Mark Eccles (1737-1798) and Mary Aspin (c.1737-1798)

The baptism records suggest that Mark is the son of Ralph Eccles and his wife, Hannah. He was born in 1737/38 and was baptised on 19 Feb 1737/8 at Over Darwen Chapel, also known as St James: Here is an old drawing of St James' Chapel:

Image from Darwen Days

St James was first erected in 1687 although there was a chapel of ease before this date; in fact it is the oldest church in Darwen: British History On-Line.

Searching the parish records for Mark Eccles, there is only one who marries a Mary, and that is Mary Aspin on 30th June 1757 at St Mary the Virgin, and they come from Lower Darwen. The witnesses are Robert Hindle and Peter Nevill.

This image was provided by Gordon Hartley for use in the Cotton Town digitisation project.

I cannot find a Mary Aspin in the parish records born about the right time; there is, however, a Mary Aspen who was baptised 2nd March 1735 at St Mary the Virgin, Blackburn, whose parents were Richard Aspen and Alice of Lower Darwen.

Mark and Mary Eccles had three children:

Betty, who was baptised at St Mary the Virgin on 11th October 1771. I don't know what happened to Betty because there are several women with her name from Blackburn who got married at St Mary the Virgin; there is also a Betty Eccles who died in Blackburn and was buried on 9th March 1850 aged 73, so this could be her.

Their second child, John, was baptised at the same church on 14th March 1773 and was buried on 10th April the same year.

Margaret (1776-1846) is my four times great grandma and was baptised on 25th December 1776.

All were born in Lower Darwen. I don't know why there were no children born before 1771 unless there were several miscarriages.