A member of The Federation of Family History Societies
St James' Church, Haslingden
St John's Church, Bacup
St Mary's, Church Rawtenstall


Rossendale Branch Newsletter November 2008

Programme: 2008 - 2009

Wednesday November 5th

Short talks by Members.

Wednesday 3rd December

Christmas Social Evening

Wednesday 7th January 2009

Women in the Mines.

Graham Stirrup.

Wednesday 4th February

Research & Enquiries Evening.

Coming Events

Thursday 6th November

Tim Curtis Memorial Lecture.

Adelphi TVI Theatre University of Central Lancashire Adelphi Street, Preston

Dr Amanda Vickery, "Behind Closed Doors: Love, Power and Houses in Eighteenth-Century England"

This is a free event and all are welcome. There is no need to confirm attendance - just turn up at Adelphi Building on the night. at 7.30p.m

Saturday 8th November Family History Open Day, at Colne LibraryMarket Square, Colne BB8 OAP Organised by the Pendle and Burnley Branch.10.00am – 3.30 Admission Free

Research and Advice Sessions at Rawtenstall Library

every Tuesday 1.30 - 3.30 pm

The Rossendale Branch now holds regular Research and Advice sessions at Rawtenstall Library. 2 or 3 of us are on hand each week to assist members of the public. We may also be able to do simple look-ups for members not able to attend the library in person

Rossendale Miscellany:

News, notes and queries

Newchurch in Rossendale - Register Transcriptions

I have heard from Craig Thorburn that the Lancashire Parish Register Society has now made available his transcription of The Newchurch in Rossendale Registers, Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths, 1723-1753 (NC2). It has been issued on CD ROM and can be obtained from the LPRS by contacting Neil Hudson, LPRS, Raising House, Leece, Nr. Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 OQP.

Payment must be by cheque, drawn on a British bank and made payable to LPRS. Details are on the website for persons wishing to pay by credit card at GENfair or at the Parish Chest.

The CDs are all priced at £6 to members (of the Lancashire Parish Register Society) and £8 to non-members, which includes second class/ surface mail postage.

The website is www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/LAN/lprs

Earlier register transcripts

You will note on the CD list that there was an earlier transcript for Newchurch in Rossendale, St. Nicholas. This is CD45 which covers marriages, baptisms and burials from 1653 – 1723 It was transcribed in 1912 and was not collated against the Bishops’ Transcripts If you are fortunate enough to have traced your ancestors back to this date you will find the BTs at the Lancashire Record Office, Bow Lane, Preston. They cover the years 1606 – 1641; 1658 -1848.

Did You Miss out talk and slide show last month?

Shaw’s Ribble Valley Journey, No 1 John and Alfred E. Shaw, father and son, Blackburn based photographers, flourished before the first world war. They captured images of towns and places throughout Lancashire and beyond. Their collection of glass negatives were donated to Blackburn Library, where they lay forgotten for many years.

Jim Halsall has sorted and catalogued this collection of almost 1500 slides. For his talk, Jim took us on a journey through part of the Ribble Valley of one hundred years ago. These photographs are of remarkable quality and we were held spellbound when he showed us how he had been able to magnify small details previously undetected by the human eye.

We hope to see Shaw’s Ribble Valley Journey No. 2 in next year’s programme.

In last month’s newsletter Tony Thompson described how he traced his mothers Cunliffe Family back to Rawtenstall.


Inn Keepers of Rawtenstall

Tony Thompson 2008

In 1825 there were (according to Baines Commercial Directory) only four inns in Rawtenstall. These were the Rams Head, the Bishop Blaize, Wheatsheaf and the White Lion.

In 1841, my family of Cunliffes and Taylors were occupying three of these inns.

The Taylor family were living at the Rams (Head) Inn. James Taylor had died in 1838 in his 62nd year. His wife Mary Taylor aged 65 was the inn keeper. Also listed as an inn keeper was Hugh Taylor aged 40. Lucy Taylor aged 35 and two servants made up the household.

