Research Notes of Ronald Ormerod


The following notes were made by Ronald Ormerod, who has been researching the Ormerods for over forty years.

These notes are recorded as having been made over forty years ago, and the spelling is as recorded on documents.

They contain some of the interesting facts that Ronald has come across in his research, and provide an insight into the links between the Ormerods and other Lancashire families, as well as their place in Lancashire history.

Much early research into the pedigrees found in the Genealogy section of this site, particularly that of the Ormerods of Foxstones, has been conducted by Ronald.

"Notes Giving Food for Thought

Ormerod is a place near Burnley and is about mile and a quarter east of Towneley and midway between Worsthorne (means the thorn tree near the homestead) and Mereclough. The land was cleared and brought under cultivation by one Orme.

Gemel was either a King or a chieftain, his son Orme, was he a king, a Chieftain or a Religious Leader? His name comes from the Norse God and meaning serpent or dragon. He was a christian Viking who came to this country and he found a Dale in North Yorkshire where he could build a Kirk (word means Church) we know this now as Kirkdale near Pickering in North Yorkshire. It was only in the early 1990s that they decided to clean the sun dial which was on the church tower that they found his name on it.

He moved South West where he found a clearing in a wood or forest and he built a house. This was Ormerod "Orme Rod" which means Ormes clearing in the wood/forest. At the rear of the house is a Royde which means river, and therefore you will find that you will see the name Ormeroyde, or Ormeroide. You may come across the name Holme Royde which means the "the clearing by the River".

He moved further west and built another Kirk (Church) you may have guessed it we now know this now as Ormeskirk.

Ormerod house was rebuilt in the 16th Century by Lawrence Ormerod who married Elizabeth Barcroft of Barcroft Hall 1595 inside the house with the initials of the builders. 1758 a new front of the house was built.

Looking back through the charts of the Ormerod family there have been several church ministers, one the Rev. Peter Ormerod was the vicar of Whalley in the latter half of the years 1500-1600. There have been Schoolmasters, and a George Ormerod M.A., D.C.L., F.R.S. (1785-1870) who wrote the "History of Cheshire" which is still used by Historians. He was a founder member of the Chetham Society whose publications are used by Historians and people doing research. I have used it at times. His daughter Eleanor was a celebrated Botanist and Agricultural Entomologist. She was the first woman to receive an honorary degree at Edinburgh University.

Spencers Cottage Hurstwood where the Spencers lived for four centuries from 1292 to 1690. When John Spencer of Marsden sold this house to Oliver Ormerod of Foxstones (Hurstwood) and his son Lawrence.

Also looking back at our family tree Oliver Ormerod married Mary Spencer in 1650 and lived in Hurstwood. This raised an interesting question, the relationship between Mary and Edmund Spencer the Author and Poet (1527-1599) known for writing "The Fairy Queen". His father came from Burnley and he (Edmund) lived in Hurstwood for a time from 1576 and 1579. It is known from his writing that whilst at Hurstwood, and before he was married, he fell in love with a lady but lost her to another man, she turning him down. She was "Rosalind" (not her real name) but who was she? You will find this in the poem "The Shepherds Calender". He is buried in Westminister Abbey near Chaucer. He claimed he was related to the Spencers of Althrop.

There is a connection between the Ormerod family and Brasenose College Oxford but I have not had time to follow this up.

There is a Court Report in 1550-1551 Simon and Jane Haydock v Richard Towneley re Abduction of an Heiress at Hurstwood in Burnley. It states that "the said Simon and Jane Haydock had the wardship of Agnes Ormerod and that Barnard Towneley on the 20th day of July 1550 siesed the body of the said Agnes at Altham (backed up by the armed retainers of Sir Richard Towneley) took her out of the plaintiffs possession and there married her although she was only about ten years old contrary to the laws to the plaintiffs great loss.

One Lawrence Ormerod of Roughlee (which is near Burnley) had fourteen children of whom eight survived infancy. These children included two sets of twins born within fourteen months of each other and the last child was born when its mother was about fifty-four years old.

I found a record dated April 7th 1661 "A collection for the losse by fire in the parish of St. Bartholomew Exchange London Collected by Adam Bridge, John Ormerod, Robert Ashworth. James Ashworth Churchwardens for the time being. The summe of Three shillings and Ninepence I say 0.3.9." They were the Churchwardens at St. Peters Church Burnley.

