WARNING: The correct use of any parish data from this project requires initial reading of the GENERAL NOTES as well as of the specific PARISH NOTES.

AUDLEM St James, 1556-1871


The oldest volume is mixed entries and runs from 1556 until 1652. Volume 2 from 1653 to 1665 is also mixed, as is volume 3 from 1665 until March 1705, when events were separated and grouped by year. In volume 4 events were all mixed again though after the end of 1753 the register contains christenings and burials only. These were separated between 1786 and 1791, when mixed registration resumed until 1813. Thereafter there were separate baptism and burial registers. A new series of marriage registers began in May 1754.


1558/11/28 to 1559/11/07; 25 March 1578- to 24 March 1579; 20 September-December 1620; 1625-1631; 1641-1646; 1650-1653; 1660s blank spaces in register and some entries repeated. No marriages 1713/12/23- 1714/09/29. There are blank spaces amongst the baptisms for 1767, and there may be other, small, gaps. Many of the baptismal and burial records in this database for the period from 1765/01/01 to 1767/05/03 are BT only (see anomalous entries below, “After 1764/12/30 ... ”).


Burials misordered in 1558. An entry for 1582/12/10 was placed between September 1582 entries; and there is misordering affecting 1612-1614; 1639-1641; 1646-1650; and 1653-1665. Apparent misordering in 1613 appears to be due to rebinding of register. A burial dated 1638/04/15 was placed in the 1599 entries. Comparison with BTs raises the possibility of confused order, or confused contemporary dating, in 1667 and 1668. In 1689/07/11 the baptism record of Ellianor Gates was noted in the register as out of order, as were those in 1696/09/12 of Elizabeth Redfourne and in 1696/09/21 of Elizabeth Dowlar. The register notes the entry in 1697/12/30 for Thomas Cooke as misplaced, he being baptised by a strange minister. More records are out of order for 1700-1702. After a crossed out marriage entry on 1712/12/29 (“John Bettiley of the parish of Acton and Mary Pemberton of Audlem parish were after due publication married at Audlem the 1st of January 1712/13”) is written “This was not rightly placed but is putt to the right place of persons married and will appear at the later end of the the book”. The marriage of John Chesters and Mary Malan, both of Audlem, 1742/03/27 was written with marriages of August and September 1713. Misordering continued, and is apparent in the 1780s and 1790s amongst baptismal records. It is noted by the clergy on a number of occasions in the nineteenth century.


NS begins in the baptisms in January 1754

BTs Lacking

The record office list gives the covering dates for BTs as 1579-1910.

Anomalous entries

1583/05/05 and 1583/05/12, twins with different baptism dates.
1581/02/24 amongst baptisms: a man child of Robt Tylers not baptised was buried.
1594/11/19 Cyceley Poole, entry does not use either baptism or burial
1605/05/30 three burials all in same entry
1661/11/13 - 1665/03/19 register explicitly gives many baptisms without any parental names. Query these could be burials.
1611/02/15 Ba Anne Gamull in BT but Bu in PR.
1611/02/15 Bu Anne Gamull in PR but Ba in BT.
1640/11/22 Ba Jone Davison could be Bu

