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    Cradley Links

    The James Scott Manuscript - A History of Cradley (1800-1826)

    Presbyterian minister James Scott left a priceless legacy to Cradley in the form of a manuscript recording contemporary events and personalities

    Portrait of James Scott by Jonah Child of Dudley

    The Reverend James Scott was Presbyterian Minister in Cradley from 1789 until his death in 1827. Scott was a prolific writer. Amongst his numerous works is A History of Cradley 1800-1826, also known as the James Scott Manuscript or simply "J.S.M.".

    This is an important primary source of information for local and family historians about the people of Cradley and their lives and times. The original book, a leather-bound volume of some 550 pages, hand-written in ink, is held in safe-keeping by Higgs & Sons, Solicitors, Stourbridge. Cradley Links has had the opportunity of inspecting the manuscript and taking notes, which we reproduce here. We are indebted to Mr. Brian Evers, a Trustee of the Park Lane Unitarian Chapel, for assisting us in gaining access to the James Scott Manuscript, and also to Higgs & Sons for providing facilities for our research.

    James Scott was born to John and Elizabeth Scott of Stourbridge on 1 March 1768. He was invited to succeed Joseph Baker as Presbyterian Minister in Cradley just as he was about complete to his studies at the Dissenter's Academy in Daventry, in 1789. The Reverend Scott was the driving force of the new "Religious Discussion Society" in The Lye at about the same time. He first preached at Cradley on 21 June 1789 and was ordained at the Pensnett Meeting House on 11 May 1790. The building of the Park Lane Presbyterian Chapel (now Park Lane Unitarian Chapel) commenced under Scott, and he officiated at its opening on 15 May 1796.

    James Scott died on 19 December 1827, at the age of 59.


    The Manuscript has a Title Page in faint pencil giving its full title as: "History of Cradley, Principally designed to record interesting transactions depicting its religious societies and more especially the Presbyterian Church."

    William Scott records (Stourbridge and its Vicinity, 1832):

    ... some further particulars may be inserted, when treating of Cradley, his chosen residence, and the scene of his distinguished usefulness. A catalogue of his numerous publications, principally consisting of various religious tracts, besides several single sermons; will attest to the industry and fidelity of the author as a christian minister. A folio volume of Cradley Records is still extant, with various other MSS. by the same hand. Not only the proceedings of the body to which the writer belonged are here detailed; but the ancient and modern history of Cradley and its vicinity, extending to that of the neighbourhood at large, with notices of public events, are here to be found.


    G. Eyre Evans wrote of Scott and the manuscript (Midland Churches, 1899) thus:

    Scott was a born antiquary and historian; he never seems to have let even the most trivial events in his congregations pass unrecorded, with the result that as time goes on his manuscripts and records become of the greatest value. Had all old and modern societies been so fortunate as to own great, heavy, substantial volumes such as are the priceless treasures of Cradley in its MS. History of Cradley Presbyterian Church, by James Scott ; of Stourbridge in its 3 MS. Vols. of Records of the Presbyterian Church, by James and William Scott ; [...] the task of historians would be far easier than it generally is.

    The extremely valuable volume [...] is enriched with water colour drawings, engravings and portraits, as well as containing important notes by Scott on the histories of neighbouring societies.


    Chapter 1st is an "Ancient History of Cradley", extracting from Nash's History of Worcestershire. However, most of the book comprises Scott's own observations on and descriptions of all manner of things. He touches on parish accounts, geology, genealogy, politics, industry as well as, of course, religion. The work was begun in 1800 and covers the period until 1826, shortly before his death.

    In a foreword to the book Scott describes his purpose in writing the book, which in some respects resembles a diary. He writes as follows:

    This Volume the preparation of which has been the amusement of leisure hours, is respectfully dedicated to the Trustees, and other members of the Society assembling for public worship at Park Lane Chapel Cradley.

