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Help and advice for Blackburn

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BLACKBURN, a town, a township, a parish, a subdistrict, a district, and a hundred in Lancashire. The town stands on the river Blackwater, 9 miles E by S of Preston, and 12½ N by W of Bolton. The Leeds and Liverpool canal passes through it; and railways go from it N, S, E, and W. The country around it possesses little scenic interest, yet is sheltered by hills on the NE and NW; and it lay for ages wild and barren, but has been much improved by cultivation. The town is large; was very prosperous up to the juncture of the cotton distress in 1862; and has owed most of its importance to modern manufactures. Cottonmills and print works are numerous, and employ a large proportion of the inhabitants. The value of cotton goods produced prior to 1862 exceeded £2,000,000 a year. The cotton-spinning was much advanced by an invention of James Hargrave, a native, originally a carpenter; and the cotton-printing was introduced by the family of Sir Robert Peel. Some woollen cloth also is made; considerable industry is carried on in breweries, foundries, and machine-works, particularly in the manufacture of weaving-machinery; and much business is done in connexion with neighbouring factories, corn mills, paper-mills, and collieries. Weekly markets are held on Wednesday and Saturday; and fairs on the Wednesday before 2 Feb., on every alternate Wednesday thence till Michaelmas, and on Easter Monday, 11 and 12 May, 29 Sept., and 17 Oct. The town has a head post office, a telegraph station, four banking offices, and three chief inns; and publishes four weekly newspapers. It is a seat of courts. and a polling-place; it was constituted, by the act of 1832, a parliamentary borough sending two members to parliament; and it was made municipal in 1851, with government by a mayor, twelve aldermen, and thirty-six councillors. Acres, 3,610. Real property, in 1860, £170,703. Direct taxes, in 1857, £26,354. Electors in 1868, 1,894. Pop. in 1841, 36,629; in 1861, 63,126. Houses, 11,306.

John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72) more ...


Archives and Libraries

Blackburn Central Library,
Town Hall Street,




There are more than 30 churches identified in this place. Please click here for a complete list.

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Blackburn area or see them printed on a map.


Church Records

The following items have been produced by the LFH&HS.

  • A marriage index for St Mary the Virgin, 1813-1837.
  • A birth/baptism register index is available for Islington Particular Baptists 1772-1837.
  • A birth/baptism register index for Chapel Street Congregational, Oct 1777 - Aug 1837.
  • St John - Grave Occ list 1781-1950.
  • Islington Particular Baptists burials, Sept 1764 - June 1837.
  • Monumental Inscriptions, Non-Conformist chapels.

Civil Registration

The Register Office covering the Blackburn area is Blackburn.

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Blackburn which are provided by:



Ask for a calculation of the distance from Blackburn to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.


Historical Geography

In 1835 the parish of Blackburn contained the townships of Blackburn, Walton le Dale, Cuerdale, Samlesbury, Balderstone, Osbaldeston, Clayton-le-Dale, Salesbury, Dinckley, Billington, Mellor, Ramsgreave, Wilpshire, Pleasington, Livesey, Tockholes, Lower Darwen, Over Darwen, Little Harwood, Great Harwood, Rishton, Witton, Yate with Pickup Bank and Eccleshill.

You can see the administrative areas in which Blackburn has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



The following Facebook groups discuss the past and contain old pictures:

Probate Records

For probate purposes prior to 1858, Blackburn was in the Archdeaconry of Chester, in the Diocese of Chester. The original Lancashire wills for the Archdeaconry of Chester are held at the Lancashire Record Office.

You can also see Family History Societies covering the nearby area, plotted on a map. This facility is being developed, and is awaiting societies to enter information about the places they cover.