Places: Blackburn

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EDC 5/1566/3 – William Farington, esquire, farmer of the rectory of Blackburn contra Thomas Ireland, senior
EDC 5/1566/4 – William Farington, esquire, farmer of the rectory of Blackburn contra Robert Ratcliffe
EDC 5/1566/5 – William Farington, esquire, farmer of the rectory of Blackburn contra John Harwood


Blackburn was a large parish in the centre of the county of Lancashire, it comprised some twenty-four townships in the Tudor period. The size of the parish meant that several townships arranged for the construction of a chapel of ease, but they were not well endowed and most were in a ruinous condition by the end of the Tudor period.

The parish was owned by the Cistercian Abbey of Whalley, until the abbey was dissolved in 1537, following which it was retained by the Crown until 1547 when it was granted to the archbishops of Canterbury. As rectors they appointed vicars to serve the parish.

The archbishops of Canterbury leased the rectory itself to a series of lay rectors, one of whom was William Farington.

The parish church was completely rebuilt probably during the 14th century and the new building incorporated some of the old Norman stonework into its foundations.

It was extensively renovated in the mid-16th century but the church was ‘disproportionately low’ and by the late 18th century so many parishioners had been buried beneath the floor that burials within the church had to be restricted to those who could afford to pay 3 guineas for the privilege.

By that time the church was dilapidated and too small for the congregation, so it was demolished in 1820 and a new church was built on the site.

This new building became the basis of the nave of the new Blackburn cathedral for which construction began in 1938.


Wm. Alexander Abram, A History of Blackburn Town and Parish (Blackburn, 1877) (image from this volume courtesy of HathiTrust).

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