peace with France
which related to the Slave Trade, and seemed likely to encourage its
revival.  The Mayor took the chair.  Mr. Stanley Pumphrey moved, and Mr.
Richard Spooner seconded, the resolutions and petitions, which were
unanimously adopted.  The petitions received about 1,000 signatures; and
one with a similar object, sent from Evesham, received 900 signatures.

1814—JULY 29—A public meeting of noblemen, gentlemen, and freeholders of
the county held at the Town Hall, Worcester, to vote an address to the
Prince Regent on the glorious termination of the war.  Mr. Clarke, Under
Sheriff, in the chair.  The address was moved by Lord Deerhurst, seconded
by the Hon. W. B. Lygon, M.P., and passed unanimously.

1815—JANUARY 16—A common hall convened in Worcester to address Parliament
on the subject of the property and other war taxes.  Mr. Josiah Palmer
first moved resolutions, which were opposed by Major Wigley, as too
strong, and aimed at the landed interest.  Mr. Richard Spooner moved
others, which were seconded by Mr. Hooper, and carried by a considerable
majority.  A petition was founded upon them, praying for the repeal of
the Income Tax, and the taxes on malt, tea, leather, and salt.

1815—JANUARY 25—A county meeting held with much the same purpose; Mr.
Clarke, Under Sheriff, in the chair.  Mr. E. M. Wigley moved a petition
against the Property Tax, which was seconded by Sir William Smith, Bart.,
and adopted without opposition.  The meeting then passed to the
consideration of the necessity of some protection to the farming
interest.  Mr. Richard Spooner moved a petition praying that “foreign
corn, on importation, should be subjected to the same rate of duty as is
now paid by the British farmer.”  He said the agricultural interest was
greatly depressed, and the foreigners ought to pay a duty equivalent to
the taxes paid by the British farmer.  Lord Foley seconded the adoption
of the petition, which was carried by acclamation.

1815—MARCH 6—A common hall held in Worcester; Samuel Garmston, Esq.,
Mayor, in the chair; to petition against Mr. Robinson’s Corn Bill,
preventing the importation of wheat when under 80s. a quarter.  Mr. J.
Palmer moved the petition, saying that the question was one of cheap or
dear bread, and not at all the benefit of the farmers, many of whom
signed the petitions against the bill, for they saw that its object was
to ensure the landholders their enormous rents.  The Mayor, Colonel Wall,
Mr. Brown, Mr. Felton, &c., supported the petition, which was carried
with enthusiasm, and _received_ 7,965 _signatures the same afternoon_,
when it was obliged to be sent off by the London mail.

EVESHAM—One of the most numerous meetings ever known in this borough was
held on this subject.  Mr. Easthope (afterwards Sir John Easthope) moved
the petitions, which were supported by Mr. Phillips, Mr. Barnes, &c., and
opposed by Colonel Cooper, Rev. Mr. Shaw, and Mr. Phelps.  They were
carried by a large majority.

1816—MARCH 14—A county meeting held, with Joseph Lee, Esq., in the chair,
to petition for a reduction of expenditure.  The speakers were E. M.
Wigley, Esq., Lord Deerhurst, Lord Elmley, and the Hon. W. H. Lyttelton,
and the general resolutions were then passed without opposition.  R.
Spooner, Esq., then moved a petition praying for a readjustment of the
Property Tax, so that “occupiers of land might not be taxed according to
a fictitious assumption of profit,” and further objecting to it as
applied to the ordinary profits of industry.  It also prayed for the
repeal of the war taxes on malt and salt.  Mr. Wigley moved that the
consideration of the resolution be postponed; and Mr. Talbot moved as an
amendment that the Property Tax ought not, under any modifications, to be
revived.  Both these were negatived, and Mr. Spooner’s petition carried.

1816—MARCH 15—A city meeting was held for the same purpose, at which very
similar petitions were agreed to.

1817—FEBRUARY 6—A common hall held by the Mayor, to vote addresses to the
Prince Regent to congratulate him on his escape from assassination, and
also to petition Parliament “to make such arrangements as should seem
likely to restore the commerce, manufactures, and agriculture of the
kingdom to their former flourishing state,” and praying for reduction of
expenditure; but adding that the petitioners “looked with anxiety to
Parliament firmly and strenuously to defend the constitution from the
imminent dangers of wild and speculative innovation.”  The hall was
densely crowded.  The address to the Prince Regent was moved by Mr.
Lechmere, seconded by Mr. Spooner, and carried unanimously.  But on the
petition being proposed, Mr. Josiah Palmer moved its rejection, because
it did not recommend retrenchment sufficiently, and because a meeting was
to be held on the same subject the following day.  Mr. Richard Mence
seconded Mr. Palmer’s amendment in a very energetic speech; and, after
several speeches, the petition was put to the meeting and decidedly

1817—FEBRUARY 7—A requisition was presented to the Mayor to call a common
hall to petition the legislature in favour of Parliamentary Reform, but
His Worship (R. Chamberlain, Esq.) declined, though he would grant the
use of the hall to the requisitionists for that purpose.  Of this
permission they availed themselves; and a most crowded meeting was
assembled, with Mr. Robert Felton in the chair.  The only speakers were
Mr. J. Palmer and Mr. Moseley, who moved petitions for reform,
retrenchment, and the abolition of sinecures, which were carried
unanimously, and forwarded to Lord Deerhurst for presentation.

1817—NOVEMBER 28—County meeting and common hall held in Worcester, at
which addresses of condolence were agreed to—to the Prince Regent, Her
Majesty, and Prince Leopold—on the death of the Princess Charlotte.

1818—DECEMBER 12—A county meeting held, at which the Earl of Coventry
moved, and the Lord Bishop seconded, an address of condolence to the
Prince Regent on the death of his mother, the Queen; which was, of
course, carried unanimously.  A similar address was presented from the
corporation of Worcester.

1819—MAY 1—A meeting of the proprietors and occupiers of land in the
county of Worcester, held at the Crown Inn, Broad Street; George Wigley
Perrott, Esq., in the chair; when it was unanimously resolved that a
memorial should be signed by the parties present, and sent to the Right
Hon. Frederick John Robinson, President of the Board of Trade, “to press
the just claims of the cultivators of the soil to a _full_, _fair_, _and
ample protection_ from the legislature; the _imperious necessity_ of
which was becoming daily more and more apparent.”  The memorial, adopted
by the meeting, stated that “the unparalleled quantity of 26,000,000
bushels of foreign corn imported into this kingdom within the last year,
DUTY FREE, {65} and of 13,000,000 lbs. of wool in three quarters of a
year, or nearly so, had occasioned a ruinous loss to the tenantry and
other occupiers of the soil, lessened the demand for labour, increased
the poor rates, diminished the means of paying for them, and must also
have tended materially to injure the home trade of the country.”  The
subscribers were—G. W. Perrott, Cracombe House; C. E. Hanford, Wooller’s
Hill; John Hawkes, Allesborough; E. F. Welles, Earl’s Croome; John
Fletcher, Hill Croome; John Onley, Bransford; Thomas Hudson, Pershore;
Joseph Smith, Henwick; Francis Holland, Cropthorne; John Winnall, Braces
Leigh; and William Woodward, Birlingham.

1820—FEBRUARY 28—A county meeting held at the Guildhall, Worcester, to
address His Majesty on the decease of his venerable father, and to
congratulate him on his accession to the throne.  The address was moved
by the Earl of Coventry, as Lord Lieutenant of the County, and seconded
by Lord Beauchamp.

1822—FEBRUARY 8—A county meeting to consider agricultural distress; E.
Isaac, Esq., High Sheriff, in the chair.  Mr. J. Richards first addressed
the meeting.  He alluded to the circumstances in which the agricultural
interest now found itself.  In the previous session of Parliament the
petitions of the farmers had caused the appointment of a select committee
to inquire into the causes of the distress.  They, in their report,
admitted that arable land could now only be cultivated at a loss, but
added that Parliament could grant no redress—they must look only to time
and patience.  But this was a mockery, for they had had good seasons and
harvests, and how then was their case to be bettered by patience?  Mr.
George Webb Hall professed to have discovered a remedy in the imposition
of a very heavy duty on foreign corn—the object of that was, of course,
to prevent its importation altogether, and increase the price at home.
But if that was done, where were the people to get money to purchase it?
The manufacturers would no longer be able to compete with foreigners, and
people would emigrate by tens of thousands.  It was not true that the
price of corn had fallen because of foreign importation—the price of meat
had fallen just in the same proportion, and cattle and sheep were not
imported.  Prices were low all the world over, and the only remedy for
the present state of things was a diminution of taxes.  If it was asked
why corn could not be grown at 40s. a quarter now, as it could be in
1792, he would reply, because taxes, rents, and tithes, were all much
higher.  The Bank Restriction Act of 1797, and Mr. Peel’s bill of 1819,
had committed a fraud in the value of money; and this was another cause
of distress.  Ultimate relief, he thought, would only be obtained from a
reformed Parliament.  He moved a series of resolutions in accordance with
these sentiments.  Mr. Richard Spooner seconded them.  Mr. Beale Cooper
then moved an amendment, stating—“That for 150 years, from 1663 to 1814,
importation of the produce of the soil was never permitted without the
payment of some duty; and it is a matter of historical truth that during
that time the prosperity of agriculture, commerce, and manufacture
progressively increased to a height of opulence unexampled in the history
of the world.”  To the “unlimited competition” (after 80s. a quarter)
introduced for the first time by the bill of 1815, the amendment
attributed the depression of the produce of the soil below that of every
other commodity, necessarily caused by diminution of circulating medium,
and therefore the amendment prayed for a prohibitory duty.

Mr. C. E. Hanford said if this amendment passed, the meeting would be a
farce.  The Duke of Sussex, the Duke of Bedford, and Mr. Coke thought the
remedy was to be found in retrenchment and Parliamentary Reform.

Mr. Spooner replied to Mr. Beale Cooper, who had told them that because
corn was imported duty free, therefore it had diminished in price; but
there had been no importation at all for the last three years, and so
that argument must be fallacious.  The conduct of Parliament in
endeavouring to swindle the nation into payment of an unjust debt, which,
as it had been incurred in paper, ought to be paid in paper, showed the
necessity for reform.  He was for triennial Parliaments and an extension
of the franchise, so that those who by direct taxation contributed
towards the burdens of his country, should have a voice in electing those
by whom they were imposed.  He had been but a short time in Parliament,
but he had had sufficient opportunity of seeing how matters were managed
there; swarms of boyish members came in just at a division, and only
looked where the Marquis of Londonderry or Mr. Tierney stood, to see on
which side of the house they should go.

Mr. G. W. Perrott seconded Mr. Cooper’s amendment, which, however, was
lost by a very large majority.  Mr. Richards’s resolutions were then all
carried, excepting the last, which called for Parliamentary Reform; but
after several persons, and the High Sheriff amongst others, had begged
him to withdraw it as not pertinent to the objects of the meeting, that
also was carried by acclamation.  Petitions were then agreed to, founded
on Mr. Richards’s resolutions, and the meeting broke up.  Lord Foley and
Sir Thomas Winnington, who were unavoidably absent from the meeting,
attached their names to the petitions.

[Lord John Russell, just about this time, wrote a letter to the farmers
of Huntingdonshire, recommending them indeed to seek for retrenchment and
reform, but using all the arguments now in vogue amongst Protectionists
against the importation of corn, and expressing his fears that Government
were going to hand over the country to political economists.]

1822—MARCH 30—A meeting of the inhabitants of Kidderminster held, George
Hallen, Esq., High Bailiff, in the chair, to petition Parliament for a
revision of the Corn Laws; and it was resolved that the restrictions upon
the importation of corn were inconsistent with sound principles of
national policy, and were proved, by ten years’ experience, to be
injurious to the general interests of the community; and a petition was
therefore adopted for a moderate import duty on corn; which, in addition
to the unavoidable expenses of importation, would be a fair protection to
the farmer, and would be much preferable to the perplexing state of the
law, as it then stood.  They also prayed generally for the relaxation of
all commercial restrictions.

1823—APRIL 30—Meeting in Worcester, William Wall, Esq., in the chair, at
which a petition to Parliament, praying for the abolition of Negro
Slavery in the British colonies, was agreed upon.  One was also forwarded
from Evesham at this time.

1828—JUNE 20—Public meeting in the Guildhall, Worcester, with the Mayor
in the chair, at which petitions were agreed to, praying for restrictions
on the importation of foreign gloves.

1828—NOVEMBER 7—Public meeting in the Guildhall, for the purpose of
establishing an Infant School in Worcester.  The Mayor (James Fletcher,
Esq.) presided; and there were on the platform the Lord Bishop of
Rochester, Dean of Worcester, Rev. C. Benson, Sir A. Lechmere, Bart., W.
Wall, E. Isaac, J. P. Lavender, Esqs., Dr. Hastings, Mr. Henry Newman,
Mr. Josiah Newman, &c.  A considerable subscription was entered into, and
the school was established in Friar Street, where it still exists.

1828—NOVEMBER 27—A meeting at the Guildhall, Worcester, convened by the
“City and County Brunswick Club,” of those “who were friendly to its
political principles,” for the purpose of increasing the number of its
members.  The general public, however, assembled in large numbers, and
the opposition, principally, took possession of the Nisi Prius Court.
The Brunswickers thereupon went into the Crown Court, and left Mr. Payne,
Roman Catholic, to harangue the company in the Nisi Prius Court upon the
unfairness of the proceeding.  In the Crown Court, Major Bund was called
to the chair, and read the address and resolutions of the Brunswick Club,
with a view of obtaining “the concurrence and support of those who might
be friendly to them.”  He proceeded, amidst mingled cheers and hisses, to
propose petitions to the King and Parliament, praying that no concession
might be made to Catholics.  Mr. Richard Spooner endeavoured to put an
amendment, but was told that he had no right there unless friendly to the
principles of the Brunswick Club, and a show of hands was taken whether
he should be heard.  The chairman having decided that it was against Mr.
Spooner, he retired, and the other resolutions were proposed by Dr. Beale
Cooper, E. Burroughs, Esq., John Phillips, Esq., and carried without much
opposition.  On the suggestion of the Rev. Mr. Havergal, three cheers
were given at the close of the meeting for Protestant ascendancy.
Meanwhile, Mr. Spooner, in the body of the hall, and Mr. Foster, of
Evesham, in the Nisi Prius Court, proposed resolutions to the people
unable to get into the Crown Court, declaring the Brunswick Club to be
unnecessary and uncalled for—and these were carried by acclamation.  The
Brunswickers’ petition received about 700 signatures on the day of

1830—MARCH 2—County meeting, presided over by John Scott, Esq., High
Sheriff, for two objects—first, to consider the question of erecting a
Shire Hall; and, secondly, to petition Parliament on the subject of
agricultural distress.

As to the first matter, John Williams, Esq., moved a resolution
requesting the magistrates to be satisfied with alterations and additions
to the city Guildhall.  This was seconded by Richard Spooner, Esq.  The
Rev. Thomas Pearson proposed, as an amendment, that the county ought to
erect courts suitable to its respectability, but that the measure should
be postponed till the depression of the agricultural interest had passed
over.  Dr. B. Cooper seconded this.  Sir C. S. Smith and R. Spooner,
Esq., supported the original proposition, which was carried almost

Colonel Lygon having briefly addressed the meeting, warning them not to
regard Parliamentary Reform as a panacea for their ills, Richard Spooner,
Esq., rose and proposed a petition for the adoption of the meeting: it
complained, in the first place, of extravagant salaries to placemen, and
next of the standard of currency to which the county had been obliged to
return by Mr. Peel’s act, and prayed for a thorough reform in Parliament
as the only means of setting these things right.  Mr. Spooner bitterly
inveighed against the corruption of the Parliament as it then existed.
The petition was seconded by Charles Hanford, Esq.  Sir C. Smith, Major
General Marriott, Dr. B. Cooper, and J. Williams, Esq., agreed with all
the statements of the petition; but did not want reform, and begged Mr.
Spooner to put it into a separate petition by itself.  Mr. S. refused,
and the petition was carried almost unanimously.  It afterwards received
2,180 signatures.

1830—FEBRUARY 13—Meeting held in Worcester to form an “Agricultural
Society,” and to adopt such other measures as might be deemed expedient
in the present depressed state of the agricultural interest.  Charles
Hanford, Esq., was called to the chair.  The Rev. H. Berry moved a
petition to Parliament, praying for inquiry into the causes of distress,
for economy and revision of the poor laws, and for a salutary reform of
Parliament.  F. Holland, Esq., of Cropthorne, seconded the adoption of
the petition.  Mr. Allen objected to the “Reform” part of the business,
and suggested that a county meeting should be called.  This was agreed
to, and a requisition to the High Sheriff immediately prepared.  The
“Agricultural Society,” however, was formed.

1830—AUGUST 6—County meeting, to vote addresses of condolence and
congratulation to His Majesty King William IV, on the death of his
brother and his accession to the throne.  John Scott, Esq., High Sheriff,
in the chair.  The addresses were moved by Lord Deerhurst, and seconded
by Sir Anthony Lechmere, Bart.

1830—OCTOBER 13—Anti-Slavery meeting at the Guildhall; Dr. Hastings in
the chair.  The speakers were the Rev. John Davies, the Rev. Thomas Lowe
of Hallow, the Rev. Daniel Wilson, Vicar of Islington, Major Bund, Mr.
Henry Newman, the Hon. T. H. Foley, M.P., the Rev. Dr. Ross of
Kidderminster, the Rev. Henry Hastings of Martley, the Rev. George
Redford, J. W. Isaac, Esq., the Rev. John Brown, Mr. Stanley Pumphrey,
and the Rev. Mr. Bell of Knightwick.  Both the attendance and the
speeches were very respectable.  A petition was agreed to, which received
1,826 signatures.  Petitions were also forwarded to Parliament, about
this time, from every town and many villages of the county.

1831—MARCH 17—City of Worcester Reform meeting, to support the bill just
then introduced into the Commons.  The Mayor, H. B. Tymbs, Esq., refused
to call a town’s meeting, but left the Guildhall at the disposal of the
requisitionists.  On the motion of R. Spooner, Esq., William Saunders,
Esq., was called to the chair.  Mr. Allen moved, and Mr. Deighton
seconded, the first resolution, expressing the gratification of the
meeting in the measures proposed by His Majesty’s ministers.  The other
speakers were Thomas Scott, Esq., Mr. Daniel George, Mr. Timings, Dr.
Corbett, Mr. George Brook, Mr. Greening, Mr. Spooner, Mr. Gillam, Mr.
Wensley, Mr. Williams, and Mr. Thompson.  The hall was crowded, and
everything was unanimous and orderly.

1831—MARCH 18—County of Worcester Reform meeting; Osman Ricardo, Esq.,
High Sheriff, in the chair.  The meeting was most numerously attended,
and there was no opposition.  The speakers in favour of Reform were Sir
Thomas Winnington, Sir Christopher Smith, C. E. Hanford, Esq., H. E.
Strickland, Esq., R. Berkeley, Esq., W. Welch, Esq., W. Acton, Esq., T.
C. Hornyold, Esq., T. T. Vernon, Esq., and H. Bearcroft, Esq.  Lord
Lyttelton, after the resolutions had all been carried, addressed the
meeting at considerable length, expressing his delight at having lived to
see the day in which the principles he had advocated through life were,
at last, to obtain a triumph in the wise and salutary measure of Reform
brought forward by the Government.  The Hon. T. H. Foley, M.P., also
spoke in favour of the bill.

1831—SEPTEMBER 30—Public meeting in the Guildhall, Worcester, of citizens
and others, to petition the House of Lords in favour of the Reform Bill,
which had now reached the Upper House.  William Saunders, Esq., was
called to the chair.  The principal speakers were Mr. Merryweather
Turner, Mr. Curwood, and Mr. Acton; the other movers and seconders of
resolutions being Thomas Scott, Esq., Mr. G. Brook, Mr. Smith, Mr.
Blackwell, Mr. John Bishop, and Captain Wilson.  The hall was crowded and
the proceedings most enthusiastic.

1831—OCTOBER 14—The Reform Bill having been rejected by the House of
Lords by a majority of 41, another meeting of the citizens was called in
the Guildhall, Worcester, to vote an address to the King, praying “that
he will continue his present confidential advisers.”  John Curwood, Esq.,
was in the chair, and the speakers were much the same as on the previous
occasion.  The tone of the meeting was tolerably moderate.  The Worcester
Political Union and the parishioners of All Saints and St. Michael met
and agreed to similar addresses.

1831—NOVEMBER 5—The county meeting, for a similar purpose, was held this
day, Osman Ricardo, Esq., High Sheriff, presiding.  The meeting was
crowded and enthusiastic.  The speakers were Sir Edward Blount, Captain
Winnington, Colonel Davies, T. C. Hornyold, Esq., Sir Thomas Winnington,
Bart., W. Acton, Esq., Lord Lyttelton, Sir C. S. Smith, C. Hanford, Esq.,
John Richards, Esq., Richard Spooner, Esq., A. Skey, Esq., G. Farley,
Esq., Colonel Jefferies, Rev. Mr. Berry, and the Hon. T. H. Foley, M.P.
The various speakers impressed upon the people the necessity of order,
and spoke confidently of obtaining reform shortly.  Three cheers were
given at the conclusion of the meeting for Lord Lyttelton, three groans
for the Earl of Coventry, three cheers for the King, three for Earl Grey,
Lord Brougham, and Lord Althorp, and three groans for the Corporation.
Some disturbances took place in the city, in the evening of this day,
which will be found narrated in another place.

1832—MAY 14—The Worcester Political Union met on the resignation of
ministers, because the Lords, for a second time, refused to accept the
principle of the Reform Bill.  The meeting was held in Pitchcroft, at
five p.m., and the members of the Union went in procession to the grand
stand, headed by flags and a band.  It is said that at least 10,000
persons were present.  C. Hanford, Esq., was called to the chair by the
acclamations of the crowd, who were first addressed by Mr. Arrowsmith;
and the other speakers were Mr. Hornidge, Mr. Raby, Mr. Mansell, Mr. W.
Bristow, Mr. Southan, Mr. Meek, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Payne, Mr. Bayliss, Mr.
Coates, Mr. Barnes, Mr. Stevenson, and the Rev. Mr. M‘Donnell and Mr.
Salt of Birmingham.  The resolutions and petition prayed the House of
Commons to refuse the supplies, and not to pass the Mutiny Bill till the
Reform Bill was passed.

Meetings were held at Kidderminster (Henry Talbot, Esq., presiding) and
at Evesham (William Welch, Esq., in the chair) with similar intentions
and results.

1833—APRIL 12—A meeting held at the Guildhall, Worcester, to petition
Parliament on the subject of Negro Slavery.  It was very numerously
attended.  Dr. Hastings occupied the chair, and the audience was
addressed by the Rev. John Davies, Rev. George Redford, Rev. Peter
Duncan, Lieutenant Davis, Colonel Davies, M.P., Rev. Thomas Pearson, Rev.
R. Turnbull, Rev. Jacob Stanley, Mr. Stanley Pumphrey, Rev. Thomas Davis,
Mr. J. T. Price, Captain O’Brien, Mr. William Parry, Mr. Thomas Pumphrey,
Rev. Thomas Waters, and Rev. S. Webb.

1833—APRIL 18—Meeting in the Guildhall, Worcester, to petition the
legislature for a repeal of the House and Window Taxes.  In the absence
of the Mayor, Mr. John Blackwell was called upon to preside.  Mr.
Prosser, architect, Mr. Greening, Mr. Wensley, Mr. Edward Hooper, Mr.
Pemberton, Mr. Scott, Mr. Williams, Mr. J. Davis, Mr. Wheeler, &c., moved
and seconded the resolutions, which declared that the house duty was
oppressive and especially obnoxious, because of the power vested in the
surveyor who levied it—that the window tax was offensive in principle and
in practice—that they both pressed most heavily on the middle classes—who
had, indeed, to bear everything—and that they ought to be forthwith

1834—JANUARY 20—Meeting of Dissenters at Kidderminster, Dr. Ross in the
chair, to memorialise Government for the redress of grievances.  The
speakers were the Rev. Mr. Fry, Mr. Henry Brinton, Mr. Chadwick, Rev. Mr.
Smith, Rev. Mr. Warren, Rev. Mr. Coles, Mr. W. Brinton, Mr. Charles
Talbot, and Mr. Thomas Hopkins.  The memorial agreed to was directed to
Earl Grey, and prayed, first, for relief from Church Rates; second, the
power of celebrating marriages without conforming to the Church service;
third, for the right of interring their dead in parochial burial grounds
by their own ministers; fourth, the right of admission to the
universities; fifth, for a general system of registering births, deaths,
and marriages, without regard to religious distinction.

1834—FEBRUARY 24—Meeting of laity of the Church of England at
Kidderminster, to express unshaken confidence in the principles of the
Establishment, and to petition Parliament in its behalf.  The meeting was
held in the National School-room, and was numerously attended.  Abraham
Turner, Esq., was called to the chair, and the resolutions were proposed
by the High Bailiff, Mr. Samuel Beddoes, Mr. Woodward, churchwarden, Mr.
J. Gough, Mr. Bradley, Mr. George Hooman, Mr. Thomas Hallen, Mr. Boycot,
sen., Mr. Dixon, Mr. Tomkins, and Mr. Harvey.  The resolutions were
unanimously adopted.  [The Catholic priest, displeased at some allusion
made to his religion at the Dissenters’ meeting, declared that he thought
a union of Catholics with the Church of England not at all impossible.]

1834—APRIL 9—Meeting of owners and occupiers of land, at the Bell Inn,
Worcester, “to consider the propriety of petitioning Parliament on the
ruinous state of the agricultural interest.”  The room was very much
crowded; and the Earl of Coventry was called to the chair.  Sir Anthony
Lechmere, Bart., moved the adoption of a petition which attributed the
greatest part of agricultural distress to the alteration of the currency,
by the Bill of 1819, and therefore prayed that Parliament would institute
an immediate inquiry into the effects of that measure.  The removal of
“the present, though inadequate” protection of the Corn Laws, would
certainly accelerate their destruction, which was daily drawing nearer by
reason of the enormous increase of their various burdens.  Earl Beauchamp
seconded the adoption of the petition.  Major Bund moved that that part
of the petition which related to the currency should be left out, for
that was a subject into which if they once got they would never be able
to get out again.  This called forth a long speech from Mr. Spooner,
“going into” the currency question very fully; and the result was that
the amendment was withdrawn, and the petition carried unanimously.  The
petition had 3,000 signatures attached to it.  Mr. T. Attwood, when it
was presented to the House by Colonel Lygon, “hailed it with
satisfaction, because it was the first agricultural petition which traced
the distress to its true source—the Currency Bill of 1819.”

1835—JULY 27—A meeting at the Crown Inn, Worcester, to consider the
ninetieth clause of the Municipal Reform Bill, which, it was feared,
would prevent the new town councils from leasing the borough property on
anything like the same terms as the old corporations had done.  John
Williams, Esq., was called to the chair.  Mr. John Hill proposed, and Mr.
Francis Hooper seconded, a motion suggesting that a committee should be
appointed to inquire in the proper quarter what was the precise intent of
the clause.  Mr. Waters moved, and Mr. G. Allies seconded, as an
amendment, “that this meeting, not believing that property, held under
corporation leases, will be depreciated in value, are unwilling to
address the legislature on the subject.”  Mr. Waters’s motion was
carried.  The Mayor wished only holders of corporation property to vote,
but other parties, who had thronged the room, insisted on their right to
express an opinion; and the result was regarded as a test of public
opinion in the city, with regard to the bill.

1835—AUGUST 12—Meeting in the Corn Market, Worcester, to address His
Majesty on the subject of the Municipal Reform Bill, requesting him to
take measures to ensure its passing the House of Lords without
mutilation.  The Mayor, Mr. Leonard, had refused to grant the use of the
hall.  C. H. Hebb, Esq., was called to the chair; and the speakers were
Mr. Carey, Mr. Munn, Mr. Sanders, Mr. C. A. Helm, Mr. Greening, Mr. E. L.
Williams, and Mr. B. Stokes.  A petition to the Commons was also agreed
to at this meeting, begging them not to consent to any alteration of the
measure.  It received 6,221 signatures.

1835—SEPTEMBER 7—Protestant meeting, in the Guildhall, Worcester, the
alleged object being to disseminate a knowledge of the principles and
practices of Popery, and to promote the great principles of Protestantism
as maintained by the Established Church.  The assembly room was well
filled.  Richard Spooner, Esq., was called to the chair.  The Rev.
Mortimer O‘Sullivan was the chief speaker; the others being Sir Matthew
Blakeston, Bart., Rev. C. Benson, Colonel Taylor, Rev. George
Turberville, Rev. John Cawood, John Brown, Esq., Lea Castle, Dr. B.
Cooper, C. Hawkins, Esq., Samuel Kent, Esq., Rev. W. Chesshyre.  A
“Protestant Association” was determined on, but the meeting resolved
itself, in reality, into an opposition to the appropriating clauses of
the Irish Church Bill, then before the Lords.  This meeting was the
occasion of a correspondence between Mr. Hanford and Mr. Spooner, and a
whole host of general letters in the newspapers.  The Rev. T. M‘Donnell
came from Birmingham on purpose to preach about it at the Catholic

1835—SEPTEMBER 26—Meeting of the Worcestershire Agricultural Society, at
the Crown Inn, Worcester, numerously attended.  Sir A. Lechmere, Bart.,
the president for the year, in the chair.  It was first resolved that
agriculturists had waited long enough for the amelioration of their
condition, which, according to a committee of the Commons in 1833, was to
result from “the cautious forbearance rather than the active
interposition of Parliament.”  That it was necessary the agricultural
body should be roused into energy to prevent the “total ruin impending
over both landlords and tenants.”  That Government were remitting all
sorts of taxes to the manufacturing interests, and none to them—and,
then, that it was highly desirable that the question of the currency
should be brought under the serious attention of Parliament; as the
sudden reduction of the amount of circulating medium had been one of the
chief causes of the ruinous prices of agricultural produce.  It would
also be a great relief to the farmer to be allowed to malt grain, the
produce of his own farm, duty free.  The Marquis of Chandos was accepted
as the farmers’ champion; and he was to be urged to bring these matters
before Parliament, these being the only remedies suggested.

1835—OCTOBER 17—Meeting of the agriculturists of the county at the Crown
Inn, Broad Street, to consider the distress and ruinous condition of the
agricultural interest.  Sir A. Lechmere, Bart., was called to the chair.
Mr. Spooner moved an address to the King, setting forth the distress of
the farmers, and suggesting that there ought to be an alteration of the
standard of value to relieve them—they ought, also, to be allowed to malt
their own grain.  Mr. Robinson, M.P., Captain Winnington, M.P., and Mr.
Pakington, M.P., were very averse to mixing up the currency question with
agricultural distress, and had a long argument with Mr. Spooner thereon.
Mr. Robinson had voted for repeal of the malt tax, but would never
consent to one set of men only being exempt from the excise laws.  The
address, as it originally stood, was carried by a large majority.

1836—MAY 30—Town’s meeting at the Guildhall, Worcester, to agree to an
address to His Majesty’s ministers, and a petition to the House of
Commons, in favour of the Irish Municipal Reform Bill.  The Mayor, C. H.
Hebb, Esq., was in the chair; and there was a numerous gathering of
citizens.  Mr. Acton, Mr. Hanford, Mr. Alderman Gibbs, Mr. Sheriff
Allies, Mr. Alderman R. Evans, Mr. Hardy, Mr. Carey, Mr. Parry, Mr.
Greening, Mr. Chapman, and Mr. Southan were the speakers.  The
proceedings were unanimous.

1836—JUNE 30—Meeting in the Guildhall, Worcester, to form a “Worcester
Reform Association;” the principal object alleged being to look after the
registration.  Mr. Robert Hardy was called to the chair, and the hall was
crowded with operatives and others.  The meeting was addressed by Captain
Corles, Mr. F. T. Elgie, Colonel Davies, and others.  G. Munn, Esq., was
elected president of the new association.

1837—JANUARY 26—Meeting in Worcester Town Hall, to petition for Vote by
Ballot.  The meeting had, first of all, been called for the Thursday
previous, but the requisitionists having determined to postpone it, the
Mayor left the hall.  A number of the Conservative party were left
waiting in the Crown Court, and not having been properly apprised of the
adjournment, they, after a little interval, called Major Bund to the
chair.  Mr. Gutch and Mr. F. Hooper moved a petition condemning the
ballot, which was declared to “lead to the corruption of public morals by
the general practice of treachery and hypocrisy.”  This was carried by a
large majority.  Mr. Gutch and Mr. Lingham then moved that “the conduct
of the Mayor and the requisitionists in not attending the meeting, and
not offering any explanation of their absence, was an insult to the
citizens of Worcester, and highly censurable;” and this also met with the
approval of the parties present.  These proceedings of course only made
the original promoters of the meeting more in earnest, and the hall was
this day crowded by a company entirely unanimous in favour of the ballot.
The Mayor was in the chair; and the various resolutions and petitions
were moved by Mr. F. T. Elgie, Secretary to the Worcester Reform
Association, W. Acton, Esq., Mr. Hardy, Mr. Arrowsmith, Mr. John Hill,
Town Clerk, Mr. Raby, C. Hanford, Esq., Mr. Alderman Corles, Mr. John
Hall, &c.  Mr. Waters asserted that he had told Major Bund, half an hour
before the meeting of the previous week, that it was postponed.  The
ballot was declared, in the petition adopted by the meeting, to be
“essentially necessary to the purity of election.”

1837—MARCH 30—Meeting of the clergy of the diocese, at the Chapter House,
to petition against the Church Rate Bill, then lately introduced by
ministers.  The Venerable Archdeacon Onslow was in the chair.  The Rev.
John Peel, Rev. T. Baker, Rev. John Foley, Rev. J. R. Gray, Rev. C.
Benson, Rev. R. B. Hone, Rev. A. B. Lechmere, Rev. H. Hastings, Rev. E.
W. Wakeman, and the Hon. and Rev. J. S. Cocks moved or seconded the
resolutions.  The tone of the speeches generally was moderate; but the
Tithe Commutation Act was included in the animadversions of the speakers,
as well as the bill for abolishing church rates.

1837—MAY 5—Public meeting at Worcester, to consider the best means of
alleviating the distress existing amongst the operative glovers.  The
Mayor, C. H. Hebb, Esq., was in the chair.  John Dent, Esq., Dr.
Hastings, Mr. S. Pumphrey, E. H. Lechmere, Esq., John Williams, Esq., W.
Wall, Esq., Mr. Tymbs, Mr. Lavender, R. Berkeley, Esq., and Mr. T. Newman
moved the various resolutions.  The distress was not traced further, as
to its causes, than the decay of trade and want of orders.  Many hundreds
of families had applied for relief.  It was determined that a general
subscription should be entered into, and a committee of master glovers
was appointed to scrutinise the applications for charity.  About £1,000
was collected, including £100 from the Earl of Coventry, £50 from Earl
Beauchamp, and £30 from a performance at the Theatre, given for this
purpose by Mr. Bennett.

1837—JULY 18—Anti-Slavery meeting at the Guildhall, to hear an address
from Mr. Joseph Sturge, on the apprenticeship system.  Mr. Alderman R.
Evans was called to the chair.  Dr. Redford, Mr. Stanley Pumphrey, Rev.
Thomas Waters, and Mr. Brewin moved resolutions declaring for total
abolition; and pledging the meeting only to support such candidates, at
the next election, as would vote for such a step.  Mr. Robinson and
Colonel Davies gave the meeting satisfactory assurances.  Mr. Bailey was
not present, but Mr. Gutch read a note from him.

1837—AUGUST 10—County meeting held at the Guildhall, Worcester, to
congratulate Queen Victoria on her ascension to the throne, and to
condole with the Queen Dowager on her bereavement.  The High Sheriff, W.
Roberts, Esq., was in the chair.  The Earl of Coventry moved the
addresses; and the Bishop of Worcester seconded the one, and the Lord
Lieutenant, Lord Foley, the other.  Earl Coventry was requested to
present them.

1837—DECEMBER 20—Meeting of the clergy in the Chapter House, the Ven.
Archdeacon Onslow in the chair.  Addresses to Her Majesty, a memorial to
the Archbishop of Canterbury, and petitions to Parliament were adopted
against certain clauses in the Marriage and Registration Acts, against
the Tithe Commutation Act, and against the constitution of the
Ecclesiastical Commission.  The Revs. T. Baker, C. Dunne, Hon. J. S.
Cocks, A. B. Lechmere, G. W. Kershaw, C. Benson, R. B. Hone, J. F.
Turner, W. R. Holden, and W. A. Pruen, moved or seconded the resolutions.

1837—DECEMBER 30—Anti-Slavery meeting in the Town Hall, to petition for
the immediate abolition of the apprenticeship system.  Mr. Stanley
Pumphrey was in the chair.  The speakers were—Dr. Redford, Mr. Bowly, Mr.
George Thompson (London), Mr. S. Burden, Mr. Alderman R. Evans, Mr.
Ledbrook, and Mr. B. Stokes.

1838—FEBRUARY 6—Common hall at Worcester, to petition for the ballot.
Mr. Alderman Hebb took the chair.  The movers of the resolutions
were—William Acton, Esq., Mr. Arrowsmith, Mr. Elgie, Mr. James Wall,
Charles Hanford, Esq., Mr. Greening, Mr. Edward Hooper, and Mr. George.
A Mr. Davis, a native of Worcester, but who had resided a considerable
time in the United States, said the ballot had not worked well there.
Colonel Davies and Mr. Turton, the expectant candidate, afterwards
addressed the meeting.

1838—SEPTEMBER 11—Meeting of citizens at the Guildhall, at which it was
resolved that an act should be applied for to obtain powers for the
better regulation and repair of the streets and highways within the
borough.  Mr. Pierpoint proposed that the powers under such act should
rest in the City Commissioners, and Mr. Deighton moved, as an amendment,
that they should lie in the Council.  Mr. Pierpoint’s resolution was
carried; and, further, that the qualification of a Commissioner should be
reduced to an income of £20 a year.  In consequence of this decision the
Council refused to proceed further with the bill.

1839—FEBRUARY 23—County meeting, in the New Shire Hall, on the Corn Law
question.  The High Sheriff, Mr. Russell, presided.  The outer hall was
completely filled, and the minority of Corn Law repealers were very
noisy.  The first resolution, proposed by the Earl of Coventry, and
seconded by William Acton, Esq., was as follows: “That taking into
consideration the natural and artificial causes which produce variations
in the price of corn, and which experience has proved it is beyond the
power of human legislation at all times to obviate or control, and
looking at the slight changes in prices which have occurred since the
last corn act was passed, which, while it regulates the duties on
importation, affords protection to the home grower—this meeting is of
opinion that it would be unjust and impolitic to make any alteration in
the principle of the present law.”  The remaining resolutions were merely
routine, and were moved or seconded by Sir Offley Wakeman, Bart., O.
Mason, Esq., Hon. W. Coventry, George Allies, Esq. (Mayor of Worcester),
John Freeman, Esq., Sir A. Lechmere, Bart., Earl Beauchamp, and General
Lygon, M.P.  They were all carried by very large majorities.  Towards the
close of the meeting the uproar was very considerable, and at last, on
the interposition of the Earl of Coventry, Mr. F. H. Coates, though not a
freeholder, was allowed to speak in favour of a repeal of the Corn Laws,
and was heard with considerable attention.

1839—APRIL 6—Large meeting of the clergy and laity of the Church of
England held in the Crown Court, New Shire Hall, to form a Diocesan Board
of Education in connection with the National School Society.  The Lord
Bishop took the chair, and the Rev. Donald Cameron read a report of a
committee which had been previously appointed on the subject.  Archdeacon
Spooner, Sir John Mordaunt, Bart., M.P., Prebendary Digby, Mr. Pakington,
and Canon Benson were the principal speakers, and moved resolutions
pledging the meeting to form such a society as was suggested, and
vigorously to support it.  A training school for teachers was especially
mentioned.  Handsome donations were given on the spot.

1840—MARCH 27—The first Anti-Corn-Law meeting held in Worcester.  It was
a gathering of operatives, and took place in the Town Hall.  Mr. John
Richardson, ironfounder, was called to the chair; and the speakers were
Mr. Robert Hardy, Mr. Thomas Waters, and several operatives, by whom
indeed the meeting was convened.  A petition, praying for a total repeal
of the Corn Laws, was unanimously agreed to.  The meeting was held with
the view of strengthening Mr. Villiers’s hands in an approaching debate,
and the number of signatures attached to the petition was 3,326.

1840—JUNE 29—County meeting, with the High Sheriff in the chair, to
address the Queen on her escape from the attempt at assassination by
Oxford.  The resolutions were moved by Sir A. Lechmere, Mr. Pakington,
Lord Southwell, Colonel Davies, Dr. B. Cooper, and the Hon. and Rev. W.
W. C. Talbot.

1841—NOVEMBER 15—Public meeting in the Guildhall, Worcester, to vote
congratulatory addresses to the Queen and Prince Albert on the birth of
the Prince of Wales.  The Mayor, Edward Evans, Esq., presided; and the
resolutions were moved by the Lord Bishop of Worcester, John Williams,
Esq., Sir A. Lechmere, Bart., Captain Thomas, &c.  A subscription was
entered into to supply the poor of the city with coal at a reduced rate,
and this was called the Prince of Wales’s Coal Fund—£1,021 were raised by
this means.

1842—FEBRUARY 23—A common hall convened at Worcester, to consider the
distress of the country.  The requisition had been taken round for
signature by Mr. J. D. Stevenson, and a great number of persons had
affixed their names.  The hall was densely filled with operatives, and
the proceedings were commenced by Mr. R. Hardy, who moved a resolution
declaring that the distress of the country could be traced to “the Corn
Laws and other restrictions on the trade and liberties of the people.”
This was seconded by Mr. Edward Webb, and every hand was held up in its
favour, save one.  Mr. Alderman Corles proposed another resolution,
declaring that the Corn Laws never would have been enacted if the people
had been fully represented in Parliament, and that all bad statutes had
arisen from class legislation.  This was seconded by Mr. Alderman
Padmore, and carried unanimously.  Mr. Elgie moved the third
resolution—that the present Parliament was not the people’s Parliament,
and that it was necessary for the operative and middle classes to unite
for the overthrow of monopolies.  This was seconded by Mr. Fisher; but a
Chartist, named Davie, moved an amendment—“that the principles of the
People’s Charter should be embodied in the petition;” this was seconded
by an operative named Williams, and two Birmingham Chartists, named Young
and Mason, wanted to speak to the amendment; but the Mayor would not let
them, because this was a “town’s meeting” and they were strangers.  This
caused great uproar; so he put the matter to the meeting, and requested
those who were of opinion that the people of Worcester could manage their
own affairs, to go to the right—and those who thought they were not
competent so to do, to the left.  This but increased the disturbance, and
the Mayor put the question in the usual method; and, whether by mistake
or not, the great majority declared that strangers should not be heard.
The Mayor then put the amendment in favour of the Charter, and two-thirds
of the meeting held up their hands in its favour.  Davie then moved the
adoption of the “National Petition,” praying for universal suffrage,
repeal of the union, &c. &c. &c.  The Mayor objected that this was not
put as the petition of the people of Worcester.  Dr. Redford made an
attempt to convince the operatives of their mistake in creating disunion,
but after a few sentences he gave up the task.  The Mayor declined to put
the National Petition; and after asking whether any gentleman had
anything else to propose, he declared the meeting dissolved, and left the
hustings.  The Chartists remained in the hall, and having moved Mr.
Stevenson into the chair, Mason and Whyte made long orations, especially
abusive of the Mayor, and the National Petition was carried by

1842—APRIL 16—A numerous meeting of the agriculturists, held at the Crown
Inn, to consider Sir Robert Peel’s New Tariff.  P. V. Onslow, Esq., in
the chair.  Mr. Curtler, Mr. Williams, and others thought they had not
sufficient information before them to go upon, and expressed confidence
in Sir Robert Peel.  Mr. Woodward moved a series of resolutions, stating
that the proposed alterations would seriously injure the agriculturists,
and they could have no confidence in any ministry who proposed them.  Mr.
Benson moved a resolution somewhat milder, but deprecating the reduction
of duty on cattle, &c., and this was carried by a considerable majority.

1843—MARCH 13—Public meeting in the Guildhall, Worcester, John Lilly,
Esq., Mayor, presiding, to petition against the tenth article of the
Ashburton treaty; which, in providing for the extradition of criminals
from Canada to the United States, was thought likely to interfere with
the liberty of escaped slaves.  The resolutions were moved by Dr.
Redford, Alderman E. Evans, Rev. Mr. Holden, Rev. J. Earnshaw, Mr. G.
Grove, Rev. C. Lee, &c.; and Sir Thomas Wilde was requested to present
the petition.

1844—FEBRUARY 27—Public meeting at the Bell Hotel, to form an
Agricultural Protection Society for Worcestershire.  P. V. Onslow, Esq.,
took the chair; and the resolutions were moved by Mr. F. Woodward, Sir
Anthony Lechmere, Dr. B. Cooper, Mr. Henry Hudson, J. S. Pakington, Esq.,
M.P., Mr. Onley, Mr. Curtler, Mr. James Taylor, and the Hon. and Rev. W.
W. C. Talbot.  The meeting was attended by about 300 farmers and
landowners, and about £550 were subscribed on the spot.

1844—OCTOBER 4—A meeting of the medical profession of the county,
convened in the board room of the Worcester Infirmary, for the purpose of
considering the provisions of the Medical Bill introduced in the late
session of Parliament by Sir James Graham.  Dr. Malden was called to the
chair; and Mr. Pierpoint, and Mr. Davis of Pershore, moved a resolution
approving of the bill in general.  Dr. Hastings, and Mr. A. Martin of
Evesham, moved a second, declaring that the bill was defective in not
containing a clause for the punishment of unqualified and unregistered
practitioners, and that it was the duty of every medical man to oppose
the bill unless such a clause were inserted.  A petition was agreed to,
praying for the insertion of such a protective clause.

1844—NOVEMBER 28—A town’s meeting called at Droitwich, to consider the
proposal of the Patent Salt Company to carry their brine down to Camp by
means of pipes, and convert it into salt there, so as to save the great
expense of tonnage on the Droitwich Canal.  The Mayor, T. G. Smith, Esq.,
presided.  The meeting unanimously agreed to petition against the
proposed measure, as one which would be utterly destructive of the trade
of the borough.  Mr. Curtler, in moving the second resolution, went at
length into the whole matter, attributing the Salt Company’s want of
success to their own mismanagement; and he blamed them for seeking to
monopolise the whole trade in their own hands.  At the same time he
admitted that they had a right to complain of the heavy charges imposed
by the Canal Company, who fancied themselves bound by the guarantee given
them by the Worcester and Birmingham Canal Company to give them £8
interest per share, to keep the tolls up to the _maximum_ of 3d. a mile
per ton.  But he said the Canal Company were about to take steps to alter
this state of things.  Mr. Pakington, who attended the meeting to learn
the wishes of his constituents, said he should give the Salt Company’s
measure his most strenuous opposition in Parliament.  The scheme was
shortly afterwards abandoned.

1844—DECEMBER 16—A public meeting held in the Guildhall, Worcester, to
consider what steps should be taken for the relief of the poor in the
city during the winter, which had commenced with much severity.  The
Bishop of Rochester took the chair; and it was unanimously resolved that
the balance left from the Prince of Wales’s Coal Fund should be increased
by a general subscription, and another distribution of coal, blankets,
&c., take place.  Mr. Mence suggested that the funds should be
distributed by the Visiting Society; but it was discovered that this had
recently become entirely a Church of England society, and Dr. Redford
protested against any general fund therefore being committed to its
charge.  A committee, upon which all the Dissenting ministers of the city
were placed, was appointed by the meeting for the distribution of the
funds.  The subscriptions amounted to £702. 17s.

1845—DECEMBER 27—The Agricultural Protection Society held a general
meeting at the Crown Hotel, Broad Street, Worcester; P. V. Onslow, Esq.,
in the chair.  The speakers were Mr. F. Woodward, Mr. Lucy, J. S.
Pakington, Esq., M.P., Mr. Curtler, the Hon. W. Coventry, Mr. Gutch, and
Mr. Whittaker.  The proximate causes for calling the meeting were—Lord
John Russell’s letter avowing himself a total repealer, and the certainty
that some measures affecting the agricultural interest would be brought
forward by Sir Robert Peel in the ensuing session.  Mr. Curtler avowed
that he believed Sir Robert Peel to be an honest statesman, who had no
motive for injuring the agricultural interest, and never would think of
doing such a thing.  The resolutions pledged the Society to carry out “a
well-digested mode of action” against repeal of the Corn Laws.

1846—APRIL 29—A town’s meeting held at Worcester, to consider the New Gas
Company’s Bill; William Lewis, Esq., Mayor, presiding.  There had been
many complaints of the bad quality of the gas supplied by the Old
Company, and murmurs were heard about the price charged; in consequence
of which, some parties thought it would answer their purpose to project a
new set of works.  The Old Company thereupon reduced the price from 8s.
4d. to 7s. 6d. per 1,000 feet; but this was only taken as an admission
that the price ought to have been less before, and the New Company’s
project went on and a great deal of ill feeling was excited—the popular
cry, of course, being raised against that which had been a good while
established, and was supposed to have been a source of considerable
emolument to the parties engaged.  That it had not been so to the
shareholders was proved, but it was thereupon retorted that the
management had been bad, and that the lessee of the works had made a
fortune by them, &c.  Negociations were at one time opened for the sale
of the Old Company’s works to the New, but these fell through; and the
New Company being now about to bring their bill before Parliament, it was
necessary that they should have the approval of the town to back them.
Mr. Pierpoint, at this meeting, elaborately stated the case on the New
Company’s behalf; and Mr. H. B. Tymbs (chairman of the Old Company), Mr.
Jones (their new manager), Mr. Francis Hooper, Mr. John Hill, and Mr.
Bedford spoke for the Old Company.  A petition in favour of the New
Company’s bill, proposed by Mr. W. D. Lingham and Mr. Barnett, was
carried by a majority of three to one.

1847—MAY 24—The Mayor of Worcester, Mr. Elgie, convened a public meeting
in the Guildhall, for the purpose of considering the steps that should be
taken to relieve the poor of the city, who were suffering much from the
then high price of provisions.  The meeting was most respectably attended
by men of all parties, and more than £300 was at once collected for the
purpose of furnishing the poor with provisions at a cheap rate.

1848—FEBRUARY 26—Public meeting of the inhabitants of Worcester, to
petition against the Government proposal to increase the Income Tax per
centage.  The Mayor, E. Webb, Esq., presided, and Mr. Gutch, Mr. Alderman
Elgie, Mr. F. H. Needham, Mr. Manning, Mr. Arrowsmith, Mr. John Hood, Mr.
Pierpoint, and Mr. Bedford moved or seconded the resolutions.  F.
Rufford, Esq., M.P., also spoke.  In consequence of demonstrations like
these throughout the country, the Government proposition to levy a three
per cent. permanent income tax was abandoned.

1848—JUNE 16—A town’s meeting, held at Worcester, to petition in favour
of “further reform.”  The Mayor, Mr. Webb, presided; and Mr. R. Hardy and
Mr. J. Wall moved the first resolution—declaring that the present
representation of the people in the House of Commons was partial, &c.;
and this was carried almost unanimously.  Mr. Arrowsmith and Mr. Everett
moved a petition in favour of Mr. Hume’s motion for extension of the
suffrage to all householders, triennial Parliaments, ballot, and equal
apportionment of members to the population.  John Dinmore Stephenson
moved a petition for the whole “six points” in amendment, but after twice
calling for a show of hands the Mayor declared the amendment to be lost,
though it was a very near thing.  The other resolutions were moved by the
Rev. William Crowe, Mr. Alderman E. Evans, &c., and carried without

1849—MAY 5—County meeting, held at the Shire Hall, Worcester, to consider
the distress under which the agricultural body were then said to be
labouring.  The High Sheriff, John Dent, Esq., occupied the chair; and
the meeting was most numerously and respectably attended.  James Taylor,
Esq., of Moseley Hall, moved the first resolution—expressing alarm at the
depression under which both the agricultural and manufacturing interests
of the county were suffering.  Mr. Joseph Stallard seconded this
resolution.  Mr. James Baldwin, paper manufacturer, of Birmingham,
proposed an amendment, which, while it admitted the depression in trade
and agriculture, suggested a remedy in the reduction of taxation, and
chiefly from a repeal of the malt and hop duties.  Mr. George Baker
seconded the resolution.  Mr. Laslett, addressed the meeting from the
gallery, declaring that there was no possibility of any return to
Protection, and that a reduction of rent was what was wanted.  Mr.
Laslett concluded his observations by saying, “You should have sent men
to Parliament who would have taken care of your interest and not have
sold you,” at which, as through his speech, there was great uproar.  The
resolution was carried with comparative few dissentients.  Mr. Curtler
then moved—“That the free trade measures of 1846 are partial and unjust
in their operation—are inconsistent with the burdened interests of this
country—must render abortive the utmost efforts of British industry to
struggle against the unequal competition to which it is exposed, and
which (if the present free trade measures are continued) will involve all
classes in one common ruin.”  This resolution he supported in a long and
clever speech, endeavouring to show the preponderance of the agricultural
over the manufacturing interest, and inveighing against Sir Robert Peel
for his treachery to the agricultural party.  The loss to the farmer, by
the removal of Protection, he declared could not be made up to him, even
if he was set free from paying any rent at all.  The Rev. John Pearson
seconded the resolution, declaring that, though he had been accustomed to
take what was called a liberal line of politics, he was compelled to
advocate Protection from a conviction that the farmers had not been
fairly dealt with.  The other resolutions were moved or seconded by Mr.
J. R. Cookes, Mr. Gardiner, Mr. Francis Woodward, and Mr. Henry Hudson,
and were all carried unanimously.  Sir John Pakington afterwards
addressed the meeting at great length, saying that, though he had voted
against the repeal of the corn laws, and still continued to think that a
very dangerous measure, yet free trade must have a trial.  He did not
think things quite so gloomy as his friends had represented them to
be—prices had been lower even in days of Protection, and he was not
inclined to increase the panic which prevailed.  He recommended that they
should demand from Parliament a redistribution of local taxation.  Mr.
Whittaker, amidst great cheering, begged the meeting not to be led away
by the speech they had just heard; they must stick to Protection and not
seek after a score of other things.  General Lygon, M.P., and Captain
Rushout, M.P., declared their firm adhesion to the principles of

1850—JANUARY 19—A county meeting, in compliance with a requisition most
numerously signed by agriculturists, was held in the Crown Court of the
Shire Hall, in favour of Protection.  John Dent, Esq., the High Sheriff,
being indisposed, the chair was taken by the Hon. W. Coventry.  The first
resolution, declaring that the abandonment of Protection had involved
large classes of Her Majesty’s subjects, as well manufacturing as
agricultural, in distress and ruin, was moved by James Taylor, Esq., and
seconded by T. G. Curtler, Esq.; but before Mr. Curtler could conclude,
such vehement cries, for adjournment into the outer hall, arose, that the
proceedings were entirely interrupted.  The chairman declined to adjourn,
and the free traders, in the principal gallery, maintained such a
continual uproar that all the rest of the proceedings passed in dumb
show.  The other resolutions and petitions were moved or seconded by Mr.
Cookes, Mr. Henry Hudson, the Rev. John Pearson, Mr. Best, M.P., the Hon.
and Rev. W. W. C. Talbot, Mr. F. Holland, &c., and were carried by large
majorities in the midst of great noise.

1850—NOVEMBER 16—A meeting of the clergy of the Archdeaconry of
Worcester, attended by about 200 of the clerical body, held in the
Chapter House, to protest against the Papal Aggression.  The Venerable
Archdeacon Hone presided, and opened the meeting in a temperate speech.
Canon Wood moved an address to Her Majesty, declaring that the Bishop of
Rome had invaded the Queen’s prerogative by appointing archbishops and
bishops here with titles taken from English cities and towns—assuring Her
Majesty of their attachment to the principles of the Reformation—and,
also, that they would support her in the discharge of the solemn
obligations of her coronation oath to maintain the Protestant religion
and the rights of the bishops and clergy.  The Rev. R. Seymour, rector of
Kinwarton, seconded the address, declaring that the Bishop of Rome had
been guilty of a schismatical act, and had invaded the unity of the
Church by appointing bishops in this country.  The Rev. J. F. Mackarness,
vicar of Tardebigg, protested at length against the meeting adopting this
course.  They would appear to be asking the help of the civil power
against the intrusion of Rome, and that would be most unwise.  The Church
of England was already too much open to the taunt of being a law-made
church; and the only true way of conserving and extending their influence
as clergy was by earnestness of faith and devotion in labour.  The
address was, however, carried without other dissent.  The remaining
resolutions were moved by the Rev. H. J. Hastings, the Hon. and Rev. W.
H. Lyttelton, the Rev. H. Woodgate, and the Hon. and Rev. W. W. C.

1850—NOVEMBER 18—A city meeting held in the Guildhall, Worcester, on the
subject of the Papal Aggression; the Mayor, Mr. Hughes, in the chair.
Sir E. H. Lechmere and Mr. Gutch moved the first resolution, which
declared that the Pope’s appointment of bishops in England, with
territorial titles, was “an act of aggression justly calling forth the
indignation of every true Protestant, and ought to be met with the most
determined resistance which our laws will sanction.”  John Dent, Esq.,
then moved an address to Her Majesty; but the meeting was fast falling
into confusion, and was indulging in speculations about the use and
propriety of bishops in general, when Dr. Redford came forward to second
the address, and by his speech procured the unanimous carrying of the
address.  The other resolutions were proposed by F. Hooper, Esq., Henry
Aldrich, Esq., H. B. Tymbs, Esq., and W. Dent, Esq.  The parishioners of
St. John’s parish also protested against the aggression, in vestry

1850—DECEMBER 14—The county meeting on the subject of the Papal
Aggression was held this day in the Shire Hall, having been convened by
the High Sheriff in compliance with a requisition signed by 700 persons.
Mr. Watkins, the High Sheriff, presided.  James Taylor, Esq., and the
Hon. Gen. Lygon, M.P., moved an address to Her Majesty, declaring the
measures of the Pope to be “an assumption of authority over this
kingdom—an invasion of Her Majesty’s supremacy—an attack on the liberties
and independence of the Church of England—and an important advance in the
attempt to reimpose the doctrines and jurisdiction of the Roman Church
upon the people of this country.”  Sir Edward Blount, Bart., and Robert
Berkeley, jun., Esq., moved a counter address, declaring that the
appointment of a Roman Catholic Hierarchy did not require any legislative
interference, and deprecating all restrictions upon the free enjoyment,
by every religious body, of its spiritual order and discipline.  The
meeting was addressed by Mr. Spooner, M.P., the Rev. J. Walsh, Wesleyan
minister, and the Rev. — Alexander, Baptist minister from Upton, who
spoke in favour of the original address, and C. Hanford, jun., Esq., for
the amendment.  The original address was carried by a very large
majority.  Lord Lyttelton and Colonel Bund moved an address to the Bishop
of the Diocese; and on the motion of T. G. Curtler, Esq., seconded by the
Rev. J. Pearson, an addition was made to this address, thanking the
Bishop for having rebuked and discouraged Tractarian principles and
practices in this diocese.  Mr. Knight, M.P., and the Rev. G. Hodgson,
moved another formal resolution, and the thanks to the High Sheriff were
proposed by Lord Southwell and seconded by Sir O. P. Wakeman.  Meetings
on this subject were held about the same time at Stourport—T. S. Lea,
Esq., presiding; at Malvern, where T. C. Hornyold, Esq., and the Hon. Mr.
Clifford, moved an amendment; at Bromsgrove, Upton, Droitwich, Evesham,
Bewdley, Kidderminster (the Mayor presiding), Stourbridge, Dudley, &c.


THE conduct of the general affairs of the counties of England, such as
their police, the regulation of the gaols and lunatic asylums, the
preservation of the county bridges, the levying of rates, &c., is
intrusted to the unpaid magistracy, nominated by the Lords Lieutenant,
and appointed by the Lord Chancellor; and at a time when an agitation is
afoot to change the character of the body by whom these important matters
are transacted, some consideration of the manner in which they have
discharged their high trust may be opportune and useful.  It is now
proposed that a certain number of persons, chosen by the Boards of
Guardians of the different Poor Law Unions, should be associated with a
chosen body of the magistracy to manage all the county business.  The
principle sought to be carried out is one now generally acknowledged as a
just one—viz., that “representation should be coordinate with taxation;”
but it is worth consideration whether anything will be gained by such a
change of system as is suggested, whether the interests of the ratepayers
are likely to be better cared for than they are at present, and whether,
indeed, they had not better let well alone.  The Bench of County
Magistrates in Worcestershire may be supposed to be a fair representation
of the magistracy of the kingdom generally, and certainly on a review of
their proceedings during the last fifty years, especially with regard to
financial matters, the ratepayers must feel satisfied that their affairs
could not have been in better hands.  The Worcestershire Magistrates have
had to consider, during the first half of the nineteenth century, many
matters involving a very large outlay of the public money; and upon a
review of the course they have taken, no one will be able to point to an
instance of grossly unnecessary expenditure, or a lavishness in dealing
with the public purse.  They have always given attention to the
representations of the ratepayers, but have not often suffered themselves
to be turned aside from what was a plainly desirable, or necessary,
object, by false considerations of economy, and have generally taken an
enlarged view of the question before them.  A most vigilant check has
been kept upon the details of the county expenditure, and a laudable
desire to lessen the general burden always been manifestly apparent.  And
they have, of course, been free from those changes which representative
bodies from limited constituencies are ever and anon pretty sure to
undergo, when the fickleness of public favour—some party cry, or
prejudice, or the efforts of individuals striving for place and
power—suddenly dispossess old and tried men from the offices for which
they may be eminently suited, in order to make way for unqualified
busybodies, whom the passing commotion may have brought into
notice—“Straws,” as Junius said of Wilks, “on the surface of the
torrent.”  And while such commotion lasts, brief as it may be, mischief
is often done which years are required to set straight again.

The Worcestershire Bench has, of late years, been singularly fortunate in
its chairmen.  It is only another mark of their anxiety to conduct their
business on the soundest principles, that they have not suffered party
considerations to sway them in the choice of the person upon whose
discretion and judgment so much will always depend.  The services of the
Right Hon. Baronet who now fills the chair at Quarter Sessions have often
been acknowledged, and are fully appreciated both by his fellow
magistrates, and the body of the county at large.

With regard to the administration of the criminal code which now devolves
to so great an extent upon courts of Quarter Sessions, each year’s
experience adds its proof that the substantial ends of justice are as
well attained there—and if the commonly received maxim, _Judex damnatur
cum nocens absolvitur_, be accepted as the test—even better attained,
than in any other criminal court in the kingdom.

In the very commencement of the present century, the county magistracy
were occupied with a matter as important—at least, if the question of
expense be taken as the criterion of importance—as any that has been the
subject of their deliberations at more recent periods.  It was the
rebuilding of the county prison.  The county gaol formerly stood on what
is now known as Castle Hill, near to Edgar’s Tower, in the city of
Worcester.  It was extremely insecure; several prisoners had escaped from
it, and the complaints of its absolute insufficiency for the purposes it
was intended to answer, were many and frequent. {90}  The county
magistrates had at length come to a determination to build a new gaol on
a different site; but this was no sooner known than a violent opposition
was raised on the score of the cost, and few matters seem to have created
so much general alarm and excitement throughout the agricultural
districts as this proposal.  In April, 1802, a meeting of landowners and
others paying county rates was convened at the Guildhall, Worcester, at
which the High Sheriff, Mr. Newnham, presided.  There it was resolved,
that the erection of a new prison would be accompanied with great and
unnecessary expense, and that the existing gaol might be sufficiently
enlarged and repaired, at a moderate cost.  The magistrates still
appearing determined to proceed, parish after parish protested against
any such step being taken, and these protests signed by most of the
influential tenant farmers, were published time by time, occupying many
columns of the then diminutive Worcester newspapers.  W. Welch, Esq.,
Chairman of Quarter Sessions, in order to correct the misrepresentations
which were abroad on the subject, replied to these protests by a public
letter, in which he stated that the cost of a new gaol would only be
£19,000, and that properly to repair the old one would cost £13,000; that
the grand jury had so often presented the gaol, that something was
absolutely necessary to be done; and that the burden on individual
ratepayers would not be anything like what was represented.  Mr. R.
Hudson of Wick, on the other hand, challenged the magistrates to meet him
at the Crown Inn, Worcester, when he would prove to them that the
proceedings lately taken in the erection of a new prison had been
irregular, and could not be supported.

At the Midsummer Quarter Sessions in that year, Mr. Welch, in his charge
to the grand jury, recapitulated the causes which had compelled the
magistrates to determine on a new gaol, and in proof of their desire to
study the general interest of the ratepayers, stated that, since he had
occupied the chair, the county accounts, which had formerly been in great
confusion, had been methodised and arranged, a saving had been effected
in the expenditure of the gaol of some hundreds a year, and a
considerable annual allowance from the exchequer, hitherto considered as
a perquisite of the Under Sheriff’s, proved to be due to the county, and
in future would be paid into the general fund.

Yet so strong was the feeling against the new building that the
magistrates were compelled for awhile to abandon the project, and it was
not till the escape of more prisoners caused the Lord Chief Baron
Macdonald, at the Summer Assizes in 1807, to warn the county grand jury
that, if the gaol were not altered or rebuilt, the county would be
attached with a heavy fine for neglecting so essential a part of its
duty, that any further steps were taken in the matter.  At the Midsummer
Sessions, 1808, the magistrates determined, without delay, to build a new
gaol, as they believed that the old one admitted of no sufficient
alteration.  The expense was estimated at £18,000, and the site in Salt
Lane was fixed upon.  The bench published a minute statement of the
number and amount of rates this expenditure would render necessary.

A great deal of excitement and uneasiness, however, was found still to
prevail upon the subject, and it was especially said to be unnecessary to
change the site; so at the Epiphany Sessions, 1809, the matter was again
taken into consideration, and the bench adhered to their former
determination, referring, however, the question of site to a committee.
Mr. Welch, the chairman, about this time received an anonymous letter,
threatening his life, “if he interfered any further respecting a new

At an adjourned sessions, held in February, 1809, the magistrates finally
determined on the land in Salt Lane as the site for the new gaol, and
adopted the plan of a Mr. Sandys.  They published the reasons for their
decision at length, the principal being, that the nature of the ground
upon which the old prison stood would not admit of their obtaining a good
foundation for the extensive buildings contemplated.

The new prison was, after this, vigorously proceeded with, and at the
Epiphany Sessions, 1813, the chairman announced that the new gaol was
completed, and in spite of much difficulty about the foundations, &c.,
the cost was within the estimate.  The grand jury having inspected it,
declared their entire approbation of the works, and thanked the
magistrates for their attention to the interests of the county.

1810—A Special County Sessions was held in July this year, to take into
consideration the report of a committee appointed to investigate charges
of peculation brought against Mr. Welch, the chairman, by Mr. Johnson, a
fellow magistrate.  The matter arose out of Mr. Welch receiving what were
called “justice wages,” and paying thereout for the dinners of the
magistrates at the Hoppole.  Mr. Johnson declared that he had a balance
in hand, on account of this fund, of £65, which, but for his discovery,
Mr. Welch would have appropriated.  The committee, however, reported that
the charge was “wholly unjustifiable and unfounded,” and a vote of thanks
to Mr. Welch, “for his uniform, upright, and independent conduct,” was
thereupon passed unanimously.  Long replies and rejoinders, from Mr.
Johnson and Mr. Welch, afterwards appeared in the public prints.

1810—AUGUST 28—In consequence of Mr. Johnson’s reiteration of the charge,
another Special Sessions was held this day, not very numerously attended,
at which a general resolution of confidence in Mr. Welch was passed, but
not unanimously; indeed a more strongly worded motion had been negatived;
and William Smith, Esq., gave notice of a motion, at the next sessions,
for the removal of Mr. Welch from the chair.  This, however, was

1817—At the Easter Quarter Sessions, William Welch, Esq., resigned the
chair in consequence of ill health, after having held it for nearly
twenty years.  Earl Beauchamp moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Welch for the
services which he had rendered to the county, which was seconded by Lord
Deerhurst, and carried unanimously.  The Right Hon. Earl Beauchamp was
then chosen chairman in his stead.

1819—The magistrates at the Michaelmas Sessions publish a declaration in
the Worcester newspapers, of their abhorrence of the blasphemous and
seditious sentiments then openly disseminated in society—of their
attachment to the throne—and of their full unanimous and unequivocal
determination to support the tried and invaluable constitution.  The
grand jury do the same.  [This was just after the trial of Carlile for
republishing Paine’s _Age of Reason_, and in the midst of the excitement
attendant on the Peterloo Massacre.]

At the same Sessions, Edmund Meysey Wigley, Esq., was chosen chairman, in
the room of Earl Beauchamp, who had expressed a wish to relinquish the
office.  The noble Earl, however, afterwards resumed its duties.

1823—At the Midsummer Sessions, Benjamin Johnson, Esq., was temporarily
elected to the chair, now vacant by the decease of Earl Beauchamp.

At the Michaelmas Sessions following, Henry Wakeman, Esq., of Perdiswell,
was unanimously chosen to the chair, on the motion of Lord Deerhurst,
seconded by Richard Spooner, Esq.

1824—At the Epiphany Sessions, Mr. Wakeman declined the proffered honour
of the chair, as his health would not permit him to discharge its duties,
and proposed Lord Plymouth.  This was seconded by Sir Thomas Winnington,
and his lordship was thereupon elected.

1824—At the Easter Sessions, it was determined, after a warm discussion
and division, to erect a treadmill in the county gaol.  Thirteen
magistrates said “aye,” and ten “no.”

1826—At the Epiphany Sessions, the Rev. Reginald Pyndar introduced the
subject of a “Worcestershire Friendly Society,” and the formation of such
a society being highly approved of by the magistrates, a meeting was held
the next day in the Guildhall, with John Dent, Esq., Mayor, in the chair,
and the rules and tables proposed by Mr. Pyndar adopted as the basis of
an association for the benefit of the industrious and provident poor of
the county.

