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Forum Home > Halesowen and Hasbury History. > The Manor of Halesowen.

Alaska.
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This part of the region, now under the administration of Dudley, was established long before the Domesday Book was compiled. After the conquest, it was given to Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, for services rendered. The Manor comprised, Halesowen, Hasbury, Hill, Lapal, Romsley, Hunnington, Hawn, Lutley, and Iley. Only Hunnington, Romsley and Iley escaped the early onslaught of the industrial revolution, for by 1851, the population of the others was on the increase. The town had a population of 2,412, Hasbury 1,166, Hill, 1,122, Lapal, 406, and Hawn,150. Rural Romsley had 398, Hunnington 143, and Iley just 105. There were no natural resources in Iley, no coal, no ironstone, no clay, and so when the old parishes of Halesowen began to really expand in the 1870s, Iley remained as it always had been, an Agricultural little township. The area was made up of at least seven farms, various small holdings, a Mill, and from way back in time, a village Pub, now called The Black Horse. There are some familar names, that over the years, have appeared in various rolls and documents, including, Taylor, Bennet, Smith, Connop, Cooper, Darby, Starling, and Withers. One thing it didn't have, was a Church, for in the past the villagers had suffered mightly at the hands of the infamous " White Cannons " of Hales Abbey, and instead of using the Towns St John the Baptist, chose to belong to the Church at Frankly, a two mile walk away. It was all Kings Johns fault, for giving the monks the right to the Lords of the Manor, in 1215, and which lasted until Henry VIII desolved the monastries, 323 years later. The White Cannons, at times, were not all that they seemed to be, as documents prove. They imposed, early on, a rent of two pence an acre, not much you may think now, but back then it was a great deal of money if you farmed 100 acres. They imposed the condition, that when a tenant died, the best beast on the farm, plus half of all goats, sheep, hogs, bees and horses, had to be handed over, or the tenancy was forfieted. Not content with this, they also required from the new tenant, ( usually the deceased's eldest son ) two years rent as well. Many of the Cannons went around armed, for they were not popular among the many tenants of the Manor, especially when demanding that they must work, without pay, for 20 days each year, on the Abbey lands.The poor tenants in Iley, were forced to undertake 9 days ploughing, 10 days sowing, and a day doing whatever the Abbot thought fit. Repairing Dams and dykes mainly, for the Cannons were fond of fresh fish. Living next to the Abbey, they had little choice. The big expenditure though, came when a tenants daughter got married, the Cannons charging a massive 12 shillings.



That was the price that had to be paid under the old feudal system, but what did the Abbey have to pay the Crown? As it turns out, very little. In the records for 1489, it was written that in that year, the Cannons consumed, 60 Cattle, 40 Sheep, 24 Calves, 30 Pigs, 1,000 quarters of Barley, ( for Brewing ) and 1,040 bushels of Wheat and Rye for Bread. All this while the population were living from hand to mouth, and thats not all. In 1505, an inventory was taken, and despite trying to hide what they owned, this was recorded. A quantity of Feather Beds, Silk Coverlets, Brass and Copper Vessels, Basins, Ewers and Chargers of Silver. ( they obviously couldn't drink the excellent beer they brewed from earthenware pots )  Non of this is what you would expect from a religious order of the period, no hair shirts or hard wooden beds here then. The population of the Manor may have expected some changes when Henry gave the Abbey the chop, but no, Henry was only after the wealth, and non of it went back into the Manor. Nothing much changed until the industrial revolution, and then a few inhabitants sold up, or left to make their fortunes in the Mining and Coal fields. They were to be soon disillusioned, and many came back, to a more tranquil, if impoverished life, on the land. In 1846, the Black Horse was sold to Samuel Weston for £190, then in 1882, Joseph Smith took over, and his family held the lease for the next 75 years.   Obviously, it was a going concern, as it still is today, the appeal I suppose, being that it remains very much a sort of Country Pub. It was a favourite stop on a Sunday, when out for a drive in the country in the 1950s and 60s. Not so much Traffic then, and of course, the Beer was made the proper way, with real hops.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

April 1, 2013 at 3:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
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Posts: 1404

It's really amazing at times, what turns up while you are researching something unconnected with the subject. Some years ago, while compiling my wifes family tree, I was following the elusive trail of her Bonham relatives, who mainly came from Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. One in perticular, Henry Bonham, married a certain young lady, by the name of Lucy Eaton. Her father, Richard Eaton, as it turned out, was the owner of Lutley Mill, Halesowen.



