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Zbc Dtctotta Ibfstot^ of the 
Counties of Bnolanb 




a 2 

This Ilhtci)' is issued to Subscribers only 

By jirihihiilil Constable & Company Limited and 

printed by Eyre & Spottiswoode Limited 

H.AI. Printers of London 























List of Illustrations and Maps 

Editorial Note 

Ecclesiastical History : — 

To the Reformation . 

From the Reformation 
Religious Houses : — 


Priory of Penwortham 

Priory of Lytham 

Priory of Upholland 

Cell of Kersal . 

Abbey of Furness 

Abbey of Wyresdale 

Abbey of Whalley 

Priory of Conishead 

Priory of Cartmel 

Priory of Burscough 

Priory of Cockerham 

Abbey of Cockersand 

Priory of Hornby 

House of Dominican Friars, Lan 

House of Franciscan Friars, Preston 

House of Austin Friars, Warrington 

Hospital of St. Mary Magdalen, 
Preston .... 

Hospital of St. Leonard, Lancaster 

Gardiner's Hospital, Lancaster . 

Lathom Almshouse . 

Hospital of St. Saviour, Stidd 
under Longridge . 

College of Upholland 

College of Manchester 

Priory of Lancaster . 
Political History : — 

To the end of the Reign of 
Henry VIII 

From the Reign of Henry VIII . 
Social and Economic History 

Table of Population, 1801-1901 

By Prof. James Tait, M.A. 
By W. A. Shaw, D.Litt. 

By Prof. James Tait, M.A. 

By F. M. PowicKE, M.A. 
By Prof. James Tait, M.A. 







1 1 1 




15 + 





By Prof. James Tait, M.A. . . . .175 

By Miss Alice Law, First Class Honours Hist. Trip. 218 
By Miss Alice Law, First-Class Honours Hist. Trip. 261 
By George S. Minchin . . . . • 33° 


Industries : — 

Introduction . 

By Prop. S. J. Chapman, M.A., M.Com., and Douglas 

Knoop, M.A 

• 35' 

Natural Products 

By Douglas Knoop, M.A. 

• 354 

Gapper Smelting 


» » • • 

. 355 

Coal Mining . 


n » • • 

• 356 

Iron .... 

• fr 

t> 79 * ' 

. 360 

Hardware and Allied Trades 

• ti 

I) »> • • 

• 364 


• JJ 

l> 99 ' • 

. 366 


' » 

9 » • • 

. 367 

Ordnance and Armaments . 

• JJ 

9 >J • • 

• 374 


• >f J 

9 )J • • 


Textile Industries 

. 376 

The Woollen Industry 

By Douglas Knoop, M.A. 

• 376 

The Linen Industry . 

»j »j J) • • 

. 378 

The Cotton Industry . 

By Prof. S. J. Chapman, M.A., M.Com. 


Felt-Hat Making 

By Douglas Knoop, M.A. 


The Silk Industry 

»> jt j> • ' • 


Calico Printing 

J) jt ?» • • • 


Bleaching, Finishing, and Dyeing 

7t >t JJ ' • 


Chemical Industries . 

yy }> j» • • • 


India-rubber . . . . 

»» j> )) • ■ • 


Soap Industry . . . . 

>j jj )i • ' 


Potteries and Glass . 

97 ») >? * * 


Potteries . 


Glass . . . . 


The Sugar Industry . 

By Douglas Knoop, M.A. 


The Paper Industry . 

jj jj ?> • • ■ 


Asbestos . . . . . 

J> fj 71 • • • 


Miscellaneous Industries 

97 »J J> • • . 


Sea Fisheries . . . . 

By James Johnstone, B.Sc. (Lond.) 


Agriculture . . . . . 

By W. H. R. Curtler 


Forestry . . . . . 

By William Farrer 


Sport Ancient and Modern 

Edited by the Rev. E. E. Dorling, M.A. 

Introduction . . . . 

By Maj. Arthur Willoughby-Osborne 


Hunting .... 

» >> » 








Otter Hounds 


Coursing . . . . . 

By Harold Brocklebank 


Racing . . . . . 

By Maj. Arthur Willoughby-Osborne 


Flat Racing . . . . 


T 1 7 



By Maj. Arthur Willoughby-Osborne 


Shooting . . . . . 

" » »> 


Duck Decoys 

Angling .... 

By Maj. Arthur Willoughby-Osborne 

Cricket .... 

By Sir Home 

Gordon, Bart 


Sport Ancient and Modern {continued) 

Rugby Football 




Tennis . 


Whippet Racing 
Ancient Earthworks : — 

Lancashire South of the Sands 

Lancashire North of the Sands 
Schools : — 

Introduction . 

The Royal Grammar School 

Preston Grammar School . 

The Harris Institute, Preston 

Middleton Grammar School 

Prescot Grammar School . 

Manchester Schools . 

The Grammar School 

Hulme Grammar Schools 

The Municipal Secondary 

Farnworth Grammar School 

Blackburn Grammar School 

Stonyhurst College, Blackburn 

Liverpool Schools 

The Grammar School 

Liverpool Institution, Liverpool 
Institute, and Liverpool 
College .... 

Bolton-le-Moors Grammar School 

The Church Institute School, 
Bolton-le-Moors . 

Leyland Grammar School . 

The Boteler Grammar School 

St. Michaels-upon-Wyre Grammar 
School .... 

Winwick School 
Whalley Grammar School . 
Kirkham Grammar School . 
Penwortham Endowed School 
Clitheroe Grammar School . 
Rochdale Grammar School . 

Rivington and Blackrod Grammar 

School . 
Blackrod School 
Burnley School 

By C. J. Bruce Marriott, M.A. . 
By the Rev. E. E. Dorling, M.A. . 
By Maj. Arthur Willoughby-Osborne 

By WlLLOUGHBY Gardner, F.L.S. 

By A. F. Leach, M.A., F.S.A. 

By the Rev. H. J. Chaytor, M.A, 
By A. F. Leach, M.A., F.S.A. 

By A. F. Leach, M.A., F.S.A. 

By A. F. Leach, M.A., F.S.A. 

By the Rev. H. J. Chaytor, M.A. 
By A. F. Leach, M.A., F.S.A. 

By the Rev. H. J. Chaytor, M.A, 



















THE ecclesiastical condition of the territory now included in 
Lancashire, during the period between the departure of the 
Romans and its conquest by Northumbria, is as obscure as its 
political organization.^ That it was already to some extent 
Christianized seems a reasonable inference from the establishment of a British 
missionary centre by Ninian at Whithern, in Galloway, beyond the bounds of 
the province, towards the close of the Roman occupation.** There is a possible 
trace of Irish influence at a later date, in the primitive little chapel at 
Heysham, near Morecambe, which is dedicated to St. Patrick. This is a 
plain rectangular oratory without a chancel, a form which may still be seen 
in early Irish cells, but of which there is no other instance going back beyond 
the Norman Conquest in any other English county save Cornwall, whose 
examples are undoubtedly Celtic* The site of the chapel, too, on a promon- 
tory (overlooking Morecambe Bay) is one which was very commonly chosen 
for Irish religious settlements. The actual fabric of the chapel is perhaps 
Saxon, but it may have replaced an earlier building. A similar oratory may 
possibly have been connected with that cemetery at Kilgrimol, which is only 
mentioned as a boundary mark in the foundation charter of Lytham Priory.* 
This chapel, too, was close to the sea, which now covers its site.' 

In what, if any, diocese or dioceses the future Lancashire lay during this 
period, there is nothing to show. It has indeed been assumed that the diocese 
of Glasgow, established by St. Kentigern at the end of the sixth century, 
extended as far south as the Mersey,* But this rests upon the further 
assumption that Kentigern's patron. King Rhydderch of Alclud (Dumbarton), 
ruled over the whole district lying between Clyde and Mersey and bounded 
on the east by the hills that form the watershed ; a hypothesis which is 

' See article on 'Political History.' ' Vita Sti. Niniani (Historians of Scotland), v, 1 1. 

' Baldwin Brown, The Arts in Early England, i, 311 ; ii, 30, 100-103, 279 ; Trans. Lanes, and Ches. 
Antlq. Soc. v, 4. The chapel has the Irish feature of great length in proportion to its width. Internally it is 
27 ft. long, while its width varies from nearly 9 ft. to less than 8 ft. Brown gives a plan, and figures the south 

* Farrer, Lanes. Pipe R. 346, 348. 

' Local tradition regards this lost chapel as the original church of Lytham {Trans. Lanes, and Ches. Hist. 
Soc. (New Ser.), xiii, 95). 

' Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, ii, 4. 

2 I I 


contradicted by one of the few pieces of fairly trustworthy evidence which 
are available for that age.^ 

If church dedications are any guide, Kentigern's diocese did not extend 
southwards beyond the northern limits of the lake district. He is the patron 
saint of eight churches in Low Cumberland, but south of this there are no 
dedications to him/ 

Among the invocations of Lancashire churches, one has been claimed as 
British.' The St. Elfin to whom Warrington church is dedicated is indeed 
usually identified with Aelfwine, the young brother of Ecgfrith of Northum- 
bria, whose death in battle with the Mercians near the Trent, in 679, was 
lamented by both nations.^" But Aelfwine would normally give Elwin, and 
there is no historical connexion known between the Aelfwine in question and 
Warrington, while Elfin, it is said, occurs as a Celtic name in Geoffrey of 

A new epoch in the history of the lands between the Mersey and the 
Solway opened with Ethelfrith's great defeat of the Britons at Chester, in 
613. The whole of this hitherto purely Celtic region was before long 
conquered by Northumbria, and brought into ecclesiastical dependence on the 
Northumbrian see of York, or on one or other of the three dioceses into 
which it was split up in 678 — Lindisfarne, Hexham, and the narrower York. 
To the last-named, which comprised the present Yorkshire, then known as 
Deira, would naturally be attached those portions of the newly-conquered 
land which adjoined it on the west, including what is now Lancashire and the 
southern parts of the later counties of Cumberland and Westmorland. There 
is good reason for believing that the north-western boundary of the obedience 
of York was drawn now as it ran in the eleventh century, and, in fact, down 
to the formation of the diocese of Chester in 1541. This boundary followed 
the watershed between the Eden on the north and the Lune and Kent on the 
south to the head waters of the Derwent, along which it ran to the sea. It is 
a natural frontier which, as we have seen, may very well have been the 
southern limit of the diocese of Glasgow in Kentigern's day, and perhaps 
down to Ecgfrith's transference of Carlisle and its district to Cuthbert, that is, 
to the see of Lindisfarne. The changes just described are, in part at all 
events, alluded to in a well-known passage in Eddi's life of Wilfrid, a passage 
which is not without its difficulties of interpretation. At the dedication of 
his church at Ripon about 675, Wilfrid, who had been bishop of York for 
some five years, made a speech, the gist of which is reported by his faithful 
secretary and biographer : — 

Stans itaque sanctus Wilfrithus ante altare, conversus ad populum, coram regibus 
(i.e. Ecgfrith and Aelfwine) enumerans regiones, quas ante reges pro animabus suis et tunc 
in ilia die, cum consensu et subscriptione episcoporum et omnium principum qui (sic) illi 
dederunt, lucide enuntiavit ; necnon et ea loca sancta in diversis regionibus, quae clerus 
Brytannus aciem gladii hostilis manu gentis nostrae fugiens deseruit. Erat quippe Deo 
placabile donum quod religiosi reges tarn multas terras Deo ad serviendum pontifici nostro 
conscnpserunt ; et haec sunt nomina regionum— Juxta Rippel, et in Gaedyne et in 
regione Dunutinga, et in Caetlaevum, in caeterisque locis.^^ ' 

' Nennius, Hist. Brit. 7 5 . 

' ^"^u°°; u"'' f ?'""^- u'+- . ^"'^'^ '^'' extension is perhaps doubtful. The Kentigern dedicafona 
m,y not go back beyond the tenth and eleventh centuries, when the district of Carlisle was in Scottish hand, 
' Trans. Lanes, and Ches. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xviii, 34. ■» Rede HlJ P.,- 

" Raine, Historians of the Church of York (Rolls Ser.), i, 25-6. ' "'' ^'■ 



The mention of the Ribble (Rippel) indicates generally the position of the 
first of these regions granted to Wilfrid, in other words, to the see of York. 
It was undoubtedly part of the later Lancashire, but what part is not so clear. 
In quoting this passage, Leland (unless it was an interpolation in the copy of 
Eddi's work which he followed) interjects after Rippel the explanation, ' id 
est Hacmundernes,' ^^ thus identifying the district in question with the land 
between the Ribble and the Cocker, which from the tenth century at latest 
has borne the name of Amounderness." Canon Raine, who overlooked this 
passage, was inclined to give a wider extension to the ' regio juxta Rippel ' 
which would make it include the greater part of the present Lancashire, the 
district extending from the Mersey as far north as the Cocker. In support of 
this view he appealed to the list of the gifts to Wilfrid as given in a lost 
twelfth-century life of the saint by Peter of Blois, also quoted by Leland. 
This list, which differs from Eddi's both in addition and omission, runs as 
follows : — ' Rible et Hasmundesham et Marchesiae et in regione Duninga.' '* 
Canon Raine takes the earlier part of this to mean Amounderness, and the 
' terra inter Ripam et Mersham ' of Domesday Book, the country between the 
Ribble and Mersey. He has, of course, to assume that the sentence is badly 
dislocated, as well as corrupt in its forms. Peter of Blois' interpretation of an 
ambiguous phrase written down five centuries before his time cannot carry 
any weight of its own, but it is possible that the meaning put upon it in the 
passage first cited from Leland is really too narrow, and that 'juxta Rippel' 
covered the districts both south and north of that river. 

The first name in Eddi's list at least gives a starting point for identifica- 
tion, but it is followed by three unknowns. If we bear in mind that the later 
archdeaconry of Richmond, in the diocese of York, extended over the 
Pennine Range to the western sea, and included, besides Amounderness, the 
rest of the present north Lancashire and the southern halves of the present 
counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, its northern boundary in this 
direction being the Cumberland Derwent and the Eden watershed, it is 
tempting to locate the unknown names among the royal gifts to Wilfrid in 
this quarter, and so obtain a direct record of its annexation to the see of 
York. This Canon Raine attempted to do. Gaedyne, indeed, he was 
inclined to identify with Gilling (Bede's ' in Getlingum ') in Yorkshire, and 
accounted for its appearing in this collocation on the theory that as it contained 
the nearest monastery to the new western annexations, they may have been 
placed under the charge of its abbot. The ' regio Dunutinga,' he thought, 
might be the country watered by the Duddon (Duddondale, locally Dunner- 
dale) and Caetlaevum Cartmel. But Cartmel cannot be identified with 
Caetlaevum ; the other identifications, too, are equally unconvincing, and 
after all there is perhaps no necessity to look for the whole of the places 
mentioned in this quarter. Eddi's words are certainly more consistent with 
the view that Wilfrid was enumerating royal gifts of land in different quarters 
than with the supposition that he was describing a great addition to his 
diocese." The latter may more probably be referred to in the mention of 
the holy places from which the British clergy had been driven. 

" Leland, Collectanea, iii, 109. " Kemble, Cod. Dipl. No. 352. " Leland, Coll. iii, no. 

" As regards Gaedyne, Mr. Stevenson tells me that Gae may in Southern Northumbrian have produced 
Tea, and points out that curiously enough there is a Yeadon in the West Riding of Yorkshire. 



The ecclesiastical dependence of the district about the Ribble upon York 
before 675 is in any case satisfactorily established by the passage just discussed^ 
According to one interpretation of another passage (in Bede) there was a 
Northumbrian religious settlement at Wh alley as early as 664. Tuda, bishop of 
Lindisfarne, who died in that year, is said to have been buried in monaster o 
quod dicitur Paegnalaech.' >« The Anglo-Saxon ' P ' and ' W are of course 
easily confused, and the Chronicle in reproducing this passage calls the place 
Waeele " In a later and undoubted reference to Whalley, however, the 
fori u^ed in the Chronicle is ' aet Hweallaege,' " and Smith's identification 
of Paegnalaech with the Pincanheal which was the meeting place ot more 
than one Northumbrian Witenagemot, and is generally supposed to be repre- 
sented by the later Finchale near Durham, seems much more likely to be 
right. The existence of a religious centre at Whalley at an early, if uncertain, 
date, is, however, independently supported by tradition and its early crosses. 

Although Eddi's Caetlaevum cannot be identified with Cartmel, there is 
positive evidence that this district (now in the Lancashire hundred of Lons- 
dale, north of the Sands) was, before 685, within the obedience of the 
Northumbrian church. King Ecgfrith gave it ' and all the Britons with it 
to St. Cuthbert after he had raised a boy from the dead ' in villa quae dicitur 
Exanforda.' Cuthbert entrusted it, along with the vill of Suth-Gedluit, given 
to him on the same occasion, to the charge of Abbot Cyneferth, son of 
Cugincg, who 'ordered them with wisdom at his discretion.'^" If Cartmel 
was thereby attached to Cuthbert's diocese of Lindisfarne it was not destined 
to remain permanently part of that see. 

More than two centuries elapse without a gleam of further light upon 
the ecclesiastical condition of the lands that were to be Lancashire. The 
Anglian, and later the Northman, settled sparsely in this rugged depen- 
dency of Northumbria, and a limited number of reHgious centres was 
doubtless established among them, closer together in the low country by the 
Irish Sea than in the moorlands beneath the Pennine Range. The only 
churches, indeed, whose dedications have been thought to afford presumptive 
evidence of their origin in this period, are those of St. Oswald at Winwick 
and St. Elfin at Warrington, if indeed the latter was a Northumbrian saint. ^^ 
But early crosses, or portions of such, and other sculptured stones are found 
south of the Ribble at Bolton and Winwick, as well as at Whalley and north 
of that river at Heysham, Halton, Bolton-le-Sands, Hornby, Melling, and 
Lancaster, the last with an Anglian inscription.^^ The obscurity is not broken 
until about the close of the first quarter of the tenth century, when the district 
in which the two churches above mentioned lay, the land ' between Ribble 

" Bede, Hist. Eccl. 'in, 27. In the Anglo-Saxon version it appears as Peginaleah. 

" Jngl.-Sax. Chron. sub anno 664 ; Leland {Coll. ii, 143) has Vegnalech. 

" Jngl.-Sax. Chron. sub anno 798. It is Walalege in Symeon of Durham, Hist. Regum. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 50. 

" In the fourteenth century traditionally ascribed to St. Augustine (JVhalley Coucher, 186). 

" Sym. Dun. Hist, de St. Cuthb. (Rolls Ser.), i, 200. 

" See above. The advowson of Winwick was given by Roger of Poitou to the canons of St. Oswald at 
Nostell {Testa de Kevill, 405 b), but the mention of the church in Domesday hardly supports a suggestion that 
its dedication was due to this connexion. 

" See y.CH. Lanes, i, 262 ; Trans. Lams, and Ches. Antiq. Soc. v, i-i 8. Bishop Browne sees evidence of the 
transition from the Anglian to the Danish period in one of the Halton crosses (ibid. 8). Cf. Stephens Runic 
Monuments, iii, 184; \'ictor. Die Northumbrischen Runensteine (1895), 23 ; Taylor, Anct. Crosses and Hoh 
Hells of Lanes. The inscription on a stone found in the wall of .Manchester Cathedral, though Saxon is later 
than those already mentioned. 


and Mersey,' was wrested from Northumbria by Edward the Elder or 
Athelstan, attached to Mercia and transferred from the diocese of York to 
the Mercian diocese of Lichfield. The lands beyond the Ribble continued 
to be a dependency of Northumbria, and in the obedience of York. The 
ecclesiastical change thus effected was destined to be more lasting than the 
civil one, for the Ribble remained an ecclesiastical frontier down to the 
Reformation, when the districts which had long been united for civil pur- 
poses in the county of Lancaster were brought together for ecclesiastical 
purposes in Henry VIII's new diocese of Chester. 

A few years later we seem to get a little light upon the district north of 
the Ribble. According to a charter entered in the York Registers, Athel- 
stan, who annexed Northumbria in 927, granted the whole region of Amoun- 
derness to the cathedral church of St. Peter, York, in perpetuity.^' The 
king asserts that he had bought it with a large sum of his own money, but 
does not say from whom. The omission is supplied by the twelfth-century 
* Lives of the Archbishops of York,' ^* in which it • is stated that Athelstan 
purchased it a paganis, i.e. from the Northmen to whom the district owed the 
name it now bore. A grant that depended upon a bargain which subsequent 
pagan invaders might not consider binding upon them was clearly so pre- 
carious that the absence of any further trace of St. Peter's ownership of 
Amounderness need not force us to question the genuineness of Athelstan's 
gift, although his charter is not without its difficulties.^^ Just before the 
Norman Conquest Amounderness was in the possession of Tostig, earl of 

These meagre and ambiguous notices exhaust the information yielded by 
Anglo-Saxon sources as to the ecclesiastical state of the remote and backward 
region with which we are concerned. With the advent of the Normans 
more light is forthcoming, though it is still far less abundant than could be 

There is a strong probability that a fair proportion of the parishes into 
which Lancashire was divided during the later Middle Ages had already been 
marked out before the Conquest, while there was as yet no county of Lan- 
caster." Only seventeen or eighteen indeed are named or implied in Domes- 
day ; but the Conqueror's geld-book is notoriously erratic in its mention of 

"^ Historians ofCh. of York (Rolls Ser.), iii, i, and (without the boundaries) Kemble, Cod. Dipl. No. 352 ; 
Birch, Cart. Sax. No. 703. Can the place-name Bispham, which in the eleventh century was Biscopham, be 
brought into connexion with this grant or with the earlier one to Wilfrid ? 

" Hist. ofCh. of York, ii, 239. 

" It professes to be granted on 7 June, in 930, in the sixth year of Athelstan, at Nottingham, but the in- 
diction, epact and concurrent given are those of 934, to which year Birch suggests that it should be trans- 
ferred ; the more so because its general clauses are exactly those of Athelstan's charter to Aelfwold granted at 
Winchester 28 May, 934 ; Birch, No. 702. If it really belongs to 934 Birch must be wrong in attributing 
Athelstan's London charter to St. Mary's, Worcester {Cart. Sax. No. 701) to this year, for it has exactly the 
same dating, down to the day of the month, as that we are discussing. A further result of the adoption of the 
later date would be to put the appointment of Wulfstan as archbishop of York, which appears from the charter 
to have been concurrent with or only slightly prior to the grant of Amounderness, four years later than has 
been usually supposed. The original charter is unfortunately not producible. 

" Dom. Bk. i, 301^. 

" The county boundaries as ultimately settled did not everywhere coincide with parish boundaries. In 
Lonsdale, where the county boundary was drawn after the Conquest, Dalton township was left in the parish 
of Burton in Kendal, and Ireby in the Yorkshire parish of Thornton. The limits of Amounderness and 
' Between Ribble and Mersey ' were fixed before the Conquest, but Aighton in Amounderness was after- 
wards placed in the Yorkshire parish of Mitton, while the parish of Whalley included parts of Bowland and 
that of Rochdale Saddleworth, both in Yorkshire. 


churches. Considering the very small space allotted to the district the 
number given compares favourably with what is vouchsafed in the case or 
some of the midland and southern counties." It comprises more than a 
fourth of the parish churches which are recorded to have existed before the 
end of the thirteenth century. The Taxatio of Pope Nicholas drawn up in 
1 29 1-2 enumerates forty-eight, to which must be added eight which cer- 
tainly existed then, but from poverty or other reasons were excluded from 
the list ; ^' of the fifty-six at least forty-seven can be traced back in records 
to the twelfth century, and nineteen are mentioned in documents of the 

Ten of the seventeen or eighteen Domesday churches belonged to the 
district between the Ribble and the Mersey and to the diocese of Chester, 
whither the see of Lichfield had been removed in 1075 by its first Norman 
bishop Peter, a chaplain of the Conqueror. In every case but one a con- 
siderable pre-Conquest endowment of land is recorded, and some had had 
extensive immunities ; this doubtless accounts for their being mentioned. 

The most highly endowed were Whalley (St. Mary) '" and Winwick 
(St. Oswald)," each of which had under the Confessor two carucates of land 
tree of all ' custom.' In other words, each had a glebe assessed at some 240 
arable acres, the fines for all emendable crimes and offences committed within 
its limits were taken by the church itself and its land was exempt from 
danegeld. Warrington (St. Elfin), Wigan, and Walton-on-the-Hill each 
had a carucate of land, and the first was quit of all ' custom ' except geld.''' 
In Manchester the church of St. Mary and the church of St. Michael had 
held a carucate of land with the same immunity ; '^ St. Michael's was at 
Ashton-under-Lyne, and its close association with Manchester suggests that 
this comparatively small parish was not yet quite independent of the mother 
church. The priest of Childwall is entered as the tenant T.R.E. of half a 
carucate in (free) alms." Two bovates, or a quarter of a carucate, was the 
endowment of Blackburn church." In Leyland Hundred a priest is inci- 
dentally mentioned among the tenants of Roger the Poitevin's vassals in 
1086.'' This has been thought to imply the existence of a church at Leyland.^*' 
Although, with this exception, the information given all refers to a date twenty 
years before the Survey there is no reason to suppose that the churches lost 
any of their land. Five of the churches mentioned or implied were closely 
associated with the great hundredal manors of the crown into which this 
district was divided before the Conquest. At Warrington, Blackburn, and 
perhaps Leyland the church was actually in the royal vill ; Manchester was 

'' In Bedfordshire, for instance, only four are named. 

yll" '"f^'f^'\ ^':' ^""^ "^^ ^"'°°= '"-^"'^^ to above for the exclusion in 129 1 of certain churches are 
suppled by the In,uu.Uo ^onarumoi I 3 + . (Rec. Com.), 35-41. It is as follows -.-Deanery of MancheZ 
and Backburn: Manchester, Middleton, Bury, Fl.xton, Radcliffe, Ashton-under-Lyne Prestwich RoU 
Rochdale Eccles, Blackburn, WhaUey. Z)....ry ./ ;^.m«^,« .- Warrington, lS wfnS Prt^"!' 
Childwall, Huyton, Sefton, Aughton, Ormskirk, Halsall, North Meols, WalL-;n- the Hill W^n' n ' 

ofLe^knd: Leyland, Croston, Eccleston, Standish, Penwortham. Deanery ./^«^l»"rL P "^ 7? 
ham, Lytham, St. Michaels-on-Wyre, Garstang, Poulton, Ribchester, Chip^rrCock ,har^ T ' ' 

Dcnery cfLonMe and Kendal: Heysham. Halton, Tunstall, Melling, TathaS^ c'lau^ on m'rton Wh't ' 

" Dom. £?. i, 270. 51 Ibid. 2691J. 3j T, ■ , 

"^^''^■""°- '^ Ibid. 2693. '^ Ibid 270 3.,,., 

- A suggen.on has, however, been made that Croston may have been the mother churchof the hundred 



the parish church of the adjacent Salford, and Walton-on-the-Hill of (West) 
Derby. Wigan, though more remote from Newton, which moreover was in 
the parish of Winwick, is generally regarded as the church which Domesday 
speaks of as 'the church of this manor' (i.e. Newton). It would seem more 
natural for Winwick to have occupied that position, and it is difficult to 
suggest an explanation of the actual state of things unless it be that Wigan 
was its mother church." The smallness of the endowment of Blackburn as 
compared with Whalley, which divided the hundred with it, is noteworthy, 
and it is possible that the latter was the mother church." The evidence as 
a whole, scanty though it be, especially in the cases where manor-house and 
church were in different vills, seems to point to these five churches or most 
of them being older than the hundredal division, which was probably sub- 
sequent to the Mercian conquest. If Whalley be added we have a list 
which pretty certainly includes the most ancient churches of ' Between 
Ribble and Mersey,' from whose original parochiae the other parishes were 
gradually cut out. The thirty parishes into which the district was ultimately 
divided varied greatly in size.'' The most extensive were naturally in its 
eastern moorlands ; Whalley — the largest — covered about i8o square miles and 
comprised not less than thirty townships. Blackburn, Eccles, Rochdale, and 
Manchester came next in the order named. The last had an area of sixty 
square miles. All, especially Whalley and Rochdale, included great stretches 
of waste land. The smallest were Radcliffe and Aughton — the only single 
township parishes — and Flixton, containing two townships of less than average 

The space allotted in Domesday to those parts of the present Lancashire 
which lie north of the Ribble, and were then in the diocese of York, is even 
scantier than that devoted to ' Between Ribble and Mersey,' and no more 
than eight churches at most can be deduced from the Survey. 

Under Amounderness the enumeration of its vills is followed by a state- 
ment that all these with three churches belong to Preston. The churches 
referred to are presumably Kirkham (the vill is entered as Chicheham), 
Poulton, and St. Michaels-on-Wyre (vill entered as Michelescherche). 

" Mr. Farrer suggests that as Newton Hundred (or manor) was probably cut out of that of West Derby, 
the church of the former and mother church of Winwick may have been Walton-on-the-Hill. In support 
of this hypothesis he points out that Robert de Walton, whom he takes to be the parson of Walton, held in 
I2I2 one-third of the Winwick glebe of two carucates {Testa de Nevill, 405 ; Lanes. Inq. i, 72). But as the 
carucate belonging 'to the church of the manor' in 1066 was exclusive of the two carucates held by 
Winwick the suggested explanation presents difficulties of its own. 

" In the twelfth century, it is true, one-fourth of the tithes, &c., of Whalley and its chapels at Clitheroe 
and DovfTiham was attached to the rectory of Blackburn ; Whalley Coucher, 91-4. But Henry de Lacy 
{c. 1 150) in one of his charters claims that this benefice was the gift of his ancestors (ibid. 76). 

'' No less than twelve of the churches were dedicated (if the original dedications have survived) to 
St. Mary (Manchester, Blackburn, Bury, Eccles, Leigh, Prescot, Prestwich, Walton-on-the-Hill, Whalley, Eccle- 
ston, RadcliiFe, and Penwortham) ; five to St. Michael (Aughton, Croston, Huyton, Flixton, and Ashton- 
under-Lyne) ; two each to St. Cuthbert (Halsall and North Meols), and All Saints (Childwall, Wigan), and 
one each to St. Andrew (Leyland), St. Chad (Rochdale), St. Elfin (Warrington), St. Helen (Sefton), 
St. Leonard (Middleton), St. Oswald (Winwick), St. Peter (Bolton), St. Peter and St. Paul (Ormskirk), and 
St. Wilfrid (Standish). See Mr. Brownbill's article on 'Ancient Church Dedications in Ches. and South Lanes., 
Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xviii, 19-44. 

'° A number of the smaller parishes were no doubt of post-Conquest creation ; North Meols, for example, 
was still a chapel about 1155 ; Farrer, Lanes. Pipe /?. 323. In this and probably other cases feudal chatages 
seem to have altered ecclesiastical topography. North Meols was a detached township of the barony of 
Penwortham. Eccleston was claimed as a chapel of Croston as late as 1 3 1 7 {Hist, of Lane. Church, Chet. Soc. 
24, 411), but is described as a church in 1 094 ; Lanes. Pipe R. 290. Sefton church, which is first mentioned 
in 1203, was probably formed out of Walton. 



Preston itself made a fourth parish. As Chipping -^ Ribchester which 
are now in Blackburn Hundred, were then in A-oundernesthej would 
appear not to have been as yet separate parishes. Lytham and Garstang, 

^-' 'oJ^Z^JS:^^^^:^^^.^ are speciHcally mentioned n 
the laVerLnsdale HundrU, but Kirk Lancaster (Chercaloncastre) i includ d 
amone the vills dependent on Halton, and Mr. Farrer is no doubt right n 
denti'fy ng the Che^chebi which had been held as one manor by Duuan m 
the time of King Edward with Cartmel ^Kirkby-in-Cartmel). To this 
meagre list the foundation charter of Lancaster Priory (r. 1094) ^ff ^^^^f^^" 
le-Sands, Heysham, and Melling « while thirteen others occur in twelfth- 

""'7he°trnty-s"ix parishes in this part of the county at the end of the 
thirteenth century « included a larger proportion of small parishes than was 
the case south of the Ribble. There were seven sing e-township parishes— 
Pennington, Whittington, Tatham, Halton, Claughton, Heysham, and 
Lytham " Some of these besides Lytham may have been of post-Conquest 
origin. Lancaster and Dalton-in-Furness were the most extensive, but both 
contained large areas of wood and fell. 

It is a striking indication of the backwardness of the districts now 
included in Lancashire that not a single religious house had been founded 
within them before the Norman Conquest. No land was held there in 
1086 by any monastery or church without its limits, though, as we have 
seen, grants had been made at various times to Lindisfarne (Durham) and 
St. Peter's, York." Eight years after the date of Domesday, however, count 
Roger of Poitou founded Lancaster Priory as a cell of the Norman abbey of 
St. Martin at Sees.*" The first denizen house was established thirty years 
later by his successor, as lord of the honour of Lancaster, at Tulketh by 
Preston and removed after three years to Furness." Before the close of the 
twelfth century eight other religious houses had been established, but half of 
these were mere cells of monasteries outside the county.*' Count Roger and 
his sheriff Godfrey also made liberal grants to Shrewsbury Abbey and the 
priory of Nostell. 

To the period immediately after the Conquest belongs not only the 
temporary transference of the see of Lichfield to Chester, but the division of 
that and other dioceses into territorial archdeaconries. Hitherto the bishops 
had needed but one ' eye ' ; but now almost every county was provided with 

" Trans. Lanes, and Ches. ^ntiq. Soc. xviii, 98. 

" For other churches known to have been of pre-Conquest date see above, p. 4. 

" Of these six were dedicated (if their original dedications have survived) to St. Michael (Kirkham, 
St. Michaels-on-Wyre, Cockerham, Tunstall, Urswick, Pennington) ; four to St. Mary (Lancaster, Cartmel, 
Ulverston, Dalton-in-Fumess) ; three each to St. Cuthbert (Lytham, Aldingham, Kirkby Ireleth), and 
St. Wilfrid (Preston, Ribchester, Halton) ; two each to St. Peter (Heysham, Melling), St. Chad (Poulton, 
Claughton), and Holy Trinity (Bolton-le-Sands, Warton) ; and one each to St. Bartholomew (Chipping), 
St. Helen (Garstang), and St. James (Tatham). Some cases of adjoining parishes with the same invocation 
e.g. Kirkham, St. Michaels-on-Wyre, and Cockerham may be due to affiliation. In 1205 an attempt to prove 
that Garstang was a chapel of St. Michaels-on-Wyre failed on an adverse verdict of a jury {Lanes. Pipe R. loz 
19-). Fume53 Abbey a few years later claimed Pennington and Ulverston as chapels of Urswick (ibid. %6i). 
Dedications to St. James and Holy Trinity are probably late. The St. Chad dedications if original are un- 
expected beyond the bounds of his diocese. The Whittington invocation is unknown. 

