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Exploring Whittington: A Rural Village with Rich History

Whittington is a fine rural village, seated on a dry gravely soil, 3 miles E.S.E. of Lichfield, and comprising within its parish, 766 inhabitants, and upwards of 3,000 acres of land, all of which is enclosed, except Whittington Heath (338A. 3R. 1P.) (Editor’s note: 338 acres, 3 rods, 1 perch) on the west side of the village, where Lichfield Races are held. This heath forms an excellent sheep walk and would if enclosed, be very productive for the growth of turnips and barley. Theophilus Levett, Esq. and Sir Robert Peel are the principal land owners, but the Marquis of Anglesey is lord of the manor, which passed with the other members of Longdon to his great ancestor, Sir Wm. Paget. General Dyott of Freeford is the lessee of the game. The Church has a lofty spire and was rebuilt in 1762. It is in the appropriation of the dean and chapter of Lichfield, who have let the tithes on lease to the Earl of Lichfield, and Miss Wood, of Coleshill. The curacy is in the gift of T. Levett, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. Thos. Levett, M.A. The wake is on the first Sunday after September 11th.

Huddlesford, in this parish, is a hamlet on the Fazeley canal, 3 miles E. of Lichfield and I mile N. of Whittington.

The Free School at Whittington was founded in 1741 by Sarah Neach (Editor’s note: Sarah Neal in other sources) of Lichfield, who endowed it with her house and croft in Whittington, now converted into a house and large garden, occupied by the schoolmaster; and a smaller house, let for £3. 10s. per annum, which is paid to the master, together with the dividends of £288. 15s. 9d. three percent consols purchased with £200, left in 1800, by the Rev. Richard Levett. The other moiety of the dividends is applied to repairing the schoolhouse and providing books and writing materials for the scholars, ten of whom are taught free. The benefactions to people with low incomes are 10s. yearly, left by Matthew Wightwick, in 1650, out of a house, at Hopwas; 10s yearly, out of Rakemore meadow, left by Humphrey Deakin in 1639; and £3 yearly from Hademore field, which was obtained from Lord Donegal, in exchange for Gib meadow, which had belonged to the poor from time immemorial.

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