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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 WADDINGTON was the child of the yeoman Jeremiah Waddington and Margaret Houghton of Padiham.

Baptism. St Leonard Padiham.
1694 Sep 2  Nicholas sonne of Jeremiah Waddington.

Nicholas is the third child and the second son known to have been born to his parents, but because of the poor state of the register there were very likely more.

Although he was the son of a yeoman farmer, Nicholas was a younger son. His elder brother William also became a yeoman, with a farm in the village of Read, 3 miles away. But Nicholas had to make do with becoming a husbandman, farming no more than a smallholding.


ANNE BRADSHAW was five years younger. She was baptised in Padiham early in 1700.

Baptism. St Leonard, Padiham.
1700 Jan 28   An daughter of Widow Bradshaw of Padiham.

Her father Henry Bradshaw had been buried on 15 Jun 1699.

Her mother was Alice Hey. They had only been married for six months. Ann was their first and only child.

Her father came from Altham, a village just west of Padiham, which had also been home to Nicholas’s grandparents. Her mother was from a Padiham family.

When Anne was three, her mother remarried, to the labourer William Horn. One half-brother was born.


Nicholas and Anne married at St Leonard’s in 1718.

Marriage. St Leonard, Padiham.
1718 Dec 30  Nicholas Waddington and Anne Bradshaw of Padiham.

There follow six baptisms. In some of these, Nicholas is described as a husbandman, in others, a collier. We might think that there are two couples with the same names, but the spacing of the baptisms and the fact that no evidence has been found of another such couple leads us to believe that this is a single family.

As a husbandman, Nicholas farmed a small amount of land.

The Burnley area is underlaid with rich coal seams. This was extracted as early as the 14th century. At first, it was accessed where it outcropped at the surface. The industry developed further through manorial tenants who dug coal for their own use. Later, they took out a fixed term lease in return for rent. They mostly mined coal from shafts.

In the 17th century, families clubbed together to mine on common land, with men, women and children all contributing labour. By the 18th century, larger collieries were beginning to appear. We do not know whether Nicholas mined coal on his own account, or whether he was employed by a mine owner. The fact that he combined it with husbandry suggests the former.

Early coal mining [1]

Six children were born.

Baptisms. St Leonard, Padiham.
1719 Nov 22  Alice.
This first Alice lived little more than a year. She was buried on 10 Feb 1721/2.
Jul 22 William. Father’s occupation Husbandman.
A second Alice was born.
1725 Nov 7  Alice. Father’s occupation Collier.
1728 Oct 27  Jeremiah. Father’s occupation Husbandman.
Jeremiah also died and was buried on 19 Mar 1728/9
1731 Aug 16  Nicholas. Father’s occupation Collier.
1734 Aug 2  Ann. Father’s occupation Labourer.

The last entry marks a shift downwards for Nicholas. There can be some uncertainty about the term “husbandman”. It is often used for someone who farmed a smallholding, but it can also mean a farm labourer. In this case, there are entries for husbandmen in the same year as labourers, so they were evidently not considered the same. Nicholas had been renting a small amount of land to farm, but was now reduced to the status of labourer, very far below his father’s position as a yeoman.


NIcholas died in 1749, at the age of 55.

Burial. St Leonard, Padiham
1748/9 Jan 8  Nicholas Waddington of Padiham

Anne lived another 18 years, dying at 67.

Burial. St Leonard, Padiham.
1767 Nov 22  Ann Waddington of Padiham Widow


[1] http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/lettersandthelamp/files/2017/04/01_mining_by_candle.jpg





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