Christopher Telfer’s Research on

The Pendle Forest Grimshaw Line

Note: Christopher has given approval of the use of his website information on this webpage.

Chris Telfer, a Pendle Forest Grimshaw descendant, has conducted a considerable amount of research on this Grimshaw line. He has presented some of his results on a webpage at the following address:

A portion of the research and information on his website is presented on this webpage to further elaborate the family history of the Pendle Forest line as presented on a companion webpage.


Webpage Credit

Grimshaws at Sabden

Grimshaws at Fence

Grimshaws at Padiham

Grimshaws at Higham

Grimshaws at Barrowford

Grimshaws at Preston

An Historian’s View

Webpage Credit

Many thanks go to Chris Telfer for giving his permission to include the information from his website on this webpage.

Grimshaws at Sabden

The information on Chris’s webpage on the Sabden Grimshaws is presented below.

The Story of Sabden

This was the home of the Grimshaws from around 1594 to 1800 when Nicholas Grimshaw sold it. The last of many Grimshaws named Nicholas during their residency at Heyhouses. I think they were called Heyhouses because of a link with the farm at the end of the lane called “Cockshut Farm”. Possibly related to Jane Cockshut who married Thomas Grimshaw who lived between 1594 & 1634. “Taking advantage of the embellishment of the concern, the Grimshaw family commenced the erection of several rows of houses about 1790. At this time is when the printworks were first begun. There were few cottages in the place; indeed, it is possible that they did not exceed a dozen, or at the outside a score. The three rows were Top Row, Step Row & Crow Tree Row.” (Gleanings about Sabden No III).

The official records for this branch of the family begin with Nicholas who surrendered his property at Padiham to his Son Thomas. From research by a local historian I am confident they are related to the Darwen Grimshaw’s. my problem is linking this Nicholas to Clayton. There are records to suggest there was a Lionel who was Nicholas’s father, which would link by date to Nicholas of Clayton son of Henry & Isabel. However, from this point the links are pretty strong and documented.

The Grimshaw’s of Sabden

Nicholas Grimshaw, {living 1594} had one child: –

1. Thomas Grimshaw, {living 1622}

Thomas Grimshaw, {of Heyhouses surrendered his property to his son 1622} had one child: –

1. Nicholas Grimshaw, {died 1651}

Nicholas Grimshaw, {of Heyhouses, buried at Whalley 1651} married Margaret, {buried at Whalley 1670} had two children: –

1. John Grimshaw, {living 1652}

2. Nicholas Grimshaw, {died 1708} (cont.)

John Grimshaw, {of Pendleton In Oct 1652, when he was found heir to his father; afterwards of Heyhouses}

Nicholas Grimshaw married Isabel Whittaker 4th May 1664, {he was baptised 9 Oct 1636 and buried 14 May 1708 in Padiham where he lived} He had three children: –

1. John Grimshaw of Fence Gate, {died 1745} (go to Fence)

2. Nicholas Grimshaw of Padiham, {died 1736} (go to Padiham)

3. Christopher Grimshaw of Fence, (go to Fence)

Pictures of Sabden

Heyhouses is a terrace of small cottages in Sabden. The village was very small when they moved in but were instrumental in building more houses.

The picture on the bottom left is of the now called Grimshaw terrace, just a few yards from Heyhouses.

Grimshaws at Fence

The information on Chris’s webpage on the Sabden Grimshaws is presented below.

Richard Grimshaw built Ashlar or Hewn Atchelor House, originally known as The Fence, in 1594. The house was called The Fence after the fenced enclosure in which the deer of Pendle Forest were kept for breeding. The name occurs earlier: “Le Fens de Penhill” is mentioned as early as 1402. Fence Gate, or as it used to be called Fence Yate, was the home of the Grimshaws at the end of the seventeenth century. It has been told to me by the owner of one of the Two houses that during the witch hunts the Lancashire witch hunter brought a local witch to one of these house and interrogated her before taking her to Lancaster (this needs further investigation). There is another house down the road called Fence Gate, but the hose on the right has a carving.1594 Richard Greymshe John Box /Fear God Know Thy Self If Honour Thy Price. If you visit the area try not to disturb the farmer who owns the property as he is rather fed up with people asking him questions.

