Middleton Research Papers

There is a vast amount of historic information available to anybody who wishes to research the history of Middleton, its people and buildings. Our parish registers are some of the oldest in the country, there are estate papers for the Assheton’s , the Earls of Wilton (Edgerton) and the Hopwoods located at Manchester and Lancashire archives.


Middleton Population Crisis 1623 by Cliff Ivers Discover why so many Middleton folk died in 1623 and the grim connection with the Middleton cluster.

Whilst undertaking research into the first occupants of Middleton’s famous inn, the Boar’s Head, I noticed some exceptionally high mortality rates in the early 17th Century parish records. An early occupier of the inn was Isaack Walkeden who died in 1623 aged 36. The cause of death was not reported in his will although a clue was provided being that he was “sicklie and infirme in bodie but of goode and perfect memorie”

Rob Trueblood has produced a short piece of research entitled “The train now arriving at Middleton Central…”

Unfortunately that announcement was never heard, as Middleton – a thriving industrial town in the 1840s – was by-passed in the great period of railway expansion, when vast sums of money were invested in schemes across the country. There wasn’t to be a connection to the town until the branch line of 1857 through from Middleton Junction.

The Middleton Research Group have found one local man of note, Charles Edward Cawley  (1812-1877) who played a part in that early railway period and we wonder if he could have brought a mainline to the town.

the-train-now-arriving-at-middleton-central by Rob Trueblood

Old Boar’s Head Wall Paintings and Graffiti by Anne Falloon

The age of the historic Olde Boar’s Head in Middleton had long been a subject of speculation when, in 2016, some early timbers were dated to 1622. However, one mystery remains: the origin and meaning of the rare set of wall paintings and graffiti in the OBH upper rooms.

This paper by MAS member Anne Falloon sets out to explore what was happening in Middleton in the first half of the 17th century and to consider the possible political motivation behind the paintings and graffiti.

The ‘Lost’ Ladies of Middleton by Anne Falloon

It is all too easy to overlook the role of Middleton’s manorial women given the nature of late mediaeval and early modern records. Where there are accounts, the focus is often on the inheritors of land, the soldiers, the churchmen and the statesmen. But the documents that survive for Middleton do give us some insight into the lives of the de Middleton, de Barton and Assheton women.

Abdias Assheton (1563-1633) was a member of Middleton’s manorial family who rose to some prominence in the final years of Elizabeth I’s reign. A Protestant with strong Puritan leanings, as an academic and preacher he sought all his answers not from centuries old tradition as his Catholic forebears had done, but directly from a deep reading of the bible. In the 1590’s his approach to thinking through religious and moral choices using scripture attracted the attention of the greatest man in England.

This is the story of the controversial relationship between Essex and the influential chaplain he called his ‘little man’, Abdias Assheton.

The Earl of Essex chaplain is another piece of fine research by Anne


We are happy to publish research papers here but please check your copywrite first. Please use this form and the chairman or Secretary will get back to you

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