Cleobury Mortimer

Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire Family History

Cleobury Mortimer is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Shropshire.

Other places in the parish include: East and West Foreign, East Foreign, West Foreign, Foreign Liberty, Town, and East Foreign Liberty and West Foreign Liberty and Town Liberty.

Parish church: Saint Mary

Parish registers begin: 1601

Nonconformists include: Roman Catholic and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Cleobury Mortimer

  • Kinlet
  • Neen Savage
  • Milson
  • Far Forest
  • Hopton Wafers
  • Doddington
  • Mamble with Bayton
  • Woodhouse
  • Neen Sollars

Historical Descriptions

Cleobury Mortimer Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Cleobury Mortimer. A market town in the Cleobury division of the hundred of Stottesden, a vicarage, in the diocese of Hereford, the deanery of Burford, and archdeaconry of Salop. 328 houses, 1,662 inhabitants. It has a market on Thursdays, and fairs April 21, June 4, October 27, for horned cattle, sheep, and pigs. It owes its name to its having formerly belonged to the noble family of Mortimer, and consists of one large street. The church is an elegant building of what is commonly, though improperly, called Gothick architecture, and once belonged to one of the mitred abbeys. A strong castle which formerly stood in this place, built by Hugh de Montgomery, was entirely destroyed in the wars, between Henry the second, and his rebellious barons.

On the north side of the church, is a free school, founded by Sir Edward Childe, one of the masters in chancery, who left three thousand five hundred pounds, for its support, besides a liberal salary he the master.

Near the school, a little to the east, are conjectured to be the remains of a Danish camp, the history of which is unknown.

This town is generally thought to have been the birthplace of Robert Langelande, otherwise John Malverne, author of the visions of Pierce Plowman; -a severe satire upon the clergy of the fourteenth century. Cleobury Mortimer is about 30 miles south-east of Shrewsbury, in Lat. 52. 24. N. Long. 2. 35. W.

Robert Langelande was one of our most ancient poets, and was a disciple of the celebrated reformer Wickliffe. Boyle, in his dictionary, informs us that “The Visions” were published during the mayoralty of John Chichester of London, in the year 1369. if this account be correct, many of Chaucer’s and Gower’s pieces made their appearance before Langelande’s work. There are, however, many passages in the Plowman’s Tale of Chaucer, which strongly resembles some of those in “The Visions” –a strong presumption that Langelande’s work is many years older than Chaucer’s. In the general idiom and phraseology of Langelande, there is a marked difference. There is a much nearer approach in the works of the former, to the peculiar genius of the Anglo Saxon language, particularly in the derivation of his words, - while the latter attempted, with Gower, to soften the harshness of our native tongue, by the introduction n words from the Latin, Italian, and French languages; and borrowed, from Petrarch and Dante, the seven lined stanza, which he introduced into our poetry.

Langelande’s poem is extremely irregular, both in action and design. It is severe satire upon almost every action of life; but particularly on the conduct of the clergy of that period. It abounds with humour; but, instead of rhymes, the author has contrived to make almost every verse begin with the same letter. It may be easily imagined, that this whimsical alliteration does not contribute largely either to perspicuity of style, or vigour of sentiment. But this mode of versification was borrowed from the Saxon Bards, and the work is full of Saxon Idioms. The following is a specimen of the Introduction.

-“In a summer season when hot was the sun

I shoupe me into the shroubes as I a shepe were;

In habit as a hermit, unholy of werkes

Went wide into the world wonders to hear,

And on a May morning an Malvern hylles,

Me befell a ferly, a fairy methought

I was wery of wand’ring. “ &c.

Selden, Spencer, Hickes, and others, have spoken of this author in terms of commendation. But apart from that vein of humour and just satire which runs through the work, it contains little worthy of admiration.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Cleobury Foreign Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Cleobury Foreign. A township in the parish of Cleobury Mortimer, and in the Ludlow division of the hundred of Stottesden.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824


Cleobury Mortimer Aubrey Shropshire Directory 1925
Cleobury Mortimer Trades and Professions Cassey Shropshire Directory 1871
Cleobury Mortimer Slaters Directory 1850
Clebury Universal British Directory 1791

Poll Books

Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, Poll Book 1865

Parish Registers

Cleobury Mortimer Parish Registers 1601-1812

Shropshire Parish Registers Diocese of Hereford Vol. IX (1909)

Author: Shropshire Parish Register Society

General editor; 1900-1906, W.P.W. Phillimore; 1907- W.G.D. Fletcher

Publisher: Privately printed for the Shropshire Parish Register Society

Cleobury Mortimer Parish Registers 1601-1812 -

The Register of Mawley Hall, St. Mary (Roman Catholic) 1763-1831

Shropshire parish registers : Nonconformist and Roman Catholic registers (1903)

Author: Shropshire Parish Register Society; Evans, George Eyre; Fletcher, W. G. D. (William George Dimock), 1851-1935; Kinsella, William

Publisher: [London] : Privately printed for the Shropshire Parish Register Society

The Register of Mawley Hall, St. Mary (Roman Catholic) 1763-1831 -


  • County: Shropshire
  • Civil Registration District: Cleobury Mortimer
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Hereford (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Hereford
  • Rural Deanery: Burford
  • Poor Law Union: Cleobury Mortimer
  • Hundred: Stottesdon
  • Province: Canterbury