Bolton le Moors, Lancashire, England

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Location: Bolton le Moors, Lancashire, Englandmap
Surnames/tags: Bolton le Moors, Lancashire Heywood Horridge
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Please see this G2G discussion regarding Bolton, Le Moors, Lancashire, England.

For accumulation of information about my Lancashire weaver ancestors. I am finding narrow DNA matches with descendants in England, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. My own ancestors emigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1830.

Click here to read about weaving in Lancashire

Index maps to the parishes of Bolton, Bury, Deane and Middleton, 1911

From Town of Bolton-le-Moors (a great resource):


Flemish weavers arrived in Bolton in 1335 and probably played a part in the rise of the cotton and weaving trade in Bolton. By the 16th century, Bolton was beginning to become a centre for trade and industry with the emerging cotton industry at its heart. At this time it was entirely a cottage industry. From a religious standpoint, it was becoming a hotbed of Puritanism.

Among the more famous Puritans was George Marsh, a particularly outspoken and militant minister from Deane. At the time of intense Protestant persecution in 1554, he was brought before Sir Roger Barton at Smithills Hall. It was during this interrogation he is reputed to have stamped his foot on the floor and prayed that a mark should be left there to show the injustice of his accusers. His supposed footprint can still be seen at Smithills Hall today, in the passage between the chapel and the dining room. According to legend, this footprint becomes wet with blood every year at the time of his interrogation.

George Marsh was subsequently taken to Chester where he refused all appeals to recant and was put to death by burning.[1]

This Puritan stance also molded Bolton's fate during the Civil War. Bolton was fortified with walls of mud and twice fought off Royalist forces in 1643. By 1644 with the Royalist cause fading, Lathom House, the home of the Earl of Derby, was the one remaining Royalist stronghold in Lancashire. This was besieged by the Parliamentary forces, many of whom came from Bolton. Lathom House was relived by a force led by the King's Nephew, Prince Rupert of the Rhine who came with a force of 12,000 men.

Many of the besiegers retreated to Bolton, followed by Rupert, who attacked on 28 May 1644. The first attack was repulsed, but the second broke through the mud walls and what ensued can only be described as a massacre in which it is thought as many as a 1,000 people may have perished.

About the Banks Street Unitarian Chapel in Great Bolton, Lancashire

OnLine Parish records for the County of Lancashire


HARWOOD From "Harwood - the Early Years" by J. Frederick Horridge

After the decline of feudalism many yeomen farmers had gained an important position in local society and started to purchase the properties in their possession. This appears to have been the situation in Harwood which led to an unusual sale of the total holdings of the Mosley family in the township. By an Indenture dated May 1st, 1612, Sir Nicholas Mosley and his son, Edward, the Attorney General of the Duchy of Lancaster, conveyed 'in consideration of eleven hundred pounds ... the manor or Lordship of Harwood with all ... messuages, mylles, tofts, crofts, cottages, lands, tenements, meadows, lesowes & pastures, commons, waste, woods, etc', to a partnership of five yeomen of Harwood.

This partnership, namely Matthew Harrison, Henry Haworth, Raufe Higson, Lawrence Horrocks and Edward Greenhalgh, was entrusted to convey the various tenements located in their 300 acre holding to the tenants in possession, including themselves.


THE LANCASHIRE GAZETTEER - an ALPHABETICALLY ARRANGED ACCOUNT of the Hundreds, Market Towns, Boroughs, Parishes, Townships, Hamlets, Gentlemens' Seats, Rivers, Lakes, Mountains, Moors, Commons, Mosses, Antiquities, &c. in the County Palatine of Lancaster; Together with HISTORICAL DESCRIPTIONS OF THE CHIEF PLACES, with their Fairs, Markets, Local and Metropolitan Distances, Charters, Church Livings, Patrons, &c By JOSEPH ASTON, Author of "The Manchester Guide." 1808

SALFORD HUNDRED, contains the following Townships, viz. Ashton-under-Line, Barton, Blackrod, with Aspull, Bolton, with Hamlets, Bury, with Hamlets, Butterworth, Castleton, Chadderton, Cheetham, Chorlton Row, Clifton, Crompton, Edgworth, with Hamlets, Farnworth, Rumsworth, and Kearsley, Flixton, Harwood, with Hamlets, Heaton Norris, Heaton, Horwich, and Halliwell Hulton, magna, Hulton, middle, Hulton, parva, Hundersfield, Manchester, Oldham, Pendlebury, Pendleton, Pilkington, Prestwich, Radcliff, Reddish, Rivington, Lostock, and Anglezark, Royton, Salford, Spotland, Stretford, Tottington, Turton, with Longworth, Urmston, West Houghton, Withington, Worsley.