I didn’t realise but there have been Grimshaws living around Fence right up to the present day. I realised this when I saw among the many Grimshaws buried at Fence, there was a James Norman Grimshaw who died in 1992.

Grimshaw’s of Fence

Nicholas Grimshaw and Isabel Whitaker had a son John who lived in Fence.

John Grimshaw, {died 1745} married Eleanor, {daughter of Edmund Stephenson, of Old Laund and she died 17 Dec 1749} they had seven children: –

1. Nicholas Grimshaw, {born 12 May 1691, died 22 May 1725}

2. John Grimshaw, {born 15 Nov 1693, died 25 Feb 1696}

3. Edmund Grimshaw, {born 16 Oct 1696, died circa 1765}

4. John Grimshaw, {born 13 Feb 1699, buried 2 Apr 1742} (cont.)

5. Christopher Grimshaw, {born 2 Feb 1702, died 24 Feb 1747} (cont.)

6. Thomas Grimshaw, {born 8 Jan, died July 1787} (cont.)

7. Margaret Grimshaw, {wife of William Hudson, of Skipton}

John Grimshaw Married Alice Oxley and had one child: –

1. Mary Grimshaw

Christopher Grimshaw married Catherine, {daughter of Richard Townley of Carr Hall, Barnside} and had five children: –

1. Christopher Grimshaw, {born 20 Oct 1731, died 21 Jan 1732}

2. Thomas Grimshaw, {born 17 Nov 1737, died 14 May 1797} (cont.)

3. Ellen Grimshaw, {wife of Thomas Ryce, of Hampstead}

4. Margaret Grimshaw, {wife of Thomas Owen, of Manchester and then Dublin, architect}

5. Anne Grimshaw, {died unmarried}

6. Catherine Grimshaw, {died unmarried}

Thomas Grimshaw married Mary, {daughter of John Nocks, of Preston, died Apr 1762} settled in Preston. (Go to Preston)

Thomas Grimshaw married Jane Holt {of Burnley, died 17 June 1794} and had four children: –

1. Christopher Grimshaw, {born 1764, died 1821, Burnley solicitor}

2. John Grimshaw, {died young}

3. Thomas Grimshaw, {born 1768, died 1820, Burnley surgeon}

4. Nicholas Grimshaw, {born 1773, died 1830} (cont.)

Nicholas Grimshaw married Anne Slater and had four children: –

1. Thomas Grimshawe

2. Jane Grimshawe, {died 1863}

3. Elizabeth Grimshawe

4. Anne Grimshawe, {wife of Richard Eastwood, of Thorneyholme, Nr Clitheroe}

Thomas Grimshawe married Helena Brettargh and settled in Sherbrooke Lodge, Ontario, Canada in 1852. (Go to Canada)

Pictures of Fence

Ashlar House


(Author’s Note: Chris’ picture here is of the same monument – the Grimshaw gravestone at St. Anne’s Church in Fence – as on another page on this website.)

Grimshaws at Padiham

The information on Chris’s webpage on the Padiham Grimshaws is presented below.

Grimshaws of Padiham

Nicholas Grimshaw and Isabel Whitaker had three sons: –

1. John Grimshaw lived in Fence

2. Nicholas Grimshaw

3. Christopher Grimshaw Lived in Fence

Nicholas Grimshaw married Anne, {daughter of Thomas Grimshaw of Oakenshaw, born 9 May 1681} had four children; –

1. Thomas Grimshaw, {born 1703}

2. Nicholas Grimshaw, {baptized 1714}

3. Isabel Grimshaw

4. Anne Grimshaw

Thomas Grimshaw married Margaret, {daughter of John Holt of Loveclough; died 27th March 1793} and had two children: – (go to Higham)

Nicholas Grimshaw of Blackburn, {baptized 18 April 1714} married Susan Briercliffe and had three children:

1. Nicholas Grimshaw, {moved to Belfast} (Go to Ireland)

2. Thomas Grimshaw, {living 1774}

3. John Grimshaw, {died at an advanced age at his nephew Thomas’s house in Belfast}

Anne Grimshaw married William Hartley of Greenhead.

