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.

BIDSTON St. Oswald, 1679-1871


The earliest entries in the first surviving volume of the registers are burials for 1679. The volume contains baptisms (Ba) 1682-1760, marriages (Ma) 1682-1754, and burials (Bu) 1679-1761. The register is divided into three blocks of entries for each year (there are two blocks from 1754). There is a register of baptisms and burials from 1761 to 1812 which is similarly divided. Separate registers of marriages exist for 1754-1812, 1813-1836, and 1838-1896. Registers of BAs exist for 1813-1840, 1840-1862, and 1862-1943, and for burials for 1813-1857, and 1857-1898.

Register missing: 1581-1679. The existence of an earlier register(s) back to 1581 is indicated by bishops' transcripts (BTs) which cover some of these missing years. The earliest surviving register reports the existence in 1679 of the preceding volume, of unspecified date. By 1778 the churchwardens were reporting any volume(s) earlier than 1679 as lost. There are no marriages for 1687, and for 1837.

Register gaps/ misordering: After Bu 17550610 (Price) appear 7 entries out of date order.
Bu 17430330 (Wagg);
Bu 17430418 (Godwin);
Bu 17430515 (Hill);
Bu 17430525 (Bennet);
Bu 17430711 (Cook);
Bu 17431005 (Wharton);
Bu 17431103 (Hughes).
PR continues Bu 17550711 (Peacock).

Entries not in Parish Register but which appear in Bishop’s Transcripts: Bu 1711/08/18 (Leen) BT only
Bu 1711/08/29 (Whalley) BT only
Bu 1717/00/00 after 1717/06/26 (Rowlins) BT only
Ba 1727/04/29 (Dolbie) BT only
Ba 1727/07/23 (Roberts) BT only
Ba 1727/08/24 (Truman) BT only
Ba 1727/09/05 (Harrison) BT only
Ba 1727/11/30 (Piers) BT only
Ba 1727/12/24 (Gill) BT only
Ma 1727/07/25 (Caterow & Bennett) BT only
Ma 1727/12/26 (Briscoe & Janson) BT only
Ba 1728/01/05 (Rathborn) BT only
Ba 1728/02/02 (Wilson) BT only
Ba 1728/02/02 (Wilson) BT only
Ba 1728/02/13 (Harrison) BT only
Ba 1728/02/20 (Catarow) BT only
Ba 1728/03/05 (Wharton) BT only
Ma 1746/01/01 (Buckley & Jones) BT only
Bu 1746/09/03 (Newport) BT only
Ma 1749/02/26 (Dodd & Dawkins) BT only
Ma 1749/04/16 (Croxton & Jones) BT only
Ba 1754/03/06 (Harrison) BT only
Ba 1758/09/25 (Jones) BT only
Ba 1765/01/10 (Buckley) BT only
Ba 1767/10/13 (Wilson) BT only
Ba 1768/12/28 (Fieldhouse) BT only.

BTs lacking: 1582-87, 1589-95, [1596, see below], 1597-1604, 1606-611, 1613, 1616, 1620 baptisms obliterated or torn away, 1625-31, 1633, 1635, 1636 & 1637, 1640-65, 1667, 1669 marriages are torn away, 1672, 1674, 1677 & 1678, 1682,1686-87, 1689,1692 & l693, 1697, 1702, 1703, 1714, 1740, part of 1741, 1743-4, 1844, 1863-1871.

Omissions: BTs for 1596 survive as a scrap of a page only and there is no indication if the events are Baptisms or Burials. The surnames and dates, where legible (Zz for impossible letters), are:
1596/06/01 Zzasson; 1596/06/18 Wilcoke; 1596/07/20 Zzey; 1596/08/23 Zzade; 1596/09/08 Orniston; 1596/09/10 Goodikar; 1596/09/30 Hiccoke; 1596/12/07 Maddocke; 1596/12/07 Zzmson. There are two lists of BTs for 1671. Details from both lists are included but not duplicated.

