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.

LYMM St. Mary, 1568-1871


The early register comprises sequences of entries for each of the three vital events, divided into years. This persists up to 1754, followed by christenings and burials only to 1758. From 1754 there is a separate marriage register, while from 1758 baptisms and burials continue in one volume until 1812. From 1813 each event has its own register. Up to 1801, a curate and the churchwardens sign at the foot of most pages of the Register.

Baptisms 1573 missing from baptisms. A note ‘Births of children sett down according to Act of Parlement with the Parish of Lyme in the year 1653’, witnessed the start of the republic’s legislation. Between 1699 and about 1708 several entries are interlined and so out of date order. BTs and register for 1870 and 1871 are confused: apparently years were transposed. The Rector tried to explain this at end of baptismal entries.

Old style dates to new register 1754. The heading ‘Marriages sett down on the Register according to the Act of Parliament in the year 1653’ signalled the start of secular marriage records. The register is confused by interlinings but 1698 BT states “Weddings - there hath been none”. After the entry dated 1783/10/08 “An Additional Duty of three pence each Marriage imposed by Act of Parliament. From 1832/02/09 a new Parish Register format provided space for consent. The usual formula for consent whether by banns or licence is “with consent of” (printed) and “parties” written in.

There are no entries for 1575. Apparently ‘new-style’ dates until 1600. Old-style calendar in use. A large number of entries from earliest registers express doubt about paternity by saying ‘reputed father’ or ‘reputed son’ but with no other indication of illegitimacy.

BTs missing
The record of BTs examined was not transferred from the transcription pads. The record office lists BTs present for 1600, 1610, 1613, 1617-8, 1621-5, 1627-33, 1636-41, 1658-60, 1663, 1665-6, 1668-76, 1680-2, 1684-5, 1690-1703, 1706-39, 1741-50, 1752-1880 ( but presumably no marriages after 1837). BTs and register for 1870 and 1871 are confused: apparently years were transposed. The Rector tried to explain this at end of baptismal entries.

Anomalous entries

Ba 1609/06/10 (Rowlynson) entered on an otherwise empty page of register, out of date order.
Ba 1610/12/26 (Gardnar) BT only.
Ba 1610/12/26 (DomZZZt) BT only
Ba 1610/12/26 (Yowett) BT only
Ba 1643/04/09 (Jackson) Henry daughter of (sic)
Ba 1650/03/19 (Warburton) William daughter of (sic)
Ba 1655/03/31 (Percival) ‘de chamber’ after ‘John Percival’. Meaning unclear.
Ba 1655/09/19 (Percival) ‘charmr’ after James Percival
Ba 1677/02/02 (Ditchfild) Added at a later date in a different hand
Ba 1667/11/23 (Peacock) May be a duplicate of 1667/11/20
Ba 1680/07/17, 1681/09/06 (Leigh) Walnut Tree. May be a place (or Inn?).
Ba 1683/11/22, 1690/09/07 (Leigh) Walnuttree follows name without ‘of’ but may be a place (or occupation).
Ba 1688/09/16 PR blank save for date
Ba 1702/02/24 PR gives only Fa’s name ‘reputed son’:BT only Mo’s name (Anderton).
Ba 1719/09/29 (Mille) ‘Unpiad’ at end of line. Presumably ‘unpaid’.
Ba 1718/02/07 (Webster) ‘unpead’ at end of line. Presumably ‘unpaid’
Ba 1721/05/18 (Mills) ‘unpead’ at end of line. Presumably ‘unpaid’.
Ba 1712/10/12 (Leigh) Mary dtr of Black James; Leigh is added in a different hand.
Ba 1713/04/07 (Booth) ‘Received into ye congregation Apr 7th’ (Private baptism. On 1713/03/04)
Ba 1714/12/01 (Percyvall) ‘Received into ye congregation of Christ’s flock Dec ye 12’.
Ba 1722/01/17 (Cross) BT only
Ba 1729/11/11 ‘Born John & Nathan sons of George Baker and baptized 16 November and their (mother Mary) lay dead upon the bier at the same time two twins from the Chamber house in Cratchley Lane (See earlier refs ‘de chamber’?)
Ba 1843/05/07 (Hilton) Entry crossed out. Margin note reds ‘Joseph was not the son of James & Ellen Crosby, publican of Lymm but of Ellen Hilton and illegitimate’.
Ba 1844/02/19 (Collins) ‘P’ in margin may mean ‘pauper’
Ba 1844/02/21 (Holt) ‘P’ in margin may mean ‘pauper’
Ba 1844/02/22 (Rowlinson) ‘P’ in margin may mean ‘pauper’
Ba 1844/10/06 (Fearnett) Below entry ‘Entered in preceding page’ signed Bertie E Johnson (Previous entry 1844/09/21)
Ba 1848/10/01 (Kelsal) Margin note ‘9 years of age last 30 December’
Ba 1849/05/06 (Guest) M March 1849’