    It was originally intended only to write a brief history of the Presbyterian Church in this village. It was then thought to be expedient to add some particulars respecting the other religious societies, and also concerning the antiquities, and present state of Cradley. As the period in which it was written was pregnant with great events, it was supposed that a very concise note of the most remarkable political occurrences of each year might be interesting. And it was afterwards judged that a few essays, and historical details, immediately and remotely connected with the general subjects of this book, might be inserted with propriety, and that an Obituary would be prove a valuable appendage. A copious general Index has also been added.

    Thus what was originally intended only to occupy a small Octavo, has imperceptibly swelled into a large volume, which is perhaps too diffuse and desultory. Being written at different times, and at distant intervals, some things will be found repeated, though in a different connection, or in more full detail. This Record, which consists chiefly of local transactions and occurrences, is not designed to meet the eye of the public. It may, however, be interesting to some of those for whose it was composed, and with this in mind is given to the Trustees of Park Lane Chapel Cradley, for the use of the congregation, to be deposited with other writings belonging to the Society.


    The following data extracted from Scott's History of Cradley comprises the Obituary and two smaller sections. The Obituary is a list of members of the Cradley Presbyterian congregation who died between 1791 and 1827. There are one or two missing numbers in the entry list, at least one entry added out of order, and some unnumbered entries, where the deceased is perhaps not a member of the Cradley Presbyterian congregation but in some other way associated with it. The names extracted here are of all the persons listed by Scott, together with dates of and ages at death and places of residence, where given. However, the memoirs are only a sample of those given by James Scott, as time did not permit us to extract them all in full.

    The details of Local Taxation, money raised for the Poor, and the quantity and value of Land in Cradley, are derived by Scott or others before him from the Parish Books. The Members of the Presbyterian Congregation in 1800 resident in Cradley may be valuable, especially in conjunction with later Censuses and other sources, in identifying some families and individuals, and also in determining local surnames at this time.


    State of the Congregation at the close of 1800. Including those who occupy sittings in the Park lane Chapel, with their respective families, and places of abode. Parish of Halesowen Cradley District

    Netherend Mr. Thos. Pargeter Mrs. Do.

    Mr. Sh. Pargeter Son

    Servant Do.

    Do. Do.

    Do. Daughter

    Do. Do.

    H. Cox Senr. Do.

    Mrs. Do. Mrs. Phillips

    Jos Bloomer C. Probert

    Mrs. Do. Wm. Newton

    Son Lanes End J. Grovenor

    Do. Servant

    Do. Enoch Billingham

    Do. Mrs. Do.

    Daughter Son

    Mr. T. Meredith Elijah Rock

    Mrs. Do. Mrs. Do.

    Miss Eleanor Do. Light Green R. Box

    Miss Mary Do. Mrs. Do.

    Mr. Joseph Do. T. Souden

    Mr. Wm. Do. Mrs. Do.

    Servant Son

    J. Moss Apprentice Daughter

    Mrs. Brettell Do.

    Jos. Weston Do.

    Mrs. Do. Do.

    R. Leonard Apprentice John Brettell

    Jas. Bloomer Junr. Cradley Village Mrs. Forrest School Mistress

    Mrs. Do. Ab. Sutch

    B. Homer Daughter

    Mrs. Homer S. Buffery

    W. Brook Junr. Mrs. Do.

    Mrs. Do. Mrs. Shaw

    Jas. Scott Minister Son

    Servant Mrs. E. Forrest

    Do. Daughter

    D. Mansell Overend W. Beasley

    Mrs. Do. Mrs. Do.

    Son Colman Hill Mrs. Roper

    R. Forrest Son

    Mrs. Do. Do.

    Son Colley Gate Revd. J. Baker

    Daughter Mrs. Baker

    Do. Mr. Brettell

    Do. Servant

    Mrs. Hamus Mrs. Ph. Hill

    Daughter Mrs. Sermon

    Mr. Wm. Oliver Mr. W. Tay

    T. Oliver T. Bennet

    H. Perks Mrs. Do.

    Mrs. Do. Son

    Daughter Daughter

    W. Grovenor Do.

    T. Martin Do.

    Mrs. Do. Do.

