THE HINCKES FAMILY OF TETTENHALL AND BUSHBURY
The Hinckes family had been established as tallow chandlers in Wolverhampton since at least 1666. Thomas was succeeded by his son James who died in 1709. James' son Peter (2.8.1687-23.4.1747) married Mary Biersley at Tettenhall on September 14th 1707. She died on January 3rd 1730. They had two sons James and Peter. The latter farmed at Aldersley. (A receipt for payment for a load of hops he sold to Walter Gough of Oldfallings in 1735 has survived). He died on 3rd October 1781 and was buried at Bushbury. James the elder son was born in 1708 and was educated at Balliol College Oxford, where he gained a Bachelor's degree in 1731 and a Master's in 1739. He took Holy Orders and was appointed Rector of St. Michael's Parish church at Stone in 1747. He returned to Tettenhall for his marriage on August 26th 1751 to Diana Tichborne. She was the elder daughter of Captain Edmund Tichborne of the Foot Guards, (a member of the Kentish branch of that family), and his wife Diana (nee Smart) whose father Thomas, a Wolverhampton man, was resident in the City of London in the 1720s.*
Stone church collapsed in 1749 and was entirely rebuilt in the 1750s. The rector and his wife presented a silver flagon for use in the church when it was reopened in 1758.
Three sons were born of the marriage. James who died in infancy, Peter Tichborne born in 1753, and Josiah in 1754. The younger brother was educated at Repton, and then joined the elder at Pembroke College Oxford. Peter Tichborne did not take a degree, but Josiah was made B.A. in 1775 and M.A. in 1778. Like his father he entered the church and was ordained at Ettingshall, Staffs on June 15th 1783. He was appointed to the curacy of Darlaston, but his name does not appear in the register so it seems unlikely that he ever served there.
The elder brother, Peter, did not marry, but Josiah married Theodosia Hayes on June 30th 1785 at St. Margaret's Westminster. He appears as "of this parish" and his wife as "of the parish of St. Clement Danes, London". She was a member of an old Wolverhampton family, and had inherited property there from her grandfather, Thomas Hayes of the Nechells. A daughter, Diana, was born on June 1st 1787 and was baptised at St. Margaret's on October 18th but died in infancy at was buried at Bushbury.
The Reverend James Hinckes had died in 1764 and was buried at Bushbury on November 17th. His wife Diana was buried there on September 16th 1803.
Peter Tichborne Hinckes inherited his uncle Peter's estate at Tettenhall in 1781 and purchased the manor of Bushbury when it was offered for sale by auction in 1790. It seems unlikely that he ever lived there as, according to the advertisement for the estate, the farm and manor house had been let to Mr. John Corser.
The brothers were friends of the Reverend Stebbing Shaw, (also from Stone and educated at Repton), and made available the Bushbury Manor Papers for Shaw's "History and Antiquities of Staffordshire."
Bushbury Parish Church, which had been enlarged by the rebuilding of the nave with a gallery in 1833, was thought by 1850 to be unsuitable and in poor taste, so was again rebuilt and the tower reconstructed in 1853. The medieval stained glass in the chancel was augmented with new material of excellent quality produced by the latest techniques. Miss Hinckes was a principal contributor to the cost of all these works. She rebuilt the family home at Tettenhall Wood, and Bushbury Hall with adjoining land was let to a succession of tenant farmers.
The diocese of Lichfield is also indebted to Miss Hinckes and Mrs. Rebecca Moore, (wife of the Reverend Henry Moore, Canon and Precentor of Lichfield Cathedral) in another way. During the 1850s and 60s they visited many of the parish churches in the diocese, (including Bushbury) and made water colour paintings of both the interior and exterior of each building. These paintings are now in the Lichfield Cathedral Library. (There is a belief at the Library that Theodosia and Mrs. Henry Moore were sisters. But in fact the ladies were not related. The Rev. Henry Moore married Miss Rebecca Harriet Huntington at St. George's Hanover Square on 10th April 1822.
Miss Hinckes died at the Moore's home in the Close at Lichfield in May 1874 and was buried at Bushbury.
After the retirement of the Reverend Henry Moore he and his wife moved to Miss Hinckes' house at Tettenhall Wood, where they both died. He is buried in the south aisle of Lichfield Cathedral.
The estate passed to Mr. Harry Tichborne Davenport M.P., who assumed the name of Hinckes on November 12th 1890. He was a grandson of John Davenport of Leek, (29.9.1765 - 12.12.1848) who married in 1797 Diana Smart Ward, whose mother Elizabeth Tichborne, the second wife of Michael Ward of Newcastle-under-Lyme was the younger sister of Diana Tichborne.
* Connection of Smart family with Bushbury.
Why was the Reverend James Hinckes buried at Bushbury on 17.11.1764, when either Stone or Tettenhall would seem more likely? Perhaps it was because of his wife's connection with the parish through her mother, Diana Smart. One "T.Smart" signed the obligation to Elizabeth Peake's claim for her husband's (Rev. Wm. Peake, Vicar of Bushbury) will in August 1692. Was this Thomas or his father? If so where did they live in Bushbury? Thomas Smart son of Josiah was baptised at St. Peter's Wolverhampton on 26.5.1659. There are several Smart entries in the Registers of Shareshill and Penkridge about this time but only one in Bushbury P.R.: July 2nd 1719 Edward Gibbons of Sedgley married Mary Smart of this parish.