Penwortham, Lancashire Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Parishes

Here is a List of Chapelries in Penwortham Parish

Penwortham St Mary

Parish History

Penwortham is an Ancient Parish in the county of Lancashire.
Other places in the parish include: Hutton and Howick.

Penwortham is a town and civil parish on the south bank of the River Ribble facing the city of Preston, Lancashire, England. The town is at the most westerly crossing point of the River Ribble, with major road and rail links crossing here.

The distinctive town name is derived from pen (meaning a hill), weid (meaning ford) and ham (meaning settlement) with earlier names of Peneverdant and Pendrecham in 1200; Penwrtham in 1204; Penuertham in 1212; Penwortham 1260 and Penewrthamn in 1292.

The town of Penwortham is part of the Borough of South Ribble and its history can be traced back to pre-historic times with archaeological evidence showing that the ford at the Middleforth area was used to cross the Ribble. Penwortham was listed in the Domesday Book as "Penverdent" and Penwortham Priory was built in the west of the town. A simple motte-and-bailey castle was built during the post-Norman conquest period overlooking the Ribble and its ford. Some evidence of this castle is still evident in St Mary's Churchyard. In later centuries a manor house was built, but no evidence remains today.

The present church was built on the site after the loss through fire in 1856 of the ancient St Mary.

The Diocese of Blackburn is a Church of England diocese, covering much of Lancashire, created in 1926 from part of the Diocese of Manchester. The Diocese includes the towns of Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, and the cities of Lancaster, and Preston, as well as a large part of the Ribble Valley.

"PENWORTHAM (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Preston, hundred of Leyland, N. division of Lancashire; containing, with the chapelry of Longton, and the townships of Farington, Howick, and Hutton, 5498 inhabitants, of whom 1372 are in Penwortham township, 1¾ mile (S. W.) from Preston. William the Conqueror bestowed this place on Roger de Busli, joint lord of the hundred of Blackburn; and it is highly probable that the castle of Penwortham was one of the baronial residences of this favourite of his sovereign. Warin Bussel, supposed to have been the son of Roger de Busli, was his successor, and ranks as the first baron of Penwortham. He was a considerable benefactor to the abbey of Evesham, on which he conferred the churches of Penwortham, Meols, and Leyland, and the town of Farington. Hugh Bussel, the fourth baron, was involved in litigation with John, Earl of Morton, afterwards King John, respecting his inheritance, which he finally lost by some real or pretended defect in his title; and in the 7th of John the barony was assigned to Roger de Lacy, constable of Chester, for 310 marks of silver. It is recorded that Ranulph, surnamed de Blundeville, earl of Chester and baron of Lancaster, after he had received confirmation from Henry III. of the lands between the Ribble and the Mersey, held his court at Penwortham Castle. From the earls of Chester and Lincoln the barony passed by marriage to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, and eventually became merged in the dukedom of Lancaster. A Benedictine priory was founded here in honour of the Virgin Mary, on the lands granted by Warin Bussel to the abbey of Evesham; and several monks of that establishment were placed in it, whose revenue at the Dissolution was £114. 16. 9.: the site was given in the 34th of Henry VIII. to John Fleetwood, of London. The parish is the most northern of the parishes in Leyland hundred. It is bounded on the north by the Ribble, whose banks consist of highly cultivated grounds, and command a view of the opposite borough of Preston; on the east it is bounded by Walton-le-Dale, in the parish of Blackburn, on the south by Leyland and Hoole parishes, and the western boundary is washed by the Ribble estuary. The area is 7451 acres, and the arable and pasture land are in nearly equal portions. In the township of Penwortham are 2109 acres, of which about one-third are arable, one-sixth pasture, and a small portion wood. One of the heaviest cuttings on the line of the North-Union railway was that made through Penwortham Hill; and the embankment of the Ribble valley here, for the same railway, was also a work of considerable labour. The bridge continuing the line over the Ribble into Preston, is a bold and massive structure, erected at a cost of £45,000: it consists of five semielliptical arches, each of 120 feet span; the piers are 20 feet in thickness, and the way 44 feet above the level of the water, the whole being constructed of gritstone, principally from Longridge quarry. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £106; patron, L. Rawstorne, Esq., who is also impropriator: the tithes of Penwortham township have been commuted for £206. The church stands on an eminence overlooking the valley of the Ribble, and is a small edifice, probably of the 15th century, having a nave, aisle, and chancel, with a tower; the interior is narrow and gloomy, and the seats are quite plain, but over two of the pews are carved canopies. In 1812 a new gallery was erected, and the higher part of the body of the church was fronted, and castellated, in the latest style of pointed architecture. At Farington and Longton are separate incumbencies. In Penwortham is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. A free grammar school was founded at Hutton, in 1552, by Christopher Walton, who endowed it with houses and lands which produced at first only £4 per annum, but now yield an annual income of £850. A valuable charity is administered, in clothes, on St. Thomas' day, to the poor of Penwortham and Howick; the income is now nearly £80 a year, being the rent of two fields in Fishergate, Preston, which until 1846 returned only £26 per annum: a branch railway from the North-Union station in Preston to the river Ribble produced the increase. The trustees of the grammar school have erected schools out of their funds, at Penwortham and Farington, and support the masters of the schools at Howick and Longton. The castle already mentioned has totally disappeared; but its remembrance is preserved in the name of Castle Hill. Numbers of trees are found underneath peat, and along the coast of the Ribble estuary."