The ARCHDEACONRY OF CHESTER, Deanry of Manchester, contains the following Parishes, viz. Bolton-le-moors, Vicarage Bury, Rectory Dean, Vicarage Eccles, Vicarage Flixton, perpetual Curacy; a prebend of Litchfield. Manchester, Collegiate Church Middleton, Rectory Prestwich, with Oldham, Rectory Radcliff , Rectory Rochdale, Vicarage

BOLTON-le-moors, (N. lat. 53°.32". W. lon. 2°.21") 11 miles N.E. of Manchester, and 196 miles from London, a market town and parish, in the deanry of Manchester. The living is a vicarage; patron the Bishop of Chester. Beside the old, or Parochial Church, it has two others situated in Little Bolton from which it is seperated by a rivulet, the two townships forming one town. Besides the churches of the established religion there are chapels for almost all the various dissenters which are known in England. The grammar school, in this town, can boast, that Ainsworth, the Author of the Latin Dictionary, was formerly its Master. The manufactory of cotton, now so great a source of National Wealth, originated in this place, which is large, and increasing in buildings and population: in 1801 there were 2510 houses, and 12549 inhabitants. The market day is Monday, and the fairs are holden July 19, and October 2, for Cattle, Horses, Cheese, &c.

BREIGHTMET, 2 miles N.E. of Bolton-le-moors

BURY, (N. lat. 53º.33". W. lon. 2º 13".) 9 miles N.N.W. of Manchester and 194 from London, a market town and parish, in the Deanry of Manchester. The living is a rectory; patron, the Earl of Derby, who is the lord of the manor. Beside the parochial church, there is also another dedicated to St. John. In this town is a grammar school, well endowed for two masters, and a charity school for 80 boys and 30 girls. At the north end of the town is an elegant square. One half of the town is leasehold, and the other glebe. The lordship of Bury consists of the four following townships, viz. Bury, Walmesley, Heap, and Elton. Besides the chapel of ease in the town, there are also three others in the parish, viz. Holcomb, Edenfield, and Heywood. The market day at Bury is Thursday; the annual fairs are Thursday before March 5, May 3, Whit-Monday, Thursday before St. James' day, and on Thursday October 29. By the census taken 1801, Bury appears to have 1384 Houses, and 7020 inhabitants.

DEAN, 1-1/2 mile W.S.W. of Bolton-le-moors, a rural village and parish, in the deanry of Manchester. The living is a vicarage, patron the king. It has two chapels of ease under it, viz. Horwich, and west Houghton, in the presentation, of the vicar of Dean

HARWOOD, 2 miles N.E. of Bolton-le-Moors

LEVER (GREAT), 2 miles S. of Bolton-le-Moors LEVER (LITTLE), 1-1/2 mile S.E. of Bolton-le-Moors

From A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911. Pages 235-243

The parish of Bolton-le-Moors

Great Bolton; Little Bolton; Tonge-With-Haulgh; Sharples; Little Lever; Darcy Lever; Breightmet; Harwood; Bradshaw; Turton; Edgeworth; Entwisle; Quarlton; Longworth; Rivington; Anglezarke; Blackrod; Lostock

The ancient parish of Bolton has an area of 33,406 acres. A very large portion of it was formerly moorland, and much still remains in this condition in the high lands in the northern half of the district. Of the formation of the parish nothing is known. The lands within it were in the 12th century held by three distinct tenures, and as Lostock was intimately associated with Rumworth, though the latter township lies in another parish, it would appear that the delimitation of the area, and the adhesion to Bolton of the isolated portion—Blackrod and Lostock—goes back to a remote period. On the other hand there are indications that the township of Great Lever has been separated from this parish to become part of the manor-parish of Middleton.

