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Some Paternal Ancestors of Edwin Brown (“Big Doc”) KUGLER Sr
Tamworth, Home of the HOWELLs1
Today Tamworth is a medium-sized town somewhat overshadowed by the nearby cities of Birmingham and Manchester. It is an ancient borough, and well-built market town, pleasantly situated at the confluence of the rivers Tame and Anker, which here wind in circuitous routes through a highly cultivated and fertile district. For most of the recent millennium Tamworth has been a sleepy and relatively undistinguished place.
During the Dark Ages, however, Tamworth was the capital of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Mercia, which stretched from the North Sea to the Welsh frontier and for a time dominated all of England. Here King Offa, who ruled from 757 to 796, had his principal residence. Offa is best remembered as the builder of Offa’s Dyke, an 80-mile-long earthwork that marked his border with Wales. In Danish invasions of 874 and 943 the town suffered heavily, being twice razed to the ground and totally destroyed.
Shortly after the Norman conquest in 1066, William the Conqueror gave the castle of Tamworth and its land to his Dispensator or Royal Steward, Robert de Marmion. The Marmions added massive stone walls and tower and keep to the castle, which still stands.
A silver penny minted during Offa’s reign, probably at Tamworth
Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850), British prime minister, owned a manor near Tamworth. Peel is known for reorganizing the London metropolitan police force, who have since been called “bobbies,” after his first name.
From the time England was divided into counties a thousand years ago, the Stafford/Warwick county line passed right through Tamworth, dividing it into two nearly equal parts. All such situations in England were rectified in 1888, when the boundary was moved to place Tamworth entirely within Staffordshire, since a slight majority of the population lived there.
Daniel HOWELL Sr
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