Moreton in Marsh & District

Local History Society



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Old Photographs of Moreton (click on to view):

·         High Street from the South, c.1868 …

·         High Street, Curfew Tower, c.1890 …

·         Black Bear Inn, 1869 …

·         Moreton Cottage Hospital, c.1900 …

·         High Street premises of B Hodgetts & Son, 1860s …

·         St David’s Church (before addition of the present tower and spire), c.1859 …

·         Market Day in the High Street, 1906 …

·         Four Shires Stone, c.1909 …

·         Mann Institute & Redesdale Hall, 1905 …

·         Trackwork at the Railway Station, c.1900 …

·         Redesdale Hall, c.1890 …

·         Moreton from the air, 1953 …

·         Heythrop Hunt meeting outside the Redesdale Hall 1905 …

·         The opening of Moreton Cricket Club Pavilion, 1925 …

Historical Biographies

·         Reginald Alberd

·         Alfrith

·         Jim Allen

·         George Christopher Anney

·         Thomas Archer

·         Edward Ernest Aston

·         Reginald Langford Baker

·         Richard of Barking

·         Rev. Matthew Bloxam

·         William Brain

·         Henry Goodear Busby

·         Nicholas Cartwright …

·         Gerald Clifton …

·         Samuel Creswick …

·         John Crocker …

·         Mrs G. M. Dee

·         Robert Drury

·         1st Lord Dulverton

·         George James Dyer

·         Herbert Hinton d'Este East

·         John Edgley

·         Albert W Edmunds

·         George Eldridge

·         George H Ellis


High Street from the South, c.1868


High Street, Curfew Tower, c.1890


Black Bear Inn, 1869


Moreton Cottage Hospital, c.1900


High Street premises of B. Hodgetts & Son, 1860s …


St David’s Church (before addition of the present tower and spire), c.1859


Market Day in the High Street, 1906


Four Shires Stone, c.1909


Mann Institute & Redesdale Hall, 1905


Trackwork at the Railway Station, c.1900


Redesdale Hall, c.1890



Moreton from the air 1953


Heythrop Hunt outside the Redesdale Hall 1905


The Opening of Moreton Cricket Club Pavilion, 1925


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Alberd, Reginald. The reeve of Westminster Abbey's manor of Bourton and Moreton in the late 1290s, and one of Bourton's leading inhabitants. By 1327 he was dead and his son Richard Alberd had his holding.


Alfrith. The first named inhabitant of Moreton. He was the Anglo-Saxon freeman who was the Abbot of Westminster's tenant of half a hide at Moreton in 1066 and 1086 - the only Saxon in the area who kept his holding under the Normans. He was a radman, one of an Anglo-Saxon group who did riding service, perhaps as messengers or escorts, perhaps as members of a force guarding the Welsh frontier. Although he was free, he owed service to the Abbot of ploughing, harrowing, mowing and reaping.


Allen, Jim was an undertaker, painter and decorator in Moreton for many years. Born in the town, he joined his father William in the family business in the 1930s after some years boat-building in Cornwall, and later ran it until his death in June 1981 at the age of 68. He was a notable sportsman, playing football, cricket and hockey for the town. He was a member of the local Oddfellows, and served in the Home Guard in WWII. He was also a member of the Moreton British Legion band. His wife Doris died in 1976, but his son Peter still runs the family business.


Anney, George Christopher worked for the Great Western Railway for some 45 years and was stationmaster at Bourton on the Water before becoming stationmaster at Moreton in 1904 until his retirement in August 1921. He was very popular locally, and in October 1921 he was presented with a gold watch, a cheque and an illuminated album by a committee of local residents. He was a member of Stow Lodge of Freemasons and of Moreton Bowling Club. His wife Susannah died on 22 January 1924 aged 59, and he died at 66 of pleurisy on 6 January 1926. They had no children.


Archer, Thomas. Born in Moreton in 1641, on 8 January 1669-70 he married Sarah Huckin of Chastleton at Great Rollright. He was a blacksmith in the High Street on part of what is now the Bell Inn (then called the George), and owned both properties. He had seven children, the eldest of which - Thomas, a gunsmith - pre-deceased him. He died on 27 April 1721. In his will of 6 October 1720 he left his working tools to his two surviving sons, Walter and Charles, who became clockmakers in Stow, and his properties to his spinster daughter Sarah, £20 to one son-in-law, Henry Weston, but only 1 s to the other, D Beal, and £5 each to his grandsons by his dead son Thomas.