Ma 1702/11/13 Only the date and groom’s name appear in the register. Burial?
Ma 1837/09/28 (Forrest) Entry repeated in new PR book
Ma 1837/10/01 (Hephard) Entry repeated in new PR book
Ma 1865/02/23 (Fildes) Groom’s father’s fname appears as ‘Maria’
Ma 1865/02/28 (Dixon) Bride’s father’s fname appears as ‘Ann’

Bu 1581/04/09 Jane & Gilbert Leigh in same entry. Twins?
1686/04/09 Twoe children of Ric Percevall (no other details)
Bu 1610/04/12 (Parsivall) BT entry only
Bu 1610/04/13 (Tysyng) BT entry only
Bu 1610/08/29 (Stockley) BT entry only
Bu 1610/12/02 (Mosse) BT entry only
Bu 1789/04/12 John & Ann Powell twins recorded in one entry.
Bu 1798/01/12 (Malone) She was murdered by John Thornhill (by whom she was with child) & thrown into the Mill Dam. Body was found on 8th. Thornhill committed to Chester Castle on a strong Suspicion. Arraigned on 20th of April and after a trial of 14 hours was convicted upon the strongest presumptive Evidence. Executed on the 23rd. When at the gallows & not til then he acknowledged himself guilty. He was Servant to Revd Mr. Archdeacon Leigh, Rector of Lymme.

Clergy to 1830

1612 Ro Hatton Rector
1664-1679 Tho: Bradshaw Rector
1709 Samuell Holme and James Tomson Rectr
Edward Sedgweike and Robart Baxtar Cuarets
1724-1730 John Spencer (?)
1731-2 Thos Spencer Curate
1742-3 Thos Spencer Minister
1754-60 W. Bissell Curate
1758- Timo Fetherstonhaugh Rector
1760-65 J. Downes Curate
1766 Hugh Henchman Curate
1765- Nath. North Curate
1769 Egerton Leigh rector
J Hartley Curate
1770-1772 Robt Lancaster Curate
1773-1789 Thomas Foster Curate
1790-1805 Will: Hockenhull Curate
1805 Will Molineux
1813-16 George Heron Rector
1807?-1825 Peter Leigh Rector
1814 Isaac Bede Curate of W
1815 R. Fletcher Curate of Daresbury
1822- Jos Brindle Curate of Thelwall
1822 Edd Lloyd Curate of Warburton
1825-1841 Bertie E. Johnson Rector.


1612 John Leigh, Jo Percyfall;
1665 Thomas Bradburne, Gilbert Steele;
1673 Peter Rowlinson, John Prince;
1679 Rich Steele;
1680 James Renshall, Thomas Blackburne;
1724 John Bradbury, John Blackburn;
1730 ? Rowson, John Bradbury;
1731 James Blackbourne, Thos Leigh;
1742 John Bradbury, Richard ?;
1743 William Ellam, James Royle;
1746 Tho. Beconsall, Wm Warburton;
1747 Thomas Beconsall, Wm Reddish;
1749 Rob South Esq, John Heyes;
1750 R. Rowlinson, Thos. Warburton;
Jan 1752 John Gilberts, William Reddish;
Dec 1752 John Leigh, Hugh Hoult;
1754 George Grantham, Thomas Leigh;
1755 John Ditchfield, Joseph Baguley;
1756 Peter Wright, Richd Rowlinson;
1757 William Leigh, Thomas Rowlinson;
1758 John Ditchfield, William Allen;
1759 John Ditchfield, Bengman Moston;
1760-63 Thomas Gandey, Bengman Moston;
1763 Jo Rowlinson, Jo Albiston;
1765-68 Thomas Bradbury, Hugh Routh;
1769 (Jan) Thomas Bradbury, Joseph Gatlive;
1769 (Dec) Joseph Gatlive, John Ashley;
1770 Joseph Gatlive, William Leigh;
1771 Thomas Bradbury, William Leigh;
1772 John Percival, Enoch Johnson;
1773-4 John Eaton, James Heyes;
1775 Nathan ?, John Warburton;
1775 (Dec) John Cross, William Beack..?;
1777 Thomas Knowles, James? Royle;
1777 (Sept)-78 Philip Mostyn, Zachariah Faulkner?;
1779 James? Massey, John Lawson;
1782 Thomas Hill, Richard Meadows;
1790 Richd Warburton, James Percival;
1790 (Sept) Joseph Davenport (or Devonport?);
1791-2 Henry Hardy, Joseph Blinston;
1793 John Sharp (or Tharp?), Thos Harrison;
1794-5 Mathew Knowles John Southern;
1795-7 Wm Plearmett, Jas Chorley;
1798 Thomas Harrison, John Hardy;
1798-9 Thjomas Harrison, John Ashley;
1799 Wm Warburton, Thos Fearnell (his mark);
1800-1 Peter Lawton, Thos Forster;
1802 Richard Chad, Richard Gibson


