Family History Notebook

The Township of Bosden, Stockport, Cheshire

See also Bosden House, Swindelves, Poise House

J.P. Earwaker in his "East Cheshire Past and Present" has this to say about Bosden:-

"As already noticed, part of the present township of Handforth is quite detached from Cheadle parish, and lies in the adjacent parish of Stockport.v This district, known by the name of Bosden, was given to Henry de Honford of Handforth so early as the middle of the 13th century, and has ever since been associated with Handforth. The deed by which this grant was made was fortunately extant in the latter part of the last [ie 18th] century, and has been transcribed by the Rev. John Watson. By it Robert de Stokeport, the then Baron and lord of Stockport, grants this land to Henry de Honford and his heirs for ever. It runs as follows (translated) : -w

Let all present and future people who shall see or hear this present writing know that I, Robert de Stokeport, have given, and by this my present charter have confirmed, to Henry de Honefort, for his homage and service, all the vill [or territory] of Bosedun with its appurtenances, &c. To have and to hold to him and his heirs, of me and my heirs, freely and quietly, with all liberties, &c., paying thence to me and my heirs, the service of the eighth part of one knight’s fee for all services ; and that this my grant may remain firm and permanent, I have affixed my seal to this writing. These being witnesses, the lord Richard Phitton, now Justiciary of Chester, the lord Walter, now Abbot of Chester, Warin de Vernun, Hamo de Mascy, William de Malpas, Hugh Phytton, Richard de Sandbech, Geoffrey de Chedle, Richard de Bromhal, Robert de Hide, Richard de Wibbinbury, Robert Pigot, and many others.

The date of this interesting charter is fixed as between 1233 and 1236, during which years Richard de Fitton was Justiciary of Chester."

A branch of the family of Honford held a small estate here in the 14th century called "Swyndelves,” which they parted with to the Leghs of Adlington in 1378-9.x A family, who bore the local name of Bosden or Boseden, held land in Hurdsfield, near Macclesfield, in the 14th and 15th centuriesy, but the name is now rarely met with. A large part of the straggling village of Hazelgrove, formerly called BulIock Smithy, is in Bosden.

v  Bosden is fully five miles from Handforth, the township of Bramhall intervening between the two places.

w Watson’s “House of Warren and Surrey,” vol. ii. p.211-12, from a charter then (1782) in the possession of Samuel Dodge, of Thornhill, in Offerton, near Stockport.

x MSS. of the Rev. John Watson, deeds penes1 Dodge of  Offerton in 1779. See also Cheshire MSS., vol. iv.

y A series of the deeds relating to this family are copied in  the Montalt Chnrtnlary, Cleopatra D vi. Brit. Mus. See also  Cheshire MSS. vol. xv.

George Ormerod points out that the ancient boundary of the Forest of Macclesfield passed through the middle of Bosden township
"et de Northbyclowe per stratam viam usque rivulum de Bosseden, et sic descenda rivulum usque Saltersbrugge" [date ???] (Harleian Manuscripts 2038] [The Harleian manuscripts are a diverse collection of papers from the 16th and 17th centuries and earlier, collected by the Earls of Oxford and presented at its founding to the British Museum.]
J McN Dodgson provides an alternative version in English (!)
"'leaving Robert Hanford's house within the forest (perhaps Bosden Hall) to Poise Brook, descending this to Barley Meadow in Offerton"

Bosden location

This division between the Manor of Stockport and the Manor and Forest of Macclesfield can still be seen reflected in the land ownership in 1844:-

Bosden township land ownership
(Click on map for full resolution image of Bosden township tithe map 1844 - 1.4MB

Bosden Moor was enclosed in 1749 by agreement between Sir George Warren and seven others, who as freeholders in the township could claim a share of thos common land.2

Burdett's map of 1777

Burdett's map of 1777 (above) just shows (without naming) Old Fold, Bosden Hall, Bosden Fold and Bosden House but omits the developments at Bullock Smithy which we know to have existed at this date (see below)

"Henry Marsland. Born in 1733, he bought land in Bosden in 1761 and built himself a house there. ... Peter Marsland. Born in Bosden in Cheadle Parish, 3 December 1770, he took sole charge of the family textile business after the death of his elder brother Samuel.

"Henry Marsland had installed carding machinery in a building next to his house in Bullock Smithy about 1770. In 1776 he patented a machine which could be powered either by water or hand, and which, it was claimed, could be used for 'doubling, throwing and winding cotton, silk, linen, mohair, or any other sort of yarn whatsoever'. He purchased an adjacent plot of land in 1782 but site restrictions meant that he could only use horse-power. In the following year he leased the Park Silk Mill [in Stockport], previously used for silk and started cotton spinning."


1    penes - latin pronoun "in the possession of"
"summa imperii penes Biturges", meaning "all the power in the hands of the Bituriges".

2    "Stockport: A History" Peter Arrowsmith 1997 p111 referencing Robert J. Fletcher 1901 "A Short History of Hazel Grove from Olden Times"  p13-14 (of 65 pages) [Not available on-line