The Grimshaws of Crowtrees

Barrowford, Lancashire, England

The Grimshaw family in Crowtrees and elsewhere in Barrowford, Lancashire is one of the many lines of the Pendle Forest Grimshaws. This line apparently began when Thomas Grimshaw married Grace Gibson and the couple was subsequently invited to move to Crowtrees by Grace’s two aging bachelor uncles who were living there. Thomas and Grace apparently moved from their home in Higham (now the “Four Alls Inn”) to Crowtrees in the late 1700s or late 1800s.


Website Credits

Grimshaw Family History as Described in the Annals and Stories of Barrowford

Ancestor and Descendant Chart for Thomas Grimshaw of Crowtrees

Map of the Barrowford Area from Blakey’s Annals and Stories of Barrowford

Additional Relevant Grimshaw Information in Blakey’s “Annals”

Christopher Telfer Webpage Information on Grimshaws of Crowtrees

Pictures at Higham and Barrowford

Doreen Crowther’s History

Preston Guardian Article, September 8, 1877

Grimshaw History by a Crowtrees Grimshaw Descendant


Website Credits

Thanks go to Christopher Telfer for providing the historical information about the Crowtrees Grimshaws prepared by Doreen Crowther and to Derrick Grimshaw for providing the photo of the “Grimshaw Oak” (described below). Thanks also to Stephanie (Grimshaw) Leon for providing copies of the document on Grimshaw history apparently prepared by her great-grandmother, Mary Frances (Garde) Grimshaw.

Grimshaw Family History as Described in the Annals and Stories of Barrowford

The Grimshaw family of Crowtrees is quite well described in the Annals and Stories of Barrowford by Jesse Blakey1. Blakey’s description of the Grimshaw family, from Chapter XII, “Family Histories” (p. 293-297) is shown below.


The pedigree of the Grimshaw family in Dr. Whitaker’s “History of Whalley” goes back to the year 1600.

Several of them occupied high positions: – Thomas Grimshaw was Mayor of Preston in 1768; John Grimshaw was five times Mayor of Preston; Nicholas Grimshaw was seven times Mayor, including two Guild Mayoralties; Charles Livins Grimshaw, of Tottingham Hall, Lancaster, and of Goldington and Apsley Guise, Bedfordshire, was a Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant and Sheriff of Bedforshire in 1866.

The first Grimshaw to live at Crow Trees was Thomas, who married Miss Gibson (as stated under “Crow Trees”). He died in 1842, aged 77.

He was succeeded by his son James, who was somewhat of a sportsman, and kept fighting cocks. He died in 1844, at the age of 53.

The late Thomas Grimshaw was born in 1832, and died in 1888. He was a Captain in the volunteers about 1870.

Grace Grimshaw died in 1842, aged 73.

Nicholas Grimshaw died in 1856, aged 32.

The Grimshaws were the Squires of the village, and well-known in this district in the middle of last century. They ran the old Higherford Mill, and were also “Maltsters.” Christopher was the most prominent member of the family at this time. He was a tall stately looking gentleman, with a thoughtfull (sic) face and a slight sloop, which suggested a

meditative mind. He had a fine musical taste, and was conductor of the Higherford Wesleyan Choir for many years, which, during his time, was one of the best in the district. He was a strict disciplinarian, and if any member of the choir, or even congregation, sang out of tune or too loudly, they would get to hear about it, even when the organist was playing’too loudly, he has been known to go to the buck of the organ and put some stops in, He built the organ at the Grange, his residence, being assisted by Abraham Holt, and evendesigned the case, which was the work of Robert Howarth. It was considered to be a fine instrument in those days. He also superintended the making of the first footpath through the village. During the cotton famine, about the years 1862-3, he took a great part in the relief of the distress caused by the stoppage of the mills, thus showing his great interest in the welfare of the village. He made the large public clock which was attached to the old Higherford Mill. He was born in 1801, and died in 1865.

He had five sisters – Mrs. Bracewell, of Whitty Croft, Mrs. Corlass, of Croft House, Mrs. Walton, of Bank House, Harriet Ann, who built Thorneyclough, and Betty.

Christopher Grimshaw used to ride to Manchester on horseback on a Monday. Conduct his business on “Change” on Tuesday morning, and in the afternoon go into the Cathedral and listen to the Choir. If he liked the anthem, he would jot it down for the choir at home, and in that way the Wesleyan Choir became very noted. He would return home next day, Wednesday.