" Claughton was the smallest in the county. Lytham seems to have been taken out of Kirkham 
'•' See above, pp. 2, 4, 5. " See p. 167, 'Religious Houses.' 

'• See p. 1 14, ' Religious Houses.' " See p. loz, 'Religious Houses.' 


its archdeacon. The lands composing the nascent ' Lancashire,' as belong- 
ing to two dioceses, were divided between two archdeacons. The district 
' between Ribble and Mersey ' formed with Cheshire the sphere of the 
archdeacon of Chester. That north of the Ribble was combined with the 
western half of the North Riding of Yorkshire and the districts of Kendal 
and Copeland in the archdeaconry of Richmond. 

Three archdeacons of Chester — Halmar, William, and Robert — are 
recorded without dates before Richard Peche (afterwards bishop of the see), 
who is said to have held the office in 1 135.*' Conan ' the archdeacon,' who 
witnessed a charter of Count Alan of Richmond in the reign of William 
Rufus, is thought to be the earliest archdeacon of Richmond on record.'" 

The archidiaconal courts and visitations were no doubt originally held 
in virtue of authority delegated by the bishop, but ' early in the twelfth 
century the English archdeacons possessed themselves of a customary jurisdic- 
tion including certain matters of importance and in particular cases, as that 
of the archdeaconry of Richmond, augmented by recorded acts of devolu- 
tion from the bishops.'" The archdeacon of Richmond exercised a large 
measure of episcopal authority within the region assigned to him. He was 
ordinary therein concurrently with and almost to the exclusion of the arch- 
bishop of York.^^ The archbishop's right to visit the archdeaconry was some- 
times disputed, and it was ultimately agreed that the clergy were not obliged 
to receive or entertain him.'' The episcopal functions of confirmation, con- 
secration,'* and ordination were of course exercised only by the archbishop ; 
but the archdeacon instituted to all benefices,'' and to him fell the sequestra- 
tions during their vacancy. He received the synodals and Peter's pence, paying 
only to the Chancellor of York 20s. per annum. The archbishop could not 
impose an aid upon the clergy of the archdeaconry nor suspend a church or 
clerk belonging to it.'* Richmond was exceptional, but the jurisdiction of 
the archdeacons was everywhere so aggressive that the bishops about the 
middle of the twelfth century sought to limit it by delegating their own 
judicial powers to episcopal officials. '^ The division of the various dioceses 
into rural deaneries seems to have been older than that into archdeaconries 
and prior to the Norman Conquest. Originally mere episcopal delegates, the 
rural deans in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries had distinct rights and 
duties. They exercised a general supervision over the clergy and — in spiri- 
tual matters — over the laity of their deaneries whether by formal visitations 
or otherwise ; inducted to benefices, which they took into their hands during 
vacancies ; and enjoyed jurisdiction, which in minor matters they administered 
in virtue of their own power, but in more serious cases in the chapters of 
the clergy of their deaneries, which they had the right to summon, and in 
which they presided." From the middle of the thirteenth century onwards, 
however, they gradually became tompletely subordinate to the archdeacons. 

'^ Le Neve, Fasti, i, 565. '" Dugdale, Mon. Jngl. i, 391 ; Whitaker, Richmondshire, i, 35, 83. 

" Rep. of Eccl. Courts Com. i, 25-6 ; Richmondshire Wills (Surtees Soc), p. xx. 

" Whitaker, op. cit. i, 34. '' Ibid. ; Cal. Pap. Letters, ii, 93 ; cf. Furness Coucher, 657, 659. 

" He granted licences for graveyards ; Hist, of Lone. Church, 153, 164, 362. 

'* Including headships of religious houses ; but Cockersand seems to have had direct relations with the 
archbishop ; see 'Religious Houses,' p. 108. 

^ Whitaker, loc. cit. " Rep. of Eccl. Courts Com. \, 26. 

'° Makower, Const. Hist, of the Church of England (Eng. tr.), 322 ; Dansey, Horae Decanicae Rurales 




u A Uf^cn in the na.n'-''' 
In the first age of the office their appojtment l^^^J^^^^.^ny no-Jnatf ^ 
bishops, but from the thirteenth century^hey ^^j^^^^^„„,,es of Chester and 
the bishop and the archdeacon jomdy^ l^'^ ^y the archdeacon only/' 
Richmond they are said to ^av-^^^^f/J.^t^ry the office, contrary to the 
There is some evidence that m ^^^ ^^^ ^.^^ ,„ j^.^^.^^ -g known of the decanal 
usual practice elsewhere was ^^^^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^^ 

divisions at ^^'^^^^''^J^^^y^ei ^ 

^"'^ rfe^N'ormarCo^quest ushered in a period of monastic revival through- 
England and a corresponding outburst of lay liberality to rehgious 
houses. Land, tithes, and church advowsons were showered upon them by 
the Norman barons. The most munificent of these donors in the district 
with which we are concerned was Count Roger of Poitou, the first lord of 
the honour of Lancaster. Included in his lavish grants to the great Norman 
abbey of St. Martin at Sees, for the endowment of a dependent priory at 
Lancaster, were, in addition to the church of St. Mary there, the advowsons 
of no fewer than nine churches and a portion of the tithes of nearly all his 
wide demesne land in this region. Roger's successor in the honour, Stephen 
of Blois, and a number of the great tenants here made similar but less sweep- 
ing grants ; by the close of the twelfth century nearly half of the churches 
in the new county of Lancaster ha[d been transferred from lay to monastic 
patrons. Most of these grants of churches were made to religious houses 
outside the county ,°^ who, however, generally received their advowsons as 
endowments of daughter houses within it. Only eleven advowsons were 
granted to independent Lancashire monasteries, and three of these were no 
longer in their possession when the fourteenth century opened.*' 

Such grants occasionally led to litigation between different religious 
houses, who put forward rival claims to the same church. The rights of 
the lay patrons who bestowed churches were not always well defined, and a 
further complication was introduced by the ambiguous relation of certain 

*' Dansey, op. cit. ii, 369. ^ Ibid, i, 149. " See below, App. II. 

*^ To S6es (for Lancaster Priory) : Bolton-le-Sands, Childwall, Croston, a moiety of Eccleston, Heys- 
ham, Kirkham, Lancaster, Melling, Poulton-le-Fylde, and Preston, all c. 1094 {Lanci. Pipe R. 289-90), Kirk- 
ham was lost in 1 143 (but Bispham Chapel obtained 1147), Preston in 1 196, Melling alienated 1185-1210, 
and Childwall in 1232. To Nostell : Winwick by Roger of Poitou. To Shrewsbury : Kirkham (lost 1196) 
and Walton-on-the-Hill by Godfrey, sheriff of Count Roger, c. 1093-4. To Pontefract : Whalley (with the 
castle chapel of Clitheroe and the chapels of Clitheroe, Colne, and Burnley) by Hugh de la Val between 1 1 2 1 
and 1 135 (Chart, of St. John of Pontefract). Withdrawn in 1 135 by Ilbert de Lacy on his recovery of the 
honours of Pontefract and Clitheroe. To Evesham (for Penwortham Priory) : Penwortham by Warin 
Bussel between 1 140 and 1149 {Lanes. Pipe R. 320-3), Leyland and North Meols by Richard Bussel 
between 1153 and 1 1 60 (ibid. 323-5), To Leicester: Cockerham (with EUel Chapel) by William de 
Lancaster I between 11 53 and 1 1 56 (ibid. 392). To Mattersey : Bolton-le-Moors by Roger de Marsey 
(Mattersey) under Henry II {Lanes. Pipe R. 408 ; Lanes. Final Coneords, i, 75). To Durham (for Lytham 
Priory): Lytham by Richard son of Roger between 11 89 and 1194 (ibid. 346). To Stanlaw : Rochdale 
by Roger de Lacy between 11 94 and 121 1 {Coucher of Whalley, 135-8). The institutions in the Lich- 
field episcopal registers, which begin in the fourteenth century, show that Lancaster Priory presented to its 
livings, while the presentations to Penwortham, &c., were made by Evesham. 

" To Furness : Dalton and Urswick, doubtless conveyed with Furness by Count Stephen of M t- ' ' 
grant of 1 127 {Lanes. Pipe R. 301) and Kirkby Ireleth, acquired c. 1160-80 and held till 12 9, (V 
Coueher, 318). The advowson of Ulverston may also have belonged for a time to Furneso "-r /-. • 1 1 

3 1 8). The advowson of Ulverston may also have belonged for a time to Furness T n • 1, j 

(ibid. 350). To Wyresdale : St. Michaels-on-Wyre by Theobald Walter between i ^"""^ ^^°^^ "9° 
336). This grant lapsed on the death of Theobald. To Cockersand : Claughton bv G^J- T^ ' '^^ ('''''^• 
Roger de Croft between 12 16 and 1255 (see below, 'Religious Houses,'). ^ "J^odith de Kellet and 



religious houses to others. To this latter cause of confusion has been attri- 
buted the dispute which raged during the first half of the twelfth century 
between the abbey of Shrewsbury and Lancaster Priory over the advowson 
of Kirkham church. Shrewsbury Abbey had been colonized from Sees by 
Roger of Montgomery, and his first intention may have been that it should 
remain an affiliated house of the great Norman abbey. At any rate the 
latter laid claim to certain possessions of Shrewsbury Abbey for fifty years 
after its foundation. But in the case of Kirkham the Sees claim rested on 
more definite ground than this. It had been clearly granted to both houses. 
The grant to Shrewsbury by Godfrey the sheriff^ confirmed by Roger of 
Poitou son of Roger of Montgomery was the earlier, and in 1143 William 
Fitz Herbert, archbishop of York, finally decided in its favour. Count 
Roger's grant of it to Sees for Lancaster Priory must, if correctly dated, 
have followed that to Shrewsbury in a very few months. The only reason- 
able explanation of this double grant would suppose some transfer of God- 
frey's interest in Kirkham to his superior lord in the interval. For this, 
however, there is no evidence. It is true that Godfrey's lands reverted to 
the demesne, apparently before 1102, and that Walton-on-the-Hill, the 
other church which he gave to Shrewsbury Abbey, was, there is reason to 
believe, regranted to that house by Count Roger. But this general resump- 
tion must have been subsequent to the grant of Kirkham to Lancaster 
Priory, which was accompanied by his own concession of the tithes of 
Bispham close by.** 

A dispute which arose at the end of the twelfth century between 
Furness Abbey and Conishead Priory over the churches of Pennington and 
Ulverston illustrates another way in which rival claims to advowsons by 
monasteries might arise. The monks of Furness, who resented the estab- 
lishment of the priory in close proximity to their own house and on land 
over which they possessed the lordship, put in a claim to the two churches 
which had been granted to Conishead by its founders on the ground that 
they were chapels of its own church of Urswick. The dispute was ulti- 
mately settled by a compromise, Furness relinquishing its claim to the 
churches in question on certain conditions which included the abandonment 
by Conishead of its counter-claim to the chapel of Hawkshead." 

Monasteries had also to defend their title to advowsons against laymen. 
Church patronage was valuable as a means of providing for younger members 
of families and dependants, and the successors of donors not infrequently 
begrudged their generosity and were ready to seize upon any defect of title 
to get it reversed. Thus Theobald Walter on receiving a grant of all 
Amounderness from Richard I in 1 194 immediately laid claim to the advow- 
sons of Kirkham, Poulton, and Preston, founding it, we may suppose, upon 
the ground that the validity of Roger of Poitou's gifts had been impaired 
by his disinherison and banishment in 1102. The result of the suits which 
he instituted in the royal courts was that Shrewsbury Abbey had to surrender 
the advowson of Kirkham church to Theobald, reserving only an annual 
pension of twelve marks, and the monks of Sees, while obtaining a confirma- 
tion of the churches of Poulton and Bispham, gave up that of Preston with 

^ See below, ' Religious Houses.' ^ Ibid. 

1 1 


the exception of a yearly pension of ten marks.'* Theobald Walter's heir 
was not allowed to inherit Amounderness, and the advowsons of Preston and 
Kirkham with that of St. Michaels-on-Wyre, which the monks of Wyres- 
dale had enjoyed for a moment by his gift, passed to the crown, and 
Henry III ultimately bestowed the two former upon his younger son 
Edmund, first earl of Lancaster. 

The rights of heirs could not always be defeated by the grant of a 
church to a monastery. Robert son of Henry, lord of Lathom, in or about 
1 190 gave the church of Flixton to his new house of canons at Burscough. 
But on a vacancy a few years later and after his death his younger brother 
and (seemingly) a nephew presented, and the question of right was brought 
before the king's court ; an assize of darrein presentment was held, and a local 
jury found that Robert's father Henry, son of Siward, had last presented to 
the church, and that the two descendants whose title was impugned by the 
canons were his heirs and the true patrons ; whereupon the bishop of Lich- 
field instituted their candidate to the benefice." 

Religious houses sought to protect themselves against these dangers by 
procuring charters of confirmation from all who were in any way interested 
in the benefice whether as superior lords or otherwise, in addition to the 
consent of the bishop of Lichfield in the case of churches south of the 
Ribble and of the archdeacon of Richmond in the case of those north of 
that river, which was required by the canon of the Council of London in 
1 102, making the licence of the diocesan necessary to the validity of all such 
transfer of patronage.*' To make assurance doubly sure confirmations were 
often obtained from the king and the pope, though this was an expensive 

Until the last quarter of the twelfth century the monastic grantees of 
Lancashire churches had with rare exceptions been content with the right of 
presenting a rector or parson in the same way as the lay patrons had done, 
receiving from him a fixed pension.*' In several cases, however, religious 
houses had already been allowed to appropriate the whole property and 
income of certain benefices to their own uses, subject to making provision 
for the cure of souls therein. The monastery became the rector, and served 
the church either by its own members or by paid vicars, curates, or chap- 
lains. In Lancashire such appropriations were first made when the parish 
church was intended to be the conventual church of a monastery, as at 
Lancaster and Penwortham. But about the middle of the twelfth century 
Cockerhani church seems to have been appropriated to Leicester Abbev 

"kk TTT. ^T""'"'^ ' ^'" '^'''- I' ^- -°^ -til iao7 tht the 

abbey which had hitherto served the church by a stipendiary chaplain 
undertook to settle some of its canons at Cockerham." With theWdation 
of new rehgious houses in the latter half of the century appropHadons 

" Lana. Final Concords, i, 2, 6. 

" i""". Pipe ^. 3 53-6 ; below, ' Religious Houses,' p. 140 « wiikin, r ■/• • 

» Evesham received from the church of Leyhnd un^l tt aDDroon.Hn ' "''"' '' ^^S- 

i. .0. 4^. iPriory of Penu^ortham [Chet. Soc.], 44). The churchTa^vX^ "^ '"' '" '"""^^ P<=°^i°" °f 
2+ marks a year from Winwick (Lich. Epis. Reg Northbureh i Jc F^ 'r "^^ '' ^'°- N°''«» 'ook 
1291 at III, the priory of Lancaster had licence from Bishop' Hu^hnV N. w i°o"' ^"^^^"^ ^^^ t«ed in 
of i^ {Hist. ofCh. of Lane. 1 15). ''"''"P ""^^ °^ ^°"='°t (' ' 88-98) to take a pension 

'" Makower, Const. Hist. ofCh. of Engl. 329. 

" Lanes. Final Concords, i, 26. 



increased, and by 1300 some twenty parish churches had passed into the 
hands of monastic rectors." Only five of these were conventual. 

In addition to these the church of Kirkby Ireleth was appropriated 
before 1291 to the cathedral church of York," those of Bolton-le-Moors and 
Bolton-le-Sands were annexed to the archdeaconries of Chester and Richmond 
respectively," while Flixton was appropriated about 1280 to a new prebendal 
stall in Lichfield Cathedral." The extension of appropriations had its 
dangers. It involved a great change in parochial arrangements which had 
not been the case with monastic patronage. The mere substitution of 
religious for lay patrons was on the whole a change for the better. 
Monastic patrons must have helped to arrest that tendency of tithes to 
become lay property which was so marked in the twelfth century, and they 
did something no doubt to secure a better class of rectors. It has to be 
confessed, however, that in Lancashire at all events they failed to get rid 
of those half-secular and even hereditary parsons against whom the church 
councils of the twelfth century were constantly fulminating — an abuse to 
which a number of Lancashire benefices, owing to the great size of their 
parishes and the rectorial manors attached to some of them, were peculiarly 
subject.'" The rectories of Walton and Kirkham seem to have remained 
just as hereditary under the patronage of the religious as Blackburn and 
Whalley did under lay patrons." 

But their drafts upon parish revenues were comparatively moderate, and 
the rectors they presented were instituted by, and owed obedience only to, 
the bishop. When, however, religious corporations became rectors them- 
selves they were tempted to divert an undue proportion of parish revenues to 
their own purposes, and delegate the cure of souls to poorly paid chaplains 
or vicars. The bishops soon became alive to this danger, and set themselves 
to provide a remedy. Appropriations could only be effected with their 
consent, though a great house like Furness or Whalley sometimes forced 
their hand by a direct appeal to the pope, and they succeeded in most cases 
in establishing their right to institute and receive the exclusive obedience of 
the vicar to whom the cure of souls in the appropriate parish was entrusted. 
In all the ecclesiastical affairs of the benefice the monastic rector was reduced 
to the position of a patron, and the vicar stood on the same legal footing as 

" Appropriate to Lancaster: Lancaster {c. 1094), Poulton (one moiety before 1198, the other in 1247). 
To Evesham (Penwortham) : Penwortham (between 1140 and 1149). To Leicester: Cockerham (between 
1 1 53 and 1 156). To Conishead : Pennington (before 1 181) and Ulverston {c. 1200). To Cartmel : Cartmel 
(between 1 189 and 1194). To Wyresdale : St. Michaels-on-Wyre (between 1193 and 1 198). This appro- 
priation lasted only a few years. To Furness : Dalton and Urswick. To Burscough : Ormskirk (between 
1215 and 1223) and Huyton (f. 1230). To Cockersand : Garstang (between 1217 and 1237). To 
Croxton : Tunstall (before 1230). To Nostell : Winwick (in or before 1231). To Stanlaw : Rochdale 
(1222), Blackburn (1230, 1259), Eccles (before 1277), Whalley (1283). To Vale Royal : Kirkham (between 
1280 and 1 291). The authority for the dates assigned will be found in the case of the Lancashire houses 
in the monastic section. 

" Advowson transferred from Furness Abbey in 1228 {Furness Coucher, 653). 

" The former between 1246 and 1256 {Not. Cestr. ii, 8) ; but Mattersey Priory retained a pension and 
the presentation of the vicars ; the latter (whose advowson was acquired from Lancaster Priory in 1 246) 
between 1279 and 1291 (fial. Pap. Letters, i, ^i,^). Vicarage ordained at Bolton-le-Sands in 1336; Not. 
Cestr. ii, 548. 

'' Le Neve, Fasti Eccl. Angl. i, 602. " V.C.B.. Lams, iii, 5 ; Lanes. Pipe R. no. 

" A division between the sons of a twelfth-century rector seems to be the explanation of the two 
medieties of Blackburn Rectory, which were transferred to Stanlaw Abbey in 1230 and 1259 respectively ; 
Whalley Coucher, 72 sqq. The rectory of Whalley was held for generations by one family with the title of 
dean, a state of things which was only terminated in 1234 ; ibid. 187, 293. 



the rector of a non-appropriate church. In this way perpetual f^^J^'^^ 
came into existence. The bishop's right to institute such vica'-s enab e 
him further to insist on a permanent endowment of the cure by the app 
priator, the amount of which was fixed by the diocesan and could be a tere 
by him if need arose. A few perpetual vicarages were created m he closi g 
years of the twelfth century, but their estabhshment on a large ^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^ 
[o the first half of the thirteenth. In one smaU group of ^PProP^^;^^ 
churches no vicarages were created. Lancaster, Penwortham, Cockerham, 
Cartme Lytham, fnd Ulverston, which had early become conventua or 
quasi-conventual, continued to be served by members of the appropriating 
house or by clergy whom it instituted and removed at its pleasure without 
reference to the ordinary and whose stipends it fixed.^« To these latter the 
designation ' curate ' was ultimately confined, and with the exception of 
Lancaster, in which a vicarage was ordained after the suppression of the 
alien priory in the fifteenth century, the benefices in question became 
perpetual curacies after the Reformation." These precedents were not 
followed when the abbey of Stanlaw was removed to Whalley in 1296: 
a vicarage was ordained, the church remaining purely parochial. But, on 
the ground that the residence of secular clerks within the monastic precincts 
led to disturbances, the abbey induced the bishop of Lichfield to institute 
members of its own body as vicars, and finally procured a licence for this 
usage from Pope Innocent VI in 1358.'" The priory of Burscough too 
obtained episcopal licence to present canons of the house to their appropriate 
and adjacent church of Ormskirk ' in relief of their burdens.' " The earliest 
recorded case of the ordination of a vicarage in Lancashire has a somewhat 
transitional character. In sanctioning the appropriation of the church of 
St. Michaels-on-Wyre to the monks of Wyresdale between 11 93 and i 196 
the archdeacon of Richmond stipulated for the appointment of a definite 
[certus) vicar ' with a portion sufficient for his food and clothing.' Where- 
upon the monks entered into a formal agreement with a certain chaplain 
that he should be their chaplain for life in the church of St. Michael, 
or should find at his own charges another competent chaplain who should 
first do fealty to the abbot and monks. For this service [propter hoc servicium) 
they granted him land near the church and half a mark of silver yearly 
for his vicarage (vicaria) and for his faithful service." The removal of the 
abbey to Ireland put an end to this arrangement, but fourteen or fifteen 
vicarages had been created in Lancashire before 1300. 

The minimum annual income of a vicar was fixed by the council of 
Oxford in 1222 at 5 marks," and this was the amount assigned to the vicar 
of Rochdale, which was appropriated in that year to Stanlaw Abbey.** 
Found to be too low it was augmented in 1 277 to 1 8 marks." The others 

" Makower, op. cit. 330. The case of Lytham shows that even where the prior of a cell was admitted 
h> the ordinary, he could be removed at any time by the convent. The priors of Penwortham were never 
e\ en admitted by the bishops of Lichfield. 

" Ibid. 332. 

» Cal Pap. Let. iii, 595. In the fifteenth century monb of Whalley were not infrequently vicars of 
their churches at Blackburn and Rochdale. Under Hen. IV an attempt was made to stop this practice 
which had become very general, by statute. ' 

*' Reg. Burse, fol. 106b (1285) ; Due. Lane. Anct. Deeds, L. 275 (1339). 

^' Lanes. Pipe R. 336-9- " Wilkins, Concida, i, eg? 

" ff'Aa/ay Ccuckrr, 1-9. » Ibid. 85. 



ranged from ,^5 (Cockerham, Urswick) up to ^^44 (Whalley). This was 
nearly always made up from the small tithes and the altarage of the church, 
but in at least one case all the tithes of one of the townships were 
assigned (with altarage) to the vicar." A competent manse"' was usually 
added and sometimes a portion of the glebe.'' The vicars were generally 
bound to pay the ordinary charges upon the benefice, the synodalia or 
cathedral dues, and the archdeacon's procurations (originally food and other 
provisions during his visitations), the extraordinary charges being borne by 
the monastery ; other arrangements, however, occur." 

The provision made for these Lancashire vicars was fairly liberal as times 
went. It was not attempted to fix a proportion between the value of the 
whole rectory and the vicar's portion, the principle being simply to secure 
the vicar a sufficient maintenance, not to give him a fair share of the profits. 
But allowance was made for the greater burdens incumbent upon him in the 
more extensive parishes, and occasionally, where the benefice was exceptionally 
rich, this fact may have been to some extent taken into account. Neverthe- 
less, the more valuable the church the larger was the residue that went to the 
religious. The vicar of Kirkham was nearly twice as well paid as the vicar 
of Garstang,'" but while Cockersand Abbey drew only 40 marks a year from 
the latter, the income of the monks of Vale Royal from Kirkham was six 
times that amount. 

Kirkham, Blackburn, which was worth 40 marks, and Whalley were 
the best endowed vicarages in the county. Bishop Langton assigned to the 
vicar of Whalley in 1298 a competent manse, 30 acres of land with 'house- 
bote ' in the abbey's wood and pasturage for his beasts with theirs, the whole 
altarage of the church and six of its seven chapels, and the glebes of those of 
Burnley and Church." The altarage was estimated to be worth over ^^37, 
exactly a quarter of the gross value of the rectory. All the ordinary and one- 
third of the extraordinary charges were to be borne by the vicar, but the 
abbey was made responsible for the repairs and maintenance of the chancel of 
the church. The altarage probably increased in value, and in 1330 the 
monks induced Bishop Northburgh to revise the vicar's portion as excessive. 
His altarage was commuted for an annual sum of ,^44, the land and common 
rights were withdrawn, and the maintenance of divine service in the chapels 
was imposed upon him, which involved an expenditure of at least ^10 a year. 
The abbey, however, had now to defray all extraordinary charges.'" It would 
seem that the value of the vicarage was afterwards further reduced, perhaps 

°° Garstang {Cockersand Chart. [Chet. Soc], 282) ; a detailed ordination of considerable interest. 

" The vicar of Leyland was given half the rectory manse. 

*' e.g. at Whalley (in the first ordination) 30 acres and the glebes of all its chapels ; at Rochdale 
4 oxgangs ; at Blackburn 2 oxgangs ; at Garstang 1 oxgang in the town fields ; at Ormskirk 4 acres ; at Huyton 
3 selions. 

'' The tax known as ' synodals ' or ' synodaticum ' (also 'cathedraticum') was so called because generally 
paid at the bishop's Easter synod ; Phillimorc, Eccl. Law, 162. Normally 2s. was the maximum from each 
church, but some Lancashire parishes seem to have paid more ; Whalley Coucher, 206. 

^ ZS\ marks and 20 marks respectively. The figures are taken from the 'Taxation of Pope Nicholas.' 
Benefices were not taxed at their full value, but this does not affect the proportions between vicarages and 
rectories. In that part of Lancashire which lay in the diocese of Lichfield the vicarages were not separately 

'' Whalley Coucher, 215. 

'' Ibid. 219. In 1 28 1, on appeal from the abbey, the archbishop inhibited the bishop of Lichfield from 
acceding to a request of the vicar of Blackburn for an augmentation of his portion (ibid. 95). 


as a 


result of its being held by monks of the house. At the time of the 
Dissolution the vicar's pension amounted to >ri2 only." . 

The ravages of the Scots in the reign of Edward II seriously diminisnea 
the incomes of the Lancashire vicars in the archdeaconry of Richmond, but 
the rectories were equally afFected.'* Limited by the estabhshment of per- 
petual vicarages, the system of monastic appropriations was not origmally 
without redeeming features. The expenses of a celibate priest were, or ought 
to have been, comparatively small ; and as long as the rehgious houses served 
a good purpose, the surplus revenues of rich rectories were better employed 
in their maintenance than in swelling the incomes of such great pluralists and 
non-residents as the notorious John Mansel, minister of Henry III, whose three 
hundred benefices included the desirable rectory of Wigan. Of him it is 
related that on one occasion when he had received a fair benefice of ^20, he 
exclaimed, 'This will provide for my dogs.'''' 

Rectors too, it must be remembered, were frequently allowed by com- 
plaisant bishops to delegate their duties at the sacrifice of a small fraction of 
their income, and in the case of one rich Lancashire living — that of Walton- 
on-the-Hill — a perpetual vicarage was ordained in 1326 by the bishop of 
Lichfield." Even where rectories escaped the pluralist and the sinecure rector 
they were apt to be treated by lay patrons as a convenient provision for 
younger sons, who had often to be given leave of absence from their cures for 
some years in order that they might fit themselves for their work." On the 
whole it would seem probable that for long the vicars presented by the 
monasteries made better parish priests. Nor were they worse off in the 
thirteenth century than the incumbents of the smaller rectories. The rector 
of Flixton was poorer than any Lancashire vicar. The commissioners of 
I 29 1 valued the living for the tenth at 7 marks only. Three other rectories, 
Tatham, Claughton, and Pennington, were taxed at 10 marks and under."' 

The great size of many of the parishes, and the rugged character of 
much of the county, made access to the parish church always laborious, and 
often in winter impossible to the inhabitants of the remoter villages and 
hamlets. Something had probably been done to relieve this hardship by the 
foundation of parochial chapels even before the Conquest. It can scarcely be 
supposed that the ecclesiastical decentralization of the huge parish of Whalley, 
for instance, was entirely subsequent to that date. But the growth of popu- 
lation and prosperity in the twelfth century, and the increased rehgious 
fervour of the age, greatly stimulated the process. Norman lords of manors 
built chapels and obtained permission to have divine service celebrated in 
them for themselves, their households, and their tenants. The further 
privilege of burying their dead in a graveyard of their own was often secured, 
and if the right of baptizing was added the chapel became fully parochial.'^ 
The rights of the parish church were, however, carefully guarded. Attendance 

" Dugdale, Mon. Jngl. v, 650. That of the vicar of Blackburn had fallen from 40 marks to 16. 

^ For the Nct-a Taxatio, which was rendered necessary, see below, p. 24.. 

" Diet. yat. Bicg. xxxvi, 86. 

* yotitia Cestrinsii, ii, 222. The advowson of the rectory belonged to Shrewsbury Abbey from iooa to 
1 470, when It was purchased by Sir Thomas Molyneux, knt., of Sefton. Adam de Freckleton was aDDointed 
vicar of \\ igan for life in 1 199 at the request of the rector, but no permanent ordination s-ems tn hiv. k 
made here ; Hist, of the Ch. of Wigan (Chet. Soc), 3. '^^* ''^^" 

" Numerous cases in the Lich. Epis. Reg. See belo.v, p. 3 ,. * p,^, ^y,-,^ j.^^ 

•' Phiiiimore, Eal. La-x, 1825 ; M.ikower, op. c:t. 333. ^'" •' ' 



there was still usually required on the greater festivals, the offerings at the 
chapel continued to go to the rector, and the tithes were still paid to him. 
In a few cases, indeed, these were severed from the rectory, and the parochial 
chapelry became an independent parish. North Meols, described as a chapeP"" 
(perhaps of Halsall parish) in the middle of the twelfth century, is included 
among the parishes in the Taxatio of 1291. The church of Ashton-under- 
Lyne seems to have been originally a chapel in the parish of Manchester, and 
the mention of a joint endowment in Domesday Book suggests doubts whether 
it had yet become the centre of a distinct parish.^"^ If the statement of the 
same record as to the churches of Amounderness is to be interpreted strictly, 
the parishes of Lytham, Garstang, Chipping, and Ribchester must have been 
formed between 1086 and 1291, and were perhaps originally chapelries.^"^ In 
this county there was but one clear instance of the free chapel exempt by 
special privilege from dependence upon any parish church, and even from the 
jurisdiction of the ordinary.^"* The church of the little hospital of St. Mary 
Magdalen at Preston enjoyed these privileges, being of the foundation and 
patronage of the lords of the honour of Lancaster.^"* Henry de Lacy, when 
he gave to the monks of Stanlaw the church of their new home at Whalley, 
withheld the chapel of St. Michael in the castle at Clitheroe, and Queen 
Isabella, upon whom the honour of Clitheroe was bestowed for life by the 
crown on the attainder of Lacy's son-in-law Thomas of Lancaster, continued 
to treat it as a free chapel."" But fifty years afterwards the abbey regained 
possession on the ground that the chapel had no rights of baptism or 
burial, nor any papal privilege such as other free chapels could show."* Some 
parochial chapels may have grown out of private oratories in which the cele- 
bration of mass was at first only licensed, under restrictions devised to pre- 
serve the rights of the rector of the parish, for the benefit of the lord of the 
manor and his household."^ Others, like Saddleworth, were from the outset 
chapels of ease for a district remote from the parish church. William de 
Stapleton, the founder of Saddleworth chapel between 1 1 94 and 1 2 1 1 , had to 
bind himself and his heirs not to subtract their tithes and oblations from the 
mother church of Rochdale, to the parson of which the chaplain was to be 
presented and swear obedience."* The appointment of the chaplain was 
sometimes, however, reserved to the rector of the mother church. When the 
archbishop of York in 1230 granted a cemetery to the chapel of Caton, owing 
to its distance from Lancaster and the danger of the ways, the lay lords of 

"» Lanes. Pipe R. 323. "' Dom. Bk. i, 270. 

'" See above, p. 8. Garstang was claimed in 1 205 as a chapelry of St. Michaels-on-Wyre, but the verdict 
of a jury was that within living memory it had always been a parish church ; Lanes. Pipe R. 197. In 1241 
Aymer des Roches, rector of Preston, failed in an attempt to establish that Chipping was a chapel appendant 
to Preston and not the church of an independent parish ; T. C. Smith, Rec. of Preston Par. Ch. 26. 

'™ Phillimore, op. cit. 1823. 

'" Lanes. Chant. 208 ; see below, ' Religious Houses.' 

'» Whalley Cotuher, 226. 

"* Ibid. 226-36. The question was re-opened more than once, but-the king and the dukes of Lancaster 
ultimately ratified the rights of the abbey. See ' Religious Houses,' under Whalley Abbey. 

'"' Such a private chapel was allowed by the priory of Burscough to Henry de Tarbock in the early part 
of the thirteenth century. He was to have a chantry in his oratory at Tarbock, but he and his family were to 
attend the mother church of Huyton on Christmas Day, Candlemas, Easter Day, Whitsunday, Michaelmas 
Day, and All Saints' Day with due oblations. No parishioners might use the chapel, and all its offerings were 
to go to the mother church under a penalty of £,^ for subtraction ; Reg. of Burscough, fol. 44^. Tarbock 
chapel, however, never became parochial. 

"" Whalley Coucher, 147. The founder's son gave an endowment of land ; ibid. 148. 

2 17 3 


the place renounced all claim to the advowson."^ The deans of Whalley 
appointed the chaplains of at least seven of its eight chapels, and paid them by 
custom 4 marks a year each."" In the neighbouring parish of Blackburn the 
rector is described at the end of the twelfth century as parson of its two 
chapels at La Lawe (Walton-in-the-Dale) and Samlesbury."^ The former, 
indeed, was in all but name a parish church. The tithes of a certain district 
(which included Samlesbury) were paid to it, it was called ecclesia, and was 
the mother church of Samlesbury chapel, enjoying the full privileges of that 
position down to the episcopate of Hugh de Nonant (i 188—98). Samlesbury 
had as yet no graveyard. During the absence abroad of Bishop Hugh, Gos- 
patric the lord of Samlesbury entertained two bishops from Ireland, who, 
with the consent of the rector, dedicated a cemetery. Hugh on his return 
was much annoyed, and declared the proceeding null and void. But after- 
wards, in consideration of the difficulty of getting to Walton, especially in 
winter, he allowed a graveyard to be made."' On the strength of this the 
lords of Samlesbury seem to have claimed a right of advowson, which was 
resisted by Stanlaw Abbey as appropriator of Blackburn rectory. 