Lucy was born in Lutley,in June,1771, and Henry in Dunchurch,Warwickshire, in 1774, the family being all concerned with the Milling trade.They were married in Halesowen's Parish Church, on 16th May,1796. Lucy had a younger sister, Sarah Eaton, born about 1789, who, on the 6th August, 1804, mariied the up and coming young Engineer, John Burr. His father, also John, had leased, some years before, the Mill at Hayseetch, ( later changed to Hayseech ) and converted it to make Gun Barrels. Sadly, before they had been married a year, the old man died. The Mill though, for a time, did very well. Meanwhile, the Bonhams, with a little help from Richard Eaton, went into the property trade, buying and renting house's and land, in and around Hasbury. Just as well they did, for in 1826, John Burr was declared bankrupt, and Lucy offered her sisters family a roof over their heads. Not a humble cottage, but a place at her and Henry's home newly purchased  Highfield House. Three years later, it was Lucy who needed some comfort, for Henry died, and as his will stipulated, he was taken back and buried in Dunchurch. John Burr was back on his feet in 1842, for he secured, once again, the lease to the Gunbarrel Mill. Both families were well known in Halesowen for the generous donations to the town, and very strong supporters of religion and Education. The house they lived in after Lucy solds Highfield was Bundle Hill House, and John, ever mindful of how it all went wrong in 1826, didn't have his name on the deeds. The head of the house in the 1851 Census was Lucy Bonham, and I can only conclude she was the more intelligent of the sisters. Two years later, on the 30th April,1853, Lucy Bonham died, without naming an executor of her will, so it fell to her sister, Sarah Burr, to administer the estate. She must have had a favourite nephew, for she left the bulk of the estate to her sisters youngest son, Arthur Burr. Good choice, for it was Arthur, who was to be the future brains behind the Gunbarrel works.


Interestingly, she left Arthur two dwelling house's in Spring Hill, Hasbury, naming both tenants in her will. John Ingram lived in one, and Daniel Parsons in the other. Both of these men were nailers, and the properties appear to be at the rear of the Hare and Hounds, Hagley Road. The Ingram family were still there in 1911. As testimony to her strong church links, she also left him a pew. Not any old pew, but Pew No. 58, on the ground floor of Saint John the Baptist, Halesowens Parish Church.



Now I had no idea that this system was still in use, for it stretched back to the middle ages, when the Lords of the Manor wished to remain a distance from the poor peasants. The Documents even list the undertaker, Benjamin Connop, who supplied an Oak Coffin, ( value £2. 10 shillings ) and, 200 bricks, the Mortar, and the labour, ( 10 shillings ) for what can only be a vault with an Arch. ( he also billed 2s.6d for the timber )  In total, she left less than £100, and taking out all the expences, ( £8 11 shillings ) Arthur gained £91.9shillings. She was laid to rest on the 6th May,1853, and there ended my search, for the Bonham who found his way to Halesowen. What a strange and facinating world we live in.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

April 12, 2013 at 3:37 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
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Posts: 1404

The old Manor though, must have been in pretty impoverished state around the 1790s. Not the Landowners, the poor population, who were suffering the effects of yet another drop in the price of the commodity the Town was associated with, " Nailmaking ".  Most of them were dressed in rags at the best of times, and it wasn't the first time that many had gone without food either.



