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Muckleston Family History Group

researching all references to the surnames Muckleston, Mucklestone, Muckelston and Mackleston please get in touch via the contact us page with any additional information or to correct any errors.

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From the Parish Chest

The clergymen and parish officers created a great many records as well as the parish registers. The parish chest itself was a strong wooden box in which the parish kept alms for the poor, the church silver and the parish records. Where these parish records survive they have now mainly been deposited in the local county record offices.


The kind of records, which could if you are fortunate to be searching in a parish where the records survive, would include minutes of meetings by parish officials, apprenticeship records, rate books, poor relief expenditure books and records relating to settlement and bastardy.


We have been fortunate to find some parish records relating to various family members which paint a picture as to what their lives were like.


Shropshire Removal Orders: Number 27


Edward Muckleston and children Rebecca and Elizabeth removed from St Julian Shrewsbury to Much Wenloch, both Salop. In 1801 he returned to Salop and carried on trade as a carpenter.


The documents show that his residence was Coleman and he was removed from St Julian Shrewsbury by Richard Williamson on 10th March 1801.


Town and Liberties of Shrewsbury in the County of Salop.


“To the churchwarden and overseers of the poor of the parish of St Julian, in the Town and Liberties of Shrewsbury in the County of Salop, and to the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor in the Parish of Much Wenloch in the County of Shropshire and to each and every one of them.


Upon the complaint of the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the first mentioned Parish in the Town and Liberties of Shrewsbury, in the County of Salop, unto whose names are hereunto set and seals affixed being two of His Majesties Justices of the Peace in, and for the said Town and Liberties of Shrewsbury and one of us the Quorum, that Edward Muckleston and his two children, namely, Rebecca aged about 15 years and Elizabeth aged about 10 years, have come to inhabit, in the said first mentioned Parish, not having gained a legal settlement there, nor produced any certificate owning them to be settled elsewhere; and that they are chargeable to the said first above mentioned parish; we the said justices, upon due proof made thereof, as well upon the examination of the said Edward Muckleston upon oath as otherwise, and likewise upon due consideration had of the premises, do adjudge the same to be true; and we do likewise adjudge, that the lawful settlement of the paupers, is in the said last above mentioned Parish in the County of Salop.


We do therefore require you, the said churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the said first above mentioned Parish, or some or one of you, to convey the said paupers from, and out of, your said parish to the last above mentioned parish and them to deliver to the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor there, or to some or one of them, together with this our order, or a true copy thereof; and we does also hereby require you the said Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor, of the said last above mentioned Parish to receive and provide for them as inhabitants of your parish.


Given under our hands and seals at the Exchequer in the said Town, the Tenth day of March in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and One.


Signed by E Stanier, Joseph Loadale”


Funds to take care of the Poor were funded from a “Parish Rate” levied on the more prosperous members of the parish; distribution of funds was therefore guarded to ensure they only went to those entitled to receive them. Should someone applying for poor relief be found not to “belong” to the parish following an “examination” of the pauper which identified to which parish they belonged, a removal order was then issued and they were sent to their home parish.


Little has been found about this Edward Muckleston. He was the son of another Edward Muckleston also a carpenter of Shrewsbury and his wife Ann (nee Adams). He was the third child to be named Edward by his parents, the other two having died in infancy. The details we have about this Edward are taken from a family pedigree drawn up in the mid 1800’s, containing dates but very few places to enable us to verify the information.


On this pedigree Edward’s date of birth is given as 1758, his marriage to one Mary Farmer took place on June 29th 1780 in the Parish Church of St Chad’s Shrewsbury. From the information taken from the removal order we can estimate his daughter’s births to be around 1786 and 1791.


On the pedigree he is also credited with having a son called John, all three children are noted as having died young on the pedigree, we assume by virtue of the fact that he appeared to be caring for his daughters on his own, that his wife had died by 1801.


