Richard Pye, who was born in Goosnargh on Christmas Day in 1730, celebrated his 104th birthday at his home in Turpin Green, Leyland on Christmas Day 1834.
A correspondent to the Preston Chronicle reported that ‘he is now going his accustomed rounds a carol-singing, and continues to wind for two weavers. 110 weft, without glasses. His voice is still as strong as that of a man of 30 years of age … I saw him thread the small sewing needle … He expresses a hope that he may live till the next bathing season, and that he may then be able to pay a visit to Blackpool. His hearing is still very good.’
The Preston Chronicle recorded his centenary in 1831, when it gave his birthplace as Grimsargh, not Goosnargh:
There is now living at Balshaw Hillock, in this township, a man named Richard Pye, who has entered upon the 100th year of his age. He was born at Grimsargh, in the parish of Preston, on Christmas Day O.S. 1731.
He remembers the Scotch rebels passing through Preston in 1745, being then 14 years of age, and able to ride on horseback. Soon after this he was bound apprentice in Wigan to a weaver. He afterwards went to sea, and was employed in the African Slave trade.
He now lives with his grand-daughter, and has gone about this Christmas singing carrols. He walks well and with a quick gait. It has been his annual practice to pay a visit to the Rectory at Eccleston to partake of the bounty of the Rev. W. Yates. This visit was made on Thursday week, when he walked the distance, five miles each way, in the course of the day. The hale old man is so stout and active that he can walk three miles in the hour without much difficulty.
According to the Lancashire On Line Parish Clerks site he was buried 27 Feb 1837 at St Andrew’s Church, Leyland, aged 107. https://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Search/indexp.html
The Preston Chronicle is full of such treats. It is freely available online to anyone with a Lancashire Library card, along with hundreds of other newspapers old and new. Simply go to: https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/libraries-and-archives/libraries/digital-library/newspapers-old-and-new/