But for the firm hold which the rectors of Blackburn and their monastic 
successors kept upon it, and the apparent indifference of the Banasters, the 
lords of the place, Walton might very easily have become a separate parish. 
In the case of Altham, one of the Whalley chapels, a persistent local family 
nearly succeeded. During the greater part of the thirteenth century they 
treated it as a rectory, and the bishop and archdeacon seem at times to have 
favoured their claim, which the abbey only got rid of at last by an appeal to 
Canterbury and a handsome monetary solatium."' 

The following twenty-nine chapels, exclusive of Saddleworth, which 
was m Yorkshire, though in the parish of Rochdale, and of those which had 
become parish churches before 1 291, can be traced back to the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries. Nearly all of them were probably in existence before 
1200 : Broughton,"* appendant to Kirkby Ireleth Church ; Hawkshead "' 
to Dalton ; Over Kellet to Bolton le Sands ; "" Gressingham,"" Caton,'"^ 
Stalmine, ^nd Overton,- to Lancaster ; Ellel,"» to Cockerham ; Bispham,"' 
o Pou ton ; Pilhng - to Garstang ; Longton,-' to Penwortham ; Douglas "» 
to Eccleston ; La Lawe, or Walton,'" and Samlesbury '« (indirectly) 'to 
Blackburn; Burnley,-^' Clitheroe Castle,- CHtheroe Tovvn - S^ 

'" Hist. o/Ch. 0/ Lanc.{Chct. Soc.), 20. no 

■" Itid. 9°- 

"•Ibid. 228-35. .UH„ M 

rlas a JSIorman nave. 

;;: : s = ■• ::- : s •^: '-, .^= -r-- ' 

Harliest mention <". 1 155 ; Lancj. Pipe R. 392. 
'" Earliest mention in 1147 ; ibid. 283. 
Ill Earliest mention (indirect) in 1 272 ; Cockenand Chart. 40 

tarhest mention c. 1 160 ; Lams. Pipe J?. 323. 
"* Earliest mention between 12^0 and 126^ • l},<r />/•».- l c , 
par. of Wigan ; Lich. Epis. Reg. He^orth, for, \yb^- °^ ^''""''^'' f"'" +7- In . 445 said to have been i» 
'"Mentioned before I 182. It had font and eravevard r , . ..o a-^i/, ^ 
•» Licence for cemetery between , .88 and i foTS^ ' a h '' Z""'\ ^"^^"' 75, 90. 
'« Granted to PontefrTct Prior,- b, Hugh de I'l-StlLrM^^'Xtr °"s,''\^^-=- 

jg " "35- oee above, p. 10. 


Church,"' Altham,"' Downham,"" and Haslingden,"" to Whalley; Dids- 
bury,"> to Manchester ; Deane,"" to Eccles ; Rokeden, or Newton,"' to Win- 
wick ; Farnworth,""" to Prescot ; Knowsley,"* to Huyton ; Garston,'" and 
Hale,"' to Childwall ; and Liverpool, St. Mary at Key (Quay) "' to Walton. 

Some of the chapels which are first mentioned in the fourteenth century, 
such as RufFord in Croston parish, and Melling and MaghuU in the parish of 
Halsall, may go back to a considerably earlier date. 

The cost of up-keep of parochial chapels and their services was in some 
cases borne entirely by the locality, in others it was divided with the mother 
church. The nature of the division varied. At Saddleworth, Whalley Abbey, 
which held the tithes of Rochdale, found the chaplain and the necessary books 
and vestments, and repaired the chancel, the maintenance of the rest of the 
fabric being thrown upon the parishioners."' On the other hand the 
parishioners of Church in Whalley parish were bound to repair the chancel 
of their chapel, and though here, as in its sister chapels, the chaplain was 
found by the abbey (from 1330 by the vicar of Whalley) they had to provide 
a clerk to take his place if necessary. These obligations were affirmed in 
^335 by the bishop of Lichfield," the chancel having been allowed to become 
ruinous and the people having sometimes to leave without mass for want of 
a clerk."' 

There is little more to be said as to the ecclesiastical history of the 
county until the closing years of the thirteenth century are reached. The 
Lichfield episcopal registers do not begin until 1298, and the scanty extracts 
from the lost registers of the archdeaconry of Richmond extend only (with 
gaps) from 1361 to 1484."' 

For North Lancashire we have, however, one important document in 
the Constitution of Archbishop Walter de Gray (1215-55) fixing for the 
province of York the portions of the church fabrics and furniture to be 
maintained and repaired by the parishioners and by the rectors and vicars 

'" Prior to 1202 ; Lanes. Fines, i, 14. 

"' Supposed to have been founded temp. Ric. I ; Whalley Coucher, 301. 

'" Probably before 1147 ; ibid. 76, 92. 

"° Mentioned in 1296 ; ibid. 214. With the exception of the castle chapel at Clitheroe the chapels of 
Whalley seem to have had rights of baptism and burial ; ibid. 227. 

"' Said by HoUingworth {Mancuniensis, p. 26 [ed. 1839]), on what authority does not appear, to have 
been built before 1235. 1° 1352, when a cemetery was granted, the chapel was said to be of antiquity beyond 
memory ; Lich. Epis. Reg. Northburgh, ii, fol. 127. 

'" Earliest mention in 1234 ; Whalley Coucher, 44. Graveyard mentioned in 1276 ; ibid. 60. 

'" For the identification of Newton chapel with the chapel of Rokeden, in which Sir Robert Banaster 
had licence in 1284 to have a chantry owing to his distance from the mother church, see Not. Cestr. (Chet. 
Soc), 271. It is possible, however, that the licence was only for himself and his household and Newton as yet 
merely a private chapel. 

^' V.C.H. Lanes, iii, 391. 

'" Earliest mention in 1 190 ; Lanes. Pipe R. 350. This chapel, called also apparently the Ridding Chapel 
(Reg. Burscough, fol. [4]), soon disappeared. 

"' Earliest mention in 1261 ; Trans. Lanes, and Ches. Hist. Soe. (New Ser.), xvii, 54. 

'" Mentioned before 1257; ibid, xviii, 77. A larger chapel (St. Nicholas) was built close by about 1350. 

"' Whalley Coueher, 150. "» Ibid. 236-45. 

"' The Richmond Registers have shared the fate of the archdeacon's special powers. One of them, 
extending from 1442 to 1484, was still extant about fifty years ago {Riehtnondshire Wills, Surtees Soc. p. xx.), 
but my inquiries have failed to discover its present place of deposit. Extracts from Canon Raine's trans- 
cript of it are in Raine's Lancashire MSS. (vol. xxii, p. 373, sqq.) in the Chetham Library. They are 
followed by a reproduction of extracts from three earlier registers, those of Charlton (1359-82), Dalby 
(i 388-1400), and Bowet (1418-42) made by Dr. Matthew Hutton in 1686 and preserved among 
the Harleian MSS. (Nos. 6969-78). Some fragments of what appears to be a fifteenth-century register are 
at Somerset House. 



respectively.'" Some information can be gleaned from the papal archives 
and monastic chartukries. The latter contain abundant evidence ottnc 
religious zeal of the people of Lancashire in hundreds of charters bestowing 
lands and rents upon the local monasteries (half of which were founded in the 
last quarter of the twelfth century) - 'for the health of ^heir own souls and 
the souls of their ancestors and successors.' Until the removal of the monk 
of Stanlaw to Whalley all the religious houses, with the unimportant 
exception of Kersal cell, were in the western half of the county, and this form 
of piety was comparatively absent in its eastern portions. The generosity ot 
the laity to the religious occasionally led to friction between the latter and 
the parochial clergy. Early in the thirteenth century Albert de Nevill, 
rector of Manchester, complained to Pope Innocent III of the infringement 
of the rights of his church by the Cluniac priory of Lenton, which was 
admitting the inhabitants of Kersal to service in the chapel of its cell there, 
burying them in a graveyard of its own and taking their tithes and offer- 
ings.'*' A compromise was arranged by the bishop and the archdeacon of Ely 
as papal delegates. The monks retained their cemetery and the tithe from 
land which they had won from the waste. For the latter they were to pay 
2s. a year to the mother church and its rights of sepulture were to be 
recognized by the annual render of two candles, each of i J lb. of wax. No 
parishioner was to make an offering or receive burial at Kersal unless the 
church of Manchester were properly indemnified, and the monks must not 
administer the sacraments to parishioners in their chapel."' Occasionally the 
aggrieved party was itself a religious house, the appropriator of the church 
whose dues were imperilled. Such a case arose when the hospital (soon 
abbey) of Cockersand was founded in the parish of Cockerham, whose church 
belonged to Leicester Abbey. The question was complicated by the fact 
that the hospital had been established on the abbey's manor of Cockerham 
during a temporary disseisin. A settlement was arrived at in 1204 or 1205 
confirming the hospital in its share of the manor and making it extra- 
parochial.'" The canons in their turn had to agree to waive, in the case of 
any other lands they might acquire in the parish of Cockerham, the privilege 
they had obtained from the pope of exemption from tithes.'" These papal 
exemptions were another mode in which parish revenues were encroached 
upon in favour of monasteries. After further dispute it was settled in 1242 
that the abbey should not admit any parishioners of Cockerham to 
confession, communion, or other sacraments, but only those of their own 

Of some importance for the spiritual life of the county was the fact that 
six of the religious houses which were new in the early part of the thirteenth 
century consisted of canons.'" The institution of regular canons marked an 
attempt to bridge the gulf between the older monks and the secular clergy. They 

'" Wilkins, Concilia, i, 168 ; Cockenand Chart. (Chet. Soc. 1). 

"'Conishead, Cockemnd, Cartmel, Hornby, Lytham, Burscough, (the short lived) Wyresdalc probablv 
the httle hospital of St. Saviour at Stidd under Longridge (which was afterwards given to the Hosn^J^lVr.f 
and the leper hospital of St. Leonard, Lancaster. The last was the second of Its kLd in tt^^' 
That of St. Mary Magdalen, Preston, possibly dated from the reign of Henry I ^°"°'^- 

"• Lanes. Pipe R. 330. "« Ibid. 331. 

'" Cockersand Chart. 376-8. i« Ibid. 4. us jbij .0 

'" Coniihead, Cartmel, Cockersand, Burscough, Hornby, and Cockerham. ' 



were normally in orders, and no breach of their rule was involved in their 
serving as parish priests in appropriate churches, provided they still lived the 
common life. In 1207 the abbey of Leicester arranged to appoint three 
canons in their church of Cockerham in addition to the existing chaplain, and 
after his death to keep four canons there."' A more active religious influence 
was no doubt introduced by the coming of the friars in the second half of the 
century. They settled as usual in the towns ; the Dominicans or Black Friars 
at Lancaster, the Franciscans or Grey Friars at Preston, and the Austin Friars 
at Warrington."' Their work lay in the slums of the town among the 
poorest and most neglected class of the population, but their devotion must 
have stirred spiritual life in a wider circle. Such an example was much 
needed. The conditions under which the parish clergy were appointed were 
not favourable to high ideals of character and self-sacrifice. Prominent 
among the causes of clerical apathy and inefficiency must be reckoned the 
papal dispensations for pluralities and non-residence which were freely granted 
to those who had influence. In a great many parishes the cure of souls was 
left to stipendiary clergy without sufficient guarantees for their being well 
chosen and properly paid. 

Allusion has already been made to one mighty pluralist, John Mansel, 
the non-resident rector of Wigan. His, no doubt, was an exceptionally 
gross case. But John le Romeyn (Romanus), who became archbishop of 
York in 1286, had held the Lancashire rectories of Bolton-le-Sands and 
Melling along with that of Wallop in Hampshire and other preferments."" 
He was the natural son by a servant girl of John le Romeyn, archdeacon of 
Richmond (f. 1241— 7), and treasurer of York, himself of illegitimate birth, 
and according to Matthew Paris, very rich and avaricious. Moreover the 
crown used its patronage, with the connivance of the pope, to pay its servants 
and reward its favourites, and the spiritual interests of the county were 
thrust into the background. 

The valuable benefice of Preston, which had reverted to the crown on 
the death of Theobald Walter, was thus employed by John and his son. 
Henry III successively presented to the living a nephew of Peter des Roches, 
his treasurer William Haverhill, Arnulf a chaplain of his half-brother 
Geoffrey of Lusignan, Henry de Wengham, 'a discreet and circumspect 
courtier ' and a great pluralist, who was also rector of Kirkham, and retained 
both livings after his appointment as bishop of London, and finally the 
famous Walter de Merton, chancellor, bishop of Rochester, and founder of 
Merton College, Oxford."^ Matthew Paris singles out as a conspicuous 
instance of the king's abuse of his patronage the preferment of Arnulf : 

a fool and buiFoon . . . utterly ignorant alike in manners and learning, whom I have seen 
pelting the King, his brother Geoffrey and other nobles, whilst walking in the orchard of 
St. Albans, with turf, stones and green apples and pressing the juice of unripe grapes in 
their eyes, like one devoid of sense.^'^ 

Edward I was not guilty of such scandals as this last, but the rich 
rectories of Manchester and Childwall, when they came into his hands during 
the protracted minority of Thomas Grelley, the last of his line, were bestowed 

'« Lanes. Final Concords (Rec. Soc), i, 26. "' See ' Religious Houses.' 

'" Diet. Nat. Biog. xlix, 182. '" T. C. Smith, Rec. of Preston Church, 25 sqq. 

'" Matth. Paris, Chron. Maj. (Rolls Ser.), v, 329. 



upon his ministers. One of Edward's non-resident rectors of Manchester was 
his well-known councillor Walter Langton,'" who had previously had papal 
licence to hold the rectories of St. Michaels-on-Wyre and Croston without 
residing therein or being ordained priest.'" He resigned his benefices on 
becoming bishop of Lichfield in 1296. The rectory of Childwall was given, 
with four others in different parts of England, and numerous prebends to 
another crown servant, who in due course was raised to the episcopal bench. 
This was John Drokensford, bishop of Bath and Wells from 1309 to 1329. 
He received Childwall while still under the canonical age,"' and as late as 
1298 was only in deacon's orders. The rectory of Prescot was held for 
thirty years by Alan le Bretoun in commendam with that of Coddington 
and the treasurership of Lichfield.'" Church revenue was further trenched 
upon by the demands of pope and king. The taxation of spiritualities 
initiated by the Saladin tithe of 1188 became common in the thirteenth 
century. At first it was taken by papal authority, and usually for a crusade 
or some other quasi-ecclesiastical object, but the popes sometimes allowed 
Henry III to relieve his necessities from this source, and thus paved the way 
for the regular taxation of the clergy as an estate of the realm introduced by 
Edward I. From the middle of the century the amount taken was nearly 
always a tenth. The bringing of the clergy under contribution rendered 
necessary an assessment of benefices.'" Such an assessment is recorded to 
have been made in 12 19, and perhaps remained in force until Pope 
Innocent IV in 1253 ordered a new valuation for the tenth which he had 
granted to Henry III for a fresh crusade. The re-assessment was carried out 
in the following year by Walter Suffield, bishop of Norwich, and was 
therefore generally known as the 'Norwich Taxation.'"' Its figures are only 
preserved in isolated cases from which no trustworthy inferences can be 
drawn. The assessment of Garstang rectory, for instance, was raised from 
20 to 33 marks, in addition to a vicarage taxed at 8 marks ; but there are 
no means of deciding whether this was due to greater stringency or to 
a corresponding rise in the value of the benefice."' Thirty-four years 
later Pope Nicholas IV ordered a new assessment to be made, which was 
completed in 1291 for the province of Canterbury, and in 1292 for that of 
York. This 'Taxatio,' never subsequently revised for the greater part of 
England, remains among the archives of the kingdom, and was printed in 
1802 by the Record Commission. For Lancashire it is valuable as giving 
the first fairly complete summary of church property in the county as well as 
a more partial record of appropriations and vicarages. Fifty churches are 
named, twenty-six in the diocese of Lichfield, and twenty-four in that of York 
The list is not quite exhaustive. Six are omitted for reasons which except 
in one case, can be gathered from the later document known as the Inaui 
Sim Nonarum}^ Bolton-le-Moors and Bolton-le-Sands were exempt from 
taxation as being annexed to the two archdeaconries, Kirkbv Ireleth a<; 
appropriated to the cathedral church of York, RadclifFe and North Meols on 

'" Cui. Pat. I2Q2-I 301, p. iqo. 1^4 /-„/ .f D ^ I J 

■" Ibid, i, 577. - Lich. Epis. Reg. Langton, fol ^^ "^ '^." sS V"} h'^' ?.5°' 559- 

- Stubbs (loc. cit.) wrongly attributes it to an order of Alexander IV in ,. fi r 7' ""'■ "' '7+-5- 
'» Cockersand Chart. 286. In . 292 the rectory was taxed atTl" T/ J h ' ' '' l^''' 

- See above, p. 6. The vicarages in that part of the county which wasbfhV'H""'' "'A'K^'' ''^■ 
also omitted, unless indeed they are included in the valuation of theTectori« ""' °^ ^''^^^^^ 



account of their poverty, Aughton doubtless for the same reason. The total 
annual value given is: spiritualities £i,^/\.j^. 13J, 4^.; temporalities 
j^420 oj. 6^."^ Under the former head the churches in the archdeaconry 
of Richmond were taxed at ^^931 6s. %d. ; those in the archdeaconry of 
Chester at £(>iT, 6s. %d. The temporalities (of religious houses) in these 
same areas were respectively >C37i i-f- 2</. and £\^ 19J. 4^. 

The churches most poorly endowed were Lytham, assessed at ;^4 ; 
Flixton, ^4 ly. 4^., and Pennington, ^5 6x, 8^. The richest were Kirk- 
ham, >Ci86 13J. 4</. (^160) ; Lancaster, ^^80 ; Poulton, £6% 13J. ^d. 
(^46 I3J-. 4^.) ; Preston, St. Michaels-on-Wyre, Warton and Whalley, each 
^66 13J. 4^.; Aldingham and Manchester, each ^(^53 6s. 8^."* Only six 
benefices in this county of extensive parishes were taxed at less than £,10 2^ 
year, a third of the whole number varied between that figure and ^20.^*' 
In the one instance (Garstang) in which we are able to compare the assess- 
ment of 1292 with that of 1254 the valuation of the rectory is higher by 
j(^4 1 3 J. \d. and that of the vicarage by jC^-"* 

Benefices were not assessed at their full annual value. Matthew Paris 
in 1252 estimated that Preston church was worth ^100."' In an inquest 
held after the death of Robert Grelley in 1282, as to the value of his 
advowsons, it was found that the church of Manchester and the church of 
Childwall were each worth £it,t, 6s. Sd. a year, more than double the assess- 
ment of the former in 1292 and more than three times that of the latter.^" 
Ashton-under-Lyne, the advowson of which Grelley had also held, was 
returned as worth >C2o, or double its taxed value ten years later.'" Five 
years after Pope Nicholas's taxation an inquiry was held as to the true value 
of the rectory of Whalley with a view to the ordination of a vicarage. Its 
gross annual income was found to be £2 1 o gs. 8d. ; this was reduced on 
further inquiry in 1298 to ^^148, but even so it is more than twice the taxed 
value of 1292."' Liberal deductions seem to have been allowed for fixed 

The fearful ravages wrought by the Scots in the north of England in 
the years following Bannockburn put large areas of land out of cultivation, 

"' Po/ie Nich. Tax. 249, 258-9, 307-9. The figure for spiritualities includes certain monastic pensions 
in churches north of the Ribble which are accounted for separately. The valuation of two or three churches 
differs slightly from the report of the Injuisit'to Nonarum as to the tax of 1292. That for temporalities 
may also not be quite accurate, as the details do not in every case exactly agree with the totals, and one or two 
entries are a little ambiguous. 

"* When two figures are given the first represents the taxed annual value of the whole endowment 
including vicarage and pensions, the second the residual rectory. According to the Inquisitio Nonarum 
Manchester was taxed in 1292 at £66 13/. ^d. 

'" The following is a summary of those not named above. Vicarages and pensions are included : — 
Over £6 and under ^^lo : Claughton, Leigh, and Tatham. 

j^io and upwards : Ashton-under-Lyne, Bury, Chipping, Dalton, Eccleston, Halsall, Halton, 
Heysham, Huyton, Ormskirk, Prestwich, Standish, Urswick, Warrington, and Whittington. 
£zo and upwards : Cockerham, Eccles, Penwortham, Ribchester, Rochdale, Sefton. 
j^3C and upwards : Blackburn, Croston, Tunstall, Ulverston, Wigan. 
^^4.0 to £^0 : Cartmel, Childwall, Garstang, Melling, Prescot, Walton. 
■" Cockersand Chart. 286-7. 

'" Ckron. Maj. v, 329. A local jury put the same value on it in 1361 although its assessment had by 
that time been further reduced to ^^23 6s. Sd. 

'^ Lanes. Inj. and Extents (Rec. Soc), i, 250. '" Ibid. 

'*' IVhalky Coucher, 205-6, 213-15. 

'"Aldingham rectory, however, was stated later to have been overtaxed by 20 marks in 1292; 
Inquisitio Nonarum, 36. 



and it was found necessary to make sweeping reductions of the taxable va ue 
of benefices throughout the greater part of the province of York, inciu g 
the archdeaconry of Richmond. The Lancashire churches "^j,^,,,^] 
deaconry were relieved of two-thirds of their rating, or about £^^°- 
this /375 was allowance for loss of tithes from lands wasted by the bcots, 
the rest took the form of an exemption of small tithes, oblations, and glebes 
from taxation. The reduction varied in different parishes from fifty P^^ ""*•' 
e.g. at Heysham, Melling, and Tatham, to over eighty per cent, at Alding- 
ham, Cartmel, and Ulverston. One rectory— Pennington— and four out of 
seven vicarages were entirely freed from taxation, on the ground of their 
poverty."^ On an average the relief given to the monasteries in consideration 
of the depreciation of their temporalities in North Lancashire was even 
greater than was accorded to the churches. What had been rated in 1292 
at ^371 IS. 2^. now paid only £s^ i°^- ^ reduction of eighty-six per 
cent. Furness must have suffered most ; the annual value of its temporal 
possessions was reckoned to have sunk from £176 to £12 6j. Sd'."' The 
Ribble was practically the southern limit of the Scottish invasion to the 
west of the Pennine Range, and none of the Lancashire churches in the diocese ' 
of Lichfield were included in the ' New Taxation,' as it was called. 

No provision seems to have been made for a re-valuation of the northern 
parishes on their recovery from the effects of the harrying they had received, 
and apparently they continued to enjoy this exceptionally low rating down to 
the sixteenth century. Some slight improvement in a few parishes within 
the twenty years which followed is revealed by the returns of the commis- 
sioners appointed to assess the ninth of sheaves, fleeces, and lambs granted by 
Parliament to Edward III in March, i 340.^^* The ecclesiastical ' Taxatio,' 
mainly based as it was upon the great tithes, afforded an obvious guide in 
their labours, and their instructions were to take the church assessments as a 
standard in ascertaining the true value of the ninth."* So closely did they 
follow them that in many cases at all events the tax became a tenth and not 
a ninth. In seventeen out of twenty-four Lancashire parishes in the arch- 
deaconry of Richmond the ' New Taxation,' which only took into account 
the great tithes, was returned as the true value of the ninth. But in five 
parishes a higher figure was given, the assessment being recognized as too 
low. The difference was not, however, great, except at Dalton, where the 
ninth was valued at twice the amount of the assessment of twenty years 
before."'' Preston affords a solitary instance of a parish in which the com- 
missioners put the value of the ninth below even the low assessment of the 
' New Taxation.' "' South of the Ribble the returns show greater variety. 
In ten parishes the ninth was estimated as exceeding the valuation of 1292, 
in five as exactly equal to it, and in thirteen as falling below it. In the last 
class of cases we are occasionally told that the difference consisted of allow- 
ances for glebes, small tithes and oblations, and for the exclusion of boroughs 
(where they existed) which paid a ninth of goods instead. The explanation 

n ,00° ^tI '?"''" '^aT'"' " P""'"'^ '° '^^ ^'^' ^''^- '^'"'- 3^9- For iu date see 'Political Hi.tory ' 

"n '^'^'^^ '^"^'^^ '^°'^^ ^°™ ^^^ Inquisitio Nonarum (Rec. Com ) 

Cal. Pat. I 340-3, p. 125. .7. j„^ ^^„ jg_ ,„ Ibid. 37. 



of the cases in which the true value of the ninth equalled or exceeded the 
whole valuation of the benefice in 1292 must be either that the assessment 
was revised as too low or that the real value of a ninth was calculated from 
the tithe data. For Whalley parish, where careful statistics of the tithes 
were available, the commissioners returned the ninth as worth as much again 
as Pope Nicholas's assessment.^" 

Compared with the preceding age the fourteenth century was upon the 
whole a period of depression in the history of the church in Lancashire. 
The north of the county lay prostrate under the successive blows of the 
Scottish invasions and the Black Death, and though the south escaped the 
earlier of these scourges it was thrown into much disorder by the struggle 
between Earl Thomas of Lancaster and Edward II. The French wars exer- 
cised a distracting influence. These were not the only causes, however, of 
the slackening of the stream of church endowments which is observable. 
The county was now fairly well provided with parish churches and parochial 
chapels. To the former a single addition was made late in the century. 
Brindle, hitherto an outlying part of the parish of Penwortham, was erected 
into a separate parish between 1341, when it does not appear as such 
in the Nonarum Inquisitio, and 1369, when it is described as a rectory."* 

Of the eleven chapels which are first mentioned or implied in this 
century some may have been of older foundation, some perhaps were as yet 
purely domestic."' Sir Robert de Holland, who owed his advancement to 
Thomas of Lancaster, endowed a college of priests in his chapel of (Up) 
Holland in the parish of Wigan in 13 10, but the chapel itself may have 
been of earlier date.^'" 

Funds were forthcoming for the rebuilding or extension of existing 
churches,"^ and in one case at least a rectory was augmented,^^' but this did 
not make very deep drafts upon private munificence. 

The county already contained nineteen religious houses, large and small ; 
their further multiplication and enrichment was not desirable, and royal 
policy definitely discouraged such extension by the Statute of Mortmain 
(1279). One addition only was made to their number during the fourteenth 
century. Through the influence of his patron Thomas of Lancaster Sir 
Robert de Holland obtained permission in 13 19 to convert his collegiate 
church of St. Thomas the Martyr at UphoUand into a priory of Benedictine 

"' See above, p. 23. '" Lich. Epis. Reg. Stretton, fol. 85 ; Lanes. Final Concords (Rec. Soc), ii, 182. 

'" Melling in Halsall parish had a chapel with a cemetery as early as 1322 ; Lich. Epis. Reg. North- 
burgh, ii, 4^. The chapel of Goosnargh, an outlying portion of the parish of Kirkham, is first mentioned 
in 1349 ; Engl. Hist. Rev. v, 526. The custody of Singleton chapel in Kirkham parish was granted 
on 20 Aug. 1358 to John of Eastwitton, hermit, by Henry, duke of Lancaster ; Fishwick, Hist, of Kirkham, 
44. The chapel of RufFord in Croston parish is first mentioned in 1346 ; 'Not. Cestr. ii, 367. The 
inhabitants of Chorley in the same parish procured in or before 1362 a licence for the dedication of a 
chapel to be served by one chaplain ; Lich. Epis. Reg. Stretton, fol. 45. The chapel of St. Nicholas, Liver- 
pool, in the parish of Walton, is first mentioned in 1361 ; ibid. fol. 44. The chapel of Oldham in 
Prestwich parish first appears in 1336 (Coram Rege R. 306, m. 261^.) ; that of West Derby in Walton 
in 1360 (Assize R. 451, m. 3) ; William, clerk of Stretford, in Manchester parish, occurs 1326 ; the chapel 
certainly existed before 1413 ; Hist, of Stretford Chap. (Chet. Soc. 48). To these perhaps Great Harwood 
chapel in Blackburn parish ought to be added {Not. Cestr. ii, 208, 285.) 

™ Cal. Pat. 1307-13, p. 233. 

'*' Warrington church was rebuilt ; Ann. of Warrington (Chet. Soc), 197. 

"' Thirteen laymen in 1344 gave (or sold) plots of lands varying from an acre to 80 ft. square to Henry 
de Haydock, parson of Eccleston, ' for the easement and utility of him and his successors, rectors there ' ; 
Cal. Pat. I343-S>P- 3o6. 

2 25 4 


monks. This was the last Benedictine foundation in England. Restricted 
m Its flow by external obstacles rather than by slackening °^ ^^^j^ ^^^^^j,, 
the liberality of the laity began to run in new channels. The tavou 
form of benefaction now in constantly increasing measure djn to tnc 
Reformation was the foundation of ch-tries ^^e doctrine of purgatory 
and of the efficacy of prayers for the dead and of the sacrifice of the altar 
o abbreviate its Lor! hid taken firm root throughout Ch-stendom^ Th 
landowning class had heaped gifts upon the monasteries for their souls and the 
out o? their relations, but' they now desired a more direct, instant, and 
individual intercession. This was secured by endowing a perpetual chaplain 
to sing mass for the souls of the founders and their kindred, to which were 
sometimes added the souls of all the faithful, at an a tar in their parish 
church or parochial chapel, more rarely in a conventual church. In some 
cases the chantry was attached to an existing altar, in others a new one was 
contrived in an aisle, but not infrequently a chapel was built on to the older 
fabric ; by the addition of such chantry chapels the church of Manchester 
was doubled in size during the two centuries preceding the Reformation 
The founder and his descendants were often buried in the chapel he had 
endowed, and the chantry priest was surrounded by the sculptured effigies 
and inlaid brasses of those for whose souls he continually ministered. It 
must not be assumed that the motives of chantry founders were always 
purely personal ; these special endowments increased the dignity of the 
church and its services, the chantry priest being commonly bound to assist 
the parish clergy in addition to his special work. Sometimes too he was 
required to act as schoolmaster for a certain number of free scholars, but of 
this arrangement no Lancashire instance is recorded before the fifteenth 

An occasional chantry had been founded in the thirteenth century. 
About 1 208-9 the family of Beetham endowed one in the church of Cocker- 
sand Abbey ,^'' and another was founded about seventy years after at Conis- 
head Priory.^" In the following age they became more numerous, some 
sixteen being recorded."' 

The foundation of endowed chantries was carefully watched both by 
the lay and the ecclesiastical authorities. Gifts of land for this purpose 
required a licence from the crown for alienation in mortmain, and the bishops 
usually applied to them the same principles as governed the creation of 
vicarages. Perpetual chaplainships were ordained with a fixed stipend, and 
the incumbents were presented by the founders and their heirs to the 
diocesan, from whom they received admission to the chantry."* In the case 
of the well-endowed Winwick chantry in Huyton church (1383) Bishop 
Stretton insisted that each of the two chaplains should be paid 10 marks a 
year in money, and drew up elaborate regulations as to the oath they were 
to take, their manner of life and the duties incumbent upon them."^ It is 
noteworthy that the endowment out of which this chantry was provided had 

'" CockersanJ Chart. 330, 1013. They also endowed two beds in the abbey infirmary 

'" Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., L. 564 For others ascribed to this century by Canon Raines (Lana. 
Chantries (Chet. Soc.), 3'. 7+. 225. 204) there is either insufficient evidence or (e.g. Roiceden) some con- 
fusion with the older and wider sense of ' canuria,' in which it is equivalent to ' capella.' 

'" Accounts of the various chantries will be found in the topographical section. 

'" These admissions are entered in the Epis. Reg. •» Reg. of Burs^ough, fol. 94-8. 



been intended by John de Winwick for the foundation of a new college at 
Oxford. His brother secured its diversion to Burscough Priory on the 
ground of the poverty of that house, but subject to the institution and 
maintenance of a chantry at Huyton."' The almost complete absence of 
such foundations in that part of the county comprised in the archdeaconry 
of Richmond speaks eloquently of the impoverishment of North Lancashire 
by the Scottish ravages. 

The position of the parish churches in relation to the rehgious houses 
was little altered during the fourteenth century. Three or four more were 
appropriated. The rectories of Melling and Leyland, whose advowsons had 
long been held by Croxton and Evesham respectively, were bestowed upon those 
houses in 1310"' and 1331."" Childwall, the advowson of which had been 
acquired by Sir Robert de Holland and given to his new college at Up- 
holland, was appropriated to the Benedictine monks who replaced the seculars 
there in 1319."^ Preston, which Whalley had attempted to secure, but 
without success, was appropriated to the dean and canons of Henry of 
Lancaster's college of St. Mary Newark at Leicester between 1380 and 
1415,^'^ when the first mention of a vicar occurs. At Leyland and prob- 
ably at Melling the ordination of a vicarage accompanied the appropria- 
tion."' Childwall had had a perpetual vicar appointed while its patronage 
was still in lay hands. Edward I, as already stated, gave the living to his 
minister John de Drokensford. Drokensford, a pluralist and non-resident, 
consented voluntarily or otherwise in December, 1307, shortly before his 
promotion to the see of Bath and Wells, to the ordination of a vicarage at 
Childwall."* Light is thrown upon the staff of clergy considered necessary 
for an important church by the provision made for the support of three 
chaplains and a deacon in addition to the vicar."^ 

The vicar's independence in regard to the religious who held the 
appropriation not infrequently led to friction between them, especially when 
the church was close to the monastery. The monks of Whallev maintained 
that Henry de Lacy had never intended that a vicarage should be established 
at their very gates, and complained bitterly that it had been excessively 
endowed. In 1330 they induced Bishop Northburgh to make a new 
ordinance considerably reducing the emoluments of the vicar of Whalley."* 
Ten years later Northburgh had to settle a dispute between Burscough 
Priory and the vicar of Ormskirk as to the portion due to the latter. But 
neither house remained content with this. As early as 1285 the canons of 
Burscough had secured a licence from Bishop Roger Longespee, on the 
ground of the proximity of Ormskirk church to the priory, to present canons 
of their house to the living after the next vacancy."^ In 1339, having, in 

•'* Reg. of Burscough, fol. i6b ; Cal. Pat. 1377-81, p. 560. "' Cal. Pat. 1307-13, p. 229. 

'™ As additional endowment of the cell of Penwortham {Priory of Penwortbam, 41-6.) 

™ Cal. Pat. 1317-21, p. 353. "' Smith, Rec. of Preston Ch. 5, 37-8. 

^^ Priory of Penwortham, 47. The vicar took part of the great tithes; but besides defraying the synodals and 
procurations he had to pay an annual pension of forty shillings to the abbey, which had bound itself to com- 
pensate the see of Lichfield for the loss it sustained owing to the appropriation — the cessation of vacancies 
during which the bishop took the profits of the benefice — by a yearly payment to that amount. 

'^ Lich. Epis. Reg. Northburgh, vol. i, fol. 28. The case is somewhat similar to that of Walton-on- 
the-Hill. See above, p. 16. 