Just up the road at the Leasowes, all the suffering below would have passed way above the head of William Shenstone, but for an incident that occured in 1797. While walking the Estate with a servant in attendence, Shenstone was suddenly accosted by a man armed with what was reported to be an Iron bar. He demanded money, which Shenstone happily handed over, as from the mans state of dress, his need of money was obviously more pressing than his own. When the man had made off, instead of sending the servant to summon the law, Shenstone sent him off, at a discreet distance of course, to follow the man and report back what he found. The servant duly did as he was bidden, and informed his master that the man lived in the Town with his wife and several starving children. He also said he had overheard the man say to his wife that he was ashamed to have stooped so low as to commit robbery, but their need was great., and the risk had to be taken. Now most wealthy people of the time, having been outraged by being robbed, would have reported the matter to the law. Not so Shenstone, for the story goes that same night, he called at the dingy little one roomed place where the Nailer and his family lived, and gave him more money to buy food. It was also reported, although not confirmed in the records available, that he was seen several times in the Town, giving out small sums to those whose need was desperate. Not just a great Poet then, but a man of some compassion for his fellow creatures.



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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

April 27, 2013 at 3:40 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
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Posts: 1404

There were many other trades practised in the old Manor, apart from the one everyone first thinks about, Nailmaking. The Town would have been a very barren place without them. William Weaver, in 1695, had a good business going, yes, you may have guessed it, Weaving. It may have been Linen, for a few years later, in 1719, another man, John Cooke, was also busy in the Town, weaving away like mad. The Towns folk didn't go without decent shoes either, for there were several makers to chose from, including the family of Samuel Falkener. I'm sure part of his trade would have come from some of the Towns nailers as well, such as William Richards in 1718, John Richards in 1723, William Ashmore in 1736, William Hawkesford, around 1740, Samuel Harris in 1742,  the more famous James Grove, in 1753, ( Buttons are Us ) and Benjamin Hanbury in 1758. Clothes wouldn't have been a problem either, for somewhere in Town, were the premises of Joseph White, 1704, Tailor to the nobility, or those who didn't fancy walking about town with a cheek hanging out.



The Town could even boast a decent Lock Smith, one John Westwood, who may have been one of the few, who didn't keep spare keys to Burgle the houses he fitted Locks too. Even in hard times it seems, some of the population had stuff to steal. One of my ancesters, John Greaves, in 1710, had set up a Whitesmiths Shop, after undergoing at least 5 years apprenticeship in the noble art of Tin Smithing. So the inhabitants weren't short of few cooking utensils, Bowls, Coffee Pots, and other little nick-nacks. I like the alternative version myself, that he was one of the men who travelled the roads known as Tinkers, men who could be heard coming, due to the rattling pots and pans, long before they were seen. It's amazing what you can find with a bit of concentrated research, and if your family name is included, do have a bit of dig yourself, you never know what you will find.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

July 18, 2013 at 11:46 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
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Posts: 1404

Having already mentioned that Halesowen wasn't the richest place around, questions get asked about the Towns Workhouse. The official name for this was the Parish Poor House, for the truth was, that the Town never had a proper Union Workhouse. It was situated near to the Parish Church. Some early records have survived, and knowing that some folk have an interest in names, here's few to get you started. I have said elsewhere, that one way of reducing the expence of the Poor House, was to " Apprentice or Indenture ", some of the inmates. Mary Gould, aged about 9, ( perfectly legal at the time ) was put into the service of Nathaniel Taylor, in 1716, to learn 'Housewifery' until she was 21. All he had to do was feed and clothe her, and he had almost free labour for the next 12 years. In 1717, it was the turn of young Sarah Hands to be farmed out, this time to a Robert Phillips, and with the same occupation stated. The next year saw Elizabeth Baker given to Joseph Russell and his family, and Mary Haddon move the short distance to the Hawne home of William Ingley. Some of the girls, ended up with 12 years service to some people who described themselves as " Farmers ", but in truth were actually Nailers, who kept a few Cows and Pigs.