    Son D. Mole

    Wm. Parkes D. Mole Junr.

    Mrs. Do. Mrs. Do.

    W. Do. Son

    T. Do. Do.

    Daughter Mrs. Cox

    Do. Mr. E. Brettel

    Do. Mrs. Do.

    S. Brook W. Light

    Mrs. Do. Park-Side Mr. J. Pargeter

    Daughter Mr. H. Shaw

    Mrs. Drew Miss E. Shaw

    R. Carter Miss Maria Do.

    Mrs. Do. Servant

    Son Mrs. Haden

    Daughter Son

    J. Stafford Junr. Daughter

    Mrs. Do. Mrs. Round

    Son Son

    J. Perkes Jos. Dix

    Mrs. Do. Mrs. Do.

    Son Son

    Do. Do.

    Do. Daughter

    Daughter Jos. Beasley

    Do. Mrs. Do.

    Do. Chapel House Mr. H. Buffery

    W. Dunn Junr. Mrs. Do.

    G. Deally Mrs. Giles

    Mrs. Do. W. Gavin

    Son Servant

    Do. Park Lane J. Instone

    Daughter Mrs. Do.

    Do. T. Edwards Junr.

    S. Hill B.R. Simpkiss School Master

    Son Jos. Brettel

    W. Stafford Mrs. Do.

    Mrs. Do. Jas. Do. Son

    Wm. Junr. Do.

    Jos. Dunn Do.

    B. Drew Daughter

    Son Do.

    Near Cradley J. Bloomer Senr. Do.

    Old Forge W. Bloomer Do.


    Taxes and Money Raised for the Poor in Cradley 1798-99

    The following is a correct statement of the amount of the Taxes in the Township of Cradley, for the 5th of April 1798, to the 5th of April 1799.


    £ s d

    Land Tax 74 18 6

    Duty on Windows 46 1 6

    - On Inhabited Houses 1 7 4

    - On Horses for riding or drawing Carriage 14 8 0

    - On Horses used in Husbandry or Trade 12 18 0

    - On Dogs 2 14 0


    Income Tax from April 6th 1799, to April 5th 1800 158, 17, 4 ¼


    Total 311,, 14,, 8 ¼


    The money raised for the Poor from April 6th 1799 to April 5th 1800 by 7 Levies at 10d in the pound, amounted to £417,, 11s 0d which added to the Taxes will produce the sum of £729,, 5s,, 8 ¼.

    Quantity and Value of Land in Cradley 1782

    The quantity of Land in the Hamlet of Cradley, exclusive of Houses and Gardens, according to a survey made by Mr. H. Court of Stourbridge in the year 1782 is 756 acres,, 2 rods,, 19 perches. [Note by Cradley Links: This equates to about 306 hectares, or 3 square kilometres, or 1.18 square miles.] The average value of which at that time was about thirty shillings per Acre and amounts to the annual value of £1134,, 18s,, 6d.


    Obituary Containing a list of persons deceased of the Presbyterian Church Cradley - commencing 1791 - with occasional Memoirs

    No. Date Name Surname Residence Age Memoir

    1 1791 Jan 20 Jonathan Crampton

    2 1791 Humphry Taylor

    3 1791 Crane, Mrs Margaret's Hill

    4 1791 Caroline Hannah Pargeter Carless Green Infant

    5 1791 Nov 3 Pargeter , Senr., Mrs Foxcoat

    6 1792 Mary Nock A promising young person.

    7 1792 Thos. Leonard

    8 1792 Phoebe Deally

    9 1792 William Forrest An aged and venerable member of the Church.

    10 1792 Phoebe Bloomer, Senr.

    11 1793 Thos. Edwards 21 Died of consumption.

