Matters arising…

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The lost cottage is still subject to some debate!

I often get lots of short questions or observations that aren’t, despite my best efforts, big enough to make one post out of; so here are a selection of recent ones which aren’t connected to each other, but I’m thinking readers may be able to help with them, or perhaps they’ll provoke debate.

If you can help with any of these, please feel free to comment or mail me: Brownhillsbob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

First up, Bruce Littley is interested in the pubs in the Watling street area following the Fred Shingler film, Mavis Woodhouse material, etc.

Good morning,

I have just seen the article on the lost cottage near to White Horse Lane. (Dr. Fell article) posted Feb 2015.

Great item, It reminded me that I had heard something, many years ago about this, and enables other items to be seen in the area as well The over-lays are a great method of showing development, progress and of course the history.

However, the reason for the mail.

On the map plan of the area, shown opposite to the wording for St. Thomas church, is the initials P.H, I presume that it is a public house. It is one that i have been trying to find the name for for a very long time, I believe my grandfather lived in the cottage at the rear.

Query, do you know the name of this establishment please.


Florence Swinton asks:

William Briggs Jr - Middle row third from right

A probable 1940s church photo – with William Briggs highlighted in the centre. Can anyone put names to these people, or identify the church, or indeed the occasion? Image kindly supplied by Tony Briggs.

I have recently come across the above photo on your web site from Tony Briggs.

For years I have been searching for some clues as to what happened to my uncle William Briggs born 1906 in Newcastle under Lyme…

Could there be a connection?


Chris Latimer has made a very interesting observation:

Hi Bob,

I was in Norton Canes churchyard, just looking round, when I saw the flattened gravestone of a man call John Mann, who died in 1810, described as ‘of Brownhills’, definitely all one word.

I think this is an early reference for the name becoming one word, not The Brown Hills, which from memory is on the pit map, the tithe map and I think the first OS.


Philip asks:


I wonder if you can help me?

There was a business in Lichfield in 1856/7 called Bond And Barnes.

I am interested in knowing what sort of business this was.

Do you know where I could get this information from?

Many thanks for any information you can give.

Best Regards

Dave McNamee writes:


The former Red, White and Blue pub is now an attractive house.


I came across your blog after googling the Red, White and Blue, Lichfield. Reason for googling was I came across reference to this pub when doing a bit of family history research. In a nutshell my great grandmother’s brother, John Blower, is shown as the landlord of this pub in the 1911 census.

Don’t know the location personally as I’m not familiar with the area: my great granmother (from Pelsall) and great grandfather (from Wall) moved to Littleborough near Rochdale, Lancs in the mid 1890s for work purposes and stayed their for their rest of their lives.

Only a snippet, but hopefully of some interest!.

David McNamee

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15 Responses to Matters arising…

  1. Alan H says:

    Isn’t this former boozer on the A461 (between Muckley Corner and Shire Oak, on the east – Shenstone – side of the road)?

  2. Andy Dennis says:

    Hello Bruce, the pub was The Lamb Inn. I don’t know when it stopped being a pub. The landlord in 1912 was Thomas Porth. The last article I can see from the Lichfield Mercury online was in 1919 when a Mrs E Lycett advertised for a servant.

    • Bruce G. Littley says:

      Andy, Very sorry about this late reply, although I have looked at the article a number of times, I had not completely scrolled down the various items. Thank you for clearing up something that has caused me a lot of head scratching over the years. Bruce

  3. Pedro says:

    The Brown Hills question, and a further question.

    The Burntwood Family History Group quote from a Samuel Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of England 1859….concerning Norton Canes.

    It abounds with coal and ironstone, and of the former, which is of excellent quality, there is an extensive mine in operation at Brown Hills, opened about a century ago…

    Later they quote from John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales 1870 – 1872….

    …The parish contains also the hamlets of Little Wyrley and Brownhills.

    On the question of the death of John Mann, 1810.

    The first reference by Lewis says…

    ….The church is a handsome structure of Tixall stone, with a tower and pinnacles; it was built by subscription, in 1832, at a cost of £1220……

    Was there consecrated ground existing for the use of burial before the Church was built?

    • Chris says:

      Norton is an ancient parish and registers start in 1567. The Staffordshire parish registers are now being put on I subscribe and working backwards from Mann’s death to the start of that burial register in 1757 I found the following:
      1802 There are 6 named people (including John Mann’s wife) buried, all from Brownhills out of 14 burials in total, one of which is from Catshill. Brownhills, all one word and with a capital letter is clearly a place within the parish.

      From 1784 and through the 1790s the register is scrappy , just names – no relationships or locations.
      Then in 1773 ‘A Hould man died at brown hills…’ two words with no capital (which is always given for Norton, Pelsall or Cannock.
      1769 ‘A Woman from brown hills…’
      1758 ‘Two children from brown hills was buried…’
      1758 ‘ A Hospitale child from brown hills’

      At this earlier date, the grammar is of a place name, but the lack of a capital letter and still being two words suggest it hasn’t quite stopped being just an adjective and noun.
      also interesting is the fact that the name is not recorded. They were resident, because vagrants and passengers are recorded as such but it is as if the people there are not yet seen as part of the parish.

      Really interesting though are the two earliest entries. There are eight Hospitall children recorded in 1758/9 one of them being ‘the London Hospital’. There are as many again described , mostly without a name as ‘a child at..’ or ‘a child from…’ instead of ‘a child of John and Mary. Several of these are described as ‘from Joseph Dickison’s..’ and after Joseph Dickison himself dies in 1763, there are no more entries like this.

      I have no explanation but this cannot be unconnected with the founding in 1758 of the Magdalen Hospital in London for prostitutes ( which actually took over the premises of the London Hospital. But how and why reformed prostitute’s children were being farmed out to Norton is completely unclear. More research needed!

  4. Pedro says:

    In the Staffs Advertiser there is a reference in October 1855 for Bond and Barnes, Solicitors.

    • Pedro says:

      Messrs Bond and Barnes…MONEY… from £5 to £5,000 ready to be advanced on approved securities, at moderate rates of interest.

  5. aerreg says:

    a bit abstract i know but i believe there was also a scrap metal dealer called barnes in lichfield years ago aer reg

  6. Pedro says:

    Tree Fellers.

    May be of interest that Richard Hanbury, in 1797, was auctioning upwards of sixteen hundred oaks, with a quantity of ash, elm, beech and sycamore from his house, the Fleur-de-Lis, Norton under Cannock.

  7. Pedro says:

    May 1906

    John William Blower was granted the full transfer of the Red White and Blue Inn, Ogley Hay.

    Oct 1912….Gertrude Annie Blower, red white and Blue Inn, Ogley Hay was giving evidence in a court case where a prisoner had come into the tap room at her house and called for a bottle of porter.

    (Seems she held the licence at that time?)

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