Malpas, Cheshire Genealogy

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EnglandGotoarrow.pngCheshireGotoarrow.png Cheshire ParishesGotoarrow.pngMalpas

Part of this parish is in Flintshire, Wales. See also Malpas, Flintshire, Wales.

Parish History

Malpas is an Ancient Parish mostly in Cheshire and partly in Flintshire, Wales.

St Oswald's Church, Malpas Cheshire.jpg
The church is dedicated to Oswald, King of Northumbria, killed in battle against Pendra, the King of Mercia in 642. Little is known of who built the church or exactly when. The present church was built in the second half of the 14th century on the site of an earlier one, of which nothing remains. However, there is a list of earlier rectors. Extensive alterations were made in the late 15th century. The roof was removed, the side walls reduced in height and rebuilt with the current windows while the nave arcade was raised to its current height.
The Cholmondeley Chapel at the East end of the North aisle was built by Richard Cholmondeley and his wife Elizabeth in 1514. The Cholmondeley monument, shown in the photograph, was erected in 1605. It shows Sir Hugh Cholmondeley, who died in 1596, and his second wife Mary. The east side of the tomb shows Sir Hugh's son, Sir Hugh the younger and his wife Mary Holford. Sir Hugh the younger was knighted at the time of the Spanish Armada (1588) and was Sheriff of Chester in 1589. The inscription in Latin is translated as follows:
Hugh Cholmondeley of Cholmondeley the elder, Knight, Vice-Warden of the Welsh Marches, six times Sheriff died in his 83rd year, 1596, and in this earth is buried. Also his son and heir, Hugh Cholmondeley, Knight attaining the age of 50 departed this life AD 1601 and lies here. Also his wife the Lady Mary who after the death of her husband, on account of her very dear affection for him, for love of him had this monument erected AD 1605.
The Brereton Chapel is at the East end of the South aisle. Sir Randal Brereton specified in his will of 1530 that he should be buried in the Lady Chapel so it is presumed that this was on the South side. The Brereton effigy was ordered in Sir Randal's lifetime. As alabaster is not native to Cheshire it is likely to have been made from stone quarried near Burton on Trent. The spurs on the effigy indicate that he was a knight and the dog in the folds of his wife's skirt indicate fidelity. He fought in the battles of Terouanne and Tournay in France and was knight banneret to the body of King Henry VII. His son, was the Sir William Brereton executed by Henry VIII in 1536 on suspicion of being a lover of Anne Boleyn.
In addition there is brass in the East wall of the Brereton chapel, possibly as early as 1362, which states in Norman French "Sir Philip de Egerton, his wives and children lie here, may God have mercy on their souls". An alabaster stone shows a priest and the inscription in Latin "Here lies the body of Urian Davenport, at one time Vicar of Malpas and Vicar of Acton, which said vicar died 28 July AD 1495 on whose soul may the Lord have mercy, Amen."
Richard Cholmondeley the younger, was a benefactor in 1488 and it is known that Sir Randal Brereton gave the tenor bell in 1508. Among the other significant local families were the Dod family of Edge Hall, and the Tarletons of Bolesworth, whose hatchments hang with those of the Cholmondeleys of Cholmondeley Castle in the nave below the clerestory.
Other interesting features of the church are the remains of a triple sedilla, seating for additional priests, in the wall near the altar, and a piscina, for washing communion vessels. Most of the box pews of 1680 were destroyed during a restoration in the 1880s but six were preserved in the Brereton Chapel and later moved to the back of the South aisle. There is a fine example of an iron bound parish chest dating from the 13th century. Against the south wall are three 15th century stalls with misericords. There is a two storey porch on the south door. Malpas has some good examples of gargoyles. The guilding on the ceiling was renewed in the 1970s.
Bishop Heber, who wrote some well-known hymns including From Greenland's Icy Mountains; Holy, Holy, Holy and Brightest and best are the sons of the morning, had a connection with Malpas. He was born in 1775 at the Higher Rectory when his father was rector of the Higher Moiety of the parish. He became Bishop of Calcutta. Scenes from his life are shown in the lower part of the East window.

The Rectors of Malpas

From very early times there were two rectors of Malpas and various suggestions, some exceedingly picturesque, have been put forward to explain this fact. However, it would seem that there are only two worthy of serious consideration. The Revnd. J. E. Newell, in his “History of the Welsh Church” (1895), makes this suggestion: “The curious succession system practiced in Wales whereby benefices descended from father to son, led in some cases to a strange abuse, the custom of dividing benefices between various incumbents. The church of Kerry, Montgomery, had two rectors; Hey in Radnor was divided between two brothers...” As part of the ancient parish of Malpas was actually in Wales, this custom may have crept over the border. If this is the truth, then the division happened at a very early date for there were two rectors in 1285, namely William of Audlem of the Higher Moiety and Leodegarius of Nottingham of the Lower Moiety. Another explanation, and perhaps the more probable one, is that when Fitz Hugh died leaving no heir, the barony was divided between his two daughters, Letitia and Mabilia. It may well be that at the same time the rectory was divided into two moieties. The dual rectory continued right down to 1885 when it was abolished and the ancient parish of Malpas broken up to form the new parishes of Whitewell, Bickerton, Bickley and Tushingham.

