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The Parish of Littleborough
in the County of
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Early Ministers of Littleborough

Adam BUCKLEY - Chaplain of Littleborough

Years unknown, thought to be early 1400’s.

Said to be brother of Geoffrey Buckley, Rector of St Albans, Wood Street, London and Richard Buckley a priest in Butterworth.


Years unknown, thought to be mid 1400’s.
Relative of Henry Merland, Vicar of Rochdale.

Sir Roger LYNNEY

Years unknown, thought to be early 1500’s.

Robert TURNOUGH – Chaplain of Littleborough

Years unknown, thought to be early to mid 1500’s.

Sir John DYGLE – Curate of Littleborough

Years unknown, thought to be mid 1500’s.

Sir Bernard HAMER

Years unknown, thought to be mid 1500’s.


Years unknown, thought to be mid 1500’s.


Years unknown, thought to be 1560’s.

Willliam GREAVES

Years unknown, thought to be late 1500’ early 1600’s.

Richard KNOWLES - Curate

Known to be Curate in 1602.


Exact years unknown but was there in 1602. In 1611 and 1620 he was cited before the Dean for not wearing his ‘Surples’ and not observing a fast day.

Son of Rev. William Marcrofte a former Curate and brother to James Marcroft, Clerk.


Years unknown, thought to be mid 1600’s.
Known as a ‘Great Scholar’.

William WALKER – Curate 1627

Exact years unknown apart from:-
Known to be Minister of Heywood around 1645-1655.
Also known to be Minister at Douglas Chapel Eccleston about 1860.

Robert DUNSTER – Curate

Exact years unknown, thought to be 1640’s.

Richard THORPE

Exact years unknown, thought to be around 1645.


Served in Littleborough prior to his death in 1659.

His wife continued to live in Littleborough in reduced circumstances, until her death in 1678.

Thomas GUY - Curate

Appointed as Curate in 1672.
Died in 1692.

His widow died in 1714.


Born 1654 in Bury. Went to Cambridge and took his B.A.

Died unmarried 8th December 1727. Mentioned in the writings of Cannon Raines.


Appointed in 1727.

He was the son of Rev John Kippax, Head Master of Rochdale Grammar School.


Exact years unknown but was Curate there from at least 1730.

Known to have been Head Master of the Grammar School (? Rochdale).

Curate of Milnrow from 1745 after resigning from Littleborough.


Appointed 1745 to Littleborough.

Previously he had been assistant Curate of Colne and of Milnrow.

A stone in the Littleborough Church reads:-
“Here rests interred the remains of Rev. Joseph Keighley,
 who was Curate of this place 24 years.
 He died 9th day of November 1769.
 In the 57th year of his age.”

He was known as a “poor preacher and even poorer man”.

His wife died 12 February 1773.


Barton was licensed to Littleborough in 1770.

He was buried 31st October 1793 in the north aisle of Rochdale Church.

Several of his sons are buried in Littleborough Church yard.

Barton was son of Ralph Shuttleworth of Rochdale, a grandson of Nicholas Shuttleworth of Clitheroe.

Ralph educated as an Attorney, lost property in a rebellion in 1715 and moved to Rochdale as an Inn Keeper. Ralph was brother in law to Richard Townly of Belfield.


Licensed to Littleborough 29th September 1794.

Born 28th April 1763. Died 15th October 1816.

His gravestone in Littleborough Church yard bears the inscription:-
“Sacred to the memory of the Rev. John Rutter,
 22 years incumbent of Littleborough.”

He was a schoolmaster in Ormskirk.
Married a daughter of Thomas Yates in 1784.
One of his sons was Coroner for the District of Manchester.


Appointed to the incumbency of Littleborough 1816.

Born 4th August 1785.
Died 1844 and buried in Littleborough.

He was educated at the Manchester School.
Graduated from Cambridge with B.A. in 1809.
He was Curate of the Parish Church from 1809 prior to incombency of Littleborough.

His published “Collection of Psalms and Hymns” was used exclusively in the district for many years. He was known as a man of simplicity of manners and an almost imperturbable cheerfulness of temper.

He held the living in Littleborough for twenty seven years.

Thomas Sturgess MILLS

Appointed to Littleborough in 1844.

Born about 1789. Died 1st October 1864 and buried in Littleborough.

Thomas entered St Mary’s Hall Oxford in 1790 but did not take a degree.

He was an Officer in the Wiltshire Militia and after was Curate of Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester, Rochdale and Dobcross in Saddleworth prior to moving to Littleborough.

Thomas was Justice for the Peace for the West Riding of Yorkshire and the County of Lancaster and Chairman of the Oldham Petty Sessions. The Magistrates commissioned at their expense, a portrait of Thomas, which hung in the Prestwich Asylum, where he was Chairman of the visiting committee.

He married in 1816 the daughter of the Rev. Henry Goddard, D.D., Rector of Castle Eaton, Wiltshire.
His wife died 1st October 1866 and is buried with her husband.


Nominated to Littleborough 5th November 1864.

Born 29th September 1830. Died 21st July 1872 age 41 years.

Thomas was son of Myles Carter and Frances his wife, born at St Bees in Cumberland and educated at the Grammar School there.
He went on to Queens College Oxford where he graduated B.A. and M.A.

He was Curate of Garstang Parish Church, Curate of Ulverston Parish Church, incumbent of Calder Vale and Curate of Rochdale before going to Littleborough.

He married Sarah Chadwick, daughter of George Murray Chadwick of Lightowlers, Littleborough.

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