    12 1793 Hannah Leonard

    13 1794 Thos. Talbot, Junr.

    14 1794 Lucy Nock

    15 1794 John Brecknel

    16 1795 Susanna Cartwright

    17 1795 Wm. Gardiner

    18 1795 Wm. Dunn , Senr.

    19 1796 Thos. Bloomer 16

    20 1796 May 9 Phoebe Hill, Mrs. 84

    21 1796 Thos. Taylor

    22 1796 Richard Forrest, Junr. 18

    23 1796 Jemima Westwood Infant

    24 1796 Ruth Forrest Infant

    26 1796 Elizabeth Mansell Infant

    27 1797 Jan 7 Elizabeth Pargeter , Mrs. Park Side 51

    28 1797 Nicholas Hancox Pargeter Carless Green 45

    29 1797 Jane Bradley Lye Waste

    30 1797 J. Wstwood Carless Green Infant

    31 1797 Jul 4 Anne Shaw, Mrs. Near the Lye Forge

    32 1797 Jun 2 Elizabeth Taylor

    33 1797 Hannah Stafford 8

    34 1797 Enoch Forrest Cradley A man of well informed mind in an humble station. He had formerly been in the army; had travelled through many external regions of Europe and America, acquired some knowledge of the French and German languages, and read with advantage a great variety of Authors especially upon religious subjects. He was the person who first suggested the idea of this Work, which was actually begun in the year 1800.

    35 1798 Mar 10 Holland, Mrs. Cradley Heath

    36 1798 Elizabeth Mansel Light Green

    37 1798 May 23 Mary Dix Park Side

    38 1798 Jun 20 Alicia Probert Cradley Forge

    39 1798 Mary Harris Cradley Forge 80

    40 1798 Hannah Stafford Near Netherend

    41 1798 Hannah Grovenor Lane End

    42 1798 Mary Westwood Chornal ( Gornal ?)

    43 1798 J. Grove Infant

    44 1799 Feb 17 Wm. Davis Near Cradley Heath

    45 1799 Mar 15 Mary Chandler, Mrs. Park Side 66

    47 1799 Phoebe Jones Near the Salt Well

    48 1799 Mary Rose Netherend 80

    49 1799 Wm. Roper Near Cradley Park

    50 1799 W. Roper, Senr. 87

    51 1799 Oct 27 Daniel Dix 70

    52 1800 Anne Roper Park Side 72

    53 1800 Sarah Addleton

    54 1800 Wm. Cartwright 12 Fell into a Coal Pit.

    55 1800 Thos. Hill Netherend

    56 1800 W. Westwood Haye Green Infant

    57 1800 Leah Hingley Cradley Heath Infant

    58 1800 Wm Davis Cradley Heath Infant

    59 1801 Abel Shaw

    60 1801 Hannah Dunn 70

    61 1801 James Bloomer, Senr. 81

    62 1801 Philip Pargeter , Mr.

    63 1801 Samuel Westwood , Senr.

    64 1801 Thomas Jones

    65 1801 Elizabeth Bloomer (late Weston) Netherend

    66 1801 Aug Daniel Mansel Netherend

    67 1801 Joseph Grovenor Newtown

    68 1802 Richard Box Light Green 79

    69 1802 Benjamin Westwood Green Lane, Lye Waste

    70 1802 Eliz . Westwood , Senr. Netherend

    71 1802 Jesse Bloomer Near Cradley Forge 6

    72 1803 Mar 9 William Rose Near Newtown

    73 1803 May 15 E. Sermon, Mrs. The daughter of Joseph Ainesley Esq and a member of the Revd. Noah Hill's Church London. Having lost her husband by death, she came to reside in Cradley for the benefit of her health. She was regular in her attitude upon all the ordinances of Religion, bore her last illness with fortitude and resignation.

    1803 Jun 14 Thomas Franks

    1804 Jan 5 Samuel Griffiths, the Revd. Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Wolverhampton.

    74 1804 Jan 20 John Forrest He had been a thoughtless youth, but during a long and painful illness discovered pleasing evidences of faith, persistence and resignation.

