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HISTORY OF MUCH DEWCHURCH - a collection of notes.

If you are "surfing" or have a specific interest in this place - a BIG WELCOME!

During the many years researching Verrior/Verry ancestry in this parish and those surrounding it, a few items of interest have been collected along the way. These are now presented in the hope that this small contribution may aid others with an interest in the place. (Pages on the VERRY family are here).

PARISH AND CHURCH HISTORY

Anciently the area of South Herefordshire (Archenfield) was quite lawless. The breach with Rome 1534, was a new cause for disorder for in the Welsh borders Catholic feeling ran strong. In that year an Act was passed for the punishment of Welshmen attempting assault in Herefordshire. By the Act of Union 1536, the border lordships were assimilated to England. Herefordshire had been subjected to consistent intrusion by the Welsh. Even the Pye (ap Hugh) family were involved, for in 1523 Walter Apie, in Dewchurch sued out a pardon for burglary at Dewsall in the house of John A'Court, with intent to murder him, for which he was outlawed. Earlier, Thomas Barre of Dewsall had complained that John Aberhall of Archenfield had sent John and Walter ap Pee (Pye) and others numbering sixty, in war-like array to cut his hay and corn. The archives are full of such disturbances at this early period.

Based on the parish register entries, the population of Much Dewchurch was probably no more than 300 in the Elizabethan period and possibly as low as 250.

"Matthews - "A Continuation of Duncumb's History of the County of Hereford", 1912"   described Much Dewchurch as "a properous village on the high road from Hay to Ross, six and a quarter miles SSW of Hereford city. The population in 1871 was 615. In 1901 it was 548. Its church is dedicated to Saint David, hence its Welsh name, Llan-Ddwi Fawr (Great St David's) - in the local English dialect, Much Dew-church. The church structure is Norman, with restorations in 1854 and 1876". Most of the glass was renewed in the 19th century, except ironically, that showing the Arms of the Catholic Bodenham family. The bell tower contains 6 bells, mostly from the 17th century. The church interior contains the Pye family effigies and a slab monument to a Bodenham. Roger Parlour was vicar at the Reformation. The first post-Reformation vicar was Thomas Mors or Morse At various periods neighbouring Much Birch appears to have been in the care of a curate under the vicar of Much Dewchurch. Anciently tithes were paid in grain, lambs and wool.

After the Reformation there were a noteworthy number of  Rescusants (usually  Roman Catholics) in the parish, paying their fines for being so at various periods. 

In 1936 Hubert G Reade of Church Farm, Much Dewchurch forwarded his notes on the parish history to the vicar. Possibly it was intended for publication but the war intervened. Here are some extracts -

"Saint David's is the parish church of Much Dewchurch, the Welsh name of which is Llandewi Rhos-Cerion (St David's in the Moor of Medlars). (Note: the allusion is possibly to Medlar Trees, but usually attributed to mead, anciently an important trading commodity.) It is situated on a ridge which separates the head waters of the Worm Brook from the brook running down from Orcop Hill which is known as the Mynde Brook; and commands the ford over Lowe Lane and which forms part of the original high road from Hereford to Abergavenny and the coast of the Bristol Channel and on the other side to Monmouth and Chepstow.

The parish was originally included in the Welsh principality of Archenfield and as early as  AD 531 a large portion of it became the property of  the See of  Llandaff which until AD 1131 included much of South Herefordshire. Llanfrother - the "Church of the Brothers" - in the parish of Hentland was in being before AD 450 and served as a training ground for teachers of Christianity. At Much Dewchuch before AD 500 monks were living in a cluster of huts with a sick house and humble chapel which stood in the orchard which now lies between the Post Office and church. It has been said , with little foundation, that the great St David, Patron of the Welsh was born at Much Dewchurch. But there is far better reason for believing that parts of the existing church are the work of Welsh monks, inmates of the adjoining monastery.

Poor Man's Wood, which runs down the side of Coles Tump above the Mynde is really "Devil's Wood", for in Saxon times as now in Germany, Satan is often spoken of as the "Poor Man" and preserved memories of the rights in which the ancient inhabitants offered victims to Coel the God of Heaven. Everyone in the parish knows the legend that if a tree is felled in that wood, the owner of the Mynde or his heir will die within the year.

In the administration of Archenfield the Hundred Court met at Wormelow in the parish. A funeral mound there is said by tradition to cover the remains of Modred, that nephew of King Arthur who was murdered by his uncle at Gamber Head. Unfortunately the tumulus was removed when the road was widened in the early 19th century and there seems to be no record to show that remains, if any, were found in it.

The village however from its position at the ford over the Worm was a more important place than Wormelow and until recently was the ecclesiastical centre of the district. The first church which remained until the 11th century was evidently a long low building and probably ended in a small semi-circular apse. In 1057 the Welsh raided Herefordshire, took the city of Hereford and burnt the cathedral. In consequence every effort was made by the English to strengthen fortification of the borderland. Edward the Confessor had been brought up in Normandy by Norman counsellors. Probably by their advice he gave grants of land in the Welsh Marches to Breton speaking Normans, a Welsh dialect who undertook to organise their holdings for defence. The church was rebuilt in the year before the conquest 1066 and must have been in a position of some strength. Its thick walls and narrow windows, some of which still remain, were by no means insignificant for defence in days when sieges were mostly carried on with bows and arrows. Thus this long narrow building pierced only by narrow window slits formed in itself a fortress to store property and serve to protect the highway heading up from the ford towards Monmouth. 

It was not until the 14th century that any great changes were made. Windows gradually became larger. The upper part was pulled down to allow this change. The reconstruction had been finished before 1350 when the ravages of the Black Death by decreasing population checked the progress and caused it to be replaced by the style known as perpendicular, more economical of labour and material. We know that the Black Death must have committted great ravages for in 1348 three vicars held the parish within that year.

The southern porch of the church dates from about 1370 and the figures of a king and bishop on the outer arch are generally held to be portraits of King Edward III and Adam of Ordeton. It seems more probable that the bishop is Lewis de Charleton who built the White Cross at Hereford in 1361.

After the Reformation circa 1540 the side altars were removed and a large gallery built at the west end of the nave, almost blocking up the entrance to the tower. This gallery remained until 1876 when the church was restored by the late Sir James Rankin. The churchyard is most beautifully kept by the caretaker, Mr George Payne. The large yew tree by the church goes back to medieval times."

Reade then goes on to relate a history of the Pye's, their monuments and the Pye/Bodenham altercation. The typescript is held by the Hereford Record Office.

Coles Tump is a natural feature with enclosure at the west end of Orcop Hill. As to its origin I offer another explanation. Circa 1290 Ivor de Wormeton of Dewchurch, "son of Cradoc Cole de la Monede" (ie Cradoc Cole of the Mynde) gifted a parcel of land to Walter de la Barre, Lord of Dewchurch. And a further document of this time refers to Ivor Cole. This seems a more credible origin of Coles Tump.

The church has several monuments of the Pye family. The inscription of one was removed in the 19th century apparently because of Victorian sensibilities.

"John PYE of the Mynde 1547. Here lies the body of John Pye of Mynde, a traveller in far countries, his life he ended. He left behind him Walter his son, heir of Mynde and forty two children. He was 106 years old truly. He was at Jerusalem and at the sepulcher of Christ. He was married three times and fathered an additional 43 children. He had also 22 children by concubines, in all 66 children. He completed the 24 Acts of Chivalry which few men could do them all."

Much Dewchurch was not immune to the jostling for positions in church according to one's perceived rank or status. During the Elizabethan period, Roger Pye took a case to the Star Chamber against Richard Bowa and Richard Lewis regarding seating in the church. Lewis was owner of the Kivernoll estate, a man of some substance recorded as "gent" in the parish register. His tomb was removed from the church during refurbishment in 1877. The surname Bowa is of interest. It evolved through variants Boway, Bowyer to Bower and is likely the origin of Bowers Wood in the west of the parish.

In the Elizabethan period the hamlet of Kevernowe (now Kivernoll) was an important settlement rivalling Much Dewchurch village. It is accordingly indicated as such on Saxton's Map of Herefordshire, 1577. At that time there were still afforested areas in and around the parish. In the north the Haywood ("forest de la Haye") - or its southern remnant - extended to Much Dewchurch. In 1578 it was the subject of a dispute. Citizens who had rights of pannage and lopping the wood for their use, expressed their dissatisfaction in court. It was recorded that the farm lands of "Coydmore" (ie Coed Mawr - "big wood"), and the Strodd had been lately enclosed and built upon. In fact much of the parish seems to have been enclosed and its fields hedged from early times, leaving little common pasture. Thus Much Dewchurch did not suffer the agitation which occurred in other parts of England over enclosure of commons.

