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.

BUNBURY St Boniface, 1559-1871


BT Only: Because of the gap in registration in volume 3 of Bunbury parish register, a separate file of transcripts from the BTs for 1702 to 1726 is here coded under BUNA in the database.

Until the mid-eighteenth century the surviving register volumes are complex documents, as the notes below illustrate.

Volume 1 contains separate sequences of burials and marriages from 1559 to 1653, and of baptisms from 1598 to 1653. For 1610 to 1619 the register is very tightly bound making either ends of entries difficult to read, especially dates and residences. Between 1632 and 1638 the register of burials has been bound with pages in the order 1632, 1637, 1638, 1632/3, 1634, 1635, 1636.
At the back of the volume are notes of events of gentry families mostly from the register.

Volume 2 comprises separate sequences of entries for each event from 1653 to 1702, with two burial entries for 1716 and 1725.

[A copy register from May 1602 until March 1676 has not here been transcribed. There is a manuscript transcript of this copy register, by G. R. Axon, in the parish archive.]

Volume 3 begins with a sequence of baptisms from 1702 to 1706, with odd entries for Samuel Low 1718-1726 and John Brook 1724-1733, then baptisms from 1725 to 1751. Then comes a sequence of burials from 1702 to 1706 followed by one for 1712 and a note of the christenings of William Somers’s children 1712-1719, and Mr Bressie’s children 1716-1725. Next are listed events at Burdwardsley chapel from 1711 to 1751. Burials at Bunbury resume in 1725 and run to 1751. Then follow marriages from 1702-1706, and from 1725 to 1748.
[Because of the gap in registration in volume 3, a separate file of transcripts from the BTs for 1702 to 1726 is coded under BUNA in the database.]

Volume 4 has christenings and burials from 1751 to 1812 in separate sequences, and marriages from 1751 to 1765. Ninety-six baptismal entries for 1750 - 1754 appear after the entry for 1803/11/25.

There is a separate register of marriages from March 1754 to 1876, two volumes of burial registers cover 1813 to 1845 and 1846 to 1875, and there are volumes of baptismal registers from 1813.

Services were also performed at Burwardsley Chapel, and at Tilstone Fearnall, generally recorded in the Registers as Tilstone (or Tilston). Between 1817 and 1870 entries of ceremonies performed at Burwardsley Chapel are entered together out of date order at the end of the year and, from 1837 onwards similarly entered for Tilstone church, and for Calveley chapel from 1868. [Note that there are separate registers for Burwardsley Chapel from 1818, and for Tilstone Fearnall from 1838 which have not here been transcribed. Registers within the Bunbury parish archive for Calveley chapel begin in 1897]

Latin: Latin forenames are used in marriages up to 15 December 1591, then English.
Everything in Latin 1678 - 1683
1595-1649 Unbaptised children’s entries are in Latin with ‘Anonymous’ in Greek letters. In these entries, ‘Anonymous’ appears in AI. From 1650 (approx) entries with no forename are sometimes described as ‘sans name’, ‘sine nome’ or ‘without name’. (See also 1676/06/24, in Greek; BT has ‘without name’)

Dates: Old style dates to 1750.

BT lacking: All years lacking except 1588, perhaps 1589 (illegible), 1593?, 1600 (from Sept), 1605, 1608. From 1610, lacking 1612, 1613, 1619, 1625, 1627, no marriages recorded for 1628, 1634, 1635, 1640, 1642, 1644 -1657, 1660, 1661, 1669, 1686, 1690, 1693, 1700, 1717, 1720, 1723, 1724 and part of 1725, 1743, part of 1744, 1754-56.
1753, 1754 for Burwardsley.