The society thus formed has continued to thrive and flourish to the
present day, and has been productive of many direct and indirect benefits
to a large number of the poorer class; helping them to a knowledge of the
advantages of frugality—affording them a safe and profitable investment
for their surplus earnings—enabling them to escape from the temptations
of the public house, where the village club would have required their
attendance—and saving them from the distress and misery that overtake the
members of so many benefit societies constructed upon false principles,
or upon no principles at all.  The society at present numbers 1,899
members, of whom one-third are females, and it has a very large reserve
fund.  Great part of its successful working and prosperity are
attributable to the fostering care and interest of the Rev. Thomas
Pearson.  The following is a statement of the pecuniary affairs of the
institution, from its formation to the present time, which has been
compiled by its efficient secretary, Mr. Thomas Holloway.

                           RECEIPTS.                                           PAYMENTS.
                                          _£_.     _s._   _d._                   _£_.     _s._   _d._
Honorary Subscriptions and                  1,631      1      6  Sick Pay          4,994      8      9
Payments by the Members                    16,798     16      6  Death               872      0      0
Interest                                    3,082      7      8  Endowments        2,007      0      6
                                                                 Annuities           155     18      0
                                                                 in Old Age
                                                                 Management        5,287      4      2
                                                                 Rent, &c.
                                                                       Total      13,316     10     11
                                                                    Balance,       8,195     13      9
                       Total Receipts     £21,512      4      8                  £21,512      4      8

1827—At the Easter Sessions, the Worcestershire and Staffordshire Canal
Company appealed against the sum at which they were rated for their docks
and basins at Stourport, by the parish of Lower Mitton.  It was stated in
the course of the proceedings, that the tonnage of the canal for the year
ending Michaelmas, 1826, was £32,838.  The officers of Lower Mitton had
taken the whole value of the basins as rateable there, but the court
decided that they must only charge for acreage, computing the basins as
they would other portions of the canal.

1829—JANUARY 14—At the Epiphany Quarter Sessions, the Earl of Plymouth
resigned the chairmanship; and on the motion of Major Bund, seconded by
the Earl of Beauchamp, Sir C. S. Smith, Bart., was elected in his stead.

At these Sessions, the magistrates of Droitwich denied the authority of
the county magistrates to appoint visitors to the Asylum for Pauper
Lunatics kept by the Messrs. Ricketts in the borough, and on the matter
being referred to the law officers of the crown, it was decided by them
that the act passed in the previous session of Parliament vested the
appointment of visitors in the magistracy of the borough in which the
asylum was situate.  Major Bund gave notice of a motion thereupon, to
consider the propriety of building a County Lunatic Asylum.

1829—At the Michaelmas Sessions, the magistrates altered the divisions of
the county for Petty Sessional purposes, forming them into eight
districts, to be called “The Upton, Pershore, Hundred House, Worcester,
Kidderminster, Droitwich, Northfield, and Blockley Divisions.”

1829—An adjourned Sessions was held in November, to consider the
propriety of erecting County Courts, the inconvenience of the City Hall
having been commented on at every Sessions and Assizes which had taken
place for some years past.  A case had been laid before Mr. Sergeant
Russell, to have his opinion as to whether the magistrates could legally
spend money on the enlargement and improvement of courts belonging to the
city, and he had replied that they could not; and that if they wanted a
Shire Hall of their own, they must obtain a special Act of Parliament for
it.  The Rev. Mr. Pearson, after reporting the failure of all attempts at
negociation with the Worcester Corporation, moved “that it was necessary
to erect new courts and suitable lodgings for the judges, and that the
magistrates should take the necessary steps for obtaining an Act of
Parliament for that purpose.”  This resolution was seconded by Colonel
Bromley.  Earl Somers moved an adjournment of the question, on the ground
that in the then depressed state of the country the expense ought not to
be incurred.  This was seconded by Osman Ricardo, Esq.  An adjournment
“to the next Epiphany Sessions” was carried; but Lord Foley then moved,
“That it is the opinion of this court that the present courts and judges’
lodgings are totally insufficient.”  This was seconded by R. Spooner,
Esq.; and Colonel Davies opposed it, because he thought that the
agitation of the subject was ill-timed.  Lord Foley’s motion was
ultimately carried by 20 to 17.  A committee was then appointed to have
another conference with the City Corporation.

Nine Catholic noblemen and gentlemen were now for the first time inserted
in the Commission of the Peace for this county—viz., the Earl of
Shrewsbury, Viscount Southwell, Sir E. Blount, Sir C. Throckmorton, R.
Berkeley, Esq., W. Wakeman, Esq., T. C. Hornyold, Esq., C. E. Hanford,
Esq., and W. Acton, Esq.

1830—At the Epiphany Sessions, the question of new courts was again
discussed.  The committee reported that they found the Guildhall,
Worcester, erected in 1721, belonged exclusively to the city.  The Rev.
T. Pearson again moved that an Act of Parliament should be applied for,
with a view to the erection of a Shire Hall; and this was seconded by the
Rev. George Turberville.  Major General Marriott moved as an amendment,
that the Deputy Clerk of the Peace should be instructed to lay a
presentment of the present courts before the grand jury at the next
assizes.  James Taylor, Esq., seconded this.  Lord Deerhurst then moved a
resolution, declaring that the county, in the present depressed condition
of all classes, would rather submit to the inconvenience of the present
courts than incur the expense of new ones, which was seconded by Dr. B.
Cooper.  Lord Deerhurst’s amendment was negatived by 31 to 25, and
General Marriott’s without a division.  Earl Somers then moved the
appointment of a committee to ascertain the practicability of so altering
the present courts as to make them sufficiently convenient.  This was
seconded by John Williams, Esq., but rejected by 31 to 24, and Mr.
Pearson’s original motion was then carried.

1830—NOVEMBER 29—The general state of the county caused Viscount
Deerhurst to summon the magistrates to a meeting, at which the following
resolution was passed:

“That the general peaceable state of the county of Worcester affords a
subject of great congratulation.  The magistrates, however, viewing with
the utmost abhorrence the atrocious acts of violence which have taken
place in other counties, feel it their duty to declare that they have
made such arrangements as, by giving full effect to the existing laws,
are best calculated to prevent the occurrence of similar calamities in
this county.”

1831—At the Epiphany Sessions, the subject of new courts was resumed.
Several plans for the enlargement of the Guildhall were laid before the
magistrates, but the court adopted a resolution proposed by the Earl of
Plymouth, without a division.  It ran thus: “That the consideration of
the question, relative to the alteration of the courts of justice, be
adjourned _sine die_, it being found inexpedient to enlarge the
Guildhall; but that a bill authorising the magistrates to build new
courts, at a future period, be drawn up.”

1831—At the Easter Sessions, J. H. H. Foley, Esq., M.P., and Lord
Lyttelton, urged the necessity of building a gaol at Stourbridge, but the
proposition was negatived by 27 to 14.  Petitions against the bill for
legalising the sale of beer to be drunk on the premises in beer houses,
were agreed to at the instance of Dr. Beale Cooper.

1831—At the Midsummer Sessions, it was resolved that the new courts
should be erected at the back of the gaol, and that the expense should
not exceed £25,000.  The bill had been brought in by the county members,
and read a first time the Friday before.

1832—At the Epiphany Sessions, Dr. Beale Cooper proposed the enlargement
of the gaol, which was referred to a committee.  The Rev. Thomas Pearson
proposed that plans should be immediately selected for new county courts
adjoining the gaol.  The Rev. George Turberville proposed that the matter
should be further delayed till the next September, and Mr. Pearson’s
motion was carried by 24 to 8.

A vote of thanks was passed to Earl Plymouth and the Yeomanry, for their
promptitude and firmness in quelling riots in the county.

1832—At the Midsummer Sessions, the order which had been made at a
previous sessions to build the new county courts on land adjoining the
gaol, was rescinded, on the motion of the Rev. George Turberville,
seconded by Mr. Pakington, by a large majority, and the committee were
directed to look out for another site.

At these Sessions was discussed a matter which excited great interest
amongst the legal profession, viz., the allowance of fees to attorneys,
who for some two or three sessions had only been paid £1. 1s. for brief
and attendance, instead of £2. 14s. 4d., as formerly.  The solicitors
were heard by counsel, and the former payment was restored.

1832—At the Michaelmas Sessions, a new valuation of the county parishes
was read by General Marriott.  The land assessable was valued at
£741,854—the old valuation had been £750,250; so that the land had
decreased in value about 3d. in the pound, or 1¼ per cent.

The question of erecting county courts again came under consideration—the
present site in Foregate Street, and one in Pierpoint Street, both being
proposed, and the former was adopted by a majority of 30 to 14.  Premiums
were offered for the three best plans.

1833—At the Epiphany Sessions, the court proceeded to the appointment of
a chaplain to the county gaol, the office being now vacant by the
resignation of the Rev. J. Hadley.  A resolution was first proposed by
Major Bund, and carried by a large majority, “That a beneficed clergyman
ought not to be appointed chaplain to the gaol.”  Votes were given for
eight candidates, but the contest lay between the Rev. J. Adlington, who
received 22 votes, and the Rev. W. Dunn, who had 14.

1833—At the Easter Sessions, it was resolved, upon the motion of the Rev.
Thomas Pearson, that “henceforth this court should be an open one.”

The county was called upon to pay £759. 17s. for special constables
employed by the Sheriff to keep the peace at the last election.

Three plans were laid before the court, by the committee, for the new
county courts, viz., one by Mr. Charles Day, Worcester; Mr. Mead, London;
and Mr. Habershon, London.  Previous to deciding upon them, General
Mariott moved that the erection of the courts should be postponed till
the enlargement of the gaol should be completed, in order that two such
serious expenses might not be pressing on the county at the same time.  A
number of letters from different parishes had been received by the
chairman, remonstrating against new courts, but General Mariott’s motion
was lost by 30 to 10.  The three plans were then submitted to the court
for choice, and the Rev. Mr. Pearson regretted that one from a Mr.
Haycock, which he thought undoubtedly the best, was not amongst them.
Mr. Mead’s was recommended by the committee as the best, but fifteen
magistrates voted for Mr. Day’s, and only three for each of the others.
Many magistrates refused to vote; and the general feeling of the public
at the time was, that the advantage of the county, and the embellishment
of the city, had been sacrificed to personal interest created by a
canvass.  A committee was appointed, with the Rev. Thomas Pearson as its
chairman, to carry the plan thus chosen into execution.

1834—At the Epiphany County Sessions, the salary of the county treasurer
(Sir A. Lechmere) was reduced from £100 to £60—because it was higher than
that paid by adjoining counties, and farmers were in distress—by a
majority of 39 to 20.  Various reductions were also made in the fees of
the clerk of the peace.

1834—At the Easter Quarter Sessions, Sir C. S. Smith, Bart., resigned the
chairmanship—the calamity which he had recently sustained, in the loss of
his lady, inducing him to retire altogether from public life.  The Rev.
George Turberville immediately moved the following resolution:

“That the court is fully sensible of, and grateful for, the valuable
services of their late chairman, Sir C. S. Smith, Bart., and deeply
regrets that he feels himself unable to continue those services for the
benefit of the county.”

This was seconded by John Williams, Esq., and carried unanimously.

1834—At the Midsummer Sessions there was a very full attendance of
magistrates, and the Rev. George Turberville was requested to preside as
senior.  The first business was to elect a chairman, in the room of Sir
C. S. Smith, Bart., resigned; and on the motion of the Rev. president,
seconded by James Taylor, Esq., John Somerset Pakington, Esq., was
unanimously elected to the office which he has ever since filled with so
much ability and advantage to the county.

1835—At the Midsummer Sessions the magistrates agreed to a petition to
Parliament against the Bill for permitting counsel for a prisoner in all
cases to address the jury—a privilege hitherto confined to cases of
misdemeanour.  Mr. Temple, General Marriott, and Mr. Hanford were the
only dissentients.  The measure, it was said, would tend to defeat the
ends of justice by the frequent acquittal of guilty persons, and to bring
juries into discredit by inclining them to found their verdicts rather on
the arguments of counsel than upon the facts.

1836—MAY 9—A Special Sessions held, Dr. Beale Cooper in the chair, to
consider what was to be done about the New County Courts and Judges’
Lodgings, as the magistrates had expended the £25,000 they were empowered
to raise by the first act.  After a long discussion, it was unanimously
determined to apply for a fresh act immediately, enabling them to raise
£7,000 more.  [Parliament refused to depart from its standing orders, and
so the bill could not be introduced that session.]

1836—At the Michaelmas Sessions the Prisoners’ Counsel Act was first
brought into operation; and it is strange how unanimously an
arrangement—now admitted on all hands to be a good one—was condemned and
found fault with.

1837—The Midsummer Sessions were held in the New Courts, though these
were as yet scarcely completed.

1838—MAY 10—A Special County Sessions, to consider the Bill then before
Parliament for Amending the Constitution of County Courts and Courts of
Quarter Sessions—which proposed to compel the holding of eight sessions
in the year, and the holding of courts in various parts of the county; it
gave the magistrates the option of having a barrister as a salaried
chairman; and proposed alterations in “county courts,” to enable them to
be used for the easy recovery of small debts.  Mr. Pakington moved a
petition against the measure, which Mr. Holland objected to—it was,
however, carried by a majority of 23 to 8.

1838—At the Midsummer Sessions the New Shire Hall and Judges’ Lodgings
were reported as complete; and a vote of thanks was passed to the Rev.
Thomas Pearson for his able and useful exertions as chairman of the
building committee for the past five years.  The salary of the chaplain
was increased to £250 per annum.  The court refused to insert the county
advertisements either in the _Kidderminster Messenger_ or the
_Worcestershire Chronicle_.

1839—The Epiphany Sessions adjourned to the 14th of January, and
afterwards given up entirely, because no clerk of the peace had been
appointed since the death of Mr. Blayney—Lord Foley, the Lord Lieutenant,
being out of the country.

1839—FEBRUARY 5—A General Sessions of the Peace held in lieu of the
Epiphany Sessions, which had been given up.  The court petition for a
change of law as regards beer houses.  The enlargement of the County
Gaol, at an expense of £2,100, agreed upon, to obtain sixty additional

1839—At the Easter Sessions the court unanimously agreed to a resolution
which the chairman proposed, condemning the existing system of parish
constables as insufficient for the detection and punishment of criminals,
and promising consideration to any measure the Government might introduce
for establishing a rural constabulary.  The court again petitioned
against the District Courts’ Bill; Mr. Hanford alone dissenting.

1839—At the Michaelmas Sessions the important subject of establishing a
rural police was brought forward by Mr. Pakington, according to previous
notice.  He entered into the whole subject with great ability; pointing
out the great increase of crime in the rural districts, as rendering such
a measure absolutely necessary, and ended by moving that “it was
expedient forthwith to take measures for the adoption in this county of
the act for the establishment of county district constables.”  After a
short discussion the motion was carried with only two dissentients—Dr.
Cooper and Rev. Mr. Cartwright.  Mr. Pakington proposed that a chief
constable and twelve sergeants should be the only appointments under the
act at present, because it would be desirable to bring it into operation
by degrees.  To this Mr. Hanford moved as an amendment, that there should
be a chief constable, ten sergeants, and thirty men under them; and this
was carried over the original motion by 20 to 18.  The salary of the
chief constable was fixed at £250 a year; and the Metropolitan
Commissioners of Police were requested to nominate a suitable person.
The court then adjourned till the 4th November, to receive and consider
the rules drawn up by the Secretary of State.

1839—NOVEMBER 4—At the Adjourned Sessions, Mr. Pakington stated that the
Government refused to allow the Commissioners of Police to nominate a
chief constable, and expressed his great regret that this should be the
case, as he thought the magistrates quite incompetent to select a
suitable person.  He proposed, therefore, that the court should adjourn
to the 2nd December, then to consider all applications which might be
made for the office, and proceed to the election.  Dr. Beale Cooper moved
that the further consideration of the plan for forming a constabulary
force for the county of Worcester be postponed till the next Easter
Quarter Sessions.  He maintained that the thing was altogether in a crude
state—had not had sufficient examination—that it was a departure from the
spirit of the British constitution—and that their present constables were
sufficiently on the alert, for since the year 1806 the commitments had
increased from 51 to 427—the number in the previous year.  William Acton,
Esq., seconded the amendment, because he thought the act would probably
be altered next session, and because he objected to the expense coming
wholly out of the county rates.  General Marriott, James Taylor, Esq.,
and Richard Spooner, Esq., spoke in favour of the motion; and the Rev.
Mr. Cartwright for the amendment.  Lord Lyttelton thought they were
forced to adopt a rural police, because Birmingham and Gloucestershire
had got a new force, and the chairman said that they should lose public
confidence if a comparatively small bench of magistrates reversed that
which had been done a month before by a much larger one.  On a division,
Mr. Pakington’s motion was carried by 24 to 9.  A letter was agreed to,
to be sent to the Secretary of State, complaining of the determination
Government had come to in the matter of the chief constable.  The rules
sent down by the Secretary of State for the guidance of the force were
agreed to.

1839—DECEMBER 2—Mr. R. R. Harris, an inspector of London Police, elected
chief constable.  He had been recommended by the police committee out of
32 applicants, and was chosen by a majority of 21 to 13 votes given for
Captain Scargill, who was proposed by the Earl of Coventry.  It was
determined that the pay of the sergeants should be £80 a year.

1840—OCTOBER 29—At the Michaelmas Sessions the magistrates became
embroiled in a dispute with Mr. W. S. P. Hughes, one of the county
coroners, arising out of a complaint made by the constable of Rock, who
accused Mr. Hughes of “extorting” a fee of a shilling from him illegally.
The fee was “for the crier of the court,” which the coroners in this
county had always been in the habit of requiring, but after the passing
of the act, 1 and 2 Victoria, certainly could not be sustained; and this
Mr. Hughes admitted in a letter to the committee of magistrates which had
been appointed to take the matter into consideration.  This, however, the
committee said came too late; as Mr. Hughes had been repeatedly warned
that the fee was illegal, and they considered that he had rendered
himself liable to a prosecution “for extortion and misconduct in his
office,” or might be removed from the coronership altogether by a
petition to the Lord Chancellor.  Mr. Hughes applied to be heard against
the report, by counsel, but this the court refused by a majority of 33 to
7.  Mr. Hughes then protested against the proceedings of the committee as
_ex parte_, and their report as showing an animus against him wholly
unwarranted and improper.  Mr. Charles Best, coroner, deposed that he and
his predecessors in office had always been in the habit of requiring this
shilling.  After a discussion, the Rev. Thomas Pearson moved the adoption
of the report, and that the chairman should inform Mr. Hughes that his
charge was illegal, and admonish him accordingly.  This was carried, and
the chairman “admonished” Mr. Hughes, who immediately said—“I do not
consider you have any power to admonish me.  I, as coroner of this
county, am an officer far superior to the magistrates of this court; and
I take leave to tell them that they by no means adopt a proper course
when they take upon themselves to admonish a superior officer of the

1841—JANUARY 4—Mr. Helm unanimously appointed county solicitor.  The
Quarter Sessions advertisements ordered to be inserted in the
_Worcestershire Chronicle_, but not in the _Kidderminster Messenger_.

1841—APRIL 5—At the Easter Sessions, a new assessment of the county by
surveyors was ordered, on which to base the county rate, and £500 placed
at the disposal of a committee to obtain it.

1842—JANUARY 3—At the Epiphany Sessions, the court agreed to memorialise
the Government to pay the cost of the rural police.  Memorials from five
parishes were presented, complaining of the expense of the police, and
declaring that the county rates were nearly doubled by them.

1842—JUNE 27—At the Midsummer Sessions, Dr. Beale Cooper brought forward
a motion for the abolition of the rural police, which he said was
unconstitutional, and had proved to be utterly inefficient.  Colonel Bund
seconded the motion.  The chairman disposed of Dr. Cooper’s charge of
inefficiency in a few words, and regretted that the establishment of a
police was not made compulsory on all counties.  Dr. Cooper then withdrew
his motion.

1842—At the Michaelmas Sessions, Dr. Cooper moved that the county police
force be reduced to one sergeant for each Electoral Division, and two
constables for each Petty Sessional Division; to which the chairman moved
as an amendment, that the question of the propriety of a reduction be
referred to the police committee, and this was carried without a

1843—JANUARY 2—At the Epiphany Sessions, the subject of the rural police
was again discussed at great length on the presentation of a special
report by the police committee, declaring that the force ought not to be
reduced.  Mr. Onslow wanted to prevent the reception of the report, but
the chairman would not consent to that course, and Mr. Onslow at last was
induced to withdraw the resolutions he had intended to propose upon the
subject; but a committee was formed to inquire into the provisions of the
Parochial Constables’ Act.

Mr. Ellins’s case was brought before the court at these Sessions by
Richard Spooner, Esq., who moved for a committee of inquiry into the
facts under which Mr. Ricketts had been libelled in the _Worcestershire
Chronicle_, as it was alleged that Mr. Ellins had supplied the
information on which the libel was founded.  Colonel Bund seconded the
motion.  Mr. Hanford opposed it, because they would be stepping out of
their jurisdiction; and the chairman could not tell what was to be the
course or purpose of such a committee.  The committee was determined on
by 34 to 10, and the chairman, Mr. Hanford, Mr. Spooner, Rev. T. Pearson,
Mr. Skey, Hon. W. C. Talbot, and Mr. Temple, were placed upon it.  Mr.
Ellins’s application to be heard before it by attorney, was agreed to.

The chairman at these Sessions addressed a most valuable statement to the
grand jury on the county expenditure, and the causes of the increase in
the number and cost of criminal prosecutions.

1843—At the Easter Sessions the committee appointed in Mr. Ellins’s case
were about to bring forward their report, when Mr. R. Scott and Mr. R. M.
Mence moved that it should not be read, as the matter was one altogether
out of the jurisdiction of the court, and with which they had no right to
deal.  On a division, 20 hands were held up for its being read, to 9
against it.  The report was then read, and stated the committee to be of
opinion that “Mr. Ellins was the moving party to the publication in the
_Worcestershire Chronicle_, of a most gross and unfounded libel, imputing
corruption and jobbing to W. H. Ricketts, Esq., in the execution of his
duty as a magistrate and member of the police committee, in carrying into
effect the orders of the court.”  Mr. Hanford and the Rev. Thomas
Pearson, as members of the committee, declared that though they believed
Mr. Ellins to be a party to the libel, they did not believe him to be the
sole party, as the report seemed to convey.  Mr. Scott moved that the
report be rejected.  The court had no right to take any judicial notice
of the acts or character of any of its individual members; and nothing
could be more dangerous than for a judicial body to exceed its
jurisdiction.  Mr. Scott condemned Mr. Spooner for bringing this matter
forward at the previous Sessions without notice.  Mr. Benson also spoke
against the reception of the report.  The chairman had always had doubts
as to the propriety of their moving in the matter, but thought it
discourteous to the committee to reject the report, and it was received
by a majority of 28 to 11.  On the question of transmitting it to the
Lord Lieutenant, there was another division, 20 voting for that course
and 11 against it.

1843—At the Midsummer Sessions, Lord Lyttelton addressed a letter to the
court, enclosing one from the Lord Chancellor, with his opinion that the
proceedings of the magistrates in Mr. Ellins’s case had been very
irregular.  Lord Lyttelton trusted the magistrates would feel it their
“duty carefully to avoid any similar proceedings for the future;” and he
requested that his letter might be entered upon the records of the court.
Mr. Spooner thought they had a perfect right to do as they had done, and
moved that the letter be not entered on the records.  The chairman said
he had always considered their proceedings irregular, but thought Lord
Lyttelton’s “lecture” might just as well have been left alone.  The
consideration of the letter was at last postponed till the next Sessions.

Mr. Simcox Lea at great length entered into the subject of the rural
police, and moved, as a resolution, that their benefit had not been
equivalent to their cost.  He wanted the Bench to adopt the plan of paid
parish constables in their stead, and insisted particularly on the
inefficiency of the chief constable.  Mr. Noel seconded the motion.  The
chairman made an able defence of the police, and adduced several
instances of their efficiency.  Mr. Scott would vote for the motion,
because the police were too few to be of much use.  Mr. Onslow complained
of the number of offences that were committed without detection ensuing.
Colonel Bund, the Rev. Thomas Pearson, Mr. Benson, and Colonel Clive,
spoke in favour of the police, and the motion was rejected by 34 to 13.

1843—At the Michaelmas Sessions the magistrates determined that the Lord
Lieutenant’s letter, in Mr. Ellins’s case, should not be placed upon the
records of the court.  Mr. Scott was the only magistrate who added
anything to the few words which were spoken from the chairman; and he
said the whole proceedings ought to be erased from the records, or the
Lord Lieutenant’s letter to be added as the conclusion.

1844—At the Easter Sessions, Lord Lyttelton read a paper _in re_ Mr.
Ellins’s case, declaring the magistrates’ proceedings in the matter to
have been altogether irregular, and suggesting that they ought to be
entirely struck out of the records of the court, or his own letter of
animadversion on them inserted.  As his lordship concluded with no
motion, the chairman would not permit any discussion, and the court
passed to the next business on the paper.

1844—At the Midsummer Sessions, Mr. Scott again brought this matter
forward, by moving that the letter of the Lord Chancellor to the Lord
Lieutenant should be entered on the minutes of the court.  This was
seconded by the Rev. John Pearson, but opposed by the chairman and
others, and at last rejected by 28 to 17.

1845—At the Easter Quarter Sessions, the police committee recommended
that Dudley, Shipston, and other districts, surrounded by other counties,
should be taken into this county for police purposes, and that, to this
end, the force should be increased by twenty men, including a
superintendent and two sergeants.  Mr. Merry moved that only twelve men
be added to the force, but this was negatived by 26 to 6, and the
original motion carried.  Mr. Hanford’s motion to do away with the carts
and horses kept by the rural police was negatived by 20 to 17.

1845—At the Midsummer Sessions, Mr. B. L. Stable was elected Governor of
the County Gaol, in the room of Mr. Lavender, who retired, and was voted
a pension of £149. 10s. per annum.

1847—At the Epiphany Sessions the court agreed to erect a Lunatic Asylum,
in connection with the city of Worcester, for the accommodation of 200
pauper lunatics.  The total number of such unfortunate beings in
Worcestershire was 284, but the court conceived that accommodation for
two-thirds would be quite sufficient; and on Dr. B. Cooper suggesting
that three-fourths should be provided for, the chairman begged the court
not to agree to providing for more than 200 in the first instance, as the
expense of these erections was so great.  A committee was formed for the
purpose of carrying the measure into effect.  The Hon. and Rev. W. W. C.
Talbot moved for a committee to consider the propriety of dividing the
county into districts for police purposes; but Mr. Curtler, from a very
carefully prepared table, showed that the police force and their expense
were very equitably distributed with regard to the value of the property
to be protected in the different districts of the county, and that the
agricultural portion were in no sense paying for the support of the
police of the manufacturing districts.  Mr. Talbot withdrew his motion.

1847—At the Easter Sessions the court, on the motion of the Rev. Thomas
Pearson and Mr. Curtler, unanimously agreed to petition in favour of the
Juvenile Offenders’ Bill, then introduced into Parliament by Sir John

1847—Easter Sessions—On the 19th of December, 1846, the county was
divided into three Coroners’ districts by an Order in Council; and at
these Sessions the magistrates assigned these districts to Mr. Docker,
Mr. Hughes, and Mr. Best.  Mr. Robinson still continues to act as coroner
for Dudley, but, at his death, Dudley will form district No. 6 in
Staffordshire.  Mr. Hughes, shortly after his district was assigned,
petitioned the Lords of the Treasury for compensation for loss of
emolument which he said he sustained by this arrangement, and they
awarded him £55 per annum.  He was paid two quarters by the county
authorities, but they then took an opinion as to the legality of his
claim, and this being adverse to Mr. Hughes, they refused to continue the
payments.  In Hilary Term, 1850, Mr. Hughes applied to the Court of
Queen’s Bench, and obtained a rule _nisi_ against the magistrates, to
compel them to show cause why the payment should not be continued—which,
however, was afterwards discharged, on the ground that as the county had
never been customarily divided into districts, Mr. Hughes could not show
a loss of any fees to which he was legally entitled.

1848—At the Midsummer Quarter Sessions the court agreed to erect
Stourport and neighbourhood into a separate Petty Sessional Division.
The Hundred House and Kidderminster magistrates opposed the motion, but
it was carried by 18 to 15.

1849—At the Michaelmas Sessions the committee of visitors appointed to
superintend the erection of the Lunatic Asylum reported that they had not
been able to obtain any tenders for executing the works required at the
sum estimated by the architect, chiefly because the lunacy commissioners
insisted on the whole building being made fireproof.  The total cost of
land and buildings would be about £32,000, other extras £3,044; and
fittings were not included even in this sum.  They had agreed with the
London Life Insurance Society for a loan of the money at four per cent.
The report was unanimously received.

1850—At the Michaelmas Sessions a report was read from a committee which
had been appointed to inquire into the county expenditure, and to
ascertain the feasibility of reduction.  The cost of prosecutions and
gaol expenses for the year 1849 was £8,993.  18s. 3d.; salaries, £2,661.
5s. 2d.; high constable’s cravings, £240; coroner’s cravings, £1,527. 0s.
10d.; clerk of the peace’s cravings, £745. 18s. 2d.; registration of
voters, £342. 11s. 8d.; bridges, £580.  14s. 5d.; lunatics, £193. 4s.
2d.; new weights and measures, £858. 3s. 10d.; sundries, £1,099; total,
£17,240. 13s. 2d.; police, £7,836.  6s. 9d.; Shire Hall, £1,696. 12s. 9d.
The committee reported that the only way in which a reduction could
possibly be effected was a reduction in the salaries of the general
officers and of the police, which they did not deem advisable, and would
rather recommend that Government should be memorialised to defray the
cost of the county police, gaol, &c., out of the consolidated fund.  The
report was adopted without any division.

At the dinner of the magistrates, at the Shire Hall, after the
transaction of the county business, the Rev. Thomas Pearson being in the
chair, a portrait of Sir John Pakington, Bart., the result of a
subscription amongst the magistrates, and which now hangs in the drawing
room at the County Courts, was inaugurated.

                                * * * * *

UPTON BRIDGE has been the _bête noir_ of the county magistrates all
through the half century.  Since 1810 scarcely a sessions has passed at
which it has not been mentioned, and it has given rise to lawsuits,
disputes, and embroilments without number.  In 1814–16, in 1829, and
again in 1847, the magistrates took proceedings against the feoffees of
Hall’s Charity—some lands left in 1570 for the repairs of Upton Church
and Bridge—to compel them to account or to contribute towards the repairs
of this bridge.  In 1817 the bridge was reported to be in very doubtful
plight, and the advice of Mr. Smirke, the eminent architect, was taken as
to the repairs which ought to be done; a considerable sum of money was
then laid out upon it.  At the Michaelmas Sessions, 1822, a bridge warden
was appointed, because much injury had been done to it by mooring vessels
to the parapets, and by taking away sand from the foundations.  In
1832–34 another considerable sum was spent in repairs; this time the
feoffees of Hall’s Charity being concurring parties.  In 1837 the parties
promoting the Severn Navigation Improvement offered the magistrates
£5,000 towards the expense of building a new bridge, but this was not
acceeded to; and in 1838 the bench resolved to procure the insertion of a
clause in the Severn Navigation Bill then before Parliament, to bear the
county harmless from any loss or damage which might arise to Upton bridge
from the improvements in the river; but no proceedings were necessary to
be taken under that resolution, because the bill was thrown out.  In
1842, £121 were expended in repairs, to keep the bridge from falling.
The magistrates would not do more than was absolutely necessary, because
they did not know how the operations of the Severn Commissioners might
affect it.  At the Midsummer Sessions, 1845, a committee was appointed to
confer with the commissioners about the state of the bridge.  At the
Epiphany Sessions, 1846, the county surveyors recommended that £1,260
should be immediately spent on the bridge; and the magistrates at the
same Sessions declared themselves “neutral” as to the bill then
introduced by the Severn Commissioners.  This bill took power to alter
the bridge by the introduction of a swivel.  At the Epiphany Sessions,
1847, Mr. Curtler read an elaborate report, in explanation of the
liability of the feoffees of Hall’s Charity to aid in the repairs of the
bridge; in consequence of which proceedings were taken, and in 1849 the
matter was referred to a Master in Chancery.  It was not finally settled
till 1851, when Lord Langdale, Master of the Rolls, ordered the feoffees
thenceforth to divide the receipts into three parts—the first for the
church, the second for the repairs of the bridge, and the third for the
general good of the town.  At the Michaelmas Sessions, 1847, another
committee was appointed to inquire into the state of the bridge, and to
confer with the Severn Navigation Commissioners; but at the next Epiphany
Sessions, Mr. Curtler, by a majority of 19 to 8, carried a proposition to
seek to obtain a clause in the Commissioners’ Bill then before
Parliament, to limit their power over the bridge to three years: the
bill, however, was thrown out on second reading.  The rest of the year
was consumed in an attempt to get from Mr. Walker, C.E., a report on the
state of the bridge, and in conferences with the Commissioners.  At the
Easter Sessions, 1849, Mr. Walker’s report was read, which recommended
that the bridge should entirely be rebuilt; and a motion to that effect,
made by the chairman, was carried almost unanimously.  It is needless now
to say, that nothing further was done in the matter but to talk about it
at each succeeding Sessions, till the bridge concluded its own history by
falling down during a high flood which occurred in February, 1851.  It
was built in 1605; and there can be no doubt that four of the original
arches remained just as they had been first erected, until the day when
they tumbled down of sheer old age.


THE following are brief notes of some of the more interesting trials, as
well civil as criminal, which have occupied the attention of the Courts
of Assize, or Quarter Sessions, in this county, during the present

The KING _v._ WADDINGTON—In the summer of 1800 a criminal information was
filed against S. F. Waddington, Esq., an eminent hop merchant residing in
London, “for monopolising practices in the purchase of hops” in this
county.  The rule having been made absolute, the case came on for trial
at the Worcestershire Summer Assizes, in that year, before Sir Simon Le
Blanc and a special jury, at Nisi Prius.  Mr. Plumer, principal counsel
for prosecution, stated the offence to be—enhancing the price of hops by
spreading rumours of scarcity among the planters, advising them not to
sell, and by engrossing a large quantity of that commodity.  Mr.
Waddington was described as having invited the planters to a dinner, and
given them as a toast, “Hops, £20 a cwt;” telling them that they had
never had a large enough price, begging them to hold back, and promising
to buy himself at an increased rate, rather than they should be
distressed for money.  Such was the enthusiasm created by his speech,
that one gentleman got up afterwards and proposed, “Mr. Waddington, the
saviour of the country.”  He afterwards did buy great quantities of hops
in Worcester market, at prices varying from 10s. to 40s. above those
current prior to his appearance.  The counsel characterised this
forestalling as a “crime of deepest dye;” and “long, very long, had the
people of this country borne with the most exemplary fortitude this
greatest of all public evils.”  Mr. Dauncey, Mr. Waddington’s counsel,
insisted that his client had only acted as other factors were in the
habit of doing, and if he were punished, the private enterprise of the
country would receive a most grievous check and injury.  He said the
offence of “engrossing” was a most undefinable one, and not cognizable by
the common law.  The learned judge admitted this was a moot point, but
remarked on the enormity of the offence, and told the jury they had only
to say whether or no the evidence made out to them the fact of Mr.
Waddington’s having done that which the indictment set forth.  The jury,
after this charge, immediately returned a verdict of “guilty.”  On the
24th of November, Mr. Waddington was brought up for judgment in King’s
Bench.  Mr. Law moved in arrest of judgment, arguing that engrossing was
no longer an offence at common law.  Hops, too, were not “victuals.”  Mr.
Waddington, speaking in his own defence, arraigned the whole proceedings
as altogether incompatible with the right of the individual to use his
capital in trade as he pleased.  Mr. Erskine, in support of judgment,
said that hops being a commodity so easily engrossed, required to be
strictly regulated: the practice of engrossing was innocent neither in
the eyes of man nor God.  Lord Kenyon, though not giving judgment, spoke
at length on the matter.  Hops were as much a “victual” as salt, both
being used for the preservation of victuals; and he was old enough to
recollect an application being made to that court for an information for
a conspiracy to raise the price of salt at Droitwich.  Mr. Waddington was
remanded to prison till the last day of term.  The judges then declared
themselves of opinion that there ought to be no new trial, and that there
was no defence.  He was again remanded to prison till the ensuing term,
in spite of a spirited remonstrance, and a reference to the case of Horne
Tooke, whom Lord Kenyon characterised as a “bankrupt in character and
fortune, and destitute of every virtue and quality which could command
respect.”  On the 8th of December, Mr. Waddington was found guilty, by a
London jury, of “engrossing” hops in the county of Kent.  While in prison
he sold a ton of potatoes daily for ½d. per lb., and appropriated the
proceeds to the benefit of his poorer fellow prisoners.  On the 25th of
January, 1801, Mr. Waddington was finally brought up for judgment, and
Mr. Justice Grose declared that the court being unanimously of opinion
that the information on which Mr. Waddington had been convicted was well
supported at common law, he was sentenced to pay a fine of £500, and to
be imprisoned one month.  On the 4th of June, Mr. Waddington having been
confined in King’s Bench prison upwards of twenty-seven weeks, at last
purged his crime, and went down to Maidstone.  At Tunbridge he was
feasted at a superb dinner, and about two miles thence was met by a
number of hop planters, who took the horses from his carriage, covered it
with wreaths of hop bine, and had it drawn by relays of men (twelve
miles) to Maidstone.  There he rode in triumph through the streets; made
a speech which was received with immense acclamation; “Waddington and the
freedom of commerce” resounded through the streets; and a subscription on
his behalf was entered into.

1802—At the Summer Assizes, held before Mr. Justice Lawrence and Mr.
Justice Le Blanc, three men and one woman (for privately stealing) were
sentenced to death, but all respited.  Three privates in the 5th Dragoons
were tried for the murder of Samuel Porter, ostler at the New Inn,
Pershore, and one named Rankins was found guilty; but as the fatal blow
was struck in what might be considered an affray, some points were
reserved for the twelve judges, and his sentence was ultimately commuted
to transportation.

1803—At the Summer Assizes this year there were only seven prisoners in
both county and city for trial, and, of these, three were acquitted.  Of
the remaining four, Thomas Beach for uttering a forged £5 note, and
Elizabeth Guise for robbing her master, Mr. Blizard of Stoulton, were
sentenced to death.  Beach was executed; the woman reprieved.  At the
same Assizes the Rev. J. F. Tonyn, rector of Alvechurch, recovered £300
damages from the Rev. Henry Lynam, his curate, for criminal conversation
with his wife.

1805—FEBRUARY 21—In the Court of King’s Bench an indictment was preferred
by Mr. Forrester, of Elmley, in this county, against Colonel Passingham
and a Mr. Edwards.  Colonel Passingham had once been an intimate friend
of Mr. Forrester, had debauched his wife, and carried her off, in
January, 1803.  Edwards was, also, once Forrester’s friend, but becoming
a bankrupt, and prosecutor being his opposing creditor, he became his
implacable enemy.  Both then conspired to oblige the prosecutor to make a
very large settlement upon his wife, and he was actually terrified into
doing so by charges of horrible crimes.  These facts being proved on the
part of the prosecution, the defendants brought forward eleven witnesses
to swear that Mr. Forrester had actually been guilty of the offences
alleged—but they utterly broke down.  The jury found both prisoners
guilty of the conspiracy.  Being brought up for judgment in the ensuing
term, they were both sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in Newgate;
the additional punishment of the pillory being specially remitted, lest
their lives should be forfeited by any indignant violence on the part of
the populace.  Mr. Forrester afterwards obtained a divorce from his wife,
she having contrived to visit Passingham in prison, and assumed his name.

1807—At the Summer Assizes a special jury cause at Nisi Prius, in which
Sir John Geers Cottrell, Bart., as heir at law of Mrs. Freeman of Henley
Park, brought an action of ejectment against Joseph Harris, Esq., of
Stanford, the sole executor and residuary legatee of that lady, appears
to have excited much interest.  The jury returned a verdict for
defendant, establishing Mr. Harris’s right to a considerable estate in
the parish of Rock, and other property.  Attorney for defendant—Mr. Hyde,
Worcester.  At the Summer Assizes the cause again came on, the plaintiff
having obtained a new trial.  Some of the most celebrated counsel of the
day were engaged—Mr. Garrow being retained by the plaintiff, and Sir
Thomas Plumer for defendant.  After a twenty-four hours’ battle, the jury
confirmed the verdict of the former jury by a verdict for defendant.  The
finding gave general satisfaction.

1808—AUGUST—At the Worcester Summer Assizes this year was tried the cause
of HILL _v._ SMITH, an action brought to try the right of the Corporation
of Worcester to toll on wheat sold by sample, and of course a matter of
great interest to the agriculturists of the county generally.  The
Corporation pleaded—“1st, that from time immemorial they had taken a pint
of wheat out of each bag, as a toll on wheat sold by sample in the
market, and afterwards brought into the city: 2nd, the same
justification, except that the taking was in the name of toll, and not as
a distress: 3rd, that the Corporation were seized in fee of the Manor of
Worcester, and that the toll was taken in respect of such manor: 4th,
that the Corporation had immemorially repaired the horse and carriage
road in the Corn Market, amongst others, and by reason thereof had
immemorially taken the toll on all grain brought over the Corn Market to
be delivered to a buyer.”  The evidence fixed the custom of sale by
sample to have commenced in the year 1760.  The learned judge directed
the jury to withdraw from their consideration the question of toll
traverse in respect of the manor, and toll thorough (the last issue), the
Corporation being unable to support these issues, and desired them to
consider whether the grant (by charter, enabling them to toll wheat) was
not originally for all corn sold, both where the bulk or only a part was
brought into the market.  The jury, after an hour and a half’s
consideration, returned a verdict for the Corporation on the second and
third issues, and for the agriculturists on the others.  Counsel for the
agriculturists—Mr. Sergeant Williams, Messrs. Jervis, Abbott, and Lord;
attorney, Mr. Hill: for the Corporation, Messrs. Dauncey, Wigley, Puller,
and Mence; attorney, Mr. Weller.

1808—At the Summer Assizes, William Reynolds, convicted of an assault
upon a female, was sentenced to be imprisoned fourteen days, and to stand
in the pillory at Tenbury.  Ann Green, for stealing brushes, was ordered
to be privately whipped; and four men, for divers crimes, were sentenced
to fourteen days’ imprisonment and a public whipping.

1809—JULY 14—Worcester Summer Assizes.  R. Baylis, churchwarden of Elmley
Lovett, was tried for painting up libels against the rector, the Rev. G.
Waldron, upon the walls of the parish church.  They were principally
texts of scripture, the intended application of which, however, could not
be doubted.  He was sentenced to pay a fine, and to twelve months’

1810—Lent Assizes—A. LECHMERE, ESQ., _v._ DISSON, was a trial to recover
compensation for negligence in the defendant in the manufacture of
oil-cake.  Mr. Lechmere had paid great attention to the feeding of
cattle, and had brought oil-cake into much greater notice than it had
been before.  He purchased a quantity from defendant, but finding his
cattle did not thrive upon it as he expected, he had it analysed; and
several witnesses declared, that due attention had not been paid to the
clearing of the seed by skreening and sifting it; so that a great deal of
extraneous matter was left in the cake.—Verdict for the plaintiff:
damages, £50.

1812—APRIL 20—A case of assault and battery, OVERBURY _v._ MOSELEY, tried
in the Worcester City Court.  It arose out of a street row, which
occurred in the previous November.  Overbury and another insulted some
lady in the Foregate Street, and Moseley came up to her help, and gave
Overbury a thorough thrashing, for which he brought this plaint.  The
mayor having impartially summed up, the jury returned a verdict for the
defendant.  Defendant conducted his own cause.  Complainant was
represented by Mr. Sockett, an attorney of Worcester, who exerted himself
for his client beyond his strength, became ill, and soon afterwards died.

1812—JUNE—HILL _v._ SMITH in error, having been argued before the Court
of Exchequer.  Sir J. Mansfield, after many delays, now gave judgment.
The court held that a sale by sample was not a legal contract for the
sale of anything whatever, and that the lord or superior of an open
market was not entitled to any toll on commodities not brought in bulk.
A sale by sample had been held by Lord Coke, and other great law
authorities, to be illegal, as contrary to the principle and object for
which a market was established.  The verdict for the Corporation
(obtained at Worcester Summer Assizes, 1808) was therefore reversed, and
the cause remitted to the court below to ascertain the amount of damages
the plaintiff was entitled to for the trespass committed in taking his
corn; which were, of course, merely nominal.

1814—AUGUST—At the Hereford Summer Assizes was tried FORD _v._ RACSTER,
being an action brought by the executors of Dr. Ford, as Rector of
Cradley, Herefordshire, against Miss Racster, of Worcester, to try the
question of the liability of blackpoles to tithe.  It was argued for
defendant, that these blackpoles, being more than twenty years’ growth,
were timber trees; but the jury decided that they were not, according to
the custom of the country, and thereupon verdict was entered for
plaintiff, and damages assessed at £100, being for eleven years’ fallage.

1816—At the Lent Assizes was tried an action for libel, brought by the
Rev. Joseph Shapland against Richard Mug Mence, Esq.  Verdict for
plaintiff.  The Rev. Mr. Shapland pleaded guilty to an indictment for an
assault.  At the ensuing assizes he was sentenced to six months’
imprisonment, and to enter into recognizances to keep the peace for seven
years, himself in £500, and two sureties in £250 each.  Mr. Shapland was
Vicar of St. Peter’s, and had some unhappy disputes with his wife, to
settle which Mr. Mence had been called in as a mutual friend.  After a
while, conceiving Mrs. Shapland to have been ill-treated, Mr. Mence took
her part very decidedly, and refused to sit in company with Mr. Shapland.
Mr. S. at this was greatly exasperated; and meeting Mr. Mence one day
walking near the Guildhall, he struck him several times with a heavy
walking stick.  Mr. Mence received the blows on his arm, which was
severely injured.  Mr. M. afterwards published a pamphlet, containing a
long detail of Mr. Shapland’s family jars, and the part he had himself
taken therein; and this was the libel complained of.  In November, 1812,
Mr. Mence was called up for judgment in the King’s Bench, and sentenced
by Lord Ellenborough to six months’ imprisonment, and afterwards to find
sureties to keep the peace, himself in £1,000, and two sureties of £500
each.  The two gentlemen were thus both imprisoned at the same time—the
one in the city, and the other in the county gaol.

1817—At the Lent Assizes, held before Mr. Justice Park and Mr. Justice
Burrough, no less than twenty prisoners were sentenced to death, most of
them for sheep stealing; but they were all afterwards reprieved.

1818—At the Lent Assizes this year, the trial of Joseph Steers, a
respectable tradesman of Worcester, and six others, charged with being
concerned in the “freemen’s riots,” and the demolition of the buildings
upon Pitchcroft, created the most intense interest, and at one part of
the proceedings there was an absolute tumult in court, so great was the
crush of people.  The history of these riots is as follows: In 1817 the
“popular mind” of Worcester was much agitated and incensed by buildings
being erected on the corner of Pitchcroft Ham, nearest to the city, and
known as Little Pitchcroft.  The citizens viewed any encroachment on this
lung of the city with commendable jealousy, as it was their principal
resort for amusement and promenade; besides which, each freeman had some
property in the Ham, having a right of pasturage thereon.  A meeting was
accordingly called in August, at the Hoppole Inn, to protect the rights
of the freemen in this matter.  Richard Spooner, Esq., then exceedingly
active in all popular movements in Worcester, was called to the chair,
and a committee was appointed, who issued notices to the parties who had
built upon the Ham to remove their erections before the 29th of
September.  On the 15th of September, however, the committee met, and
agreed that as the removal of the whole buildings would be attended with
great loss to a charity which derived considerable revenue from the
wharfs, &c., it would be more desirable only to remove those buildings
and fences which were most obnoxious.  On this decision being made known,
the populace determined to take the matter into their own hands; and on
the morning of the 29th assembled in large numbers, and commenced the
demolition of such of the fences and buildings as were not strong enough
to resist their efforts.  The mayor came down to the spot and read the
Riot Act, but nobody took any heed of his worship, who, with the
magistrates, then began to swear in everybody as special constables—the
said “specials” standing by and looking on at the demolition, very
anxious to keep the peace, but not venturing to interrupt the mob.  At
last some of the yeomanry assembled, but being pelted with stones, they
retreated to the Star and Garter yard, and made no further appearance.
The demolition was concluded next morning; everybody saying that it was
most disgraceful, but nevertheless glad that it was done.  Steers and
other persons, who had taken part in the work of destruction, were
indicted (under statutes which had recently been passed) for a capital
offence; but Mr. Jervis, counsel for the prosecutor, Mr. John Edmunds,
declared that that was only done in order to have a foundation to recover
the damages he had sustained during the riot.  After two witnesses had
been examined, Mr. Justice Burrough, who presided, said there was enough
evidence to convict the whole prisoners of a capital offence, and advised
them to throw themselves on the mercy of the court.  This course they
adopted; and his lordship then discharged them, on entering into
recognizances of £100 each, to keep the peace for twelve months.  The
greatest possible interest had been made on behalf of these parties; and
Lord Deerhurst, whose efforts were supposed to have contributed greatly
to the lenity with which they were treated, was almost overwhelmed, on
leaving the court, by the tumultuous approbation of the populace.  The
mob endeavoured to drag Mr. Justice Burrough in triumph through the city,
on leaving for Stafford; but his lordship instantly called in the aid of
the javelin men, and threatened to commit the foremost of the crowd.  To
finish the story here; immediately after these assizes, the agitation
about the encroachments was recommenced, and Mr. Thomas Carden, one of
the six masters, put forth a statement that the four acres in dispute
were the gift of Thomas Wylde, Esq., formerly of the Commandry in the
city of Worcester, to the Corporation; and the rents and profits of this
land had been uniformly applied to the benefit of the Free School, and
Trinity Alms Houses.  Having in 1796 let out this land in lots, the six
masters had been enabled to increase the pay, to twenty-nine old women,
from 3s. to 6s. per month, which was a thing much more worth doing than
to allow one thousand freemen the pasturage thereon, from Old Midsummer
Day to Old Candlemas Day.  A common hall was shortly afterwards held, at
which the committee appointed for protecting the freemen’s rights made
their report.  It was read by R. Spooner, Esq., and stated that they had
ordered entries to be made on two of the plots in Little Pitchcroft; the
result of which had been, that actions had been brought against the
enterers, and the _venue_ changed by the plaintiffs to Gloucester.  The
committee now wanted to know whether the claims of the freemen were to be
contested or abandoned, as in the former case it would be necessary that
the city generally should enter into a subscription to provide the sinews
of war.  The report was adopted, and a subscription forthwith commenced.
A motion to make terms with the six masters was rejected.  Just before
the trial came on, however, the matter was settled by arrangement,
concessions being made on either side; and buildings cover the greater
part of “Little Pitchcroft” to this day.

1819—At the Summer Assizes, John Grindley, of Bromsgrove, was tried on a
charge of wilfully murdering Thomas Mannering.  They had quarrelled in a
public house, gone out into the street to fight, but there made up their
differences, and sat upon the public stocks, drinking some beer.  While
thus occupied, Grindley stabbed Mannering twice so severely that he died
next day.  He was found guilty of manslaughter, and sentenced to six
months’ imprisonment.

1820—At the Lent Assizes, John Burton was convicted of the murder of one
Jaunty, in Worcester, on the 30th of July, 1819.  Parties who had been
employed by the Excise to seize some malt, were met at the back of the
Hoppole Inn by a number of persons from the neighbouring public houses,
and a general battle commenced; the interest of which at length
concentrated itself in a fight between Burton and Jaunty.  They had
several rounds, and Jaunty at last getting the better of his antagonist,
Burton ran off to his house, but presently returned with a pike, and
stabbed Jaunty right through the heart and lungs.  Burton was, however,
reprieved on a point of law.  At these assizes, twenty-seven persons were
sentenced to death (one a woman, for stealing thirty-nine yards of
bombazine from a shop at Stourbridge), but all were reprieved, except one
for highway robbery.

1820—MARCH 24—A curious application was made to the Lord Chancellor by
the guardians of Sir Roger Gresley, a young man of twenty, and a ward of
Chancery, to restrain the Earl and Countess of Coventry, and the Hon.
John Coventry, from encouraging a marriage between Sir Roger and Lady
Sophia Coventry, daughter of the earl, aged seventeen.  There had been
negociations for a marriage, rent rolls having been handed to the
guardians, &c.; but as no settlement could be made on the bride till Sir
Roger was of age, the matter was postponed.  The court took it in dudgeon
that anything should have been done towards disposing of its ward in
matrimony without its license, &c.

1821—FEBRUARY 13—A rule moved for in the Court of King’s Bench on behalf
of the magistrates of Worcestershire, to compel the inhabitants of
Ombersley to pay £150 into the hands of the clerk of the peace for the
repairs of Hawford Bridge.  The Ombersley people replied that they were
going to repair, and that £50 would be quite sufficient to do all that
was needed.  The rule was granted, but enlarged to the next term to admit
of time for the repairs being effectively carried out by the inhabitants
of Ombersley themselves, if they so pleased.

1821—At the Lent Assizes, before Mr. Baron Jarrow, an action was brought
by a schoolmaster at Dudley, a little deformed man, named Hilliard, to
recover damages from Mr. Badger for knocking his hat off at the theatre,
because he would not take it off when the national anthem was being
played.  Mr. Badger, in the zeal of his loyalty, not only knocked the
unfortunate pedagogue’s hat off, but the pedagogue himself off the bench;
and Mr. Baron Jarrow, in summing up, intimated that he thought he was
rather to be commended than otherwise, and pictured to the jury “the
glorious sight of a whole audience in a theatre paying a just tribute of
veneration to their sovereign.”  The jury returned a verdict for
plaintiff: damages, one farthing.

1821—AUGUST—At the Midsummer Assizes was tried, JARRATT _v._ THE MAYOR
AND CORPORATION OF EVESHAM, being an attempt to establish the right of
any person who had served a freeman of that borough for an apprenticeship
of seven years to be himself admitted a freeman.  The Corporation
admitted that if the whole service had been within the borough the custom
was to admit; but if the master and apprentice had lived elsewhere any
period of the time then the right of admission failed.  A verdict was
entered for the Corporation.

1823—Two men, named Oliver and Skinner, convicted at the Easter City
Sessions of a most unprovoked assault on three journeymen carpenters
going home one dark night in January, and sentenced—Oliver to six months,
and Skinner to nine months’ imprisonment.  These two fellows were part of
a fraternity calling themselves “lambs,” who used to infest the streets
of Worcester at night for the sole purpose of annoying more peaceably
disposed persons.  At the trial they brought a number of witnesses to
prove an _alibi_, but utterly failed, and disclosed the most unblushing
perjury in lieu thereof.

1823—William Taylor, a working stone mason, recovered £120 damages in the
Sheriff’s Court, for a fright into which he had been put by Henry Geast
Dugdale, Esq., a magistrate of Worcestershire, living at Bordesley Park.
He was one of some workmen who were erecting a stone lodge for defendant,
who one day, when they had nearly finished, came up and peremptorily
ordered them off his premises.  He said he had been told by his master
not to leave till he had finished the job; but Mr. Dugdale, foaming with
rage, presented his gun at him, cocked it, and declared he would shoot
Taylor presently, if he were not gone; whereupon he dropped his chisel
and mallet in a terror, took to his heels, and had been declining in
health ever since—such had been the effect of the alarm upon his nervous
system.  Mr. Dugdale, in addressing the jury, said “he once took a noble
earl by the collar, and forced him off his lands;” and hereupon Lord
Plymouth, writing to the Worcester papers, said Mr. Dugdale no doubt
meant himself, but that the whole statement was entirely untrue.

1824—At the Midsummer Assizes, before Mr. Justice Littledale, was tried
the cause of PIERPOINT _v._ SHAPLAND, in which Matthew Pierpoint, Esq.,
of Worcester, surgeon (and as it proved upon the trial, physician also),
brought an action for slander against Miss Susanna Shapland, a lady then
residing in College Green.  The damages were laid at £5,000.  Mr.
Pierpoint had been called in to attend Mrs. Isaacs, Miss Shapland’s
sister, shortly before her death, and administered an emetic: after that
he ceased to attend her, and Miss Shapland afterwards told Mrs. Henry
Clifton that Mr. P. had treated her sister improperly.  Mr. Jervis was
counsel for plaintiff, and Mr. Russell for defendant.  A verdict was
returned for plaintiff, with 39s. damages.  This trial excited
extraordinary interest—ladies, to make sure of places, going to the
courts at five o’clock in the morning.

1825—At the Lent Assizes an action for libel, against CHALK AND HOLL, was
tried before Mr. Justice Littledale.  It was brought by a painter named
Davis, who had, by mistake, been described in a paragraph in the
_Worcester Herald_ as concerned in a street row and an assault upon a
watchman.  The party’s name _was_ Davis, but not the one pointed at in
the paragraph, and defendants, finding their error, corrected it in the
next paper and apologised; nevertheless Davis persisted in the action,
urged thereto, as it came out in the trial, by his attorney, who had
undertaken that it should cost him nothing.  The counsel engaged were—for
the plaintiff, Mr. Campbell (now Lord Chief Justice Campbell); and for
defendant, Mr. Russell.  The jury returned a verdict for plaintiff, as
the judge told them they must to do so, with damages one farthing.

1827—Summer Assizes, before Mr. Justice Littledale.  THE KING _v._ COOKE
was an action against a draper, at Dudley, of the most Radical cast, for
publishing libels on His Majesty’s Government.  The libels were placards
exhibited in the defendant’s window during a time of great disturbance
amongst the colliers, in May, 1826.  The case had been entered for trial
at previous assizes, but put off from time to time.  The alleged libel in
the placards was the assertion that ministers were bringing starvation
upon the people by their measures.  Mr. Whateley was for the prosecution,
and Mr. Campbell for the defence.  The appearance of the placards in the
defendant’s window having been proved, Mr. Andrew Gracewood, doorkeeper
at the Foreign Office, was put in the box to prove that Earl Liverpool
and others mentioned in the handbills were at the time of their
publication ministers of state.  Mr. Campbell, of course, ridiculed the
whole prosecution, and said Cooke was being made the victim of private
malice.  The judge told the jury the handbills were libellous, so they
returned a verdict of guilty.  Cooke was only required to enter into
sureties to appear when called up.

1827—At the Lent Assizes this year there were nearly a hundred prisoners
for trial, and against twenty-four of them sentence of death was

At these assizes was tried AGG _v._ TIMBRELL, in which the plaintiff
recovered £7 damages for the injury done to his gig by the negligent
driving of the defendant’s coachman.  Mr. Charles Phillips was counsel
for plaintiff, and Mr. Taunton for defendant.  The affair was chiefly
curious from the remark of defendant, who, when the accident happened and
Agg complained, said, “Do you know who I am?  I’m Doctor Timbrell, Doctor
of Divinity, Archdeacon, and magistrate in two counties.  Don’t talk to
me, or I’ll commit you!”

1828—In November, this year, in the King’s Bench, a rule for a criminal
information against the Rev. Humphry Price, for issuing inflammatory
handbills at the time of the late strike between the Kidderminster
weavers and their masters, was made absolute.  The Rev. gentleman
appeared in court himself, and avowed himself to be the author of the
placards charged against him.  The cause against him was tried at the
next Hereford Lent Assizes.  A number of verses, entitled “_The Complaint
of a Kidderminster Weaver’s Wife to her Infant_,” appeared to be most
complained of; they ended thus:

    “O cruel, cruel, cruel masters,
    Dare ye thus mock at our disasters?
    See parent, child, to phrenzy given,
    And dream yourselves of reaching heaven?

    Rouse from your slumbers! count the price
    Of your own cursed avarice;
    And count it well, ere taught too late
    To dread than ours a far worse fate.”

Mr. Campbell defended the Rev. gentleman, but he was found guilty, and
being brought up for judgment next term, was sentenced to twelve months’
imprisonment, and adjudged to pay the costs.

1829—At the Midsummer Assizes, before Mr. Baron Vaughan, John Hunter,
Esq., of Pershore, was tried for feloniously altering a deed.  A true
bill had been returned against Mr. Hunter at the Lent Assizes, but he was
enlarged till the Midsummer Assizes on very heavy bail.  The
respectability of Mr. Hunter, who but for this charge would this very
year have been High Sheriff of the County, caused the intensest interest
to be felt in the trial, and the courts were thronged to suffocation.
Mr. Campbell, K.C., Mr. Sergeant Ludlow, Mr. Carwood, and Mr. Godson,
were the counsel for the prosecution; and Mr. Taunton, Mr. Sergeant
Russell, and Mr. C. Phillips, assisted the defendant, who, as the law
then stood, was obliged to address the jury himself, and could only avail
himself of counsel in cross-examination, this being a misdemeanour.  The
charge against Mr. Hunter was that he had erased the words “part of” from
a deed which he held, and the effect of the erasure would be to put him
in possession of the _whole_ of the premises to which it referred.  In
fact, in 1825 he brought an action on the strength of this deed to
recover the whole of the premises, but permitted himself to be
non-suited.  Mr. Hunter, in the written defence he handed in to be read
to the jury, contented himself with denying any knowledge of how the
erasure came about, and that it existed in the deed when it first came
into his possession, he having bought the property as an entire property.
The evidence given, and some of the witnesses adduced by the prosecution,
were of a very doubtful character; and after the long array of witnesses
which Mr. Hunter called to speak to a long life of unblemished
uprightness, the jury said they would not trouble his lordship to sum up,
and Mr. Hunter must be _honourably acquitted_.

1830—At the Summer Assizes, before Mr. Sergeant Bosanquet, came on the
case of CHALK AND HOLL _v._ ROBINSON, M.P., being an action to recover
£13. 8s. 6d. for printing electioneering squibs on Mr. Robinson’s behalf,
at the election of 1826.  They were written and ordered by some of Mr.
Robinson’s agents and solicitors, and his object in resisting the claim
was to disown any personal connection with them.  The matter was
referred, at the judge’s request, to Mr. Holroyd; and he awarded the sum
claimed to the plaintiffs, holding Mr. Robinson liable; Mr. Brampton
proving that the orders came from his committee room.


THE annals of crime record few tragedies so fearful in their enactment,
so mysterious in their present concealment, so singular in their ultimate
discovery as the Oddingley murder.  A clergyman is shot at noon-day,
while walking in his own fields—the assassin and the motive are perfectly
known, yet he eludes justice, and suddenly and for ever disappears.  Some
of the men to whom common rumour points as the probable instigators of
the crime, pass to their account, and make no sign.  At last, when
twenty-four years have elapsed, the body of the murderer is strangely
discovered, in a state of preservation and under circumstances which
leave no room to doubt that he was himself murdered by those who had
hired him to commit the crime they were afraid to perpetrate with their
own hands.

Thus circumstance combined with circumstance to increase the romance of
this tale of blood, and invest it with a fearful interest, creating an
unparalleled excitement, not only in this neighbourhood but throughout
the whole country.  People delighted to point to it, as showing how, with
silent footfall, justice ever tracks the murderer’s steps, and at last
exposes his guilt to the gaze of day, with whatever care and midnight
secrecy he has sought to hide and cover it.  But it showed, also, that
the punishment of murder, as of other crimes, is sometimes postponed to a
more perfect time of retribution, and that men doubly dyed with the blood
of others—shed under the influence of passions the most
detestable—avarice, hate, and fear—can walk their lives long among their
fellows with a smooth brow, and at last placidly turn their faces to the
wall without, to outward seeming, one pang of remorse or outcry of

The first notice of this terrible crime appeared in the Worcester papers
of June 26, 1806, and is as follows:

    “The Rev. G. Parker, rector of Oddingley, in this county, was, on
    Tuesday evening last, most inhumanly murdered in a field near his own
    dwelling house.  The perpetrator of this cruel deed discharged a gun
    at the unfortunate gentleman, the contents of which entered his right
    side; and afterwards, in a manner peculiarly atrocious, with the butt
    end of his gun fractured his skull.  An inquest was held the
    following day, before R. Barneby, Esq., coroner, when the jury
    returned this verdict—‘Wilful murder, by some person or persons

Mr. Parker was an amiable man and benevolent to the poor, but there had
been an unhappy dispute between him and his parishioners about the
tithes, which was perfectly well understood to have been the cause
prompting to his death.  His predecessor had been in the habit of
compounding with the farmers for his tithes, they giving him in lieu
thereof £135 per annum.  Mr. Parker, considering this inadequate,
proposed raising it to £150.  Captain Evans, one of his parishioners,
however, prevailed on the farmers to join him in resisting this proposal,
and Mr. Parker, in consequence, collected the tithe.  After he had done
so for two years, the farmers, finding themselves losers by the system,
offered to accede to the proposal previously made.  Mr. Parker told them
he was still willing to abide by it, but required, as he had been at an
expense of £150 in erecting a barn, and making other arrangements for
collecting the tithe, that they should, in addition, repay him that sum,
but this was refused.

The magistrates, immediately after the murder, issued a bill, offering a
reward of fifty guineas for the apprehension of the murderer, and
minutely described the person and dress of Richard Hemming, a carpenter
of Droitwich, who was at once suspected as the perpetrator of this
fearful crime.  The report of the gun was heard by several parties, and
two persons from Worcester saw Hemming escaping over some fields in the
neighbourhood of the spot—indeed he was distinctly traced to a wood at
Lench, but there all trace of him was entirely lost, and it was thought
that he had left the country in security.  A free pardon was offered at
the time by Government to any accomplices in the murder who would become
king’s evidence.

In June, 1807, a man, who had enlisted into the marines, was detained by
the magistrates at Plymouth on suspicion of being Hemming.  Mr. Carden
immediately despatched parties to ascertain the truth of the matter, but
it proved to be a case of mistaken identity.  The affair, though public
notice of it was hushed, was never forgotten—the country people had their
beliefs and traditions concerning it, and though it was confidently
affirmed by some that Hemming had been seen alive in America, the real
truth was more than guessed at.  It was by some firmly believed that
Hemming had been murdered by the parties who employed him to assassinate
Mr. Parker, and they themselves seemed scarcely anxious to avoid the
imputation.  Captain Evans, whom all pointed at as being the principal
instigator of the assassination, constantly kept standing upon his estate
a certain clover rick, which he had made three days only after Mr.
Parker’s murder, and when he parted with the estate two years afterwards
to a Mr. Barnett, this rick was still kept standing.  The general belief
was that Hemming’s body had been buried beneath this rick, and in 1816
Hemming’s widow (then married again) made a deposition before the
Droitwich magistrates of her conviction that this was the case.  A search
warrant was granted, but in that same night the clover rick mysteriously
disappeared, and though the ground which it had covered was carefully dug
up, nothing was discovered.  Captain Evans, at the time of Mr. Parker’s
murder, lived upon the Church Farm, Oddingley; but in 1808 he went to
reside on a small estate called New House, upon the confines of the two
parishes of Hadsor and Oddingley.  Here he remained till 1826, when he
went to Droitwich, and there lived till his death, which occurred in
1829; he was then ninety-four years of age.  He was formerly a captain in
the 89th Foot, and received half pay up to the day of his death.  He was
a magistrate of the borough of Droitwich.

It may be well conceived that all idea of any further discovery of the
circumstances under which this terrible crime was committed had long been
given up, and that the discovery of the skeleton of Hemming created the
most startling surprise.  On the 21st January, 1830, a carpenter named
Burton was engaged in removing a barn upon the Netherwood Farm,
Oddingley, which, at the time of Mr. Parker’s murder, was occupied by Mr.
Thomas Clewes.  He had begun to remove the foundation when he met with a
pair of shoes and carpenter’s rule.  The story of Hemming immediately
recurred to his mind, and, carefully covering up again what he had found,
he went to the magistrates of Droitwich and the coroner of the county
(Mr. William Smith).  The further investigation of the spot was very
carefully conducted by the neighbouring magistrates and Mr. Pierpoint of
Worcester; and the whole skeleton of a man, of just such height and make
as Hemming was known to have been, was disclosed to view.  His former
wife particularly identified the remains by the mouth and teeth, and
declared her firm belief to be that the rule which Burton had found was
that which Hemming used customarily to carry in his pocket.  The bones of
the skull had been beaten into many pieces.  An inquest was commenced
upon these remains on the following Tuesday, and, by adjournment, on the
Friday; at the close of which sitting, Thomas Clewes was taken into
custody on suspicion of having been concerned in the murder of Hemming,
and in the course of the next day he expressed his desire to make a
confession.  The coroner and jury accordingly went to him in the County
Gaol, where, with great composure, he gave the following account of the
circumstances under which Hemming was himself murdered on the evening of
the day after that on which he had shot Mr. Parker.  Whether it is the
absolute truth or not, coming as it did from an accomplice, must always
be a matter of doubt, but it is at any rate all that will now be known of
this deed of terror.


