Henry Fishwick.

Memorials of old Lancshire (Volume 1) online

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General Editor :
REV. P. H. DITCHFIELD, M.A., F.S.A., F.R.S.L., F.R.Hist.S.







" The History of Rodtdale" "A History of Lancashire ,"ntc.



" English Villages," " The Story of our Towns" etc.





[All Rights Reserved}




LANCASHIRE occupies a very prominent place
among the counties of England. The baronial
family designated by the title of the House of
Lancaster has imparted dignity to the County Palatine,
which owns at the present day as its Ducal head His
Majesty King Edward VII. In spite of modern develop-
ments, the vast increase of manufactures, and the
destruction of much that is ancient, Lancashire is
peculiarly full of historic and antiquarian interest,
providing abundant material for these volumes. Indeed,
so abundant are the historical records of the county,
and so rich are its antiquarian remains, that the Editors
have been obliged to omit some sections which they
would like to have included, though they have striven
to present a comprehensive view of the town and country
life of Lancashire, especially in its most significant
periods, and to leave out as little as possible of
importance or that is unfamiliar to the inhabitants of
the shire.



Lancashire has had many historians from the time
of Edward Baines to the present time, and few counties
possess more learned and industrious archaeological
societies than the Chetham Society, the Historic Society
of Lancashire and Cheshire, the Lancashire and Cheshire
Antiquarian Society, the Lancashire and Cheshire Record
Society, and other associations, which have for their
object the study of the history of the district. The
Editors desire to express their thanks to many members
of these societies who have contributed valuable chapters
to these volumes on subjects which they have made their

As a native of the county, it has been a great pleasure
to me to co-operate in the editing of these volumes, and
I desire to express my grateful thanks to my colleague,
Lieut.-Colonel Fishwick, upon whom the bulk of the
editorial work has fallen. His numerous books entitle
him to rank as the chief authority on all that pertains
to Lancashire lore and history, and his residence in the
county and his personal acquaintance with the principal
Lancashire authors have been invaluable in securing their
help and co-operation. Without his assistance and
persevering work these volumes could not have been

All the chapters in these volumes have been specially
written and illustrated for the work, and our most
grateful thanks are due to each of the contributors for


their valuable papers, as well as to those who have
supplied photographs or who have loaned prints or
drawings. It would be invidious to particularize when
there has been such ready kindness, but we desire
especially to thank the officers of the Historic Society of
Lancashire and Cheshire and of the Antiquarian Society
of Lancashire and Cheshire, and also Mr. Henry Taylor,
F.S.A., and Mr. C. W. Sutton, for the loan of blocks
and for the assistance which they have readily rendered.

Barkham Rectory.


Historic Lancashire

The Romans in Lancashire .
Old-Time Travel in Lancashire .
Salford's Ancient Ford .
Lancashire Legends

The Siege of Lathom House

Elswick Congregational Church,
the Mother of Fylde Non-
conformity ....

The Old Grammar Schools .
Cartmel Priory ....

Lancashire Witches and Witch-

A Rochdale Vicar in Trouble

Homes of the Yeomen and
Peasantry of Lancashire in the
Seventeenth and Eighteenth

The Old Church of Manchester .






By F. A. BRUTON, M.A. .

By the Rev. P. H. DlTCH-

By the Rev. B.

WICK, F.S.A. . . .154

By the Rev. J. CHARLES
Cox, LL.D., F.S.A. . 199

By Miss E. M. PLATT, M.A. 223

LL.D 243

By W. F. PRICE . . 245

By the Rev. H. A.
HUDSON, M.A. . . 259


Manchester Church, as seen from Stanyhurst, Salford Frontispiece



Speed's Map of Lancashire, 1623 4

Borcovicium (Housesteads) 35

(From a Drawing by A. C. Dickit and R. C. Bosanqvet)

Silver Ring found in Manchester 41

Phalera and Roman Pottery found in Manchester . . 42

Bronze Flagon and Samian Bowl found in Manchester . 44

Bronze Helmet and Tombstone from Ribchester ... 46

Fibula from Ribchester 47

Lancaster Sands from Lindell . . (.Drawn by G. Pickering) 56

Lancashire in Pre-Turnpike Times . (Drawn by E. Y. Harrison) 72

Lancaster Bridge in 1797 . . . (From a Drawing by D ayes) 76

Salford Ford, from Green's Map of Manchester in 1794 . 82

Clegg Hall .... (From a Drawing by G. Pickering} 95

Arms of James, 7th Earl of Derby . (From an Old Engraving) 108
James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby, and Charlotte de la

