52 residents #42 Richard Ratcliff

The history of nonconformity in C17 Springhill and area is a topic I want to tackle one day, in that parallel universe in which there is plenty of time. When I do, the name of Richard Ratcliff will feature. In the meantime, most of what follows is from secondary sources…

Richard Radcliffe was born in Rossendale in the early C17 and may have been baptised at Whalley St Mary and All Saints on 27 Sept 1614. If that was him, he was the son of John Radcliffe. However Newchurch St Nicholas was undertaking baptisms then so I wonder why Whalley… He is said to have married Alice Rawsthorne c1640 and had 10 children.

At some stage Richard took possession of Chapel Hill Farm. By 1663 he had released land for the Friends' burial ground and allowed meetings for worship in his farm. Quakerism is said to have been introduced to Rossendale in 1653 by William Dewsbury and Thomas Stubbs; if so they must have been pretty early converts as they were fined for attending Quaker meetings and tithe refusal in 1660/1 and again in 1665 and again in 1668…

3 friends burial ground 3 200

His daughter Isabella is said to have married Abraham Haworth, who in 1691 petitioned for a licence for protestant dissenting worship in his house. The request does not specify Quaker worship.

Richard Radcliffe died in 1675 and is buried in the Friends' Burial Ground, Chapel Hill.

baptism Whalley OPC Register Baptisms 1605-1632 p 11.
Ratcliff CE, (1963)'Richard Radcliff of Lancashire, England and Talbot Co, Maryland, his ancestors and descendants'. It appears to be 'our' Richard's son, also Richard, who emigrated. There are a number of basic errors in this source and it should be treated with caution.
'Nightingale, Early Stages of the Quaker movement in Lancashire' London Congregational Union 1921.
Burial Register, Friends Burial Ground