You can of course guess what kind of ' house keeping ' they were engaged in. If I mention just three of the Halesowen Farmers in the records, John Hill, 1724, Henry Hodges, 1746, and Thomas Round, 1757, all of who appear in another list, as Nailers. I wonder just how much Husbandry, William Heacock, ( Hill) Joseph Bennett, ( Hoges ) and Benjamin Hackett, ( Round ) every got around to teaching in the little workshop attached to each " Farm ". There were some who did actually farm the land though, William Foley, listed in 1728, took on Joseph Fletcher as a trainee Cattleman. Thomas Green, in 1737, apprenticed Thomas Giles to do the same job. Joseph Underhill, in one of the few apprenticeships agreed privately, took on Daniel Grigg, the son of a Lye Nailfactor. His father obviously had an eye on the future, and indeed, with plenty of money to spare, he could afford to. Some of the last documents signed, date from about 1769, which is around the time that the old building in Halesowen had reached the end of it's use. All the poor, needy, waifs, strays and orphans would now be sent to the bigger house covering Oldswinford, and the records of where they lived, would from then on, only state the Parish the Poor House was in. There are many records of who went where in the Worcestershire Archives, all you need is a name. Drop me a line first though, I could save you a wasted journey.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

July 19, 2013 at 3:51 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
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Posts: 1404

Hidden deep, in the Ancient Documents of the Manor of Hales, lies the tale of a long vanished Village, Kenelmstowe. An old name, frequently mentioned, is that of the Tandy Family, Alexander and John, the latter of whom lived near to the Ancient Church. Along with other small rural communities at the time, ( 13th Century )  they tended to be rather self-sufficient, and supplemented their meagre earnings from the land with other crafts like Weaving, Pottery, and Iron working. Alexander, according to the records, had at least seven children, Philip, Robert, Henry, Richard, Isabella, Clement, and Margaret. They weren't above a little larceny at times either, much to the Abbots annoyance. Around 1292, young Clement took a fancy to Emma Fulfen, the daughter of Matilda Fulfen, from a rather richer family than his own. They lived in the neighbouring Parish of Romsley, and subsequent events lead me to suppose they may have told porkies about the wealth. Clement, no doubt in ignorance of the rules, ( the first being never get caught with a load of stolen firewood ) was despatched, in 1293, to cut some firewood and transport it to Droitwich, where the Fulfen's had some salt-pans. No sooner had the hardworking Clement stacked the wood, the Abbots men turned up, and Clement was nicked, bang to rights, caught with a load of the Abbeys wood. He was fined 2 pence, which at the time was a lot of money. The Abbot seems to have made a fair bit of money in fines for stealing firewood, which may have netted him more than actually selling it. In 1294, Matilda Kenelmstowe was fined 3 pence, Margery Tandy was fined 3 pence, Richard Tandy 3 pence, and his daughter, 2 pence. Such was the scale of the thieving, that over half the village was fined at one sitting of the Abbots court. Alexander himself, in 1296, allowed his livestock to graze on stubble following the harvest, the only problem being, it was the Abbots stubble. Fined 2 pence. Richard Tandy, seeing that as a challange, then took all the families Cattle to the Churchyard, and grazed it bare.



A furious Abbot fined him 2 pence. The morals of the villagers also caused the Abbot a bit of alarm, for in November,1280, Isabella Tandy and Felicie de Kenelmstowe, were both fined for Leywite, an old expression for failing to maintain your virtue. Hells bells, that such things could go in the quiet rural suroundings of Clent and Romsley. The Court Rolls also cover a few lapses in the brewing trade. The Abbot employed an Ale-taster, a job some of us would be very happy to take on today. ( and without any wages ) He discovered that Randolf Tandy had been supplying under strength beer and fined  the miscreant 3 pence. The Tandy family had a few brains as well, for in 1303, one Kemme Tandy, stole a quantity of Radishes from William Westley's allotment. Tandy knew full well that Westley had earlier sold some of the radish crop, ( they belonged to the Abbot, and were in themselves stolen goods ) to one Father Richard, an enterprising monk at the Abbey, and was hoping, that in the confusion, he would get away with it. He didn't. Father Richard was duly punished, and the Abbot took away Kemme Tandy's  Sunday lunch by fining him three Chickens. Theres no way of knowing just when the little Hamlet ceased to be, but so many disappeared during the 14th and 15th Centuries thats it's safe to assume this time frame. The Tandy family are still in the area though, mostly around Romsley today, having moved from their roots, where the name was recorded from at least 1270. They seem to be in much better condition than the old Abbey, which, due to a bit of petty larceny, they paid money towards it's upkeep, and the White Monks earthly comforts.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