Near the church is the site of a Welsh Celtic Monastery founded in the 6th and dissolved in the 11th century. About 400 metres east of the church is the site of a deserted medieval village, the outline of which may still be discerned. Possibly  it was abandoned in the period of the Black Death circa 1349 and the present village built, or expanded at the existing location.

For 1666, a "plague" year throughout much of England, the register indicates a small rise in the number of burials. But it is not such as to warrant a conclusion of disease visitation. However, for 1568 and 1571 a distinct rise in mortality is evident. This supposes that the register was properly kept, which appears so. In 1567 five burials were recorded, about the average for the period. In 1568 they peaked to 14 and in 1571 to 23. Those for 1568 included six members of the Gronowe family buried between 5 November and 18 December. In 1571 there is no obvious family grouping except perhaps three persons named Morgan. The bubonic plague (caused by a virus carried by rat fleas) is essentially a summer phenomenon, but these peaks in mortality were generally in winter months. Probaby it was some other cause such a influenza. No burial entry is annotated "pestilence" or the like, as seen in other registers.

In 1637 when much of Herefordshire including Hereford and Ross were gripped by "plague" Much Dewchuirch appears to have been little affected.

 
ANOTHER VIEW OF ST DAVID'S
INTERIOR 

PARISH REGISTER COPIES

The register has NOT been published in book form. The LDS Church have filmed the original register and Bishops Transcripts as follows. These films can be ordered into your nearest LDS Family History Centre.

Original Register

Baptisms/Marriages/Burials 1558-1786
Baptisms/Burials 1787-1812
Film 0994233
Item 11-14
Baptisms 1813-1869, Marriages 1754-1837
Banns 1824-1915, Burials 1813-1893
Film 0994234
Item 1-5

NOTE: There are no entries from the end of 1637 to July 1639 and from May 1645 to the beginning of 1649.

Transcripts

Baptisms, Marriages, Burials
1661-1849
Film 0992328
Item 1
Baptisms, Marriages, Burials
1661-1849 (duplicate filming)
Film 1594263
Item 3

NOTE: There are a few entries in the transcripts which are not in the original register and vice versa. Both films should be checked.

IGI Batch Numbers for this parish are:

Christenings:        1558-1812 - C146341
                               1813-1869 - C146342
Marriages:            1754-1837  - M146342

NOTE: These batch numbers do not contain patron submitted entries. See the LDS website to understand the vagaries of the IGI.

Churchwardens Accounts 

The Hereford Record Office have vestry and parish meeting records for the period 1828-1925 only. Hubert Reade, local historian noted in 1925 that the earlier records had disappeared.


PARISH REGISTER LOOKUP 1558-1670

If you feel some certainty of having an ancestor in this parish, email me for a look-up. Note that I hold a copy of the original register 1558-1670 only. It is being transcribed and the results will be put on this site (eventually!).

ELIZABETHAN FAMILY NAMES IN MUCH DEWCHURCH

SOURCE: BURIALS IN THE REGISTER 1558-1600.

Spelling has been left as it was generally spelled. Later versions of the name are indicated - others will be obvious, eg Abevon - Bevan. In this period F=V, Ff=F.

Tornor (Turner), Blacke, Wever, Yorke, Powell, Corke, Phelpott, Gronowe, Doberlowe, Griffithe, Rawlins, Jaffery, Davis, Webbe, Amorgan (Morgan), Martin, Powell, Ballard, Lewes, Townsing (Townsend), Sampsons, Howell, Willym (Gwyllam), Symons, Jenkin, Gill, Ap Thomas, Apie (Pye). Ferryer (Verior), Rogers, Wilkock, Parratt, Prytfoote, Abeath, Prosser, Abraham, Beall, Morse (the vicar), Mathews, Jamys (James), Bowa (Bower), Edmons, Tylar, Agreene, Curryer, Aprychart (Pritchard), Danyell, Meyricke, Warmecombe, Ayleway (Alloway), Aphewe, Hodge, Harrys (Harris), Probart, Taylor, Gyll, Tomy, Warroppe, Pyson (Purson), Lawrence, Abevan, Wakefield, Pateshall, Barrow, Parry, Tallgate, Williams, Gonnell, Pigge later Bigge, Poike (alias Harrys), Sare, Lissott.

The "Welshness" is evident from this list. Apparently Welsh was still spoken in South Hereford as late as the 18th century.

Hubert Reade in  his history of the Parish says that nearly all of the names in the parish register at this time were Welsh. That clearly is not the case and it will be seen from the above list that the parish had become substantially English by Elizabeth's time. Presumably many of these families were descendants of migrants from elsewhere in England as the majority of names in the medieval accounts of Aconbury Nunnery next to Dewchurch are Welsh.

Some family names in the Pye family records predate the parish register 1558, but endured well into the next century. An example is Eysam's Ford across the Worm Brook to Dewsall Court. The Eysam family name is later found in the parish register of St Martin, Hereford. Another, Reignold's Ridge, where there was apparently an outcrop of sand suitable for glassmaking, is Reynold's Ridge on the 1841 Tithe map.

Some of the more interesting parish register entries 1558-1670

1566 baptised John and John, two children of the shoemakers.
1566 buried John and John, two children of the shoemakers.
1578 baptised Davye and John the supposed sonnes of William Davis born at the church house.
1571 baptised Moyses a base born in Gryffith Whyler's house.
1594 baptised Ric. sone of Hugh Harry alias Poike.
1621 buried Mathew (a Moor) servant to Phillip Rogers, gent.
1622 an unbaptised infant the daughter of Nicolas butler to Sir Walter Pie buryed the 15th of Aprill.
1623 baptised Elizabeth the illegitimate daughter of Joane Price alias Boway and is imagined of one Morgan a             miller.    
1623 baptised Elizabeth daughter of Daniel of the Tree in Cockes Brooke.
1623 buried a boy wandering poor creature.
1623 buried Thomas Williams a wandering child
1624 buried John Parrie a wandering creature.
1624 That good Matron Mrs Brigott Pye of the Meend was buried the fowerteenth day of November.
1625 buried John Cheste a servant at the Lowe

1628 Henrie Calverley of Calverley in the Countie of York Esquire married Joyce Pye daughter of Sir Walter             Pye 28 July (and having come so far he stayed, perhaps with the Pye's as Henry and Joyce had children             christened and buried in subsequent years.)
1634 buried a poor beggar boye
1634 buried Richard Smith scoole master
1635 buried Walter Pye, Knighte, Judge of Azzises and Attorney of the Court of Wards and Liveries.
1638 baptised Floris a poor infant born in the highway.
1640 John sonne of John Barche (of Bristoll) and Mary his wife baptised 18th day of March.
             (possibly passing through the parish as there is no further entry for the name.)
1655 buried Richard James the blindman
1656 buried Simon Thomas a poore pitifull long languishing boy left upon the parish.

    Herbert Boughton, vicar died in 1668 and for that year the acting vicar noted in the register -

"I found this year unregistered  and an imperfect record of those christenings and burials above mentioned in this place affixed, which I thought necessary to transcribe it being in Mr Boughton's own hand as it may help give some light to some persons, although not satisfy any that may desire to know ye births or deaths of their friends"
                                                                                        Jas. Andrews, Clerk

In his last year Boughton kept the registrations on loose notes. He was probably ill. He and the churchwardens were required to enter the register after each Sunday service. They did not obviously, and I suspect that this requirement was not observed in many places. Thanks to Mr Andrews the year 1667 seems reasonably complete.


EARLY CHURCHWARDENS (1597-1670)

In the period 1558-1597 John WILCOCK and Harry HODGE are named on each page. In 1597 or 1598 the paper register was copied into a new parchment one as required by the Injunction of 1597. The clergy were expected to copy the register from its beginning (theoretically 1538) but very many chose to interpret the ruling to mean that entries from the beginning of Elizabeth's reign only were required to be copied. WILCOCK and HODGE were the wardens when this was done. Unfortunately wardens' names are not recorded again until 1636. The old register of 1538-1557 was probably destroyed.

