Noake's Worcestershire Page 292


was a William Sandys, who made the Avon navigable at a great expense. The first Lord Sandys, who represented Worcester in the early part of the last century, was Chancellor of the Exchequer, cofferer to his Majesty's,household, Speaker of the House of Peers, and Chief Justice of the Forests. His brother, George, distinguished himself as a poet and a traveller, of whom Pope thought highly. The Court was built by the first Lord Sandys, and contains some good paintings and family portraits. When the Marchioness of Downshire resided here, on the 23rd of September, 1807, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Sussex, and a large party of nobility, visited her Ladyship, the mayor and magistrates of Worcester taking the opportunity of presenting the royal party with an address. On September 6, 1843, the Queen Dowager and the Duchess of Kent visited the place, and left their autographs on the parish register.

Ombersley has a fruitful soil, chiefly loamy sand, for timber, wheat, beans, barley, peas, potatoes, swedes, and turnips ; it is largely fruited, and there are many gooseberry and plum orchards. The Severn and the Salwarpe water the parish abundantly. The acreage is 6,795. Agriculture is the chief employment, but some of the women and girls are engaged in gloving and "slop-work" for Worcester tradesmen. Population in 1861 numbered 2,463. Their condition is generally good, the charities of the parish being numerous; also two free schools, with excellent masters, and no less than six allotment societies, while Lord Sandys lets ont some wood land to twenty-eight poor men on most encouraging terms; Lady Sandys is also very charitable to the poor; and the Vicar, Mrs. Moule, of Lineholt, Mr. C. Gardner, Mr. A. M. Campbell, of Tapenhall, and the Church Trustees, let out allotments in various parts of the parish. Moreover there are many resident gentry - a great blessing to any district - including J. G. Walking, Esq., a county magistrate and celebrated sheep-breeder; Mrs. Winnall, of Winnall; General Osborne, of Hawford; Mr. Salmon, of The Cedars; Mrs. Colonel Strode; Captain Shepherd, of Utbridge House; the Miss