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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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JOSEPH STANWORTH married in Colne in 1609 and brought up his family there. He was probably born there in the early 1580s, but the Colne registers only go back to 1599.

In the early 1600s there are marriages for several Stanworths, who may be Joseph’s siblings or cousins

On 13 Sep 1615 there is the burial at St Bartholomew, Colne, of an unnamed wife of John Stanworth, and on 1 Dec 1623 of John Stanworth. In the absence of other burials at a suitable date, it seems likely that these are his parents.

It does not seem to be a particularly large family, and the Stanworths may have moved to Colne from elsewhere. There is a particularly large concentration around Burnley. A number of them were slaterS, though we cannot be certain that Joseph was.


ANN INGHAM. The fact that the wedding took place in Colne indicates that this was Anna’s home parish. Again, the registers do not go back far enough for her baptism.

There are a number of Ingham entries in the early records, indicating a wider family than the Stanworths.

Colne stands at the southern end of the Aire gap, which provides a route through the Pennine Hills. It is 5 miles east of the landmark Pendle Hill.

Before the Industrial Revolution it was a market town for the woollens, specialising in lightweight kersey. Coal was mined from the early 17th century.

The couple would have grown up in the last two decades of Elizabeth’s reign. There was increased hostility to Catholics, because of the enmity of France and Spain, and the Pope’s incitement to assassinate Elizabeth.

It was a group of Roman Catholic rebels who laid the Gunpowder Plot. Its discovery narrowly averted the blowing up of the Houses of Parliament at the State Opening, when the King and the Royal Family would have been there, as well as the MPs. An annual service of thanksgiving was held for their deliverance.

Joseph and Ann were probably in their early 20s then.


The couple married at St Bartholomew’s in the early years of the reign of James I.

Marriage. St Bartholomew, Colne
1609 May 28  Josephus Stanworth et Anna Ingham

St Bartholomew, Colne [1]


The couple had three sons and a daughter.

Baptisms. St Bartholomew, Colne
1609/10 Mar 4  Thomas
1611 Nov 24  Ann
1614 May 9  Joseph
1615/6 Mar 13  Henry
Joseph junior died in 1629, aged 15. He was buried on 12 Oct.

On 18 May 1640, when the Stanworth’s son Henry was 25, we have the burial of his illegitimate son by Elizabeth Robert.


Joseph, at least, seems to have lived to see the Civil War.

In 1641 all adults were required to swear the Protestation Oath of loyalty to Crown and Parliament. In practice, few parishes record women. Colne is an exception, with many widows and a few other women signing. They appear to be heads of households.

The Colne return is divided into townships. Joseph Stanworth appears under Colne, which is separate from Colne Townshippe. This is difficult to interpret. It would seem to mean that Joseph was not living in the centre of the town, but nor in its more rural outskirts.

His son Thomas appears in Foulridge, to the north of Colne. We have not found Henry.

It is uncertain whether Ann was still alive in 1641.


We do not have either Joseph or Ann’s burial. Some of the pages of the Colne registers are illegible, or, less likely, they may have moved to a parish whose registers begin later.


[1] The Churches of Britain and Ireland. https://www.churches-uk-ireland.org/images/unknown/71.jpg





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