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The Deed of Consecration of St. John's Church begins with : — " In the
name of Cod, Amen, whereas by reason of the great enciease of the inhabitants
within the town of Lancaster, the Mother Church there being rendered not
sufficiently capable of the number of parishioners who would resort to divine service
therein, the Worshipful Thomas Postlethwaite, Esquire, thelate Mayor, and John Stout
and Myles Braithwaite, gentlemen, late Bailiffs, and the Commonalty of the town of
Lancaster, by indenture bearing date the twenty-third day of October, in the year of
our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty one, did give and grant unto John
McMillan, Robert Foxcroft, Henry Williamson, and John Howe.-, of the same
place, gentlemen, their heirs and assigns for ever, the parcel of ground enclosed about
this Chapel or Edifice for a Chapel on part whereof same is erected. In trust only
and to the Intent and purpose that a Chapel for celebrating Divine Service, according
to the usage of the Church of England as by law established, should be erected
thereon and the remainder set apart for a yard or burial place to the same." Next
we find that ,£820 was left by the Rev. Dr. Stratford towards the erection, and that


,£205 was subscribed by Francis Reynolds and Edward Marton, Esquires, Members
of Parliament for Lancaster, as well as ^,300 by other pious and well disposed persons
in the said town. It was duly arranged that the Sacraments should be administered
in the new Chapel of ease, and that marriages, christenings, and burials should also
take place therein, "all customary and due fees" being payable to the Vicar of the
Mother Church, and the names, places of abode, and dates of all persons married,
christened, or buried, with the dates, should be transmitted every quarter to the said
Vicar without -whose consent 110 funeral seru/o/i could lie preached in the Chapel,
and no corpse is to be buried within the Church. As the tablet beneath the gallery
shows, the Chapel was augmented with the ^"800 in 1757.

The space of land occupied by the Church and churchyard is
thus shown by the following- clause : — " And we do also by our said
ordinary and episcopal authority separate the said ground enclosed
as aforesaid about this chapel, and containing in length (including
the ground wheron the Chapel stands) at the east side thereof
thirty-four yards and an half, at the west side thereof thirty-four
yards and an half, and at the north side thereof forty-eight yards,
and at the south side forty-five yards and six inches or thereabouts,
from all former prophane uses and dedicate and consecrate the same
to be a yard, repository or place of burial for the bodies of the dead
to be in a Christian manner there interred by the name of the
Chapel-yard of Saint John the Evangelist, in Lancaster." The Deed
of Consecration is thus signed :—

Abel Ward, Archdeacon of Chester.

Oliver Martox, Rector of Bextham.

J. Fexton, LL.D., Vicar of Laxcaster.

W. Johxsox, Curate of Catox.

Miles Barber, Mayor of Laxcaster.

J. Fextox.

Hexrv Brackex

James Rigmaidex.

Gwalter Borraxskill.

James Harper.

Robert Foxcroft.

G. Grew

Chas. Lambert, Notarv Publick.

J. Collixsox, Notary Publick.


The deed appears in extenso in the first Churchwarden's
Account Book, which is thus labelled : —

Yearly Accompts for St. John's Chapel, Lancaster.
J as. Richardson and Henry Fell, Chapel Wardens, 1760.

Here is the first page carefully transcribed : —

Dr. Saint John's Chapel with James Barrow and Jno. Bowes, chapel wardens, from
the 15th of June, 1755, till Easter, 1756.


£ s. d.

