Westbury, Wiltshire Family History Guide

Westbury is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Wiltshire.

Other places in the parish include: Westbury Leigh, West End, Leigh, and Dilton.

Alternative names:

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1556
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1600

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Independent/Congregational, Particular Baptist, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

WESTBURY, a town, a parish, a hundred, a sub-district, and a district, in Wilts. The town stands adjacent to a point of the Wilts and Somerset railway whence a branch line goes to Frome, and at the foot of a range of chalk hills on the NW border of Salisbury plain, 4½ miles S by E of Trowbridge; probably took its name from standing under the W declivity of Salisbury plain; dates from ancient times; numbers among its natives Brian Edwards, who wrote a “History of the West Indies,” and Withers, the author of “Aristarchus;” is governed, under a charter of Edward I., by a mayor, 12 aldermen, and other officers; sent two members to parliament from the time of Henry VI. till 1832, and now sends one; is conterminate, as a p. borough, with W. parish; is a seat of increasing woollen cloth manufacture: carries on a moderate trade in malting and other departments; has recently opened iron mines with furnaces for smelting; consists chiefly of three streets, irregularly built; and has a head post-office, a r. station with telegraph, a banking office, three chief inns, a town hall, a later English church restored in 1868, six dissenting chapels, an endowed school with £49 a year, a girls’ school, a workhouse, charities £139, a weekly market on Tuesday, and four annual fairs. The parish contains three townships and a chapelry, and comprises 11,901 acres. Rated property, £31,876. Electors in 1833, 185: in 1868, 1,046. Pop. in 1851, 7,029; in 1861, 6,495. Houses, 1,526. The property is much subdivided. The manor belonged to the Manduits; passed to the Seymours, the Mountjoys, and the Berties; and belongs now to Sir M. Lopes, Bart. A residence of the Saxon kings is said to have been on a spot, called the Palace-garden, at Leigh village. An ancient seat of the Pavelys was at Brook. Many Roman coins and pieces of pottery have been found at Ham. An ancient camp, of irregular outline, with a double rampart in some parts 36 feet high, and enclosing an area of 23 acres, crowns Bratton hill. Traces of the ancient Britons are in various parts. Westbury Down, a chief one of the eminences in the neighbourhood of the town, rises to an altitude of 775 feet above sea-level. The living is a vicarage, with Dilton chapelry, in the diocese of Salisbury. Value, £385. Patron, the Bishop of S. The p. curacies of Bratton, Dilton-Marsh, and Heywood are separate benefices.-The hundred is conterminate with the parish or p. borough.—The sub-district includes all the parish except Bratton chapelry. The district comprehends Westbury, Edington, and Bradley sub-districts; and comprises 30,944 acres. Poor rates in 1863, £7,993. Pop. in 1851, 12,530; in 1861, 11,751. Houses, 2,744. Marriages in 1863, 89; births, 387, of which 27 were illegitimate; deaths, 261, of which 79 were at ages under 5 years, and 12 at ages above 85. Marriages, in the ten years 1851-60, 838; births, 3,868; deaths, 2,679. The places of worship, in 1851, were 11 of the Church of England, with 3,787 sittings; 4 of Independents, with 1,851 s.; 10 of Baptists, with 2,856 s.; 8 of Wesleyans, with 1,190 s.; 4 of Primitive Methodists, with 155 s.; 1 of Calvinistic Methodists, with 140 s.; and 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 60 s. The schools were 18 public day-schools, with 1,435 scholars; 22 private day-schools, with 391 s.; 26 Sunday schools, with 2,538 s.: and 3 evening schools for adults, with 37 s.

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


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.

Brunker James, Westbury, Wiltshire, clothier, Dec. 2, 1828.

Gilpin James John, Westbury, Wiltshire, surgeon and chemist, April 20, 1824.

Hayward John Baynes, Chapmanslade, Wilts, money scrivener, April 2, 1841.

Hooper John, sen.; & Edw. Franklin; Westbury, Wilts, bankers, July 8, 1831.

Humphries James, Westbury, Wiltshire, woolstapler, Oct. 16, 1824.

James William, Westbury, Wiltshire, clothier, Sept. 15, 1829.

Morton Richard, Westbury, Wiltshire, corn factor, Dec. 21, 1824.

Perry Thomas, Chalford, Wiltshire, clothier, Dec. 4, 1829.

Reynolds Thomas, Westbury, Wiltshire, clothier, July 5, 1823.

Taylor William, Westbury, Wiltshire, carpenter, Feb. 19, 1841.


Vision of Britain historical maps


  • County: Wiltshire
  • Civil Registration District: Westbury
  • Probate Court: Court of the Peculiar of the Precentor of Salisbury
  • Diocese: Salisbury
  • Rural Deanery: Pre-1847 - None, Post-1846 - Wylye
  • Poor Law Union: Westbury and Whorwellsdown
  • Hundred: Westbury (Wiltshire)
  • Province: Canterbury