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Time-honoured Lancaster ... Historic notes on the ancient borough of Lancaster online

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large district. It was situate near the bottom of Calkeld Lane on the east side up a
short passage, with a turn to the right. The well was about three feet square, and
was down a step or two at the south end of it. There was a good stream of water, and
the innkeeper, Betty Tatham, at the White Hart, had the stream running through her
cellar, and used it for brewing. The stream now runs through the White Hart and is
used for cooling purposes. There was also a small eye-water well just round the
corner, which was supposed to possess great virtue in curing persons afflicted with
" bad eyes."

A stone is to be seen in the lower portion of the wall in Moor Lane on the
left side, near the corner of Ulleswater Road. Traces of an inscription and figures
are visible. It is said to be an old Roman milestone, and that its site indicates the
entrance into or commencement of the once royal forest of Quernmore. A similar
stone lies in a ditch not far from the Well House. In the interior of the Well House,
late the seat of the Collision family, is a well called St. Mary's Well, said to be of a
great age.

The eminent lawyers, Scarlett, Brougham, and Pollock,
sojourned in Lancaster when attending the assizes very near to each
other and to the Castle. Scarlett lodged at the house now known
as the Temperance Hotel, Castle Hill ; Brougham lodged just above
the Horse and Earrier, at Miss Heald's House, close to the Church
steps, and Pollock's apartments were in the premises now occupied
by Messrs. Holden and Whelon. Sir Creswell Creswell, first judge
of the Court of Probate and Divorce, lodged at a house occupied by
Mr. Watkinson, New Street, and Mr., afterwards Baron Alderson,
at the house on Castle Hill, occupied by Mr. Harrison, dentist.

Some people have wondered where Thomas Tyldesley,
grandson of Sir Thomas Tyldesley, the royalist, lived when he
came to Lancaster, about 171 2. 1 may remark that he lived in a
large house, formerly belonging to the Gibson family at the Stone-
well end of St. Leonard Gate. He was buried at Churchtown,
Garstang, prior to 17 15, according to the Churchtown registers.
He left a son, James, who lived to be 99 years old, and who died
October 24th, 1S00.


Comparatively few persons know of the torch extinguisher
in Church Street, which may be seen within the railings of the house
now occupied by the Conservative Club, and formerly the property
of the Marton family. It is 7^ inches in length and 4 inches in
breadth at the mouth. It would be placed there before the days of
cabs and gas, and probably before Lancaster was lighted by lamps.
When a lady went out to an evening party she was carried by two
men in a sedan, and lighted on the way by a torch-bearer, who,
when he got to his journey's end, put out the light by pushing his
torch into the extinguisher. This is the only specimen in Lancaster,
and, indeed, this relic of the past era is only seldom seen anywhere.
It is stated that Prince Charlie sojourned in the above house from
the 24th to the 26th of November, 1745, when passing through
Lancaster. The Scotch retraced their steps and passed through
Lancaster again on the 13th of December, followed sharply by the
Duke of Cumberland, who would most likely stop in the same house.
There is a tradition that his horse, lest it should be maimed or
poisoned by the disaffected of that day, was taken to the Torris-
holme stables, where it remained all night, and the stall it occupied,
on which a rose had been rudely carved, was known as the ' Duke's
Stall,' until the stable was demolished in the year 1812.

The Sherburnes, of Stonyhurst, the last of whom was Sir
Nicholas Sherburne, a travelled scholar, who died at Stonyhurst in
1717, used to have a residence in Lancaster known as ' Mulberry
House,' from the fact that a mulberry tree grew behind the house.
This house stood where Mr. Jemmison's Furniture Stores were in
St. Nicholas Street. Binns, in his map of Lancaster, indicates the
residence of this ancient family.

Mr. Kirby Moore, grandson of Mr. William Kirby,
architect of the new Church Tower, of 1759, was living in Lancaster
in 1820. He was a furniture broker, in Sun Street, and he after-
wards rebuilt for his business purposes the shop now occupied
by Mr. Mullen, pork butcher in Penny Street. Mr. William
Kirby lies interred near to the tower.


The houses in Cheapside, formerly Pudding Lane, were al
one period all covered or roofed with thateh, while Stonewell with
its quaint kind of paddock or pinfold, abutting on Moor Lane and

its ''town-well," formed a pretty picture at the beginning of the
present century. Stonewell has been called St. Mary's Square in
former times, but Stonewell is the old and proper name.