Jan. loth. To cash paid for a book to keep Chapel Wardens' accounts in o i 2

,, 2 1 st. To do. for a form of prayer for the fast o 1 6

,, 24th. To do. James Fletcher, sexton, his half year's salary o 10 o

Feb. 26th. To do. William Parr for laying digging stones on the chapel 1 4 o

April 19th. To do. the apparitor for a book of articles o 1 o

,, 20th. To do. with the trustees electing chapel wardens o 1 u>£

May 8th. To do. Margaret Wingreen her bill repairing windows ... o 12 6

,, ,, To do. Edward Mackrell his bill sundry repairs 080

,, nth. To do. Mr. Mayor his bill for wine for the chapel 2 3 ioj^

,, ,, To do. fees swearing into office 020

,, ,, To do. Francis Nicholson for cleaning gutters o o 5

,, ,, To do. Nicholas Atkinson for 2 dust shovels 016

,, ,, To do. chamberware 5c!., ink and bottle 3d., almanack 4d. o 1 o

,, ,, To do. Helme and Fowler, stuff for a curtain o 3 7^

,, ,, To do. John Read for making do 00^

,, ,, To do. Edward Mackrell for making the surplice o 10 6

,, ,, To do. Edward Mackrell for washing linnen and cleaning

plate o 10 o

„ ,, To do. Edward Mackrell, bread for the Communion 026

,, ,, To do. allowed the Chapel Wardens for attending the Court

when discharged O 5 O

,, ,, To do. Edward Mackrell half year's salary as clerk, ending

the 15th December, ult 200

,, ,, To do. with the Trustees on auditing the Chapel Warden-'


,, 14th. To do. fees at the visitation

,, ,, To balance remaining, lodged in the hands of John Bowes.








On the Cr. side we find the following : —


Dec. 31st. By cash received from the rents arising for the seats, being
one half of what is due thereon yearly towards repairs

and expenses of the Chapel 10 o

Lancaster. May 14th, 1756, audited and allowed by us.

Among other entries are these taken from various pages : —


June 28th. To cash paid for painting the altar piece o 5 6

Nov. 9th. To 2 doz. of rings 3d.. Edward Marshal! for tape and

piecing ye curtain o o 4


Ian. 27th. To James Warriner for the proclamation and prayers for a

publick fast to be on iith of February next o 1 6


Nov. 10th. To do. Thomas Fayrer for engraving a flaggon 076

April 17th. To do. Mr. Johnson for taking copy of the register and

transferring' it into [he parish register 026


Aug. 1st. To do. Edward Mackeral for making of 2 new keys and

mending' ye flaggon 040

Sept. Sth. To do. for cleaning the chapel after the whitewashers ...026

Tuly 30th. For mowing the chapel-yard 008

_,, ,, For sand o 1 o

,, ,, For liquor for the workmen 006

Sept. 24th. Paid the bellman for letting" the seats o 2 6

Oct. 5th. Two brooms 002

It seems to have been the custom for the bellman to announce
vacant seats in the Church at this period.

One, Isabella Ashburner, supplied the communion bread, and
Mr. J. McMillan the communion wine. A sheet almanack was
purchased even- year, price 6d. In 1763 the word is spelt
■' Aliminach." This word evidently bothered the scribe, who was
no orthographist, for a little above he spells trouble without the
" o." Another entry is thus : —



Dec. 301b. Paid Robert Pickering, dark, the latter half year sallary ... 200

Pickering- succeeded George Mackrell. In 1770 Henry
Procter is clerk and John Jackson sexton.

There is a resolution which is a practical proof of the
economising spirit of the Church Wardens. It says :—

"April 5th, 1774. Resolved by the surviving Trustees of Saint John's
Chapel, in Lancaster, — That in future no more be allowed the Chapel Wardens of
the said Chapel for their expenses at dinners and extraordinaries, on the Visitation
Day, than 7s. 6d., being 2s. 6d. for each Chapel Warden, and 2s. 6d. for the Curate
of the said Chapel. It is also agreed by the said Trustees that in future the accounts
of the Chapel Wardens shall be annually settled on every Easier Monday, in the
afternoon to avoid the expence of dining, the whole expense whereof shall not exceed
5s." It was also resolved that no extraordinary repairs relating to the said Chapel
shall be made by the Chapel Wardens of the said Chapel without the direction and
approbation of the Trustees, otherwise the same will not be allowed in their accounts.

Robert Foxcroft.
John Bowes."