Tremouille .... (From a Painting- by Vandyke) I IO

Lathom House, before the Siege . (Drawn by G. Pickering) 112

Alexander Rigby .... (From an on Painting) 115

Rochdale Grammar School (From an Old Drawing by W. Physic) 1 60

Lancaster Old Grammar School . (From an on Painting) 190

Cartmel Priory Church . (From a Photograph by Aymer Vallance) 2OO



Cartmel Priory Church, Door of Nave 214

(From a Photograph by Aymer Vallance)
Cartmel Priory Church . (From a Photograph by Aymer Vallance) 22O

Halliwell's Farm, Dalton 246

Gateway, Yeoman's House at Tunley 248

(From a Drawing by W. F. Price)

Newgate Farm, Holland Moor . (From a Drawing by w. F. Price) 250

Scott's Fold, DaltOn . . . (From a Drawing by W. F. Price) 2 50

Carved Oak Chests (i7th Century) 252

Cottage at Farn worth (i7th Century) 254

(From a Drawing by W. F. Price)

Stone Panels with date . . . . . . . .256

Manchester Cathedral (Interior) 266



N some very remote period the whole of the district
now known as Lancashire was lying below the level
of the sea, upon whicfi were floating large icebergs,
which drifted from the north towards the south,
depositing in the course of their journey huge blocks
of stone or boulders. After this ice period disappeared
and the hills became visible, there were still left glaciers
of enormous size, which filled the valleys and only
melted away during the lapse of centuries. It would not
be suitable in a volume like this to treat of the early
races of men of the Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods;
it will be sufficient to state that the number of implements
of flint and stone which from time to time have been
unearthed (especially in East Lancashire) prove beyond
a doubt that on the hill-tops there did live for some
time men belonging to these eras.

By some authorities it is accepted that the Palaeolithic
men lived prior to the appearance of the glaciers. At
a later period people of a Celtic extraction were to a
small extent inhabitants of the district, and have left
behind them not only Celtic names, but remains in
almost every parish have been discovered which can
only be classified as belonging to Celtic or British
settlements, some of which were utilized by the Romans
when they invaded the country.

At Walton-le-Dale the Romans had a station, which is
believed to have been formed on the site of a British
settlement, as there were found there cinerary urns, arrow
heads, and other indications of its earlier occupation.



The history of Lancashire under the Romans will form the
subject of a separate article (see " Roman Lancashire ").

The Romans may be said to have left the country
in A.D. 410, and, as far as Lancashire was concerned,
this led to disastrous results, as the inhabitants were
not strong enough nor sufficiently organized to repel the
attacks of the Picts and Scots. In A.D. 449 the Jutes,
the Saxons, and the Angles, who then called themselves
Englishmen, won the battle of Aylesford, in Kent,
their common enemy being the Britons. Without
attempting to follow the subsequent details of the
struggle, it will serve our purpose to state that some
one hundred and fifty years elapsed before the northern
part of the country was subdued and came mostly into
the possession of the Angles. That this part of the
country was at this time subdivided into small kingdoms
is undoubted, but the exact place in this arrangement
which Lancashire occupied is not clear; probably it
was part of the kingdom of Deira, which had York for
its capital. Mr. Freeman includes it in the kingdom of
Strathclyde, which stretched out from Galloway in the
south-west of Scotland to the river Dee. Before the
dawn of the seventh century Lancashire was a part of
the kingdom of Northumbria, which was ruled by the
Angles. In A.D. 627, Edwin, the King of Northumbria,
through the influence of his wife, ^Ethelburga, daughter
of ^Ethelbert, King of Kent, became a convert to
Christianity, and erected an oratory in the city of York.
The result of this adoption of Christianity led to a war.
with the King of Mercia, and at the battle fought at
Hadfield in 633 the King of Northumbria was slain.
Several battles were now fought by the Kings of
Northumbria, the subject in dispute being the Christian
religion; but in A.D. 685, Egfrid, in endeavouring to
suppress the Picts, was slain at the great battle of
Nectansmere, in Yorkshire, and with him fell the
supremacy of the kingdom of Northumbria. Green, in