Grimshaws at Higham

The information on Chris’s webpage on the Higham Grimshaws is presented below.

Grimshaw’s in Higham

Thomas Grimshaw, {of Northwood, afterwards of Heyhouses, and subsequently of Higham; born 1703 and died 28 June 1783} married Margaret, {daughter of John Holt, of Loveclough; died 27 March 1793} and had two children: –

1. Nicholas Grimshaw, {born 1738}

2. Batty Grimshaw, {wife of John Holt of Loveclough}

Nicholas Grimshaw married Mary Riley, {of Simonstone, died 19 Jan 1775} and had three children: –

  1. Thomas Grimshaw, {born 1765} (cont.)
  2. Betty Grimshaw, {born 15 Dec 1766, wife of William Hartley, of fence Gate}
  3. Mary Grimshaw, {wife of John Crossley}

He then married Elizabeth, {daughter and heiress of James Harrison, and widow of Nicholas Parker, son of Parker of Dunnow near Slaidburn, died 7 Dec 1812} Nicholas was of Heyhouses, afterwards of Higham, {born 20 May 1738 and died 19 Aug 1825} and had four children: –

1. Nicholas Grimshaw, {born 1 May 1779, died unmarried 25 Aug 1840}

2. John Grimshaw, {born 9 Oct 1780, died in infancy}

3. Anne Grimshaw, {wife of Thomas Preston, of Little Mearley}

4. John Grimshaw, {born 1784} (cont.)

Thomas Grimshaw married Grace Gibson, after moving to Higham, they then moved into Crowtrees in Barrowford. (Go to Barrowford)

John Grimshaw married Nancy Whitaker 2 may 1816 {died 13 Sep 1823} and had three children: –

1. Elizabeth Grimshaw, {died Feb 1832}

2. Nicholas Grimshaw, {born 26 Mar 1819, died 19 Aug 1823}

3. James Grimshaw, {born 12 Apr 1822, died 19 Sep 1823}

John then married Alice Dugdale, {married 18 Oct 1832} John of Bank House in Higham Booth, {born 14 July 1784, died 17 June 1856} they had eight children: –

1. John Grimshaw, (cont.)

2. Anne Grimshaw, {wife of Bernard Hartley of White Lee

3. William Grimshaw, {1836} (cont.)

4. Rachel Grimshaw

5. Nicholas Grimshaw, {born 22 Nov 1838}

6. Richard Grimshaw, (cont.)

7. Thomas Grimshaw, {born 21 Sept 1841}

8. James Grimshaw, (cont.)

9. Elizabeth Grimshaw

10. Christopher Grimshaw, {born 11 Mar 1847, husband of Mary Ann Theresa Moffat}

John Grimshaw married Mary

William Grimshaw, {born 16 Feb 1836} married Sarah, {only daughter of William Mitchell, of Hoar Stones} had five children: –

1. John William Grimshaw, {born 10 Mar 1858, died 10 Jan 1866}

2. Mary Alice Grimshaw

3. Nicholas Herbert Grimshaw, {11 Dec 1861}

4. Elizabeth Anne Grimshaw

5. Henry Grimshaw, {born 25 June 1866}

Richard Grimshaw, {born 8 Mar 1840} married Ester Starkie, and had six children: –

1. Walter Grimshaw

2. John Grimshaw

3. Elizabeth Grimshaw

4. Richard Grimshaw

5. James Grimshaw

6. William Grimshaw

James Grimshaw, {born 20 July 1843} married Alice Keirby and had three children: –

1. Susannah Grimshaw

2. Alice Grimshaw

3. John Keirby, {born 19 July 1871}

Pictures of Higham

The Four Alls Inn was built by Thomas Grimshaw to impress the family of his future wife Grace Gibson. This may seem a bit extreme, but Grace had two uncles called Bulcock. These brothers owned Crowtrees in Barrowford with substantial lands around it, as listed on the historian page. The couple’s initials can still be seen above the doorway though rather weathered.