    75 1804 Novr . Wm. Grove Senr.

    1804 Feb 6 Joseph Priestley , the Revd., LLD, FRS At Northumberland in North America ... many years Pastor of the New meeting Society in Birmingham.

    76 1805 Jan 21 Joseph Baker, the Revd. 78 27 years Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Cradley.

    77 1805 Jan 28 Elizabeth Forrest School mistress. Conscientious, pious and amiable, she well improved the talents committed to her trust, and discharged with fidelity the various duties of her office, being much respected and extremely useful.

    78 1805 May 26 Elizabeth Cox

    79 1805 Jun 8 Wm. Tay, Mr. 72

    80 1805 Oct 25 Wm. Trowman Newtown 31

    81 1806 Feb 28 Ann Buffery , Mrs. Chapel House 79

    82 1806 Thomas Martin Netherend

    83 1806 Mar 30 Samuel Brook Netherend

    84 1806 Noah Buffery Cradley Forge

    85 1806 Cartwright, Mrs. Musham Far advanced in years.

    86 1806 Dec 2 Sarah Homer Cradley Heath 77 Her original name was Lambert. She first married Fellows and some years after his Decease Daniel Homer.

    87 1806 Thos. Pargeter Foxcoat Infant Son of T. Pargeter, Esquire

    88 1807 John Grovenor Netherend

    89 1807 Feb 11 Mary Kettle, Mrs. 58

    90 1807 Mar 18 Sarah Bloomer Overend

    91 1807 Caroline Pargeter , Mrs. Carless Green 76

    92 1808 Mar 2 Humphrey Buffrey , Mr. Chapel House 76 Nail Ironmonger.

    93 1808 Dec 1 Mary Westwood Cradley 33 Wife of James Westwood (Farmer)

    94 1808 Jane Stafford Netherend

    95 1808 Feb 4 Nathanial Trowman Newtown 78

    96 1808 Nov 4 John Perks

    97 1808 May 12 Sarah Bissel Widow of Mr. Isaac Bissel who once resided at Park Side House and died May 12th 1784 aged 62.

    98 1810 Jan 23 James Williams 62

    99 1810 May 4 Daniel Mole Colley Gate

    100 1811 Jan 7 Sarah Box 82

    101 1811 Jan 21 Elizabeth Weston Netherend 68

    102 1811 Jan 27 Henry Sweet Cradley 5

    103 1811 May Harry Cox Netherend 79

    104 1811 Jun 10 John Shaw Whose death was occasioned by an unruly horse throwing him under the wheels of a loaded Waggon.

    105 1811 Jul 24 Wm. Cartwright 67

    106 1811 Aug 6 Humphrey Perks Netherend 63

    107 1811 Nov 1 Mary Cox Netherend 79 Widow of H. Cox.

    108 1811 Nov 22 Wm. Newton 79

    109 1812 Sep 16 Sarah Giles, Mrs. 90

    110 1812 Oct 30 Yardley, Mrs. Lye Waste

    111 1812 Nov 29 Thomas Meredith, Mr. Netherend 65 Scythe Manufacturer.

    1813 Jan 8 Ann Scott, Mrs. Birmingham 82 Relict of Mr. William Scott, who died in 1791. Her father Mr. John Toncks was a native of Harborne and a Dissenting Minister.

    112 1813 Jun 13 Elizabeth Meredith, Mrs. Netherend

    113 1813 William Forrest Light Green

    114 1813 Dec 21 Elizabeth Forrest Cradley

    115 1814 Jan 6 Margaret Watts Lye Waste

    116 1814 Jan 9 Phoebe Round Lye Waste

    117 1814 John Bourne Lye Waste

    118 1815 Jan 4 Timothy Brooke Netherend 16

    119 1815 Hannah Beasley

    120 1815 Jos. Beasley Senr.