1636
Stephan MEREDYTH for Mrs Ann PHILLIPS, Widow
Richard HOWELLS for Mrs Kathrine SMITH, Widow
1637
William PATESHALL
Stephen MEREDYTH
1640
Edward BULLEN
1641
Thomas PRICE
1642
Thomas SMITH
George PIGGE
1643
Mr Thomas ROGERS
Mr William GREENE
1649
Thomas GRONOW
Simon HOSKINS
1650
Mr Simon STACY
Mr Thomas PATESHALL
1651
Thomas SMYTH  Snr
Thomas SMYTH Jnr
1652
Thomas MARKEY, Gent
William BATEMAN
1653
Thomas PRICE
Robert VERRIOR
1654
Floris GRYFFITH
Walter GWATKIN Jnr
1655
Charles ROGERS Snr
Thomas HOOKE
1656
John WILLIAMS
Charles HOWELLS
1657
John WILDE
Thomas SMITH
1658
John WILDE
Thomas SMITH Jnr
1659
Charles MEENDE
John ?
1660
John HOWELLS
Charles MEEND
1661
Thomas PRICE
Robert VERRY
1662
Robert VERIOR
Thomas PRICE
1665
Walter GWATKIN
Edmond POWELL
1667
John VERIOR
Charles BULLEN
1669
Charles ROGERS
Charles HUNT
1670
Francis WEBBE
Lewis HARRIS

VICARS

1441 John CARESCOMBE
1??? Roger PARLOR
1533 John DOWNDE
1561 Thomas MORS
1575 Richard POWLE
1601 Walter WILLIAMS
1619 John TILSTON
1637 Robert TETLOWE
1660 Herbert BOUGHTON
1678 James ANDREWS
1698 Jenkin KNILL
1715 Samuel ROGERS
1725 Baynham BALKELEY
1742 Roger SIMPKINSON
1770 Henry HOSKINS
1793 William SOUTH
1803 James WILLIAMS
1812 Ralph LOCKEY
1834 William HASSALL
1850 John TOURNAY
1878 Jacob MILLIER
1910 Enoch BRADLEY


According to the Valor Ecclesiasticus, Roger PARLOUR was vicar in 1535. Thomas MORS or MORES was the first post-Reformation vicar.

RECUSANTS

Those paying fines for being (usually) Roman Catholics. Some dates may be representative of surviving records. Many of these people are also recorded in the Much Dewchuch register. Although unrecorded, they were possibly serviced by the Priest who served Bodenham's chapel at Rotherwas.  The Black Swan Inn apparently had a so-called "Priest Hole" according to Reade's history of the Parish. (However see my notes regarding the Black Swan.)

John BODENHAM, Gent of Bryngwyn 1676-84
Catherine CADWALIDER 1665-76
Catherine COOKE 1677-84
Howell CYCLL, Yeoman 1600
Sibil, wife of William GREENE 1616 (Widow 1628-30)
Thomas HOOKE 1665-81
Mary, wife 1665
Bridget HARRIS 1665-76
Charles HOWELL 1665
Mary, Wife 1676-7
George HOWELLS, Labourer 1717
Richard HOWELLS, Labourer 1717
Ann PHILLIPPS, sister of John PHILLIPS, Gent 1614-20
Katherine Wife of John PHILLIPS, Gent 1596-8, 1602 (recorded as a "notorious papist")
Margaret PHILLIPS,  Spinster 1614-28
John PRICE,  Yeoman  1620
Thomas PRICE, Yeoman 1717
James PRICKARD 1616
John PRICHARD/PRICCARD/PRICKETT, Yeoman 1606-23
Thomas PROSSER, Yeoman 1623
Catherine, his wife 1623
Millia ROGERS, Spinster 1630
Millia ROGERS, Wife of Richard ROGERS 1631
Alice STALLARD 1602
Joan WILLCOXE, Spinster 1602


THE CHURCH BELLS

There are six, inscribed as follows -
"Prosperity to the Church of England 1723"
"A.B.P. Rudhall Cast VS all"
"Peace and Good Neighbourhood"
"Prosperity to this Parish"
"John Gwatkins, Charles James, Ch: Wardens"
"God preserve the Church of England"

(NOTE: Gwatkins and James were churchwardens early 18th century).

CHURCH PLATE

From "The Church Plate of the County of Hereford" 1903 (with hallmark dates).

Chalice and Paten 1877
Mary Adair PARSONS in memory of her husband, John TOURNAY PARSONS, 28 years Vicar - 1884
Alms Dish 1686
Edward PYE CHAMBERLAIN died 1728 and Anne died 1734
Silver Paten 1840
T G SYMONDS Esqure of Mynde Park 1840

MONUMENTAL INSCRIPTIONS

These are recorded in "Matthews - "A Continuation of Duncumb's History of the County of Hereford" 1912." (Email for full inscription).

Note that the Herefordshire Family History Society have recently published those legible in our time, searchable by name on their website. The Society of Genealogists, London hold a copy.

Benedicta ANDREWS 1728
Benedicta ANDREWS 1774
James ANDREWS 1644
Mary ANDREWS 1746
Margaret BENNETT 1829 Wilhelmi BODEN(HAM) of Hildropp Co. Wilts, (Ancient)  (ie Hildrop Manor near Ramsbury)
Joseph CLEMENS 1756
Mary JONES 1800
Thomas JONES 1783
Elizabeth KENT 1833
John KENT 1794
John KENT 1798
Elizabeth KINNERSLEY 1807
Mary LEWIS 1774
Susanna MASON 1803
Thomas MASON 1837
Elizabeth MERRICK (of Thruxton) 1777
James PHILLIPS 1809
Reginald PHILLIPS  1864
Thomas PHILLIPS (infant) 1800
Ann PRICE (Infant) 1771
Ann PRICE (no date - 18th century)
Ann Susan PRICE (no date)
Cambell Knollys PRICE
(Westerbury Manor, Bucks) 1885
John PRICE (no date - 18th century)
Ann PYE CHAMBERLAYNE 1733
Edward PYE CHAMBERLAYNE 1727
James PYE 1646
Johannes PYE 1547
Robert PYE 1680
Walter PYE 1625
Robert RAVENHILL c. 1758
George RAYMOND 1796
Anthony STEPHENS 1738
Margaret STEPHENS 1748
Ann SYMONS 1765
Anna Maria SYMONS (6) 1826
Elizabeth SYMONS 1857
Frederick Henry SYMONS (7 months) 1823
Frederick Raymond SYMONDS 1804
Harcourt Knight SYMONS 1821
John SYMONS 1763
Raymond SYMONS (3 months) 1824
Richard Harcourt SYMONS 1850
Richard Langton SYMONS (infant) 1843
Thomas SYMONS 1818
Thomas Hampton SYMONS 1831
Thomas George SYMONS 1868
William SYMONDS 1858
William John Raymond SYMONDS 1808
Elizabeth WILLIAMS 1767
James WILLIAMS (Vicar) 1812
(At DEWSALL)
William MAYOS 1826 (of Monkhall, Much Dewchurch)
Mary MAYOS 1838


(This is probably not complete as Reade mentioned Gwatkins and Verrior being legible in 1925.)


BOOK OF PARISH MEMORANDUMS

The Rev. Hassell while vicar at Much Dewchurch in the early 19th century kept a note book about the church, parish and inhabitants. It is in Hereford Record Office. Some extracts -

Population

Much Dewchurch            (Much Birch)

1801 - 482                            1801 - 329                                                        
1811 - 578                            1811 - 296                               
1821 - 585                            1821 - 353                                       
1831 - 573                            1831 - 489

He notes that between 1801-11 Mr Symonds of the Mynde Park estate "suffered" a large cottage population to establish on waste land at Saddlebow.

Parish Register   

"The register begins in the 2nd year of Elizabeth, 1558 and is remarkably well kept and complete, other than loss of some entries 1638-July 1639 and May 1645 to 1649. From the number of burials in March 1666 it is probable that the Plague arrived in the parish. Though the burial register does not so specifiy".

(The register has a short dissertation explaining how he found it in a dilapidated state and sent it to London for re-binding.)

Village Feasts

"The Parish of Much Dewchurch is somewhat circumstanced with respect to these Saturnalia which have in some instances led to very lamentable disorders in the neighbourhood. Its feast is on Old Michaelmas Day, not therefore a Sunday Wake unless the Holiday falls (as it will every 6th year) on a Lord's Day. There is then however no concourse, people seldom expecting it and little notice is taken unless it is a dance at the public house during the week, or a game of skittles." (He goes on to contrast Much Birch next door - "it is an uproarious meeting and a very great nuisance").

Confirmations

Names of Much Dewchurch parishioners confirmed 1834-1839 with ages.