The singing in the Chapel was led by a band before he built the organ.

He was great uncle to the Grimshaws, who lived with their aunt at Thorneyclough up to a few years ago, but now are widely scattered, the eldest son, bearing the old family names of Thomas and Nicholas, is Deputy Town Clerk of Wakefield.

The Grimshaw family are in possession of a large Bible, which was printed in Amsterdam, Holland in the Year 1649, for Stephen Swat, of the Crowned Bible, London, It contains the whole book of Psalms, “collected into English metre by Thomas Sternhold and John Hopkins, and others.”

It has probably been in possession of the Grirnshaw family for near 300 years, and although it is in a rather dilapidated condition, on account of age and use, the pages are clean and the type is clear. The binding is of strong thick leather, but the backs are detached from the inside, yet considering its age it is, on the whole in fair condition.

Importance attaches to the sacred volume, apart from its age, especially to the only descendents (sic) bearing the name of Grimshaw, from the fact that it bears the names of a number of the ancesters of the present family.

The first name alluded to is that of Nicholas, son of Thomas Grimshaw and Isabel, his wife, born 4th day of January 1664. Then follows the name of Rebekah Grimshaw, their daughter, born 15th day of February 1666, and three children in succession – John, born 15th September, 1669; Richard, born 25th March, 1672, and Thomas, born 5th March, 1675. Other names follow – Nicholas, Thomas, and Rebekah being handed down as favourite names in following generations. The last name in the blank leaves of the book is that of Nickolas Grimshaw, who died in the year 1825. Of course this is not the Nickolas alluded to at the beginning. There has been a Nickolas since the last named, and the father of the present representatives of the family was named Thomas. The Misses Grimshaw – Grace, Mary and Elizabeth were great walkers. One year they agreed with their friends, the Misses Sutcliffe, of Bradley Hall, Nelson, to walk to Pendle Hill every month. Five went the first time, but they gradually fell out, and Miss Elizabeth Grimshaw was the only one who walked there twelve times. Once she went in a snow storm, and the farmer at the foot of the hill said: “If I were your mother I’d smack you.”


Betty Grimshaw, sister of Christopher, had an admirer, of whom her parents did not approve. She was shut up in her bedroom at Crowtrees, and only allowed to take exercise in the garden under escort. But she somehow was able to insert letters in one of the old yew trees which were taken to her admirer by the man-servant. Her health began to suffer, so a married sister in Keighley begged to take her away, saying that she would look after her. She went to Keighley, and one evening threw a wrap round her shoulders and said she would take a walk in the garden. She did not return, and her sister, on going to look for her, was just in time to see her driving off in a chaise with her lover. They were married, and, we hope, “lived happily ever after.”


When Christopher Grimshaw’s wife died, he hoped that his niece Elizabeth Grimshaw, who married Thomas Bracewell, would play the instrument. He was very disappointed when he found that she was too nervous to gratify his wish.


When Christopher Grimshaw’s wife died, his unmarried sister, Harriet Ann, went to live with

him. Upon his death Miss Harriet built Thorneyclough, where she went to live, and the Grange passed to Christopher’s nephew, Thomas, who sold it to Nicholas Strickland.

In those days the Grimshaws used to dirve to Blackpool in their carriage. They stayed at the Clifton Hotel.

Higherford Corn Mill and the Malt Kiln were built by the Grimshaws. Messrs. Holland and Whitehead occupied it as joiners, then it became a confectionary works under Samuel Howarth, and was the largest works of its kind for very many miles around. Locally it was termed the “spice shop.”

The orders were so large that a great amount of night work had to be done.

Ancestor and Descendant Chart for Thomas and Grace (Gibson) Grimshaw of Crowtrees

As noted, the family line of Thomas and Grace Grimshaw is one of many in the Pendle Forest Grimshaw family line, which is described on a companion webpage. The ancestor and descendant information for Thomas Grimshaw, first Grimshaw occupant of Crowtrees shown below is derived from the chart in Whitaker2, 1872, which is shown on the companion webpage.

Ancestor and Descendant chart for Thomas Grimshaw of Crowtrees.