Anomalous entries

Bu 1693/10/15 (Whiteside) "de Newbold" may be residence or part of surname but compare Bu 1695/05/23 Elizabeth wife of John Whiteside de Newbold de West Kirby parish.
Ba 1697/00/00 (Wilson) and subsequent dates. Birth date only given.
After Ba 1708/05/04 (Newbold) possible entry ‘William son of John ?Faines 1701.
Ba 1717/00/00 (Maddock) (after 1713/12/05 Penkett) appears to be a later insertion, with no month or year stated.
Bu 1717/07/21 (Price) No relationship given.
After Ba 1742/03/05 (Gill) ‘Ye last Register Bill Ended’.
Bu 1742/04/06 (Hughes) perhaps a duplication. It appears in Parish Register at end of one page and again at the beginning of the next section; but only once in BT.
Bu 1746/02/02 (Adams) possibly duplicated with next entry, but different dates.
Bu 1746/07/08 (Booth) entry in illiterate hand, possible duplication of Bu 17460218.
After Bu 1755/06/10 (Price) appear 7 entries out of date order. Bu 1743/03/30 (Wagg); Bu 1743/04/18 (Godwin); Bu 1743/05/15 (Hill); Bu 1743/05/25 (Bennet); Bu 1743/07/11 (Cook); Bu 1743/10/05 (Wharton); Bu 1743/11/03 (Hughes). PR continues Bu 1755/07/11 (Peacock).
Bu 1774/09/17 (Ley) has note ‘Omited in ye copy of Register’.
Ba 1775/07/29 (Dod) has note ‘This Baptism omitted in ye copy delivered into court’.
After Ma 1783/05/07 (White & Dalby) frequently only one witness given.
Ba 1836/01/07 (Medows) and 1836/03/13 (Meadows) both appear in the Register.
Bu 1842/11/08 (Wilson) date of death given as 1842/10/06.
Bu 1845/09/23 (Orford) surname may be Offord or Oxford.
Bu 1846/02/01 (Jackson) date of death given as 30th December.
Bu 1851/10/05 (Gorst) entered twice in Register with ‘entered above’.
Ba 1862/10/06 (Parkinson) and Ba 1862/10/11 (Parkinson) apparent duplication.

Clergy (to 1830)

1605 John Martins, curate
1621 & 1622 Evan Puerse, curate
1632 and 1639 Gabriel Bordman, curate
1681-1696 John Eaton
1696ff William Williams
1722-1729 John Barker
1730-1740 Richard Webb
1742 L Latham, Curate
1743 F Ellison, Curate
1744 Edward Parr
1746 John Crookhall
1747 John Hodson
1748 Robert Washington
1749-1774 William Hughes
1755 John Crookhall, Rector of Woodchurch
1774 Geo Smith
1774 Geo Briggs, Rector of Wallasey
1775-1792 Bryan King, Curate of Bidston
1778 Anthony Borrowdale of Bebington
1781-1812 Wm Shewell
1781 J Newton, Curate of West Kirby
1806 E Newton.


1622 John Parbolt & Henry Watte and Richard Bennett, Gylbert Blagburne, Thomas Handcocke, John Buereton;
1639 Richard Dean & William Rutter;
1666 John Rathbone & Thomas Gill;
1681 Richard Kitchen & Henry Williams;
1682 John Rathbone & James Anderton;
1683 Thomas Wilson & Thomas Harrison;
1684 John Rathbone & William Bennet;
1685 Samuel Sharp & Joseph Philips;
1686 Nicholas Tubman & George Martin;
1687 William Wilson & Thomas Kemp;
1689 John Upshon, William Leversage & John Wilson;
1690 John Wilcock & Henry Hancock;
1692 John Ackerton & Samuel Newbolt;
1693 Jacob Williamson & John Kemp;
1694 William Bennet & John Wilcock;
1695 John Sayers & Thomas Plummer;
1697 & l698ff William Bennet, John Wilcock, Richard Gill, Matt Wilson, Dan Wilson, Richard Wilson, Thomas Stanford;
1721 Joseph Nangreats & Henry Williamson;
1724 John Webster & Thomas Wilson;
1727 Ralph Bradbury & Henry Cook;
1729 John Rathbone & Obadiah Wilson;
1731 Thos Wharton & John Godwin;
1732 Thomas Wilson & Thos Standford ;
1734 Daniel Peacock & John Kelsal;
1736 Wm Wilson & John Urmson;
1737 Edward Morrisse & John Spencer;
1738 Jos Gill & Wm Meols;
1739 Jos Gill & Henry Williamson;
1747 Thos Hancock;
1761 Richard Harrison & Thomas Youds;
1762 George Meadow & John Dawson;
1763 Jno Dawson & Wm Spark;
1764 George Jebson & William Maddock;
1765 Edward Nuby & John Wharton;
1766 Wm Webster & SM Newbey;
1767 Wm Godwin & D Maddock;
Jno Wharton & Jno Hughes;
1769 William Webster & Edward Neubey. Also from BTs;
1770 John Godwin & Peter Maddock;
1771 Edward Nubey & George Meadow;
1772 John Upshone & George Jebson;
1773 William Spark & Robert Jepson;
1776 Randel Newby & Nathaniel Dawson;
1777 Thos Brandreth & Thos Newport;
1778 John Pendleton & Peter Dawson;
1780/81 William Spark & Henry Godwin;
1782/3 John Wharton & George Meadow;
1784 Nathaniel Dawson;
1785 Nathaniel Dawson & Randel Newby;
1786/7 Richard Harrison & William Wilson;
1788/89 Thomas Brandereath & John Youds;
1790 Peter Maddock & Peter Dawson;
1791 Peter Dawson;
1792-4 Thos Wharton & Henry Godwin;
1795/6 Nathaniel Dawson & John Pendelton;
1797 Nathaniel Dawson & Thos Meadows;
1798 Daniel Broster;
1799-1804 Nathaniel Dawson & Samuel Godwin;
1805/6 Wilkinson Webster & John Carter;
1807/8 Thos Wharton & Gilbert Urmson;
1809/10 John Dawson & William Maddock;
1811/2 John Wharton & Henry Meadows.


