Horsham, Sussex Genealogy

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Horsham St Mary the Virgin

Parish History

Horsham St Mary the Virgin is an Ancient parish in West Sussex. Other places in the parish include: Broadbridge Heath, Southwater, Roughy, and Roffey.

From this parish were formed subsequent ecclesiastical parishes in the town and extensive parish.

The parish comprises by computation nearly 10,000 acres, of which a very considerable portion forms part of the ancient forest of St. Leonard: the soil is in some parts a deep clay, and towards the forest a light sand; the surface is hilly, rising in some parts to a very considerable height. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £25; net income, £651; patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury; impropriator, R. Hurst, Esq. The church is a spacious and venerable structure, in the early English style, with a lofty tower surmounted by a spire; the window of the chancel is of beautiful design, and the interior, which preserves its original character nearly throughout, contains several ancient and interresting monuments. A second church, dedicated to St. Mark, was erected in 1840, on a site given by Thos. Coppard, Esq., who also presented the stone and a sum of £50 towards its erection; it was completed by subscription, aided by a grant of £300 from the Incorporated Society, and £200 from the Chichester Diocesan Society, and is a handsome edifice in the later English style. The living is in the gift of the Vicar. There are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, and Wesleyans; and a Roman Catholic chapel. The free school was founded in 1532, by Richard Collyer, citizen and mercer of London, who endowed it with houses, producing more than £500 per annum; the premises comprise a good schoolroom, and dwellinghouses with gardens for the masters. The union of Horsham consists of ten parishes or places, and contains a population of 13,410: a union-house has been erected a short distance from the town, on the road to Crawley.

From: A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 553-557. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51046 Date accessed: 03 May 2011.


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

Horsham St. Mary records held at West Sussex Record Office
Bap 1540-1962
Marr 1541-1965
Bur 1540-1931
Bishop’s transcripts 1571-1883

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

Contributor: Include an overview if there is any unique information, such as the census for X year was destroyed. Add a link to online sites for indexes and/or images. Also add a link to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection.

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Sussex 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

Contributor: Add any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above.

For church history in the Horsham area Horsham: Churches', A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 2: Bramber Rape (North-Western Part) including Horsham (1986), pp. 190-195. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18355&strquery=Horsham Date accessed: 03 May 2011.