Kempston is an Ancient Parish in the county of Bedfordshire.

Parish church: All Saints

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1570
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1602

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Independent/Congregational, Wesleyan Methodist, and Primitive Methodist

Table of Contents

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

KEMPSTON, a village and a parish in the district and county of Bedford. The village stands on the river Ouse, 2½ miles SW of Bedford r. station; and has a post office under Bedford.

The parish comprises 5,160 acres. Real property, £10,868. Pop. in 1851, 1,962; in 1861, 2,191. Houses, 478. The property is much subdivided. The manor house is the seat of the Williamsons; Hoo House, of Barnard Talbot, Esq.; Kempston House, of Capt. B. Newland; and the Grange, of H. Littledale, Esq. Springfield House, standing on a plot of 18 acres, is a private lunatic asylum. Roman coins, an ancient spur, and indications of a large Saxon cemetery have been found. Kempston Wood is a meet for the Oakley hounds.

The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely. Value, £350. Patron, J. D. Allcroft, Esq. The church is partly Norman; has decorated clerestory, aisles, and S porch; has a tower partly Norman, partly later; was restored in 1864; and contains a decorated font. Another church, St. John’s, was erected in 1868.

There are chapels for Baptists, Wesleyans, and Primitive Methodists, a national school, and charities £46.

An extensive Saxon burying place was recently discovered, containing a large number of skeletons, an ancient British coin, two coins of Constantine, a variety of weapons, a unique drinking cup, and a great variety of Saxon ornaments.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

KEMPSTON (All Saints), a parish, in the hundred of Redbornkstoke, union and county of Bedford, 2¾ miles (S. W. by W.) from Bedford; containing 1699 inhabitants.

This parish, in the Domesday survey Camestone, comprises about 5000 acres; the soil in the valley of the Ouse is gravelly, and in other parts clay. Some good limestone is found, suitable for building, as well as farming purposes. Pillow-lace making is extensively carried on, affording employment to most of the women and girls.

The living is a vicarage, valued in the king’s books at £12; patron, the Rev. Henry Clutterbuck; impropriators, Sir W. Long and others. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1802; the glebe consists of about 200 acres, valued at £300 per annum, and there is a glebe-house in good repair. The church is an ancient structure, in the early Norman and later English styles; a gallery has been built.

There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. Some moated houses exist in the parish, and coins of an early date have been frequently found.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Parish Registers

Kempston Parish Registers 1570 – 1812

Kempston Parish Registers 1570 – 1812 Bedfordshire parish registers by Bedfordshire (England); Emmison, F. G. (Frederick George), 1907-1995, editor –

Parish Records

FamilySearch Catalogue Records – Free

Church records

Bishop’s transcripts for Kempston, 1603-1873

Churchwardens, overseers and surveyors records, 1617-1893

Parish registers for Kempston, 1570-1954

Parish registers for St. John’s Church, Kempston, 1868-1940

Parish registers for St. Stephen’s Church, Kempston, 1887-1940

Church records – Indexes

Parish register printouts of Kempston, All Saints, Bedford, England, 1570-1885


Kempston Author: Wood, John


Log book, 1899-1928 Bedford Road School (Kempston, Bedfordshire)

Log books, 1866-1928 and admission registers, 1872-1899 Upend School (Kempston, Bedfordshire)

Log books, 1871-1920 Kempston Rural School (Kempston, Bedfordshire)

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Churchwardens, overseers and surveyors records, 1617-1893

Parish registers for Kempston, 1570-1954

Land and Property

Deeds of Kempston, Bedford, Wilshamstead, etc., 1638-1870

Court records

Court records, 1341-1868 Manor of Kempston. Court (Bedfordshire)


Census returns for Kempston, 1841-1891


Land tax assessments for Kempston, 1797-1949


Directors of Companies

The following people were listed in the Directory of Directors 1881 as directors of companies who were either living in Kempston or the company was based in Kempston or both.

Campbell – Mr Robert Orr Campbell, Kempston Hoo, Bedford, is chairman of the National Bank of India Limited

Kelly’s Directory of the Wine and Spirit Trades, with which are included Brewers and Maltsters 1884

Marked thus * are Small Brewers who brew the beer they sell.


Ellison James *

Source: The Post office directory of the brewers and maltsters [afterw.] Kelly’s directory of the wine and spirit trades, with which are included brewers and maltsters By Kelly’s directories, ltd. 1884

The Post Office Directory of Bedfordshire 1869

KEMPSTON is a large village and parish, situated on the river Ouse, 3 miles south from Bedford, in the hundred of Redbornestoke, union and county court district of Bedford, rural deanery and archdeaconry of Bedford, and diocese of Ely.

Near the village is Springfield House, a private establishment for both sexes suffering under mental disease; it is pleasantly situated in its own grounds of 18 acres. Pillow lace is made here; also bricks and draining pipes. Here is a large corn mill. New gas works are being erected.

Box End is about one mile and a half north; GREEN END one mile north west; BROMHAM END 2½ miles north; CHURCH END three quarters of a mile north; WEST END 2½ miles north west; MEADOW FARM 4 miles west; KEMPSTON HARDWICK 3 miles south; and MARSH LEYS a mile and a half south west of the village.