1834 (AT LLANWARNE)
1835 (at St WEONARDS)
Mary SEAL of Wormelow, 25
John WATKINS of Dewchurch, 26
Anne MASON of Wormelow, 16
Rebecca SAUNDERS of Dewchurch, 18
Anne THOMAS of Bryngwyn, 26
William EDWARDS of Dewchurch, 35
Elizabeth JONES of Bryngwyn, 17
Thomas HARRIS of Corrage Farm, 17
Mary GALLIERS of Prospect, 18
Mr Charles BOXLEY, Prospect School, 16
Mary ADDIS of Village, 16
William GARDENER of Prospect School, 19
F G SYMONDS Esq of The Mynde, 16

Mary Anne PREECE of The Mynde, 16


1836 (at MUCH DEWCHURCH)


Jane DREWETT, 21
Lucy CHARLES, 18
Mary FARR, 19
Mary WENT, 22
Martha CHRISTOPHER, 58
John CASTREE, 31
Thomas FARR,  23
George WATKINS, 17
Susan GRIFFITHS, 30
Anne JONES, 21
Susan BEVAN, 27
Joseph BEVAN, 25
Keziah BEVAN, 20
Sarah THOMAS, 35
Walter COOKE, 19
Ann PRITCHARD, 30
Ann GREEN, 50
Jane THOMAS, 19
Charles WENT, 16
Sarah COOKE, 27
William CASTREE, 34
Zachariah CASTREE, 29
William POWELL, 28
Mary GWILLYM, 19
Eliza SYMMONS, 20
Alice EVANS, 18
Samuel BEVAN, 27
James BEVAN, 23
Catherine ADDIS, 60
Maria JAY, 28
James SAYCE, 25
Joseph GUNTER, 23
Mary GREEN, 18
William CASTREE, 20
James JONES, 17
Mary Anne WARING, 16
Mary CHRISTOPHER, 20
William CLARKE, 35


1838 (AT LLANWARNE)

1839 (AT ST WEONARDS)

James THOMAS, 22
Frederick FRENCH, 15
William WHITHORN, 19
Henry LLEWELLYN, 19
Robert STREET, 16
Richard PRICE, 17
William CHRISTOPHER, 19
Edward ADDIS, 24
George PREECE, 34
Sarah JONES, 18
Richard ADDIS, 16
Mary POWELL, 15
Anne THOMAS, 16
Elizabeth JONES, 16
Anne EMBREY, 15
Elizabeth WHITHORN, 18
Belinda PREEDY, 16
Mary HAINES, 30
Mary Anne THOMAS, 21
Miss Catherine LOCKEY, 16
Sarah LILWALL, 17
Christiana ROWLANDS, 15
Anne HAYNES, 19
Ellen WALKER, 16
Elizabeth PRICE, 19
Margaret PREECE, 34
MARY VAYLE, 19
Elizabeth LEWIS, 16
Anna PRITCHARD, 40
Mary PRITCHARD, 20


Sarah DAVIES, 20




He notes for 1839  - "All the aforementioned were able to read, more or less perfectly, were very well acquainted with the Church Catechism. As my young people were out for several hours and had a long walk home, I treated them to a luncheon at the Village Inn."  "In September 1838 he noted that "a late harvest prevented a large influx of Catechumens."


PROBATE RECORDS

(Before 1858). Much Dewchurch was in the Diocese of Hereford. Wills and administration grants probated in the Consistory Court of Hereford are held by the Hereford Record Office, having been transferred from the National Library of Wales. I regret that the days of uplifting by mail, a list of wills etc held  for a specified surname, are over. Due to increasing pressure of work, Hereford Record Office, like most others, will probably give you a researcher's name to work on your behalf. However there is a pay-as-you-come index accessible from the Herefordshire Family History Society site.

Here is a link for PCC Wills index on-line. For Much Dewchurch they are -

John BALLARDE 1560 Roger LEWES 1564 John APPIE, gent, 1598
Richard LEWYS, gent 1590
Edward PYE, Gent 1637 Richard WILLIAMS, gent 1650
William  GREEN, gent. 1650 William WYLDE, yeoman 1652 Fraunces WYLDE, Wid. 1653
Robert TETLOWE, vicar 1659 Jane BODENHAM, wid. 1672 Jenkin KNILL, vicar 1715
Samuel SMYTH, yeoman 1750 Thomas SHEWARD, gent 1773 Hungerford HOSKINS, vicar 1792
James PHILLIPS, gent 1809 John BARROLL, vicar 1816 Ann FENCOTT, wid. 1821
Edw. LILLWALL, farm 1839 Phillip MORGAN, gent 1842 Dorothy HASSALL, wid. 1844

Abstracts of Roger LEWES of Kivernoll 1564, BALLARD of Much Dewchurch 1564, and VERRIOR/VERRY Wills are on GENUKI >HEREFORDSHIRE>PROBATE.


ACCIDENTAL DEATHS

Some Coroners Records are extant (Hereford Record Office).

Examples -

DATE
NAME
CAUSE



1731
William BARROT late of Much Dewchurch
Fell from his wagon
1826
Mary Ann KENT, Much Dewchurch
Died from clothing catching fire
(Note: a very common cause)
1826
John BIGGS (of Much Birch)
Clothing caught fire
1827
Ester DOLLER aged 8 years, Much Dewchurch
Sudden, causes unknown

There is also one concerning John MARKEY Senior, Gent, "by God's Visitation in County Gaol" 1653. Possibly of the MARKEY's of  Dewchurch or nearby.


METHODIST CHAPEL

Much Dewchurch was within the Cwm Circuit of the Primitive Methodist Church. The Circuit took its name from Cwm Farm in Clodock where it was formed in 1826. In 1836 a chapel was opened at Kivernoll in Much Dewchurch. Some early Preachers there were J WATKINS (1841), E WALTERS (1859), J PRICE (1884), J T MORRIS (1908). A chapel was built at Wormelow Tump before 1860 but it appears to have served Much Birch. Preacher was J WILLIAMS.

Primitive Methodist Trustees concerned in the purchase of land at Kilpeck 1852, included Joseph THOMAS, labourer, of Much Dewchurch, James WILLIAMS of Wormelow Tump, Shoemaker, Cornelius MORGAN of Much Dewchurch, miller. Presumably it was for a chapel there.

The early baptism registers for the Cwm Circuit were handed in to the Registrar-General's office in 1840 as required by law. A transcript is held by the Hereford Record Office. Sadly registers for 1840-1885 have not survived but (theoretically) births, marriages, deaths should have been registered in that period after Civil Registration began in 1837, although there was some resistance by some families in the early period especially.

Methodists were buried in the Church of England cemeteries except where they had their own. The nearest Methodist cemetery to Much Dewchurch was probably  Garway or Hereford.

Records of the Cwm Circuit  are on the IGI for the years 1828-1837, but contain just 31 entries (Batch No. C065641). They were probably extracted from one or more Preachers' notebook(s) which survived and thus probably do not reflect the total activity of the mission.

MUCH DEWCHURCH LANDOWNERS - Militia Tax 1663

(See "Herefordshire Militia Tax Assessments" M A Faraday 1972).

Sir William POWELL (alias Hinson of Pengethley) (ie near Ross-on-Wye)
Walter PYE Esq (of the Myndd)
George MASON (Gent)
Herbert BROUGHTON (Vicar of Much Dewchurch) (Boughton)
Mrs BODENHAM of Ross
Jane BODENHAM, widow ("Papist who rented from the Exchequer for herself")
John HOPKINS, Gent
Phillip MARKIE, Gent (Markey)
Charles ROGERS, Gent
Elizabeth STACIE (Stacy)
Walter GWATKIN
Thomas SMITH
Francis WEBB
John HOWELLS
Nicholas GRIFFITHS
Floris GRIFFITHS
Richard INCE
John GRONOWE
Katherine VAUGHAN
John ROGERS, Gent
John WACKINE or WALKLEY (Wackline)

Lewis HARRIS

List is in descending order of value.

Names I have annotated are the usual spelling in the Parish Register.

NOTE that these owners were not necessarily residents of the Parish at that date.


HEARTH TAX RETURNS

The Herefordshire Family History Society have indexed the Hearth Tax returns of Lady Day 1664 and Michaelmas 1665  which they will search for a fee. (The house with the most was Pye's mansion with 23. Most had between one and three). 


SOME LAND OCCUPIERS - mainly 17th century and earlier. (Dates representative from the Parish Register, Leases etc - and  incomplete.)

KEY: (M) Mynde Park Estate records, National Library of Wales; (B or Bodenham) Bodenham of Rotherwas estate records, Hereford Record Office (A2A Catalogue); Reade - Local Historian circa 1925; PR - Parish Register, Much Dewchurch (D). Spelling is per original documents.

Note:  These estate records include those of predecessors insofar as land was acquired at various periods. A major land owner, Powell of Pengethley is represented only as predecessor to some Mynde Park Estate land. The catalogues can be consulted via the following websites -

National Libary of Wales (Mynde Park Estate).
A2A Catalogue (Bodenham).


