All members and friends of QLHS
are invited to the Society’s 20th Birthday celebration
on Tuesday 25th June at 7.30pm when
will launch Michael Hall’s new book
Quinton in the mid-1800s
A most dark and wicked place
The result of over 40 years research, this lavishly illustrated book includes
280 pages - 49 in full colour;
New large-scale colour map showing land usage;
New CD recording of Meet The Quinton Ancestors (first produced in 2000);
Foreword by Professor Carl Chinn.
You may have read Dark and Wicked Place – Quinton in the mid-1800s, published in 2000, in which Michael Hall investigated some 512 people who lived on the Ridgacre tithe map, an area covering some 549 acres. That map was peppered with mysterious black holes labelled Warley Wigorn, with which Ridgacre appeared to have little connection. The new map incorporates those enclaves, with details from the Warley Wigorn tithe map, thus increasing the area of Quinton from 549 to 943 acres and the number of residents from 512 in the early 1840s to some 1,040 inhabitants of Quinton between 1841 and 1861 – hence the increase from 90 to 280 pages!
When Rev William Skilton, perpetual curate of Quinton, goes walkabout in Meet the Quinton Ancestors, it is late in the 1840s. The News of the World informs its readers that Lord John Russell is Prime Minister and that the Corn Laws have been repealed. The penny post has been operating since the beginning of the decade; Charles Dickens and the Brontë sisters are at the height of their powers; Isambard Kingdom Brunel has built his great ships and Queen Victoria reigns. Did any of this have any impact high on the Midland Plateau in little Quinton, its area delineated in tithe maps drawn in 1844 and 1845 to establish ownership, tenancy and rents due?
First Methodist Chapel in Quinton
Part of ancient Hales Owen, Ridgacre had recently been transferred from Shropshire back to Worcestershire from which it was separated from those black holes on its tithe map in the days of William the Conqueror. Unremarkable, perhaps, in any other way, Quinton straddles the great watershed of England.
The Red Lion Inn
In this community of three churches and three inns, there are few residents amongst its carpenters and cordwainers, tailors and tradesmen, whitesmiths and wheelwrights, farm-labourers and nail-makers, rich enough to waste the hours of daylight in idleness.
Cottages occupied by the Guest sisters, used as a laundry
The pall of smoke from some 90 nail-forges daily clouds the sky and the sound of the nail-forgers’ hammers mingles with the lowing of cattle waiting in their stalls to be milked.
In his Foreword, Carl Chinn comments “through delving deeply into the past, Dr Michael Hall has brought into view those previously hidden in the shadows and emphasised the importance of understanding Quinton’s history before its annexation.”
So, what then will readers of this most detailed study that has ever been produced on 20 years of Quinton history find?
Discover amongst 100s of other facts:
How Quinton fared in the 1849 cholera epidemic which claimed the lives of 53,000 people in England and Wales;
How Quinton linked with two Cornish lunatics;
The sins of which the Rector accused his parishioners;
Who owned the land and claimed the rent;
Who was entitled to vote (and how many times);
Assault and attempted rape;
Marriages and re-marriages establishing regular links with Birmingham long before annexation.
If local history is your interest, then within this little community you will find in a microcosm all the tragi-comedy of human life.
If family history appeals to you then 13 pages of index will take you to over 1,000 people who may be part of your family tree.
In what better way can a history society celebrate its 20th birthday, than by recording part of the history it was established to research and rehearse? Don’t miss your chance to acquire a copy of Quinton in the mid-1800s, a chapter in the story of which all of us who live on the Quinton tithe maps are a part.
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