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  Richard Tonge Letters & Notes : Collected by Cannon Richard Tonge (1826-1895) and John Henry Tonge (1868-1940), relating mainly to Tonge of Middleton, and Manchester.  Transcribed by Amanda Jephson, August 2008.

Letter sent to Canon Tonge by W Brewdent, 10 Feb 1885, from Middleton Manchester. Notes made from Middleton Parish Register, Manchester in 1885

  • Thomas son of Richard Tonge. Bap. 20/26 March 1697
  • Sarah, daughter of Richard Tonge of Tonge , Bapt September 1703
  • Jane wife of Mr Richard Tonge buried 1? June 1690/1698
  • Sarah daughter of Richard Tonge buried 4 April 1707
  • Mr Richard Tonge of Tonge buried 22 April 1713 married to Alice his 3rd wife
  • Richard Tonge of Tonge buried 4 ?Oct 1722
  • Mrs Alice Tonge of Tonge widow of Mr Richard Tonge of Tonge, buried 19 March 1723-4
  • Mr Thomas Tonge bachelor of Oldham, buried 16 January 1744-5
Notes made by W Brewdent, Middleton Parish Register, Manchester 10 Feb 1885


  • 1696 Sept 8 Jonathan son of Assheton Tonge of Alkington
  • 1697 May 20 /23 Christopher son of Christopher Tonge of Middleton
  • 1697 April 25 Thomas? son of Richard Tonge
  • b.1698 June 24 Elizabeth daughter of Assheton Tonge of Tonge
  • 1699 March 22 Charity daughter of Christopher Tonge of Middleton
  • 1702 Nov 3 Assheton son of Christopher Tonge of Tonge
  • 1703 Sept 3 Sarah daughter of Richard Tonge of Tonge
  • 1705 June 1 John son of Christopher Tonge of Tonge
  • 1711 Sept 16 Alice daughter of James Tonge of Boarshaw
  • 1713 Jan 17 Anne daughter of James Tonge of Boarshaw
  • 1715 March 21 James son of James Tonge of Boarshaw
  • 1717 May 12 Mary daughter of Richard Tonge of Stanecliffe
  • 1718 Oct 5 Richard son of Jonathan Tonge of Tongesmoor?
  • 1720 July 24 Sarah daughter of John Tonge of Tonge
  • 1720 Nov 27 Ellen daughter of James Tonge of Boarshaw
  • 1720 January 15 Thomas son of Jonathan Tonge of Tongesmoor
  • 1720 Feb 28 William & Christopher sons of Richard Tonge of Stanecliffe
  • 1722 May 29 Assheton son of John Tonge of Alkington
  • 1723 Jan 13/18 Anne Daughter of Jonathan Tonge of Tongesmoor
  • 1724 June 21 Assheton son of Richard Tonge of Stanecliffe
  • 1724 Aug 16 Richard son of John Tonge of Tonge
  • 1726 Sept 21 Hannah daughter of Jonathan Tonge of Tongesmoor
  • 1730 Oct 18 Nancy daughter of Richard Tonge of Stanecliffe
  • 1730/31Feb 2 Betty daughter of John and Susanna Tonge of Tonge
  • 1731 Margaret daughter of Jonathan Tonge of Littlesman
  • 1732 March 26 John son of John an Susanna Tonge of Tonge
  • 1732 Jan 19 Jonathan son of Jonathan and Mary of Tongesmoor
  • 1733 Jan 25 Elizabeth daughter of John and Sarah Tonge
  • 1734 Oct 11 John son of Jonathan and Mary Tonge
  • 1734 Dec 31 Mary, daughter of James and Hannah Tonge of Boarshaw
  • 1736 March 28 James son of John and Susanna Tonge of Tonge
  • 1737 Sept 18 Elizabeth? daughter of James and Hannah Tonge of Boarshaw
  • 1738-9 Jan 14 Thomas son of John and Sarah Tonge of Tonge
  • 1738-9 May Anne daughter of Jonathan and Mary Tonge of Tongesmoor
  • 1739-40 Feb 17 Esther daughter of James and Hannah Tonge of Boarshaw
  • 1740-1 Jan Jane daughter of John and Sarah Tonge of Tonge
  • 1743 3 July Sarah daughter of John and Sarah Tonge of Tonge