For the old county lay, fixed in 1624, Bolton, together with the township of Aspull in Wigan, was divided into six portions contributing equally, viz.:— Bolton with its hamlets, Turton with Longworth, Edgeworth with its hamlets, Harwood with its hamlets, Blackrod with Aspull, and Rivington, Anglezarke, and Lostock; each £1 14s. 1½d. when the hundred paid £100. (fn. 1) To the more ancient fifteenth Bolton contributed 21s. 8d.; Turton, 15s.; Edgeworth, 12s. 6d.; Harwood, 12s. 7d.; Rivington, 10s.; Blackrod, 4s.; and Lostock was joined with Rumworth in 14s., out of £41 14s. 4d. paid by the hundred. (fn. 2) ---

Townships: Bury

Pages 128-133

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved. Citation: 'Townships: Bury', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1911), pp. 128-133. British History Online


The township of Bury lies principally in the narrow tongue of land between the Irwell and the Roch, stretching north for over 4 miles from the confluence of these streams. The surface is generally level, but rises on the north-east border to a height of 600 ft.

The town of Bury occupies the centre of the township. The church is situated above what was the old course of the Irwell, the ground falling rapidly to the north of the Bolton and Rochdale road leading past the church. Just at the south-west corner of the church this road is joined by that from Manchester, and the open space or Wylde (fn. 2) at that point is still known as the Market-place. The statue of Sir Robert Peel, erected in 1852, stands here; and to the west was formerly the fortified manor-house of the Pilkingtons. The road leading west to Bolton descends to cross the Irwell at Bury Bridge; the district to the south of it is called Tentersfield. Going east from the church it passes through Freetown and Pits o' th' Moor, to the north-east of the last-named being Woodgate Hill. One branch of this road takes a more southerly course, crossing the Roch at Heap Bridge and leading to Heywood; to the south of it lies Pimhole. Another branch runs almost due north, passing Chesham and its park on the right, and going through Little Wood Cross and Limefield to Walmersley and Haslingden. The Manchester road goes southerly from the church, passing through Buckley Wells, Fishpool, and Redvales, to Blackford Bridge over the Roch.

Bury has long been a seat of the woollen manufacture; Bury blankets are known everywhere. Leland, about 1535, speaks of 'yarn sometime made about Bury, a market town on Irwell'; a deputy aulnager was appointed in 1564 to stamp woollen cloth. Defoe, writing about 1730, observed that at Bury 'the manufacture of cotton . . . was ended, and the woollen manufacture of coarse sorts, called half-thicks and kerseys, begun; which employs this and all the villages about it.' There are also extensive cotton mills, iron and brass foundries, paper mills, and bleach works. Bury is also noted for simnel cakes, and the fourth Sunday in Lent is kept as a festival; parkin, a corruption of Tharcake, was made at the beginning of November.

The old festivals were those of the Royal Oak, Robin Hood, and 'Maying Night.' Football games were played at certain seasons. Otter-hunting was one of the sports of the district.

Fairs are held on 5 March, 3 May, and 18 September. The wakes begin on the Saturday after August Bank Holiday.

The dungeon, pillory, and town cross have disappeared. The ghosts or 'boggarts' have also gone

My Bolton Surnames
Name Qty Date Range
No Surname 1 None
Aukers 1 None
Belshaw 1 None
Billington 1 None
Campion 1 1844
Clapp 5 1838 - 1899
Crompton 2 1780
Dearden 2 1786 - 1817
Entwisle 3 1751 - 1777
Entwistle 3 1773 - 1782
Finney 1 1842
Graham 7 1781 - 1843
Hamer 1 None
Harley 3 1826 - 1858
Heath 6 1755 - 1821
Heys 1 None
Heywood 17 1732 - 1809
Hoath 1 None
Homer 3 1806 - 1843
Horridge 9 1722 - 1768
Howarth 21 1641 - 1727
Howorth 12 1669 - 1752
Hyson 1 None
Isherwood 1 None
Kearsley 2 1653
Makin 8 1774 - 1838
Mason 9 1745 - 1845
Mather 1 1718
Morris 8 1653 - 1689
Odcroft 1 1641
Paul 3 1839 - 1872
Post 1 1872
Price 1 1875
Rumer 1 1810
Rushton 2 None
Speakman 1 1797
Thornley 1 None
Thornly 1 1728
Welch 1 1733
Wilson 1 1850
Worsley 1 None


  1. George Marsh, martyr at Wikipedia

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Thank you for this very useful page! I've linked it into the Category Information Box for Bolton le Moors.
posted by Stephen Heathcote