Royton, Lancashire Genealogy

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Royton St Paul

Chapelry History

Royton St Paul by subscription (donor) was created as a chapel of ease by 1754, serving the parochial chapelry of Oldham St Mary, Lancashire, and lying within the boundaries of Prestwich Parish.

"ROYTON, a chapelry, in the parochial chapelry, parliamentary borough, and union of Oldham, parish of Prestwich, hundred of Salford, S. division of Lancashire, 2 miles north by west of Oldham, on the road to Rochdale. The chapel, dedicated to St Paul, was built by subscription in 1754. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, and the Society of Friends."[1]
By an indenture made on the 9th August 1753, Thomas Percival of Royton, in consideration of the sum of one shilling, paid to him by Ralph Taylor and other trustees, sold a plot of land in Royton called Downey Field and another plot of land called The Acre. Their purpose was to erect a good substantial building of brick or stone and oak timbers and other lasting materials in the form of a chapel.

The chapel was ready to be dedicated on the 10th August 1754 and consecrated by the Lord Bishop of Chester on the 1st July 1757. This building was a chapel of ease to the mother church of Prestwich St Mary, Lancashire. Indeed, the Vicar of Prestwich is Patron of the Living to this day. It was a rectangular building, lighted by four windows in the north and south walls, with galleries running along all inner walls.

In 1854, the building was enlarged. An additional bay and window was added at each end. The steeple which had stood outside the church was now incorporated into the building.

In 1883 the church was further enlarged by taking out part of the east wall and building the present chancel. The east window in memory of John and Jane Holden was inserted at this time.

In 1888 plans for what was almost the rebuilding of the church were approved. The Nave was taken down and a new and enlarged Nave erected. On the south side, many graves which had once been outside were suddenly inside the new building. Choir and clergy vestries were added and a new organ chamber was created on the north side. On Saturday 6th April 1889 a stone laying ceremony saw the laying of two stones. One stone was laid by Mrs. Holden of Highlands House, the other by Colonel le Gendre W.Starkie.


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

Churches and chapels in Royton

Royton had no medieval church of its own, and for ecclesiastical purposes, lay within the parish of Prestwich-cum-Oldham in the Diocese of Lichfield, until 1541, when this diocese was divided and Royton became part of the Diocese of Chester. This in turn was divided in 1847, when the present Diocese of Manchester was created. For ritual baptisms, marriages and burials, the people of Royton, a Christian community, had to travel to churches that lay outside of the township's boundaries, including  Oldham St Mary, Lancashire, St Leonard's Middleton, Lancashire or  Prestwich St Mary, Lancashire.

The Religious Society of Friends were recorded as holding conventicles in Heyside in as early as the 1650s. A Baptist meeting place was erected in 1775. Congregational preachers regularly visited Royton, but it was not until 1854 that a workshop was established in the town. Primitive Methodism was established in Royton in a room in a Royley building, with its first purpose-built church being erected in 1867.

Roman Catholicism in Royton after the English Reformation began in 1874, when a disused factory was used as a chapel. Sir Percival Radcliffe, the then owner of Royton Hall, gave land and £2,000 towards the construction of a new Catholic school-chapel which opened in 1880; the local priest lived at Royton Hall. A rectory was built in 1901 and in 1966 the church, dedicated to saints Aidan and Oswald, was rebuilt. Royton, which forms part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford, continues to have a Catholic community, supported by Our Lady's R.C. High School.

The Lancashire Online Parish Clerk website contains a listing of all denominations in the Oldham area (see below).

Church records

Online Records

Church of England

Royton chapelry's registers of christenings, marriages and burials, along with those of the ancient parish of Prestwich to which it is attached, have been mostly transcribed and are displayed online at the following web sites and ranges of years:

FS =
LOPC Lancashire Online Parish Clerk project
AC =
FREG = FreeReg

ROYTON ST PAUL Chapelry (1755) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1755-1910 None 1758-1868
LOPC 1755-1797, 1806-1919 1839-1909 1757-1785, 1806-1938
LBMD 1837-1928 1839-1974 1838-1872
FMP None None 1757-1938
PRESTWICH ST MARY PARISH (1600) Indexes (ancient parish containing ROYTON Chapelry)
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1603-1910 1600-1935 1712-1921
LOPC 1603-1936 1603-1895 1603-1921
LBMD 1837-1902 1837-1925 1837-1877
FMP None 1603-1712 None
AC 1603-1711 1603-1711 1603-1711

For a full list of all those chapels surrounding Royton and comprising the whole ancient parish of Prestwich to which it was attached, be certain to see "Church Records" on the PRESTWICH ST MARY PARISH page.

Parish registers, 1755-1938 Microfilm of original records housed at the Central Library, Oldham.

The Chapelry of Royton is in the parish of Prestwich.

Baptisms and burials, 1755-1813 Baptisms, 1813-1850
Baptisms, 1850-1919 Burials, 1813-1836
Burials, 1836-1938 Marriages, 1839-1889
Marriages, 1888-1909

Bishop's transcripts for Royton, 1758-1880 Microreproduction of original manuscripts housed at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston.The Chapelry of Royton (St. Paul's) is in the parish of Prestwich. It was formerly in the parish of Oldham.
Lancashire Record Office: DRM/2/253-258

Baptisms and burials, 1758-1836
1545720 Items 2-4
Baptisms and burials, 1836-1846; 1858-1869; marriages, 1843
Baptisms and burials, 1870-1880
1545722 Item 1

Lancashire Online Parish Clerk

A valuable resource is the online information provided by the Online Parish Clerk at with links to Baptisms, marriages and burials for the parish with surname index.

Census records

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.

Poor Law unions

Oldham Poor Law Union

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 for information about the parish for information about Oldham West Denery of the Diocese of Manchester British History online Royton History Society web page GENUKI page


  1. A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 707-711. Adapted. Date accessed: 20 July 2010.