Lying within the boundaries of the historic county of Lancashire since the early 12th century, the Parish of Deane was subdivided into townships in 1660. The ten townships were Horwich, Halliwell, Heaton, Rumworth (where Deane Parish Church is situated), Westhoughton, Over Hulton, Middle Hulton, Little Hulton, Farnworth and Kearsley.
In 1837 Rumworth along with neighbouring townships (or civil parishes) became part of the Bolton Poor Law Union which took responsibility for the administration and funding of the Poor Law in that area. In the 19th century many of the Deane townships became independent civil parishes and were merged into Bolton Borough. In 1872 part of Rumworth township became part of Bolton Borough, the remainder of Rumworth (which included Deane Parish Church) was renamed Deane township in 1894 and in 1898 it too was merged into the County Borough of Bolton.
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There are many references to the "ancient ecclesiastical Parish of Deane" in volumes written in the 19th and early 20th century. Although it has been absorbed into Bolton for more than a century, and broken up into separate townships since 1660, it may still be necessary to refer to Deane for certain types of records right up to 1898.