Introduction / Himley Hall celebration

People wishing to read about Sedgley's History will often search for E. A. Underhill's "The story of the Ancient Manor of Sedgley" (1941), perhaps a personal copy, or obtained, or read, at the library. Others will speak of Frederick Wm. Hackwood's "Sedgley Researches" 1898 as being the "weightier" work, though appropriately the print is very small! Hackwood was a Tipton schoolmaster. (I believe this has been, or will be, reprinted) Comparatively few might be aware of Edward Nayler. We have no date for his little book "Sedgley Sundries" though textual clues would indicate circa 1901, just a few years after Hackwood.

The 1881 Census shows Edward Nayler living at the family home "Townsend House" which many of us remember, and whose stone front garden wall still stands along Wolverhampton Road from the north corner of Townsend Avenue.

His father is a Metal Broker and is 66. His mother is 65. Edward is the oldest at home, and at 29 he was an Agricultural Implement Merchant. He has a brother William 26, an Iron merchant, and a sister Annie 22 at home. One further brother Joseph age 20 is a Coal merchant. The household is completed by two servants Hannah Jevon aged 21, and Phoebe Smith 16.

Edward's book would have been written when he was nearing 50 years, and he can speak personally of the arrival of the First Electric Trams in Sedgley, in 1901.

This provides the background for what I hope will be a regular column, not about the Naylers, but about some of the fascinating glimpses of Sedgley life contained in "Sedgley Sundries," particularly his extracts from old newspapers and accounts of local events. Future columns will contain only a brief introduction, or explanatory comment, and give more extracts. This, his oldest archival cutting, from before his father's birth provide the opening example.


"On Wednesday, in celebration of our gracious Sovereign's happy escape from the atrocious attack upon his person, a most magnificent display of fireworks was given by the Right Hon. Lord Viscount Dudley and Ward, at his seat at Himley, to a numerous assemblage of the neighbouring nobility and gentry, and many thousands of other spectators. In the course of the evening a military band paraded the park, and at night their songs of "God save the King," "Rule Britannia," etc. were sung in admirable style by the celebrated Miss Abrahams, Mr Champneys and others. The fireworks were various and uncommonly beautiful, and the exhibition of them concluded with a grand piece, in the centre of which were the Royal Arms between the letters G R, and which brilliantly sparkled, in words of artificial fire, the affectionate and loyal exclamation, Thank God our King is saved!"

N.B. The only personal attack I have yet found upon King George III in 1786 was Prime Minister William Pitt (The Younger's) diversion of funds from the Civil List! Possibly endangering the Crown? Should anyone know better please tell me.

Or could the attack referred to have been a dramatic reference to his recovery, and return to duty under Pitt's supervision, from another and more severe period of his recurring "debilitating" illness?" - The M... of King George, and all that.

Next Article: Thunderstorm / Nail making