Volume 1 begins with an memorandum that interest on a bond from Thomas Rathbone to John Gill is to be distributed to the poor of the parish, 1682.

Memorandum of the purchase of a burial place by Samuell Sharp of Oxton, the purchase money being put out at interest for the use of the poor, 1682.

Memorandum March 21st 1697/98. It is agreed betwixt Matthew Wilson and Daniell Wilson with the Churchwardens of the said Parish and the Z(?) thereof that the Plase where the said Robt Wilson was intered and betwixt the Lords zzive and the Alter rales and so far downward as the alter rales goes shall be for a burial Place for that familie and none other to Burie these als and when any burial is the parish fees are to be Paid by the person that makes use of the Plase and in Consideration thereof the fee of five pounds yearlie to be Distruibuted amongst the Poore of the said Parish upon the third of March by the Churchwardens then in being according as it is ordered in the will of the Decesed Robt Wilson.

Witness our hands:Sam Sherzz, Richard Gill, Matt Wilson, Dan Wilson, Richard Wilson, Thomas Stanford, John Willtock, William Bennett.

The truth of what is written above is attested by
John Barker Minr; John Peacock & John Anderton, Churchwardens.
In presence of Thos Plumner, John Trueman, 1702.

Memorandum that ye Thomas Cooke above named paid ye sum of Five Pounds into ye hands of Richard Gill of Moreton upon ye 3rd of Aprill being good Friday after ye Poor had received ye Interest for ye same on [?zz Jzz p] them into ye same hands by John Peacock ye sum of one pound of ye Poor’s money in presence of ye Witnesses to ye above receited. John Baker, Minr; John Anderton, John Zz, Thomas Wilson.

The Eleven pounds above mentioned. Zz.

March 3rd 1705. Then Recd per me Thomas Wilson one of ye Church Wardens for ye Parish of Bidston from ye hands of Matthew Wilson and Daniel Wilson ye sum of five pounds in full of a Legacy left by their father Robert Wilson to ye Parish. In presence of John Barker, Mnr; John Trueman, Joseph Zz.

April 7th. The above written sum of [?ZZ] Thomas Wilson acknow ye Receit was paid in to ye hands of Church Wardens being Five Pounds in full of a Legacy left by Robert Wilson of rather in consideration of a B[?zz].

In presence of John Barker, Minr; John Trueman, John Urmson, Thomas Harison, Joseph Hill, Clerke. Sam [ZZ?] & Henry Smith, Church Wardens. Richard Gill & Thomas Wilson, Overseers.

After Ba 1742/03/05 (Gill) ‘Ye last Register Bill Ended’.

Bu 1774/09/17 (Ley) has note ‘Omited in ye copy of Register’
Ba 1775/07/29 (Dod) has note ‘This Baptism omitted in ye copy delivered into court’.

At the end of 1812.

Memorandum The vault or Burial Place in the tower of the Parish Church of Bidston bearing the name of Hon Sir Edward Cust was built at the sole cost & expense of the said Sir Edward for the exclusive use of himself and family for ever with the full permission of the Revd Joseph Gate the incumbent

In witness thereof the said Revd Joseph Gate hereunto subscribes his name this twenty third day of May 1846.

