Norton, King's (St. Nicholas)
A considerable number of the inhabitants are employed in the manufacture of nails; there is also a manufactory for swords and gun-barrels, which is in a very flourishing state, and one for the making of fire-irons. The market has been long discontinued; but fairs are still held on the 25th of April and the 5th of September. The Birmingham and Worcester canal, and the Birmingham and Gloucester railway, pass through the parish; the former makes a junction with the Stratford canal, and is conveyed through a tunnel into the parish of Alvechurch. The living was till lately annexed to the vicarage of Bromsgrove; it is now a distinct perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Worcester. The great tithes have been commuted for £630, and the small for £175; the impropriate glebe consists of 300 acres, and the vicarial of 65. The church is an ancient structure, chiefly in the decorated English style, with some insertions of later date, and a tower of elegant design surmounted by a lofty and well-proportioned spire, and contains 800 sittings. At Moseley and Wythall are separate incumbencies. The free grammar school was founded by Edward VI., and endowed with a payment of £15 per annum; it has a library of several hundred volumes, bequeathed by the Rev. Thomas Hall, a former curate. Fifteen boys are instructed on the foundation in reading, writing, and arithmetic. The master has the privilege of taking private pupils; the present master was nominated by James Taylor, Esq., who, as lord of the manor (purchased from the crown by his father), claims to be the sole trustee. There are two schoolrooms, which are also used by the boys and girls of some Sunday schools. The poor-law union consists of five parishes or places, of which three are in the county of Worcester, and one each in the counties of Stafford and Warwick, together containing a population of 21,674.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.