The information on this page was very kindly transcribed by Stephanie Cussons of Northwood, Middlesex
Sedgley is a large and populous district in the centre of the great mining district of Staffordshire, lying betwixt Wolverhampton and Dudley, and containing 7000 acres of land, and a population which, since the year 1801, has increased from 9,874 to 20,577 souls, as has been seen at page 163. It is divided into two divisions, called Upper and Lower Side, which maintain their poor conjointly, but their roads separately, and are sub-divided into 9 constablewicks or hamlets, viz - Sedgley, Gospel End, Cotwall End, and Upper and Lower Gornall, in the "Upper Side," and Ettingshall, Brierley, Coseley, and Wood Setton, in the "Lower Side."
The executors of the late Earl Dudley and Ward are lords of the manor, and hold a Court Leet here in October both for this manor and Darlaston ; but L. H. Petit, Esq. has a large estate, and there are a considerable number of smaller freeholders and copyholders in this extensive parish, which abounds with excellent coal, ironstone, limestone, freestone, and clay for bricks. The coal and iron works are mostly at Coseley and Ettingshall, and give employment to a vast number of workmen. Several hundred hands are also employed at their own homes in making nails and fire irons. The main coal is here 10 yards thick, and is well suited to the use of the furnaces, the forges, and the smithies. The poor rates levied in the parish have latterly amounted to about £4000 per annum.
Sedgley Village is very extensive, and occupies an elevated situation on the high road, 3 miles S. of Wolverhampton, and the same distance N.N.W. of Dudley. The parish Church, dedicated to All Saints, was rebuilt during the years 1826, 7, 8, and 9, by the late Earl Dudley and Ward, at the cost of £10,880. It has a handsome tower, Surmounted by a lofty spire, and containing eight bells. It has upwards of 1300 sittings, of which 595 are free. The east window is of stained glass, representing ten of the apostles, and the arms of several of the principal families who subscribed towards the cost of this ornamental feature of the church.
The living is a vicarage worth about £320 per annum. The executors of the late Lord Dudley and Ward are the patrons, and the Rev. Charles Girdlestone, M.A. is the incumbent. In the parish are two Chapels of Ease, at Coseley and Lower Gornall, and 12 Dissenting Chapels, viz., five belonging to the Wesleyans, at Uppper Gornall. Can Lane, Gornall Wood, Mason's Bank, and Hall Green; two to the Primitive Methodists at Sedgley and Sodom ; three to the Baptists, at Upper Fields, the Coppice, and Dark Lane; one to the Unitarians, at Coseley; and one to the Independents, at Ruiton. In the village of Sedgley there is also a Catholic Chapel, built in 1823, in the Gothic style, with a low tower arid spacious burial ground. Upwards of 2000 children attend the Sunday Schools attached to these places of worship, and nearly 800 are day scholars at the National and Infant Schools, in Sedgley (built principally at the expense of the late Earl Dudley and Ward) and at the Gornall National and the Ruiton Infant Schools. Between Wolverhampton and Sedgley Park, an ancient seat of the Dudleys which has been long used a Roman Catholic Academy. Ellers Hall, on the west side of the parish, is the handsome seat of J. T. Fereday, Esq. On April 23rd, 1797, during a dreadful thunder storm, three houses in Sedgley were injured by lightning, but happily no lives were lost. Three benefactions belonging to the poor of the parish produce £13. 10s. per annum, which is distributed at Christmas, and arises from the following yearly doles 70s. left by Thos., Mary, and Rd. Bradley, and Capt. Dudley; 10s paid by the overseers as interest of £10, left by John Perry; and £9. 10s., from 41 acres of land, purchased with the benefactions of Eliz. Pinson, Daniel Walter, and Anne Webb. The sum of .£100, left in 1717, by John Jewkes, was laid out in land now let for £12 a year, which supplies 18 sixpenny loaves, every Sunday, to 18 poor widows. The poor have also 30s. yearly in bread, left in 1811, by Edward Cox, out of two houses in Sedgley. The money is distributed in the nine divisions of the parish, in proportion to the population of each.
The following arc the VILLAGES and HAMLETS in this parish, with their distances and bearings from Sedgley.
BRIERLEY, a district of scattered houses, 1½ mile N.E. of Sedgley.