Grimshaws at Barrowford

The information on Chris’s webpage on the Barrowford Grimshaws is presented below.

Grimshaw’s of Barrowford

Thomas Grimshaw moved to Barrowford when his wife’s uncles ask them to move in and look after them. When her uncles died they left Crowtrees to Grace and Thomas. They had seven children: –

1. James Grimshaw, {1786} (cont.)

2. Mary Grimshaw

3. Thomas Grimshaw, {born 7 Jan 1794, died 15 Aug 1824} married Mary Bracewell, without issue.

4. Christopher Grimshaw, {born 20 Mar 1801, died 28 July 1865} married Mary, {only daughter and heiress of John Swinglehurst, of Park Hill in Barrowford, died 18 July 1841 without issue}

5. Nicholas Grimshaw, {died unmarried}

6. Grace Grimshaw

7. Harriet Anne Grimshaw

James Grimshaw, {born Apr 1786, died May 1844} married Mary Ashworth and had six children: –

1. Nicholas Grimshaw, {born 30 Oct 1823, died 26 Jan 1856}

2. Grace Grimshaw, {born 13 May 1826}

3. Mary Grimshaw, {13 May 1826}

4. Thomas Grimshaw, {born 21 June 1832} (cont.)

5. Elizabeth Grimshaw, {born 21 June 1842}

6. James Grimshaw, {born 20 Apr 1836, died 29 Mar 1837}

Thomas Grimshaw married Frances, {2nd daughter of Thomas Garde} and had four children: –

1. Charles Edward Grimshaw

2. Thomas Grimshaw, {moved and became town clerk of Wakefield, Yorkshire]

3. James Grimshaw, {immigrated to New Zealand}

4. Kate Grimshaw, {immigrated to New Zealand}

Charles Edward Grimshaw moved to London and married Edith Adele Palethorpe. They had two children: –

1. Phyllis Mary Grimshaw

2. Norris Grimshaw

(Author’s Note: Not all of Chris’ descendant chart is shown in order to protect the identities of living persons.)

Pictures of Barrowford


Family grave

Grimshaws at Preston

The information on Chris’s webpage on the Preston Grimshaws is presented below.

Grimshaw’s of Preston

Thomas Grimshaw, {formerly of Fence} married Mary Nocks and had for children: –

1. John Grimshaw, {born July 1740 died 12th March 1821}(cont.)

2. Mary Grimshaw, {wife of Lieutenant Naylor, Royal Marines}

3. Nicholas Grimshaw, {died young}

4. Nicholas Grimshaw, {born 4th October 1757, died January 1838}(cont.)

John Grimshaw, {solicitor and mayor of Preston five times} married Penelope, {3rd daughter of Edmund Shuttleworth of Horrockford} and had six children: –

1. Thomas Shuttleworth Grimshaw, (cont.)

2. John Nocks Grimshaw, {died without issue 1836}

3. Penelope Grimshaw, {wife of Lt. Col Sir Joseph Brook Bart}

4. Anne Grimshaw, {wife of Charles Greenway}

5. Dorothea Grimshaw, {wife of Charles Walker}

6. Louisa Grimshaw, {wife of Charles Butler Cole, of Kirkland Hall, Lancaster}

Nicholas Grimshaw husband of Esther Mary Haigh, solicitor, lieutenant colonel of a regiment of Lancashire militia, mayor of Preston seven times {including two guild mayoralties} born 4 Oct 1757 and died Jan 1838, had nine children: –

