In the middle years of the nineteenth century one of the more prominent of several men who had moved into the parish as the older landowning families left was William Mannix M.D. Born in Ireland, the son of Sir Henry Mannix of Eastwood, Pembrokeshire (died November 16th 1822), he graduated from Edinburgh University School of Medicine in 1818 and came to the Wolverhampton area soon after. He married Ann Judith Beetlestone of Stafford Street at St.Peter's on May 21st 1824. Of his seven children, his eldest son William was born at Albrighton, but by the 1830s he was living at Moseley Hall where several other children were born. At the time of the 1841 census he was living at Showell House. His two sons William and Henry were at Wolverhampton Grammar School in the 1840s. He was actively involved in the battle against cholera in Wolverhampton in the late 1840s in his position as Medical Superintendent to the Wolverhampton Union. He resigned in October 1849 but was given a testimonial and tribute of fifty guineas by the Board, (see Wolverhampton Chronicle, Oct.17th and 31st 1849).

This cholera epidemic does not seem to have had the devastating effect on Bushbury parish that it did in the overcrowded slums of the industrial Black Country. During the 1840s the annual number of burials in the churchyard did not rise above 40. Only in 1852 did it rise to 51. In 1853 it was 79, and in 1854 it reached a peak of 123. Bad as these figures are they include a majority of burials of people from outside the parish, particularly Wolverhampton. It would appear that the streams and wells which supplied the needs of the rural inhabitants remained uncontaminated. No doubt this rapid rise in the number of burials prompted the need to enlarge the churchyard.

By 1851 William Mannix had moved to a large house on the corner of George Street and St.John's Square, which he sold in 1855 to the Sisters of Mercy. In 1860 he was living at No.53 Queen Street.

His eldest daughter Mary, a nurse, died of Cholera in 1856 and was buried at Bushbury on

July 19th aged 31. He died at 29, Oakdene Street London S.E., on May 14th 1873 aged 73 and

was buried at Bushbury. (I have been unable to find either grave). His son William died at Rhyl

in 1911. A grand-daughter was the twentieth century actress and author Nancy Price, (Mrs. Charles Maude).

(I am grateful to Mr. H. J. Haden of Stourbridge for assistance in this research.)

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