Bu 1640/11/22 (Jone Davison) could be Ba
Bu 1659/01/27 (Bateman) BT only
Bu 1660/02/08 (Moore) BT only
Bu 1660/03/06 (Sallmon) BT only
Bu 1660/08/25 (Ridgway) BT only
Bu 1660/03/30 (Fletcher) BT only
Bu 1660/04/19 (Frith) BT only
Bu 1660/05/10 (Pollet) BT only
Bu 1663/06/11 (Blease) BT only
Bu 1703/11/26 (Higginson) BT only
Bu 1730/12/01 (Lawrence) BT only
Bu 1733/05/27 (Denwall) BT only
Bu 1738/04/02 (Tue) BT only
Bu 1739/11/05 (Soreton) BT only
Bu 1761/09/12 (Wadkin) BT only
Entries for 1766 and 1767 BT only
Bu 1772/04/03 (Parkinson) BT only
Bu 1772/04/06 (Shallcross) BT only
Bu 1772/04/14 (Stubbs) BT only
Ma 1646/12/14 Elizabeth Lavensham, with groom’s name illegible, could be a Ba or Bu.
Ba 1724/03/31 (Taylor) BT only
Ba 1734/04/21 (Thorns) BT only
Ba 1734/06/26 (Broomhale) BT only
Ba 1737/04/24 (Kent) BT only
Ba 1738/01/29 (Suker) BT only
Ba 1739/11/05 (Thursfield) BT only
Ba 1739/11/17 (Hodges) BT only
Ba 1739/11/20 (Sylvester) BT only
Ba 1739/12/02 (Higginson) BT only
Ba 1739/12/25 (Boughey) BT only
Ba 1739/12/26 (Boote) BT only
Ba 1739/12/26 (Shuker) BT only
Ba 1739/12/28 (Ellson) BT only
Ba 1740/01/09 (Evans) BT only
Ba 1740/01/26 (Griffith) BT only
Ba 1756/10/03 (Cadman) BT only
Entries for 1766 and 1767 BT only
Ba 1785/09/25 (Hassall) BT only

Ma 1749/06/25 Bride’s name not given
Ma 1770/09/30 Richard Boote and Mary Ruscoe, entry looks to have been crossed out and then an attempt made to delete the crossing out.
Ma 1806/09/12 James Woodcott and Elizabeth Dodd, out of date order, or date error
Ma 1840/04/28 John Jackson Hughes and Emma Higginson, out of date order


Volume 1
On front of the first register book “Bound and Parchment added MDCXXXI William Ridgeway, William Barnes churchwardens”

1583 or 1584 reference to Nantwich fire on 10 December
1594/11/19 baps Entry in Latin relating to Hugonem Wardeleum, followed by note of bequest by John Okes to poor of Audlem, which is deleted and then repeated on the following page.
Memorandum that John Okes, citizen and mercer of London by his last wyll and testamente gave £5 to be sett forth to use of the poore people of the parish of Audlem and the increase therof to be delt everie good Fryday to the poore of the said parishe of Audlem for ever by the discretion of the Vicar then beinge and the churchwardens and made Rychende Claverley citizen and draper of London and Dorothie his wyffe executors wch said executors sente the same £5 by one John Evans who payed the same to Thomas Hardwar Vicar and to Jasper Rutter Lawrance Fletcher and William Mason churchwardens of the said parishe of Audlem the sixth day of September and in the XLIIII yeare of the raigne of our Soveraigne Ladye Elizabeth the Quenes Majestie that now is and had an acquittance for his discharge These beinge witnes Ranoffee Hassall gent Rychard Horton gent Randull Boulton gent Thomas Dykes and Hughe Wardley with others, per me Thomas Harwar Vicarium de Audlem.

Memorandum that Thomas Gamull citizen and Recorder of Chester by his last wyll and testament gave Vli to be sett forth to the use of the poore people of the parish of Audlem and the increase thereof to be delte every good Friday to the poore of the said parish of Audlem for ever by the discretion of the vicar then beinge and the churchwardens and made Alis Gamull his wyffe executor who payed the same to Thomas Harwar vicar and to Roger Tue, William Boulton and Nicholas Wilson chruchwardens of the said parish of Audlem the xiii day of November and in the twelfte yeare of the Raigne of our Soveraigne Lord James of England France and Ireland Kinge Defender of the faith and of Scotland the eight and Fertyeth and had an acquittance for her discharge These witnesses beinge Rychard Massye Robert Massye William Baines and Thomas Pycstoke with others, by me Thomas Harwar Vicarium de Audlem. [The memo is followed in different inks by two signatures of George Moore, dated 1647.]

Humfrey Puller by his last will and testament gave forty shillinge to be putt forth for the use and benefyt of the poore people of the parish of Audlem for ever.