    “On the morrow morning after the parson was shot (I mean the Rev. Mr.
    Parker, Rector of Oddingley), it was on Bromsgrove fair day—I cannot
    recollect exactly the year—about seven o’clock, George Bankes came
    down to me, and says, ‘We have got Hemming, who shot the parson, at
    our house (meaning Captain Evans’s) this morning, and I do not know
    what to do with him—will you let him come down here?’  I said, ‘I
    will not have him here, nor have nothing to do with him.’  Bankes
    then went off.  Bankes said, ‘he is lurking down in the meadows.’  I
    went up to Oddingley about eleven o’clock in the day to Mr. Jones’s;
    Mr. Jones is dead, and Mr. Nash lives in the farm now.  As I went up
    the road side, I suppose he (meaning Captain Evans) kept sight of me
    all the way.  The Captain called to me; he was in his garden, close
    by the road side; he followed me out of the garden into the field,
    and said he wanted to speak with me.  He said, ‘I’ve had Hemming at
    our house this morning, and something must be done by him; he is
    lurking down towards your house now; I ordered him to get into your
    buildings by day-time, if possible, or at the edge of night, that you
    (meaning witness) might not see him, or any of your family, and
    somewhat must be done by him.  I shall come down to your house at
    night, and bring somebody with me, and we must give the poor devil
    some money, or do something with him, and send him off; will you get
    up and come to the barn? it won’t detain you a minute.’  I refused
    coming, and said, ‘I did not like to come.’  The Captain said, ‘it
    can make no odds to you—you need not be afraid to come at eleven
    o’clock; just come out, it will make no difference to you at all; if
    you don’t come I shall be afraid of your dogs.’  I went out at the
    back door and down to the barn door, as the clock struck eleven.
    There was the Captain and James Taylor, and a third, whom I thought
    and believed to be George Bankes.  They went into the barn (I mean
    the Captain, Taylor, and George Bankes), and I with them; I believed
    it to be Bankes; he had on a smock-frock; as soon as the Captain came
    into the barn, he calls, ‘Holloa, Hemming, where be’est?’ not very
    loud; Hemming spoke, and said ‘Yes, Sir;’ Taylor and the Captain then
    stepped on the mow, where Hemming was lying, which was not higher
    than my knee; the Captain pulled a lantern from under his coat, or
    out of his pocket; myself and George Bankes were then on the
    thrashing-floor; the Captain said, ‘Get up, Hemming, I have got
    something for thee;’ Hemming was at the time covered up with straw;
    he was rising up on end, as if he had been lying on his back; as he
    rose up, Taylor up with a blood-stick, and hit him on the head two or
    three blows; I (witness) said, ‘This is bad work—if I had known you
    should not have had me here;’ the Captain said, ‘He has got enough;’
    Taylor and the Captain came down off the mow directly; Taylor said,
    ‘What is to be done with him now?’ the Captain said, ‘D—n his body,
    we must not take him out of doors, somebody will see us, mayhap.’  It
    was not very dark.  Taylor went out of doors, and fetched a spade
    from somewhere; it was no spade of mine; and Taylor and the Captain
    said, ‘We will soon put him safe.’  Taylor then searched round the
    bay of the barn on the contrary side where it was done, and found
    holes which dogs and rats had scratched; he threw out a spadeful or
    two, and cleared away from the foundation side of the wall.  ‘This
    will do for him,’ Taylor said to the Captain, who stood by and
    lighted him the while.  Bankes and myself were still on the floor of
    the barn.  Then the Captain and Taylor got upon the mow, and pulled
    Hemming down to the front of the mow.  The Captain said to Taylor,
    ‘Catch hold of him,’ and they dragged him across the floor, and into
    the hole they had dug for him in the opposite bay, and Taylor soon
    covered it up.  I cannot tell whether he was put in on his back or
    not; I never stepped into the bay from the floor; I thought I should
    have died where I was; the Captain said to Taylor, ‘Well done, boy,
    I’ll give thee another glass or two of brandy.’  The Captain said to
    me on the floor when we went out, ‘I’ll give you anything; d—n your
    body, don’t ever split.’  All four were present at this; we then
    parted; the Captain darkened his lantern; the Captain, Bankes, and
    Taylor, went away towards Oddingley; I went to bed; the whole did not
    occupy half an hour; Hemming had his clothes on; Hemming never moaned
    nor groaned after he was first struck; there was no blood—not a spot
    on the floor; nothing else was done that night.  On the 26th of June
    I was at Pershore fair; George Bankes came to me in the afternoon,
    between four and five; he called me up an entry at the Plough, and
    said, ‘Here is some money for you that Hemming was to have had.’  Mr.
    John Barnett was with Bankes then, Bankes and Barnett each of them
    gave me money, but I do not recollect how much I had from each; I did
    not count it until I got home.  They said when they gave it me, ‘Be
    sure you don’t split.’  There was no more said about it that night.
    It was in two parcels, in all between £26 and £27, and all in bills;
    there was no silver.  I put it all in one pocket.  This was to have
    taken Hemming off, as Bankes and Barnett informed me.  A few days
    after, I was at the Captain’s; he sent for me by my own son, John
    Clewes, then about seven years old.  When I got to the Captain’s, I
    found him alone; he said to me, if I kept my peace, and did not
    split, I should never want for £5.  I never received any money from
    him afterwards.  On the same day, in the parlour of the Captain’s
    house, Catherine Bankes came to me, and went down on her knees, in
    great distress, and begged and prayed of me not to say anything, as
    she feared the Captain had done a bad job, and that they would all
    come to be hanged if I spoke.  I promised her I never would say

[Bankes was a farm bailiff; Taylor died about 1816, having lived some
time in infamous notoriety at Droitwich.  Barnett, at the time of the
murder, was only bailiff for his mother, but had since become an opulent
farmer.  Clewes himself failed three or four years after the murder, and
had since been engaged as a labourer or woodman.]

A great many witnesses were examined at the inquest, who spoke to
expressions of hatred and malice used by Captain Evans, Barnett, Bankes,
and Clewes, with regard to Mr. Parker, and many trifling circumstances
which tended to implicate them in the disappearance of Hemming, and
corroborate Clewes’s confession.  The jury, after five days of most
elaborate investigation, returned a verdict of wilful murder against
Thomas Clewes and George Bankes; and further found that John Barnett,
late of the parish of Oddingley, farmer, was an accessary to such murder
before the fact.

These three persons were accordingly put upon their trial at the ensuing
March Assizes, before Mr. Justice Littledale.  A true bill was found
against Clewes as principal in the second degree, and against Barnett and
Bankes as accessaries before the fact to the murder of the Rev. George
Parker, by Richard Hemming.  Mr. Curwood was the leading counsel for the
prosecution, Mr. Sergeant Ludlow for Clewes, Mr. Campbell, K.C., for
Bankes, and Mr. Taunton, K.C., for Barnett.  An objection was taken to
the prisoners pleading as accessaries to a murder, the principal in which
had not been found guilty; and this objection being allowed, Clewes and
Bankes were arraigned as principals, and Barnett as accessary before the
fact to the murder of Richard Hemming.  Clewes was first put upon his
trial alone.  The evidence of the finding of the body of Hemming having
been given, and its identification completed, many witnesses were
examined to speak to expressions of the prisoner, tending to show that he
had been anxious to procure the death of Mr. Parker; and expressions used
by Hemming, showing that he had been employed to do some foul deed at
Oddingley.  It was proved, too, that Clewes and Hemming had been
frequently in one another’s company prior to the murder.  Last of all,
after a sharp struggle on the part of the prisoner’s counsel to prevent
it, Clewes’s confession was put in and read.  Sergeant Ludlow briefly
addressed the learned judge, urging that Clewes was entitled to his
acquittal, as his confession stood uncontradicted, and that did not prove
him to have been a principal in the crime.  The court decided that the
matter must be left to the jury, and to them the prisoner declined saying
anything; nor did the law then admit of counsel addressing the jury in
defence.  The jury, after a short summing up, returned a verdict of
“Guilty as an accessary after the fact;” but Mr. Justice Littledale
observing that they had only to inquire whether he was guilty of aiding
and abetting in the murder, they returned a general verdict of “Not
guilty.”  The crown refused to call any evidence on the coroner’s
inquisition, or against Barnett and Bankes, so they were all discharged.
The expenses attending the prosecution amounted to between £700 and £800.

1830—At the Lent Assizes, before Mr. Baron Bolland, was tried the cause
of THE KING _v._ DINELEY, in which Mr. Francis Dineley, solicitor,
practising at Pershore, was found guilty of conspiring with one William
Loxley, deceased, to defraud Nicholas Marshall of £2,000.  The
transaction took place so far back as 1804, when Loxley and Dineley
induced Mr. Nicholas Marshall to advance the sum of £2,000 on what it was
alleged they _knew_ to be defective security, and he lost the whole of
it.  Mr. Campbell made a long speech in defence, alleging that the defect
in the security might not have been known to his client, and remarking
strongly on the long time which had elapsed.  The case for the
prosecution rested mainly on letters written by Dineley to Loxley.

1830—MAY 21—In the Arches Court, judgment was delivered in the suit of
BARNETT _v._ REV. WILLIAM BALDWIN BONAKER, being a complaint on the part
of some of the inhabitants of Church Honeybourne against their clergyman
for neglect of duty, such as continued absence from the parish.  Sir J.
Nicholl, the judge, declared the evidence insufficient, and condemned the
promoters of the suit in full costs.

1830—OCTOBER 20—At the Michaelmas Sessions were tried the Kidderminster
rioters.  True bills were found for riot and assault against ten carpet
weavers, and the case for the prosecution was conducted by Mr. Evans and
Mr. Lea; Mr. Godson and Mr. Lumley appearing for the prisoners.  Three of
them, named Lamsdale, Green, and Stephens, were first tried for being
concerned in an attack on the prison, on the second day of the
disturbances, and with assaulting William Hopkins, a constable; but they
were acquitted, to the great surprise of the court.  Six men were next
tried for the attack on Mr. Cooper’s factory, and for very ill-treatment
of a man named Edwards, working there at low prices.  He was left by the
mob, thrust into the ashpit of one of the furnaces, more than half dead.
Phaizy and Hopkins, the men principally concerned in this assault, were
sentenced to six months’ imprisonment—Lamsdale to three months, and Price
to two months’ imprisonment; and all to enter into sureties to keep the
peace.  Other two were acquitted.  In three other cases verdicts were
taken by consent, and almost nominal punishments inflicted.  Mr. Godson’s
strenuous exertions in these cases laid the foundation for his subsequent
popularity in the borough of Kidderminster.

1830—OCTOBER 18—At the trial of one of the prisoners at the City
Michaelmas Sessions, Mr. Curwood, his barrister, handed in a protest
against the jurisdiction of the court, because it was not constituted
according to the charter of James I, which required that the
recorder—“one learned and discreet man, learned in the laws”—should
always preside at gaol deliveries.  Earl Coventry and his ancestors had
long been recorders of Worcester, and seldom (or never) present at
Quarter Sessions.  The magistrates refused to receive the protest.

1831—The cause list at the Midsummer Assizes this year contained
thirty-one cases for trial, and two of them excited much interest.  The
first was an action brought by the Rev. Edward Herbert against a Mr.
Heath, for an assault, in which Mr. Campbell and Mr. Whateley were for
plaintiff, and Mr. Charles Phillips for defendant.  For the prosecution
it was merely proved that Heath struck Herbert some dozen blows with a
horsewhip in Broad Street, Worcester, on the 23rd of the previous
February.  One witness heard Heath say the words, “that — my father, and
you consider yourself well horsewhipped for it.”  Mr. Charles Phillips
made a very long and powerful speech for the defence, stating to the jury
that if the prosecutor had dared himself to come into the box, he would
have forced him to confess that he had not only broken his pledge to Mr.
Heath’s sister, but had slandered his buried father in the most
outrageous and unbearable manner.  Mr. Justice Patteson told the jury
that all they had to do was to say whether Heath had committed the
assault, and so they returned a verdict of “Guilty;” but no sentence was
passed, though the affidavits of defendant were ready, and Mr. Justice
Patteson himself pointed out to Mr. Phillips an error in the record, no
doubt with a view of getting rid of the case.

The other case was a charge against Mr. Francis Hill, of Stourbridge, of
having committed wilful perjury, by swearing that he had not adopted
certain royalty mines, while he had, in fact, signed a document to do so.
Mr. Campbell, for the defence, urged that many a man signed deeds which
he did not understand; and a host of witnesses appeared to give Mr. Hill
the best of characters.  He was honourably acquitted.

1831—At the County Epiphany Sessions six men were tried for destroying a
thrashing machine, the property of Joseph Fretwell, of Blockley, and were
indicted for a riot and assault.  Mr. Godson and Mr. Lea were for the
prosecution, and Mr. Strutt and Mr. Evans for the defence.  There was no
attempt to deny that the men did come into Mr. Fretwell’s barn, and take
the machine to pieces; but on cross-examination of the prosecutor it was
shown that he was just about to quit the farm, which he held under Lord
Northwick, and that these men had come to take the machine down by his
lordship’s orders, in order to prevent the destruction of the premises by
the lawless mob who were going about the neighbourhood.  Fretwell was
evidently regarding his landlord with feelings of exasperation, because
he had let the farm over his head.  One of the men was found guilty of
riot and assault, the other five of riot only.  Two of them were ordered
to pay a fine of £30 each, and the others of £20 each, and to be
imprisoned till those fines were paid.  But the money was immediately
handed to them, and they were discharged from the dock.

Six men were charged with being concerned in the destruction of Mr.
Baylis’s needle presses and stamps, at Tardebigg, and were sentenced to
twelve months’ imprisonment each.

Six other men were arraigned for going about the villages of Defford,
Pinvin, &c., in a riotous manner, and obtaining victuals and drink by
threats and intimidation; but the evidence only showed that they had
importunately asked for relief at two or three places, and inquired of a
labourer in the road whether his wheelbarrow was a “machine,” because, if
it were, they would smash it!  They were all acquitted.

1832—Lent Assizes—The Rev. John Lynes, Rector of Elmley Lovett, was sued
for a penalty of £270 for non-residence in his parish for three months,
under an act passed in the year 1817, which provided that a clergyman
absenting himself for a quarter of a year should forfeit a third of the
annual value of his living, and the living of Elmley Lovett was set down
at about £800 a year.  Mr. Jervis, with Mr. Richards and Mr. Alexander,
were for the prosecution, and Mr. Campbell for defendant.  A great number
of witnesses were called to prove the defendant’s absence; some of them
his own servants; but in the opinion of the learned judge (Mr. Justice
Taunton) the absence for the entire time was not made out, and the jury
returned a verdict for defendant.

At the same Assizes was tried the action of SHELTON _v._ STEWARD, rival
surgeons at Bromyard, and brought by the former against the latter for a
libel, said to be contained in a letter published in the _Hereford Times_
and _Worcester Journal_, and which was supposed to insinuate that Mr.
Shelton was ignorant in his profession, and guilty of improper conduct.
Verdict for plaintiff: damages, £10.

1832—At the County Epiphany Sessions, ten of the Dudley colliers were
indicted for a riot, to obtain a rise in wages, in the previous December.
Several parties, working in the Broad Pit Collieries (Earl Dudley’s) were
ill-used by the mob for working at the ordinary wages; but Mr. Godson,
who was for the prisoners, contended that their identity had not been
sufficiently made out.  After four hours’ consultation the jury acquitted
all the prisoners.  Seven of the same men were charged with an assault on
one of their butties at this time, and five pleaded guilty by
arrangement, and were liberated on their own recognizances.  The other
two were acquitted in the teeth of the evidence.  Several other parties
were indicted for assaults arising out of these riots, but only two,
named Hill and Smart, were found guilty.  Hill was sentenced to six
months’ and Smart to one month’s imprisonment.

1834—At the Lent Assizes, seven men were tried before Mr. Justice Allan
Park for being concerned in election riots at Dudley, breaking windows,
&c., and were all found guilty.  They were sentenced to trifling terms of
imprisonment, excepting one man named Griffin, who had committed a
serious assault on Jewkes the constable, and, therefore, was ordered to
be imprisoned for twelve months.

Robert Osbaldeston was tried at these Assizes of shooting at Mr. Wood,
gunsmith, Broad Street, Worcester, and was acquitted only on the ground
of insanity.

Edmund Campbell Brewer, a confidential clerk in the employ of the
Stourbridge Canal Company, was found guilty of forging a bill of exchange
for some £13 odd.  He absconded to America, and then it was found that he
had embezzled £1,000 and more, belonging to the Company.  Yet, upon the
trial, many witnesses gave him the best of characters; and the
prosecutors themselves said that his conduct had been most exemplary till
this time.  Mr. Eberhardt followed him to America, and apprehended him in
Utica.  He was sentenced to be transported for life.  Great exertions
were made to obtain a commutation of his punishment.

1835—At the Lent Assizes, before Mr. Justice Patteson, was tried HILL
_v._ HICKES, an action brought by Mr. George Price Hill, a solicitor in
Worcester, against Mr. Hickes, for having slandered him to his uncle at
Dudley, by intimating that he was a rogue, &c.  Verdict for plaintiff
40s. damages.  Mr. Sergeant Talfourd was for plaintiff, and Mr. Sergeant
Ludlow for defendant.

At these Assizes also was tried ANDERTON _v._ GIBBS AND FERNEY, the
latter being executors of Mr. John Moor, a manufacturer of Dudley, and
whose daughter Mrs. Anderton claimed to be.  The question was one of
legitimacy, Mr. Moor’s wife having left him and formed a criminal
intimacy with a Mr. Corfield at the time of Mrs. Anderton’s birth.  The
jury found a verdict for plaintiff, and property, to the amount of
£6,000, thus passed into Mr. Anderton’s possession.

1835—At Warwick Lent Assizes was tried DAVIES _v._ BADGER, an action
brought by a journeyman whitesmith of Dudley, against Mr. Badger a
magistrate of Dudley, for striking him with a stick at the Dudley booth,
at the previous East Worcester election.  Mr. Balguy, K.C., was for
plaintiff, and Mr. Sergeant Goulburn for defendant.  It was of course
made a political affair, and excited great interest.  Mr. Badger, through
his counsel and his witnesses, denied ever striking the man at all.  The
jury returned a verdict for plaintiff: damages £30, costs 40s.

1835—At the Midsummer Assizes was tried PARKER AND SON _v._ ROBINSON,
M.P., a case which excited much attention at the time, and was
particularly interesting to those of the legal profession who looked to
reap rich harvests at elections.  The plaintiffs sued Mr. Robinson for
assistance said to have been given him in the way of canvass, &c., at the
election of 1832, when the sitting members were threatened with an
opposition by the Hon. Mr. Dundas.  Mr. Robinson had paid £75, and paid
£13 into court, but the amount of the bill was £186.  Mr. Robinson
pleaded that he had not given authority for such expenses to be incurred
by plaintiffs, who, at this election, were only subsidiary agents, Mr.
Cameron being his chief attorney.  Various solicitors were examined pro
and con to show that the charges were reasonable or otherwise; and the
Jury, eventually, returned a verdict for plaintiffs, damages £38; thus
Mr. Robinson paid £126 instead of £186.  Mr. Sergeant Ludlow was for
plaintiffs, and Mr. Sergeant Talfourd, M.P., for defendant; and both made
amusing speeches about the affair.

1836—At the Lent Assizes, before Mr. Justice Williams, was tried BADGER
_v._ COOKE, an action brought by Mr. Badger, the Dudley magistrate,
against Mr. Samuel Cooke, the celebrated Radical mercer, for a libel.
After Mr. Badger had been found guilty of the assault on Davis at the
Stourbridge election, Cooke issued a placard triumphing in the result of
that trial, and saying that “every honest man must ever afterwards look
with most indignant contempt on his (Mr. Badger’s) actions, since he had
already disgraced the dignified functions of his station,” &c. &c.  The
defendant addressed the jury in his own defence, quoting papers to show
that Mr. Badger often made use of as strong expressions towards his
political opponents, and declaring that it was nothing more than a
question of Tory and Radical.  He was found guilty, Mr. Justice Williams
declaring that the paper had a palpable tendency to defame and degrade
Mr. Badger in his character as a magistrate.  He was only required to
enter into a recognizance of £50 to appear when called upon.

1838—At the Summer Assizes this year a very painful and remarkable case
of circumstantial evidence took place, being no other than the trial of a
wife and daughter for the murder of one who had stood to them in the
relation of husband and father.  On the evening of the 3rd of August,
1837, Mr. John Orchard, the landlord of the Woolstaplers’ Arms Inn, in
Stourbridge, a man in the prime of life and in good health, was seen to
go up the yard attached to his house, and his wife and eldest daughter,
with a man named Smith, were seen to follow him.  He never returned
alive.  Smith came down the yard again shortly, but the wife and daughter
remained there some time.  Two or three hours afterwards the daughter
told some of the people in the house that her father was very ill, and
she was afraid he would die; but no one saw him until he was actually
dead.  When a surgeon arrived the body was on a chair in the kitchen, and
Mrs. Orchard was supporting the head in her hands.  She pointed the
surgeon’s attention to a small hole between the third and fourth ribs,
immediately over the heart, and said she supposed it was done by a nail
in tumbling over some tubs in the yard.  He had a shirt on, but there was
no hole in that.  The brewhouse, tubs, and yard appeared to have been
just washed, and the opinion of the medical man was, that Orchard must
have been dead an hour at least when he saw him.  On a post mortem
examination, the wound in question was found to be four inches and a half
deep, and went right through the pericardium and right ventricle, so that
it must have caused almost instant death.  Of course grave suspicion
under these circumstances could not but attach to the mother and
daughter, especially as there had been repeated quarrels between them and
the deceased, and the wife was also suspected to have been improperly
familiar with the man Smith.  The coroner’s jury, however, returned a
verdict of “wilful murder against some parties unknown,” and months
passed without any further discovery.  At last a woman, who had assisted
in laying out the corpse, told some party that the man was murdered with
a skewer, which was afterwards thrown into the Stour.  The woman, when
interrogated by the police, denied having said anything of the sort; but
a skewer—just such an instrument as would have produced the wound—was
found in the Stour, nevertheless.  The wife and daughter were then
apprehended and put on their trial.  Mr. Whateley conducted the
prosecution, and Mr. Godson the defence.  The judge, Lord Abinger, told
the jury that they must not convict the prisoners on suspicion, and they
were both acquitted.

1838—At the County Epiphany Sessions, William Baylis, the crier of
Evesham, appealed against the commitment of three justices, who had
ordered him to be sent to prison, under the 60th and 65th sections of the
Municipal Act, for refusing to deliver up the bell.  It was denied that
the court had a right to entertain the appeal, but the court chose to do
so, and quashed the conviction, subject to a case to the Queen’s Bench on
the points argued.  A similar appeal was heard from Robert Knight, one of
the sergeants-at-mace under the old corporation, who refused to deliver
up his mantle.  The magistrates were—Mr. Strickland, Mr. Cheek, and Mr.

1839—At the Midsummer Assizes the Rev. T. B. G. Moore, curate of
Bromsgrove, prosecuted Mr. J. B. Crane, carrier, Mr. Nicholas Hill,
publican, Mr. W. Whitehouse, farmer, Samuel Taylor, John Pinfield, jun.,
William Sansome, George Wakeman, labourers, and Henry Hill, baker, for a
riot alleged to have taken place at a church rate meeting at Bromsgrove;
and Nicholas Hill and Taylor were also charged with an assault on the
Rev. prosecutor.  The meeting in question was held on the 14th of the
previous February, and the parties who had got first to the vestry had
voted Mr. Greening to the chair and then declared the meeting adjourned
to the Town Hall; Mr. Moore, the curate, however, declared that he was
the only lawful chairman and adjourned the meeting to the school-room.
Here there was a scene of great excitement, and after the meeting had
decided by a very large majority that there should be no rate, a poll was
demanded by the pro-rate party.  Immediately upon this there was a
general rush to the platform—a violent struggle for the vestry book—and
all sorts of people—Mr. Moore amongst the number—were tumbled about,
struck, and ill-treated.  It was said that the riot had been instigated
by Mr. Nicholas Hill and Mr. Crane, and that Mr. Hill, in getting the
book out of the curate’s possession, had forced his head against the desk
so as to cause great pain.  Mr. Sergeant Ludlow, in his speech for the
defence, made much of this being a case got up by subscription—to crush
the Bromsgrove opponents of church rates, and to put money into the purse
of Mr. Annesley, an attorney, living twenty-five miles away from
Bromsgrove.  Whitehouse and Sansome were acquitted; Mr. Nicholas Hill
found guilty of assault and riot, and the rest of the defendants of a
riot only.  Counsel for plaintiff, Mr. Sergeant Talfourd and Mr. Lea;
attorney, Mr. Annesley of Pershore; for defendants, Mr. Sergeant Ludlow
and Mr. Godson; attorney, Mr. F. T. Elgie, Worcester.  In the following
November defendants were called up for judgment (after an unsuccessful
effort to get a new trial), when Nicholas Hill was sentenced to six
weeks’ imprisonment, and the other three to four weeks’ imprisonment

At the same Assizes, Mr. Meredith, woolstapler, of Pershore, was
convicted of striking Lieutenant Amherst three times, one day in the open
street.  There had been considerable excitement in the town about the
election of Guardians of the Poor for the parish of St. Andrew, in the
preceding March, and the plaintiff and defendant were active men on
opposite sides.  The first time they met in the street, Meredith put a
paper into plaintiff’s face, saying, “Look at that;” and when he put up
his clenched fist to defend himself, Meredith knocked his hat on one
side.  The second time Lieutenant Amherst admitted that he had called
Meredith a d— blackguard, before any blow was struck, but Meredith
afterwards hit him several times.  Meredith, having been found guilty,
was fined £20, and bound over himself in £300, and two sureties of £100
each, to keep the peace for three years.

1839—At the Michaelmas Sessions Samuel Cooke, the celebrated Chartist
draper at Dudley, was prosecuted for attending and assisting at a riotous
and illegal meeting at Dudley, on the 16th of July.  It was proved that a
placard, calling the meeting, had been seen in Cooke’s window, and that
he himself addressed the assembly; but it did not appear that he had said
anything very outrageous.  The meeting was tumultuous, but no actual
mischief had been done.  Cooke defended himself with a good deal of
shrewdness, and complained that he was a persecuted man.  The jury
returned a verdict of guilty, and he was sentenced to six months’
imprisonment, which was generally considered to be a very sharp political
visitation of his offence.  William Smith Lindon and James Hollis, for
using seditious language at the same meeting, were sentenced, the first
to three months’, and the second to six weeks’ imprisonment.

1841—In November this year, in the Queen’s Bench, a rule _nisi_ for a
criminal information, was granted against the _Worcestershire Chronicle_,
on the application of W. H. Ricketts, Esq., for a libel in that paper
imputing to him jobbing and interested motives in disposing of the public
money to be laid out in building the Droitwich Police Station.  Upon the
proprietors of the _Chronicle_ admitting that they had been misled and
offering an apology, Mr. Ricketts consented to the discharge of the rule.
The information on which the article complained of by Mr. Ricketts was
written, was supplied by Mr. George Ellins, a brother magistrate; and as
he refused to pay any of the costs which the proprietors of the
_Chronicle_ had incurred, they inserted another article, charging Mr.
Ellins with having misled them in the matter.  This brought another rule
_nisi_ upon them from Mr. Ellins, who affirmed that he did not volunteer
the statement to Mr. Arrowsmith, and had especially told him that what he
did say was not for publication.  The argument against the rule did not
come on till November, when Mr. Sergeant Talfourd showed cause for the
_Chronicle_, and the Solicitor General supported the rule on behalf of
Mr. Ellins.  Lord Denman said it was absurd to suppose that Mr. Ellins
gave the information to Mr. Arrowsmith for any other purpose than that of
publication; and the rule was discharged with costs.

1842—At the Lent Assizes was tried THE MARQUIS OF ANGLESEA _v._ LORD
HATHERTON, a cause more interesting from the rank of the parties
interested, and the right at stake, than from any attractiveness in the
subject or the evidence.  It was an action to stop the noble defendant
from working coal mines on certain copyhold property belonging to the
latter at Cannock, in Staffordshire; and turned upon the question whether
Lord Anglesea, as lord of the manor of Cannock, had right to the
minerals.  Sir Thomas Wilde, Sergeant Ludlow, Mr. Alexander, and the
Honourable Mr. Talbot, were retained for the defendant; and the
Solicitor-General (Sir William Follett), Mr. Richards, Q.C., Mr.
Whateley, Q.C., and Mr. Whitmore, for the plaintiff.  A great number of
witnesses were called on either side, to prove rights and customs, and to
perplex the jury; and ultimately, after a trial of two days, a verdict
was found for the plaintiff, with nominal damages.  The verdict created
much surprise.

1842—JULY 20—A Court of Inquiry holden by Mr. Under Sheriff Gillam and a
special jury, to assess damages in the case POWELL _v._ PERRINS.  This
was an action to recover damages for the seduction of plaintiff’s
daughter, plaintiff being a land surveyor at Hagley, and defendant a
chain maker, living near Stourbridge.  £500 damages given for the

1842—At the Midsummer Assizes a horrible case of depravity was disclosed
in the trial of Richard Taylor, a blacksmith of Stourbridge, charged with
shooting at his wife, Hannah Taylor, with intent to murder her.  Though
she had been the subject of a course of the most sickening brutality, she
refused to give evidence against him, and the witnesses, therefore, were
the neighbours and the prisoner’s own grown-up daughter, who stood in the
witness box with a child in her arms, which was the offspring of an
incestuous intercourse with her own father!  The prisoner, on the
particular occasion for which he was tried, had shot at his wife, and
beaten her till she was well nigh killed.  He then turned all his
children out of doors stark naked.  He was only found guilty of an
assault, because nothing more could be proved without the wife’s
evidence, and he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment only.

1843—At the Lent Assizes, Edwin Archer, a young labourer from Rouse
Lench, was tried for the wilful murder of George Green, in the previous
December.  He pleaded guilty to the crime of manslaughter, and was
sentenced to fifteen years’ transportation.  The prisoner and deceased
had been quarrelling, and set about to wrestle; in the course of the
struggle, Archer drew a knife and stabbed Green in four distinct
places—one of the wounds penetrating the heart—and death immediately
ensued.  As soon as the fatal deed was done, Archer was aghast with
horror, and wept like a child over the body of his passion’s victim.

Samuel Bridgwater was tried at these Assizes, at the instance of some
very indefatigable Radicals, for bribery at the election of 1841.  The
bill had repeatedly been thrown out by the grand juries, as was supposed,
on political grounds, until at last a sufficient number of the right
party were found to return it as “a true bill.”  The case, however, now
broke down at its very commencement, because a tailor had been sent to
the Crown Office for copies of the return to the writ for the Worcester
election, and he had not had them compared with the originals.

1843—JUNE 1—The Rev. William Smith, vicar of Overbury, obtained a rule
_nisi_ for a criminal information against the _Worcestershire Chronicle_.
The parish had long been in a state of most unseemly dissension, and the
_Chronicle_, in giving a long and very detailed statement of meetings and
matters there, was said to have libelled Mr. Smith in attributing conduct
to him which he disclaimed, and generally in reflecting on his character
and conduct.  The rule was, however, afterwards discharged by
arrangement, and no further proceedings were taken.

1843—At the Midsummer Sessions, Sir Thomas Phillips, Bart., and two of
his labourers, were tried at these Sessions, for assaulting George
Cooper, a shoemaker of Broadway.  Cooper was collector of taxes, and went
to Middle Hill to get a balance of taxes from the honourable baronet.  He
had had repeated disputes with Sir Thomas Phillips, and this was also a
disputed affair, so Sir Thomas ordered him off the premises; and when he
talked of levying a distress, Sir Thomas pushed him out of the hall, and
struck him with a garden paddle once or twice.  The two labourers were
discharged, and Sir Thomas Phillips fined £10.

1843—At the Midsummer Assizes, before Mr. Justice Maule, was tried
LAVENDER AND ANOTHER _v._ BUCKLEE, being an action to recover £3,500,
which had been secured on a bond given by Messrs. Thomas and William
Bucklee to William Shaw, Esq., of Britannia House, Worcester.  It was
said that Mr. Shaw, shortly before his death, had cancelled the bond by
cutting it off.  It was said by the executors that Mr. Shaw was not in a
state of mind to cancel the bond; and that his housekeeper, who was a
relation of the Bucklees, appeared to have great influence with Mr. Shaw.
A great deal of evidence was given as to the transaction itself, at which
interested parties were present and took much part, and as to Mr. Shaw’s
state of health at the time.  The jury, after an hour’s deliberation,
found a verdict for the defendant.

A case which excited great interest in the city of Worcester, was the
trial of Charles Samuel Atkins, a young man respectably connected, who
was in the employ of Messrs. Griffiths and Clarke, linen drapers, as a
shopman.  He was charged with embezzling £4, the property of his
employers, on the 27th of September, 1842.  Atkins had been sent to Mrs.
Jeremy with a shawl and some satinette, and on his return said Mrs.
Jeremy had kept the shawl and not paid for it, and had retained the
satinette for approval.  Mrs. Jeremy declared that she paid the person
who brought the shawl four sovereigns on the spot.  It was shown that in
the very next week Mrs. Jeremy had had some satinette sent her from Hill
and Turley’s, by a young man remarkably like the prisoner, and that came
to very nearly the same sum as the shawl; and it was suggested that Mrs.
Jeremy might have confounded the two transactions.  The jury returned a
verdict of “Not guilty,” and the court immediately echoed with deafening
cheers, while Atkins fainted away.  Mr. Sergeant Talfourd conducted the
prosecution, while Mr. Bodkin, of the Old Bailey, was specially retained
for the defence.  The linen drapers’ assistants of the city afterwards
presented Mr. Atkins with a silver snuff box.

Mary Francis, 24, single woman, was charged with attempting to poison
Mary Jeffs, an elderly woman, living at Alderminster.  The prisoner
brought the old woman a cake, pretending that some one had given it her
to make a present of it to the prosecutrix, but the strangeness of her
manner in delivering it, and her continually saying that she was only to
eat of it herself, excited the old woman’s suspicions.  The cake was
analysed, and was found to contain a large quantity of arsenic.  The
prisoner was courted by the old woman’s son; but not the slightest motive
could be assigned for her wish to deprive the mother of life.  She was
found guilty, and sentenced to fifteen years’ transportation.

1844—At the Lent Assizes was tried the QUEEN _v._ SMITH, being an action
brought by William Harris, the parish clerk of Overbury, against the Rev.
William Smith, the vicar, for dismissing him from his situation.  Mr.
Smith alleged that the clerk had been guilty of drunkenness, had read the
responses irreverently, and had interrupted the celebration of the
sacrament on a particular occasion.  Harris denied the whole of these
charges, and the present trial was on a return to a mandamus in the Court
of Queen’s Bench to ascertain their truth.  Various witnesses were
examined on both sides: those for Harris asserting that it was Mr.
Smith’s eccentricities that alone caused the clerk to err.  The jury
found that the charges of drunkenness were proved, and that Harris had
spoken the responses loudly to annoy Mr. Smith, but that the charge of
interrupting the sacrament was not true.  The court, thereupon, ordered
the verdict to be entered for defendant.

1844—MARCH 23—At Hereford Assizes was tried BELLERS _v._ CHALK AND HOLL,
being an action for libel, said to be contained in a paragraph in the
_Worcester Herald_ of the 2nd of December, 1843.  Colonel Bund, of
Malvern, gave some information to the proprietors of the _Herald_, on the
strength of which they inserted a paragraph charging Mr. Bellers, of
Barnard’s Green, with cruelty to his mare, by shutting her up for years
in solitary confinement in such a position that she could not lie down.
Several statements afterwards appeared in the _Herald_ to the effect that
the cruelty to the mare had been abated after the publication of the
paragraph, and reporting the proceedings of a meeting, held at
Gloucester, for establishing a society for the prevention of cruelty to
animals.  The Lord Bishop of the Diocese presided at that meeting; and
Mr. Thomas, the secretary of the Society in London for Preventing Cruelty
to Animals, attended, and stated that he had personally inquired into the
alleged case of cruelty, and had found the statement in the _Herald_ to
be correct.  On the trial, Mr. Whateley, Mr. Gray, and Mr. Godson were
counsel for plaintiff; Mr. Sergeant Talfourd and Mr. Valentine Lee for
the defendants.  Acting on the advice of counsel, defendants had not
pleaded a justification.  The publication of the libel was admitted; of
course, no evidence could be offered in justification, and the jury found
a verdict for plaintiff, as they were bound to do under the
circumstances: damages, £150.

1844—At the Midsummer Assizes, John Bowen, a man of about fifty years,
formerly an officer in the navy, was tried on the charge of defacing the
parish registers of Croome D’Abitot, and sentenced to seven years’
transportation.  It was shown that Bowen was engaged in making out a
pedigree for a John Wood, who wanted to establish himself as a relation
to the celebrated James Wood, of Gloucester, and had visited the Croome
D’Abitot rectory several times for that purpose.  While the curate was
looking in another direction he tore a leaf out of the register.  Mr.
Sergeant Talfourd was for the prosecution, and Mr. F. V. Lee for the

THE QUEEN _v._ NEWTON, also tried at the Assizes, was a charge against
the eccentric barrister of that name, who used to come the Oxford
circuit, of having committed perjury, said to have been committed in some
affidavits.  The presiding judge, Mr. Sergeant Atcherley, stopped the
case, as insufficiently supported in the evidence.

1844—At the Michaelmas Quarter Sessions a singular trial took place of
two farmers, named Swan and Patrick, who were charged with killing deer
belonging to W. L. Childe, Esq., in Kyre Parva park.  The witness against
them was a boy named Passey, who said he saw the parties accused chase a
fine buck into one corner of the inclosure and then shoot it; but there
were some discrepancies in his testimony.  Both these farmers lived close
to Mr. Child, and as the fences were not in the best possible condition,
the deer used frequently to get on their land and eat their corn.  Mr.
Lee made an ingenious speech for the defence, and called many witnesses
to character; after which the jury returned a verdict of not guilty, amid
the applause of the court.

1845—At the Lent Assizes, eleven poachers were put on their trial for the
murder of Thomas Staite, one of the Earl of Coventry’s watchers, who was
killed in a very desperate affray which took place between the keepers
and the prisoners on the 19th of the previous December.  One of them,
however, named George Lippett, was admitted as Queen’s evidence; and
another, Francis Dingley, while in prison made a full confession of the
whole transaction.  The keepers and watchers were nine in number, and
they encountered the party of poachers at the gate leading into Park
Farm, Pirton.  A fight with bludgeons took place, in which the keepers
were altogether worsted, and one or two of them left for dead.  The
poachers also fired off two guns, but the shots did not take effect.  The
unfortunate man, Staite, was found by his comrades, after the affray was
over, in a ditch close by the Park Farm house, so badly used that he
could not speak; and, indeed, he never uttered a word from that hour.  He
was taken first to a neighbouring cottage, and then to the Worcester
Infirmary, where he died in six days.  The identity of all the prisoners,
and the part they had each taken in the affray, was very clearly made out
by the evidence of four of the watchers and the statement of the approver
Lippett.  Mr. Godson, in a very able speech for the prisoners, contended
that the case was not made out by the evidence of the keepers, and that
Lippett was not to be believed; ending with a protest against the game
laws generally, as the cause of much injustice and innumerable crimes.
The Lord Chief Baron Pollock, before whom the case was tried, told the
jury that they might find the prisoners guilty of manslaughter; and,
acting upon this hint, the jury returned a general verdict against all
the prisoners of “Guilty of manslaughter.”  Witnesses to character were
then called on behalf of some of the prisoners, and his lordship
sentenced them to different terms of transportation as they seemed to
have taken an active part or otherwise in the attack upon the keepers.
Francis Dingley, Samuel Turvey, Joseph Turvey, and Joseph Tandy were
transported for life; Thomas Hooper, William Broomfield, and John Cook
transported for ten years; George Brant for seven years; and Thomas
Cosnett and William Collins were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.
The prisoners were all Pershore men, but the case excited the most
intense interest in that part of the county.

1846—At the Midsummer Assizes, Richard Farley, cabinet maker, fifty-three
years of age, and Ann Jones, a married woman, were tried for forging the
will of William Welch, of Llandilion, near Abergavenny.  The will was
first produced and attempted to be used in Worcester—hence the trial took
place here.  Farley was Welch’s son-in-law, and the will conveyed some
property at Aston Ingham to him instead of to his own son, William Welch.
A number of witnesses declared that the will was not in the handwriting
of the deceased, and that one at least of the signatures was written by
the prisoner himself.  Ann Jones was an attesting witness, and repeatedly
asserted the genuineness of the will.  Farley was sentenced to fifteen
years’ transportation, and Jones to twelve months’ imprisonment.

1847—At the Lent Assizes this year, a trial took place which excited
considerable interest—that of HARRIS _v._ GRISSELL, being an action
brought by Mr. George Harris, carpet manufacturer, of Stourport, against
(really) the Severn Navigation Commissioners, though the ostensible
defendants were the contractors of the works—Messrs. Grissell and Peto.
Mr. Harris had a mill on the Stour, and he said that owing to the
erection of the weir at Lincombe, the water in the Stour had been so
pounded up as frequently to stop his undershot wheels, and to render his
mill useless.  A great number of witnesses were examined on both sides,
and the learned judge (Mr. Sergeant Gazelee) having told the jury that
there was no defence to the action, they returned a verdict for the
plaintiff, with £500 damages; but this extraordinary summing up of the
judge’s enabled the defendants to get a rule for a new trial, and the
matter never proceeded further.

1847—At the Midsummer Assizes, Harklas Lovell Blewitt, a travelling
tinker, was tried for the murder of his wife at Dudley, on the 3rd of
June.  They were staying at a lodging house, and the wife, to escape the
ill-treatment of her brutal spouse, hid herself in the coalhole; he
followed her there with a kettle of hot water, and, holding her down with
one hand, poured it over her head and shoulders.  She was so dreadfully
scalded that she died in ten days; but though there was no pretence for
saying that it was unintentionally done, the jury, to the amazement of
the court, returned a verdict of “Guilty of manslaughter” only, and the
fellow was sentenced to transportation for twenty years.

1848—At the Lent Assizes, four men, named Cartwright, Sweatman, Payne,
and Turberfield, were charged with breaking into the toll house at
Knighton-on-Teme, kept by an old man named John Mound, and his wife, and
stealing £115.  The burglars used very violent threats towards the poor
old people, who most distinctly swore to all four of the men as the
parties who robbed and assailed them.  They were consequently found
guilty, and sentenced to fifteen years’ transportation each.  Yet it was
afterwards distinctly proved that Turberfield was not engaged in the
robbery, and he received a free pardon.  Two other men, convicted of
burglary at these assizes, on what appeared to be the clearest evidence,
were discharged by the Secretary of State, because it was afterwards
proved, beyond contradiction, that the crime had been committed by other


THE county has of late years been almost wholly spared the painful
spectacle of justice proceeding to its direst extremity of taking away
human life, though formerly capital punishments were but too common, and
inflicted for what we should now esteem very inadequate causes of
offence.  Their policy and propriety in any case are now allowed to be
fit matters for discussion; and it is probable that public opinion may,
in a few years hence, demand their entire abolition.

1800—At the Lent Assizes this year, ten persons were sentenced to death,
but seven of them were reprieved before the judges left the town.
Richard and John Lane, brothel’s, were convicted of the murder of Thomas
Goode, of Redmarley, in October, 1799.  They were impatient to possess
some property which would be theirs at his death, and having waylaid him,
both shot him—one with a gun, the other with a pistol.  They were
executed on the 10th of March, and each died uttering execrations on the

1800—At the Summer Assizes, thirteen persons were sentenced to death, and
three of them executed—one for burglary, and two for sheep stealing.
They are said to have died “with the utmost resignation, and
acknowledging the justice of their sentences.”

1801—At the Lent Assizes, five persons were sentenced to death for
burglary, a woman for stealing two £10 notes, five men for highway
robbery, three for horse stealing, one for stealing a cow, another for
stealing two calves, four for sheep stealing, and two for escaping from
prison after sentence of transportation—twenty-two in all!  Six of these
were left for execution; but great interest being made for some of them,
only one was actually hung.

1803—MARCH—Richard Colledge executed for horse stealing.

1803—JUNE—Thomas Beach executed for uttering a forged £5 note.

1805—MARCH 22—John Sanky, _alias_ Young, convicted at the Assizes just
concluded of uttering a forged bill of exchange, with intent to defraud
Messrs. Knapp and Lee, glovers, of Worcester, was executed on a temporary
gallows erected in Salt Lane.  He addressed the spectators for a full
half hour, acknowledging the justice of his sentence, and expressing his
confident hope of pardon through the righteousness and atonement of our
Saviour.  He had attempted, in the interval between his sentence and
condemnation, to escape from the gaol, but he now declared that he never
entertained any idea of doing the gaoler or turnkey any personal injury.
_He then gave out three verses of a hymn_, _and was joined in singing
them by many of the persons who surrounded the fatal tree_; after this he
prayed aloud in a very solemn manner for himself and the spectators.
Several distressing mistakes were made by the executioner, but the
unhappy sufferer retained his composure amidst all these blunders, and
appeared to die with absolute cheerfulness.  This young man was evidently
possessed of considerable talents, but they had been miserably

1805—AUGUST 16—W. Dalton, convicted before Lord Ellenborough at the
Summer Assizes of two burglaries, one at Astley and the other at
Kidderminster—executed at Red Hill.  His demeanour was becoming.

1806—MARCH 19—John Davenport and William Lashford hung at Red Hill for a
burglary at Bellbroughton.  They confessed their crime, and behaved in a
becoming manner.

1812—MARCH 20—William Scale was executed in the field of the New Gaol for
committing a rape at Norton, near Worcester.  He is described as
“penitent, resigned, and met his fate with the fortitude becoming his
deplorable situation.”

1815—JULY 21—William White was executed on a gallows erected “in the
outer circle of the County Gaol,” for a rape on Ann Davis of Beoley.  He
is declared to have died, “as since his condemnation he had lived, full
of contrition and piety.”

1816—MARCH 22—William Clements and John Batty executed at the County
Prison for breaking into the dwelling house of Mr. Martin of Paxford, and
stealing a large sum of money; and John Rowen for forging and uttering a
bill of exchange for £315 on Messrs. Cox, Merle, and Co., bankers,
London, with intent to defraud Messrs. Attwood and Co., bankers,

1818—JULY 31—William Corfield sentenced to death for a burglary at the
house of George Jukes of Tenbury, was executed at the new drop erected
over the entrance to the County Gaol.  He had conducted himself after his
trial in a very refractory manner, and could not be brought to
acknowledge the justice of his sentence.  Shortly before his execution he
wrote an exceedingly sensible and properly worded letter to his wife.

1819—MARCH 19—John Harris convicted of uttering forged Bank of England
notes at Bromsgrove, hung in front of the County Gaol.  He died
“sincerely penitent.”

1820—MARCH 17—Robert Hollick, convicted of robbing Thomas Gittins and
Thomas Hawker on the highway at Claines, and cruelly ill-treating the
latter, was this day executed.  As he was being led out of his cell, his
mother, sister, wife, and child, came to see him, not having visited him
previously.  The execution was delayed awhile to grant them an
interview—which, as may be supposed, was a most distressing one.  It did
not, however, unnerve the culprit, who died with great firmness, though
fully admitting the justice of his sentence.

1821—MARCH 23—Thomas Dyer, capitally convicted of horse stealing, was
executed at the County Gaol, but died protesting his entire innocence of
the crime laid to his charge.  He left a paper behind him, stating the
names of the parties from whom he bought the horses, and the sums of
money he had given for them; but it does not appear that anybody thought
it worth while to make further inquiries about the matter.

1821—AUGUST 24—William Mantle and William Bird were executed at the
County Gaol; the former convicted of stealing sheep, the property of Mr.
Henry Hyde of Little Kyre; and the latter of breaking into the house of
Mr. John Bird of Bromsgrove, and stealing wearing apparel, &c.  The ropes
were nearly extended to their full length when tied round the unhappy
culprits’ necks, so that scarcely any fall took place, and they died in
great agony, especially Bird.  Their remains were interred in St.
Andrew’s churchyard.

1823—MARCH 24—James Davis and Joseph Rutter, two young men convicted at
the Lent Assizes—the former of horse stealing and the latter of sheep
stealing—were executed at the County Gaol.  Davis was a deserter from the
army, and appeared to have stolen from sheer want.  Rutter’s had been a
long course of crime.  Davis began to address the crowd when brought upon
the scaffolding, warning them to avoid Sabbath breaking and vicious
practices; when Rutter said, impatiently, “Come, let’s have no more of
that;” and they were immediately hurried into eternity.  He literally
preferred hanging to a homily.

1826—JULY 21—John Hobday, a young man only twenty-one years of age,
having been convicted at the Midsummer Assizes of a burglary at the Bell
Inn, Kidderminster, and a savage assault upon the officers who
apprehended him at Birmingham, was executed at the County Gaol this day.
He was reported to be very penitent, and prepared for death.

1830—MARCH 11—Michael Toll, convicted of the wilful murder of Ann Cook, a
woman with whom he lived, by knocking her into a pit at Oldswinford, was
executed this day in front of the County Gaol.  His body was given to the
surgeons to anatomise, and afterwards exposed to public gaze at the
Infirmary.  In his stomach were found a number of pieces of blanket,
which he had swallowed in order to produce suffocation.

1830—JULY 30—Charles Wall, convicted at the Summer Assizes of the murder
of Sally Chance, at Oldswinford, was executed in front of the County
Prison at six o’clock p.m., the execution having been deferred to that
unusual hour in consequence of the election taking place that day.  His
body was delivered to a surgeon at Stourbridge, and afterwards exposed to
view to great crowds who came from all the surrounding parts to see it.
The party murdered was a little girl, whose mother the prisoner was about
to marry, and he killed her by throwing her into a lime pit.

1830—AUGUST 13—Thomas Turner, a lad only seventeen years of age,
convicted at the same Assizes of a rape upon Louisa Blissett, a child
under ten years of age, at New Wood, about three miles from
Kidderminster, was executed this day.

1831—MARCH 25—Thomas Slaughter, _a lad not eighteen years of age_, was
executed for setting fire to a large wheat rick, the property of Mrs.
Rebecca Tomlinson, of Elmley Lovett.  The poor fellow was wholly
uneducated, and evidently of weak intellect.

1832—MARCH 22—James and Joseph Carter, two brothers, aged twenty and
twenty-two respectively, and condemned at the Lent Assizes for two cases
of highway robbery at night, with violence, in the neighbourhood of
Bewdley, this morning underwent the extreme penalty of the law in front
of the County Gaol.  Both men met death with firmness, but without
bravado; and Joseph Carter addressed the populace from the scaffolding,
warning them to avoid Sabbath breaking, drunkenness, and bad women.  The
crowd on this occasion behaved with unusual decorum, and seem really to
have been impressed with a feeling of sadness at seeing two persons
hurried out of life so early.

1834—MARCH 12—Robert Lilly, convicted at the Lent Assizes of the murder
of Jonathan Wall, at Bromsgrove, was executed in front of the County
Gaol.  Wall had interfered to prevent his ill-using his wife, and Lilly
stabbed him in the abdomen with a clasp-knife.  There was a large
concourse of spectators at the execution—principally females, but the
culprit did not address them, and he died without a struggle.

1837—MARCH 23—William Lightband, executed in front of the County Gaol for
the murder of Joseph Hawkins, shopkeeper, of Areley Kings, on the 8th
September, 1836.  He was a carpenter, entirely without education, and had
pursued a sottish and irregular mode of life.  However, the instruction
he received when in prison seemed to have had effect upon his mind, and
he met death in becoming manner.  Though it snowed during the whole
morning there was a great concourse of spectators, and the Rev. Mr. Dodd,
assistant minister at the Lady Huntingdon’s Chapel, afterwards addressed
them.  Their behaviour was more decent than usual on such occasions.

1849—MARCH 26—The last execution which took place in Worcester was that
of Robert Pulley, who was condemned to death for the barbarous murder of
a poor girl, named Mary Ann Staight, at Broughton, on the 5th of
December, 1843.  The manners of the prisoner were so brutish and careless
as to induce a doubt in his sanity; and at the expense of the High
Sheriff, Mr. John Dent, counsel was provided at his trial to defend him
on this ground.  It was also made the plea for a memorial to the Home
Secretary on his behalf, which was signed by many benevolent persons, and
by those opposed to all capital punishments.  His conduct after trial,
however, was such as to convince all who conversed with him of his
perfect rationality.  He was lamentably ignorant; but listened with much
attention to the exhortations of the ministers who visited him.  He
displayed great firmness in his last moments.  The execution took place
at noon on the roof of the County Gaol, in the presence of a large crowd
of spectators, who behaved with much propriety.

The excitement occasioned by this execution produced much discussion as
to the expediency of capital punishments.  A public meeting was held in
the Guildhall, Worcester, by those who wished their abolition, at which
Mr. Charles Gilpin attended and spoke.  Mr. George Grove attempted to
show that Scripture contained a command which was conclusive on the
subject, and required us to shed the blood of the man who took away the
life of another; but a resolution, declaring capital punishments to be
opposed to the spirit of Christianity and inexpedient, was carried almost
unanimously.  The Rev. W. H. Havergal and Dr. Redford also preached upon
the subject—the former in favour of, and the latter against, death


THE County of Worcester has hitherto been very poorly supplied with
Railway communication—a strange fatuity having attended the various
undertakings which have been projected for meeting its necessities in
this respect.  Worcester itself was, indeed, almost shut out from this
advantage, now so indispensable to prosperity, till the half century had
closed; but a brighter day appears now to be dawning upon us.


THIS is the only railway which has yet been completed in this county, and
it was promoted chiefly by parties living at the termini, who made it
their only object to carry it in as straight a line as possible from
point to point, with very little reference to the convenience of the
towns by the way.  If the shareholders could have foreseen the disastrous
influence of such a policy upon their own funds, they would certainly
have taken a different course, even though they felt no interest in the
prosperity of the places which they so much injured by passing at
considerable distances.  The scheme was first projected in 1834, and the
directors obtained their act on their first application to Parliament in
1836; the line was opened from Cheltenham to Bromsgrove, in June, 1840,
and throughout the whole distance on the 17th of December in that year.
The share capital subscribed was £1,142,125, to which £380,076 was
afterwards added of money borrowed on debentures, &c.  Though the line,
except at the Lickey, presented no engineering difficulties, and was
cheaply constructed, yet the rate of profit was very small; and in
October, 1842, the £100 shares were quoted as low as 41.  In January,
1845, it was amalgamated with the Bristol and Gloucester Line; and in
1846, when the broad and narrow gauge interests were each making such
struggles for the ascendancy, the Midland Company entered into an
arrangement to lease the line for 999 years, paying 6 per cent. upon the
capital.  The Great Western bid 5½ per cent., but would go no higher.

This undertaking was first introduced to the notice of the citizens of
Worcester at a public meeting held on the 15th of January, 1834.  The
Company were at this time about to determine upon their route, and had
two plans before them—the one eventually adopted _viâ_ Cheltenham, and
another that was to have come by way of Stourbridge, Kidderminster, and
Worcester; the former was marked out by Mr. Brunel, the latter by a Mr.
Wooddeson.  In consequence of this state of things some gentlemen had
formed themselves into a provisional committee with a line of their own,
and Messrs. Gwinnall and Hughes, the solicitors employed, procured the
calling of this meeting, in the Guildhall, Worcester, with the Mayor, W.
Dent, Esq., in the chair.  The committee laid their plans, in the rough,
before the meeting, and asked a vote of sanction and support from the
meeting.  Sir Anthony Lechmere wanted no railways at all.  Major Bund and
Mr. Gutch proposed a month’s adjournment.  But a resolution to stand by
the committee, and to approve of no railway but one which came right
through Worcester, was passed by a large majority.  The Grand Connection
Railway project took its rise from the suggestions of this committee.

The Birmingham and Gloucester Company making no attempt to obtain an act
in the session of 1835, the matter was not again discussed till the 22nd
October in that year, when a meeting was convened, over which Mr. J. W.
Lea, Mayor, presided.  Some of the provisional directors were present,
and admitted that they intended to carry the line through Spetchley.  Mr.
John Hyde proposed that the directors should be requested to include a
branch to Worcester in their scheme.  Mr. Pierpoint said the main line
ought to be brought, and could be brought, much nearer Worcester; and if
it were not so brought, the city of Worcester ought to oppose the line by
every means.  A committee of conference was appointed, and the meeting
adjourned for a week.  It was then announced that the provisional
directors of the line had agreed to have a survey taken of a deviation
line from Abbott’s Wood to Norton, as well as of a direct branch to
Spetchley, and lay them both before Parliament to choose from.  Several
speeches were made to show that the whole line had been contrived without
any regard to the interests of the city and county of Worcester; and on
the motion of Mr. Hooper, seconded by Mr. Deighton, it was resolved that
no railway should be sanctioned by the people of Worcester that did not
bring the main line within a mile of the city.  On the 4th November
another meeting was called, to consider the propriety of surveying a line
for a railway on the western side of the Severn, to go by Kidderminster.
It was evident that the Birmingham and Gloucester directors intended to
adhere to their original plan, and so the citizens of Worcester
determined to oppose them vigorously, and entered into a subscription,
headed by fifty guineas from the corporate body, to survey a fresh line.

On the 31st March, 1836, a public meeting was called to consider the
expediency of further opposing the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway
Company.  The directors of that company had bound themselves in a penalty
of £70,000 to make a branch to Worcester, to join there the Grand
Connection Railway to Wolverhampton, and on that score the opposition to
their bill, on the part of the citizens of Worcester, had been withdrawn,
and it had passed through committee in the Commons.  Mr. Waters, who had
been chiefly instrumental in calling the present meeting, said that he
thought Worcester ought to join Tewkesbury in opposing the measure in the
House of Lords.  Mr. Pierpoint said the sum subscribed after the former
meeting had been totally inadequate for the purpose of opposing the bill,
and so they had to make the best terms they could—which were, that the
Railway Company should make a deviation line from Abbott’s Wood to
Oddingley, or forfeit £70,000.  Mr. Pierpoint represented this as
altogether distinct and separate from the Grand Connection Railway,
although, he said, he would put the bond on the fire that night if the
opposition were determined on.  The Mayor asked him how he could do that
if the bond were given him on behalf of the city, and he replied that he
had been well advised upon the point.  A great deal of personal
altercation took place, and hot party feeling introduced, but the meeting
ended by Mr. Pierpoint proposing the following resolution: “That in
consequence of certain satisfactory arrangements having been entered into
between the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway Company and the Grand
Connection Railway committee, the interests of this city have been so
consulted that this meeting think it unnecessary to interfere.”  Mr.
Waters, in a few days afterwards, published a letter in answer to “A
Grand Connection Shareholder,” in which he declared Mr. Pierpoint to have
been proved, by this very letter of his brother shareholder, to have
deceived the whole body of his fellow citizens; inasmuch as there was
only an agreement between the Birmingham and Gloucester Company and Grand
Connection Company to carry out the deviation line between them; or if
the Grand Connection Company did not obtain their act, then the
Birmingham and Gloucester line were to make a branch from Worcester to
Abbott’s Wood.

In April, 1839, the Company attempting to get a bill—to extend their
rails to the Berkeley Canal at Gloucester, and to raise more
capital—through Parliament, they were opposed by the Worcester Chamber of
Commerce on the ground that they had not fulfilled their engagements with
the city of Worcester.  The bond which they had given to Mr. Pierpoint,
as Chairman of the Grand Connection Railway Company, binding them in a
penalty of £70,000 to make a branch from Worcester to Abbott’s Wood, was,
they said, null and void, because the Grand Connection Railway Company
had ceased to exist.  The Parliamentary committee, principally in
consequence of the able and zealous exertions of Mr. John Hill, the Town
Clerk of Worcester, determined that the Company should be compelled to
introduce into the bill clauses obliging them to complete the Abbott’s
Wood branch before opening the main line for traffic.  The Birmingham and
Gloucester Company, after this decision, gave up their bill.

In 1842 the Company, having been threatened with proceedings under the
bond, offered to construct a branch with a single line of rails from
Spetchley to Sansome Fields, Worcester.  A public meeting was called on
the 15th of August, to consider this proposal.  Mr. Pierpoint and Mr.
John Dent moved the acceptance of the proposal.  Mr. E. L. Williams and
Mr. Waters moved, as an amendment, that the city should abide by the
bond, and be satisfied with nothing less; and after a long discussion the
Mayor put the matter to the vote, and declared the amendment carried.

In 1843 the Company brought two bills before Parliament—the one a money
bill, and the other to get powers to make a branch from Bredicot to
Worcester.  The latter was opposed in committee by Mr. Berkeley, of
Spetchley, on the ground of an agreement between him and the Company that
such a division of his lands should not be made.  The other was opposed
by the Worcester Town Council and Chamber of Commerce, with a view of
getting justice done to the city; and they procured the insertion of
clauses binding the Company to abide by an award of the Board of Trade in
the matter.  General Pasley was accordingly sent down by the Board of
Trade to survey the county in September; and upon his report, and a
hearing of the several interests, they issued their award in the
following April.  By this the Railway Company were called upon to make a
branch from Bredicot to the Bath Road, Worcester.  But no further steps
were ever taken in the matter.  Such a branch as the one proposed would
only have been in the way when the Oxford and Wolverhampton line was
constructed; and with that the public mind was now occupied.  As to “the
bond,” that is still a subject of profound mystery, and much perplexes
the good people of Worcester.


THE origin of this project has been already mentioned.

In December, 1835, a public meeting was held in Worcester, over which the
Mayor, J. W. Lea, Esq., presided; at which it was fully determined to
proceed with this Railway, which was to go from Gloucester to Worcester,
on the western side the river; to cross the Severn at Worcester, thence
direct to Kidderminster, and afterwards to Birmingham in one direction
and Wolverhampton in another.  The capital was to consist of 800,000
shares of £50 each.  The shares were taken up pretty freely, and the bill
was read a second time, and went into committee in March, 1837.  It was
strenuously opposed there by the Birmingham Canal Company, and by several
landowners.  The preamble was, however, declared proved.  The committee
divided on the point, and the numbers were—for, 15; against, 14.  General
Lygon, the chairman of the committee, was most indefatigable in promoting
the undertaking.  The bill was thrown out on bringing up the report in
the House of Commons, by a majority of 165 to 88.  The principal argument
used against it was that it would destroy the beauty of the county of
Worcester.  Its defeat was principally owing to the landowners.  It was
attempted to be revived in the following year, but without success.

                                * * * * *

IN 1840 the Railway Commissioners were engaged in determining what would
be the most desirable route for a grand trunk line which should connect
the metropolis with the Welsh coast, so that the quickest possible
communication might be made with Ireland.  One project was to carry a
line from Port Dynllaen, in Brecknockshire, to Didcot, on the Great
Western line; and in this the people of Worcester felt much interested.

1840—MARCH 17—A public meeting was held in Worcester in favour of this
line; and in the absence of the Mayor, Mr. Chalk, who was in London to
present the address of congratulation from the town council to Her
Majesty, John Dent, Esq., was called to the chair.  A report from the
Chamber of Commerce on the subject of the meeting was read by Mr.
Alderman Edward Evans, and it was resolved to procure subscriptions in
order to obtain another survey of the line of country from the Royal
Commissioners.  A similar meeting was held in the next week at Evesham.

The Chester and Holyhead route, though the longest by several miles, was
eventually preferred by the Commissioners, because Holyhead was the
better harbour and starting point for vessels.

                                * * * * *

IN 1842 a branch railway was projected to connect Evesham with the
Birmingham and Gloucester Railway at Eckington, but it was strenuously
opposed by the owners of lands through which it must have passed, and was
thereupon abandoned.

                                * * * * *

THE railway mania of 1845 of course did not leave Worcestershire
uninfected.  No fewer than twenty-seven schemes, having more or less
reference to this county, were advertised in the Worcester papers, with
long statements of imaginary advantages and abundance of “provisional
directors.”  The Welsh Midland; Worcester, Tenbury, and Ludlow;
Worcester, Warwick, and Rugby; and Worcester, Hereford, Ross, and
Gloucester, were those which found most favour with the Worcester public.
A great number of meetings were held in reference to them all over the
county, and every scheme was enthusiastically received everywhere; it is
quite useless, however, to allude to them further, as, without a single
exception, they were utterly resultless, excepting in abstracting money
from the pockets of people who could ill afford to lose it.  The 30th
November was at Worcester, as at all other places, a day of great
excitement—the promoters of the various schemes which had just started
into existence having, before twelve o’clock on that night (Sunday), to
deposit their plans and sections with the clerks of the peace.  Plans for
no less than thirty-six railways were deposited at the office of the
Clerk of the Peace for this county, {156} and thirteen with the Clerk of
the Peace for the city.

The early part of the year 1846 was occupied with “amalgamations” and
“arrangements;” then came the ordeal of standing orders, and very few
survived that.  In some instances ingenious engineers had made rivers run
up-hill, and canals swim over bridges, instead of allowing the bridges to
bestride the canals; while in many cases the most trivial error of
misdescription or omission to serve a notice was sufficient to extinguish
a scheme of real utility.  Then ensued the panic and “winding up”—very
few of the scripholders ever obtaining any return out of their deposits.
Only six of all the projects connected with Worcestershire received the
sanction of the legislature, and only three of the rest were resuscitated
in the coming season; these were the Shropshire Union (Shrewsbury to
Worcester), the Worcester and Hereford (Midland Company’s project), and
the Worcester, Tenbury, and Ludlow.  The last mentioned, however, seemed
only to have been continued for speculating purposes, and was speedily
withdrawn.  The Worcester and Hereford line was warmly supported by the
citizens of Worcester in a public meeting held in February, 1847, but it
was thrown out on standing orders; and the Shropshire Union was also


THE first meeting at Worcester with reference to railway communication
between that city and the metropolis, _viâ_ Oxford, was as follows:

1844—MARCH 19—The Mayor presided at a very respectable gathering of
tradesmen of the city in the Guildhall, and Mr. F. T. Elgie made a
statement of the proposal by the Great Western Company to construct what
is now known as the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway, and
requested the support of the citizens to the scheme.  Mr. W. S. P. Hughes
said the Grand Connection Railway would answer all the purposes of the
city of Worcester, and that was to be brought before Parliament again
immediately, with every prospect of success.  A resolution in favour of
the line proposed by Mr. Elgie was, however, carried unanimously.  The
merits of the two lines were discussed at a public meeting at
Kidderminster, on the 4th of April, at which Mr. Elgie and Mr. Hughes
supported their respective schemes, and the Oxford line had a majority in
the meeting of three to one.

1844—MAY 9—Another railway meeting was held in the Guildhall this day,
with the Mayor in the chair, to support one or other of the schemes for
connecting Worcester with London.  Mr. Elgie and Mr. Brunel appeared for
the Oxford line, and Mr. Taunton and Mr. Addison for a line from
Worcester through Evesham and Leamington, to join the London and North
Western Railway.  This was to be only a single line of rails.  Mr. Brunel
assured the meeting that the Oxford line was supported by the Great
Western, and that £1,000,000 would be sufficient for its construction.
Mr. Hughes, on behalf of the promoters of the Grand Connection Railway,
said the cost of the line from Worcester to Wolverhampton alone would be
above a million; and proposed, as an amendment, that it would be
premature to express an opinion in favour of any particular line till
they had more details before them.  The meeting, however, almost
unanimously expressed itself in favour of the Great Western project.

1844—The great town’s meeting at which the Great Western and London and
Birmingham projects for a Worcester Railway were brought into competition
for the approbation of the citizens, was held in the Guildhall on the 4th
November, William Lewis, Esq., Mayor, presiding.  It was first assembled
in the Crown Court, but afterwards there was an adjournment to the outer
hall.  The proceedings were commenced by Mr. Waters’s moving “That until
the Parliamentary plans were deposited, the citizens were in no position
to decide upon the eligibility of the schemes proposed to them.”  Mr. J.
W. Lea seconded this proposition.  Mr. Leader Williams denied that the
Great Western were _bonâ fide_ in their scheme, and until the plans were
deposited they could have no security that they would go on with it.  Mr.
Elgie retorted that Messrs. Waters and Williams wanted no railway at all.
The motion was negatived by a very large majority.  Mr. Alderman
Matthews, Mr. Francis Rufford, and Mr. Barlow spoke on behalf of the
Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton line, which again received the
almost unanimous adhesion of the citizens, Mr. E. Shelton, of Thorngrove,
alone putting in a word for the London and Birmingham Company’s line.

1845—FEBRUARY 4—The Railway Commissioners of the Board of Trade reported
in favour of the Tring line, and against the Oxford, Worcester, and

1845—FEBRUARY 22—A general meeting of the Oxford and Worcester Railway
Company’s shareholders was held in the Guildhall, Worcester, at which
they determined to proceed vigorously with their own measure, in spite of
the unfavourable report of the Board of Trade.  The report of the
provisional committee, read at this meeting, stated that the project had
been set on foot in the previous February, by the influential mining and
commercial interests of South Staffordshire, who afterwards applied to
the Great Western Railway Company to support and lease a line from
Wolverhampton to Banbury; but this was ultimately changed for the line to

On the 26th of March a common hall was convened at Worcester, at which
the citizens unanimously agreed to petition in favour of the Oxford,
Worcester, and Wolverhampton line.  A series of resolutions in favour of
the Tring line was transmitted to the Mayor, who presided, as having been
agreed to at a private meeting of its supporters at Messrs. Hyde and
Tymbs’ offices, with Mr. Francis Hooper in the chair, the day before; and
this was assigned as the reason for the non-attendance of the friends of
the London and Birmingham scheme.

1845—APRIL 10—The inhabitants of Droitwich assembled in public meeting on
the railway question, and on the motion of W. H. Ricketts, Esq.,
petitioned in favour of the Birmingham and Gloucester Company’s deviation
line, refusing to support the Oxford and Wolverhampton scheme.

THE GREAT BATTLE OF THE GAUGES.—The Parliamentary Committee to whom had
been intrusted the duty of reporting on the various railways proposed for
this district, commenced their labours on the 5th of May.  The members of
the committee were the Right Honourable F. Shaw (Dublin University),
chairman; Messrs. Bramston, Horne, Drummond, Villiers, Stuart, and
Lockhart.  The lines brought before them were:


1—Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway.

2—Oxford and Rugby Railway.


3—London, Worcester, and Rugby and Oxford Railway.

4—Birmingham and Gloucester Railway—Worcester Branch and Deviation.

5—Birmingham and Gloucester Railway—Wolverhampton Extension.

6—London, Worcester, and South Staffordshire Railway—the Tring line.

7—Grand Junction—Dudley Branch, Shrewsbury and Stafford, and Shrewsbury
and Wolverhampton.

8—Shrewsbury and Birmingham Railway.

