Knowsley, Lancashire Genealogy
KNOWSLEY, a township, in the parish of Huyton, union of Prescot, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 3¼ miles (N. W.) from Prescot; containing 1302 inhabitants. This place was early held by a family of the local name. It became the property of the Lathom family by the marriage of Sir Robert de Lathom with Catherine, daughter and heiress of Thomas de Knowsley; and passed into the family of Stanley in like manner, in the 14th century, by the marriage of Isabella, daughter of Sir Thomas Lathom, grandson of Sir Robert, with Sir John Stanley. The township comprises 5055 acres, of which about 2000 are woodland and park; the soil is a stiff clay, and moss: coal exists, but is not wrought. Knowsley Hall, the principal seat of the Earl of Derby, is situated here. The mansion stands on an elevation in the park, and has evidently been erected at different times; its most ancient part is of stone, with two round towers, and is said to have been raised by the first earl of Derby, for the reception of his son-in-law, King Henry VII., on whose head the crown, taken from Richard III. after the battle of Bosworth, was placed by this nobleman, who had been one of the main instruments of Richmond's victory. The house has undergone vast improvements since the present earl succeeded to the property. It contains a splendid gallery of paintings by the first Italian and Flemish masters, with a number of portraits of members of the family, rendered peculiarly interesting as serving to perpetuate the likenesses, costumes, &c., of many personages distinguished for their bravery, magnanimity, loyalty, and sufferings. The park is the largest in the county, being ten miles in circumference; is abundantly wooded, and well stocked with deer. Knowsley has been the principal seat of the earls of Derby since the injury that was sustained by Lathom House in the parliamentary war. The river Alt takes its rise here, and empties itself into the sea at Altcar, passing Sefton. The tithes have been commuted for £200. A church was erected in 1843, at a cost of £3500; it is dedicated to St. Mary, is in the early English style, and was built and endowed by the Earl of Derby. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £300, with a house; patron, the Earl; by whom schools for boys and girls are supported.
From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 708-710. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51086 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.
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Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Lancashire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.
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