Edmund Gamull of Buerton gent who departed out of this lyef the 12 1628 gave ten poundes to be put forth for the use of the poore people of the parish of Audlem for ever, and the increase of it to be given to the sayd poore and every good Friday in manner following videlicet the one half of yt to the poore of Buerton lordship and the other halfe to the rest of the poore of the parish of Audlem at the oversight of William Gamull and his heires and executors wch said William Gamull Brother and executor to Edmund Gamull did during his life time paye the use of this money according to the minde of the giver and therof yearly gave an accoumpte to the churchwardens, And by his last will and testament made William Dod of the Highfields gent his executor and to have the cheife oversight in the disposinge of the said money

William Gamull of Buerton gent who died the 16 of August 1635 by his last will and testament gave tenne poundes for the use and benefit of the poore people of the parishe of Audlem for ever and the increase therof to be given to the said poore every good fryday the one halfe of yt to the poore of Buerton lordship and the other to the reste of the poore of the parishe, And made Mr William Dod his executor to have the disposinge of this said money

Alongside heading of 1614 entries in PR, marginal note in different hand: “ But wants the yeare 1613 in this Register” [however, 1613 entries are present but misplaced].

In 1648 a note annotates the entries as C for christenings, B for Burials and M for marriages.

Twindels used for twins.

September 1650: “Christenings and burials after Mr [Kew?] his counsall in the absence of a Minister intered... by John Sparrow and Arthur [Bakelow?] churchwardens”.

Volume 2, 1653 to 1664
On f. 18 of the second volume of registers is a note that Hugh Hassall of Audlem, schoolmaster, was appointed parish register.

Marriage entries between 1654/02/13 and 1656/08/12 give the name of, usually, a single cleric present, and always a single justice of peace before whom marriages took place. Cheshire JP was Thomas Mainwaring, Staffordshire JPs were Baker, and Geo Bellott. “Diverse other witnesses” or similar phrase usually given for marriage witnesses

1657, note of the burial on 12 November of Parish register Mr Hugh Hassall, and of entries from the time of his illness.

1653, after 7 November - 21 December 1656 register gives birth dates following 1653 form. Still born children, and children not given a forename, have therefore been included in the transcript “baptismal” register.

1658, a contemporary deletion of some entries, which then appear in the following the year, has not been included in the transcript.

Volume 3
On the outside of the front cover of volume 3, beginning 1665 is written The Register of the Parish of Audlem in the County and Diocese of Chester continued from the induction of Mr Thomas Cole Clerk into the vicarage of Audlem aforesaid, being on the 4th day of August Anno 1664 and so forward until 1665 is Registered in another book
[In a later hand:] 1665 to 1717 [plus odd jottings]

1682 inserted in register Thus far the register of the Parish of Audlem was in the hands and under the care of Robert Oulton Parish Clark of the said Parish who falling sick and dying the care thereof came into the hands of Mr Thomas Cole Vicar of Audlem since which tyme.”

1705/03/02 after this entry noted 15 March 1704 Ex J Rayner
1706/05/23 after this entry in marriages: “Ex H Lockwood surveyed to Aug 2 1706”

1710/10/16 after this entry in marriages: Register given into Court The new marriage register from 1754 to 1809 occasionally, and the baptism and burial registers almost annually note as late as 1811: “Thus far given into court”. For example, for Burials, this annotation comes at the end of the months of December 1781, August 1782, September 1783, December 1784, August 1785

End of 1726/7: “This year Alteration was made at the vicaridge House by license from the Chancellour”.

The Bells of Audlem church were new cast and a sixth Bell added at the charge of the Parish while the Reverend Mr Jenks was vicar, Mr Bayley of Parks and Mr Dutton of Butterley Heys Churchwardens in the year 1737.

After 1764/12/30 “Memorand. I received this and another Parchment Register Book together with a Paper Memoranda Book covered with Marble Paper from the clerk (John Harding) on the 20 October 1773; when the old register contained the Births, Weddings and Burials from the year 1665 to the year 1717 both inclusive. This book was continued from that time to the end of the year 1764; and the date of the paper book commenced on 25 of October 1767 and was brought down no lower than the 9 of May this year 1773. Since then I have transcribed from the said paper memorandum into this register book all of the Births and Burials inscribed therein in (recovering as far as I was able the names etc which were omitted in that Book) and have continued the same down to the 19 Dec 1773. As Witness my hand
H Salmon, Minister and Master of the Free Grammar School at Audlem.

In September 1777 when the People were in Church a great earth quake happened which shook the Fabrick so thatr a large stone fell out of one of the windows of the steeple.

