Cheshire Bible

The Cheshire family bible is a large bible published by Brown and Bentley in Birmingham in 1789. Its original owner was Edward Cheshire and he gives a date of 10 June 1796.

The presumption is that this is the date he acquires the bible and proceeds to write the detail of all his children up to his youngest Elizabeth Cheshire born in May 1796. The full text is “Edward Cheshire his book 10 June 1796” and then in Latin “Hic nomen pono quai Librum perdere nolo” and a translation, as if for his children’s benefit, “Here I put my name because I am unwilling to loose my book”.

Cheshire Bible 1789, frontispiece and the title page

Cheshire Bible 1789, frontispiece and the title page

The bible has made its way to us from Edward Cheshire via his eldest son John Cheshire. We can presume it was in the hands of John’s wife Priscilla Cheshire¬†(nee Onions) at her death in 1848. It then went to Priscilla’s daughter Sarah Hartill and then passed down through the eldest daughters to Hannah Pitt Showell and into the Downing family. Inserted in the bible is a sheet from C M Downing (Molly Evans) dated June 1969 stating that she presumed that it came from her father’s family.The full list of the descendants of Edward Cheshire now make it clear how this book came into our possession and was therefore misplaced with the Evans archives.

The bible contains important inserts that are rewritten registers of the Cheshire and Onions families. These must have been written between 1840 and 1850 perhaps by Sarah Hartill – Edward Cheshire’s grand daughter.

There are six items of family history interest:

  • List of the children of Edward Cheshire
  • List of the children of John Cheshire and Priscilla Croft Onions (nee Bacon)
  • Deaths in the Onions and Cheshire family 1800-1848
  • Ages and Deaths in the Cheshire family 1797 to 1848
  • Looseleaf signature of Edward Cheshire (dubious date)
  • Lock of girls hair in the form of a clover leaf.


Last updated on 10 January 2024 by JJ Morgan