Acton Burnell Shropshire Family History Guide

Acton Burnell Castle, Shropshire. The ruins of a fortified manor house built 1284-5 for Robert Burnell.
Acton Burnell Castle, Shropshire. The ruins of a fortified manor house built 1284-5 for Robert Burnell. DeFacto. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Photo of Acton Burnell Church and Castle
Acton Burnell Church and Castle. Photograph by Humphrey Bolton, some rights reserved

Acton Burnell is an Ancient Parish in the county of Shropshire.

Other places in the parish include: Acton Pigot, Ruckley and Langley.

Parish church: St. Mary

Parish registers begin: 1568

There are a Roman Catholic chapel, a national school, and a school for the children of Roman Catholics.

Parishes adjacent to Acton Burnell


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Historical Descriptions

Acton Burnell

IMPERIAL GAZETTEER OF ENGLAND & WALES 1870

Acton-Burnell, a township and a parish in Atcham district, Salop. The township lies 4 miles ENE of Dorrington r. station, and 8¼ SSE of Shrewsbury; and it has a post-office under Shrewsbury, and is the meet of the Wheatland hounds. Pop., 283. Houses, 56. The parish contains also the townships of Ruckley and Langley. Acres, 3,141. Real property, £3,839. Pop., 361. Houses, 72. Acton Park is the seat of Sir C. F. Smythe, Bart., the only landowner. A ruin on Acton hill, with very thick walls and curiously carved pointed windows, is part of a castle which was built in the 13th century, and belonged to the family of Burnell. The lords of Edward I's parliament of 1283, which passed “Statutum de mercatoribus,” sat in a hall of the castle, while the commons sat in an adjacent barn. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Lichfield; and includes the chapelry of Acton-Pigott. Value, £350. Patron, Rev. R. Meyricke. The church contains a canopied brass of a Burnell, and is good.

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

THE PARLIAMENTARY GAZETTEER OF ENGLAND AND WALES 1851

Acton-Burnell, a parish and township in the hund. of Condover, union of Atcham, Shropshire; 7½ miles south of Shrewsbury. It includes the chapelries of Acton-Pigott, and Ruckley with Langley. Living, a rectory in the archd. of Salop and dio. of Lichfield; rated at £6 10s.; gross income £350. Patron, in 1835, Sir Edward Smythe. There is a National school here. Here are the remains of an ancient castle, built in the 13th century, which belonged to the family of Burnell. The walls are very thick, and adorned with five battlements and rows of curiously carved windows. A parliament was held here by Edward I. in 1283, on which occasion the lords sat in the castle, and the commons in a barn, which was in existence lately. The hall of the castle, where the lords sat, was 183 feet long by 41 broad. It was in this parliament that the statute, known by the name of the statute of Acton-Burnell, was made for the purpose of enforcing the statutum de mercatoribus. It appoints the mode in which a statute-merchant is to be made, and by whom; fixes the manner of seizing and valuing goods for the payment of debts; in what cases the debtor shall be imprisoned, and how maintained in prison; when sureties shall be compelled to pay the debts of their principals, and when they are to be exempted, &c. Pop., in 1801, 272; in 1831, 381. Houses 61. Acres 2,650. A. P. £1,824. Poor rates, in 1837, £179

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1851.

LEONARD'S GAZETTEER OF ENGLAND AND WALES 1850

Acton-Burnell, 7 m. N.E. Church-Stretton. P. 394

Source: Leonard's Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.

A TOPOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF ENGLAND 1845

Acton-Burnell (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Atcham, hundred of Condover, S. division of Salop, 7 miles (S.) from Shrewsbury; containing, with Ruckley and Langley, 394 inhabitants. This place, which is of considerable antiquity, is on a branch of the Roman Watling-street, which passes through it; it takes the adjunct to its name from the family of Burnell, of whom Robert, Bishop of Bath and Wells, and Lord High Chancellor in the reign of Edward I., had a castle here, of which there are still some remains. In 1283, a great council or parliament was held here, at which was enacted the law of "statute merchant:" the king and his court were accommodated in the castle, the lords assembled in a great hall erected for them in the park, and the commons met in a very large barn belonging to Shrewsbury Abbey, of which the gable ends have been preserved to the present time. Besides the Watling-street, a causeway passes through the parish; and there is a Roman bridge, and an early specimen of Saxon antiquity called the Moat. The parish comprises by computation 2400 acres. The living is a rectory, with the chapelry of Langley, valued in the King's books at £6. 10., and in the gift of Sir E. J. Smythe, Bart., with a net income of £350; the glebe consists of about 70 acres, with a good house. The church, which is cruciform, was built in 1264, and is a splendid specimen of ecclesiastical architecture; its internal decorations are of a highly ornamental character. There are a Roman Catholic chapel, a national school, and a school for the children of Roman Catholics. Nicholas Burnell, a distinguished warrior in the reign of Edward III., was born and buried here; and Langley Hall was the birth-place of Sir Humphrey Lee, the first baronet created in the county, in 1629.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis Fifth Edition Published London; by S. Lewis and Co., 13, Finsbury Place, South. M. DCCC. XLV.

GREGORY SHROPSHIRE GAZETTEER 1824

Acton Burnell. A parish in the Cound division of the hundred of Condover. A rectory in charge, in the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, the deanery of Salop, and archdeaconry of Salop. 62 houses, 305 inhabitants. The residence of Sir Edward Smythe, bart. 7 miles south-east of Shrewsbury.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

COMPLETE POCKET GAZETTEER OF ENGLAND AND WALES 1807

Acton Burnel, (Salop) a village about 3 miles west of Cressage. It derives its name from the Burnels, who had a castle here, some part of which remains in the present mansion. A session of parliament was held here in the reign of Edw. I. when the statute merchant for the recovery of debts was enacted in a barn belonging to Shrewsbury Abbey

Source: Complete Pocket Gazetteer of England and Wales; Crosby Rev. J. Malham; 1807.

Acton Pigott

IMPERIAL GAZETTEER OF ENGLAND & WALES 1870

Acton-Pigott, a chapelry in Ruckley township, Acton-Burnell parish, Salop; 1 mile NE of Acton-Burnell.

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

TOPOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF ENGLAND 1845

Acton-Pigot, a hamlet, in the parish of Acton-Burnell, union of Church Stretton, hundred of Condover, S. division of Salop, 6 ¾ miles (W. N. W.) from Much Wenlock, comprising 391 acres, and containing 40 persons. There was formerly a chapel, the remains of which still exist.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis Fifth Edition Published London; by S. Lewis and Co., 13, Finsbury Place, South. M. DCCC. XLV.

GREGORY SHROPSHIRE GAZETTEER 1824

Acton Pigott. A township in the parish of Acton Burnel, and in the Cound division of the hundred of Condover.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Langley

Langley Chapel
Langley Chapel. Row17 / Langley Chapel / CC BY-SA 2.0

GREGORY SHROPSHIRE GAZETTEER 1824

Langley. A parish in the Cound division of the hundred of Condover, a chapel to Acton Burnel, in the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, the deanery of Salop, and archdeaconry of Salop. 6 miles west of Wenlock.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Acton Burnell Shropshire Parish Documents 1902

Documents in the custody of the Parish Meeting. – Kept by the Chairman, viz: -

Parish Meeting Minute Book.

Documents in the custody of the Rector. – Kept in a safe in the Rectory, viz :-

General Register, 1568 – 1667
General Register, 1693 – 1754 – then Baptisms and Burials only to 1813.
Register of Baptisms, 1813 – in use.
Register of Marriages, 1754 – 1812.
Register of Marriages, 1813 – 1838.
Register of Marriages, 1838 – in use.
Register of Burials, 1813 – in use.
Tithe Map and Award, dated 7th January, 1846, kept at the Rectory.

Source: Shropshire Parish Documents published 1902.  A report of the Inspection of Parish Documents made to Salop County Council under section 17 of the Local Government Act 1894.  Note: The location of the documents listed in this transcription are as cited in the book published in 1902 and should be used as a guide only. It should not be assumed that the documents are still kept at the stated location.  Interested parties should perhaps contact Shropshire records office to ascertain the documents current whereabouts.

