Stratford on Avon Warwickshire Family History Guide

Stratford on Avon is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Warwickshire. Luddington is a chapelry of Stratford on Avon.

Other places in the parish include: Welcombe, Wilncott, Shottery, Bridgtown, Dodwell, Clopton, Bushwood, and Drayton.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin: 1574

Nonconformists include: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Independent/Congregational, Particular Baptist, Primitive Methodist, Roman Catholic, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Trade: the town had a large trade in corn and malt.

Manufacturing: Beer and needles

Parishes adjacent to Stratford on Avon

Historical Descriptions

Beeton's British Gazetteer 1870

STRATFORD-ON-AVON, a municipal borough and market and post town of England, in Warwickshire, chiefly celebrated as the birthplace of Shakspeare, 8 miles S.W. from Warwick. It is situated on the Avon, which is crossed here by a bridge of fourteen arches. The town contains several broad and handsome streets, some of which, however, are irregularly built. The houses are, for the most part, substantial edifices of stone. The public buildings are the church, a chapel that formerly belonged to the guild of the Holy Cross, a new Roman Catholic chapel, corn-exchange, infirmary, alms houses, pump-rooms, and the town-halI. There are also several chapels for nonconformists. The church is a spacious and venerable structure, containing numerous monuments and inscriptions. The most remarkable is the monument and bust of Shakspeare, The chapel of the Holy Cross is a handsome structure, and has been recently restored. Attached to it is a hall for the brethren of the guild, part of which is used as a free grammar-school, and an alms house. The town-hall, rebuilt in 1767, and again repaired and enlarged in 1863, contains portraits of Shakspeare and Garrick, and has a statue of the former in a niche in the front of the building. Stratford also possesses a small theatre and a Shakspearian and public library. In Henley Street is the house in which Shakspeare was born; but that in which he died was razed to the ground by the proprietor. The house in Henley Street is now the property of the nation, and through the exertions of J. O. Halliwell, Esq., an able editor of, and commentator on, Shakspeare’s works, has been restored and converted into a Shakspearian Museum, in which several relics of England's first dramatic author have been preserved. The town has a large trade in corn and malt. Manf. Beer and needles. Mar. D. Fri. Pop. 3672. It is a telegraph station, and a station on the Stratford-on-Avon branch of the Great Western Railway between Leamington and Honeybourne.

Source: Beeton's British Gazetteer 1870. Ward, Lock & Tyler, Paternoster Row, London.

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, a town, a sub-district, and a district, in Warwickshire. The town stands on the river Avon, at an intersection of railways, 8 miles SW of Warwick; is in the parish of Old Stratford; had a monastery, founded in the 7th century; was given by the Saxon Æthelard to the Bishops of Worcester; passed, by exchange, in the time of Edward VI., to the Dudleys; was greatly desolated by fire in the time of Elizabeth, and again in the time of James I.; was taken from the royalists in 1642; was occupied in the following year by Queen Henrietta; went, in the time of Charles II., to the Sackvilles; was the birthplace of Archbishop John de Stratford, who died in 1348, of Bishop Ralph de Stratford, who died in 1354, and of Bishop Robert de Stratford, who died in 1362; is noted specially as the birthplace and residence of Shakespeare; was the scene of jubilees in honour of Shakespeare, the first of them held in 1769, under the auspices of Garrick; is a great resort of tourists and strangers, in quest of memorials of Shakespeare; has recently undergone changes and improvements of these memorials, under management of the "Birthplace Committee;'' is a seat of petty-sessions and county courts; publishes two weekly newspapers; has a weekly market on Friday, and fairs on 3 Jan., 28 Feb., 25 April, 14 May, 6 June, 18 July, 26 Sept., 12 and 21 Oct., and 16 Dec.; carries on brewing, needle-making, and transit-traffic; is a municipal borough, first chartered by Edward VI., and now governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors; consists of about twelve principal streets, intersecting one another at varions angles; and has a head post-office, a r. station with telegraph, two banking offices, three chief inns, a town hall, a county court-house, borough and county police stations, an ancient bridge, a market house, public reading rooms, a theatre, three churches three dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a grammar-school, national and British schools, an infirmary, alms houses for 24 persons, and aggregate charities £888.