All the great railway interests of the country thought themselves
interested in the decision of the committee, and brought their forces to
bear upon the battle; inasmuch as it was supposed that it would decide to
which of the gauges the preference should be given in coming railway
economics, and so be of vital importance to the opponent systems and the
great companies connected with them.  For months prior to this contest
the press had swarmed with pamphlets, some contending that a greater
power, speed, and safety could be attained upon the broad gauge; others
requiring a uniformity of gauge throughout the country, and pointing out
the inconvenience of a break of gauge at Gloucester and elsewhere: but
the decision of the committee had very little reference to any of these
matters, and was clearly influenced by different considerations.  The
principal counsel employed were Mr. Talbot and Mr. Cockburn for the
Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton line; Mr. Austin and Sergeant
Wrangham for the London, Worcester, and South Staffordshire line; Mr.
Daniell for the Birmingham and Gloucester; and Mr. Kinglake for the Great
Western Company: besides innumerable others.  Mr. Austin opened the case
on behalf of the London and Birmingham line to Tring, which he contended
was all that the district could require; that it would be absurd to
introduce the broad gauge north of Birmingham; and, lastly, the Board of
Trade had reported in its favour.  The witnesses connected with this
county, who were examined in its favour, were Mr. Richard Smith, mining
agent to Lord Ward (whose interests had been especially consulted in this
scheme); Mr. William Hancock, ironmaster, Cookley; Mr. W. Berrows,
ironmaster, Dudley; Mr. E. Williams, miller, Dudley; Mr. Best,
Kidderminster; Mr. H. Brinton, Kidderminster; Mr. Harris, carpet
manufacturer, Stourport; Mr. Heath and Mr. Griffiths, Bewdley; Mr. Lukin,
manager of the Weldon Tin Works; Mr. H. B. Tymbs, Mr. John Hood, Mr. A.
Wells, Mr. James Wall, and Mr. J. W. Lea, Worcester; Mr. E. Smith,
gardener, Evesham; &c.  Mr. Daniell then opened the case for the
Birmingham and Gloucester Company’s Deviation line, and examined Mr. M.
Pierpoint, who said that he believed this and the Tring line would be all
that the citizens of Worcester would want, and would answer their
interests better than the Oxford and Wolverhampton line.  Mr. W.
Chamberlain and Mr. Robert Hardy, with Mr. Tombs, of Droitwich, were also
examined by Mr. Daniell.  Mr. Cockburn then called witnesses in favour of
the Great Western Company’s broad gauge projects: those from this county
were Mr. James Boydell, Oak Farm Iron Works, Kingswinford; Mr. Jonathan
Fardon, Stoke Works; Rev. W. H. Cartwright, Dudley; Mr. Paul Matthews,
Stourbridge; Mr. John Hill, Mr. Alderman Edward Evans, Mr. William Lewis
(Mayor), Mr. Henry Webb, Mr. Leader Williams, of Worcester; and Mr. T. A.
Foster, of Evesham.  After the committee had sat twenty days, they
reported that they found the preamble of the Oxford, Worcester, and
Wolverhampton Railway and of the Oxford and Rugby lines, proved: and
those of the railways promoted by the London and Birmingham not proved,
with the Birmingham and Gloucester Deviation line.  They evidently came
to this decision from a belief that the broad gauge lines were so planned
as best to answer the wants of the districts through which they passed,
and that the public favour had been generally accorded them on that
ground.  The avowed intention of the Great Western Company to carry out a
line to Port Dynllaen, had also probably some influence with the
committee.  The greatest excitement prevailed during the whole of the
inquiry—no change of ministry ever created greater in the lobbies of the
House—and the result seemed to be very unexpected, as shares in the Tring
line went up considerably a day or two before the decision was given.
The committee were occupied some days longer in considering the clauses
of the Oxford Company’s Bill, and gave the Birmingham and Gloucester
Company power to use the loop line at Worcester, at a remuneration to be
fixed by umpires.  It being known that the London and Birmingham Company
intended to oppose the Oxford Bill in the House, petitions in favour of
that line were sent up from Worcester, Droitwich, Dudley, Blockley, and
Chipping Camden.  Lord Ingestre moved that the report on the Oxford,
Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway Bill be brought up.  Mr. Pakington
seconded the motion.  Mr. Cobden moved, as an amendment, that an address
be presented to Her Majesty to appoint a commission to inquire into the
comparative merits of the broad and narrow gauges.  Colonel Wood seconded
the amendment; which, after much debate, was lost by 247 to 113, and the
Oxford Railway Bill was read a second time.  Its triumph was hailed with
great rejoicings in this county.  The bill had a comparatively easy
passage through the House of Lords, though strenuously opposed in
committee by the London and Birmingham Company, and on the 4th of August
it received the royal assent.  Its various successes were occasions of
excited rejoicings in Worcester.

The first general meeting of the shareholders was held in October, at the
Guildhall, Worcester.  The Yorkshire shareholders sought to set aside the
agreement between this Company and the Great Western directors, by which
the line was to be leased to the Great Western Company for 3½ per cent.,
and half the surplus profits.  They wished to make this an independent
line; but at the representations of the chairman and others, who, with a
too fatal confidence in the Punic faith of the Great Western, represented
that they were under such obligations to that Company in the starting of
the project and its success in Parliament, and that it would be
dishonourable to break this agreement of lease—the Yorkshire shareholders
withdrew their opposition to the reception of the directors’ report.

1846—FEBRUARY 27—At the first half yearly meeting of the shareholders,
the chairman, Mr. Rufford, expressed his gratification at the resolution
of the Great Western Company, to “extend the guarantee to such sum as
shall appear to them necessary for the completion of the second railway
and works, and fixing the rate of interest at 4 per cent. per annum in
lieu of 3½ per cent. per annum; subject to such conditions as may appear
equitable between the two Companies.”  The shareholders present seemed
pleased with this arrangement.  The amount of expense incurred before a
sod of earth was turned, was £76,124; of which £36,765 went in law and
Parliamentary expenses, and £14,288 to the engineers.

1846—AUGUST 29—The second half yearly meeting of the Oxford and
Wolverhampton Railway shareholders, held at Worcester, when it was
promised that the deviation line from Stoke to Abbott’s Wood should be
opened in twelve months, and the whole line in three years.  Lord
Redesdale called upon the directors to oppose the making of the Oxford
and Birmingham line upon the broad gauge, foretelling that it would drain
all the traffic from this line.  The meeting was harmonious, and thanks
very cordially voted to the directors.

1847—AUGUST 27—Half yearly meeting of the Oxford, Worcester, and
Wolverhampton Railway shareholders, at which Mr. Brunel reported that the
loop line from Stoke to Abbott’s Wood might be finished by the end of the
year.  Mr. Figgins, a London shareholder, wanted to see the agreement
with the Great Western, and to set it aside.  Mr. Barlow said there never
was a lease more binding and less likely to be set aside.  Mr. Elgie
produced a copy of the agreement, by which it appeared that the line was
leased to the Great Western for a permanency; and the chairman said it
guaranteed four per cent. to the shareholders on whatever amount might be
expended.  The resolutions prepared by the directors were carried

1849—FEBRUARY 24—At the half yearly meeting it was announced that the
interest, which had hitherto been given to the shareholders on the amount
of capital paid up, must be discontinued for want of funds; and the
directors talked of making an arrangement with the Great Western Railway
Company “more suitable to existing circumstances.”

1849—JUNE 9—At a special meeting of the proprietors a long report was
presented from the directors, complaining that the Great Western Company
would now only give them £4 per cent. on £2,500,000 of capital, instead
of on the whole sum necessary to complete the line, as the directors had
understood them to guarantee, and had led their proprietary to believe.
A committee of proprietors was appointed to confer with the directors
upon the course to be adopted.

1849—SEPTEMBER 1—Another special meeting of the directors, held in
London, at which the committee of proprietors, appointed at the previous
meeting, presented a report, severely impugning the conduct of the
directors in several particulars, and advised that the narrow gauge alone
should be laid down between Tipton and Abbott’s Wood, and the line
immediately opened so far.

The year 1850 witnessed a total rupture with the Great Western Company,
and some very unpleasant meetings between the shareholders and the
directors.  The Company passed two bills through Parliament—the one
authorising them to sell the Stratford Canal to the Oxford and Birmingham
Company, and the other to enable certain other companies to advance them
money for the completion of their line.  The first morsel of the
railway—the half of the loop line from Worcester to Abbott’s Wood—was
opened on the 5th October, and worked by the Midland Company under
special agreement.

In January, 1851, Lord Ward became chairman of the Company, and the whole
management passed into different hands.  Messrs. Peto and Betts accepted
contracts for constructing the greater portion of the line; and
arrangements were entered into, by issuing preference shares at £6 per
cent., for raising the capital necessary to complete the undertaking,
which, it was now estimated, would cost £3,300,000 instead of the million
and a half, which was the sum originally intended to be raised.

The preference shares were almost immediately subscribed for, and the
directors soon afterwards entered into an agreement to lease the line to
the London and North Western and Midland Companies; whereupon Lord Ward
resigned the chairmanship, and an unpleasant correspondence took place
between his lordship and Mr. Peto.  The arrangement, however, was never
carried out, as an injunction was obtained by the Great Western Railway
Company to prevent any other company doing that of which they themselves
evaded the performance.

Since that time the directors have been proceeding to lay down the line
upon the narrow gauge, and with the view of working it independently of
either of the great companies, nor have the Great Western been able to
hinder them further.  The whole of the loop line was opened on the 18th
of February, 1852, and thirty-six miles of the main line, from Evesham to
Stourbridge, on the 1st May, 1852.


BEFORE the age of railways, the advantages to a nation as well as to a
district of having its ports brought as far inland as possible, were so
many and apparent, that it can be no wonder the improvement of the
navigation of the Severn was contemplated at an early date.  It was
projected in 1784, by Mr. William Jessop, an engineer of some note at
that day; and though the science of hydraulics was then very little
understood—as, indeed, it is even now {165}—yet the nature of the bed of
the Severn and its very gentle fall, marked it out as a river easily
admitting of improvement, and not at all beyond the reach of the means
then known and practised.  The plan proposed by Mr. Jessop was, so far as
can be gathered from the reports and documents still in existence, a very
fair and feasible one; he proposed to convert it into a ship canal as far
as Stourport, by means of weirs.  As to the details of the scheme, we
have of course no means of judging.  It was, however, opposed most
strenuously by the landowners on either bank of the river, who feared
that the weirs would prove obstructions to the current, and increase the
frequency and mischief of the floods which often cover the lands near the
banks.  The project was, therefore, at that time abandoned, nor was it
ever formally broached again till 1835, when Mr. Edward Leader Williams,
an ironmonger in Worcester, pressed the matter so strongly upon his
fellow citizens, and so clearly demonstrated, by models and plans of his
own devising, that it was perfectly possible to make the river, as far as
Worcester, navigable for ships drawing twelve feet of water, that they at
length awoke to the advantages which would accrue to them by the
improvement of this outlet to “the great highway of nations.”  The fears
and objections of some of the leading landowners having been overcome, a
company was started for the purpose of carrying out the scheme.

The first public notice of the matter appeared in the _Worcester Journal_
of November 12, 1835, when a provisional committee was announced, and the
inhabitants of Worcester called together to give their opinion upon the
plan.  This meeting was held on the 30th November, when Mr. Jonathan
Worthington was called to the chair, and Mr. Bedford read the committee’s
report, which proposed that a pound lock should be erected at Gloucester,
below the ship basin lock, from which a channel of 500 yards in length
should be cut to pass Gloucester bridge, and a weir erected near Over
bridge.  The Haw, Mythe, and Upton bridges were to be passed by similar
cuts, and the estimated cost of the whole scheme was £180,000; at which
sum, it was thought, a depth of twelve feet might be obtained all the way
from Gloucester to Worcester, and six feet thence to Stourport.  Mr.
Leader Williams explained the details of his plan.  The Earl of Coventry
declared that he should give it his hearty support; and the objections
raised by other landowners were satisfactorily answered.  The money
required was to be raised in £20 shares, and the press and public of
Worcester were singularly unanimous and enthusiastic in favour of the
project.  The formal prospectus of the company presently appeared—Mr.
Thomas Rhodes was announced as the chief, and Mr. E. L. Williams the
resident engineer.

At a very numerous meeting of the shareholders held in October, 1836,
over which Mr. J. W. Lea presided, Mr. Rhodes’s report was read; and it
was decided, by a very large majority, that application should be made to
Parliament to sanction a scheme for increasing the depth of the river to
twelve feet.  Some of the landowners proposed that the depth sought
should only be six feet six inches, but this suggestion met with no
support from the general body of subscribers.  As soon as the people of
Gloucester found that the project was taken up thus seriously, they
entered into a systematic opposition, in which the selfish motives that
actuated them were at first sought to be flimsily concealed, but were
afterwards unblushingly avowed and unscrupulously worked out.  At the
first meeting which they convened upon the subject, it was pretended that
the health of the city of Gloucester would be endangered by a stagnation
of the river at the proposed lock; that the salmon fisheries would be
destroyed, and the lands on the banks overflowed: therefore they, the
citizens of Gloucester, felt bound to oppose the scheme!  Afterwards they
distinctly declared that they would fight it tooth and nail, because it
would take part of their trade further up the river.  Many of the
landowners, too, could not be convinced but that any alteration of the
river, if it did not increase the floods, would at least impede the
drainage, and render their lands permanently cold and damp.  The
Shropshire traders, and a majority of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal
Company, both of whom feared that the tolls raised would interfere with
their receipts, were also its opponents; though, as regards the Canal
Company, nothing could be more shortsighted.

The bill was introduced into Parliament in the session of 1837, and was
opposed on standing orders, but passed these successfully.  The most
urgent efforts were then made by the Gloucester interest to defeat the
measure on the second reading, and with but too much success.  Captain
Winnington moved the second reading on the 12th of April, and Captain
Berkeley moved that it be read on that day six months; the principal
argument he made use of was, that it would _be imposing a tax on a free
river_!  The bill was supported alike by the Government and by the leader
of the opposition, Sir Robert Peel; but the private influence brought to
bear by interested parties was not to be outweighed by the arguments of
statesmen, or enlarged considerations of national benefit.  The bill was
thrown out by a majority of 149 to 124.  The Gloucester people were
characteristically grateful to their two city members for their
“unwearied exertions” in opposition to the bill.

The shareholders met again in September, 1837, and a very able report
from the committee was laid before them, in which it was stated that the
whole plan had been laid before the most eminent engineers of the day,
and some trifling alterations in detail agreed to; but they could not
recommend the shareholders to seek any less depth of water than twelve
feet: and as steps had been taken to conciliate the landowners, they
thought another application might be made to Parliament with every
prospect of success.  £15,000 had been received on the shares, but on the
call which had been made £4,000 were still in arrear.  The expenses had
amounted to £11,700.  The shareholders almost unanimously agreed to form
themselves into a new Company for the further promotion of the
undertaking, and a provisional committee was named for that purpose.
This committee, however, were not able to raise sufficient capital to
proceed with the ship project, and they therefore called another meeting
of the subscribers to the old Company, where Mr. Cubitt gave an
explanation of a plan to increase the depth of the river to six feet six
inches up to Worcester, and to six feet from Worcester to Stourport.
This, he said, would cost £150,000.  After discussion, this plan was
adopted; and the necessary number of shares having been taken,
preparation was again made for application to Parliament.  In order to
get rid of every pretext for opposition from the Gloucester interests,
all thought of weirs and works near that city was abandoned; and from
Saxon’s Lode downwards it was proposed to deepen the river by dredging
only.  By way of diversion, however, another scheme was started
conjointly by the Worcester and Birmingham Canal and Gloucester
interests, which was to procure a depth of five feet in the river between
Gloucester and Worcester, by means of two extraordinary moveable weirs,
to be inserted at Saxon’s Lode and Wain Lode Hill; and this, though seen
to be totally impracticable and ridiculous, was advocated in the
Gloucester papers by way of rivalry to the Severn Company’s plan, which
they continued to describe as fraught with injustice, because it would
deliver a free river into the hands of a Joint Stock Company.  The funds
of the Severn Navigation Company proved insufficient to carry the scheme
out in its integrity; therefore the improvement of the river, from
Worcester to Stourport, for the present was abandoned.  This alienated
the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Company, and altogether the
opposition again got up to the measure was so strong, that after the bill
had been introduced into Parliament in the session of 1838, and the
standing orders passed, a deputation of the Worcester Company met the
Gloucester and Berkeley Canal Company proprietors, to see if some further
concessions could not be made which might get rid of the principal
objections to the scheme.  The result of this interview was, that the
Gloucester and Berkeley Canal Company consented to support a project for
the improvement of the river under public commissioners, instead of a
Joint Stock Company; and the bill was therefore withdrawn, with the view
of introducing another, on the principle thus suggested, in the next
session.  The shareholders in the Company were called together in
September, and received the report of the committee, but there were no
assets to divide—the additional expenses (£5,333) had just swallowed up
the deposits.  The exertions of Mr. J. W. Lea, the chairman of the
Company, were acknowledged by a special vote; and many gentlemen present
declared their willingness to further any future efforts which might be
made, by all the means in their power.  The year 1839 was consumed in
efforts to induce the Government to take the matter up, as they had
recently done the navigation of the Shannon; but these, though zealously
backed by Sir Denis Le Marchant, Bart., then member for Worcester, all
proved fruitless.

In August, 1840, the shareholders of the Company were again convened at
Worcester, and another attempt resolved on to raise funds to apply to
Parliament for powers to obtain a six feet depth of water and place the
undertaking under the management of a Commission.  A further call of ten
shillings per share was accordingly made, but so few of the subscribers
responded to it that another meeting was held in the ensuing month, and
the Company dissolved itself—thus ending the attempts to improve the
Severn by private enterprise and speculation.

The gentlemen, however, who had so long and laboriously exerted
themselves to effect this great national improvement, did not lose sight
of the subject, and in a short time after the dissolution of the old
Company one of the most influential meetings ever assembled in Worcester
was convened to prosecute the matter afresh.  At this meeting, held on
the 11th October, 1840, the Right Hon. Lord Ward, who was called to the
chair, made his _debût_ in public life, and advocated the cause of the
Severn Navigation Improvement in a speech of remarkable ability.  Lord
Hatherton, Mr. Blakemore, M.P., the members for the city of Worcester,
and others took part in the proceedings, and the result was that a large
subscription was entered into, to which Lord Ward contributed £500, Mr.
Bailey £300, Messrs. Dent £300, for the purpose of defraying the expenses
of another application to Parliament.  On this occasion the proposal was
to place the undertaking under a Commission, so that no private parties
might gain any benefit from it.  No works were proposed at or near
Gloucester, yet the usual opposition was improvised in that city and by
the Worcester and Birmingham Canal Company.  The bill now introduced was
allowed to pass the second reading unopposed, but on its going into
committee an attempt was made to add the Monmouthshire and Birmingham
members to the committee, but this was opposed by Government as a most
inconvenient infringement of the standing orders, and was defeated by 117
to 33.  The committee consisted, therefore, of what was called “The
Worcestershire List,” which included eleven members from adjoining
counties, as well as those for this county and its boroughs, and six
selected members.  E. W. W. Pendarves, Esq., was chosen chairman.

On the 30th April, 1841, the committee sat for the first time, and then
began a struggle which, in the Parliamentary annals of private bills, had
up to that time been quite unprecedented.  Twenty petitions were
presented against the bill, but for several of them nobody appeared in
support, and the opposition almost resolved itself into the
Gloucestershire, Shropshire, and Birmingham Canal interests, and the
landowners.  Mr. Sergeant Merewether, Mr. Talbot, and Mr. Craig were
engaged as counsel for the bill, and Mr. Sergeant Wrangham and Mr. Austin
were the principal opposing counsel.  The first day was taken up by Mr.
Sergeant Merewether’s opening speech.  For eight days following the
promoters called evidence in support of the preamble—their engineers
especially being subjected to the most searching cross-examinations by
the opposition.  On the tenth day Mr. Talbot summed up the evidence for
the promoters, and Mr. Austin commenced his address for the Worcester and
Birmingham Canal Company, and the examination of his witnesses occupied
two days longer.  On the thirteenth day Mr. Sergeant Wrangham spoke for
the Gloucester interest.  Six days more were taken up by other opponents
and their witnesses; and on the twentieth Mr. Sergeant Merewether
replied, and the committee, after a short consultation, unanimously
resolved—“That the preamble of the bill is proved.”  This great victory
was not achieved, however, without most material damage to the scheme;
for in order to meet the opposition of the landowners, which evidently
had great weight with the committee, the promoters had to abandon the
weir below Upton, and consent to dredge the river up to Diglis.  Weirs in
large rivers of this kind had not been much known, and it was thought
that they might increase the floods.  Mr. Walker, the engineer, too, was
very positive that the required depth might be obtained by dredging, and
the committee, therefore, determined that that should have a trial—and a
most unfortunate determination it has proved.  Some other important
alterations took place in the discussion of the clauses, the principal of
which was the exemption of the Shropshire trade from toll; though it
could not be denied that they would derive a benefit, like all other
traders, from the Improvement.  A long discussion took place upon the
position of the lock at Diglis, which the Worcester and Birmingham Canal
Company wanted put above the mouth of their canal; but to this the
committee would not consent.  The Commission, after much debate, was
constituted as follows: three justices of the peace for the county of
Worcester, three for the county of Gloucester, four for the Worcester and
four for the Gloucester town councils, one for the council of the city of
Bristol, one for Droitwich, one for Tewkesbury, one for Wenlock, one for
Newport, one for the Upper and Lower Avon Navigation and the council of
Evesham, two for Stourport, two for the Staffordshire and Worcestershire
Canal Company, two for the Worcester and Birmingham Canal Company, two
for the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal, one for the Herefordshire and
Gloucester Canal, and one for the Coombe Hill Navigation—thirty in all.
{171}  The toll was fixed at sixpence per ton from Gloucester to
Worcester, and fourpence per ton from Worcester to Stourport: this being
what the promoters proposed.  Having by this time got near the end of the
session, the opponents of the measure sought to render all the efforts of
the committee nugatory by speaking against time; but this was seen
through and defeated by the members of the committee meeting in the
evening as well as in the morning, and at last the bill was reported to
the House.  Mr. Waters, the solicitor to the bill, was publicly thanked
in the committee room for the singular exertions by which he had carried
the measure through, in the teeth of such a determined opposition.  The
Parliament being prorogued immediately after the bill was reported, it
was obliged to stand over till the next session.

In the interval there was some grumbling on the part of the Gloucester
corporation and the landowners at the large sums they had to pay for the
Parliamentary opposition, but the Worcester and Birmingham Canal Company
prepared to renew the fight.  It came before the committee again in
March, 1842.  Some opposition was here offered on behalf of the
Tewkesbury people, but the committee would not suffer the question to be
reopened; and the only alterations made were those suggested and proposed
by the promoters themselves.  On the bringing up of the report, Mr. Muntz
moved the recommittal of the bill on behalf of the Worcester and
Birmingham Canal Company, who complained of the lock at Diglis being
placed below the mouth of their canal, and of the unjust exemption of the
Shropshire trade from toll.  Mr. Mark Phillips and Mr. R. Scott spoke on
the same side; while Mr. Pakington, the Honourable R. H. Clive, Mr.
Labouchere, Sir C. Douglas, Lord G. Somerset, Sir Thomas Wilde, Sir
William Rae, and Mr. Ormsby Gore spoke in favour of the bill passing at
once: and Mr. Muntz, seeing the strong feeling of the House, withdrew his
motion.  There was some further opposition made in committee in the
Lords, and four days were consumed there; but the bill passed without any
material alteration; and the royal assent being given to it on the 13th
of May, 1842, it at length became the law of the land.

The first step was taken under the act on the 7th of June, 1842, when the
commissioners met, and T. C. Hornyold, Esq., was elected chairman.  Mr.
Thomas Waters was appointed clerk.  Mr. William Cubitt was appointed
engineer-in-chief, Mr. E. L. Williams retaining his office as resident
engineer; and advertisements were ordered to be inserted in the
newspapers for loans.  The first stone of Lincombe weir was laid on the
5th of August, 1843.

At several subsequent meetings of the Commission, the Gloucester
commissioners amused themselves by offering every possible opposition to
the speedy progress and completion of the work; though they were, of
course, appointed for the express purpose of carrying it out.  However,
they were always out-voted by those commissioners who felt their interest
and honour alike concerned in the duties assigned to them by Parliament,
and the trial weir at Lincombe was opened on December 23, 1843.  Spite of
the ratiocinations of adverse engineers, and those ignoramuses who fancy
they know everybody’s business better than their own, the weir was found
to stand the current, floods, and frosts of the winter admirably, and the
barge was passed through the locks in three minutes.

The work now proceeded rapidly—the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal
Company having advanced the necessary funds, and the contracts having
been taken by Messrs. Grissell and Peto; with the exception of one sad
accident on the 5th of August, 1844, by which twelve of the workmen
engaged at Diglis lost their lives by the upsetting of the boat in which
they were returning from their work, they were completed without a single
drawback or mishap.  The lock at Diglis was opened on the 9th October,
1844; and this part of the work was thus completed in fifteen months, in
the most able and satisfactory manner, within the original estimate of
its cost, £140,000—a fact almost unexampled in the construction of great
national undertakings of this kind.  The dredging, however, between
Diglis and Gloucester, occupied a longer time than had been expected, and
proved a very costly business; but this, it must always be borne in mind,
formed no part of the promoters’ scheme, but was forced upon them by the
landowners, who objected to the erection of any weirs below Diglis.

The completion of the locks and weirs was celebrated on the 25th of
January, 1844, by a public dinner at the Guildhall, Worcester, when a
testimonial was presented to J. W. Lea, Esq., for the zeal he had always
manifested in the improvement of the river.  J. S. Pakington, Esq., M.P.,
occupied the chair, and Alderman Edward Evans was vice-president.
Amongst the party were Lord Hatherton, the Mayor of Worcester, T. C.
Hornyold, Esq., Captain Winnington, John Dent, Esq., William Cubitt,
Esq., &c.  The testimonial, which consisted of a quantity of silver
plate, with Mr. Lea’s crest engraved on each article, was of course
presented by the chairman.

At the close of 1846, Mr. Cubitt certified that a depth of six feet of
water had been obtained from Lincombe to Gloucester, and the Commission
consequently met on the 1st of January, 1847, and ordered tolls to be
levied at all the locks in the terms of the Act of Parliament.  Some
opposition was offered, both by Gloucester Commissioners and by traders
on the river; but on Mr. Cubitt’s certificate the step of raising tolls
was obligatory on the Commission.  There can be no doubt that at the time
of Mr. Cubitt making the certificate there was six feet of water in the
river, though every one saw that under the system of dredging it would be
impossible to maintain that depth in all seasons of the year.

At the annual meeting of the Commission in September, 1847, the traders
complained that the depth of water in the river between Worcester and
Gloucester was not six feet, and expressed their belief that it could not
be secured without additional locks and weirs.  The committee of works
reported to the same effect, and declared the dredging a failure.  A
committee was, therefore, appointed to consider the best means of
completing the improvement between Diglis and Gloucester.

This committee reported to a meeting of the Commission, held on the 13th
December, 1847, recommending that application should be made to
Parliament for powers to put a weir in at Tewkesbury, and to raise a dam
at Over bridge, near Gloucester, to divert the water into the other
channel and to scour out the silt accumulating there.  The meeting
assumed a very unpleasant character—such personal and improper remarks
being made that Sir John Pakington, at one time, left the chair, but was
induced to return.  The opposing commissioners negatived that part of the
proposal which related to the dam at the Over bridge by a majority of
seven to four.  Preparation was therefore made to apply to Parliament for
the Tewkesbury weir alone; but Parliament had, at this time, taken it
into their heads that a “preliminary inquiry” ought to be made on the
spot into measures of this sort; and, accordingly, in February, 1848,
sent Mr. Cockburn Curtis, a young engineer, to take evidence, and make a
report to the Admiralty.  At Gloucester he took a show of hands as to
whether the Commissioners had kept faith with the public in imposing toll
or not!  Mr. Curtis’s report was in accordance with the unfriendly
influence then prevailing at the Admiralty, and he recommended a scheme
of his own instead of the Tewkesbury weir—a scheme which few people,
besides Mr. Curtis himself, have ever been able to comprehend.

With this report in their hands, the interested opponents of all
improvement on the river waited on those members of Parliament whom they
could in any way influence, stole a march on the promoters, and threw out
the bill most unexpectedly on the second reading by a majority of 104 to
91.  This was on the 6th March, 1848.

At a meeting of the commissioners, held in October of the same year, both
parties mustered their forces, and divided, in the first place, upon the
question of who should be chairman, and 13 votes were given for Sir John
Pakington and 11 for Mr. Hyett.  It was then proposed by Mr. Lea that an
application should be again made to Parliament, similar to the one of the
preceding session.  It was represented that the Commission was in debt to
the contractors, principally because of the great expense incurred in
useless dredging, and that more money must be raised.  After a very
stormy debate the renewed application was agreed to by the chairman’s
casting vote only, and so also were other necessary resolutions.  In
minor matters the opposition had a majority.

In February, 1849, the “preliminary inquiry” took place into the merits
of this measure.  The surveyors appointed by the Admiralty on this
occasion being Captain Bethune and Mr. Veitch, C.E.  These gentlemen
again reported unfavourably of the scheme as proposed by the Commission,
professing themselves desirous of seeing the river so altered below
Gloucester as to bring the tide up to Worcester!  It was understood that
the great fight would again take place on the second reading, which came
on on the 23rd April, 1849.  The Admiralty, Board of Trade, and
Government generally, Sir Robert Peel, &c., supported the second reading;
but the private interests in opposition prevailed, and the bill was once
more thrown out; this time by a majority of 34—191 voting against it, and
134 in its favour.

In the session of 1850 a select committee was appointed into the working
of these “preliminary inquiries,” and in consequence of the evidence
given by Mr. Edward Leader Williams and others, proving that they only
added to the expenses of passing a bill, without performing one act of
utility which might not be better done by the inquiry before the
committee of the House, they were abolished, and Parliament returned to
its old practice in these matters.

Since that time the Commissioners have been resting on their oars,
feeling it useless to go to Parliament again if they had the same
opposition to encounter, and trusting that the Admiralty might be induced
to take up the improvement of the river, both above and below Gloucester,
as a project of great national importance.  They have, indeed, directed a
survey of the whole river to be made, and Mr. Walker has made a “hasty”
report thereon, in which he says as little as possible as to the river
above Gloucester, and makes impracticable suggestions as to its
improvement below.

The present condition of the river is an evil example of what may be done
when men fancy their own selfish pecuniary interests will be promoted by
impeding that which would be so manifest an advantage to the country at
large, as the improvement of one of its principal rivers, so as to make
it navigable for sea-going vessels to the furthest possible point inland.
Some of them, however, are gradually awaking to the truth that no public
interest can thus be sacrificed with impunity, and to discover their own
shortsightedness in the matter.  The time is not far distant when some of
those who have hitherto been the bitterest opponents of the improvement
of the river Severn will be found amongst its warmest supporters.


THE first charter of incorporation was granted to the city of Worcester
in 1261—45th Henry III.  The charter of James I, granted in 1622, was,
with slight interruptions, the rule by which the city was governed up to
the time of the Municipal Reform Act; and it must be said for the old
Corporation that they appear to have been in a great measure free from
the jobbery and malversation of funds which characterised so many of
these close self-elected bodies.  They had indeed a civic feast, for
which £150 was yearly allowed, and kept a cellar of good wines; but these
things were quite in accordance with the spirit of the time—some fifty
years ago.  John Wheeley Lea, Esq., was Mayor at the time of the
extinction of the old body; the Earl of Coventry Recorder; Charles
Sidebottom, Esq., Deputy-Recorder (a rather doubtful office then recently
revived) and Town Clerk; and Mr. Deighton, Sheriff.  Great efforts had
been made to induce the burgesses, in the election of the new body, to
make a calm and impartial choice of those persons who were really most
fitted to conduct the business of the city, without respect to their
political bias; but in the excited state of feeling which prevailed at
that time, this was found impossible; and indeed it was hardly to be
expected that the Liberals, after such an entire exclusion from office,
should make terms with their opponents—it was at last their turn to enjoy
the honours which the Tories had hitherto monopolised.  The first
election took place on Saturday, December 27, 1835, when out of
thirty-six councillors, thirty-four chosen were Reformers—the
Conservatives only returning two in St. Nicholas’s Ward.

1835—DECEMBER 30—The new body met for the first time, and took the
declarations required by the act.

1836—JULY 1—First meeting for business, when the following Aldermen were
elected: St. John’s Ward, Mr. Joseph Hall; St. Nicholas’s, Dr. Hastings
and Mr. Edward Evans; St. Peter’s, Mr. George Allies, Mr. William Corles,
and Mr. Francis Gibb; Claines’, Mr. C. H. Hebb, Mr. Richard Evans, and
Mr. Thomas Stephenson; All Saints’, Mr. John Bradley, Mr. John Howell,
and Mr. F. Williams.  Mr. F. Williams declined the honour, and Mr. Thomas
Chalk was afterwards elected in his stead.

1836—JANUARY 2—Choice of officers—Mr. C. H. Hebb elected Mayor; Mr.
George Allies, Sheriff; and Mr. C. Sidebottom, Town Clerk.

1836—JANUARY 14—The Council assembled for the first time in the room
which has ever since been used for their meetings.  A committee was
appointed to confer with Mr. Sidebottom about separating the offices
which he held, and giving up that of Town Clerk.  A finance committee was
appointed to investigate the accounts of the old body; and it was
determined to dress up the Mayor in robes of scarlet and purple.

1836—JANUARY 21—It was agreed by a majority of 31 to 10 that Mr.
Sidebottom should continue to hold the office of Stipendiary Magistrate,
Judge of the Court of Pleas, and Town Clerk, at a salary of £500 per
annum.  Mr. Stinton, Mr. Curwood, and Mr. Whitmore, barrister, were
proposed for recommendation to the Secretary of State to the office of
Recorder.  Mr. Stinton had the majority of votes.  Salary fixed at £150
per annum, but afterwards reduced to £100.

1836—JANUARY 26—The Council recommended twelve persons as magistrates to
the Secretary of State—The Mayor, Mr. Alderman R. Evans, R. Temple, Esq.,
Mr. Alderman Hall, William Shaw, Esq., R. Berkeley, Esq., William
Saunders, Esq., John Dent, Esq., L. Johnstone, Esq., William Acton, Esq.,
G. Farley, Esq., and Captain Thomas.  Three of these gentlemen were
Conservatives.  Mr. Farley and Mr. Johnstone having declined to serve,
the names of Mr. Lavender (Conservative) and Mr. Alderman Corles were
inserted in the list, but the Lord Chancellor only appointed the first
ten.  The wine of the old corporation was ordered to be sold, except
fifty dozen to be applied in aid of sick poor.

1836—FEBRUARY 18—Report made by the committee appointed to investigate
the accounts of the old corporation.  The balance sheet presented to the
Council by their predecessors showed credit a balance of £1,028, while
the real fact was that the old corporation was in debt £1,170.  £200 of
this sum had been promised towards the improvements in front of All
Saints’ Church, payable only on condition of the inhabitants doing their
part within a certain number of years.  The new Council confirmed this
grant on the same terms.

1836—MARCH 24—First quarterly meeting.  A statement of the value of the
city property was laid before the Council; which, some being calculated
at twenty-five years’ purchase, and others at fourteen years’, was
reckoned to be worth about £43,000.  In mortgages and debts to the
charities there was owing by the corporation £5,381.  The gross produce
of the corporation wine was £823, being an average of nearly 64s. per
dozen.  The Council determined to discontinue the practice of “fetching
the fair from St. John’s to Worcester,” as a “farce.”

1836—APRIL 7—It was announced by Mr. Sidebottom that he had been gazetted
as police magistrate of the city; and as the holding of that office was
deemed by Government inconsistent with the town clerkship (as had been
all along foreseen), he must give up the latter.  In answer to a question
by Alderman Corles, he said he intended to retain the assessorship to the
Court of Pleas.

1836—APRIL 21—Mr. John Hill chosen Town Clerk in the room of Mr.

1836—MAY 5—The Council received a grant of a separate Quarter Sessions,
as they had prayed.  The appointment of Mr. T. Waters as Clerk of the
Peace was confirmed, and Mr. J. B. Hyde was appointed City Coroner.

1836—JULY 7—The Attorney-General’s opinion having been taken, it was
decided that Mr. Thomas Hughes had no claim for compensation for loss of
his situation as Vice-Chamberlain under the old body.  This was a subject
which had been repeatedly before the Council.

1836—OCTOBER 6—Dinner given by the Town Council to the Mayor.  Dr.
Hastings was in the chair, and proposed the health of Mr. Hebb in
flattering terms; describing him as a benevolent medical man, an author
of some celebrity—having translated the works of some French pathologists
at a time when there was little communication with the continent—and the
constant advocate of the diffusion of useful knowledge.  As their chief
magistrate he had laid them all under a great debt of obligation.  “The
Bishop and Clergy of the Diocese” was responded to by the Rev. T.
Pearson, and “The Dissenting Ministers” by Dr. Redford; “The Members for
the County” was answered by Mr. Cookes, Captain Winnington, and Mr.
Holland; and Mr. Robinson answered for the city members.  Colonel Davis
responded for the “Magistrates of the County,” and was most
enthusiastically received.  306 sat down at table.

1836—NOVEMBER 9—The Council, in entering on their second year of office,
reëlected Mr. Hebb as Mayor, and chose Mr. Alderman Gibb as Sheriff.
There were scarcely any changes made in the body at the election on the
1st of this month.

1837—APRIL 11—The Council agreed to the by-laws which have since, with
little alteration, been acted upon.

1837—JULY 10—Addresses voted to the Queen Dowager (of condolence for her
bereavement), and to the Queen Regnant on her accession.  The Mayor, Mr.
Sheriff Gibb, and Mr. Alderman Hall were ordered to present the latter.

1837—NOVEMBER—The election this year did not alter the position of
parties at all.  A very warm vote of thanks was passed to Mr. Hebb for
his services as Mayor for two consecutive years, and Mr. George Allies
was elected in his stead.  Mr. Alderman Stephenson was elected Sheriff.

1837—NOVEMBER 23—Mr. Deighton presented a petition from 126 farmers,
holding 25,000 acres of land, praying the council to provide them with a
covered corn market.  Some gentlemen proposed that they should use the
Town Hall, but eventually a committee was appointed.

1837—NOVEMBER 27—The Council petitioned Parliament for an alteration in
the fees and regulations in passing private bills.

1837—DECEMBER 15—The Council decided against Mr. Deighton’s proposition
to allow a salary of fifty guineas to the Mayor, by a majority of 23 to

1837—DECEMBER 28—The Council decided against Mr. Alderman Chalk’s motion
to throw open their meetings to the public, by 24 to 6.

1838—FEBRUARY 21—The Council refused to remove the Corn Market to Angel
Street, or to grant the petition of the agriculturists to sell the old
Sheep Market as a site for a new Corn Market.

1838—MAY 2—The Council petitioned for the abolition of the apprenticeship
system, on the motion of Mr. Alderman Edward Evans.

1838—NOVEMBER—The municipal election made no difference in the political
constitution of the Council.  At the first meeting of the renovated body,
Mr. Alderman Richard Evans was elected Mayor, on the proposition of Dr.
Hastings and Mr. Alderman Hall; and Mr. John Hall was chosen Sheriff.
Mr. Alderman Richard Evans was the first Dissenter who ever held the
office of chief magistrate in Worcester.  The Aldermen elected this year
were Mr. William Corles, Mr. Palmer, Mr. Chalk, Mr. Lilly, Mr. Edward
Evans, and Mr. Benjamin Stokes.

1838—DECEMBER 20—Mr. Padmore chosen Alderman in the room of Mr. Stokes,

1839—FEBRUARY 7—Mr. E. L. Williams proposed that the Council, “being
deeply impressed with a conviction of a thorough examination of the
existing Corn Laws,” should petition Parliament for an inquiry into their
operation.  He thought agriculture needed some protection, though the
present laws wanted alteration: if gloves required protection, corn did.
Alderman E. Evans seconded his motion.  Mr. W. Pugh proposed, as an
amendment, that the Council should petition for a total repeal.  Alderman
Hastings said that a repeal of the Corn Laws would be productive of
immense evil; because if they reduced the revenues of the rich, they took
it out of their power to assist the poor; and they would certainly rue
the day if they agreed to a change that would be so silly.  No measure
that the legislature could adopt would prevent corn being occasionally
dear, and its dearness now arose from deficient production and regrating.
On a division there appeared

For total repeal: Aldermen Hall, Corles, Lilly, and Padmore; Councillors
F. Hall, Greening, Davis, Smith, Oates, J. Hall, George, W. Pugh, Crane,
W. Chamberlain, Southan, Dance, Lee, Ledbrook, Groves, and

For inquiry only: The Mayor; Aldermen E. Evans, Hastings, and Palmer;
Councillors Fawkes, Horne, Dent, Lea, Grainger, Lingham, Summerfield, and

At this meeting the Council, in compliance with the order of the Lords of
the Treasury, awarded Mr. Thomas Hughes an annuity of £3. 6s. 8d., as
compensation for the loss of his office of clerk to the forty-eight,
which he had held under the old corporation.  Mr. Hughes had claimed much
larger compensation as Deputy Chamberlain.

1839—MAY 24—An address voted to the Queen, on the motion of Alderman
Hebb, seconded by Alderman Corles, thanking her for resisting the attempt
to change the ladies of her household, and, further, for having called
back the Whigs to her councils.  The only dissentient was Mr.

1838—NOVEMBER—The elections still brought no diminution in the
preponderance of the Whig party.  Mr. Alderman Hastings was first elected
Mayor, but declined to serve; and having paid the usual fine of £50,
required its disbursement on the score of his being an alderman, and the
Municipal Act did not say anything about their being fineable.  Mr.
Alderman Chalk was elected unanimously in his stead.

1840—MARCH AND APRIL—The Council determined to oppose the Birmingham and
Gloucester Railway Company’s new bill in Parliament; but afterwards
Alderman Corles moved, and Alderman Hebb seconded, a motion for the
discontinuance of such opposition, on the ground that the Council had no
legal right to pay the expenses out of the borough fund.  Alderman
Hastings moved the confirmance of the Council’s previous resolutions; and
this amendment to Alderman Corles’s motion was carried by 20 to 6.

1840—JUNE 16—The Council voted addresses to the Queen, the Prince, and
the Duchess of Kent, expressing their loyal joy at Her Majesty’s escape
from the shot of the assassin, Oxford.

1840—MARCH TO JULY—The grant of £200 for the improvements in front of All
Saints’ Church, made by the old corporation conditionally on their being
completed by November, 1839, and renewed by the new body for five years
longer, was repeatedly discussed.  Mr. Alderman Hebb held that it was an
illegal grant, and ought to be resumed; but the Council, on obtaining an
undertaking from Messrs. Lea, Leonard, and Williams for its repayment at
the end of the second term of five years if the alterations were not then
completed, suffered the money to remain in their hands.

1840—NOVEMBER 9—The newly elected Council—consisting of almost the same
parties as in the previous year—elected C. A. Helm, Esq., as Mayor for
the succeeding twelve months.  Mr. W. Lewis was also proposed, and
received 16 votes to 22 for Mr. Helm.  Mr. Alderman Edward Evans was
chosen Sheriff.

1841—MAY 6—The council unanimously petitioned for a revision of the
import duties, on the motion of Mr. Sheriff Evans, seconded by Mr. F. T.

1841—SEPTEMBER 29—A special meeting of the body was held to memorialise
the Queen on the subject of the Corn Laws.  Mr. Elgie moved the memorial,
which asserted that the Corn Laws were the principal causes of the
present distress of the country.  Mr. Pierpoint moved an amendment,
declaring that the discussion of political subjects was contrary to the
spirit of the Municipal Act, and highly inexpedient; and wound up by an
assertion of a wholly political character, viz., that the distress of the
country had been produced by the hasty and crude legislation of the
Whigs.  The amendment was negatived by 26 to 5, the minority consisting
of Messrs. J. Dent, Anderson, Pierpoint, Bedford, and Summerfield.

1841—NOVEMBER—The Conservatives made great efforts in all the wards to
get a footing in the Council this year, but, except in St. Nicholas, were
wholly unsuccessful.  Mr. Alderman Edward Evans was elected Mayor, and
Mr. Alderman Lilly, Sheriff, by 23 votes, while 12 were given for Mr.
Elgie.  Mr. Hebb retired from the Council; and Messrs. R. Evans, J. Hall,
W. Lewis, G. Allies, C. A. Helm, and C. Hastings were elected aldermen in
room of those who retired.

1841—DECEMBER 3—A special meeting to protest against the recent
appointment of magistrates without consulting the Council.  Mr. Alderman
Allies proposed a resolution, which declared that the six individuals who
had been appointed magistrates owed their elevation to political
partizanship and not to the esteem in which they were held by their
fellow citizens; protesting also against the appointment because of its
exclusiveness, and because the Council had not been asked to recommend.
Mr. Alderman Padmore seconded the motion.  Mr. Hughes moved, as an
amendment, “That this meeting is unnecessary and uncalled for;” and this
was seconded by Mr. Bedford, who said that parish officers could not get
justice from the present justices; and denounced the appointment of Mr.
Sidebottom to the stipendiary magistrateship as a “flagrant job,” only to
make way for Mr. Hill.  The motion was carried by 27 to 4, and a memorial
prepared to be presented by Sir Thomas Wilde to the Secretary of State.

1842—JANUARY—A committee appointed, on the motion of Mr. Elgie, to
inquire into the truth of Mr. Bedford’s declaration, that the appointment
of Mr. Sidebottom as stipendiary magistrate was a “flagrant job,” and
they reported that it was altogether “untrue and unfounded;” inasmuch as
Mr. Sidebottom declared that his resignation of the office of town clerk
was voluntary.

1842—MAY 20—A special meeting of the body was held to congratulate the
promoters of the Severn Navigation Improvement on the passing of the
measure, and to thank the noblemen and gentlemen by whose exertions its
success had been secured.

1842—JULY 12—The Council refused to nominate Commissioners of Income Tax
for inquiring into the emoluments arising from public offices held in the
city, and the appointment, therefore, reverted to the treasury or the
commissioners for general purposes.

1842—OCTOBER 26—A special meeting held to consider the railway question.
Mr. Alderman Chalk proposed that it was desirable for the Council to
examine whether there was any agreement subsisting between the city and
Mr. Berkeley, such as should preclude the city from consenting to the
project, or going to Parliament for whatever line they thought fit.  Mr.
Pierpoint seconded the motion.  Mr. Elgie proposed, as an amendment, that
it be referred to the railway committee to inquire whether any engagement
had been entered into by which the citizens were bound in honour or
equity from becoming parties to the Bredicot branch.  The Town Clerk gave
it as his opinion that there was no agreement in existence which bound
the city in any way.  On a division, the amendment was carried by 15 to
13—the Mayor, Alderman Corles, and four other councillors declining to
vote.  Mr. Chalk, Mr. Bedford, and others protested against the amendment
being declared carried, because it had not obtained, as required by the
sixty-ninth clause of the Municipal Act, _a majority of those present_.

1842—NOVEMBER—Mr. Alderman John Lilly unanimously elected Mayor, and Mr.
Alderman Lewis, Sheriff.

1843—JANUARY 2—The Council determined to oppose the Birmingham and
Gloucester Railway Company in their application to Parliament for powers
to make the Bredicot branch, by a majority of 25 to 5.

1843—AUGUST 1—The Town Clerk brought a bill of £250 for the costs of the
unsuccessful opposition to the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway Money
Bill.  Mr. Alderman Palmer moved that it be referred to the Finance
Committee; but it was resolved by 11 to 9 that the bill, which was
admitted on all hands to be very fair in its charges, should be paid at
once, together with £17 due to the Town Clerk on a former occasion.

1843—OCTOBER—The Guildhall having been illuminated on the occasion of the
Queen Dowager’s visit to the city, Mr. W. D. Lingham, the City
Chamberlain, brought in a bill of £18. 7s. 6d. for the expense, the
payment of which was disputed with most pitiable parsimony.  The Council
divided, and 19 voted for payment to 14 against it.

1843—NOVEMBER—There was but little contest in the municipal election this
year.  Mr. Alderman Lewis was elected Mayor; and Mr. L. Ledbrook,
Sheriff, by 21 votes to 19 given for Mr. Edward Wheeler.

1843—DECEMBER 5—Upon the motion of Mr. Hughes, seconded by Alderman
Padmore, it was decided that the meetings of the Council should be thrown
open to the public; but this was afterwards set aside.

1844—JANUARY 4—The Council, on the motion of Mr. Bedford, determined only
henceforth to style themselves, “The Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of the
City of Worcester,” as their proper legal title.  A motion to give a
salary to the Mayor was rejected by 19 to 10.

1844—SEPTEMBER—The Council (and afterwards the Chamber of Commerce)
pronounced in favour of the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway
project, in preference to any other of the schemes before the city, by
large majorities.

1844—NOVEMBER—There were no contests in the wards this year, except at
St. John’s.  Mr. William Lewis was reëlected Mayor without opposition,
and Mr. Lloyd was chosen Sheriff by 22 votes to 12 given for Mr. Elgie.

1845—JANUARY 11—At a special meeting called to assent to, or dissent
from, the Tring line promoted by the London and Birmingham Company, and
which would pass through part of the corporation property in the
Blockhouse, &c., Mr. Alderman Chalk asked the Council to abide by its
former decision in favour of the Oxford line, and dissent from the Tring
scheme—and proposed a resolution to that effect, which was seconded by
Mr. Alderman R. Evans.  Mr. Wall and Mr. Hood moved that the Council do
assent to the Tring line; but this was negatived by 18 to 7, and Mr.
Chalk’s resolution carried.

1845—MARCH 27—The Council again declared in favour of the Oxford and
Wolverhampton line.  Mr. Knight moved, as an amendment to the resolution
proposed by Mr. Elgie, that the Council should petition in favour of the
Tring line; but this was lost by 19 to 8.

1845—NOVEMBER—The elections this year brought two more Conservatives into
the council.  E. J. Lloyd, Esq., was elected Mayor, and Mr. F. T. Elgie,

1846—FEBRUARY 3—The Council petitioned for a total and immediate repeal
of the Corn Laws by a majority of 17 to 9.

1846—APRIL 14—William Lewis, Esq., chosen Mayor for the remainder of the
year, in the room of Edward Lloyd, Esq., deceased.

1846—MAY 5—At this, a quarterly meeting of the Council, Mr. Sheriff Elgie
moved a petition against the New Gas Company’s Bill (which had been
approved, in public meeting, the week before), and Mr. Hood seconded it.
Mr. Alderman Chalk objected to such a subject being brought on without
previous notice, and to a quarterly meeting being taken advantage of for
such a purpose.  He moved an amendment for the postponement of the
question, which was, however, lost by 16 to 5, and Mr. Elgie’s petition
carried.  A counter petition was afterwards presented from fourteen other
members of the body.

1846—NOVEMBER—F. T. Elgie, Esq. was unanimously chosen Mayor by the new
body, and Mr. Edward Webb, Sheriff.

1846—NOVEMBER 16—Mr. Arrowsmith moved that the Council should erect baths
and washhouses with as little delay as possible.  Mr. Bedford thanked Mr.
Arrowsmith for bringing the matter forward, remarking that hitherto his
own efforts, for sanitary improvements, had all failed for want of
support.  The motion was unanimously carried, and a committee appointed
to carry out the suggestion; and this committee has been formally renewed
from time to time, yet five years have now elapsed and baths and
washhouses in Worcester seem further off than ever.

1847—APRIL 24—A memorial having been presented to the Council, from the
agriculturists, praying to have the Sheep Market leased to them, in order
that they might erect a Corn Exchange thereon, Mr. Arrowsmith moved that
no sufficient reason had been shown to the Council to authorise them in
making a change that would be so injurious to a great number of the
inhabitants of the city.  This was carried by 18 to 13.  The Council
also, by a majority of 18 to 8, agreed to a petition in favour of Lord
Morpeth’s Sanitary Bill.

1847—NOVEMBER—The elections this year resulted in very little change.
Edward Webb, Esq. was chosen Mayor, and Mr. Padmore, Sheriff.

1848—APRIL 5—The Council granted a lease of the Wheat Sheaf Inn, Corn
Market, and other premises, to one of the Corn Exchange Companies.

1848—MAY 2—The Council, at a quarterly meeting, passed a resolution,
approving of the Mayor’s efforts to bring about an arrangement between
the rival Corn Exchange Companies; and begging the agriculturists to rest
satisfied with the one in Angel Street.

They also petitioned in favour of Lord Morpeth’s Health of Towns Bill.

1848—AUGUST 11—At a special meeting, called to consider the Corn Exchange
question, the Council, after a very warm debate on various propositions,
determined to take the opinion of Mr. Alexander as to their right to
regulate the Corn Market, to take toll on corn sold, and to prevent the
removal of the market from its ancient site.  The opinion only went to
justify the corporation in taking toll on corn pitched in bulk, and no
further proceedings were taken in the matter.

1848—OCTOBER—The Council, with only one dissentient, agreed that it was
desirable that the Public Health Act should be applied to Worcester; and
appointed a committee to make a representation to that effect to the
Central Board of Health.

1848—NOVEMBER—Mr. Alderman Padmore was elected Mayor; and as he declined
to give a Sunday breakfast, go to the Cathedral, or wear a gown, he gave
£100 to the city instead.  This donation, having afterwards been
considerably increased, has found a permanent shape in the handsome town
clock which now ornaments the front of the Market House.  Mr. Goodwin was
elected Sheriff.

1849—JANUARY 1—The Council having previously determined to petition the
Lord Chancellor to appoint six new city magistrates, because some of
those named in the original commission were dead, and others did not
attend on the bench, this day proceeded to the selection of names.
Alderman Lewis had 29 votes; Alderman Chalk, 27; the Mayor, 25; Alderman
E. Evans, 25; J. W. Isaac, Esq., 22; Alderman Webb, 20; Dr. James Nash,
14; William Stallard, Esq., 10; Mr. Jabez Horne, 8; Alderman Helm, 3; Mr.
Bedford, 1; and Alderman Elgie, 1.  The first six names were consequently
transmitted to the Lord Chancellor.

1849—NOVEMBER—The agitation respecting the carrying out the Health of
Towns Act this year, caused considerable change in the composition of the
municipal body; the only suitability sought in the new councillors being
their known determination to oppose the measure.  Their subsequent
proceedings have had reference almost entirely to the


THE passing of the Public Health Act in the session of 1848 was an epoch
of our civilisation.  It was the recognition of a great social want, and
an attempt to remedy a great social evil, which had silently grown up
with the increase of our large towns, and threatened to turn our
prosperity and blessings into a curse.  The principle of the act received
the cordial and unanimous assent of all the great parties in the state;
and though numerous alterations were made in the measure during its
progress through the Lower House of Parliament, these were entirely
improvements amicably suggested and cordially adopted by the ministry who
introduced it.  Those who determinedly opposed some of its details were
always left, upon a division, in very small minorities.

The chief objection which has been raised against the measure, by those
who have conscientiously or interestedly resisted its operation, has been
to the constitution of a General Board of Health in London, having some
check over the doings of those local bodies to whom the working out of
the act has been intrusted.  This is denounced by the word
“centralisation,” but the Poor Law Board daily exercises, without remark,
a much more stringent authority over Boards of Guardians, who are just as
much representative bodies as Town Councils, than any which is vested in
the Board of Health.  In many places where the act has been applied, the
need of such a supervision as that of the Central Board has been so
strikingly evinced that Parliament will, probably, soon be induced to
place yet greater powers of control in the hands of the Board, and make
the provisions of the act entirely compulsory instead of optional.  It
might seem wise and well to leave the unerring laws of health and disease
to work out their own results, in punishing those who neglect the
necessary conditions by which alone health can be maintained where men
congregate together; but as the epidemics engendered by such neglect
cannot be confined to those who are their responsible producers, the
legislature, on behalf of society at large, has the right to interfere.

The application of the act to Worcester has been productive of immediate
results that are sufficiently curious; but its importance, as regards the
future welfare of the city, cannot be overrated, and on that account,
much more than for any present turmoil, which, in “the whirligig of
time,” will subside and be forgotten, the subject claims a special notice

Worcester, more than most English towns, needed the application of such a
measure to its internal economy.  Its fair exterior, and the outward
cleanliness of its principal streets, are but the deceitful masks of
hidden insalubrities.  Surrounded by hills, which attract the moisture
and screen it from the healthful breezes that would drive away miasma,
its atmosphere is too constantly damp and relaxing in summer, and in
winter the fogs, rising from the stream and the undrained soil, lie long
upon its dwellings.  The river, which flows through it, fortunately keeps
up a constant current of air, but epidemics always follow the course of
rivers.  Though apparently well situated for drainage, the greater part
of the city is ill-circumstanced in this respect, for the southern and
western half, at least, is built on a cold marl, which retains the
soakings of the surface as a sponge.  These are natural reasons which, it
might be supposed, would have suggested to the inhabitants the most
careful attention to drainage and cleanliness; yet it is a fact, that
scarcely a street in the whole city is supplied with a sufficient drain,
and that it contains more open cesspits, prolific of noisome smells and
active disease, than any town of equal size in the kingdom.

The merit of having drawn public attention, in this city, to the
paramount importance of Parliamentary interference to enforce sanitary
improvements belongs to Sir Charles Hastings, M.D.

At the city election in 1846, when Sir Denis Le Marchant suddenly
appeared as a candidate, Dr. Hastings, upon the hustings, addressed the
citizens, who were then gathered together, and said he was anxious Sir
Denis should have their opinion on a matter of the greatest importance to
every individual amongst them.  “Amidst the great party struggles,”
continued the Doctor, “in the legislature, the social improvement of the
people had been too much overlooked, and it was certain that the sanitary
condition of the great mass of the inhabitants of this kingdom was such
as reflected no credit upon its Government.  He wished, therefore, the
citizens of Worcester to impress upon Sir Denis Le Marchant the propriety
of giving his best attention to this great question, and of using his
best endeavours to get it promoted by the Government.  He hoped that the
measures which had been under the attention of the legislature for the
last six or seven years would, at last, receive the consideration they
merited.  All alike would be benefitted by the passing of laws necessary
for the protection of the public health, and which would have also a
great effect on public morals.  (Applause.)  He trusted that was their
opinion, and if it was so he prayed them to hold up their hands.”

The assembly unanimously responded to the Doctor’s appeal; and Sir Denis
declared himself the warm advocate of sanitary measures.

Dr. Hastings afterwards addressed a letter to the Town Council on the
subject; and in seconding Mr. Ricardo’s nomination, in 1847, he again
mentioned the matter, amidst the cheers of the assembly, and pressed it
upon the attention of each of the candidates.

Mr. Austin, the secretary to the Health of Towns Association, came down
in the autumn of 1846 to make an inspection of the city, and report upon
the works and alterations necessary to be undertaken for the purpose of
securing the greatest possible amount of health and comfort to the
inhabitants.  Mr. Austin presented his report to the City Commissioners
in December, 1846, and so able and informative was it deemed that it was
ordered, on the motion of Mr. Pierpoint, to be printed for general
circulation; and a sum of £20 was afterwards voted him by the same body.
Mr. Austin estimated the gross cost of drainage for the entire city,
proper water supply to every house, baths and washhouses, conversion of
soil for agricultural purposes, at £74,000; he believed a revenue of
£19,000 per annum might be derived from such works when carried into full
efficiency; the interest and expenses of management he set down at
£11,650.  Some parties, unconnected with either of the two governing
bodies in the city, this year gave notice of their intention to apply to
Parliament for a “City Improvement Act,” in which powers would be taken
to carry out all those alterations which were felt to be so necessary for
the good ordering of the town; but this project was soon abandoned, and
the City Commissioners declared that, if Parliament did not that year
introduce a general act, they would themselves apply for an extension of
powers to enable them to carry out needful sanitary improvements.

At a dinner given to Captain Candler, in February, 1847, Lord Lyttelton
strongly pressed upon the Mayor, and citizens of Worcester generally, the
desirability of at once carrying out the suggestions of Mr. Austin’s
report in their integrity.

The Government having introduced the Public Health Act into Parliament,
in the spring of 1847, petitions in its favour were forwarded from
Worcester, one of which was signed by 700 of the working classes.  The
principal difference between the measure as introduced by the Whig and
Conservative Governments was, that the one proposed by the latter placed
the “centralising” power in the hands of the Home Secretary, instead of
the Central Board, and would have constituted new local bodies for
working out the act, instead of placing it in the hands of the Town
Councils, which the Whigs did on principle.

The first public meeting held in Worcester was one convened by the Mayor,
Mr. Elgie, on the 19th of April, 1847, to consider the measure proposed
by Government.  But the Commissioners met in the morning, and determined
on opposing the Government bill, doubtless because it would altogether
extinguish them; and as a good deal of alarm had already been created in
the town by the large figures in Mr. Austin’s report, there was a
considerable opposition raised at the meeting.  Dr. Hastings and Mr.
Orwin moved a resolution, declaring the necessity which existed for
sanitary measures; and this was carried.  Mr. Arrowsmith and Mr. J. W.
Isaac moved a second, approving of the Government measure; but Mr. R. M.
Mence and Mr. Francis Hooper moved an amendment, to the effect that the
Health of Towns Bill contained many unnecessary and mischievous
provisions.  The cost and the centralisation were the topics chiefly
dwelt upon by the opponents of the measure.  Mr. Orwin spoke in favour of
the bill, and Mr. Thomas Lucy and Mr. Pierpoint against it; the latter
producing a toy whose joints were moved by a string, to illustrate what
the Town Council would be in the hands of the Central Board.  The
proceedings were spun out to such an inordinate length, that the meeting
had almost dissolved itself, before the resolution and amendment were
put.  The division was very close, but the Mayor decided that the
resolution in favour of the Government bill was carried.  A petition to
Parliament in its favour was afterwards proposed, but that was lost, and
the resultless meeting then broke up.

The same week the Council adopted a petition in favour of the measure, by
a majority of 18 to 8.

In May, a petition was presented from Worcester in favour of the Public
Health Act, signed by the Very Rev. the Dean, and most of the Canons and
parochial clergy.  The medical men of the city also, without a single
exception, petitioned that it might pass.

The bill was committed in June, by a majority of 191 to 50; the only
Worcestershire members who voted in the minority being General Lygon and
Mr. P. Borthwick.  The bill was, however, after all, with a multitude of
others, in the annual “slaughter of the innocents;” and then came the
general election.

In seconding Mr. Ricardo’s nomination as a candidate for Worcester, Dr.
Hastings again mentioned sanitary matters, and declared, amidst the
cheers of the assembly, that he would not give his vote for any man who
would not pledge himself to support a bill for the improvement of the
public health.

In January, 1848, Mr. Thomas Beggs lectured in the Town Hall, Worcester,
on sanitary improvements; and on the following day a public meeting was
held, over which the Mayor, Mr. Edward Webb, presided.  The Rev. John
Davis then moved a petition to the legislature in favour of sanitary
measures, which was carried without dissent; and Mr. Ricardo, who was
present, expressed the pleasure he should feel in presenting it, and in
supporting Government in any measure they might propose for the
advancement of the sanitary condition of the people.

In April, a town’s meeting was called to consider the Government measure,
on a hostile requisition; and the Mayor being indisposed, the friends of
sanitary improvements took no part.  Mr. Summerfield was called to the
chair; and on the motion of Mr. Mence and Mr. Hooper, a petition was
adopted in opposition to the Health of Towns Bill, and ordered to be
forwarded to Mr. Urquahart, for presentation.

In May, the Town Council, with only one dissentient, petitioned in favour
of the measure; and a petition of similar import was also very generally
signed by the inhabitants of the city.

The bill passed the House of Commons on the 20th of June—the opposition,
in their strongest division, having only mustered fifty-four votes.  It
met in the House of Lords with entire approbation; and every one of the
amendments made in committee there, were with a view to make its
provisions more stringent and “centralising.”

On the 3rd of October, 1848, the Worcester Town Council, on the motion of
Mr. Alderman Elgie, came to a resolution, “That it is desirable forthwith
to bring into operation within the city the provisions of the Public
Health Act.”  In a numerous meeting there was only one dissentient to
this resolution.  A committee of fifteen members was then appointed to
carry out the resolution.  They communicated the resolution of the
Council to the Central Board, and requested that an inspector might be
sent down to inquire into the propriety of applying the act to Worcester.

Mr. George T. Clark, Government Inspector, accordingly gave notice in
November, both by advertisement and handbills posted in all parts of the
city, that he should make the necessary inquiries as to the sanitary
condition of the city, and invited all parties to give evidence before
him.  Mr. Clark sat for the first time at the Guildhall, on the 4th of
December, and was very cordially received by the Mayor, Mr. Padmore, and
a considerable number of leading citizens and tradesmen, some of whom
have since taken a very active share of the opposition to the working of
the measure; but not one word of objection to the application of the act
to Worcester was ever uttered in Mr. Clark’s presence.

Mr. Clark’s report appeared in April, 1849, and the conclusions to which
the inspector arrived were, that the public nuisances in Worcester were
many and great—constantly creating sickness, and increasing the mortality
of the place; that what was principally wanted was a proper water supply,
surface paving and drainage; and that remedies for the evils complained
of might be applied for a rate of not more than one penny a week per
house.  The cost of the necessary drainage he estimated at £20,315, and
of the water supply at £21,750, while he set down the annual income
derivable from the water works at £4,238.

Acting upon this report, the Central Board made a provisional order for
the application of the Public Health Act to Worcester; being competent to
do this, as to any place where the mortality ranged above 23.0 in 1,000
per annum—and, according to the Registrar General’s report, the average
mortality in Worcester, for the seven years previous to the passing of
the Public Health Act, was 25.05 in 1,000.  A bill to confirm this
provisional order was introduced into Parliament in July, 1849; and,
passing without opposition, received the royal assent in August.

Immediately after the application of the act to this city, all sorts of
absurd rumours were put into circulation as to the expense it would
occasion to the ratepayers; and the ignorance and misinformation that
appeared to prevail upon the subject, would scarcely be credited if
related.  Ward meetings were very generally held, at which memorials to
the Council were adopted, praying them not to carry out the act, or to
postpone its operation.  And thus commenced an agitation, which, being
fostered by persons who had their own or party ends to serve, long
continued to disturb the peace of the city.

At the meeting of the Council on the 7th of August, Alderman Elgie moved
that the Public Health Committee should report to the next meeting as to
what offices were necessary to be appointed, and other steps requisite to
be taken under the Health of Towns Act.  This was carried by a majority
of 19 to 11.

At a subsequent meeting, the committee reported that the officers
required would be a clerk, treasurer, surveyor, and medical officer of
health.  An amendment for delay was rejected by 22 to 12, and the clerk
and treasurer were at once appointed.

In consequence of the determination thus evinced by the Council to
proceed vigorously with the practical application of the measure, a
public meeting was called by the parties hostile to it.  This was held on
the 25th of September, 1849, and presided over by the Mayor, Mr. Padmore.
Mr. Summerfield moved the adoption of a memorial to the Central Board,
praying that the act might not be applied to Worcester, because it was
denied that the mortality of the city exceeded 23 in 1,000; and because a
majority of the inhabitants were said to be unfavourable to the
introduction of the Public Health Act.  Alderman Thompson seconded the
memorial.  Alderman Edward Webb proposed, as an amendment, “That inasmuch
as the act is at present applied to the city, and considering the
unsatisfactory state of the dwellings of the poor, the insufficient
drainage, and bad supply of water, the memorial is unnecessary.”
Alderman Elgie and Mr. Waters addressed the meeting at great length on
the general question, and pointed out the absurdity of supposing that any
memorial to a board in London could stop the operation of an Act of
Parliament.  Excepting Mr. James Wall, who made a few observations, no
one attempted to speak on the other side; but the amendment was lost, and
the memorial carried by a large majority.

The presentation of the memorial was intrusted to the Rev. R. Sargeant
and Mr. Lucy, but the Board declined to receive them as a deputation in
the absence of Mr. Clark.  The Rev. R. Sargeant, therefore, forwarded it
with a letter, and the Board of course returned for answer, that they had
no power to stop proceedings under an Act of Parliament; and further,
that the act had been legally applied to Worcester—as the Registrar
General had certified to them, under his own hand, that the mortality was
25.05 in 1,000.

The appointment of surveyor was postponed by the Council till after the
municipal elections for 1849; but at the meeting of November 16, further
delay was resisted, and an amendment to that effect was defeated by 26
votes to 12.  Mr. Edward Leader Williams was then chosen surveyor under
the Public Health Act, by 23 votes to 8 given for the opposing candidate,
Mr. Samuel Purchas.  The question of salary was postponed.

For some months Mr. Williams went on, under the directions of the health
committee, preparing his plans for the improved drainage and water supply
of the city.  His report on the drainage question was issued and printed
in June, 1850, and met with very general approval.  Having been called
before the Council, at their meeting in August, and given explanations
upon some points, the Council in full meeting adopted the report with
only two dissentient voices.  The report estimated the cost for the
entire drainage of the city at £17,345.

The excitement amongst ratepayers was, however, kept up by a question of
the necessity of appointing a medical officer of health; and so strong
was the current of public opinion against such an appointment, that the
Council were compelled to abandon all thoughts of making it.  Dr. Malden
and Dr. Hastings both addressed letters to the Council, declaring that,
in their opinion, a medical officer was needed for the proper carrying
out of the act.

The by-laws necessary under the Public Health Act for the regulation of
slaughter houses, lodging houses, &c., were another fruitful source of
squabbles during 1850.  On the 5th of March a code was agreed to in the
Council, by a majority of 15 to 7, which rendered it necessary that an
“officer of health” should have the superintendence of such places, and
to these the Secretary of State gave his assent.  In July, however, the
anti-sanitary party having increased in boldness, carried a new set of
by-laws, by a majority of 18 to 16, in which the words “inspector of
nuisances” was everywhere inserted instead of “officer of health.”  They
then begged the Home Secretary to endorse their inconsistent proceeding,
but he refused to do so.  The original by-laws are, therefore, now law in
the city of Worcester; but as there is no “officer of health,” no use has
been made of them—they remain a dead letter.

On the 5th September, 1850, the anti-sanitary party had a public meeting
in the Guildhall, at which Mr. Toulmin Smith attended and delivered an
harangue against centralisation.  The meeting actually came to a
resolution “to resist the application of the act in that city and
elsewhere; and, if possible, obtain its repeal.”

At the municipal elections for 1850, parties were returned to the Council
avowedly “to put a stop to the working of the act altogether;” but the
dignity of the Council and its proceedings was not improved by this
infusion of new blood.  Up to the present time not a single step has been
taken towards the practical application of the act in the city; but,
instead of that, the Council have been engaged in a dispute with the
surveyor, whom they refused properly to remunerate—and thus they have
involved the city in great expense to no sort of purpose.  The details of
this affair it would be altogether undesirable to resuscitate, and the
more so, as the Central Board have pronounced the Council to be entirely
in the wrong; but there is reason to hope that wiser and more enlightened
views, on a subject which involves the future prosperity of the city and
the health and life of its inhabitants, will soon prevail.


THIS noble charity had its origin in the philanthropy of the medical men
of Worcester in the year 1745.  It was first opened in a room in Silver
Street, and it was not for twenty years afterwards that the present
hospital was built, at an expense of upwards of £6,000.  It has been
enlarged at various periods since that time, and is now capable of
accommodating 100 in-patients.  The funded property of the institution
exceeds £27,000, and the annual subscriptions amount to upwards of
£1,200.  The physicians and surgeons attached to the institution at the
beginning of the present century, were Dr. Johnstone, Dr. Seward, and Dr.
Mylne; Mr. Pennell Cole, Mr. Sandford, and Mr. Carden.  The following are
minutes of the appointments which have since taken place, and of the more
important proceedings of the governors:

1800—JANUARY 31—Election of physician in the room of Dr. Johnstone, who
resigned.  There were three candidates, and the choice of the subscribers
fell on Dr. Skey, who had 127 votes; Dr. Philip W. Wilson 108, and Dr.
Barnett 73.