Parish Records

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Parish Registers

Transcriptions

Acton Burnell Parish Registers 1800 to 1812

Acton Burnell Baptisms and Burials 1775 to 1812

Acton Burnell - Roman Catholic Register

Shropshire parish registers: Nonconformist and Roman Catholic registers (1903)
Author: Shropshire Parish Register Society; Evans, George Eyre; Fletcher, W. G. D. (William George Dimock), 1851-1935; Kinsella, William
Publisher: [London] : Privately printed for the Shropshire Parish Register Society.

Acton Burnell Shropshire Roman Catholic Register - Archive.org

Directories

Acton Burnell Cassey Shropshire Directory 1871

Acton Burnell is a parish and village, with the hamlet of Acton Pigot, 8 miles south-east from Shrewsbury, and 9 from Much Wenlock; situated near the Roman or Watling Street road, in the Southern division of the County, Cound division of Condover hundred, union of Atcham, and diocese of Lichfield.  The Church of St. Mary is an old building in the Early English style.  The living is a rectory, yearly value £400, with residence and 9 acres of glebe land, in the gift of Sir Charles Frederick J. Smythe, Bart.  Here are a National and a Catholic School.

The charities are of £1 10s yearly value.  Sir Charles Frederick J. Smythe, Bart., D.L., is lord of the manor.  In the Hall is a Catholic Chapel.  The ruins of a castle, near to the Church and Hall, claim attention, from the many interesting and historical facts connected with it; it is recorded a Parliament was held here in the year 1283 by Edward I., on which occasion the Lords sat at Shrewsbury, and the Commons in the banqueting hall of the castle here, the gable ends of which still remain; here it was that the statute known by the name of the Acton Burnell statute was passed.  The Conqueror took the Saxon Godric’s manor from him and gave it to the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, who in turn conferred it on Roger Fitz-Corbett.  It is supposed that Roger, the Domesday tenant of Actune, was ancester of those Burnels, from whom afterwards the manor took its distinctive title of Acton Burnell.  The soil is loamy; the sub-soil, sandy.  Sir Charles Frederick J. Smythe, Bart., and J. Coates, Esq., are chief landowners.  There is a charity of 30s. distributed in bread.  The area of Acton Burnell parish is 3,141 acres, and the population in 1861 was 283, besides a population of 78 in Ruckley and Langley parish.  Gross estimated rental of the parish, except Ruckley and Langley, £2,408; rateable value, £2,250.
Acton Pigot is 1 miles north-east from Acton Burnell.
Letters arrive at 7 25 a.m.; despatched at 5 45 p.m.
Carrier to Shrewsbury. – Richard Bould, Wednesday and Saturday.

Acton Burnell
Giles Rev. Francis S. (Catholic)
Serjeantson Rev. William, M.A., Rectory
Smythe Sir C. F. J., bart. D.L.
Bould Richard, bricklayer
Edwards John, gardener
Foreman Robert, bailiff to Sir C.F.J. Smythe, bart.
Harvey John, shoe maker
Jukes Thomas, farmer
Perks Thomas, shopkeeper
Pinches Richard, carpenter
Reynols Ann, butcher
Southern Matilda, Stag’s Head
Wainwright Humphrey, farmer

Acton Pigot.
Perry Graddon, farmer and maltster
Vickridge Joshua, shopkeeper

Source: Edward Cassey & Co’s, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Shropshire 1871

Acton Burnell Kellys Shropshire Directory 1863

Acton Burnell, in the Cound division of Condover hundred and union of Atcham, county court district of Shrewsbury, is a township, parish, and very neat village, with the hamlets of Acton Pigot and Ruckley, 9 miles south-east from Shrewsbury, and 9 from Much Wenlock ; it is situated near the Roman or Watling Street road, in the rural deanery of Condover, archdeaconry of Sulop, and bishopric of Lichfield. The church of St. Mary is an old stone building in the Early English stvle, with nave, chancel, porch, and tower with 3 bells. The living is a rectory, value £300 per annum, with residence and 80 acres of glebe land, in the gift of Sir Charles Frederick Smythe, Bart., who is a Roman Catholic; the Rev. William Serjeantson, M.A., is the incumbent. Sir Charles Frederick Smythe, Bart., J. P., is lord of the manor, and resides at the Hall, a spacious white mansion with large park stocked with deer; near to the house the pleasure grounds are extensive, tastefully laid out, and well filled with a variety of American and other flowering shrubs. The ruins of a castle, near to the church and Hall, claim attention, from the many interesting and historical facts connected with it: it is recorded a Parliament was held here in the year 1283 by King Edward 1., on which occasion the Lords sat in the Castle and the Commons in a barn, the gable ends of which only remain: here it was that the statute known by the name of the Acton Burnell statute was passed. In the Hall is a spacious and beautifully adorned chapel, at which the family and servants, with a numerous congregation from the surrounding Villages, attend divine worship. Here is n National and Roman Catholic school for boys and girls. The charities are of £5 yearly value. The area of Acton Burnell township is 1,579 acres; and the population in 1861 was 283, besides a population of 78 in Ruckley and Langley township. The soil Is of a loamy nature; the subsoil, sandy. Sir Charles Frederick Smythe, Bart., and J. Coates, Esq., are chief landowners.

