Halliwell St Peter, Lancashire Genealogy
HALLIWELL, a township, and ecclesiastical district, in the parish of Deane, union of Bolton, hundred of Salford, S. division of Lancashire, 1 mile (N. W.) from Bolton, on the road to Chorley and Preston; containing 3242 inhabitants. The first mention of Halliwell occurs in the 17th year of the reign of John, when the abbot of Cockersand had an exemption from fines and amerciaments, by a charter of that date from the king. Among the early families resident here were the Pilkingtons, Radcliffs, and Bartons. The heiress of the lastnamed married Henry, eldest son of the first viscount Fauconberg, whose descendant, Thomas, in 1721 sold the estate of Smithills, here, which afterwards passed to the Byroms, of Manchester, from whom it was purchased by Richard Ainsworth, Esq., for £21,000. The township comprises 2320 acres, mostly grass-land, of a clayey soil; the surface and scenery are mountainous, running up to the base of the Rivington range. The population is employed in two extensive bleaching-works, a cottonmill, six collieries, a large stone-quarry, and in agriculture. Smithills Hall is an ancient mansion, recently restored: it stands in a sheltered situation at the head of a fine lawn, and has two wings, with a court-yard in the centre; the east wing contains a private chapel, on the window of which are the arms of the Stanleys and Bartons. The Rev. George Marsh, the Protestant martyr, was tried at the Hall, by Sir Roger Barton, in the reign of Mary, and being declared guilty, was burnt at Chester, on the 24th of April, 1555, a barrel of pitch being placed over his head at the stake, a refinement of cruelty peculiar to his execution. The living of Halliwell is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Trustees. The church, St. Peter's, was built in 1844, at a cost of £700, and is in the early English style, with a square tower, having eight bells, and surmounted by pinnacles; the interior is richly fitted up, contains three painted windows, and a splendid organ. A national school is endowed with £10 per annum. The Wesleyans have a place of worship.
From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 379-383. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50999 Date accessed: 01 July 2010.
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.
Online index of Lancashire Births, Marriages and Deaths Lancashire BMD
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Poor Law Unions
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