Presbyterian minister James Scott left a priceless legacy to Cradley in the form of a manuscript recording contemporary events and personalities
The Reverend James Scott was Presbyterian Minister in Cradley from 1789 until his death in 1827. Scott was a prolific writer. Amongst his numerous works is A History of Cradley 1800-
This is an important primary source of information for local and family historians about the people of Cradley and their lives and times. The original book, a leather-
James Scott was born to John and Elizabeth Scott of Stourbridge on 1 March 1768. He was invited to succeed Joseph Baker as Presbyterian Minister in Cradley just as he was about complete to his studies at the Dissenter's Academy in Daventry, in 1789. The Reverend Scott was the driving force of the new "Religious Discussion Society" in The Lye at about the same time. He first preached at Cradley on 21 June 1789 and was ordained at the Pensnett Meeting House on 11 May 1790. The building of the Park Lane Presbyterian Chapel (now Park Lane Unitarian Chapel) commenced under Scott, and he officiated at its opening on 15 May 1796.
James Scott died on 19 December 1827, at the age of 59.
Portrait of James Scott by Jonah Child of Dudley
The Manuscript has a Title Page in faint pencil giving its full title as: "History of Cradley, Principally designed to record interesting transactions depicting its religious societies and more especially the Presbyterian Church."
William Scott records (Stourbridge and its Vicinity, 1832):
... some further particulars may be inserted, when treating of Cradley, his chosen residence, and the scene of his distinguished usefulness.
A catalogue of his numerous publications, principally consisting of various religious tracts, besides several single sermons; will attest to the industry and fidelity of the author as a christian minister.
A folio volume of Cradley Records is still extant, with various other MSS. by the same hand. Not only the proceedings of the body to which the writer belonged are here detailed; but the ancient and modern history of Cradley and its vicinity, extending to that of the neighbourhood at large, with notices of public events, are here to be found.
G. Eyre Evans wrote of Scott and the manuscript (Midland Churches, 1899) thus:
Scott was a born antiquary and historian; he never seems to have let even the most trivial events in his congregations pass unrecorded, with the result that as time goes on his manuscripts and records become of the greatest value. Had all old and modern societies been so fortunate as to own great, heavy, substantial volumes such as are the priceless treasures of Cradley in its MS. History of Cradley Presbyterian Church, by James Scott ; of Stourbridge in its 3 MS. Vols. of Records of the Presbyterian Church, by James and William Scott ; [...] the task of historians would be far easier than it generally is.
The extremely valuable volume [...] is enriched with water colour drawings, engravings and portraits, as well as containing important notes by Scott on the histories of neighbouring societies.
Chapter 1st is an "Ancient History of Cradley", extracting from Nash's History of Worcestershire. However, most of the book comprises Scott's own observations on and descriptions of all manner of things. He touches on parish accounts, geology, genealogy, politics, industry as well as, of course, religion. The work was begun in 1800 and covers the period until 1826, shortly before his death.
In a foreword to the book Scott describes his purpose in writing the book, which in some respects resembles a diary. He writes as follows:
This Volume the preparation of which has been the amusement of leisure hours, is respectfully dedicated to the Trustees, and other members of the Society assembling for public worship at Park Lane Chapel Cradley.
It was originally intended only to write a brief history of the Presbyterian Church in this village. It was then thought to be expedient to add some particulars respecting the other religious societies, and also concerning the antiquities, and present state of Cradley. As the period in which it was written was pregnant with great events, it was supposed that a very concise note of the most remarkable political occurrences of each year might be interesting. And it was afterwards judged that a few essays, and historical details, immediately and remotely connected with the general subjects of this book, might be inserted with propriety, and that an Obituary would be prove a valuable appendage. A copious general Index has also been added.
Thus what was originally intended only to occupy a small Octavo, has imperceptibly swelled into a large volume, which is perhaps too diffuse and desultory. Being written at different times, and at distant intervals, some things will be found repeated, though in a different connection, or in more full detail. This Record, which consists chiefly of local transactions and occurrences, is not designed to meet the eye of the public. It may, however, be interesting to some of those for whose it was composed, and with this in mind is given to the Trustees of Park Lane Chapel Cradley, for the use of the congregation, to be deposited with other writings belonging to the Society.