1. Mary Grimshaw, {wife of john Troughton}

2. William Grimshaw, {70th regiment killed in Canada 1815}

3. Frances Grimshaw, {wife of Richard Atkinson, of Ellel Grange}

4. George Henry Grimshaw, {died an infant}

5. Ellinor Grimshaw, {wife of rev. Francis Brandt}

6. Edmund Grimshaw, {moved to Pierremont, Kent. Barrister at law}

7. Samuel Ridings Grimshaw, {barrister at law, died 26 July 1866}

8. Charles Grimshaw, {drowned in the Ribble 24 April 1822}

9. George Grimshaw, {drowned in the Ribble 24 April 1822}

Thomas Shuttleworth Grimshawe M.A. {rector of Burton Latimer, wrote “Life of Legh Richmond” & “Life of Cowper” married Charlotte Anne, {daughter of George Livius of Cauldwell Priory, Bedford} and had two children: –

1. John Barham Grimshawe, {died unmarried at Trinity College 1835}

2. Charles Livius Grimshawe, (cont.)

Charles Livius Grimshawe, {of Tottington Hall, sheriff of Bedfordshire 1866} married Jemima Lucy, {daughter of Thomas Ward Boughton Leigh, of Brownsover} and had no children; he then married Emily Mary, {daughter of Sir Charles Gillies Payne Bart. Of Blunham house, Bedford} and had four children: –

1. Charles Barham Fitz-payne Grimshawe

2. Edmund Salusbury Vaughan Grimshawe

3. Arthur Grimsargh Cecil Grimshawe

4. Emily Geraldine Effie Grimshawe

An Historian’s View

Chris has visited a number of libraries in and around Lancashire seeking information on Grimshaws (personal communication, May, 2000.) The following text, written by Doreen Crowther (undated) was found by Chris in one of his library visits and is included on his website.

An Historians View

For the greater part of the last century the Grimshaws of Crowtree were one of the most influential families in Barrowford.

The original settlement of this old family, from which it took its name, was a tenement or holding. In the parish of Blackburn, about 3 miles to the Northeast of Blackburn town, lying near the Hoddleston Brook, between Yate Bank and Eccleshill. It was originally spelt Grymishagh or Grymishaw, signifying a Wooden Glen, and supplied the family with its name De Grimshaw. They are known to have been there at least as early as 1276 when Richard De Grymishagh held the tenememt in succession to his father Walter, and the main branch of the family continued to live there latter years of the 17th century.

With the marriage in the 14th century of Adam De Grimshaw and Cicely De Clayton, this branch of the family resided at Clayton Hall, Clayton Le Moors, until the principle stock terminated in an heiress, Mary Grimshaw, whose daughter Rebecca marrying Richard Lomax Esq carried Clayton Manor to the Lomaxes. Permission was recently been given for demolition of this Hall, rebuilt about 1850, and sadly in a ruinous and neglected condition.

A descendant of Adam and Cicely, Henry Grimshaw of Clayton 1467-1507, had a younger brother Nicholas, born in 1481, and he is presumed to be progenitor of the Pendle Forest branch of family in which Nicholas was a favourite name in every successive generation. Many residences in Pendle Forest have direct connections with the family. One of the most interesting being Ashlan House at Fence, this was built in 1594 by Richard Grimshaw and was then called The New House.

In 1737 and there after it is referred to in legal documents as the Fence, and then the following century as The Fence or Hewn Alchelor House, later as Hewn Ashlan.

The originator of the family in which we are interested was Nicholas Grimshaw of Heyhouses in Sabden, where he was living in the time of Queen Elizabeth Tudor. His Great Grandson Nicholas who was buried at Whalley in 1651 had two sons, the youngest being Nicholas Grimshaw of Heyhouses and after of Fence Gate. He married Isabel Whittaker of Symonstone in 1664. From their older son John of Fence Gate and his wife Eleanor Stephenson of Old Lannd are descended that branch of the family which were so influential in Preston, providing that city with several important citizen including 3 Lord Mayors. One of them, Lt Col Nicholas Grimshaw a solicitor who married Esther Mary Haigh and died in1838 was Lord Mayor no less than 7 times including 2 Guild years.