Both the size of the parish and the size of the church are explained by the long dual rector system of land ownership and benefice. It is apparent from the Cheshire Land tax of the extent of land ownership of the dual rectors. An index of the Cheshire Land Tax is available at FamilySearch Historical Records. See

England Cheshire Land Tax Assessments (FamilySearch Historical Records)


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.

  • Wrexham (1837–53)
  • Whitchurch (1853–1937)
  • West Cheshire (1937–74)
  • Chester and Ellesmere Port (1974–98)
  • Cheshire West (post 1998) The post 2009 reorganisation of civil registration can be found on-line at Cheshire BMD

Church records

To find the names of the neighbouring parishes, use England Jurisdictions 1851. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.

Malpas, St. Oswald (C of E). An ancient parish church, originally serving the townships of Agden (near Malpas), Bickerton, Bickley, Bradley, Broxton, Bulkeley, Chidlow, Cholmondeley, Chorlton (near Malpas), Cuddington (near Malpas), Duckington, Edge, Egerton, Hampton, Larkton, Macefen, Malpas, Newton by Malpas, Oldcastle, Overton, Stockton, Tushingham with Grindley, Wigland and Wychough in Cheshire, and Iscoyd in Flintshire. Registers of Baptisms 1561–1948, Marriages 1561–1987 and Burials 1561–1905 have been deposited at the Cheshire Record Office.

St Oswald’s Malpas parish registers Cheshire Record Office call no.: P21/3607/1/1-8; P21/3607/2/1-5; P21/4622/1-14; P21/3607/3/1-9; P21/3607/4/1-2; P21/3607/5/1-3.

Here is a list of church records on microfilm at the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City.

Parish registers Content FHL Film
Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1561-1609, 1614-1625 BRITISH 2068450 Items 4-5
Baptisms,  1625-1779. Marriages, 1625-1754. Burials, 1625-1795. BRITISH 2068451
Baptisms, 1779-1881. Burials, 1796-1812. BRITISH 2068452
Baptisms, 1861-1948. Marriages, 1754-1825. BRITISH 2068513
Marriages, 1825-1901. BRITISH 2068514
Marriages, 1901-1951. Banns of marriage, 1822-1942. BRITISH 2068515
Burials, 1813-1905. BRITISH 2068516 Items 1-3

Bishop's transcripts for Malpas, 1584-1893 Cheshire Record Office no.: EDB/141.

Bishop's transcripts Content FHL Film
Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1584-1585, 1599-1601, 1609-1611, 1613-1614, 1622, 1624-1628, 1630, 1633-1635, 1637-1640, 1662, 1665-1691, 1693-1698, 1700-1734, 1736-1747, 1749-1750. BRITISH 1656977
Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1751-1755, 1759-1819. Baptisms, 1820. BRITISH 1656978
Marriages, 1820-1836, Burials, 1820-1849, 1851-1857. Baptisms, 1820-1849, 1851-1858. BRITISH 1538147
Burials, 1858-1891. Baptisms, 1858-1893. BRITISH 1538148 Item 1

St. Oswald, Malpas, marriages, 1561-1837 Authors Bennett, John (Main Author)
Dod, John Cadogen Wolley (Added Author)
Family History Society of Cheshire (Added Author)
"This list has been compiled from two sources. The period from 1561 to 1812 is taken from the J.C. Wolley Dod transcription made during the 1940s. From 1813 to 1837 the entries are taken directly from the parish registers." Marriage transcript, A – Z FHL BRITISH Access Services Window 6395249

A copy of the registers of the marriages, christenings and burials at St. Oswald's Church, Malpas, in the county of Cheshire : from 1561 to 1812 Authors Dod, John Cadogen Wolley (Main Author)

Non-Conformist Churches
  • Malpas, St. Joseph (Roman Catholic). Opened 1946. 
  • Malpas, Methodist Chapel (Wesleyan), Wrexham Road/Cuddington Road. Built in 1894.
  • Malpas, Methodist Chapel (Wesleyan), Old Hall Street. Built in 1860, closed in 1968. Registers 1935–1968 are at the Cheshire Record Office. Cheshire BMD have indexed Malpas, Methodist Church (Old Hall Street)1935 Registration District Cheshire West Code AP67 years covered 1935-1952 Malpas, United Reformed Church (Independent/Congregational), High Street. Built in 1815. Registers 1819–1837 are at the Cheshire Record Office. Also at Microfilm of original records at the Public Record Office, London.Births and baptisms, 1819-1837.RG-4 series no. 185.FHL BRITISH Film 20048 Item 13

Census records

The 1841 Census returns for Malpas are missing.

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 104269.

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Cheshire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.See also England Cheshire Probate Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Poor Law Unions

See also

Maps and Gazetteers

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

Web sites


  • Rylands, T. Michael (n.d.), An Illustrated History of St. Oswald's, Malpas, Manchester
  • F H Crossley & J C Wolley Dod ' An architectural history of the church of Malpas in the County of Cheshire' Chester Archaelogical Society Journal Volume 37 (ii) (1949)
  •  F I Dunn 1987 The Ancient Parishes and Chapelries of Cheshire
  •  J McN Dodgson The Place Names of Cheshire Part 4 The Place names of Broxton Hundred and Wirral Hundred (Cambridge)
  • A Crosby 1996 A History of Cheshire Phillimore