Laying the Corner Stone of Christ's Church, West Bromwich, 1821

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Lord Hatherton's Journal, 25th September, 1821

I have attended the laying of the first stone of Westbromwich Church by Lord Dartmouth and we went to Sandwell for that purpose.

We met at 12 o’clock at the Swan Inn to form the procession, all of us wearing large medals struck at Birmingham to commemorate the occasion. First walked a number of free masons in their paraphernalia, then the committee two and twos, then the clergymen of the neighbourhood, then the County members [myself only being present, Sir John Boughy was afraid of affronting his dissenting friends and so staid away, saying his mother’s state of health would not allow of his attendance]. Then Lord Dartmouth followed by the architect, the whole escorted by the Walsall troop of Yeomanry.

When we arrived at the spot Lord Dartmouth, the architect and myself and some others ascended the platform and the Secretary [a Mr. Hately, an honest and half mad attorney of the place] commenced an harangue to the multitude in the following manner,

“Ladies and Gentlemen, on this 25th December…”

“No, no!”, everybody near him explained, “September”.

“I beg”, said the Secretary, turning round, “I may not be interrupted. I say Ladies and Gentlemen on this 25th December will be laid the foundation of Christ’s Church, Westbromwich and the event will be recorded by depositing some King’s kines (coins) in this hurn”.

The same strain was kept up during the remainder of the speech, when Lord Dartmouth took the silver trowel, spread the mortar and the corner stone was lowered down upon it. After a while the Hundredth Psalm and another were sung and the cannons (which ought to have been fired on the lowering of the stone) were discharged during the singing.

The procession then returned to a dinner at the Inn where long religious speeches were made by the clergymen. Lord Dartmouth was in the chair but scarcely knew one of his parishioners but what I introduced him to.

The next day Hiacinthe and I attended Walsall Races where notwithstanding his excuse the day before, Sir John Boughey was present.