1800—JUNE 27—At a quarterly meeting of the governors, it was ordered that
all legacies and benefactions amounting to or exceeding £50 be funded.

1801—AUGUST 7—In consequence of “the distressed state of the Infirmary
and the dearness of every article of provision,” the order respecting the
funding of £50 legacies was suspended.

1801—AUGUST 28—Dr. Barnett unanimously elected one of the physicians in
the room of Dr. Chambers, resigned.

1803—FEBRUARY 1—Dr. Philip W. Wilson unanimously elected in the room of
Dr. Skey, resigned.

1810—MARCH 30—It was ordered that the property of the institution, then
invested in the Three per Cents., should be transferred to the Four per
Cent. Government Annuities.

1812—JUNE 26—Ordered that in future the secretaries of the Infirmary
should give security, by bond, to the amount of £200, for the delivery of
all books and papers belonging to the Infirmary.  This was in consequence
of the late secretary, Mr. Staples, having refused to give up the books,
and a dispute as to the balance due from him.  The funds being very low
and inadequate to meet the expenses, the Bishop of the Diocese requested
the parochial clergy to make collections in their respective churches on
behalf of the institution, by which means £1,483 were added to the funds.

1812—OCTOBER 2—Mr. Charles Hastings elected house surgeon in the room of
Mr. Blower, resigned.  Mr. Hastings had a competitor in the person of Mr.
James Lewis; and the votes were—for Mr. Hastings, 132; Mr. Lewis, 131.

1813—AUGUST 13—The number of patients which each subscriber was allowed
to recommend was limited to one patient for every guinea subscribed.  The
high price of provisions was alleged as the reason for this step.

1814—AUGUST 30—Dr. G. Woodyatt elected physician on the resignation of
Dr. Barnett.

1815—JUNE 30—The order, limiting the number of patients, rescinded, and
the subscribers permitted to recommend two patients for each guinea
subscribed, as was the case previously.  The medical officers were
requested to invite the rest of the faculty in Worcester to witness all
the more important operations.

1815—NOVEMBER 6—Election of surgeon: the office being vacant by the
retirement of Mr. Pennel Cole, Lord Somers proposed Mr. Thomas
Stephenson, who was seconded by Lord Beauchamp; Mr. Josiah Palmer
proposed Mr. J. P. Sheppard, seconded by Mr. Watson, Stourport; Hon. and
Rev. W. Jenkinson proposed Mr. Dangerfield, seconded by Dr. Cameron.  The
result of the ballot showed for Mr. Stephenson, 335 votes; for Mr.
Sheppard, 238; and for Mr. Dangerfield, 135.  The total polled was thus
708, or very nearly the then average number of subscribers.

1815—DECEMBER 29—Mr. Herbert Cole (son of Mr. Pennel Cole, for thirty
years one of the surgeons to the Worcester Infirmary) unanimously elected
as house surgeon of the institution in the place of Mr. Charles Hastings,

1816—JANUARY—Sir William Smith, Bart., furnished the matron’s rooms at
his own cost.

1816—JULY 29—Dr. Lewis Evans elected a physician in the room of Dr.
Cameron, resigned.

1818—APRIL 20—At a large meeting of the governors, Dr. Philip W. Wilson
brought forward certain charges against his brother officers of the
medical staff, as to an operation which he alleged had been improperly
performed, but the charges were dismissed by the governors.

1818—APRIL 24—Dr. Philip W. Wilson retired from his post, as physician,
avowedly on the ground that his brother physicians and surgeons
constantly opposed the admission of others of the profession to witness
the operations they performed.  Dr. Wilson’s letter to the public was
replied to by Mr. J. H. Savigny, who thought it undesirable that
infirmaries should be turned into theatres for display.

1818—OCTOBER 2—Ordered that, if the income arising from subscriptions and
funded property is insufficient to keep open two additional wards, then
first fitted up, a sum, not exceeding £200 annually, should be
appropriated for that purpose from such legacies as should be left to the
charity, and not specially directed to be vested in the funds.

1818—NOVEMBER 2—Jonas Malden, M.D., and Charles Hastings, M.D., were
appointed physicians in the place of Drs. Philip W. Wilson, and Louis
Evans, resigned.

1819—FEBRUARY 15—J. P. Sheppard, Esq., elected surgeon in the room of Mr.
Stephenson, resigned.

1819—Dispute amongst the medical men as to the treatment of surgical and
medical cases.

1819—APRIL—J. H. Savigny, Esq., took the office of secretary _pro. tem._,
in the place of Mr. Jackson, resigned.

1819—OCTOBER 29—Mr. Matthew Pierpoint appointed surgeon in the room of
Mr. Sandford, who resigned after twenty-seven years of most useful
service to this institution.  Mr. Pierpoint was proposed by Lord
Deerhurst, and seconded by Mr. Sandford himself.

1820—JANUARY 12—A silver cup presented to Mr. Savigny for his various and
important services to the institution.

1823—APRIL—An additional wing erected in addition to the north end of the

1823—JULY 26—Mr. John Eleox chosen secretary to the Infirmary, _vice_ J.
H. Savigny, Esq., resigned.

1824—APRIL 23—Dr. Lewis chosen physician in the room of Dr. Woodyatt,

1826—NOVEMBER 6—Election of a physician in the room of Dr. Lewis,
resigned.  The candidates were Dr. Nash, proposed by John Williams, Esq.,
and William Wall, Esq.; and Dr. Streeten, proposed by the Rev. Digby
Smith and Major Johnson.  At the close of the ballot Dr. Nash was found
to have 298 votes, and Dr. Streeten 243—majority for Dr. Nash 55.

1827—MAY 8—The governors agreed to the erection of an operating room, and
other necessary offices, at an expense of £700.

1829—JUNE 5—Mr. T. H. Wheeler elected secretary, _vice_ Mr. Elcox,

1829—JULY 27—Mr. T. Carden elected surgeon, _vice_ John Carden, Esq.,

1830—JULY 2—The funded property of the institution, hitherto in different
stocks, was all transferred to the Three-and-a-half per Cents. Reduced.

1833—DECEMBER 27—At the quarterly meeting of the governors, Earl
Beauchamp in the chair, it was announced that £1,126 had been collected
for the institution during the last few months at different churches and
Dissenting chapels, which would pay off the debt of £550, due to the
treasurers, and enable them to get through the next twelve months without
touching the funded property.  Mr. Gutch afterwards read a report of a
committee which had been appointed to inquire into the expenditure of the
institution which had, for a series of years, exceeded the income.  They
admitted that there had been great abuses in various departments of the
institution, and especially as to the supply of drugs and chemicals, and
it was therefore recommended that a practical chemist should be appointed
on the drug committee, who, during his appointment, should be ineligible
to supply drugs.  They recommended also that all legacies, above £100,
should be funded, with sundry other regulations.  The report was
received, but it was determined not to publish the evidence upon which it
was founded, by a majority of 16 to 11.

1834—APRIL 4—At the quarterly meeting of the governors, a resolution,
determining that all legacies of £100 should be funded, was adopted; and
it was also resolved that the evidence taken respecting the
mal-administration of the drug department, should be referred to a select

1834—JUNE 27—It was determined to take counsel’s opinion as to the power
of the Corporation to renew the lease of ground on which the Infirmary
stood, as it belonged to Nash’s Charity.  This matter had repeatedly been
under the attention of the governors, and at last it was found necessary
to obtain an Act of Parliament, in order to legalise the lease.  The
sub-committee reported that no further investigation that could be made
into the irregularities which had taken place, and the discrepancy
between the amount of drugs ordered and consumed, would be satisfactory;
and so the matter finally dropped.

1838—AUGUST 16—Election of a surgeon, in the room of Mr. Thomas Carden,
deceased.  There were no less than ten candidates, and a great deal of
interest was excited in the matter by peculiar circumstances attending
some of the candidates.  John Williams, Esq., was called to preside over
the meeting, which was adjourned to the County Courts for the sake of
room.  The chairman proposed Mr. Edward Morris, who was seconded by
William Acton, Esq.; Colonel Davis and Mr. Sidebottom proposed Mr. J. H.
Walsh; James Morton, Esq., and R. Spooner, Esq., proposed Mr. H. D.
Carden; the Major and Mr. Duncan proposed Mr. Budd.  An objection had
been raised to Mr. Carden because he had not been, as the rules were
considered to require, resident during the previous twelve months in
Worcester.  Counsel’s opinion was taken on the point, and a very tedious
and hot discussion took place on the matter at the meeting.  Ultimately
it came to a vote, and 106 declared Mr. Carden eligible, and 90 that he
was not.  His name, therefore, went to the ballot, and he was
elected—having received 310 votes to 131 for Mr. Walsh, and 40 for Mr.

1843—JUNE 30—At a quarterly meeting of the governors, a strong resolution
was passed in reference to a disgraceful attack upon C. H. Hebb, Esq.,
which had appeared in the _Guardian_ newspaper.  Mr. Hebb having had an
operation very successfully performed upon him, presented the Infirmary
with a sum of £10 in token of his thankfulness, and partly because the
instruments belonging to that institution had been employed by the
operating surgeon.  The writer in the _Guardian_ affirmed that the
instruments had been purchased solely with a view to this very operation,
and so “the shine was taken out” of Mr. Hebb’s donation.  This proved to
be utterly false.

1845—DECEMBER 19—A very sharp contest for the office of secretary to the
Infirmary, in the room of Mr. T. H. Wheeler, deceased, between Mr. John
Palmer, proposed by Mr. Curtler and Dr. Hastings—and Mr. D. W. Nash,
proposed by the Rev. T. Pearson and Mr. John Parker.  Mr. Nash had 216
votes, and Mr. Palmer 169.

1846—MARCH 28—At the quarterly meeting of the governors, the committee
appointed, on the motion of Mr. Curtler, to inquire into an alleged
laxity of attendance on the part of the medical officers of the
institution, and ill conduct of its general business, presented their
report.  Mr. Curtler, however, had not attended the meetings of the
committee, because the medical officers all insisted on their right to be
present; and several complaints, therefore, had not been brought before
them.  The charges, in most of the cases investigated, seemed to be
disproved; but of the beneficial effect the inquiry had in the improved
management of the institution there can be no doubt.  Mr. Curtler
obtained another committee, to revise the whole of the rules of the

1846—JUNE 26—A quarterly meeting of the governors held in the Nisi Prius
Court, at the Shire Hall, with John Williams, Esq., in the chair.  The
medical men connected with the institution offered great opposition to a
motion of Mr. Curtler’s to exclude the subscribers from all meetings of
committees, and give them leave only to attend the general quarterly
boards; the object being to enable the governors to appoint select
committees.  Mr. Curtler supported the proposition, as the usual practice
of all large bodies and institutions of this kind, and because inquiry
into the affairs of the institution by a select committee became
absolutely necessary, as the funds were being frittered away and the
rules neglected.  The medical men said the alteration was aimed at them,
and sought their exclusion from the committees.  They called select
committees secret committees, and said the rules made with so much wisdom
by their ancestors ought not to be altered.  The medical men defeated Mr.
Curtler’s resolution by 58 to 32.

1847—JANUARY 2—A quarterly meeting of the governors held at the Shire
Hall, over which the Lord Bishop of the Diocese presided.  Mr. Curtler
moved for a select committee, on which only two of the medical officers
of the institution should attend, to consider what alterations were
necessary in the rules.  The medical men insisted upon their right to be
all present at the meetings of the committee, and only yielded when the
majority of the meeting was evidently seen to be against them.  They then
agreed to a committee of nine gentlemen, reserving the right to delegate
any two of their own body to act with them.

1847—MARCH 27—At the quarterly meeting of the governors, Mr. Curtler’s
committee for revising the rules of the institution presented their
report.  The medical men having given way, a great number of alterations
were recommended, and power taken to appoint select committees, on which
two of the medical officers should always serve.  The other medical men
of the city and neighbourhood were invited to witness operations; and the
salary of Mr. Cole, the house surgeon, increased to £100 a year.  Mr.
Curtler mentioned—as one among other things showing how necessary inquiry
had been—that the malt supplied to the institution was enough for twice
the beer that was consumed within the walls, and that about thirty-three
hogsheads annually disappeared out of the back door.  The report was
unanimously received.

1849—MARCH 31—At the quarterly meeting of the governors it was determined
that the £840 obtained from the sale of tickets at the Jenny Lind concert
should be applied to the building of a chapel for the use of the
patients.  The Very Rev. the Dean added another £100; and it was
principally to his exertions in obtaining what more was necessary in the
way of funds, that the public and the patients owe the very pretty
erection which is now attached to the back of the main building.


THE history of the origin of the meetings of the three choirs of
Worcester, Hereford, and Gloucester, does not belong to the nineteenth
century.  It will be sufficient here to say that the first took place in
the year 1725 (when £48. 18s. was collected), and that they have
gradually risen in importance, till, besides being the means of obtaining
annually a very large sum for the support of the widows and orphans of
the clergy, they have now taken a first place amongst the musical
_réunions_ of the kingdom, and have greatly aided in fostering the
melodious science.  It will be seen from the following brief notes of the
festivals at Worcester, that the most celebrated singers have, from time
to time, all taken a part in the performance here of the chief works of
the great masters of music.  In the seventeen meetings held here this
century, upwards of £14,500 have been realised for the clergy’s widows
and orphans.

1800—SEPTEMBER 14—Seventy-seventh meeting of the three choirs.  The
festival this year occupied three days.  The sermon was preached by Dr.
James.  _The Messiah_, _Creation_, _Acis and Galatea_, &c., performed.
The principal novelty was the chorus in Handel’s _Ode to St. Cecilia_—“As
from the Power.”  Chief performers—Madame Mara and Miss Tennant; Messrs.
Knyvett, Nield, and Bartleman.  Amount collected for the charity, £468;
and the receipts for tickets yielded a surplus of £250 in addition.

1803—SEPTEMBER 27—Sermon by the Rev. H. Stillingfleet.  Principal vocal
performers—Mrs. Billington and Miss Fanny Ross; Messrs. Melville,
Incledon, Bartleman, Nield, &c.  The collections for the charity amounted
to £501. 8s.  The receipts were £2,630, and exceeded the expenses by

1806—SEPTEMBER 22—Sermon by the Rev. G. Turberville.  _The Messiah_ and
_Alexander’s Feast_ were the only entire works performed.  The principal
performers were Mrs. Billington, Mrs. Vaughan, Miss Melville; Messrs.
Harrison, Knyvett, &c.  The collections amounted to £714.

1809—SEPTEMBER 26—Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Wingfield.  _The Messiah_ the
only oratorio performed entire.  Performers—Mrs. Billington and Mrs.
Vaughan; Mr. Braham (his first engagement at these festivals), Messrs.
Bartleman, Vaughan, and Goss.  The sum collected for the charity was
£800, the largest amount up to that time ever collected.

1812—SEPTEMBER 9—Sermon by Rev. Dr. Onslow, Vicar of Kidderminster.
Principal performers—Madame Catalani, Mrs. Salmon, Miss Melville; Messrs.
Vaughan, Goss, Hawes, Denman, and Bellamy.  _The Messiah_ and _Creation_
performed entire.  Collections, £906.

1815—SEPTEMBER 12—Sermon by Rev. J. Fleming St. John.  Principal
performers—Madame Marconi, Miss Stephens, Mrs. Vaughan; and Messrs.
Bartleman, Vaughan, Knyvett, &c.  _The Messiah_, Haydn’s _Seasons_, and
various selections performed.  Collections, £749.  The tickets were
printed in London, and some spurious ones got into circulation.

1818—SEPTEMBER 15—Sermon by the Rev. William Digby.  Principal
performers—Miss Stephens, Mrs. Salmon, Miss Symonds; Messrs. Braham,
Kynvett, Bellamy, and Hawes.  _The Messiah_ was the only oratorio
performed entire.  The contributions to the charity amounted to £936—the
largest amount collected up to that time.

1821—OCTOBER 3—Sermon by the Dean, Dr. Jenkinson.  Principal
performers—Miss Stephens, Madame Camporesi, and Miss Travis; Messrs.
Bellamy, Vaughan, Knyvett, Hawes, Master Smith, &c.  _The Messiah_ was
the only oratorio performed entire.  A selection from _The Seasons_ one
evening.  Sum collected for the charity, £877.

1824—SEPTEMBER 15—One hundred and first meeting of the three choirs.
Sermon preached by the Hon. and Rev. Edward Rice, D.D.  Principal
performers—Mesdames Salmon, Stephens, Travis, and Ronzi de Beguis;
Messrs. Braham, Bellamy, Kynvett, Signor de Begnis, &c.  _The Messiah_
was the only oratorio performed entire.  Receipts for the charity, £828;
and for tickets, £2,957.

1827—SEPTEMBER 11—Sermon preached by the Rev. W. F. Hook, M.A., perpetual
curate of Moseley.  Principal performers—Madame Pasta, Madame Caradori
Allan, Miss Stephens, Mrs. W. Knyvett; Messrs. Braham, Phillips, Knyvett,
Vaughan, and Signor Zuchelli.  _The Messiah_ and _Palestine_ performed.
Receipts for the charity, £1,083; for admission, £3,997.  This was one of
the most successful meetings ever held.  The Duchess of St. Albans held
one of the plates the first morning.

1830—SEPTEMBER 14—Sermon by the Very Rev. the Dean, Lord Bishop of
Rochester.  _The Messiah_ was the only oratorio performed.  On the first
morning the service was opened by a funeral anthem, in commemoration of
his late Majesty King George IV.  Principal performers—Madame Malibran,
Mrs. Knyvett, and Miss Cramer; Messrs. Braham, Phillips, Vaughan,
Knyvett, &c.  Balls were held every evening at the Town Hall; and a
banquet was given by the Bishop of Rochester and Lady Sarah Murray, in
the Chapter House, after each morning’s performance.  The Duchess of Kent
and the Princess Victoria were among the company.  The receipts for the
charity were £1,005, and for admissions, £3,314; being considerably less
than the amount realised in 1827.

1833—SEPTEMBER 24—Sermon by the Bishop of Worcester.  Every pains had
been taken to make this festival successful; the performances occupying
four mornings instead of three, and the orchestra being much enlarged.
About 170 performers were engaged, the principal vocalists being—Madame
Malibran, Miss Clara Novello, and Mrs. Knyvett; Messrs. Braham, Phillips,
Vaughan, and E. Taylor.  De Beriot, the violinist, was also a feature of
this festival.  _The Messiah_ was performed entire; and selections from
_The Creation_, _Palestine_, _The Last Judgment_, _The Deluge_
(Schneider), and _Mount Sinai_ (Neukomm)—the last proving a decided
failure.  Malibran was all in all at this meeting.  The receipts for the
charity were £981, and for admissions, £3,496.  The ball at the College
Hall was a most brilliant finale, the company numbering upwards of 700.
The expenses were no less than £4,300; so that the stewards were £800 out
of pocket.

1836—SEPTEMBER 27—Sermon by the Rev. Prebendary Benson.  Principal
performers—Madame Caradori Allan, Miss Hawes, Mrs. Knyvett, and Miss
Novello; Messrs. Braham, Phillips, Vaughan, Knyvett, &c.  The scheme
contained many novelties.  _The Messiah_ was performed on the first
morning; Mozart’s _Redemption_, Bishop’s cantata, _The Seventh Day_, and
a selection, the second morning; and _The Last Judgment_, with a
selection, on the third.  _Acis and Galatea_ was sung at the first
concert; the others were entirely miscellaneous.  The receipts exhibited
a sad falling off, being, for the charity, £828, and for admissions,
£2,685.  The stewards were about £1,000 out of pocket.  An article of
_bijouterie_ was presented to Miss Clara Novello, by Colonel Clive and
the committee, as an expression of their admiration at her singing, and
of thanks for the kind manner in which she had fallen in with the wishes
of the committee as to some alterations of the scheme.

1839—SEPTEMBER 10—Sermon by the Rev. W. H. Woodgate, Rector of
Bellbroughton.  _The Messiah_, _Creation_, and _Palestine_ performed in
their entirety.  The concerts were all made up of miscellanea.  Principal
performers—Miss Hawes, Miss Clara Novello, Madame Persiani, Miss
Woodyatt, Miss Beale; Messrs. Phillips, Vaughan, Bennett, Machin,
Edmunds, &c.  The receipts for the charity this year were £932, and for
admissions £2,820, which was an increase upon the sum realised at the
previous meeting, though the prices of tickets were this year reduced to
the sums at which they have ever since remained.  The expenses, however,
reached £4,089, so that there was a deficiency of £1,270.

1842—SEPTEMBER 20—The sermon was preached by the Lord Bishop of the
Diocese.  This festival was marked by an entire change of system and the
great success attending upon it.  There were no foreign “stars” engaged
in the vocal department, and, consequently, a great deal of expense was
saved.  The oratorios were conducted, not by the organist of the
cathedral, Mr. Clarke, but by Mr. Surman of Exeter Hall, and the
performances were held in the nave and not in the choir.  The only
previous occasion on which the festival had been held in the nave was at
the visit of George III, sixty years before.  The arrangement of
orchestra and seats was that which has been ever since observed.  The
principal singers were—Miss Birch, Miss Marshall, Miss Dolby, Mrs. Loder,
and Miss Davis, our own young townswoman; Mr. Phillips, Mr. Leffler, and
Mr. Hobbs.  The oratorios performed were—_The Messiah_, _Judas
Maccabeus_, and _Engedi_.  At the evening concerts _Alexander’s Feast_,
Haydn’s _Seasons_, and Schiller’s _Song of __the Bell_ were performed
entire.  The chorus consisted of 218 singers, and there were 82
instruments in the orchestra.  The organ was in the course of being
renewed by Hill.  The collections for the charity amounted to £1,059.

1845—Sermon by Canon Wood.  Only three morning performances this year,
which, for the first time, were under the conduct of Mr. Done.  _The Last
Judgment_ and a collection of anthems were performed on the Wednesday
morning, and _The Messiah_ on the Thursday.  In the evenings _Acis and
Galatea_ and Mendelssohn’s _Walpurgis Nacht_ were performed entire.  The
principal vocalists were—the Misses Williams, Miss Rainforth, Miss
Whitnall; Herr Staudigl, Mr. Pearsall, Mr. Hobbs, Mr. Machin, and Mr.
Young.  The amount collected for the charity was £850. 14s.

1848—Sermon by the Very Rev. the Dean of Worcester.  Mdlle. Jenny Lind
had promised to take a part at this festival, but Mr. Lumley compelled
her to break her engagement, and she was actually singing at Birmingham
on the first day of the Worcester meeting; notwithstanding this, the
festival was one of the most successful, in point of attendance, which
has ever been held at either of the three cities.  On the first morning
at least 1,500 people were present in the nave of the Cathedral, and at
the last concert in the College Hall it is computed that 1,100 persons
were crammed into the room.  There were this year four morning
performances; the oratorios performed entire being the _Elijah_ and
_Messiah_, with selections from _Palestine_, _Creation_, and _Engedi_.
In the evenings parts of Mendelssohn’s _Midsummer Night’s Dream_, Haydn’s
_Seasons_, and Weber’s _Oberon_ were performed, with miscellaneous
selections.  The principal vocalists were—Mdlle. Alboni, Madame
Castellan, the Misses Williams, and Miss Dolby; Mr. Sims Reeves, Signor
Lablache, Mr. Lockey, Mr. Robinson, and Mr. Machin.  The amount collected
for the charity was £960, and the receipts by sale of tickets reached
£3,080; yet the expense attaching to the engagement of the “stars” was so
great that the loss was very considerable.


IT is altogether beyond the province of this work to enter into any
detail of the scientific peculiarities of the county of Worcester; but it
would have been very satisfactory to have been able to have recorded
here—besides those isolated disturbances of nature’s more ordinary
course, which arrest the attention of indifferent spectators—the results
of observations made by competent persons which might have formed the
basis of a county meteorology.  But, in truth, none such exist; excepting
in the daily memoranda of one or two gentlemen extending over only a very
few years, there are no data for arriving at any conclusions on the
subject.  As the members of the medical profession and the scientific
agriculturist become increasingly alive to the important part which
atmosphere and electricity play in the conditions of animal and vegetable
life, the want of such tables will be severely felt.  The city of
Worcester itself stands but thirty-six feet above the level of the sea;
and, from its peculiar position, its temperature is generally higher than
that of the surrounding country or of the kingdom generally.  Though
Worcestershire may be considered as the central county of England, and
consequently the most inland, yet we have our fair share of rain, and
perhaps even more than an average quantity.  Such observations as could
be procured on this point will be found in the Appendix.  The principal
part of our rain, and the greater number of storms that visit us, come
from the S.W., and the prevailing wind is also from that quarter.  In
some parts of the year it may be matter for every day observation to
notice the vapours, gathered apparently in the Bristol Channel, attracted
by the Malvern range, and spreading out a fan-like nimbus towards the
N.E., which distributes its fertilising showers over Worcester and the
lands lying between Bredon Hill on the one hand and the upper Severn on
the other—often over a much more limited tract of country—while the lands
beyond seem to lie under a dry and cloudless sky.  The following are
memoranda of the more remarkable natural phenomena which have excited
notice within the county during this century.

1802—JANUARY 20—A hurricane occurred, doing great damage to the houses in
and round Worcester.  The windmill at Kempsey was set on fire by the
sails being whirled round with so great rapidity.

1804—JANUARY 20—Violent gale from S.W., doing great damage.  A stack of
chimneys falling through the roof of the house of Mr. E. Harris,
attorney, in Edgar Street, Worcester, killed the nursemaid, who was in
bed with two children, who were but little hurt.

1805—JANUARY 25—The London mail to Worcester stopped by a heavy fall of

1807—NOVEMBER 10—A violent storm occurred, which raged pretty generally
over the whole country.  A barge laden with coal, moored near Worcester
bridge, was sunk.  At Hanley Castle, and Stanford Park, a great many
trees were blown down, and several houses unroofed.

1808—JULY 15—A most awful tempest from the S.W.  The thunder continued in
one unbroken roar for an hour and a half; and the hailstones which fell
were like fragments of a vast plate of ice broken into pieces, being
broad, flat, and ragged.  Many of them were perfect and unmelted the next

1809—JANUARY 29—Great flood upon the Severn, the water rising to within
nineteen inches of the level of the extraordinary flood of 1795.

1810—SEPTEMBER 22—A storm, described as “a dreadful whirlwind,”
commencing at Fearnal Heath, and taking a direction due north, through
Salwarp, Ombersley, Doverdale, and to the extremity of Hampton Lovett;
and its effects were felt as far as Chaddesley Corbett.  The principal
sufferers were Sir John Pakington, Mr. Silvester of Doverdale, and Mr.
Saunders of Mayeux.  Mr. Silvester had two hundred trees on his farm,
either torn up by the roots, or shattered at mid-trunk.  Most of them
were pear trees in full bearing.

1810—NOVEMBER 10—A tempest from the N.E. visited Worcester and its
environs.  Great numbers of trees torn up by the roots.  The lightning
struck the house of Mr. Harris of Edgar Street, came down the chimney of
the room in which he was sitting, burnt his hand and eyebrows, his
stockings and papers, and tore down a wainscot on the opposite side of
the room.

1811—MAY 27—The famous Worcester hailstorm happened this day.  It was
indeed a tempest, such as had been scarcely ever known in this country
before.  Between four and five o’clock p.m., clouds of a horrible
blackness came up from the S.E., accompanied by a hideous noise.  Shortly
hail began to fall, which almost immediately became a storm of ice, and
fell furiously in flakes of about five or six inches in circumference.
The windows of almost every house which faced the S.E. were wholly
demolished in a few minutes—gardens were laid utterly waste—and fields,
both of grass and corn, sustained irreparable damage.  The ice-storm was
succeeded by heavy torrents of rain, with all the terrors of a tropical
tempest.  The river Severn _in one hour rose six feet_, and continued
gradually to swell its torrent till it had reached the height of _twenty
feet_; and the flood, rapid and wide-spreading, swept away in its
impetuous career whole herds of cattle from the adjacent fields.  1,200
panes of glass were broken in Messrs. Barr’s china manufactory, 500 in
the Workhouse, and 2,000 in Messrs. Chamberlain’s factory.  Messrs.
Freame’s cabinet warehouse, Goose Lane, lost 1,000 panes, and all the
public buildings suffered severely.  150 rooks were killed in the rookery
at the White Ladies, and a vast many other birds were also afterwards
found dead.  At Henwick and Hallow the crops were miserably injured.  The
cost of replacing the glass broken in the city, alone, was estimated at
£5,000; and there being neither sufficient materials nor workpeople at
hand to repair it, the inhabitants for weeks had to suffer the
inconvenience of exposure to the weather.  One glazier, who started off
to Stourbridge and purchased all the glass he could lay his hands on, is
said to have laid the foundation of a fortune by this calamity.  We have
no record of the state of the atmosphere previous to this storm.

1814—JANUARY 12—The Severn frozen over at Worcester, so as to admit of
parties walking across it, and the weather in every respect most severe.
JANUARY 20—The frost continued with such severity that the Severn was
frozen over at Tewkesbury, and several persons going to Tewkesbury market
rode over it at the Lode.  The roads, also, were so blocked up by snow as
to render traffic of every description almost impossible.

1817—JUNE 21—The neighbourhood of Stanford visited with a tremendous
tempest.  From seven to ten p.m., the roar of the thunder was incessant;
the lightning one continued sheet of fire; and the rain descended in such
torrents that the whole country was inundated.  The brook running from
Hanley William through Orleton rose to an enormous height, and carried
away fences, trees, and other obstacles, lodging them at great distances.
Many hop yards destroyed, and the soil almost wholly washed away.  The
thermometer stood at 112° Fahrenheit in the sun, on the day before this
storm, and at 82° in the shade.

1818—MARCH 4—A very furious storm from the S.W. experienced at Worcester,
continuing for about six hours.  A great deal of damage done to the roofs
of houses.  The Bristol mail was detained eleven hours by the floods.

1818—APRIL 11—Great flood on the river Severn, the water rising to within
three feet of the height which it reached in February, 1795.

1820—JANUARY 14—The Severn frozen over.

1820—MAY 12—A thunderstorm occurred, which was very terrific in several
parts of the county.  A rick of hay at Mr. Coucher’s, Woodmanton,
Clifton-on-Teme, was set on fire and wholly burnt; and four deer were
killed by the lightning in Hagley Park.

1821—JANUARY 20—The Severn frozen over.

1821—MAY 2—A very fearful thunderstorm occurred, which was general
throughout the kingdom.  It did not do much damage in Worcestershire.  At
Northwick Park five deer were killed, and their bodies were found
floating in the large sheet of water there.  Four out of the five were
six-year-old bucks; and it was surmised that, blinded by the lightning,
they ran into the water; and though deer customarily swim well, yet they
were now unable to exert themselves and so were drowned.

1821—DECEMBER 24—Great floods upon the Severn, which entirely cut off the
communication between Worcester and the lower parts of the county.  The
cellars of all the houses near the Severn were flooded for some days.

1822—MAY 20—A destructive thunderstorm in the neighbourhood of Worcester.
The hailstones, which were unusually large, smashed great quantities of
glass—particularly about Spetchley, where six hundred panes were broken
in the hothouses of R. Berkeley, Esq.  Hailstones were picked up
measuring four inches in circumference.

1822—DECEMBER 5—A terrific hurricane from the S.W., which raged with more
or less violence throughout the whole of England.  In Worcester, the
roofs of several houses were almost uncovered, and the gable end of a
newly-erected building near the House of Industry was blown in.  Five
boats were sunk at Diglis; and at Upton bridge one was capsized with
three men in it, one of whom was drowned.  The coachman of the Holyhead
mail was twice blown off the box, and one of the horses dropped down
dead, on arriving at Chester, from excessive fatigue.

1825—JULY 19—A tempest in the neighbourhood of Tenbury and Cleobury
Mortimer.  The electric fluid struck an oak tree at Kinlet, and killed
nine sheep sheltering beneath it; set fire to the wooden steeple of Neen
Savage Church, melting the bells which it contained, and threatening the
destruction of the entire edifice.

1825—DECEMBER 14—A fearful storm of wind, hail, rain, and lightning,
passed over Worcester from the S.W., and the electric fluid displaced a
stone about half way up St. Andrew’s spire.  Mr. G. Parry, farmer, of
Hanbury, lost thirty-two ewes, heavy with lamb, and valued at £100.

1826—JANUARY 14—A storm of wind, which blew a perfect hurricane about
noon.  A stack of chimneys at Mr. Sidebottom’s house, at Worcester, fell
through the roof and two floors, severely injuring a servant.  Trees in
the neighbourhood were torn up by the roots, walls and fences laid flat,
and corn and hay ricks unthatched and scattered.  A considerable part of
the spire of Cleobury Mortimer Church was broken off during divine
service, and the congregation rushed out of the edifice in terror.  A
barge, heavily laden with coal, was sunk in the Severn.

1828—JULY 8—A tempest of considerable violence, during which the
lightning struck a house in Newdix Court, High Street, Worcester, and a
cottage near Merriman’s Hill—not, however, doing much damage in either
case.  Vehement gusts of wind stripped old roofs of their tiling, and
blew down several trees in the neighbourhood.

1830—JANUARY 20—A very heavy fall of snow, blocking up all the roads, so
that no coaches reached Worcester at all from the west, and the London
coaches came in a day after their time.

1831—JULY 10—A tempest which raged throughout the county, doing much
damage.  The lightning struck Hales, a watchman of Worcester, while
sitting at the door of a house at Spetchley, and he was for a time
paralysed, while the blood flowed from his ears and mouth.  At Wick a
cottage was burnt down, and the nephew of the widow who occupied it was
affected by the electric fluid, much in the same manner as Hales.  On
Defford Common the hailstones lay in hillocks nine inches high, and some
of the stones were as large as pigeon’s eggs.  A great deal of glass was
broken, birds killed, crops destroyed (the heads of the wheat being
separated from the straw, and the pods of beans laid open), and fencing
laid low.

1836—DECEMBER 28–30—An extraordinary snowstorm, which extended over the
greater part of the country, and continued for several days, till all the
roads were blocked up and communication almost at an end.  The Worcester
mail was blocked up in the snow at Enstone, and could not be got out.
The mails for three days were thirty-six hours behind time.  In some
places the snow was said to have drifted to a height of twenty feet.

1839—JANUARY 9—A fearful gale of wind, general throughout the country,
and doing great damage to houses and plantations in this county.  At
Burlish Common, near Stourport, a stack of chimneys fell through the roof
of a cottage on to the bed where a young woman was lying, and she
sustained such injuries as to cause her death shortly afterwards.

1839—JUNE 13—A very violent hailstorm raged chiefly in the northern part
of the county.  At Hagley, several hundred pounds’ worth of glass were
destroyed; and in Mr. G. B. Lea’s spinning mill, at Drayton, near
Kidderminster, 580 small panes were broken.  At Hartlebury, &c., great
damage was done to the growing crops—many fields of barley being totally
destroyed; and at Harvington the hailstones were reported to lie six feet
deep on the ground: fifty rooks were killed in that neighbourhood.

1839—JULY 31—In consequence of unintermittent rains for several days
together, a flood occurred in all the running streams, which rose higher
than had been known for many years.  Of course, great damage was done to
the pastures and crops.  On several roads communication was cut off.  The
Ludlow and Aberystwith mails to Worcester were both stopped.  The guard
of the Ludlow mail attempted to get on in a two-horse fly; but, at
Newnham, the fly was fairly floated, and the guard himself narrowly
escaped drowning.  The Aberystwith coach was stopped at Knightsford
bridge, and had to be lashed to a tree: the bags were brought away in

1843—JULY 5—An alarming tempest visited Worcester and the neighbourhood,
killing several sheep, shivering fine trees, and the subsequent hail
destroying much glass in greenhouses.

1843—JULY 13—A very severe thunderstorm again occurred, igniting some
farm buildings at Abberton, killing a mare at Redditch, and doing other
damage.  The wife of a labourer at Eastnor was struck by the lightning,
and the whole of her apparel was reduced to tinder; the steel busk of her
stays was heated to a red heat! and her body, in consequence, frightfully
burnt—nevertheless she recovered.  The wife of a gardener at Inkberrow,
named Hopkins, was sitting at the fireplace, when the electric fluid came
down the chimney, and striking the woman, passed along her spine, killing
her on the spot.  The damage done to the crops along the eastern border
of the county was very great.

1843—AUGUST 9—A most violent thunderstorm, whose chief fury seemed to be
spent immediately over the city of Worcester.  Wind in S.W.  For two
hours the thunder pealed incessantly, and the electric fluid struck at
least ten houses in the city, but without doing any material damage at
either place.  At one house which the lightning entered, in the Shambles,
a boy was standing with an awl in his hand, and the electric fluid
severed the blade from the haft, leaving the latter in the hand of the

1845—JULY 6—A terrific thunderstorm, extending over all the S.W. and
midland counties of England, broke this evening over Worcester, just as
the several congregations were leaving their respective places of
worship.  Just before the hurricane of rain commenced, the whole clouded
sky was covered with a lurid glare, as if from the reflection of a
distant conflagration.  A great number of fine trees were uprooted,
especially near Bewdley.  At Witley Court, great damage was done to the
windows and conservatories; at Pershore the hailstones were, in fact,
large pieces of ice, and some 2,000 panes of glass were broken.

1846—AUGUST 1—A violent thunderstorm, which did considerable damage in
some parts of England, but not much in this neighbourhood.  Two lambs,
belonging to J. Lea, Esq., of The Shrubbery, Kidderminster, were killed
by the lightning.



THE present century opened in a tempest of war and confusion, which gave
little prospect of soon exhausting its fury.  Mention will be found below
of several serious riots on account of the high price of provisions,
which may be thus accounted for: The exemption from cash payments in 1797
had given great relief to the merchants and tradespeople generally, but
had little effect upon the condition of the working classes; and the war
had not yet withdrawn so many men from productive industry as materially
to raise the rate of wages.  The total number of levies for the army,
from the commencement of the war to the end of 1800, was but 208,388.  It
had, however, continued sufficiently long to raise the price of all
provisions enormously, and the very deficient harvests of 1799 and 1800
greatly increased this evil, and added to the distress.  So much disquiet
was excited by these causes that Parliament was called together for a
second sitting in November, and all sorts of expedients were resorted to
to increase the supply of food—bounties were granted on the importation
of foreign corn—the use of corn in distilleries, or for making starch,
was prohibited—the manufacture of fine flour, or the use of it in making
bread, was forbidden, while the use of oats and barley was permitted and
encouraged—bakers were prohibited from selling bread that had not been
baked twenty-four hours—and, lastly, in the month of December His Majesty
issued a proclamation exhorting the strictest economy in families on the
use of every kind of grain, recommending that people should abstain from
pastry, and on no account allow the consumption of bread in their
households to exceed one quartern loaf for each person in a week.
Statutes against “engrossing and regrating,” that had almost become
obsolete, were also raked up and eagerly put in force against
speculators, whether great or small, both by country magistrates and
chief justices, though the great Holt had long ago laughed at them.  The
average price of wheat this year was 119s. 6d. per quarter; and Three per
Cent. Consols averaged 63½.

JANUARY—A subscription entered into for the relief of the poor in
Worcester, in consequence of the “high price of bread, butter, and other
necessaries of life.”  The parties at the public meeting, called to
promote the subscription, pledged themselves “to reduce the consumption
of flour and butter in their own families as much as possible, and
earnestly recommended the same to all ranks of persons within the city
and suburbs.”  The subscription, in the whole, amounted to more than
£700.  The soup kitchen was opened before this time.

JANUARY 7—The post boy, carrying the mail with the letter bags from
Worcester, for Bewdley, Kidderminster, and Stourbridge, was stopped about
six in the morning, two miles only from Worcester, by a man on foot, who
presented a pistol—cut the straps of the portmanteau and carried the mail
away.  A reward of £200 was offered by Government, but the offender was
never apprehended.

JANUARY 14—The County Magistrates, at Quarter Sessions, ordered that “no
makers of bread for sale, shall make, or sell, any superior quality of
bread at a higher price than the standard wheaten bread; and that every
peck loaf should weigh 17 lbs. 6oz., and every quartern loaf 4 lbs. 5 oz.
8 drams.”  Price of wheat in Worcester market, 13s. 4d. to 15s. 6d. the
bushel.  Hops, £14 to £16 per cwt.

JANUARY 17—The “Worcester Fencible Light Dragoons,” retiring to England
from service in Ireland, were thanked by Lord Cornwallis, Adjutant
General of the forces in Ireland, for their services in that kingdom.

JANUARY 25—The magistrates of Worcester offered ten guineas reward for
the discovery of the writer of “several inflammatory papers, reflecting
upon their conduct,” which were found in the Foregate Street.

JANUARY 25—A labouring man robbed at Barbourne, Worcester, by footpads;
and, two days after, a farmer, on horseback, was stopped at the same

FEBRUARY 21—A man apprehended in Worcester market for “forestalling,” and
committed to the assizes for trial.

MARCH 9—A “Worcester Fire Office” established, with a capital of

APRIL 4—Disturbances in the Worcester markets, on account of the high
price of provisions.  The magistrates issued a notice that sellers would
be protected.  The consumption of butter greatly reduced in consequence
of its enormous price.

APRIL 7—The Corporation of Worcester offered premiums of 1s. 6d. for the
first 100 bushels of potatoes brought into the market before the 1st
July; 1s. for the second 100; and 9d. for the third.  Claimants upon 240
bushels were paid.  Wheat at 14s. 6d. to 18s. per bushel.  Beef at least
9d., and mutton 10d. per lb.

APRIL 25—The colliers of Stourbridge in a state of great disturbance from
the scarcity.  A squadron of the 7th Dragoon Guards sent into the

MAY 2—Meeting of the gentry and inhabitants of Stourbridge; the Hon.
Edward Foley in the chair; at which resolutions were passed, begging the
farmers to bring wheat into that market to sell at 15s. per bushel, and
barley at a price not exceeding 8s.

MAY 9—Disturbances at Redditch, which threatened to be very serious, but
quelled by the Bromsgrove Volunteers, who stood a furious attack made on
them by the mob with great firmness and prudence.  Several of the rioters
were apprehended, but discharged on finding sureties for their good

MAY 15—Attempt on the King’s life in Drury Lane Theatre by Hadfield.
Addresses from the Worcester Corporation were sent to the Right Hon. the
Earl of Coventry for presentation, as recorder of the city.

MAY 30—Accounts of “Internal Defence Subscription” published, from which
it appeared that £4,550 had been subscribed by the county, and £532 by
the city of Worcester: spent equally in the augmentation of the Militia
and the Yeomanry Cavalry.

JUNE 10—Visitation and address by the Bishop, in which the scarcity was
attributed to the war and inclement seasons.  Use of “Church Catechism,”
in the instruction of children, urgently enforced.

JUNE 26—Honorary degree of M.A. conferred on Lord Foley, at the Oxford
Commemoration of Founders and Benefactors of the University.

JULY 9—A further subscription entered into in Worcester for the relief of
the poor, who had been constantly subsidised from the fund ever since the
winter; 96,000 quarts of soup having been distributed amongst them,
besides great quantities of potatoes and much money.

JULY 21—Lord Dudley and Ward purchased a large quantity of imported wheat
at Liverpool, to retail to the poor at a reduced price.  Price of wheat
in Worcester market, 21s. to 22s. 6d. per bushel.

AUGUST 10—The price of wheat in Worcester market having fallen to 10s.
and 13s. per bushel, the relief committee discontinued their labours.
The promise of a plenteous harvest produced this change for the better.

AUGUST 15—The Mayor and magistrates of Worcester attempted to enforce
sanitary regulations—such as cleansing “the kennels,” for they considered
“all stagnate water injurious to health, and the exhalations from it the
forerunners of contagious disorders.”

AUGUST—A great number of houses between Stourport and Worcester searched
for unlawful nets, used for the taking of small fish in the Severn.  Many
such being found they were all publicly burned at Bewdley.

AUGUST 25—This evening, because the bakers in Worcester were unprovided
with bread to sell, the populace assembled as soon as it was dark and
began to demolish their windows, but the disturbance was soon put a stop
to by the magistrates.  A sudden rise in the price of flour on the
previous Saturday had prevented the bakers from supplying themselves with
the necessary quantity for the week.

SEPTEMBER 12—The Mayor, magistrates, &c., of Worcester met “to ensure a
more regular supply of the necessaries of life, at reasonable prices,” to
their fellow citizens, and determine to erect a corn mill to be worked by

SEPTEMBER 19—A mare, belonging to Mr. Tully of St. John’s, ridden seventy
miles on the London Road, from Worcester to Benson, in eleven hours and
forty-nine minutes.

SEPTEMBER 21—Meeting of farmers, &c., at Bromsgrove, when they agreed to
supply that market, for three months, with wheat at 11s. 6d. a bushel.

NOVEMBER 21—“John Bunn, jun., flax dresser,” advertised his address.
Sales of flax crops occasionally advertised.

NOVEMBER 27—£2,350 subscribed to the Flour and Bread Institution, for the
benefit of the industrious poor.  The institution bought foreign wheat
largely, and sold to the poor at reduced prices.  It was said in its
results “greatly to exceed the expectations of its most sanguine

DECEMBER 1—Lord Valentia and Mr. Child supplied the Bewdley market with
grain, at 12s. a bushel, to be sold to the poor, under the direction of
the bailiff.

DECEMBER 5—Mr. Burrow, saddler, of Worcester, purchased a large quantity
of potatoes to sell again to the poor under the market price.

DECEMBER 10—John Beet, of Rowley Regis, butcher, was convicted by the
Droitwich magistrates, in the full penalty of 50s. for “cutting and
gashing two cow hides and a calf skin, and for slaying them below the
gambrel or knee.”

LOCAL ACTS PASSED THIS YEAR—For continuing and enlarging powers of
Bewdley Turnpike Trust; ditto Kidderminster Turnpikes; Act for repairing
roads leading to and from the Hundred House.


IN February, this year, Mr. Pitt unexpectedly retired, and Mr. Addington
was called to the King’s Councils, a fact principally to be attributed to
the ill success of the war which had been entered into with France, and
continued at a cost of blood and treasure totally disproportionate to its
advantages.  The new ministry, from the moment of entering office,
declared peace to be their aim, and the preliminary articles were signed
in London in October.  This war, which had lasted for eight years, cost
us £427,000,000, and at the end of it the only additional possessions we
retained were Trinidad and the Dutch holdings in Ceylon.  In consequence
of the harvest in 1800 being almost an entire failure, the high price of
provisions continued to create much distress amongst the poor, and the
bounties on flour imported from America were increased.  The Three per
Cents. fluctuated between 54¾, in January, and 69½, in October: average
price about 61.  Wheat averaged 69s. 10d.

JANUARY—Price of grain in Worcester market 20s. to 24s. a bushel.

MARCH 28—Riot amongst the Worcester women, on account of the high price
of provisions—20d. being asked for a pound of butter; 2s. a peck for
potatoes; and 9d. a pound for meat.  The mob of women prevented the
Birmingham “badgers” from carrying off their purchases, and then,
assembling before a baker’s shop in Broad Street, compelled his wife to
throw out to them all the bread she had in the house.  Special constables
were at last sworn in and tranquillity restored.

MAY 27—Price of the quartern loaf fixed by the Mayor of Worcester at 1s.
7d., though selling the same day in London at 1s. 4½d.  Constant
complaints that the markets at Worcester were higher than elsewhere, and
as this continued to be the case, a Mr. B. Lloyd purchased, in June,
1,000 barrels of American flour at Liverpool, and sold them here in
single barrels.

JUNE 20—Two vagrants, confined in the County Bridewell, forced out a
window, and, dropping themselves over a wall twenty feet high, made good
their escape.

JULY 17—The committee of the Worcester Flour and Bread Institution
reported, that since the previous October, 100,000 loaves had been sold
to the poor by its means at one third less than the average market price.
During the same period 140,000 quarts of soup had been distributed.

JULY 30—The Directors of the Worcester House of Industry, which was
established in 1795, published a statement apologising for the increase
of rates.  The average number of poor relieved in and out of the house,
during the previous twelve months, had been 583 weekly! while in 1795 it
was only 235.  The Directors attributed this increase to the high price
of food and the sickliness of the season, and said it was not greater
than in other manufacturing towns.

AUGUST 5—Miss Mellon performed at Worcester Theatre to crowded houses.

OCTOBER 14—Dinner at the Crown Hotel, Worcester, “to celebrate the
Peace.”  Illumination, &c.

OCTOBER 15—Ball at the Guildhall, for the benefit of the Infirmary,
attended by 300 persons.  Net profits £102.

NOVEMBER 10—Lord Foley met with a severe accident while hunting, one of
his horse’s legs dropping into a deep hole and falling back upon his

NOVEMBER 10—An advertisement having been inserted in the Worcester
papers, by the Hon. Mr. Ward, stating that he intended to offer himself
as a candidate for Worcester at the next general election, the
Corporation met and voted unanimously that “as there is no vacancy in the
representation of the city, the Corporation considered that an
insuperable bar to their countenancing a contest from any quarter
whatever, having had woful experience how destructive it is of peace and
good neighbourhood, which happily has prevailed among all ranks of
citizens for a long time.”

DECEMBER 14—Both the Worcester members, Mr. Wigley and Mr. Robarts, voted
in a minority of 22 to 80, to continue the restrictions on the use of
barley in distilleries.

DECEMBER 18—General collection made throughout the city by the parish
officers on behalf of the Infirmary, instead of further illuminations on
account of the Peace.

DECEMBER 21—Considerable festivities at Witley Court, on Lord Foley
attaining his majority.  A very large sum distributed amongst the poor of
the neighbourhood.


THE confirmation of the Peace of Amiens diffused universal joy, and the
harvest of 1801 having been tolerably abundant, much less pressure was
experienced on account of the price of bread.  Three per Cents. stood at
about 70½.  Wheat averaged 69s. 10d.

JANUARY 9—C. Thellusson, Esq., M.P. for Evesham, distributed one hundred
guineas amongst the poor freemen of that borough.

JANUARY 11—William Smith publicly whipped in the corn market, Worcester,
according to sentence of sessions, for stealing a bag.

FEBRUARY 1—Lord Foley appeared at the bar of the Court of Common Pleas,
and suffered recoveries of estates of considerable value.  He took his
seat in the House of Lords on the 22nd April.

APRIL 16—The Worcester Militia, under Colonel Newport, called together
and disembodied.

MAY 5—A private in the 5th Dragoons, immured in Worcester gaol for
desertion, and daily expecting exemplary punishment, received an account
of the death of a distant relation in Ireland, bequeathing him a property
of £4,000 per annum.

JUNE 1—General Thanksgiving for the Peace.  An address of congratulation
was voted on the occasion by the Corporation of Worcester, and forwarded
to the Earl of Coventry, as recorder of the city, for presentation.

JUNE 9—The Hon. Mr. Ward attained his majority, and the event was
celebrated at Himley with great rejoicings.  A barrel of beer, called
“Big Ben,” containing 1,000 gallons, which had been brewed at the birth
of Mr. Ward, was tapped on the occasion.

JUNE 8—The Yeomanry assembled on the _Sunday_, as requested, and received
the thanks of His Majesty and the Parliament.  Each troop, henceforth,
reduced to forty rank and file.

AUGUST 29—Lord Nelson, accompanied by Sir William and Lady Hamilton,
visited Worcester, on their return from a tour through South Wales.  He
was met on the road by a great number of people, who drew his carriage
into the city: visited the china manufactory; was received by the Mayor
and Corporation at the Town Hall; entertained at a collation; and the
Earl of Coventry, the recorder, presented him with the freedom of the
city in a china vase from Messrs. Chamberlain’s manufactory.  [The visit
is recorded by the mosaic of stones in front of the Guildhall.]

SEPTEMBER 10—The price of coals being raised, Lord Dudley and Ward
directed that the poor inhabitants of Worcester should be supplied from
his pits at nearly half the ordinary cost.

SEPTEMBER 27—H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge visited Worcester, his regiment
being then quartered in this county, and was presented with the freedom
of the city.

DECEMBER 10—The magistrates of Worcester published a correct list of
fairs, &c., because the difference between the Old and New Styles being
then thirteen days instead of twelve, great uncertainty prevailed
respecting the days on which they actually took place, and people
frequently arrived “a day after the fair.”

PRIVATE ACT PASSED THIS YEAR—For enclosure of waste lands at Ripple.


THE hollow peace proved very short-lived.  Buonaparte being evidently
bent on the subjugation of the entire continent, and the British refusing
to evacuate Malta till they had satisfaction as to his designs, war was
again declared in May this year.  The return to hostilities seemed as
much to please the nation at large as the peace had done only the year
before.  On the threat of invasion arose that unparalleled volunteer
enthusiasm to which many of the following memoranda have reference.
Consols fluctuated from 73 in January to 52 in October; average price,
about 60.  Price of wheat, 58s. 10d.

JANUARY 10—A. Robarts, Esq., M.P. for Worcester, “with his accustomed
liberality,” presented half a guinea to each of the poor freemen of the
city who chose to accept it, and the gift was “gratefully received” by
upwards of 500 persons—the total sum distributed being 270 guineas.

JANUARY 24—The new member, Joseph Scott, Esq., entertained 500 of the
freemen at a dinner, and next day invited 123 of his more respectable
friends to dine at the Hoppole, in celebration of his election.  One of
the toasts given was, “The pious and revered memory of the late Mr.
Alderman Mather.”

FEBRUARY 1—The Venerable Bishop Hurd completed the select and valuable
library at the Episcopal Palace, Hartlebury, which he has since
bequeathed as an heir-loom to his successors in the see.

MAY 18—The Worcestershire Militia, under Colonel Newport, set out, by
forced marches, for Gosport, in consequence of the renewal of war with

MAY 26—The Messrs. Chamberlain sent, in pursuance to order, a superb set
of porcelain to court, for the use of His Majesty on the ensuing

JUNE 6—The Droitwich Road Bill received the royal assent, after a very
severe opposition in Parliament.

JUNE 22—Meeting of the hop planters of Worcester and Hereford at the
Talbot, Tything, Worcester, the Hon. James S. Cocks in the chair, to
petition that the use of quassia may be prohibited.

AUGUST 12—The enthusiastic citizens of Worcester form themselves into a
corps of “Loyal Worcester Volunteers;” and similar corps were formed in
every town and many of the rural districts in the county.  The
subscriptions for clothing and arms for the city corps amounted to

AUGUST 19—The Worcester Loyal Volunteers, amounting then to 722 men, met
on Pitchcroft, and elected the Hon. George Coventry their Lieutenant
Colonel, and Samuel Wall, jun., Esq., their Major.

SEPTEMBER 21—Lord Foley formed a rifle corps of 100 men, to be added to
the extraordinary defences of the country “at the present crisis.”

OCTOBER 9—(Sunday)—General muster and exercise of the Loyal Volunteer
Infantry on Pitchcroft.  Almost all the drills took place on the
Sunday—the members of the corps being, from business, unable to attend on
any other day.  Hon. George Coventry commandant of this district.

DECEMBER 3—The ladies bought up every particle of flannel that they could
lay their hands on, to make flannel dresses for the volunteers!

DECEMBER 16—William Sturges, Esq., of Acton Hall, Worcestershire, M.P.
for Christchurch, Hants, received permission to take the additional name
of Bourne.  This gentleman gave name, in turn, to a very well known act
of Parliament.

LOCAL ACTS—For continuing and enlarging powers of acts for repair of road
from Worcester to Bromsgrove; for making horse towing path from Bewdley
to Diglis; for inclosure of lands at Little Comberton.


MR. PITT, having strengthened his hands by the addition of Addington, now
Viscount Sidmonth, and his friends, returned to office; the war with
Buonaparte was carried on with fresh vigour, and the volunteers at home
were fired with an increase of patriotic ardour.  The number of men
withdrawn from productive industry amounted already to at least 400,000;
and that remarkable rise in prices, which continued throughout the war,
now commenced.  Consols averaged 57.  Bad harvest; wheat averaged 62s.

FEBRUARY 12—(Sunday)—General inspection, on Pitchcroft, of the Loyal
Worcester Volunteers under Colonel Coventry, by Colonel Houston.  The St.
John’s, Bewdley, Stourport, Kidderminster, Evesham and Pershore, and
Elmley corps also reviewed this week.

MARCH 10—The towns of Bewdley and Kidderminster alarmed very early by the
beating of the Volunteer drums, in consequence of a report that the
French had landed, 50,000 strong.  The Volunteers immediately assembled,
shouldered their muskets, and set off towards Worcester with immense
alacrity and amid the enthusiastic cheers of their wives and sweethearts.
After marching some three or four miles they were informed, that it was a
false alarm, intended merely by way of proof and exercise.  So they
marched back again, in ire and chagrin.

APRIL 10—Colours, worked by the young ladies of Evesham, were presented
to the Evesham and Pershore Volunteers by Mrs. Perrott.

APRIL 17—A similar presentation was made to the Worcester Volunteers by
Lady Deerhurst.  Colours afterwards consecrated in the Cathedral.

MAY 29—The ancient custom, of the different companies walking in
procession with the Mayor and Corporation of Worcester to the Cathedral,

AUGUST 1—The Tenbury Volunteers (Captain Edward Wheeler) received colours
from Mrs. Pytts of Kyre House.

SEPTEMBER 6—A meeting of the trustees of the Upton roads to rebut the
statement of “certain interested innholders who, to serve their own
private ends, make a practice of falsely representing to their customers
that the road from Upton to Gloucester is so greatly out of repair as to
endanger the safety of travellers, and that there are no proper
accommodations for persons travelling in carriages, either at Upton or
Corse Lawn.”

SEPTEMBER 17—The South Worcester Volunteers presented with colours on
Hanley Common by Mrs. Lygon, who also presented the privates with a purse
of 100 guineas to drink the King’s health.

NOVEMBER—The Directors of the Worcester House of Industry gave notice,
that they intended to obtain for all incorrigibly vicious females twelve
months’ hard labour in Bridewell; therefore they had better keep clear of
the united parishes and the workhouse beadles.

LOCAL ACT—For continuing and enlarging the powers of the Upton Turnpike


THE discussion of the Catholic claims was the principal domestic matter
occupying the attention of Parliament and the public; while the death of
Nelson, and Trafalgar, filled all men’s hearts and mouths towards the
close of the year.  The war was fast becoming popular; for though the
taxes were enormous, our taxable income, which in 1792 appears not to
have exceeded £130,000,000, had increased to £220,000,000.  A great
proportion of the vast war outlay was, in fact, but a circulation amongst
ourselves.  Consols averaged 59; wheat averaged 89s. 9d.

JANUARY 4—The Vice Chancellor and Mayor of Oxford issuing a notice,
forbidding all stage carriages to pass through that city between nine
a.m. and four p.m. on Sundays, the times of the carriers leaving
Worcester on the Friday were obliged to be altered.  They afterwards set
out for London at five p.m. on Friday, reaching London on Tuesday

FEBRUARY—A dispute between the physicians and surgeons of Worcester, the
former (Dr. Cameron, Dr. Wilson, and Dr. Barnett) declaring that they
would not meet the surgeons in consultation in any medical cases unless
the surgeons would refrain from acting as consulting physicians.  They
defined the department of the surgeon to be—any external or local disease
unaccompanied by any general affection of the system but what the local
disease itself produced and requiring manual assistance in its treatment.
Messrs. Yeomans, Rayment, Nash, Hill, Hebb, and Romney consented to the
physicians’ terms; Messrs. Cole, Sandford, and Carden refused them.

FEBRUARY 25—The Hon. Mr. Ward presented a petition to the House of
Commons from the freeholders and rackrenters of Worcestershire and
Herefordshire, praying to be allowed to employ five horses in narrow
wheeled waggons.

MARCH 29—The following advertisement appeared in the _Worcester Herald_
of this date:

    “COCKING: A main of cocks will be fought at the house of Mr. John
    Lloyd, the sign of the Pheasant, New Street, Worcester, between the
    gentlemen of Worcestershire and the gentlemen of Gloucestershire, to
    show and weigh thirty-one cocks on each side in the main, for four
    guineas a battle and fifty guineas the odd battle; and twenty cocks
    on each side in the byes, for two guineas a battle.  To weigh on
    Saturday the 18th of April, 1805, and fight on Monday, Tuesday, and
    Wednesday, the following week, being Easter week.

              FEEDERS: GOSLING, Worcestershire.  HAYNES, Gloucestershire.”

MAY 1—The Loyal Worcester Volunteers inspected by General Bingham, and
afterwards marched to Gloucester, there to remain twenty-one days on
permanent duty.

MAY 6—The Worcester Yeomanry Cavalry, under the command of the Hon.
Colonel Cocks, marched to Hereford, there to remain on fifteen days’
permanent duty.

MAY 20—The Volunteers return from Gloucester laden with honours and
encomiums.  The officers of the regiment invited to a dinner at the Crown
Inn by the Mayor and Corporation.

JULY 22—The Young Roscius performed in Worcester Theatre with the same
success as elsewhere.  The exorbitant prices which the manager, in the
first instance, wished to charge for admission caused considerable
excitement and a sort of O. P. riot, and the manager was obliged to

SEPTEMBER 25—A boy, gathering nuts in a wood at Crowle, accidentally
removed a piece of turf, and found beneath it a trap door and chimney.
He called several men to the spot, who immediately descended through the
door, and discovered a subterranean cave divided into several apartments
with much care and ingenuity.  In one of the rooms there was a quantity
of cold meat, and in another a number of skins with entrails, &c.  It had
evidently been the retreat of sheepstealers and general thieves, though
none happened to be there at the moment of discovery.

DECEMBER 11—An address presented to the King from the Corporation of
Worcester, congratulating him upon the glorious victory of Trafalgar, and
lamenting the death of Nelson.  As much as £400 collected in Worcester
for the wounded marines, and the widows and orphans of those who fell in
the action.

LOCAL ACTS—For building a chapel of ease at Redditch; for enclosure of
waste lands at Rushock.


THIS year Pitt and Fox both passed from the scene.  Pitt was only in the
forty-seventh year of his age; and though he had conducted the affairs of
the kingdom during a longer period, and with greater popularity, than
perhaps any other statesman in modern times, yet he may be said to have
died of chagrin at the defeat of all his favourite schemes.  Grenville
and Fox succeeded him at the helm of affairs, and the general election
which then took place furnished them with a strong body of supporters in
the House of Commons.  The new ministry were pacifically inclined, but
found it impossible to negociate with Buonaparte.  A loan of twenty
millions was negociated to carry on the war, and the property tax
increased from 6¼ to 10 per cent.  Consols stood at about 60; wheat
averaged 79s. 1d.

FEBRUARY 19—A Malvern carrier, returning to Worcester, drove his horse
and cart over the side of Powick bridge, at a place where the wall had
fallen down and the road broken in.  He was carried a considerable
distance down the stream, but help came in time to save his life.  The
dangerous state of the bridge was accounted for by there being a dispute
between the Earl of Coventry and the parish of Powick, as to who was
liable to the repairs.  The matter had been tried at Gloucester Assizes
in 1802, and a verdict given for the parish; nevertheless, his lordship
had not repaired it.

APRIL 7—A man stopped by footpads on the road between Droitwich and
Worcester (about two miles from the former place), and robbed of all the
money he had, about 8s.

MAY—The Worcester Lying-in Charity established.

JULY 29—At the Summer Assizes, Michael Crockett found guilty of a fraud
at Bromsgrove, was ordered to be pilloried in that town on the succeeding
market day, and afterwards to be imprisoned for two years.

SEPTEMBER 5—The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Clarence visited Evesham
and Kidderminster.

LOCAL (PRIVATE) ACTS—For enclosure of lands in Wick and St. Andrew,
Pershore; ditto in Crowle.


THE abolition of the slave trade, under the short Grenville ministry,
must ever be remembered as the feature of this year.  Lord Howick having
brought in a bill for securing to all His Majesty’s subjects the
privilege of serving in the army or navy without regard to religious
opinions, the King’s “scruples” were aroused, and he called a new
administration, with the Duke of Portland at its head, to his councils.
They dissolved Parliament, and the elections were attended with great
excitement.  By means of the cry of “the Church in danger,” a remarkable
reaction was effected, and the ministry found themselves commanding large
majorities in the new House.  One of the first acts of the new ministry
was one which marked by how long an interval they were separated from the
minister in whose steps they professed to follow.  At the request of our
merchants, whose ships were under various disadvantages from which those
of neutral states were free, they issued Orders in Council that neutral
vessels, _whithersoever bound_, should put into some port connected with
England, and there obtain a license to continue their trade!  A general
suspension of American navigation and trade consequently took place, and
these orders eventually led to the war with America in 1812.  They
contributed also in various ways to the depreciation of our bank paper,
and their folly was thus terribly and speedily avenged upon ourselves.
Consols averaged 63; wheat averaged 75s. 4d.

FEBRUARY 25—A woman, named Mary Davies, publicly whipped at Kidderminster
by order of the magistrates, for embezzling a quantity of yarn.

APRIL 2—Captain Bund appointed to the Colonelcy of the Worcestershire
Militia, _vice_ Colonel Charlton, deceased.

APRIL 27—Mr. Robarts, member for Worcester, offered to erect a steam
engine for supplying the city with water.  The waterworks which have ever
since been made to serve for that purpose, were erected in consequence of
this generous offer.

MAY 1—Sir Thomas Winnington fell from his horse, near Bromyard, while
accompanying Colonel Foley to his canvass in Herefordshire, and broke his

JUNE 23—A riot in Worcester between the mob and the military in barracks
there, and several parties taken into custody.  A recruit, for aiding and
abetting the populace, was sentenced to receive 500 lashes!

JUNE 28—A meeting of the Worcester glovers, with Mr. J. Knapp in the
chair, to resist a combination of the “grounders, stoners, and white
leather parers” to obtain an advance of wages.  The names of fifty-six
firms were appended to the resolutions—“John Dent and Son” standing

AUGUST 10—The North Worcester Volunteers, commanded by Colonel Villiers,
assembled in a field near Bromsgrove, and were presented with a pair of
colours by the Right Hon. Lady Beauchamp.

AUGUST 19—H.R.H. The Duke of Gloucester visited Worcester, and proceeded
to Witley Court.  Next day, accompanied by Lord and Lady Foley, the Dean
of Worcester, &c., he inspected the porcelain manufactory of Messrs.
Barr, Flight, and Barr, and ordered a superb service.

SEPTEMBER 23—The Prince of Wales, Duke of Sussex, and a large party of
other nobility visited the Marchioness of Downshire at Ombersley Court.
The Mayor and Justices of Worcester, with the Town Clerk and several of
the Council, waited on H.R.H. there, and presented an address to him.

SEPTEMBER 25—The Prince of Wales and a large party this day visited
Worcester, were met by the Recorder, Earl of Coventry, and partook of a
collation at the Town Hall.  The streets were lined by the Worcester and
Birmingham Volunteers.  A visit was paid, and orders given, at both china
manufactories.  Messrs. Chamberlain and Co. appointed porcelain
manufacturers to H.R.H.

LOCAL ACTS—For enclosure of lands at Aldington and Broughton Hackett.


MATTERS at home remained quiet, and much as in the preceding year, the
public mind being taken up with the expedition to Spain, discussing the
battle of Vimiera, and Convention of Cintra.  Three per Cents. stood as
high in June as 70⅜, and averaged throughout the year 65½.  This was the
only year during this century in which our exports of wheat exceeded our
imports: average price, 81s. 4d.

MARCH 2—The mail from Birmingham to Bristol took on two passengers only
from Worcester, a young lady named Capper and a little child.  On getting
to Severn Stoke the horses became restive, and at Ripple altogether ran
away.  The reins broke, and both coachman and guard got down to stop the
horses, but were unable to do so, and the coach was soon out of their
sight.  The young lady, while the vehicle was at its utmost speed, became
so alarmed that she threw herself out of the coach door, and her neck was
broken by the fall.

MAY 26—The Mayor of Worcester committed two journeymen bootmakers to
prison for combining with others against their master, Mr. J. Garner, to
demand an increase of wages.  It was shown that industrious men could
obtain at that trade from 30s. to 50s. a week.

JUNE 24—A society formed in Worcester for the prevention of vice—such as
Sabbath breaking, &c.

JULY 6—The Rev. Rowland Hill preached in the Countess of Huntingdon’s
Chapel, Worcester, this (Wednesday) evening.

JULY 28—The Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex again visited Ombersley

OCTOBER 21—A new double-bodied post coach advertised to run from
Worcester to London three days a week, starting from Worcester at twelve
at noon and arriving in London at eight next morning.

DECEMBER 6—Lieutenant Carden, of the Worcester militia, on his return
from Ombersley was stopped close to the Barbourne turnpike by three
recruits, and forced to deliver up his gold watch and money.  They
afterwards beat a girl, and attempted to rob the Bewdley post boy; but
Mr. Carden having raised an alarm as soon as he got into the town, a
number of people started after them, and two out of the three were
apprehended the same night.

LOCAL ACTS—To amend and enlarge the acts relating to the Worcester and
Birmingham Canal Navigation; for enclosure of lands at Bredon.


PARLIAMENT was principally occupied with the inquiry which led to the
Duke of York’s resignation of the commandership of the army.  Money was
so plentiful that a loan of eleven millions was raised at a lower rate of
interest than the public creditor had ever before consented to receive.
Consols stood at 68; harvest indifferent; wheat averaged 97s. 4d.

JANUARY—The first steps taken to establish a Lancastrian school in
Worcester.  Up to this time there had been no day school at which it was
possible for the children of the poor to obtain an education.  Sunday
schools had only been established a few years—that at Angel Street Chapel
(Independent), opened in 1797, being the first.  In April, Mr. Lancaster
lectured on education, at the Hoppole Inn; and a meeting was held at the
Unicorn, John Williams, Esq., in the chair, at which resolutions were
come to to open a Lancastrian school immediately—all religious parties
uniting in its support on the common basis of the scriptures; the
Apostles’ Creed and Dr. Watts’s hymns being taught to all the children,
and the Church Catechism to those only whose parents requested it.

APRIL 26—A fire broke out, about eleven p.m., in the china manufactory of
Messrs. Grainger, Wood, and Co., Lowesmoor, Worcester, which in the
course of two hours reduced the whole premises to ruins.  The property
was insured, but not by any means to its full amount.

