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The Annals of Willenhall   By:

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“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.”

— Ovid .

[Picture: Seal of Willenhall Local Authority]

Wolverhampton: WHITEHEAD BROS., St. John’s Square and King Street.



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 65 (1640–1745) XIV.—Litigation Concerning the Willenhall Prebend 72 (1615–1702) 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


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

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