Aston, Edward Ernest. Police Sergeant Aston was sergeant in charge at Moreton from 1918 until his retirement in June 1929 after 36 years service. He was the son of Mr 8s Mrs A Aston, of Leysbourne, Campden, and was educated at the National School, Campden. He entered the police force on 1 September 1893, and served as a constable in Cheltenham, Bishops Cleeve, Beckford, Cheltenham again, Lechlade and Gloucester before coming to Moreton. He married Miss Devereux of Kemerton, and they had three daughters. On returning from his honeymoon he stopped two runaway horses pulling an omnibus in Cheltenham. He also did good work in a horse stealing case in Todenham in 1920. In Moreton he was a member of the Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers.

Baker, Reginald Langford (1836-1925). Born at Chepstow on 7 December 1836, Mr Baker came to Moreton in 1867 as manager of the Gloucestershire Bank. He retired in 1908, by which time it had become the Capital and Counties Bank (now Lloyds). He married Emma Marion Glutton Brock of Pensax Court, Worcs. He was a member of the Rifle Volunteers, a churchwarden, and chairman of the managers of the Council School. He died at his home, Sunnyside, in the High Street on 4 March 1925.


Barking, Richard of. He was prior of Westminster Abbey when he was elected its Abbot in 1222. He was King Henry III's favourite adviser, and the King made him his special counsellor and the chief baron of the Exchequer. He enlarged the Abbey's estates, increasing its income by £200 a year. He spent most of his time at his manor house at Eye and even when at Westminster, mixed little with the monks, but in 1225 he settled a long-standing dispute between monks and Abbot by dividing the Abbey's lands between them. In 1226-1228 he built the new town of Moreton Henmarsh on its present site along the Fosse Way, which he widened to make a long market place. The original hamlet then became known as Old Town. He obtained several charters from Henry III, in 1226 for a weekly market on Tuesdays, in 1228 one to make this permanent, and in 1241 a third to hold the market on Saturdays instead of Tuesdays. He died in 1246, assigning rents from his new town of Moreton to celebrate his anniversary by the ringing of bells and chanting on the day following St Matthew's Day, with wine and two good pittances for the monks and bread and ale with broth and a dish of meat or fish for 100 paupers. He is buried in the Lady Chapel of the Abbey.


Bloxam, Rev. Matthew. Rector of Bourton on the Hill with Moreton in Marsh 1768­1784. He was an MA of Pembroke College, Oxford, and was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Worcester of 20 May 1733, and priest on 1 June 1735. In addition to being Rector of Bourton, he was chaplain to the Earl of Coventry. In 1778 he was also presented to the more valuable rectory of Barwell, Leics., and obtained a dispensation to hold both. In 1784 he resigned the Bourton living.


Brain, William. A Moreton farmer who died in the spring of 1593, leaving his property to his son John. His daughter Ann got one land each of wheat, rye, pulses and barley, the heifer he bought at Compton, the bullock he bred the previous year, four strikes of wheat and rye, his third best pot, his second best bed cover and pair of sheets, and his second best cauldron. Her two daughters and John's son William got a sheep each.


Busby, Henry Goodear (1798-1867). The third and last Busby to own the biggest business in Moreton in the C19. He inherited from his father in 1821, and erected a linen factory in Church Street in 1824 on land he had been allotted in the 1821 inclosure which adjoined his house (now the Manor House Hotel). In the 1830s and `40s he also had a draper's business and managed the local branch of the Stourbridge & Kidderminster Bank. He was a director of both the Stratford and Moreton Railway Company and the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway, and in 1845 presented each of his OWWR fellow directors with a linen table-cloth made at his factory. In 1851 the factory employed 100 hands, and he also farmed 200 acres on which he employed 18 labourers. He was a churchman, and was a churchwarden from 1851 to 1865, presented the pulpit now in the church in 1858, and, with his fellow churchwarden, paid for the recasting of the treble bell and two others when they were rehung in the new tower in 1862. He also gave the town the land for the Nonconformists cemetery. His wife died in 1864 and he followed her on 10 April 1867. They are buried in the churchyard.

Nicholas Cartwright – The Rector of Bourton on the Hill with Moreton in Marsh from 1617 to 1634. Born in 1584 to an ordinary Worcestershire family, he matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford, on 11 June 1602, got his BA on 16 December 1605 and his MA on 25 June 1608. On 15 July 1617 he was presented to the Bourton Hill living by the patron, Nicholas Overbury Esq., and was sworn and instituted by the Chancellor. On the 15 November 1617 he compounded for the first-fruits of his benefice, his sureties being Nicholas Overbury again and another gentleman of Bourton on the Hill, John Gilbye. He survived a series of episcopal visitations without comment - although he was sometimes referred to as Timothy' Cartwright - and disappears from the Bourton on the Hill record in 1634 when he was 50.