BROAD LANE and LADY MOOR, adjoining hamlets, 2 miles N.E. of Sedgley, and within half a mile S.W. of Bilston.
CAN LANE, a long street of houses, ¾ of a mile E.N.E. of Sedgley.
COSELEY, a populous but straggling village and district, 2 miles E. of Sedgley. Here is a handsome new Church or Chapel of Ease, dedicated to Christ, and erected in 1830, at the cost of about .£9000, raised by subscription and a parliamentary grant. It is of brick, cased with stone, in the plain Gothic style, and has 2000 sittings, of which 1230 are free. The vicar of Sedgley is the patron, and the Rev. Francis F. Clark the incumbent curate. Here is also an endowed Presbyterian Meeting House, now occupied by Unitarians. Attached to this chapel is a free School, which was endowed, in 1753, by Samuel and Sarah Timins, and Jane Turton, with a house and land, let for £25 per ann. In 1809, £268 was received from the sale of the coal under this land. In 1755, Joseph Kettle left £30 to this school, for which 20s. a year is paid by the chapel trustees, out of the rents of the Coppice Estate, which belongs to the chapel. From these funds, about 25 children are educated, and provided with books. The master takes other scholars.
COTWALL END, a district of a mile S.W. of Sedgley, occupied chiefly by nailers, and a few farmers.
DEEPFIELD lies a number of scattered houses in the coal and iron district, 1 mile S.W. of Bilston.
ETTINGSHALL a scattered village and large estate, belonging to L. H. Petit, Esq. half a mile W. by S. of Bilston. It was anciently a park but has long been disfigured by extensive coal and iron works and quarries of limestone.
GOLDTHORN is partlv in Wolverhampton & Penn, (see p. 190)
GORNALL (LOWER), a village and district 2 miles W of Dudley, occupied partly by nail makers. Here is a neat church dedicated to St. James, and built of excellent stone from the neighbouring quarries. This chapel of ease to Sedgley was commenced in 1815, but not finished till 1823, owing to want of funds, occasioned by the universal depression in trade which followed the general peace of 1816, (see p. 174.) It has 700 sittings, of which 300 are free, and cost only £1600, raised by voluntary subscription. The burial ground (about a rood) was given by the late Earl Dudley and Ward, who also endowed the curacy, which has since been augmented by an allotment o Queen Anne's bounty, so that it is now worth about £130 pe annum. The Earl's executors are the patrons, and the Rev T. Theodosius is the incumbent.
At Gornall there is a National school, and at Gornall Wood a Methodist chapel. The population of this division of the parish, in 1831, was 3124.
GORNALL (UPPER), is a long street of detached houses, 1mile N.W. of Dudley, where there are quarries of excellent freestone, several brick-yards, and a Methodist chapel.
GOSPEL END, a district half a mile W. of Sedgley.
GOSPEL OAK, a scattered hamlet, partly in Tipton parish, 1 miles W. of Wednesbury. Part of it is now called WEDNESBURY OAK from the extensive coal and iron works of Messrs P. Williams and Sons.
MASON'S BANK, a village in the Coseley division, with 1 Methodist chapel, 2 miles N.W. of Dudley.
PRINCE'S END, a large village, partly in Tipton parish, 2¼ miles N.bv E. of Dudley. Here are extensive coal and iron works.
RUITON a hamlet and district adjoining Upper Gornall, occupying a fine lofty limestone eminence, whicxh was formerly a beacon, and commands a most extensive prospect, in which the Malvern hills (at the distance of thirty-eight miles,) the Wrekin, and many of the mountains of North and South Wales may be seen, in a clear day, without the aid of a glass. The prebendary of Frees and Ruiton, in Lichfield Cathedral, derives part of his title from this place; and perhaps Prince's End; noticed above, may be a corruption of Frees End, as we find the said prebendary belongs to the tithes of the adjoining parish of Tipton. The Independent Chapel here was built in 1830; and attached to it is a large Infant School, also used as a Sunday school.
SODOM, a hamlet adjoining Can Lane, 1 mile E.N.E, of Sedgley.
WOOD SETTON, half a mile S.E.of Sedgley, is a scattered hamlet occupied by farmers, fire-iron makers etc
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