The premises in Market Street occupied by Messrs.
Whimpray and Cardwell, represented the old home of Robert
Winder, Mayor of Lancaster in 1720, 1737, 1745, 1754. and 1762.

The houses known so long as "Quakers' Row," were erected
by Mr. Joshua Whalley, great grandfather of Colonel Whalley, J. P.

The old Chemist's establishment formerly on the site of the
Borough Surveyor's Office, and long occupied by Mr. Edmund
Jackson, was the old home of Alderman Heysham.

Like other ancient towns Lancaster has had its haunted
houses, and the following particulars respecting one in Penny
Street, demolished only a few years ago, I received from a lady who
had lived in the same from childhood. The lady informed me that they
became so used to the appearance of a headless figure in their
bedroom, which was at the top of the house, that if it had not
shown itself regularly they would have been as awe-struck as they
were when they first beheld it. But the form never interfered with
them ; all it seemed to have deemed it necessary to do for its own
satisfaction was to show itself. Another haunted house is said to
have stood in Church Street.

Mr. J. B. Shaw, of Regent Street, has kindly lent me "a
plan of part of Green Ayre, as laid out in lots for sale in 1784." From
this it appears that four new streets were contemplated, named
respectively on this plan, Water Street, Antigua Street, Jamaica
Street, and Barbadoes Street. Only one Street was made, viz :
Water Street. The plan shows the river Loyne, Bridge Square,



Cable and Parliament Streets, the garden of J. Lawson, Esq.,
Sugar House, and the site o\ Mr. R. Addison's house. Skerton
Bridge is marked "New Bridge."

In April, 1850, there was a stormy meeting of the Board of
Health, respecting some streets leading' to the river, which the
North-Western Railway Company claimed to have been included in
their purchase of the land on the Green Ayre, but which the board
contended were only sold subject to "existing rights" of the public.
The Railway Company, however, blocked up the roads designated
'Antigua Street and Lawson's Quay."


The chief Hotels are the "King's Arms" and the "Count}."
The former was erected in 1625, and re-built in 1879. The latter,
about 1S70, on a portion of old Kellet Croft. There are no docu-
ments available which give the name of the first proprietor of the
King's Arms Hotel. A few names of the more recent proprietors
1 have secured from various sources. The}- are as follow : James
Hardman, 1040, (descendants still living) used to have a pew in St.
Mary's Church. *John Marshall, occupant in 1732; John Reynolds,
occupant up to 178 1 ; J. Coulthwaite, at the Hotel from 1781 until
May 13th, 1002. John Pritt succeeded. He died June 29th, 1828,
aged 59. Joseph Ladyman followed, and quitted the inn about
1831). After him came John Pritt. junior, who died at Buxton, May
6th, 1850., in his 57th year. Mr. Joseph Sly became proprietor on
the 1 2th May, 1856, and his twenty-one years' lease expired 12th
May, 1877. Mr. S. Ducksbury then entered upon the house and
remained proprietor until his death, which took place on the 23rd
February, 1890.

There is an old stone underneath a third storev window of
the King Street side of the King's Arms Hotel, and the dale thereon
is 1625. On the facade of the hotel is engraved the words

\ Robert Paris followed John Marshall.


"Established 1625, rebuilt 1S79." This old hostelry has been
immortalised by Charles Dickens in his story o\ " The Lazy Tour
of the Two Idle Apprentices." it was during this distinguished
author's first visit that he wrote the " Tale of a Bridal Chamber,"
and gave his impressions of this " good old inn, established in a
good old house, an inn where they give you bridecake every day
after dinner ; " where the visitor can "eat bridecake without the
trouble of being married, or of knowing anybody in that ridiculous
dilemma.'' Charles Dickens stayed at the King's Anns in 1S57 and
again in 1862, when he was accompanied by Mr. Wilkie Collins.
Most of us will remember seeing the pamphlet published about
fifteen years ago giving an inventory of the antiquities this grand
old house contained. Among them was one o( three " Franklin
clocks," and one also more than two hundred years of age of English
make; then there was the fine Gobelin tapestry valued at ^"6,500,
a tapestry which received its name from a house at Paris, formerly
possessed by wool dyers, whereof the chief, John Gobelin, in the
reign of Francis I. is said to have found the secret of dying scarlet.
Louis XIV. purchased the house for a manufactory of works for
adorning palaces (under the direction of Calbert), especially
tapestrv, designs of which were drawn by Le Brun, about 1666.
There were also three large pieces of tapestry the borders o\ which
were designed by Reubens viz: " The finding of Moses in the Bul-
rushes by Pharoah's daughter." Moses before the Burning Bush,"
and " Moses striking the Rock.',

