Tuesday, 17 July 2012

James Tildsley 1702-1800

Was James Tyldesley who died on 24 October 1800 a son of Thomas Tyldesley 1657-1715, the Diarist?

It seems clear that they were related, and some researchers and writers have stated unequivocally that they were father and son:
Some people have wondered where Thomas Tyldesley, grandson of Sir Thomas Tyldesley, the royalist, lived when he came to Lancaster, about 1712. I may remark that he lived in a large house, formerly belonging to the Gibson family at the Stonewell end of St. Leonard Gate. He was buried at Churchtown, Garstang, prior to 1715, according to the Churchtown registers. He left a son, James, who lived to be 99 years old, and who died October 24th, 1800 (FN1).
The difficulties with this theory are twofold:

First, the only documentary evidence we have of the birth of a son James to the Diarist is the birth recorded in the Newchurch registers. This is clearly not the James who died at the age of 98 in 1800, since he was born in 1690. It has therefore been suggested that the James born in 1690 died when a child and that there was a second son named James Tyldesley. To be born in 1702, he would have to be a son of Agatha Winckley. It is known that a James Tyldesley, son of Thomas Tyldesley 1657-1714, was alive in 1755 when he was mentioned in the probate papers of his aunt, Anna Maria Tyldesley. However to date no evidence has been produced to show that James Tyldesley who was born in 1690 died prior to 1702, or indeed that Agatha Winckley had a son of that name.

Second, the baptism of a James Tyldesley at Astley was recorded at Leigh on 23 May 1703—his father being Ralph Tyldesley of Astley. One of the Tyldesleys' homes at this time was Morleys Hall in Astley. On the face of it, it seems more likely that this is the James who died in 1800, but can we be sure?

There is a further uncertainty. Was James Tyldesley 1702-1800 the father of Ralph Tyldesley 1737-1820? Most have assumed this to be the case since they were buried in the same grave. However whilst this establishes they were related it is not conclusive evidence that the relationship was that of father/son.

1. Historic Notes on the Ancient Borough of Lancaster, Cross Fleury, 1891.