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.

HESWALL St Peter, 1539-1871


Mixed Entries: Two mixed volumes (1: Ma 1539-1729, Bu 1558-1729, Ba 1559-1729; 2: 1729-Ma 1754, Ba 1770, Bu 1771); one volume (Ba/Bu 1771-1812); separate volumes (period of transcription only), two Ba 1813-1881, three Ma 1754-1923, two Bu 1813-1911. At beginning of marriage register long statement largely in Latin of ‘this tyme’, 1599, the earlier entries copied from a previous, non-extant register.

1720s-1754 all entries and 1754-1812 Ba and Bu entries in inserted manuscript columns.

Register misordering/gaps: Gap 1680-1703, also later year gaps, partly filled by BT. Some misordering where gaps filled in later. 1717 explanation of passing over ‘blotched page’.

BT lacking (CRO list): Before 1586, 1587-1598, 1600, 1602-1603, 1606-1607, 1611-1614, 1616-1618, 1620, 1623-1635, 1637, 1639-1665, 1667, 1670-1671, 1678, 1686, 1687, 1689, 1694, 1699, 1701-1702, 1705, 1708, 1773, 1780, 1804, 1840-1871

Latin: Regularly in 1690s; before, and after up to the mid eighteenth century, periods of occasional or regular use, mainly for forenames.

Anomalous entries

Ba 1616/00/00 four entries largely illegible
Ba birthdate 1652/02/02 (Blegg) ‘Birth’ crossed out, ‘baptized’ in pencil
Ba birthdate 1657/03/15 (Rose) ‘Birth’ crossed out, ‘baptized’ in pencil
Ba 1662/02/18 note that child buried with mother (but no child burial recorded)
end of 1703 in different writing ‘Exd. Thomas Davies Surveyor’
after Bu 1706/06/02 in different writing ‘Ed. H.Lockwood’
Bu 1678/10/03 (Fowler) first of regular affidavits re burial in wool, and occasional complaint of lacking
Ma 1782/03/17 lacks signatures of the couple and witnesses
Ba 1820s-1840s several apparently duplicated entries
Ba 1848/08/13 marginal note ‘Mistake in name of father of the child corrected by me the 17th day of June 1860, in presence of the parents. M. Coxe Rector’
Bu 1857/11/22 The age 25 over-written 24 or vice-versa; similarly the age 57/47.
Ba c.1860 Rector occasionally notes linkage between members of the same family, using the printed entry numbers in the register, not transcribed here.
Ba 1864/11/13 in margin ‘2 years old’
Ba 1868/01/15 in margin ‘3 years old Jan 15 64 [? date difficult to read] being sick’
Ba 1863/04/03 written across entry ‘Error same as no. 234 M.C.’ referring to 1862/12/28, the forenames being now given as Joseph Thomas

Clergy and Churchwardens

Clergy A list of rectors is in print, see below. The list below is of curates, up to 1812, as noted.

1715 Thomas Aston
1762-3 Wm Jon (Temporary)
1763-6 Evan Humphrys
1767 Wm Davies
1782-4 Samuel Steele
1796-1801 Jas Greenwood
1802 John H. Humphrys
1801-11 Peter Wilson
1805-8 James Mitchell
1807-12 George Thompson.

1754 Joseph Pemberton, Bennet Green;
1755 Joseph Pemberton, William Cook (mark);
1756 Saml Hoole, Thos Wilkinson;
1757 Sml Hoole, Josiah Bennett;
1758 Samuel Hancock, Ralph Grang;
1759 Samuel Hancock, John Gooley;
1760 Thomas Pemberton, Edward Goose (mark);
1761 Thomas Pemberton, Robert Gall;
1762 Thomas Wilkinson, Ralph Grang;
1763-6 Arthur Strother, Roger Canworth;
1768 Elais Watt, Edward Roberts (mark);
1770 Robert Crabb, ? Pemberton;
1771 Robert Gill, Henry Chatterton (mark);
1772 Thos Wilkinson, Robert Crabb;
1774 John Adshead, James Goore;
1775 John Bennet, Edd Davies (mark);
1776 Wm Bythell, Thos Young;
1777 Wm Bythell, A Strother;
1778 Robert Jones, Edward Gore;
1779 Thos Wilkinson, Robert Crabb;
1782 Arthur Strother;
1783 Thos Wilkinson, Thos Johnson;
1784 Thos Wilkinson, Richard Davies;
1788 Wm Lawton, Thos Wilkinson;
1789 William Harrison, Arthur Strother;
1790 Booth Price, Rbt Norris;
1791 Thos Wilkinson, William Stannestreet;
1792 Willism Crabb, Henry Totty;
1793 Thos Wilkinson, Booth Price;
1794 William Edwards, Jas Evans;
1795-6 Geo Jackson (mark), Simon Voice;
1797 Arthur Strother, Henry Totty;
1798 William Price, Charles Jackson;
1799 Arthur Strother, James Evans (mark);
1800 William Crabb, John Hough;
1801 William Strother, Thomas Price;
1802 William Price, William Crabb;
1803 Henry Hancock;
1805 Thomas Price, Thomas Hough;
1806 Wm Ainsworth, Robt Crabb;
1807 William Strother, James Evens;
1808 Wm Lawton jnr, Henery Hancock;
1809 Thomas Strother, Jopseph Spencer;
1810 Thos Hough, John Edwards;
1811 Wm Strother, Henry Hancock;
1812 Wm Strother, J?? Evens


On last page of first volume, ‘A note of all briefs collected ... from 1629’, with details

Bu 1661/02/19 note of admission to rectory of Thomas Trafford

1709-1729 almost annual sending of register to Chester, in 1709 on day of Primary Visitation of bishop Sir Wm. Daws

Ba 1715/12/01 1716 ‘Primary Visitation of Dr. Gastrell, Ld. Bishop of Chester’

Bu 1763/06/25 note of induction of John Radenhurst by ‘Mr Griffith Gardner Curate’

Bu 1783/10/01 ‘The New Act commenced’

Ma 1823/01/27 (Warren/Davies) semi-illegible at foot of page ‘I certify the above signatures to have been given to me by Rev. P. Wilson having been signed on a separate paper during my absence. B. Penny (Rector)’

Ma 1824/01/15 (Smallwood/Whitford) added ‘Copy. I certify the above to have been [illegible] me signed on the back of the licence [illegible] the register having been locked up when Mr Fish married the parties in my absence. B. Penny Rector’

Bu end of 1827 ‘This year 1827 a well was sunk and compleated in the village for the use of the Public, at the expense of the Rector’

Editorial contribution

Heswall is in the Wirral, on River Dee, the parish church (St Peter, rebuilt 1879) at OS 265812. Contiguous parishes are to north Thurstaston, to south Neston, to east Barnston. The parish has not changed its size. No chapel until 20th century.

Small rural and riverain population until later nineteenth century when it became a dormitory town of Liverpool: Population: 1563-1778 c.200-300 (deduced from hearth tax and ecclesiastical census returns, 1563 44, 1664 56, c.1720 65, 1778 40), census 1801 422, 1901 2,347. The benefice (in private patronage of Bromley-Davenports, a Cheshire family) supported rectors. Churchwardens’ accounts only from 1778.

Previous transcript

T.H. May, The Registers of the Baptisms, Marriages and Burials in the Parish of |Heswall. From their Commencement to the year 1729 ..., 1896 (with list of rectors); extracts in K. Lee, St. Peter’s Church ... Short History (with list of rectors), [1969], revised [?1980].

P.H. Hair, 10 April 2003
BMD, September 2009
BMD, May 2011
BMD, Jan 2012