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Rushton Spencer

"Rushton Spencer is a village and township, five miles NW by N of Leek. Its chapelry (to Leek & Lowe parish) includes Rushton James and Heaton townships. The manor of Rushton Spencer is in five moities, belonging to the Johnson, Webb, Hardware, and Yardley families, and one belonging to the freeholders. Rushton Spencer township contains 355 souls and 1500 acres and includes the village of Rushton Marsh, on the turnpike, half a mile S of the chapel. Here is a railway station, on the Churnet Valley Branch of the North Staffordshire Railway, which is sometimes thronged with visitors to Rudyard Lake.
Rushton James is a hamlet and township of 283 souls and 1000 acres, five miles NW of Leek, in GC Antrobus's manor of Horton.
Heaton is a hamlet and township of 2300 acres and 405 souls, four miles NW by N of Leek. William Brocklehurst, Esq, is lord of the manor, but a great part of the soil belongs to the Earl of Macclesfield, Thomas Yardley, Esq, Mrs Gaunt and a few smaller owners. On the river Dane, which separates this county from Cheshire, is a small cotton mill. Swithamley Hall, the ancient seat of the Traffords, is now the property of William Brocklehurst, Esq, of Macclesfield. Heaton House, the neat modern residence of James Robins, Esq, stands on a commanding eminence, where the high moorland heath has been much improved by him and Josiah Gaunt, Esq, and embellished with thriving plantations. "
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]


'The Stoddards of Rushton Spencer. A Short Account of the Ancestors of
Anthony Stoddard of Boston, Massachusetts, who emigrated there in about 1638'

by Jeanne Stoddard
Published 1979, by Rushton Spencer-Stoddard Memorial Fund, London.


The population of Rushton Spencer township was as follows:
1831 -- 1043
1841 -- 1084

Church History

"The church, or parochial chapel, (St Lawrence), is supposed to have been founded before Leek Church, and a fruitless attempt was made about 20 years ago to establish it as a parish church. It was anciently called the Chapel in the Wilderness and was thoroughly repaired in 1848.
The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Leek, and incumbency of the Rev. George Mouncey, of Fairfield, Derbyshire, for whom the Rev James Turner, MA, of Meerbrook, officiates."

[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851)

The church of St Lawrence, Rushton Spencer, was a chapelry of Leek & Lowe parish, details of which can be found on the Leek and Lowe parish page.
Rushton Spencer was formed into a new ecclesiastical parish in 1865.

Church Records

Church of England Registers
The surviving register of St Lawrence, Rushton Spencer, commences in 1700. The original registers for the period 1700-1980 (Bapts), 1700-1992 (Mar) & 1700-1968 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1693-1875 (with gaps 1700-1707) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.

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Description and Travel

A transcription of the section on Rushton Spencer from A Topographical History of Staffordshire by William Pitt (1817


Martin Ruston's Rushton Spencer Parish Web Pages which include information on Rushton Spencer parish history, and transcriptions of parish records and census returns.


A map showing the pre-1850 boundaries of the Townships of Rushton Spencer Chapelry

Poorhouses, Poor Law etc

The chapelry became part of Leek Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.

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