Ann Jackson appears to have become sexton in January,
1774. Her half year's salary in July, 1774, is put down as 10s. For
mending the mayor's cushion, in 1775, the item charged is 6d.

Among the names of tradesmen and others are those of
Myles Pennington, David Pennington, Johnson & Crosfield, Richard
Lawson, Anthony Procter, Stephen Wildman (glazier), Thomas
Ralph, John Beaumont, John Neill, Richard Warbrick, Matthew
Calvert, James Holt (stationer, evidently in 1785), William Atkin-
son (plasterer), John Brockbank, Ambrose Busher and Edward
Batty (met with up to about 1785-8) ; Benjamin Sandham was clerk
in 1820. He appears to have succeeded Henry Procter about 1805.
Procter held the offices of clerk and sexton in 1800. A William
White was for man)- years organ blower, followed by Thomas
Jackson about 181 3.


In 1818, William Hill is paid as wages ^3 13s. 6d., for
making" gates.

In 182 1 is an entry stating that : —

" The iron railing fixed into Mr. Greenwood's house end was by his consent,
and must not, therefore, be considered as a matter of right. T. Mackreth, Curate of
St. John's, 9th of April, 1822."

Next we read that "the present fence-wall from the north
corner of the Chapel-yard, for the distance of eleven yards, is Mr.
Brockbank's. The original fence-wall of the Chapel-yard will be
found by digging into the ground. Dated the 9th of April, 1822.
T. Mackrfth, Curate of St. John's." On the following page is a
list of the subscribers for "raising iron palisades upon the fence
round St. John's Chapel, and for other improvements." Among
the names we observe are those of James Atkinson, John Bond, O.
T. Roper, Leonard Redmayne, B. Satterthwaite, Christopher Clark,
Miss Sowerby, Richard Willock, Isaac Greenwood, Charles Seward,
John Stout, &c. The amounts subscribed vary from 10s. 6d. to
£\ ts., £3, and £5. Total, £73 os. 8d.

G. V. Danter is clerk in 1830; John Miller in 1833 is clerk
and sexton, followed by John Bateson in or near 1846. The book
is still in use. From first to last the various samples of chirograph) -
are really clear and good. The mayoral signature each year
appears first. The first name is that of Robert Foxcroft, written
with a serpenttine flourish above it. He and John Bowes sign
many years together, in fact up to 1789. This latter year Mr.
Foxcroft signs in a zig-zag manner, running at an angle from left
to right through Mr. Bowes's sign-manual. In 1790, John Bowes
signs alone. In 1791, we have Edward Suart, Mayor, and J.
Warbrick and Richard Atkinson, signing as bailiff's. Other
mayors' autographs are met with such as those of James Hinde,
John Tallon, Robert Addison, Richard Johnson, D. Campbell, J.
Harris, Richard Postlethwaite, James Parkinson, Thomas Shepherd,
Jacksone Mason, Thomas Burrow, J. Taylor Wilson, Thomas


Moore, Thomas Giles, John Parke, Samuel Gregson, Thomas
Walling- Salisbury, John Bond, Thomas Bowes, J. B. Xottage
Leonard Redmayne, James Atkinson, Christopher Johnson, John
Brockbank, Edward D. de Vitre (1844), James Williamson (1865).
W. Bradshaw seems to be the last to sign as mayor in 1870.

Before the book proper commences there is a return of rents
derived from seats in the Chapel. They appear to have been let for
seven years. Total rent, ^48 7s. 6d., of which sum ^28 7s. 6d
was for the curate, ^20 being appropriated for repairs and expenses.

On the back of the cover is this notice : — "The seat, No. 28,
formerly occupied by the Trustees of the late Dr. Stratford, after-
wards let to Buckley, and now to Thomas Mason, for ^3 3s. od.,
was- given up towards repairs of Saint John's Chapel, in 1790.
This seat was numbered 27 in April, 1874. "W. Roper."

