A Miscellany – 1847, 1848 & 1849
Edward Nayler ended his reminiscences of Sedgley Parish in 1847 with an announcement of the death of the Revd. S. F. Montgomery, Incumbent of St. Peter’s Upper Gornal.

He commences his 1848 episodes with May 17th and a complete contrast: “We understand the Rev. J. Y. Rooker will succeed to the incumbency of Lower Gornal (St. James the Great) on the appointment of Lord Ward.” This reminds us of the tradition where the Lord of the Manor is the Rector of the Parish, and with the powers of appointment of clergy! Where the Diocesan Bishop does not have this authority the church and parish is known as a Peculiar! That is not a term of disparagement. Similarly the Chapel at Windsor is a Peculiar with the appointments of clergy officially made by the Queen. At this time there were many English Churches with “Lay Rectors” where England was still predominantly agricultural in character. “Mr Rooker was, at the time of appointment the Curate at Hathersgate” and is a son of a father that Nayler describes as “the respected Mr. A. Rooker of Darlaston.”

Respected is obviously a much used sign of status for on October 18th he provides the details of a “Himley Arms Housewarming Dinner.”“On Thursday last, Mr Leigh, the respected landlord of the Himley Arms Hotel, held his house-warming dinner, when between forty and fifty of his friends assembled and partook of a sumptuous repast. Mr Thomas Fereday, surgeon, occupied the chair, and Mr. Isaac Nayler the vice chair. The loyal and patriotic toasts were duly honoured, and the healths of Mr & Mrs Leigh were heartily drunk. (One presumes the beverage and not the drinkers!?!) Some excellent songs were given by Messrs W. Johnson, Caddick, E. Bannister and others.”

Now Nayler moves to 1849. Remembered in the Black Country as a year in which the dreaded Asiatic Cholera returned, though without the extent of deaths as that brought about in 1832. It still must have caused great agitation when cases were reported, but Nayler refers mostly to parish affairs.

February 28th  “A visit of bell ringers from St. Peter's Wolverhampton ‘Change Ringing’ - On Sunday morning last the Society of Change Ringers of St. Peter's Church Wolverhampton, visited the Parish church of Sedgley, and rang in good style on that musical of bells. Mr Taylor's peal of Grandsire triples, consisting of 5040 changes with 190 bobs and 50 singles in 2 hours and 53 minutes.”

On April 4th  "The Church of St. James, Lower Gornal, was reopened on Thursday last after having been considerably enlarged and refitted, the work executed by the contractor, Mr Peacock, having been well and satisfactorily executed.”

Nayler then returns to the subject of bells, but this time of Sedgley. April 11th  “The All Saints Junior Society of Ringers of Sedgley, on Sunday last, accomplished their first attempt at change-ringing.”

On June 29th a death is recorded: “In his 60th year, after a long illness Mr. Theophilus Tinsley, Sen., of Sedgley. Much regretted by his family and friends.” (He was, of course the founder of the Tinsley industries.) Then Nayler reports that on 12th September: “Cholera! We regret to state, Cholera made its appearance in this neighbourhood Saturday last. A child of the late Mr. Beckett was attacked, but fortunately, under the care of Mr Haden, surgeon, is recovering.”

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