Unnamed land
John Lanwarne 1415 (lease Bodenham)
Unnamed land
Miles Water (Walter) Snr/Walter Vaughan Esq 1441 (Bodenham)
Sadlebow  Pye (ancient)
Mynde (anciently - "Brownes' place") Myndd = "Mountain" often written Meend.
Pye (from late 1400's) Wyllim possibly bailiff 1559. Symmonds circa 1740. Now Mynde Park Estate.
Bryngwyn (Manor) "Fair or White Hill" Bodenham (ancient)
William Wilde, "farmer" (Bailiff?) 1652 (PR)
(sequestered to Parliament this period)
James Phillips 1787 (PR)
James Rankin 1865 (PR


Crickohill (also known as Crack-o-hill) Thomas Smith 1659 (PR)
Lowe Farm (or "The Low")
(possibly part of Kivernoll estate 1500's - Lewis)
Robert Verryer 1666 (B)
Thomas Verry (nephew) 1688  Lease Bodenham
Poole Farm  (possibly Powes later)
Elizabeth Verryor and son John 1651 Lease Pye.
Ridby Richard Howell 1592
Ridky (perhaps as above) John Bigge 1559 (Bigge/Pigge?) (PR)
The Rydd perhaps Ridby?
Rydby
Roger Pigge and sons to James David, Yeoman of Rowlston 1594 (M)
Upper Rydby
Walter Gwatkin, the elder, yeoman 1644 (M)
Rydby Mill Wallter Gwatkin, gent, late Alexander Foster 1662 (M)
Bloomhall/Bloomhouse near Rydbyes
Charles Hunt, carpenter 1646 (M)
Garretts & Powes (Pools?)
George Griffiths 1661 (M)
Richardstown (aka Richardson)
Thomas Scudamore, gent 1570 late John William Howell and father , William Howell
Assigned by Pye to John Pigge 1577 (M)
Holmes Meadows
Roger Pye of Mynde 1577 (M)
Voulers and Pontaynes Richard Bows (Bowa, Bower) snr 1582 (M)
Orenge Field Farm
Roger Sayse, Kilpeck 1585 (M)
Clynston/Clynson
John Rawlings 1601 (M)
Upper Clynson
Morgan Williams before 1606 then Griffith Rawlings (M)
Webbs Broade Meadow
Roger Webbe before 1605 (M)
Skydmores
John Gwatkin 1605 (M)
Cordmore (Coedmawr) "big wood"
Simon Stacy, gent 1658 (PR)
Coedmore
Charles Rogers, grocer, London 1611 (M)
Coyedmore
Phillip Rogers, gent 1622 (M)
Coydmore
John Phillips 1632 (M)
Coydmore
Daniel Rogers, East Grinsteed, Sussex to Pye 1635 (M)
Lakehouse part of Coydmore
Richard Stallard, Haywood, yeoman 1638 (M)
Coedmore, Lordesmarch
Richard Stallard, Allensmore, yeoman 1647 (M)
Coydmore, Olde Field
William Bateman, blacksmith 1656 (M)
Mynde, Grist Mill
John Morrice 1598 (M)
Mynde, Tenement
Margaret Phelpotts 1611 ex Roger Morgan (Bodenham) (M)
Mynde (Meende) Tenement
Julian Morrice, widow 1607, then David James (Servant Pye (M)
Meende Town (ie Mynde)
John Weever 1613 (Bodenham) (M)
Mynde, tenement
James Hill 1657 (M)
Skiviockes, Priors Meadow
George Mason, gent, Kilpeck 1651 (M)
Deston William Philpot 1607  (D)
Kevenwherven (Cefn-y-ferfain = "ridge of the vervain") John  Willym of Llanwarne 1700
John Purshull 1713 Lease Bodenham
Kivernoll (Kevenowe in early records). Before the Reformation, Aconbury Nunnery had land at Kevenowe.
It was a hamlet and estate name.
ap/Morgan, - Millers various dates (Reade)
Richard Lewis 1564 (Reade and PCC Will)
Phillips 1580 (D)
Thomas Smith Snr. 1663 (PR)
William Wood 1708
William Watkins Jnr 1759 (and probably many others)
Kivernoll Manor
Reginald Hygate, Chappell, Co. Essex 1577 (M)
Kivernoll
John Powell, gent ex Prytfoote, Hancocks 1594 (M)
Kivernoll, Gwillyms Grove
Richard Ballard 1602 (M)
Kivernoll, Broad Meadow
William Vincent, yeoman 1605 ex Thomas Webb (M)
Kivernoll, The Scudamore
Roger Webb son of Mathew, husbandman 1601 (M)
Kivernoll
Lease assigned by John Phillips to John James 1613 (M)
Kivernoll
Roger Watkyns son of Lewys Watkins, yeoman, late Roger Webbe, grandfather (M)
Kivernoll, house at
Late Thomas Gwatkin, to Ursula Lewis, spinster "in consequence of good service to Dame Elizabeth Pye" 1640 (M)
Kivernoll, Old Field
George Jones, gent, Llanwarne 1640 (M)
Kivernoll, house at
Richard Bateman, tailor 1652 (M)
Kivernoll, Little/Great Scudamores
Thomas Rogers 1626 (M)
Kivernoll Estate
Richard Lewis died 1589 (Reade and PCC Will)
Hill Farm Verry 1600's then
Bullen. Lease Bodenham
Hegmond Hell Farm (helde - "slope"). Hegmond, if a personal name, predates register 1558. John Burgh 1635 later Weare,
then Thomas Verrye 1657 and 1667.
Lease Bodenham
Castle Field Farm, later Church Farm
(??) Lease Bodenham
Pritfort/Pritfoot
John Williams of Dewsall 1659 (lease Pye) 
John Williams of Dewsall 1745 (lease Bodenham)
Probably earlier Pritfoot - a name in the early register.
Newhouse also known as Noakes
Edward Pye Chamberlayn 1723
Maypole and Pynocks
James Phillips 1801 (B)
Unnamed land
Samuel Pritchard 1739. Lease Bodenham
Miles Higgins farm Miles Higgins owner late 1400's (also recorded as Huggins)
Thomas Phillips, Gent. 1621 (PR)  then
Thomas Baker Jnr
The Blackhouse. Several unnamed "base" children christened and buried from this place. Wonder what it was? In Parish Register 1500's. No occupier stated. Possibly where Blackhouse Field was near village or Blackhouse Farm.
Monkhall also known as Munkhall (possible site of one of several pre-Reformation chantries). Charles Rogers, Gent 1624 (PR) and 1591 (M)
Guys Hospital Estate 1753 who leased to Mayos family.
Buttas Court  (Bettws-y-Coed)?  "Dingle in the Wood"? John Pearle 1629. Note however there was possibly a Butter/Buter family 13th Century. It is Butters Court 1831 ordnance map.
Lath Bridge Meadow
John Kidley, gent, Little Birch 1669 (M)
Gowers Wood, Martaines etc
Herbert James, late George Mason 1686 (M)
Coxbrooke
Roger Lyncke, labourer 1654
Grove Farm Richard Cooke of Abeydore 1799.(B)
The Dockyard Richard Miles 1642 (PR)
The Bishops House (1552 Diocese of Gloucester.?) Ballard 1564. From field name, possibly the farm later known as Old or Little Lowe. (PCC Will Ballard)
Old or Little Low
Possibly Lowfields, parcel of Diocese of Gloucs. 1740 and earlier. (See also Bishops House). It is Lawn Farm, 1831 Ordnance Map
Swan Inn (presumably Black Swan though not so named).
Formerly Dubberleys. Property of Diocese of Gloucester, 16th century. (See separate note re Swan Inn.), George Griffith 1561, Floris Griffith, innholder 1665
Pigge Farm
Possibly the Pigge family. Lease Diocese of Gloucester 16th century. Pigg/Bigg family (PR)
Lowe Fields
Bishop of Gloucester (See Bishops House above)
The Green
Robert Berrow 1700's, lease Guys Hospital Estate (possibly Barrow).
Unnamed land and house
Elizabeth Verry widow 1727 (Bodenham) then Charles James
Glaziers Close (possibly site of old glass furnace?)
Catherine Jenkin (buried from here 1623) (PR)
Stonyhouse tenement
Floris Griffith, innholder 1665 (See Swann), Thomas Adys, blacksmith 1649 (M)
Saddlebow House
Richard Kidley, Bromley, yeoman 1606 (M)
Saddlebow Hill (land)
Walter Houthy, Orcop, labourer 1648 (M) Thomas Summers 1656 (M)
Saddlebow (house on) Mary Gynny 1649 (M)
Saddlebow Butts
Edward Bethan, clerk, Orcop 1659 (M)
Saddlebow, Hollings Cottage
Thomas Simmons, servant Pye 1660 (M)

The following properties belonged to the Bryngwyn Estate at the time of sale 1915. 

Buttas Court
Brygarth
Bryngwyn Cottage
Church Farm
Grove Cottages
Ivy Cottage
Lodge Farm
The Maypole
Mileshiggins
Hill Farm
Lowe Farm
Frogwells
The Old or Little Lowe
Turfy Hall
Yew Cottage

The following properties belonged to the Mynde Park Estate at sale 1916.

