In 1569 the Whorwoods purchased the land and ruins of Sandwell Priory.
By 1625 they were established in Sandwell though the head of the family did not always live there.
They built Sandwell Hall on the site of the old priory, using some of the materials from the priory church.
Sir William Whorwood died in London in 1614 but his body was brought back to West Bromwich. In his will he left doles to the inhabitants of West Bromwich and Handsworth (the latter confined to residents dwelling near the West Bromwich boundary).
He also left money to build a new chapel on the south side of the church. It was built in 1619 in his memory and to house Whorwood family tombs. Tradition speaks of seven Whorwood monuments (five of which were destroyed).
The Whorwoods in Sandwell:
1569 Robert Whorwood
1590 son William (knighted 1604)
1614 gson Thomas (knighted 1624)
1634 ggson Brome (no legitimate son)
1684 Brome’s nephew Thomas Brome Whorwood
The Whorwood Chapel
Despite many re-buildings of All Saints Church, the Whorwood Chapel retains its original shape and size. It has had many uses too.
The chapel became the Dartmouth Pew, then the church Vestry and today accommodates the church toilet facilities.
There are only two alabaster effigies remaining of the Whorwood family of the 17th century. As there are pillows beneath the heads, these figures would have been recumbent but currently stand upright by the lower exit door of the church on the south side. They are much damaged from the time they were relegated to the ‘coal-hole’ in 1787.
Mary Willetts recorded that there were two alabaster tombs close together within an iron rail. One was a man on his back with a book in his left hand. The inscription read, “Here lyeth the body of Sir William Whorwood, Knt. He departed this life July 1st and was buried on 2nd of August, 1614”. The other was Ann, his wife, buried October 22nd, 1599. They had thirteen children, five sons and eight daughters.
During the Civil War Brome Whorwood’s property was sequestrated by the Parliamentarians due to his royalist sympathies. In 1648 he compounded for his lands (to pay a fine and recover them). His nephew Thomas Brome Whorwood succeeded him and came to live at Sandwell. In 1660 he rented farms to various tenants. In 1668 he began to mortgage the estate.
In 1701, William, Baron Dartmouth, purchased the estate from Thomas Brome Whorwood.