The Annals of Willenhall
101 pages
English

The Annals of Willenhall

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101 pages
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Annals of Willenhall, by FrederickWilliam HackwoodThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.orgTitle: The Annals of WillenhallAuthor: Frederick William HackwoodRelease Date: March 17, 2010 [eBook #31675]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE ANNALS OF WILLENHALL***Transcribed from the 1908 Whitehead Bros. edition by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org[Copyright]THEANNALS OF WILLENHALL—by—Frederick Wm. HackwoodAUTHOR OF“The Chronicles of Cannock Chase,” “Wednesbury Ancient and Modern,”“The Story of the Black Country,” “Staffordshire Stories,”&c., &c. “I cannot tell by what charm our native soil captivates us,and does not allow us to be forgetful of it.”— O v i d.Seal of Willenhall Local AuthorityWolverhampton:whitehead bros.,St. John’s Square and King Street. 1908.CONTENTS.Chapter. Page.I.—Willenhall—Its Name and Antiquity 1II.—The Battle of Wednesfield 5III.—The Saxon Settlement 11IV.—The Founding of Wulfruna’s Church, a.d. 996 17V.—The Collegiate Establishment 22VI.—Willenhall at the Norman Conquest (1066–1086) 27VII.—A Chapel and a Chantry at Willenhall 32VIII.—Willenhall in the Middle Ages 37IX.—The Levesons and other Old Willenhall ...