Anomalous entries

Ba 1676/01/07 (Harpur) BT only
Ba 1676/01/07 (Dod) BT only
Ba 1676/01/13 (Downes) BT only
Ba 1676/02/08 (Robinson) BT only
Ba 1676/03/01 (Tomson) BT only
Ba 1676/03/09 (Kinsey) BT only
Ba 1676/03/14 (Smith) BT only
Ba 1680/02/24 (Simcoe) BT only
Ba 1680/02/24 (Price) BT only
Ba 1683/07/26 (Bickerton) BT only
Ba 1688/06/24 (Davison) BT only
Ba 1689/01/30 (Burghall) BT only

Bu 1588/09/10 (Ropp) BT only
Bu 1665/04/16 (Wilbraham) BT only
Bu 1677/06/08 (Walley) BT only

Ma 1668/10/27 (Yewd/Yewd) BT only
Ma 1748/09/29 (Crowfoot/Dod) BT only
Ma 1728/07/28 (Cocksey/Thomas) BT only
Ma 1757/05/31 (Griffiths/Johnson) BT only


Volume 1
1617/03/23 Ales the daughter of Margery Gilberte and the reputed daughter of John Spencer of Ranmoore at whose baptizinge John Marsh of Alpram, mason and Hughe Mayle of Bunbury with their heyres executors and administrators were bounde on a bonde of one hundred poundes to discharge the parishe from the maintenance of the sayde childe.

Folio 99 lists legacies to the poor of Bunbury.

A note dated 25 April 1600 on p.193 of register, ‘Register book since zzz 1559 faithfully collected out of such imperfect copye as has come down to the hands of John Tomkys minister of Bunbury’ signed by Raph Orton and Roge Wilkinson Church Wardens. The book conteynes 86 leaves of parchment
Constitutio Ecclesiastica de Registeris in synodo inchoata LOND 25.8.1597 39 Elizabetha’

On p. 196 Tho Aldersey Habardasher of London gave to the lecturer yearly 66. 13. 4
A Howse and the gleabe to it To the head schoolmr
To the usher
to the clerk of the church
Also he gave 10L to be distributed to the poore upon St Tho: day yearly
Nomina villae ... in Parochia de Bunbury
1. Alprkham al Alprham
2. Beston
3. Bonebury at Bunbury
4. Barsley al Borsley
5. Calveley
6. Haughton
7. Peckferton al Peckforton
8. Rydley
9. Spurstow
10. Talesten at Tylston
11. Tarton al Tarnton
12. Wardell al Wardal

On p. 196 1603 Jan. 24/25 Mar 1‘Angliae 29 July 37⁽ Scotiae

vide Bunbury Church book fol.68.

Legacyes to the poore
Jo Millington of Ryaly Green gave 30£ stock by his will 11 May 1613 Buried 1624
Sr Hu Beeston gave 200£ by his will 16 Jan 1626 to the poore of 6 townes within the Parish of Bunbury.
Mr G Spurstow Calveley Exec(utor?) but p’ved (proved?) noe will;
Mr Tho Savage of Beeston put in zzz Griffith his Butler to take the sozzz which he did, and was bound with suretys to pay the legacyes arising out of the zzz Buried 25 Feb 1626

In volume 1 at the end of year entry 1601/2 ‘The names of all such as have been baptised in the Parish Church of Bunbury from March 25th 1603 According to the copy of P Street’. This continues yearly until July 1607, where it reads, ‘Here endeth the Register of Philip Street faithfully taken out of the copie that he left. Per me Richardum Roe Minister of Bunbury.’
‘Here followeth a perfect Register of the names of all such as were Baptised in the Parish Church of Bunbury from the feast of St.James 1607 collected by me Richard Roe then appointed Minister of Bunbury with such care and faithfulness as that there is not any one name either wanting or misdated of those that were publiquely baptised in the Church.’

At the end of 1616 ‘Here endeth the register of Richard Oseley late minister of Bunbury as farre as I colde lerne(?) to any copy lefte or gathered after his departure’. Then comes ‘A perfect register of all that were baptised at the parish church of Bunbury since November 1 collected by mee John Swanne Minister thereof.’. Similar headings are to be found for all three events.

