Leicester St Mary de Castro, Leicestershire GenealogyEdit This Page

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Parish History

St Mary de Castro (meaning St Mary of the Castle) is an ancient church and parish in Leicester. The old borough consisted of the parishes of All Saints, St. Leonard, St. Martin, and St. Nicholas, and part of the parishes of St.Margaret and St. Mary. [1]

The South Fields and Bromkinsthorpe were brought within the borough for Parliamentary purposes under the Boundaries Act of 1832, and for municipal purposes under the Municipal Corporations Reform Act of 1835. St. Mary's remained a civil parish within the borough until 1896,when the whole of Leicester was formed into a separate civil parish.

It dates its founding to 1107 when Henry I of England took the lands and castle from a rebellious owner and granted them instead to Robert de Beaumont, although some legends say that a Saxon church of St Mary had existed before the Norman Conquest before then  and Robert merely refurbished it. Whichever, he established it within the castle bailey as a college served by a Dean and 12 Canons (that is, a collegiate church) in honour of the Virgin Mary and All Souls and as a chantry chapel for the souls of him, his family and the first three Norman kings. He endowed this and 4 other churches with £6 of his income and land in or near the city. However, these endowments were all transferred soon after by his heir to his own new foundation of Leicester Abbey, although this was made up for by an annual grant from the Earl of 20 shillings for lamps and by restoring a Dean, six Clerks and a Chaplain to the church, which was by now a parish church too and so supported by tithes and offerings.
It was rebuilt in the 1180s, and has undergone alterations since, including the addition of a spire (1400).
The collegiate nature of the church lasted until the college was disbanded in 1548 by Henry VIII.

Leicester Holy Trinity, Leicestershire Leicester St AndrewLeicester St Paul, Leicestershire Leicester Holy Apostles, Leicestershire Leicester Church of the Martyrs, Leicestershire Leicester All Souls, Leicestershire and in 1914 Leicester St Anne, Leicestershire.


Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church records

Contributor: Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts, non conformist and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection

Census records

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library. The first film number is 438747.

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Leicestershire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Web sites


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 55-62. Date accessed: 10 September 2012.


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