The Elizabethan staircase, the 1 5th century chairs, ancient
brackets, the 1540 bedstead, the old fireplace, antique needlework,
(with sacred subjects,) china, Venetian vases, &c, in the Dickens'
room, together with the Stanley oak bedstead, of near four hundred
years of age; oaken chairs, to match in the Lonsdale and Brougham
room, as also the stately gothic four-post bedstead in Lord
Derby's room, dating from 1646, and the like valuable sleeping
appurtenance in the chamber called after the Lady Burdett-
Coutts, were all described some years ago. For the Derby bedstead,
a local firm offered 250 guineas. Nor must we omit the classical


tapestry and pastoral scenes by Hogarth. Then there was the
"Crowned Heads of Europe Room," wherein the finest specimens
of Gobelin Art were to be seen, specimens which the heir-apparent
to the English throne would like to have secured for his Sandring-
ham home.

Mr. Sly, the late proprietor, was intensely proud of his
ancient house, and sought to make it a museum as well as a
comfortable home worthy of the highest patronage. Alas, the old
days are gone, yet many of us will not forget what Professor Ruskin
remarked in his "Ariadne Florentina," concerning what he saw in
the old King's Arms, nor indeed what the Rev. E. P. Rogers, D.D.
said of the leading Palatine town hotel in the "New York Christian
Intelligencer" of August 12th, 1875. Even though all things have
been made new the old 'uns do not willingly eliminate Irom their
minds the "things of beauty," which should have remained "joys
for ever" in this right royal parthenon of relics once teeming with
tales of long ago, and interesting to the artist, archaeologist, and

The Cross Keys is a very ancient hotel, and 1 verily believe
would in its earlier days be the leading hostelry in our town. An}'
one looking at the exterior would never dream that its interior is so
spacious. From the date on the facade, 1613, and the fact that it
had originally a thatched roof, it is evident that the only other inn able
to stand next to it in point of age is the Corporation Arms, respecting
which, I have in vain applied for particulars, ancient deeds, &c.
The front door of the Cross Keys is a very substantial one; it is
said to have been made of wood taken from the best portion of the
old door of the main entrance to the castle, a door which was
partially burnt during the Civil Wars. Certain it is, states a
neighbour, that there were traces of scorches found here and there on
this door some years ago by the painters engaged in cleaning it and
re-dressing it. Within the house I noticed some of the upper
rooms were both quaint and large; the beams running across one
bedroom are of oak, so hard says the tenant that it is impossible to


knock a nail into them. The lights have been of the old-fashioned
mullioned order, and one chamber in the back part has evidently had
a wattled ceiling". The cellars are well worth visiting by the lover
of antiquarian characteristics in building. The chief cellar is
arched, and though each end is now walled up it is said that from
the one end there is beyond the wall a passage leading direct to the
Castle, and that this passage was used in the days when prisoners
were lodged in the cells, portions of which are still to be seen in
this house. There is a date over the kitchen door, viz: 1629. I
may remark that one of the old bedrooms is stated to have been
haunted by the ghost of a woman who many years ago hanged
herself therein. From an old writing dated 1652, it would appear
that George Toulnson, Esq., J. P., was the owner of the Cross Keys
Inn. There was a pew belonging this house in the south aisle of
St. Mary's Church.

It is said that the Commercial Hotel was once a private
house and the county town residence of the Molyneuxs of Sefton.
I have been unable to verify this, but from a deed dated February
1 2th, 1785, between Francis Carter and William Carter, surgeons,
of Lancaster, of the first part, James Carter, surgeon of the second
part, Robert Tomlinson, ironmonger, of Lancaster, of the third part,
and Corney Tomlinson, of Lancaster aforesaid, woollen draper, it is
clear that Sir Charles William Molyneux, Baronet, Earl of Sefton,
in the Kingdom of Ireland, had property m Lancaster, for he owned
the Sun Inn, otherwise called Hoop Hall, with a close of land known
as the Bowling Green, which he sold to James Carter. There is a
plan showing Sun Court, Sun Street, the properties of John Dalton,
Esq., Messrs. Gillow and Jepson's and other lands, including the
Rev. Oliver Marton's, accompanying this deed. There are about
thirty lots, some of which were purchased by Corney Tomlinson of
James Carter. It is, therefore, quite likely that at one period the
Earls of Sefton had a residence in Lancaster.