Nicholas Grimshaw (progenitor of Pendle Forest Line of Grimshaws) & ?

|—Thomas Grimshaw & ?

|—|—Nicholas Grimshaw ( – Circa 1651) & Margaret Unknown ( – Circa 1670)

|—|—|—Nicholas Grimshaw (Circa 9 Oct 1636 – Circa 14 May 1708) & Isabel Whitaker

|—|—|—|—Nicholas Grimshaw & Anne Grimshaw (8 May 1681 – )

|—|—|—|—|—Thomas Grimshaw (1703 – 28 Jun 1783) & Margaret Holt ( – 27 Mar 1793)

|—|—|—|—|—|—Nicholas Grimshaw (20 May 1738 – 19 Aug 1825) & Mary Riley ( – 19 Jan 1775)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Thomas Grimshaw (8 Mar 1765 – 11 Feb 1842) & Grace Gibson ( – 1 Sep 1842)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—James Grimshaw (6 Apr 1791 – 3 May 1844) & Mary Ashworth

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Nicholas Grimshaw (30 Oct 1823 – 26 Jan 1856)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Grace Grimshaw (13 May 1826 – )

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Mary Grimshaw (29 Mar 1828 – )

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Thomas Grimshaw (21 Jun 1832 – ) & Frances Garde

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Elizabeth Grimshaw (21 Jun 1842 – )

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—James Grimshaw (20 Apr 1836 – 20 Mar 1837)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Mary Grimshaw

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Thomas Grimshaw (7 Jan 1794 – 15 Aug 1824) & Mary Bracewell

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Christopher Grimshaw (20 Mar 1801 – 28 Jul 1865) & Mary Swinglehurst ( – 18 Jul 1841)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Nicholas Grimshaw

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Grace Grimshaw

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Harriet-Anne Grimshaw

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Betty Grimshaw (15 Dec 1766 – ) & William Hartley

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Mary Grimshaw & John Crossley

|—|—|—|—|—|—Betty Grimshaw & John Holt

|—|—|—|—|—Nicholas Grimshaw (Circa 18 Apr 1714 – ) & Susan Briercliffe (Progenitors of the “Irish” line of Grimshaws)

|—|—|—|—|—Isabel Grimshaw

|—|—|—|—|—Anne Grimshaw & William Hartley

Map of the Barrowford Area from Blakey’s Annals and Stories of Barrowford

A map of the Barrowford area from Blakey’s Annals is shown below.

Map of Barrowford area, from Blakey’s Annals and Stories of Barrowford. Note the locations of Pendle Hill, Nelson, Colne, the Calder River, and other landmarks.

Additional Relevant Grimshaw Information in Blakey’s Annals and Stories of Barrowford1

Several other sections of the “Annals” provide additional Grimshaw family information; these are shown below.

A. Chapter VII, “Old Houses”, p. 207 to 211.


There is here an iron spout with the date 1825 upon it. The Rev. E. Gough, B.A., at one time lived here, and Christopher Grimshaw drew his attention to this spout. He said, “On the day when my brother Thomas, who lived here, put up that spout, I proposed to Miss Swinglehurst, of Park Hill.” They were afterwards married, and went to live at Park Hill. Had there been any offspring to this marriage it would have considerably affected the disposal of much land adjoining Barrowford. Mrs. Christopher Grimshaw died in 1841.

Christopher Grimshaw had a brother, Thomas, who was very fond of music. He had an organ built and put into the large room at Crowtrees, as he said, “instead of a wife. “But later he married, and built Beanfield House, where he went to live, leaving the organ at Crowtrees. It was still in the house in 1894.


Christopher Grimshaw owned much land in the neighbourhood, and after the death of his wife, did not care to live at Park Hill, and pay rent. Consequently, he built for himself “The Grange,” which dates from 1841. It was in the extensive outbuildings here where he built the Wesleyan Chapel Organ, and the Higherford Mill Clock. The house is pleasantly situated, especially since the removal of tile old buildings at Dicky Nook. It fronts due south. After Christopher Grimshaw’s death, the house and fields adjoining were bought by Nicholas Strikland, formerly of Gisburn, and the father of John Strickland. He let the estate but later it was sold to Harold Smith, from whom it was purchased by John Dixon, the present owner. In 1845 it was assessed at £16 7s. 6d.

The Grange


Somewhere about 1700 there lived at Crowtrees two bachelor brothers named Bulcock. Old prayer books show that they habitually attended Colne Church, and according to a custom of the times, both wore cocked hats. They had a sister Ellen, who appears to have married a Gibson, who lived at the Laund, which was the property of the Hargreaves family, who owned much land in the district.

