"Is bounded on the north by Brampton and Denton, on the east by Midgeholme, on the south by Hayton, and on the west by Brampton. It comprises the townships of East and West Farlam and Midgeholme, the last of which is now annexed to the recently created parish of Midgeholme. Lying near to the backbone of England, the surface of the parish is generally of a hilly character." [Description from T. Bulmer & Co's History, Topography and Directory of East Cumberland, 1884]
"The Church, dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket, is a plain stone building, in the Early English style, erected in 1860, at a cost of about £2,000. It consists of nave, chancel, and one aisle, and occupies a site near the old one adjoining the hamlet of Kirkhouse. Farlam boasted its church as early as the year 1169, when it was included in the munificent grant of Robert de Vallibus to the Prior of Lanercost, which he had founded. This Robert was a stout warrior and bravely defended Carlisle Castle against the Scots, under Roger de Mowbray and Adam de Porz. The present dedication is more modern than the original edifice. St. Thomas Becket, the doughty champion of the Church's liberty against royal assumption, was murdered in his cathedral church of Canterbury, the year following the grant to Lanercost Priory, and his canonization did not take place for nearly a century after that event. At The Dissolution this church, along with the other possessions of the priory, was granted to Sir Thomas Dacre, and is now in the patronage and impropriation of the Earl of Carlisle. The present building has accommodation for 400 worshippers. The Hon. Charles Howard, of Naworth Castle, presented the ground for the site, and also contributed £500 towards its erection; Mrs. Maria Thompson gave £200, a new organ, and also erected the pictorial east window as a memorial of her late husband, James Thompson, Esq. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners granted £200, and the parishioners also contributed handsomely towards the cost of erection. The living, now worth £175, is held by the Rev. John Lowthian, who is assisted by the Rev. Thomas Henry Irving, M.A., curate. The parish is free from tithes and also from School Board rates. The Wesleyan Methodists have a chapel at Hallbank Gate, erected in 1856. It has recently been enlarged, and will now accommodate about 400 persons. The interior is neatly fitted up, and contains a marble tablet to the memory of Mrs. Pears, wife of Mr. Henry Pears, who contributed largely to the original cost of the building." (Extract from Bulmer's 1884 History & Directory, cited above)
Farlam fell under the authority of the ancient diocese of Carlisle and wills prior to 1858 were proved in the consistory court there. Records from 1548 to 1858 include original wills, letters of administration and inventories, although there are significant gaps in the years before 1661. These are deposited with the CRO at Carlisle. Comprehensive indexes exist, at the Carlisle CRO, in card files easily accessible in the reading room. The indexes cover from 1617 to 1941, listing the year of probate and the residence of the deceased. This is extraordinarily helpful in distinguishing between many individuals of the same name. Microfilm of many of these records, and a partial typescript of the indexes, is available at the Kendal office of the CRO.
The Province of York covered most of northern England, including this parish, and anyone who died leaving property in more than one diocese within the province would have their will proved in the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of York (PCY) or sometimes in the Chancery Court of the Archbishop of York. These records are now deposited with York University, Borthwick Institute of Historical Research.
For probate from 1858 on, and general information, see our England - Probate page. However please note registered copy probate records for Cumberland are also available 1858-1941 at the Record Office in Carlisle.