"' The council of Oxford in 1222 had made a canon that churches with wide parishes should have two 
or three priests ; Wilkins, Concilia, i, 588. 

'** Whalley Coucher, 216-20. '" Reg. of Burscough, fol. io6i. 



the interim, ' by negligence ' presented a secular clerk they procured a 
renewal of the grant from Northburgh ' for the relief of their heavy 
burdens,' '"^ and henceforth down to the Dissolution the vicar of Ormskirk 
was always a canon of Burscough. The same expedient was adopted at 
Whalley. Prior to 1358 the bishop had given a dispensation to three 
monks in succession to hold the vicarage, the reason offered being that the 
residence of secular clerks within the monastic inclosure led to disturbances, 
and in that year Pope Innocent VI gave them a general licence to present 
members of their community to the living,"' and this was done down to the 
Reformation. Archbishop Thoresby in his re-ordination of the vicarage of 
Kirkham in 1357 allowed the abbot and convent of Vale Royal to present 
one of their own number to the benefice ; but perhaps this was restricted to 
the next vacancy.^"" That this practice was not confined to Lancashire is 
evident from the statute of 1402, which forbad the religious to hold vicarages 
in any churches appropriated after that date."" The tenure of a cure of souls 
was, no doubt, more inconsistent with the ideal of the monk than of the 
canon. But monks had long been allowed to serve parish churches which 
became conventual, like Lancaster, Lytham, and Penwortham ; and at Whalley 
at all events the monastic vicars could still live with the community. The 
position of the monk of Vale Royal at Kirkham or of the monks of Whalley, 
who in the fifteenth century were occasionally made vicars of Blackburn 
and Rochdale, was less easily reconciled with the observance of the common 
life. Even in the case of canons, who were normally priests, departure 
from the house to serve a benefice was regarded as an exceptional thing, 
requiring dispensation and guarded by special conditions. The monastic 
vicar of either kind had to be accompanied by one or more of his fellow 
monks or canons,'"'^ and in some cases at least the rule forbad him to 
administer the Sacraments personally to his parishioners.*"" The canon vicar 
was the commoner. A canon of Conishead served Orton church in West- 
morland as early as 1281.=°^ In addition to Ormskirk, which was only 
three miles away, Burscough occasionally presented a canon to Huyton in 
the fifteenth century,'"^ and Cockersand had then no less than six of its 
canons regularly absent from the house, the vicars of Garstang and Mitton, 
the proctors for those benefices, and the chantry priests of Middleton and 
Tunstall.'"' At least one canon of Nostell occurs among the vicars of 
Winwick in the fourteenth century. 

The ordination registers of the bishops of Lichfield give us the number 
of the religious in South Lancashire who took orders. In the quarter of a 

'" Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., L. 27?. 199 r^l P-,* r .. 

- H,su of Kirkham (Chet. See), ^l Philip de Grcnhal, monk'': f vL rS ^'^'iL'muted in m6. 
but his successors seem to have been seculars. J^o/ai, was instituted in 1362, 

"'Stat. 4 Hen. IV, cap. 12. An Act of Ijqi (ic RJc H ran fi^ 1,,^ • • j i 
appropriation the diocesan should ordain not only the vicir'fpor il Lt a .rot T'"'"^ r'' u ^'^''"' '"^^ 
the benefit of the poor parishioners. portion, but a proper share of the income for 

Al "/''m^^''' ^'^- N.°"^,b"^gl^ i' '"-^ (Whalley); Duchy of Lane Anct D I ,0, P 

"" "^ 1^-^-^. kr^.,.. ,rj;"'- -^ '"'- ">••■ -f--'"- -^ c..*. ,, 4s,-.. 

•* See 'Religious Houses,' 156 note +2. The churches of Ulver^tnn =r,^ r 
were e..r established and Cockerham, until one was created towards he endo^rl' T "' ^' "° ^'""^^^ 
sen-ed by canons with or without stipendiary priests. tnirteenth century, were 



century between 1360 and 1385 the monks of Whalley head the list, with 
the Austin Friars of Warrington a good second ; about a third as many were 
contributed by Burscough and Holland respectively. There is no instance of 
a monk of Penwortham being ordained, unless some of the monks of Evesham, 
who were occasionally ordained, resided in that cell. The titles offered by 
secular candidates for ordination reveal in a striking way the concentration 
of church patronage and employment in the hands of the three important 
monasteries of this district. From 1325 to the end of the century the titles 
given by them vastly outnumber all others. Between 1 360 and 1385 Whalley 
gave more than four times as many as those presented by beneficed clergy, 
and the Holland titles are some 40 per cent, more numerous than those of 
the great Cistercian house. Burscough, however, gave very few. As 
Holland had only one appropriate church in the county, while Burscough 
had two and Whalley four, with many chapels,^"'' these proportions are not a 
little perplexing. In any case it is obvious that, besides those for whom the 
religious houses could at once find places, many of those to whom they gave 
titles must have been maintained by them for years. It was chiefly to the 
monasteries that the Church of England owed its supply of clergy.'"" 

The increase in the number of ordinations during the second half of 
the century must have been largely due to the necessity of filling up the 
gaps caused by the Black Death. In 1349, the year of the first and most 
fatal visitation of the pestilence, there were seven deaths among the beneficed 
clergy of that part of the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield which comprised 
South Lancashire as against one or two in ordinary years. The benefices 
vacated by death were the rectory of Walton and the vicarages of Childwall, 
Huyton, Winwick, Whalley, Eccles, and Rochdale.'"'^ As these were less 
than a third of the whole number the mortality here was not so great as in 
Derbyshire and Yorkshire, where upwards of fifty per cent, of the beneficed 
clergy died.*^"' Of the number of deaths among the unbeneficed clergy and 
the religious we have no means of forming a precise estimate, but no doubt 
it was large. The disorganization caused by the ravages of the plague is 
illustrated by the fact that the bishop had to collate to the vicarage of 
Eccles per lapsum^ and that the vicarage of Rochdale remained vacant for 
eight months,"" 

The mortality among the beneficed clergy of the deanery of Amounder- 
ness was even greater. Between 8 September, 1349, and 11 January, 1350, 
the churches of Lytham, Poulton, Lancaster, Kirkham, and Garstang, half 
the benefices of the deanery, were all vacated by death, the last two twice.'" 
In addition to these the chapel of St. Mary Magdalen at Preston was 
vacant for eight weeks. We owe this information and an obviously 

'" These would account for a considerable proportion of the fifty-five chaplains without benefices, who 
towards the end of Edward Ill's reign were resident in the deanery of Blackburn ; Gasquet, The Great 
Pestilence, 155. 

"'^ Collect, for Hist, of Staffordshire (Salt Soc), viii (New Ser.), p. xii. 

"" Lich. Epis. Reg. Northburgh, vol. i, fol. 123^-27. ™ Gasquet, op. cit. 147, 151. 

""' Lich. Epis. Reg. Northburgh, vol. i, fol. 1251J, 127. 

"' In the case of Lytham it was the prior who died, and this, though not stated, must have been the 
case at Lancaster, which was served by chaplains paid by the priory. The coupling with Lancaster, Poulton, 
and Kirkham of their respective chapels Stalmine, Bispham, and Goosnargh has led to a mistaken statement 
that nine benefices were vacant (including the Preston chapel). The reference is only to the death of the 
incumbent of the mother church. 



exaggerated estimate of the number of deaths in each parish of the 
deanery (varying from 3,000 in those of Preston, Lancaster, and Kirkham 
to sixty in that of Chipping, and amounting in the total to 13,180) to a 
dispute between Henry de Walton, archdeacon of Richmond, and Adam de 
Kirkham, dean of Amounderness, as to the sums received by the latter 
inter alia from vacant benefices, probate of wills, and administration of the 
goods of intestates."' As Adam, whose accountability began in September, 
was executor for his predecessor in the ofBce of dean, William Ballard, it is 
not unlikely that the latter was himself a victim of the plague.'" For the 
other Lancashire deaneries no similar data are available. The prior of 
Cartmel apparently died, probably of the plague."* The Lichfield Registers 
do not reveal any unusual mortality among the beneficed clergy of South 
Lancashire during the subsequent visitations of the plague in 1361 and 1369. 
While the plague raged it was not possible to enforce the rights of sepulture 
of the parish church where the distances involved were great ; licences were 
therefore granted for local burial. In two cases this interim arrangement 
led to a more permanent one. In 1352 Bishop Northburgh authorized the 
consecration of a cemetery for the chapel of Didsbury in consequence of the 
devotion of its people during the late pestilence and the difficulty of carrying 
their dead to Manchester, on account of which they had had a licence to 
bury at Didsbury.'" The burgesses of Liverpool received a licence to bury 
in the cemetery of their chapel of St. Nicholas during the plague of 1361, 
saving the dues of the parish church of Walton, and in the following year 
the rector of Walton procured from the bishop a commission to dedicate 
the chapel and appoint a cemetery to last as long as the vicar of Walton 

The more general effects of this terrible scourge, which must have been 
specially felt in North Lancashire, where the wounds inflicted by the Scots 
were still fresh, are not easy to appraise."^ A temporary relaxation of morals 
and disorganization of church institutions, some lowering of the character of 
the clergy, whose thinned ranks had to be suddenly recruited without too 
nice an attention to qualifications, must have resulted."^ Against this is to be 
set a certain revival of religious feeling, partly no doubt the effect of panic. 

The mortality among the landowning class doubtless stimulated the 
desire to secure permanent intercession for the souls of the dead by the 

this document (p. 529) must b/an error for Chinninc ^. P'^°bably not included. The second Poulton in 
is otherwise un^counted for P^'"^" ^^"^ ""'' ""'^ °»= P"'''^ °f Po-^'ton, and Chipping 

office." "^'"^ "^^ '" '"^ '"" °'^" ^^"""" - b-<^fi«' -jng to the plague before Adam came into 

■"Lich. Epis. Reg. Northburgh, vol ii fol ,27 V.r r ■ P^'^""' °P- "'• '57- 
to bur), in their cemefery, in Sept 36, 'on account ^f ' '""""^'^ =°°"8h, they again received a licence 
Stretton, ii, fol. 7). No«hburgh^lso Vutiorized ^m tf cet^^^^^^^^ V' P'^-S^ ' ('bid- Reg. 

though it is of antiquity beyo'nd memory, harJeln Seldom dn"':f';a"e"' "tL^'k" , ''' ^^^P^'' ' -!»-'. 
oblations to the rectory of Manchester. ^^^ chaplain was to pay all 

"° Ibid. Reg. Stretton, vol ii fol a.±—c Th 
Croston and the inhabitants of Chorley for the dedi^doToTlh'" K TTo^."" ^"^'^^^^ '^^ «<=t°r of 
brought about by the p.tilence, though n^othi^glttTofTcemelt^trbi lol'^'f'' "^'^ ''^ ^^^ ^"" 
.o.^Z^^^^l!:^^J:^::i- ^-" '° ^^^ P°ven;tSen nun, of Seton, which 
'" Gasquet, Tie Great Pestilence, 205. 



foundation of chantries. Another feature of the plague period was the great 
increase in the number of licences granted to the local lords for the celebra- 
tion of divine service in the oratories of their manor-houses,"' and here too 
we may perhaps detect an attempt to obtain a more direct and personal 
intervention with heaven coupled in some cases doubtless with a dread of 
infection. These licences were only granted for a short term of years, or, 
occasionally, during the bishop's pleasure, but their effect was unfortunate in 
so far as they tended to raise a barrier between the lord and his tenants. 

Allusion has been made to a probable lowering of tone in the clergy and 
religious as one of the results of the Black Death. It must be admitted, 
however, that this was not marked enough to come out in the rather scanty 
information at our disposal as to the state of the Church in Lancashire during 
the fourteenth century. Both before and after the great pestilence there is 
some reason to believe that the appropriate churches were better served than 
those under lay patronage. The frequent occurrence of the names of 
Langton, Standish, Halsall, and Le Walsch among the rectors of Wigan, 
Standish, Halsall, and Aughton illustrates the habitual use of livings by lay 
patrons as a provision for younger members of their families. Rectors 
were instituted when only in minor orders, or even with the first tonsure, 
occasionally under the canonical age, and so little qualified for their work 
that licences of absence for several years to study at a university had to be 
granted to them."" The bishop might and did insist that the cure should 
not be neglected ; but for this there was no real guarantee when its duties 
were performed by chaplains not too well paid and without security of tenure. 
Leave of absence was also freely granted to rectors for other reasons the 
nature of which is seldom expressed,'" and in such cases they were allowed 
to put their churches to farm. Between 1355 and 1383 Thomas de Wyk, 
rector of Manchester, was absent from his cure for eleven years altogether. 
The episcopal registers contain only one instance of such permission in the 
case of a vicar, and then only for a year ; in 1 309 the vicar of Blackburn 
received leave to go on pilgrimage for that length of time.'" Robert de 
Clitheroe, rector of Wigan from 1303 to 1334, undertook the work of 
escheator beyond Trent and other royal commissions without formal leave of 
absence ; he had an acknowledged (but of course illegitimate) son born after 
he was ordained priest, and was an active partisan of Earl Thomas of 
Lancaster, for which he was tried and heavily fined in 1323."^ He pleaded 

"' Lich. Epis. Reg. passim. The licence was sometimes granted to rectors and even chaplains ; ibid. 
Scrope, fol. 124. An enigmatic entry in 1394 records the grant of a licence to the prior of Penwortham to 
celebrate divine worship in his parish church without prejudice to the oratory in his priory for two years ; 
ibid. fol. 131^. Taking advantage of the increased demand for their services and the reduction of their 
numbers by the plague, chaplains (like labourers) demanded higher salaries, 10 or 12 marks a year, with the 
result that Parliament in 1362 fixed 6 marks as a maximum for parochial chaplains and five for those without 
cure of souls ; Rot. Pari, ii, 271. 

*" They were usually licenced vaguely insislere studio generali, but in one case Oxford is specified ; 
Lich. Epis. Reg. Scrope, fol. 135. A rector of Walton in 1328 obtained permission to study for seven years 
' according to the canon,' but two or three years was the average time allowed. In the case of Henry Halsall, 
who in 1395 was admitted to the family rectory of Halsall at the early age of 19, no licence appears on the 
registers ; ibid. fol. 59^. He was described as Master H. H. however when promoted in 1413 to be arch- 
deacon of Chester ; ibid. Burghill, fol. 1031J. 

"' A rector of Leyland was given leave of absence in 1322 while an advocate in the Court of Arches ; a 
rector of North Meols in 1 324 to serve the earl of Huntingdon, who was lord of Widnes ; ibid. Northburgh, 
i, fol. 123, 13. 

'« Ibid. Langton, fol. 57. "' mst. of the Ch. of Wigan (Chet. Soc), 38-45. 



that the terms of his tenure of the manor of Wigan bound him ^° ■[^"'^^J 
military service to the earls of Lancaster when required— an illustration or 
the ambiguous position in which such rectory manors might place a enure - 
man Another beneficed priest with a son was Thomas de Wyk rector ot 
Manchester, already mentioned.- The son was rector of Ashton-under- 
Lvne It is perhaps not without significance that the only recorded case 
of deprivation in this century is that of a rector of Leigh, Henry Rixton, 

As far as Lancashire was concerned the evil of pluralities does not seem 
to have been more glaring than in the previous century. No pluralist of 
Mansel's magnitude occurs. As before, the worst cases were connected with 
Wigan and Preston, and for these the lay authorities were primarily respon- 
sible. The crown intermittently claimed the advowson of the former against 
the Langton family, and in 1350 Edward III presented his chaplain John de 
Winwick, who for a short time held the rectory of Stamford in Lincolnshire 
concurrently with Wigan, was provided by the pope at the king's request to 
the treasureship of York, and enjoyed prebends in various cathedrals and 
collegiate churches."' The patronage of Preston, which had passed from the 
crown to the earls of Lancaster, was exercised by Earl Henry in 1348 in 
favour of his treasurer Henry de Walton, who in the next year was provided 
to the archdeaconry of Richmond (with which was united the rectory of 
Bolton-le-Sands), and held stalls at Lincoln, York, Salisbury and Wells.''^^ 
His successor Robert de Burton seems to have been also rector of Ripple in 
Worcestershire.'^^ The popes sought to restrain at least the accumulation of 
benefices with cure of souls, and Urban V in 1366 issued a constitution 
against plurals, in accordance with which John Charnels, an old servant of 
the crown and principal executor of Henry, duke of Lancaster, then rector of 
Preston, exhibited to the bishop of Coventry and Lichfield a list of his 
ecclesiastical benefices and their values.'" But the pope was not always stern, 
and many dispensations were granted. The union even of cures of souls 
was not stopped. In 1388 John Fithler was admitted both to the vicarage 
of Rochdale and the rectory of RadclifFe.''" 

For the early part of the century at all events there is evidence that the 
bishops of Lichfield kept a watchful eye on the Lancashire part of their great 
diocese. Walter de Langton and Roger de Northburgh were not very 
spiritually-minded ecclesiastics ; but Langton, finding that the rectory of 
Prescot, held in commendam by Alan le Bretoun, treasurer of Lichfield, was 

•" The marriage of the clergy in minor orders was not forbidden. But married men were prohibited 
from entering the higher orders In 1 31 3 Robert de Wigan, clerk, Agnes his wife, and Joan their daughter 
are menuoned at Warnngton ; Annals of Warrington (Chet. Soc ) 1 42 

"V^!'5' fP'\^=8- Northburgh, voL i, foL 103. In ,36^ V^Hliam de Slaidbum, vicar of Kiricham, 
H , / r 1 /Ak°'' q ^' w"",, . °f Am°>inderness, but received the duke of Lancaster's pardon 

H.t. ./^,r^^.m (Chet Soc.) 70. William de Hexham had to resign Eccleston in 137,, but only becaus^ 
being the son of a pnest he had obtained institution without a dispensation : Cal Pat> Lettlr, iv ./, 

"" Ibid iii, 342, 420-1, 460 ; Hut. ofCh. of Wigan (Chet. Soc), 47. 

'^ Cal Pap. Letters, iii, 277, 290, 478, 542 ; Smith, Rec. of Preston Ch. 34. ™ jkih ,r 

"• He had been keeper of the Great Wardrobe and constable of RnrrlpinT,^^ »■ j 1. ^^5- 

his household at iJjo a yL ; ibid. 36, from Add. MS 6069 S ^It ' "'™''''^ '^^ '="P'="^^ "^ 

•» Vuars of Rochdale (Chet. Soc), 22. For papal collations to Lancashire benefices see Cal P„ 1 
?cS, 324, 3S4. In 1363 the vicarage of Kirkham was void so long as to lapse to the holv 1 rt / ' 

In .357 the cardinal of Perigueux, papal legate, gave the rectory ff Standish'^'cLf dVstaSh {illi 



being neglected, threatened to take it from him ; ^^^ while Northburgh made 
at least one personal visitation of this portion of his diocese (ijso)/"" and 
four years later corrected some disorders at Holland Priory.''''' His successor, 
however, was the illiterate Robert de Stretton, whom the Black Prince forced 
into the see after a good deal of resistance on the part of the pope and the 
archbishop of Canterbury, who both at first rejected him propter defectum 
literaturae ; he was unable to read his profession of obedience to the arch- 
bishop, and most of his episcopal work during the twenty-five years (i 360-85) 
he held the see was done by suffragans."'* Richard le Scrope, on the con- 
trary, who presided over the diocese in the later years of the century until 
he became archbishop of York, was a man of learning and high character. 

The list of archdeacons of Richmond in the early part of the period 
affords good instances of the way in which foreigners were still provided 
for in England. This important ofRce was held in close succession by 
Gerard de Vyspeyns, subsequently bishop of Lausanne ; Francesco Gaetani, 
Cardinal of St. Mary in Cosmedin, and Elias son of Elias de Talleyrand, 
count of Perigord and afterwards (1328) bishop of Auxerre.**'^ Of any 
opposition to the church system and doctrines there is in Lancashire no trace. 
LoUardy never got a footing so far north. In 1337, while WyclifFe was still 
a boy. Sir William de Clifton refused to allow those of his tenants who were 
living in open sin to be corrected or punished by the parish clergy of Kirk- 
ham, and had his infant baptized without the baptismal font of the church, 
but these were mere incidents in a bitter quarrel with the abbot of Vale 
Royal over the payment of tithe."'" 

The unshaken attachment of the county to the existing ecclesiastical 
establishment is amply "attested by the many benefactions bestowed on it in 
the fifteenth century. It benefited largely by the prosperity which the 
landed gentry of Lancashire derived from the new and close connexion of 
the county with the crown, a prosperity of which the most conspicuous 
instances were the rapid rise of the house of Stanley and the high positions 
in Church and State attained by members of the local families of Booth and 
Langley. Three sons of John Booth of Barton rose to episcopal rank ; John 
became bishop of Exeter *'*'' (1465), William bishop of Coventry and Lich- 
field (1447-52) and archbishop of York (1452-64), and Laurence, bishop 
of Durham (1457-76), archbishop of York (1476-80), and Lord Chan- 
cellor. Thomas Langley of the Middleton family was bishop of Durham 
(1406-37), Lord Chancellor and a cardinal. With the exception of John 
Booth they were considerable benefactors to the Church of their native 
county. Langley rebuilt Middleton church, in which he founded a chantry, 
and William and Laurence Booth endowed two chantries in the church of 
Eccles. The foundation of chantries was more than ever the favourite form 

"^ Lich. Epis. Reg. Langton, fol. 2z. 
Ibid. Northburgh, vol. i, fol. 1 5 83. 


Ibid. vol. ii, fol. 6oi. "* Diet. Nat. Biog. Iv, 47. 

^^ Cat. Pap. Letters, ii, 53, 218 ; Le Neve, Fasti Eccl. Angl. iii, 137. 

^' Hist, of Kirkham (Chet. Soc), 34-5. Clifton and his tenants drove the tithe collectors away by force 
of arms, assaulted the priests and clerks in the church, and scourged the abbot's clerk in the streets of Preston 
even to effusion of blood. In the end Clifton had to make restitution and seek absolution, while the tenants 
had to present a large wax candle to the church, which was carried round it on the feast of palms, and to swear 
never more to injure Kirkham church. 

^'' He was previously rector of Leigh and warden of Manchester. 

2 33 S 


of benefaction. At least forty were endowed during the century, most of 
them after 1450 ; a fresh impulse was no doubt given by the civil wars 
A novel feature of the fifteenth-century chantry foundations was tneir 
frequent association with charitable provisions. At Middleton Preston, ana 
St. Michaels-on-Wyre chantry priests were required to keep a free grammar 
school for poor children ; those of Lathom and Lancaster presided over sniall 
hospitals or almshouses for eight and four bedesmen respectively ; i" other 
cases an annual distribution of alms formed part of their duties. ^ Occa- 
sionally the founder bound them ' to assist the Curate for ever (e.g. at 
St. Michaels-on-Wyre), or ' to maintain the service in the quiere (choir) 
every holy day' (e.g. at Standish). The priests of the two Eccles chantries 
were to live together in a manse built for them near the churchyard, and 
have a common hall and table."" 

The most striking single benefaction to the church in Lancashire 
during this age, however, was the coUegiation of the church of Manchester 
by Thomas la Warre. Last of his family in the direct male line. La Warre 
doubled the parts of patron and rector ; in 1421, moved by representations 
of the insufficient spiritual oversight of this large and populous parish, the 
rectors of which had been generally non-resident and indifferent, he arranged 
for the transference of his rights to a college to consist of one master or warden 
chaplain, eight fellow chaplains, four clerks and six choristers, and augmented 
the considerable revenues of the rectory with a sum of 200 marks and 
certain lands and tenements, including the Manchester manor-house of the 
La Warres and of the Grelleys before them, the proximity of which to the 
church made it a convenient residence for the college."*^ Warden Huntingdon, 
its first head, began the re-construction of the church on a scale propor- 
tionate to its new dignity. In less ambitious fashion a large number of the 
Lancashire churches were restored or rebuilt during this century and the 
first quarter of the next, and this with the chantry chapels imparted that 
generally ' Perpendicular ' character which now characterizes them. This 
building activity testifies to the increased prosperity of the county. 

The chapel of Littleborough in Rochdale parish was built about 1471, 
the Todmorden chapelry of Rochdale came into existence between 1400 
and 1476, provision was made for one at Milnrow in the same parish in 
1496, and in or before 1500 a chapel was erected at Lathom ; those in the 
town of Garstang, which was a mile and a half from the parish church, 
and at Windle (St. Helens) in Prescot parish, are first mentioned in this 
century and were perhaps built then. Holme in Cliviger (Whalley parish) 
also probably belongs to this age. These are all, not clearly earlier than 
the fifteenth century, that can be definitely traced beyond the sixteenth 
century ; but it is probable that a number of those which are first heard of 
in the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII were of earlier foundation. 

^oZ^^TckT "^"^ ""*= '^'^""" "" ^"^^^""''^ ^"'^°-="^- C^"'-' -- ^'so endowed in so.c 

c^^n:;ii::i:tT::o^^^^^^^^^^^ ->-. The ,,... or .,, 

not connected with the chantry. ' ° ''°'^°''='^ '^ S"^^^" school, but this was 

"° This was 5/. at HoUinfare, 30/. at Eccles. 

•|' In the chantry certificate of 1547 they are called fellows. 

Hibbert Ware, Foundations of Manchester iv i r^ . T4.i.-1,-J nn 
Heyworth,fol...a. The manor-ho4e is nof^e Chld.t'rn H J^^^^^^^ ^ich. Epis. Reg. 



With the exception of Garstang,"' Littleborough, Oldham, and Todmorden 
those mentioned above seem to have been originally mere chantry chapels. 

Some important changes in the relations of the parish churches to the 
religious houses took place. In 141 4 Lancaster Priory shared the fate of 
other alien priories dependent upon foreign monasteries. Their possessions 
had from time to time been taken into the king's hands during the wars with 
France, and now an Act of Parliament dissolved them altogether and vested 
their property in the crown.'" Henry V bestowed the priory of Lancaster 
upon his new Brigittine nunnery of Sion founded in the same year.'" Its 
advowsons and appropriate churches were included in the grant, with the 
exception of the advowson of Eccleston, which was granted (before 1463) 
to one of the Stanleys.'" As some compensation perhaps for its being with- 
held, Croston, of which the priory had only held the advowson, was appro- 
priated to the nuns of Sion ; '" a vicarage was ordained by Bishop Heyworth 
in 1420.'** Ten years later the archdeacon of Richmond ordained a vicarage 
in their church of Lancaster,'*' and in the same year the abbess augmented 
the vicarage of Poulton.'" 

Three churches besides Croston were now first appropriated. St. 
Michaels-on-Wyre was given by Henry IV in 1409 as part of the endow- 
ment of the chantry (afterwards college) of Battlefield, founded in com- 
memoration of the battle of Shrewsbury, and a vicarage was subsequently 
ordained.'" In 1448 Prescot became appropriate to King's College, 
Cambridge, which had received the advowson from its founder Henry VI 
in 1445,'" and in the same year William, Lord Lovel arranged for the 
appropriation of Leigh, the advowson of which he had inherited from the 
Hollands, to the Austin Canons of Erdbury in Warwickshire, of whose house 
he was a patron.'" Vicarages were ordained in each case.'" 

Eccleston was not the only church which reverted to lay patronage. 
In 1433 or 1434 (12 Hen. VI) the canons of Nostell sold their rights in 
Win wick church, which in this case too passed into the hands of the 
Stanleys ; the purchaser was Sir John Stanley of Lathom, K.G., grandfather 
of the first earl of Derby.'" The advowson of Walton-on-the-Hill was 
bought from Shrewsbury Abbey in 1470 by Sir Thomas Molyneux, knt., of 

'" In 1437 the inhabitants of Garstang had licence from the archdeacon of Richmond to have divine 
service performed in the chapel in that town for one year ; Not. Ceitr. ii, 412. 

'" Rot. Pari, iv, 22. '" Ibid, iv, 243. See * Religious Houses.' 

"° Lich. Epis. Reg. Heyvyorth, fol. nob ; ibid. Hales, fbl. loi. Thomas, Lord Stanley, father of the 
first earl of Derby, presented in 1463. 

'■" Ratified by Pope Martin V on 18 Aug. 141 8 ; Foedera, ix, 617. 

"' Lich. Epis. Reg. Heyworth, fol. 129. The vicar was bound to distribute annually 10/. to the poor. 

^'' Not. Cestr. ii, 429. The vicar was required to maintain six chaplains, three in the parish church and 
one each in the chapels of Gressingham, Caton, and Stalmine. 

"^ Ibid, ii, 456. 

»i Wylie, Hist, of Hen. IV, iii, 241 ; Hist, of St. Michaels-on-Wyre (Chet. Soc), 43, 109. 

^** Rot. Pari. V, 92 ; Lich. Epis. Reg. Booth, fol. 64 ; Not. Cestr. ii, 203. John of Gaunt obtained the 
advowson in 1391 from Ralph, Lord Nevill of Raby in exchange for that of Staindrop ; Lich. Epis. Reg. 
Scrope, fol. 57. 

"» Lich. Epis. Reg. Booth, fol. 683. 

'" The vicar of Leigh's portion was 16 marks and a tenement. Besides the usual payments to the bishop 
and archdeacon he was bound to distribute annually 6s. id. among the poor. 

'" Not. Cestr. ii, 261. The priory reserved a pension of ^^5. The incumbents were henceforth rectors 
instead of vicars. 

"" Ibid, ii, 222. The Molyneux family had always been patrons of the adjoining rectory of Sefton. 



No very marked declension in character or devotion to their work on 
the part of the parochial clergy is observable, unless it be among the monastic 
vicars. Negligent and absentee parsons — some too, of indifferent morals — are 
met with, but there is nothing to show that they were much more numerous 
than before. The use of patronage to provide a career for younger and ille- 
gitimate sons perhaps increased a little — a continuous succession of Langtons, 
e.g., held the rectory of Wigan from 1370 to 1506 — and the rich living of 
Winwick became almost an appanage of the Stanley family. °" Crown 
patronage continued to be exercised in a way which led to non-residence. 
The rectors of Prescot, for example, before its transference to King's College 
were men of high academic standing — two of them became bishops — but one of 
them, Philip Morgan, much employed by Henry V in diplomacy, and after- 
wards bishop successively of Worcester and Ely, was certainly an absentee,^" and 
probably others were. Royal nominees cannot, indeed, be said to have been the 
only offenders in this respect. In 1444 the archdeacon of Richmond had to 
admonish the rectors of Claughton and Chipping and the vicars of Lancaster 
and Garstang for non-residence."' Instances occur of diocesan interference 
for graver reasons. The bishop of Lichfield ordered an inquiry in 1460 into 
the state of Walton church, whose church furniture and buildings were 
alleged to be notably defective by the fault of the late rector, Ralph Stanley.^"" 
In 1473 the archdeacon of Richmond inquired into abuses in the church of 
Tunstall.'" Bishop Hales in the following year collated to the vicarage of 
Eccles because John Bollyng, whom the abbey of Whalley had presented, was 
found to be ' unsuitable and incompetent.' ''' As the vicar of Tunstall was a 
canon of Croxton, the last two incidents are primarily a reflection upon the 
condition of the religious houses. This seems to have undoubtedly suffered 
a change for the worse. In 1454 the prior of Burscough and two of the 
canons, one of whom was the vicar of Ormskirk, were convicted of practising 
divination, sortilege, and the black art in order to discover hidden treasure 
All three were suspended from the priestly office, the prior had to resign, 
and the vicar was deprived.-' Towards the end of the century Holland 
Priory fell into a very unsatisfactory state. Complaints reached the bishop in 
1497 that the monks did not observe the rule of St. Benedict, that their 
church was out of repair, their other houses ruinous, and their spiritual and 
^mporal goods dilapidated or dissipated by their neghgence and excesses.- 
1 he result of the inquiry ordered does not appear, but the alleged neglect of 
he rule is borne out by the evidence as to the condition of the priory at 

Cocke"?s'and Ahh ^^'^ ^ ^""'^ ^""''' ^''''-^ ^''°''^' °^ visitations^ of 
preva leTfn^,h^'\'^°" '^'' a considerable relaxation of morals and discipline 
prevailed m that house towards the close of the century But the abbev 
seems to have recovered a healthier tone before the Dissolu ion - F om^he 
episcopal registers it would appear that the number of regular; taking o'der: 

Sn,:th, fol. .57/ '■ ' °' "'• ^"^"'°" -^^ ^-"' - H93 'hy cession or dismissal' ; ibid. 

"' Lanes. ChM. 233. •«» t • 1. 1- 

' Ibid. Boulers, fol. ^o, q :. ,« tl'^f f P'^" ^^g. Hales, fol. 108. 

' See below, fP- . n, 1 . 2. J)'^' ^^""'^^1. f°l- ^36^. 

Ibid. p. 156. 




had decreased in this age. In this period, too, the leper hospitals at Preston 
and Lancaster were allowed to fall into decay and disuse. What has been 
said of the ecclesiastical state of the county in the fifteenth century is generally 
true also of the early years of the sixteenth down to the abrupt changes of 
Henry VIII. The tendencies already noted became perhaps a little more 
marked, but that was all. 

Of the three chapels (all in Whalley parish) which are expressly 
recorded to have been erected during the first half of the sixteenth century . 
one only, Newchurch in Rossendale, preceded the breach with Rome.''^'' It 
was built by the inhabitants in 1 5 1 1 as a chapel of easement, the way to 
their parish chapel at CHtheroe from the forest being ' penefuU and perilous.' 
Some, however, of the many chapels of which the first mention occurs in 
documents of the time of Edward VI may have been built under Henry VII 
and Henry VIII, while others no doubt were older.^" Not all were parochial, 
but certain chantry chapels served as chapels of ease where the parish church 
was remote or difficult of access."*^ Until the very eve of the Reformation the 
foundation of chantries went on even more rapidly than before. In the course 
of a generation almost as many came into existence as in the whole of the 
previous century. Most of the founders were still drawn from the landed 
gentry and the clergy, but the Manchester chantries reveal the rise in that 
town of a class of merchants enriched by its nascent manufactures. Pre- 
eminent among them for his munificence was Richard Beswick the younger, 
who, besides founding a chantry for two priests, one of whom was to teach a 
free school — thus anticipating the larger endowment for education made some 
years later by his brother-in-law Bishop Oldham — bore part of the cost of the 
Jesus Chapel in which his chantry was installed, and restored at his own ex- 
pense the choir and nave of the church.^" He was assisted in the erection of 
the chapel by the other members of the gild of St. Saviour and of the Name 
of Jesus ; Richard Tetlow, also a merchant, and others left money for the 
maintenance of a second gild, that of Our Blessed Lady and of St. George ; ^™ 
but neither these nor any other Lancashire gild, if such existed, seems to 
have received a separate and permanent endowment, for no associations of 
the kind are noticed by the commissioners of 1546 and 1548. A sign of the 
times is the provision made for grammar schools in connexion with chantries 
at Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington, Blackburn, Leyland, and Rufford. 
The chantry priest at Blackburn, for instance, was required to be ' sufficiently 
learned in gramer and plane songe to keep a fre skole.' All seem to have 

'*' The others were Goodshaw (l 540) and New Church in Pendle, built by the inhabitants and consecrated 
as a parochial chapel in 1 544. 