The Gibsons had a daughter who became engaged to Thomas Grimshaw of Higham, where he lived in a comparatively small house. When Mr. Grimshaw was about to marry Miss Gibson, he needed a larger house, so he built what is now “The Four Alls Inn,” at Higham, there they lived for a time. But Mrs. Grimshaw’s uncles, the two bachelor brothers at Crowtrees, were getting old, and they wished their niece and her husband to come and live with them, and it was in this way that the Grimshaw family became connected with Crowtrees and with Barrowford.

The two brothers, Bulcock, owned much property about Barrowford, and they left a considerable part of it to their niece and her husband. Thomas Grimshaw afterwards put a new front into Crowtrees. This would be before the year 1800. He had a large family, one of them being the Christopher Grimshaw, who build “The Grange.”

The only date I can find on the house is on the top of a downspout, 1805, with the letters T.G.G. The barn is dated 1741.

The late Mr. Atkinson purchased the property in 1894 from the Trustees of Thomas Grimshaw, whose Will was made in 1872.



Old John Bolton and his wife (nee Anne Sutcliffe), for fifty years lived at the “Hubby” as the old cottages were called, which stood on the site of Oaklands Lodge. They had twenty living children born to them. Rushton Bolton, of Russell Street, who has just passed away, was the youngest of them.

When the children were getting up, they wanted an oven and boiler in place of the old-fashioned hobs. John asked Christopher Grimshaw if he would put one in. “Who is your landlord?” he was asked, and the reply was, “I do not know.” “Well, but to whom do you pay rent?” The reply was, ” I don’t pay any rent.”

He agreed to pay sixpence a week to Mr. Grimshaw on his supplying him with one, and in that way Grimshaw became the owner.

John Bolton, the Joiner, was born here in 1851. One son, Sutcliffe Bolton, was in the Helmshore railway accident.

The house was pulled down about 1872.

The Hubby

B. Chapter IX, “Old Mills and Owners”, p. 217 to 219.


This was of four stories, and judging from an old stone, built into the wall in Paradise Street, and probably taken from the old building, dates from 1824. Weaving was carried on, on the 2nd and 3rd floors.

The faithful clock high up on the outside wall was a necessity in the days when watches were few and far between. It was built by Christopher Grimshaw, and gave long and faithful service.

The shed on the upper side of the warehouse was built on the site of a blacksmith’s shop and a road which went round by “Brookdell.” The lower shed was built later, on what was formerly the mill yard. Thomas Grimshaw told the late Rev. E. Gough that when he owned the place, he was once looking out of the top doorway of the warehouse, when the door swung against him, and he narrowly escaped with his life, so he built a low wall in front, which may still be seen, as a safeguard.

For many years the place was in the hands of the Grimshaw family, who gave a big dinner in 1837, when Queen Victoria was crowned.

In 1845 it was owned and run by Grimshaw and Bracewell.

The works, which had bean run for many years by R. H. Wiseman, as tenant, were bought by him by public auction, for £4,600. The mill was run by water power until the introduction of steam, in 1832, when it was run by a combination of the two.


“The steam chimney at the top of the bank, for Grimshaw’s factory, Higherford, was finished on December 14th, 1812nd year of our Lord. Built by William Howarth, Colne; Howarth Tateras, from Wheatey Lane; Masons, Harry Holt, W. Howarth: Howarth, Nottary.”

This would be Caleb Howarth, the Quaker lawyer.

The two buildings up the hill in Higherford were both malt kilns. The one on the left was later a confectionery works, known to us as the “spice shop.” It was run as such by Samuel Howarth, who lived at “Syke House.”

It was later sold to Sagars, who built Throstle Nest Mill, Nelson. The malt kiln opposite had as its motive power a horse, which, by going round in a circle, turned a vertical shaft. I remember, as a boy, watching a grey old horse circling round on his monotonous task.

C. Chapter XIII, “The Grimshaw Oak”, p. 339 to 343.



This old oak is situated about half a mile up the river from the old bridge in Higherford. Its situation is most picturesque, standing athwart the vale of Pendle Water, with Blacko Hill, Brown Hill, Ridge and Udderstone for a background, and Pendle Water laving its roots. No one taking a walk by this beautiful river-side could overlook its venerable form, stretching out its sturdy arms to adorn the landscape and offering shelter to bird and beast. We do not know of its equal in the whole of Blackburnshire. This venerable relic of Pendle Forest is nearly 18 ft. in girth and its age has been computed as between 600 and 1,000 years. Surely it will be preserved.

To quote Joe Bates: –

“It is known the wide world over wherever Barrowford men and women reside, the memory of it thrills the hearts of men and women in America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia. It’s very leaves have grown into their souls. It is to them a tower of strength, guarding the sacred boundaries of the land they loved in their youth.