    121 1815 Jul 11 William Barton, Mr. 56 He died of Apoplectic Seizure.

    122 1815 Jul 17 Lucinda Sweet, Miss. 19 At Cheltenham.

    123 1815 Sep 12 Susanna Allport Netherend

    124 1815 Dec 23 Jane Billingham Netherend

    125 1816 Ann Cox, Mrs. Youngest daughter of Mrs. Phoebe Hill and sister to the Revd. Noah Hill.

    126 1816 Mary Mucklow

    127 1816 Nov 23 Benjamin Carpenter, the Revd.

    128 1816 Nov 26 Bennet Raybold Simpkiss School Master at Netherend.

    129 1817 Apr 1 Anne Oliver Netherend 16 Daughter of Mr. Wm. Oliver.

    130 1818 Feb William Parkes Netherend

    131 1818 May 7 Isaac Fellows Netherend

    132 1818 John Instone Cradley

    133 1818 Nancy Bloomer Near the Forge The Mother of a numerous Family.

    134 1818 Dec 10 Samuel Buffery Cradley

    135 1816 Aug 26 Mary Brettell Cradley Wife of Edward Brettell.

    1819 Jan Joseph Haden Netherend

    1819 Feb 2 John Cardale , Mr. 87

    136 1819 Feb 7 Thomas Harvey

    137 1819 Feb 13 Elizabeth Perks Netherend 74

    138 1819 May 18 Phoebe Wooldridge Lye Waste

    139 1819 Jun 7 Elizabeth Pargeter Foxcoat 84 Relict of Mr. Thos. Pargeter Senr. Who died in 1791.

    140 1819 Jul 3 Mary Drew Netherend 88

    141 1819 Sep 16 William Bloomer Near Cradley Forge 58

    142 1819 Nov 4 Richard Carter

    143 1819 Dec 10 Charles Probert

    144 1820 Jan 7 Sarah Mansell 52

    145 1820 Mar 1 Richard Forrest

    146 1820 May 5 Phoebe Hill, Mrs

    147 1820 Nov 3 Phoebe Brookes 80

    148 1821 Jan 31 Marab Brook

    149 1821 Feb 10 Phoby Deally Near Netherend

    150 1821 May 4 Sarah Haden Netherend

    151 1821 Oct 15 John Edwards Colman Hill Son of Mr. Richard Edwards

    152 1821 Oct 12 Elizabeth Pargeter Carless Green 46

    153 1822 Jan 22 Mary Instone

    154 1822 Nov 1 Henry Crampton 67

    155 1822 Jan 15 Ann Brooks Netherend 82

    156 1823 Jan 6 Mary Parks Netherend

    157 1823 Jan 14 William Forrest Brockmoor

    158 1823 Jan 15 Joseph Brettell Near Cradley Field 92

    159 1823 Apr 22 E. Marston , Mrs.

    160 1823 William Walker Light Green

    161 1824 Jan Elizabeth Mole, Mrs. 50

    162 1824 Rebecca Baker, Mrs. 32

    163 1824 Mar 30 John Bradley Lye Waste

    164 1824 May 7 Sarah Forrest Since the death of Mrs. M. Bate in 1799, she daily conveyed letters to and from Stourbridge.

    165 1824 Lydia Jones Near Shut End Born about the year 1753.

    166 1825 Jan 16 Esther Kendrick Cradley 72

    167 1825 Jan 15 Phoebe Stafford Netherend 82

    168 1825 Mar 14 William Hornblower , Mr. 44 Iron Master.

    169 1825 Mar 17 Timothy Bloomer

    170 1825 Aug Sebright Stafford

    171 1825 Sep 14 Thomas Taylor Billingham 25

    172 1826 Jan 20 William Stafford

    173 1826 Mary Darby

    174 1827 Feb 23 Sarah Philips Netherend 95

    175 1827 Mar 8 Edward Brettell, Mr. 65

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