'" They include : in Bury parish, Edenfield, Heywood, Holcomb ; in Deane parish, Westhoughton ; 
in Bolton parish, Rivington ; in Croston parish, Becconsall, Tarleton ; in Kirkham parish, Lund ; in Leyland 
parish, Euxton, Heapey ; in Middleton parish, Ashworth ; in Prestwich parish, Shaw ; in Ribchester parish, 
Longridge ; in Rochdale parish, Whitworth ; in Sefton parish, Crosby ; in Walton parish, Formby, Kirkby ; 
in Whalley parish, Accrington ; in Tunstall parish, Leek ; in Cartmel parish, Cartmel Fell, Flookborough. 
This list is doubtless incomplete. 

'" Becconsall, e.g., being separated from Croston Church by an arm of the sea, was sometimes cut off from 
it for four days together (Lanes. Chant. 171), during which the chantry priests ministered the sacraments 
to the inhabitants. Rufford and Tarleton were in the same case. The rector of Ribchester sometimes could 
not visit Bailey chapel owing to floods in the Hodder (ibid. 212). We may here notice that the chapelry of 
Deane was now formed into a parish separate from Eccles {Not. Cestr. 37) and that the ancient parochial chapels 
of Bispham and Goosnargh were now occasionally and loosely called parish churches. {Hist, of Bispham, 26 ; 
Lanes. Chant. 242). 

'«' Lanes. Chant. 48 sqq. "° Ibid. 41, 44. 



been free with the partial exception that at Liverpool the ""J^"^[^ °f 
St. Katherine was allowed ' to take his advantage ' of scholars saving those 
'that beryth the name of Crosse and poore children.' At Manchester 
(St. Tames' chantry), Liverpool, and Warrington the foundation included an 
annual distribution of alms to the poor, and in the last case to the ministers 
of the church The chantry priests at Blackburn and Standish were expressly 
bound to assist in the services of the church.'" Edward Stanley, first Lord 
Monteagle (fifth son of the first earl of Derby), to commemorate his success 
at Flodden left an endowment for a hospital at Hornby for two priests, one 
clerk, five bedemen, and a schoolmaster, but his intentions were never carried 
out. ' Better fortune attended an almshouse for a chaplain and eight bedemen 
founded at Lathom by the second earl of Derby in 1500. A number of the 
older churches and chapels were restored or rebuilt in this period. 

The state of the clergy remained much as before. Perhaps the evils of 
family Hvings and political influence may have become a little more accen- 
tuated, but the beginning of the century does not form a real dividing line. 
Stanleys, and in a less degree Molyneux and Halsalls, continued to be thrust 
into the richest benefices without much regard to their fitness. James Stanley 
(younger brother of Lord Monteagle), whose easy morals were afterwards 
made the most of by Protestant critics, did not resign the wardenship of 
Manchester until he had been bishop of Ely for four years, and he held Win- 
wick down to his death. He is not unfairly described by his nephew, the 
bishop of Sodor and Man, in his rhyming history of their house, as a man 


If he had been noe prieste had bene worthier praise. 

Edward Molyneux, who in 1509 succeeded his uncle James, archdeacon of 
Richmond, as rector of Sefton, held the rectory of Ashton-under-Lyne and 
the vicarage of Leyland, and in 1528 was admitted rector of Walton on his 
undertaking to pay the late rector, who had resigned in his favour, >r8o a 
year 'as long as he should be employed in worldly affairs.'"' William Wall, 
probably the son of a law-agent of the second earl of Derby, died in i 5 1 1 
rector of Eccleston in Lancashire and Davenham'" in Cheshire. Pluralities 
and non-residence had, indeed, taken such deep root that even the best men 
of the time saw no harm in them ; the famous physician and scholar Linacre 
had no scruples in holding the rich rectory of Wigan (1519—24), though he 
never resided. As for the chantry priests, there is little evidence as to 
character, but the commissioners of 1546 could report that in almost every 
case the duties prescribed by the founders were performed ; and if the priest 
at Goosnargh ' did use to celebrate at his pleasure,' the reason probably was 
that in this case no foundation ordinance could be produced."''* 

There was much that urgently called for reform, but it is pretty clear 
that the drastic changes introduced by Henry VIII were regarded with no 
real sympathy in Lancashire, except among the few who hoped to share in 
the spoils of the monasteries, and that on the contrary they provoked a large 
amount of more or less active hostility, especially in the northern parts of the 

•" At Blackburn ' he was to maintain one side of the choir every holy day.' It may be noticed here 
that Chetham's cantanst at the altar of St. George in Manchester church had to celebrate mass daily ' at six 
of the cloke in the momynge ' and to be a member of the gild of St. George. 

"' Lanes. Ccan/. 112-1^. "' Ibid. 178-9. ' "* Ibid 243 



county. It was a priest who, on the proclamation of Queen Anne at Croston 
in July, 1533, cried out that ' Quene Katheryn shulde be Queue, and as for 
Nan BuUen, that hore, who the Devill made her Quene ? and as for the 
Kynge shall not be King but on his beryng ; ' nevertheless there can be no 
doubt that he voiced the opinion of large numbers of laymen."" Grievances 
not directly connected with the royal divorce and the ecclesiastical changes 
which followed in its train swelled the rising tide of discontent,'"'' but the 
spectacle of the faith of which the king was entitled Defender ' piteously and 
abominably confounded,' the dissolution of the smaller monasteries in 1536,''" 
and the fear of even more sweeping measures, opened the flood-gates. Lanca- 
shire, however, as is shown below, played only a secondary part in the Pilgrimage 
of Grace. The south and west of the county did not join in the insurrection, 
though even there the loyalty of the commonalty, if not of the gentry, was 
considered somewhat doubtful. No profound indignation can have been 
aroused by the suppression of Holland and Burscough priories ; they had 
fallen into utter decay, and at no time had they filled the same place in 
the life of their neighbourhood as the northern houses in their wilder 

The priories of Conishead and Cartmel were included in the first 
suppression, and the great abbeys of Furness and Whalley fell after the 
Pilgrimage of Grace. The remaining houses did not long survive. The 
results of the disappearance of the monasteries were not wholly beneficial. 
A good deal of charity, indiscriminate it may be, came to an end and the 
new owners of their lands raised rents. The parish churches which had 
remained conventual or quasi-conventual to the last — Lytham, Penwortham, 
Cartmel, and Ulverston — were left in an unfortunate position as compared 
with those appropriated churches in which vicarages had been endowed. 
It is true that the successors of chaplains or curates paid by the convent, 
though appointed without episcopal institution by the new impropriators of 
the rectories, were in future ensured life tenure, and so became ' perpetual 
curates ' ; ^'^ but they had no income except what the impropriators allowed 
them, and this was miserably low.'" 

The order for the removal of superstitious objects from the churches 
was not more popular in Lancashire than the suppression of the religious 
houses. A few months after his appointment to the new see of Chester 
(1541) Bishop Bird informed the king that for lack of doctrine and 
preaching the inhabitants of his diocese were much behind His Majesty's 
subjects in the south. ' Popish idolatry ' was likely to continue by reason that 
divers colleges and places claiming to be exempt from the bishop though 
they had, in accordance with the proclamations, taken down idols and 

'" Derb. Corns. (Chet. Soc), 13. '" See 'Political History.' 

"' The Act of February, 1536, provided for the suppression of monasteries with less than jfzoo a year. 
According to the revaluation of clerical property made in 1535 [Vahr Ecd. printed by the Rec. Com.) five 
Lancashire houses were under this limit : Burscough, Holland, Cockersand, Cartmel, and Conishead. Royal 
Commissioners appointed 24 April, made a new survey of them, and on their report all but Cockersand were 
suppressed. For Cockersand see 'Religious Houses,' p. 157. 

"' Makower, Const. Hist, of Engl. Ch. 332. 

'™ Until the middle of the seventeenth century the curate of Cartmel had nothing but what the bishop's 
farmers allowed him ; Vot. Cestr. 499. The whole salary of the curate of Ulverston in 1 560 was j(^lo ; ibid. 
535. The curate of Lytham had then nothing but a grant from the Committee of Plundered Ministers ; 
ibid. 447. 



images accustomed to be worshipped, still kept them and ^"ff^'"^^^*^^ P^°P^^ 
to offer as before.-' The suppression of the chantries in 1 548; "^J^^'/l^l 
the faults of the chantry system may have been, undoubtedly d.nimished ne 
efficiency of the church machinery in the county. The workmg ot the 
Chantry Act might have been less open to criticism had it remained in 
Somerset's hands. It is characteristic of his successors that they stretched it 
to cover the confiscation of the plate and bells of a large number ot chapels 
in which chantries had never existed. 


The Reformation period has a twofold importance for the County 
Palatine ; a special one in so far as it led to the erection of the see of Chester, 
and a general one in so far as it gave rise to a certain amount of disturbance 
among the parochial clergy and even among the laity. The former point 
can be dealt with summarily. The Act of 1539 for the dissolution of all 
monasteries*'^ was accompanied by the Act authorizing the king to make 
bishoprics by his letters patent. ^'^ Between the date of this latter Act and the 
actual issue of the letters patent erecting the new bishoprics a period of nearly 
two years elapsed, an interval which was probably occupied by the prepara- 
tory work of surveying the financial basis and drafting the general scheme of 
each intended foundation. From the record preserved it can be gathered 
that it had not at first been contemplated to erect a bishopric at Chester at 
all, but only to extend the foundation and resources of the abbey of 
St. Werburgh.'*' Abandoning this more limited idea, the letters patent 
erecting the see were signed by the king on 4 August, 1541, at Walden.'** 
Thereby the monastery of St. Werburgh at Chester was made an episcopal 
seat and cathedral church with a bishop, a dean, and six prebendaries. The 
whole of Lancashire was included in the new see, John Bird, bishop of Bangor, 
being nominated to it. The two archdeaconries of Richmond and Chester,'*' 
separated respectively from York and from Lichfield, were united and annexed 
to the new see with all their jurisdictions. Both archdeacons were to be 
collated by the bishop and to receive not more than ;^ioo per annum from 
him. The archdeaconry of Richmond, hitherto under York, was taken into 
the province of Canterbury, thus bringing the whole see under that province. 
The chapter was incorporated and was to guide itself in its actions by statutes 
to be prescribed by the king in an indenture. 

These letters patent were followed on the next day by two other patents, 
granting respectively to the bishop and to the dean and chapter their endow- 
ments.**' The latter of these two patents has a curious history. By a clerical 

- L W P Hen. nil, xvi, ,377 »> 3 , Hen. VIII, cap. .3. - Ibid. cap. 9. 

^ Ihe draft schemes are contained in vol. 24 of the Misc. Bks. of the Aug. Off at the P R O 
1^ Pat 33 Hen. VIII, pt. 2, m. 23, reprinted in full in Rymer, fo^^^ra, xiv, 7i'7-24. 

As already stated Lancashire north of the Ribble was in Richmond archdeaconry, and south of that 
anTrevkndthJnf r'T "'^^<if,^™°^ =°°^inf /h^ deaneries of Warrington, Manchester, Blackburn, 
and Leyland ; that of Richmond the deaneries of Amoundemess, Kirkby Lonsdale, Kendal, Fumess and 
Cartmel, besides others outside the county. <;"u.ii, r umess, ana 

-TK "^ ^u'^u^u"" P"'^"^' '^f.*"^ ^'''^^°' 5 ^"8- '541. "e entered on the Roll ; Pat. 33 Hen VIII ot 7 
That to the bishop grantmg him the rectory of Bolton in Lonsdale and other possession, in !?'•„ .■^' 

;^t ^° ''''''-' ^" ""--'' ''"■ ' ''■ ^''' - ^'^ '- -' chte7drr:;pei:rw b^ 



slip in the enrolment of the grant the name of Chester was omitted '" from the 
designation of the dean and chapter, so that the grant runs as follows : ' Dedi- 
mus et concessimus ac per praesentes damus et concedimus decano et capitulo 
ecclesiae cathedralis Christi et beatae Mariae Virginis per nos dudum erectis 
omnia ilia maneria,' &c. The omission proved of serious consequence, for 
under Edward VI the grant was impugned and the lands under a compulsory 
conveyance passed to Sir Richard Cotton, comptroller of the household, 
charged only with a fee-farm rent to the dean and chapter. The fee-farm 
rent of course remained stationary, whilst the lands themselves have increased 
in value. The practical result was to deprive the dean and chapter of the 
endowment intended for them by Henry VIII, 

At the time of the foundation of the new see of Chester both the arch- 
deaconries within its limits were held by Dr. William Knight, a well-known 
ecclesiastic and statesman, frequently employed by Henry VIII as his ambas- 
sador abroad. The licence for Knight's election as bishop of Bath and 
Wells was issued on 9 April, 1541 ; he was confirmed on 19 May and con- 
secrated on the 29th. He had previously, by a deed dated 10 February, 
I 541,"*' resigned the archdeaconry of Richmond, while the other archdeaconry 
he resigned by a charter dated 20 May, 1541.^'° The jurisdictions hitherto 
appertaining to these archdeaconries were vested thenceforth in the bishop of 
Chester, who was empowered to delegate to the future archdeacons such and 
so much jurisdiction as he should please. As a consequence these dignitaries 
were henceforth shorn of that extensive and almost independent jurisdiction 
which had hitherto distinguished them. Under the terms of this authoriza- 
tion the first bishop, John Bird, kept the archidiaconal powers of Chester 
and Richmond in his own hands, and did not during his episcopate appoint 
any archdeacons. His successor, George Coates, did, it is true, appoint to 
each archdeaconry — at what exact date is not known, but probably in 1554 
— and from that time onwards the succession of the archdeacons is 
unbroken, though the dates of some of them are not clear. But none of 
these officials possessed any jurisdiction, that anciently appertaining to their 
dignity being exercised by the bishop through his vicar-general or chan- 
cellor for the diocese generally, or by the bishop's commissary for the arch- 
deaconry of Richmond in particular."" The arrangement by which the new 
see was placed within the province of Canterbury did not endure for long. 
By an Act of 1541-2"^ the bishoprics of Chester and Man were severed 
from the southern province and annexed to that of York. 

So much for the merely formative results of the first Reformation 
period. But that period, using the term in the widest sense, had a more 

'^ That the omission was a slip is proved by the fact that in the margin of the entry on the roll it is 
clearly stated that the grant was to the dean and chapter of Chester : ' Decano et Capitulo ecclesie cathedralis 

""' Confirmed on 8 Mar. by a charter of Edward, archbishop of York. 

"' Confirmed by a charter of Rowland, bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, dated 24 May, and by a 
charter of the dean and chapter of Coventry and Lichfield dated 26 May. 

'" As to this latter a misconception seems to exist. The letters patent of 4 Aug. 1 541 erecting the 
bishopric contain a proviso of reservation of the metropolitical and archiepiscopal prerogative within the see of 
Chester as usual and proper in other dioceses. This has been magnified by Whitaker {Richmondshire, i, 34) 
into a special reservation intended to exclude the quasi-independent jurisdiction and liberties of the ancient 
archdeacons of Richmond. There is no justification for this view. The clause is quite the usual proviso 
clause, with no special import, and the name of Richmond is not even mentioned. 

'»' 33 Hen. VIII, cap. 31. 

2 41 6 


general efFect on the county of Lancaster than the mere territorial re-arrange- 
ments of jurisdiction which followed on the erection of the new see. it 
affected the parochial clergy and the parishioners themselves, though to what 
extent it is not easy to determine. It is clear that the administration, Henry 
and his Privy Council, was highly suspicious of the attitude of the northern 
ecclesiastics. This suspicion was possibly justified by the delay and opposi- 
tion made during May, 1532, by the Convocation of York in the recognition 
of his supremacy.- In the next year, 1533, Dr. Nicholas Wilson of 
Cambridge, a north-countryman, on behalf of the ' Popish clergy, travelled 
about Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Cheshire preaching against the supremacy. 
But on I June, 1534, the acknowledgement of the king's claim by the northern 
province was duly made in Convocation, which had met at York on 5 May."' 
In the course of the following months, July and August, this collective 
acknowledgement was followed by the individual subscriptions of the clergy 
throughout the country which are now known technically as ' renunciations 
of Papal supremacy.' Only certain portions of the returns of these sub- 
scriptions have survived,''" and do not include those for the northern province 
at all, although Wharton asserts that to his certain knowledge the original 
subscriptions of the remaining dioceses were in existence.'" The absence of 
any returns for Lancashire makes it impossible to say how far the clergy of 
this part of England actually acquiesced in the measure. If the argument 
from silence is safe the assumption is that acquiescence was general, for there 
is no hint of any refusal. 

In the following year the administration busied itself with a scheme of 
spreading the doctrine of the royal supremacy amongst the laity. Letters 
were sent out in June, 1535, from the Privy Council to all the bishops re- 
quiring them to see that the people in their respective dioceses were effectually 
instructed in this point. The replies from Edward Lee, archbishop of York, to 
this missive have been preserved. "° Although they are somewhat enigmatic the 
archbishop informed the king clearly that he had spared no pains in distributing 
among the clergy of his diocese the ' book ' containing the new order for 
preaching and for bidding the beads which contained the king's new style as 
head of the Church, and he does not give the slightest hint of any opposition 
or dissatisfaction among either clergy or laity save only from the priors of 
Hull and Mountgrace. Incidentally the correspondence yields the informa- 
tion that there were not in the diocese of York at the time twelve preaching 
resident secular priests : a remark that may cover the archdeaconry of 
Richmond. The probability is therefore great that in the northern counties 
the supremacy was dutifully accepted, and that this question alone would not 
have raised a revolt. There is nothing to show that the riots and unlawful 
assemblies in Lancashire, Westmorland, Cumberland, and Craven which caused 

^. J'^u'?'^'' ^"'- ^""- ' ^'^' '°5; Cott. MSS. Cleopatra, E. 6, 216; Cabala, p. 2+4; FuUer, 
Ch. Hut. bk. V, 49. » r TT > > 

*" Rymer, Foedera, xiv, 492. 

»* They are contained in two volumes at the Record Office ; Exchequer, Treasury of the Receipt Mis- 

t^^^.^:,K.\j:zzi7^''^^^:' '""'"'^ '^°^'""' '''' ^^^" '"^'^ "" "°' -"^^-^ 

on thTaotR:,! of f^L^^ tltrrecf.- '"^'^ ^"'="'^"' ''''' ^"^^ °^ ^'^^ ^^^'P-- "« ^^^^^ 

•^ Cott. AISS. (Cleop. E. 6, 234-9, dated 1 4. lune. I c ? c and 10 Tnl„ ir,, j i 

and are summarized in Strype, Eccl. MeZu, 287-9.. "' '^ ^"- '"^-S) 



anxiety in this year, 1535, had a basis of religious discontent. They appear 
to have been purely secular.'" 

But when towards the end of this year the visitation of the monasteries 
began a very different popular feeling was at once aroused. As far as Lanca- 
shire is concerned the Pilgrimage of Grace is of importance only as indicative 
of the discontent at the threatened destruction of the monasteries. At first 
it was supposed that the forces in Lancashire would be available to put down 
the rebels in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, and on 10 October, 1536, the 
king warned the earl of Derby to get his men together with this object. 
But almost immediately it was found that the commons in the West Riding 
and Lancashire were up. On the day named the commons of the north of 
Lancashire and of the West Riding forcibly reinstated the abbot and twenty- 
one monks in the Yorkshire abbey of Sawley, four miles from Whalley. 
Accordingly, on the twentieth of the same month, the king ordered the earl 
of Derby to go against the Lancashire rebels because of their ' insurrection 
and assembly lately attempted in the borders of Lancashire specially about 
the abbey of Sawley.' On the 28th the earl assembled a' force of nearly 
8,000 men at Preston, with the object of forestalling the rebels and of 
occupying Whalley Abbey. The commons received an accession of strength 
from the north. In Cartmel they had against his will reinstated the prior 
in the priory there ; and another body from Kendal had joined hands 
with the commons in the neighbourhood of Sawley. Some time between 
the 28 and 30 October the earl sent the rebels word to disperse to their 
homes or else to meet him in battle on Bentham Moor, the place where they 
were accustomed to muster. The rebels, led by John Atkinson, captain of 
the commoners in Kendal, replied that they had a pilgrimage to do for the 
commonwealth which they would accomplish or jeopard their lives in that 
quarrel, and further that they would not fight with him unless he interrupted 
them of their pilgrimage. Before any further action the earl's hand was 
stayed by the receipt of word from the earl of Shrewsbury announcing 
that the Yorkshire rebels had dispersed, and requiring him to disband 
his men. On their side too the rebel leaders had dispatched word to 
the commons of Cumberland, Westmorland, Kendal, the side of Lanca- 
shire and Craven and all others of the north to leave besieging of houses 
and disperse homewards. 

Evidently this command was not received in Lancashire in time to 
prevent the rebels making their attack on Whalley Abbey. After appointing 
a rendezvous at Stoke Green near Hawkshead kirk on the 28th, and another 
on Clitheroe Moor apparently on the 30th, 

the commons of the borders of Yorkshire near to Sawley with some of the borders of 
Lancashire near to theym assembled theym together and with force then unknowen to me 
[the earl of Derby] sodenly toke the said abbey of Whalley. 

Immediately afterwards, however, hearing of the general disbandment, the 
rebels quietly dispersed. The proclamation of a general pardon for the town 
of Lancaster and northwards in Lancashire, with the exception of four ring- 
leaders of Tynedale, Ribblesdale, the borders of Lancashire and Kendal, 
was issued on 2 November, and the trouble was practically over. For 

'" L. and P. Hen. VIII, viii, 863, 1008, 1030, 1046, 1108. 



although on 6 November letters were sent from Aske to Lancashire and 
other parts moving them to insurrection — letters w^hich were followed in the 
middle of the month by rumours that Kendal intended to come into Cartmel 
and Furness, and possibly to march through Lancaster to Preston — no further 
movement followed."' 

As far as Lancashire is concerned the Pilgrimage of Grace was of small 
importance. Only the wild northern borderland was affected by it, and its 
duration was a mere matter of weeks. The earl of Derby's forces were in 
arms for not more than five days at the outside. Nor were the subsequent 
proceedings of much note as far as the county is concerned. The reinstated 
monks were still in possession of Sawley in December, but early in the following 
year, 1537, they were seized, and after a trial at Lancaster William Trafford, 
the abbot, was executed in March. After similar proceedings John Paslew, 
abbot of Whalley, and William Haydock, one of the senior monks, were also 
executed in the same month. Whilst the movement was thus insignificant in 
extent it is also clear that its basis was as much social as religious. The 
economic effect of the Dissolution touched the laity as closely as, if not more 
so than, the religious effects. This general conclusion is borne out by the 
survey of the action of the clergy themselves. 

For the wider evidence of the attitude of the latter towards the course 
of the Reformation in the years covered by these events we are obliged to 
fall back on the broken and not very trustworthy testimony of the statistics 
of the incumbents. At the time of the Valor Lancashire contained sixty 
rectories or vicarages, and within these parishes there were contained in addition 
ninety-three chapelries and sixty-nine chantries or stipendiary priests. 

Arguing, unsafely as ever, from silence it would seem that during the 
first period of the Reformation — that of the divorce, supremacy, and suppres- 
sion—the clergy of the county of Lancaster conformed easily and almost 
universally to the wishes of the king, and that in the southern parts of the 
county the laity also were equally docile. Such a conclusion is equally 
applicable to all the succeeding years of Henry's reign. The numerous 
religious changes which followed each other swept in successive waves over 
the county without leading to any recorded disturbance or removal of the 
clergy or to any persecution of the laity. 

The simple fact of course is that except sentimentally and economically 
the suppression of the religious houses did not in most cases affect the people 
the laity that is, as parishioners."' It did not touch the secular priests or the 
ordinary ministrations. But when towards the close of his reign Henrv cast 
covetous eyes on the chantries,'<« a very different result ^n.„eH T7.^u.„ 

CUVC.OUS eyes on tne chantries,- a very different result ensued. Fo^ they 
were supplied by secular priests, who in many cases performed the ordinary 
rninistrations of baptism, marriage, and burial, and to lay hands on them was 
to touch the parishioners themselves in a most vital spot. It is a sp^akrg 

^ ^c^:::^^^t^:^z:'i^^^::fz '''-'■ "^•^' -' ' -^-- "-■ -^^^■ 


testimony to the silent progress of the Reformation that whereas the dissolu- 
tion of the monasteries, which directly touched the laity hardly at all, should 
have provoked the Pilgrimage of Grace, the suppression of the chantries, 
which touched the laity closely and deeply, should have taken place without 
apparent protest from the people. 

Henry's commission for an inquisition into the chantry foundations 
within the diocese of Chester was dated Westminster, 13 February, 1545-6, 
and directed to the bishop of Chester, Sir Thomas Holcroft, John Holcroft, 
Robert Tatton, John Kechyn, and James Rokeby.'"^ 

So far as relates to Lancashire the return is contained in the Duchy 
Records.'"'' It is not dated, and we know nothing in detail as to the pro- 
ceedings of the commissioners.'"' Whether or how far Henry took 
steps to sell the chantry lands in Lancashire we do not know ; the 
Commission Book does not contain the record of any authority for such 
sale, nor is there record of any leases of chantry lands in the county earlier 
than 1548. 

In spite of strong opposition the scheme was again taken up after the 
accession of Edward VI. The first Parliament of Edward VI passed a 
similar Act to that above named, but much more explicitly and clearly 
drafted. This Act '°* granted to the young king all colleges, free chapels, 
and chantries existing then or five years before, excepting the colleges of 
Oxford and Cambridge, parochial chapels of ease, &c. Under the powers 
conferred by this Act Edward in 1 548 issued commissions under the Great 
Seal. That for the counties of Chester and Lancaster and the city of Chester 
was directed to Sir Hugh Cholmeley, Sir William Brereton, John Arscott, 
James Sterkye, George Browne, and St. Thomas Carewes, esqs., and John 
Kechyn, Thomas Fleetwood, and William Leyton, gents.'"^ 

The returns were probably made before Easter, and certainly before 
II August, 1548,'°^ for on that day the king signed a commission'"^ 
dated at Cranborough, giving Sir Walter Mildmay, one of the surveyors- 
general of the Court of Augmentations, and Robert Keylway, surveyor 
of the liveries in the Court of Wards, authority to assign pensions to priests 
and schoolmasters, &c., in the duchy in accordance with the provisions of 
the Act.'™ 

''" Although the Act makes no mention of plate or ornaments the commission authorized the commis- 
sioners to make an inventory of them, and the returns accordingly contain such inventories. 

'" Division 25, u. third portion. No. 45. 

"^ It is likely that the inquiry wfas held and finished and the report of the commissioners sent 
in by way of certificate to the Chancellor of the Duchy, at Westminster, before July, 1 546, for in that 
month the commissioners for certain other parts of the duchy, viz. for Norfolk, were empowered by a 
fresh commission of 8 July, 1546, to make sale of certain chapels as in their certificate of survey thereof, 
which said certificate had been returned on the previous Ascension Day ; Duchy Rec. Bk. of Com. vol. 95, 
p. 170. 

'»' I Edw. VI, cap. 14. 

'"' Pat. 2 Edw. VI, pt. 7, m. 13. This and all the commissions were dated 14 Feb. 1547-8. 

'°* These returns are preserved among the duchy records; Colleges and Chantries Certificates: (i) 37 
Hen. VIII ; (3) 2 Edw. VI. The printed text of these returns {Chet. Soe. vols, lix, Ix) does not follow either 
(l) or (3), but runs the two together. It is printed from an inaccurate transcript. The footnotes also are 
rendered valueless in numberless cases by the fact that the editor relied on Piccope's confused transcripts of 
undated Chester visitations. 

™' Duchy Com. Bk. vol. 96, p. 25. 

"" This commission of 1 1 August is itself based upoii a previous one of 20 June, 1548, empowering 
the same two persons to make grants for grammar schools, pensions to priests, &c. ; Pat. 2 Edw. VI, pt. 4, 
m. 33</. 



The commission laid down the proportions of the pensions to be allowed 
as follows : 

,_ , r ,- ■ -J Peniion to be 
V«lue of liTing leized „ j 

. . • allowed 

to the king , . 

£ •■ '• 

Below £S ■ ■ • 

Between £s and £(> 13*. 4'^- 
Between £b 1 31. ^d. and j|f 10 
Between ^f 10 and ;^20 

6 13 4 

In accordance with their powers the commissioners on 28 August returned a 
list of the pensions which they recommended to the chantry priests and 
schoolmasters of the duchy;"" 

whereupon letters patent are to be made out in due form under the seal of the county 
Palatine of Lancaster and this warrant subscribed by the said Mildmay and Keylway to 
be a suflBcient warrant to the Chancellor etc. of the Duchy to make forth the said letters 

Before leaving these pensions there is one question calling for elucida- 
tion. A pension would in no case be granted before the endowments of 
the particular chantry had been seized into the king's hands, and had either 
been sold or let on lease. Thus the Lancashire chantries had been sold 
or leased before the date of the above-named return, and in all probability 
before the preceding Easter. A more explicit date cannot, unfortunately, 
be given."" 

The net result of an examination of the leases and pensions is as follows : — 
The return as to pensions accounts for sixty-six out of the full total of the 
sixty-nine chantries within the county. For these sixty-six confiscations 
there are forty-eight existing leases. Outside these chantries the county con- 
tained ninety-four chapelries, and there is no existing record of their having 
been touched at all. The present transaction was intended only as a first 
instalment. As a commencement the Privy Council had ordered ^5,000 per 
annum of the chantry rents to be sold, and further instalments followed at 
later points in the reign ; but there is no record of any further general sale 
transaction in the county of Lancaster on the lines of that just recorded.'" 
There is not the slightest proof that chapelries had been touched by 
Henry VIII, for the only distinctive reference to proceedings on this head in 
Henry's reign mentions only chantries."' The inevitable conclusion is that 
the chapelries remained untouched. There are few subjects on which greater 
confusion of view and error of statement abound than this subject of the 
chantries. The view ordinarily put forth is as follows : — (i) Henry VIII's 
suppression of them was prevented by his death ; (2) The suppression was 
undertaken de novo by Edward VI, and completed within the first and second 
years of his reign ; (3) Mary restored them ; (4) Elizabeth again suppressed 
them and seized their revenues ; (5) The pensioned chantry priests became 

uni'" Ji'J''] '^'' °"'° ^"° '^t"""^- '°' r'"^^ '' '''°°^ ^^°<^- A" >ncomplete abstract of it is given in 
'"' ;,^f' <^:^r'' "' '.°' ■ . ^^^ °"8'°^' " contained in the Duchy Rec. Accts. Var M ^ 

The draft leases still exist (Duchy Rec. Draft Leases, bdles. C & 6) but fhe.^ ^^L j j 

They generally end with the formula, 'Make a lease of the prem ses to A Bfor tw.nT T ^'^^^ 

at Eas^ter, i 5 + 8, paying yearly at terms usual X Y Z rent.' twenty-one years, beginning 

"' There were many separate subsequent commissions relating to individual rha^trl.. , J . l l 

other u.e • " ' '' ' "'"^ "^"^ ^"""^'^ ^= ^'>^°'""' ' '^^ ^id well change divers of them to 



loafing out-of-works. Every one of these statements is doubtful or untrue, 
for (i) Henry probably suppressed some of the chantries ; (2) What was done 
j" ^ 547-8 was only a first instalment, successive commissions of inquiry being 
issued all through his reign ; (3) Mary did not restore a single chantry : on 
the contrary, fresh commissions of inquiry were issued during her reign, and 
she herself gave leases of chantry lands to laymen ; (4) In Elizabeth's reign 
there were no chantries left to suppress — the bones had been picked too clean 
for that ; (5) There is evidence that some of the old chantry priests remained 
as pensioned clergy, performing service and administering the sacraments in 
the localities where they are supposed to have been thrown out of work, and 
the presumption is that many more of them did so than we have actual 
proof of 

The series of commissions of inquiry relating to Lancashire which were 
issued in the time of Edward VI and Mary are recorded in an appendix 
(pp. 96-8 infra), ^^^ and other evidence on the matter will be found in the 
accounts of the churches in the topographical section of this work. 

Many of the chantry priests continued to enjoy their pensions long into 
the reign of Elizabeth, being paid by the separate local or county receivers 
of the various parts of the duchy."* It is evident from the contemptuous 
way in which some of them are later referred to as ' old popish chantry 
priests ' that a portion of them remained recalcitrant ' papists.' But such a 
statement applies to only a portion, possibly a small portion, and others 
remained on active service as priests administering the sacraments in the 

As to the larger question of the general attitude of the parochial 
clergy and of the laity of Lancashire towards the various phases of the 
Edwardian Reformation there is a remarkable dearth of information. There 
does not appear to have been any appreciable displacement of the clergy 
at any time during Edward's reign, i.e., such a displacement as would 
argue revolt against the reforming measures of authority."* Nor is 
there any record of any protest on the part of the laity against the 
stripping of churches or the abolition of the chantries. Does this prove 
that the clergy of the county had become Protestant ? By no means. It 
merely proves that the clergy clung to their livings, casting conviction to 
the winds. 

How then was the county taught the reformed doctrine ? Of the 
actual process we catch few glimpses, but these, though mainly retrospective, 
are significant. An entry in Edward's Diary under 18 December, 1551, 
affords the earliest form of the institution which was later to grow into the 

'" By the aid of the list it will be possible in future to arrange the existing skins of returns in accordance 
with the actual commissions, and thus to give a scholarly account of both the suppression of the chantries and 
the sale of church goods. 

'" It is on account of this method of payment that there is no general account of the payment of pensions 
preserved among the records of the duchy. In his annual account the receiver-general of the duchy only 
accounts for the net sum received by him from each separate or local receiver, and the subsidiary accounts of 
these local receivers have not survived. 

'" A direct statement to this eiFect is contained in the chantry lease No. z (Duchy Rec. bdle. 5) with 
regard to the chapel of Bailey, near Ribchester, where it is said of Robert Taylor, late incumbent of the late 
dissolved chantry there, that the 'said incumbent doth at this day [1548] celebrate there and doth minister to 
the inhabitants adjoining at such times as the curate of the parish church cannot repair to them for the floods 
of the river' (See also Strype, Eccl. Mem. ii (i), 100). 

