This website has been researched and created by staff and students in the History Department at Newman University, Birmingham.

It uses original primary sources to illustrate the local history of Birmingham and the west midlands region (which includes Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire).

Target Audience

  • Teachers and students at schools, colleges and universities studying local and regional history
  • Members of local history societies
  • Interested members of the general public
  • Academic colleagues studying the regional identity of the west midlands

This website will continue to expand in scope and coverage. Any visitors with primary source material that they wish to contribute to the website are welcome to get in touch with the Head of History, Ian Cawood at i.cawood@newman.ac.uk

Searching the site

In order to search the database of documents, please use the search option at the top right of the screen. This will enable you to search the content of the scanned documents as well as their titles.

If you wish to contact us, please leave a comment below, or email Ian Cawood.




1 thought on “Home

  1. Dear Mr. Cawood:

    Thank you for the wonderful Newman University Local History website. I stumbled upon it while doing a search online concerning my grandfather, who was born and raised in Birmingham. I’m sure it will be very useful to learn more about day to day life for him and his family in Birmingham prior to his emigration in June of 1886.

    You have also helped to solve a several decades old family riddle. My grandfather used to live with us. My five older sisters recall that when they got to be teenagers he wanted to tell them the story of “the fate of Mary Ann Turner,” as he said. My mother would invariably interrupt him before he could start telling the story. He died when I was four years old, so he never got to say that to me. We never knew who Mary Ann Turner was, though we obviously got the impression that she was some sort of “fallen woman” for whom life did not end well.

    Today, somewhat on a lark, I googled “the fate of Mary Ann Turner” and found the story of the Castle Bromwich Riot on the Newman University Local History site. And there was the unfortunate young Miss Turner herself in that story. The events took place in March of 1886, just three months before my grandfather, his brother and sister and their mother emigrated to Rochester, New York, where I reside, to live with his mother’s sister. I wish my mother had allowed him to tell the story, so we could know if he or anyone in his family had any role in the riot. He probably didn’t, as he was only 12 years old at the time.

    But at least we now know the fate of Mary Ann Turner. Thank you again, and I look forward to many interesting hours of browsing on your site.

    Patricia Carey

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