THE TRAFFORD FAMILY

Lancashire and Cheshire Connections

The Trafford name is well known in the Trafford Shopping Centre, the football and cricket grounds known as Old Trafford and the industrial estate at Trafford Park all in what was formerly Lancashire. However, the family had interests in the Wilmslow and Alderley areas of Cheshire and so are included in this study of the Cheshire Gentry. In the national land survey of 1873, Sir Humphrey Trafford held 1,990 acres in Cheshire.

The Trafford family has one of the most ancient lineages in the country tracing its forbears to Radulphus who died about 1050 in the reign of Edward the Confessor. For the purposes of this article, I cover the generations involved in the 18th and early 19th centuries, beginning with Sir Cecil Trafford. The Traffords owned land in Lancashire and Cheshire, and had connections with Wilmslow church before the Reformation and land at Alderley village, where there is the De Trafford Arms.

The Traffords were catholics and therefore moved in a different circle to many of the neighbouring gentry in Chesire. They were unable to take part in many features of life before the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1828. However, as Croston puts it so delicately, "With the relaxation of the laws which made creed the test of citizenship, the Traffords took an active part in public affairs." This included the offices of Lord Lieutenant and Sheriff of the county.

At the time when The Mansions of England and Wales was published in 1847, the proprietor of Trafford Park was Sir Thomas Joseph de Trafford, Baronet. The hall was described as being in the parish of Eccles on the southern bank of the Irwell, 5 miles west of Manchester. The mansion was built of stone with a front featuring a classical portico with columns and a pediment.

The inheritance of the Trafford Estate is shown by the bold type.

Sources:

History of Lancashire by Edward Baines, MP, Vol III, Published by Fisher and Son, London, 1836
County Families of Lancashire and Cheshire, by James Croston FSA, John Heywood, Deansgate Manchester 1887, page 166 to 217.
The Mansions of England and Wales, illustrated in series of views of the principal seats, with a historical and topographical description, by Edward Twycross. Vol. III, The County Palatine of Lancaster, Southern Division: The Hundreds of West Derby and Salford, published in 1847.

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