1778 beginning of year: I received this Book again on the Death of the late Curate (the reverend David Foulkes) September 10 1778 when all the following names to this Time were collected from loose scraps and oral information, by me, H. Salmon, viz -
NB The child buried on the 9th July 1782 named Matthew was supposed to be base begotten and born at Threap Wood an extra parochial Place it was with Difficulty we were able to get his Christian name. It is a Quere whether we are right or not as the whole Scheme was conducted with the utmost closeness and Fidelity by the Confidents. R. W.

End of 1797
Memorandum 1797
Be it remembered that on the ninth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety seven the Reverend Walthall Gretton, Clerk, Master of Arts, Minister of Burleydam and Master of the Grammar School of Audlem was inducted into the Vicarage and Parish Church of Audlem this parish, vacant by the death of Samuel Lea, Clerk, the last incumbent by George Taylor, clerk, Curate of Wrenbury
In the presence of us
James Bayley Curate of Audlem,
Thomas Jackson Samuel Wooldoich, churchwardens
William Sadler Samuel Shuker, sidesmen,
John Nickson [of] Butterley Hay in the parish of Audlem
Edward James of Rayels Green in this parish of Audlem”

In margin besides burial entry 1860/12/30 “No. in 1860 - 55” In margin besides burial entry 1861/11/29 “No. in 1861 - 60”

Clergy (to 1830)


1599-1631 Thomas Hawar [Hardware. Ormerod says instituted 1582.] (Was he still vicar when his wife was buried in 1638?)
1654 Mr Gabriel Smith pastor of Audlem present at marriages
1682-1690 Thomas Cole [Ormerod has 1677]
1694 John Oliver
1718-1747 William Wickestead (but note in 1731 BT says “our vicar is dead”) [Ormerod has 1716. He gives a William Wickstede, BA as vicar from 1743]
1733-1743 Samuell Jenkes [Ormerod has 1731]
1754/05/12-1784 Samuel Lea, MA [Ormerod has 1752. Noted by transcriber as not officiating at marriages from 1772]
1797 Walthall Gretton inducted as vicar
1819 William Cotton [Ormerod has 1802, and dates his successor from 1836].


1712-1713 Wm Evans (1718 minister and Master of the Free Grammar School at Audlem)
1741-1743 Wm Cote
1767-1778 H. Salmon, minister and Master of the Free Grammar School at Audlem
1770-1773 Edward Hughes, AB
1773-1778 David Foulkes (ob. 1778)
1778-1781Thomas Roberts, called minister or curate
1781-1783 Robert Wynn
1783-1789 Edward Clark, MA
1789-1805 James Bayley
1791-1794 Walthall Gretton (vicar of Audlem 1797)
1792-1794 Joseph Slater, sub curate
1806- after 1830 Robert Brakespeare
1807-1813 William Cotton (minister of Burleydam, 1818; vicar of Audlem 1819).

Visiting clergy or assistant curates

1654-1656 Mr John Swan pastor of Baddiley present at marriages
1754-1784 Mathew Salmon, Thomas Page, T. Thorley, Joseph Brereton, John Fisher (curate of Woore), W. Moreton, Robert Hill (rector of Bolas), Thos Broughton, J. Pennington, David Lewes (1794-1795), Edward Heathcote (1796), Robert Brakespeare (1802), George Monk (1806), Wm Judgson (1813), Richard Parsons (1819), Thomas Hayton (1819), H. Ker (1821), Tho. Turner (1821), J. Latham curate of Baddiley (1821), Wm Cotton (1824), Wm Salmon (1824-5), Gilbert Vawdrey (1825- after 1830), R. L. Cotton (1826-7), Wm Kent 1827), John Evans (1829),

Parish register in 1656 and 1657 was Mr Hugh Hassall

Parish clerk 1774-1805/02/11 Jno Harding
Parish clerk 1795 Samuel Shuker
Parish Clerk 1809-1813 Richard Cooksey