The following data extracted from Scott's History of Cradley comprises the Obituary and two smaller sections. The Obituary is a list of members of the Cradley Presbyterian congregation who died between 1791 and 1827. There are one or two missing numbers in the entry list, at least one entry added out of order, and some unnumbered entries, where the deceased is perhaps not a member of the Cradley Presbyterian congregation but in some other way associated with it. The names extracted here are of all the persons listed by Scott, together with dates of and ages at death and places of residence, where given. However, the memoirs are only a sample of those given by James Scott, as time did not permit us to extract them all in full.
The details of Local Taxation, money raised for the Poor, and the quantity and value of Land in Cradley, are derived by Scott or others before him from the Parish Books. The Members of the Presbyterian Congregation in 1800 resident in Cradley may be valuable, especially in conjunction with later Censuses and other sources, in identifying some families and individuals, and also in determining local surnames at this time.
State of the Congregation at the close of 1800.
Including those who occupy sittings
in the Park lane Chapel, with their
respective families, and places of abode.
Parish of Halesowen
Netherend Mr. Thos. Pargeter Mrs. Do.
Mr. Sh. Pargeter Son
H. Cox Senr. Do.
Mrs. Do. Mrs. Phillips
Jos Bloomer C. Probert
Mrs. Do. Wm. Newton
Son Lanes End J. Grovenor
Do. Enoch Billingham
Do. Mrs. Do.
Mr. T. Meredith Elijah Rock
Mrs. Do. Mrs. Do.
Miss Eleanor Do. Light Green R. Box
Miss Mary Do. Mrs. Do.
Mr. Joseph Do. T. Souden
Mr. Wm. Do. Mrs. Do.
J. Moss Apprentice Daughter
Mrs. Brettell Do.
Jos. Weston Do.
Mrs. Do. Do.
R. Leonard Apprentice John Brettell
Jas. Bloomer Junr. Cradley Village Mrs. Forrest School Mistress
Mrs. Do. Ab. Sutch
B. Homer Daughter
Mrs. Homer S. Buffery
W. Brook Junr. Mrs. Do.
Mrs. Do. Mrs. Shaw
Jas. Scott Minister Son
Servant Mrs. E. Forrest
D. Mansell Overend W. Beasley
Mrs. Do. Mrs. Do.
Son Colman Hill Mrs. Roper
R. Forrest Son
Mrs. Do. Do.
Son Colley Gate Revd. J. Baker
Daughter Mrs. Baker
Do. Mr. Brettell
Mrs. Hamus Mrs. Ph. Hill
Daughter Mrs. Sermon
Mr. Wm. Oliver Mr. W. Tay
T. Oliver T. Bennet
H. Perks Mrs. Do.
Mrs. Do. Son
W. Grovenor Do.
T. Martin Do.
Mrs. Do. Do.
Son D. Mole
Wm. Parkes D. Mole Junr.
Mrs. Do. Mrs. Do.
W. Do. Son
T. Do. Do.
Daughter Mrs. Cox
Do. Mr. E. Brettel
Do. Mrs. Do.
S. Brook W. Light
Mrs. Do. Park-
Daughter Mr. H. Shaw
Mrs. Drew Miss E. Shaw
R. Carter Miss Maria Do.
Mrs. Do. Servant
Son Mrs. Haden
J. Stafford Junr. Daughter
Mrs. Do. Mrs. Round
J. Perkes Jos. Dix
Mrs. Do. Mrs. Do.
Daughter Jos. Beasley
Do. Mrs. Do.
Do. Chapel House Mr. H. Buffery
W. Dunn Junr. Mrs. Do.
G. Deally Mrs. Giles
Mrs. Do. W. Gavin
Do. Park Lane J. Instone
Daughter Mrs. Do.
Do. T. Edwards Junr.
S. Hill B.R. Simpkiss School Master
Son Jos. Brettel
W. Stafford Mrs. Do.
Mrs. Do. Jas. Do. Son
Wm. Junr. Do.
Jos. Dunn Do.
B. Drew Daughter
Near Cradley J. Bloomer Senr. Do.
Old Forge W. Bloomer Do.
Taxes and Money Raised for the Poor in Cradley 1798-
The following is a correct statement of the amount of the Taxes in the Township of Cradley, for the 5th of April 1798, to the 5th of April 1799.
