The unusual item pictured below was recently donated to the museum. We honestly don’t know what it is! The only clue might be that it was found in a barn. The straps and neck piece (?) are made of leather, with six long metal spikes attached to the front. Can anyone identify what it was used for?
There was a bit of a local crime wave on this day in 1839! According to the Police Report Book: ‘Two pairs of shoes and a hat were stolen from the house of William Leech in Chapel Street by some person unknown.’ Meanwhile… ‘Found several people drunk in the house of John Heath, the Black Horse, about 1 o’clock in the night time. Heath delayed opening his door for a considerable time.’
We recently welcomed two gentlemen from Wyoming and Iowa USA with Congleton ancestry. They left a note in our visitor’s book saying: ‘Great help on research of family!’ The information we provided came from our bespoke Local Census Database. If you’d like some assistance researching your local family history, please contact the museum.
The Saint from Congleton: St. Margaret Ward was a Catholic born in Congleton in the 16th century. During the reign of the Protestant Elizabeth I, St. Margaret smuggled rope into a prison to help the Catholic priest William Watson escape. The priest escaped but St. Margaret was captured. Despite being tortured, she refused to disclose the location of the priest or renounce her faith. St. Margaret was hanged at Tyburn on 30th August 1588. She was canonised by Pope Paul VI on 25th October 1970, as one of the ‘Forty Martyrs of England and Wales’. Sadly, the only image of St. Margaret is the one below.
On this day in 1637 John Bradshaw was elected Mayor of Congleton.
Today in Congleton history: While walking up Moody Street on 13th September 1956, the then editor of the Congleton Chronicle met Mr Aaron Machin, who had been working on one of the black and white cottages. He was shown a handful of what at first looked like brass counters. This was the discovery of the first Congleton Coin Hoard. These Civil War era gold coins are now on display at Congleton Museum. Please pop in if you’d like to see them!
Did you know a man from Congleton was once Titular Head of State? Lord President John Bradshaw, famous being the presiding judge over the court that Killed Charles I, was elected the ‘President of the Council of State’ on 12 March 1649. He remained President until Cromwell dissolved the Long Parliament on the 30th April 1653, when Cromwell assumed the title of ‘Lord Protector’. Bradshaw was later found guilty regicide and despite dying in 1659, was posthumously executed by being hung drawn and quartered on the 30th January 1661. The museum is proud to have exhibits about Bradshaw and the civil war. We are located near the Congleton home and offices of Bradshaw, which is now the White Lion pub.
A night to remember! On 3rd June 1953, the Mayor Mr Hancock held a Ball to celebrate the Coronation of Elizabeth II. Tickets cost 10 shillings and 6 pence, with the £50 raised being donated to the ‘Entertainment of the Old, Blind, Deaf and Dumb and Disabled People of the Town’. A great night for a great cause!
Size doesn’t matter! In 1311 the population of Congleton only totalled 400 people. There were 80 acres of arable land and less than 100 people rented property (burgesses). We know this information thanks to an inquisition of Henry de Lacy’s estate following his death. Our current population is 25,750.
‘History Of The Silk Industry In Congleton’ – a new publication from local historian Peter Boon is now on sale at the museum! Price £2.