Hugh’s brother-in-law John Cunliffe and his wife Sarah were living at the Wheatsheaf on Rawtenstall Fold. John was listed as a 40 year old Publican, Sarah aged 35, and their children were James aged 12, William Henry 9, Thomas 5 and Lucy aged 2.  I have since discovered another possible son, "John son of John and Sarah Cunliffe, of Rawtenstall, Carter" was baptised 6th March 1825 at Newchurch St. Nicholas. There is also a John Cunliffe in the 1841 Census, in Blackburn aged 15, apprenticed to a Tailor. Maybe this is the same person who later joined the army and by 1851 was living in Blackburn, described as a Chelsea Pensioner, born Rawtenstall. [see the Rossendale Branch newsletter May 2008]. Living at the same address were a Thomas Cunliffe and a William Cunliffe, who may be the two brothers missing from the 1851 census at Pleasington.

John Cunliffes junior’s parents, John and Sally were also innkeepers, at the Bishops Blaize (now Madisons Wine Bar) situated at Tup Bridge on the corner of Burnley Road, and Haslingden Old Road.

A John Cunliffe, Rawtenstall, Inn Keeper is listed in the Jurors' Lists for 1810. His age was given as 50. John died in January 1840 and was buried on 27 January 1840 at Newchurch in Rossendale, aged 78. His widow Sarah (Sally) appears in the 1841 census as Inn Keeper at the Bishop Blaize aged 72. Living with her were Henry Cunliffe, aged 35, blacksmith, Joseph Cunliffe 27, saddler and Jane Cunliffe, 22, a servant.

James Taylor, Hugh Taylor, Sarah (Taylor) Cunliffe and John Cunliffe senior had all left wills.

JOHN CUNLIFFE, who died in 1840 was described as an "Innkeeper and Blacksmith of Rawtenstall". Most of his property was left in trust to his wife Sarah, the residue was left equally amongst his children who were not named.

JAMES TAYLOR, Inn Keeper (of the Rams Head) died in 1838. He left to his daughter Lucy £1,600 to be paid within 12 months.

To his daughter Sarah, now wife of John Cunliffe an annuity of £72, being the equal to the yearly interest of the sum of £1,600 after the rate of £4 & 10s per annum for her natural life. One payment per year. After the decease of his daughter Sarah, he bequeathed the sum of £1,600 to be divided between her lawful children.

Similar provisions were made for his daughter Ann, wife of Thomas Wainwright. He made an annuity of £30 to his wife Mary. Everything else went to his son Hugh, hereditaments, messuages, buildings, land, monies, securities etc.

LUCY TAYLOR, spinster, Rawtenstall, April 1842

Lucy left all her property, estate and effects to her brother Hugh who was the executor. £1,841

Hugh Taylor was a very wealthy man 

HUGH TAYLOR was baptised on 4 May 1800, recorded in Goodshaw Parish registers "Hugh, son of James and Mally, of Chapel". He never married, in 1851 he was living with his 72 year old mother at Rawtenstall Fold. His occupation was given as "Proprietor of Houses". In 1861, he was still living at the same place, listed as a yeoman. His 22 year old niece Lucy Cunliffe is his housekeeper. On 16 April 1874 he died of Cerebral Concussion.

His estate recorded as under £25,000, but after reading his Will, not a lot under! He left a considerable amount of his property and goods to his sister Sarah Cunliffe.

I have the impression that Sarah’s marriage to John Cunliffe jnr. had collapsed sometime after 1851. In 1861, she was living with her son Thomas in North Meols. In 1871 she was in Rawtenstall with her daughter Lucy (now married to Henry Pilkington, a wool merchant). Lucy died in 1872 but Sarah stayed in Rossendale She died on 17 January 1889 and is recorded on the gravestone at Newchurch St. Nicholas She was a relatively wealthy woman, leaving a personal estate of £3,883. In today’s terms, that a lot of money!

I am still making discoveries about my Cunliffes and Taylors. Needless to say, there is a lot more minute detail I have gathered from certificates, census years, etc,. If you know any more Email me at apttony@aol.com

I am indebted to Rita Hirst for all her wonderful help