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Between the monuments of Richard Parkes and Thomas Parkes, on the south chancel wall:—

In remembrance of the late Philip Williams, of Wednesbury Oak Iron Works, this tablet, a poor and inadequate memorial of his many social and domestic virtues, is erected by his grateful and affectionate family. His diligence and perseverance under God's blessing procured him affluence, whilst by his vigour and capacity, united with liberal and enlarged views, he was enabled to develope the resources of the iron trade, and not only to benefit this neighbourhood, but to further the prosperity of his country. He lived honoured and beloved, and died in humble reliance on the merits of his Saviour, on the 19th of January, 1829, in the 54th year of his age. Also of Ann, wife of the above-named Philip Williams, who departed this life on the 7th of October, 1808, aged 34 years. Also of Elizabeth, second wife of the above-named Philip Williams, who departed this life on the 31st of January, 1821, aged 47 years. Also of James, son of Philip and Ann Williams, who departed this life on the 30th of September, 1836, aged 35 years. Also of Thomas, son of Philip and Ann Williams, who departed this life on the 11th of October, 1839, aged 39 years.

At the east end of the south aisle :—

In memory of Frederick Lees, son of William and Jane Lees, of this parish, surgeon, who departed this life December 22, 1844, aged 37 years. His amiable and ingenuous disposition deeply endeared him to his family and friends, while his unremitting assiduity and kindness in his profession attracted universal esteem. His surviving brothers and sisters have erected this tablet in token of their affectionate remembrance.

In affectionate remembrance of Benjamin Brown, who departed this life January 15th, 1844, aged 68 years, whose kind and benevolent disposition deservedly endeared him to his family and friends.

In the south aisle, near the former :—

John Hodgkins, dyed October 21, A.D. 1779, ae. 69 years. Eliz., his wife, dyed September 21st, A.D. 1781, m. 83 years.

Near the middle of the south aisle :—

Sacred to the memory of Francis Wastie Haden, Esq., Deputy Commissary General, second son of the Rev. A. B. Haden, vicar of this parish. He served first in the army under the command of his Grace the Duke of Wellington during the whole of the Peninsular war, in the later years of which offices of high trust and responsibility were confided to him. He was next employed as chief of the Commissariat at the British Settlement of Nova Scotia, from whence, after seven years' service, he was transferred, with the same appointment, to the Garrison of Gibraltar; there his duties ceased with his life, on the 13th day of March, 1828, in the 43rd year of his age. His talents and unwearied zeal in the discharge of his various professional duties obtained for him the warmest testimonies of approbation and the entire confidence of his superiors, by whom his services were pronounced to be important and advantageous to his country; but it is chiefly to record his private worth that those who knew him best, and therefore loved him most, have erected this monument; and while they deplore his early removal, lamenting his loss as an exemplary husband, father, son, and brother, they derive solace from the remembrance of his piety and other Christian virtues—virtues which shed happiness and reflected honour on his own family, and received their appropriate earthly recompense in the affectionate regard of all who knew him.

Near the south porch are the following :—

Sacred to the memory of Thomas Watkins Yardley, who died December 9th, 1840, in the 30th year of his age.

Sacred to the memory of John Jesson, of Walsall, who died the 24th of December, 1774, aged 41. Also Ann, his wife, died the 5th of May, 1763, aged 30. Also John, their son, who died the 27th of November, 1782, aged 26. Also Ann, their daughter, died young, whose remains are interred underneath this seat.

The remaining monuments in the church are upon the floor, and are as follows :—

To the memory of Hyla Holden, Esq. Ob. 12 Nov., 1816.

In memory of Joseph Babb, gent., of Stratford, Essex, who departed this life July 21, 1772, aged 70. Also in memory of Elizabeth Babb, his wife, who died January 1, 1801, 96th year of her age.

Near this place lie the remains of Samuel Humphreys, who died June 15th, 1805, aged 71 years.

In memory of Thomas Sanders 1739,

aged

John Cox, died February 4, 1729, aged 7 months.

Joseph Wood, dyed August 12th, 1728, aged 7 months.

John Cox Wood, dyed May 9th, 1731, aged 1 year and 6 months.

John Cox Wood and Mary, dyed ye 7 & ye 24 April, 1733, aged 0 months —being children of Joseph and Mary Wood, his wife.

Henry Wood, dyed November 5th, 1760, aged 36 years.

Also James Wood, who died September 5th, 1813, aged 36 years. Turn again, then, unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath rewarded thee.

There are several other monumental slabs in the church, but the inscriptions are not legible.

In concluding this chapter, we would observe, that in the remarks we have before made, we do not undervalue the respect which the inhabitants of Wednesbury have shewn for their parish church. That is not our object. We would fain confess that the motive which induced the attempted restoration was noble and praiseworthy, and we regret to be obliged to speak at all disparagingly of the manner in which it was effected. But we venture to express our earnest hope, that the Mother Church of the parish may eventually , be restored to her former beautiful proportions, and again be the pride and admiration of the inhabitants.

CHAPTER III.

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\fttx dioceses were divided into parishes, the secular 1 clergy, who had the charge in those parishes, were called rectors; but when the benefices were appropriated to religious houses, " the great tithes were reserved for the abbey-fund, and the small tithes left as a miserable stipend (often not more than the sixteenth part of the revenue of the benefice) to the minister, who took the monk's labouring oar, under the title of "vicarius." Thus Wednesbury, upon being given to the Abbot and Convent of Hales Owen, became a vicarage. So "it came to pass that town livings (contrary to all reason) are at present, of all others, the poorest—less than the usual pittance having been left them by the considerate monks, who reckoned, and, perhaps, wisely reckoned, in the days when Masses were said, that a large population would supply by free alms an adequate provision for the vicar."*

* Blunt's Sketch of the Reformation.
G

The following account of the Vicars of Wednesbury is not so full and complete as could have been desired; but when the length of time between the first institution to the vicarage here recorded, and the date of the admission of the present incumbent, is taken into consideration, (a space of at least 600 years,) it will at once be seen that a correct and perfect list could hardly be expected. Under such circumstances, it is considered advisable to supply the best that could be obtained, with the hope that the names now given of those who have succeeded each other as ministers of the church, in this ancient parish, will not be uninteresting.

DATE Of INSTITUTION. VICARS. PATRONS.

Between 1199 and 1216...William King John.

March 4, 1293 Nicholaus de Burtone Edward L

Upon the king giving up his right to the patronage A.D. 1301, he resigned in

favour of his successor, on condition that the Abbot and Convent of Hales

Owen paid him ten marks annually.—See Appendix D.

T i c, ion, m, j Tt i (Abbot and Convent

June 1 or 2, 1301 Thomas de Hales | of Haleg Qwen

May 18, 1448 Johannes Brounfield Henry VI.

Before 1534 Richard Jenyns

April 19, 1547 Thomas Baynes The Crown.

October 6, 1548 William Starismore The Crown.

Before 1553 Richard Jenyns

It appears, says Shaw, from an old deed, that amongst the pensions paid in 1553 to incumbents of chantries, he received J£2 14s. 4d. as incumbent.

1553 Edmund Walker The Crown.

Before 1561 Richard Dolphin

He was buried at Wednesbury, March 28, 1619.

April 17,1619 Richard Dolphin The Crown.

Before 1662 William Fincher

He resigned on S. Bartholomew's Day, 1602.

June 16, 1663 John Torbuck The Crown

November 23,1664 William Millar The Crown

Buried at Wednesbury, November 16, 1688. May 7, 1689 Thomas Oakes The Crown.

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