52 residents in 52 weeks #20 Francis Bridge

The Bridge family have been closely associated with the Springhill area since Rossendale emerged from forest law in 1507. Churchwardens, greaves and scallywags, they tumble through the generations in a succession of Adams, Francises and Christophers with the odd Jordan thrown in for good measure.

My interest in Francis was aroused when, browsing through the Lancashire Record Office catalogue (as you do) I came across:

QSP 198/9
Quarter Sessions Preston Michaelmas 1660
maintenance of child of Francis Bridge

Mmm that sounds interesting and indeed it was. Francis had married Ann Chadwick of Spotland (Rochdale parish, but the township extended to about a mile away). The couple had a son at some ungiven date and a daughter reasonably close to 1660. Francis abandoned Ann virtually at confinement, leaving her to be supported by friends. The matter was brought to the Quarter Sessions by the churchwardens who did not want responsibility for the upkeep of the child to fall to the parish, particularly as Francis had recently come into an inheritance. Interestingly one of the wardens is one Adam Bridge, almost certainly a brother/uncle/father/…

It didn’t go well as at we find:

QSP 202/24
Quarter Sessions Preston Epiphany 1660/1
Maintenance of Anne daughter of Francis Bridge of Deardenclough yeoman

Francis Bridge (or probably more than one) was engaged in a number of land surrenders between 1666 and1691. Unfortunately the court rolls for this period haven’t been transcribed and time to visit Preston has been lacking.

The parish records for Newchurch St Nicholas include the baptism of a son of Francis Bridge in 1565 but not of a daughter, Anne or otherwise, around 1660 nor of the death of a child of Francis around that date. They do record the death of an unnamed wife of Francis Bridge on 9 Jan 1659/60 - how did they not know her name, or why did the not record it?

Newchurch St Nicholas (via the Lancashire OPC)
v Jul 1656 Adam sone of francs Bridge of Dedwenclough
x Jan 1657/8 Mary d francs Bridge of Dedwenclough
9 Feb 1663/4 bap St Nicholas Thomas s Francis Bridge
22 April 1666 Ffranciscus Bridg fil ffrancisci Bridg of Cisclough
12 Jun 1670 Alice gem fil ffrancs Bridg of Cloughfoot bap St Nicholas
12 Jun 1670 Chroftr Bridg gem fil ffrancis Bridg of Cloughfoot bap St Nicholas
31 Dec 1671 Isaak Bridg fil ffrancisci Bridg of Newchurch
16 May 1675 Alice fil ffrancis Bridge

1 Dec 1668 Ffrancis Bridge - Mary Schofield

xx Nov 1659 ffrancs Bridge sone of Thomas Bridge of Newchurch
xv May 1661 ffrancs Bridge fil Adam Bridge
26 Oct 1675 ffrancis Bridge
22 Nov 1684 ffrancs Bridg senex of Clough
20 May 1686 ffrancs Bridg of Newchurch
15 April 1691 ffranciscus Bridg of Dedwinclough

Land surrenders:
1666 Surrendered land in Deadwenclough to John Bradley
167? ditto from Josuah Nuttall
1690 received property from Richard Heaton
1691 ditto to George Piccop
DDHCL /3/225

(Many thanks to
Mistress Agnes for help with some of the less legible words!)