£ s d
Land Tax 74 18 6
Duty on Windows 46 1 6
Income Tax from April 6th 1799, to April 5th 1800 158, 17, 4 ¼
Total 311,, 14,, 8 ¼
The money raised for the Poor from April 6th 1799 to April 5th 1800 by 7 Levies at 10d in the pound, amounted to £417,, 11s 0d which added to the Taxes will produce the sum of £729,, 5s,, 8 ¼.
Quantity and Value of Land in Cradley 1782
The quantity of Land in the Hamlet of Cradley, exclusive of Houses and Gardens, according to a survey made by Mr. H. Court of Stourbridge in the year 1782 is 756 acres,, 2 rods,, 19 perches. [Note by Cradley Links: This equates to about 306 hectares, or 3 square kilometres, or 1.18 square miles.] The average value of which at that time was about thirty shillings per Acre and amounts to the annual value of £1134,, 18s,, 6d.
Containing a list of persons deceased of the Presbyterian Church Cradley
No. Date Name Surname Residence Age Memoir
1 1791 Jan 20 Jonathan Crampton
2 1791 Humphry Taylor
3 1791 Crane, Mrs Margaret's Hill
4 1791 Caroline Hannah Pargeter Carless Green Infant
5 1791 Nov 3 Pargeter , Senr., Mrs Foxcoat
6 1792 Mary Nock A promising young person.
7 1792 Thos. Leonard
8 1792 Phoebe Deally
9 1792 William Forrest An aged and venerable member of the Church.
10 1792 Phoebe Bloomer, Senr.
11 1793 Thos. Edwards 21 Died of consumption.
12 1793 Hannah Leonard
13 1794 Thos. Talbot, Junr.
14 1794 Lucy Nock
15 1794 John Brecknel
16 1795 Susanna Cartwright
17 1795 Wm. Gardiner
18 1795 Wm. Dunn , Senr.
19 1796 Thos. Bloomer 16
20 1796 May 9 Phoebe Hill, Mrs. 84
21 1796 Thos. Taylor
22 1796 Richard Forrest, Junr. 18
23 1796 Jemima Westwood Infant
24 1796 Ruth Forrest Infant
26 1796 Elizabeth Mansell Infant
27 1797 Jan 7 Elizabeth Pargeter , Mrs. Park Side 51
28 1797 Nicholas Hancox Pargeter Carless Green 45
29 1797 Jane Bradley Lye Waste
30 1797 J. Wstwood Carless Green Infant
31 1797 Jul 4 Anne Shaw, Mrs. Near the Lye Forge
32 1797 Jun 2 Elizabeth Taylor
33 1797 Hannah Stafford 8
34 1797 Enoch Forrest Cradley A man of well informed mind in an humble station. He had formerly been in the army; had travelled through many external regions of Europe and America, acquired some knowledge of the French and German languages, and read with advantage a great variety of Authors especially upon religious subjects. He was the person who first suggested the idea of this Work, which was actually begun in the year 1800.
35 1798 Mar 10 Holland, Mrs. Cradley Heath
36 1798 Elizabeth Mansel Light Green
37 1798 May 23 Mary Dix Park Side
38 1798 Jun 20 Alicia Probert Cradley Forge
39 1798 Mary Harris Cradley Forge 80
40 1798 Hannah Stafford Near Netherend
41 1798 Hannah Grovenor Lane End
42 1798 Mary Westwood Chornal ( Gornal ?)
43 1798 J. Grove Infant
44 1799 Feb 17 Wm. Davis Near Cradley Heath
45 1799 Mar 15 Mary Chandler, Mrs. Park Side 66
47 1799 Phoebe Jones Near the Salt Well
48 1799 Mary Rose Netherend 80
49 1799 Wm. Roper Near Cradley Park
50 1799 W. Roper, Senr. 87
51 1799 Oct 27 Daniel Dix 70
52 1800 Anne Roper Park Side 72
53 1800 Sarah Addleton
54 1800 Wm. Cartwright 12 Fell into a Coal Pit.
55 1800 Thos. Hill Netherend
56 1800 W. Westwood Haye Green Infant
57 1800 Leah Hingley Cradley Heath Infant
58 1800 Wm Davis Cradley Heath Infant
59 1801 Abel Shaw
60 1801 Hannah Dunn 70
61 1801 James Bloomer, Senr. 81
62 1801 Philip Pargeter , Mr.