“They stood under it, made love under it, dreamed dreams beneath its spreading boughs, The sentiment of it is in their blood. It is their tree though they may never see it again.”


By Albert Veevers (1892).

Time-honored tree, am I not justified

To look on thee with truly honest pride.

Revered thou art by me and thousands more,

Reminder of the past, the days of yore,

How often have I loitered near thy shade,

And all thy stately splendour thus surveyed.

How often would we youths at school engage,

First to discuss thy size, and then thy age.

And often have I heard my mother talk,

How her forefathers gloried in this oak;

Her ne’er told tale when in reflective mood,

Of girlish gambols in the neighbouring wood,

Rememblance thus wakes up with all I know;

There hangs a tale from every outstretched bough.

Likewise imagination is begun,

Which, like these roots, in all directions run.

As year by year I see thee thus decay,

In solemn tones to me thou seem’st to say: –

“This is my dying speech, death by degrees, –

‘Tis half one’s life to die with old oak trees, –

I once was young, and with the wind did blow,

But where’s the force to bend this stout trunk now?

‘Tis by the merest chance that I exist;

An acorn fell, struck root, or I had missed.

Five hundred years upon this spot I’ve stood;

Five hundred Springs I’ve burst out fresh in bud;

Five hundred Summers in my glory shone;

Five hundred Autumns, and my leaves were gone;

Five hundred winter’s sleep, – a lesson take:

I never failed at proper time to wake.

How changed these scenes from what in youth I knew,

When countless trees in one vast forest grew.

No tyrant’s hand did then disturb our peace,

Unchecked we grew, and each year did increase.

At times full many more than could subsist,

In mortal conflict struggled to exist.

In sylvan scenes we each one took a pride,

The crowning beauty was this water side,

Which, winding, murmuring down from Pendle Hill

Joined yonder with its song the Castor Gill.

Where Otherstone which many charms possest,

Rose from its side with haughty, rugged crest.

There nature was in splendour well arrayed,

While flowers and blossom grew, unseen, to fade:

The modest primrose, after winter’s storm;

The fern uncoiling in most graceful form;

The downy palm the hazel tree so neat,

The hawthorn bright, the honeysuckle’s sweet;

Fragrance and lustre did the wild brier lend,

And all in season did some beauty blend.

The foliage of holly evergreen,

And animated nature cheered the scene.

Birds in the bush and from the trees above,

Sent forth their song of thankfulness and love.

Man who till now had e’er a stranger been,

Here takes full sway, and comes upon the scene.

The forest falls at his all-powerful hand,

And changes into cultivated land,

The Crow Trees House, which long sequestered stood,

Raised up it head as disappeared the wood.

Here dwelt in affluence the worthy sire,

Whose progeny was each successive squire.

Nor can we make the bridge of time our theme,

And overlook the bridge across the stream –

The old stone bridge not yet beyond its prime,

A landmark in an unknown space of time;

Here is preserved in this majestic span,

The wondrous skill of some forgotten man;

‘Mid countless changes this has nobly stood,

Resisting all the force of storm or flood;

‘Mid all the tumult this no evil took,

When ruthless Cromwell all the nation shook,

And doubtless will in all its vigour be,

To celebrate another Jubilee.”

The Old Oak

Photo of the Grimshaw Oak today. Taken by Derrick Grimshaw in July, 2003.

D. Chapter VII, “Old House”, p. 207 to 211.

The deaths of a number of Grimshaw family members are recorded in the registers of St. Thomas’s Church in Barrowford.


Mrs. Every-Clayton laid the corner stone of Barrowford Church. On a plate affixed to the stone was the following inscription:- “‘Glory to God in the highest.’ This cornerstone of the Church of St. Thomas, Barrowford, was laid on the 21st day of December, A.D., 1837, in the first year of Queen Victoria, by Mrs. Every-Clayton, of Carr Hall, assisted by Le Gendre Nicholas Starkie, Esq., of Huntroyde. The site of the Fabric, Cemetery, School, and Yard was given by James Nowell Farrinton, Esq., of Shawe Hall, Chorley, and the expense of the building was contributed by subscription, aided by a grant of £750 from the Chester Diocdesan Society – Richard Noble, Vicar of Whalley; John Henderson, Incumbent of Colne; John Rushton, Inclument of Newchurch-in-Pendle; John Hutchinson, Incumbent of Marsden.”

