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Jack Priestley’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from Jack’s as (1)

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NICHOLAS HOUGHTON of Padiham, near Burnley, was having children baptised from 1618. This gives him an anticipated birth date in the early 1590s. This makes it highly likely that his baptism is the following:

Baptism. St Leonard, Padiham.
1590 Jun 18  Nicholaus Howghton filius Willmi Howghton

 Nicholas was the fifth of seven children of William Houghton and Grace Whittaker. One of his sisters had died in infancy before he was born.

Nicholas’s father was a husbandman, with a small rented farm.

There are signs, both in his father’s will and his son’s, that the Houghtons were Calvinists, believing that some people were the ‘elect’, predestined to salvation from creation.


He must have married around 1617, but we have no record of the marriage or his wife’s name.


Six baptisms follow.
Baptisms. St Leonard, Padiham.
1618 Oct 11  Anna (Ann)
1620 Dec 10  Johannes (John)

There follow two burial for unnamed infants of Nicholas Houghton, on 10 Dec 1621 and 3 Apr 1623. These may be Ann and John, or babies born subsequently, who died at birth. The baptism later of another John makes it highly likely that one of the burials was for the first John.

1626 Aug 20  Isabella (Isabel)
1629 Apr 6  Johannis (John)


In 1629, Nicholas’s father died. Nicholas was left a third of his estate and was appointed executor of his father’s will. His older brothers, Robert and John, had died before this, but he shared the inheritance with his mother and his brother Thomas.

The baptisms continued.
1632 Apr 8  Nicholas
Nicholas junior was buried on 8 Dec 1634, aged one year and seven months.
1635 Jul 21  Margaretta (Margaret)

Nicholas lived to see the outbreak of the Civil War in 1642. He is one of two Houghtons in Padiham who took the oath in the 1641 Protestation Returns to defend the king and the Protestant religion.

Padiham was largely Parliamentarian in the Civil War. One of the commanders of the Parliamentarian army was Sir Richard Shuttleworth of Gawthorpe Hall, adjacent to Padiham. At the beginning of the century, Nicholas’s father had helped to carry stone for the building of the Hall.

At the outbreak of the war Richard Shuttleworth was appointed colonel commanding the Parliamentary army for the Blackburn Hundred. He summoned the local people to support him and trained them in the use of arms.

Richard Shuttleworth [1]                  


Gawthorpe Hall was saved from the Royalists when Captain Ashton and his men defeated them at the Battle of Read Bridge

Whether Nicholas, in his 50s, would have been called upon to fight is open to question. At 13, his son John was probably too young when war broke out, but may well have been recruited later on.


Nicholas died in 1649, the year of the execution of Charles I, after he lost the war.

Burial. St Leonard, Padiham.
1649 Dec 18  Nicholas Houghton of Padiham.
He was 59.


There is a possible death for his widow after the Restoration of the Monarchy.

Burial, St Leonard, Padiham
1667 May 18  Ann Hoghton wife of Nicholas Hoghton. Abode: Pendle.

We should treat this result with some caution. All the other records of Nicholas and his family give Padiham as their abode. In this case it is Pendle, the area around Pendle Hill. But she might have moved to live with one of her children as she grew older. At his death, their son John was living at Padiham Heights, separated from Pendle Hill by the Sabden valley.

If it right, then this is the first indication we have of the name of Nicholas’s wife. They named their first child Ann.


 [1] https://thumbnail.myheritageimages.com/796/121/296796121/500/500063_6274395be383na6mcl71c3_W_96x128C.jpg




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