Gerald Clifton (1903-1990) – was born in Shenington near Banbury, where his father George was a well-known stone mason. He established a butcher's shop in Shenington and in 1932 bought Price's butcher's shop in Moreton High Street. He was one of the leading butchers in the town and twice president of the South Western Area Butchers Association and a former chairman and director of Evesham Butchers. He joined the special constabulary in 1938, rising to superintendent, and in 1967 was awarded the BEM. He also had the War Service Medal and the Queen's Coronation Medal. He was a former Town Councillor, Chairman of Governors of St David's School, and a Governor of Campden Grammar School. He was twice married, his son Martin becoming a doctor. He died on 28 December 1990, aged 87.


Samuel Creswick (1622-1683) – the youngest son of Francis Creswick of Bristol, who had married Ann Nicholls of Moreton. He inherited his father's property in Moreton, based on Lemington House, in 1649. He married Hester Ash of Stowford, Wilts., and they had seven children: Hester, born 21 March 1661, who married Richard Ingles of Stanton; Henry, 30 May 1662, who married Anne Earle of Bradenbrook, Wilts.; Samuel, 8 November 1663; Ann, who died unmarried in 1757; Elizabeth, who married Penyston Hastings of Daylesford; John, 30 December 1669, buried 20 February 1670; and Jonathan, 21 December 1670, buried 14 January 1672. Mrs Hester Creswick died in 1682, and Samuel himself on 24 April 1683 at the age of 61. His will, made two days before he died, asked that he be buried as near as possible to his wife in the chancel of St David's, and left 40s to Moreton's poor and £10 to St David's, £200 to Elizabeth Hastings on condition her husband let Henry Creswick off the marriage bond, £800 to Richard Ingles as his daughter Hester's marriage portion, four full length pictures to Elizabeth Hastings, and to Hester Ingles a silver tankard, six silver spoons, and the red bed with its furniture and a quilt. Minor bequests to servants and others included £50 to Hester Harper, 10s to Mathew Norton, 40s to Mrs Ivor, 10s to John Owyn, and 20s for rings to his brothers John and Joseph Creswick. The flat memorial stone in St David's bore his coat of arms, a red lion rampant reguardant on a gold background.

John Crocker esquire – the owner of the first Batsford Park in the late C16 and early C17, and the third and last of his family to possess the manor. He was the son of the previous John Croker who had married Elizabeth Freeman of Batsford. He married Joan Riddall of Riddall in Herefordshire, by whom he had a number of children, not all of whom lived beyond infancy. His eldest surviving daughter, Dorothy, baptised at Batsford on 30 April 1592, married John Hales of Coventry, while her sister Mary married Sir Robert Pye and the youngest, Joan, Edward Goddard of Southampton. On 18 November 1619 John Crocker made a family settlement dividing his estate between his three daughters. But when he died on 6 April 1630, only Lady Mary Pye had survived him.

Mrs G M Dee (1895-1979) – one of the most popular residents in Moreton for nearly 50 years. She grew up at Frampton Farm, Alderton, and was a Miss Slatter before her marriage to James Carpenter Dee. They farmed at Shenberrow Farm, Stanton, and Hailstone Farm, Blockley, before settling in Moreton. During the Great War she did VAD nursing at Dumbleton Hall. During WWII and afterwards she worked in the box office of the Playhouse Cinema, and provided a home-from-home at The Cottage, Oxford Street, for airmen stationed at RAF Moreton and for many newcomers to Moreton. She was a WI member and a keen bridge player, but was most widely known as a bowls player, both at Moreton and Broadway, but also for Worcestershire; she also took part in the national bowls championships at Wimbledon on several occasions. She and her husband, who predeceased her, had two sons and four daughters, all of whom survived her when she died at 84 in January 1979.


Robert Drury (1848-1924) – was the second son of William John Drury of Moreton. In the early 1870s he set up a stationery shop at the old Post Office, north of the Redesdale Arms, which he later rebuilt and modernised. He married Emma Peach of the town, in whose memory he presented the oak screen in St David's. He was in the church choir and a trustee of the local lodge of Oddfellows.


