Brewood

BREWOOD, a parish, in the union of Penkridge, E. division of the hundred of Cuttlestone, S. division of the county of Stafford, 7 miles (N. by W.) from Wolverhampton, and 10 (S. by W.) from Stafford; comprising by survey 11,900 acres; and containing, with the liberty of Coven and the township of Brewood, 3641 inhabitants, of whom 2991 are in the township. The town, though small, is of great antiquity. Stukeley, in his Itinerary, speaks of it as "a village on the Penk, which they say has been an old city; on plowing the fields they frequently find Roman coins and other antiquities; in that great old city King John kept his court." It is about a mile south of the Roman Watling-street, which forms the northern boundary of the parish for upwards of three miles; there are several streets and a spacious market-place, but the market held on Friday has been discontinued, and the market-house pulled down. Fairs for cattle, horses, &c., are held on the 2nd Thursday in May, and the 19th of September. The parish is intersected by the Staffordshire and Worcestershire and the Birmingham and Liverpool canals, for the latter of which here is a reservoir covering about 200 acres; the Liverpool and Birmingham railway also passes through, and has one of its stations, the Four Ashes', near Brewood.

The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £15; patron, the Dean of Lichfield: the vicarial tithes have been commuted for £670, and the impropriate for £1928. The church is a large and ancient edifice, with a tower and fine lofty spire, which latter is a most picturesque object from every part of the surrounding country: in the chancel are four very handsome recumbent monuments to the Giffard family. A chapel of ease was erected at Coven in 1839. The Independents have a place of worship; and there is a Roman Catholic chapel, built in 1844: at Coven is a place of worship for Wesleyans. The free grammar school here has existed from time immemorial, and is supposed to have been founded by a Dr. Knightley; the instruction is classical, but an English education is also afforded, a small annual charge being made for writing and arithmetic. Bishop Hurd, who, with other distinguished persons, was educated in it, appropriated in 1800 two houses for the benefit of the school; and in 1827, £1000 four per cents. were bequeathed by Richard Hurd, Esq., nephew of the bishop: the endowments are now upwards of £400 per annum. There are national schools in the town, and one in Coven, supported by subscription; two schools are maintained by the ladies of two families, and in one of them the children are clothed as well as educated. A bank for savings was established in 1818. The charity funds of the parish amount to £62 per annum, and are at the disposal of the churchwardens.—See Chillington, Coven, &c.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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