"Until 1693, the only place of worship in Whitehaven was "a little old Chapel" in Chapel Street, but in that year St. Nicholas' Church, erected by Sir John Lowther and the inhabitants, at a cost of £1,066, was opened for devine service. The church was taken down in 1881 and rebuilt in the Perpendicular Gothic style, the whole cost being defrayed by Miss Gibson, as a memorial to her parents. Whitehaven is supposed to have formerly been a chapel under the mother church of St. Bees; and when the church of St. Nicholas was erected in 1687-93, the inhabitants petitioned Parliament that Whitehaven might be constituted a separate and distinct parish, but their prayer was refused, and the town continued to be dependent on St. Bees until 1835, when the three churches of Whitehaven had ecclesiastical districts allotted to them." (Extract from Bulmer's 1901 History & Directory, cited above)
Beginning 1 July 1837, births, deaths and marriages, regardless of religious affiliation, were recorded with Civil Registration Offices in Cumbria, as in the rest of England. Copies of certificates recording these events may be purchased.
Description and Travel
You can see pictures of St Nicholas which are provided by:
Holy Trinity fell under the authority of the diocese of Preston 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 Whitehaven.
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.
[Page originated by Don Noble in 1997 and updated 12 Jun 1999 - Don Noble]