John Booker.

A history of the ancient chapels of Didsbury and Chorlton, in Manchester parish, including sketches of the townships of Didsbury, Withington, Burnage, Heaton Norris, Reddish, Levenshulme, and Chorlton-cum-Hardy: together with notices of the more ancient local families, and particulars relating to th online

. (page 9 of 31)
Online LibraryJohn BookerA history of the ancient chapels of Didsbury and Chorlton, in Manchester parish, including sketches of the townships of Didsbury, Withington, Burnage, Heaton Norris, Reddish, Levenshulme, and Chorlton-cum-Hardy: together with notices of the more ancient local families, and particulars relating to th → online text (page 9 of 31)
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A Eelac'on of y'^ m'rs of fact &c. of Manchesf Bells,
from the ffii-st pt. being broken to 30"' of August 1707.
To the best of my memory ab' 5 years since y^ ffifth bell was burst, by w"^'' y«
whole peale was supposed to be so disordered as to require all to be cast a new. Y«
p'ish upon it mett, w° the town of Manch' offer'd y' in case y^ bells was uewcast ov'
and above their quotas of church-lay to advance £100 if y<= p'ish thought fit, towards
adding two more bells to y'^ six old ones. Y" resoluc'on of y'= p'ish at y* convention
was not to cast any of y<^ bells but to turn y<= clapper to y'' sound sides of the burst
bell, w^'' was accordingly done ; and in y' condic'on y'^ bells rested, tho' not tuneable,
till about 20 mouths since y<> 6'" or biggest bell burst, w<^>' w"' y-^ other burst 5"', ac-
coumpting from y'"' weight (y'' charge of casting bells) was more y'^ half y'= whole sett
by 365"'. Y'= bursting of y"^ last bell happeu'd so near y'= close of y" year y' y<= church-
ward^ for that year, having not time to finish anything they should undertake of bell
matters, in y' order the bells continued till y^ new churchward" was chosen, amongst
whom it was agreed to signifye the y" p'sent circumstances of y - bells to S'' Edward


1706. Paidc when y« bells were fetched from ]\Ian-

chcster 00 10 00

Spent when y® bells were hung 00 08 00

Cooke [Colve] and S'' Jo. Egerton, by a speciall messenger for expedition (as being by
y'' estates in y'= p'isli so considerably concerned in y" charge) to desire their advise
and know y'"' will in y"-' matter. The churchward"^ obtained no answ"', but for one by
word of mouth of y"^ messenger was by y'" worthy gentlem" referr'd to Mr. Nathan
Ardcrn. To him for answ"^ they apply'd ; ho declined giving any answ"' from them,
but appeared very reserved, — askt for an acknowledgm' from y"^ churchward"* of two
p'ticular seats for y'" gentlem" beforenamed. The churchward"' did not think it in
y*' power to dispose of seats in church to p'ticular families, — told Mr. Ardcrn y' as
farr as they knew, all y^ seates in y'= body of y'= church belonged to y'^ publick, and
none had p'ticular priviledg to any seats there ; — if them worthy gentlem" had good
titles to y-^ seats the churchward"^ was not for depriving any body of y" rights any
more y" giving up those of y= publick. Nothing of ansW cou'd y^ churchwardens
gett fro Mr. Ardern then or since (as answ' to y'' I'rs) from S'' Edward or S' John,
nor can guess w' it was excepting it was the demanding of y'^ seates. The conference
abovcs'' was w"> Mr. Ardern of Saturday ; Y" y^ churchward"' told him y' the day
following they designed to give publick notice at church for calling of a p'ish meeting
to consid - of y" bells &c. on Friday following. Mr. Ashe chaplain publisht y-^ notice
accordingly. Pursuant to it y" p'ish mett (the bells taken down in ord' for y<^ p'ish-
ioner's view), Mr. Ardern w"" some of his neighbours y" p'sent. After some debate
wheth'- y« whole sett, or only y^ two burst bells shoidd be newcast, y'' farr greaf part
of y= parish convened agreed for newcasting the six bells, and for defraying y<^ charge
at y« time assess'd y™selves 6 church-lays for y^ year 1706 as requisit for y' year's
business : (Note — a church-lay is £40, and 2 church-lays is expended for bread and
wine and com'on repaires commimibus annis.) The p'ishioners y' had argued ag" y'=
recasting all y-^ bells, and only for newcasting y*^ two burst ones, w" y<= p'ticular voices
came to be demanded by poll, refused to vote, all except Mr. Lever of Collihurst, so
y' excepting him y<^ voting p' unanimously agreed of casting y"' whole six and making
y'' order for y'^ s'' levy of six chm-ch-lays, as may and does appear upon record in y^
P'ish Book. So ended y« s*" meeting, and according to y'= s<' order y" made has y«
churchward"^ acted at y'^ own charge, and hung up an addic'on of two new bells.
Some in y<= p'ish refuses to pay y'"' lays (of v/<^^ Mr. Arderne is esteemed y'' chiefest
abett"", y^ farr greatest part of y'= refusers consisting of tennants to y" two worthy
Barr''.) Y'= churchward"' are now suing in y= Ecclical Court at Chest' some 16 or
thereab" of y« p'sons refusing to pay. The course of y"^ suite so farr has been this :
After citac'on and appearance, y<^ churchwardens, y-^ p", gave into court y"" articles,
in w*^^*", rehearsed according to form and matter of fact, y'' reasons for demanding y"
p'ticular chm-ch-layes — y"^ dcf" putt in y'"" answ" upon oath, in w"^*" they sett forth
they believe almost all y"" p"" assertions in y" articles to be false suggested. (A coppy
of y^ def'^ ausW* may be seen at Mr. Willimot's proctor a( D" Com'ons.) The p""