63 1801 Samuel Westwood , Senr.
64 1801 Thomas Jones
65 1801 Elizabeth Bloomer (late Weston) Netherend
66 1801 Aug Daniel Mansel Netherend
67 1801 Joseph Grovenor Newtown
68 1802 Richard Box Light Green 79
69 1802 Benjamin Westwood Green Lane, Lye Waste
70 1802 Eliz . Westwood , Senr. Netherend
71 1802 Jesse Bloomer Near Cradley Forge 6
72 1803 Mar 9 William Rose Near Newtown
73 1803 May 15 E. Sermon, Mrs. The daughter of Joseph Ainesley Esq and a member of the Revd. Noah Hill's Church London. Having lost her husband by death, she came to reside in Cradley for the benefit of her health. She was regular in her attitude upon all the ordinances of Religion, bore her last illness with fortitude and resignation.
1803 Jun 14 Thomas Franks
1804 Jan 5 Samuel Griffiths, the Revd. Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Wolverhampton.
74 1804 Jan 20 John Forrest He had been a thoughtless youth, but during a long and painful illness discovered pleasing evidences of faith, persistence and resignation.
75 1804 Novr . Wm. Grove Senr.
1804 Feb 6 Joseph Priestley , the Revd., LLD, FRS At Northumberland in North America ... many years Pastor of the New meeting Society in Birmingham.
76 1805 Jan 21 Joseph Baker, the Revd. 78 27 years Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Cradley.
77 1805 Jan 28 Elizabeth Forrest School mistress. Conscientious, pious and amiable, she well improved the talents committed to her trust, and discharged with fidelity the various duties of her office, being much respected and extremely useful.
78 1805 May 26 Elizabeth Cox
79 1805 Jun 8 Wm. Tay, Mr. 72
80 1805 Oct 25 Wm. Trowman Newtown 31
81 1806 Feb 28 Ann Buffery , Mrs. Chapel House 79
82 1806 Thomas Martin Netherend
83 1806 Mar 30 Samuel Brook Netherend
84 1806 Noah Buffery Cradley Forge
85 1806 Cartwright, Mrs. Musham Far advanced in years.
86 1806 Dec 2 Sarah Homer Cradley Heath 77 Her original name was Lambert. She first married Fellows and some years after his Decease Daniel Homer.
87 1806 Thos. Pargeter Foxcoat Infant Son of T. Pargeter, Esquire
88 1807 John Grovenor Netherend
89 1807 Feb 11 Mary Kettle, Mrs. 58
90 1807 Mar 18 Sarah Bloomer Overend
91 1807 Caroline Pargeter , Mrs. Carless Green 76
92 1808 Mar 2 Humphrey Buffrey , Mr. Chapel House 76 Nail Ironmonger.
93 1808 Dec 1 Mary Westwood Cradley 33 Wife of James Westwood (Farmer)
94 1808 Jane Stafford Netherend
95 1808 Feb 4 Nathanial Trowman Newtown 78
96 1808 Nov 4 John Perks
97 1808 May 12 Sarah Bissel Widow of Mr. Isaac Bissel who once resided at Park Side House and died May 12th 1784 aged 62.
98 1810 Jan 23 James Williams 62
99 1810 May 4 Daniel Mole Colley Gate
100 1811 Jan 7 Sarah Box 82
101 1811 Jan 21 Elizabeth Weston Netherend 68
102 1811 Jan 27 Henry Sweet Cradley 5
103 1811 May Harry Cox Netherend 79
104 1811 Jun 10 John Shaw Whose death was occasioned by an unruly horse throwing him under the wheels of a loaded Waggon.
105 1811 Jul 24 Wm. Cartwright 67
106 1811 Aug 6 Humphrey Perks Netherend 63
107 1811 Nov 1 Mary Cox Netherend 79 Widow of H. Cox.
108 1811 Nov 22 Wm. Newton 79
109 1812 Sep 16 Sarah Giles, Mrs. 90
110 1812 Oct 30 Yardley, Mrs. Lye Waste
111 1812 Nov 29 Thomas Meredith, Mr. Netherend 65 Scythe Manufacturer.
1813 Jan 8 Ann Scott, Mrs. Birmingham 82 Relict of Mr. William Scott, who died in 1791. Her father Mr. John Toncks was a native of Harborne and a Dissenting Minister.