'" Details as to the clergy will be found in the accounts of the parish churches. 



king's or queen's four Lancashire preachers;'" but there is no record of any 
such preacher save John Bradford having visited Lancashire. If the scheme 
were carried out instantly and in full it could only have been in operation 
for a year and a half— from December, 1551, to July, 1553— and as the 
first payment to these chaplains on their ^^40 per annum was only made m 
October, 1552, it may be that they commenced their preaching tours later 
than the beginning of 1552. On the supposition that the first year's course 
was carried out as outlined, then Bradford and another were preachmg m 
Lancashire and Derbyshire during part or all of the year 1552, Bradford 
probably choosing Lancashire. Short though the time was, the ground 
covered by him seems to have* been remarkably small. Hollinworth says 
that ' God gave good success to the ministry of the Word and raised up and 
preserved a faithful people in Lancashire, especially in and about Manchester 
and Bolton.' In Bradford's 'Farewell to Lancashire and Cheshire,' dated 
II February, 1554-5, he enumerates the places in Lancashire where he 
had ' truly taught and preached the Word of God ' as follows : Manchester, 
Ashton-under-Lyne, Bolton, Bury, Wigan, Liverpool, Eccles, Prestwich, 
Middleton, and RadclifFe. Looked at broadly, such a circuit and con- 
stituency is practically only a Manchester one. The farewell is addressed 
' to all that profess the true religion in Lancashire and Cheshire and 
especially abiding in Manchester.' A similarly disappointing conclusion is 
deducible from the meagre biography of George Marsh.'^* He was charged 
with having preached heretically in January, February, or about that time in 
1553-4 in Deane, Eccles, Bolton, Bury, and many other parishes in the 
bishopric of Chester. This statement of time and area is confirmed by his 
own account of his proceedings.'" 

That the spirit of Protestantism had spread further afield than the 
Manchester district is, however, evident from the story of the mayor of 
Lancaster, who jeered at the rood which had been re-erected in the church 
of Cockerham."" Marsh also hints that the schoolmaster at Lancaster was a 
Protestant. There is a very instructive story relating to the Reformation in 
Shackerley in Foxe,'^' but it is not possible to date it exactly. It seems clear, 
therefore on the existing evidence that the reformed doctrine was as yet 
confined to the populous towns and to the south-east, and had made no 
impression on the moor country and the west. 

Putting aside the stories of Bradford, Marsh, Holland, and Hurst, there 
is less information concerning the religious history of the county under 
Mary than the reign of Edward yielded. The story of the riot in BiUinge 
chapel in Wigan parish in August, 1553, which ensued on the reading of 
Mary's proclamation for the exercise of Catholic religion ''' has a significance 

»" 'It was appointed I should have six chaplains ordinary, two to be ever present and four always absent 
m preachmg. one year two ,n Wales, two in Lancashire and Derby, next year two in the Marches of 

E.tto ■: Llr':,%V^' ^^"' "'° - °^^°"' ^-'^ '^° ^" "^"'^' ^^^ ^-"^ y-^' -° - Norfol. and 
'" Nothing is recorded as to the reasons which made Marsh a Protestant, but he seems to have become 

la^Zi" "^" '° ''"' '^°"°^- """'^P^ ^^^^^ ^"'^ °^^" Lancashire men had 2rZy 

"' Foxe, Acts and Monuments (ed. Cattley), vii, 50. 

coun^.'^'^' '"' ^^^' ^°" ^"""'^ "^^ """ "" ''" °^^ ^''°"^" °^ '^^ Gospel-which is rare in that 
"■ Ibid. viii. 562. « A good contemporary account of it is given in Chet. Soc. Publ cxiii 70 

48 ' '^' 


which is only half religious. The inhabitants speak as Roman Catholics, 
but apparently were concerned primarily about the property of the chapel. 
Beyond this episode almost the only evidence bearing on the attitude of the 
county towards the Marian reaction is afforded by the mere names of the 
clergy who vacated ''' in the years 1553 or 1554 and the numbers ordained 
to supply vacancies.*'* The cathedral clergy have hardly the same importance 
for this question as the parochial ; but the deprivation of Bishop Bird in 
1554 is of account. 

For the story of the general legislative settlement of the Elizabethan 
Church Lancashire would have little importance were it not for the personality 
of the bishop of Chester, Cuthbert Scott, a native of the county.'**^ Even 
before the passing of either the Supremacy Act or the Uniformity Act Scott 
had got into trouble for his uncompromising attitude both in Parliament and 
Convocation, and at the disputation at Westminster, 31 March, 1558-9, 
between the Protestant and Roman Catholic champions. But until the 
passing of those Acts no specifically penal proceedings were taken against 
him or his fellow bishops. Both Acts passed on 28 April, 1559, and on 
23 May following, a royal commission was issued to the Privy Council to 
administer the oath of Supremacy. Between 21 and 26 June the oath was 
tendered to Scott, and on his refusal of it he was on the latter date deprived. 
After a four years' imprisonment in the Fleet, he was allowed to live in Essex 
under surveillance, but escaped to Belgium, where he died in 1565. Having 
disposed of the Marian bishops, who were alP'" deprived by November, 
1559, the administration turned to the general body of the clergy. On 
28 May, 1559, a general visitation of all the dioceses was resolved upon. The 
articles of inquiry, which were practically those of the Edwardian Injunctions, 
were ready by i 3 June, and on 24 June writs of visitation were issued to all 
the dioceses. Five sets of visitors were appointed for the southern province 
and one set for the northern province. The fourteen commissioners who 
composed this latter comprised noblemen, knights, divines, and lawyers : but 
the work fell mainly on Edwin Sandys, afterwards archbishop of York, 
Henry Harvey, a civil lawyer, Thomas Gargrave, speaker of the House of 
Commons, and Henry Gates. In the course of September they visited the 
dioceses of York and Durham, Carlisle in the first week of October, and 
then entered the diocese of Chester. On Monday, 9 October, 1559, Sandys 
and Harvey sat at Kendal to visit Kendal, Copeland, and Furness.'" There 
is no mention in their proceedings of any clergy refusing the oath in these 
deaneries. We are only told that the visitors heard two causes, one as 
between Cockermouth and Embleton, the other as between Crosthwaite and 
Heversham. On the 12th they sat at Lancaster, and at Wigan on the i6th, 

'" These names include among the parochial clergy the following : Warrington — Edward Keble 
deprived, his successor instituted in Nov. 1554; and North Meols— Lawrence Waterward, deprived before 
Aug. 1554, when his successor was instituted. 

'" See the Ordination Book, printed by the Record Society of Lanes, and Ches. There were no ordinations 
at all according to the new ordinal in the time of Edw. VL The figures show that Bishop Bird ordained 
48 priests in 1542, 41 in 1543, 38 in 1544, 22 in 1545, 44 in 1546, and 14 in 1547 ; Bishop Coates 
12 in 1555 ; Bishop Scott 17 in 1557 and 68 in 1558. The last number affords an indication that Scott 
had got his diocese into something like working order. 

"" The earl of Derby's attitude is related in F.C.H. Lanes, iii, 162. 

™ Except Kitchin of Llandaff. The bishop of Sodor and Man was perhaps not touched by the Acts ; at 
all events he retained his bishopric and his three Lancashire benefices till his death. 

'" The proceedings of this visitation are preserved in P.R.O. S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. x. 

2 49 7 


and here again we read of no refusers of the oath or articles. On i8 and 
19 October they sat at Manchester, the visitors now being Sandys, Harvey, 
and George Browne. On the first of these days they heard a case of adultery 
between George Holme and Elizabeth Robinson, and on the last day they 
visited the college of Manchester. Instead of appearing, Lawrence Vaux, 
the warden, sent a deputy, Stephen Beshe (Beck), who stated that Vaux had 
gone to London.''' John Coppage, a fellow of the church, appeared not. 
Robert Erlond (Ireland), another fellow, appeared and subscribed. Robert 
Prestwich, a stipendiary priest, appeared and also subscribed, but was 
threatened with suspension if he frequented taverns any more. Richard 
Hart, another fellow of the college, appeared and obstinately and peremptorily 
refused to subscribe the articles."* 

The rest of the visitation concerns the county of Chester. In the whole 
diocese the visitors only made one institution, viz. the church of Langton in 
Yorkshire ; in Lancashire they specify (counting Winwick and Wigan as one) 
only eighteen clergy as absent (non comparentes) as follows : — 

Leyland Deanery. — Croston, Thomas Lemyng, vicar ; Leyland, Charles Wainwright, 
vicar ; Eccleston, John Modye, rector. 

Warrington Deanery. — Winwrjck, Thomas Stanley, non-resident ; Wigan, the 
bishop of Sodor and Man, non-resident ; Prcscot, Robert Nelson, curate ; Aughton, Edward 
Morecroft, rector ; Halsall, Richard Halsall, vicar, and Henry Halsall, curate ; Sefton, 
Robert Ballard, rector ; Ormskirk, Elizaeus Ambrose, vicar ; Walton, Antony Molyneux, 

FuRNEss Deanery. — Hawkshead, Richard Harris, curate (afterwards appeared) ; 
Thomas Syngilton, stipendiary priest; Richard Ward, stipendiary priest (afterwards ap- 
peared) ; Hugh Kellete, stipendiary priest. 

Manchester Deanery.— Prestwich, William Langley, rector (afterwards subscribed) ; 
Rochdale, John Hamson, curate."" 

Of the seventeen non comparentes only Hamson of Rochdale was deprived. 

To these should doubtless be added Vaux, the warden, and Coppage, a 
fellow of the college of Manchester. James Hargreaves, the noted ' papist ' 
rector of Blackburn, was not deprived until 1562. In the absence of any 
further notes of deprivations or resignations the presumption is that the rest 
of the Lancashire clergy quietly acquiesced in the Elizabethan settlement. 

The visitation thus described is to be regarded as a purely temporary 
outcome of the powers given by the Act of Supremacy to the queen to 
appoint commissioners who should exercise ecclesiastical jurisdiction. A more 
permanent outcome was the fixed ecclesiastical commission sitting in London 
which in Its first orm was created in July, 1559, and which began to sit in 
the November following It was to this body that the temporary provincial 
visitors as just described bound the recalcitrant clergy to^ppear Quite 
different from both royal commissions were the episc^al visftations which 

^iJaS tt'icir::rrSher^ --^ ^p- of . 

Barlow of Barlon' HaU. " ^^^ ^^^'^^l assigned to the care of Alexand 


The commissioners took from him a reco!>nirqn<-». nf r,rs . j 
I^ndon [before the Ecclesiastical Commission] r/oTo^^^^^^^^^ »>" »PPe-nce .r 

It was also presented to the commissioners that at Radrllffi- T„l, n\. . 

not read the Gospel, Epistle, &c. according to T. PrSama^^i Th '"' ^^l^u^"^' '^^ ^""'^' <^° 

presentations of non-residence and dilapidations tL r«^i? u"""''^ ^"^" ^""^^'^^ => ^w 

Manchester and two of the feUows, the viLnorRochdale and I '° .'''"' ''"° '^^^ "^^ -"den of 

their benefice,. " ^°'='''^='''= ^""^ Lancaster, and perhaps one or two others lost 



followed in 1560 and 1561. As the see of Chester, vacant by Scott's depri- 
vation, was not filled up till May 1561 by the appointment of William 
Downham,"^ the visitation in the northern province was delayed until that 
year. There appears to be no extant record of this visitation so far as the 
see of Chester is concerned, unless it is at York or Chester. 

On 20 July, 1562, the permanent Ecclesiastical Commission [in London], 
which had practically ceased to act after 1560, was revived in a different 
form. This second ecclesiastical commission had for its object no longer the 
enforcement of subscription from the general body of the clergy. That had 
Ijeen already accomplished by the first body. It was rather a precautionary 
institution created to watch the 'papists,' whose hopes had been roused by the 
events on the Continent, especially by the persecution of the Protestants in 
France. The first act of this new commission was to order the bishops to 
inquire after recusants'*' in their various dioceses. The outcome was the first 
small list of imprisoned recusants, which may be dated about August 1562. 
It yields three Lancashire names.''*' 

It is not to be understood that this diocesan inquiry just described was 
an episcopal one, relating only to the clergy and resting for its authority on 
the ordinary episcopal right of visitation. It was in each case a separately 
constituted local commission to the bishop and others, and was to cover the 
laity as well as the clergy in its purview.'" In this instance a commis- 
sion was issued on 20 July, 1562, to the earl of Derby, the bishop of 
Chester, and others, appointing them commissioners for ecclesiastical causes 
in the diocese of Chester to enforce the Acts of Uniformity and Supremacy."^ 

There was as yet, however, no evidence of the application of penalties 
to the body of the laity. The State was busied only with a minority of 
recalcitrant clergy. The first severe penal statute of Elizabeth's reign "• was 
the outcome of the religious wars in France and of the discovery of a plot in 
favour of Mary queen of Scots."' The Act received the royal assent on 
10 April, 1563.'" 

The clause in the Act which required justices of peace to inquire as to 
offences against the Act led to the Privy Council inquiry in the course of 
October, 1564, into the general well- or ill-affectedness of the justices of 
peace.'" The certificate returned by the bishop of Chester shows that in 

"' Stubbs, Reg. Sacr. Jngl. (ist ed.), 84. '" S.P. Dom. Eliz. Add. vol. 11, No. 45. 

"* Lawrence Vaux to remain in co. Worcester ; Richard Hart and Nicholas Banester to remain in Kent 
or Sussex. 

"* The appointment of these commissions by the civil power rested on the powers conferred on the crown 
by the Act of Supremacy. They were issued very frequently throughout Elizabeth's reign, and cause much 
confusion to the student. These special, local, and temporary ' Commissions for Ecclesiastical Causes,' as they 
were styled, have to be kept most jealously distinct, not only from each other, but also from the permanent 
Ecclesiastical Commission in London on the one hand, and from the various diocesan visitations on the other. 

"» S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 23, No. 56. 

'" 5 Eliz. cap. I ; an Act for the assurance of the queen's royal power over all estates and subjects in 
her dominions. '" Ibid. 

*'* Besides prescribing a praemunire and treason for all persons upholding the jurisdiction of the see of 
Rome in England it enacted that the oath of Supremacy should be taken by graduates, schoolmasters, ofEcers 
of courts, and members of Parliament as well as ecclesiastics. Except for oiRce holders the Act affects the 
laity only by implication, viz. in the clause giving the Lord Chancellor power to issue commissions to 
administer the oath to such persons as the said commissioners should by their commission be empowered to 
tender the oath to. In the main it was directed against the clergy, and there is no evidence either of perse- 
cution arising on it or of any popular or lay disaffection as underlying it. An imperfect list of the clergy of 
the diocese who took the oath is printed in Ches. Sheaf {Se.r. 3), i, 34-5. 

"' The returns to this inquiry have been printed by the Camden Society (Ser. 2), vol. 53. 



Lancashire out of twenty-five justices only five were known to be f^vo^^ble 
to the proceedings of the government in matter of rehgion, he remaining 
twenty being not favourable thereto, and as a consequence inclinable to the 
Papists Among these twenty are some of the most representative and best- 
known names i^n the county. Later on the administration took steps 
to purge and reinforce the bench, but at the moment it would appear that 
the bishop found difficulty in suggesting Protestant names of standing in the 
county fit^ to be made justices. In the hundreds of Amounderness and 
Leyland he can suggest none, and in the remaining three hundreds only ten 


'it is unfortunate that no clear indication of the immediate effect of the 

Act of 1563 can be given, as the 1564 visitation of the diocese of York did 

not extend to the see of Chester. The bishop of Chester compounded with 

the archbishop for it, and refrained from visiting his diocese, contenting^him- 

self with collecting the procuration moneys by means of his servants. bo 

that all the information we possess relating to it is confined to the bishop of 

Durham's letter to the archbishop of Canterbury on the state of his three 

parishes of Rochdale, Blackburn, and Whalley.'" It is probable that the 

Act of 1563 was enacted only in terrorem, and would have remained unused 

but for the events of the pontificate of Pius V. With his advent in 1566 

a change came over the attitude of the English Roman Catholics. Hitherto 

the laity had so far acquiesced in the Church settlement as to attend their 

parish church, although a committee appointed by the council of Trent had 

decided against this practice. On his accession Pius V appointed two 

EngUsh exiles in Louvain, Dr. Sanders and Dr. Harding, apostolic delegates 

to make known to the faithful in England the papal sentence which declared 

it a mortal sin to frequent the Protestant church service. Accordingly Sanders 

wrote a pastoral letter which he entrusted to Lawrence Vaux, late warden of 

Manchester. Vaux crossed to England, and making for Lancashire, issued 

on 2 November, 1566, a circular to his Lancashire friends in which he gave 

the substance of Sanders' pastoral. ' What I write heare to youe I wold 

wysse Sir Richard MoUineux, Sir W. Norris and other my friends to be 


This letter appears to have reached the hands of the government in the 
following year. On 20 December, 1567, information was sent to the Privy 
Council that certain gentlemen in Lancashire had taken a solemn oath not to 
come to communion and rejoiced greatly at the report of a Spanish invasion."" 

Some three weeks or a month before Christmas, 1567, the bishop of 
Chester was also informed of great confederacies presently in Lancashire by 
sundry Papists there lurking who have stirred divers gentry to their faction 
and sworn them together not to come to church ; and he was advised to 
execute the ecclesiastical commissions with the earl of Derby, or else it can- 
not be holpen, for many church doors be shut up and the curates refuse to 
serve as it is now appointed to be used in the church. The bishop replied 
he had heard Mr. Ashton, and would send for the offenders by precept.'** 

■•' Sti)-pe, Life of Parker, \, 361. -« Ibid. 362. 

"' S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 41, No. 12, Nov. 1566. 

"■ Ibid. vol. 44, No. 56. The letter just quoted was probably an inclosure in this paper, and has been 
separated from it by accident. 

*" Ibid. vol. 48, No. 35, undated. 



On Tuesday before New Year's Day the matter was again pressed on the 
bishop by Sir Edward Fitton, who informed the bishop that 

Mr. Westby his kinsman had told him he would willingly lose his blood in these matters. 
Also he said that from Warrington all along the sea coast in Lancashire the gentlemen, except 
Mr. Butler, beginning with Mr. Ireland then Sir William Norris and so forwards other 
gentlemen there, were of the faction and withdrew themselves from the religion. 

The bishop again refused to execute the commission, but afterwards 
signed precepts for divers ' Papistical priests ' and some gentlemen to appear 
before the commissioners.'" A second paper, almost as confused, relating to 
this affair yields further details. 

Again Edmund Holme informed of a letter from Dr. Saunders to Sir Richard Molineux and 
Sir William Norris to exhort them to own the Pope's supremacy. Hereupon Sir Richard 
Molyneux vowed to one Morne alias Butcher alias Fisher of Formeby and to one Peyle alias 
Picke (who reported that he had the Pope's authority) and so received absolution at Picke's 
hand. His daughters Jane, Alice and Anne and his son John did the same. And so did 
John Mollin of the Wood, Robert Blundell of Ince, Richard Blundell of Crosbye.^" 

These informations stand curiously alone ; but on 3 February, 1567, Elizabeth 
dispatched a letter to the earl of Derby, the bishop of Chester, and others, 
commanding them to arrest persons who, under pretence of religion, draw 
sundry gentlemen from their allegiance.'*^ Before the receipt of this letter 
the earl had arrested all the persons in question ; but who they were we do 
not know. A fortnight later, 21 February, 1567—8, Elizabeth wrote to the 
sheriff to arrest certain deprived ministers.'*' And on the same day the 
queen dispatched a severe letter to Bishop Downham upbraiding him for the 
disorders in his diocese, 'as we hear not of the like in any other parts,''*' and 
requiring him to repair into the remotest parts in Lancashire to see that 
persons most justly deprived be not secretly maintained. Accordingly in the 
summer following Downham visited the whole diocese ; and reported on 
I November, 1568,'^" that he found the people very tractable and obedient. 

In the same letter in which he gives this report to Cecil the bishop 
furnishes a summary account of the proceedings which had been taken against 
certain Lancashire gentlemen, on the ground of their not repairing to church 
and their entertaining priests. From this report it appears that on 3 i July, 
1568 Edward, earl of Derby, the bishop, and others, Commissioners for 
Ecclesiastical Causes in the diocese, sat in the dining chamber at Lathom, 
where six Lancashire gentlemen appeared on their recognizance, viz., Francis 
Tunstall, John Talbott, John Westby, John Rigmayden, Edward Osbaldeston, 
and Matthew Travis, the last-named being a yeoman. With the exception 
of John Westby they proved submissive, acknowledged their fault in enter- 
taining priests, and promised to conform. By the queen's directions they 
were, therefore, treated leniently. ' Their punishment,' adds the bishop, 

has done so much good in the county that I trust I shall never be troubled again with 
the like : beside (Nowell) the Dean of St. Paul's, at his being in the county with his 
continual preaching in divers places in Lancashire hath brought many obstinate and wilful 
people into conformity.'"^ 

"' S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 48, No. 35. "' Ibid. No. 34. '" Ibid. vol. 46, No. 19. 

"» Ibid. No. 32. "' Ibid. No. 33; Strype, Jnnals, i, 254-5. "° S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 48, No. 36. 

^" More instructive than the bishop's meagre account are the papers appended to his letter. They are 
printed in Gibson's LyJiaU Hall. The concluding paper of these depositions is entitled ' Articles objected by the 
Commissioners against Sir John Southworth.' But as Southworth's name does not occur in any ot the prior 
proceedings herein the paper is probably misplaced. He had been examined before Parker at Croydon shordy 
before 13 July, 1568, but had refused to subscribe to a form of submission (S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 47, No. 12). 



It is perhaps significant that just about this time a number of incum- 
bents disappear for one reason or another.'" 

In spite of the unusually vivid interest attaching to these early glimpses 
of Lancashire recusancy it cannot be said that they indicate the existence in 
ic68 of any very numerous or very virulent 'Papist party The harvest 
which Allen was destined to reap was of slow growth. Until he had founded 
the seminary at Douay and trained a band of priests and sent them forth into 
England, thus inaugurating a new era in English Catholicism, the recusancy 
of the county palatine is to be regarded as little more than a survival of 
Marian Catholicism. Indeed, it is more than likely that the rebelhon of 
1569 in the northern counties had a steadying effect on the loyalty of the 
Lancashire Catholics, for we hear of no movement occurring, although 
at one time fears were entertained of them ;'" and when in the course of the 
following year a fresh disturbance is traceable in the county it is to be attri- 
buted, as before, to the compulsive force of papal intrigue. The bull of Pius V, 
dated 5 Cal. March, 1 569, was set up, or made known in London by John Fel- 
ton in March, 1569-70. In the national domain this bull, which denounced 
Elizabeth as a heretic and absolved her subjects from allegiance, was followed 
by Elizabeth's proclamation of i July, 1570, against Papists bringing in traitor- 
ous books and bulls, and by the Acts of i 571 against imagining the death of the 
queen, and against bringing in bulls from Rome.'" A letter from the bishop 
of Carlisle to the earl of Sussex reveals the effect which the pope's action had 
in Lancashire ; how all things in Lancashire savour of open rebellion ; provision 
of men, armour; assemblies of 500 and 600 at a time; wanton talk of invasion 
by the Spaniards ; in most places most people fall from religion and refuse to 
hear service in English ; since Felton set up the bull the greatest there never 
came to any service, but openly entertained Louvainist massers.'" The result 
of these commotions was a series of fresh admonitions from the Privy Council 
to the bishop of Chester to appear in London to answer for the disorders in his 
diocese, especially committed in Lancashire and Richmondshire in matters con- 
cerning religion."' As we hear nothing further of the matter it would seem 
that the effervescence died down, and until the advent of the seminary priests 
there is no further reference to recusant disturbances in Lancashire. 

The English college at Douay had been founded by Allen in 1568. 
From the first, doubtless in some part as a result of Allen's connexion with 
the county, the number of Lancashire men who were attracted to the college 
was disproportionately large. For instance, in 1573 out of twenty-one new 
admissions no less than seven came from the diocese of Chester, almost entirely 
Lancashire men ; and when in the following year the first missionaries were 
sent forth from Douay into the English harvest, this high relative proportion 
of Lancashire men is again noticeable.'" 

"• Langley of Prestwich was deprived, because his conscience would no longer allow him to minister ; 
Cross of ChildwaU resigned on a pension ; Lowe of Huyton disappears, for reasons unknown ; Ambrose of 
Ormskirk was deprived. There may have been other cases. 

« S.P. Dom. Eliz. Add. vol. 15, No. 113. ="13 Eliz. cap. i and 2 

«^ S.P. Dom. Eliz. Add. vol. 19, No. 16 ; S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 74, No. 22, Oct. 21 and 27, IC70. 

"*//<■/:; o/M^r P.C. vu, 399 ; viii, 5, 12 Nov. 1570 and 13 Feb. 1570-1. 

'•'' Up to '584 the college sent out 198 seminary priests. Out of these 31 were of the diocese of 
Chester-practicaUy all Lancashire men. From 1 584 to the end of Elizabeth's reign this proportion falls off 
ma most remarkable way, for out of a similar number of exactly 198 missionaries sent out from Douay (i c8o- 
1602) only five are of asceruinably Lancashire origin. / v :> 



The other great source from which these missionary priests came was 
the English College at Rome, which was itself an offshoot from Douay. 
Unlike its parent institution this college was almost from the outset in the 
hands or the Jesuits. During its existence Lancashire sent to it over 200 
students as against 133 sent from Yorkshire.'" The first missionaries sent 
from it were dispatched in 1 579, and out of five who composed this first 
batch one, Richard Haydock, was a Lancashire man ; as was also another, 
Edward Rishton, out of the five dispatched in the following year. 

The influence of these priests was instantly felt in Lancashire. The 
administration seems to have been alive to the danger. In 1574, the very 
year of the first arrival of the Douay missionaries, the Privy Council wrote 
several times to Henry, earl of Derby, touching Popish disorders in the 
county, ' being the very sink of Popery, where more unlawful acts have been 
committed and more unlawful persons holden secret than in any other part of 
the realm.' "' A fresh Commission for Ecclesiastical Causes for the county 
was issued some time before 22 November, 1574, and the earl of Derby and 
the bishop of Chester were bidden to execute it and to arrest all persons 
suspected of having reconciled themselves to the pope.'"" 

For the following six years silence falls on the story of the seminary 
priests in the county, a silence broken only to-day by the records of the 
colleges of Douay and Rome. These six years were the seed-time of the 
harvest to be reaped in the county by Allen's priests. Their proceedings 
must have been very secret and the bishop of Chester must have been very 
fast asleep, for it is clear that whilst the central government was still alive to 
the question of recusancy the local commissioners had no hint of the presence 
of seminary priests, and the recusant interest was supposed to be but small in 
the county.'" 

In 1580 Allen returned to Douay from Rome after having concerted 
with the pope and the Jesuits a new missionary expedition to England on a 
large scale. This expedition was to be headed by Parsons and Campion on 
the Jesuit side, and on the secular side by Goldwell, the aged Marian bishop 
of St. Asaph, and Vaux, the late warden of Manchester. The idea that 
Allen's previous efforts had been brought to naught by the watchfulness of 
the queen's administration, and that this was a last effort on his part, is wide 
of the mark. The recusancy returns soon to be quoted disprove it, as do also 
the records of the dispatch of missionaries during the years 1574-80. A 
much more sinister significance indeed attaches to this departure of the 
year 1580. It marks the capture by the Jesuits of the missionary 
organization, and the entry of the English Catholic world upon that 
path of political intrigue under the guiding genius of Parsons which 
ultimately did more than anything else to blast the permanent prospects 
of Cathohcism in England. The government was awake to the danger, 
for it had complete information as to the wide ramifications of this 
political plot of Catholic Europe. Vaux was arrested at Rochester almost 
immediately on his landing, about 12 August, 1580. The broader story of 

*" For the records of this college see Foley, Rec. of the Engl. Prov. vi, 67 seq. 
^ Acts of the P.C. viii, 276, 302, 317. 

"" There is no extant record of the outcome of these proceedings (unless it is at Chester or in some 
quarter sessions records). 

•" S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 1 18, No. 45. It is printed by Gibson, op. cit. 



Campion's fate does not concern us, save that we are told the names of 
the people who entertained him in Lancashire.'*' 

Up to this date the Lancashire Roman Catholics had suffered no great 
hardships as a body. The fines of the recusants in the county had been 
granted to a courtier, Nicholas Anesley, and the Catholics had been so em- 
boldened as to refuse to pay him their fines or even to make a moderate 
composition with him, and the administration had looked on for a time 
almost supinely."* But the new political danger brooked no such leniency. 
Acting on information sent on i6 May, 1580, by Sir Edmund Trafford to 
the earl of Leicester as to the contemptuous and disobedient attitude of the 
Catholics in the county,'" the queen issued a new Ecclesiastical Commission 
:n June to the archbishop of York, the earl of Derby, the bishop of Chester 
and others for the diocese of Chester to proceed against certain gentlemen and 
others in Lancashire lately fallen away in religion, and for the rest of the year 
the commission was active, the earl of Derby even lending his house in 
Liverpool as a prison for the recusants. But the existing mechanism of the 
law was not strong enough to cope with the growing danger.'" Accordingly 
an Act was passed ' to retain the Queen's subjects in their due allegiance,'"'' 
Besides strengthening the provisions of the Act of 1571 against bulls from 
Rome, this Act imposed the celebrated recusancy fine of jCzo per month on 
persons neglecting to attend church, and empowered justices of the peace to 
inquire of offences herein. On 10 December, 1581, the Privy Council 
issued its mandate to the sheriffs and justices of peace of Lancashire to put 
the Act m execution, nothing having been done therein as yet, although six 
months before (28 May, 1581) a similar order had been sent by the Privy 
Council to Bishop Chaderton."' The local procedure under the Act was that 
the clergy were to present an oath to the custos rotulorum and the justices at 
the succeeding quarter sessions, and upon conviction the fines were imposed. 
The effect of the Act was instantaneous and extraordinary. Previously, up to 
as late as 6 December, 158 i, the convicted recusants in the county were so few 
in number that two or three small prisons (Chester, Halton, Manchester, and 
Liverpool) sufficed for their detention.'" The fines hitherto imposed also 
were so insignificant as a source of revenue that they were entered miscel- 
aneously in the Great Roll or were granted out to favourites. But hence, 
orth they became so numerous and valuable that a separate roll was made of 
them. From the testimony of these Recusancy Rolls we can judge with 
absolute certainty o the success of the seminary priests from 1574 onwards, 
r.n. IaTTI '^.' ^^^''^^ Ecclesiastical Commission was a subject for 
the s m/ r ' . '^If"^^ ^°^"'^^' ^^^^°"g^ ^^^^ body did not 'omit at 

work '^ T^ ^^^^ ^ '' '^^ ^^"'^^""^^ °^ ^°"^^ °^ ^^^ j^^tices in the 
work. For greater safety such of the recusants as had been actually 
imprisoned were removed from Liverpool to Manchester.- There thev 
were placed under the guard of Mr. Robert Worsley, and when he pedtioned 

They'et^t'Ta'u.ot, Thomf 's<lu\twL\ty ^.'f ' """t P^C- '' '°« ' ^^^P^' ^^^"''^ » (^). 359- 
Park,J,Ve3tby, and Rigmaiden ^"^^^°"^' Bartholomew Heskett, Mrs. Allen, Richard Hoghton of the 

" iT£: W.'c/.'f 'g-i"'- "^ S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. .38, No. ,8. 

' ' Peck, Desid. Cur. i, 10', ', , j . j,,, „f,i,pn - o . " ^^ Eliz. cap. i. 



for payment of his expenses in the diet, &c., of the prisoners a local rate was 
ordered to be levied on the various parishes for their support."^ 

Decisive and disastrous as vi^as the result already achieved, the political 
activity of the Jesuit Parsons (who sums up in himself the whole genius of 
the new Jesuit tendency of the Catholic missionary movement from this 
time onwards) was destined to bear even more potent and malignant fruit. 
The plots of I 584 produced the two Acts (1584-5) »" for surety of the queen's 
person, and against Jesuits and seminary priests. The latter of these two 
Acts banished all such and imposed death on all of them found in or entering 
the country after a certain date. It is under this latter Act that the execu- 
tions of the Lancashire seminary priests took place from this date onwards."* 

Between 1584 and 1590 there was a lull in the activity of the Roman 
Catholics and in the persecutions, a lull attributable either to the success of 
the repressive measures of the administration or to the absorption of the 
nation in the ever-impending struggle with Spain. But in 1590 a somewhat 
milder persecution broke out. In May of that year, as a precautionary 
measure against Sir William Stanley's threatened invasion of the Isle of 

'■' This rate led to much local disturbance and to an almost interminable correspondence between the 
Lancashire justices or the earl of Derby and the Privy Council ; see Peck, Desid. Cur. i, 1 1 8 et seq. 
passim; Acts of the P. C. The returns of the prisoners in the New Fleet at Manchester for Feb. April, 
and Oct. 1582 and Jan. 1584 are given in Rambler (New Ser.), viii, and are abstracted in Lydiate Hall, 228, 
237, and in the Introd. to Vaux's Catechism (Chet. Soc), p. Ixxvii. See also Challoner, Memoirs of Missionary 
Priests, 160, 162, 184.. 
''^ 27 Eliz. cap. I, 2. 

