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Sedgley (All Saints)

SEDGLEY (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Dudley, N. division of the hundred of Seisdon, S. division of the county of Stafford, 3 miles (N.) from Dudley; containing 24,819 persons. This populous parish is divided into nine hamlets or villages, viz., Brierley, Coseley, Cotwall-end, Ettingshall, Lower and Upper Gornall, Gospel-end, Sedgley, and Woodsetton. It is situated in the midst of a country abounding with coal, ironstone, and limestone; and the working of these furnishes employment to most of the inhabitants. The area by measurement is 7360 acres, of which 3860 are arable, 2000 pasture, 560 woodland, and 500 in gardens; the soil is for the greater part a strong rich loam, well adapted for wheat. The surface is very hilly, and the lower grounds are intersected by numerous rivulets, and canals leading to the different mines. The scenery from the heights is panoramic, including the Malvern and Abberley hills in Worcestershire, the Wrekin in Salop, the Black mountains, the peaks of the Montgomery mountains, and Admiral Rodney's monument, in Wales. The village is supposed to occupy one of the highest sites in the kingdom, and the waters divide on the eminence, one portion running into the Trent and the other into the Severn, which flow into the sea at opposite extremities of the island. The iron is manufactured both into pig-iron in furnaces, and into wrought or malleable in mills or forges, and the latter kind is again converted into bars, rods, hoops, hurdles, nails, coffee-mills, locks, &c.: among the largest manufactories are the Wednesbury-Oak works, established in 1814 by Philip Williams and Sons. The Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal intersects the parish in various directions. A court leet is annually held by Lord Ward, as lord of the manor, at which two constables and four deputies are chosen.

The living is a vicarage, endowed with a portion of the rectorial tithes, and valued in the king's books at £5. 12. 8½.; net income, £503; patron, Lord Ward, who, with others, is owner of the remainder of the rectorial tithes. The church, a beautiful edifice in the purest style, standing on an eminence and seen in all directions, was completed in 1829, at an expense of £10,800, by the late Earl of Dudley. The eastern window is of richlystained glass, representing ten of the Apostles, with the arms of the earl; it cost £300. At Coseley, Lower and Upper Gornall, and Ettingshall, are district churches. There are places of worship belonging to Particular Baptists, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, Independents, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics. The encrinite, and the singular fossil called the trilobite or "Dudley locust," are found at Woodsetton, the latter in an isolated limestone rock termed the Wren's Nest Hill.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.