Kempsey, St Mary the Virgin

Kempsey Billings Directory 1855

Kempsey is a very large village and parish, situate about 4 miles S. of Worcester, and according to the last census contained a population of 1375 inhabitants.
The village, one of the most respectable and pleasant in this part of the county, is situate on the south bank of the river Severn; the scenery around is of the most varied and picturesque description, and the land very fertile.
We may briefly mention that Henry II held a court here, and in 1265 we find that Simon de Montford (Earl of Leicester), with his prisoner Henry III, lay at the Bishop’s Palace (which at that period stood here), just before the battle of Evesham. Traces of a Roman encampment have been found here, also coins, urns, &c.
The Church, a plain, cruciform building, was almost entirely rebuilt in the year 1799, and consists of nave, chancel, and north and south transepts: the funds for the rebuilding of the church were raised by leasing the church lands, under the trustees, for ninety-nine years. In the chancel is a bust of Alderman Farley, of this city (1821). In an arched niche lies the armed figure of Edmund Wylde, a knight, who is protected at each of the four cardinal points by a monk, and on the monument are placed a veritable helmet and sword. In the north transept is a tablet, surmounted by a skull, in memory of one John Ward. In the churchyard is a monument to Major B. Kershaw, of the 13th Light Infantry, who fell at Jugdulluch, in Affghanistan, in the disastrous affair of January, 1842; he was at the storming of Ghuznee, and it is said that he once saved the life of General Sale. The living is a Vicarage, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Worcester. Rev. George L. Foxton, M.A., Vicar; Mr. William Cox, Clerk; Mr. John Broadfield, Organist. Service ­ 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The New Schools, opened in 1849, were erected by the munificence of James Capel, Esq., of London, who was a native of this parish; the site was the gift of Richard Temple, Esq., of the Nash. The style of the building is Gothic, and presents a pleasant appearance; it is situated about a quarter of a mile from the village, on the road to Worcester, and is supported by a small endowment and annual contributions, with the children’s payments. Mr. W. A. Williams, Master; Elizabeth King, Mistress. Average number of children on the books, from 90 to 100.
Charities ­ Mr. George Lloyd, late of Kempsey, gave the sum of £40, one half the interest to be given in bread to the poor of this parish, and the other half to the poor of Severn Stoke; to which sum Mr. Richard Spencer added £20, to purchase lands, the produce of which to be devoted to the same purpose. Elizabeth Nichols gave £5, the interest to be given in bread to the poor for ever. Mr. Christopher Meredith, in 1652, left, by will, £6, one half to purchase Bibles for the poor, and the other half useful books for the school. Mr. Giles, of Kempsey, gave £5, to be laid out in land for the benefit of the poor. Mr. John Winslow gave the sum of 40s., one moiety for the instructing poor children, and the other to purchase bread for thirty poor persons. There are also the following donations for the poor: - Sir Edward Wylde, 1620, gave £20, to remain in stock for ever. Christopher Bullock, 40s. Mr. Edward Hurdman, first Mayor of Worcester, 1635, gave £4. Thomas Knight, 1652, 50s. Richard Winslow, 40s. William Hall, 1664, £5. Richard Gorle, £4. John Gorle, £5. Thomas Knight, 1669, 40s. Thomas Martin, 20s. Edward Nicholas, 40s. Edward Wylde, Esq., £10. Nathaniel Tandy, 40s. Thos. Knight, and Alice, his sister, gave each 20s. Mary Hurdman, £4. Mr. Winslow, £5. Charles Geary, gent., gave, by will, 1788, the sum of £20, the interest to be given in bread and coals to ten poor women. Mrs. Elizabeth Eaton, 1789, gave the sum of £200, the interest to be given annually for the benefit of the poor. Edward Hurdman gave by will the sum of £100, the interest to be laid out in clothing, on St. Thomas’s day, for poor men who regularly attend divine service. Mr. William Giles, of this parish, gave £5, the interest to be given in bread to the poor.

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