The younger son of Nicholas and Isabel another Nicholas of Padiham and Northwood, married Anne, daughter of Thomas Grimshaw of Oakenshaw, in Clayton Le Moors, The Homestead of another branch of the ancient family. It is of interest here that their second son Nicholas of Blackburn born 1714 and who married Susan Briercliffe, founded a branch of the family who settle in Belfast and descendants of whom are living now. The elder son Thomas of Northwood, Heyhouse and Higham born 1703 married Margaret daughter of John Holt of Loveclough and by her had a son Nicholas of Heyhouse and Higham, born 1738. This Nicholas married twice; from his first wife springing the Grimshaws of Crowtree, and from his second wife Elizabeth Harrison widow of Nicholas Parker of Slaidburn. The Grimshaws became famous as solicitors and brewers, James of Redley Grove married Alice Keirby.

Nicholas, who sold property at Heyhouses and settled at Higham, by his first wife Mary Riley of Simonstone, had a son Thomas, born 9th March 1765. This Thomas married Grace, the daughter of Abraham Gibson of Brigg Royd in Stansfield near Halifax. For her he built the house at Higham, which is now the Four Alls Inn, and their initials may still be seen over the doorway. Jesse Blakey in The Annals of Barrowford, tells us that the owners of Crowtrees, the two brothers Bulcock who were both bachelors, were uncles of Grace Gibson and left a considerable portion of their large estate to her husband including Crowtrees.

By her will of 1638 Grace Grimshaw bequeathed to her sons James and Christopher all that cotton mill or factory (which she most particularly discribes) an estate called Whithycroft and a capital messuage called Crowtrees. Both mortgaged to William Birdworth to raise the capital to build the mill, a messuage farm and tenement in the occupation of the Ingham Walton (this became Bank House), and a capitol and newly erected dwelling house called Beanfeild House together with the estate belonging called The Lane Farm. A messuage farm and tenement called Hubby Causway (Higher Causeway) and the three cottages belonging. Ten cottages in Upper Barrowford (now Foreside), four cottages at the Higher End of the New Malt Kiln, and other cottages belonging together with the New Malt Kiln on the southerly side of the Gibson Turnpike Road. The Old Malt Kiln on the northerly side of the road, the messuage, farm and tenement called Rolph Laithe and that called Lower Ridge, as well as some dwelling houses in Colne Lane Colne. Thomas and Grace had 9 children, James born 1791 being the eldest son and Thomas born 1794, and the second on the marriage of Thomas with Mary Bracewell of Coates Barnoldswick in 1823. His mother Grace built Bour Field on part of the Land of Lane Farm and incorporatly the old farmhouse (the barn and farm cottage of which stood at the junction of Gisburn Road and Barnoldswick Road until pulled down for road widening about 1924). Unhappily this marriage was short lived as Thomas died on 15th August 1824 and the course of history was changed.

His brother James now came to live Beanfield by his will of 14th March 1844 he divided his estate into 15 equal shares, of which his daughter Catherine was to have two. This must have Beanfield or one farm. As in her will 15th January 1848 she devised her estate to her husband Robert Haidman Parkinson, and on his dream, in trust for her daughter Anna Bracewell. Anna must also have been the daughter of one of three sons of Mary Grimshaw, eldest daughter of Thomas and Grace, who married William Bracewell of Coates Barnoldswick and the two later held Beanfield in trust to pay the and profits thereof to Anna Bracewell until they died. Anna continued to live at Whitly Croft with her Grandmother Mary Bracewell and seems to have been a somewhat eccentric character. She was referred to by the local council on occasions as difficult to treat with and in 1890 an action was brought against her in the High Court of Chancery by John Strickland of the Grange, for cutting off his water supply which came from her estate. She was ordered to pay £10 damages and an injunction was brought against her to be perpetually restrained from diverting said water. At that time the only source of supply. She died in 1910 at Morecombe and the local papers of that time contained no mention at all of this her death, which was followed by another High Court action to determine the succession to the estate.

That Elizabeth Bracewell, widow of Thomas and a daughter of James Grimshaw should take the whole of the property. The estate was then sold off and “Higherford” as we know it today came into being. With houses being built on Gisburn Road and Barnoldswick Road. Although the houses at Barleydale had been built first on Crowtrees land in 1909.

