Old Artillery Ground, Middlesex Genealogy

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Old Artillery Ground

Guide to Old Artillery Ground, Middlesex ancestry, family history, and genealogy. Parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Parish History[edit | edit source]

FINSBURY, one of the newly enfranchised metropolitan boroughs, comprising parts of the Finsbury and Holborn divisions of the hundred of Ossulstone, county of Middlesex.[1]

Additional information:

Old Artillery Ground, Finsbury, is on the west of Finsbury Square, and has three entrances, viz. up to Artillery Court, Chiswell Street, at the top of Bunhill Row, and at 18, Artillery Place. It is part of the ancient manor of Finsbury, or Fens-bury, which was granted in 1215, by Robert de Baldock, Prebendary of Haliwell and Finsbury, with the consent of the dean and chapter of St Paul's Cathedral, to the mayor and citizens of London. This portion of the manor was afterwards demised to the Honourable Artillery Company, from which it derives its name. In the middle of the north side is a substantial brick building, called the armoury... Near to this, on the side next Bunhill Row, is a brick building used as the headquarters of the London Militia, and as a town residence for its Colonel, Sir C.I. Hunter, Bart. This large site of open ground is the exercising place of the ancient and Honourable Artillery Company, a volunteer association of armed citizens. {Note: The history of the Artillery Ground states that it was used to train former officers and army soldiers who, in turn, trained militia personnel from county militias from throughout all of England.] "At length, the company grew so numerous, amounting to nearly six thousand men, that the old Artillery Ground, or garden, as it was then called, was too small to contain them. Therefore, they were obliged to seek a more convenient and capacious place for their exercises, and having procured a large field without Morrgate (the present Artillery Ground), they removed thither about the end of the reign of James I. King Charles II, when Prince of Wales, enlisted himself in this company, as did his brother James, Duke of York; who, after the restoration, took upon himself the command, and named it his own company. Our late King George IV, also, when Prince of Wales, was Captain-General of this Company, and paid it many honourable attentions... The Artillery Company is governed by the King, who is Captain-General.

The Old Artillery Ground, Bishopsgate, was a little to the north-east of what is now Devonshire Square, in Bishopsgate Street. The site was originally a spacious field called Tassel Close, from its being planted with tassels, or teasels, a species of thistle that are much used by cloth-workers. It was afterwards let to the cross-bow makers, who used to practise archery there; but, being afterwards enclosed with a brick wall, served as an artillery ground, to which the gunners of the Tower repaired every Thursday to practise their art. The last prior of St Mary Spital granted it to them for thrice ninety-nine years, and King Henry VIII gave the company a charter. Hence this artillery-ground became subject to the municipality of the Tower; and the streets, which occupy its site being part of Union Street, Bishopsgate, and Artillery Lane, the whole of Duke Street, Gun Street, Seward Street, and Fort Street, compose one of the Tower Hamlets, and the inhabitants are still summoned on juries belonging to the courts of that jurisdiction."[2]

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]

Old Artillery Ground parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

FS PRs = England, Middlesex, Westminster, Parish Registers, 1538-1912 (FamilySearch) - free
FS = FamilySearch - free
FMP = Middlesex Baptisms (FindMyPast) - ($)
FMP London = Greater London Marriage and Burial Indexes (FindMyPast) - ($)
ANC 1 = London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 (Ancestry) - ($)
ANC 2 = London, England, Church of England Records (Ancestry) - ($)
ANC Marr = London and Surrey, England, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1597-1921 (Ancestry) - ($)
BOYD = England, Boyd's Marriage Indexes, 1538-1850 (FindMyPast) - free
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[3]
FS Catalog PRs = FamilySearch Catalog Parish registers - free
FS Catalog BTs = FamilySearch Catalog Bishop's transcripts - free
Old Artillery Ground Online Parish Records
Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FS PRs 1538-1912
FS 1538-1975
FMP 1543-1876

FMP London

ANC 1 1538-1812
ANC 2 1813-1917
ANC Marr





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.

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 Middlesex Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Poor Law Unions[edit | edit source]

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]

Old Artillery Ground in Finsbury on GENUKI

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England, (1848). Adapted. Date accessed: 09 February 2014.
  2. Elmes, James, M.R.I.A., Architect. In “A Topographical Dictionary of London and its Envirions, (London: Whittaker, Treacher and Arnot, 1831). Adapted. Date accessed: 09 February 2014.
  3. ArcherSoftware.co.uk