Acton-Pigot, 1 mile north-east from Acton Burnell, is a chapelry in Acton Burnell.

Ruckley and Langley form a small village and township in the chapelry of Acton Pigot and parish of Acton Burnell, about 1 mile east from that place, and 5½ west from Much Wenlock. The chapel is a small structure, where divine service is performed only twice a year. The living is a curacy, subordinate to the rectory of Acton Burnell. The population in 1861 was 78. Sir Charles Frederick Smythe, Bart., is lord of the manor and sole landowner.

Parish Clerk, Thomas Perks.

Acton Burnell.
Giles Rev. Francis S. [roman catholic]
Serjeantson Rev. Wm. M.A. Rectory
Smythe Sir Charles Frederick, bart. J.P. The Hall
Bould Richard, bricklayer
Davies Joseph, farmer
Edwards John, gardener
Foreman John, farmer
Foreman Robert, bailiff to Sir C. F. Smythe, bart
Harvey John, shoemaker
Perks Thomas, shopkeeper
Pinches Richard, carpenter
Reynolds Thomas, butcher
Southern Elizabeth (Mrs.), Stag's Head
Vaughnn William, miller

Acton Pigot.
Onions Joseph, carrier
Perry Graddon, farmer & maltster

Ruckley.
Edwards John, farmer
Granger Paul, farmer
Jones Evan, farmer
Jones Martha (Mrs.), farmer
Perks William, tailor
Williams John, farmer

Langley.
Davies James, farmer, Langley hall
Morris Joseph, farmer
Steadman Richard, farmer, Park gate
Letters are received through Dorrington, Shrewsbury.
Post Oppice. — William Steadman, receiver. Letters from Shrewsbury arrive at 7.25 a.m.; dispatched at 5.45 p.m. The nearest money order office is Shrewsbury.
National School (boys & girls), Miss Margaret Ward, mistrs.
Roman Catholic School, Mrs. Mary Ann Tilley, mistress.
Carriers to Shrewsbury.— Joseph Morris, Wednesday & Saturday; Joseph Onions, Wednesday & Saturday.

Source: Post Office Directory of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and the City of Bristol, Printed and Published by Kelly and Co., Old Boswell Court, St. Clement’s, Strand, London. 1863.

Ruckley and Langley Cassey Shropshire Directory 1871

 Ruckley and Langley form a small township, about 1 mile east from Acton Burnell, and 5 ½ miles west from Much Wenlock.  The chapel is a small structure, where divine service is performed only twice a year.  The living is a curacy, and the parishioners have the power of electing an incumbent, paying his a stipend of about 30s a year.  Sir Charles Frederick J. Smythe, Bart., is lord of the manor and sole landowner.  King Charles during his troubles was for a short period concealed at Langley Hall, an ancient mansion, now a farm house in the occupation of Mr. Hayward.  The population in 1861 was 78.  Gross estimated rental, £1,385; rateable value, £1,320.
Letters through Shrewsbury.

Ruckley
Edwards John, farmer
Perks William, tailor
Powell Thomas, farmer
Vines Jesse, farmer

Langley
Hayward Mr., farmer, Langley hall
Steadman Richard, farmer, Park gate

Source: Edward Cassey & Co’s, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Shropshire 1871

Maps

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Administration

  • County: Shropshire
  • Civil Registration District: Atcham
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Lichfield
  • Rural Deanery: Condover
  • Poor Law Union: Atcham
  • Hundred: Condover
  • Province: Canterbury
  • County Court District: Shrewsbury