"* At this point the material preserved in the S. P. Dom. relating to the fortunes of the Roman 
Catholics in the county is so great that it is impossible to do more than indicate its contents and position 
briefly. Some of the documents are printed in Lydiate Hall. S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 169, No. 27, 22 Mar. 
1583-4, names of Jesuits, &c. lately fled out of co. Lane; Bridgewater, Concert Eccl. Angl. 209 ; in 1584 
no less than fifty Catholic gentlemen's houses were searched in Lanes. S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 175, No. 21 and 
no, lists of recusants and suspects in Lanes. (?Nov. and Dec. 1584), printed in Lydiate Hall, 226. S.P. Dom. 
Eliz. vol. 167, No. 40, list of persons condemned at the sessions at Manchester, 23 Jan. 1584 ; printed ibid. 
227, and in Foley, Rec. S. J. S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 184, No. 33, examination, &c. of James Stonnes, priest in 
theNew Fleet, Manchester, Nov. 1585 ; printed ibid.231. S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 185, No. 85, information con- 
cerning priests at large in Lanes. .?I585; printed ibid. 234. S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 183, No. 15, lists of recusants 
assessed to a levy, .'Oct. 1 585, amongst them being twenty- three Lancashire names ; these latter printed ibid. 
235. S.P.Dom. Eliz. vol. 187, No. 5 i, petition of John Westby of Mowbrick, Mar. 1586 ; printed ibid. 235. 
S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 190, No. 43, note of recusancy fines in Lanes. 1586 ; printed ibid. 238. S.P. Dom. Eliz. 
vol. 153, No. 62, Roger Ogdeyne's information about priests at Bold House, May, 1582 ; printed ibid. 221 
S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 154, No. 76, information against Richard Haydock, priest at Cottam Hall, ?July, 1582 ; 
printed ibid. 222. S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 163, No. 84, Chaderton to Walsingham concerning recusants at Man- 
chester, and advising sessions to be kept about Preston, Wigan, and Prescot, where the people are most obstinate 
and contemptuous; printed ibid. Peck, Desid. Cur. i, 148, the Privy Council to the earl of Derby and Bishop 
Chaderton, 22 Mar. 1583—4. ' Some priests in Manchester gaol had better be tried in terrorem at the assizes.' 
10 Sept. 1586, list of persons ill-aflicted to the State ; printed in Baines, i, 240, from Harl. MS. 360, and thence 
copied in Lanes. Lieutenancy (Chet. Soc.), ii, 188, and in Lydiate Hall, 239 ; the date doubtful. 7 Sept. 1587, 
Edward Fleetwood, rector of Wigan, to the Lord Treasurer, describing the religious state of the county and the 
effect of the new commission for the peace which had been issued in 1586; Cott. MS. Titus, B. ii, 238 (abstracted 
in Strype, Annals, iii (2), 488 et seq). S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 200, No. 59, names of 128 recusants on bail in 
April, 1587. The Lancashire names are given in Lydiate Hall, 241. S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 235, No. 68, 
boldness of the recusants in Lancashire in [?]i59o. No effectual execution of the penal laws. Jesuits 
increasing ; abstracted ibid. 242. S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 235, No. 4, state of religion in Lancashire [?] 1590 ; 
an important paper printed ibid. 243—50, concludes with a statement of recusant convictions. Before the 
last commission, presented at the quarter sessions 941, convicted 700 ; since the last commission, presented 
800, convicted 200. S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 240, No. 138, report on the religious condition of Lanes, 
and Cheshire ; and No. 139, notes as to the Lanes, justices; printed ibid. 257, 262-5, S.P. Dom. Eliz. 
vol. 243, No. 52, Oct. 1592, notes as to schoolmasters ; printed ibid. 258-60. S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 266, 
No. 80 ; names of recusants assessed in Lanes., Feb. 1598, for the service in Ireland ; printed ibid. 262. 
S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 283, No. 86, Bishop of London to Cecil, April, 1602. Boldness of the recusants in 
Lanes. ; printed ibid. 267. S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 282, No. 74, Nov. 1601, names of seventeen gentlemen 
in hiding : wrongly printed ibid. 261 under date 1593. S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 287, No. 9, Cecil TrafFord to 
Secretary Cecil, 17 Jan. 1603. 

2 57 8 


Anglesey the Privy Council wrote to the earl of Derby concerning the many 
seminary' priests in Lancashire, and commanded him to arrest suspected 
persons'" The earl thereupon arrested Richard Blundell of Little Crosby, 
William his son, Robert Wodruff a seminary priest, and other recusants, and 
in July the council sent them to the gaol at Lancaster to be tried as an 
example, ' the county being in many parts thereof so much affected by those 
kind of people.' "' This spurt of activity on the part of the administration 
was soon over, and when in March and September, 1592, the Privy Council 
again turned its attention to the county in consequence of the discoveries of 
one John Bell alias Burton, a much more lenient tone pervaded its numerous 
letters.'" Although the renewed agitation of these years led to the Act of 
1592-3 against Popish recusants,"* yet in the main this more lenient tone 
prevailed to the end of the reign, and in its later years the Roman Cathohcs 
became so emboldened that when in 1598 a special contribution was levied 
on them in the North the Lancashire Catholics refused to receive the letters 
and beat the messenger."' 

In the religious life of Lancashire under Elizabeth recusancy plays a 
part so overwhelmingly important as to dwarf into insignificance the story 
of Puritanism in the county. As a matter of fact Puritanism as a distinctive 
feature of that history belongs rather to the Stuart than to the Tudor times. 
It did not become pronounced under Elizabeth. One glimpse which we 
catch of the first stage of the movement, viz. the Vestiarian controversy, 
relates to the action of the elder Midgeley at Rochdale. On 4 January, 
1564-5 he, together with three ministers of the chapels of the parish and the 
master of the school, is said to have subscribed his promise to use the vestments. 
Of the second phase of Puritanism, that of the Cartwrightian Disciplinarian 
controversy, the county was even more innocent, as it was also of the con- 
comitant outburst of Separatism.'*" This general result is possibly attribut- 
able to the fact that Lancashire had not in its midst any band of foreign 
refugees, as had the eastern counties, nor any of the extreme type of 
reformer ; for certainly Midgeley was not such, any more than was James 
Gosnell, the minister of Bolton. The controversy of which we hear in 
1580 in the diocese of Chester concerning the method of administration of 
the sacrament '" gives a fair presentation of the standard of Puritan feeling in 
the county. Chaderton himself, the bishop, may be regarded as expressive 

'■' Acts of the P.C. xix, 155-65. 

'"(Ibid. 267, 270, 310). On 25 July, 1590, the council wrote to the justices: 'You shall 
receive the names of sundry recusants from the earl of Derby or the bishop of Chester amounting to 700 
in Lancashire and 200 in Cheshire ; and yet the number doubted to be far greater. It is thought meet 
that such as have not been indited on the statute of recusancy be now presented. Deal with them so that 
they shall perceive they will hereafter be more severely looked to' ; ibid. 334-40. 

'■' ' Miles Gerard of Ince was sent to us on the accusation of Bell for harbouring priests. He has made 
humble submission. We have licensed him to go home' . . . ' We allow your release of the three gentle- 
women (probably Ann Houghton of the Tower and Mistress Westby and another). As to the rest of the 
recusants now at liberty in their own houses thesutute gives power to arrest them at anytime,' and so on • 
Acts cj Ike P.C. xxu, 324-5, 367-9; xxi.i, 163, 354-5 ; xxiv, 9, I., 26, 110, 231, 281, 334. Bell's 
information appears to be contained in S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 243, No. 70, Nov. 1592 

''' -'\^^f "F-. --. "^^ ^""'.f th/ P«°^l 5'^tutes of Elizabeth's reign, and the' one by which recusants 
were restrained to withm five miles of their houses. 

'■' AcU of the P.C. xxix, 1 12, 1 1 S, 220, 300, 604, 648. 
of ,hr^''r°''"f °° °f L^""3hire with the Martin Marprelate episode was purely subsidiary, the seizing 

of the wandering Penry Press in Newton Lane, Manchester, being a mere incident 
*■' Acts oj tie P.C. xii, 125. 


of the type of the movement as well as its more immediate founder. He 
protected his diocese from the harsher repression which was practised in the 
south,''' and it was doubtless on his initiative that the attempt was made to 
establish regular exercises in Lancashire. The device was a state device, 
imposed from above, and its object was to promote the evangelization of 
the county with the idea of stemming the rising tide of Roman CathoHc 
reaction.''' The following is an example : In February, 1585-6, exercises 
were to be held on successive Thursdays at Prescot, Bury, Padiham, and some 
place north of the Ribble, four of the neighbouring parsons being moderators 
in each case. 

We have it on Neal's authority that the attempt was abortive.''* If so, 
it could only have been because the type of Puritanism in the county was too 
moderate even for such an institution."^ The general type of Puritan clergy 
there at this time was that of the painful, godly, but conformist kind, men 
who resided and preached diligently and whose Puritanism showed itself 
mainly in their attitude towards the Sunday sports and immorality of the 
people. The scattered State Papers which describe the want of preaching 
ministers in the county towards the end of Elizabeth's reign emanate from 
these men ; mainly, probably, from Edward Fleetwood the rector of Wigan."* 

Under the first Stuarts the religious history of Lancashire enters on a 
period of apparent quiet. But under the surface of that quiet a decisive 
change was slowly accomplishing itself. On the one hand the Roman 
Catholic reaction which had been inaugurated by the missionary zeal of the 
Elizabethan seminary priests lost its force and the Catholic interest decayed. 
On the other hand the forces of Puritan nonconformity gathered strength. 
The proof of the first of these assertions consists in the figures of recusancy 
and in scattered statements by justices and others as to the state of the county."^ 
Even as early as December, 1604, the justices of Lancashire, in a petition in 
favour of the Nonconformist ministers there, state that as a result of the 
preaching of these men the county, which in the beginning of Elizabeth's 
reign was overgrown with Popery, is now so reformed that many are become 
unfeigned professors of the Gospel and many recusants are yearly conformed.'" 
In 1609 Sir Edward Phelips reports to Salisbury his proceedings on the 
northern circuit, testifying to the quiet state of the four northern counties, 

'*' Brook, Lives of the Puritans, iii, 509. 

^ The scheme of these exercises is printed in Strype, Annals, ii (2), 547-8. 

^ Hist, of the Puritans, i, 301. 

'" With the eiception of Midgeley, who was himself by no means extreme, there is hardly a provable 
instance of nonconformity. When William Langley, rector of Prestwich, was summoned before Bishop 
Chaderton in July, 1 591, he made his submission. And again when Edward Walshe vicar of Blackburn was 
questioned at Chester in Sept. 1 596, for the surplice, he did not refuse to wear it. Midgeley's own resignation 
in 1595 was apparently quite voluntary. He gave up his rectory to his son. 

^ S.P. Dom. Eliz. vol. 122, No. 21 ; ibid. vol. 31, No. 4.7 (wrongly calendered under the date 1563) ; 
vol. 266, No. 138 ; this latter printed in Lydiate Hall, 262, and the paper from the Tanner MSS. 
144, p. 28, printed in Chet. Misc. vol. v. The signatures to this last-named paper probably give us the 
measure of the Puritanism of the county under Elizabeth. It has sixteen names of rectors, vicars, and others. 
Their names, otherwise comparatively unknown, are a guarantee of the non-militant and moderate type of the 
Puritanism of the county ; and such continued to be its characteristic throughout the remainder of Elizabeth's 
reign. It speaks volumes for the wisdom, not merely of the bishop, but also of the Privy Council, that the 
reign closed without any further attempt at disturbing them. 

^'' Under James the practice of making grants to individuals of particular persons' recusancy fines was 
resorted to frequently. For the particulars of such grants relating to Lancashire see Cal. S.P. Dom. Jas. I, i, 
383-4, 389-90, 394, 416, 419, 486, 530, 587, 621 ; ii, 440 ; i i, 150. 

'»» S.P. Dom. Jas. I, vol. 10, No. 62. 



^ where only . 3 persons have been ^^^^'f^^ltZTon^ 

ternal cause for such decav was "'^'^^^b^^'lly V^t^^^rrn sTionl^y the Jesuits - 

themselves consequent -P°V^\''P'ri °hn/vS th^dos^^ of Eliza- 

a division which rent asunder the whole body from the closmg u ; 

he.r Burof these dissensions we catch few glimpses m Lancashire. 

'"Nvhi't lltn CathoHcism in the county was thus e-ermg on a pe 

of decUne, Puritanism was slowly g-^^g^ -^g^ p'^ fs outZd^ of 
process is ^'^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

!j:Sr^SSeS:Sl^l^i^^^^ of La.. Wheth^r 

or not any of the Lancashire clergy advocated the Millenary Petition at the 
adven of James we do not know. But incidental -f -^ j^/^^"; 7,^ 
made in the Hampton Court Conference itself. On the third day of the 
"nf rence, 18 JanLy, 1603-4, Lawrence Chadderton, ^-self a Lane h 
man, requested that the surplice and the cross in baptism might not be urged 
sime^odly ministers in Lancashire, particularly instancing the vicar of 

o J , ,. , , A _1_1_!_1 ■\X7"U«<-rvi H- coin t 

R^hrief ry^u^' ;r MidgSey. Archbishop Whitgift said that he could 
not have moved for a more unlucky instance, because of his irreverent admini- 
stration of the Supper not many years before.- In spite of the archbishop s 
uncompromising attitude James consented that the bishop of Chester should 
be written to to give the ministers time and to confer with them with a view 
to induce them to conform. The conference was followed in March 1604, by 
Tames's proclamation enjoining conformity to the Prayer Book and by another 
proclamation of 16 July, 1604. Later in the year,«^ 10 December the Privy 
Council wrote to the bishops to give order that on the expiry of jhe time 
limited for conformity of ministers the refusers were to be deprived.'""' Two 
months later the judges stated their opinion to the Ecclesiastical Commission 
on the question of the legality of depriving such ministers.'"' It is not easy 
to construct a clear account of what followed. Neal says"'' that after James's 
proclamation of July, 1604, there were twenty-one Nonconformist or non- 
subscribing ministers in Lancashire. This has been magnified by later writers 
into a statement that the whole twenty-one were deprived. The discoverable 
evidence does not bear out the statement. On 3 October, 1604, the bishop 
of Chester (Richard Vaughan) summoned before him at least nine of the Lanca- 
shire clergy. They duly appeared, were admonished and ordered to conform 
before 28 November following. On that day they were to appear again and 

'^ S.P. Dom. Jas. I, vol. 48, No. 2;. 

•* The Jesuit missions, which at first had been governed hy vice-prefects resident in England, were 
erected in 1619 into a vice-province, which three years later was divided into twelve districts or ideal colleges, 
certain revenues being allotted to each as the nucleus of a later coUcge when the times should favour it. In 
1 62 J the English vice-province was erected into a regular province and Father Blount became the first 
provincial. Of the twe've quasi-coUeges which had been outlined in 1622 only three came immediately into 
existence, viz. those of London, Lancashire, and South Wales. The Lancashire district was known as the 
college of St. Aloysius, and up to the year 1 66 1 it included Lancashire, Cheshire, Westmorland, and Stafford. 
In that year Stafford was divided from it and made into a distinct residence, and subsequently in 1672 into a 
college (St. Chad). 

'^^ Stnpe, L:fi ofWhit^ft, ii, 499 ; Barlow, 'Sum of the Conference,' printed in the Phoenix, i, 176. 

"^ S.P. Dom. Jas. I, vol. 10, Xo. 61. 

*" It would to be this order which produced the petition of the Lancashire justices to the king 
which has been quoted in the text. 

'^^ S.P. Dom. Jas. I, vol. 12, No. 73, 13 Feb. 1604-5. ^" Hist, of the Puritans, i, 418. 



give an account of their conformity, but none of them did so. Before he 
could take any further proceedings with them Vaughan was translated and 
the Nonconformists were left to be dealt with by his successor, George Lloyd, 
This bishop's decided leaning to the Puritans seems to evince itself in the 
delay in the subsequent proceedings.^"^ Out of the nine only two can be 
proved to have been deprived in 1605 or 1606. The only other clerical 
name mentioned in this episode was that of William Langley, the moderate 
Puritan rector of Prestwich. On 28 November, 1604, he appeared before 
the bishop and made submission, but being afterwards dissatisfied he resigned 
his living before 10 September, 16 10. 

We are thus left with the result that in the early part of James's reign the 
provable cases of deprivation for Nonconformity do not exceed six at the out- 
side, and may not exceed two or three. Such a result points to one of two 
facts : either that the bishop of Chester, as is known to be the case, was 
exceedingly lenient, or that the Nonconformist element in the county, although 
strong in the element of talent and missionary fervour, was singularly patriotic 
and non-militant. 

Under Thomas Morton, who succeeded Lloyd as bishop of Chester in 
1616, there was a renewed attempt at questioning the Puritans. Of this 
episode we get a one-sided account in Thomas Paget of Blackley's edition of 
John Paget's Defence of Church Government, 1 64 1 . But this account simply 
mentions generally that divers Nonconformists in the diocese, including him- 
self, were summoned to the Ecclesiastical Commission at Chester, presumably 
in 1 6 17 or 161 8, and that after converse the bishop undertook their dismissal 
from the said court. Paget says further that Morton's successor, John 
Bridgeman, bishop of Chester from 1619, did not move in the matter at first 
beyond suspending a few Nonconformists, until driven thereto by fear of the 
archbishop of York's visitation. When he did move, his action was even 
more moderate than Morton's, for he left Paget untouched at Blackley, and 
the later proceedings emanated from the Ecclesiastical Commission at York. 

The course of Puritanism in the county therefore under James, if not 
smooth, was certainly not exceedingly rough. Indeed, but for the publica- 
tion of the so-called Book of Sports, James's reign would possess little signifi- 
cance in the religious history of Lancashire. As to this latter episode, a good 
deal of ex post facto misconception exists. The view has been advanced, even 
by historians of the highest repute, that the hostility to Sunday sports was 
clerical in its basis, i.e. was due to the moral fervour of a Puritanism which 
was, under James, changing its character — which was, that is, leaving the 
ground of the Vestiarian squabble and occupying the higher ground of 
missionary fervour against national immorality. As far as Lancashire is con- 
cerned there is no justification for such a view. The simple truth is that all 
through EHzabeth's reign the civil power had attempted, both by legislation 

^^ Richard Midgeley the elder, formerly vicar of Rochdale and still a licensed preacher in the county, 
has no record of fiirther proceedings against him. His son Joseph, then vicar of Rochdale and more uncom- 
promising in his Puritanism than his father, had no surplice, and the communicants at Rochdale received 
sittmg. Action was taken against him and he was deprived. John Bourne, fellow of Manchester (the John 
Knox of Manchester), apparently remained untouched, though he was convened before the bishop of Chester 
in Dec. 1609, and was temporarily suspended in 1633. Ellis Saunderson, vicar of Bolton, James Gosnall, 
preacher at Bolton, and Thomas Hunt, minister of Oldham, were not disturbed, although the last-named was 
reported at the chancellor's visitation in 1 608 for not wearing the surplice. As to Richard Rothwell and James 
Ashworth, there is no evidence of proceedings in 1 605. Edward Walsh, vicar of Blackburn, was deprived in 1 606. 



and by proclamation, to put down the more brutal forms of Sunday sports. 
When such action was taken in Lancashire in 1579, it was taken, not by the 
Puritans but by the Chester Ecclesiastical Commission, the local mouthpiece 
of the central executive. Similarly, the memorial of March, 1589, on the 
enormities of the Sabbath '" did not emanate from the Puritan clergy but 
from the gentry of the county. When, therefore, on his progress through 
Lancashire in 16 17 James was presented with a petition by divers peasants, 
tradespeople, and servants praying the removal of the restrictions of the late 
reign on their lawful Sunday recreation, it is clear that the movement was a 
civilian movement against a civilian ordinance. If it was not that, it could 
only have been a thinly-veiled Roman Catholic scheme to discredit the local 
Protestant justices. James appears to have been taken off his guard, and to 
have given his decision offhand by word of mouth. ' On our return out of 
Scotland last year,' he says in his proclamation of the following year, ' we did 
publish our pleasure touching the recreation of our people in those parts 
(Lancashire).' The proclamation of 24 May, 161 8, dated from Greenwich, 
containing the recital just quoted, merely made general to the whole kingdom 
the decision thus announced. There is no trace in James's reign of an agita- 
tion in Lancashire against this proclamation. And when, on 18 October, 
1633, Charles I republished his father's proclamation, the only traceable 
instance of resistance to it in Lancashire was that of the magistrate Henry 
Ashurst of Ashurst. The agitation against the so-called Book of Sports only 
gathered significance later, when the combination of Puritanism with consti- 
tutional grievances was producing the rebellion. 

It seems probable that the comparatively lenient treatment of the Puritans 
in the county which characterized the episcopates of Lloyd and Morton would 
have endured under Bishop Bridgeman had it not been for the rising influence 
of Laud. Bridgeman's early action against Paget of Blackley, just described, 
and against James Gosnell of Bolton and the Bolton parishioners in 1620 for 
not receiving the Communion kneeling had been moderate to a degree. But 
in 1630 Laud made himself felt in the county. In that year John Angier 
was twice inhibited at Ringley before he had run the race of twelve months 
there. The reputed conversation between Angier and Bridgeman rests on 
the authority of Oliver Hey wood's Life of Angier, but bears every mark of 
inherent prohability. ' Mr. Angier,' said the bishop, 

I have a good will to indulge you but cannot, for my Lord's Grace of Canterbury hath 
rebuked me for permitting two nonconforming ministers, the one within a mile on one hand, 
Mr. Horrocks of Deane, on the other yourself, and I am likely to come into disfavour on 
this behalf. As for Mr. Horrocks my hands are bound, I cannot meddle with him [it is 
thought by some promise made to his wife], but as for you, Mr. Angier, you are a young 
man and may doubtless get another place ; and if you were anywhere at a little further 
distance I could better look away from you, for I do study to do you a kindness, but cannot 
as long as you are thus near me. 

Angier accordingly moved to Denton, where he tells us (Help for Better 
Hearts) : \ r j 

though in 9 or 10 years I preached not above 2 separated years without interruption and in 
that time was twice excommunicated, though Sabbath assemblies were sundry times distrac- 
tedly and sorrowfully broken up and my departure from habitation and people often forced 
no means left in sight for return, yet through the fervent prayers of the church God wa^ 
graciously and effectually moved continually to renew liberty. 

"' Lanes. Lieut, ii, 2 1 7. 


Angier did not stand alone in feeling the results of Laud's influence, any 
more than did Bridgeman himself. Richard Mather, minister of Toxteth, 
was suspended in 1633, and although restored six months after, was finally 
suspended by Dr. Cosin in the visitation made in the following summer by 
the archbishop of York's visitors. In 1635 he accordingly sailed for America. 
In 1634, too, Murray, the warden of Manchester, exhibited a libel against 
Johnson, one of the fellows of the college of Manchester, for not wearing the 
surplice in Gorton Chapel."' 

Besides the instances of persecution already quoted, there are others to 
which specific data of time or place cannot be assigned. John Harrison, 
afterwards the well-known Presbyterian rector of Ashton-under-Lyne, was, 
when at the chapel of Walmsley in Bolton parish, ' exceeding harassed.' '"' 
William Rathband was silenced after exercising his ministry, though contrary 
to law, for many years at a chapel (Blackley) in Lancashire.*"" 

In his own eyes Laud's work was justified by its success. When, in 
January, 1636-7, the archbishop of York made another report on the state 
of the northern province, he was able to state that Bridgeman had brought 
most of the churches in his diocese to uniformity. It sounds strange to 
find Neile in the same report claiming that in twenty-eight years he never 
deprived any man, though he was a great adversary of the Puritan faction.*"^ 

This necessarily imperfect sketch of the Puritan side of the Church his- 
tory of Lancashire under the first two Stuarts brings out very strongly two 
facts : (i) The extremely moderate action of the successive bishops of Ches- 
ter ; (2) The paucity of militant irreconcilable Nonconformists. The question 
therefore naturally arises. Why should the majority of the Lancashire clergy 
have become so decidedly Presbyterian as they did during the Civil War 
period .? The answer would appear to be twofold : (i) Many of the clergy 
simply acquiesced in the action of the State and accepted Presbyterianism as 
tamely as their predecessors had accepted the various changes of religion from 
Henry VIII to Elizabeth ; (2) Those who became convinced and zealous 
Presbyterians did so because of the appeal which a Presbyterian system in- 
evitably makes to the merely selfish clerical class instinct. In no county of 
England did so large a proportion of the clergy become convinced and 
aggressive Presbyterians as in Lancashire, and in few counties was there 
less antecedent cause, either in the form of episcopal persecution or of 
actual Presbyterian propaganda. 

At the meeting of the Long Parliament, petitions on grievances poured 
in from the counties and separate petitions from the Puritan clergy. Some 
such lay petition from Lancashire was presented on 9 February, 1 640-1 ;*"' 
but of a clerical petition we hear nothing. For some time indeed the county 
gave little promise of the important part which it was afterwards to play in 
the religious domain. In the first two years of the Long Parliament's 

''' These instances are traceable to the influence, not of Bridgeman, but of Richard Neile, archbishop of 
York, and it is evident from Neile's report to the king on I Jan., 1633-4, ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ "'^f .''='"5 *°''=^'^ 
by the imperious Laud. This report of Neile's is important as affording an account of the religious state of 
the county at the time, and also an insight into the attitude of the executive in London ; S.P. Dom. Chas. I, 
vol. 259, No. 78. 

'^ Brook, Lives of the Puritans, ii, 443. 

""Ibid. 470-1. 

*" S.P. Dom. Chas. I, vol. 345, No. 85. The archbishop referred evidently to beneficed clergy. 

"' Com. 'J omit, ii, 8l ; Rushworth, Hist. Coll. iv, 188. 



existence we hear of no nominations by it of Puritan lecturers in the 

The mere military campaign in Lancashire, important as it was, may be 
considered to have been decided by midsummer of 1643. By that time the 
county was in the hands of the Parliament, and it practically remained so. 
The triumph of the Parliament meant on the one hand the tame acceptance 
of the Solemn League and Covenant throughout the county, and on the other 
the usual course of sequestration of the loyalist clergy. But comparatively 
speaking these sequestrations were few.*"* 

The more general side of the story is occupied almost entirely by the 
changing fortunes of Presbyterianism as a church system in the county. It is 
a little strange that although Lancashire was to attain notoriety among the 
counties of England for its thorough-going attempts at acclimatizing the 
Presbyterian system, the initial work of establishing that system cannot be so 
clearly traced there as in other parts of England. The Ordinance of August, 
1645, known as ' Directions for the election of elders,' prescribed that letters 
should be sent from the speaker of the House of Commons to the Parliamen- 
tary Committees in the various counties requesting them to draft the scheme 
of classical Presbyteries for each county and to nominate fit ministers and 
elders tor each. The Speaker's letters were dispatched apparently in Sep- 
tember following, and the returns to them, the County Certificates, were 
made within no great time after. That for Durham for instance came in in 
December, i 645. There is no specific reference to the Lancashire Certificate, 
but the substance of it has doubtless been preserved for us in the Parlia- 
mentary Ordinance which passed the Lords on 2 October, 1646. It shows 
that the county was divided into nine classes, centring round Manchester, 
Bolton, Blackburn, Warrington, Walton, Croston, Preston, Lancaster, and 

The enacting substance of this ordinance was completed by a further 
order of December, 1646, which constituted the several classes in Lancashire 
a province. There was thus a period of fifteen months between the Speaker's 

'" ^ ."^"g- '.^+'' ^""^ 'J"'";"- '■- 707- The Long Parliament nominations to benefices in Lancashire, as 
U^lJ^'re to S\J°"^"^'Vf '^°''> "°"^". "= ^l follows : 9 Oct. .643, Lancaster sequestered from August ne 
Ar^ihoLAr^ F^'";?"^:"?- '"' '7°- 9 Oct. 1643, Eccleston sequestered from Richard 
Far b.shopofM.n, toEdw.,rdGee; ibid. 270-1, Lords^ -J ourn. yn, -^oi; viii, 78. 14 Nov. 164c Paul 

ut:LTJu^"rnto°HT''^' >':^7""'- ^'' 7°" ^"''78 ; Con. 'jouk v, 539- =»6'nov. idj^^'hom 
Whitehead put m to Halton ; i.r^/ Joun,. vi„, 575. 26 Feb. 1646-7, Nehemiah Barnett nom nated to 

L V^^;^ ibid' ;"' V'^7, ^'"^ '/f ' ^""-"■- '^' f^- ' Mar.^646-7, Richard Walker nomSted 
to v%arton , ib,d. 4+. , Mar. 1646-7, Sa Jones nommated to Much Hoole ; ibid. c6. 12 Nov 1647 John 

ifii- < t^k' c ■ k ^T ,,• ■,.^, '°47-o, Robert Dmgley to Eccleston; ibid, x, 20 1 Mar 

;^d:;eJtsirs; t?.;f.te!:Sr' -'-'-" ^^- -- --'^ 'y '^= ^°--^-^ 

Edwar7M:r:l?^eiect"d ZiTT°'' '" ''V '^ '."" ^'^"^>' ^^''^^'^ '°- ^" ^^^ "-^ year 

from Standi.h recto4 and W iTa,^ f '^ '\^ "''''" ""'"""^ '° ' ^+5- Ralph Brideoak was ejected 

accomplished b v^:2;ce jTn WarrinT; a To, "T^' °^ ^"'"t" '" ''+5- Other ejections' were 
place. Other Les are doubtfu" At Ah/ ^ 7"" ^^^^Sg^d down by soldiers and Horrocks put in his 
threats, the Presbyterian John Harristn tf/i^r' ^I- ^'-''^"^ '^ ""'^ '° ^'^^ ^"" driven away by 
Pre.nvich rector/ in or before 1 6^6 anH"^ aT^^I '°^tV'' ^'' P^^" ' ^'"'^ ^llen was dragged from 
in Manchester. \he c^ses of Chti^'to "her h" . '' Walker (S^J^-.W,^, c/rie Clergy) to have been imprisoned 
RothweUatLevland,anrjohnSk at'oTdhfm f R/chester Robert Symonds at Middleton, William 

<« I ;-r ^f ,1, ■ • ^ , Uldham are of a different character. 

C.«..irct "'"?;."!" '''"'° '' '° *" "^"'"' °' "'^'^ °f '^- <='-- - Finted in Shaw, 



letter and the final legislative enactment of the Presbyterian system. This 
interim period was no doubt mainly occupied by a severe triangular struggle 
betv^een the few leading active Presbyterians, the generally apathetic body of 
the clergy, and the Independents. The leaders of the high Presbyterian 
faction in the county were Richard HoUinworth of Manchester, John 
Harrison of Ashton-under-Lyne, and John Tilsley of Deane. As against 
them such men as Warden Heyrick and John Angier of Denton represented 
the Latitudinarian type. The Independents were championed by Samuel 
Eaton and Timothy Taylor at Dukinfield, and John Wigan at Gorton and 
afterwards at Birch. The ensuing struggle is vividly described by Martindale.*"" 
It found expression also in a small flood of pamphlet literature. Putting aside 
Charles Herle's Independency on Scripture of the Independency of churches, 
which was published in 1643, the battle was opened by Richard Hollin- 
VfOTth\ Examination of Sundry Scriptures, 1645 (17 December, 1644). This 
was replied to by Eaton and Taylor in 1645 by their Defence of sundry 
positions and scriptures alleged to justifie the Congregational way, 1645. 
HoUinworth in turn replied in 1646 by his Certain queries modestly pro- 
pounded to such as affect the Congregational way. To this Eaton and Taylor 
rejoined in the same year in their Defence of sundry positions . . . justified. 
To this HoUinworth replied in 1647 in his Rejoinder to Master Samuel 
Eaton and Master Timothy Taylor s reply. The answer from the other 
leading Presbyterians was more practical. It took the form of a peti- 
tion to ParUament, which was set on foot in June, 1646. A true copy 
of the petition of 12,500 and upwards of the well affected gentlemen, ministers 
. . . of Lancaster . . . was published by John Tilsley in 1646. The 
petition is attested by Robert Ashton, John Tilsley, and WiUiam Booth, 
and it is evident that these were the three entrusted to deUver it to the 
ParUament. The Lords acknowledged the petition on 25 August, 1646, and 
Tilsley's Paraenetick to Lancashire, with which the printed tract ends, is dated 
'From my lodging at the Golden Fleece,' in Tuttle Street, Westminster, 
27 August, 1646. 

The petition begged for a settlement of church government and for 
the suppression of all separated congregations. It was a demonstration 
of the harmony between the London and the Lancashire Presbyterians, being 
intended to answer the ' new birth of the City Remonstrance ' and to voice 
the support of the Lancashire Presbyterians to the London Remonstrance. 
The same tone of vehement protest was continued by the Presbyterians 
in The harmonious consent of the ministers of the Province . . . of 
Lancaster with . . . the ministers of the Province of London, 18 January, 

But the logic of events proved stronger than the logic of the press. 
For although it is known that the Presbyterian system in the county was so 
far established as that all the classes were constituted and also the Provincial 
Synod for the whole county, yet the power of the sword, which remained 
in the hands of the Independents, cut short the triumph of Presbytery. The 
new-born system indeed had to contend with a twofold opposition. In spite 
of the conversion of the bulk of the clergy there stiU remained a strong 
undercurrent of apathy or even of hostility on the part of individual parishes 

"^ Autobiography (Chet. Soc), 61-4. 
2 65 9 


and clergvmen- The account of the mere indifference of in^mdual 
Danishes and clergymen could no doubt be greatly extended if the records 
Si he classes hJd survived, for we possess minutes of the proceedings of 
only two of them, those of Manchester and Bury. From ^653 onwards he 
apathy of the general body of the laity became so pronounced that he 
de ay^f the clfsses could no longer be concealed Until the end of the 
Commonwealth they remained practically merely local ^^f°ff ^°"X l^ond 
the work of examining and ordaining ministerial candidates. The second 
stream of opposition with which the system had to contend was the hostility 
of the central power. It was not merely that the more zealous of the 
Presbyterians felt the sharpness of that hostility in their persons when they 
refused the Engagement.- The triumph of the Independents in the temporal 
domain declared itself before the Presbyterians had had time to establish 
their organization. As a consequence their consistorial system, which was 
actually and sharply enforced or attempted to be enforced during the years 
1647-9, was forthwith paralysed, and furthermore the classes were left 
powerless to deal with Separatist or Independent congregations in their midst. 
The result was not merely endless intestinal parochial confusion, but also a 
general cessation of the administration of the Sacrament. Finding that the 
wooden sword of discipline had been smitten from their hands, and that they 
could no longer safeguard the approach to the Sacrament, the Presbyterian 
clergy preferred to cease administration altogether. 

The slow lapse of years of disappointed impotence brought a little 
wisdom to the Presbyterians as the Interregnum drew to a close, and an 
honest attempt was at last made in 1659 to establish an accommodation 
between them and the Independents with the object of again setting on foot 
the regulation of sacramental admission. But if the agreement which was 
arrived at in the Collegiate church of Manchester on 12 July, 1659, was 
of any significance for the religious history of Lancashire, it was not so as 
bearing on the episode of Commonwealth Presbyterianism. It was only so 
as foreshadowing the process of fusion or confusion between Presbyterian 
and Independent which was to ensue upon the triumph of the Episcopal 
Church at the Restoration."** 

In a resume so necessarily hasty it has been found impossible to make 
specific reference to many other sides of the church history of this stirring 
period. But in respect of the Church Survey, the exercise of patronage, 
private and other, the Plundered Ministers' Committee, the Triers, &c., the 
experience of Lancashire was in no way singular, being simply a replica of 
the experience of the country at large."" 

It is not in such matters as these that the importance of the church 
history of the Commonwealth lies for Lancashire. It is rather and indeed 

'" At Didibury the elders elected were unwilling to undergo their office. At Blackburn the 
minister scrupled the lawfulness of ruling lay elders. At Gorton, Denton, Oldham, and Salford the 
election of elders was delayed for years by the mere inertia of the parishioners. At Flixton the minister 
and eldei^ withdrew from their office. The minister at Whitworth contemptuously ignored the Bury 
Classis. Even at Bur}- itself, the centre of the Second Classis, the minister of the town scrupled the 
government and did not act ; neither did the ministers at the chapelries of Whitworth, Rivington Turton 
and Bradihaw. ' ' 

*'" See Manchester Minutes, 135, for this episode. 

"^ For the story of this accommodation of 1659 see Manchester Minutes, 400-1. 