MAY 5—In the _Worcester Herald_ of this date the Rev. Thomas Foley,
rector of Oldswinford, published, as an advertisement, a long vindication
of Joanna Southcote.  The charge of her having sold her “seals” for
half-a-crown a piece he declared to be “an infamous falsehood;” as she
gave them away without money and without price “to all that had faith to
believe in her inspired writings.”  He concluded by giving a summary of
her doctrines in most enthusiastic language.

JUNE 31—The toll on foot passengers passing over Worcester bridge
discontinued, as the flourishing state of the receipts had reduced the
debt to £5,000.  The first stone of the present bridge was laid in 1771,
and it was opened to the public in 1781.  The bridge and quays cost

JUNE 22—A young woman, named Harris, most inhumanly murdered at
Honeyborne, near Evesham.  She was called up from bed, and, on opening
the door, was attacked by some person with a pitchfork, and at last
dragged to a horsepond and drowned in it.  Suspicion fell on a young man
by whom she was pregnant, but the coroner’s jury returned a verdict of
“Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.”  The murderer was
never discovered.

OCTOBER 25—The celebration of the National Jubilee—fiftieth year of His
Majesty’s reign.  At Worcester a subscription was raised for the relief
of the poor instead of illuminations.  Dinner at the Guildhall—Earl of
Coventry in the chair—and 252 guests were present; and a ball at the
College Hall.  A great number of benefactions throughout the county from
the rich to their poorer brethren.  Meetings in all the towns of the
county to present addresses to the King.  The debtors in the County Gaol
were released by subscriptions, and with the aid of the High Sheriff and
Lord Somers.

NOVEMBER 13—Thomas Freeman, glove manufacturer, fined £50 by the
magistrates of Worcester, for having in his possession four oil leather
skins and eleven pairs of gloves, which had been purloined from other
masters’ warehouses, and of which he could not give a satisfactory
account.  A moiety of the penalty given to the Infirmary (a public
charity), in compliance with the terms of the act of Parliament.

LOCAL ACTS—To amend the road from Teddington to the turnpike road between
Evesham and Pershore; for enclosure of lands at Iccomb.


CONSIDERABLE commercial embarrassment was experienced this year; not,
however, arising from the unprecedented situation in which England found
herself placed—in having almost single handed to oppose the growing power
of Buonaparte—but from speculative trading in the markets of South
America.  The depreciation of bank paper procured the appointment of a
bullion committee.  The early part of the year was occupied with the
affair of Sir Francis Burdett; and the latter with the appointment of the
Prince of Wales as Regent, in consequence of the increasing incompetence
of the King to attend to business.  Consols stood at 68.  The imports of
wheat this year amounted to 1,491,300 quarters; average price, 106s. 5d.

MARCH 10—At the Lent Assizes, Francis Morris—for stealing a quantity of
unwinnowed barley, the property of Mr. G. Thomas of Hanbury—was sentenced
to be publicly whipped for the space of 100 yards on the next market day
at Worcester.

MARCH 21—R. Ellins, post boy, carrying the bag from Bewdley to
Stourbridge, was detected opening the bag and stealing out of it two
letters containing upwards of £3,000 in bank notes.

APRIL 6—The Mansion House at Glasshampton, Astley, the residence of the
Rev. J. J. Denham Cookes, burnt to the ground.

JUNE 3—(Sunday)—Dreadful fire in Kidderminster, consuming three dwelling
houses, a large carpet manufactory, barns, stables, waggons, carts,
implements, timber, &c.  Believed to have been the act of incendiaries.

JUNE 11—A Sir Francis Burdett riot at Kidderminster.  Two persons were
brought prisoners to the County Gaol for being concerned in it, and the
mob in Worcester attempted their rescue, and broke to pieces the carriage
in which they were being conveyed.  They also broke the windows of
several obnoxious persons; but the magistrates, with the help of the
Yeomanry and Militia then on duty in the city, very speedily repressed
the tumult.

JULY 6—The Boys’ Subscription Free School opened in Worcester.

JULY 28—Advertisements in this day’s _Worcester Herald_ of a project to
open a “Bristol and Severn Canal,” in which the merchants of Worcester
were conceived to be much interested, and therefore invited to take
shares.  And another of twelve acres of growing flax to be sold by
private contract.

LOCAL ACTS—For enclosure of waste lands at Holt, Sedgeberrow, Pensham,
Bonehill, Tibberton, and Eckington.


OUR military operations on the continent, and the large amount of specie
sent abroad in the previous year for the purchase of corn, continued and
increased the depreciation in the value of bank paper; and upon Lord King
giving notice to his tenants that he should require his rents paid in
guineas—or, if in notes, at an increase of £17. 10s. per cent. upon their
nominal value—a bill was hastily passed which made it illegal to give
more money for gold coin than was authorised by the mint, or to take Bank
of England notes for less than their ostensible value!  The other
Parliamentary event of the year was the signal defeat of Lord Sidmouth’s
attempt to abrogate the Toleration Act, by requiring that Dissenting
ministers should find six householders to answer for their
respectability, before a license could be granted to them to preach.
Consols stood at 64; wheat averaged 95s. 3d.

APRIL 27—A prisoner, named Elizabeth Townshend, made her escape from the
County Gaol, having worked a hole in the wall.

MAY 9—Mr. Barr of Worcester, and three gentlemen from Burslem, had an
interview with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to represent to him the
impolicy of imposing a pottery tax as he proposed.  The minister appeared
to be convinced, and no more was heard of it.

MAY 31—Lucien Buonaparte came to reside at Thorngrove House.

AUGUST 12—The Mayor and Corporation of Worcester dined at Croome.  A most
sumptuous entertainment was provided for them.

NOVEMBER 3—The Worcester Association for the Severn Fisheries established
a fish market in Worcester—none having before existed.  They took very
active steps in preserving the river from illegal and injurious fishing,
and a great number of condemned nets and wheels were publicly burnt in
the Corn Market.

NOVEMBER 8—The Directors of the Worcester House of Industry issued a
considerable number of copper tokens, which were much in demand on
account of the great want of small change in the country.  The exchange
was immediately vested in the funds, and the interest applied to the
assistance of the poor rates.  A meeting of tradesmen was afterwards held
(Mr. W. Beeken in the chair) at which resolutions were unanimously passed
to resist the introduction of any other copper tokens into the trade of
the city excepting those issued by Government and the Worcester House of
Industry.  They asserted that there was a sufficiency of copper coinage
in the country.  A counter meeting of manufacturers was held at the Star
and Garter immediately afterwards, asserting that the business of the
city could not be carried on without more change, and they, therefore,
determined to continue the issue of their own penny and halfpenny tokens,
which they declared to be equal in weight to the legal coin of the realm,
and that they always paid twenty shillings in the pound for them.

LOCAL ACTS—For enclosure of lands at Astley, Overbury, North, Middle, and
South Littleton, and Churchill.


MR. PERCIVAL’S ministry was continuing to increase in power and in
popularity, principally on account of the warm support which they had
given to the Spanish cause, when Mr. Percival himself was suddenly
assassinated in the lobby of the House of Commons, by Bellingham.  After
the Prince Regent, by the Earl of Moira and Lord Wellesley, had
unsuccessfully, and to all appearance insincerely, negociated for the
formation of a new ministry, in which Lords Grey and Grenville should
have a part, the Earl of Liverpool was appointed First Lord of the
Treasury, and the rest of the old ministry remained as before.  The
Regent henceforth forsook the Whig friends of his youth, and became a
good Tory.  The orders in council respecting navigation, which had been
so obnoxious to the Americans were repealed under Lord Liverpool.  A
motion, pledging Parliament to an early consideration of the Catholic
claims, was carried in the Commons by 300 to 215, but defeated in the
Lords by 174 to 103.  The Parliament, having nearly run out its term, was
dissolved in October; but the elections did not produce much excitement,
or change in the position of parties.  Considerable disturbances took
place in the manufacturing districts, on the introduction of new
machinery.  The Three per Cents. did not average 60 throughout the year;
wheat averaged 126s. 6d.

JANUARY 19—The coming of age of T. C. Hornyold, Esq., celebrated at
Blackmore Park, by a series of splendid dinners, balls, and other

MARCH 27—An anonymous letter having been sent to Sir William Smith,
Bart., one of the commissioners of taxes for the hundred of Doddington,
threatening him with vengeance if he confirmed surcharges, a reward of
£100 was offered in the _Gazette_ for the discovery of the writer.

APRIL 26—The Worcester Church of England School, conducted on Dr. Bell’s
principles, first opened in Frog Lane.

APRIL—Wheat again risen to 18s. and 20s. per bushel, and the price of
potatoes also exorbitant, so that the poor had the greatest difficulty in
procuring the necessaries of life—in some places there had been riots.
In Kidderminster £500 was raised by subscription to purchase potatoes and
sell them to the poor at a reduced price.

AUGUST 7—The coachman of M. Lucien Buonaparate, now staying at
Thorngrove, stabbed by a fellow servant named Luigi Vespasiani, in the
heat of a dispute on some trifling subject.  The coachman for a long
while remained in a very dangerous state.

AUGUST 24—A _fête_ on the occasion of the opening of the Severn Horse
Towing Path from Worcester bridge to the Lower Parting.

OCTOBER—The Hon. Lieutenant Colonel Cocks, eldest son of Lord Somers,
fell at the siege of the Castle of Burgos—Peninsular War.  An address of
condolence was sent to Lord Somers from the Mayor, magistrates, and
citizens of Worcester.  Lieutenant Cocks had been frequently noticed in
the Marquis of Wellington’s despatches in a most gratifying manner.

LOCAL ACTS—For enclosure of lands at Holdfast (Ripple),
Shipston-on-Stour, and Badsey.


THE estimates for the year amounted to seventy millions, and to meet this
great demand the sinking fund was trenched upon, for it was found
impossible to raise new taxes, though the rise of prices and the extended
circulation of bank notes had, hitherto, enabled the country to meet the
extraordinary demands upon it without difficulty.  Mr. Vansittart, in his
financial statement this year, said he thought the sinking fund had
reached a point beyond which its operations ought not to go; it would be
very prejudicial to pay off too much of the National Debt at once!  The
war which had now broken out with America was of course very injurious to
our commerce.  A bill for the relief of the Catholics was brought in this
year by Mr. Grattan, and its general principle affirmed by a considerable
majority, but an amendment, excluding Catholics from a seat in
Parliament, being carried, by a majority of four, the bill was abandoned.
Three per Cents. stood at 59; wheat averaged 109s. 9d.

JANUARY 1—A novel species of amusement took place in the Hundred House
meadow, Witley.  Five wild rabbits were singly turned off at an assigned
distance before a dog fox, trained for the purpose by Mr. Charles Tearne
of Stockton; and after an excellent course of about 400 yards, were
severally killed by Reynard in capital style.  A large concourse of
people were assembled to witness this singular sport.

JANUARY 2—The clergy of the diocese met in the audit room, and agreed to
a petition against the Catholic claims.  This was the occasion of a
series of letters between Mr. T. Hornyold, who accused the clergy of
illiberality, and the Rev. J. J. Denham Cookes.  Mr. Hornyold distinctly
disclaimed the temporal authority of the Pope.

JANUARY 8—The Worcester Corporation voted the sum of 100 guineas for the
relief of the Russians in their contest with the French, and a general
subscription list was opened at the banks.  At the same meeting it was
unanimously resolved to instruct the representatives of the city to
oppose the Catholic claims.

JUNE 23—An auxiliary to the Bible Society formed for the city and county
of Worcester.  Several attempts had been made to effect this before, but
it was said that it would be in opposition to the Christian Knowledge
Society; and other obstacles were thrown in the way.  Only four or five
clergymen of the Church of England were present at the first meeting.  It
was, however, very warmly taken up in the first instance by the resident
gentry, the Earl of Coventry accepting the presidency; and Lord Deerhurst
took the chair at the preliminary meeting, held in the Guildhall, at
which the High Sheriff of the county and the Mayor of the city were also
present, and took part.  The Rev. Mr. Burns, Rev. Mr. Steinkopff, and
Rev. Mr. Hughes were the deputation from the Parent Society.

AUGUST 8—The fine Wesleyan chapel in Pump Street, Worcester, opened, with
sermons by Dr. Adam Clarke.  The collections amounted to £412.

OCTOBER 12—A meeting of freeholders at the White Lion, Upton-upon-Severn,
with Lord Somers in the chair, to deliberate on the propriety of
inclosing Malvern Chace.  The meeting agreed to a petition in favour of
such a scheme.

LOCAL ACTS—For paving, cleansing, lighting, and watching the town of
Kidderminster; for effecting an exchange of lands belonging to the
Bishopric and the Dean and Chapter of Worcester; for enclosing lands at
North Piddle, Salwarp, and Flyford Flavell.


PEACE was at last announced, and its advent was hailed with the utmost
enthusiasm by the whole nation, who expected that it would bring with it
unnumbered blessings; but its immediate effects seemed to be only
disastrous.  The reduction of our military forces threw great numbers of
men into the labour market, and wages were reduced.  While the renewed
freedom of navigation brought abundance of all kinds of raw produce to
our ports, it did not bring any corresponding increase of our foreign
trade and exports to reimburse us, for British merchants had pushed their
speculative supplies to the continent, beyond prudential limits, in spite
of the Berlin and Milan decrees.  For instance, tea and other goods had
been sent to Germany, from the port of Salonichi, in Greece, whence they
were carried two thousand miles on the backs of mules.  The war too had
impoverished our customers.  Three per Cents. fluctuated in April from 72
to 62, and averaged throughout the year 67.  The harvest this year was
abundant, and corn fell to 74s. 4d.

JANUARY 19—A subscription set on foot for the relief of the poor of
Worcester.  About £700 raised and distributed in coals.

APRIL 10—The populace burned an effigy of Buonaparte on occasion of the
Allies entering Paris.  Great rejoicings in other towns of the county.
On the 7th and 8th of June there was a general illumination at Worcester
on account of the proclamation of Peace.  Rejoicings at the various
county towns, and at many gentlemen’s seats—particularly at Stanford.

MAY 6—The Grand Duchess of Oldenburgh, sister to the Emperor of Russia,
visited Worcester with her suite.  Inspected Messrs. Flight, Barr, and
Barr’s royal porcelain manufactory, and Mr. John Knapp’s glove

AUGUST 17—The first steam boat made its appearance below Gloucester,
intended for the conveyance of passengers and light goods between
Gloucester and Worcester.  It made the return voyage to Gloucester in
four hours and a half.

SEPTEMBER 5—Prince Frederick of Orange visited Worcester.

SEPTEMBER 18—Mr. Kean performed at Worcester Theatre this (Saturday)
evening as _Richard III_, and on the following Monday morning as

DECEMBER 26—A splendid silver vase, valued at two hundred guineas, and
the freedom of the city presented to Colonel Henry Walton Ellis, of the
23rd Fusiliers, a native of Worcester, who had most honourably
distinguished himself in Holland, Egypt, America, the West Indies, and
the Peninsular War.  The Earl of Coventry was the presentee.  Colonel
Ellis fell in the following June at Waterloo.

LOCAL ACTS—For enclosing lands at Bayton, Ombersley, Inkberrow, Abberley,
Norton, and Strensham; for vesting in Lord Somers the right of
presentation to the perpetual curacy of Stoulton; for taking down
Ombersley Church, erecting a new one, enlarging the churchyard, and
building a workhouse at Ombersley.


THE enactment of a new and more stringent Corn Law was the most important
proceeding of our Parliament this year.  In the early years of our
commercial history, prohibitions were laid upon the exportation of corn,
but these were gradually relaxed, and in 1688 a bounty of 5s. per quarter
was offered, on exportation, till the home price had reached 48s., while
a duty of 6s. to 8s. per quarter was levied on imported wheat, while the
price ranged between 53s. 4d. and 80s. a quarter.  In 1766, on the
apprehension of scarcity, this was entirely reversed, exportation was
prohibited, and importation was free.  In 1774 a duty of 6d. a quarter
was levied on all imports of wheat, which were not permitted till the
price had reached 48s. in the home market.  In 1791 this duty was raised
to 2s. 6d. a quarter, and in 1804 the importation price was fixed at 63s.
a quarter, instead of 48s.  Such is a brief history of English Corn Laws
down to this period.  In the session 1812–13, when prices were beginning
to decline, a committee was appointed to inquire into the working of the
Corn Laws, and though their report was very meagre in information, it yet
created great alarm throughout the country, and meetings were everywhere
held to petition against any alteration of the existing law, which might
prevent the people enjoying that which they had looked forward to as one
of the greatest blessings of peace—cheap bread.  In May, 1814, Sir Henry
Parnell succeeded in carrying a resolution permitting the free
exportation of corn, be the price what it might; and it was intended to
have fixed an import duty of 24s. 3d. upon wheat until it rose to 63s.,
and a sliding scale from that price to 86s.; but the opposition it evoked
in the country was so strong that the project was abandoned.  The House
of Commons resumed the discussion of the Corn Laws on February 22, 1815,
and after two evenings’ debate it was resolved, by a majority of 209 to
65, that wheat should not be imported till the price was 80s. a quarter.
Immediately the country was in arms; on the very next day a petition was
presented from the Corporation and liverymen of London, which had
received 40,000 signatures in ten hours, praying that no alteration might
take place.  On the 3rd of March Mr. Vansittart moved the second reading
of the Corn Bill; and an attempt to delay it till the following week, to
allow time for the country to petition, was rejected by a majority of
171.  On the 6th of March the House went into committee, but that evening
the populace of the metropolis had surrounded the House, and insisted on
stopping every member, and sought to make them pledge themselves to vote
against the obnoxious measure; a Mr. Croker was in particular very
ill-treated, and the Speaker sent for a detachment of the Life Guards,
who continued to surround the House for the rest of the evening.  A very
high debate upon this matter took place in the House itself, but nothing
availed to stay the progress of the measure, and it was carried through
committee that evening by majorities varying from 120 to 180.  The Bill
was read a third time, and passed on the 16th of March.  It was carried
rapidly through the Lords by large majorities, and on the 23rd it
received the royal assent.  The principal opponents of the measure were
Mr. Baring, Mr. Phillips, Sir R. Peel, Mr. Protheroe, &c.  It did not
however answer the purpose of keeping up prices, for they gradually sank
lower and lower till they were considerably below 60s. per quarter, and
farmers, holding their lands on lease, constantly appeared in the
_Gazette_.  The average price of wheat this year was 65s. 7d.; and
Consols stood at 60.  For an account of the meetings held, and the steps
taken, in this county to protest against the enactment of the Corn Laws,
see ante, pp. 61, 63.

JANUARY 19—Lord Somers addressed the lords of manors and proprietors of
freeholds on Malvern Chace, announcing his intention of giving up all
further attempts to bring about an enclosure of the same.  He found it
impossible to reconcile so many conflicting interests.

JANUARY 26—Mr. Charles Matthews gave his celebrated entertainment, called
“Mail Coach Adventures,” at Worcester Theatre.

JUNE 18—On the glorious field of Waterloo, Lieutenant Colonel Lygon
commanded the Life Guards.  Lord Sandys, then Lord Arthur Hill, was an
A.D.C. to the Duke of Wellington.

DECEMBER 4—The Worcester and Birmingham Canal opened.  The first act for
the cutting of this canal was passed on the 9th June, 1791.  From the
Severn to Tardebigg (15 miles) there is a rise of 428 feet, with 71
locks.  From Tardebigg to the Birmingham Canal (14 miles) is level.  At
West Heath it passes through a tunnel 2,700 yards long.  In the first and
subsequent acts power was taken to raise no less a sum than £657,500; the
original number of proprietors being only 1,800.  It has throughout been
an unfortunate concern; for the first act is filled with guarantees to
other canals and opposing interests, which have hung like a millstone
round the necks of the proprietors.  From Tardebigg to Birmingham the
canal is of greater capacity than in the part nearer the Severn.  The
company is now, however, about to be absorbed into the Old Birmingham
Canal Company, and matters will, probably, henceforth wear a different

DECEMBER—The celebrated Elliston opened Worcester Theatre for one season.
There being amongst his company the Misses Brunton, Mr. and Mrs. Keeley,

LOCAL ACTS—For taking down and rebuilding the parish church of St.
Thomas, Dudley; for enabling the Worcester and Birmingham Canal Company
to complete and extend their works.


THIS was a truly gloomy year.  Agriculturists, manufacturers, and
tradespeople all alike experienced the depression resulting from the
sudden change from war to peace; and it was felt the more, as it was so
totally unexpected.  The harvest was exceedingly unproductive, and the
farmers got no relief by the high prices which corn fetched—for the
quality of home-grown corn was poor in the extreme.  The sudden reduction
of paper money in circulation had much to do with this untoward state of
things; the understanding that the Bank was to return to cash payments
immediately, had compelled them to reduce the quantity of notes in
circulation, and the metallic currency had either been bought up
privately and converted into bullion, or sent abroad.  The ministry
proposed to continue the property and income tax, but such was the
feeling of the country against it, on the score of its being only a war
tax, that it was rejected by a majority of 238 to 201, and the ministers
were obliged to borrow to make up the year’s deficit.  Three per Cents.
averaged 61; wheat averaged 78s. 6d.

JANUARY 22—Henry Wakeman, Esq., of Perdiswell, at his audit for Claines,
made a reduction in his tithes of £20 per cent., an example which was
pretty generally imitated by the large titheowners throughout the county.
The reason alleged was “the great declension in value of all farming
produce.”  Wheat now selling at 6s. a bushel in Worcester market.

JANUARY 29—A Worcestershire Agricultural Society established, at a
meeting held at the Hoppole; Lord Viscount Elmley in the chair.  Lord
Foley, Sir Thomas Winnington, Sir William Smith, &c., were among its
first supporters.  Its first exhibition of stock took place in June, when
£40 was distributed in prizes (which were all carried off by five
persons); but, after languishing for a year or two, it was given up for
want of support.

MAY—The Messrs. Chamberlain ordered to attend at Warwick House, with
specimens of porcelain for the Princess Charlotte, who gave them a large
order in anticipation of her approaching marriage.  Messrs. Flight, Barr,
and Barr were afterwards honoured with an order.

AUGUST 12—Miss Foote performed in _The Honeymoon_ at Worcester Theatre.

NOVEMBER 18—A subscription entered into for the relief of the poor of
Worcester.  The gross amount collected was £1,900, the greater part of
which was distributed in coals.  The apparatus for making soup by steam
first set up in the Bull Entry.

DECEMBER 20—A dinner given at the Lion Inn, Kidderminster, to the Right
Hon. Earl Beauchamp, in acknowledgment of the undeviating attention which
his lordship had uniformly paid to the interests of that town while he
had been the representative of the county.

LOCAL ACTS—For better repairing the roads leading into and from the city
of Worcester; for enlarging the powers of the acts for repairing the
roads from Bromsgrove to Dudley; for enclosing lands at Rock, Feckenham,
and Minith Wood.


THE distress which still continued in the early part of this year
occasioned many tumultuous meetings in different parts of the country,
and loud outcries for Parliamentary Reform.  The ministry, taking
advantage of some of the excesses of the populace, obtained the
suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, and the passing of an act for
repressing “seditious meetings.”  Sir Francis Burdett’s motion for a
committee to inquire into the state of the representation, was negatived
by 205 to 77.  Three per Cents. averaged 74; wheat averaged 96s. 11d.

FEBRUARY 26—Lord Deerhurst presented the Worcester petition for
Parliamentary Reform and Retrenchment, which had been signed by 3,000
freemen and inhabitants.  He gave it a modified support in a maiden
speech of considerable length.

MARCH 25—A second subscription commenced for the relief of the Worcester
poor—the £1,900 subscribed in the previous November having been all spent
in coal, soup, and bread; 1,500 penny loaves and 1,500 quarts of soup
were given away daily, and 1,300 tons of coal distributed.  The second
subscription realised about £300; and when the committee, at the end of
April, announced that they must discontinue giving bread with the soup,
Miss Stillingfleet of College Green requested that it might be furnished
at her expense, which was done for some time, at a total cost to that
lady of £150.

APRIL 18—A person exposing elvers for sale fined in the mitigated penalty
of 10s., at the instance of the Worcester Fisheries Association.

APRIL 24—The Hon. W. H. Lyttelton presented a petition to the House of
Commons from the parish of Oldswinford, complaining of the pressure of
the poor rates.  The rate there assessed on houses amounted to 29s. in
the pound; on the rent of land employed in farming, to 32s.; and on
several other kinds of land, to 61s. in the pound!  The population was
4,381, of whom 1,868 received parish relief, and only 158 persons were
able to contribute to the rates.

MAY 8—An elegant silver cup presented to Robert Felton, Esq., at a dinner
at the Star and Garter, on his leaving the neighbourhood, “In testimony
of the admiration of the donors of his ardent devotion to the public
welfare, and of their esteem for the disinterested friendship and
generous zeal which distinguished his social character.”

AUGUST 5—Viscount Sidmouth visited Worcester, and was presented with the
freedom of the city.

NOVEMBER 19—The whole of the shops closed in Worcester during the time
appointed for the funeral of the Princess Charlotte.  The Mayor and
Corporation attended divine service at the Cathedral, where a pathetic
discourse was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Forester, one of the
Prebendaries, from _Luke_ viii, 52—“She is not dead, but sleepeth.”

LOCAL ACTS—For amending the act of last session as to repairing the
Worcester roads; for enclosing lands at Cofton Hackett.


TRADE began to revive and agriculturists again to be hopeful—principally
as the result of the favourable exchanges bringing us large quantities of
the precious metals from the continent, which gave ease to the banks and
encouraged the liberal use of money in various undertakings.  Thus
employment became abundant, and the working classes were contented.  The
gradual disappearance of the precious metals for several years past had
been a source of much disquietude to our statesmen, and was no doubt one
cause of the great fall in prices which took place on the advent of
peace; but it must principally be attributed to the absence of that
demand by Government for men and money which, during the war, was so
great.  Consols averaged 79; wheat averaged 86s. 3d.

JANUARY—The Worcester Fire Office dissolved in favour of the Phœnix Fire

JANUARY—The price of hops at this time averaged from £26 to £31 per cwt.

MARCH 29—At the County Quarter Sessions, Earl Beauchamp, the chairman,
severely lectured the farmers, through the grand jury, on paying their
labourers such miserably low wages—as breaking down all independence of
spirit, and necessarily tending to the increase of crime.

APRIL 7—The WORCESTER GAS COMPANY formed at a meeting held at the
Guildhall, William Wall, Esq., in the chair.  The share list, subscribing
£12,000, was filled up in a few hours, and the shares—on the deposit of
20s.—were, in two days, at 50s. premium.

MAY 14—The WORCESTER SAVINGS BANK established at a meeting held at the
Guildhall, with Earl Beauchamp in the chair.  It was opened in June, at a
temporary office in Foregate Street, and £745 were paid in, in small
sums, the first day.  It has ever since continued to be a flourishing and
most useful institution.

AUGUST—Six men charged before the magistrates of Worcester with garden
robbing, were ordered to be publicly whipped in the several parishes
where the offences were committed.

AUGUST 31—The WORCESTER SOCIETY OF ARTS exhibited their pictures—the
first exhibition of the kind in Worcester—at the Town Hall.  The
paintings principally consisted of landscapes by Thornycroft, Smith, Doe,
and Young; animals by Pitman; some Scripture subjects by Bacon; portraits
by Millichap; and several contributions by amateurs.

SEPTEMBER 2—Twenty-seven illegal fishing nets and three large wheels,
found in use at a mill near Worcester, were seized by order of the
Worcester Severn Association committee, and publicly burnt in the Corn

SEPTEMBER 7—The Grand Duke Michael, brother to the Emperor of Russia,
visited Worcester, for the purpose of inspecting porcelain manufactories,
and ordered a large service of Messrs. Chamberlain.

SEPTEMBER 25—Eight men killed by an explosion of fire-damp in the Buffery
Colliery, Dudley.

OCTOBER 19—A bull baited on Pitchcroft.  The poor animal was most
barbarously mangled, and, after the “sport,” was driven through the
principal streets to the slaughter house, writhing in torture.

LOCAL ACTS—For lighting Worcester and Kidderminster with gas; for
enclosing lands at Great Comberton.


THE hopes of a speedy return to prosperity which the previous year had
excited were again overcast, and all classes were feeling the pinchings
of distress.  This renewed again the outcries for Parliamentary Reform;
and the people, exasperated by the stringent measures of the ministry,
began to exhibit some alarming symptoms of discontent.  The crowning
scene was the meeting at Manchester, and the “Peterloo Massacre,” which
formed an exciting topic for Parliament.  Lord John Russell made his
first motion for Parliamentary Reform, which only amounted to the
disfranchisement of a few of the rotten boroughs, and a transfer of their
franchise to the large towns; and it was withdrawn on the ministry
promising to disfranchise Grampound, where Sir M. M. Lopez, member for
Evesham in May, 1807, had bribed voters at £35 apiece.  But by far the
most important measure of the year was the Cash Payments Bill, which is
generally known as “Peel’s Bill,” but is rather to be ascribed to Mr.
Huskisson and Mr. Ricardo.  This provided for a gradual return to cash
payments, and the withdrawal of all bank notes under £5.  The result of
this measure, in contracting the circulation of the country, and in
depressing prices, was far greater than had been anticipated.  In
anticipation only of such a measure, the circulation of the Bank of
England had been reduced, since 1815, by two millions; and since 1814,
two hundred out of seven hundred country banks had entirely disappeared.
Three per Cents. averaged 71; wheat averaged 74s. 6d.

JANUARY—The WORCESTER HUMANE SOCIETY, which had been first of all
established in 1786, but suffered to die out, revived, under the auspices
of Lord Beauchamp.

FEBRUARY 26—Meeting at Stourport, the Rev. Reginald Pyndar in the chair,
to protest against any duty or tax being imposed upon coals at the pit’s

MARCH 3—A silver cup, value 100 guineas, transmitted to Sir William Duff
Gordon, by those of his former constituents who had been his supporters.

APRIL 3—Two parcels, from the bankers of Worcester to the bank of Sir
William Curtis and Co., being incautiously left for a few minutes, by the
guard of the old Fly coach, in the bar of the Bull and Mouth, Aldersgate,
were stolen.  They contained about £4,000 in unnegociable bills of
exchange, and about a like amount in provincial and Bank of England

APRIL 10—The wife of Joseph Richardson, a day labourer, living at
Cooksey, near Bromsgrove, and in receipt of 10s. a week wages, was
delivered of four children at a birth, all of whom lived and throve
heartily.  Being deserving people they were subsidised by many of the
neighbouring gentry, and the four children proved a pretty stroke of
fortune to them.  A ball was given on behalf of the four younglings at
the Talbot Inn, Stourbridge; and they were all christened at Upton Warren
Church, having sixteen godfathers and godmothers.

APRIL 30—Petitions presented from various towns in Worcestershire against
a proposed New Settlement Act, which would have given a settlement to a
pauper by three years’ residence only.

MAY 4—The Hon W. H. Lyttelton moved a resolution, in the House of
Commons, for the abolition of lotteries; but the Chancellor of the
Exchequer thought them very good things, and the Government could not
spare the £30,000 of revenue which they annually produced.  The motion
was negatived by 133 to 84.

MAY 9—An association formed, at a meeting at the Crown Inn, called “The
Worcestershire Association for the Protection of Agriculture.”
Agriculture, the promoters said, ought to be the predominant interest in
the state, and they conceived that, from a want of union, they had
suffered many important privileges to be wrested from them.

MAY—T. C. Hornyold, Esq., and F. L. Charlton, Esq., endeavoured to
reëstablish a pack of fox hounds in this county, but failed.

AUGUST 5—The first anniversary dinner of the Worcestershire Medical and
Surgical Society, held in Worcester.  Dr. Hastings, president; Mr. J. P.
Sheppard, vice president; Mr. C. H. Hebb, secretary.  The Provincial
Medical and Surgical Association may be said to have had its origin with
this society.

AUGUST 9—The city of Worcester first lighted with gas.

SEPTEMBER 23—The freemen of Evesham entertained their representative, Sir
Charles Cockerell, Bart., to a dinner at the Guildhall, in commemoration
of his success in confining the franchise of the borough to the freemen
only.  A handsome bronze medal was after dinner presented by Sir Charles
to each of the freemen present, as a mark of his favour and esteem.

NOVEMBER 19—The Duke of Gloucester, being on a visit at Croome, was
invited by the Corporation to visit Worcester.  The Earl of Coventry, as
recorder of Worcester, presented H.R.H. with the freedom of the city; and
he afterwards partook of a collation provided by the Mayor, and then
visited the china manufactories.

NOVEMBER 30—Colonel Davies seconded Lord Althorpe’s motion for referring
the papers laid before the House, on the subject of the Manchester
massacre, to a select committee of inquiry, in a speech of considerable
power.  For the motion, 150; against, 323: majority for ministers, 173.

LOCAL ACTS—For enlarging the powers of acts to repair the road from
Evesham to Alcester; for repairing the road from Bromsgrove to


THE country was this year in a ferment with the proceedings on the
Queen’s trial.  Trade still languid, but the harvest was uncommonly
abundant; and the price of corn and country produce was thus materially
reduced, to the relief of the mechanics and lower ranks of the town
populations.  Consols at 68; wheat averaged 67s. 10d.

JANUARY—Subscription in Worcester for the relief of the poor, realising
£1,250, and distributed in coal and soup.

JANUARY—The Worcestershire Hunt reorganised, under the management of T.
C. Hornyold, Esq., of Blackmore Park.

APRIL 25—Elizabeth Waterson strangled in bed by her husband, Joseph
Waterson, a miller, living at Bromsgrove.  It was quite clear that the
man had been some time insane; and the coroner’s jury returning a verdict
to that effect, he was at once removed to the Lunatic Asylum at

MAY 16—Colonel Davies moved for a select committee to investigate the
military expenditure, in a very spirited speech.  Motion negatived by 125
to 45.

MAY 29—The walking of the trades was this year revived in Worcester.

JULY—Hartlebury Common enclosed.

AUGUST 10—A splendid service of china, from the manufactory of Messrs.
Grainger, Lee, and Co., presented to Colonel Davies, in “testimony of the
high sense entertained by his electors of his truly patriotic and
distinguished conduct during the whole of his Parliamentary career.”

OCTOBER 5—The Worcester and London Fly coach upset at Stoughton bridge on
its return from town.  There were fourteen passengers, exclusive of the
coachman and guard, and all were hurt.  A lady had her arm broken; a poor
woman her arm broken, and various contusions; a gentleman had his hip
dislocated, &c., &c.  No explanation of the cause.  The Aurora and the
Royal Sovereign, both day coaches to London, were upset the next week,
and some passengers hurt.

NOVEMBER 1—A quantity of unseasonable salmon seized in Worcester market
by the committee of the Worcester Severn Association, and ordered by the
magistrates to be burnt.

NOVEMBER 13—Worcester illuminated on the Queen’s acquittal.
Illuminations also at Kidderminster, Bromsgrove, Droitwich, Evesham,
Upton, &c.  At Evesham also a public dinner took place at the Cross Keys,
with C. E. Hanford, Esq., in the chair, and a subscription set on foot
for the poor by Mr. Nathaniel Hartland, by which 1,200 families were
supplied with bread and meat.

NOVEMBER 27—At a meeting held at the Rein Deer, Worcester, a petition to
the King praying him to dismiss his ministers, and a congratulatory
address to the Queen on her acquittal, were agreed on, and afterwards
received about 2,000 signatures.  A counter address to the King, from the
Mayor, magistrates, clergy, and others, declaring their attachment and
loyalty, &c., &c., begging him to maintain the rights of the crown,
otherwise the country would be involved in ruin, &c., &c., received about
500 signatures.  The first was presented by Lord Foley and Mr. Hobhouse;
the second by the Earl of Coventry.  Loyal addresses, denouncing a
licentious press, sent from Evesham and Stourbridge.  An address for the
county was also drawn up by the Lord Lieutenant, and being approved of by
the High Sheriff was sent to the different towns in the county for
signatures, as the promoters could not have convened a public meeting
with any hope of success to their cause.  A counter address, headed by
Lord Foley’s signature, was immediately got up.  Counter addresses sent
from Droitwich, &c.


THE low price of agricultural produce caused such an outcry from the
farmers, that a committee was appointed on agricultural distress, whose
report, however, did not tend much to enlighten Parliament as to the
means of relieving them.  Tenants farming with borrowed capital, and
landowners whose estates were mortgaged, must of course, the committee
said, feel heavily the increased value of money occasioned by the recent
changes in the currency; and they could only hope for relief from a
reduction of the rate of interest—such as did actually take place shortly
afterwards.  The Bank resumed cash payments, and called in all its £1
notes, on the 1st of May.  The Catholic Emancipation Bill first passed
the Commons this year, by small majorities, but was rejected by the
Lords.  Consols averaged 75; wheat averaged 56s. 1d.

JANUARY 31—Petitions presented from Kidderminster and Evesham praying
that the Queen’s name might be inserted in the liturgy.

MARCH 15—Dinner given at Stourport to the Rev. R. Pyndar of Arley House,
on his removal from the neighbourhood, to testify the respect the
inhabitants felt for his character and their gratitude for the services
he had rendered to the town.  Richard Jukes, Esq., presided.

MARCH 27—The Dean, Archdeacon, and clergy of Worcestershire met in the
Chapter House and agreed to a petition against the Catholic Emancipation
Bill, in which they said that “the projected alteration in the laws
affecting Roman Catholics is a measure so hazardous in the experiment as
to afford just ground for alarm,” and they considered that “the
qualifying of Roman Catholics to possess political power will tend to
injure the Protestant Establishment, which they are bound to transmit,
unimpaired, to posterity.”

MAY 15—The operatives of Kidderminster presented the Queen with a carpet
of very beautiful workmanship and ten yards square; to defray the expense
of manufacturing which, 3,000 weavers and others had contributed 1s.

MAY 29—The ancient pageant and procession of the Corporation, trades,
clubs, man in armour, &c., revived in Worcester with great gaiety and
show, under the conduct of the Mayor, Mr. Hooper.

JUNE 4—Lord Deerhurst and Colonel Davies both voted with the minority in
favour of Sir J. Macintosh’s motion for the abolition of the punishment
of death in cases of forgery.

JUNE 6—Colonel Davies brought in a bill for the better preventing the
adulteration of clover seed.

JULY 29—The coronation of His Majesty George IV celebrated in Worcester
by subscription, procession, and dinner.  The procession to service in
the Cathedral comprised about 2,000 charity school children, Worcester
Militia, Corporation clothiers’ company, bakers’, smiths’, tailors’,
fishermen’s, butchers’, carpenters’ and masons’ companies, Druids’ Lodge,
Lodge of Odd Fellows, and the Orange Lodge.  Festivities at Bromsgrove,
Bewdley, Evesham, Kidderminster, and Stourbridge, particularly

AUGUST 27—The new tower of St. Helen’s Church, Worcester, completed, and
the bells, which had so long remained mute, in consequence of the
dilapidation of the old tower, were once more roused into harmony.  These
bells were cast in 1706, and bear the names of Queen Anne, her principal
commanders and their victories.

SEPTEMBER 8—A meeting of yeomanry, connected with the Agricultural
Association, held at the Crown Inn, Sir Thomas Winnington in the chair,
at which a series of resolutions were agreed to, tracing “agricultural
distress” to a depreciated paper currency, _doubling_ the prices of
produce labour and rents; and while the proposed return to the bullion
standard was reducing these to their former level, the charges to the
farmholder, sinecurist, and placeman were not reduced.  They were also
still of opinion that the admission of foreign grain, duty free, [that is
after wheat was 80s. a quarter] added grievously to the difficulties of
the landed interest.  Mr. George Webb Hall was the chief speaker.

LOCAL ACTS—For making a tramroad from Stratford-on-Avon to
Moreton-in-Marsh, with a branch to Shipston-on-Stour; for repair of
Stourbridge roads; for repair of Bewdley roads; for repair of
Kidderminster roads; for repair of Bromyard roads.


THE year commenced with the same heavy complaints from the
agriculturists, and in most counties meetings were held to declare their
distress, and to call for retrenchment and reform.  In some cases Mr.
Cobbett procured the addition of a rider to these agricultural petitions,
praying for a reduction of interest on the National Debt.  Such a
reduction, indeed, was actually made, by the conversion of the Five per
Cents.; and this, with the retrenchments forced upon ministers by the
representatives of the counties constantly voting with Mr. Hume and other
economists, allowed of considerable relief in the shape of remission of
taxes.  The Bank of England also reduced its rate of discount from five
to four per cent. on the 20th of June.  A most important measure, too,
was that which extended permission to the banks to issue notes under the
value of £5 until 1833, which was likewise forced upon ministers by the
Parliamentary landlords; and it produced an immediate rise in prices, but
led also to a plethora of paper money most disastrous in its
consequences.  Consols averaged 80; wheat averaged 44s. 7d.

FEBRUARY—Discovery of mineral waters at Evesham—a saline spring;
containing 23.06 of sulphate of soda in every 100 parts.


MARCH 4—Colonel Davies moved reductions in the army estimates, and was
supported by a minority of 58.

APRIL 17—At a respectable meeting held in Worcester, presided over by
William Wall, Esq., a petition was agreed to, praying for a revision of
the criminal code.

MAY—Collections made in Worcester, and at the parishes adjoining, on
behalf of the starving peasantry in the west of Ireland.  More than
£1,100 was collected in this district.

JUNE—A PENITENTIARY established in Worcester.  It did much good for
years, and was then suffered to die for want of support.

JUNE 25—A road maker at Eckington, named Pickerill, only thirty-three
years of age, having obtained from his wife a confession of her
infidelity, mixed half an ounce of arsenic with as much sugar and ate it
before her face.  Assistance was immediately obtained, but he died in a
few hours.

OCTOBER 10—An attempt was made to carry away a newly buried corpse from
Grimley churchyard.  A reward of £50 was offered for the conviction of
the resurrectionists, who had evidently only desisted from carrying away
the body by finding it too much decomposed for their purpose.

OCTOBER—The penny loaf, as fixed by the magistrates at what was called
the assize of bread, varied from 4 oz. 14 dr. to 9 oz. 14 dr. between
October, 1821, and October, 1822.

LOCAL ACT—For repair of Evesham roads.


THE great abundance of monied capital produced its customary effects in
leading persons to engage in various works and undertakings, which
produced a demand for labour and renewed the feeling of confidence.
Consols averaged 81; wheat 53s. 4d.

MARCH 13—Consecration of St. Clement’s New Church by the Bishop of the
Diocese.  Sermon preached by the rector, the Rev. John Davies; and a
collection, realising £95. 10s., afterwards made at the doors—and this,
with donations and collections the next Sabbath, was increased to £174.
10s.  The church is built in the Saxon style, and contains 807 sittings,
407 of which are free.  The old church was situated on this side the
river, on the North Quay.  It was in a most dilapidated condition, and
often unapproachable in flood time.

APRIL 25—Messrs. Flight, Barr, and Barr completed a very handsome service
of Worcester porcelain, in Saxon green and gold, with heraldic devices,
for Lord Amherst, then going out as Governor General to India.

MAY 13—At the Newmarket meeting, Lord Foley challenged for the whip,
naming his horse Sultan, by Selim.  No acceptance of the challenge being
made, he got the whip by default.

MAY 20—The weight of the penny loaf altered in one week from 6 oz. 9 dr.
to 10 oz. 11 dr.; the price of wheat having fallen from 8s. 9½d. to 5s.
2½d. per bushel.

MAY 23—The New Worcester Bridge Act received the royal assent.  Reduced
tolls levied henceforth on the horses instead of the carriages.

MAY 31—The Worcester Paving and Lighting Act received the royal
assent—better known as the City Commissioners’ Act.  Its provisions it is
now unnecessary to allude to, as the Commissioners themselves are now
numbered with the things that have been.  It is curious to notice,
however, that it took power to pull down the houses in front of All
Saints’ Church; but, after a lapse of thirty years, this improvement was
effected not by act of Parliament or a public body, but by voluntary and
private efforts.  At their first meeting, Mr. Welles was appointed clerk;
Mr. Edward Hooper, head surveyor; and Mr. Henry Rowe, surveyor of
buildings.  Their first efforts were directed to the cleansing of the
streets, preventing waggons carrying over-weights through the city,
removing obstructions from the highways, &c.

OCTOBER 7—Great fight at Welland, between Jordan of Worcester and Wheeler
of Gloucester, which was attended by at least 1,500 persons.  Jordan came
off an easy winner, and without any great punishment being inflicted on
either pugilist.  The stakes were thirty guineas a side.

LOCAL ACTS.—For building bridges over the Severn at Haw Passage and Mythe
Hill; for repair of Tenbury roads; for altering and enlarging the powers
of the Worcester Bridge Trustees; the Worcester City Commissioners’ Act.


A CONTINUOUS advance in prices—the result, partly of the over issue of
small bank paper, and partly of the reduction in the rate of interest,
and ease in the money market—gave the appearance of the most unbounded
prosperity to every department of business and commerce.  Everything that
men touched turned to gold under their hands, and the greatest wonder was
felt at the sudden disappearance of that distress which the agricultural
interest, especially, had, but a few months before, been complaining of
so bitterly.  This year the Four per Cents. were converted into
Three-and-half Stock, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer was thereby
enabled still further to reduce the taxes—the principal one removed being
that on silk.  Three per Cents. in November were done at 96½, and
averaged throughout the year 92.  Wheat averaged 63s. 11d.

JANUARY 7—The great fight between Spring and Langan for the championship,
which is to be found commemorated by a print hanging up in almost every
inn and public-house in England, took place in Pitchcroft, the ring being
formed just opposite to the Grand Stand.  Considerably more than 150
guineas were paid to the managers of the fight to ensure its taking place
at Worcester.  The stakes were 300 guineas a side; and the betting two to
one on Spring, who was a native of Warwickshire; while Langan was an
Irishman.  Not less than 40,000 people thronged Pitchcroft as spectators,
many being perched upon sheds and booths, erected temporarily, and let
out as standing places at considerable prices.  During the second round
one of these erections gave way, and a number of persons were
precipitated to the ground, a distance of twenty feet, amidst the broken
timber, and trampling upon each other.  At least thirty people were
carried to the Infirmary with serious fractures of the limbs or ribs, and
one unfortunate fellow died of a compound fracture of the leg.  Spring
came on the ground at half-past twelve, but Langan could not be found for
some time.  He was, in fact, making off, and his backers brought him back
with some difficulty.  Lord Deerhurst and Sir James Musgrave kept time;
and Colonel Berkeley acted as umpire.  Spring was exceedingly cautious,
and Langan impetuous, and the greater part of the rounds ended in
wrestling, in which Langan often succeeded in throwing his antagonist.
By the eighteenth round the ring was broken in by the crushing of the
mob, and not ten feet of space was left for the men to fight in.  After
an hour and a half’s fighting the affair seemed as little near conclusion
as at its commencement.  At the eightieth round, Langan planted a
tremendous blow on Spring’s head; but, at the eighty-fourth, Spring
knocked Langan down with such terrific hits, that he fell as weak as a
child.  The cry then became general to take him away, but, although
covered in his gore, he refused to give in, and was at last only removed
by force.  The battle lasted two hours and thirty-two minutes—a most
unheard of length of time.  At the next assizes Mr. Justice Park, in his
charge to the grand jury, administered a severe rebuke to the county and
city magistracy for winking at, and permitting, this affair.

MARCH 6—James Jones and John Brown were publicly whipped in front of the
County Gaol (in addition to three months’ imprisonment with hard labour),
for stealing an old tea kettle.

MARCH—The proposition to admit the importation of French gloves, hitherto
altogether prohibited, created great consternation amongst the
manufacturers at Worcester.  Mr. Huskisson, in replying to some questions
of Colonel Davies about the matter, in the House, said—“He trusted to the
eloquence of the gallant Colonel for satisfying his constituents of the
reasonableness of those views of open trade in which he had the honour to
agree with the gallant Colonel.  As to the particular article of gloves,
there must be time to determine what proportion of duty they were to
bear.  The prohibitions, however, must be done away, and a high
protecting duty substituted.”  The duty was afterwards fixed at 4s. per
doz. on habits, 5s. on men’s, and 7s. on women’s gloves.

MARCH 17—Mrs. Fry attended the quarterly meeting of the Friends in
Worcester, and addressed the congregation who were assembled at their
Meeting House.  She afterwards visited both City and County Prisons with
Samuel Gurney, and at the latter addressed the prisoners in plain and
forcible language.

MAY 24—The Worcestershire Yeomanry, under the command of Viscount
Eastnor, assembled for their annual six days’ training.  They, this year,
mustered 180; and the helmet they had hitherto worn was exchanged for the

JUNE—The Cesarean operation performed by Mr. Waldron, surgeon, of
Malvern, on Mary Hunt, of Leigh, with complete success.  The child was a
very fine healthy child.

OCTOBER 17—A man named Thomas Smith, who had been convicted at the City
Midsummer Sessions of a robbery, and sentenced to seven years’
transportation, made his escape from the City Prison (the new one was
then building) by working out the bricks in the wall of his cell,
unlocking a padlock, and filing through two large nails in the doorpost.

DECEMBER—Projects on foot for the removal of the Corn Market, and
erecting a suitable building for the accommodation of the farmers in
Sansome Street, Worcester, but the magistrates decided that matters must
remain as they were.

LOCAL ACTS—For repair of the road from Broadway to Stratford; for repair
of the road from Worcester to Bromsgrove; for paving, lighting, &c., the
town of Evesham, and improving the bridge over the Avon; for repair of
the road from Evesham to Bishop’s Cleeve.


NEVER in so short a period of time did a nation experience such a
transition from the confidence of commercial prosperity, to the despair
and panic of general bankruptcy, as did Britain in the twelve months of
1825.  The year opened with a flow of trade and ease in making money
which had never been equalled, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer
declared that the prosperity of the country was fixed on a firm and
immutable basis—for which speech, Mr. Cobbett nicknamed him Mr.
Prosperity Robinson.  Yet before the year closed all was in confusion: a
run upon all the banks throughout the kingdom took place—seventy three
country banks were totally insolvent—the Bank of England itself was only
saved from a complete drain of its gold, which was reduced to under
£1,300,000, by the fortunate discovery of a box of one pound
notes—bankruptcy and ruin spread amongst traders of every class—and the
country was within forty-eight hours of barter.  To account for this
disastrous state of things is not difficult.  The enhancement of prices,
and the recklessness of the country bankers in pushing their paper money,
had begot a spirit of speculation and gambling, not equalled since the
South Sea Bubble.  Between 1822 and 1825, twenty-six foreign loans were
negociated, of which only ten are now paying dividends; and companies
were started for all imaginable purposes, the nominal capital of which
amounted in the whole to more than four hundred millions sterling.  Soon
after midsummer, this year, the tables began to turn—foreign markets were
glutted with British fabrics, and a drain of gold took place to pay for
the imports, as foreigners would no longer take our goods.  Besides this,
gold and silver coin chained down to a certain standard of value, while
all other things had enormously risen in price, was of course a
profitable speculation for the foreigners; and in 1822–3 and 4,
thirty-three millions and a half of ounces of silver were exported, and
the known export of gold exceeded 1,270,000 ounces.  It will be seen
that, to the credit of this county, not a single bank here was actually
insolvent, and only one closed its doors even for a short period.  Three
per Cents. averaged 89; wheat averaged 68s. 6d.

JANUARY 25—The lady of Sir Edward Mostyn, Bart., then residing at Spring
Bank, Red Hill, near Worcester, was returning home in her carriage, when
the horses took fright and set off at a gallop.  She jumped out, and
received such severe contusions on the head that she died in two days
afterwards.  Her remains were interred in the parish church of Llannas,
Flintshire, in which county Talacre, Sir Edward’s paternal seat, was

SEPTEMBER—The long brass French six-pounder and nine suits of black
armour which now adorn the walls of the lower hall, in the Guildhall,
Worcester, presented to the Corporation by Colonel Wall of Hallow Park.
They all belonged to Charles II, and were left by him after the fatal
battle of 1651.

OCTOBER 26—The Worcestershire Militia inspected upon Pitchcroft.  At the
dinner of the officers in the evening, a handsome silver salver was
presented to Colonel Newport Charlett as a tribute of the respect and
esteem in which he was held by the regiment.

OCTOBER 11—The Worcestershire Fox Hounds, lately reorganised under Mr.
Parker, had their first run.  The pack consisted of about thirty couples
of hounds.

DECEMBER 19—At a public meeting at the Guildhall, of tradesmen and
others, with the Mayor in the chair, a resolution of confidence in the
different banks of the city was passed, and afterwards published with
upwards of 500 signatures.

At a public meeting at Kidderminster, a similar vote of confidence was
passed as to Messrs. Wakeman and Turner’s bank.  At Bewdley, the
inhabitants also met and expressed their reliance in the banking
establishment of Messrs. Pardoe, Nichols, and Baker.  Bromsgrove—in the
house of Messrs. Rufford and Biggs.  Stourbridge—Messrs. Hill, Bate, and
Robins, and Messrs. Rufford and Biggs.  Dudley—in the houses of Messrs.
Dixon, Dalton, and Co., and Messrs. Hordern, Molineux, and Co.  The bank
of Messrs. Hartland, having branches at Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, and
Evesham, was compelled to suspend payment; but this was the only concern,
connected with this county, unable to sustain the run which the terrible
panic of this year caused on every bank throughout the kingdom.

LOCAL ACTS—Stourbridge Commissioners Act; for making and maintaining a
road from Birmingham to Pershore; for repair of Upton roads; to amend the
Stratford and Moreton Tramroad Act; for enclosure of land at Stock and


To prevent the occurrence of such dire disasters as the previous year had
witnessed, a bill was brought in the moment Parliament met, to prohibit
the English banks from circulating notes under £5, after February,
1829—thus allowing them three years to recall their present issue.  The
loss by the panic of the previous December is estimated at £40,000,000
sterling; but matters soon began to right themselves, and the elasticity
of British resources never was more signally displayed.  At Midsummer a
dissolution took place, the Parliament having sat for nearly seven years.
The questions which principally agitated the public mind were the Corn
Laws and Catholic Emancipation.  The Corn Law of 1815 had dissatisfied
all parties, and the populace generally entertained the greatest
hostility to it.  In Ireland the priests now first openly interfered in
the elections to procure the return of members pledged to the Catholic
cause; while in England a strong counter feeling was evoked, and in many
places Whig candidates were rejected, in spite of family influence,
because of their leaning towards Catholic Emancipation.  The harvest
being a failure, as regarded oats and rye, peas and beans, the Government
issued an Order in Council to admit these kinds of food at a duty of 2s.
a quarter; and Parliament was called together in November to pass an Act
of Indemnity.  Three per Cents. averaged 79; wheat averaged 58s. 8d.

JANUARY 23—A silver salver, two waiters, and two decanter stands,
weighing in the whole 320 ounces, presented to J. Simpson, Esq., LL.D.,
who for many years kept school in Worcester, by his former pupils.

FEBRUARY—The glovemakers of Worcester made several ineffectual
remonstrances against the proposed alteration of the laws touching the
admission of foreign manufactured articles.  They were told that gloves
would certainly be admitted in the ensuing July, though with the
protective duties already mentioned.  These being considered
insufficient, the trade was brought to an entire stand-still.  By the
exertions of Colonel Davies, however, the importation was limited to the
port of London only, and confidence was gradually restored to the

FEBRUARY 21—Messrs. Hartland and Co. resumed payment.

JULY 1—A party of pleasure, consisting of the two sons and four daughters
of Mr. Joseph Hill, farmer, of Lintridge, near Dymock, and Miss Helen
Woodyatt, daughter of a Hereford confectioner, ascended Malvern Hills,
and being overtaken by a thunderstorm, took refuge in an alcove, on the
Worcestershire Beacon, which was roofed with iron.  This attracted the
electric fluid, and in one discharge of lightning the whole party were
laid prostrate on the ground: three of the Misses Hill and Miss Woodyatt
were killed, and the others were seriously injured.

JULY—Captain Brace, R.N., presented to the Corporation of Worcester the
second brass gun which now stands in the Guildhall—one which was taken
from a French battery near Toulon, in 1813, by H.M. ship Berwick, of
which Captain Brace was then Commandant.

AUGUST 21—Lord Foley laid the foundation stone of Holt Fleet bridge.

AUGUST—The growing importance and populousness of the town of Dudley
induced the Lord Chancellor to order an additional coroner to be elected
for that part of the county.  Mr. W. Robinson, solicitor, of Dudley, who
had been very instrumental in obtaining the order, was elected to the
office without opposition.

SEPTEMBER 26—Mr. Cobbett, the “lion” of the day, visited Worcester, and
spent a short time with some agriculturists in the neighbourhood,
afterwards staying with Sir Thomas Winnington, Bart., at Stanford Court,
for one night.  Mr. Cobbett’s opinion of Worcester and Worcestershire
people may be found in the account which he gives of this trip in his
_Register_ for October 7 of this year.

LOCAL ACT—For building Holt Fleet bridge.


THAT the elections had caused considerable change in the constitution of
the House of Commons was made apparent by their coming, early in the
session, to a vote adverse to the Catholic claims—the votes of the Lower
House on this question having for many years past been favourable to
their consideration.  A motion of Sir Francis Burdett to remove penalties
from the Catholics, though warmly supported by Mr. Canning, was lost by
276 votes to 272.  Lord Liverpool’s illness requiring the reorganisation
of the cabinet, so much difficulty was experienced in the choice of a
prime minister that the country was virtually without a ministry for some
weeks.  The Catholic question was put forward as the principal
difficulty—the chief members of Lord Liverpool’s administration refusing
to take office under a Premier who was favourable to the Catholic claims.
Immediately that Mr. Canning—whose talents unequivocally marked him out
for the position—kissed hands, the Duke of Wellington, Lord Eldon, Mr.
Peel, and others of the old cabinet resigned, and Mr. Canning could only
hold office by an unprincipled coalition with the Whigs—unprincipled
because such a ministry could only be carried on by one party or the
other totally belieing their previous political creed.  Mr. Canning had
always avowed himself the determined foe of Parliamentary Reform and the
repeal of the Test Acts, but was popular because of his adhesion to the
Catholic claims and the policy he had adopted as Foreign
Secretary—separating this country from the Holy Alliance, recognising the
South American States, and interfering in defence of the independence of
Portugal.  Earl Grey was the only member of the Whig party who openly and
honestly stood aloof from the new ministry.  Immediately after the close
of the session, Mr. Canning—irritated, perplexed, exhausted, by the
forsaking of all his former friends—died.  The new ministry was then
reorganised under the leadership of Viscount Goderich—formerly Mr.
Robinson.  Three per Cents. averaged 84; wheat, 58s. 6d.

JANUARY—The celebrated “Horace Bentley” controversy originated in a
paragraph which appeared this month in _Berrow’s Worcester Journal_,
stating that the Roman Catholics in Cavan, Ireland, were renouncing the
errors of their Church in considerable numbers.  In the _Journal_ of
February 7, a person signing the initials “W. L.” begged, as an English
Catholic, to be informed what were the errors that the Catholics of Cavan
were renouncing, and pledged himself that, if any one would point out to
him only one error, either in morals or doctrine, which the Catholic
Church taught, he would, as soon as possible after, publicly read his
recantation in the parish church of B—.  In a fortnight after W. L.’s
letter had appeared, one was inserted in reply, signed “Horace Bentley,”
offering, if the Bible was accepted as the test, to prove that the Church
of Rome taught “several fundamental and fatal errors.”  W. L. replied
that he would “leave Mr. B. to take his own course.  He might prove his
allegations from the Holy Scriptures, or from any source he might deem
expedient—he was ready to join the issue with him.”  This, Horace Bentley
contended, was an evasion of the requirement—that an absolute test of
truth and error should be agreed upon; but, nevertheless, proceeded to
prove the existence of what are considered by Protestants to be the
principal errors of the Roman Church, by an extraordinary array of
quotations from Catholic authors and authorities themselves.  The letters
were, on all hands, admitted to display singular ability.  W. L., at
first, questioned the correctness of the quotations, and was evidently
astonished at their production.  An offer was made by the Catholic party
to change their champion, on the ground of W. L.’s incompetence; and,
though this was not accepted, yet the last two letters under that
signature were plainly from another hand.  In these, endeavour was made
to show that the doctrines of the Church of England were, in many
respects, identical with those of the Church of Rome, and that “every
consistent Protestant must be an infidel.”  The Protestant party were so
delighted with their disputant, that a proposal was made to purchase a
piece of plate by subscription.  The _incognito_ was, for a long time,
most admirably preserved, and the letters of Horace Bentley were pretty
generally ascribed to the Rev. Dr. Hook, then Dean of Worcester.  It has
now, however, long been known that they were written by the Rev. G.
Redford, D.D., LL.D., minister at Angel Street Chapel, Worcester.  The
original W. L. was a machine manufacturer at Bromsgrove.

MARCH 3—A duel took place on Kempsey Ham between John Somerset Russell,
Esq., of Powick Court, and Mr. John Parker, master of the Worcestershire
Fox Hounds.  They fired at each other, but neither of the balls took
effect; and the seconds then interfered and effected a reconciliation.
An officer came on the ground, armed with a warrant, to arrest the
disputants, but of course he was “too late.”  The quarrel arose about
some matter connected with the hunt.

MARCH 27—Colonel Davies voted in a minority of nineteen on an amendment,
moved by Mr. Hume, to admit wheat at all times at a fixed duty of 10s. a
quarter.  Colonel Davies also succeeded in obtaining the appointment of a
committee to inquire into the mode of taking the poll at elections for
cities and boroughs.

MARCH—An eccentric fellow at Droitwich cut his throat, having previously
left some most singular instructions respecting his funeral, which were
obeyed to the letter.  He was buried with his shoes on, with a penny in
one hand and a halfpenny in the other.  Some of the earth surrounding his
mother’s coffin was put into his, and his body was wrapped in the sheet
on which she had been laid out.  The carriers of the coffin and mourners
ran, as soon as the funeral was over, at their topmost speed, to a public
house, where they sang _one_ song and _two_ psalms, afterwards drinking
peace to the soul of the departed till they were all drunk.

JUNE 29—At a meeting of the Worcester Corporation, on the motion of Henry
Clifton, Esq., the freedom of the city was unanimously voted to the Right
Hon. Robert Peel, “late principal Secretary of State for the Home
Department, in testimony of the high sense they entertained of his
consummate abilities and inflexible integrity as a statesman, and his
unshaken fidelity and attachment to the Constitution in Church and

NOVEMBER 29—Mr. T. A. Knight, only son of T. A. Knight, Esq., of Downton
Castle, accidentally shot by John Barneby, Esq., of Brockhampton, while
they were both sporting on Mr. Knight’s demesne.

DECEMBER—The Worcestershire Yeomanry disbanded by order of Government, in
common with all those corps which had not been engaged in actual service
of any kind for the previous ten years.  The regiment was first raised in
1794, by the Hon. Somers Cocks.  The Kidderminster troop, which was a
separate body, raised in 1798 and commanded by Captain Boycot, was also


THE discordant materials of which the Canning ministry was composed after
his death, soon brought it to an end: before Parliament met this year
Lord Goderich had resigned, and the Wellington and Peel cabinet was
formed.  The most important measure of the year was the repeal of the
Test and Corporation Acts; the principle of which having been affirmed in
the House of Commons, on the motion of Lord John Russell, by a majority
of 237 to 193, was adopted by the Government, and they carried through
the bill as their own measure.  Consols averaged 86; wheat 60s. 5d.

JANUARY 1—The tolls on carriages and horsemen passing over Worcester
bridge discontinued—the bridge having been erected forty-six years, and
the trustees having now paid off the debt, and laid by a fund yielding a
revenue of £125 a year to be applied in the repairs of the bridge and its

JANUARY 3—Holt Fleet bridge opened to the public.  Its extreme length is
226 feet, and consists of one arch of 150 feet span; the centre being 35
feet above the river at ordinary periods.  The design was furnished by
Telford.  The entire cost was £8,300.

FEBRUARY 26—Four elegant silver corner dishes and covers, weighing nearly
300 ounces, presented to the Rev. George Turberville of Hanley Castle,
for his long and valuable services as an active magistrate of the county.
The presentation took place at a dinner at the White Lion, Upton, at
which Sir Anthony Lechmere, Bart., presided.

SEPTEMBER 3—The Rev. Mr. Ketley, appointed by the London Missionary
Society to take the place of the ill-treated Smith, of Demerara, whose
case had occupied so large a share of public attention, was publicly
ordained at the Independent Chapel, Worcester.

SEPTEMBER 26—A sumptuous silver vase, presented to Viscount Eastnor by
the Yeomanry, “as a farewell token of the cordial and lasting esteem
which is felt for him by all ranks of the corps.”

OCTOBER 29—The inhabitants of Bewdley, following _suite_ with the Kentish
Brunswickers on Penenden Heath, declared in public meeting that “the
Protestant constitution shall not be changed.”  John Williams, Esq., the
High Bailiff, was in the chair; and the petition against the Catholic
claims was moved by the Rev. John Cawood, and seconded by John Nichols,
Esq.  There was no opposition.  The Mayor and Corporation of Evesham
forwarded a similar petition.


THE ministry—supposed by all England to be determined to resist, _a
l’outrance_, the claims of the Catholics to emancipation—astounded the
country by making the King recommend, in his speech at the opening of
Parliament, that these claims should be immediately taken into
consideration.  The Catholic Association and Mr. O’Connell’s election for
Clare were supposed to have been the causes immediately compelling
ministers to give way; but the Emancipation Act really owed its existence
to the continuous efforts of the great Liberal party and the weight of
public opinion in England.  The measure was passed in the Commons by a
majority of 173, and in the Lords of 105.  The circulation of small notes
came to an end in the early part of this year, and although so much time
had been afforded for preparation for this step, and it had been so
repeatedly postponed, it nevertheless produced much straitness in
commercial transactions, and had its effect in reducing both the price of
the provisions and the wages of labour.  Three per Cents. averaged 88;
wheat averaged 66s. 3d.

JANUARY—A subscription entered into for the relief of the Worcester poor.

FEBRUARY—The petitions against Catholic Emancipation, got up by the
Brunswick Club, received about 6,000 signatures in this county.  On the
presentation of the petition in the House of Lords, Lord Lyttelton
characterised the manner in which it was got up as “anomalous and

at a public meeting held at the Guildhall, presided over by Mr. Daukes of
Diglis House.  It was for some years warmly supported by Lord Lyttelton
and most of the literati of the county.

FEBRUARY 17—An alarming fire in the outbuildings of Mr. Joseph Ross of
Sneachill, White Lady Aston, consuming altogether about four thousand
pounds’ worth of property, and wholly uninsured.  Three hundred guineas
were offered as a reward for the discovery of the incendiary, no doubt
being entertained that it was wilful.

MARCH 24—Meeting of the clergy of the diocese, with Archdeacon Onslow in
the chair, to petition against the Catholic Relief Bill.  The tone of the
proceedings and petition was very moderate.  The Hon. H. B. Lygon was the
only member for this county who voted against the Bill.

MAY 29—Presentation of plate (a massive silver vase) to Archdeacon
Onslow, having been Vicar of Kidderminster for twenty-eight years, by
general subscription of the inhabitants there.

JUNE 17—The Duc de Chartres visited Worcester, with its manufactories and

JUNE 22—Ombersley Church consecrated by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese.
This very elegant little church is built of white stone from the
Ombersley quarries, in the decorated English style.  Its extreme length
is 117 feet, and the spire is 154 feet high; and the church will
accommodate about 1,000 persons.  The Marchioness of Downshire gave the
stone, the additional land to extend the churchyard, the organ, and the
stained windows, &c.

JULY 16—The new Catholic Chapel, Sansome Street, Worcester, opened.  The
Rev. Dr. Walsh, Bishop of the Midland District, officiated; and the Very
Rev. Dr. Weedall, President of St. Mary’s College, Oscot, preached.  The
chapel is capable of containing about 800 persons.  The collection at the
door on this occasion amounted to about £48.

AUGUST 26—Silver Street Chapel (Baptist), Worcester, reopened, after
enlargement, on which occasion a sermon was preached by the celebrated
Robert Hall of Bristol.

DECEMBER 10—The Marquis of Anglesey visited Worcester, and was
entertained by the Corporation in great style; the freedom of the city
being presented to him in common hall by Lord Deerhurst.


MINISTERS, having alienated their old friends by their conduct on the
Catholic question, held office by support of the Whigs, but towards the
close of the session these also deserted them.  The revolutions at Paris
and Brussels, the demise of George IV, and the distress amongst the
agricultural labourers giving rise to fearful incendiarism through the
whole of the south of England, imparted extraordinary interest and
importance to the question of Parliamentary Reform.  Public meetings were
everywhere held upon the subject, and at the elections which took place
in August, Reformers were returned for all those towns where the
constituency was at all on a popular basis.  The result was a loss of
more than fifty members to ministers; and they managed to involve
themselves in still more unpopularity and dislike by their unqualified
declarations against all Reform, and by dissuading the King from
accepting an invitation to dine at Guildhall on Lord Mayor’s Day, on the
ground of apprehended disturbance.  The new Parliament met on the 2nd of
November, and on the 15th Sir Henry Parnell moved for a committee to
revise the civil list.  A division took place, and ministers were left in
a minority of 29—233 votes being given for the motion, and 204 against
it.  Ministers immediately resigned, and Earl Grey was called to His
Majesty’s Councils, with the understanding that Parliamentary Reform was
to be a cabinet measure.  Thus, after twenty-three years’ exclusion from
office, the Whigs found themselves in power, and their principles
triumphant.  Consols averaged 98½; wheat averaged 64s. 3d.

JANUARY—Subscription for the relief of the poor again entered into at
Worcester, and £1,108 raised.  Distributed in soup and bread.  £200
raised with a like object at Bewdley, and a subscription at Droitwich.

JULY 2—Petitions from various towns of the county against the Beer House
Bill, which was also strongly opposed by Colonel Davies.

AUGUST 6—The Duchess of Kent and the Princess Victoria arrived at
Malvern, for the purpose of making a considerable stay there.

AUGUST 25—Most serious riots at Kidderminster.  The carpet weavers,
instigated by the “Society of Workmen,” attacked, almost without notice,
the factory of Mr. Cooper, because he employed a number of men upon a
particular description of light work at three halfpence per yard less
than the customary price.  In the evening the mob again assembled, and
broke the windows not only of Mr. Cooper’s house, but those of Mr. Simcox
Lea, Mr. Best, Mr. Brinton, Mr. Dobson, and Mr. Gough, manufacturers; of
George Constance, Esq., High Bailiff; Messrs. Hallen and Talbot,
solicitors; Mr. Boycot; Mr. Russell, coal merchant; the Town Hall; and
the Black Horse Inn—nor was the town restored to quiet till a troop of
the 14th Dragoons arrived at six o’clock on Wednesday morning.  The
property stolen and destroyed was valued at £3,000.  Eight men were
immediately afterwards apprehended, and committed by the magistrates for
the part they had taken in the disturbances.  Rewards amounting to £1,000
were offered for the conviction of the ringleaders.