From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 549-555. URL: Date accessed: 20 July 2010.


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.

Online index of Lancashire Births, Marriages and Deaths Lancashire BMD

Lancashire Online Parish Clerks

An extremely useful resource for research in Lancashire Parishes

Due to the loss of early parish registers from 1538 in the 1856 fire which destroyed the church the Online Parish Clerk Index is recommended.

See Online Parish Clerk page for missing years.

Church records

Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts 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

Early records for this parish were lost in the fire of 1856 which also destroyed the church. Lancashire Online Parish Clerks have transcript derived from  Bishop's Trancripts which were originally held at Chester Record Office.

Bishop's transcripts for Penwortham Microfilm of originals at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston.
Parts are illegible due to torn pages, dark spots, faded ink.
Longton and Farrington are chapelries in the parish of Penwortham.
DRB 2/157-162

Penwortham baptisms, marriages, burials, 1608, 1616, 1623, 1627, 1629-1634, 1637, 1639-1641, 1650, 1658-1660, 1662-1665, 1668-1670, 1672, 1674-1676, 1678-1682, 1690-1706, 1708-1740. Included with Penwortham: Longton baptisms, 1733-1735, 1737. FHL BRITISH Film 1502456 Item 1
Penwortham baptisms, marriages, burials, 1741-1793. Included with Penwortham: Longton baptisms, 1754-1766, 1771-1772, 1774, 1776-1777. Longton baptisms, 1779-1793. FHL BRITISH Film 1502456 Item 2
Penwortham baptisms, marriages, burials, 1794-1813, 1815-1816. Included with Penwortham: Longton baptisms, 1812-1813, 1815-1816. Longton baptisms, 1794-1811. FHL BRITISH Film 1502456 Item 3
Penwortham baptisms, marriages, burials, 1817-1834. Longton baptisms, burials, 1817-1834. FHL BRITISH Film 1502457 Items 1 - 2
Penwortham baptisms, marriages, burials, 1835-1837, 1870; baptism, burials, 1838-1855, 1857-1869, 1871-1873. Included with Penwortham: Farrington baptisms, 1842. Longton baptisms, burials, 1848-1852. Farrington baptisms, burials, 1840-1845. FHL BRITISH Film 1502458 Items 1 - 2

Parish registers for Penwortham  Microfilm of original records at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston.
Lancashire Record Office no.: PR 3005/1/1-3, 7; 3005/2/1-3

Baptisms 1857-1900 Marriages 1857-1885 FHL BRITISH Film 1526058 Items 17-18
Marriages 1885-1900 Burials 1857-1900 Register of services 1872-1900 FHL BRITISH Film 1526059 Items 1-5

Census records

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. for details of public houses in the 1881 census

Poor Law Unions

Preston Poor Law Union, Lancashire

Probate records

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.

Maps and Gazetteers

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

Web sites

Add any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above.