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Farnworth, St. Gregory the Great, Baptisms 1849-1919 (Download)


Farnworth, St. Gregory the Great, Baptisms 1849-1919 (Download)


About this Transcript

The information which is contained in this download is taken from the original registers, the originals of which are held by Lancashire Archives at Preston.

This download, which is in PDF format, contains a scanned copy of the original baptism registers complete with a transcript of the 9,057 baptisms performed and an index to the 40,144 names of children, parents and godparents which appear in the register.

PLEASE NOTE: Although the church was not consecrated until 1853, the first register contains a number of baptisms dated 1849-1851. Twenty-one of these are written on blank pages and relate to baptisms conducted by Fr. Robert Hubbersley. These entries are then copied to the first twenty-one entries in the printed register but with only the name and dates of birth and baptism being recorded. A note at the top of the page says "The following entries are copied from the entries made by the Revd. Robt. Hubbersley and supposed to belong to Halshaw Moor".

There are no entries between 19 August 1851 and 9 July 1853.

There is also an insertion following the register entries for December 1873 which contains twenty-six baptisms, dated between 1868 and 1871, and annotated "The following are copied from pocket book register of baptisms at Fishpool"

About the Church

This parish will soon celebrate its centenary, as it began in 1853. Fr. William Taylor, a convert, was the first Rector. He built a small church and presbytery. He went to St. Mary's Bolton and Fr. Michael Byrne did good work here from 1861 to 1871. Before leaving for Rochdale in 1871, he had raised over £3,000 to meet the requirements of the rapidly growing parish. Fr. John Galbois Boulaye was the next Rector (1871 to 1895). He became known as the "Apostle of Farnworth". He came of a French refugee family at the time of the French Revolution, some of whom settled in Manchester. At Farnworth he built the fine church in 1875, which was opened by Bishop O'Reilly of Liverpool. The beautiful pulpit was made at Munich.

Fr. Boulaye became a Canon of the Chapter in 1891, Vicar General in 1903, and Provost in 1910. He was the last of the Chapter as it was composed in the time of Bishop, Bilsborrow. From Farnworth he moved to St. John's, Rochdale. Ill health made him retire for a time to the climate of Switzerland, and during his stay there he was advised to grow a beard for his throat complaint, so that when he returned to the Diocese he was patriarchal and venerable in appearance. Throughout his life he had suffered from a lisping impediment with the letter R, but this did not in any way affect his distinguished career. He passed the last years of his life at St. Joseph's, Halliwell, Bolton, where he died in 1912, aged 72. He was noted for his great kindness to the young priests over whom he had authority, and for his charming manner when carrying out some of the less pleasant tasks of his office.

The next Rector at Farnworth was Dr. Joseph Tynan, a great Canonist, preacher, and public speaker. He built the enlarged presbytery and installed the Benson organ in the church. He became a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter and a Monsignor when at Farnworth. In 1913 he became Rector of St. Mary's, Burnley, where he died in 1939. When Mgr. O'Kelly resigned, he was made Provost. Canon Lynch came to Farnworth from St. Wilfrid's, Hulme. He had been ordained priest together with Dr. Casartelli, and a life-long friendship was later formed between them, beginning at the Holy Family church. Canon Lynch was Bishop Casartelli's first appointment to the Cathedral Chapter in 1903. He became Provost and a Domestic Prelate while at Farnworth. To him is due the credit of having first suggested the Maynooth Union. In Maynooth he had been a class-fellow of Dr. Walter McDonald of the Dunboyne Establishment. He died rather suddenly in January 1921 at Farnworth.

Canon Robert Holmes was the Provost's successor. He came from SS. Peter and Paul's at Bolton, where he had done magnificent work in clearing away debt and in building. He had been the pioneer founder of St. Ann's, Accrington. He died at Farnworth in 1928 and will be long remembered for his great work of pastoral visiting in the parishes in his care.

Fr. George Cobb (Honorary Canon of Lourdes) was appointed to follow Canon Holmes. He has made many improvements and greatly developed the social life of the parish. He saw his grand church consecrated by the present Bishop in June 1946.

The above description is based on information published in "Salford Diocese and its Catholic past", a survey by Charles A. Bolton, a Priest of the above Diocese. Published 1950 on the First Centenary for the Diocese of Salford.

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