Baptism 1652/09/26 (Davenport) A note is added at the bottom of the page in a different hand: ‘Memo: That Samuell the sonne of George Davenport of Calveley Esq was baptised October the 18th 1652 (et?) in reference to the Registry at Wrexham zzzzzz’

Entries from November 1652 to April 1653 are substantially repeated ‘being a list of baptisms by Mr Daniel Sunderland (preacher in Bunbury) collected and gathered by Robert Smith, Clerke’

Volume 3 of the parish register opens ‘This register designed for the use of the Parish of Bunbury was bought in the year 1749, John Davies, Roger Perry, churchwardens. Rev Mr Samuel Lowe, senior, preacher, Rev Mr Samuel Lowe, junior, Assistant’. Then follows a list of contents with the note, ‘This Register very imperfect for a length of 18 years beteen 1706 & 1725’.
On p. 52, after 1706/09/11 (Tomlinson) the PR has a list of 17 excommunicated (one absolved).
Folio 40v, 5 July 1728, is a certificate of the measurement of land on the lower common in Burwardsley on which a school is to be erected.

Volume 4, Baptisms 1794/02/09 (Ardern) Marginal note: ‘This ‘James’ was the illegitimate son of James Windsor and Ann Ardern and the name is here altered from ‘Windsor’ to ‘Ardern’ upon the evidence of Peter Leeche the godfather that the name of Windsor was given by mistake instead of Ardern and which admission of evidence was made by the said Peter Leeche in my presence this 21st day of January 1841. The alteration of name was made accordingly by me, John Martin, Vicar’. BT gives the name as Windsor.

In volume 4, following the marriages entered in the register for Burlwardsley Chapel 1759 is, ‘NB The above entries made in the middle of a long register are sadly misplaced indeed; but so strictly shd everything of this sort be preserved, that I think it proper neither to obliterate nor remove them.
Apr:20 1802 (signed) W.W.

Register volume 4, sub date: ‘The Revd William Williams having been vicar or curate of this parish fifty one years and a half resigned at Christmas 1812’

Baptisms, 1834/01/12 (Ankers) Records a baptism at Nantwich 5 years previously.

1864/06/19 (Groucott) Contemporary note by this entry refers to record 1679 ‘1861/10/03 Henry son of Chas and Eliz Droucott platelayer of Bunbury’

Burials 1864/06/19 (Windsor) Contemporary note by this entry refers to record 1983 similarly

Burials 1864/06/19 (Nightingale) Contemporary note by this entry refers to record 2026 similarly

Marriage 1868/04/14 marginal note ‘ In entry nos 312 col 3 for Anne Bourne read ‘Anne Whittaker Bourne’ corrected on the 7th Feb 1869 by me William Lowe Vicar or curate in the presence of Richard Whittaker Bourne, Charles Lawton, Anne Whittaker Bourne’


The Haberdashers Guild in London appointed two ministers for Bunbury. The senior was called the Preacher and the second the Vicar (or minister).

Clergy (to 1830)

1588 Georgius Tatnall Vic de Bunburye (on BT)
1583-1594 Joem Swanne
1595-1601(decd) John Tomkys Minister
1601-1607 Philip Street Minister
1602 William Hynde Preacher
1607-1612 Richard Roe Minister
1613 to 3 November 1616 Richard Oseley
1616-1653 John Swanne
1633-1640 Samuell Torshell Preacher
1656-1662 John Wallwork Minister
1663-1678 Rich Nickson Clearke
1664 Charles Bagnold Curate
1669-1675 John Latham Curate
1681 John Latham Vicar
1684 Richard Orme Curate
1685-1688 John Dicken Curate
1689-1701 John Porter Curate (Assistant from 1695)
1713-1727 Wm Briscall Assistant
1715 Mr Holland (from child’s bap)
1718-1725 S.A. Lowe
1726 G Polsey
1727-1729 Thos Radenhurst Vicar
1749 Samuel Lowe, senior, Preacher
1749-1754 Sam Lowe Junr Reader then Curate, Assistant in 1749
1762-1812 William Williams Curate or Vicar (see oddities December 1812)
1763 H. Williams
1808-1847 John Egerton Preacher
1813-1860 John Martin Vicar
1813-1816 Roger Jacson Curate of Burwardsley Chapel
1817-1820 R. Kenney Minister at Burwardsley Chapel.