" The deed of conveyance of the land for St. John's School,
and abstract of title, are in my safe, the approved draft deed is with
Messrs. Hall and Son," writes the Rev. Canon Pedder in January,

On a slip of paper is an

Inventory of the Communion Plate, &c, belonging to St.

John's Church, a.d., 1884.

Two large silver Flagons, luo silver Chalices, one large silver and one
smaller silver Paten, silver-wire Strainer and Spoon, wooden-handled Knife, and
Board for culling the bread on, one large brass Arms Dish, smaller ones, linen cloths and
Napkins for the Holy Table, two Altar Cloths, Velvet Frontal for the Pulpit, worked
Kneeling Mats, one large Bible, one large Prayer Book, two Servicr Books for the
Altar, two oak Chairs within the Sanctuary, two Desks, two Hassocks in wooden
frames, one brass Lectern, and one Glastonbury Chair.

There are memorandums at the other end of the book, one of which dis-
charges Robert Pickering, clerk, and John Jackson, sexton, for bad behaviour.


The note is dated August 20th, 1770. and signed Jno. Gibson, curate,
Robert Foxcroft, John Bowes, James Hinde, and Richard Simpson.

" By Agreement dated the 14th April, 1864, two pieces of land, part of the
Carnforth Estate, belonging to St. John's Church, Lancaster, and which pieces con-
tained together la. or. 2op. , were sold to the Furness and Midland Railway Com-
panies, for the sun of one hundred ami ninety-nine pounds nineteen shillings and
sixpence, and the same pieces of land were soon afterwards duly conveyed to the said
Companies. On the 15th August, 1865, the said sum of ^199 19s. 6d. was invested
in the purchase of the sum of ,£224 Is. 3d. consolidated ^3 per cent, annuities, in the
names of John Brockbank and Wilton Wood."

There is an extract from the will of Miss Tomlinson, which will bears date
30th January, 1843. This lady bequeathed " unto Ann Jackson and Mary Ann
Ravvlinson, their executors and administrators, out of such part of her personal estate
as the law permits to be bequeathed for charitable purposes, the sum of Five Hundred
Pounds upon the trusts following, that is to say in trust to invest the same at interest
in or upon any of the Parliamentary Stocks or Funds of Great Britain and Ireland,
as to them or her shall appear eligible, with full power as often as occasion may
require to vary or transpose the same securities, and upon further trust from time to
time to expend the dividends and annual produce of the said stocks, funds, or
securities in or towards cleaning, airing, lighting, repairing, or improving- St. John's
Chape], in Lancaster aforesaid, or to pay the same dividends and annual produce unto
the officiating Minister or Chapel Wardens for the time being of the said Chapel, to
be by him or them expended in manner aforesaid, whose receipt shall be a sufficient
discharge to my said Trustees." Provision was made for the Idling up of the Trustee-
ship in case of the decease of Ann Jackson or Mary Ann Rawlinson, by the appoint-
ment of the survivor, and after her death, of the Minister and Chapel Wardens of St.
John's Chapel for the time being.

Miss Margaret Tomlinson died on the 27th March, 1843, and her will was
proved on the 12th of April, same year, by Ann Jackson and Mary Ann Rawlinson,
in the Consistory Court of Lancaster.

The sum of ^489 new three and a half per cents, was appropriated for
the said legacy on the 12th of March, 1844, at the price of ^102 % percent., and the
said sum of ^,489 new £$}-2 per cents, has since been converted into the like sum of
new £-3 P er cents.

Entries follow showing that in 1873, the investment stood in the names of
Mr. Christoper Johnson and Mr. Thomas Mason, Trustees. In 188 1, the amount
stood in the names of Mr. Christopher Johnson and Mr. W. Roper.


The first Church or Chapel Wardens of St. John were Messrs. James Barrow
and |ohn Bowes, followed by Messrs. Homy Williamson and William Sudell. In
1781-2 these offices were filled by Messrs. John and Septimus Brockbank.