his History of the English People, says that Northumbria
was " the literary centre of the Christian world in
Western Europe. The whole learning of the age seemed
to be summed up in a Northumbrian scholar, Baeda ' the
Venerable Bede ' later times styled him " ; and the same
writer adds : " From the death of Baeda the history of
Northumbria is, in fact, only a wild story of lawlessness
and bloodshed. King after king was swept away by
treason and revolt; the country fell into the hands of
its turbulent nobles; the very fields lay waste, and the
land was swept by famine and plague." In A.D. 827 the
whole of the country, from the British Channel to the
Forth, was one united kingdom; but in A.D. 878 the
Danish invaders became for a short time the recognised
owners of Northumbria; finally, in the year 954, they
were suppressed, and the districts placed under the
government of an earl. In Lancashire we find, in the
names of places, many traces of the settlements of Danes
and Saxons to these people may be attributed all the
"tons," "hams," "bys," "rods," "holts," and "shaws" so
commonly found as terminatives.

The available and reliable information about this
portion of the history of Lancashire is very slight.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle mentions that, in 937,
Manchester, in Northumbria, was almost reduced to ruins
by a force of Mercians under King Edward, who after-
wards repaired and manned the town. Near the close
of the tenth century the part of Lancashire lying between
the Ribble and the Mersey was annexed to Mercia, and
placed ecclesiastically within the diocese of Lichfield ;
the parts of Lancashire north of the Ribble being in the
archdeanery of Richmond, and under the bishopric of
York; and King David of Scotland claimed all
Lancashire on the north side of the Ribble.

During Saxon times the county was divided into six
hundreds, viz., Lonsdale (north and south of the sands),
Amounderness, Leyland, Blackburn, Sal ford, and West


Derby, all of which were treated as manors, having
their manor-houses at West Derby, Warrington, Newton,
Salford, Blackburn, and Leyland. The Domesday
Survey mentions several classes of free tenants in some
of these manors, viz., thanes, drenghs (these are found
in Newton and Warrington), and radmanni and burgesses,
all of whom had to pay suit and service to the King.
The non-freemen there were bordars (small holders),
neatherds, serfs, and villeins. The several hundreds


were again subdivided into smaller manors, of which in
West Derby alone there were sixty-five. To the Saxons
we may credit the building of several Lancashire churches,
which, being in many cases endowed, ultimately became
bases of parishes, which were often identical with the
manorial estates of the founders.

There is strong presumptive evidence that pre-Norman
churches were erected in the following parishes (and,
no doubt, others), viz., Kirkby Ireleth, near Cartmel,
Lancaster, Tatham, Tunstall, Heysham (of which remains


are still visible), Halton, Preston, Kirkham, St. Michael's-
on-Wyre, Poulton-le-Fylde, Garstang, Lytham, St. Mary's
at Whalley (where there are three Saxon crosses),
St. Mary's at Blackburn, Croston, Eccleston, Walton-
on-the-Hill, Wigan, Winwick (here is the fragment
of a Saxon cross), Warrington, Manchester, and

William the Conqueror found at least one castle in
the county at Penwortham (see " Castles and Fortified
Houses ") and there were at least a dozen churches.
Lancashire is not named in Domesday, parts of it
appearing in Yorkshire, Westmorland, Cumberland, and

Very soon after the Conquest Norman feudalism
was introduced, and one of its effects was that all the
land in the county (which did not form part of the
endowments of churches) was handed over to tenants or
great vassals, who held it direct from the King, to whom
in all cases they rendered military and other service.

One of the most powerful of these tenants was Roger
de Poictou, who had thus conveyed to him all the land
between the Mersey and the Ribble, which he finally
lost on his banishment for high treason in 2 Henry I.

During this century the six hundreds of the county
were at various- times, held by the following: Henry,
Duke of Normajndy t ' : 0yest . Derby), Ilbert de Lacy
(Blackburn), the Earl of Chester (Salford), Theobald
Walter (Amounderness), King John (Leyland), the Monks
of Furness (a great part of Lonsdale). The honour of
Lancaster was held by Edmund Crouchback, Earl of
Lancaster. Many parts of the county were, however,
retained by the King.