The pedigree makes a note that this Edward died in Calcutta, maybe with his family gone he decided to find work as a ship’s carpenter. It would appear he had quite a sad life.


(See information on a carpenter called Muckleston who died in Calcutta in the family members section - it is likely to be the same man.)


Pontesbury Parish Records -Bastardy order



Eleanor Muckleston (alias Crump) a male bastard child, father Thomas Griffiths of Westbury, a labourer. Oct 1809


The order of us who are here unto subscribed and seals affixed two of His Majesties' Justices of the Peace inaand for the County of Salop (one whereof is of the Quorum) and both residing in or next unto the limits of the parish church of Pontesbury in the said county made the thirteenth day of October in the year of our Lord 1809 concerning a male bastard child lately born in the Parish of Pontesbury aforesaid of Eleanor Muckleston she being then an unmarried woman and her name Eleanor Crump.


Whereas it has appeared unto us the said justices as well as upon the complaint of the churchwardens and overseers of the poor of the said parish as upon the oath of the said mother that she was about seven years ago now late past delivered of the said bastard child in the said parish and that the said bastard child is now chargeable to the said parish and likely for to continue and further that Thomas Griffiths of the parish of Westbury, County Salop, Labourer, did beget the said bastard child on her body. And whereas the said Thomas Griffiths hath appeared before us in pursuance of our summons but has not shown any sufficient cause why he shall not be the reputed father of the said bastard child.


We therefore upon examination of the cause and circumstances of the premises as well upon the oath of the said mother do hereby adjudge him to be the reputed father shall and do forthwith upon notice of the said order, pay or cause to be paid the sum of five shillings and sixpence for and towards the laying in of the said mother and the maintenance of the said bastard child to the time of making this order. And we do also hereby further order that the said reputed father shall likewise pay the sum of fifteen pence weekly and every week from this present time towards the keeping sustentation and maintenance of the said bastard child for and during the time the said bastard child shall be chargeable to the parish. And we further order that the said mother shall also pay the sum of nine pence weekly and every week so long as the said bastard child shall be chargeable to the said parish in case she shall not nurse and take care of the said child herself. Given under our hands and seals at Shrewsbury. Henry Guy Bennett. Thomas James.


The parish officials would have “examined” Eleanor regarding the birth of her child outside of marriage. As the parish would be responsible for her upkeep she would have been pressured to name the father so that he could be charged with the financial responsibility for the child. An order would then have been given to the father to maintain the child.


The child had been born in 1802 and was baptised at Pontesbury on 3rd October that year as Edward Muckleston. Had she convinced a Muckleston to marry her while pregnant and give it his name? At the present time I cannot connect Eleanor to the family tree It would appear that her maiden name was Eleanor Crump according to the “examination”. She clearly waited 7 years to name the father. She may have needed funds and the only way she was going to get them from the parish was to name the father so that he could be made to pay. Other than the information found in the parish chest we do not know what happened to Eleanor.


There was a further bastardy order, located this time in the parish of Great Ness. On the 8th June 1826 an examination stated that a male bastard child was born in the parish by the body of Elizabeth Jones single woman. It was stated that she was on the 14th day of May now last past delivered of the said bastard child and by her oath stated that Edward Muckleston of the parish of Oswestry Labourer was the father. Edward was ordered to pay the sum of one pound nine shillings and six pence and then fifteen pence weekly and the mother was to pay six pence weekly. The order was signed at Cockshutt by W Hopkins and John Edwards.


Pontesbury Parish Records - Apprenticeship Indenture.


Edward Muckleston age about 9 yrs to Richard Bromley – Husbandry Mar 1812.