The account book reveals some odd samples of orthography, surplice being
"Surplus," and in one place windows is written " windays.

In 1772 the Church was furnished with a ''book oi articules," and by " a
window corlin " in the year before. A " duranl for covering up the Mayor's cushion
is likewise mentioned in another place. The Newcastle Chronicle had an interesting
article some year or two ago on Female Sextons, and stating the parishes where these
feminine grave personages were at various periods officiating. It will be new to many
readers to learn that the office of sexton in connection with St. John's was filled by n
woman. One of the .sextons was named Ann Jackson who asked for extra pay when
she filled up a grave. In 1784 she received an extra sum at the rate ot [OS 6d. per
annum for " blawin t' orgin billows." There are entries referring to public thanks-
givings for victories at Ouebec, Havanna, and Martinico. More samples of original
orthography appear, they have extern for extra, rinf for rent, and dew for due. The
burial ground was closed on the 1st January, 1855.

Among assistant Curates at St. John's Church may be named the Re^ .
James Birkett, June 24th. 1764 ; the Rev. John Widdett, at £40 per annum, February
27th, 1790, at £$0 per annum ; the Rev William Fish, May 9th, 1802; the Rev.
Thomas Saul, December 6th, 1803 ; the Rev. Thomas Mackreth, September 191I1,
1813, who afterwards became Rector of Halton. This last Clergyman was an intimate
friend of the late Dr. Whewell.

Corporation Notes.

The Corporation of Lancaster on the 8th of May 1749, agreed to subscribe
.£100 towards the building of St. John's Church at or near the Clayhoies, as the land
was once called

On the 25th July, 1754. it was proposed and agreed that the Corporation

should build two galleries in the new Chapel, the one the whole length on the south
side, and the other the whole length on the north side at their own expense, :\nd that
the seats in such galleries should be let out for an annual income, out of which the
Corporation should for ever receive and retain in their hands and lor their use interest
yearly after the rate of ^5 by the year, for one hundred pounds, and the surplus of
the money, if any, raised by letting the said seats was to be employed in liquidating
cost of repairs and in making up a yearly stipend fur the Curate. But on the 21st of
the No' ember of the same year, the resolution to the effect stated was rescinded, and


it was agreed upon after the erection of the above galleries to sell such and so
much of the seats as would be sufficientto defray the expense of building, and the seats
remaining unsold were to be let at an annual rent, the proceeds to be devoted to
repairs of the Church and the curate's stipend.

St. John's Schools were opened in the year 1869.

The Corporation, which had ceased to attend St. Mary's Church, owing to
a difference with the Church Wardens in 1863. attending from this date the Church
we have been treating of, returned to the Parish Church during the Mayoralty of Mr.
William Storey in 1872. The Corporation Pew dates from the erection of the Church
and its appointments. The Corporation formerly attended St. Mary's Church in the
morning and St. John's in the afternoon.

The register book of St. John's Church is in very good
condition. There are many old names well known to Lan-
castrians in this book, such for instance as Brockbank, Beckett,
Batty, Baldwin, Cleminson, Kendal, Salisbury, Worswick, &c.
Here are a few specimens : —


Henry, son of Henry Miller, baptised June 22nd.

George, son of James Muckelt, Lancaster, born 7th August, baptised Sept. 7th.

Mary, daughter of John Houseman, gent., born April 12th, baptised May 7th.


Ellin, daughter of William Penny, Lancaster, born May 22nd, baptised June 10th.

Elizabeth, daughter of Simon Otway, Lancaster, baptised 8th June.



Fanny, daughter of James Muckelt, baptised 12th.



Richard, son of John Beckett, baptised 22nd.



Richard, son of Richard Worswick, baptised 15th.


Thomas, son of James Muckalt, baptised 5t


Betty, daughter of James Muckelt, baptised 24th.



John, son of Jeremiah Sowerby, baptised 30th.


Agnes, daughter of Allen Penny, 23rd.



Bella, daughter of Captain Danson, born 5th.