1706. Spent when Mr. Collier preached 00 00 09

Paid fFor a book on the thauksgiving-day 00 00 08

Paid ffor a book on the ffast-day 00 00 08

have miuuitly, I think, proved upon oath (as may appear by y'"' wittuess dep'ons) all
y<^ assertions of y'"^ articles. The churchwardens are often allarmed w"> threats of
p'hibic'ons to this court or appeales to superior. But thus y'= case now stands : Y''
def" charge of y'^ suite is p'tly if not cheifly maintained at the charge (tho' paid with
reluctance and wrested w"* cruelty) of persons, some forced and some decoyed, asso-
ciated for that end, — some whose church-lays are already paid by better considering
the matter, and some who yet have not shewed y'^selves.

The computed charge of casting y'^ six bells : li. s. d.

Imp. Their carriage to Atcham Bridge ... GS™' 3v 5^^ at 2^ 9" p - 120"'^ 08 09 00

Their addition of weight Q"''' Qi' 12"' at 5" 12^ p"- cwt. 51 00 00

Allowance of 4^ p"- cent for waste of melting . 2""' Iv ll'i- at 5" 12« 13 03 00

Their carriage from Salop 78"^' 1^ 271'' at 3^ p-^ 120"'' 11 00 00

Their charge of casting 70 00 00

The frame and hanging 60 00 00

Mem. — Towards y<' frame wiU gett something from town

of Manch"' for rooms of two new bells to lessen this 213 12 00
The very charge had only y"^ two burst bells been cast :

Their carriage to Atcham 36"" l^ 8"' at 2^ 9=' p"- 120"" 04 13 00

Allowance of 4^ p"- cent for waste in melting . . . 1"" l<f 5"' at 12'' 07 05 00

Lowest price for casting em alone 42 15 00

Their carriage from Salop, viz 36<:"' l'^ 8"' at S'* p>- 120"' 05 02 00

Frame and hanging 60 00 00

119 15 00
To w'^'' adding the new mettall bought 51 00 00

The difference (iucludiug y<' s'' mettall added) of casting ") ^^ 17 OO
the six and the two is just )
The inhabitants of Didsbury do not appear to have been long contented with their
bargain, for in 1727 the whole peal was re-cast, as is evidenced by the bells them-
selves, which bear the following inscriptions :