SEPTEMBER 7—The Duchess of Kent and the Princess Victoria visited
Worcester, accompanied by Sir John and Lady Conroy and the Baroness de
Lehzen, and received the Mayor and Corporation at the Deanery.  They
inspected the three china manufactories; and the young Princess, then
twelve years of age, displayed the greatest interest in the ingenious
processes to which the porcelain clay is submitted.

SEPTEMBER 18—Frightful accident to the Aurora, day coach from London,
which was crammed with passengers inside and out, bringing persons to the
ensuing Worcester Musical Festival.  The coachman neglected to put the
drag on the wheel in coming down Severn Stoke hill, and the speed which
the vehicle gained as it came down, upset it shortly after rounding the
turn at the bottom.  Mr. Bennett, organist of Christ Church, Oxford, was
killed on the spot; and Mr. Hughes, glover, of Sidbury, Worcester, died
next morning.  Several other passengers were most seriously hurt.  The
jury upon the inquest refused to return a verdict of manslaughter against
the coachman, although directed to do so by the coroner; but put a
deodand of £30 upon the coach and horses, in each case.

SEPTEMBER 9—Date of the death of the celebrated Mr. Huskisson, who was
born at Birtsmorton in this county.

OCTOBER 26—St. George’s Chapel, Barbourne, a chapel of ease to Claines
Church, consecrated by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese.  The sermon was
preached by Prebendary Benson, and the collection afterwards realised
£60.  The presentation of the chapel is vested in the incumbents of
Claines.  The total cost of the building was £3,500; of this, Sir H.
Wakeman, Bart., contributed £500.  £1,200 was raised by private
subscriptions, &c.  The Church Building Commissioners contributed the
remainder.  The painted window at the east end was the gift of James
Wakeman, Esq.  It will accommodate 750 persons, 400 of the sittings being

OCTOBER 29—The WORCESTER MENDICITY SOCIETY formed at a meeting at the
Guildhall, with H. B. Tymbs, Esq., Mayor, in the chair.  This Society
still continues to exist, and has acted most beneficially both in
discovering cases of imposture and in aiding the truly unfortunate.  It
is only a pity that it is not more generally supported and confided in.

DECEMBER—Riots at Tardebigg amongst the needle makers, who thought
themselves aggrieved by the introduction of machinery to stamp the eyes
of the needles.  They commenced an attack on the machinery and house of
Mr. Baylis of Tardebigg, but were interrupted by the arrival of
constabulary from Redditch, and six men were committed by the magistrates
for trial.  Five agricultural labourers were also committed to gaol for
breaking a thrashing machine, which had been left on the road side at
Hanley William.  A thatched cattle shed, with two cows, a hay rick and
stubble rick, the property of Mr. Nind of Dumbleton, burnt down by an
incendiary fire.

LOCAL ACT—For enclosing lands at Hagley.


THE measure of Reform, introduced by the Grey ministry a few days after
the meeting of Parliament, so much exceeded general expectation in extent
and boldness, that the people immediately adopted it with enthusiasm; and
the cry was, “The Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill.”  After
a debate of seven nights’ duration, leave was given to bring it in
without a division, and the trial of strength was reserved for the second
reading, which was carried by a majority of one only; the numbers
being—for, 302; against, 301.  The ministers, however, persevered with
it; but, in committee, General Gascoyne moved that the number of members
for England and Wales should not be diminished, and this was carried
against ministers by a majority of eight.  The consequence was, that the
bill was for a while abandoned, and another appeal made to the country.
The elections, which now took place in the midst of unparalleled
excitement, gave ministers such a decided majority in the Commons, that
the second reading of the bill was carried by a majority of 136, and it
went through committee without any material alteration.  The Lords,
however, had not the prudence quietly to pass a measure which the people
had so unequivocally demanded, and the second reading was negatived in
the Upper House by a majority of 41.  Riots and disturbances everywhere
ensued; and none can understand, except those who actually took part in
the year’s events, how near the nation was to convulsion and revolution.
The cholera made its appearance in the country on the 26th October, and
was very fatal in many places.  Consols averaged 81; wheat averaged 66s.

JANUARY 10—The Vice Chancellor gave his decision in the case of the St.
Oswald’s Hospital property, Worcester, declaring that the leases which
had been granted by the governors were illegal, and must be set aside.
This decision affected large properties in the Tything, which, having
been held for leases of forty years at a nominal rent, and these renewed
at a fine only amounting to about one year’s rent, had been treated in
the market as little inferior to freehold.  The proceedings were based on
an act passed at the instance of the celebrated Dr. Fell, Bishop of
Oxford in 1660, and who was then master of this hospital.  This act
expressly provided that, in the leases granted of the property belonging
to the hospital, “the best improved value that the lands and houses
should be yearly worth should be reserved for the respective yearly rents
thereof.”  The solicitor, on the part of the information, was Mr. S.
Godson of Worcester.

JANUARY 21—Graves opened in Hanley Castle churchyard, and two recently
interred bodies taken away.  They had been sent in packing cases from the
Anchor Inn, Upton-on-Severn, to London, but, parties following them
immediately, the cases were recovered, and the bodies restored to their
resting places, but the disturbers of the grave’s quiet were not caught.

MARCH 9—The Kidderminster carpet weavers presented Mr. Godson with a very
handsome hearth rug, for his exertions in their behalf at the sessions of
the previous August.

MARCH 23—On the first division on the Reform Bill, on Sir R. Vyvyan’s
amendment, “That the Bill be read a second time that day six months,” all
the members for Worcestershire were present.  The Hon. T. H. Foley,
Colonel Davies, Mr. Robinson, Mr. J. H. H. Foley, and Earl of Sefton
voted against the amendment; and Hon. H. B. Lygon and W. A. Robarts,
Esq., for it.

JUNE—The Worcester Militia reorganised; and ten troops of Yeomanry raised
by the Earl of Plymouth.

AUGUST 25—In the Marquis of Chandos’s celebrated amendment to the Reform
Bill, giving farming tenants at will, to the amount of not less than £50,
votes for counties, Colonel Davies and Mr. Robinson voted in the majority
against ministers, and the Hon. T. H. Foley, Captain Spencer, and Mr.
Godson in the minority for them.  Colonel Davies, in the progress of the
bill, moved several amendments, which were discussed at length, and only
defeated by small majorities: one was to prevent persons, having votes in
boroughs, from voting at county elections.

SEPTEMBER 14—Presentation of colours to the Worcestershire Yeomanry.
This took place at Hewell, the Countess of Plymouth presenting the
cornets with the colours.  The ceremony was performed in the presence of
an immense concourse of spectators.  A dinner was afterwards given on the
ground, by the Earl of Plymouth, to the nobility of the county and
officers of the regiment.

OCTOBER 19—The Worcester Society of Artists opened an exhibition in the
rooms of the Old Library in Angel Street, containing altogether some 164
pictures, from the easels of professional artists and amateurs in the
city and county.

NOVEMBER 5—Worcester Riots.—The ferment which the rejection of the Reform
Bill by the Lords had created having spread generally through the
country, and much terror caused by the Bristol anti-Wetherell riots, the
Mayor and magistrates of Worcester swore in a number of special
constables this week; and, at the request of the Mayor, the Home
Secretary directed a troop of the 7th Hussars to take up their quarters
at Droitwich.  It was thought possible that the ill disposed might make
the county Reform meeting, held this day, a _point d’appui_, and the 400
special constables had express orders to hold themselves in readiness for
action at any moment.  However, the proceedings passed off very quietly,
and the day closed without any disturbance; but unfortunately a small and
purely accidental fire broke out in the back premises of Mr. Woakes in
High Street.  A great number of people were gathered to the spot, and a
squabble occurred in the crowd, during which the hose of the fire engines
was cut, and the mob seemed to regard this as the signal for disorder.
Some rascals harked them on to mischief, and they first of all made an
incursion into Foregate Street, where they broke all the windows in the
house of Mr. France, solicitor, and on their return smashed those of Sir
Anthony Lechmere and other individuals known to belong to the unpopular
party.  The Mayor and magistrates were already at the Hall, with a large
body of special constables, and the bells of the city churches were set
tolling to collect the remainder.  This roused the whole town, and all
the bad characters it contained were speedily enrolled amongst the mob.
The special constables at the command of the Mayor sallied out of the
Town Hall and engaged the rioters, and some smartish encounters took
place in various directions.  Several of the mob were captured and
carried off to prison; but none of the specials were much hurt.  The
tumult still continuing, the Mayor sent off expresses to Pershore and
Droitwich for the military; but, in the interim, he addressed the
rioters, and attempted to induce them to disperse.  Some of the leaders
said they would do so if he would release the prisoners who had been
taken.  The Mayor, hereupon, went down to the gaol, and, amidst the
huzzas of the mob, liberated the captives; but they then wanted the
release of the other prisoners confined in the gaol.  This the Mayor
positively refused, and returned to the Guildhall.  At a quarter after
one Captain Bathurst, with a troop of the 7th Hussars, rode up to the
Guildhall, and the mob threw some stones at them; and, as they showed no
disposition to disperse, the Mayor read the Riot Act, but had no sooner
done so than a stone was hurled at him, which struck him on the head.  He
immediately ordered the military to clear the streets, which they did in
a very short time.  A great number of stones were thrown at them; but the
resistance speedily ceased, and many parties were again taken into
custody and conveyed to the gaol.  Several of the mob were cut, though
not seriously, by the sabres of the military.  A detachment of the 91st
Infantry arrived from Pershore about three a.m., but their services were
not then required.  The city, for two or three nights afterwards, wore an
unquiet aspect, and desultory mobs were collected, but no further harm
was done.  The magistrates examined the prisoners afterwards—amounting,
in all, to about thirty persons.  Most of them were liberated on entering
into their own recognizances to keep the peace, and a few of the worst
were fined or sent to the treadmill.

LOCAL ACTS—For erecting a County Hall and Courts of Assize at Worcester;
for better repairing the road from Bromsgrove to Birmingham.


THE ministers, calling Parliament together again almost immediately,
proposed another Reform Bill, differing from the former one in the
apportionment of boroughs in the schedules, in preserving the rights of
freemen by birth and servitude, and in giving freeholders in boroughs the
right to vote in county elections.  The second reading was carried, on
the morning of Sunday, the 18th of December, 1851, by a majority of 324
to 162; the majority being thus much larger than before.  The bill passed
a second reading in the Lords by a majority of 9; seventeen peers who
voted against the bill in 1831 voted for it in 1832, and others absented
themselves.  Immediately on going into committee, however, Lord Lyndhurst
proposed to postpone the disenfranchising to the enfranchising clauses,
and this was carried against ministers by a majority of 35.  Earl Grey
then applied to the King for powers to carry the bill as it stood; and,
on the King’s refusing a _carte blanche_ for the creation of peers,
ministers resigned _en masse_.  Lord Lyndhurst was sent for by the King;
but the Commons pledged themselves, by an overwhelming majority, to
support only the former ministers, and, in the face of such a resolution,
no ministry could be formed.  Then came the thunders of the _Times_,
declaring that “the Queen had done it all,” the threatened run upon the
Bank, and symptoms of disaffection among the soldiery.  At last the King
found himself obliged to put into Earl Grey’s hands all the powers he
required, and he returned to office on the 15th of April.  The opposition
peers then, at the King’s request, absented themselves from the House,
and the bill passed with little further discussion.  It received the
royal assent on the 7th of June.  Parliament was soon afterwards
dissolved; and the new constituencies, of course, returned a very large
preponderance of Whig or Reform members.  Three per Cents. averaged 83½;
wheat averaged 58s. 8d.

JANUARY—Several attempts made to fire carpet manufactories in
Kidderminster.  The trade of the town in a deplorable condition; 779
heads of families receiving out-door relief weekly.

FEBRUARY 1—Colonel Davies moved, in the House of Commons, for a committee
of inquiry on the glove trade.  He stated that not one-third of the
number of gloves were made in Worcester that there were formerly, when
120 masters each manufactured 100 dozen a week.  He attributed this
distress and loss of trade entirely to the free trade in French gloves.
Mr. Poulett Thomson contended, on behalf of Government, that the general
manufacture of gloves in this country had increased, for the kid skins
imported in the last five years had been 3,679,000, to 2,600,000 in the
five years prior to the duty being taken off gloves.  The distress he
believed to be owing to the late increase in the importation of skins, to
the use of Berlin gloves instead of kid, and to overtrading.  The numbers
were—against the committee, 223; for it, 168: majority against the
motion, 55.

FEBRUARY 28—A petition from the operative glovers of Worcester, having
2,206 signatures, and praying that the “system, falsely called free
trade,” may be abandoned, forwarded to the Earl of Coventry for

APRIL 2—The freedom of the city presented to the Earl of Plymouth and
Lieutenant Colonel Elrington by the hand of the recorder, the Earl of
Coventry.  To the former, principally in approval of his raising the
Yeomanry corps; and to the latter, for his public services in the east.
Colonel Elrington presented the Corporation with arms and armour, taken
by him from pirates in the Persian Gulf.

APRIL 5—At a dinner given at the Guildhall, Dr. Malden in the chair, a
very handsome service of plate was presented to the Mayor, Henry Clifton,
Esq., in remembrance of the vigilance and energy he had shown in
repressing the Worcester riots.

APRIL 17—On the memorable second reading of the Reform Bill in the House
of Lords, by a majority of nine, the Earl of Coventry, Lord Northwick
(both of whom had voted against the former bill), Earl Somers, Lord
Foley, Lord Lyttelton, and the Bishop of Worcester voted in its favour;
and Earls Plymouth and Beauchamp and the Bishop of Rochester against it.

MAY 23—The Mayor of Worcester, Henry Clifton, Esq., was presented at
_levée_ by the Bishop of Worcester, and thanked by His Majesty for the
“important services he had rendered on a late occasion.”

MAY 29—The trade on the Severn stopped by the general resistance of the
bow-halliers to the use of horses in towing barges up the river.  They
nailed the gates up along the towing path, and assembled in great numbers
to prevent any horses being attached to the vessels.  The magistrates
made several attempts to convince them of the unreasonableness and folly
of their proceedings, but to no purpose.  At last the Riot Act was read,
and a troop of Scotch Greys marched into Worcester from Kidderminster.
Under this escort the gates were opened and several vessels taken up the
river, but not without determined opposition and much disturbance.  Eight
men were committed for trial to the sessions.

JUNE 11 AND 12—Celebration of the passing of the Reform Bill, in
Worcester.  On the Monday the Worcester Political Union, with a great
number of lodges and friendly societies, paraded the streets with banners
and music, and in the evening dined at various public houses.  On the
Tuesday evening the city was illuminated—the lighting up being almost
universal, and costly transparencies and devices in many instances

JUNE 15—A Reform festival at Evesham, 700 persons dining at tables set
out along the open street—Vine Street.  In the space between the tables
were raised twelve casks of ale, inscribed—“The King,” “Reform,” “Grey,”
“Brougham,” &c.  Mr. Workman presided.  Dinners also at Droitwich,
Redditch, &c.

JULY 14—The cholera first made its appearance in Worcester: most of the
cases occurring in the Pinch, at the back of Bridge Place, Hylton Street,
a most dirty and close locality.  It continued to rage till the middle of
October: 293 cases having occurred in the whole; and the deaths amounted
to 79.  The medical men, forming the Board of Health, had been most
indefatigable in their labours and attentions to the sick in the Cholera
Hospital at Henwick.  A very handsome subscription was entered into for
the relief of cholera sufferers and their families, and the proceeds of a
collection after a sermon by the Rev. Canon Benson, and of a concert at
the College Hall (£156), were devoted to the same good object.  The
cholera visited every town in the county with more or less severity.  It
raged most fearfully at Droitwich, Redditch, and Dudley; the cases in the
latter town amounting to 1,132, with a proportion of 250 deaths.  Warm
salt baths were found very beneficial at Droitwich.  The Yeomanry, this
year, assembled at Warwick, because of the prevalence of the disease in

meeting held in the board room of the Worcester Infirmary.  More than
fifty medical men were present; and the venerable Dr. Johnstone, of
Birmingham, was called to the chair.  The opening address was read by Dr.
Hastings, the founder of the association; another on the objects and
modes of medical investigation by Dr. Barlow; with various medical papers
by Dr. Milligan, Dr. Malden, Dr. Jeffery, and others; with “A proposal to
establish County Natural History Societies” by Dr. Conolly.  The value
and importance of this association are now fully established.

OCTOBER 9 AND 10—Musical Festival at Kidderminster, in St. George’s
Church, for the benefit of the National Charity Schools.  _The Messiah_
was performed one morning, and a selection of sacred music the other.
There was also a grand miscellaneous concert on Tuesday evening, and a
ball on Wednesday evening.  The result was highly satisfactory.  The
receipts were—for tickets, £853; collections, £209; donations, £180:
total, £1,242.  The expenses amounted to £792, and £450 was thus left as
a balance in favour of the charity.

OCTOBER 27—The revising barristers having completed the inquiry into the
first registration of the voters of the city of Worcester under the
Reform Act, there were left upon the list 1,521 freemen and 721 £10
householders in addition, making a total of 2,242.  Under the old state
of things there were about 1,600 resident and 800 non-resident freemen,
so that the Reform Act somewhat lessened the number of voters.  It was
stated, incidentally, that from the year 1760 to 1832 (seventy-two years)
the Corporation of Worcester had admitted 5,092 freemen—viz., 2,625 by
right of servitude, 1,222 by birth, 1,103 by purchase, and 142 had been
honorarily admitted.  The constituency of the county, after revision of
the lists, amounted to 8,283—viz. 3,122 for the western and 5,161 for the
eastern division.  Total population, 110,348.  The voters for the city
and various boroughs numbered 4,235.

NOVEMBER 5—The Duchess of Kent and Princess Victoria passed through the
county, escorted by the Worcestershire Yeomanry, who in reward for this
service have since received the appellation of the “Queen’s Own.”  The
royal party passed through Tenbury, Witley, Worcester, and Bromsgrove to
Hewell, where they stayed for the night, being welcomed at each of these
places with the utmost loyalty and enthusiasm.  At Hewell, the
townspeople of Bromsgrove and Redditch presented addresses, and the
nobility of the county assembled in the evening to pay their respects to
their Royal Highnesses.


MEASURES called for by the state of Ireland occupied the first session of
the Reformed Parliament.  The Coercion Bill, for the repression of crime,
was easily passed, and then came the Irish Church Bill, to abolish the
Church cess or rate, in that country, to impose a graduated tax on
clergymen, instead of taking first-fruits, and to abolish ten out of
twenty-two bishoprics.  The bill passed with little opposition; but a
most important alteration was made in the Lords, as to the appropriation
of the revenues of the suppressed sees.  A motion, made in the Commons,
for a repeal of half the Malt Tax, was carried by 162 to 152; but
ministers, a few days afterwards, got the vote rescinded.  Consols
averaged 88; wheat averaged 52s. 11d.

JANUARY 25—A police force, organised by the Worcester City Commissioners,
with Inspector Sharpe at their head.

JANUARY—The Worcester Philharmonic Society, just formed, gave their first

MARCH 26—Mr. G. R. Robinson moved for a committee to revise the taxation
of the country, and to inquire into the propriety of substituting a
property tax in lieu of a great portion of it.  The motion was defeated
by the opposition of Government: 155 members, however, voted in its
favour; amongst the minority being the Hon. H. B. Lygon and Sir Thomas

held at the Guildhall, Worcester, with Sir C. S. Smith, Bart., in the

MAY 1—The Hirondelle coach, passing through Worcester, was driven from
Liverpool to Cheltenham, a distance of 136 miles, in 9 hours and 33
minutes—14 miles an hour, including stoppages.

MAY 17—On Mr. W. Whitmore’s motion to substitute a fixed duty on corn for
the alterative duties then in force, Mr. G. R. Robinson and Mr. R. Godson
voted in the minority.  Colonel Davies also paired off in favour of the

JUNE 6—Colonel Davies moved a vote of confidence in ministers, with
reference to their conduct towards Portugal, which was carried by a
majority of 263.

JULY 22—Funeral of the Earl of Plymouth, in Tardebigg Church.  The whole
of the Yeomanry were assembled on the occasion, and great crowds gathered
to witness the procession.  The burial service was performed by the Lord
Bishop of Worcester, assisted by the vicar of Tardebigg, the Right Hon.
and Rev. Lord Aston.

SEPTEMBER 9—The Government Commissioners made their inquiries at
Worcester into the Charter and Corporation of the city.  The forty-eight
members of the old Corporation were, of course, self-elected, and the
nomination virtually rested with a few of the body.  They rigidly
excluded all professional men and all Dissenters.  The income of the body
was stated to the Commissioners to be £2,100 per annum, and the
expenditure about £2,000; this included subscriptions and donations for
charitable purposes, amounting to about £300 a year.  It was accidentally
discovered, during the inquiry, that the sword bearer charged one penny
per pot on all fruit brought into the market, though the toll was only
one farthing.  A complaint was made that the £20 charged upon persons,
not freemen, who wished to trade within the limits of the city, had the
effect of discouraging young men from entering upon small businesses.

OCTOBER—The _Bridgwater Treatises_ presented to the Rev. George Redford,
by some members of the Worcester Literary and Scientific Institution, for
“his just castigation of their scandalous libeller, ‘O. S.,’ for his
refutation of the assertion ‘That the diffusion of useful knowledge leads
to atheism,’ and for his defence of the anti-sectarian principles upon
which the London University is founded.”

OCTOBER 25—A prisoner, named M‘Kenzie, confined in the City Gaol for
robbery, made his escape—slipping out of his cell just as the turnkey was
locking up.  He had to make a jump of eleven feet from the top of one
building to another; and he afterwards said that, before making it, his
courage failed him, so he knelt down and asked God to assist him, and, by
God’s help, he succeeded!  A truly curious instance of superstitious
profanity.  He was retaken at Bridgnorth.

NOVEMBER 14—Mr. Cockburn, the Government Commissioner for inquiring into
Municipal Corporations, attended at Bewdley.  The burgesses and capital
burgesses of the borough were all elected, or chosen by the Corporation,
and, before the passing of the Reform Act, the privilege of voting was
thus confined to some thirty or forty persons.  Previous to Mr. Robarts
being elected the member, it was customary for the candidate who found
favour to give some £300 or £400, and then there never was any opposition
to his taking his seat.  It was said that these “compliments” had always
been applied to public purposes.  Fifty guineas were allowed annually,
out of the Corporation funds, for the bailiff’s feast.  No satisfactory
account was rendered of the Corporation property and receipts; and the
corporate officers refused to answer any questions about the Bridge
Trust, or the tolls taken thereat.  The toll on foot passengers, it
appeared, had been discontinued for eighteen years; but £400 a year was
raised from the toll on carriages and horses.

LOCAL ACT—To enable the Stratford and Moreton Railway Company to make a
branch to Shipston-on-Stour.


ON the 1st of August in this year slavery ceased to disgrace the British
colonies.  The Irish Church continued to be the principal subject of
discussion in Parliament; and on the 27th of May, Mr. Ward moved that the
temporalities of that church ought to be reduced; and as a majority of
the cabinet had resolved so far to accede to the motion as to appoint a
commission of inquiry, Mr. Stanley, Sir James Graham, the Duke of
Richmond, and the Earl of Ripon resigned their offices.  The other
measures of the ministry with regard to Ireland were equally embarrassing
in their results.  The unadvised disclosures of Mr. Littleton to Mr.
O’Connell, respecting the supposed intentions of the cabinet as to the
Coercion Bill, led to the retirement of Earl Grey, and Viscount Melbourne
became Prime Minister in his stead.  The measures proposed for the relief
of Dissenters were withdrawn from the opposition of Dissenters
themselves; and the only act passed this session, of great public
importance, was that for the amendment of the Poor Laws, which received
the assent of almost all parties.  Mr. Hume’s motion for a gradual repeal
of the Corn Laws was negatived by 312 to 155—Sir James Graham being the
principal speaker against it.  In November, when the death of Earl
Spencer removed Lord Althorpe to the Upper House, and so further weakened
the Whigs, the King dismissed them, and called the Duke of Wellington to
his councils.  Sir Robert Peel was then appointed Prime Minister, and
Parliament was dissolved.  Three per Cents. averaged 90½. wheat, 46s. 2d.

JANUARY—Mr. G. R. Robinson, M.P. for Worcester, elected chairman at

FEBRUARY—Lord Foley made strenuous endeavours to get Worcester created a
bonded port.

APRIL 8—The “Athenæum,” Foregate Street, a building erected for the
accommodation of the Worcester Literary and Scientific Institution,
opened by an inaugural address from C. H. Hebb, Esq., the president.  A
dinner, of the members and supporters of the institution, afterwards took
place at the Bell Inn, Broad Street, with Colonel Davies, M.P., in the

MAY 9—Paganini performed in Worcester.

MAY 15—The first stone of the Monument on the Lickey, erected to the
memory of the Earl of Plymouth, laid by Lord Lyttelton—the gentry of the
neighbourhood, the Cavalry, and a large concourse of spectators being
present.  It was raised by public subscription.  It is a simple obelisk
of Anglesea marble, raised on a pedestal 17 feet high and 20 feet square;
the top of the pillar is 91½ feet from the ground, and it is so situated
as to be seen at a distance of many miles.

MAY 16—The first anniversary of the Worcestershire Natural History
Society held in the Guildhall, Edward Holland, Esq., the newly elected
president, in the chair.  Dr. Streeten read the report of the committee.
In the evening the members dined together at the Crown Hotel, Broad

JUNE 2—The first general exhibition of paintings opened in Worcester, in
the lecture room of the Athenæum, Foregate Street.  It contained 195
pictures, and was a most admirable selection.  Amongst others were—“Cupid
interceding for Psyche,” by Etty; Constable’s “Barge on the Stour;” David
Roberts’s “Antwerp Cathedral;” two from the easel of Alexander Frazer;
and others by Stanfield, Danby, Pickersgill, Chalon, Jackson, Howard,
Creswick, &c.; while the local artists were also very fairly represented.
The pictures were very ably criticised in the _Worcester Herald_, by a
gentleman named Cary, who, for this purpose, adopted the sobriquet of

JULY—Petitions sent up to Parliament, from various parishes in the city
and county, expressing confidence in the Established Church, and praying
that Dissenters might be kept out of the Universities.

AUGUST 1—The first number of _The Analyst_, a monthly journal of
literature and natural history, principally devoted to the midland
counties, published in Worcester.  It was edited by William Holl, Esq.,
and reached a tenth volume.  It was a clever and readable publication.

AUGUST 17—The Bishop of Exeter preached at Hallow Church on behalf of the
Sunday schools.  Next day the Rev. Prelate visited Worcester, and was
presented by the Mayor with a handsomely bound copy of _Green’s History
of Worcester_, as a token of admiration of his zealous defence of the

SEPTEMBER 1—Lord Deerhurst, while shooting in Sir Charles Cockerell’s
covers, at Sezincote, received the contents of a gun in his face, and
lost the sight of his right eye.

SEPTEMBER 25—Church rate contest at Dudley, carried on with all the zeal
witnessed at a general election.  The anti-rate party had a few weeks
before defeated the church party in vestry, but another meeting was
called for this day, when a rate of 10d. in the pound was proposed by Mr.
Isaac Badger, and carried on a poll by 474 to 390 votes.

LOCAL ACT—For better supplying the town of Dudley with water.


As the Reform enthusiasm had passed away, the elections resulted
unfavourably for the Whigs—the great majority of the counties returning
Conservative members.  The Whigs, however, finding that they still
possessed a majority in the new house, set themselves to oppose Sir
Robert Peel’s Government on every point.  They carried Mr. Abercromby, as
Speaker, by a majority of 10, and an amendment on the address by a
majority of 7.  Sir Robert, however, continued to bring forward his
measures, some of which were generally approved of, and he bade fair to
gain the confidence of the country even under such disadvantageous
circumstances.  But on the introduction of the Tithe Bill for Ireland,
Lord John Russell moved that no settlement of Irish Church affairs would
be satisfactory on any other basis than that of appropriating its surplus
revenues to educational purposes; and this was carried by a majority of
27.  Sir Robert Peel and his colleagues then retired from office, and
Lord Melbourne again became Prime Minister.  The rest of the session was
almost wholly spent in passing the Municipal Reform Bill, and an attempt
to carry a Bill for regulating the Irish Church, which was so mutilated
in the Lords that ministers abandoned it.  Consols averaged 91; wheat,
39s. 4d.

FEBRUARY 19—In the well-remembered division on the choice of Speaker for
the new House of Commons under Sir R. Peel’s ministry, Sir T. Winnington,
Bart., Sir C. Cockerell, Captain Winnington, Mr. G. R. Phillips, and Mr.
Cookes voted in the majority of 316 for Mr. Abercrombie—and Mr. Holland,
Mr. Robinson, Colonel Lygon, Mr. Borthwick, Mr. Hawkes, Mr. Bailey, and
Mr. Barneby in the minority of 306 for Sir C. M. Sutton.  Thus the whole
12 county members were present, and 5 voted for Mr. Abercrombie and 7 for
Sir C. Manners Sutton.

MARCH 10—On the Marquis of Chandos’s motion for a repeal of the Malt Tax,
which was defeated by a majority of 158, T. H. Cookes, Esq., E. Holland,
Esq., Captain Winnington, J. Bailey, Esq., G. R. Robinson, Esq., Sir T.
Winnington, and Mr. Hawkes voted in the majority—and Col. Lygon, Mr. G.
R. Phillips, Mr. Borthwick, and Mr. Barneby in the minority.

APRIL 20—The East Worcestershire Conservative Association formed at a
meeting at Droitwich, over which John S. Pakington, Esq., presided; the
object being to rescue the Eastern Division from the hands of the Whigs.
The annual subscription was fixed at 5s., but large donations were given
by Lord Redesdale, Lord Eastnor, and others.

APRIL—Addresses sent to Sir Robert Peel—requesting him to continue to
hold office, and expressing confidence in his administration—from
Worcester, Droitwich, Evesham, Hagley, and Oldswinford.  A public meeting
was held at Kidderminster, for the purpose of sending an address to His
Majesty—the chair taken by Thomas Bradley, Esq., the High Bailiff—praying
the King to continue the Government in Sir Robert Peel’s hands.  The
address received 1,473 signatures.

MAY 25—The first stone of the Worcestershire Natural History Society’s
Museum and Lecture Room, Foregate Street, Worcester, laid by Lord

JUNE 12—Petition presented by Mr. Robinson, from Worcester, in favour of
the Municipal Corporation Bill, to which 4,300 signatures were attached.

JUNE 15—The second exhibition of modern paintings opened at the Athenæum,
Foregate Street, containing 228 pictures.  Amongst them was M‘Clise’s
fine picture, “The Installation of Captain Rock;” Danby’s “Enchanted
Island” and “Solitude;” five of Constable’s; two of Creswick’s; with
others by Copley Fielding, Lee, &c.  The Worcester artists were well

JULY 30—The first stone of St. Paul’s Church, Blockhouse, Worcester, laid
by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese; the Recorder, Earl Coventry, the
Corporation, and a large concourse of spectators attending.  The church
was built entirely by voluntary subscription, being intended to meet the
spiritual wants of the population living in the extra-parochial district,
and consequently not formally under the charge of any particular

AUGUST 4—Mr. Sidebottom, as Town Clerk of Worcester, examined before the
House of Lords, as one of the witnesses against the Municipal
Corporations Reform Bill.  His testimony went to say that the
Corporation, as it was, was very good—that there was never any
jobbing—that the freemen had held their rights ever since 1540—that the
freemen were become such by servitude or birth, saying nothing about
purchase—and that any alteration must be for the worse.

OCTOBER 4—The clergy and Dissenting ministers generally, throughout the
county, celebrated the third centenary of the Reformation, and the
printing of the first entire English Protestant Bible by Coverdale, by
preaching appropriate sermons on this day.

OCTOBER 6, 7, AND 3—Mr. John Constable, R.A., the celebrated painter,
lectured at the Athenæum, Worcester, on landscape painting.

OCTOBER—Pershore and Upton Poor Law Unions incorporated.

DECEMBER—Election of the Municipal Corporations—At Kidderminster the
Conservatives had a decided majority; and W. B. Best, Esq., was chosen
Mayor.  At Evesham, also, they preponderated; William Barnes, Esq., the
former Mayor, was here reëlected.  At Bewdley the new body were all
Conservatives; Slade Baker, Esq., chosen Mayor.  At Droitwich they were
all liberals; and E. B. Penrice, Esq., was elected chief magistrate.

LOCAL ACT—For improving the turnpike roads leading into and from the city
of Worcester.


THE Tithe Commutation Act and the Dissenters’ Marriage Act were the two
principal measures carried this year; the other bills proposed by
Government, respecting the Irish Church, Irish Corporations, and
Charitable Trusts, being so altered in the Lords, that the Commons
refused to agree to their amendments, and they were dropped.  Consols
averaged 90; wheat averaged 48s. 6d.

JANUARY 19—Evesham first lighted with gas.

meeting at the Guildhall, Worcester.

FEBRUARY—The Kidderminster Town Council having sent up a list of six
gentlemen (all Conservatives) as magistrates for the borough, Lord John
Russell refused to approve it, and substituted three other parties (two
being Whigs) for three of the names on the list.

APRIL—The Commissioners appointed to inquire into the revenues of the
Established Church presented their report, from which it appeared that
the total number of benefices in the see of Worcester was 223; gross
total income per annum £73,255: 111 curates were employed at a gross
stipend of £9,002; average, £81 per annum.  The incomes of the incumbents
varied from £20 to £1,500 a year.  The gross income of the see of
Worcester was set down at £6,916, and of the Dean and Chapter at £12,088.
The eight minor canons received £34 a year, the precentor £14. 15s., the
schoolmaster £39. 19s. 6d., the under master £28. 1 s. 5d.

APRIL 11—Dinner given at the Star Hotel to T. C. Brock, Esq., by the Hunt
Committee, on his resignation of the mastership of the hounds into the
hands of Captain Candler.  The Hon. W. J. Coventry took the chair; and J.
S. Pakington, Esq., was vice president.

APRIL 26—The first stone of Hartlebury New Church laid by Mrs. Baker,
wife of the rector, and daughter of the Bishop of the Diocese.

JUNE 30—A splendid silver vase presented, at the George Hotel, Droitwich,
to Mr. T. G. Curtler, “in gratitude for his long services as Town Clerk
of the borough, and as a tribute of respect and esteem for his high
professional integrity and private character.”  J. S. Pakington, Esq.,
was called to the chair by the meeting, and presented the plate in a
highly eulogistic speech.

JULY 8—_The Kidderminster Messenger_ started by Mr. Arthur Brough, a
bookseller in that town, and also carrying on a similar business at
Stourport.  It at first professed to be a neutral newspaper, and, as
such, had an extensive circulation amongst men of all parties in
Kidderminster and the neighbourhood.  Mr. Brough afterwards thought he
could, as a commercial speculation, improve the paper by making it a
thorough going Tory print, and he gave it the name of the _Ten Towns’
Messenger_, alluding to ten towns round Kidderminster in which it
circulated.  From this time it was furious in its politics and in the
language employed to advocate its principles.  It reached its greatest
circulation when it extended its labours to Birmingham; the news of which
town was given at much length, and it assumed, consequently the
additional title of _The __Birmingham Times_.  This was in 1839–40; and
from 1,700 to 1,800 copies, weekly, were sold at this time.  In 1841,
however, Mr. Brough started the _National Advertiser_, by which he
expected to make much more money than by the _Ten Towns_, and in June,
1842, he sold it to the Rev. Charles Eckersall.  The Tractarian
principles which it now advocated were, however, by no means palatable to
the majority of its readers, and the circulation of the paper gradually
declined, till Mr. Eckersall—like most other amateur newspaper
proprietors, having lost much money by it—got rid of it.  The paper then
became the property of Mr. Friend, bookseller, of Kidderminster, but,
from various causes continued to fall off in circulation; and when it had
sunk to some 400 weekly, it was at last altogether discontinued on the
30th of June, 1849.

AUGUST 25—Two superb pieces of plate—a silver vase and salver, weighing
together 286 ounces—presented to the Rev. J. Topham, M.A., of Droitwich,
by J. H. H. Foley, Esq., on behalf of the parishioners and friends of Mr.
Topham, who had purchased them by subscription, “as a token of respect to
his general character, and a testimony of the sense entertained by them
of his services in the cause of civil and religious liberty.”  The
ceremony of presentation took place at the Court House.

SEPTEMBER 26—St. Peter’s Church, Malvern Wells, consecrated.

SEPTEMBER 31—Mr. Macready performed at Worcester Theatre in _Ion_.

DECEMBER 14—Worcester Union incorporated under the New Poor Law, and the
guardians elected by the several city parishes.  H. B. Tymbs, Esq., was
elected chairman of the new board, and Mr. Alderman R. Evans

DECEMBER 24—The Lord Chancellor appointed, as trustees of the Worcester
charities, the gentlemen nominated by the Town Council, in preference to
those named by the old Corporation.  The trustees thus appointed were—the
Mayor (C. H. Hebb, Esq.), Alderman R. Evans, John Dent, Esq., Mr.
Alderman Hall, Robert Berkeley, jun., Esq., Alderman W. Corles, William
Shaw, Esq., John Nash, Esq., George Allies, Esq., Mr. Thomas Grainger,
Humphrey Chamberlain, Esq., J. P. Lavender, Esq., Mr. Alderman Howell,
Francis Thomas Gibb, Esq., John Williams, Esq.  The charities under the
management of the six masters were exempted from the operation of the
seventy-first section of the Municipal Reform Act.  The Rev. E. Crane
resigned the chaplaincy of Berkeley’s Hospital, and the Rev. Edwin
Faulkner elected in his stead.  Mr. E. Corles was chosen solicitor to the

LOCAL ACT—For making the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway.


THE subjects which occupied the attention of the legislature this year
were many and important, but no measures of great public polity actually
passed.  Ecclesiastical matters formed the prominent topic, and a bill to
abolish church rates, and provide for the reparation of churches, by
putting the property of bishops, deans, and chapters into commission, was
read a second time, but the majority was so small, five votes only, that
ministers could not proceed with it.  King William IV died on the 20th of
June; and, in the elections which followed the accession of the young
Queen, the Whigs with difficulty maintained their majority.  Consols
averaged 91½; wheat averaged 55s. 10d.

SEPTEMBER—Great excitement in Bromsgrove over politico-parochial matters.
Two parties were appointed by the Conservative party at the usual
time—Easter week; but this appointment, on an appeal to Dr. Phillimore,
the Chancellor of the Diocese, was declared informal and illegal.  There
was, consequently, a fresh election in this month, when the whole parish
was routed up to vote.  The result was, the choice of the two
liberals—Messrs. Ellins (who had 945 votes) and Hill (who had 915).  The
Conservatives were Messrs. Edwards and Penn, who obtained 381 and 372
votes respectively.  A scrutiny was demanded, and it dragged out a weary
length with all sorts of expenses, but left the result of the election

SEPTEMBER 13—Bazaar at Evesham, for the restoration of St. Lawrence’s
Church, producing £250.

OCTOBER 30—Public meeting of the burgesses of Worcester at the Bell Inn,
to consider the best means of declaring their grateful sense of Mr.
Hebb’s constant endeavours in the behalf of civil and religious liberty,
and their approval of his conduct during the two years he had filled the
office of chief magistrate.  It was determined that he should be
requested to sit for his portrait, and that the Council should be asked
to place it in the Assembly Room, where it now hangs.

LOCAL ACTS—For amending and enlarging the powers of the act for erecting
a County Hall and Courts of Assize; the New Cattle Market Act; Birmingham
and Gloucester Railway Amendment Act, with powers to make branches to
Worcester and Tewkesbury.


IRISH Tithes and Corporations—Church Rates—Jamaica and the Negro
Apprenticeship System, and the Canadas—formed the subjects of discussion
in Parliament.  In the year previous had commenced that series of
deficits which contributed so much to the weakness and ultimate downfall
of the Melbourne administration: for finance is, after all, the
life-blood of a ministry.  The Whigs could not, however, fairly be blamed
for the state of the national exchequer, which, in truth, was the
unavoidable consequence of the measures of former years.  Immediately
after the restriction of small notes, in the year 1829, the prices of
merchandise and the amount of mercantile transactions rapidly declined;
though as the seasons were unfavourable, speculators managed, by aid of
the sliding scale, to keep up the price of corn till 1833, when it fell
to less than 40s. a quarter.  Speculation in the American trade gained
for a time the appearance of prosperity; but on the failure of the United
States Bank in 1836, affairs were brought to a crisis, and our
manufacturers and merchants were plunged into extreme distress—trade was
utterly stagnated—and when the scarcity of 1839 necessitated large
importations of corn, and a drain of gold to pay for it, the Bank of
England was well nigh brought into the peril of 1825.  Consols averaged
93; wheat averaged 64s. 7d.

JANUARY—The _Worcestershire Chronicle_ established by a joint stock
company, at the head of which were some of the leading Reformers of the
city and county.  It was designed to supply a want, then beginning to be
generally felt by this party, of an organ for the advocacy of their
opinions, and the advancement of their interests through the medium of
the press.  The first number was published on the 3rd of January, 1838.
In the year 1842 the concern passed into private hands, and was
transferred to the present proprietors.

JANUARY 22—Mr. Pakington made his Parliamentary _debût_ in a speech on
Canadian affairs, which was very well received.

JANUARY—Subscriptions at Evesham, Redditch, and Pershore, for the relief
of the local poor during an inclement season.

FEBRUARY—George Williams, Esq., surgeon, of Bewdley, nominated by Lord
John Russell as a magistrate of that borough, and the Town Council
thereof very indignant at not having been consulted.  The Liberals
afterwards _fêted_ Mr. Williams at a dinner at the George Inn.

MARCH 27—Celebration of Lord Ward’s majority at Himley, Sedgley, Dudley,
&c., by a succession of dinners and donations to the poor.  The barrel of
ale called “Big Ben,” which had been brewed on Lord Ward’s natal day, and
reserved especially for this occasion, was tapped and distributed.  His
lordship layed the first stone of a new church at Gornal, and afterwards
entertained a party of fifty gentlemen to a sumptuous feast at Himley
Hall.  He declared himself a Conservative.

JUNE 28—Celebration of Her Majesty’s coronation in Worcester and other
county towns.  In Worcester the Yeomanry and Militia, the Town Council,
5,000 Sunday school children, and the various trade companies made up a
procession to the Cathedral, where a sermon was preached by Dr. Faussett.
2,100 poor people dined at the public expense in the Guildhall, Market
House, and Sansome Walk.  200 gentlemen dined together at the Shire Hall;
George Allies, Esq., Mayor, in the chair.  Fireworks in the evening; and
a public breakfast for the ladies next morning in the Shire Hall.

OCTOBER 4—At the annual assembly of the Yeomanry this year, Colonel Clive
presented Captain Emmott with a splendid service in silver, which had
been subscribed for generally by the regiment.  The officers this year
gave a grand ball in the New Shire Hall.

OCTOBER 27—A man named George Burrows committed from Droitwich for
stealing hay, made his escape from the County Gaol, having managed to
secrete himself in the yard until all the rest of the prisoners were
marched into the chapel to attend service.  All his gaol clothes were
found returned one morning, being thrown into the court yard of the

DECEMBER 4—Consecration of the church of St. Peter the Great, Worcester,
by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese.  The sermon was preached by the Rev.
C. Benson.  The old building would only accommodate 350 persons; the
present church contains 408 appropriated, and 624 free sittings.  The
total cost was £3,600.  £169 were collected after the services this day.

DECEMBER 6—Consecration of Christ Church Chapel, Catshill, near
Bromsgrove, by the Lord Bishop of Rochester.  This chapel, built for the
accommodation of a populous district, contains 520 sittings.  £45 were
collected after a sermon by the Bishop.

DECEMBER 16—Great excitement created at Bromsgrove and its neighbourhood,
by the supposed murder of a Redditch needle pointer, named Joshua
Hollier.  He went to the Malt Shovel public house at Burcott, and was
drinking, quarrelling, and fighting there during the whole of this
(Sunday) afternoon, with “navvies” who worked on the Birmingham and
Gloucester line then making in the neighbourhood.  He went out of the
house about eight o’clock, and was soon after found lying on the ground
insensible.  His shoes had been taken away.  He was brought into the
house, and shortly afterwards died without having spoken.  The coroner’s
jury, after six days’ examination of witnesses, returned a verdict of
wilful murder against John Rose, a “navvie” who went to the house with
him, and was supposed to have kicked the deceased as he lay on the
ground, and so caused his death.  He was heard afterwards to say he “had
given him enough,” and such like expressions.  The grand jury before whom
the case came threw out the bill.


THE Whigs being reduced to an extremity of weakness, resigned office in
May, when the measures they proposed to take with regard to Jamaica were
only carried by a majority of five.  Sir Robert Peel, however, was unable
to form a Government, because Her Majesty would not consent to change the
ladies of her bedchamber, and Lord Melbourne once more assumed the
Premiership.  The Chartist disturbances at Newport and elsewhere were the
most notable occurrences of the year.  The Corn Law question began to
secure increased attention.  Consols averaged 92½; wheat averaged 70s.

JANUARY—Discussions on Socialism rife in Worcester.  Robert Owen having
been propounding his plans, John Brindley, head master of the Oldswinford
hospital, delivered a series of lectures to refute him.  A public
controversy between them at the Guildhall attracted great crowds.  Dr.
Malden took the chair, and Brindley spoke first.  Owen afterwards at
great length gave a rambling account of his opinions, till he at last
gave utterance to a very gross sentiment, at which a general yell arose,
and the proceedings terminated in the utmost confusion.  A vote of
censure was passed on Owen in dumb show, and the people were so excited
that he narrowly escaped some very rough treatment.

JANUARY 15—Bewdley first lighted with gas.

JANUARY—The gaol fever raged in the county prison, in which, though only
built for 90, no less than 209 prisoners were confined.

FEBRUARY 18—The members for this county who voted against Mr. Villiers’s
motion that parties should be heard at the bar of the House against the
Corn Laws, were Mr. Bailey, Mr. Hawkes, General Lygon, Mr. Pakington, Mr.
Horace St. Paul, Captain Rushout, Sir T. Winnington, and Captain
Winnington.  Colonel Davies and Lord M. Hill voted for it, and Mr. Godson
was absent.  The motion was negatived by 361 to 172.

MAY 7—Public meeting of the citizens of Worcester to sanction the newly
formed CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, as an association simply intended to promote
the commercial interests of the city without reference to politics.  Mr.
Alderman Allies filled the chair, and gentlemen of all parties spoke
warmly in support of the Chamber.


PARLIAMENT was engaged for a great part of the session with the question
of privilege arising out of the Stockdale and Hansard case.  The Whigs
continued to hold office on most precarious tenure, being defeated in
their proposal to allow Prince Albert £50,000 a year.  A want of
confidence motion, however, proposed by Sir J. Yarde Buller, resulted in
a majority of 21 in their favour.  The happy marriage of the Queen with
Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg and Gotha was celebrated on the 10th
February.  Consols averaged 91; wheat averaged 66s. 4d.

FEBRUARY 4—The Board of Guardians for the Pershore Union petitioned the
House of Lords for the dismissal of the assistant poor law commissioners,
as a useless and expensive body of men.  The Rev. F. Best opposed the
motion, but it was carried by 25 to 5.  The Droitwich Guardians did the

FEBRUARY 10—Her Majesty’s marriage kept in Worcester as a general
holiday—dinners given to operatives by their employers—and a ball in the
evening at the Guildhall.  Public dinners at Great Malvern, Droitwich,
and Evesham; and at the latter place a subscription was entered into for
the poor, which amounted to 100 guineas.

MARCH 28—The Worcestershire Agricultural Society held a general meeting
of members to petition against any alteration of the Corn Laws.  Sir A.
Lechmere, Bart., was in the chair; and the petition, which was proposed
by Mr. John Williams and seconded by Mr. John Dent, was unanimously

APRIL 18—A rule granted by the Court of Queen’s Bench, calling upon E. B.
Penrice, Esq., Mayor of Droitwich, to show cause why a writ of _quo
warranto_ should not be issued against him for having held the office of
Mayor of that borough for three successive years.  This discreditable
proceeding was taken under an obsolete statute of Queen Anne’s time.
Though the proceedings were abandoned, Mr. Penrice resigned the office,
and Mr. Alderman Tombs was elected in his stead.

MAY—The PRISONERS’ RELIEF SOCIETY first established.  This association,
with very limited means, has done much good, and that of a very necessary
kind, in assisting well behaved prisoners to go to their homes and escape
from temptation on their release from confinement.  The credit of
suggesting it is wholly due to the Rev. Thomas Pearson.

MAY—The _Paul Pry_ made its appearance in Worcester, filled with
scurrilous lampoons upon individual character, and the agent in that city
received a sound horsewhipping in his own back parlour from one of the
parties libelled.

JUNE 11—An excited church rate contest in the parish of St. Martin,
Worcester; the numbers at the close of the poll being—for a rate of
four-pence in the pound, 185; against it, 183.  A similar contest took
place in St. Peter’s parish a few days afterwards, which ended in a
majority of 66 for the rate—185 votes for and 119 against it.

JULY 22—Great dinner of the operatives of Bromsgrove, in an immense tent
on the bowling green of the Bell Inn.  G. F. Iddins, Esq., filled the
chair, and nearly 1,200 persons sat down at the tables.  William Acton,
Esq., Mr. Twamley, Rev. T. Ashwell, Mr. J. B. Crane, Mr. F. T. Elgie, and
the Rev. Mr. Blakeman were the chief speakers, and the obnoxiousness of
church rates (a subject of great agitation at Bromsgrove) the chief

JULY 31—Silver bread basket and waiter, pair of snuffers and tray
presented to Captain Rayer of Hillworth, by the tithepayers and
titheowners of Castlemorton, for the upright manner in which he had acted
as agent for the great tithes of that parish for twenty years.

AUGUST 7—The Beer House Bill, introduced by Mr. Pakington, received the
royal assent.

AUGUST 10—The Worcester Bridge Trustees having determined to widen the
bridge, and offered a premium of ten guineas for the best plan, awarded
the same to Mr. E. L. Williams, in preference to the plans of Mr. Daukes
and Mr. Varden, by a majority of five.  The bridge has been widened in
accordance with Mr. Williams’s plan, and the alteration proves to be both
elegant and durable.

SEPTEMBER 23—Several bodies of dead infants found in an old house at
Droitwich, where Mary Hall, an aged crone of very eccentric habits,
resided.  Her husband had been sexton of the parish of St. Peter’s,
Droitwich, and during his last illness the woman had pretended to see his
duties properly performed.  These bodies, however—instead of taking the
trouble to have them buried—she had stowed away amidst a variety of
remnants of food and other odds and ends.  The whole house was in a state
of most disgusting filth.  Mr. Hughes held an inquest on the skeletons,
and verdicts of “Died by the visitation of God” were returned.  Mr. W. H.
Ricketts protested against all such proceedings, as unnecessary, and said
that at the Michaelmas Sessions he should move for the disallowance of
the expenses.

NOVEMBER 10—The boiler of a new locomotive, which had been brought on the
Birmingham and Gloucester Railway for trial, exploded while standing in a
shed at the Bromsgrove Station, and two men in the Company’s employ,
named Rutherford and Scaife, were killed.  The boiler plates were
supposed not to have been of sufficient thickness.

NOVEMBER 13—Lord Lyttelton became a candidate for the office of High
Steward of Cambridge, in opposition to Lord Lyndhurst.  Lord Lyndhurst
had 973 votes, to 487 given for Lord Lyttelton.

LOCAL ACT—For the establishment of a Court of Requests for the parishes
of Kingsnorton and Northfield.


THE Government having determined to seek an escape from the exigencies of
their financial position by a reduction of the custom duties on articles
of general consumption, the party in the country, who had for some time
been seeking the abolition of all such duties, immediately assumed a much
greater importance.  The article first chosen for operation was
sugar—Lord John Russell at the same time giving notice that he intended
to propose a fixed duty of 8s. upon corn.  The ministers, however, were
defeated in their proposal to reduce the sugar duties, by a majority of
36; and a vote of want of confidence moved by Sir R. Peel, was carried by
a majority of one.  Ministers then dissolved Parliament, avowedly
appealing to the country on their free trade measures.  The elections,
however, were decidedly against them.  On the reassembling of Parliament
an amendment was carried on the address, by a majority of 91, and the
Whigs resigned.  Sir Robert Peel then took office, but nothing more was
done this year in the way of legislation—the finances being made to
square by adding the £2,100,000 deficiency in the revenue to the National
Debt.  Consols averaged 89; wheat, 64s. 4d.

JANUARY 20—Accident on the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway, at Bredon.
A train, in passing through a deep cutting, had shaken down a large
quantity of earth, in which the engine became embedded, and ran off the
line.  The chain connecting the engine and tender snapped, and so no harm
occurred to the passengers; but the stoker fell between the two, and his
legs being cut off in a most dreadful manner, he soon afterwards died.

JANUARY 26—The body of a respectable young female, named Mary Anne
Patrick, found in Salwarpe Brook, under what at first appeared to be very
suspicious circumstances.  She had been visiting relations at Wichbold,
and went out on the Wednesday morning for a walk by herself, but no
tidings were afterwards heard of her.  When nearly a week had elapsed,
the Bromsgrove fire engine was passing through the brook, and the body
suddenly came to the surface.  There appeared to be some severe wounds on
the head, which of course originated the belief that she had been
murdered; but when a _post mortem_ examination came to be made, it was
clear that she had fallen a victim to the pernicious practice of tight
lacing, and had fallen into the brook in an apoplectic fit.  The
coroner’s jury returned an open verdict.

JULY 25—The fatal affray between Mr. Emanuel Maiden, of the Shakspere
Inn, and John Fisher, ostler at the Star Hotel, which caused so much
excitement in Worcester, occurred this evening.  Maiden and Fisher had
long been upon bad terms, and this night, about half-past twelve o’clock,
they unfortunately met in Angel Street, and a furious quarrel took place.
Maiden broke away from Sergeant Chipp, who was trying to keep him back,
and ran after Fisher.  Several witnesses said they saw Maiden strike
Fisher on the back of the head, and he fell across the pavement.  From
the effects of the blow, or the fall, Fisher died on the succeeding
Wednesday; and after several days’ inquiry, the coroner’s jury returned a
verdict of manslaughter against Maiden.  He was admitted to bail on
Judge’s order, and tried at the ensuing Lent Assizes, when he was found
guilty, with a recommendation to mercy, and sentenced to a month’s
imprisonment without hard labour.

SEPTEMBER 12—Bazaar and concert at Evesham, for raising funds towards
building new national school-rooms, by which about £200 were obtained.

NOVEMBER—John Hill Clifton, Esq., T. G. Curtler, Esq., William Dent,
Esq., Francis Hooper, Esq., Matthew Pierpoint, Esq., and R. Yapp, Esq.,
all Conservatives, put in the commission of the peace for the city of

DECEMBER 6—The WORCESTER OPHTHALMIC SOCIETY formed, and a sharp contest
for the assistant surgeonship between Mr. T. Walsh and Mr. Everett, the
former of whom had 162, and the latter 130 votes.

DECEMBER 18—Several daring robberies committed on the road between Severn
Stoke and Tewkesbury, and a locksmith named Richard Kington found
dead—robbed, and apparently murdered—at Clifton, about midway between
Severn Stoke and Kempsey.  The coroner’s jury returned a verdict of
“wilful murder” against a man of bad character living at Severn Stoke.
Kington’s knife and tobacco were found in Tippin’s small clothes, and the
waggoner’s whip, which he had been carrying, in an outhouse adjoining to
Tippin’s abode.  Tippin was tried at the ensuing assizes, but was
acquitted of the murder because there was some doubt whether the hurts on
the person of the deceased might not have been caused by a cart wheel
passing over his body; but he was found guilty of robbing the deceased,
and sentenced to transportation for life.

LOCAL ACTS—For better assessing and collecting the poor rates in
Kidderminster.  For repairing the road from Hagley to Birmingham.  To
extend the jurisdiction of the Kingsnorton Court of Requests.


SIR ROBERT PEEL’S measures, which he would not disclose “till he was
regularly called in,” proved to be a three per cent. income tax, a
sliding scale of duties on corn, intended to keep the price at 56s., and
a new tariff—all of which, in spite of many dissentients on both sides of
the house, he carried by large majorities.  Consols averaged 92; wheat,
57s. 3d.

JANUARY—New magistrates added to the commission of the peace at
Kidderminster and Evesham.  At Kidderminster, John Sutton Barber, George
Hooman, James Morton, John Welch, and Thomas Bradley, Esquires.  At
Evesham, E. T. Perrott, Robert Blayney, and John Thomas, Esquires.  Of
course all were Conservatives.

FEBRUARY 16—In the division on Lord John Russell’s amendment to Sir
Robert Peel’s proposal to alter the sliding scale, Mr. Bailey, Mr.
Borthwick, Mr. Barneby, Mr. Godson, Mr. Hawkes, Mr. Pakington, Mr.
Taylor, General Lygon, and Mr. F. W. Knight, voted in the majority of 351
against the amendment, and Lord M. Hill and Sir T. Winnington, Bart., in
the minority of 228 in its favour.  Sir Thomas Wilde paired off in its

APRIL 1—The Worcester glove manufacturers met and discussed Sir Robert
Peel’s proposal to reduce the duty on gloves in the new tariff, and said
that they should be obliged to cease to employ any men at all if it was
adopted.  A deputation of the glovers afterwards waited on Lord Ripon,
and Sir Thomas Wilde very ably stated their case—a plea _ad

APRIL 26—Riots in Dudley, in consequence of a reduction of wages amongst
the nailors.  Several people hurt by the Enniskillen Dragoons, in
clearing the streets, and others committed to gaol.

JUNE 27—The Mayor of Worcester (Edward Evans, Esq.), Mr. Alderman
Hastings, Mr. Alderman Lilly, and Mr. E. Webb, added to the Worcester
Charity Trustees, to fill up vacancies.  The Conservatives presented a
petition, praying that the number of trustees might be increased from
fifteen to twenty-one, of course expecting that the additional names
would be appointed from their party, and so they might obtain a
preponderance in the body; but this was opposed by the existing trustees,
and the Lord Chancellor refused to sanction it.

JULY 2—Sir Thomas Winnington brought home his amiable bride (eldest
daughter of Sir Compton Domville) to Stanford Court, and was greeted by
his tenantry and neighbours in a very enthusiastic manner—triumphal
arches, music, strewing flowers, long processions, and other modes of
welcome being adopted to exhibit the feeling entertained towards the
honourable baronet.

JULY 25—First stone of Wittington Church laid by the Rev. W. R. Holden.

AUGUST 6—The colliers near Dudley struck for an increase of wages, and
the Dudley troop of Yeomanry being called out, came upon them as they
were proceeding to violence at the Cotsall pits, and took ten men

AUGUST 23—St. Michael’s Church, Worcester, consecrated by the Lord Bishop
of the Diocese.

OCTOBER 15—Military _fêtes_ at Hewell.  The usual permanent duty of the
Worcestershire Yeomanry was this year dispensed with, as many of the
troops had been engaged in harrassing service in the collieries during
the strikes; but the review was held in Hewell Park—the inspecting
officer being Colonel Thorne.  The whole regiment was afterwards invited
by their colonel to dinner in an immense tent near the hall—900 persons
sitting down to the feast.  Amongst the company at the principal table
were Colonel Clive (chairman), Lord Lyttelton, Lord Foley, Earl Somers,
Viscount Eastnor, Lord Ward, Lord Sandys, Earl of Dartmouth, Colonel
Thorne, Sir William Clinton, Sir O. Wakeman, Sir C. Throckmorton, J. H.
H. Foley, Esq., J. S. Pakington, Esq., Hon. and Rev. W. W. C. Talbot, &c.
Colonel Clive’s health was proposed by Lord Lyttelton, and drank with the
greatest enthusiasm.

LOCAL ACTS—For the Improvement of the River Severn; Stourbridge Roads
Act; Bromyard Roads Act.


DISTRESS in the manufacturing districts gave increased force and vigour
to the anti-corn law agitation; but Lord Howick’s motion for a committee
of inquiry into the causes of that distress was negatived by a majority
of 306 to 191, and Mr. Villiers’s annual motion for a committee of the
whole House upon the corn laws was supported by only 125 members, while
381 voted against it.  The defeat of Sir James Graham’s educational
measure by the opposition of the Dissenters was the most remarkable
feature in the Parliamentary year.  In Scotland the year was most
signally marked by the secession of the non-intrusionist ministers from
the Established Church, carrying with them the bulk of the laity—in
Ireland, by the violence of the repeal agitation, and the arrest of Mr.
O’Connell—and in Wales, by the singular outbreak against turnpike gates,
known as the Rebecca riots.  Consols averaged 95; wheat averaged 50s. 1d.

FEBRUARY 21—The WORCESTER CITY MISSION, a Christian society which has
been, and continues to be, the means of doing a great deal of good
amongst the poor, with a very small income, established at a meeting held
at the Natural History Society’s room, over which the Mayor presided.

APRIL 4—The Worcester magistrates, at their quarter sessional meeting,
appointed Mr. Herbert Budd as surgeon to the City Gaol, in the room of
Mr. F. Walter, retired.  The Council had claimed the right to see to all
the expenses of the gaol, and not leave the supply of provisions in the
hands of the visiting magistrates; and the magistrates claimed the right
of appointing all officers, under the 38th clause of 1st Vict., cap. 78.

APRIL 17—Dinner to the Dudley magistrates, to express approval of their
conduct during recent disturbances.  Lord Ward presided, and Lord
Lyttelton and about one hundred other gentlemen were present.  The
magistrates had refused to accept as bail for Chartists persons of the
same political opinions, and the matter had been made subject of severe
comment in the House of Commons.

MAY—The Dissenters throughout the county petitioned urgently against the
educational measures proposed by Government.

JUNE 20—A meeting held at Bromsgrove, with the view of alleviating the
distress of the nailors, whom low wages, and a strike in consequence, had
reduced to a condition of grievous wretchedness.  The Right Hon. and Rev.
Lord Aston took the chair, and a subscription was entered into, and a
goodly sum raised, to be laid out under the management of a committee.

AUGUST 1—A Commission of Inquiry opened at the Angel Inn, Pershore, into
the conduct of the Rev. William Smith, Vicar of Overbury.  The
commissioners appointed by the Bishop were Dr. Phillimore, Chancellor of
the Diocese; Archdeacon Timbrill; Rev. F. D. Gilby; Rev. T. A.
Strickland; and Rev. W. Parker.  The charges preferred by the
parishioners were twenty-two in number, and were supported by Mr.
Elgie—Mr. Foley appearing for the vicar.  The inquiry lasted four days,
and a great number of witnesses were examined _pro._ and _con._  On the
18th, the chancellor pronounced the decision of the Commission in the
Lady Chapel at the Cathedral, Worcester.  Many of the charges were
abandoned; and of those that remained, the chancellor said that on six a
_prima facie_ case had been made out for the Bishop to institute further
proceedings.  These were, the removal of tombstones without a faculty;
thrice forcibly expelling the clerk during the service; placing persons
in the singing gallery to “read him down;” refusing to ask the prayers of
the congregation for a parishioner; and interfering in the election of
churchwardens.  There was also a special presentment as to his general
conduct.  As the Rev. gentleman refused to submit the matter to the
Bishop, further proceedings were referred to the superior courts, but
none were taken.  The Bishop afterwards addressed an admonitory letter to
the Rev. gentleman, which was published, and drew from him a very
singular reply.

AUGUST 2—A porter on the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway, named John
Killcash, having been drinking in the evening, laid himself down upon the
rails and fell asleep.  The next train which came up severed his head
from his body.

AUGUST 8—The Queen Dowager took up her abode at Witley Court.  Triumphal
arches, and other methods of welcome, were adopted at Droitwich.  On the
following Monday week Her Majesty visited Worcester, and attended divine
service in the Cathedral.  Her return was to have been a public progress,
but the torrents of rain which descended spoilt the whole affair; so that
all the civic dignitaries could do was to rush down the Guildhall steps
in their scarlet robes, just as Her Majesty passed, and bow their
acknowledgments at the carriage door.  On the evening after, the
tradesmen honoured by Her Majesty’s patronage illuminated their houses.
The Queen Dowager afterwards sent a cheque for £100 to the funds of the
Worcester Infirmary.

AUGUST 19—The first stone of a new Chapel of Ease laid at Barnard’s
Green, by the Lady Emily Foley.

meeting held in the Guildhall, Worcester; Matthew Pierpoint, Esq., in the

OCTOBER 7—Messrs. Cobden and Bright visited Worcester, in furtherance of
the anti-corn law agitation, and addressed an audience of about 1,200
people in the Guildhall.  The High Sheriff refused to call a county
meeting; therefore Edward Holland, Esq., took the chair.  But a small
proportion of the meeting were farmers.  There was a show of opposition
on the part of the Chartists, but it was very feeble and soon put down.
The corn law repealers afterwards had a dinner at the Bell Inn; W. B.
Collis, Esq., in the chair, and Robert Hardy, Esq., vice-president.

OCTOBER 29—The new parish church at Oldswinford opened for divine
service, with two sermons by the Lord Bishop and the Rev. T. L.
Claughton.  The collections amounted to £207.  This church cost about
£5,000, and it contains 1,457 sittings—781 of which are free.

OCTOBER 27—The Chapel of Ease at Headless Cross consecrated.  The Lord
Bishop preached, and £60. 11s. were collected.  The building will seat
about 250 persons, and most of the sittings are free.

DECEMBER 10—Earl Beauchamp’s cash box, containing about £120, stolen
during the night from his dressing-room, at Madresfield Court.  The thief
was never discovered.

DECEMBER 18—A Winter Assizes before Mr. Baron Rolfe, occupying three
days.  None of the cases tried were of much importance.

LOCAL ACTS—To enable the Worcestershire and Staffordshire Canal Company
to lend money to the Severn Navigation Commissioners; to enable the
Birmingham and Gloucester Railway Company to raise a further sum of
money, and to amend the acts relating thereto.


THE legislature was this year occupied with many exciting subjects;
especially the state of Ireland, then agitated by the proceedings on Mr.
O’Connell’s trial; restrictions on labour in factories; and the
Dissenters’ Chapel Bill.  The financial measures of the year were
likewise very important; including, as they did, the reduction of the
Three-and-half per Cents., and the passing of the Bank Restriction Act—an
act, the wisdom of which is yet to be determined.  Mr. Villiers’s annual
motion for repeal of the Corn Laws was negatived by 328 to 124.  Consols
in October reached 100⅞, and averaged throughout the year, 99; wheat
averaged 51s. 3d.

allotments in that parish, set on foot by the Hon. and Rev. W. W. C.

influential meeting of landowners and farmers at the Shire Hall, over
which Lord Lyttelton presided.  The object of the society was to
ameliorate the condition and standing of the agricultural labourers, by
giving them allotments.

JULY 29—A silver tankard, weighing fifty ounces, presented to T. C.
Hornyold, Esq., by his tenantry, at their audit dinner.

OCTOBER 5—Great festivities at Eardiston, on Sir William Smith attaining
his majority.

DECEMBER 1—The Lord Bishop of the Diocese, in delivering an ordination
charge, expressed very decidedly his disapproval of Tractarianism and the
revival of obsolete customs in the Church, such as preaching in the

DECEMBER 28—An illicit still, which had been for some time quietly at
work in Worcester, discovered and seized by the police.

LOCAL ACT—To alter and extend the provisions of the Severn Improvement


SPECULATION and wild schemes, such as England had not seen since the
hey-day of South Sea projects, signalised the earlier part of the year.
The railway mania, indeed, continued till November; and then came a
sudden collapse, of which it is only to be wondered that its effects were
not more serious and lasting.  In Parliament, the most important measures
were the re-imposition of the Income Tax, with an amended tariff, and the
increase of the Maynooth Grant from £9,000 to £26,360 per annum,
henceforth to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund, instead of being an
annual Parliamentary grant.  A large number of petitions were presented
against the measure, but the second reading was carried by 323 to 176.
Consols, which stood at 100⅝ in January, sunk in December to 94⅝; wheat
averaged 50s. 10d.

APRIL 19—In the division on the second reading of the Maynooth Grant
Bill, when ministers had a majority in favour of the Bill of 147 in a
House of 503, Mr. Barneby, Mr. Godson, Mr. J. S. Pakington, Sir Thomas
Wilde, and Sir Thomas Winnington, voted with the majority; and Mr. F. W.
Knight and Mr. J. A. Taylor with the minority.  General Lygon, Lord
Marcus Hill, Mr. Borthwick, and Mr. Benbow were absent.

MAY 24—Festivities at Hewell, continuing during several days, to
celebrate the attainment of Mr. Robert Clive’s majority.  Several dinners
in the tennis court, dancing parties among the labourers, treats to the
school children, &c.

JULY 3—Mr. Pierpoint brought forward a motion, at the meeting of the
Worcester Turnpike Trustees, for an amalgamation of the different
districts, so as to enable the poorer roads to get out of debt.  This was
opposed by the gentlemen who lived in the more lightly taxed districts,
and lost on a division by 18 to 10.

AUGUST 11—The first Worcester regatta.

AUGUST 30—A fearful collision occurred at the Defford station; first in a
luggage train dashing against another that was being moved to a siding,
and then in the down train dashing into the wreck of the luggage train,
and becoming itself a mass of confusion.  Three passengers lost their
lives, and several others were injured; one engine was smashed, and
several carriages were set on fire.  The coroner’s jury laid a deodand of
£1,500 upon the engine, because there appeared to have been much
negligence on the part of the officials.

NOVEMBER 7—A brick maker, named Humphrey Willis, having become
intoxicated, wandered on to the railway at Stoke Prior, and was killed by
the night mail train.

DECEMBER 25—Abberley Hall, the residence of Mrs. Moilliett, destroyed by

LOCAL ACTS—The Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway Act.  To
enable the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway Company to make a branch at
Stoke Prior, and for other purposes.  To make and maintain a road from
Stanford bridge to Ham bridge, Clifton-on-Teme.


