accounts over the years:
- Unsworth near Bury
- The Unsworths of Goshen
- Thomas Unsworth and His Will
- Unsworth Blacksmiths from Culcheth
- Unsworths in the 1881 English Census
- Giles Unsworth, from Liverpool to Canada
- James Unsworth, from Bolton to Utah
Unsworth near Bury
until recently, when it had got caught up in the urbanization of the
countryside, a small village four miles south of Bury.
After the Norman Conquest in 1066, it had become
part of the Pilkington estate before passing into the hands of the
in the 15th century.
Unsworth Pole is
the area around the First World War memorial at the junction of Sunny
and Parr Lane. This Pole or
“Pow” (as it was known locally in the Lancashire dialect) was named
after the pitch pole fixed there by the Earl of Derby which would be
each year for the village’s pot fair.
Local men would then try and clamber up it to grab a side of
attached to the top; the successful contestant could keep the ham.
One of the local pubs was The Dragon.
Local legend has it that this beast tormented
the area until it was finally slain by that brave knight Thomas
Unsworth. In the porch of the pub there was
displayed a fully armored statue of Thomas Unsworth, clutching the gun
and dagger which slew the dragon, and in the public bar there was a
mural showing the dragon.
The Unsworths of Goshen
was the name of the old farmhouse situated by
the side of the Roach river between Gigg Lane and Hampson Mills near
Bury. It was the home of an Unsworth
the early part of 17th century to the late 19th century.
first Unsworth was Giles Unsworth of
Redvales in Bury. There was for many
years in possession of the family a nine-foot long Jacobean oak
elaborately carved on the frieze with St. George and the dragon, a
unicorn, and the Derby crest with the initials G V E V (initials of two
of the Unsworth family) and the date 1618.
was a stone on the porch of the farm-house inscribed “GV
1691.” He was the son of Giles and Anne
Unsworth of Redvales in Bury. In 1672
Giles was granted a license to use the farmhouse as a Presbyterian
James Unsworth was the last of
the family to live at Goshen. He
emigrated to New Zealand.
wife is a descendant of these people and i have traced the family back
Giles. However I think that it can be traced back further to George
Unsworth. Waiting for a copy of a lease
from the 4th
Earl of Derby dated 1577.
and His Will
Unsworth, the Unsworth who grew rich as a
Liverpool merchant, was Catholic and on his death in 1796 left the bulk
estate to his two sons, Thomas and William, on the understanding not
they would remain Catholic but that they would not marry and would pass
estate on their deaths to the Catholic church.
Thomas’s third son Richard was left just £2,000.
It was said that he had gotten so angry about
the situation that he changed his religious affiliation and became a
Thomas and William did
marry. Thomas married Frances Seel, the
daughter of Thomas Seel and Frances Molyneux.
In 1814 he assumed the name and arms of Molyneux-Seel. The Molyneux and the Seels, like the
Unsworths, were old Catholic recusant families.
Unsworth Blacksmiths from
In 1963 a stone trough was rediscovered in Culcheth,
near Leigh, across the road from the Harrow
Inn. At the time an old lady
Unsworth, the mother of the village’s last blacksmith, said that it had
used for iron quenching.
A 1750 map of
the area showed a plot of land in the position where the trough was
the plot being recorded as being in the occupation of “John Unsworth,
was a staunch center for Catholicism and these Unsworths were Catholic. Unsworths in Culcheth in the 1881 census
numbered twenty seven.
Joseph Unsworth, born there
in 1791, moved north
to Kendal in Westmoreland where he set up his own trade as a blacksmith. His son Thomas was also a blacksmith there and
of seventeen children through two wives.
Later Unsworths of this family moved back to Lancashire and
the early 1900’s in Chadderton near Manchester.
Unsworths in the 1881 English Census
numbers were in Bolton, followed by Bury.
The small village of Billinge Higher End had the highest
Giles Unsworth, from Liverpool to Canada
born in Standish parish near Wigan in 1787, had come to Liverpool where
as a cotton broker. He had married Anna
Crook there in 1826 and they were to have nine children.
At the age of 61 Giles set off with his large
family for Canada. In 1848 they left
Liverpool by sail, came to New York, then up the Hudson and west by the
Canal, then across into Ontario where they settled in Flamboro. However, the parents were not to last long in
their new country. Anna died in 1850 and
Giles a year later. Richard Unsworth,
born in 1827 in Liverpool, became the leader of the family. His Bible provides some of this family’s
James Unsworth, from Bolton
James was born in 1838 in Bolton, a Lancashire mill
town, to William and Elizabeth Unsworth.
In 1848, when he was ten years old, his father came home from
the mill one evening and told the family that there were Mormon elders
the corner telling all about their new church.
He was very excited and rushed out with his wife to hear them.
just ten, had begun working at the Eagley cotton mill at this time. By 1861 he had married and he and his wife
set sail from Liverpool on the Monarch of
the Sea in May for their Zion in America.
Their first child was born on the voyage.
On arrival in New York, they travelled by
train to Florence, Nebraska. There they
continued their journey across the plains by ox team.
Alice, with her tiny baby in her arms, drove
one of the teams while James walked beside the wagon.
They finally reached Salt Lake valley in
September 1861. Sadly the baby died one
The following year James
and Alice moved to Hyrum in Cache county, Utah and were one of the
settlers there. As city people they knew
nothing about farming and learnt the hard way.
They were very poor during those early pioneer years. James did not have a shirt to wear to
church. So Alice made him one from her
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