Blacksmith Shop
Coedmoor Farm
Kivernoll Farm
Saddlebow
Pool Farm
Peartree Cottage
Pool House
Proberts Orchard
Whitehouse

There were  of course, many  small holdings which are now unidentifiable.  For example Bateman the tailor (of Kivernoll) leased a small parcel of  land from Pye in the 1600's. Presumably he and other tradesmen kept a small number of animals for their own use, or turned to the soil in times of dearth.

The Kivernoll Estate, of uncertain size, but considered by Reade to be large in Elizabethan times, was owned by Richard LEWIS, who died 1589, styled "gent". His daughter Catherine married John PHILLIPS of Dyffryn-Tudewai in Llandewi Rhydderch and their eldest son James PHILLIPS eventually acquired the estate. (See also Recusants.) No estate papers appear to have survived. Reade suggests it was Lewis who was one of the sponsors of a glass furnace. He also suggests that the Kivernoll estate extended towards the village and included the Low Farm, or a part of it, but I have been unable to confirm this.

Many of the places listed above are on the Ordnance Survey map and on the 1881 Census on-line. The Land Tax Records for Much Dewchurch 1776-1831 at Hereford Record Office should be  more useful source for that period. As will be appreciated from the above records, I have for the moment concentrated efforts on the more difficult period 17th century and earlier.

It should be appreciated that many of these farms must have been bought/sold or otherwise passed to other landowners, possibly more than once. An example is the Old or Little Lowe. Once probably a property of the Diocese of Gloucester, it was in the 19th century, a part of the Mynde Park estate (Symonds ex Pye). But at the sale of the Bryngwyn Estate 1915, it was part of that manor (Bodenham's). Without a proper land registration system, tracing property ownership in England is usually difficult, if not impossible and often of inconclusive or fragmentary outcome. It should also be appreciated that a farmer might at any time, take on leasehold (or rental) of other land, adjacent or some distance away, perhaps even, though not usually, in a distant parish. And likewise a leaseholder may become a freeholder, through his diligence or good fortune. As general in South Herefordshire, copyhold estates were few, leaseholds more common, as were rentals. In the earlier period especially, gavelkind was practiced by some, the tenure by which all sons inherited equally.

Do remember too that land boundaries are invisible with respect to parish boundaries. The Gwatkin and Mayos families clearly had land interests straddling Much Dewchurch and Dewsall. My own kin at Hegmond Hell farm, so far as I can discern, had his house in Much Dewchurch but most of the farmland over the boundary in Much Birch. Thus he appears in the registers of the latter. In each of these examples better access to neighbouring chuches must have been a factor. Often the  history of one parish cannot be considered in isolation!

GUYS HOSPITAL ESTATES

Negotiations began in 1728 but because of reversionary clauses, Guys Hospital (of London) did not finally acquire all of  their Herefordshire estates from Bridges, Lord Chandos until 1754. From that time almost the whole of Aconbury parish was held by them. However there were also parcels of land in Much Dewchurch. Bridges had acquired most of their property following marriage into the Pearle family of  Dewsall and Aconbury, the original owners. Guys Hospital estate records include deeds relating to their predecessors.

1680
William SMYTH Snr
meadow and coppice wood adjoining Much Dewchurch (probably Dewsall)
1708
William WOOD
of Kivenowe, Yeoman
1720
William SMITH
Labourer, Cottage, three acres of coppice
1720
Thomas GWATKIN
Yeoman, house and land
1724
John THOMAS
Green Farm
1779
Thomas MAYOS
the Monkhall farm in Much Dewchurch and Dewsall
1788
Robert BERROW Yeoman, Green Farm (possibly BARROW)
1799
John MAYOS
and
Walter MAYOS
Monkhall, Yeoman ) Monkhall and land at
                                   ) Kivernoll
Kivernoll                   )

Some Much Dewchurch folk who took up leases or rentals in other parishes from Guys or  their predecessors were -

1677
Benjamin MASON, Gent, in Manor of Stretton Sugwas, and his wife "sole daughter and heir of Simon Stacy, deceased"
1695
Mary WOOD, widow - lease at Aconbury
1710
William BARRELL, yeoman, house called Houseover and land in Dewsall and Much Dewchurch
1714
Thomas PARRY, cottage at the Green,  Sellack
1715
William GWATKIN, yeoman, capital messuage and other houses, lands in Dewsall and Much Dewchurch, late Thomas ESSE
1715
Vowchurch, CharlesTHOMAS, Tyler of Much Dewchurch
1717
Mary WOOD, widow and Richard her youngest son, lease at Aconbury
1775
Timberline, Parish of Madley, John ROBERTS of Much Dewchurch, yeoman
1779
Farm of Dewsall, with apple orchard late Ann SMITH and farm called Coldnose, in Dewsall and Much Dewchurch, late William GWATKIN deceased
1783
Timberline, Parish of Madley, John ROBERTS late of Much Dewchurch
1815
House and land Much Birch, Mary SKYRME of Much Dewchurch, widow
1836
House and land Much Birch, Ann JONES of Much Dewchurch

The genealogical value of some of these records will be obvious. In some cases farm plans survive for the later period. Research at Hereford Record Office is necessary to expand this data. They may respond to very specific requests by mail. See their web page.

By the 19th Century almost the whole of Aconbury was held by Guys.  have copies of rentals for various dates available for look-up is your interest concerns that parish.

FIELD NAMES AND TITHE SURVEY 

(Map dated 1841. Apportionment 1846)

The parish field names have been recorded and mapped, based on the 1841 Tithe Survey, by the Woolhope Naturalists Field Club Archaeological Research section. (They can be contacted care of Hereford Record Office.) Some field names seem to have been not much older than 1841 and many purely descriptive - "old field by the house". The booklet comes with a very large fold-out map showing fields, roads. Taking field names in the Mynde Park Estate records of the 17th century and comparing them with those in 1841, showed a large number identifiable in both records. However, it was difficult to conclude that whole farms in 1841 were those of some 200 years previous, chunks of land having been divided, sold or leased, attached to neighbouring farms and so on. But the exercise should be worthwhile for those with Much Dewchurch ancestry. I will be pleased to help with any enquiries - email. The peculiar shape of  the parish is well illustrated, with its long "tongue" of land stretching past Dewsall, which possibly explains why some families in the north of the parish were using Dewsall church at various times. And of course if one knows the name of an ancestor's farm at that period it can easily be found on the survey map, complete with field names, some of which identify land use.  An extremely valuable tool for 19th Century ancestry in this parish.

CIVIL WAR

In February 1641/42 Sir Walter Pye of the Mynde in Much Dewchurch and others raised a military force for the King and occupied Hereford City, but was forced to surrender it in April 1643. He and others were taken prisoner to Gloucester, then to Bristol. It is quite possible "lesser" folk from Much Dewchurch were involved, whose names went unrecorded.

The ancient camp on Aconbury Hill above Much Dewchurch was occupied, commanding an extensive view of the countryside including Pye's fortified mansion. The large houses were defended and - "often reduced to their own resources, and left to collect for themselves, they became pests rather than protectors - their fortresses were converted into nurseries of lawless vice and hunger ridden desperation. The distance from which they fetched their contributions left little chance of escape to the settled householder, who was liable to be drawn upon by both parties " (Memorials of the Civil War Between King Charles 1 and the Parliament of England as it Affected Herefordshire" - Webb, two volumes, Longman Green, London 1879).

Miles HILL who acted as Commissary for the Scottish troops encamped on Dinedor and Aconbury hills, recorded that he had to provide for 9000 infantry and 1500 cavalry after the departure of  4000 of them. But  he records nothing specific about the 3,000 or more Scottish women (and children) who accompanied them bearing "skeans" or long knives. This Miles Hill kept records of their deprivations. His figures are probably unreliably conservative, but for Much Dewchurch he recorded 40 pounds and for the more prosperous parish of Peterstow, just six pounds.

An article on the Civil War in Herefordshire can be found here


THE PYE/BODENHAM ALTERCATION

Reade in his typescript history of the parish wrote -

"Catholicism was still represented amongst the Herefordshire gentry and amongst those who remained faithful to the ancient church were the Bodenham's of Bryngwyn Manor (Much Dewchurch) who suffered severely under the burden of the Penal laws.

The Quarter Sessions accordingly ordered John Bodenham the then owner of Bryngwyn to appear before them in January 1681 to take the Oath of Allegiance. He refused and Pye set out to arrest him. He found him cutting a hedge in front of his house but Bodenham refused to surrender and rushed him with a bill-hook. Pye was rescued by some farm labourers back to the Mynde where he died from his injuries January 3, 1681. Pye's funeral was the occasion of a great Protestant demonstration and a long pamphlet recounting the Martyrdom of this servile hero was published in London. Bodenham was carried off to Hereford and tried, but was acquitted on claiming benefit of clergy (having paid his recusancy fines). The walnut tree under which Pye fell is flourishing today (1936) and is even now believed that on the anniversary of the assault the two combatants may be seen struggling in mortal combat."

