Friends of the Red Church

Life Events at the old St Mary’s Church (The Red Church)

Prior to 1863, all records of life events - baptisms, burials, weddings - at the main Church in Broseley, the Red Church in Jackfield and St Leonard’s Church in Linley are together in one Parish Register. However, many of those at the Red Church can be identified as some records are annotated by the officiating minister by “at St Mary’s Church” or “St M.” While it is not known how accurately this was done, they offer a valuable insight into the Church history.  

The first baptism at the Red Church was that of Susannah Bradley on 8 November 1767 and the last was of John George Cullis on 29 March 1863, such ceremonies thereafter being carried out at the new St Mary’s Church. Whether by accident or reason, the annotation “St M” is missing for many years and these baptism records are less complete than the burial records, however, over 500 have been recorded. Later records are helpful as the occupation of the father is often recorded.

The first of over 1250 burials identified in the Red Church graveyards was that of Francis Oaks on 5 April 1770.  The last is believed to be that of Thomas Poole on 12 August 1884. After 1863, the new St Mary’s Church had its own Parish Register but the old overcrowded graveyard continued to be used until it was declared “closed” on 27 January 1885. Perhaps it is no surprise that some 20% of children died before the age of five, but the longevity of adults may be unexpected, with over 30% surviving beyond the age of 60 years, the eldest burial record being for a 96-year-old man. The records also give the names of the 37 victims of the tragic cholera epidemic in 1832 and 1834.

No records have been found of any weddings specifically performed at The Red Church, despite them being allowed as defined at its consecration in 1767.

A fully searchable record of baptisms and burials has now been compiled. The records are likely to be incomplete as it is not known how accurately the specific Church was designated. In some cases the original record was barely legible and they may have been transcribed inaccurately. (For example the surnames Roden and Boden may have been confused). They are as accurate as possible, but original Parish Records should be consulted for confirmation. Where inscribed memorials have been found, they are shown listed against the burial record.

The Life Events can be searched in a variety of ways. For convenience, the same information is shown in two forms by Year also alphabetical order by Surname.