William (Butcher Bill) Critchley

William Critchley was born in Sutton, St Helens in 1795.  Known as ‘Billy’ he was a butcher and had a farm at Brown Edge.  The land called Brown Edge was situated on both sides of the road in Nutgrove near the position of the York Hotel today.  On the 1871 census his house was called Rock Field View because the land opposite his house was called Rock Field. Coincidentally, one hundred years later his great granddaughter, Elizabeth Gent (nee Critchley) bought a house called Rock View House which had been built on the land called Rock Field, the exact piece of ground which Billy’s house had overlooked and had been instrumental in the naming of his house. In addition to his land at Brown Edge, Billy also owned a field situated between the traffic lights at Elephant Lane and the pub – a shopping area today.

Land rented by William Critchley in the Tithe Apportionment Schedule of Sutton, St Helens, Lancashire (1840)
Brown Edge c1850 copy 300
Map of Brown Edge, St Helens c1850
(click map to enlarge)


A Tithe Apportionment Schedule (1840) was produced for Sutton.  The above map c1850s, shows the five areas where William Critchley was mentioned in the tithe schedule.

 Area No.  Shading Colour  Landowner  Occupier  Description
 778  Orange  Frances Nuttall   William Critchley  Big Brown Hedge (Meadow)
 779  Purple  Frances Nuttall  William Critchley  Big Brown Hedge (Garden)
 780  Red  Frances Nuttall  William Critchley  Big Brown Hedge (Garden)
 781  Turquoise  Frances Nuttall  William Critchley  Little Brown Hedge (Meadow)
 791  Green  Mary Haddock  William Critchley  Elephant Hey (Meadow)

Billy married Elizabeth (Betty) Shuttleworth on 6 May 1824 at Farnworth Chapel near Prescot. Their marriage certificate (below) shows that they were married by licence rather than banns.  This meant that they didn’t have to wait 3 weeks for the calling of banns in the church before marrying.  We can’t be sure, however, that they were in a rush to marry as people sometimes chose to be married by licence as it cost more than banns and could be used as a status symbol. The other interesting point is that they both signed their names rather than making a mark.

MC Critchley William & Shuttleworth, Elizabeth_660
Marriage Record for William Critchley & Elizabeth Shuttleworth


They had 10 children, one of which, Margaret (christened 22 Feb 1826), died in infancy.

Name Place(s) of Residence Life Dates Married
Margaret Critchley St Helens 1826- John Appleton (1822-1868) & James Aspinall
James Critchley Nutgrove & St Helens & West Derby 1828-1890 Mary Bray (1834-)
Ellen Critchley St Helens 1830-1882 Charles Mather (1825-1886)
John Critchley Eccleston & St Helens 1832-1907 Martha Robinson (1832-1893)
Thomas Critchley St Helens 1834-1902 Catherine Hurst (1840-1866) & Ann Saggerson (1834-1876) & Jane Saggerson (1855-1927)
William Critchley Eccleston & St Helens 1836-1891 Elizabeth (1837-)
Joseph Critchley Liverpool & Wirral 1839-1924 Sarah Stoner (1850-1923)
Elizabeth Critchley St Helens & Kirkdale & Everton 1840-1883 Thomas Cadman (1834-1905)
Henry Critchley Eccleston & St Helens 1844-1903 Mary Ann Formby (1844-1916)

HN Gent 50_gy Chart: William and Elizabeth Critchley & Children 

Thomas Critchley…