1. Let us ring for the Church and the King. 1727.

2. Prosperity to all our Benefactors. 1727.

3. Lady Ann Bland and S"" John her son, benefactors. 1727.

4. Eobert Twyford, minister, 1727.

5. William Twyford and Tho* Whitelegg, churchwardens. 1727.

6. AV. Rudhall of Glocester cast us aU, 1727.

We have notice {Duca/us Lancastrice, vol. ii. p. 138) of a bell or bells at Didsbury


1708. Spent when Thomas Garnet begecl the commu-

nion cann' 00 01 06

Spent when we did fetch y « fflagon 00 00 OG

1709. Paid on the thanksgiving-day when we con-

ducted about the parson 00 02 06

1711. Spent when y^ augmentation money was paid.. 00 01 00

1712. Spent on Christmas Day with a strange parson 00 01 00
1715. Spent with Mr. Dawson in gathering his wages 00 00 06
Spent November 5 and 16 when news came

about the victory at Preston 00 04 00

1717. Paid for ringing on King George's return 00 01 00

1727. Spent when y« yewtree was sett 00 01 03

1 728. Paid when Mr. Oldfield preached 00 01 00

[Other preachers during the year, Messrs. Bellis and

early iu the reign of Queen Mary, who in the first year of her reign directed a com-
mission to proceed from the Duchy Court of Lancaster, enquiring what lands, tene-
ments, bells, chalices, plate, jewels, stocks of kine, sheep, money and other things
belonging to chantries in the county of Lancaster had been withheld by the several
religious bodies to whom they had originally belonged, in violation of a former com-
mission issued in the seventh year of Edward VI., directing their surrender to the
King. Under the head Manchester Parish occurs the chapel of Didsbury.

1 About this date four large silver flagons were presented to the Collegiate Church
of Manchester, whereupon the four pewter ones hitherto in use were given to the
chapels of Didsbury, Gorton, Newton and Stretford. The communion-plate belong-
ing to the chapel is all comparatively modern, and consists of —

1. One small silver visiting paten, " given to the Chappel of Didsbury in the parish

of Manchester, 1741."

2. One smaR silver visiting cup, inscribed " i | h Belongs to the Chapel of Dids-

bury, 1743."

3. One sHver paten, " the gift of Thomas Briarly of Heaton Norris to Didsbury

Chapel, April 10, 1743."

4. One large silver flagon, "the gift of Joseph Boardman of Manchester to the

Church of Didsbury, A.D. 1753."

5. One silver cup, the gift of Mrs. Frances Bayley to Didsbm-y Chapel, 1813.

6. One silver alms dish and two patens, given in 1841 by Thomas Darwell Esq. of

Manchester, patron.

7. There is also a silver cup, marked A. M. with a crest, a lion rampant issuing

from a coronet ; supposed to be the gift of Lady Ann Mosley. '


1734. Spent when we went to Witliington to hear

Thomas Choiiton's will read 00 01 08

1736. Gave to Withington rush-cart 2s.

[Strange preachers during the year, Messrs. Norris and


Paid for the serpless 12 yards of Holland £2 lis. 8d.

Spent when I went for the wine at Easter 6d.

1743. Given June 26 to y« ringers on y^ approach of
ye news of y® victory we obtained at Dettin-
o-en \ 00 01 06

1745. Gave to y« ringers when news was brought of

ye conquest over y^ rebels 00 04 00

1746. [Strange preachers during the year, Messrs. Brooke and


Paid when I Avent for the wine at Easter 6d.

Paid for hay for th' parson's horse 3d.

Spent when the young parson [Rev. AVilliam Twyford]

first began to preach 2s.

The ancient Day School at Didsbury was erected time out of
memory upon a plot of land which formed part of the Barlow
Moor waste, belonging to the lord of the manor of Withington,
to whom a chief- rent of three shillings per annum was formerly
paid in respect of the premises. This chief-rent is now payable
to the Rev. Robert Mosley Fieldeu, the late Robert Fielden Esq.
having purchased it of the said lord of the manor. It received its
first endowment under the will of Sir Edward Mosley Bart., who
died in 1665, the testator's intentions being carried into effect by
his successor, Edward Mosley Esq.

