Leicester Blackfriars, Leicestershire Genealogy

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Guide to Leicester Blackfriars, Leicestershire ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Leicester Blackfriars, Leicestershire
Type Extra-parochial
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Leicester Borough
County Leicestershire
Poor Law Union Leicester
Registration District Leicester
Records begin
Parish registers: For records see surrounding parishes
Bishop's Transcripts: For records see surrounding parishes
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Not Applicable
Diocese Not Applicable
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Search the courts of the surrounding parishes
Location of Archive
Leicestershire Record Office

Parish History[edit | edit source]

The extra-parochial liberty ofBlack Friars lay in the north-west of the old walled borough of Leicester. It became acivil parish under the Act of 1857 and was amalgamated with Leicester in 1896 when the borough became a singlecivil parish. In 1896 it covered 16 acres. It was bounded by the River Soar,Soar Lane, the former Back Lane, and Bath Lane.The eastern part of the area is now occupied by the Central railway station, and the remainder is mostly covered by streets of 19th-century terrace houses.

In the Middle Ages Black Friars was occupied by a Dominican friary, founded in the 13th century. The friary was perhaps founded in this spot because in the second half of the 13th century the north-west district of Leicester was less densely populated than other parts of the town; this has been attributed,though without any proof, to devastation caused in the siege of 1173. The friary must have been of some size, as three provincial chapters of the Dominican order were held there in the 14th century, and at the same period the house contained thirty or more friars, but very little is known about its buildings.It has been suggested that the friars acquired St.Clement's parish church, which stood in the northwest part of the town, but that is unlikely. The friary was surrendered to the king in 1538, and its site and buildings were granted in 1546 to Henry Grey, Marquess of Dorset and later Duke of Suffolk.

It has not been possible to trace the descent of the property after that time, but for much of the 18thcentury the Rudings family, of Westcotes, were important landowners in Black Friars.

From the Dissolution until the early 19th century Black Friars was almost uninhabited. The canalization of the Soar, which ran down one side of the Black Friars, led to the building up of the area.From c. 1805 onwards many new houses were built in the area, and by 1837 it was very largely covered with buildings, though a little open ground still remained in the north-west corner. In 1821 the population was 597, and ten years later it had risen to 1,152. The line of the Great Central Railway from London to the north, built under an Act of1893 and opened in 1899, ran through Black Friars,and the large station built to serve the new line occupied a considerable space in the liberty.

There seems to be no doubt that Black Friars was always considered to be within the borough. During the 18th-century disputes between the borough and the county magistrates the county never claimed to have any rights of jurisdiction in Black Friars. The district does not seem to have maintained its poor separately in the 18th century. In 1803 it is listed as an area maintaining its own poor. When the Leicester Poor Law Union was formed in 1836 Black Friars was not included in it. For the next 26 years Black Friars was not included in any union,and seems to have had no arrangements for the poor relief of its inhabitants, a situation all the more serious because by 1837 it had become a poor and densely populated district. In 1849 it was reported that the liberty's inhabitants had no power to appoint a surveyor of the highways, or to levy rates for road maintenance. The sewerage arrangements,as described at the same date, were deplorable. This state of affairs was remedied by the establishment of a Local Board of Health, which assumed responsibility for the highways and for the public health of the whole borough, and by the inclusion of Black Friars in the Leicester Union as a separate civil parish in 1862.

For ecclesiastical purposes Black Friars was extra parochial until it was included in St. Nicholas's parish in 1880.[1]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Leicester Blackfriars parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

FS PRs = England, Leicestershire Parish Registers, 1533-1991 (FamilySearch) - free
FS = FamilySearch - free
FMP = Leicestershire Baptisms, Marriages, Burials (FindMyPast) - ($)
FMP Banns = Leicestershire Banns (FindMyPast) - ($)
FMP Marr = Leicestershire Marriage Licences, 1604-1891 (FindMyPast) - ($)
MyH = Leicestershire Parish Births, Marriages, Burials (MyHeritage) - ($)
TGEN = Leicestershire Parish Records (TheGenealogist) - ($)[2]
PC = Parish Chest - ($) Registers delivered by email.
JOIN = The Joiner Marriage Index - ($)
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[3]
FS Catalog PRs = FamilySearch Catalog Parish registers - free
FS Catalog BTs = FamilySearch Catalog Bishop's transcripts - free
Leicester Blackfriars Online Parish Records
Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FS PRs 1533-1991
FS 1538-1975
FMP 1538-1916
FMP Banns


FMP Marr


MyH 1510-1900s


PC 1500s-1900s



FS Catalog PRs

FS Catalog BTs

To find the names of the neighboring parishes, use England Jurisdictions 1851 Map. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.

Records are also available at the Leicestershire Record Office.

Refer to Leicester St Nicholas, Leicestershire as the former extra parochial area became part of that parish and was adjacent to the extra parochail area durng the rapid growth of population of the area.

Non-Conformists (All other Religions)[edit | edit source]

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Leicestershire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Reference[edit | edit source]

  1. 'The ancient borough: Black Friars', Date accessed: 22 May 2011. A History of the County of Leicester: volume 4: The City of Leicester (1958), pp. 343-344.
  2. Searching Parish Records online (Leicestershire) - The Following Parishes are Available at TheGenealogist, ParishRegister.co.uk, accessed 23 April 2019.
  3. ArcherSoftware.co.uk