Richard (1) Livesey


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Special thanks are expressed to Graham Caldwell, Marian Bowers, Alexander (Alec) Livesey and Annette Bourke
for their extensive contributions to the researching of Richard (1) Livesey's life and progeny.

Brief biography

Richard (1) Livesey was born in Lancashire in the 1790s. His origins are currently unproven. His parents may have been William (4) Livesey and his wife Agnes, who had a child named Richard christened at Penwortham, Lancashire on November 1st 1795 [IGI: Batch P005402].

On September 4th 1813 he married Ellen (or Helen) Walmesley at the Roman Catholic Church of St. John in Wigan [St. John's Register 1806-1815]. This record names the bride as "Helen Walmsley".

On the following day, September 5th, they undertook a second marriage ceremony at the (Established) Church of St. Thomas the Martyr in Upholland, about 4 miles west of Wigan [IGI: Batch M005432]. The Parish Register describes him as a bachelor and her as a spinster "Ellen Walmesley", but omits details of address and occupation. The witnesses were Thomas Occleshaw - who witnessed many other marriages and was probably an officiator of the church - and James Foster whose connection is unknown.

Dual ceremonies of this kind were commonly undertaken when at least one party was of the Catholic faith, as the Hardwicke Marriage Act of 1754 required (except for Quakers and Jews) an Established Church ceremony to render the marriage legal. It is not yet known whether Richard (1) or Ellen (or both) was Catholic.

Ellen was born to parents Matthew (1) Walmesley and his wife Margaret Hort, who had married at the St. John Church on January 29th 1792. She was christened there, named as "Helen", on September 29th 1793 with sponsors James Bolton and Helen Hort. She was named after a previous child "Helen" who had been christened there on September 12th 1792 with sponsors Thomas Mason and Ann Mason, and who presumably died in infancy.

The birth details of Richard (1)'s children indicate that his family moved from Wigan to Manchester in the 1820s.

The 1841 Census finds them living in Vauxhall Gardens in the St. George district of Manchester, together with six children. Richard (1) was then occupied as a labourer.

He was described as a labourer when his son George (1) married in May 1843, when his son John (3) married in April 1846 and when his son Matthew (2) married in June 1846. He was described as a (former) brickmaker when his son James (4) married in December 1857.

He died on November 13th 1850 at 45, Vauxhall Road, St. George. The death certificate [Death Index: Manchester 20 451, 1850 (Dec)] describes him as a labourer aged "56" and gives the cause of death (but with no medical attendant) as "congestion of brain". The informant was his son George (1), in attendance at the death, whose address was given as 11, "Kay" [sic - Quay] Street in Salford.

The 1851 Census finds his widow - named Ellen "Livesley" - cited as living at 4, Vauxhall Street, St. George and described as a housekeeper aged "60" with birthplace Wigan. Also at this address were her sons Thomas (1) and John (3) together with the latter's wife and child. It appears, however, that Ellen was not actually present at this address. Instead, she appears among the household of a Matthew (2) Walmesley - perhaps her brother - in the Stonemason's Arms at The Pottery, Wigan, where she is described as a visitor and widow aged "57" with birthplace Wigan. With her was her son James (4) whose age is entered as "11" but was probably nearer 14.

Ellen may have died in 1855 [Death Index: Salford 8d 44, 1855 (Sept)] or in 1860 [Death Index: Salford 8d 37, 1860 (June)], both references being indexed as "Livsey".

His children by Ellen (or Helen) Walmesley

  1. George (1) Livesey
  2. Matthew (1) Livesey
  3. Matthew (2) Livesey
  4. John (3) Livesey
  5. Thomas (1) Livesey
  6. Mary (2) Livesey
  7. James (4) Livesey
  8. and possibly others ...