The History of Tewkesbury

By James Bennett

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2015


1.Situation, Soil, &c.9
2.Etymology and early History13
3.Battle of Tewkesbury26
4.Historical Occurrences from the Reign of Edward IV. to that of Charles I.41
5.Military Transactions in the Reign of Charles I.47
6.Historical Account of the great Lordship or Manor of Tewkesbury72
7.Survey of the Manor, translated from Domesday-Book89
8.Foundation and History of the Monastery91
9.Abbots of Tewkesbury113
10.Suppression of the Monastery121
11.Description of the Abbey Church131
12.Ancient Monuments in the Church155
13.Distinguished Persons buried at Tewkesbury, who have no Monuments172
14.Incumbents of Tewkesbury181
15.Description of the Town, its Government, Trade, &c.195
16.Public Buildings, Schools, and Charitable Institutions218
17.Charitable Bequests and Donations228
18.Dissenting Places of Worship, &c.238
19.Representatives in Parliament243
20.Hamlets in Tewkesbury Parish267
21.Roads and Bridges275
22.Rivers adjoining Tewkesbury293
23.Interesting and remarkable Occurrences305
1.Liberties and Free Customs granted by Robert and William, Earls of Gloucester, to the Burgesses of Tewkesbury321
2.Charter of King Edward III.322
3.Petition relating to the Navigation of the Severn and to the disorderly conduct of the people of the Forest of Dean325
4.Names of the Noblemen that were slain at the Battle of Tewkesbury, in 1471328
5.Ancient Account of the Battle of Tewkesbury331
6.Abstract of the Grant of the Manor by King James I.334
7.Some Account of the Order of Benedictines336
8.Carta Ordinationis Ecclesiae Theokesburiensis338
9.Charter of King Edward I.340
10.Pardon of King Henry V. to the Abbot and Convent344
11.Accompt of the Ministers of the Lord the King in the time of Henry VIII.346
12.Pensions assigned to the Abbot, Prior, &c.352
13.Pensions payable to Persons dependent on the Monastery in 1553354
14.Particular for the Grant of Tewkesbury Church354
15.Grant of the Abbey Church to the Parishioners356
16.Coats of Anns originally in the Choir Windows, in the West Window, &c.359
17.Brief for the Repair of Tewkesbury Church, in 1720360
18.Subscriptions towards the Reparation of Tewkesbury Church, in 1828362
19.Modern Monuments in the Church363
20.Inscriptions on Grave Stones in the Church367
21.Inscriptions on Tombs and Head Stones in the Church-Yard371
22.A Terrier of all the Glebes, Lands, Tithes, &c. belonging to the Vicarage of Tewkesbury374
23.Letter from Bishop Warburton to the Rev. H. Jones, Vicar of Tewkesbury376
24.Titles of the Local Acts of Parliament relating to Tewkesbury377
25.Abstract of the Charter of 17 Elizabeth378
26.Abstract of the Charter of 3 James I.381
27.Abstract of the Charter of 7 James I.382
28.Abstract of the Charter of 2 James II.383
29.Present Charter of the Borough, granted by King William III.387
30.High Stewards, Recorders, Town Clerks, Coroners, and Chamberlains415
31.Bailiffs, &c.417
32.Tewkesbury Court of Record425
33.Fairs and Great Markets427
34.Report of the Committee of the House of Commons on the Tewkesbury Election Petition428
35.Particulars of the public Life of the late James Martin, esq. M.P.429
36.A brief Account of the Family of Codrington435
37.A short Pedigree of the ancient family of Tracy437
38.A Pedigree of the Dowdeswell Family439
1.Borough Arms. - A castle embattled.1
2.Abbey Arms. - Gules, a cross engrailed or, within a bordure argent1
They are thus engraved in King's "Cathedrall and Conventual Churches of England and Wales orthographically delineated"; and are similarly emblazoned in Berry's Encyclopaedia Heraldica. They are also thus given, along with Abbot Beoly's arms, in the curious roll of parliament, in the British Museum, representing the Procession of all the Lords walking to Parliament in 1512. In Tanner's Notitia Monastica and Rymer's History of the Benedictines they are engraved Gules, a cross ragule or, within a bordure argent, and are emblazoned thus in Willis's Seals of Parliamentary Abbeys. In the chancel window they are correct; but the engrail of the cross, being bounded by bent lead, is necessarily large, and that may have occasioned the cross engrailed to be mistaken for a cross ragule.
3.Abbey Gate-House.112
4.Campanile or Bell-Tower.113
5.Tewkesbury Abbey Church. (East elevation)To face the Title
6.Ditto. (South view)131
7.Ditto. (West front)145
9.Market House.222
10.Tewkesbury Severn Bridge.288


THE following sheets owe their appearance to the numerous applications made to the Editor, in his business as a Bookseller, for a work of this description: finding no other person disposed to undertake the task of writing, or the risk of publishing, he was induced to take the responsibility of both upon himself.

After having made considerable progress, his collections appeared so voluminous that he should have been deterred from proceeding, had he not been encouraged by the number and respectability of the Subscribers, as well as by the consideration, that, by printing the work at his own press, at intervals of leisure afforded by the absence of more profitable employment, he should be enabled to diminish the expenses necessarily attendant on such a publication.

For the insertion of many local circumstances, which, as matters of record, are beneath "the dignity of History", and for the frequency and length of the notes, which may possibly appear to be introduced for the mere purpose of amplifying the work, the Editor can hardly expect to escape censure: he was, however, more willing to incur blame for the introduction of what might be considered unimportant to the many, than for the omission of what would probably be of interest to the few.

His chief endeavour has been to render the volume as useful and interesting as possible to the natives and residents of Tewkesbury: if he shall have effected that object in any degree, and lessened the labours of a future and more efficient Historian, by collecting and preserving some documents which might otherwise have been lost, his highest ambition will be gratified.

The Editor will be happy to receive communications which may serve to rectify any error, or supply any omission, in the History of Tewkesbury; in order that he may be the better enabled to publish a new edition, should it hereafter be deemed requisite.

Tewkesbury, March, 1830.

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in October 2015.

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