  • 1697 Oct 25 Mr K Pilkington /Kay Pilporth? married Mary Tonge of Hopwood
  • 1701 Dec 23 Asheton Tonge married Mary Lomax both (licence) of Middleton
  • 1707 Dec 30 James Tonge of Dean? Parish married Anne Cheetham of Middleton
  • 1713 Jan12 Benjamin Jaques? married Martha Tonge both of Middleton
  • 1716 August 30 Jonathan Tonge of this? Middleton Parish, Manchester with Sarah Newton of Prestwich
  • 1716 Aug 30 Richard Tonge with Mary Radcliffe both of this parish, Middleton Parish, Manchester
  • 1717 Aug 23 Jonathan Tonge of this? Middleton Parish , Manchester married Sarah Newton of Prestwich (repeat of 1715 )?
  • 1723/4 Sept 17 Assheton Tonge married Anne Johnson both of Middleton. Banns 1723/ Marriage 1724
  • 1728 Jan 5 James Partington married Jane Tonge


  • 1697 April 7 Asheton Tonge de Tonge
  • 1698 June 1 Jane wife of Richard Tonge of Tonge
  • 1701 April 12 Mary wife of Asheton Tonge of Hopwood
  • 1707 April 4 Sarah daughter of Richard Tonge
  • 1707/8 March 27 Widow Tonge of Chadderton?
  • 1713 April 22 Mr Richard Tonge of Tonge
  • 1716 May 16 James son of James Tonge of Boarshaw
  • 1714 Feb 21 Charity daughter of Christopher Tonge of Tonge
  • 1717 Nov 3 Susan Tonge of Gooden?
  • 1718 Feb/July Christopher son of Christopher Tonge of Tonge
  • 1722 Aug 5/or Oct Richard Tonge of Tonge
  • April 28 Mary daughter of Richard Tonge ,of Stanecliffe, buried
  • Nov 24 William son of Richard Tonge of Stanecliffe
  • 1723 Jul 13 Assheton Tonge of Tonge
  • 1723/4 March 19 Mrs Alice Tonge of Tonge wife of Mr Richard Tonge of Tonge
  • 1723/4 March 30 Christopher Tonge of Tonge
  • 1725 Aug 29 Mr Jonathan Tonge of Tonge (married to Sarah)
  • 1726 Jan 22 Anne daughter of Jonathan Tonge
  • 1727 April 12 John Tonge of Tonge
  • 1727 June 12 Anne wife of James Tonge of Boarshaw
  • 1728 Oct 24 Assheton Tonge of Middleton
  • 1729 April 4 Assheton son of Assheton Tonge
  • 1744/5 Jan/Feb? 14 Mr Thomas Tonge, bachelor of Oldham
  • Feb 16 Richard Tonge of Alkington
  • Jane wife of ?Christopher Tonge
  • 1745 Oct John Tonge ?Heber?
  • 1750 Dec 23 Mary daughter of Richard Tonge/ Hebery?/ ? Wife Eliz?
  • 1752 Susan daughter
  • 1730 March 12 Dorothy Tonge of Tonge


  • John Beswicke to Susan Tonge (sister of Richard Tonge, Gentleman)
  • Will 26 June 1692, Proved 4 October 1693, Chester

Letter to Canon Tonge from W.Brewdent (undated circa 1885)

Dear Canon Tonge

Upon the whole I think you would like to see our Register for yourself. I have looked through them for the period you gave me-----? You the------?. Many of these extracts may be of no interest for you, but you can best tell which -------? Have?

There were evidently several contemporary families of the name in the neighbourhood. The original Register for 1696 to 1708? Or so has unfortunately beenburnt and only fragments which have been carefully pasted into another book remain. But there is in addition a Transcript. In both there is a record of a baptism of Thomas Son of Richard Tonge Gentleman baptized May 26 1697, which I think in the min you want in the first instance.