It was opened in 1841, being then in the diocese of Chester. In 1847 it was in the Manchester diocese, and in 1926 is in the new diocese of Blackburn. The burial register commenced in 1859, baptisms in 1840, the marriage register in 1844. It was enlarged in 1855. The font was given by Thomas Barrowclough in 1870. In 1883 the Chancel was added, the Church re-seated, and the organ enlarged again by Thomas Barrowclough, of Oaklands, at a cost of nearly £3,000. To mark this generosity a brass was set up on the south-east wall by the vicar and congregation.

(several paragraphs omitted here)


Entry in 1843- “Mr. Smith paid all the fees for funerals to Mr. Henderson, of Colne.”

1841.- Mary Grimshaw Park Hill, aged 39.

1842.- Thomas Grimshaw, aged 76. Grace Grimshaw, Crow Trees, aged 73.

1844.- James Grimshaw, aged 53.

1851.- John Bury, aged 88.

1852.- James Sutcliffe, aged 62. Thomas Veevers, aged 65.

1853- Jane Nowell, aged 76. Hannah Hargreaves, aged 79.

1854.- James Sutcliffe, aged 61.

1855.- Ellen Steel, aged 54. Betty Veevers, aged 68. Mary Stansfield, aged 64. Margaret Dickinson, aged 58.

1856.- Nicholas Grimshaw, aged 32. John Steel, aged 54.

1857.- Nanny Berry, aged 65. Richard Berry, aged 67.

1858.- Sarah Bolton, of Wheatley Carr, aged 81. Emmott Sutcliffe, aged 73. Henry Berry, aged 40.

1860.- William Nutter, aged 37. John Berry, aged 79. Ingham Walton, aged 53.

1861.- Edmondson Barrowclough, aged 31. David Stansfield, aged 77. Ormerod Barrowclough, aged 38. John Sutcliffe, of Bacup, aged 80.

1862.- Betty Stansfield, aged 82.

1863- Jane Blakey, of Burnley, aged 42. Thomas Sutcliffe, aged 71. James Sutcliffe, of Water Meetings, aged 72.

1864.- John Hargreaves, Upper Park Hill, aged 85. Ann Dickinson, aged 14.

1865.- Christopher Grimshaw, aged 64. Mary Berry, aged 76 Parker Swinglehurst Barrowclough, aged 5 months. Alice Sutcliffe, aged 70.

1866- Thomas Dickinson, Surgeon, Pasture Lane, aged 70. Mary Sutcliffe, Water Meetings, aged 71. John Barrowclough, Oaklands, aged 66. Sarah Blakey, aged 31.

1867.- James Hargreaves, aged 81. Sarah Blakey, Burnley, aged 23. Henry Hargreaves, Burnley, aged 80. “Rawsthorne, Suffragan Bishop of Whalley Under Blackburn. Patron and Rector of Croston, near Preston.”

1869- Matthew Cragg, Bank Hall, aged 61. James Hargreaves, Barrowford, aged 87.

1870.- John Blakey, Burnley, aged 52. James Howarth Hargreaves, The Laund, aged 66.

1871.- Robert Faraday, aged 62.

1873.- Ellen Corless, aged 76. Thomas Hargreaves, Lower Park Hill, aged 65. Mary Hargreaves, Lower Park Hill, aged 74.

Christopher Telfer Webpage Information on Grimshaws of Crowtrees

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 GrimshawA, {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

AJames 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 GrimshawB, {born 21 June 1832} (cont.)

5. Elizabeth Grimshaw, {born 21 June 1842}

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

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

1. Charles Edward GrimshawC

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}

CCharles 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 Higham and Barrowford

Several pictures that are relevant to the Grimshaws at Barrowford (and Higham previously) are included on Chris Telfer’s website. They are shown below (Figures 8, 9, and 10.)

A. Pictures at Higham

According to Chris Telfer’s website, “the Four Alls Inn (shown below) 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.”

The “Four Alls Inn,” located in Higham. This structure was originally built by Thomas Grimshaw for his new bride, Grace (Gibson) Grimshaw. However, the couple moved to Crowtrees early in their marriage.

The building at Crowtrees. 

Grave of Thomas and Grace (Gibson) Grimshaw at Crowtrees:

Doreen Crowther’s History

Christopher Telfer 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)

Preston Guardian Article, September 8, 1877

In September 1877 The Preston Guardian, the principal newspaper of Preston during that time, published a series of four articles on the Pendle Forest Grimshaws1,2,,4. These articles, which are included in a companion, provide a great deal of highly relevant Grimshaw family history. The following paragraph, from the second article (September 8, 18773) includes the relevant information for the Crowtrees (Barrowford) Grimshaw family line.