Parish Clerk William Brooks

Post Office James Rignall receiver. Letters received through Bedford arrive at 7.30 am; dispatched at 5.15 pm. The nearest money order office is at Bedford

INSURANCE AGENT – Royal Fire 8 Life, W. Thomason, 51 Gwyn street, Bedford

National, William Brooks master
Girls, Miss Stainton mistress; Miss Parry, infants mistress

CARRIER to Bedford Amos Wilson, daily

Barnard Mrs Hoo house
Beechey Frederick C esq
Dixon Col John The Grange
Fisher Mr James
Harris Henry esq Springfield house
Joyce Mr Joseph
Joyce Mrs
Lamb Mr David
Lamb Mr Joseph
Lovell Rev G F
Mitchell Thomas esq
Newland Capt Bingham JP Kempston house
Page Mr Edward
Ransom Mrs
Stuart Lieut Col William JP
Thornton Mrs The Grange
White Mrs
Williams Rev Hamilton John LL B [vicar] The Vicarage
Williams Rev Hy John MA [curate]
Williamson Miss Manor house
Williamson Mrs Manor house


Abraham Joseph cabinet ma & beer
Abraham Phoebe Mrs shopkeeper
Abraham Thomas beer retailer
Anstee John millwright
Allen James beer retailer
Ashwell Emanuel cart owner Box end

Baker William farmer Box end
Barton Henry shopkeeper
Bartram William farmer Box end
Beechey Frederick C surgeon
Bellamy Joseph shoe maker
Benson William shoe maker
Bettles Sarah Mrs dress maker
Billington Frederick general dealer
Boston Joseph beer retailer & farmer
Breed John cowkeeper
Brooks Bartlett farmer
Burr Abraham tailor
Burr Samuel farmer
Burr William farmer West end

Cane Thomas shopkeeper
Cherry Titus Half Moon & wheelwright
Chibnall Alfred B farmer Box end
Cocking Geo market gardener & farmer
Cooper – farmer Marsh Leys
Cotton Joseph beer retailer
Cranfield John S farmer Kempston Hardwick

Denton Fanny Mrs beer retailer
Dewberry Thomas King William IV
Dudley John farmer

Farrer William beer retailer
Folkes James beer retailer
Francis William beer retailer & brewer

Garner John & James coal dealers
Garner George beer retailer
Garner Jared ginger beer manufacturer
Garner Matthew gardener & farmer
Garner William farrier Box end
George Elizabeth Mrs grocer
Graves Robert grocer & provision dealer & at Bedford

Harris Henry, L.R.C.P.E., resident physician Springfield ho lunatic asylum
Harrison Saml stonemasn Bromham end
Hart Mary Ann Mrs beer retailer
Hart William butcher
Hawley Joseph wheelwright carpenter & builder
Henman Daniel Chequers & farmer Kempston Hardwick
Herbert James brick & draining pipe maker Box end
Hill William boot & shoe maker
Huckle Sarah Ann Mrs milnr & drssma
Hull Amos Quart Pot
Hull Charles farmer

Joyce Joseph farmer & corn dealer
Joyce Joseph jun farmer
Joyce Samuel baker

Keep Joel shoe maker Box end

Lamb James farmer Meadow farm
Lester James farmer
Lilley Charles pig dealer
Lilley West beer retailer Green end
Longstaff William shopkeeper

Mardling Martha Mrs shopkeeper
Maynard Samuel pork butcher
Maynard Samuel jun butcher
Mimms William shopkeeper
Mitchell Thomas lime burner
Morris John farmer

Newberry John shopkeeper
Newland Bingham brick & draining pipe manufacturer (James Lack man)

Quenby Richard corn dealer

Ransom & Horn millers
Ransom Edwin miller & proprietor of Kempston gas works
Ranson Thomas lace dealer
Redman Jesse saddler & harness maker
Redman Joel blacksmith
Redman Thomas carpenter
Rignall Robert mealman & baker
Rignall William boot & shoe maker
Roberts George painter & glazier
Robinson John butcher
Robinson Joseph blacksmith & beer retlr

Sletcher Robert shoe maker
Smart William shoe maker
Smith James beer retailer
Smith William drill & dressing machine maker
Stokes Ezra shoe maker
Swannell TW farmer Bromham end

Walker Daniel beer retailer
Walker John carpenter
Walker William boot & shoe maker
Watford Geo Alex shopkeeper & tailor
Whitbread Charles beer retlr Woburn rd
Whitbread Charles market gardener
White Edward butcher
White John Emery farmer corn merchant cattle dealer & woolstapler Bury hall
White Lewis farmer
Whittle Henry carpenter
Whitworth Robert farmer March leys
Winn & Foster builders & contractors
Worrall James bricklayer
Wright Samuel pig dealer

Source: The Post office directory of Northamptonshire, Huntingdonshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Oxfordshire By Kelly’s directories, ltd 1869


OS Grid ReferenceTL0290647297 (all-numeric format: 502907 247298)

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  • County: Bedfordshire
  • Civil Registration District: Bedford
  • Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Bedford
  • Diocese: Pre-1837 – Lincoln, Post-1836 – Ely
  • Rural Deanery: Bedford
  • Poor Law Union: Bedford
  • Hundred: Redbornestoke
  • Province: Canterbury

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