Christopher, son of James and Jane Muckelt, baptised 12th.



Francis, son of Francis and Ann Lonsdale, Lancaster, baptised 12th.



Bryan Padgett, son of Samuel and Bella Gregson, baptised 31st.
Catherine, daughter of Richard and Kitty Owen, Lancaster, born February 2 1st,

baptised on the 22nd.


Maria, daughter of Richard and Kitty Owen, Lancaster, born April 30th,

baptised May 23rd.

Xtenings in 1804.


Ellin, daughter of Samuel and Bella Gregson, born 2ist February, and baptised

24th March.



John, son of Thomas and Jane Orchard, private in the South Hunt.'- Militia, private

baptism, 22nd.
The first burial is recorded in 1757, when Edward Leeming, Ellin Biggins,
widow, and Mary Salthouse are the names met with.

March 12th, 1798, Peggy Sandys, aged 68.
August 17th, Sally Sandys, aged 33.

One clergyman has excelled all others in the matter of parti-
cularising, and not only does the age of each person interred appear


but the cause of death likewise. After an infant's name you read
" meazles," tooth-fever, &c, and on one page alone " decline " is
put down no less than eighteen times. Well, decline may be the
true cause at the last whatever complaint we may have enjoyed.

There is a slip of paper inserted in the register book giving
an inventory of the communion plate and some other articles belong-
ing to St. John's Church. It mentions " 2 18th century Silver
Flagons, 2 iSthcenturySilverChalices, 2Silver Patens," which are "in
the custody of J. Parker, Esq., who has kindly consented to keep
them at the Vicar's request. The above plate is very good.
Several metal alms dishes are kept in the vestry." Next we observe
that there is " one large Bible on the lectern, and one large Prayer-
book on the desk, &c."

A note, or memorandum, sets forth that " ^25 per annum
from the tithes of the Mother Church has been granted in perpetuity
to the living by the present vicar of Lancaster with the consent of
the patron paramount ; " also that the record of this grant is lodged
with Messrs. Maxsted and Gibson, solicitors.

The memorandum is dated March 6th, 1889, and is signed by
the Vicar — W. H. Ewald, M.A.

T " ™ G Churchwardens.

James Ellershaw J

Another item states that Miss Ferguson's legacy of £500
enabled free pews to that amount to be secured without involving
pecuniary loss to the Vicar or Churchwardens. Then we next learn
that the ^340 five per cent. Rent Charge Stock of the Great Western
Railway Company now estimated to be worth ^530 forms the capi-
tal out of which the interest arising is payable to the the sick poor.
The Trustees of the St. John's Benevolent Fund are the Bishop of
Manchester, the Vicar of St. John's, and the Churchwardens.

In the vestry is a very neat picture of Lancaster, "a north-
east prospect," and judging from its appearance and that of the


Church of St. Mary, and the Castle, it represents an early eighteenth
century view. Near to, is a fine steel engraving of the Bishop of
Ely, who, when Bishop of Chester, consecrated St. John's Chapel
— the Riyfht Reverend Edmund Keene, D.D. — taken from an
original painting in the year 1708.

On Tuesday, the 29th November, 1842, the first marriage
ceremony took place in St. John's Church, and the Revd. George
Morland presented the couple with a Bible and Prayer-book to
mark the event. The names of the contracting parties were Mr.
John Bannister and Miss Nicholas Cuthbertson Bell.

The chapelry district of St. John's assigned by the Church
Commissioners, on the 13th day of August, 1842, according to Acts
of Parliament passed in the reigns of George III. and IV., is as
follows : —

" Boundary of district commences at Damside on the north-
west side of Fleet Square and then proceeds in a north-easterly
direction along the banks of the Lune as far as the new bridge,
then along the bridge to the Ladies' Walk and northwards up that
walk to a footway along which it proceeds in an easterly direction
to Hornby Road ; then in a northerly direction down the centre of
that road to St. Leonardgate, and along the centre of St. Leonard-

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