1st Lord Dulverton (1880-1956). He was the second but eldest surviving son of Sir Frederick Wills, the lst baronet, of North Moor, Somerset. He was an MA of Oxford University, and in 1914 married Victoria May, daughter of Rear-Admiral Sir Edward Chichester. He served as a Captain and Major in the Great War, first with the Royal North Devon Hussars and then with the Machine Gun Corps in Gallipoli and France. He was mentioned in dispatches and awarded a military OBE. Before he came to Batsford he was Master of the Dulverton Hounds. He was also a sculptor who had exhibited at the Royal Academy, a musician and a writer of verse. He sat in the Commons as Conservative MP for Taunton 1912-1918 and as Coalition MP for Weston-super-Mare 1918-1922. In 1921 he was PPS to the Postmaster-General. He was President of the Moreton Cottage Hospital 1919-48, bought the Redesdale Hall for the town, and presented the town's football field. He was awarded the TD and made a JP. In 1928 he was High Sheriff of Gloucestershire. He was Chairman of the Imperial Tobacco Company 1924-1947 and then President until his death. He was also a director of the GWR. He was raised to the peerage as Lord Dulverton of Batsford in 1929. He was always a great benefactor to charitable causes, including Guy's Hospital in London, and the restoration of St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, and in 1949 set up the Dulverton Charitable Trust, designed especially to aid youth and conservation. In 1951 he presented the Redesdale Hall to the local authority. He died in 1956, leaving his widow and three sons, the eldest of whom, Frederick Anthony Hamilton Wills, born 1915, succeeded to the peerage.


George James Dyer (1894-1915) – one of the 44 men of Moreton and Batsford who fell in the 1914-1918 war, was the fourth son of William and Emma Dyer of New Road, Moreton. His father had been groom-gardener for Dr Yelf's family for 44 years when he died in January 1925. All six of William Dyer's sons fought in the Great War. George Dyer was a regular soldier with the 2nd Worcesters in 1914, and landed in France on 12 August 1914. He went through the battle of Mons, but was wounded in October. In May 1915 the 2nd Worcesters mounted two unsuccessful attacks along the Richebourge Front against enemy positions that had not been broken by artillery fire. In the second attack on 14 May the 2nd Worcesters lost 250 men. George Dyer was first reported as missing, but in November 1915 it was confirmed that he had been killed in the battle of Festubert on Sunday, 16 May 1915. He was only 20 years of age. He is commemorated on Moreton's War Memorial and on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

Herbert Hinton d'Este East (27.5.1851-20.5.1919) of Bourton House died of heart failure in May 1919 aged 67. He had come to Bourton House nearly forty years before on the death of his wife's uncle, Sir James Buller East, but they had then lived for some years in the south of France for his wife's health before returning in 1907. For nine years until March 1918 he represented Moreton on the Gloucestershire County Council, and was a prominent member of the Board of Guardians and Rural District Council. For ten years he had been chairman of Bourton on the Hill Parish Council and of the local War Savings Committee, which he had been instrumental in setting up. He was also a member of the Campden War Pensions and Old Age Pensions Committee. He was one of the longest supporters of the Moreton in Marsh Cricket Club and President of the Moreton Bowling Club, and one of the trustees of the Moreton Cottage Hospital. He was one of the managers of the Church Schools and a governor of Studley Agricultural College. He had travelled widely, and had long been convinced of the reality of the German menace, and gave lantern lectures in the neighbouring villages on the necessity of National Service for all. He had always been very fond of children, and large numbers of them attended his funeral in Bourton Hill church.

John Edgley (bu. 29.7.1661), a Moreton butcher in the mid-C17, married his wife Ann in the 1630s, and had two sons and six daughters, though two daughters died in infancy. He lived and worked in a house in the High Street which enabled him to graze cattle on Moreton Heath. He was a very pious man, and a great friend of the most prominent Moreton citizen of that time, Samuel Creswick of Lemington House. When he made his will a few weeks before his death in July 1661 he described Samuel Creswick as `his loving friend'. He left his house to his wife Ann and then to his eldest son John. The second son then got £20 and each of the four surviving daughters £5. His will, to which he made his mark, was proved on 14 October 1661.


Albert W Edmunds (1848-1933) came to Moreton in 1913 as licensee of the Swan Inn, which he kept for several years, and then took over the management of the Crown Inn until it closed in 1921, when it was converted into the Curfew Garage. He retired to Bournheath near Bromsgrove, where he died just short of his diamond wedding, leaving a widow, a son and four daughters.


George Eldridge (1882-1923) was married and had a wife, Mabel Alice, and worked for the GWR in their carriage works at Oldbury before the Great War. He joined up in the first month of the war, being drafted as a Private to the 1 st Battalion of the Rifle Brigade. He arrived in France on 26 January 1915, and at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle he received severe wounds in the back and leg. After a year in hospital he was discharged from the Army in March 1916 as being no longer fit for war service. He received the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He then worked as a motor mechanic, but developed tuberculosis, and died at his home in East Street on 30 November 1923, aged 41.

George H Ellis (1855-1928) was the eldest son of George Ellis, a carpenter and upholsterer of Moreton, and lived and died in the same house in Moreton from the age of 10. In 1908 he married Miss English of Oxford, and until 1925 carried on the same trades as his father. He took an active part in the formation of the local Sick and Dividend Society, and for twenty-one years was its hon. treasurer and secretary. He was also a member of the British Legion.

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