Many sons within the family were set up in apprenticeships to enable them to follow a trade. An apprenticeship usually lasted at least 7 years. This is a typical apprenticeship indenture:


Apprenticeship Indenture made 10th March in 52nd year of the reign of our sovereign George III in the year of our Lord 1812. The church wardens of the poor of the parish of Pontesbury in the county of Salop and the overseers of the poor in the said parish have put and placed Edward Muckleston aged nine years or thereabouts a poor child of the said parish apprentice to Richard Bromley of the same parish with him to dwell and serve from the date of these presents until the said apprentice shall accomplish the full age of twenty one years. During which term the said apprentice his said master faithfully shall serve in all lawful business according to his power wit and ability and honesty orderly and obediently in all things demean and behave himself towards his said master and all his during the said term he the said Richard Bromley doth covenant and grant to the said apprentice in the business of Husbandry shall and will teach and instruct or cause to be taught and instructed in the best way and manner that he can and can and will during all the term aforesaid, find provide and allow unto the said apprentice meet, competent and sufficient meat, drink, apparel, lodging, washing and other things necessary and fit for an apprentice. And also shall and will provide for the said apprentice that he be not in any way a charge to the said parish and parishioners of the same during the said term. Signed Richard Bromley, C Peters, Thomas James, ? Haughton.


This Edward was the illegitimate son of Eleanor Muckleston mentioned above. We have no marriage, death or any other records for Edward. Whether he found out who his father was and took his name or maybe Eleanor remarried and he took his stepfather’s name we may never know.


We have found a large number of apprenticeship records from various parts of the country, which show members of the family as both apprentices and masters.


Shropshire Parish Records – Church Property Transfer.


Regarding an agreement dated the18th day of January and made or mentioned to be made between the said Baldwin Leighton of the first part and the said Walter Waring of the second part and the said John Muckleston of the third part. And reciting that the said principal sum of one thousand five hundred pounds was not paid the same then remained due to the said Baldwin Leighton and that all interest for the same had been made to the date thereof. In consideration for the sum of five shillings paid to the said Baldwin Leighton and also in consideration of the sum of five shillings paid to the said Baldwin Leighton by the said John Muckleston.


The said Baldwin Leighton by the direction and appointment of the said Walter Waring testified as therein mentioned did assign transfer and set over to the said John Muckleston the said Rectory, advowson, tythes, herediments and all and singular the premises by the said writed indentures  of lease and release conveyed to the said Johua Peele. To hold the same to the said John Muckleston from thereforth for and during all the residue and remainder of the said term of 1000 years in trust for the said Walter Waring and to attend the inheritance of the same and whereas the said Robert Lord Clive hath contracted and agreed with the said Walter Waring for the absolute purchase of the fee simple and inheritature of the Rectory, advowson, tythes, hereditments and premises conveyed to the said Joshua Peele and vested in the said John Muckleston for the residue of the term of 1000 years in consideration of the sum of four thousand five hundred pounds. The same premises have been conveyed unto and to the use of Robert Lord Clive and his heirs.


This indenture witness that the said John Muckleston in consideration of the sum of five shillings paid by the said Robert Lord Clive the said Rectory etc. vested in the said John Muckleston is now conveyed to the said Robert Lord Clive.


Indenture made sixth day of June in the 8th year of the reign of His Majesty George III (1768). Signed John Muckleston of Shrewsbury, Gentleman. Walter Waring of Owlbury, Salop, Esquire. Right Homourable Robert Lord Clive, Baron of Plassey, County Clare, Ireland.


Robert Lord Clive was also known as Clive of India. He was born in Market Drayton Shropshire in 1725 and therefore had close links with the county. He was MP for Shrewsbury from 1761 until his alleged suicide in 1774 aged just 49. It is a complicated document but it would appear that Walter Waring owed money to Baldwin Leighton, that John Muckleston bailed him out and took the rectory etc. at Bishop Castle as security and then John Muckleston agreed to pass this on to Lord Clive for the sum of five shillings.


[This is most likely to be John Muckleston born 1731 - Gent of Shrewsbury]




The parish chest has therefore supplied additional information on the family which we would never have known otherwise. It is a shame that more of these records do not survive.