1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sutton Coldfield

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

SUTTON COLDFIELD, a municipal borough in the Tamworth parliamentary division of Warwickshire, England, 7 m. N.E. from Birmingham on branches of the London & North-Western and Midland railways. Pop. (1001), 14,264. The town, which lies high in a hilly situation, is the centre of a residential district for persons having their business offices in Birmingham, Walsall and other towns. The church of the Holy Trinity, Early English and Late Perpendicular, enlarged in 1879, contains a fine Norman font and the tomb of Bishop Vesey. On the picturesque park near the town, 2400 acres in extent, the inhabitants have the right of grazing horses and cattle at a small fee. This, with the Crystal Palace gardens, forms a recreation ground for the people of Birmingham. In the vicinity are New Hall, an interesting mansion of the 13th century, with a hall of the 16th, used as a boys’ school; and Peddimore Hall, a moated mansion of the ancient family of Arden, of which there are slight remains. The town is governed by a mayor, 6 aldermen and 18 councillors. Area, 12,828 acres.

Sutton Coldfield (Svtone, Sutton in Colefeud, Sutton Colfild, King’s Sutton) is mentioned in the Domesday Survey as a possession of the Conqueror and as having been held before that time by Edwin, earl of Mercia. Henry I. exchanged it with Roger de Newburgh, earl of Warwick, whose descendant, William de Beauchamp, in the reign of Edward I., claimed by prescription a court leet with assize of bread and ale and other liberties here, which were allowed him, as it was found that his ancestors had held the same. By the time of Henry VIII. the town had fallen “into much ruin,” according to Leland, and would never have reached its present position but for the interest of John Vesey, bishop of Exeter, a native of the place, who procured for it a charter of incorporation in 1529 under the title of the “Warden and Society of the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield.” The charter also appointed a warden and twenty-two fellows to be the common hall, and granted the town and park to the corporation at a yearly rent of £58. Another charter, dated 1664, appointed two capital burgesses to be justices of the peace with the warden. In 1855 Sutton was divided into six wards, with an alderman and three councillors for each. Markets granted in 1300, 1353 and 1529 have been discontinued. Fairs were granted in 1300, 1353 and 1529, to be held at the feasts of Trinity, Michaelmas and St Simon and St Jude, and are now held on Trinity Monday, the 14th of March, the 19th of September and the 8th of November. Vesey set up here a cloth trade which, however, soon became neglected.