It is about this time that we find evidence that
the county was becoming more populated, and in various
parts of it sundry small boroughs were arising, some


of which afterwards rose to be amongst the largest towns
and cities in England. Lancaster in 1199 was created
a borough; a little later Preston had its free gild
merchant, and held a fair each year of eight days'
duration; Clitheroe in 1205 na o! the right to hold a fair;
Liverpool in 1 207 became a chartered borough ; and a
few years later Salford was made a free borough.
Edmund de Lacy, in 25 Henry III. (A.D. 1240-41),
obtained a royal charter for a market and fair at
Rochdale, and shortly afterwards Wigan became a free
borough, with right to hold a guild. The barony of
Manchester did not get its grant as a free borough until
1301; but before the end of the thirteenth century,
Ormskirk, Bolton-le-Moors, Burnley, Kirkham, and other
towns had each its authorized fair and market. All this
points clearly to a period of prosperity, during which
the inhabitants found it to their advantage to dwell
together in the villages, which rapidly developed into
small towns.

Many churches were now built in the populous
districts, monasteries and religious houses having been
previously founded, as, for example, St. Mary of
Lancaster in 1094, Furness Abbey in 1123 (see " Furness
Abbey"), Cockersand Abbey in 1190, Penwortham Priory
in 1087, Whalley Abbey (originally at Stanlawe) in 1163,
the Augustine Friary at Warrington in the thirteenth
century, Burcough Priory in 1124, Upholland Priory in
1318, Kersall Cell in the twelfth century, and Lytham
Priory (or Cell) in 1190.

There were in Saxon times several large forests in
the county, which were made the subject of many laws
at a very early date. Amongst these forests were
Wyresdale, Quernmore, Pendle, Trawden, Accrington,
and Rossendale. Before the Norman Conquest the
four last-named forests were known as the Forest of
Blackburnshire, and spread over an area of 76 square
miles or 48,945 statute acres. Some portions of this


land are now covered with buildings, and the ancient
booths have become towns, but many old names of places
remind us of the former occupiers. Common enough
occur such names as Boarsgreave, Hogshead, Wolsten-
holme, Sowclough, Swinshaw, and Wolfenden. King
John, whilst Earl of Morton, granted a charter to the
knights and freeholders, which conferred on them the
right to take hares, foxes, rabbits, and all other wild
animals, always excepting the stag, the hind, the roebuck,
and wild hogs. Severe was the penalty upon one
offending against the forest laws. The right to take
underwood for fuel for domestic purposes was then a
highly valued privilege.

For a long period the repeated invasions made by
the Scots were a great source of trouble to the people
of Lancashire, so much so that in 1290 the land about
Lancaster was reported to be sterile and uncultivated,
and the towns of Ribchester and Preston had been nearly
destroyed. Another contributing cause to the depopu-
lation of the county was the ravages made by the
" Black Death," which, towards the middle of the
fourteenth century, made its appearance, and in some
places carried off a very large percentage of the
inhabitants. In ten parishes of Amoundeness alone
13,180 perished in about four months. It will not be
necessary here to give an account of the Dukes of
Lancaster, but we should not omit to mention that in 1353,
Henry, the son of Henry, Earl of Lancaster, was created
the first Duke of Lancaster, and was empowered to hold a
chancery court for the duchy and enjoy all the liberties
and regalities belonging to a county palatine. He was
succeeded by his son-in-law, John of Gaunt, who died
in 1399; during his time Lancaster Castle was partly
rebuilt. It may be well to note here that the County
Palatine and the Duchy are not identical to the former
belong many places not in the latter.

Lancashire was first represented in Parliament in


1259, when the shire returned two members; but in 1295
two burgesses were sent from each of the towns
Lancaster, Preston, Wigan, and Liverpool. At this
period the only two seaports of any importance were
Liverpool and Preston, but at neither place was there
much shipping beyond what was used for fishing
purposes. The beginning of the fourteenth century
witnessed a rapid increase in the prosperity of some
of the towns, as, for example, at Preston the influx
of people from the surrounding districts was so great
that it was found necessary to pave the streets; and to
enable the Corporation to do this, Royal Letters Patent
were issued in 1314, empowering them to levy toll upon
all goods and merchandise brought into the town for
sale. The articles which thus became taxable serve well
to indicate the every-day wants of the community of
this rising town. The following examples are also of
interest as showing the amount of toll paid.