SIR ROBERT PEEL having, from the failure of the potato crop and the
imminence of famine, become convinced that the Corn Laws could no longer
be maintained, resigned office in December, 1845, and resumed it again
for the purpose of carrying Free Trade measures when Lord John Russell
had failed to form a Government.  His measure for a gradual reduction of
the duties on corn was ordered to go into committee, after twelve nights’
debate, by a majority of 337 to 240.  After the settlement of the new
commercial policy, the Government was defeated by a union of the Whigs
and Protectionists, in a proposal to carry a bill for the repression of
outrage in Ireland; and this was followed by Sir Robert Peel’s retirement
from office, which had for some time been foreseen as unavoidable.  Lord
John Russell then became Premier.  Consols averaged 95½; wheat, 54s. 8d.

JANUARY 13—St. Matthias’ Church, Malvern Link, in the parish of Leigh,
consecrated by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese.  £130 were collected after
a sermon by his lordship.  The total cost was £1,700, and it will seat
350 persons.

FEBRUARY 27—In the first division on Sir Robert Peel’s Free Trade
measures, the majority included Mr. Benbow, Hon. R. Clive, Viscount
Eastnor, Mr. R. Godson, Lord Marcus Hill, Mr. Robert Scott, Sir Thomas
Wilde, and Sir Thomas E. Winnnington.  Mr. Borthwick, Mr. F. W. Knight,
General Lygon, Mr. Pakington, Mr. R. Spooner, and Mr. J. A. Taylor voted
with the minority.

MARCH 21—The Queen Dowager took her final leave of Witley Court.

MAY 11—The Worcester New Gas Company’s Bill went into committee.  The
Marquis of Granby, as chairman, suggested an amicable arrangement between
the New and Old Companies.  The committee accordingly adjourned for two
days, and an agreement was then effected, principally by the zealous
endeavours of Sir Thomas Wilde.  The New Company consented to become
purchasers of the Old Company’s plant, works, and stock at a valuation by
arbitrators, and to pay £1,000 over and above the valuation, but to give
nothing for “goodwill;” this being the point which had been the principal
difficulty in the way of an arrangement.

JULY 3—Blowing-up of the Droitwich Patent Salt Company’s Works by the
sudden explosion of the steam pipes.  Two men named Carter, father and
son, were so severely scalded that they died in a few hours after the

AUGUST 4—First meeting of the Worcestershire Archery Society at Strensham
Court.  The Dowager Lady Winnington was Lady Paramount.  The first prizes
were won by Miss Clive and Miss Marion Bearcroft, Captain Clowes and J.
H. Galton, Esq.

AUGUST 21—The Catholic Church at Hanley opened.  A sermon preached on the
occasion by Dr. Wiseman.

DECEMBER 26—The last number of the _Worcestershire Guardian_ published,
the interest of the paper being afterwards identified with the _Worcester
Journal_.  It was one of the many Tory papers started by influential
parties in London, during the years 1833 and 1834, for the purpose of
regaining the power which the Conservative party lost in the Reform Bill
agitation.  It fought the battles of the party with much fidelity; and
during the years in which Mr. George Hyde was editor, its attacks upon
the Liberals were distinguished by a good deal of smartness and ability,
though too highly seasoned with personality.

LOCAL ACTS—For paving, cleansing, and improving the town of Bromsgrove;
Worcester New Gas Company’s Act; Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton
Railway Amendment Act; Severn Navigation Commissioners’ Amendment Act;
for making a railway from the Birmingham and Gloucester line at
Kingsnorton to Halesowen; Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and Dudley Railway


THE terrible condition of Ireland, and the decimation of its inhabitants
by famine, occupied the greater share of the attention of Parliament.
The Corn and Navigation Laws were entirely suspended until towards the
close of the year; in spite of which, the average price of wheat in May
was 100s. 5d.  The issuing of the Minutes of the Council on Education,
which have since been acted upon, and the increase of the grant to
£100,000 per annum for the purpose of carrying them into effect, may be
regarded as the most important measure of the year.  Parliament was
dissolved in July, and the elections tended to confirm the predominance
of Free Trade principles.  Parliament met again on the 18th November.
Consols averaged 87; wheat, 69s. 9d.

JANUARY 26—An elegant silver salver, with appropriate inscription,
presented to the Rev. Thomas Pearson by the honorary members of the
Worcestershire Friendly Institution, in testimony of the value of the
services by which, as chairman of the board of directors, he had so
greatly increased the efficiency and usefulness of the society.

FEBRUARY 4—A massive silver tureen and four corner dishes presented to
Captain Candler on his retirement from the mastership of the fox
hounds—which he had held for ten years—at a splendid banquet given at the
Star, Lord Lyttelton in the chair.

APRIL—Petitions presented from various of the Dissenting bodies
throughout the county against the new Educational Minutes of the Privy

APRIL 22—The first County Court held in Worcestershire, under the
presidency of Benjamin Parham, Esq., then recently appointed the Judge of
the Worcester District.

AUGUST 6—Shelsley Beauchamp Church reopened, after some costly
alterations.  The Rev. T. L. Claughton preached on the occasion, and £566
were collected; Lord Ward being a donor of £500.

AUGUST 6—An engine running off the rails on the Birmingham and Gloucester
Railway at Kingsnorton, the driver, named John Warburton, was dashed to

AUGUST 16—The allottees took possession of the O’Connorite Lowbands
settlement at Redmarley.  The National Land Scheme, under which this
estate, with others in different parts of the country, was purchased, set
out into lots, and divided to the few drawers of prizes in a lottery to
which thousands of others had subscribed, was one of the hugest delusions
to which the working men of this country ever lent themselves under
demagogue leadership.  They allowed themselves to be persuaded, not only
that to leave their manual handicraft and become squatters on an acre or
two of ground would be the climax of independence and happiness, but that
by some legerdemain of compound interest, their money and estates would
be so reproductive that all the subscribers would in a few years get
allotments, which, being freehold, would give them immense political
power, and be the regeneration of the land.  The fortunate allottees soon
found that they did not hold the fee simple of their acres, but were
called upon by O’Connor to pay a large rent, and being unaccustomed to
husbandry were speedily reduced to the condition of ruined paupers,
subsistent on the charity of the farmers among whom they were located.
The affairs of the company are now being wound up under an Act of

AUGUST 17—A Provincial Grand Lodge of Freemasons established in the
county.  Dr. Roden of Kidderminster was appointed Deputy Provincial Grand
Master of Worcestershire.

AUGUST 17—Grand Bazaar in Mr. J. H. H. Foley’s grounds at Prestwood, in
aid of the funds of the Stourbridge Mechanics’ Institute.  It continued
open for three days, and realised £1,117.

SEPTEMBER 14—At the annual assembly of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry Cavalry,
the portrait of the gallant Colonel of the regiment, which had been
purchased by a general subscription of the officers and privates, and
painted by Pickersgill, R.A., was presented to Lady Harriett Clive in the
Shire Hall, Worcester.  The pleasing duty of presentation was performed
by Major Martin, as senior officer, and Colonel Clive acknowledged the
compliment at length.

OCTOBER 7—A meeting held at Dee’s Hotel, Birmingham, to take steps for
the establishment of a WORCESTER DIOCESAN TRAINING SCHOOL.  The Right
Rev. The Lord Bishop took the chair.  The resolutions were moved by Lord
Lyttelton, Archdeacon Spooner, Viscount Lifford, and Sir John Pakington,
Bart., M.P., and a large sum was subscribed upon the spot.  The first
stone of the new school was laid by Sir John Pakington, October 10, 1850.

LOCAL ACTS—For rating, to the relief of the poor, the owners instead of
the occupiers of certain property in the parishes of Kingsnorton,
Northfield, and Beoley.


THIS year is to be gratefully remembered on account of the happy escape
which our country had from the confusion and revolution which raged over
the ill-governed kingdoms of the continent.  A proposal of Government to
increase the Income Tax was defeated by the general expression of popular
disapprobation.  Consols averaged 85; wheat, 50s. 6d.

FEBRUARY 12—On the second reading of the Jewish Disabilities Bill, J. H.
H. Foley, Esq., O. Ricardo, Esq., and Lord M. Hill voted in the majority
for their removal—and R. Godson, Esq., T. J. Ireland, Esq., Hon. General
Lygon, Sir J. S. Pakington, Bart., F. Rufford, Esq., Captain Rushout, and
Sir H. Willoughby in the minority.

FEBRUARY—The Corn Exchange dispute now raged in Worcester, being made in
great measure a question of politics; the Protectionists supporting the
proposal to build a new exchange in Angel Street, and the Free Traders
insisting on the old site, from which they contended it could not be
removed without much injustice to the shopkeepers and owners of property
in the Corn Market.  The Mayor, Mr. Webb, made many strenuous efforts to
effect an amicable arrangement between the parties, but without success;
and the silly result was, that instead of uniting the funds to build a
handsome hall that would have been a credit to the city, two were built.
The erection in Angel Street entailed great loss upon the subscribers;
and the handsome room in the Corn Market, though left without many
embellishments which had been intended to be added, was a ruinous affair
both to the shareholders and the contractor.  As the agriculturists all
steadfastly attended the Angel Street room, the one in the Corn Market
was at last obliged to be closed as a corn exchange, and was sold under
the Joint Stock Company’s Winding-up Act for £1,710—the price to the
shareholders being upwards of £4,000.  It is now transformed into a very
handsome Music Hall.

APRIL 22—The Worcestershire Agricultural Protection Society dissolved
itself, and voted its funds in hand, amounting to £500, towards the
erection of the Angel Street Corn Exchange.  The Messrs. Dent, with Mr.
Francis Hooper and Mr. Lucy, protested against the appropriation of the
money to the building of the Angel Street Corn Exchange.

JUNE 19—Sir John Pakington moved an amendment on Lord John Russell’s plan
for gradually reducing the duties on colonial sugar, and was only
defeated by a majority of 15—260 members voting with ministers, and 245
with Sir John Pakington.  Mr. Benbow, Mr. Godson, Viscount Mandeville,
Mr. Rufford, Captain Rushout, Sir H. Willoughby, and Sir J. Pakington
voted in the minority, and Mr. J. H. H. Foley, Mr. O. Ricardo, and Lord
M. Hill with the majority.

JULY 31—Several Worcester theatrical amateurs performed Sheridan
Knowles’s _Hunchback_ with great success and excellence of acting.  The
proceeds of this and another night’s performance were devoted to the
establishment of a gloving school.

AUGUST—The British Archæological Association, under the presidency of
Lord Albert Conyngham, held their annual congress in Worcester.  They
were received by the Mayor and Corporation—held morning and evening
sederunts, at which papers were read and antiquities exhibited—visited
Sudeley Castle and other places of interest in the neighbourhood—unrolled
a mummy at the County Courts, &c.  The meeting was concluded by a
_soirée_ at the Guildhall, given by Lord and Lady Conyngham, at which Mr.
Silk Buckingham delivered a lecture on Thebes, &c.

SEPTEMBER—After a lapse of ten years an EXHIBITION OF PAINTINGS was again
opened in Worcester, and proved upon the whole very successful.  The
catalogue numbered 200 pictures, amongst which were Constable’s
“Salisbury Cathedral,” and works by Etty, Sidney Cooper, Müller, &c.

LOCAL ACTS—Worcester New Gas Company’s Amendment Act; to authorise the
Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway to raise a further sum of
money; to authorise an alteration in the Oxford, Worcester, and
Wolverhampton Railway; to enable the Worcester Turnpike Trustees to make
alterations in roads, &c.


THE extreme distress in Ireland caused by the continuance of the potato
blight—the repeal of the Navigation Laws, carried on second reading by
266 to 210—and the admission of Jews to Parliament, refused by the
Lords—were the chief topics of Parliamentary discussion.  Consols
averaged 92½; wheat, 44s. 3d.

FEBRUARY 3—Mdlle. Jenny Lind gave a concert in the College Hall,
Worcester, in aid of the funds of the Infirmary, to compensate for the
disappointment which had been felt by her non-appearance at the Festival
in the previous year.  The band of the 5th Dragoon Guards and the
Worcester Harmonic Society took part in the concert.  Thirteen hundred
persons attended.  The total receipts were £1,100, and £840 were cleared
for the Infirmary.

APRIL—The WORCESTER MADRIGAL SOCIETY, recently formed, gave their first
concert.  This society, which executes the quaint music of the old
madrigalists in excellent style, has already extended its fame far beyond
the limits of the “faithful city.”

JUNE 29—The cholera broke out in Worcester, and continued fitfully to
seize upon its victims till the middle of October, when it altogether
disappeared.  There were altogether eighty-nine cases, out of which
forty-three were fatal.  The expenses of the Cholera Hospital amounted to
£832.  Dr. Stevens’s saline treatment, only partially put in practice
there, seemed to be successful, so far as opportunity was allowed for its

AUGUST—The seventeenth anniversary of the Provincial Surgical and Medical
Association was this year held at Worcester—Dr. Hastings, the founder of
the association, being president.  Many interesting discussions, on
topics connected with medical science and the status of the profession,
took place, and valuable papers were read at the different sittings.  The
meeting closed with a dinner at the Guildhall, at which the principal
county gentlemen attended.

SEPTEMBER 21—St. Peter’s Church, Cookley, consecrated.  William Hancocks,
Esq., was the principal contributor to the expense of this handsome
building, which cost some £3,400, and will accommodate upwards of 400

NOVEMBER 15—This day was very generally and religiously observed
throughout the county as one of thanksgiving for the abatement of the
cholera in the land.

DECEMBER 10—Rejoicings at Prestwood, Stourbridge, Stewponey, &c., in
celebration of Mr. Henry Wentworth Foley’s coming of age.

LOCAL ACT—For better assessing the poor rates on small tenements in



BEAUCHAMP, Earl—Seat, Madresfield Court.  William Lygon, Esq., having for
some years represented the county in Parliament, was elevated to the
peerage by the title of Baron Beauchamp of Powyke Court, Worcestershire,
26 February, 1806, and created Viscount Elmley and Earl Beauchamp 1
December, 1815.  He assumed the surname and arms of Pyndar, instead of
those of Lygon, in October, 1813.  He married Catherine, only daughter of
James Denn, Esq., and had issue eight children.  His lordship died 21
October, 1816, and was succeeded by his eldest son, William Beauchamp,
who for some years acted as Chairman of Quarter Sessions, and represented
the county from 1806.  At his decease, unmarried, May, 1823, the honours
devolved upon his brother, JOHN REGINALD, the present Earl.  He married,
first, 14 March, 1814, Charlotte, only daughter of the first Earl of
Clonmel, who died 26 April, 1846; and, secondly, 1851, the third daughter
of the Baroness Braye, and relict of Henry Murray, Esq.  Is patron of
four livings.

COVENTRY, Earl of—Seat, Croome Court; created, 1697.  George William,
sixth Earl, died 1809, and was succeeded by George William, the seventh
Earl, Recorder of Worcester and High Steward of Tewkesbury, who died
1831, and was succeeded by George William, eighth Earl, Lord Lieutenant
and Custos Rotulorum of the county of Worcester.  He married, first, 16
January, 1808, Emma Susanna, second daughter of William, first Earl of
Beauchamp, and had issue George William, Viscount Deerhurst, who married
Harriett Anne, daughter of Sir Charles Cockerell, Bart., and died in
November, 1838, leaving one son, the present Earl, and one daughter.  The
eighth Earl died May, 1843, when the title devolved on his grandson, who
was born 9 May, 1838, and is, consequently, at present a minor.  Is
patron of five livings.

LYTTELTON, Lord, Baron of Frankley, county of Worcester—Seat, Hagley
Park.  William Henry, Governor of Carolina county, Jamaica, &c., was
created Baron, in Great Britain, 1794, the title having expired with his
nephew, Thomas, the second Lord Lyttelton (the probable author of the
_Letters of Junius_), who died November, 1779.  William Henry, Lord
Lyttelton, died 14 September, 1808, and was succeeded by his eldest son,
George Fulke; at whose decease, unmarried, 12 November, 1828, the title
devolved on his brother by a second marriage, William Henry, third Baron.
He married, 4 March, 1813, Lady Sarah Spencer, eldest daughter of the
second Earl Spencer.  His lordship died 30 April, 1827.  He represented
the county in Parliament from 1807 to 1820, during which time he was the
consistent supporter of Liberal measures, and to him we are indebted for
the extinction of state lotteries.  He was a fluent and argumentative
speaker.  He was the warm friend of literary and educational institutions
in the county.  His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son, GEORGE
WILLIAM, the present peer.  The present Lord Lyttelton was born 31 March,
1817; he married, 25 July, 1839, Mary, daughter of the late Sir Stephen
Glynne, Bart.  Is patron of three livings.

FOLEY, Baron, of Kidderminster; created, 1776.  Thomas Foley, Esq., M.P.
for the county of Worcester, was elevated to the peerage 1711, but his
son died unmarried, and the barony then expired.  Thomas Foley, Esq., of
Witley Court, his cousin, was made Baron Foley, 20 May, 1776.  Thomas,
the third Baron, married, 18 August, 1806, Lady Cecilia Fitzgerald, fifth
daughter of the second Duke of Leinster, and had issue four sons and four
daughters.  He was Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of the county of
Worcester, and extremely popular with all classes of the inhabitants.  He
died 16 April, 1833, and was succeeded by his son, THOMAS HENRY, the
present peer, who was born 11 December, 1808, and married, 1849, the
eldest daughter of the thirteenth Duke of Norfolk—has been Captain of the
corps of the Gentlemen Pensioners-at-arms, is Lord High Steward of
Kidderminster, and is patron of one living.  His lordship sat in
Parliament, for the county of Worcester, from 1830 to 1833.

SANDYS, Baron, of Ombersley—Seat, Ombersley Court; created, 1802.  Samuel
Sandys of Ombersley, Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1741, was elevated to
the peerage, as Baron Sandys, in 1743.  The title, however, became
extinct in 1801, when the second Baron died without issue.  The
Marchioness of Downshire, to whom his estates fell, was created Baroness
Sandys of Ombersley, 15 June, 1802, with remainder to her four younger
sons by the Marquess of Downshire, and their male issue.  Her ladyship
died in 1836, and was succeeded by her second son, ARTHUR MOYSES WILLIAM
HILL.  His lordship is a major general in the army.  Is patron of the
living of Ombersley.

WARD, Baron of Birmingham—Seats, Himley Hall, Dudley Castle, and Sedgley
Park; created, 1644.  John Ward, Esq., of Sedgley Park, became sixth
Baron on the death, without issue, of his kinsman William, fifth Baron.
He was created Viscount Dudley and Ward, April, 1763; but his son dying
without issue, that title devolved on his half brother William, third
Viscount, born January, 1750, who died 25 April, 1823.  He was Recorder
of Kidderminster, and represented the city of Worcester in the
Parliaments of 1780 and 1784.  His contributions in furtherance of
benevolent objects were truly munificent, and the public charities of
Worcester always largely participated in his largess.  He was succeeded
by his son, John William, fourth Viscount, who was created Earl Dudley of
Dudley Castle in 1827; but as he died unmarried in 1833, this title and
the Viscounty became extinct.  The Earl was a man of powerful talents,
but withal most eccentric in his manners; and during the last few years
of his life was obliged to withdraw altogether from society.  He was
Secretary for Foreign Affairs under Mr. Canning, Lord Goderich, and
during a part of the Wellington administration; and his speeches at this
time always commanded great attention, and were admired for their
classical eloquence and style.  He wrote a somewhat celebrated article in
the _Quarterly Review_ on the _Life and Character of Horne Tooke_, with
others on Sydney Smith’s sermons, &c.  The barony of Ward fell to his
second cousin William Humble, in holy orders, who died December, 1835,
and was succeeded by his son WILLIAM, the present peer.  His lordship
married, 24 April, 1851, Selina Constance, eldest daughter of Robert de
Burgh, Esq., of West Drayton, who died without issue 14 November, 1851.
His lordship is patron of thirteen livings, and has very extensive
property in the county of Worcester; the whole of the Foley estates
passing into his hands by purchase in the year 1838: the purchase money
was said to be £890,000.

SOUTHWELL, Viscount (Irish peerage)—Seats, Hindlip, Worcestershire, and
Court Mattress, Limerick.  Thomas Southwell, Esq., of Court Mattress, was
created a Baronet by Charles II, and, after the Restoration, was
succeeded by his grandson, who took an active part in the cause of
William III.  He was created a Baron of the kingdom of Ireland by George
I, in 1717.  Thomas George, the third Baron, was, in 1776, created
Viscount.  He died 1780, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Thomas
Arthur, fourth Baron and second Viscount, who married, in 1774, the
daughter of Francis John Walsh, de Sérrant.  He died February, 1796, and
was succeeded by the present lord, THOMAS ANTHONY, under the title of
fifth Baron and third Viscount Southwell.  Lord Southwell married, May,
1799, Jane, the younger daughter of John Berkeley, Esq., of Hindlip, in
whose right he came into possession of the Worcestershire property.  His
lordship, in 1836, received from his late Majesty the dignity of the
Knighthood of the Order of St. Patrick.  Is patron of the living of
Hindlip, Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Worcester, &c.


PAKINGTON—Seat, Westwood Park; created, 1620; revived, 1846.  Sir John
Pakington, who died 6 January, 1830, in his 70th year, being unmarried,
and the title became extinct.  His sister Elizabeth married William
Russell, Esq., of Powick Court, and her surviving son, JOHN SOMERSET
RUSSELL, assumed the name of his maternal ancestors, and inherited the
Pakington estates.  The family honours were gracefully revived in his
person: he was elevated to the rank of a Baronet of the United Kingdom in
1846.  He married, first, Mary, only child of Moreton Aglionby Slaney,
Esq., and by her (died in 1843) has issue one son, John Slaney Pakington,
Esq., married, 4 July, 1849, to Lady Diana Boyle, youngest daughter of
the late Earl of Glasgow; Sir John married, secondly, 1844, Augusta,
daughter of the Right Rev. George Murray, D.D., Bishop of Rochester; and,
thirdly, June, 1851, Augusta, relict of the late Colonel Davies, of
Elmley Park.  Sir John is patron of the living of Hampton Lovett; has
been Chairman of the Worcestershire Quarter Sessions since 1834; is
Captain of the Westwood Troop of Worcestershire Yeomanry; twice
unsuccessfully contested the representation of the county; and has sat
for the borough of Droitwich since 1837.  On the accession of Earl
Derby’s administration, he was appointed Her Majesty’s Secretary of State
for the Colonies.

SMITH—Seat, Eardiston House; created, 1809.  William Smith, Esq., of
Eardiston, married, 18 October, 1780, Mary, daughter of Edward Wheeler,
Esq., of Lambswick; was created a Baronet 23 September, 1809; and died
March, 1821; when he was succeeded by Sir Christopher Sidney Smith, born
14 May, 1798; married, December, 1822, Mary, daughter of the Rev. R.
Foley, and had issue one son and three daughters.  Sir Christopher
married, secondly, Harriette, only daughter of the late Thomas Lee, Esq.,
of Headingley, near Leeds, and relict of — Murphy, Esq.  He died 19
November, 1839, and his widow in 1840.  He ably filled the chair at
Quarter Sessions from 1829 to 1834.  Sir WILLIAM, the present Baronet,
was born 5 October, 1823—married 5 May, 1843, Susan, fourth daughter of
Sir William George Parker, Bart., R.N.

WAKEMAN—Seat, Perdiswell House; created, 1808.  Henry Wakeman, Esq., of
Perdiswell, married, first, in August, 1787, Theodosia, daughter of John
Freeman, Esq., of Gaines—which marriage was dissolved by Act of
Parliament—secondly, in June, 1797, Sarah, only daughter and heir
apparent of Richard Ward Offley, Esq., of Hinton, Salop; and had issue
two sons and one daughter.  He was created a Baronet 20 February, 1808.
He died 23 April, 1831; and Lady Wakeman in 1843.  Sir OFFLEY PEMBURY,
the present Baronet, was born 17 May, 1799; married, 1848, only daughter
of the late Thomas Adlington, Esq.  Is patron of one living.

WINNINGTON—Seat, Stanford Court; created, 1755.  Sir Edward, the second
Baronet, married, in 1776, Anne, daughter of Thomas, the first Lord
Foley; and died in 1805, being then member for Droitwich.  He was a very
learned scholar, and possessed of much critical acumen.  Sir Thomas
Edward, his son, married, November, 1810, Joanna, daughter of John
Taylor, Esq., of Moseley Hall, and had issue three sons and four
daughters.  Sir Thomas died 24 September, 1839.  He was a steady
supporter of Whig measures, and represented Droitwich from 1807 to 1818,
the county from 1820 to 1830, and Bewdley till 1837.  Sir THOMAS EDWARD
WINNINGTON, M.P., the present Baronet, was born 11 November, 1811;
married, 21 June, 1842, Anna Helena, eldest daughter of Sir Compton
Domville, Bart.; represented Bewdley in the Parliament of 1837, and is
now its member.  Is patron of three livings.

LECHMERE—Seat, The Rhydd; created, 1818; Anthony Lechmere, Esq., born
November, 1776, was created a Baronet 3 October, 1818.  He filled the
office of Mayor of Worcester in 1816, and was the devoted friend of
agriculture.  He died 25 March, 1849, and was succeeded by Sir EDMUND
HUNGERFORD LECHMERE, the present Baronet, born 25 May, 1792; married,
1819, Maria Clara, daughter of the late Hon. David Murray, and has issue
one son and one daughter.  Is patron of two livings.

BLOUNT—Seats, Sodington, Worcestershire; Mawley Hall, Shropshire; and
Haggeston, Northumberland.  Sir Walter, the seventh baronet, died 31st
October, 1803, and was succeeded by Sir EDWARD, the present baronet, born
3 March, 1795; married, 14 September, 1830, Mary Frances, eldest daughter
of Edward Blount, Esq.

PHILLIPS—Seat, Middle Hill.  Thomas Phillips, Esq., of Middle Hill,
F.R.S. and F.S.A., was created a Baronet in July, 1821, and married
Harriett, daughter of Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Molyneaux, Bart., and
by her had issue three daughters.  Sir Thomas, in 1842, married,
secondly, Elizabeth Harriett Anna, daughter of the Rev. W. J. Mansel, of
Iscord: is a Deputy Lieutenant of the County.


CLIVE, ROBERT HENRY—Seats, Hewell Grange, Oakley Park, &c.; second son of
the first Earl of Powis; married, 19 June, 1819, Harriet, daughter of the
fifth Earl of Plymouth.  Has been lieutenant colonel in the army, and is
Colonel of the Queen’s own Regiment of Worcestershire Yeomanry Cavalry.
Was Under Secretary of State for the Home Department from April, 1818,
till January, 1822.  Sat for Ludlow from 1818 till 1832, and since that
year for South Shropshire.  Is patron of three livings.  His eldest son,
Robert Clive, Esq., is now M.P. for Ludlow.

COVENTRY, THOMAS HENRY, Rector of Severn Stoke and Croome Hill, and
WILLIAM JAMES (Earl’s Croome), brothers of the late Earl of Coventry.

COCKS, JOHN SOMERS, Canon of Worcester and Prebendary of Hereford
Cathedral, brother of the late Earl Somers.

LYGON, HENRY BEAUCHAMP—Seat, Spring Hill, Broadway.  Third son of the
first Earl Beauchamp—a lieutenant colonel in the army and Colonel of the
10th Hussars.  Has sat for the county since 1817, with the exception of
the short Parliament of 1831.  Married, 8 July, 1824, Susan Caroline,
daughter of the second Earl of St. German’s; she died, 1835.

LYTTELTON, SPENCER, Hagley, and WILLIAM HENRY, Hon. Canon of Worcester
and Rector of Hagley, brothers of Lord Lyttelton.

PATRICK MANVERS CHETWYND, of Honeybourne, Captain of the 7th Foot, sixth
and seventh sons of Earl Talbot.



1800—Dr. Richard Hurd.

1808—JUNE—The Rev. Dr. Folliot Herbert Walker Cornwall, translated from
the See of Hereford.

1831—SEPTEMBER 13—Dr. Robert Carr, translated from the See of Chichester.

1841—MAY 1—Dr. Henry Pepys, translated from the See of Sodor and Mann.


1800—Rev. Arthur Onslow, D.D.

1817—OCTOBER—The Rev. John Bankes Jenkinson.

1825—AUGUST—The Rev. James Hook, LL.D.

1828—MARCH—The Rev. Dr. Murray, Bishop of Rochester.

1845—DECEMBER—The Rev. John Peel, Rector of Waresley, and brother of the
Premier, in the stead of the Bishop of Rochester, who gave up this piece
of preferment in accordance with the arrangements of the Ecclesiastical
Commissioners.  To the Deanery of Worcester had hitherto been attached
the Vicarage of Bromsgrove, with which were the Vicarage of Kingsnorton
and the Chapelries of Christ Church, Moseley, and Wythal.  All of these
had been held by the Bishop of Rochester, and Bromsgrove had been without
a resident Vicar for half a century.  These preferments are now separated
from the Deanery.


1800—Rev. J. Torkington, LL.D.  Rev. J. Stillingfleet, D.D.  Rev. John
Plumptre, M.A.  Rev. Richard Kilvert, M.A.  Rev. Charles Talbot, M.A.
Rev. Septimus Collinson, D.D.  Rev. John Carver, M.A.  Rev. Thomas
Fountain.  Rev. Thomas Evans, D.D.  Rev. Thomas James, D.D.

1803—Rev. John Wingfield, D.D.

1804—Rev. James Meakin, A.M.

1804—Rev. J. F. Seymour Fleming St. John, M.A.

1808—Rev. John Bankes Jenkinson, M.A.

1813—Rev. William Digby, A.M.

1815—Rev. Townsend Forrester, D.D.

1815—Hon. and Rev. Edward Rice, M.A.

1817—Hon. and Rev. Richard Bagot, M.A.

1817—Rev. Herbert Oakley, M.A.

1818—Rev. Anthony Pye, M.A.

1822—Rev. C. R. Sumner, M.A.

1825—Rev. T. Gaisford, M.A.

1826—Rev. J. Davison, B.D.

1826—Rev. Christopher Benson, M.A.

1827—Rev. Godfrey Faussett, B.D.

1829—Thomas Singleton, M.A., to Deanery.

1830—Hon. and Rev. James Somers Cocks.

1833—Rev. E. Winnington Ingram, M.A.

1834—Hon. and Rev. John Fortescue, M.A.

1841—Rev. J. R. Wood, M.A., Chaplain to the Queen Dowager.

1845—Rev. J. Peel, D.D., Dean.

1848—Rev. E. H. Cradock, M.A.

The number of Canonries is now reduced from ten to four.

                                * * * * *

1834—FEBRUARY—The office of Rural Dean was revived by the Bishop of
Worcester, having been allowed in this diocese to remain in abeyance for
nearly a century.  The Right Hon. and Rev. Lord Aston was the first



1802—The Rev. T. R. Nash, D.D., Rector of Leigh, and the Rev. Francis
Mills, M.A., Rector of Barford.

1806—Dr. Nash and the Rev. Francis Mills reëlected.  The Rev. James
Stillingfleet, M.A., Prebendary, chosen to represent the Dean and

1807—Dr. Nash and the Rev. F. Mills reëlected.  The Rev. James
Torkington, LL.D., elected Proctor for the Dean and Chapter.

1812—The Rev. Richard Kilvert, M.A., Rector of Hartlebury, and the Rev.
Francis Mills, M.A., elected for the body of the Clergy; and the Rev. Dr.
Torkington to represent the Dean and Chapter.

1818—The Rev. John Wingfield, D.D., Vicar of Bromsgrove, and the Rev.
Francis Mills, for the Clergy; and the Rev. James Meakin, M.A., for the
Dean and Chapter.

1820—The same clergymen reëlected.

1826—The Rev. John Walker Baugh, M.A., Rector of Ripple, and the Rev.
Francis Mills, for the Clergy.

1830—The Rev. J. W. Baugh, and the Rev. Francis Mills, for the Clergy;
and the Rev. William Digby, Sub-Dean, for the Dean and Chapter.

1831—The same clergymen reappointed.

1832—The Rev. J. W. Baugh, and the Rev. Francis Mills, for the Clergy;
and the Rev. Townsend Forrester, D.D., Sub-Dean, for the Dean and

1835—The same clergymen reëlected.

1837—The Rev. Thomas Baker, M.A., Rector of Hartlebury, and the Rev.
George Leigh Cook, B.D., Rector of Cubbington, Warwickshire, for the
Clergy; and the Rev. William Digby, M.A., Prebendary, for the Dean and

1841—The Rev. Henry Arthur Woodgate, B.D., Rector of Bellbroughton, and
the Rev. John Howells, Vicar of St. Trinity, Coventry, for the Clergy;
and the Rev. William Digby for the Chapter.

1847—The Rev. H. A. Woodgate, and the Rev. Robert Chapman Savage, M.A.,
Vicar of Nuneaton, for the Clergy; and the Hon. and Rev. Somers Cocks for
the Chapter.

1852—The Rev. H. A. Woodgate and the Rev. R. Seymour were elected by the
clergy.  Two other clergymen were proposed, viz., the Rev. P. M. Smythe
and the Rev. R. C. Savage; the latter as a gentleman opposed to the
revival of Convocation; and a show of hands was taken.  For Mr. Woodgate
20 hands were held up; for Mr. Seymour, 23; for Mr. Smythe, 17; and for
Mr. Savage, 9.



1800—The Earl of Coventry.

1808—NOVEMBER—The Right Hon. Lord Viscount Deerhurst appointed Lord
Lieutenant in the place of his father, who resigned in consequence of his
age and increased infirmities.

1831—MARCH—The Right Hon. Lord Foley, in the room of the Earl of
Coventry, deceased.

1833—MAY—The Right Hon. Lord Lyttelton, in the room of Lord Foley,

1837—JULY—The Right Hon. Lord Foley, in the room of Lord Lyttelton,

1839—OCTOBER—The Right Hon. Lord Lyttelton, in the room of Lord Foley,


1800—William Welch, Esq.

1817—Earl Beauchamp.

1823—Benjamin Johnson, Esq.

1824—Lord Plymouth.

1829—Sir C. S. Smith, Bart.

1834—J. S. Pakington, Esq.


1800—William Smith, Esq., Eardiston.

1801—Thomas Phillips, Esq., Broadway.

1802—Thomas Newnham, Esq., Broadwas.

1803—John Phillips, Esq., Winterdyne.

1804—Edward Knight, Esq., Wolverley (_ob._), and Thomas Holme Esq.,

1805—John Amphlett, Esq., Clent.

1806—Sir Thomas Winnington, Bart., Stamford.

1807—Thomas Bland, Esq., Ham Court.

1808—Sir John Pakington, Bart., Westwood.

1809—Henry Bromley, Esq., Abberley Hall.

1810—Joseph Smith, Esq., Sion Hill.

1811—Thomas Hawkes, Esq., Dudley.

1812—John Baker, Esq., Wolverley.

1813—E. Lechmere Charlton, Esq., Hanley.

1814—John Knight, Esq., Lea Castle.

1815—Edward Dixon, Esq., Dudley.

1816—Joseph Lea, Esq., The Hill.

1817—John Taylor, Esq., Strensham.

1818—Samuel Wall, Esq., Hallow Park.

1819—John Jeffreys, Esq., Blakebrook.

1820—Richard Griffiths, Esq., Thorngrove.

1821—Elias Isaac, Esq., Boughton House.

1822—Samuel Ryland, Esq., Northfield.

1823—John Williams, Esq., Pitmaston.

1824—Sir C. S. Smith, Bart., Eardiston.

1825—T. S. Vernon, Esq., Shrawley.

1826—James Taylor, Esq., Moor Green.

1827—George Farley, Esq., Henwick House.

1828—George Meredith, Esq., Berrington, near Tenbury.

1829—E. Rudge, Esq., Manor House, Evesham.

1830—John Scott, Esq., Stourbridge.

1831—O. Ricardo, Esq., Bromsberrow Place.

1832—John Joseph Martin, Esq., Ham Court.

1833—John Brown, Esq., Lea Castle.

1834—John Howard Galton, Esq., Hadzor House.

1835—Sir Edward Blount, Bart., Mawley Hall.

1836—Sir O. P. Wakeman, Bart., Perdiswell.

1837—W. A. Roberts, Esq., Bewdley.

1838—Robert Berkeley, jun., Esq., Spetchley.

1839—William Congreve Russell, Esq.

1840—James Foster, Esq., Stourton Castle.

1841—T. C. Hornyold, Esq., Blackmore Park.

1842—Edward Holland, Esq., Dumbleton.

1843—William Robins, Esq., Hagley.

1844—John Richards, Esq., Wassell Grove.

1845—Thomas Simcox Lea, Esq., Astley Hall.

1846—William Hemming, Esq., Bordesley Park.

1847—E. G. Stone, Esq., Chambers Court.

1848—John Frederick Ledsam, Esq., Northfield.

1849—John Dent, Esq., Worcester.

1850—J. G. Watkins, Esq., Woodfield.


WORCESTER DIVISION—Early part of present century—Thomas Bund, Esq.

1810 to 1820—Rev. Arthur Onslow, D.D., Dean of Worcester.

1820 to 1842—Rev. John Foley, Holt.

Present Chairmen (alternately)—T. G. Curtler, Esq., and Rev. John

HUNDRED HOUSE DIVISION—To 1834, Sir C. S. Smith, Bart.

Present Chairman—The Rev. Thomas Pearson.

PERSHORE DIVISION—1800 to 1836—Thomas Beale Cooper, Esq., M.D., Richard
Hudson, Esq., and Lieutenant General Thomas Marriott.

Present Chairman—C. E. Hanford, Esq.

BROMSGROVE DIVISION—1833 (when the Petty Sessions were first held
here)—The Hon. and Rev. Walter Hutchinson Lord Aston.

Present Chairman—The Rev. William Vernon.

EVESHAM DIVISION (formed 1842)—Thomas B. Cooper, Esq., M.D.

STOURPORT DIVISION (formed 1848)—Thomas Simcox Lea, Esq.

TENBURY DIVISION (formed 1845)—Rev. Charles Turner Farley.

BLOCKLEY DIVISION—Early part of the present century—Rev. J. R. Hall and
William Broughton, Esq.

1827 to present time—William Dickens, Esq.

DUDLEY DIVISION—1800—The Rev. Joseph Cartwright.

1811—The Rev. William Smith.

Present Chairmen—Thomas Badger, Esq., or the senior magistrate in

DROITWICH DIVISION—Early part of the century—The Rev. J. V. Vashon and
the Hon. and Rev. Lord Aston.

1844—Rev. William Vernon.

UPTON DIVISION—18-- Rev. George Turberville.

1838—Rev. Charles Dunne.

1850—Rev. A. B. Lechmere.

In the Kidderminster, Halesowen, Northfield, and Stourbridge Divisions it
has not been the practice to appoint any permanent chairmen.


1803—John Soley, Esq.

1822—Thomas Blayney, Esq.

1839—H. B. Domville, Esq.

1843—W. Nichols Marcy, Esq.


1800—Rev. — Faulkner.

18-- Rev. — Myddleton.

18-- Rev. J. Hadley.

1833—Rev. J. Adlington.


1839—Mr. R. R. Harris.


1800—Mr. William Davies.

1820—Mr. J. P. Lavender.

1846—Mr. Benjamin L. Stable.


1800—E. Isaac, Esq.

1801—H. Hughes, Esq.

1802—Richards Rowlands, Esq.

1803—John Blew, Esq.

1804—John Forrest, Esq.

1805—John Dillon, Esq.

1806—James Wakeman, Esq.

1807—Thomas Allies, Esq.

1808—Samuel Crane, Esq.

1809—Herbert Rogers, Esq.

1810—William Blew, Esq.

1811—John Dowding, Esq.

1812—Benjamin Johnson, Esq.

1813—Thomas St. John, Esq.

1814—Robert Brown, Esq.

1815—Samuel Garmston, Esq.

1816—Anthony Lechmere, Esq.

1817—Robert Chamberlain, Esq.

1818—William Moore, Esq.

1819—W. H. Chamberlain, Esq.

1820—Elias Isaac, Esq.

1821—Francis Hooper, Esq.

1822—John S. Ballard, Esq.

1823—William Shaw, Esq.

1824—William Dunn, Esq.

1825—Edward Blew, Esq.

1826—John Dent, Esq.

1827—R. R. Garmston, Esq.

1828—Thomas Best, Esq.

1829—John Fletcher, Esq.

1830—John Morton, Esq.

1831—H. B. Tymbs, Esq.

1832—Henry Clifton, Esq.

1833—John P. Lavender, Esq.

1834—William Dent, Esq.

1835—Thomas Leonard, Esq., and J. W. Lea, Esq.

                        PASSING OF MUNICIPAL ACT.

1836—C. H. Hebb, Esq.

1837—C. H. Hebb, Esq.

1838—George Allies, Esq.

1839—Richard Evans, Esq.

1840—Thomas Chalk, Esq.

1841—C. A. Helm, Esq.

1842—Edward Evans, Esq.

1843—John Lilly, Esq.

1844—William Lewis, Esq.

1845—William Lewis, Esq.

1846—E. J. Lloyd, Esq., (_ob._) and William Lewis, Esq.

1847—F. T. Elgie, Esq.

1848—Edward Webb, Esq.

1849—R. Padmore, Esq.

1850—J. W. Lea, Esq.


1800—The sixth Earl of Coventry.

1808—The seventh Earl of Coventry, in the room of his father.

1831—The eighth Earl of Coventry, in the room of his father.

1836—Under the Municipal Reform Act the Recorder was made virtually, as
he had been before nominally, the chief administrator of justice in all
corporate cities and boroughs having a Quarter Sessions; and the
appointment was vested in Government.  John Buckle, Esq.,
barrister-at-law, was appointed Recorder of Worcester—the Government not
acceding to the wishes of the Town Council, who had recommended Mr.


1817—Mr. John Platt and Mr. Nathaniel Mence.

1825—James Wakeman, jun., Esq., in the room of John Platt, Esq.,

1828—Mr. Gwinnell and Mr. J. B. Hyde, in the room of Mr. N. Mence
(suddenly gone to America because of some defalcations), and Mr. Wakeman,
resigned.  Mr. Gwinnell died 1835, and the vacancy thus occasioned was
not filled up.

1836—Mr. J. B. Hyde reappointed Coroner by the new Municipal Corporation.


1800—Richard Cocks, Esq.

1801—Benjamin Johnson, Esq.

1829—William Welles, Esq.

1830—Charles Sidebottom, Esq.

1836—John Hill, Esq.


1800—Mr. Tyers.

1802—Mr. James Griffiths.

1819—Mr. William Griffiths.


1800—James Fryer, Esq.

1801—Thomas H. Crane, Esq.

1802—Thomas Baker, Esq.

1803—Jonathan Skey, Esq.

1804—Joseph Crane, Esq.

1805—Samuel Baker, Esq.

1806—Jonathan Skey, Esq.

1807—Rev. Edward Baugh.

1808—James Fryer, Esq.

1809—W. A. Roberts, jun., Esq.

1810—Thomas H. Crane, Esq.

1811—Joseph Crane, Esq.

1812—Wilson A. Roberts, Esq.

1813—George Baker, Esq.

1814—Joseph Seager, Esq.

1815—W. A. Roberts, jun., Esq.

1816—James Fryer, Esq.

1817—Thomas H. Crane, Esq.

1818—Joseph Crane, Esq.

1819—John Brookholding, Esq.

1820—Robert Pardoe, Esq.

1821—Thomas Cartwright, Esq.

1822—Thomas Pilkington, Esq.

1823—Joseph Crane, Esq.

1824—Thomas Shaw, Esq.

1825—George Baker, Esq.

1826—John Brookholding, Esq.

1827—Thomas Pilkington, Esq.

1828—John Williams, Esq.

1829—Thomas H. Crane, Esq.

1830—James Fryer, Esq.

1831—T. S. Cartwright, Esq.

1832—John Brookholding, Esq.

1833—Thomas Cartwright, Esq.

1834—Slade Baker, Esq.

1835—Slade Baker, Esq.

                                * * * * *

1836—John Bury, Esq.

1837—John Nichols, Esq.

1838—John Beddoe, Esq.

1839—James Cole, Esq.

1840—William Bucklee, Esq.

1841—T. S. Cartwright, Esq.

1842—George Baker, Esq.

1843—James Holder, Esq.

1844—Joseph Farmer, Esq.

1845—George Masefield, Esq.

1846—T. T. Lankester, Esq.

1847—James Banks, Esq.

1848—Adam Prattinton, Esq.

1849—John Baker, Esq.

1850—John Bury, Esq.

1851—Slade Baker, Esq.


1775—W. A. Robarts, Esq.

1808—Samuel Baker, Esq.

1816—Slade Baker, Esq.

1833—William N. Marcy, Esq.


The close Corporation of Droitwich used formerly to elect two Bailiffs
and two magistrates, year by year, out of their own number; the Lords
Foley, from time to time, holding the office of Recorder.  The two last
Bailiffs, for the year immediately preceding the passing of the Municipal
Reform Act, were E. B. Penrice and W. H. Ricketts, Esqs.  The following
is a fist of Mayors under the Municipal Act.

1836—E. B. Penrice, Esq.

1837—John Robeson, Esq.

1838–9—E. B. Penrice, Esq.

1840—E. B. Penrice, Esq., (resigned) and S. Tombs, Esq.

1841—William Trehearn, Esq.

1842—Samuel Tombs, Esq.

1843—Edward Smith, Esq.

1844—John Pumfrey, Esq.

1845–6—T. G. Smith, Esq.

1847—Edward Smith, Esq.

1848–9–50—John Bradley, Esq.


1800—Thomas Jacob White, Esq.

1820—Thomas Gale Curtler, Esq.

1836—Samuel Tombs, jun., Esq.


1800—Hon. & Rev. G. Rushout.

1801—Anthony Roper, Gent.

1802—John Lord Northwick.

1803—George Day, Gent.

1804—Thomas Gore, Gent.

1805—William Barnes, Gent.

1806—William Soley, Gent.

1807—W. F. Preedy, Gent.

1808—Thomas B. Cooper, Esq.

1809—John Hunter, Gent.

1810—Sir C. Cockerell, Bart.

1811—Rev. E. Dolman Cooper.

1812—W. F. Preedy, Gent.

1813—Matthias Stratton, Gent.

1814—Rev. H. P. Cooper.

1815—George Day, Gent.

1816—Thomas B. Cooper, Esq.

1817—Hon. & Rev. G. Rushout.

1818—Daniel Edge, Gent.

1819—Edward Savage, Gent.

1820—Rev. Joseph Martin.

1821—Thomas B. Cooper, Esq.

1822—William Barnes, Gent.

1823—Benjamin Murrell, Gent.

1824—William Soley, Gent.

1825—W. F. Preedy, Gent.

1826—George Day, Gent.

1827—Thomas B. Cooper, Esq.

1828—William Byrch, Gent.

1829—John Procter, Gent.

1830—John Thomas, Gent.

1831—Daniel Edge, Gent.

1832—John Walford Izon, Gent.

1833—Sir C. Cockerell, Bart.

1834—Alfred C. Cooper, Gent.

1835—William Barnes, Gent.

                                * * * * *

1836—William Barnes, Gent.

1837—Thomas B. Cooper, Esq.

1838—T. N. Foster, Merchant.

1839—Ben. Workman, Solicitor.

1840—John New, Esq.

1841—J. M. G. Cheek, Esq.

1842—Thomas White, Tanner.

1843—Anthony New, Esq.

1844—Richard Gibbs, Gent.

1845—John Bromford, Gent.

1846—Zaccheus Hughes, Draper.

1847—J. B. Haynes, Surgeon.

1848—Anthony Martin, Surgeon.

1849—R. H. Hughes, Merchant.

1850—John Clarke, Esq.


1800—James Taylor, Esq. (reappointed 1836)

1838—Oswald Check, Esq.


Prior to 1836 the chief officers of Kidderminster were High Bailiffs.
The following are the Mayors elected since 1836:

1836—William Butler Best, Esq.

1837—George Hooman, Esq.

1838—George Talbot, jun., Esq.

1839—Charles Talbot, Esq.

1840—Henry Brinton, Esq.

1841—Joseph Newcombe, Esq.

1842—Wm. Henry Worth, Esq.

1843—James Morton, Esq.

1844—Wm. Butler Best, Esq.

1845—George Hooman, Esq.

1846—Wm.  Butler Best, Esq.

1847—Wm. Boycot, sen., Esq.

1848—Wm. Boycot, sen., Esq.

1849—Wm. Roden, Esq., M.D.

1850—Wm. Boycot, jun., Esq.


1800—James Pinches, Esq.

1801—George Hallen, Esq.

1826—Thomas Hallen, Esq.



                           1801.       1811.       1821.       1831.       1841.        1851.
County of Worcester         139,333     160,546     184,424     211,365     233,484   276,926_a_
City of Worcester            11,131      13,551      16,207   _b_18,442      27,023       27,528
Dudley                       10,307      13,925      18,611      23,443      31,232       37,954
Stourbridge (including        8,297       9,755      11,227      13,571      17,483       19,246
the Lye and Upper
Kidderminster Bor. &          8,036      10,025      12,752      17,913      17,500       20,852
Bromsgrove                    5,898       6,932       7,511       8,612       9,676       10,310
Redditch                      1,000      —           —           —            3,314        4,774
Stourport                     1,603       2,352       2,544       2,952       2,952        2,993
Evesham                       2,837       3,068       3,472       3,976       4,245        4,605
Pershore                      1,910       2,179       2,328       2,536      —             2,717
Droitwich                     1,840       1,977       2,176       2,487       2,779        3,125
Upton                         1,858       2,167       2,319       2,343       2,599        2,698
Tenbury                       1,541       1,562       1,668       1,768       1,776        1,784
Great Malvern                —           —           —           —            2,768        3,763

_a_ By the Act 7 and 8 Victoria, c. 61, part of Halesowen parish,
containing 18,827 persons in 1851, and parts of other parishes, locally
situated in Worcestershire, but belonging to other counties previously,
became parts of Worcestershire.  Taking the same limits, the population
of Worcestershire in 1841 was 248,460.

_b_ The population of Worcester, even at this time, was estimated at
25,000; but the figures given above, up to this census, only indicate the
population included within the old city boundary.


                                    HOUSES.                                POPULATION.
                    Inhabited.    Uninhabited.    Building.      Males.     Females.      Total.
Eastern Division          32,136          1,387           236      81,441       81,067     162,508
Western Division          23,503          1,336           101      55,515       58,903     114,418
Entire County             55,639          2,723           337     136,956      139,970     276,926


The following statistics only relate to the county of Worcester.  Prior
to 1821 there are no records of convictions, &c., in existence; the
Table, therefore, commences with that year.

Year.     In what Court Tried.   Number of Prisoner   Number            Number            No.  Sentenced    Number            Summary           Total Number of   Proportion of
                                 Tried.               Capitally         Sentenced to      various terms     Acquitted or      Convictions.      Persons           Convicted to
                                                      Convicted.        Transportation.   of                Discharged.                         Convicted.        Population.
1821      Assizes                                 80               25*                15                18                22
          Sessions                               167         —                        26                92                49               292  468               1 in 359
1822      Assizes                                 58                16                 6                10                26
          Sessions                               132         —                        22                57                53               324  437               1 in 390
1823      Assizes                                 69               15*                 8                20                26
          Sessions                                68         —                        12                35                21               348  438               1 in 397
1824      Assizes                                 49                16                 5                12                16
          Sessions                                86         —                         8                37                41               352  430               1 in 408
1825      Assizes                                 54                15                 6                21                12
          Sessions                               103         —                        14                51                38               363  469               1 in 379
1826      Assizes                                 90               27*                10                30                23
          Sessions                                70         —                         8                36                26               304  405               1 in 446
1827      Assizes                                110                34                25                29                22
          Sessions                               124         —                        17                79                28               332  516               1 in 354
1828      Assizes                                 42                13                 6                10                13
          Sessions                               156         —                        27                88                41               304  448               1 in 414
_a_1829   Assizes                                 83                39                 5                13                26
          Sessions                               154         —                        34                75                45               287  453               1 in 412
1830      Assizes                                 80               32*                 3                12                33
          Sessions                               142         —                        25                81                36               319  470               1 in 405
1831      Assizes                                 90               43*                 7                23                17
          Sessions                               220         —                        41               112                67               402  628               1 in 307
1832      Assizes                                 74               28*                 9                16                21
          Sessions                               164         —                        36                83                45               373  545               1 in 345
1833      Assizes                                 73                22                13                19                19
          Sessions                               258         —                        53               137                68               448  692               1 in 285
1834      Assizes                                 69                3*                20                23                23
          Sessions                               260         —                        63               124                73               526  759               1 in 262
1835      Assizes                                 51                11                 6                16                18
          Sessions                               139         —                        24                82                33               373  512               1 in 393
_b_1836   Assizes                                 47                 4                14                12                17
          Sessions                               212         —                        32               125                55               357  544               1 in 363
_a_1837   Assizes                                 66               14*                10                24                18
          Sessions                               278         —                        47               141                90               328  564               1 in 354
1838      Assizes                                 64                 3                23                21                17
          Sessions                               303         —                        36               179                88               425  687               1 in 292
1839      Assizes                                 70                 1                16                31                22
          Sessions                               323         —                        44               190                89               411  693               1 in 292
_c_1840   Assizes                                 76         —                        10                36                30
          Sessions                               474         —                        68               278               128               566  958               1 in 202
1841      Assizes                                 99                 1                 9                60                29
          Sessions                               383         —                        43               231               109               461  805               1 in 256
1842      Assizes                                101                 1                16                59                25
          Sessions                               440         —                        57               252               131               439  824               1 in 253
1843      Assizes                                120                 2                14                44                60
          Sessions                               418         —                        39               245               142               535  879               1 in 242
1844      Assizes                                141                 1                17                78                45
          Sessions                               390         —                        31               239               120               535  901               1 in 237
1845      Assizes                                135                 1                20                66                48
          Sessions                               368         —                        28               220               120               460  785               1 in 298
1846      Assizes                                154         —                        17                79                58
          Sessions                               329         —                         7               220               102               377  700               1 in 337
_a_1847   Assizes                                 88         —                         7                52                29
          Sessions                               458         —                        30               302               126               458  849               1 in 281
1848      Assizes                                109         —                        12                70                27
          Sessions                               515         —                        21               354               140               599  1056              1 in 228
1849      Assizes                                 99                3*                10                33                53
          Sessions                               452         —                        50               289               113               614  999               1 in 244
1850      Assizes                                115                 3                15                62                35
          Sessions                               427         —                        38               280               109               605  1003              1 in 246

* Executions in all these years—vide pp. 146, 148.

_a a_ Criminal code greatly mitigated.  Various offences hitherto only
triable at Assizes, transferred to the jurisdiction of Quarter Sessions.

_b_ Prisoners’ Counsel Bill passed.

_c_ County Police established.

_d_ Sir John Pakington’s Juvenile Offenders’ Act passed.

                                * * * * *

***  In 1836 the jurisdiction of the City Quarter Sessions was extended
to the new city boundary, and the deduction of population from the county
raises the proportion of convicted persons from that year forwards.  In
1845 the outlying parts of the county were included in the jurisdiction
of the County Quarter Sessions, and the ratio of convicted persons is
proportionably diminished.


It is not pretended that the following statistics are absolutely
accurate—the amount of accommodation afforded being altogether matter of
computation.  Neither do they afford reliable data for comparing the
relative increase of different religious denominations, because a
considerable proportion of the old churches have been enlarged in the
present century; while, on the other hand, many of the new chapels built
by Dissenters, especially the Wesleyans, were erected in the place of
preaching rooms used before the year 1800.

                 Built before     Accommodation.   Built after      Accommodation.
                 A.D. 1800.                        A.D. 1800.
Places of                    210           63,680              24*           14,590
Worship in the
connected with
Wesleyans                      6            3,240               34            6,760
Baptists                      13            3,654               17            3,498
Independents                   4            2,283               10            3,176
Primitive               —                —                      13            1,906
Wesleyan New            —                —                       8            2,526
Wesleyan                —                —                       4              950
Countess of                    1            1,400                9            2,790
Catholics                      2              630               10            2,089
Unitarian                      8            2,300         —                —
The Friends                    7            1,500         —                —
Other Sects             —                —                       4              500

* The Churches built in the county since 1800 are—Redditch (chapel of
ease); St. George’s Chapel, Kidderminster; St. Andrew’s, Netherton; St.
George’s Chapel, Claines; St. Peter’s, Malvern Wells; Christchurch
Chapel, Broadheath; Christchurch Chapel, Catshill; Bartley Green Chapel,
Northfield; Christchurch Chapel, Lye; St. James’s, Dudley; St. John’s
Chapel, Kate Hill, Dudley; St. Michael’s Chapel, Broadway; Christchurch
Chapel, Trimpley, Kidderminster; Yardley Wood, Yardley; St. John’s
Chapel, Kidderminster; Aston Magna, Blockley; St. Matthias, Malvern Link;
St. Paul’s, Worcester; St. Peter’s, Cookley; North Hill District Church,
Mathon; The Quinton, Halesowen; Langley Green, Halesowen; St. Peter’s,
Worcester; Amblecote, Oldswinford; Trinity Church, Malvern.


Year.     Worcester. *     Cleobury. †     Orleton. ‡
1835             —                  29.16         27.265
1836             —                  32.93         28.155
1837               24.465           31.18         28.545
1838               23.850           28.73         26.355
1839               34.595           37.70         34.145
1840               20.715           26.94         25.800
1841               29.649           34.82         32.770
1842             —                  25.09         25.480
1843             —                  30.42         29.935
1844             —                  23.56         21.730
1845             —                  27.91         27.405
1846             —                  29.24         27.015
1847             —                  28.60         27.985
1848             —                  36.69         39.015
1849                23.88           30.79         26.945
1850                18.66           22.84         24.615
1851                18.93           21.33         28.276

*  The first series of these observations at Worcester were taken by Mr.
T. R. Hill, at the Literary and Scientific Institution, and those for
1849–51 by Dr. Turley, St. John’s.  It would seem as though less rain
fell in this neighbourhood than in other parts of the county; but the
years given happen to be amongst the drier ones, and in general it will
be found that more rain falls at Worcester than in most other parts of
England.  The mean height of the thermometer in the midland districts of
England is about 50°, at Worcester the mean will be found slightly to
exceed that figure.

† From observations taken by Mr. Hunter of Mawley Gardens.

‡ From observations taken by Mr. T. H. Davis of Orleton, who possesses an
accurate register of the rain which has fallen in each month for the last
twenty years.  The result shows May to be the driest, and November the
wettest, month, and gives 2.19 as the average of January; February, 2.21;
March, 1.91; April, 2.05; May, 1.82; June, 2.41; July, 2.39; August,
2.70; September, 2.41; October, 2.80; November, 3.16; December, 2.17; and
of the whole year, 28.276 inches.


WORCESTERSHIRE EAST—J. H. H. Foley, Esq., and Captain Rushout reëlected
without opposition.

WORCESTERSHIRE WEST—Hon. General H. B. Lygon and F. W. Knight, Esq.,
reëlected without opposition.

WORCESTER—MAY—(Election on Mr. Rufford’s accepting the Chiltern
Hundreds)—William Laslett, Esq., of Abberton Hall, had some time
previously announced himself as a candidate for the representation
whenever a vacancy should occur, professing Radical opinions.  The
Conservatives brought forward Mr. Charles M‘Garel, who declared himself a
supporter of Lord Derby’s Government; but as he was not explicit on the
subject of “Protection,” he found so little favour with the voters, that
after four days’ canvass he left the city.  Mr. Laslett was then returned
unopposed.  JULY—Mr. Ricardo and Mr. Laslett united the suffrages of the
Whig and Radical parties, and the candidate supported by the
Conservatives was J. W. Huddleston, Esq., the well known barrister on the
Oxford Circuit.  He avowed himself a Free Trader, but would support Lord
Derby’s Government in other matters.  The Sheriff’s return showed 1,212
votes given for Mr. Laslett, 1,164 for Mr. Ricardo, and 661 for Mr.

KIDDERMINSTER—Mr. John Best, the former member, was opposed by Robert
Lowe, Esq., a member of the Australian Council from 1843 to 1850, and
member for Sydney in 1848.  He professed to be ready to support Lord
Derby’s Government according to their measures, though a thorough Free
Trader.  He thus obtained the support of the Whig and Radical parties in
the borough, and also of a section of the moderate Conservatives.  He was
returned on the poll by a majority of 94: the numbers being—Lowe, 246;
Best, 152.

BEWDLEY—Sir Thomas E. Winnington, Bart., Liberal, and Joseph Sandars,
Esq., Conservative, were the candidates—Viscount Mandeville having been
previously elected for Huntingdonshire.  The votes were—for Winnington,
169; Sandars, 151.

EVESHAM—Lord Marcus Hill retired from the representation, and the
candidates were Charles Lennox Grenville Berkeley, Esq., formerly member
for Cheltenham, Liberal; Sir Henry Willoughby, Bart., Conservative; and
Sergeant Wilkins, Radical.  The votes given were—for Willoughby, 189;
Berkeley, 170; Wilkins, 87.

DUDLEY—John Benbow, Esq., the former member, Conservative, and James
Baldwin, Esq., an alderman of Birmingham, Radical, were the candidates.
The votes given were—for Benbow, 400; Baldwin, 231.


THE following are the winners of the “GOLD CUP,” value 100 guineas, the
surplus in specie—4 miles—which used to be the principal race at the
Worcester Summer Meeting, and which was first run for in the year 1812.

1812—August 12—Mr. Shawe’s b. h. Offa’s Dyke.

1813—August 11—Mr. Munsey’s b. m. Meteorina.

1814—August 10—Sir W. Wynn’s b. c. Bravo.

1815—August 8—Hon. W. B. Lygon’s b. c. Tozer.

1816—August 14—Mr. Charlton’s b. c. Tozer.

1817—August 13—Sir W. Wynn’s b. c. Piscator.

1818—August 12—Mr. Charlton’s ch. c. Indus.

1819—August 11—Mr. West’s br. h. Fitz Orville (w. o.)

1820—August 9—Lord Stamford’s ch. c. Comet.

1821—August 15—Mr. L. Charlton’s Master Henry.

1822—August 14—Lord Stamford’s Peter Lely.

1823—August 15—Mr. Mytton’s ch. g. Euphrates.  The Grand Stand was first
used at these races.

1824—August 11—Mr. Mytton’s br. c. Comte d’Artois (w. o.)

1825—August 4—Mr. Mytton’s ch. g. Euphrates.

1826—August 2—Mr. Mytton’s b. h. Longwaist.

1827—August 22—Sir W. Wynn’s ch. c. May Fly.

1828—July 30—Mr. Mytton’s ch. g. Euphrates.

1829—August 19—Sir T. Stanley’s ch. g. May Fly.

1830—August 11—Mr. Davies’s ch. g. Villager.

1831—August 10—Mr. Beardsworth’s br. g. Independence.

1832—August 16—Mr. Griffith’s Thorngrove.

1833—August 7—Mr. Phillips’s b. c. Tom Brown.

1834—August 6—Mr. L. Day’s b. m. Diana.

1835—August 5—Sir T. Stanley’s b. c. Intriguer.

1836—August 3—Mr. Haywood’s br. g. Lentulus.

1837—August 2—Mr. Speed’s gr. g. Darling.

1838—August 8—Mr. Speed’s gr. g. Isaac.

1839—August 8—Mr. Tomes’s gr. g. Isaac.  The “Gold Cup” was discontinued
after this year.

Winners of the WORCESTERSHIRE STAKES, 20 sovs. each, 2 mile heats, from

1840—August 4—Mr. Collins’s gr. g. Isaac.

1841—July 8—Mr. J. Taylor nas. Earnest.

1842—July 7—Major Hay’s ch. g. Retriever.

1843—July 6—Lord Palmerston’s b. m. Ilione.

1844—July 11—Lord Warwick’s b. c. Yardley.

At the Worcester Autumn Meeting this year was run, the celebrated match
between Mr. Timms’s Cora and Mr. T. Smith’s Lady Harkaway, both ridden by
the owners: Cora winning by a length only.  Time, 9 minutes; 52 seconds;
4 miles; 6 flights of hurdles.

1845—July 8—Mr. Collett’s b. h. Coranna.

1846—July 7—Captain Harcourt’s br. c. The Druid.

1847—July 6—Mr. Bristow’s ch. f. Marietta.

1848—July 4—Mr. J. Day’s b. m. Milliner (w. o.)

1849—August 7—Mr. Mynors’s br. f. Miss Bunney (w. o.)

1850—August 6—Mr. Sharratt’s b. f. Egret.


1836—March 2—The first steeple chases ever run in Worcestershire came off
this day.  The ground chosen was on the west bank of the Severn, from
Frieze Wood to the centre of the Lower Powick Ham, about four miles of a
stiffish hunting country.  Captain Lamb’s Vivian, ridden by Captain
Beecher, beat Midnight and Saladin.

1841—March 24—Steeple chases at Crowle.  Cotton Ball won the first and
Fairy the second.

1844—March 14—The first of the Worcester grand annual steeple chases.
Sixteen horses started for the Royal Birthday Stakes, which were won by
Discount—Vanguard being second and Harkaway third.

1845—March 19—Seventeen starters for the Royal Birthday Handicap.  Won by
Mr. W. Holman’s The Page.  Value of stakes, £819.

1846—November 7—Twelve starters for the Grand Annual.  Won by Lord
Strathmore’s Switcher; Marengo second, and Pioneer third.

1847—November 6—Sixteen horses started.  Winner, Mr. Little’s br. g.
Chandler; Glaucus second.

1848—November 4—Nineteen horses started.  Winner, Proceed; Red Lancer

1849—November 2—Ten horses started.  Winner, Mr. Vevers’s Vainhope; Young
’Un second.

1850—December 4—Twelve starters.  Winner, Miss Collingwood; Tipperary Boy

                                * * * * *

                     PRINTED BY JOSIAH ALLEN AND SON,
                             3, COLMORE ROW.


IN addition to the Enclosure Bills enumerated in note, p. 6, must be
mentioned the following: Aldington, Astley, Abberley, Broughton Hackett,
Bredon, Bonehill, Badsey, Churchill, Little and Great Comberton, Crowle,
Eckington, Flyford Flavel, Holdfast (Ripple), Iccomb, Inkberrow, North,
South, and Middle Littleton, Norton, Overbury, Pensham, North Piddle,
Rushock, Salwarp, Sedgberrow, Shipston-on-Stour, Strensham, Tibberton,
Wick (Pershore).

                                * * * * *

Page 97, line 3—_for_ “Rev. George Turnbull,” _read_ “Rev. George

Page 188, line 19—_for_ “small majorities,” _read_ “small minorities.”

Page 241, line 5—_for_ “vestin,” read “vesting.”

Page 264, line 24—_for_ “accepted as the text,” _read_ “accepted as the


{6}  The number of enclosure bills passed between 1800 and 1814 was
1,448; in the next year they fell off remarkably; and between 1814 and
1830, only 557 passed the legislature.  The enclosure bills passed for
Worcestershire in the present century are Astley, Bayton, Ombersley,
Hartlebury, Alton (Rock), Feckenham, Minith Wood, Coston Hackett, Burlish
Common, Stock and Bradley, Hagley, Harberrow and Blakedown, Fladbury,
Yardley.  And since the passing of the General Enclosure Act, powers have
been obtained to enclose part of Welland Common, Areley Common, Longdon,
Newbold-on-Stour, and Hatfield (Kempsey).

{65}  The ports were opened, at 1s. a quarter duty, from the end of
February, 1818, when some superior white wheat was fetching 102s. a
quarter, to the end of March, 1819.

{90}  On the Sunday during or immediately following the Assizes, which
used to be known as Assize Sunday, and kept as a great fair, the keepers
at the county gaol were accustomed to show the prisoners through the bars
to the curious crowd, and collect sixpences in a boot for pointing out
those who were sentenced to be hanged, &c.

{156}  The titles of the projects were—Worcester and South Wales
Junction; East and West Junction; Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and Stour
Valley, Midland and Eastern Counties Railway; London, Warwick,
Leamington, and Kidderminster; Direct Birmingham and Leicester Railway;
Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Branches; Worcester, Hereford, Ross,
and Gloucester; Warwickshire and London; Derbyshire, Staffordshire, and
Worcestershire Junction; Worcester, Tenbury, and Ludlow; Trent Valley,
Midlands, and Grand Junction; Worcester and Leominster; Worcester and
Portdynllaen; Birmingham and Oxford Junction; Birmingham, Wolverhampton,
and Dudley; South Staffordshire Junction; Gloucester and Hereford Canal
and Worcester; Welsh Midland: Welsh Midland Extension; Midland and
Eastern Counties; Oxford and Worcester Extension and Chester Junction;
Birmingham and Bristol; Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and Stour Valley (No.
2); Warwickshire and London (Worcester to Weedon); Birmingham and
Gloucester (branches); Northampton, Banbury, and Cheltenham; Leamington,
Warwick, and Cheltenham; Worcester, Warwick, and Rugby; Shropshire Union;
Dudley, Madeley, Broseley, and Ironbridge; Cambrian and Grand Junction;
Warwick and Worcester; Warwick and Birmingham; Rugby, Warwick, and

{165}  Some facts, with regard to currents and the course of running
water, established during the course of the recent alterations in the
Severn, were totally opposed to all the theories previously held by
hydraulic engineers; and when first brought under their notice were
scarcely credited, though backed by the best of testimony.

{171}  The present commissioners are Lord Hatherton, The Right Hon. Sir
John Pakington, Bart., M.P., T. C. Hornyold, Esq., John Benbow, Esq.,
M.P., H. E. Strickland, Esq., Thomas Fulljames, Esq., W. H. Hyett, Esq.,
J. W. Lea, Esq., E. Evans, Esq., J. M. Gutch, Esq., E. Webb, Esq., D. M.
Walker, Esq., T. Sturge, Esq., N. P. Price, Esq., M.P., W. H. Barrow,
Esq., M.P., Richard P. King, Esq., S. Tombs, jun., Esq., William
Dowdeswell, Esq., W. R. Anstice, Esq., Richard Blakemore, Esq., J. M. G.
Cheek, Esq., J. Rogers, Esq., J. S. Rutter, Esq., William Mabson, Esq.,
P. Baldwin, Esq., A. H. Jenkins, Esq., John Home, Esq., E. L. Kendall,
Esq., W. Wills, Esq., John W. Hughes, Esq.

{337}  The errata have been applied in this Doctrine Publishing Corporation eText.—DP.

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