A Miscellany – 1846 & 1847
Edward Nayler paints a varied and fascinating picture of life in early Victorian times at Sedgley from his newspaper cuttings of 1846 and 1847.

March 4th 1846  News of a lost horse! “On Friday morning a hunter, saddled and bridled was found in Sedgley Park.” (Today Park Hall hotel grounds.)

A week later a wedding: “at Sedgley by the Rev. William Lewis M. A., Mr Frank Robbins of Kenilworth Castle to Mary, youngest daughter of the late Richard Smith of Summer Hill House.” (The house is now the Earl of Essex Inn, on Summerhill Road, Coseley.)

May 6th  “A flower show was held at Mr Thomas Fereday’s Summer House Inn, Gospel End. Prizes were awarded for auriculars, polyanthuses and pansies.”

On June 10th we find Mr. Law of Spout House farm Cotwall End celebrating. The Laws are a very old recusant family who have lived in Sedgley for many years. The celebration? “In the course of the season three sheep have brought twelve lambs.”

However, on June 24th “The Ellowes Estate, late in the ownership of John Turton Fereday Esq., is advertised to be sold at auction at an early date.” (I believe that J. T Fereday’s downsizing took him to “The Quarries” at Upper Gornal.)

Then on November 11th “In compliance with the Queen’s letter. The sum of £14 was collected in Sedgley Church in aid of the sufferers by the fire at St. John’s Newfoundland.”

In April 1847 an announcement is made of those elected to be: “Guardians of the Poor for the parish of Sedgley: They were: Messrs. William Harris, John Parker, Edward Sheldon, Philip Hickin, Stephen Law, Abel Fletcher, Joseph Hipkins, and Henry B. Whitehouse.” All of these were well known at the time. Abel Fletcher appears to have owned the steam mill at the top of Bilston Street. Some of its stone walls are still visible by the fire escape stairs to the hairdressers! Steam mills were to have a very bad effect upon the prosperity of our local windmills.

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