A horse-load of corn, d. ; horses, cows, and oxen, ^d. ;
hides of horses, cows, or oxen, fresh, salted, or preserved,
|d. ; any kind of carts bringing flesh, fresh or salted,
id.; hogs, ^d. ; two small pigs sold before Easter, |d. ;
lamprey sold before Easter, |d. ; ten sheep, goats, or pigs,
|d. ; ten skins of sheep's wool, |d. ; ten skins of stags,
hinds, or fallow deer, id.; skins of hares, rabbits, cats,
wolves, or squirrels, id. ; a cart-load of salt, id. ; a horse-
load of salt, |d. ; one cwt. (100 pounds) of flax, id.;
a quarter of canvas, id.; of Irish cloth, id.; cloth of
silk (panno de serico), with gold, samite (a kind of silk
with gold thread in it), diaper, and baudkin, 1 id.; silk
cloth without gold, ^d. ; a bale of silk and a cart-load
of sea-fish, 2d. ; a horse-load of sea-fish, ^d. ; hogshead
of wine, 2d. ; a cart-load of iron or lead, 2d. ; 1,000 Ibs.
of alum and copperas, id.; 1,000 onions, d. ; 1,000
herrings, ^d. ; cart-load of timber, ^d. ; 1,000 shingles, 2 |d. ;

1 A material introduced into England in the thirteenth century.

2 Small pieces of wood for the roofs of houses.


1,000 nails for house building, id.; 100 horseshoes and
wheel-tires for carts, id.; hoops for brewers' casks, |d. ;
half-a-dozen cheeses, d.; a horse-load of butter, |d.

Shortly after this (in July, 1322) a great part of
North Lancashire was laid waste through the successful
invasion of Bruce, and Preston suffered considerably;
but, nevertheless, six years afterwards the burgesses
obtained a Royal Charter to hold a weekly market and
a five days' fair annually. The old castles, which were
now a prominent feature in the county, will form the
subject of another article.

During the fifteenth century the wars between the
houses of York and Lancaster were raging, and in a
great measure account for the paucity of material
concerning the history of the county. At this period
the monastic institutions formed the centres of religious
thought and feeling. Very few churches were built, but
the abbeys and monasteries did much to relieve the poor
and, in some degree, to educate their children, whilst
to maintain the magnificent buildings and establishments
they found work for farm labourers and handicraftsmen
of various kinds. But the days of the monkish rule
were fast coming to a close when, by the dissolution
of religious houses, their cherished possessions passed
into lay hands, which was only a prelude to the destruction
of buildings which had for centuries stood as living
witnesses to the skill and artistic power of the mediaeval
architect and workman. During the century preceding
the dissolution, many chantries were founded in the
churches of Lancashire.

The last abbot of Whalley, John Paslow, was amongst
the Lancashire men who took part in the " Pilgrimage
of Grace."

Of the old abbey of Whalley enough now remains
to show what a stately building it once was. It stood
on a site containing nearly thirty-seven statute acres,
and was approached through two strong gateways, which
are still standing.


At this time many of the clergy had to leave
the country, and found shelter in Geneva, Strasburg,
and in various parts of Holland. Some of these returned
when Queen Elizabeth came to the throne, but many
died in exile.

The Reformation was not generally accepted in
Lancashire, a large number of the old families remaining
true to the old form of religion, notwithstanding that
many of the local clergy, rather than resign their livings,
nominally accepted the new form ; but, at best, they were
for the most part only disguised Papists. The Earl of
Derby, who was one of the persecutors of John Bradford,
now became one of those who did his best to make the
Roman Catholic's life a burden to him, as he knew not
who was his friend nor which of his neighbours or of
his household was a spy upon him.

It has often been said that Queen Elizabeth hated
a Puritan only with a little less bitterness than she did
a Catholic, and under these circumstances we are not
surprised to find that no less than 600 recusants appeared
at one of the Lancaster Assizes.

In 1567 the Queen sent a letter to the Bishop of
Chester reminding him that he had been admitted to the
see for his former services, but that "now, upon credible
reports of disorder and contempts, especially in the
county of Lancaster, we find great lack in you"; and
the letter concludes with orders to the bishop to make
personal visitations into the remote parts of his diocese,
especially in Lancashire, and to see for himself how the
Church livings were filled.

The bishop had a difficult duty to perform. In
many cases, as already stated, the clergy were Papists
in disguise, and even the grammar school masters were

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