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RAINES, FRANCIS ROBERT (1805–1878), antiquary, the descendant of an old Yorkshire family, third son of Isaac Raines, M.D., of Burton Pidsea in Holderness, by Ann, daughter of Joseph Robertson, was born at Whitby, Yorkshire, on 22 Feb. 1805. He received his early education at Burton Pidsea, but when thirteen years old was sent to Clitheroe, Lancashire, as apprentice to William Coultate, surgeon, who afterwards removed to Burnley in the same county. Raines during his apprenticeship went to the Clitheroe and Burnley grammar schools. But finding the medical profession uncongenial, he was released from his engagement, and in 1826 was admitted to St. Bees' Theological College. He was ordained in 1828, and became assistant curate of Saddleworth on the Lancashire and Yorkshire border. He soon afterwards took a curacy at the Rochdale parish church, the vicar of which appointed him in 1832 perpetual curate of the chapelry of St. James, Milnrow, near Rochdale, where he remained for the rest of his life. He was the means of rebuilding the church there and of providing schools and parsonage. The Earl of Dunmore appointed him his domestic chaplain in 1841. The archbishop of Canterbury bestowed on him the diploma of M.A. in 1845. He was rural dean of Rochdale from 1846 to 1877, and an honorary canon of Manchester Cathedral from 1849. On 30 March 1843 he was elected F.S.A.

In the same year he was one of the originators, with Dr. Edward Holme, James Crossley, Canon Parkinson, and others, of the Chetham Society, serving from the first on the council, and succeeding Parkinson as vice-president in 1858. He was one of the chief authorities in local history—especially biography and family history—and his stores of exact and well-ordered information were drawn upon by many of the editors of the long series of volumes issued by the society. He himself contributed some of the most valuable of its works, namely: 1. Bishop Gastrell's ‘Notitia Cestriensis, or Historical Notices of the Diocese of Chester,’ 4 vols. 1845–50. 2. ‘The Journal of Nicholas Assheton’ (1617–18), 1848. 3. ‘The Stanley Papers,’ 4 vols. 1853–67. 4. ‘The Poems and Correspondence of the Rev. Thomas Wilson, D.D., of Clitheroe,’ 1857. 5. ‘The History of the Lancashire Chantries,’ 2 vols. 1862. 6. ‘Lancashire Funeral Certificates,’ 1869. 7. Flower's ‘Visitation of Lancashire,’ 1870. 8. St. George's ‘Visitation of Lancashire,’ 1861. 9. Dugdale's ‘Visitation of Lancashire’ (with memoir of Sir W. Dugdale), 3 vols. 1870–3. 10. ‘Chetham Miscellanies,’ vols. vi. and vii., 1875–8. Many of the interesting notes in the first three volumes of the ‘Chetham Miscellanies,’ in the ‘Life of Adam Martindale [q. v.] ’, and in Byrom's ‘Remains’ were from his pen. In 1845 he published ‘Memorials of Rochdale Grammar School,’ and in 1873 a ‘Sermon in Commemoration of Humphrey Chetham.’

He left to the Chetham Library, Manchester, his important collection of ‘Lancashire Manuscripts,’ compiled by himself in forty-four folio volumes. Part of these manuscripts have since been published by the Chetham Society, as 1. ‘Lives of the Vicars of Rochdale,’ edited by Sir H. H. Howorth, 2 vols. 1883. 2. ‘The Rectors and Wardens of Manchester,’ edited by J. E. Bailey, 2 vols. 1885. 3. ‘The Fellows of the Collegiate Church of Manchester,’ edited by Dr. F. Renaud, 2 vols. 1891. His unfinished life of Humphrey Chetham [q. v.], edited and completed by the writer of this notice, is being prepared for the press.

He died after a short illness at Scarborough on 17 Oct. 1878, aged 73, and was buried in Milnrow churchyard. A memorial was afterwards erected to him in the church. His library was sold at Manchester in December 1878. He married, on 21 Nov. 1836, Honora Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Major John Beswicke of Pike House, Littleborough, near Rochdale, by whom he had three daughters, two of whom survived him.

[Memoir by H. Fishwick in the Reliquary, xix. 219, and in Smith's Old Yorkshire, iv. 151 (portrait); Manchester Guardian, 18 Oct. 1878; Manchester Courier, 18 and 22 Oct. 1878 and 19 March 1879; Parkinson's Old Church Clock, ed. Evans, 1880, p. xciv; Notes and Queries, 8th ser. x. 211; Foster's Yorkshire Pedigrees; Bishop Lee's copy of Notitia Cestriensis, greatly enlarged by illustrations, was left by him to Owens College. Raines's letters to James Crossley are in the Manchester Free Library.]

C. W. S.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.230
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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177 ii 21 Raines, Francis R.: for rector read vicar