Hello over there. Oregon is Wet and windy and flowers are a blooming!
I pulled the Bolton thing up, question is how do I get into that information? And wonder why not looked up when they were there, following is my Report. Thanks Jacki
Research Request: To find information about Tyxill Ainsworth of Smithills Hall. I have completed 2 hours research at Bolton Archives Smithills Hall is situated about two miles north of Bolton, in Halliwell. It is a Mediaeval Manor House dating from 1335. Between 1335-1938 theThe last owners of Smithills were the Ainsworth family, who were there for about 130 years. It came into Ainsworth hands in 1801 when it was purchased from the Byron family. If Tyxill Ainsworth was born at Smithills, it is more than likely his parents were employees of the Belasyse family who owned the Hall in the mid 1600s. It’s probable he was baptised in the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the hall.
It is important to remember that between 1300s and 1700s the religion of England changed form Catholic to Protestant several times. In 1660 Charles II was restored to the throne after Oliver Cromwell’s demise, and so Catholicism was reintroduced. Anyone baptised at the Chapel would have had a Catholic baptism, but these records would have been destroyed when Protestantism returned.
Bolton Archives have several publications outlining the history of the hall and it’s families. Below is a brief resume from ‘ A Short History of Smithills Hall and its families. 1335-1990’ by Marie Mitchell. (Ref: 901.42/MIT)
Between 1339-1498 the Hall was owned by the Radcliffe family.
1498-1622 The Barton family were the owners. John Barton’s son Andrew rebuilt the Chapel on the site of the existing one.
Grace Barton married Henry Belasyse in 1622 and inherited the Hall. (The Balasyses were ancestors of Diana, Princess of Wales.)
Henry and Grace Belasyse had two sons, Thomas and Rowland. Thomas’s 2nd wife was Mary Cromwell (1657), third daughter of Oliver Cromwell. Thomas rose to power under Cromwell’s patronage.
In 1660 Charles II was restored to the throne. The bodies of those involved in the death of Charles I (including Oliver Cromwell) were exhumed and displayed at Tyburn. Thomas changed his allegiance and became a Royalist. He had several homes and allowed his brother Rowland (a devout Catholic) to live at Smithills.
The next two generations of Belasyse inherited the Hall and in 1723 it was sold to Joseph Byron of Manchester. The Byrons were at the Hall ‘til 1801 when it was sold to Richard Ainsworth,’The Opulent Bleacher’.
Richard married Sarah Jane Noble and they had 5 children;
Peter, John, Sarah, Alice and Hannah.
Smithills Hall remained with the Ainsworth ‘til 1938, when it was sold to Bolton Corporation. The Hall is now a museum and country park, open to the public.
The Archives held several documents relating to the Ainsworth family at Smithills, but they were mainly in connection with Peter Ainsworth in the 1800s.
There was a booklet, published by The Friends of Smithills Hall, entitled
‘The Ainsworth family of Smithills Hall from Norman Times to 17th Century’
by John Keelan. (ref: 929.2/AIN)
I read through this booklet which contained similar outline to ‘The Short History of Smithills Hall’ but nothing which appeared relevant to our search.
Another document: The Ainsworth Family of Halliwell and Smithills Hall 1588-1935 (Ref: 929.2) dealt mainly with estate and business transactions.
‘The Heraldry in Smithills Hall, with an Appendix on the Genealogy of the owners of Smithills’ by Malcolm Howe (Ref: ZAH/14/2) was interesting as it contained a family pedigree of all the owners. I have outlined the Ainsworth Pedigree below, up to the late 1600s. At no point did I come across the name Tyxill or any variant.
Ainsworth, about 2 ½ miles from Bolton was sometimes called’Cockey’ since it was the village of Cockey Moor. This means ‘an enclosure for wild birds’.
‘Worth’ means enclosure… surrounding a dwelling belonging to ‘Ains or Ens’
The first recorded Ainsworth of Ainsworth was Robert born c. 1170 who in 1212 joined with his son Elias in transferring some land at West Derby to Gilbert de Southworth. The Christian names of the early Ainsworths and the battle axes on their shields thoroughly indicate Norman ancestry.
Robert’s eldest son Robert, born c. 1205 inherited the land. He had two children, William and Maud.
William divided the land between his 3 sons, Robert, John and William.
Ainsworth land was passed from generation to generation.
In 1543 Robert Ainsworth occupied lands in Ainsworth and Breightmet.
His son was Richard.
Richard was the father of John Ainsworth who married Ann Liptrot of Halgh in 1604. Their first child John was christened at Rochdale 5 years before the marriage in 1599. They had 6 more children, all girls.
John married in Rochdale in 1624 and his fist child was John, baptised 13th March 1625. The family moved to Halliwell in 1625 and had children Rodger and Ann. A 1650 survey of Cockey parish showed John Ainsworth in occupation of messuages, tenements and cottages in Breightmet.
John’s son Rodger married Ellen Warburton at Eccles 3rd May 1656, and their children were John, Robert and William.
Rodger died aged 40 and Ellen aged 38 and their sons were brought up by their Ainsworth grandmother. Hearth Tax returns for Salford Hundred dated 30th April 1664 states that Rodger was excused payment of Tax on the one hearth in his cottage, so he couldn’t have been very well off. However his second son Robert, was sent to Eccles Free Grammar School and then to Bolton Grammar School. He eventually taught at a private school in Bolton, eventually moving to London in 1698 where he established a boarding school at Bethnal Green village.
I searched the transcripts of Bolton Parish Church for marriages which took place before Tyxhill’s birth, There were only two which were close:
1648 Sept. 23rd John Ainsworth and Mary Crompton
1662 Dec 30th William Ainsworth and Alice Greenhalgh of Bolton.
Baptisms of children of above couples:
John Aynsworth son of John of Breightmet 8th Feb. 1851
Mary Aynsworth daughter of John of Boulton 28th Aug. 1653
Isabel Aynsworth daughter of John of Boulton 15th Jan. 1654/5
James Aynsworth son of John of Breightmet 29th Aug. 1658
Simon son of John Ainsworth of Bolton 1st April 1661
Thomas Aynsworth son of William and Alice 8th Sept. 1667
Dorothy Ainsworth daughter of William and Alice 3rd Aug. 1670
I searched the baptism registers of Bolton parish and Deane by Bolton parish and extracted all the Ainsworth(and variants) baptisms between 1637-1670. Despite all the names being written in Latin, there was still nothing which could be interpreted as Tyxill. I am inclined to think that Tyxill was probably baptised at Smithills Chapel. Unfortunately these records have not survived.
I visited the Hall and managed to take a few photos for your interest. Some of the oldest parts of the house, i.e. the Chapel and the Great Hall are still standing.