112 1813 Jun 13 Elizabeth Meredith, Mrs. Netherend
113 1813 William Forrest Light Green
114 1813 Dec 21 Elizabeth Forrest Cradley
115 1814 Jan 6 Margaret Watts Lye Waste
116 1814 Jan 9 Phoebe Round Lye Waste
117 1814 John Bourne Lye Waste
118 1815 Jan 4 Timothy Brooke Netherend 16
119 1815 Hannah Beasley
120 1815 Jos. Beasley Senr.
121 1815 Jul 11 William Barton, Mr. 56 He died of Apoplectic Seizure.
122 1815 Jul 17 Lucinda Sweet, Miss. 19 At Cheltenham.
123 1815 Sep 12 Susanna Allport Netherend
124 1815 Dec 23 Jane Billingham Netherend
125 1816 Ann Cox, Mrs. Youngest daughter of Mrs. Phoebe Hill and sister to the Revd. Noah Hill.
126 1816 Mary Mucklow
127 1816 Nov 23 Benjamin Carpenter, the Revd.
128 1816 Nov 26 Bennet Raybold Simpkiss School Master at Netherend.
129 1817 Apr 1 Anne Oliver Netherend 16 Daughter of Mr. Wm. Oliver.
130 1818 Feb William Parkes Netherend
131 1818 May 7 Isaac Fellows Netherend
132 1818 John Instone Cradley
133 1818 Nancy Bloomer Near the Forge The Mother of a numerous Family.
134 1818 Dec 10 Samuel Buffery Cradley
135 1816 Aug 26 Mary Brettell Cradley Wife of Edward Brettell.
1819 Jan Joseph Haden Netherend
1819 Feb 2 John Cardale , Mr. 87
136 1819 Feb 7 Thomas Harvey
137 1819 Feb 13 Elizabeth Perks Netherend 74
138 1819 May 18 Phoebe Wooldridge Lye Waste
139 1819 Jun 7 Elizabeth Pargeter Foxcoat 84 Relict of Mr. Thos. Pargeter Senr. Who died in 1791.
140 1819 Jul 3 Mary Drew Netherend 88
141 1819 Sep 16 William Bloomer Near Cradley Forge 58
142 1819 Nov 4 Richard Carter
143 1819 Dec 10 Charles Probert
144 1820 Jan 7 Sarah Mansell 52
145 1820 Mar 1 Richard Forrest
146 1820 May 5 Phoebe Hill, Mrs
147 1820 Nov 3 Phoebe Brookes 80
148 1821 Jan 31 Marab Brook
149 1821 Feb 10 Phoby Deally Near Netherend
150 1821 May 4 Sarah Haden Netherend
151 1821 Oct 15 John Edwards Colman Hill Son of Mr. Richard Edwards
152 1821 Oct 12 Elizabeth Pargeter Carless Green 46
153 1822 Jan 22 Mary Instone
154 1822 Nov 1 Henry Crampton 67
155 1822 Jan 15 Ann Brooks Netherend 82
156 1823 Jan 6 Mary Parks Netherend
157 1823 Jan 14 William Forrest Brockmoor
158 1823 Jan 15 Joseph Brettell Near Cradley Field 92
159 1823 Apr 22 E. Marston , Mrs.
160 1823 William Walker Light Green
161 1824 Jan Elizabeth Mole, Mrs. 50
162 1824 Rebecca Baker, Mrs. 32
163 1824 Mar 30 John Bradley Lye Waste
164 1824 May 7 Sarah Forrest Since the death of Mrs. M. Bate in 1799, she daily conveyed letters to and from Stourbridge.
165 1824 Lydia Jones Near Shut End Born about the year 1753.
166 1825 Jan 16 Esther Kendrick Cradley 72
167 1825 Jan 15 Phoebe Stafford Netherend 82
168 1825 Mar 14 William Hornblower , Mr. 44 Iron Master.
169 1825 Mar 17 Timothy Bloomer
170 1825 Aug Sebright Stafford
171 1825 Sep 14 Thomas Taylor Billingham 25
172 1826 Jan 20 William Stafford
173 1826 Mary Darby
174 1827 Feb 23 Sarah Philips Netherend 95
175 1827 Mar 8 Edward Brettell, Mr. 65