N.B. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries many other clergy signed as ‘Officiating Minister’, but these are presumed to be locums, not curates, and are not listed.


1599 Radulphus Orton, Rogerus Wylkinson;
1601 Ed Gregorie, Johes Stockton;
1609 Hugo Burghall, Thomas Orton;
1610 Guilielmus Wilson, Guilielmus Robinson;
1611 Guilielmus Bulckley;
1612 Jacobus Trevis;
1613 Thomas Robins, Hugo zzzz;
1617 zzz Buckley, John Craven;
1618 George Davenport, Robert Hinton;
1619 John Moores, Rondul Sheene;
1620 Richard Simco, Willm Syme;
1621 John Kettelle, Thos Barnett;
1622 Thomas Dickinsone, John Garnett (?);
1623 Gilbert Symkin, Thomas Leverpoole;
1624 Richard Okes, Thomas Cappur;
1625 George Walley, James Palin;
1626 John Freyer, Ralph Lowe;
1627 William Turzzz, Arthur Bostock;
1628 Ralph Tattnell, Willm Hilton;
1629 Richard Hockenhull, John Huxley;
1630 Humfry Allmo, Richard Brocke;
1631 Edw Gregorie, Jo Baylie;1632 Richard Vernon, John Jeffes;
1633 John Leverpoole, William Hall;
1634 James Lerpoole, Robt Joynes;
1635 James Burroughes, John Cherington;
1637 William Hardinge, Hugh Smith;
1637 Richard Woodward, John Billington;
1638 Richard Smith, William Baker ;
1639 John Huxley, Willm Bebbington;
1640 John Rowland, John Povall;
1641 Thomas Thropp, Richard Moulton;
1642 John Mores, Thomas Sympson;
1643/4 John Mourr (Moores);
1647 Nicholis zzzz, Phillip Buckley;
1648 Thomas Gardner, Richard Smith;
1649 Nicholas Clarke, William Buckly;
1650/1 John Garnett, William Okes;
1652/3 Arthur Ashton, John Burton;
1662 Matth Craven, George Branlshaw;
1663 Thomas Dentith, Randall Buckley ;
1664 William Simcoe, William Palin, Charles Bagnal clearke;
1668 Thomas Eaton, Lancelot Betteley, Richard Nickson clearke 1670 Joseph Kettell, Hugh Wade;
1671 Will Walklete, William Bradshaw;
1672 John Rowlands, John Garnett;
1673 George Bickerton, Will Finchett;
1674 John Hough, Samuell Bostock,Rich Nickson clerk;
1675 John Hough, John Fenna, Rich Nickson clerk;
1676 Arthur Cappar, Randle Huntt, Rich Nickson clerk;
1678 Thos Arrowsmith, John Garnitt;
1679 Sam Dod, Edw Low;
1680 John Hankinson, William Sumner;
1681 Rich Hodge, Will Hocknell;
1682 Tho Huxley, Robt Brooke;
1683 Thomas Arrowsmith, Richard Woodfin;
1684 Urian Crew, John Craven;
1685,1686 Joseph Eaton, Rich Craven;
1687- 1689 Richard Stockton, James Barratt;
1690 Richard Smith, Richard Reddrop;
1690 Tho Stacie, Tho Wilbraham;
1691 John Fenna, Thomas Dod;
1693 John Gardner, Thomas Vernon;
1694 Urian Orton, John Sheene;
1695 Robrt Sumner, John Sheene;
1696 John Hewson (or Joshua Horton?), Peter Young;
1697 Thomas Rowland, Caleb Hurst;
1698 William Okes, William Hix;
1699 George Harding, George Dutton;
1700 William Birch, Randle Burroughs;
1701 zzzz Done, zzzzSmyth;
1702John Burtin, Richard Coddington;
1703 Charles Booth, Joseph Bennett;
1704 Tho Lander, Rich Harrard;
1706 Hugh Burghall, Richard Copley;
1707 John Moores, John Crewe;
1708 Richard Walton, Thomas Dentith;
1709 James Rawland, William Sumner;
1710 Thomas Burroughs, Richard Craven;
1711 John Dun, John Dutton;
1712 Richard Hatton, Thomas Garnett;
1713 John Comberbach, William Somner;
1714 John Downes, Tho Hitchcock;
1715 Tho Brescie, Tho Alcock;
1716 Thomas Craven, Sam Hodgkiss;
1718 Willm Fenna, Saml Harrison;1719 Daniel Craven, Willm Newark;
1721 John Kinsey, Richard Harding;
1722 Philip Treven, Tim Whittingham;
1725 Thomas Jones, John Edge, Parish Clerk Danll Jackson;
1726 Tho Lewis, John Downes, Danll Jackson Parish Clerk;
1727 (JohnJackson) John Gardner, Richard Simpson;
1728 Wm Vickers, John Wright;
1729 Robt Garden, George Smith;
1750 Thomas Challinor, Richard Owen;
1751 Samuel Hurlbutt, Samuel Harrison;
1752 W Hockenhull;
1773 Thomas Walton, Mattw Deakin;
1774 Mattw Deakin, John Furnifal;
1775 Robert Done, Joseph Dutton;
1776 John Arrowsmith, John Walton;
1843 William Greenway, John Pownall;
1844 John Billington, James Vickers;
1845 George Bullington, E.Davenport;
1863 Edw Davenport, Saml Singleton.