An Indenture made the thirtieth day of December in the year
1685, between Edward Mosley of Hulme in the county of Lan-
caster Esq. upon the one part, and John Rudd and Thomas
Blomeley, alias Banks, both of Didsbury in the county of Lan-
caster yeomen upon the other part, — Witnesseth That the said
Edward Mosley, in pursuance and for the performing of the last


will and testament of Sir Edward Mosley, late of Hough End
within the said county of Lancaster, Baronet, deceased, hath
granted, bargained, sold, enfeoflcd and confirmed, and by the pre-
sent doth grant &c. unto the said John lludd and Thomas Blomc-
ley, alias Banks, all that and those several closes and parcels of
land commonly called and known by the names of Broom Field,
the Carr Meadow, and the Water Field, with their appurtenances,
situated, lying and being on the south side of the river Mersey,
reputed and taken to be within the township of Didsbury in the
manor of Withington in the said county of Lancaster, containing
by estimation four acres of land or thereabouts, be the same more
or less, heretofore in the tenure or occupation of Nicholas Liuney
deceased or of his assign or assigns, and now in the possession of
the said Edward Mosley or of his assigy. or undertenant, together
with all ways, advantages, &c. unto the same belonging (except
only common of pasture and turbary). To have and to hold the
said closes and premises to them the said John Budd and Thomas
Blomeley their heirs and assigns for ever, to the uses, intents and
purposes that the said John Rudd and Thomas Blomeley their
heirs and assigns shall and will permit the profits thereof to be
employed for the maintenance of a schoolmaster at Didsbury for
ever, so as the same schoolmaster be such as is approved of and
comes in there by the consent and good liking of the said Edward
Mosley his heirs and assigns, lords of the manor of Withington
aforesaid, yielding and paying therefor j^early unto the said Ed-
ward Mosley his heirs and assigns for ever one pepper-corn at the
feast of St. Martin the bishop in winter, if the same be demanded,
and also doing and performing all such suit and service to the
courts of the said Edward Mosley his heirs and assigns for the
manor of Withington, as other tenants of the manor use to do.
And the said Edward Mosley doth for himself, his heirs, executors
and administrators covenant and agree to and with the said John
Rudd and Thomas Blomeley, that the said Edward Mosley and
every other person and persons lawfully claiming the premises . . .



[illegible] . And the said Edward Mosley doth further by these
presents institute and appoint his trusty and well-beloved William
Twyford and Richard Blomeley, servants of the said Edward
Mosley, his true and lawful attorneys jointly and severally for him
and in his name to enter into the said lands aforesaid or into any
part thereof in the name of the whole, and thereof quiet and
peaceable possession and seisin to take, and afterwards the same
to make and deliver unto the said John Rudd and Thomas Blome-
ley according to the true effect and meaning of these presents :
and all and whatsoever the attorneys shall do as concerneth the
premises the said Edward Mosley doth by these presents ratify
and allow as fully and as absolutely as if he the said Edward
Mosley were personally present. — In witness whereof the parties
abovesaid interchangeably have set their hands and seals the day
and year first above written.

On the death of the trustees first nominated none were elected
to succeed them, nor was any new conveyance of the premises
made; and in 1826, when the Charity Commissioners reported, the
legal estate was found vested in J ohn Rudd of Didsbury, the great
grandson and heir of John Rudd who is mentioned in the above
recited deed, he having survived his co-trustee Thomas Blomiley.
The land thus bequeathed was let (in 1825) at an annual rent of
£37, the master receiving also the benefit of other charities given
for the support of a schoolmaster, viz. £4 from the charity of Sir
Edward Mosley Knt., £1 from Chorlton^s, and £1 from Hampson's
charity. The appointment of master was at that time claimed by
the Fielden family, principal landowners in the township ; and the
commissioners in the absence of all documentary evidence to the
contrary, and with proof before them that the right of nominating
a master had been repeatedly exercised by them without opposi-
tion, admitted their claim, remarking however at the same time
that as the charity of Sir Edward Mosley is expressly limited to
such schoolmaster as shall come in with the consent of the lord of
the manor of Withington, his approval is necessary to entitle the