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Publié le 08 décembre 2010
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Annals of Willenhall, by Frederick William Hackwood This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: The Annals of Willenhall Author: Frederick William Hackwood Release Date: March 17, 2010 [eBook #31675] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII) ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE ANNALS OF WILLENHALL*** Transcribed from the 1908 Whitehead Bros. edition by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org [Copyright] THE ANNALS OF WILLENHALL —by— Frederick Wm. Hackwood AUTHOR OF “The Chronicles of Cannock Chase,” “Wednesbury Ancient and Modern,” “The Story of the Black Country,” “Staffordshire Stories,” &c., &c. “I cannot tell by what charm our native soil captivates us, and does not allow us to be forgetful of it.” — O v i d. Seal of Willenhall Local Authority Wolverhampton: whitehead bros., St. John’s Square and King Street. 1908. CONTENTS. Chapter. Page. I.—Willenhall—Its Name and Antiquity 1 II.—The Battle of Wednesfield 5 III.—The Saxon Settlement 11 IV.—The Founding of Wulfruna’s Church, a.d. 996 17 V.—The Collegiate Establishment 22 VI.—Willenhall at the Norman Conquest (1066–1086) 27 VII.—A Chapel and a Chantry at Willenhall 32 VIII.—Willenhall in the Middle Ages 37 IX.—The Levesons and other Old Willenhall Families 41 X.—Willenhall Endowments at the Reformation 48 XI.—How the Reformation Affected Willenhall 52 XII.—Before the Reformation—and After 57 XIII.—A Century of Wars, Incursions, and Alarms (1640–1745) 65 XIV.—Litigation Concerning the Willenhall Prebend (1615–1702) 72 XV.—Willenhall Struggling to be a Free Parish 77 XVI.—Dr. Richard Wilkes, of Willenhall (1690–1760) 82 XVII.—Willenhall “Spaw” 90 XVIII.—The Benefice 95 XIX.—How a Flock Chose its own Shepherd 103 XX.—The Election of 1894, and Since 110 XXI.—Willenhall Church Endowments 116 XXII.—The Church Charities: the Daughter Churches 129 XXIII.—The Fabric of the Church 135 XXIV.—Dissent, Nonconformity, and Philanthrophy 143 XXV.—Manorial Government 148 XXVI.—Modern Self-Government 153 XXVII.—The Town of Locks and Keys 158 XXVIII.—Willenhall in Fiction 167 XXIX.—Bibliography 175 XXX.—Topography 179 XXXI.—Old Families and Names of Note 184 XXXII.—Manners and Customs 187 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. Seal of Local Authority Title Page. St. Giles’ Church v Rev. Wm. Moreton v Rev. G. H. Fisher, M.A. v Dr. Richard Wilkes v Moseley Hall 65 Boscobel 65 Bentley Hall 137 Willenhall Trade Token (farthing) 166 Borrow, George 169 Borrow’s Birthplace 169 Neptune Inn 177 Bell Inn 177 Old Bull’s Head 177 The Plough 177 Tildesley, James 185 Tildesley, Josiah 185 Pearce, George Ley 185 Hartill, Jeremiah 185 Austin, John 185 St. Giles’ Church (before Restoration). 1755 to 1871 The Rev. Wm. Moreton (Incumbent of St. Giles’ Church, 1788–1834) Rev. G. Hutchinson Fisher, M.A. (Incumbent of St. Giles’ Church, 1834–1894) Dr. Richard Wilkes I.—Its Name and Its Antiquity Willenhall, vulgo Willnal, is undoubtedly a place of great antiquity; on the evidence of its name it manifestly had its foundation in an early Saxon settlement. The Anglo-Saxon form of the name Willanhale may be interpreted as “the meadow land of Willa”—Willa being a personal name, probably that of the tribal leader, the head of a Teutonic family, who settled here. In the Domesday Book the name appears as Winehala, but by the twelfth century had approached as near to its modern form as Willenhal and Willenhale. Dr. Oliver, in his History of Wolverhampton, derives the name from Velen, the Sun-god, and the Rev. H. Barber, of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, who tries to find a Danish origin for nearly all our old Midland place-names, suggests the Norse form Vil-hjalmr; or perhaps a connection with Scandinavian family names such as Willing and Wlmer. Dr. Barber fortifies himself by quoting Scott:— Beneath the shade the Northmen came, Fixed on each vale a Runic name. Rokeby, Canto, IV. Here it may not be out of place to mention that Scandinavian influences are occasionally traceable throughout the entire basin of the Trent, even as far as this upper valley of its feeder, the Tame. The place-name Bustleholme (containing the unmistakable Norse root, “holme,” indicating a river island) is the appellation of an ancient mill on this stream, just below Wednesbury. In this connection it is interesting to recall Carlyle’s words. In his “Hero Worship,” the sage informs us of a mode of speech still used by the barge men of the Trent when the river is in a highly flooded state, and running swiftly with a dangerous eddying swirl. The boatmen at such times will call out to each other, “Have a care! there is the Eager coming!” This, says Carlyle, is a relic of Norse mythology, coming down to us from the time when pagan boatmen on the Trent believed in that Northern deity, Aegir, the God of the Sea Tempest, whose name (as he picturesquely puts it) “survives like the peak of a submerged world.” This by the way. Willenhall, however, was situated outside the Danelagh, the western boundary of which was the Watling Street; indeed, the place nomenclature of this locality affords very few examples which are really traceable to the Danish occupation—an almost solitary specimen being the aforementioned name of Bustleholme, near the Delves. The etymological derivation which has found most favour in times past is that based on the erroneous Domesday form, Winehala. Perhaps Stebbing Shaw is responsible for this, as in his history of the county, written 1798, he says: —“As Wednesbury is but two miles, and Wednesfield but one mile from hence, it is probable that this name might be changed for that of Winehale, from the Saxon word for victory, when that great battle was fought hereabout in 911.” Of this battle, and the victory or “win” which the founding of Willenhall was supposed to commemorate, some account will be given in the next chapter. But the hypothesis of Shaw, and those who adopted his view, apparently involved the supposition that the earliest mention of Willenhall was of a date subsequent to 911 a.d.; but thanks to the recent researches of our eminent local historiographer, Mr. W. H. Duignan, F.S.A. (of Walsall), that position is no longer tenable. There is in existence a couple of charters dated a.d. 732 (or 733; certainly before the year 734) which were executed by Ethelbald, King of Mercia, at a place named therein as “Willanhalch.” Mr. Duignan says the Mercian kings frequently reside in this part of their dominions, as at Kingsbury, Tamworth, and Penkridge; probably for the convenience of hunting in Cannock Forest, within the boundaries of which Willenhall was anciently located. Virtually the two charters are one, the same transaction being recorded by careful and punctilious scribes in duplicate; and their purport was to benefit Mildrith, now commonly called St. Mildreda, one of the grand-daughters of King Penda, and probably one of the few canonised worthies who can be claimed as natives of this county-area. She was the Abbess of Minstrey, in the Isle of Thanet, and “sinful Ethelbald,” as he humbly styles himself, remits certain taxes and makes certain grants to her newly-founded abbey, all for the good of his soul. These duplicated documents were published in the original Latin in Kemble’s “Codex Diplomaticus” in 1843, by Thorpe in his “Diplomatarium Anglicum” in 1865, and again in Birch’s “Chartularium Saxonicum” in 1885. The internal evidence contained in them is to this effect:—“This was executed on the 4th day of the Kalends of November, in the 22nd year
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