The Ship Inn, in North Road, is another old hostelry
occupying the site of two licensed houses known respectively as


" The Cock," and " The Three Squirrels." The Ship Inn was so
called owing to its being - contiguous to the old ship yard. In 1889,
this inn was renovated by Mr. Mitchell, the owner. It is stated
that the old deeds of the original Ship Inn mentioned the " right of
fishing in the dam." The old Fleece Inn was demolished in 1890,
and the present elegant premises erected in its place. From the
ancient deeds it appears that in 1764, the site of the Fleece was
occupied by a house tenanted by the Threlfall family. The dwell-
ing was transformed into an inn between 1764 and 1778. During
the taking down of the old structure a secret chamber was revealed ;
and in preparing for the foundations of the new building, fragments
of Roman pottery were found, one piece bearing upon it the figure
of a deer. An ancient millstone was also discovered on the south
west side, but it got broken. A halfpenny of George I. time, 1725,
and a penny dated 1795 likewise came to light with some portions of
metal, evidently bell metal.

Efforts have been made to obtain some historic knowledge
concerning the Corporation Arms, and the White Cross Inns. But
all inquiries meeting with no response from the likeliest quarters,
I am unable to throw any light on the past of these two ancient inns.

The Green Dragon Inn long kept by Mr. Cartmel, used to
occupy the site of Mrs. Simpson's establishment in Cheapside, and
the Bull's Head, a well-known hostelry, was on the other side.
The Feathers Hotel, in Market Street, is really the outcome of the
old Coach and Horses Inn, which had its entrance in China Lane.
But part of the present Feathers Hotel was a private house erected
according to the facade figures in 1722. Subsequently the house
was altered into a shop in which the elder John Pritt served his
time to the saddle-making business prior to his taking the King's
Arms Hotel. At one time, in the old West India days, there was
a large export trade in saddles to Barbadoes, St. Bartholomew's,
and various other West Indian Islands. Mr. Cooper was a leading
saddler for many vears on the site of the present Feathers Hotel,
an hotel among whose first proprietors were Mr. C. Hind and Mr.
Sly. This Inn was at one time the only real hotel in the town,


having' no bar business whatever. As a licensed house it dates only
from about 1820. Mr. John Pritt was apprenticed to Mr. Cooper who
amassed considerable wealth at this spot in his day. Some of his
family settled at Preston, where they became very influential. The de-
cline of the shipping- trade in Lancaster caused old Mr. Cooper's son-;
to leave their native town, and a general exodus of Lancastrians took
place owing to the same cause. Mr. Atherton appears to have
succeeded Mr. Cooper in the saddlery business according to the
directories. The elder Pritt, alluded to above, died on the 29th of
June, 1828, aged 59. Mr. Christopher Hind converted the old shop
and hostelry into the Feathers Hotel. The Coach and Horses was
the head quarters of the Society of Druids at the beginning of
this century.

By the courtesy of Edward Clark, Esq., I am in a position
to give some interesting items gleaned from a number of indentures
and memoranda appertaining to the Blue Anchor and other propertv
adjoining. From the oldest of these deeds, dated 17th March,
1 73 1, it appears that the house known as the Blue Anchor was a
private residence, for there is no mention of an inn, and no tenant
of the two dwelling-houses and shop, close and meadow, except
Gwalter Borranskd!. From the appearance of the house and its
style within there can be little doubt that it was the palatine town
residence of some good old county family, probably of the Heskeths
of Rufford.

The old brewery in Brewery Lane has the date 1660, on a stone
over the entrance. Unfortunately, out of a score of documents,
including wills as well as deeds, no " ancient history " concerning
the premises are obtainable. But from deeds dating from the early
part of this century it is clear that the old brewery was the property
of John Proctor ; Dilworth and Hargreaves, bankers, and about iS >;,
Mr. John Baldwin, solicitor, seems to have been the owner, and to
have sold it in 1817 to the Walker family of Preston, and Mrs.
Agnes Walker appears to have owned it from 1S17 until the 8th of
October, 1833, when it was disposed of to a Mr. William Townley, of


Blackburn. In 1817 Messrs. John and William Jackson, were tenants.
The chief-rent consists or consisted of one pepper corn yearly.