Before proceeding with the account of the descendants of John Grimshaw, eldest son of the last-named Nicholas, I insert here a note on Nicholas Grimshaw, the second son; from whom descended another respectable branch, still extant in several representatives. Nicholas Whitaker, son of Nicholas is described as “of Padiham and Northwood.” He died in 1736, and his Will, dated in 1734, was proved May 25th, 1736. His wife was Anne, daughter of Thomas Grimshaw, of Oakenshaw, gent. This Thomas Grimshaw represented another collateral branch of the old stock of Grimshaws. They had a freehold estate at Oakenshaw, in Clayton-in-le-Moors. Oakenshaw is now a little town of modern cottages, but there was still standing in the place an old fashioned house, now much the worse in external aspect from age and neglect, built probably in the 16th century, with small mullioned windows, gabled roof, and porch and chimneys to match, which was once the domicile of the Grimshaws of Oakenshaw. I have a documentary reference to this branch, dated 1720, which asserts that they had then enjoyed an estate in that neighbourhood, as proved by writings above 330 years; but that they were related to the Grimshaws of Clayton Hall, bearing the same arms. There is no pedigree of the Grimshaws of Oakenshaw in any of the Visitations. Thomas Grimshaw, of Oakenshaw, was born sometime from 1630 to 1635. He married, first, Oct. 26th, 1658, Mary, daughter of John Sagar, of Habergham Eaves (and sister of Mr. Charles Sagar, master of Blackburn Grammar School, and later a notable Nonconformist minister). By her Thomas Grimshaw had a daughter, Jennet. This wife dying young, Thomas Grimshaw married secondly, 14th May, 1663, Isabel Hargreaves. By this marriage he had issue four sons, Nicholas, born Jan 4th, 1664 (who had a son, Thomas, and daughters, Sarah and Isabel); John, born Sept. 15th, 1669; Richard, born March 25th, 1672; and Thomas, born March 5th, 1775 (sic). Thomas Grimshaw, the father, had by his second wife three daughters, namely, Rebecca, born Feb. 15th, 1666, married, first, John Livesey, who died in 1708 – to whom she bore sons, John Livesey, married in August, 1719, Margaret, daughter of John Hamer, of Bradshaw, and Samuel, and two daughters – and secondly, Jan 25th, 1713-14, at Newchurch-in-Pendle, Rev. John Jollie, Dissenting Minister at Sparth, by whom she had no issue; she died Nov. 17th, 1720; Isabel, born May 5th, 1679; and Anne, born 5th May, 1681, married, as before stated, Nicholas Grimshaw of Padiham and Northwood. Thomas Grimshaw of Oakenshaw died in 1700, and his Will was proved in that year at Chester. Testator names a copyhold estate he had at Huncoat, which his sons John and Thomas were authorised to sell, and were to pay certain sums out of the proceeds to testators daughters; he left all his capital messuage called Oakenshaw to his sons John and Thomas in trust for his grandson Thomas, son of testators eldest son Nicholas. The latter, Nicholas Grimshaw of Oakenshaw, in Clayton-le-Moors, yeoman, died in 1742. John Grimshaw, his brother, died at Padiham, in 1703; and Thomas Grimshaw, the younger brother, died Oct 5th, 1744, having previously sold his estate at Higham Booth to his nephew, Thomas Grimshaw of Heyhouses. This nephew was the eldest son of Nicholas Grimshaw of Northwood, by his wife Anne Grimshaw. He was born in 1703, and died June 28th, 1783: and by his wife, Margaret, daughter of John Holt of Love Clough, he had a son, Nicholas Grimshaw of Heyhouses, later of Higham, who married, first, Mary Riley of Simonstone, and secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of James Harrison, and widow of North Parker, attorney-at-law of Slaidburn; his sons were, Thomas, of Barrowford; Nicholas, of Higham; and John Grimshaw of Bank House in Higham Booth; and his daughters, Betty, wife of William Hartley of Fence Gate; Mary, wife of John Crossley, of Great House near Todmorden. A younger son of Nicholas Grimshaw of Padiham and Anne Grimshaw was Nicholas Grimshaw of Blackburn, gent., who married Susan Briercliff, and died at Belfast. His son was Nicholas Grimshaw, sometime of Blackburn, afterwards of Belfast, who was the first of a branch of Grimshaws settled in Ireland, where living representatives yet flourish.