[Volumes of church wardens’ accounts from 1655 to 1887 have not here been transcribed.]

Editorial Notes (not in PR)

Bunbury is a large ancient parish in central Cheshire. The contiguous ancient parishes were, clockwise from the north, Tarporley, Over, Acton with detached parts of Baddiley, Malpas, Harthill extra parochial area, Malpas again, Tattenhall, Waverton, Tarvin, and Iddinshall (a detached part of Chester St. Oswald). The ancient parish comprised the chapelries of Burwardsley and Tilston Fearnall, and the townships of Alpraham, Beeston, Bunbury, Calveley, Haughton, Peckforton, Ridley, Spurtsow, Tiverton, and Wardle. Burwardsley chapel was built in 1737 and it became an ecclesiastical parish in 1767. Tilstone Fearnall was created a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1837. There was a chapel of ease at Calverley in 1838.

The population of Bunbury ancient parish can be estimated by the number of households in ecclesiastical ‘censuses’ of 1563 (205 households or families), c.1720 (440), and in 1778 (632 houses). The sum of the households in the parish in the hearth tax of 1664 was 385. The population of the ancient parish in 1801 was 3,073 people, and 4,631 in 1871.

Previous transcriptions and monumental inscriptions

Typescript transcript by John Elsworth, dated 2000, in Cheshire RO


Colin Phillips compiled these notes using a digest, made by 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 register themselves and 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. 216; and 1778: Cheshire RO, Diocese of Chester, EDV/7/1 (on microfilm). For 1801 and 1871 see VCH Cheshire, vol. II, p. 209.) 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), p. 12. See the base map in A.D.M. Phillips and C.B. Phillips, A new historical atlas of Cheshire (Chester, 2002).

C.B. Phillips, 5 Aug 2009
BMD, May 2009
BMD, Jan 2012