James son of Thomas born in 1832, inherited Crowtrees on the death of his older brother Nicholas in 1856, he married Frances Garde by whom he had three sons and a daughter. The daughter, Kate and one son James Garde Christopher went to live in New Zealand. Thomas Nicholas became Town Clerk of Wakefield and has descendants there and Charles Edward became an Architect (moved to London Married Edith Edna Palethorpe and had a son Norris and a daughter Phyllis). We have a link here with the present for their mother died in 1885 when she the children were young and later Mrs Land told me that she could remember someone coming from Crowtrees to school when she was there to tell the children that their mother had died. Only three years later their father died also. Their Aunt Mrs Thomas Bracewell of Thorneyclough brought up all the children, and the estate of Crowtrees was sold.

Thomas had two other sisters, Grace who married Richard Harper who built the Willows at lothersdale and the Brookdell, near Crowtrees, and whose granddaughters are still living. And Mary who married Richard Crossey of Soiland near Halifax, one of their daughters Clara Helena married her cousin Richard Walters Harper, so the present Miss Harpers are, as it were, twice descended from James Grimshaw.

The third son of the original Thomas and Grace was Christopher he married in 1824 Mary Spencer Swinglehurst, daughter and heiress of John of Park Hill. Had there been children of this marriage, Barrowford may not have had its park. As it was through the death of John Holt who succeeded to Park Hill and died childless the opportunity came to buy this estate. It is worthy of note here that the people of Barrowford themselves raised the money for the purchase so that it would be no change on the rates, and the house and became the property of the township forever.

Mary wife of Christopher died in1841 and he built the Grange and went to live there, one of his sisters, Harriet Anne keeping house for him until his death. She then, in 1871 built Thorneyclough and lived there until her death in 1890 when her niece and nephew Thomas and Elizabeth Bracewell succeeded her.

Most of the Grimshaws men were very musical and took active part in the choir of Higherford Methodist Church, which the family keenly supported. In the early days instruments accompanied the choir and it is said that Christopher could play every one of them. On his visit to Manchester in his capacity as cotton manufacturer, he always attended the service at the cathedral and write down the tunes of any hymns or anthems which took his fancy, adding parts for the instruments and the choir on his return home. His greatest achievement was to build an organ for the chapel, which superseded the instrumentalists on it, Completion in 1859. William Holt the brilliant young organist and nephew of Abraham Holt of Barrowford opened it himself an organist builder, the chapel having been enlarged to accommodate it.

The fourth son Nicholas died aged 16 and 15 buried with his brother Thomas in Colne Parish Church and the three other daughters were Ellen Anne, Betty and Grace.

Ellen Anne married Thomas Corlass of Kieghley and they lived at Croft House (Lower Whithcroft) after living for a time at Readyford where Thomas had the mill. One of their daughters Sarah marries the Rev Glough, the very well known congregational Minister Barrowford. One of their sons Edward was the father of the present Mrs Wiseman. When she married Mr Wiseman she went to live at the home of her Great Aunt, the above Grace, daughter of Thomas and Grace, she married Ingham Walter son of James Walton of Pasture House Worsted Manufacturer, and who built Bank House. There were no children to this marriage, and the hpuse after their death passed to the Wiseman family.

Betty the last daughter, is the subject of a romantic story by Jesse Blakey referring to her elopement! Be that as it may she married William Melville Lomas of the Willows in Lytham, wine merchant. They had two children both of whom died in infancy. Perhaps her mother forgave her for in her will she charged her estate with her sisters. However, she died in 1866 and is buried at Horbury, co. York.

The Grimshaw family built Higherford Mill, which they ran as two forms, James and Christopher Grimshaw “and” Grimshaw, and Bracewell”. They also ran the two Malt Kilns on Higherford Hill, so that almost no corner of Higherford was untouched by their influence and owes to the family an immeasurable debt.

[I am greatly indebted for much of the information above to Mrs and the late Mr Hanson of Halstead; and to Mr and Mrs Wiseman for kindly offering to me the loan of their titles deeds and family papers].

(Written by: Doreen Crowther)

Webpage History

Webpage posted January 2001. New banner added July 2015.