Grimshaw History by a Crowtrees Grimshaw Descendant

A document describing the Grimshaw surname and selected noteworthy Grimshaws was prepared by a member of the Crowtrees family line. The document, shown below, is dated September 27, 1951 and was provided by Stephanie (Grimshaw) Leon, a great-granddaughter of Thomas and Mary (Garde) Grimshaw.

The above document was apparently retyped and “cleaned up” on March 8, 1952; this version is shown below. It was posted on Facebook in September 2009 by Stephanie (Grimshaw) Leon with the note “Saved by Charles Grimshaw in 1952”. Note the entry at the top by Mary Frances Grimshaw, who was the sister of Charles Grimshaw.

The following descendant chart, prepared in part from information on Christopher Telfer’s own website and his webpage on Rootsweb, shows the lineage of Mary Frances and Charles Grimshaw, children of Thomas and Mary Frances (Garde) Grimshaw in the Crowtrees and overall Pendle Forest lines of Grimshaws. According to the 1881 census provided by Chris Telfer, Thomas and Mary Grimshaw had six children, the oldest of whom was Mary Frances Grimshaw, noted above at the top of the document. Charles Edward Grimshaw was the second-youngest child.

Nicholas Grimshaw (progenitor of Pendle Forest Line of Grimshaws) & ?

|—Thomas Grimshaw & ?

|—|—Nicholas Grimshaw ( – Circa 1651) & Margaret Unknown ( – Circa 1670)

|—|—|—Nicholas Grimshaw (Circa 9 Oct 1636 – Circa 14 May 1708) & Isabel Whitaker

|—|—|—|—Nicholas Grimshaw & Anne Grimshaw (8 May 1681 – )

|—|—|—|—|—Thomas Grimshaw (1703 – 28 Jun 1783) & Margaret Holt ( – 27 Mar 1793)

|—|—|—|—|—|—Nicholas Grimshaw (20 May 1738 – 19 Aug 1825) & Mary Riley ( – 19 Jan 1775)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Thomas Grimshaw (8 Mar 1765 – 11 Feb 1842) & Grace Gibson ( – 1 Sep 1842)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—James Grimshaw (6 Apr 1791 – 3 May 1844) & Mary Ashworth

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Nicholas Grimshaw (30 Oct 1823 – 26 Jan 1856)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Grace Grimshaw (13 May 1826 – )

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Mary Grimshaw (29 Mar 1828 – )

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Thomas Grimshaw (21 Jun 1832 – ?) & Frances Garde (1848, Rathfarnham, Cork, Ireland – 27 Jul 1877, Barrowford)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Mary Frances Grimshaw (8 Dec 1872, Barrowford – ?)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Catherine (“Kate”) Elizabeth Grimshaw (26 Apr 1874 – ). Emigrated to New Zealand.

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Thomas Nicholas Grimshaw (27 Jul 1877 – ?)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—James Garde Christopher Grimshaw (12 Jun 1880 – 19 Sep 1960, New Zealand)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Charles Edward Grimshaw (11 Oct 1882, Barrowford – Mar 1961) & Edith Adele Palethorpe (16 Dec 1889 – 29 Nov 1966). Married 11 Jan 1921, Acton.

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Phyllis Mary Grimshaw

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Norris Grimshaw

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—Clo Ethel Grimshaw (16 Sep 1875 – 14 Jan 1876)


1Blakey, Jesse, 1929, The Annals and Stories of Barrowford: Nelson, Lancashire, Blakeys’, 416 p.

2Whitaker, Thomas Dunham, 1872, An History of the Original Parish of Whalley, and Honor of Clitheroe (Revised and enlarged by John G. Nichols and Ponsonby A. Lyons): London, George Routledge and Sons, 4th Edition; v. I, 362 p.; v. II, 622 p. Earlier editions were published in 1800, 1806, and 1825.

3Author Unknown, 1877, Sketches in Local History: Memorials of Old Lancashire Families – the Grimshaws of Pendle Forest and of Preston (Second Paper): Preston, Lancashire, England, The Preston Guardian, September 8, 1877, 2nd Sheet, p. 1.

Webpage History

Webpage posted November 2001. Updated January 2002, July 2003 with Derrick Grimshaw’s photo of the Grimshaw Oak. Updated April 2011 with addition of document on Grimshaw history.