October 22, 2013 at 11:27 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
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Posts: 1404



From observations, it would appear that a great many folk in Halesowen think that the old Abbey was left in that condition by Henry VIII : not true. The Kings men took off the roof, melted down the lead, and together with anything else of value, left the rest still standing. So what happened to all the extensive stonework. The Lyttelton family at Hagley are one reason, for the building called " The Castle ", a folly which stands in the estate, was made entirely from the stones taken from the Abbey. This wholesale removal, left huge gaps in the old building, made worse then by the plans of William Shenstone, who purlioned a great deal more. Then, over the passage of time, the thieving inhabitants of the town, used the rest as foundations and the building of both the poor house, and the old lock-up. All of this stone has long disappeared, due to the towns several re-developements. Some bits still remain within the Parish Church, and the seating used by the Monks, can be still seen in the Parish Church of Walsall. So the damage, is all mainly self-inflicted, which, if it had been left alone, would be a much better tourist attraction than the current miserable little pile of rubble.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

April 30, 2014 at 10:57 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

The Hasbury Windmill.


For those who are going to say, " never heard of one in Hasbury", well there certainly was, as the documents sent to me from Canada, prove. While having a rummage through a bric-a-brac stall, one reader of this website found a document with a family name on it. The name was William Bowater, and believing the old paper was about a timber concession, for his Bowater's were in the paper trade, he purchased it and took it home. It turned out to be an Indenture, and it was indeed about the transfer and purchase of land, not in Canada though, but in Hasbury, Halesowen. The years covered by the document, are 1795, and 1796, and involve several names, apart from William Bowater, and the main item of the sale, A Windmill. Read on, for this will be of interest to those interested in the history of Hasbury.


The Windmill, which must have stood just beyond what was known as Quarry Hill, and before the present day Oak Court, was owned by one Joseph Blick. He is stated to a Yeoman, and lived in the parish of Stoke Prior, near Bromsgrove. Worcestershire. He had leased, or rented the Windmill, to a miller and his wife, William, and Elizabeth Bowater, who came from the parish of Clent, Halesowen, Shropshire. ( Halesowen did not become part of Worcestershire until the 1840s ) On the 30th June,1795, both of them, each of course having an interest in the mill, signed documents selling the Windmill and other buildings to William Grove, Miller, of Halesowen, Richard Cookes, Yeoman, of Romesley Hill, Halesowen, and one Joseph Brettell, gentleman, of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. Included in the sale were a Tenement, Shop, Garden, and other buildings, plus of course the Windmill. The mill stones, gearing,  untensils, wells, and watercourses were also mentioned, as was the price asked. £250. Joseph Blick, the owner, was paid £190, and the lease, held by William Bowater was purchased for the other £60. The Indenture of 1796, laid out the responsibilties of each party, as to whom had a claim and who didn't in case of default, and was signed on 13th July,1796. William Grove, and presumably his backers or partners, were granted a lease to the property for the best part of a thousand years, on condition of the payment of one pepper corn yearly. In order to maintain the partnership it seems, the whole of the purchased estate was held in trust by Crookes and Brettell, for William Grove, and prevented him from using it as a dowery in the event he should henceforth get married. Grove at this date was 30 years old, having been born in Halesowen in 1766, his father also being a Miller. Most of the Mills mentioned in old documents for Halesowen don't include a reference to this Windmill at Spring Hill, Lower Hasbury, and I have never seen any plan or sketch of one. There is a reference however in 1812.


