Seal from Andrew Gray's will

Anglezarke’s Mr Gray

Andrew Gray wrote his will on the 23rd November 1727 in which he styles himself ‘Clerk’ and was of Anglezarke, but who was he, when and where did he come from? The first clue comes from his will which names his wife Dorothy, three daughters Ann (wife of Richard Lowe), Mary and Margaret, and three sons John, Thomas and Bennet. Initially a search of the local church registers shows his daughter Ann married Richard Lowe at St Peter’s Bolton in 1723 but there are no baptism records for his children locally. Widening the search finds the unusually named Bennet baptised

MoreAnglezarke’s Mr Gray

I do (not) protest – The Anglezarke Protestation return of 1642

The seventeenth century was a time of massive religious upheaval in England. In 1642 came civil war between king and parliament. Between 1600 and the start of the civil war in 1642, the population of Lancashire rose from 100 000 to 150 000. James I, who succeeded Elizabeth in 1603, believed in his divine right to rule and forced everyone to attend Church of England services. The ‘new’ church had retained its bishops, ceremony and vestments of Catholicism and a growing number wanted a simpler ‘purer’ form of worship. These puritans wanted to rid the church of England from its

MoreI do (not) protest – The Anglezarke Protestation return of 1642