An History of Birmingham Part 26

Matters continued in this torpid state till 1782, when a quarrel between the brothers and a tenant, broke the enchantment, and shewed the actors in real view.

The officers, in behalf of the town, filed a bill in Chancery, and recovered the dormant property, which was committed in trust to

John Dymock Griffith, John Harwood, Thomas Archer, > Overseers, 1781.

William Hunt, Joseph Robinson, James Rollason,

John Holmes, > Constables, 1782.

Thomas Barrs, Joseph Sheldon, Charles Primer, > Church-wardens, William Dickenson, Edmund Tompkins,

Claud Johnson, Nathaniel Lawrence, Edward Homer, > Overseers, 1782.

Thomas Cock, Samuel Stretch, Joseph Townsend, John Startin.

The presentation of St. Martin's was vested in the family of Birmingham, until the year 1537, since which it has passed through the Dudleys, the Crown, the Marrows, the Smiths, and now rests in the family of Tennant.


1300 Thomas de Hinckleigh.

1304 Stephen de Segrave.

1304 John de Ayleston.

1336 Robert de Shuteford.

1349 William de Seggeley.

1354 Thomas de Dumbleton.

1369 Hugh de Wolvesey.

1396 Thomas Darnall.

1412 William Thomas.

1414 Richard Slowther.

1428 John Waryn.

1432 William Hyde.

1433 John Armstrong.

1433 John Wardale.

1436 Henry Symon.

1444 Humphrey Jurdan.

1504 Richard Button.

1536 Richard Myddlemore.

1544 William Wrixam.

1578 Lucus Smith.

_Thus far Dugdale_.

---- ------ Smith 1641 Samuel Wills.

1654 ------ Slater.

1660 John Riland.

1672 Henry Grove.

---- William Daggett.

---- Thomas Tyrer.

1732 Richard Dovey.

1771 ------ Chase.

1772 John Parsons.

1779 William Hinton, D.D.

1781 Charles Curtis.

During Cromwell's government, ---- Slater, a broken apothecary of this place, having been unsuccessful in curing the body, resolved to attempt curing the soul. He therefore, to repair his misfortunes, assumed the clerical character, and cast an eye on the rectory of St. Martin's; but he had many powerful opponents: among others were Jennens, an iron-master, possessor of Aston-furnace; Smallbroke, another wealthy inhabitant, and Sir Thomas Holt.

However, he with difficulty, triumphed over his enemies, stept into the pulpit, and held the rectory till the restoration.

Being determined, in his first sermon, to lash his enemies with the whip of those times, he told his people, "The Lord had carried him through many troubles; for he had passed, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, through the _fiery furnace_. And as the Lord had enabled the children of Israel to pass over the Red Sea, so he had assisted him in passing over the _Small-brooks_, and to overcome the strong _Holts_ of sin and satan."

At the restoration, suspecting the approach of the proper officers to expel him from the Parsonage-house, he crept into a hiding-place under the stairs; but, being discovered, was drawn out by force, and the place ever after, bore the name of _Slater's Hole_.

John Riland succeeded him, who is celebrated for piety, learning, and a steady adherence to the interest of Charles the First; in whose cause he seems to have lost every thing he possessed, but his life. He was remarkable for compromising quarrels among his neighbours, often at an expence to himself; also for constantly carrying a charity box, to relieve the distress of others; and, though robbed of all himself, never thought he was poor, except when his box was empty.--He died in 1672, aged 53.

A succeeding rector, William Daggett, is said to have understood the art of boxing, better than that of preaching: his clerk often felt the weightier argument of his hand. Meeting a quaker, whose profession, then in infancy, did not stand high in esteem, he offered some insults, which the other resenting, told him, "If he was not protected by his cloth, he would make him repent the indignity." Dagget immediately stripped, "There, now I have thrown off my protection."

They fought--but the spiritual bruiser proved too hard for the injured quaker.

Among the rectors we sometimes behold a magistrate; at others, those who for misconduct ought to have been taken before one.

The rectory, in the King's books, was valued, in 1291, at 5_l_. per annum; and, in 1536, at 19_l_. 3s. 6d.

_A terrier of the rectory, written by the rector, about 1680_.

A house wherein the present rector, Mr. Dagget, resides.


Two other houses in Birmingham, [now three, at No. 15, Spiceal-street.]

Three pieces of glebe land, nineteen acres, between the school land and Sheepcoat-lane.

Three pieces, called the Five-way-closes twenty-one acres, bounded by the lands of Samuel Smallbroke, Esq; and Josiah Porter.

One close, two acres, bounded by Lady-wood-lane.

Parsons-meadow, two acres, bounded by the lands of Thomas Smith, Sir Richard Gough, and Sir Arthur Kaye.

Horse pool-croft, half an acre, bounded by Bell's-barn-lane, [Brickiln-lane] the lands of Robert Phillips and Samuel Smallbrook, Esqrs.

Tythe of all kinds of grain: but instead of hay, wool and lamb, a due of 12d. in the pound rent, called herbage, in all the parish, except foreign, wherein the custom is 4d. per acre for meadow land; 3d. per acre for leas; 3d. for each lamb; 1d. 1/2 for a cow and calf: and except part of the estate of William Colmore, Esq; with the Hall-ring, Tanter-butts, Bell's-barns, [No. 1, Exeter-row] and Rings; for the herbage of which is paid annually 13s. 4d. and also, except part of the estate of Samuel Smallbrook, Esq; for which he pays 8s. per annum; and, except the estate of Thomas Weaman, called Whittall's-farm, [Catharine-street] for which he pays 2s. 8d.

All the above estates pay the customary modus, whether in or out of tillage.


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