master so appointed to the benefit of that charity. Formerly,
however, the uncontrolled appointment was, as it seems, vested in
the lord of the manor. In 1699 William Garnett, on resigning
the school, submitted one Henry Smith to the Bishop of Chester
for a license to hold it, — the right of nomination having been
made over to him (Garnet) for his life by Sir Edward Mosley then
lately deceased, and confirmed to him "under the hand and seal of
the worshipful Sir John Bland Kut. Bart., now lord of our manor;''
and in 1722 a similar license was granted by the Bishop to Thomas
Hudson on the nomination of Lady Ann Bland. In 1831 a new
schoolroom Avas erected adjoining the old one, which was now con-
verted into a residence for the master ; and the entire premises
were conveyed from Rudd, the representative of the surviving
trustee mentioned in the deed, to certain trustees, one of whom
was Mr. Fielden. In 1843 an infant-school was added, a school-
room and a cottage for the teacher being erected at the same time ;
towards this object Joseph Birley of Didsbury Esq. contributed
£150, and the National Society £50. In 1851 a new conveyance
of the schools was made by Mr. Fielden to the Eev. W. J. Kidd,
Hugh Birley, James Dorriugton, and William Hobbs, Esqrs.
Previous to the year 1831 the school-house had been used on
Sundays for the purposes of a Sunday school on payment of fifty-
two shillings per annum, but in that year an agreement was en-
tered into between the Sunday school committee and other inha-
bitants on the one part, and Robert Fielden Esq., John Rudd and
Joseph Rudd on the other part, which secures the use of the
school premises exclusively on every Sunday for ever as a Sunday
school for the instruction of the children within the chapelry of
Didsbury who are brought up in the religious principles of the
Established Church of England. By the said deed Mr. Fielden
renounces also the right of appointing the master which is vested
in the four trustees already enumerated and their successors for

The Charities connected with the chapelry and township are as
follows : —


1. Charity or Sir Edward Mosley Knt.

Sir Edward Mosley Knt., by Will bearing date May 24, 1695, as
appears from a recital contained in an indenture bearing date
January 25, 1753, charged his manors of Witliington and Heaton
Norris, in the county of Lancaster, with the payment of the yearly
sum of £4) to the churchwardens of the church of Didsbury, for
the use of the poor of Withington and Heaton Norris ; and also
with the payment of the like sum of £4 yearly to a schoolmaster
of Didsbury, until some lands of the like value were settled upon
them for ever.

The indenture from which the above abstract is taken, and
which was produced before the commissioners in 1826 by Robert
Eielden Esq., was made between William Fenwick Esq., a mort-
gagee in fee of the premises therein mentioned of the first part.
Sir John Bland Bart, of the second part, and Richard Broome
and William Broome of the third part; whereby, after reciting
the above-mentioned devises, and that the said Sir John Bland
was desirous of vesting the premises therein after-mentioned in
the said parties of the third part, and their heirs, in trust, to in-
demnify the said manors from the payment of the said two yearly
sums j the said William Fenwick, at the request of the said Sir
John Bland, granted to the said Richard and William Broome
and their heirs a messuage or tenement and farm, with the lands
and grounds thereto belonging, in the parish of Manchester,
then or late in the occupation of John Shuttleworth, at the
yearly rent of £14, to the intent that they should stand seised
thereof as trustees for the indemnification of the said manors
against the said yearly sums, provided that until default should be
made in the payment of the said yearly sums, the said parties of
the third part should permit the said Sir John Bland and his heirs
to receive the rents and profits of the said premises.

Whether this deed was ever revoked or not does not appear, but
the two annual sums of £4^ are now paid by Robert Fielden Esq.
in respect of such parts of his estate as were formerly parcel of the
manor of Withington. One of these sums is paid by Mr. Fielden


to the schoolmaster of Didsbury school as already mentioned.
The other sum of £4 is paid to the churchwardens of Didsbury,
for the time being, by whom it is distributed amongst poor persons
not receiving relief in the five following townships, every year in
rotation, viz., in Didsbury, Withington, Burnage, Heaton Norris
and Chorlton-with-Hardy, all of which townships are within the
manors of Withington and Heaton Norris, the three first-men-
tioned being in the chapelry of Didsbury. There are four other
townships in the manor of Withington, viz., i\Ioss-side, Rusholme,
Denton-with-Haughton and Levenshulrae, and it does not appear
upon what principle, as the distribution is extended beyond the
townships of Withington and Heaton Norris, the other townships
within the manor of Withington are excluded. — [^Commissioners'
Report, vol. xvi. pp. 193, 194.]