  • Sept 1703 Sarah daughter of Mr Richard Tonge of Tonge ----------aged 3.
  • Jane Wife of Richard Tonge Buried June 1690. Sarah daughter of Richard Tonge buried April 4, 1707.
  • Mr Richard Tonge of Tonge buried April22 1713.
  • 1722 Oct 3/5 Richard Tonge of Tonge buried.
  • 1723-5 March 19 Buried Mrs Alice Tong of Tonge relict of Richard Tonge of Tonge
  • 1744 -5 Mr Thomas Tonge Bachelor Oldham Buried.

I can be at home to show you the Registers one of which I think you would especially like to see – any day in the mornings.

Yours Truly


Letter to Cannon Richard Tonge dated Dec 29.1884, from Thomas Whilelegg, Greengale Mills, Salford.

Dear Sir

The Apparaton at Northenden Church asked me to search the Registers for the Wedding of Richard Tonge and a Burgess the only wedding of a Tonge is that of John Tonge & Mary Hughes were married by licence the 29th day of June 1684. Richard Tonge Tradesman of Salford was buried in 1815 at 55. Richard Tonge Farmer & Martha Burgess were married at Manchester Cathedral Aug 7 1788 from J.Carvens? M.S.

Yours Thomas Whilelegg

  • John Tonge marr. Mary Hughes by licence 29 June 1684, Northenden Church, Salford
  • Richard Tonge (Tradesman of Salford) Buried 1855 at 55
  • Richard Tonge (Farmer ) marr Martha Burgess, Manchester Cathedral 7 August 1788
  • Richard Tonge of Parish and Town of Manchester, Farmer marr. Martha Burgess of Manchester, Spinster. Married by Banns published 20/ 27 July and 3 August 788. Married ,7 August 1788. Witnesses Ann Tonge and Thomas Tonge.

Inscriptions on Graves – Transcribed from notes made by Rev Richard Tonge August 1884

Here Resteth the body of John Mellor late of Berk? Acre in Chorley Lancashire who died Feb 8th 1828 aged 64 years.
Also Ann his wife, who departed July 1st 1828 aged 70 years.
Ann daughter of John and Ann Mellor of Lavenshulene? Who died January? 12th 1787 aged 13 weeks.
Also Sarah their daughter who died June 26th 1804 aged 21 years.
The flowers that bud and bloom and charm then fade remind us of the fate of their young maid possessed of lovely virtue, lovely grace, Her life was innocence her death was peace.

Mary Grimshaw daughter of John and Alice Mellor who died Dec 12th 1810 aged 26 years.
Also Charlotte Mellor their daughter who died May 14th 1815 aged 22 years.
God takes the good the beauteous and the fair to shine like stars in the celestial sphere and teaches those below to look above and fix their hearts on everlasting love.
Also John Grimshaw of Manchester son of the above named Mary Grimshaw who died at Southfield?on the 12th January 1838 aged 31 years.

Here resteth the body of Richard Tonge who departed this life March 28th 1813 aged 51/31? years also Martha his wife, who died May 4th 1819 aged 32/52?
Also Elizabeth their daughter died July 17th 1834 died 61 years.
Richard son of Richard and Martha Tonge who departed this life Dec 12th 1789 aged 7 months.
Also Jane their daughter, who departed this life September 23rd 1794, aged 2 days.
Also Ann their daughter who departed this life January 7th 1801? aged 10 years.
Also William their son died March 13th 1806 aged 16 months.
Ann Jane their daughter who died August 2nd 1810 aged 10 weeks.

Richard born 1762/4- died 28 March 1813
Martha born 1767 – died 4 May 1819
Elizabeth born 1793 – died 17 July 1834
Richard born 1789 – died 12 Dec 1789
Jane born 1794 – died 23 Sept 1794
Ann born 1791 – died 7 Jan 1801
William born 1804 – died 13 March 1806
Ann Jane born 1810 – died 2 Aug 1810

Mary born 1784
Charlotte born 1793
John born 1807

John born 1764
Ann born 1758
Ann daughter born 1786
Sarah born 1783

Transcription of a letter written to unknown (it is supposed John Henry Tonge) by John Bookes, Prestwich Dec 12 (year unknown, possibly early 1900s)


My dear Sir

I write to acknowledge the safe arrival of the Deed relating to this place and Oldham, and also the transcript you so kindly included, which shall be assuredly returned to you and that shortly.