1599 John Teler, Henry Elison, Thomas Pycstocke;
1600 Rychard Crewe, Rychard Browne, Nicolas Wilson;
1601 Jasper Rutter, Lawrans Fletcher, William Mason;
1601 Jasper Rutter, Lawrans Fletcher, William Mason;
1603 John Harrison, Robt Collye, William Morrye;
1603-1605 Thomas Chester, Robert Hyll, John Hassall;
1605-1607 Richard Massye, Edward Meliton, William Heyward;
1607 Rawffe Ordy, Robert Teler, Leonard Morry;
1608/04/11-1609 Robt Massye, John Vernon, Hommfry Dewwall;
1609-1610 William Teler, John White, William Gamull;
1611 Rychard Brosler, Rychard Poole, Arthure More;
1611 William Salmon, Owen Taykert, William Gamull;
1612 Thomas Pycstoke, Robt Sutton, Robt Pole;1614 William Boulton, Roger Twe, Nicolas Wilson;
1615 Thomas Starky, gent, Roger Twe;
1616 Francis Te??ert, John More;
1627 William Boulton, Richard Talor;
1628 William Webb, John Thomas;
1629 William Webb, John Smyth;
1630 Robert Massie, William Ridgeware;
1631 William Barnes, William Ridgwaie;
1648 William Whittingham, Richard [illegible];
1650 John Sparrow, Arthur [Bakelow?];
1712 Rich Cratchely and ? Evans;
1713 Hump Denwall, butcher, and Geo Hamnett;
1718 Rivch Tomkins, Thomas Betteley;
1731 Philip Morley, Joseph Claton;
1737 Mr Bayley, Mr Dutton;
1797 Thos Jackson, Samuel Wooldoich

Churchwardens’ accounts, not included in this database, survive from 1714.

Editorial contribution (not in PR)

The ancient parish of Audlem lies at the southern tip of the ancient county of Cheshire, bordering Shropshire. In Cheshire the contiguous ancient parishes were Acton and Wybunbury. The ancient parish comprised the townships of Audlem, Buerton, Hankelow, and Tittenley, part of the township of Dodcott cum Wilkesley (the other part being in the ancient parish of Acton), and part of the township of Newhall (the other part being in Wrenbury chapelry in Acton ancient parish). At the reconstitution in 1869 of the ecclesiastical parish of Burleydam, a part of Audlem ancient parish was transferred to the new parish.

The population of Audlem ancient parish can be estimated by the number of households in ecclesiastical ‘censuses’ of 1563 (127 households or families), c.1720 (253), and in 1778 (500 houses). (The following figures are complicated by the divided townships noted above). The sum of the households in the townships of the parish in the hearth tax of 1664 was 221. The population of the ancient parish in 1801 was 2,375 people, and 2,666 in 1871.

Previous transcriptions and monumental inscriptions

None known


Colin Phillips compiled these notes, using a digest, made with Susan George, of the information collected by transcribers and recorded with each transcription pad. Further information about the make-up of the register volumes came from the list in the Cheshire Record Office, which also provided some details of the evolution of the ancient parish.

The population estimates were gathered as follows 1563: The diocesan population returns for 1563 and 1603, ed. A.D. Dyer and D.M. Palliser (British Academy: records of social and economic history, new series, vol. 31, 2005), p. 81; count of households 1664: Public Record Office, Exchequer, E. 179/86/145 (on microfilm), hearth tax returns; c. 1720 F. Gastrell, Notitia Cestriensis, ed. F. R .Raines, vol. I (Chetham Society, old series, VIII, 1845), p. 206; and 1778: Cheshire RO, Diocese of Chester, EDV/7/1 (on microfilm). For 1801 and 1871 see VCH Cheshire, vol. II, p. 204.) Uncertainty over some incumbents was resolved with additional material from G. Ormerod, The History of the County Palatine of Chester, ed. T. Helsby (3 vols; London, 1882), III, p. 470. Further details on the evolution of the parish came from Guide to the local administrative units of England, Vol. II Northern England, ed. F.A. Youngs, Jr (1991), pp. 7, 12, 42, and VCH Cheshire, vol. II, p. 204. See the base map in A.D.M. Phillips and C.B. Phillips, A new historical atlas of Cheshire (Chester, 2001).

C.B. Phillips, 7 Aug 2008
BMD, May 2011
BMD, Jan 2012