2. Chorlton^s Charity.
Thomas Chorlton, by Will bearing date ]\Iay 27, 1728, charged
all his messuages, lands and premises wherein he dwelt at Grundy
Hill with the payment of the clear yearly sum of £o, to commence
from the death of the survivor of his wife, or sister Mary, to the
following uses, viz., £4, part thereof to the chapelwardens of
Didsbury for the time being for ever, to be by them laid out in
bread to be given weekly in Didsbury chapel on Sunday to the
most poor and indigent people living in and belonging to the
townships of Heaton Norris, Didsbury, Withington and Burnage,
such as should come frequently to hear divine service at the said
chapel ; and the sum of twenty shillings, residue of the said sum
of £o, to the schoolmaster for the time being, of the school-house
at Barlow ]\Ioor End. Mr. John Thorniley, as the proprietor of
an estate called Grundy Hill, in the township of Heaton Norris,
pays £4 per annum to the chapelwardens, which sum, with the
produce of Boardman's charity hereafter mentioned, is by them
laid out in bread, a portion of which is distributed on every
Sunday to such poor persons of the four townships mentioned in
the will of the testator as attend divine service at Didsbury chapel.


The remaining £1 is paid to the schoolmaster of Didsbury school
as already mentioned. — \_Ib. p. 194.]


Sergeant Boardman, by will bearing date March 4, 1768, gave
to Edward Place, James Greatrix and his wife Dorothy Boardman
<3850 on trust, that they should invest the same in the purchase of
a yearly rent-charge or of bank-stock, and thereupon settle the
said rent-charge or the said stock to the use of the minister and
chapelwardens of the ancient chapel of Didsbury in the parish of
Manchester, called Didsbury church, for the time being; the
annual produce thereof to be by them laid out and given in bread
in Didsbury chapel on every Sunday, to such of the most poor
and indigent people living in and belonging to the several town-
ships of Didsbury, Withington, Heaton Norris and Burnage, such
as should come frequently to hear divine service at Didsbury
chapel, as they in their discretion should think fit.^

The above sum was laid out in the purchase of £102 lis. 2d.
stock, in the three per cent consols, now standing in the name of
the Rev. John Newton. The dividends, amounting to £3 Is. 6d.
per annum, are received by Messrs. Jones and Loyd, bankers of
Manchester, by whom they are paid to the chapelwardens, and
bestowed in the manner already stated in the account of the pre-
ceding charity. — [lb. pp. 194, 195.]

4. Bland and Linney's Charity.
By Indentures of Lease and Release, bearing date September
28 and 29, 1775, between William Broome the elder of the one

^ The testator's intentions were all but frustrated by the too great precipitancy of
the acting executor Mr. Edward Place, who paid over to the residuary legatee the
residue of the testator's effects without having first discharged this legacy. On
being applied to, Mr. Place justified its continued non-payment by a reference to the
statute of Mortmain (9 George II. cap. 36.) A case was drawn up and submitted to
Mr. Arderue, who gave his opinion in favour of the poor. After much delay and the
obtaiuing of a second legal opinion which confirmed the first, the bequest was at
length paid.


jiart, and the Rev. William Twyford clerk, James Goolden,
Richard Watson and four others of the other part, — It is wit-
nessed, that in consideration of £100 (being the sum given by
Dame Ann Bland, to be placed at interest or invested in the pur-

Online LibraryJohn BookerA history of the ancient chapels of Didsbury and Chorlton, in Manchester parish, including sketches of the townships of Didsbury, Withington, Burnage, Heaton Norris, Reddish, Levenshulme, and Chorlton-cum-Hardy: together with notices of the more ancient local families, and particulars relating to th → online text (page 9 of 31)