The Bells in the tower of St. Marys Church Nelson were known to be the Ormerod Bells. There was a Booklet printed by the Church titled "The Ormerod Bells" I had the privilege of reading this booklet. The Lord Bishop of Burnley dedicated the bells of St.Mary the Virgin Nelson on 3-10-1933 7-30p.m. The peal based on a tenor of 24cwts giving the note "D" in the scale of "C", comprises ten notes in a diatonic scale and one semitone (G sharp). The total weight of the bells is 5 tons and with frame about 9 tons. 11 bells . Inscriptions:-

Tenor:- Ormerod, to the glory of God this bell the foundation of the peal was given by the late Ann Ormerod in loving memory of her late husband John.

2nd Walton given by Henry Mancknols , Walton Trustee.

3rd Given by the congregation.

4th Townsmen’s, given by the Townspeople of Nelson.

5th Prosperity, given by the Tradespeople of Parish and Town.

6th Given by Albert Henry Candler 5th Vicar and Thomas Bardsley Vicars Warden.

7th Given in Pious memory of all founders of St. Marys Church & Congregation.

8th Given by Friends of St. Marys.

9th Given by Mayors of Nelson (with coat of arms & names & years of office).

10th Given by Textile Workers.

11th Given by the Children.

The bell founders John Taylor & Co., Loughborough. The tablets are by Tonks (Birmingham) Ltd.

The last peal was played by a policeman's truncheon when the bells had been removed and were waiting transport to be installed in York Minster.

Mary the wife of George Ormerod of Cowpe in Rossendale and Ann Ormerod daughter of George by Christabell Kay were buried together on 29-3-1657 (Burial Register).

Memorandum ye Lawrence Ormerod Overseer de Cowpe paid ye full dues (belonging to ye church for buring ye corps of Esther Piccop) at ye charge of the Parish. Witness my hand this fifth day of January in ye year 17/12/13. Witness Will" Thomas. (Burial Register).

Quakers buried at Chappell Hill informant Ric: Rosthorn 9-5-99 George Ormerod of Mary born June ye 10 but nevr tould me ye name untill Septembr 30 1700.

Churchwardens at Burnley 1605-06 John Ormeroid, 1621-22 Peter Ormeroid, 1625-26 John Ormeroide, 1635-36 Peter Ormerod, 1653 Peter Ormerode.

Richd Ormerod of Rosindale and Mary Fort of Altham (which is near Padiham Burnley) by licence 14-10-1764. Not signed by parties or witnesses. (Marriage Register).

There was another Ormerod House in Rose Grove Lane (now Rosegrove Burnley). This was the home of Peter Ormerod who sold this estate about 1865 having moved to the Blackpool area.

Richard Ormerod had a house built in 1842 on the rear of Old Oak Cottage (1739) at Lower Rosegrove Bridge Burnley. He was born in Rosegrove in 1819 and married Mary Bentley of Heywood. He went to Guernsey about 1846 and died there of general debility in 1850.

Law House Cliviger (Burnley) built about1645 was the property of Peter Ormerod of Ormerod (mentioned in his will dated 1650). Home of Oliver Ormerod his son in1659. The house had been occupied by the Ormerods from at least 1648. (John & George). The land was reclaimed from the wasteland of Cliviger. The house was built on the site of a Roman Station. A considerable number of Roman coins were discovered there in 1695 & a heap of stones (meaning tumulus) remained there until 1763 when it was removed as material for the turnpike road. It is believed that kiskraen and a skeleton were discovered beneath it.

Wallstreams Farm Worsthorne has got Celtic Heads round it below the eaves. These were said to ward off any witch who may approach, so that they could not turn the milk sour.

Worsthorme Old Hall was built by Wm. Halstead about 1834 when he was 20 years of age. About 1870 this house was used as a tea-room.

Lawrence Ormerod of Greensnook in Rossendale served as High Constable 1784-1789.

Mr. W. Ormerod accepts Mayor of Todmorden 12-9-1899.

John Smith commonly called Old Slate buried 24-1-1735. (Burial Register).

A lot of children were buried in 1736. 7 in March, 10 at the end of April, 16 in May, 10 in June, 8 in July, 7 in August, and 5 in September. (St. Peters Burial Register).

Old Hall Farm home of John Ormerod Born 1831 Died 1904 (my Great Grandfather). Farmer and Owner of the usual farm animals cows etc. Owned a team of 12 pack horses, limestone gals. (Galloways).

My Grandmother at sometime in her life was housekeeper at Towneley Hall, and my father has told me of going to Christmas Parties at the hall. (I wonder if this was for the children of the Staff?)

1-10-1901 Skipton footballer named Kinder dies from injuries received whilst playing."