Shakespeare's house, with the chamber in which he was born, stands in Henley-street; was restored in 1861; has been isolated from juxtaposition with other houses; and contains some Elizabethan furniture, many relics of the great poet, and a recently discovered portrait of him, formerly in possession of W. O. Hunt, Esq. New Place, where the poet died, and which was razed in 1757, was recently purchased by subscription; and the grounds connected with it have been laid out as a public garden. A design was formed in 1865 to erect a monument to Shakespeare, in the form of an acutely pyramidical structure, in the advanced Gothic style, 106 feet high. The town hall was built in 1768; has a statue of Shakespeare, given by Garrick; and includes a room 60 feet by 30, containing portraits of Shakespeare and Garrick. The ancient bridge was built in the time of Henry VII., is 1,128 feet long, and has 14 arches. The market house was built in 1821, and occupies the site of an ancient cross. Holy Trinity church is early English and perpendicular, large, cruciform, and in good repair; has a central tower, with lofty octagonal spire; and contains the tomb, remains, and a bust of Shakespeare, and monuments of the Cloptons, the Earl of Totnes, Dean Balsal, and others. St. James-the-Great's church was built in 1855. Holy Cross chapel is later English, of the time of Henry VII. The Roman Catholic chapel was built in 1866, and is in the French first pointed style. The grammar-school was founded in 1482 by T. Jolepe, and refounded by Edward VI.; and is held in an old-guildhall, with oaken roof. Pop. of the town in 1851, 3,372; in 1861, 3,672. Houses, 785.

The sub-district includes only the borough part of Old Stratford parish, but contains six other parishes. Acres, 14,384. Pop., 6,117. Houses, 1,310. The district comprehends also Old Stratford, Wellesbourne, Kineton, and Wootton-Wawen sub-districts; and comprises 79,051 acres. Poor rates in 1863, £12,895. Pop. in 1851, 20,747; in 1861, 21,249. Houses, 4,685. Marriages in 1863, 128; births, 690, of which 42 were illegitimate; deaths, 413, of which 163 were at ages under 5 years, and 18 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,264; births, 6,277; deaths, 4,069. The places of worship, in 1851, were 36 of the Church of England, with 10,172 sittiings; 5 of Independents, with 1, 288 s.; 3 of Baptists, with 610 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 100 s.; 10 of Wesleyans, with 1,346 s.; 2 of Primitive Methodists, with 160 s.; 1 undefined, with 00 s.; 1 of Roman Catholics, with 300 s.; and 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 17 attendants. The schools were 31 public day-schools, with 2,016 scholars; 39 private day-schools, with 793 s.; 48 Sunday schools, with 2,638 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 9 s. The workhouse is in Old Stratford.

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

Marriages Out of Parish

Below is a list of people who were from Stratford-on-Avon but who were married in another parish.

Edward Easthope, of Stratford-on-Avon, w., & Jane Gould, of S. L., w. 8 May 1796 at South Littleton, Worcestershire.

Parish Records

The register of the Gild of Stratford-upon-Avon. [1406-1535] by the Gild of the Holy Cross, the Blessed Mary, and St. John the Baptist, James Harvey Bloom, the Blessed Mary Gild of the Holy Cross, and St. John the Baptist -

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Parish Registers

The Registers of Holy Trinity Stratford-on-Avon Warwickshire Baptisms 1558 - 1652; Savage Richard. Published 1897 Vol. 6

The Registers of Holy Trinity Stratford-on-Avon Warwickshire Marriages 1558 - 1812; Savage Richard. Published 1897. Vol. 2

The Registers of Holy Trinity Stratford-on-Avon Warwickshire Burials 1558 - 1622-3; Savage Richard. Published 1897. Vol. 3


Below is a list of people that were declared bankrupt between 1820 and 1843 extracted from The Bankrupt Directory; George Elwick; London; Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; 1843.

Bacon John, Stratford-upon-Avon, stationer, Feb. 29, 1828.

Bicknell John Henry, Stratford-upon-Avon, corn dealer, April 13, 1832.

Buller Benjamin, Stratford-upon-Avon, corn dealer, Dec. 30, 1823.


  • County: Warwickshire
  • Civil Registration District: Stratford on Avon
  • Probate Court: Court of the Peculiar of Stratford upon Avon
  • Diocese: Worcester
  • Rural Deanery: Kineton
  • Poor Law Union: Stratford on Avon
  • Hundred: Barlinchway
  • Province: Canterbury