The William Asheton Tonge Collection

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 418 WAT
  • Dates of Creation
      15th century-early 20th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      English Latin
  • Physical Description
      15 boxes, 271 files

Scope and Content

15 boxes of miscellaneous material compiled and collected by William Asheton Tonge (1860-1936). Includes extracts from parish registers, pedigrees, letters, photographs, printed articles and deeds, chiefly relating to the counties of Kent, Lancashire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Asheton Tonge was born on 14th July 1860, third son of Richard Tonge. He worked as a merchant in Manchester as head of the firm of Lathbury & Co. He had a particular interest in the connection of his family, based in Worsley, with the ancient family of Tonge of Tonge Hall in the parish of Prestwich, and purchased the Hall when it came on the market. In 1906 he offered the Hall as a gift to the town of Middleton to be used as a museum, but the gift was declined. Following his death Tonge Hall passed to his nephew, D. D. R. Fisher.

Tonge resided at the Old Rectory, Warburton, co Ches. He was a member of the Councils of the Chetham Society (1915-1936), the Lancashire Parish Register Society (1903-1936), and the Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire (1903-1936), and Honorary Treasurer of the Record Society (1927-1935). He died on 29th October 1936. An obituary for Asheton Tonge, written by Ernest Axon, appeared in the Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, volume LI (1936) p 133.


The collection is arranged in 5 series as follows: miscellaneous material compiled and collected by William Asheton Tonge; documents relating to property in Manchester and Salford, including St Anne's Square, Manchester; documents relating to Kent; document relating to Norfolk; volumes of transcripts of parish registers etc relating to the Tonge family.

Access Information

There are no restrictions on access to this collection. Viewing is by prior appointment. Please contact

Acquisition Information

These papers, together with 48 volumes of manuscripts (D.1.1-25, D.2.1-23) and over 3,000 volumes of printed books, were bequeathed to Chetham's Library in 1937.