Entries in Margin. The following entries appear in the margin of the Register. Ba 1686/12/17 (Wilcock); Ba 1689/08/18 (Wilson); Ba 1690/12/29 (Wilson); Ba 1692/08/05 (Wilson); Ba 1694/07/10 (Corfe); Ba 1694/10/07 (Shaw); Ba 1699/11/10 (Wilson); Ba 1703/04/11 (Wilson).

BA 1703/09/05 (Corfe), after the entry: 9th October “Exp from the 18th May of Thos Davies Surveyor”.

BA 1821/06/17 (Williams) after this entry appears "The population of the Parish of Bidston according to a Census taken this year is 717’.

Editorial contribution (not in PR)

Bidston, in the rural, northern centre of the Wirral peninsula, was landlocked on three sides, but to the east Birkenhead was on the Mersey estuary. The ancient parish of Bidston comprised the townships of: Bidston cum Ford, Claughton with Grange, Moreton cum Lingham, and Saughall Massie; and the area described by some authorities as extra parochial and by others as the chapelry of Birkenhead. The chapelry of Birkenhead became the ecclesiastical parish of Birkenhead St Mary by 1738 (Youngs, p. 9, below), though there is a register from 1719 (Williams, p. 80, below). This parish itself was further divided by the creation of the ecclesiastical parishes of Holy Trinity in 1841, of St John in 1859, of St Anne in or by 1861 (cf Williams, p. 80, and Youngs, p. 9, below), of St Paul in 1862, of St Peter in 1868, and of St James in 1869. Moreton and Saughall Massie townships were united as the ecclesiastical parish of Moreton in 1864. Claughton Christ Church was built in 1854 or earlier, though Claughton did not become a separate ecclesiastical parish until after our period, in 1876. Even less certainly, in 1851 or by 1865 (cf Cheshire Record Office list, and Williams, pp. 81, 88, with Youngs, pp.30, 42, below), part of Claughton with Grange township may have gone into the new ecclesiastical parish of Oxton St Saviour. (Note that the commencement of registers (see Williams, pp. 80, 81, 85, 88 below) for some of these parishes pre-dates the foundation dates (see Youngs, pp. 9, 27, 30, 42, below) given here.) The ancient parish of Bidston was contiguous, clockwise from the north-east, with Wallasey, Bebington, Woodchurch, Overchurch, and West Kirby parishes.

The population of Bidston ancient parish can be estimated by the number of households in ecclesiastical ‘censuses’ of 1563 (64 households or families), c.1720 (93), and in 1778 (89), while the sum of the households in the townships of the parish in the hearth tax of 1664 was 90. The population of the ancient parish in 1801 was 684, reaching 1,014 in 1821 (cf. the figure of 717 noted after BA 8210617 (Williams)in the register). Thereafter Birkenhead grew rapidly, and the population of the ancient parish reached 45,901 in 1871; the census returns of 1841 and 1851 both drew attention to the proximity of the parish to Liverpool.

Previous transcriptions

F. Sanders and W. Ferguson Irvine, printed the BTs and PR down to 1694 in Wirral Notes and Queries, vol. 1 (1892), and there is a typescript index to this edition and to the parish register down to 1700, by C. Bratt, in the Cheshire Record Office. An indexed manuscript transcript from 1701 to 1760 is in the Ferguson Irvine collection in the Cheshire Record Office.

Monumental inscriptions

P.E. Turner's typescript list of Monumental Inscriptions for Bidston churchyard (1989) is available in the Cheshire Record Office, and contains some inscriptions from our period.


These notes were written by Jennifer Duncan from the information gathered by transcribers and recorded with each transcription pad. Colin Phillips added material on the description of the registers, and provided the editorial contribution. Further information about the make-up of the register volumes came from the list in the Cheshire Record Office. The population estimates were gathered as follows 1563: British Library, Harleian MS 594, ff. 97-102, 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); and 1778: Cheshire RO, Diocese of Chester, EDV/7/1 (on microfilm). For 1801 and 1871 see VCH Cheshire, vol. II, p. 206.) Details on the evolution of the parish came from C. Williams, Guide to the Cheshire Record Office ([Chester], 1991), and from Guide to the local administrative units of England, Vol. II Northern England, ed. F.A. Youngs, Jr (1991).

Special Note on CARR. Carr is an area of marshland in Bidston Parish.

C.B. Phillips, 4 Jun 2011
CBP, Sep 2006
BMD, May 2011
BMD, Jan 2012