“A true and perfect Register for the Pish Church of Lymm Bought by Tho: Prince and Matthew Bruch Church Wardens 1708. Cost 15d
What strang Ministers have preche Mr. Horobin for Mr Spencer January ye 13 ye 20 Mer Barrot for Mr. Timpson

1709 Berths and Cristenings sett down According to Acts of Parlement Samuell Holme and James Tomson Rectors: Edward Sedgworth and Robt Baxter Cuarets

1728/01/14 there is a note: “Note. In ye year 1727 were buried at Lim Church 87 and that 18 were buried elsewhere which makes 105”.
Oct 1st 1794 The Duty upon Burials etc imposed by Government in 1783 ceases on this Day.
1797/05/03 followed by the word “Visitation”

Entry dated 1839/03/31 Peter Porter & Mary Lythgo - as it was discovered that neither of the parties had resided in the Parish, marriage was refused.

Editorial contribution (not in the Parish register)

The ancient parish of Lymm lay roughly in the centre of the northern edge of the county of Cheshire, where it was bounded to the north by the River Mersey. The contiguous ancient parishes in Cheshire were, clockwise from the north, Warburton, Bowdon, Rostherne, Great Budworth, Grappenhall, and the chapelry of Thelwall, a detached part of Runcorn ancient parish. Lymm ancient parish comprised only the township of Lymm. In our period to 1871 no new ecclesiastical parishes were created from Lymm ancient parish, though the division between Lymm and Warburton was only determined in 1869. The rectory of Lymm was anciently divided into two, so that there were two rectors (eg see 1709 under Clergy above), one officiating one Sunday, the other the next Sunday.

The population of Lymm ancient parish can be estimated by the number of households in the ecclesiastical ‘censuses’ of 1563 (595 households); and suspiciously similar numbers of 160 families in c.1720 and in 1778 160 houses. The sum of the households in the parish in the hearth tax of 1664 was 183. The 1563 figure seems so high as to be a count either of the total population, or of the number of communicants. The population of the ancient parish in 1801 was 1,622 people, and 4,541 in 1871.

Previous transcripts

W.P.W. Phillimore and L. Choice, eds, Lymm marriages 1568-1812, Cheshire parish registers, vol. 1 (Phillimore’s parish register series, vol. 111, 1909).

Monumental inscriptions

W.J. McEntire, et al., Typescript of Monumental inscriptions: Lymm, Cheshire, England’, (Utah, U.S.A., 1947). (Copy in Cheshire RO.)

Lymm and District Local History Society, The monumental inscriptions of St Mary’s Parish Church, Lymm, c.1630-1990 (Lymm, 1990)


Colin Phillips compiled these notes, using Susan George’s digest 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. 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. 82; 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. 220.) See also the base map in A.D.M. Phillips and C.B. Phillips, A new historical atlas of Cheshire (Chester, 2001). G. Ormerod, The history of the county palatine and city of Chester, ed. T. Helsby (2nd edn, 1882), I, p. 577, explains the presence of the two rectors. For Warburton’s relationship with Lymm see Guide to the local administrative units of England, Vol. II Northern England, ed. F.A. Youngs, Jr (1991), pp. 25, 40.

C.B. Phillips, 4 Jun 2007
BMD, May 2011
BMD, Jan 2012