The Earl of Dudley, a man who kept a close eye on his assests, had a map made in 1812, depicting his holdings and Coal mines in the region. By a quirk of luck, whoever made the map, included Halesowen, and Hasbury, and dropped in a Windmill, exactly where it should have been. It isn't shown on an earlier or later map, perhaps because it wasn't built of stone, but constructed from timber, as would be expected with a Pole Mill. That would have been strange, because the sandstone Quarry is just a short distance away, the source of much of the building material from which a great many of the old cottages were made. In the case of a Pole Mill, the mill would have been built on a mound, and someone, not so long ago, made an enquiry about such a feature in the landscape. The other surprise I got, was when checking through the Census details, and found both William Grove, and his wife Hannah, still alive and well, still living in the same place, and still at his work as a Miller. A look at the description of the district, from this census, reveals the area to be correct, but not the exact spot. Now if anyone can throw some more light on the subject, both myself, and my friend in Canada, would be most interested to hear it.


The other mills in Halesowen were at Lutley, The Grange, Mucklow Hill,  ( all water powered ), and there is mention of a Malt Mill, in the Parish of Hill, which had no stream, and must have been a Windmill as well. I haven't included the Mill at Belle Vale, (date unknown) or the Windmill that must have stood on Windmill Hill at the top of Drews Holloway. Facinating stuff is a bit of local history, anyone care to do a little bit of digging through the archives.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

May 24, 2014 at 4:02 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

The Hasbury Windmill.


As an added piece to the first post on this subject, below you will see an extract from a map of 1812, commissioned by Lord Dudley, to show him what he owned and what he didn't.



You can clearly see the Windmill(s) that I have alluded to, both on the opposite side of the Hagley Road to the main area known as Lower Hasbury. The Document I have been sent, was purchased by the reader, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2007, so the implecation is, that sometime after the death of William Grove, or maybe before, one of his relatives emigrated to Canada, taking the Indenture with him. It could of course be, that another named man in the document, was responsible for the transfer of said document. If anyone has a link to any of the names, and they also have a link to Canada, would you be so kind as to drop me a line, and I will pass the details on if you wish. The document bears several identical seals, possible by  the Lawyer who drew up the document, who could have been in either Bromsgrove or Droitwich. I have attached two copies of the seal, one in black and white, which will be of some use in a search. 



It's not by the way, a Coat of Arms, more a case of a grant by Letters Patent for business use. Once again, anyone with more information will be welcome to join in the search for the Windmill.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

May 29, 2014 at 3:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Kevin Hartle
Member
Posts: 1

Alaska. at May 29, 2014 at 3:29 PM

The Hasbury Windmill.


As an added piece to the first post on this subject, below you will see an extract from a map of 1812, commissioned by Lord Dudley, to show him what he owned and what he didn't.



You can clearly see the Windmill(s) that I have alluded to, both on the opposite side of the Hagley Road to the main area known as Lower Hasbury. The Document I have been sent, was purchased by the reader, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2007, so the implecation is, that sometime after the death of William Grove, or maybe before, one of his relatives emigrated to Canada, taking the Indenture with him. It could of course be, that another named man in the document, was responsible for the transfer of said document. If anyone has a link to any of the names, and they also have a link to Canada, would you be so kind as to drop me a line, and I will pass the details on if you wish. The document bears several identical seals, possible by  the Lawyer who drew up the document, who could have been in either Bromsgrove or Droitwich. I have attached two copies of the seal, one in black and white, which will be of some use in a search. 



It's not by the way, a Coat of Arms, more a case of a grant by Letters Patent for business use. Once again, anyone with more information will be welcome to join in the search for the Windmill.

I think it is likely that there were two windmills in Hasbury. The following link to the Dudley Council website has old maps that can be downloaded for free, including Hasbury:

 http://www.dudley.gov.uk/resident/planning/historic-environment/historic-maps-of-dudley/

The map is dated 1750, but according to the text "The base material for the composition of the 1750 map is the Tithe Map of 1845, with other material gathered from local histories and documentary research". The map shows two windmills. One is on the top of the hill above the quarry. Overlaying a modern map the windmill would be behind the garage on the Hagley Road. there is a short lane to the top of the hill between the garage and childrens nursery. The second windmill would have been further down the Hagley Road closer to Oak Court.

The seal with a chevron and three crosslets is similar to the coat of arms used by a various families, including Russell and Davenport, with the addition of a five-pointed star. The colours of the emblems would change for different families. There may be some records of seals that would reveal more information.

 


January 16, 2016 at 11:29 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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