On comparing your list of extracts from the Middleton Registers relating to the Tonge family with those I myself recently made I find my own much more copious and I have therefore copied it out and incorporated with it such entries as our own Registers supply.- If they are of any use to you M.S. Collections I shall be glad if you will accept it.

I enclose for your inspection the Tonge pedigree as I find it in your Books, with dates in some cases derived from Registers, and in a few instances with an additional member added. Will you favour me with an opinion as to the propriety of the step, and whether I should be justified in making further additions to it from such sources.- The name Margaret Newton is on the authority of Holland Watson in his pedigree of the Newtons.

Did the Tonges register a pedigree and could you oblige me with the arms they bore?

Am I correct in supposing Alice de Wolveley to be the common ancestor of the Prestwiches (by her marriage with Adam de Prestwich) and the Tonges? Could you tell me who were the Gilliams who left a conditional bequest of property to the Wilsons of Poppythorn?

I do not wish to be thought troublesome, or as presuming on your kindness to me on Tuesday Week, but if you favour me with this information I should feel additionally in your debt.-

With many thanks
Believe me, dear Sir
Very faithfully your
John Bookes.

You can form perhaps no conjecture as to the date of those Deeds which are undated? The name --------(Page torn) enquired after is ‘Gerarde Newall’; the Archdeacon and I transcribed by candle – light after evening service which must be our excuse for inaccuracy.-

I enclose also the extract from our Registers relating to the ‘James Wilson’ who has puzzled you so much.

‘James Wilson of Popiethorn in O.r.(?) Parish if Prestwich in the countie of Lancaster Clothier and Mary Smith daughter of Thomas Smith merchant of the p’ish of Gilses (sic) Criplegate in London were married upon the 29th day of May 1655 before Walter Bigg one of the Justices of the Peace ffor (sic) the citie of London.- In testimonie of etc.’

Misc. Notes by John Henry Tonge ( 1868-1940)

Raines Vol VIII pp 170-2 M.S.

This note is illustrated with a very choice pencil sketch (1845) of “Tonge Hall in the Parish of Prestwich, Geo.Pal. Lane.(sic), the Seat of Richard Tonge, Gentleman 1700”.

“ 16 April 1713 Richard Tonge of Tonge in the Parish of Prestwich cum Oldham Gentleman
…. To My wife Alice one Silver Pint, 6 Silver Spoons, one Bed, all my Linen and 20 Pounds a year-. To the Son? Of Tonge he Two Heatons, Middleton, Chadderton, and Oldham 5 Pounds. To my wife and Children, To John Greaves of Manchester Esq. and his wife * to my Executors and to my Aunt Radcliffe** each a Gold Ring. All the residue to my son Thomas Tonge nipt (sic) of 500 Pounds which I intend him to have when he is 21. To my older Son Jonanthan Tonge all my newly purchased Lands, my Tenement in Hopwood subject to sd. (sic)20 Pounds a yaer and 500 Pounds to my Son Thomas Tonge.
Executors Thomas Kenyon of Manchester Esq., Hugh Parr of Salforde Gentleman and Edmund Radcliffe of Middleton Gentelman.

Richard Tonge

Witnesses –
Mary Hindley
Jane Gregg
John Starky “

[* Jane daughter, of Alice’s by first husband John Gilliam Esq. Jane married to John Greaves.
** daughter Edward Whitehead of Foxdenton. She ob(sic) at 88 in 1725]
(Sister of Richard’s mother, Sarah Whitehead.)

“A codicil to my will – I give also to my wife Alice Tonge 60 Pounds of a debt the Executors of by late Brother in Law Mr Joseph Gregg * of Chamber Hall which he gave me a Bond for 6 March 1705.”

“All the Executors renounced And Admon(sic) was granted to Henry Dickenson a principal Creditor 7 August 1713.

5 Dec 1720 Admon with Will annexed was granted to Thomas Kenion of Manchester Gentleman of Goods left unadmd by sd. (sic) Dickenson now dead.”