If we could only catch a glimpse of the old clays once more,
view some of the antique human specimens of our borough seated
on the stone bench outside the " Horse and Farrier," talking - to
Richard Carr, the landlord, and quaffing the nut-brown draught at
high noon in summer, what contrasts we could draw. Or if we
could turn into " Old Sir Simon's " ancient precincts and hear once
again the local incidents discussed by the generations that have long
ago passed away, how different would the Lancaster of the past
appear from the Lancaster of to-day. The Old Sir Simon hotel had
originally a thatched roof and curiously shaped casement lights and
its signboard bore upon it the figure of a man smoking his long
clay pipe and looking as comfortable as if he had just received a
fortune. That old signboard sold for a decent sum of money when
the quaint inn was demolished. There used to be a house adjoining
the King's Arms known as the " brick house," because it was the
only brick built house in the street. When the King's Arms was
rebuilt this old house disappeared and its site is now occupied by
the new and much larger hotel. A large quantity of salt meat was
sent out to the West Indies and Mr. Carr of the Horse and Farrier
was the leading salt merchant whose warehouse was the building in
Bridge Lane, ultimately used as a Wesleyan Chapel.

In the shipping days of eight}- or ninety years ago, Lancaster's
leading inhabitants were chiefly importations from the villages over
the Sands, from Wyresdale and Cumberland and Westmorland, as
the old names themselves demonstrate. The Spink Bull, some
say, was once the vicarage, and that there was a road leading from
behind the inn to the church, a road done away with some years
ago. In the Crooked Billet-yard, there is what man) persons
believe to be an entrance to an underground passage, and it is just
possible after what has recently been discovered in Mary Street that
the same is a portion of a subterranean path which led, apparently,
from the friary to the church. That such a sub-road existed has
been clearly demonstrated by workmen and others some time ago.




ohn o'Gaunt's Bowmen— Masonry and Oddfellowship in Lancaster-
Lancaster Benevolent Burial Friendly Society — Tine Philippi
Club — John o'Gaunt's Club, London — Lancaster and its Political
Representation — List of Past Members for the Borough.

HE Society of John o'Gaunt's Bowmen is
one of the oldest if not the oldest Society of
Archers in the kingdom. It was revived in
the year 1788, and again in 1820. It may
be interesting to a few readers if I give a
brief sketch of the origin and decline oi
archery since the practice of it was a pursuit
followed by all the ancient nations, and was
a prominent feature in the daily life of our
own countrymen down to the close of what
may justly be termed the mediaeval era.
Archery has been ascribed to Apollo, who is said to have com-
municated it to the Cretans. Aster of Amphipolis, having been
slighted by Philip, King of Macedon, at the siege of Methone, shot
an arrow on which was written "Aimed at Philip's right eye,"
which put it out. Philip drew back the arrow with these words :
" If Philip take the town, Aster shall be hanged," and he kept his
word. This took place in the year ^2>Z B - c - Archery was intro-
duced into England before a.d. 440. History informs us that
Richard I. revived archery in the year 1 190, and was himself killed
by an arrow. A Royal Company of Archers was instituted by the
Marquis of Athol, as the king's body guard for Scotland in 1676.
The long bow was six feet in length and the arrow three feet, and
the usual range from three hundred to five hundred yards. Robin
Hood is said to have shot from six hundred to eight hundred yards.
The cross-bow we read of was fixed to a stock and discharged with


a trigger. It may be mentioned that the Danes were particularly
well skilled in the use of the bow and arrow. In the twelfth and
thirteenth centuries the village green was the rendezvous of the
archers, and here stout yeomen strove to send their arrows right
into the centre of the target, amid cries of " i' the clout! i' the
clout!" By two statutes Edward III. encouraged and enjoined
the use of the long-bow amongst his English subjects, and in the
reign of Richard II. an Act was passed to compel all servants to
practice with it on Sundays and Holy days. By the 7th of Henry
IV., "the heads of arrows were to be well boiled or brazed and
hardened at the points with steel, on pain of forfeiture of the arrows
and imprisonment of the maker, whose name was to be stamped on
every arow head. Henry V. ordered the sheriffs of the several
counties "to procure feathers from geese, to the number of six from
each goose, for the purpose of winging the missiles, often poeticallv
called the "gallant gray goose shafts." Richard III. decreed that
" ten bow-staves were to be imported from abroad with every butt
of Malmsey or Tyre wine under the penalty of one mark (thirteen
shillings and fourpence) for each butt that was not thus accom-
panied." This Act was framed by Parliament in consequence of

Online LibraryCross FleuryTime-honoured Lancaster ... Historic notes on the ancient borough of Lancaster → online text (page 40 of 55)