Well, that is the version still being talked of in the village in the 19th century, if not later. However, the following, which I believe is the more probable version, is quite different concerning the death of Pye
 

(State Papers Charles II, February 9, 1681)

"Herbert Aubrey to [Sir Leoline Jenkins]. I see by the printed papers concerning Mr Robert Pye's death, there are "pia mendacia" as well as "piae fraudes", but such gross falsities will bring the truth of the late horrid plot into question., Before the print came down, the two common newsletters had the same false account, but I will give you a faithful state of the whole business. Last Easter sessions Mr Pye, Mr Edward Jones and Mr John Scudamore were ordered to tender the oaths of allegiance and supremacy to Mr John Bodenham, who had declined to take them. They accordingly issued out warrants. The constables made return that they were abused and had stones thrown from the house at them and were threatened. Before Allhollantide last. Mr Pye met Mr Bodenham near his own house at the Mynd and told him of his refusal to take the oaths and of the abuses done to the officers and of the obligation on himself to make the order obeyed and pressed him to give security to appear at the next Sessions, which he refusing, Mr Pye said he would not let him go, and charged two persons of Mr Bodenham's company to assist him to apprehend him, but they rather interposed to prevent Mr Bodenthan being taken. Mr Pye, neverthess. though he had nothing in his hand but a walking stick, persisted in endeavouring to take him, but he went back and, Mr Bodenham eagerly pursuing struck at him with a bill and hit him on the arm and broke his coat. Mr Pye fell, but confessed he had not great hurt. After this Mr Bodenham promised Mr Pye to appear at a certain day, but did not come, and sent him word he was not obliged to keep his word with him. As Mr Pye since informed me, Mr Bodenham left the country on it and never saw Mr Pye alive from that time till his death. The manner of Mr Pye's death was this. On Saturday 22 January, he came in the morning to Hereford. He was very well and cheerful. He was pretty late with some of his friends and rode home in a very cold night and sickened in a day or two. Three doctors attended him, but his fever increasing put an end to his life on the 30th. He was buried on Candlemas Day and the very person said to murder him was one of his bearers. Two of the doctors agreed that he died of a malignant fever, of which Sir William Powell, Mr Richard Marriott and Mr Paine of Caple died, not being four or five days sick. Dr Fielding said his lungs were immersed in blood. This is as true an account as I can give till I send his deposition, but what relates to his sickness, death and burial is certain. This you may impart as you see cause and further that, whereas the print affirms another justice to be stabbed by a Jesuit in the same county, it is notoriously false and such unreasonable gross lies will do great harm even to the truth of their ill actions, which are treacherous enough. [S.P. Dom. Car. II. 415, No. 32]. Annexed, A true copy of Mr Pye's information at the Hereford sesions 12 January1680 [-1]. Giving an account of his attempt to apprehend Mr Bodenham as above [Ibid. No. 32).

Short narrative of what passed between Mr Pye and Mr Bodenham as in the above letter, adding that about 10 days ago Mr Pye died of a malignant fever. [Ibid. No. 32 A.]"

This altercation, apart form the deprivations of the Civil War and occasional visitations of diseases, was the major event that occurred in the parish. The irony is that, according to the Pye family research, the Pye's were lately Catholics and were related by marriage to Bodenham.

Hubert Reade obviously unaware of the above record, published his verson of events in his essay "Ghosts of Much Dewchurch" (Trans. Woolhope Club July 1928). He also published a note about it in the "Hereford Times" January 1925 which brought forth a letter from a former owner of Bryngwyn who related that her mother had heard about the incident 90 years previous.

The PYE family papers including leases and rentals are in the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth and for 1620-1640 at Sheffield Record Office. Both sets of records are catalogued for personal searches. Some Bodenham material including leases is in Hereford Record Office and is catalogued. Unfortunately there is little for the 16th Century. St Peter's Abbey, Gloucester held land in Dewchurch and Gloucester Record Office hold the Court books for 1499-1518 and miscellaneous material for the subsequent Bishop of Gloucester's holdings. Other deposited papers include Guys Hospital and its predecessors, the Bridges and Pearle families and Patershall, all deposited at Hereford Record Office.

Link to a history of the Pye Family

BLACK SWAN AND OTHER INNS

The Black Swan may not have been anciently situated at its present location. Gloucester Diocesan Records (Gloucester Record Office) have a lease (1771) of  a house called Dubborleys "converted into the Swan Inn". Earlier leases refer to the house named Dubberleys, a surname which occurs in the Much Dewchurch register in the form of William DOBERLOWE, buried 1563 and Cateryne DOBBELOWE 1564, perhaps his widow.(Duberlowe/Dubberley interchangable) George GRIFFITH is recorded as innholder 1561 and Floris GRIFFITH in 1665.

It is likely that an inn existed at Much Dewchurch from early times, the parish being on a important route south from Hereford. However, the Black Swan said to date from the early 1400's may have been located elsewhere than its present site, although the existing building may be of ancient date as its owners claim. The Dubberley name continued in the records of Callow and Aconbury.

The Tithe Apportionment 1846 records Thomas MASON, victualler, Black Swan. It was then owned by Francis BARRATT. In 1881 William SPARKES (born Abbeydore) was licensee, The TRAM INN near Kivernoll was held by Charlotte MOORE from London in 1881. It was on the Hereford to Abergavenny tramway established 1850. A number of its boarders were coal hauliers and railway men. The Mason family also acquired the licence of the Wormelow Tump Inn, built by William PARROTT circa 1780. In 1881 James SMITH from Llangarron was Inn-Keeper, at which date it was recorded as being in Much Birch.

THE PARISH 1881 (Census)

Those born out of the Parish at the 1881 Census were considerable, a process which had been accelerating through previous decades. Some of the trades and businessmen in 1881 were -

NAME
OCCUPATION
PLACE BORN
James BEAVAN
Carpenter
Kilpeck
Owen BISHOP
Schoolmaster and Organist
Jersey
John BOWEN
Postmaster and Grocer
Lyonshall
Cornelius HARRIS
Tailor
Preston-on-Wye
John PERKINS
Haulier (carman)
Orcop
James PHILLIPS
Mason
Kilpeck
James POWELL
Coal Agent
Ewias Harold
William PRICE
Draper
Dewchurch
John PROSSER
Coat Agent
Grosmont
Herbert SOUTHALL
Wheelwright
Dewchurch
James SOUTHALL
Blacksmith
Dilwyn
John STINTON
Boot and Shoe maker
Leominster
William THORNLEY
Clogger
Lancashire
James TREADWELL
Basket Maker
Hereford
Henry VAUGHAN
Mason
Abbeydore


TODAY (well not quite) - from "Tracks I Know Not" 1970's

"Progress has left this tiny corner of England far behind but following a walk along its short main street we were glad because time here is of no importance as an elderly farmer, licking his beer in the Black Swan proudly emphasised -----  'Hasn't changed since me grandfather's day and that's how we like it' ------- 'Who wants progress with its noise and greed. Not us --- 'ere the clocks ain't master of men. As for the woman folk, they visit town only when need be. Now tell me lass', studying me through watery brown eyes - 'tell me about Australia. Sounds a nice little country". Twilight spreading we departed from the Black Swan feeling both happy and enriched."


MUCH DEWCHURCH 1990'S
CHURCH SCHOOL HOUSE


 
TOLL HOUSE
BLACK SWAN INN

KELLY's POST OFFICE DIRECTORY 1856 (abstract)

Much Dewchurch (description and residence)

- " a township, large parish and compact village, distant six and a half miles south-south-west from Hereford, two and a half south-east from the Tram Inn Station on the Newport. Abergavenny and Hereford line of railway (ie at Kivernoll) ..... is in Wormelow Hundred and Hereford Union Archdeaconry, bishopric and deanery of Archenfield and is situated on the high road leading from Hay to Ross. The soil is a red clay and the subsoil red sandstone. The population in 1851 was 810. The parish contains 4,876 acres whch are applied to pasture, arable and meadow. Thomas George Symons Esq. of Mynde Park is lord of the manor and, with James Phillips Esq. of Bryngwyn, is chief landowner. There is an old Roman Camp in this parish, situate about a quarter of a mile from the church. The church is dedicated to St. Michael, is a structure of great antiquity, exhibiting the Norman, early English and perpendicular styles of architechture and has been recently restored. It consists of a nave, chancel and porch with a square tower surmounted with a low-pitched roof of oaken shingles and contains a peel of six bells; in the interior are two ancient monuments to the Pye family, dated AD 1547 and one to the Bodenham's of Rotherwas. Here is a Day School for boys and girls, superintended by the present incumbent. Mynde Park  is the property and residence of Thomas George Symons Esq. There are two hop-yards in the parish. The benefice is a vicarage worth 440 pounds yearly, with residence and four acres of glebe land and is in the patronage of the Bishop of Gloucester. The Rev. John Tournay Parsons MA is the incumbent.          

