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Excerpts from The Victoria History of the Counties of England (Worcestershire volumes), 1913 edition

From p. 143 of The Victoria History of the Counties of England (Worcestershire):



In 1086 CRADLEY (Cradelie, xi cent.; Credelega, xiii cent.) formed part of the barony of Dudley, which belonged to William Fitz Ansculf. It was held of him by a certain Payn, who had succeded the Saxon holder Wigar,34 and since no later underlord is mentioned, must have reverted to the barons of Dudley at an early date. It followed the same descent as the manor of Northfield35 (q.v.) until the division of Joyce Burnell’s estates between Maurice de Berkeley and Lady Joan Beauchamp took place in the middle of the 15th century. Cradley was then assigned with Northfield and Weoley (q.v.) to Maurice Berkeley36, but since Lady Beauchamp, who claimed some estate in Cradley, had previously settled it on her grandson James Butler Earl of Ormond and later Earl of Wiltshire, he afterwards successfully claimed it, and since then it has followed the same descent as Hagley37 (q.v.), now belonging to Viscount Cobham.

In 1291 there was a capital messuage at Cradley worth 6d., one mill valued at 22s. and another at 12d. and mast in the park at 12d.38

The mill at Cradley is frequently mentioned in the Staffordshire Pipe Rolls. It yielded a rent of 3s. a year, which was granted about 1193 to Emma wife of David King of North Wales in part exchange for the manor of Halesowen.39 Its first assessment was in 1179.40 A mill still belonged to the manor in 1338.41 It was perhaps this mill from which John Wall was ejected by Thomas Nevill, Joan his wife and others in 1599.42 No mill at Cradley is actually mentioned in the survey of John Lyttleton’s lands taken in the reign of Elizabeth, but a memorandum was made that Thomas Birch claimed the liberty of making a fish-pond or stank or ‘damme head’ for the pond called Birches Mill Pond by rendering yearly 2d.43 Just before the Dissolution the Abbot and convent of Halesowen had altered the course of the stream which formed the boundary between the counties of Staffordshire and Worcestershire, and on account of this alteration paid to the lord of Cradley 12d. and 1 lb. of wax yearly.44 In 1535 the abbot was paying to the king 16s. 4d. yearly for the farm of the mill of Cradley.45

According to Bishop Lyttleton the park was still in existence in the reign of Henry VIII,46 but it is not mentioned in the survey taken in the reign of Elizabeth. Nash mentions that ruins of a manor-house with a moat existed on the estate called Cradley Park in his time, but were then much overgrown with wood.47 Near these ruins was a field called Chapel Leasow, where tradition says there was once a chapel. The rectory and advowson of Cradley were included in the grant of Halesowen Abbey to Sir John Dudley in 1538,48 so the mansion and chapel may perhaps have been on the abbot’s estate at Cradley.49 The chapel seems to have disappeared shortly after the Dissolution.

In 1535 the Abbot and convent of Halesowen were in receipt of rents amounting to 40s. from an estate in Cradley. It was probably held of the capital manor of Cradley, for a rent of 15d. was paid by the convent to ‘Master Seleng’50 (Saint Leger). This estate, which probably formed part of the manor of Halesowen, was granted as ‘the manor of Cradley’ to Sir John Dudley in 1538.51 It is mentioned as a separate manor in 1556-7,52 but evidently became incorporated with Halesowen shortly afterwards.

34V.C.H. Worcs. I, 317a

35 For references see Northfield.

36 Early Chan. Proc. Bdle. 19, no. 6.

37Cal. Pat. 1461-7, pp 112,223,297; 1467-77, p. 419. For other references see Hagley.

38Worc. Inq. p.m., (Worcs. Hist. Soc), I, 35. The park is mentioned in 1273 (ibid. 17).

39Will. Salt. Arch. Soc. Coll. ii (I), 2, 11, 18, 25, 28, 30-1, &c.

40 Ibid. 175.

41 Chan. Inq. p.m. 12 Edw. III (1st nos), no. 40.

42Quart. Sess, R. (Worcs. Hist. Soc.), 18

43 Misc. Bks. Ld. Rev. ccxxviii, fol 243b.

44 Bp. Lyttleton, Hist of Hagley, &c. (Soc. Antiq.), fol. 145, quoting Court Rolls.

45Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii, 207.

46 Hist of Hagley, &c. (Soc. Antiq.), for. 146.

47 Nash, op. cit. I, 526.

48L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiii (2), f. 491 (I).

49 See below.

50Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii, 207.

51L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiii (2), f. 491 (I).

52 Chan. Inq. p.m. 12 Edw. III (Ser. 2), cx, 135.

From p. 150 of The Victoria History of the Counties of England (Worcestershire):



As mentioned above,61 the chapel of Cradley seems to have disappeared shortly after the Dissolution. The ecclesiastical parish of Cradley was formed in 1841. The present church of St. Peter was built by Thomas Best, clerk, and others in 1789, and was acquired from them in 1798, when the chapel was consecrated by the Bishop of Worcester. The patronage was secured to Thomas Best for three turns, and was then to pass to the Lyttletons.62 The living is now a vicarage in the gift of the rector of Halesowen. The register begins in 1785.

61 Under Cradley Manor.

62Parl. Papers (1872), xlvi, 17l.

From p. 152 of The Victoria History of the Counties of England (Worcestershire):



Cradley: The following gifts were mentioned on the table of benefactions in the chapel at Cradley, namely :

John Sparry, will, 1659, the interest of £4 for the poor ;

Nicholas Holmer. Will, 1673 the interest of 20s. to be given to the poor;

Thomas Cox, will, 1695, the yearly profits of £10 to be given to the poor.

The legacies were paid to the parish officers and the the income given on St. Thomas’s Day to poor widows.

In 1705 John Mansell, by his will, devised an annuity of 40s out of his lands and houses within the manor of Cradley to be distributed to forty poor householders in sums of 1s. each. The distribution takes place at Christmas time.

In 1806 John Townshend, by his will, proved at London, 11 September, bequeathed £70 consols, the annual dividends, amounting to £1 15s., to be applied towards the support of the National school, which was conveyed by deed, 9 October 1855.

In 1898 Charles Cockrane, by will, proved 5 July, bequeathed £2,000 (free of duty), the income to be applied for the benefit of the Unitarian Chapel at Netherend.

The Wesleyan Chapel and trust property, comprised in deeds, 1826, 1839 and 1860, was by order of the Charity Commissioners, 4 August 1869, vested in trustees thereby appointed on trusts of ‘The Wesleyan Chapel Model Deed.’

From p. 467 of The Victoria History of the Counties of England (Worcestershire):

POPULATION, 1801-1901

PARISH Acreage 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901

Cradley Chapelry 818 1,434 1,607 1,696 2,022 2,686 3,383 4,075 4,700 5,284 5,709 6,733

Victoria history of the  counties of england

The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire (1913 edition)