* Alice’s brother

Will of John Beswicke, married to Susan Tonge, Richard’s sister:

“25 June 1692 , John Beswicke of Manchester, Chapman ----Susanna my Wife her 3ds all the residue between my two daughters Elizabeth and Anne. My Brother Robert Beswicke and my loving brother-in law Richard Tonge Gentelman.
Proved at Chester 4 Oct 1693”

Abstract of Title and Pedigree of Tonge of Tonge

“Abstract of the Title and Pedigree of Tonge of Tonge in the Parish of Prestwich now in the possession of James Starky of Heywood Hall, Esq. and lent to me by his Solicitors Mess. Elliott and Stott of Rochdale. June 9, 1845. F.R. Raines , F.S.A.
Alice of Woveley = see the Heading m.d. Scifac(sic) brought by Henry de Tonge against Robert de Longley (Deed Pole)16.H.6 1438.”

Thomas of Tonge = Also an endorsement thereupon (for the proof of the first four generations.)
Henry of Tonge =

Henry of Tonge =

Henry of Tonge = A Deed Pole 38 H.6.1460

Richard of Tonge = A Deed dated 10 May 16 Ed.4. 1476
A Verdict on a Scifac 22 Ed.4.1482

Thomas of Tonge = Ing.Post mort.34.H.8.1543

John of Tonge = A Marriage Settlement I Edw.VI 1547

Richard of Tonge = 12 Eliz.1570

Christopherof Tonge = mort. 43 Eliz.1601

Richard of Tonge = The same Buried at Middleton 3 April 1678

Jonathan of Tonge = Buried at Middleton 12 Oct. 1683

Richard of Tonge = Buried at Middleton May 1713

Jonathan of Tonge Thomas of Tonge
Buried at Middleton granted to Jo Starky,
7 October 1725 Buried at Middleton 14 Jan 1744
Died a Bachelor

Further Note- author unknown, may be in John Henry Tonge’s handwriting or John Wilding Tonge (1830-1906) (his father).

“ Last Will of James Heywood of Heywood 24 Jan 1562 – and my other bequests ‘To Richard Tonge of Tonge XX marks for XI years’
Heywood’s will commences thus :’ to Katherine my ----------? Daughter as good a parts? Af my kind as any of her bretheren’.- See Raines M.S. Vol XXVII p 89

Regarding Tomb of William Tonge 1389

Letter from John Wilding Tonge to his brother Canon Richard Tonge, dated 2 Feb 1886, Highgate , London.

Feb 2 1886

My dear Richard

A few days ago I found myself in the neighbourhood of All Hallows, Barking and remembering that you once told me that the family arms were to be found in this Church I asked the pew ? if she knew any tomb or brass with the name when she at once raised the matting in one of the aisles and showed me the name. I thought it would be interesting to have a rubbing of the Brass so I provided myself with the necessary materials and took some as well as I could and I send you two copies. I was also told that I should find in the Guildhall Library a history of the Church with an account of all the brasses in it. Thinking it would throw some light upon the Tonge brass. I had a good hunt for the book and I enclose you a Copy of all it says in relation to it. It is very interesting but I do not suppose it will be possible to trace the pedigree so far back as 1389. The boys (Alfred Ernest Tonge and John Henry Tonge – his sons) are rather taken with this and Alfred will help us if you will find him the pedigree which you have made out as he would like to take a copy of it.

I have not been able to make out the Norman French inscription on the Brass. There is one word especially “gyt” which bothers me. I think I shall go to the British Museum to have it translated.

I have not yet been able to meet with anything to do and with London in its present state I fear it will not be an easy matter to do. I am glad to say, we are all well.

I see from the papers that you lost Mr Royche(?), is their any hope that with the new Bishop Caring(?) you will get the appointment. I hope you may.

With our best love to all, I am your affectionate brother

J.W. Tonge

Poscript: (Amanda Jephson has a brass rubbing of the Tomb in her possession)

SJT Note 28th July 2017: Interesting reference here of Mrs. Canon Tonge and family staying at the same guest house in Whitby as Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, on the 22nd August 1890 (from the Whitby Gazette). Bram Stoker was said to have taken much of the inspiration for the book from his visit to Whitby.

List of Visitors (22nd August 1890)
Number 6 Royal Crescent, Whitby
Bram-Stoker, Mr, Mrs & Master (London)
Tonge Canon, Mrs & fam (Manchester)