Black House, Mileshiggins, The Greens Farm, New House, Saddle Bow, Kivernoll, Lowe, Maypole, Hill, Cracohill, Grove, Cocksbrook, Monk Hall, Ridby, The Lawns, Jewshayes, Tump, Brisland, Little Lowe, Rhydd, Pool Farm, Pool Cottage and the Mynde, Bryngwyn, - are the chief places here."

GENTRY

LOCKEY, SR Esq
Pool Cottage
PARSONS Rev. John Tournay BA
Vicarage
PHILLIPS, James Esq.
Bryngwyn
SYMONS, Mr William
Mynde Park
WAREING, Mr William
Kivernoll
TRADERS


BARNETT, Margaret (Mrs)

"Tram Inn"
BARROLL, Margaret and Susan (Misses)
Shopkeepers

BERROW, Wm.
Farmer
The Greens Farm
BIGGS, Robert
Farmer
Kivernoll
CASTREE, John
Farmer
Little Saddlebow
CASTREE, Zachariah
Farmer
Black House
CROSS, John
Butcher
Kivernoll
DREW, Joseph
Rate Collector
The Lowe
DREW, Richard
Farmer
The Lowe
EDWARDS, William
Yeoman
Maypole
ELLIOT, John
Farmer
The Cottage
EVANS, Sarah (Mrs)
Shopkeeper
Willock's Bridge
FARR, Thomas
Farmer
Pool Farm
FRENCH, Thomas
Steward 
Mynde Park
GILBERT, William
Farmer
Mileshiggins
HARRIS, John
Carpenter

HOBBY, James
Parish Clerk

JONES, Wm.
Farmer.
Coed Moor Common
JONES, John
Farmer
New House
JONES, William
Farmer
Pool Wharf
LLEWELLYN, Jas.
Harness Maker
Ridby
LLEWELLYN, John
Saddler
Crackhill
MANSELL, Thomas
Farmer
Hill Farm
MATLEY, James
Farmer
Grove Farm
MINARD, John
Farmer
Cocksbrook
MORGAN, Cornelius
Corn Mill
Ridby
NOURSE, T
Carpenter and Wheelwright
Wormelow Tump
OLIVER, William
Farmer
The Lawns
PACKWOOD, William
Relieving Officer
Prospect House
PAYNE, James
Farmer
Kivernoll
PEARCE, Daniel
Farmer
Monk Hall
PHILLIPS, James
Mason
Kivernoll
POWELL, John
Yeoman
The Lodge
PRICE, Daniel
Carpenter and Shopkeeper
Kivernoll
SIMMS, John
Shopkeeper

SMITH, James
Farmer
Ridby Court
SOUTHALL, James
Blacksmith

SPARKES, Wm.
"Black Swan" and Tailor

WARING, William
Collector of Assessed Taxes
Kivernoll
WATKINS, Thomas
Farmer
Brisland
WHITEHORN, William
Shoemaker and Sub-Postmaster

WILLIAMS, James
Farmer
Saddle Bow

Post Office:   William WHITEHORN, sub-postmaster. Letters arrive from  Ross at half past 10 am; dispatched at half past 3 pm per messenger to Harewood's End, thence by mail  to Ross. Nearest money order office is at Hereford.
Church Day and Sunday School                                                                                                                                                        for boys and girls. Mr Joseph WISE, master.
Primitive Methodist Chapel: no stated minister.    
Carriers     
(passing through) Meadmore, from Orcop Hill to Hereford, Wednesday and Saturday, returning same days.  Powell   from Llangarren to Hereford, Wednesday and Saturdays, returning same days.

MUCH DEWCHURCH - JAKEMAN's AND CARVER's 1890 DIRECTORY(Abstract)
National School 
with accommodation for 133 children - average attendance 54.
Sub-Postmaster:  
John BOWEN (post, money order and savings bank). 
Nearest telegraph office: Tram Inn, Kivernoll. (John PROSSER - sub-Postmaster).
Vicar:         
Rev. J F MARILLIER MA
Churchwardens. RANKIN Esq MP and Mr Richard FARR
Parish Clerk:  
Albert SOUTHALL
National School Mistress:  
Miss K REDMAN
Station Master:     Charles CAUDLE - Tram Inn Station ( West Midland Section Great Western)
Assistant Overseer:
Mr W H  WILTSHIRE, Bryngwyn Cottage.

PRIVATE RESIDENTS


BELTON, Samuel

Prospect House
BENNETT, Major Thomas M

Monkhill
CHITSON, Mrs Mary

Poole House
HOLME, Harold

Pool Cottage
MARILLIER, Rev. Jacob Francis MA
Vicar
The Vicarage
RANKIN, James MA (Cantab)
MP for the Northern Division of Herefordshire JP, DL (for Herefordshire) and County Councillor
Bryngwyn and 35 Ennismore Gardens, Princes Gate, London SW
ROGERS, Miss Mary

Kivernoll
SYMONS, Thomas Raymond
JP
Mynde Park
COMMERCIAL


BARRELL, Thomas

Blackhouse
BARRELL, Thomas

Bettws Court
BOWEN, John
Shopkeeper and Sub Postmaster

BOWEN, Thomas
Salesman for the South Wales Coal Company
Tram Inn Station
CAUDLE, Charles
Station Master
Tram Inn
COOKE, James
Farmer
Coed Moor Common
COOKE, Thomas
Farmer
Pool Wharf
DEW, William
Farmer
Kiverknoll
DIMERY, Charles
Farmer
Jews Hayes
DIGWOOD, Thomas
Head Gardener for Thos. Raymond SYMONS MP
Mynde Park
EDWARDS, Thomas
Farmer
Kiverknoll
EDWARDS, William
Farmer
Maypole
FARR, Mrs E
Farmer
Cracohill
FARR, Richard
Farmer
Pool Farm
GRIFFITHS, William
Farmer
The Lawns
GRIFFITHS, William
Farmer
Hill Farm
GROWCOTT, John
Farmer
Lodge Farm
HARDWICK, Amos
Blacksmith

HARPER, Albert
Farmer
Ridby Court
JENNINGS, Henry John
Farm Steward
The Mynde
JONES, James
Farmer
Mileshiggins
JONES, Thomas

"Black Swan Inn"
LEE, Robert
Farmer
Little Lowe
LEWIS, Charles
Farmer
The Green Farm
MORAN, Joseph
Bailiff for James RANKIN MP, JP, DL
Grove Farm
NASH, William
Head Gamekeeper for James RANKIN MP JP DL
Bryngwyn
PHILLIPS, James
Mason

PRICE, John
Wheelwright
Kiverknoll
POWELL, George
Farmer
The Lowe Farm
PROSSER, John
Coal Merchant and Agent for Hadfield's Manures
Tram Inn Station
REDMAN, Miss Kate
Schoolmistress

SHAW, Elijah
Steward for James RANKIN MP, JP, DL and agent to the North British and Mercantile Insurance Company
Bryngwyn Cottage
SOUTHALL, Albert
Blacksmith and Parish Clerk

VALE, William
Cottage Farmer and Haulier
Kiverknoll
WALTERS, James
Cottage Farmer and Haulier
Coedmore
WALTERS, John
Farmer
Rhydd Farm
WILLIAMS, James
Farmer
Saddlebow Farm
WILLIAMS, James
Farmer
New House

NOTES:

  1. Contributions to expand this site will be very welcome.    

  2. ROOTSWEB have two mailing lists relevant to this area - MIDMARCH and ENG-HEREFORD.

    The web sites GENUKI HEREFORDSHIRE and HEREFORDSHIRE GENWEB have details of resource material with links.

    The HEREFORDSHIRE FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY publishes resource material and has a search service. (A GOOGLE search will locate these websites).

  3. I am always pleased to hear from others with a research interest in the parish. If you would like to put a short resume of interests on this site please - e-mail. Best of luck with your research!
This link will take you to Part One, Verrior/Verry family of Much Dewchurch etc

This link will take you to Notes on the Parish of Aconbury

DISCLAIMER:

While I have endeavoured to ensure accuracy,  no such guarantee is given. As always check, or arrange to have checked, original sources.  In some cases I may be able to amplify the data - e-mail.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

Thanks to my cousin Rhondda for the photos on this site.