•"' For its local and personal aspects see various publications of the Lane, and Ches. Record Soc 



solely in the aftermath. For in no domain did the Restoration mark so 
profoundly vital a change in the national life as it did in the religious 
domain. After an interim of negotiation and agitation — a period during 
which many of the royalist clergy either quietly or by mere course of law 
resumed their former livings — the settlement imposed by the Uniformity 
Act definitely closed the doors of the national church to the Nonconformist, 
Presbyterian and Independent alike. From that moment there ceased to be 
in England even in theory a single all-embracing national church. Up to 
that moment, in the eye of the constitutional lawyer, the Church of England 
had covered every extreme of opinion whether of Roman Catholic recusant 
on the one hand or of Puritan Nonconformist on the other. The Erastian 
conception which underlay the English Reformation of the sixteenth century 
had endured till the seventeenth — the conception, namely, that the nation and 
the church were one in their extent and one in their subjection to the civil 
power. The mere fact that Separatist, Brownist, or other congregations on 
the one hand, or Roman Catholic missions on the other, actually existed (in 
secret) never for a moment shook the Tudor or Stuart conception of eccle- 
siastical unity. One and all they were considered to be as much within the 
church as they were within the civil state, and they were made to know it. 
From 1662, however, such merely statesman's conception of unity was relin- 
quished, and a wider conception took its place, one which no longer made the 
nation and the church co-terminous, one which recognized that civil or 
national unity could be achieved without ecclesiastical unity. Henceforth the 
history of the Church of England no longer covers the whole of the ground, 
becoming the story of merely such portions of the community as elect to be 
of its membership ; and such as do not so elect occupy each their own ground 
and have each their separate history. What has hitherto been a single 
thread of history is divided henceforth into strands, each leading far asunder. 
Of course such a result was not achieved in a night. The actual concrete 
institution or formula was everywhere achieved in practice long before the 
conception itself was nakedly expressed or accepted. It is perhaps natural 
too that the Church of England itself should have been the last and slowest 
in the process of conversion. 

Postponing for a moment the story of the Episcopal Church, a few 
words are necessary to guide us through the maze of later Dissenting and Free 
Church history. Two merely incidental starting points are afforded us in 
the ejections in 1662 and the licences granted in 1672. Some seventy 
ejections are recorded up to and including 1662, but not all for Noncon- 
formity. For this cause the principal sufferers were Nathaniel Heywood 
of Ormskirk, Edmund Jones of Eccles, Richard Goodwin of Bolton, 
William Bell of Huyton, Henry Finch of Walton, Robert Yates of 
Warrington, and Isaac Ambrose of Garstang.*" Some were ejected by 
force or by mere process of law before the Act of Uniformity, Many 
were merely curates of chapels of ease, without any endowment at all, or 
with but a scanty revenue ; many of them, as John Angier at Denton, 
appear to have been allowed to minister in their old chapels without any 

*" Among the more curious cases are those of James Starkie of North Meols, who retained his rectory 
and yet is reckoned among Nonconformists ; of Charles Hotham of Wigan ; as also of Joseph Thompson of 
Sefton, who gave way to the lawful rector in 1660, and afterwards acted as his curate. 



legal title, but without interference.- Several chapels remained in the 
hands of the Nonconformists for thirty or forty years. f t ..o 

The li ts of licences of 1672- give us merely the personality of Lanca- 
shire Dissen for the indication of the denomination is usually vague. The 
once pot nt;nd clear-cut terms Presbyterian and Independent are becommg 
nd^tfn u'hable, and when the settled -ngregations subsequent^ emej-g^^ 
and definitely establish themselves it is often very difficult to say whethe 
we are dealing with a professedly Presbyterian or Independent or Baptist 
Chuh As f matter of'fact, wh/tever their professed pohty, these churches 
are all henceforth Independent in the sense that each is independent of the 
t th re is no superstructure of organization binding them either together 
or to a uniformity Whatever attempts at such an organization were 
subsequently made were until the nineteenth century voluntary, fortuitous, 
and invariably impotent. This is one main axiomatic guide to an under- 
standing of the subject. The other and accompanying guide is deducible 
from the first as a corollary. Bereft of the compelling force of an organization 
possessing authority over all, the various churches went each its own doctrinal 
way, and it cannot be matter for surprise that the rising tide of eighteenth- 
century scepticism carried so many of them through Arianism and Socinianism 
into Unitarianism ; for the movement affected the Church of England as 

The Unitarians 

Putting aside the isolated Unitarian movement of the Commonwealth 
period, which is epitomized by the names of John Biddle and Thomas Firmin, 
the recrudescence of Unitarianism is to be attributed to the controversy on 
the nature of the Trinity which started in 1690 within the Church of 
England. This formed the prelude to the Deistical controversy, which 
engaged the attention of radical thinkers in England for the next fifty years, 
1 696-1748. This, again, opened up a new issue, that of Rationalism pure 
and simple, and it is noticeable that in this debate the Unitarians stood firm 
for a miraculous revelation. There was subsequently a lull in the mere 
doctrinal controversy. The movement had in fact practically accomplished 
itself by the time when in 1778 Theophilus Lindsey formed a Unitarian 
church in Essex Street, London, a church which can only be held to be the 
first Unitarian church by the wilful ignoring of half a century of previous 
history. Between the limits of time thus indicated events in Lancashire 
had practically followed the same course as in every county of England. 
The majority of the old Presbyterian and Independent congregations had 
passed over into Unitarianism. But whereas in other parts of the county 
we can trace the course of the development,"* in Lancashire we have no 
specific details. In the county Palatine the change accomplished itself 

"' Henry Welsh of Chorley appears to have ministered in the chapel till his death, though he was not 
technically curate. The procedure there was probably that known to have been used elsewhere ; the rector 
of the parish sending a deputy to read the Prayer-book service, after which the ejected minister would hold 
his own service and preach. 

'"' Chowbent, Failsworth, Gorton, Hindley, Piatt chapel, Rivington, Darwen, Horwich, St. Helens, 
and Rainford. 

'■'Nearly 200 licences were granted between 11 April, 1672, and 3 Feb. 1672-3. Some of the 
ministers, like Henry Newcome of Manchester, had been silenced since 1662. 

'"In Devonshire and London the virtual starting point is afforded by the Exeter controversy in 17 18. 



gradually by quite unrecorded steps and degrees. The only clue by which 
we can trace the process is afforded by the life story of the pastorate of 
each church and the scattered references to dissensions and divisions in the 
congregations themselves. As far as Lancashire is concerned the change 
occurred almost entirely in the eighteenth century. The churches of the Old 
Dissent which thus became Unitarian were Blackley, Bolton (Bank Street), 
Bury (Bank Street), Chorley, Chowbent, Cockey Moor, Croft, Failsworth, 
Gatacre, Gorton, Hindley, Knowsley, Lancaster (Nicholas Street), Toxteth 
Park, Liverpool (Hope Street and Renshaw Street) , Manchester (Cross Street), 
Monton, Piatt, Preston (Church Street), Prescot (Atherton Street), Rawten- 
stall, Rivington, Rochdale (Blackwater Street), Stand, Walmsley, Wigan 
(Park Lane). The separate history of each of these churches is fully detailed 
in Nightingale's excellent work. Nonconformity in Lancashire. The names of 
two of these churches are connected with notable controversy. The Man- 
chester Socinian controversy (1824) centred round Cross Street, Manchester. 
The Liverpool Socinian controversy (1829) centred round Gatacre church, 
and is dignified by the name of Martineau. 

The oldest association the Unitarian churches in Lancashire possess is 
the Provincial Assembly of Lancashire and Cheshire, which has some shadowy 
claim to a thin thread of historic connexion with the Association of the United 
Ministers of both these counties dating from 1690. But practically the only 
actual connexion consists in the formation in 1762 or 1764 of the Widows' 
Fund, which was started in the old, almost moribund, provincial meeting, 
itself a ghostly and attenuated relic of the United Ministers' Association. 
From about 1800, this Widows' Fund became the nucleus of a local annual 
meeting, which from 1842 was known as the Provincial Assembly of Lanca- 
shire and Cheshire, and has become a stereotyped institution from 1865."^ 
The later organizations are of little account, such e.g. as the Manchester 
District Association, 1859, and the North Lancashire and Westmorland 
Unitarian Association, 1901. 

The connexion of the county with the training colleges of the Unitarian 
body is more interesting. Manchester College, Oxford, is the direct 
descendant of Frankland's Academy, founded in 1670, and of Chorlton's 
Academy in Manchester up to 1712, which from 1786-1803 and again from 
1840-53 was fixed in Manchester. The Memorial Hall (1866) also has 
always been a Manchester institution. On the other hand the Unitarian 
churches of modern foundation in the county possess no individual interest ; 
they will be found enumerated in the accounts of the several townships, 
among the other places of worship. 

The Independents or Congregationalists 

Although so large a proportion of the chapels of the Old Dissent thus 
became Unitarian there were not a few found faithful to their doctrinal 
traditions. These congregations consist of (i) such as maintained a clear 
tradition of 'orthodoxy' throughout, straight from 1662 downwards; (2) 
those which revolted and seceded from such of the Old Dissenting chapels as 

"' See G. E. Evans, Vestiges of Protestant Dissent and also his Record of the Provincial Assembly of Lanes. 
and Ches. 



became Unitarian. Both categories are represented in the Congregational 

churches of to-day. , 

Passing over for the moment the story of the early attempts at a general 
organization, which will be better treated under the Presbyterians, the 
individual churches of the Old Dissent which remained true and are now 
Independent, or which became extinct, include Elswick, Forton Darwen, 
Horwich, St. Helens, Rainford, Hoghton Tower, Tockholes, Hesketh Lane, 
Altham and Wymondhouses, Ormskirk, and Greenacres. ■ 

Whenever a congregation of the Old Dissent became Unitarian and a 
secession ensued as a consequence, the seceding members being orthodox, it is 
a very disputable point as to which of the two represents the original church. 
Putting the dogmatic consideration on one side the reasonable conclusion can 
only be that both parties, that remaining in possession and that seceding, have 
a claim historically to descent from the original congregation. As a rule it 
is the Unitarians who remain in possession and the orthodox who secede. 
There are large numbers of such cases. 

The general revival of rehgious hfe which the dreary eighteenth century 
witnessed in Methodism and other forms seems to have reached the Inde- 
pendent churches comparatively late in the day. There is one thread of 
direct connexion with the wider movement in the personality of Benjamin 
Ingham. For after Ingham left the Moravians and his churches fell to pieces 
for want of organization many of them passed over to the Independents. The 
other precursor of the movement, the first wave of Evangelism among 
the hitherto dry bones of the Independent churches, ' Captain ' Jonathan 
Scott, possesses an individuality all his own, and one which links him to the 
Independent churches apart from and regardless of any antecedents. The 
third stream of influence, namely, the churches which seceded under Bennet 
from the Methodists, merits less distinction. Most of the churches which 
originated during this phase of Independent history came into existence after 

The outburst of Independent evangelistic work which created the 
eighteenth-century Independent churches was but the prelude, in itself 
comparatively insignificant, to the more zealous and more widespread nine- 
teenth-century movement inaugurated by the formation of the Lancashire 
County Congregational Union. The beginnings of this Union are to be traced 
to the formation at Bolton, 7 June, 1786, of an association of different 
Congregational churches of Lancashire and the neighbouring counties. The 
object of this earlier association was the maintenance of the churches in 
purity of doctrine and discipline. But on i July, 1801, at a meeting at 
Manchester the association drew up a plan of an Itinerant Society for 
Lancashire, Cheshire, and Derbyshire ; and with this innovation a new spirit 
breathed upon the churches. William Roby was the secretary of the move- 
ment, and its first attempts at evangelism were made in the western parts of 
Lancashire, at Leyland, Ormskirk, &c. The association made yearly reports 
of the progress of its work until 1806. In that year its place was taken by 
a new association, the Lancashire Congregational Union, which was formed 
on 23 September, 1806, at a meeting in the vestry of Mosley Street Church, 
Manchester. The names of the twenty-four churches which formed the 
members of this union at its outset are given in Slate's History of the Union. 



In 1 8 17 the union was re-constituted under a 'revised plan,' the county being 
for the purpose of its worlc divided into four districts : Manchester, embrac- 
ing Salford Hundred ; Liverpool, embracing West Derby Hundred ; Preston, 
embracing Amounderness and Lonsdale Hundreds ; Blackburn, embracing 
Blackburn and Leyland Hundreds. In the magnificent outburst of evange- 
lizing work which followed the formation of this union three names stand 
out with signal and inspiring prominence, that of Roby and SutclifFe in 
the southern, and of Alexander in the western and northern parts of the 
county, names which are the most honoured and cherished in the history 
of Lancashire Congregationalism. Many new churches were formed by the 
missionary zeal and maintained in whole or part for many years by the 
financial aid of the Union. 

The latest phase of church growth among the Independents has no dis- 
tinctive interest. It is simply on the same lines as the extension of all the 
other churches, representing the general trend and results of the growth in 
the county's population and wealth. The missionary fervour which inspired 
the earlier movements in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries has 
yielded place to a propaganda which is as much social as it is religious. For 
the same reason no special interest attaches to the various organizations which 
the new order has evolved, the Congregational Mission Board, and the various 
more local associations, such as the Manchester and Salford Congregational 

The Presbyterians 

There is no greater crux in English religious history than is presented 
by the single word ' Presbyterianism.' There was a Presbyterian Church in 
England during the Civil War and Commonwealth period. There is a 
Presbyterian Church existing in England to-day. What connexion is there 
between the two ? To state the question thus nakedly is to present it as an 
insoluble enigma. The first triumph of Presbyterianism as a national ecclesi- 
astical polity was frustrated in the days of the Commonwealth by the divisions 
between Independents and Presbyterians. In spite of the attempts at accom- 
modation in 1659 these divisions continued for thirty years after the 
Restoration. During those thirty years the Dissenting congregations had 
existed in secret and in isolation. When, therefore, with the Toleration Act 
they came forth without fear it was found that one-half the content of the 
Presbyterian idea, viz., the church polity portion, had vanished from the field. 
Frankly accepting the situation the Presbyterians no longer contended for a 
compulsive discipline and for a graduated system of synodical church organiza- 
tion. They recognized that of necessity the Dissenting churches were and 
could then only be separate units, each self-governing. They, therefore, con- 
ceded the idea of a gathered congregation. On this basis a short-lived 
agreement was made in London in 1691 between them and the Indepen- 
dents. The movement spread from London to the counties, and in Devon- 
shire, Northumberland, Cheshire, and Lancashire voluntary associations were 
formed of the united ministers, i.e. of Presbyterians (so-called) and Indepen- 
dents (so-called). The minutes of the Lancashire Association of United 
Ministers have been puWished."' They extend from 169 3- 1700, and 

"« Chet. Soc. Publ. (New Ser.), 24. 


are evidence of the complete change which had come over English Dissent. 
The object of the association was to suppress If possible the terms fresDy- 
terian 'and 'Independent.' It did not succeed in doing that, for the terms 
.till survived. But it succeeded in doing something more : it broke down 
all the boundaries between the two terms, and made them almost mdistm- 
guishable For in the terms of the association*" the Independents gave up 
fheir root idea that in each congregation the seat of government lay not m 
the minister but in the fellowship of church members possessing power to 

ordain a minister. r „ j •, 

Such was the confusion of terminology in 1700. What followed next ? 
Presumably when the voluntary associations fell into abeyance from sheer indif- 
ference the component parts retreated each to the shadow of their old names. 
In Evans' MS. list of the Dissenting churches 1715-27, preserved in the 
Dr. Williams' library, the churches are marked P (Presbyterian), I (Indepen- 
dent), and A or B (Anabaptist or Baptist). In Lancashire he enumerates 
forty-eight Dissenting meeting-places. Of these he marks forty-three as 
Presbyterian, four as Independent, and one as Anabaptist. Throughout the 
country at large the assertion is made (and may be allowed) that half the 
Dissenting congregations were styled Presbyterian. All that these figures 
prove is the chaos that had descended upon the term itself. It had become 
a generic term almost devoid of specific meaning. Of the forty-three chapels 
which are styled Presbyterian in 171 8 in the above list twenty-two at least 
became and now are Unitarian, and at least six became and now are Indepen- 
dent. Only three out of the whole list, Risley, Tunley, and Warton, are now 
represented by Presbyterian chapels.*'" 

These are the links by which the modern Presbyterians of Lancashire 
can claim association with the hazy Presbyterian churches of the Old 
Dissent, and in the case of every one the link is broken by almost a century's 
intervening Independency. 

The simple fact would thus appear to be that the Presbyterian churches 
in Lancashire, so far from being the oldest, are actually the youngest there, 
and in addition represent a distinct importation. The renaissance of Presby- 
terianism in England which marks the years 1820—76 was due to the Evan- 
gelical movement of 1 8 i 2 in the Church of Scotland, though a few isolated 
attempts at a similar propaganda had taken place earlier in the county.*'" 

In 1 83 1 a Lancashire Presbytery was formed by the United Secession 
(afterwards the United Presbyterian) Synod, but in 1836 this Presbytery only 
numbered five charges, and of these only four were in Lancashire, viz. Oldham 
Street and Rodney Street, Liverpool ; St. Peter's Square, Manchester ; and 
Ramsbottom. In the latter year a convention met at Manchester, and as a 
result the Lancashire Presbytery and the North-west of England Presbytery 
were formed into a synod, and from that moment the movement began to 

"' 'Heads of the Agreement' of the London ministers in 1691. 

*" Risley Chnrch became Unitarian in the eighteenth century and was only secured by the Presbyterians, 
in 1836 by a Chancery decree. Warton Church became Congregational, and so remained up to 1847, when 
the deeds passed mto Presbyterian hands. Tunley or Mossy Lea Church became Independent, and very 
possibly during a part of the eighteenth century (during at least the ministry of William Gaskell, 1776-7) 
bocinian or Unitanan. Its connexion with the Scottish Presbyterians was accomplished as a completely new 
departure during the ministry of Robert Dinwiddle, 1797-1 835. 

"» These efforts were at Blackburn, Wigan, Liverpool, Bolton, and Manchester. 


spread. Up to 1843 this Synod was in connexion with the Church of 
Scotland, but the Scottish disruption of that year forced it to assume an 
independent position as the Presbyterian Church of England/^" 

The Baptists 

There are comparatively few references to Anabaptists in Lancashire 
prior to the Indulgence of 1672. John Wigan of Birch became a Bap- 
tist in the later years of the Commonwealth, and there were Anabaptists 
or conventicles of Anabaptists, at Manchester in 1669; as also at Bury; at 
Liverpool 'a frequent conventicle of about 30 or 40 Anabaptists' most of them 
rich people ' ; at Cartmel ' some Anabaptists ' ; besides an undescribed con- 
venticle of ' Phanaticks ' at Lund chapel in Kirkham parish/^^ With such a 
list before us it is a little strange that the only Baptist licence taken out in 
Lancashire in 1672 was one for the house of John Leeds in Manchester. 
There is no other discoverable reference to this body, and it seems almost 
impossible to suppose any connexion between this licensed house and the 
eighteenth-century Coldhouse Baptist church in Manchester. There is an 
assumption also of a Baptist interest at Warrington, dating from the Com- 
monwealth, but the church itself does not emerge until 1694, and when it 
does so emerge it appears as settled at Hill CHffe on the Cheshire side of the 
river, though it had meetings also in Warrington. It was doubtless from the 
Hill ClifFe church that the Baptist cause in Liverpool was re-introduced. 
Looking upon Hill ClifFe as a Cheshire church it would appear that the Old 
Dissent bequeathed no indigenous Baptist church to the county of Lancaster. 
For when the denomination reappears after the Act of Toleration it is as a 
distinct importation from either Yorkshire or Cheshire, in the main the 
former. Between 1684 and 1692 the Yorkshire Baptist preachers, William 
Mitchell and Davis Crosley, preached in the Bacup district, and with few 
exceptions it may be said that it is from these men and from this centre that 
the Baptist churches of the county have sprung. 

The two preachers appear to have started the church at Bacup and that 
at Clough Fold simultaneously. The trust deed of the Bacup school-church 
is dated 16 April, 1692. For a time these two churches were united, being 
styled generally the 'church in Rossendale,' but by 17 10 they had again 
; become separate. Clough Fold (trust deed dated 1705) continued under 
Mitchell, and from his death (about 1706) has had a distinct sequence of 
pastors down to the present day. The separate history of the Bacup church 
is obscure for the early years 171 0-18, but in the latter year David Crosley 
returned from London to Bacup, and a church was again formed under his 
pastorate which has had an equally continuous but more chequered history 
down to the present day. 

It is a moot question whether the church at Tottlebank, which is 
regarded questionably as the oldest Baptist church in the county, is to be con- 
sidered as an ofF-shoot of the church in Rossendale, or rather as a second 
.parallel outcome of the work of these same Yorkshire pioneers. It would 

"» A few congregations have remained outside this union, some of them being parts of the Established 
Church of Scotland. 

"■ Lamb. MS. 639. 

2 73 '° 


seem almost certain that under Gabriel Camelford (who was ejected from 
Staveley in 1662), Tottlebank was a Congregational church, and it is possible 
that it only tended to become Baptist when in May, 1695, David Crosley 
was ordained as its minister. It was not actually a Baptist church till 1725, 
and has always remained an open-membership body. 

But whatever may be said as to Tottlebank, it is certain that the remaining 
historic Baptist churches of east and central Lancashire have all sprung from 
the church in Rossendale. Some time after 1700 (probably in 1717) some 
members of this ' church in Rossendale ' (as it was still styled, but probably 
meaning only the Clough Fold church) who lived about Todmorden and Hep- 
tonstall were formed into a distinct church. They erected two small chapels, 
one at Rodhill End near Todmorden in Lancashire, and one at Stone-slack near 
Heptonstall in Yorkshire. The chapels were only three miles apart, and 
service was held in them alternately. Under the pastorates of Thomas Green- 
wood, Richard Thomas, and John Dracup this church continued its separate 
existence, but a few years after the coming of John Dracup (1772) the church 
was dissolved ; the remaining members going to Hebden Bridge and other 


The church at Cowling Hill is to be regarded as an ofF-shoot from the 
Bacup side of the old Rossendale church. It originated either soon after 1732 
or else in a division in the Bacup church which followed on the death of 
David Crosley in 1744. The Bacup church remained under Henry Lord 
from 1744 to 1759, while the scattered members in the outskirts of the town 
and at Cowley Hill chose Joseph Piccop as their minister in 1745. In the 
following year this Cowling Hill church moved into Bacup, where there ac- 
cordingly existed for the time being two churches which were not merely 
at enmity as to their ministers, but also divided as to their faith, the older 
church under Lord being Supralapsarian, and the younger under Piccop being 
Sublapsarian. In 1754 a reconciliation was effected, and from the date of Lord's 
departure in 1759 Piccop succeeded as pastor of the joint church. When this 
union had been accomplished Cowling Hill desired to become again separate, and 
from 1756 it accordingly enjoyed its own separate succession of ministers. 
Meanwhile Goodshaw church had started from the Piccop half of the Bacup 
church. In 1747 Mr. John Nuttall was baptized by Mr. Piccop. He 
subsequently preached at Lumb in the Forest of Rossendale, and there a 
meeting-house was built in 1750 and a church formed (1752). In 1760 this 
church was moved to Goodshaw, two miles away, and there it still exists. 

The Baptist cause in Blackburn originated from the same source. David 
Crosley, while pastor of Bacup, had preached at Blackburn in 1726. A 
generation later Adam Holden, a native of Bacup, settled at Feniscliffe, where 
his house was used as a Baptist meeting-place. A church was formed in 1760, 
and in 1765 a chapel was built for it in Islington Croft, Blackburn. The 
church at Accrington sprang even more directly from Bacup. Prior to 1759 
(probably from 1744) the Baptists at Accrington had been supplied from 
Bacup. But in 1 76 1 Charles Bamford (who had been baptized at Bacup by 
Henry Lord) moved to Oakenshaw, and in September of that year he was 
ordained minister over the church at Oakenshaw. In a few years (1765) this 
church moved into Accrington, its present representative being New Road 
(Blackburn Road). Colne (1769) has also the same origin. 



In the case of Rochdale, though something is to be attributed to the pre- 
paratory work of Dr. Fawcett in 1772, the actual origination is again from 
Bacup. In 1773 John Hirst (who had succeeded Joseph Piccop at Bacup in 
1772) baptized nine people in the river at Rochdale, and two years later 
a church was formed there under Abraham Greenwood as its pastor. The 
short-lived church at Crawshawbooth was an off-shoot from Rossendale. It 
was formed about or before 1779 under Henry Taylor, being first intended to 
be located at Rawtenstall, but was moved to Crawshawbooth even before the 
completion of the building at Rawtenstall. The church was quickly dispersed. 
Bolton church sprang directly from Bacup. For some years John Hirst of 
Bacup preached frequently in Bolton and took some of the Baptist converts 
thereinto his own church. About 1789 he advised them to take a room 
and meet together, and in 1793 ten members were dismissed from Bacup to 
form a church at Bolton. They erected a small chapel at the bottom of King 
Street. This chapel was sold in 1806. 

Besides the above enumerated churches which can thus be traced to one 
or other of the twin branches of the old Rossendale Baptist community, the 
Bacup church was interested in and possibly also in part instrumental in the 
opening of the Ogden church, 1783, Pendle Hill church, 1797-8, and Sutton 
(reorganized 1768). 

The list of the Lancashire Baptist churches in 1763 as given by Ivimey 
is as follows : — *^^ Lancaster, Rhode, Lumb, Tottlebank, Liverpool, Hawks- 
head, Bacup, Gildersome, Rodhill End, Blackburn, Goodshaw chapel. Cowling 
Hill, Carford, Manchester, BoUand, Accrington, 

Comparing this list with the chapels already noticed, it will be seen 
that with the exception of the Hill Cliffe, Hawkshead, Liverpool, and 
Manchester churches, the old Rossendale body had originated practically the 
whole of the Baptist interest in the county. As to the separate histories 
of the few exceptions named there is some obscurity. The Coldhouse 
Baptist church at Manchester was under Mr. Winterbottom as early as 
1745. On his removal in 1760 a division occurred as to the election of 
a successor. Some of the Bacup Baptists who had settled in Manchester 
formed a separate body, styling themselves the Tib Lane Baptists, under 
John Harmer. From 1762 to 1765 this body resorted to Bacup for the 
Communion, but in the latter year they appear to have rejoined Coldhouse, 
then under the pastorate of Edmund Clegg. After moving in 1789 to 
St. George's Road it is now in Rochdale Road. 

At Liverpool the Baptist cause is probably older (as far as a continuous 
history is traceable) than at Manchester. On 28 July, 1700, Dr. Daniel 
Fabius, an apothecary at Low Hill, obtained a licence from the Manchester 
Quarter Sessions for his house as a meeting-place. In 1714 a wooden meeting- 
house was built at Low Hill, but in 1722 the congregation moved to a barn 
of the Townsend House in Byrom Street, within Liverpool. In 1789 it 
moved to another part of Byrom Street, and in 1835 to Shand Street. It 
is this church which in 1755 is spoken of as Dale Street.*^^ 

Apparently the only other eighteenth-century Baptist church in Liver- 
pool was Stanley Street, formed in 1747 by John Johnson. In 1799 it moved 
to Comus Street, and is now at Bootle. 

"' Ivimey, Hist. ofEtigl. Baptists, ii, 17. ''' Ivimey, op. cit. ii, 590. 



It must be understood that so far we have been dealing only with Par- 
ticular or Calvinistic Baptist churches, whether these were Supralapsarian or 
Sublapsarian. It seems quite clear that the old General Baptists or Arminian 
or non-Calvinistic Baptists of the seventeenth century never obtamed a toot- 
hold in the county at aU. The articles of the earliest Baptist Association in 
Lancashire, that of 17 19, P^ove clearly that the churches were exclusively of 
the Particular Baptist type. This association comprised the following 
churches : Rawden or Heatton, Rossendale, Liverpool, Sutton, Barnoldswick, 
Rodhill End. This association survived, in the form of an annual meeting, 
till after 1740. Some time between that year and 1755 the division between 
High and Low Calvinists (Supras. and Subs.) led to the formation of separate 
associations.*'^ It may have been the Sublapsarian association which de- 
veloped or degenerated into a mere annual lecture preached at different 
places under a loose organization, which is referred to in 1772 and 1775 as 
'the churches in association in Lancashire and Yorkshire.' In 1776 this 
annual lecture was held at Preston, and there, in response to the wider move- 
ment amongst the Baptists throughout the country, it was proposed to form 
a more organic and coherent association. Accordingly, the meeting at Colne 
in May, 1787, is spoken of as the first meeting.*''' In 1790 this association 
met at Manchester, and in 1804 it started the Baptist Academy at Bradford. 
The association endured in its original form until 1837, when a change was 
made by which the Yorkshire churches became a distinct association (still 
existing), while Lancashire was united with Cheshire in a Lancashire and 
Cheshire association, also still existing. In one or other of these forms all 
these local associations now form part of the present Baptist Union of Eng- 
land — a union of (then) Particular Baptist churches which was founded in 
I 8 I 2, and which, after nineteen years of inchoate existence, was firmly and 
broadly established in 1832. 

The levelling and comprehensive work which the Baptist Union of 
Great Britain and Ireland has accomplished will be incomprehensible without 
a hasty glance at the parallel history of the General Baptists, for in the pre- 
sent Baptist Union the old terms of division and strife, which had been such 
potent solvents, are ignored. 

General Baptists, believing an Arminian type of dogma as opposed to 
Calvinism, existed in the seventeenth century, and obtained a footing in that 
century in Yorkshire at Sowerby and Sheffield, even if they did not do so in 
Lancashire. Their annual meeting, known as the General Assembly, met 
annually in London, and for 253 years has met practically without break. 
In 1697 the doctrinal differences in the General Assembly over the 

merely a 

'" Sutton and Barnoldswick were Yorkshire churches, a fact which indicates that the association was not 
,^wvly a Lancashire one. The church at Bacup was not admitted to it on account of some irregularity. 

'" ;^^'^"' '755 ^^^ "^^. associations were composed as follows, each one covering in part both Lancashire 
and Yorkshire, and some touching other counties : 

Stt/r:3i;/./jnj«.— Wainsgate, Sunderland, Whitehaven, Bradford, Haworth, Juniper Dye House, 

Bacup (old meetin ■», and Liverpool (Sunley Street, Mr. Johnson). This association met at Bacup in 1755 

or 1756, and at Bradford in 1757. It was dissolved before 1760. 

SuiIa/>sarian.—Kiwden, Nantwich, Liverpool (Dale Street, Mr. Oulton), and Bacup (new meeting). 

In 1757 this association met at Liverpool, and in the following year at Bacup, and again at Liverpool 

in 1761. 

*» The association included the Baptist churches of Leeds, Rawden, Gildersome, Halifax, Salendine 
Nco;, HcbJen Bridge, Wamsgate, Rochdale, Bacup, Clough Fold, Cowling Hill, Sutton, Barnoldswick, Colne, 
Accnngton, Blackburn, and Preston. 



opinions of Matthew CafEn led to a secession and to the formation of a rival 
General Association, which retained its existence alongside the General As- 
sembly. The same train of intellectual movement which carried the Con- 
gregationalists and the Presbyterians of the Old Dissent into Unitarianism 
carried the General Baptists and the General Assembly into Unitarianism also. 
As opposed to this, the General Association was Trinitarian. In the subse- 
quent decHne of spiritual life the General Assembly atrophied slowly. To- 
day it is represented only by a remnant of nineteen churches. None of these 
are in Lancashire, and the General Assembly type of Baptist church seems 
never to have been represented in the county Palatine at any time. For 
a part of the eighteenth century the General Association also experienced a 
decline, though not so fatally marked as in the case of the General Assembly. 
But in 1770 a revival occurred which took the shape of the formation of a 
New Connexion (of free-grace Baptists). Several churches in Yorkshire, the 
Midlands, London, and Kent divided off from the General Association as a 
protest against its doctrinal decline. In 1771 this New Connexion was divided 
into two branches, a northern-midland and a southern one. The first meeting 
of the northern-midland branch was held in 1772 at Loughborough, and it 
was this branch of the New Connexion which invaded Lancashire. In 1780 
some Baptists from Worsthorne in Yorkshire (which had itself sprung from 
the Yorkshire mother church at BirchclifFe) started a church at Burnley, 
towards the formation of which twenty-two members were dismissed from 
BirchclifFe. In 1787 a chapel was built in Burnley Lane (now represented 
by 'Ebenezer' in Colne Road). The second New Connexion Baptist church 
in Lancashire sprang similarly from a derivative (Shore Church) of Birch- 
clifFe. The work was started at Lidgate, near Todmorden, in 1795, and 
there a church was formed in 18 16. There is a reference also to a shortlived 
General Baptist church at Bacup some time about or before 1793. The church 
at Stalybridge just over the border belongs to the same train of derivation, for 
it started from BirchclifFe in 1804, though in a more unauthorized way. 

These churches represent the total of the original New Connexion General 
Baptist churches in Lancashire. They are now all within the union. The 
question naturally arises, how a union which sprang from a Particular Baptist 
basis came to incorporate such General Baptist (New Connexion) churches. 
The answer furnishes the key to later Baptist history. It is simply that, 
under the irresistible influence of the spirit of the age, the Particular Baptist 
churches have in great measure moved away from their eighteenth-century 
Calvinism. There are comparatively few of them which are now genuinely 
' Particular ' in their creed, though there are still some in Lancashire which 
refuse all intercourse with the rest. The broadening of the dogmatic basis 
has therefore made it possible to achieve a union which could embrace 
churches hitherto sharply sundered by dogmatic differences. Whatever their 
difFerences, practically all the Baptist churches of Lancashire are now withm 
the Union.*^''^' 

"^ In this section the writer has had the advantage of the assistance of the Rev. Dr. W. T. Whitley, who 
is engaged on a history of the Baptist churches in the North of England. 



The Society of Friends 

Lancashire does not bulk so largely in the general history of the Quaker 
movement, either in the seventeenth century or to-day, as we should expect 
in view of the close personal connexion between George Fox and the Swarth 
Moor district. It would appear that Fox began his preaching in Lancashire. 
In 1647 he travelled thither from Derbyshire 'to see a woman who had 
fasted 22 days,' and passing on to Dukinfield and Manchester he stayed awhile 
and ' declared truth among them,' 

This earliest effort would appear to have been resultless, and it was not 
until five years later that he again entered the county. This time he came 
from Westmorland, reached Ulverston, and so on to Swarth Moor, the place 
which was to be a haven of rest for him throughout his life, and where he 
met the noble-spirited woman who was destined later to be his wife. Mistress 
Fell, then the wife of Judge Fell. The first society which he gathered round 
him was at the house of Judge Fell, and that house continued to be a meeting- 
place for the society for nearly forty years, until 1690, when a new meeting- 
house was erected near it. The ' priest ' at Ulverston, Lampett, became a 
persistent foe and persecutor of Fox. 

Making Swarth Moor his centre Fox itinerated in the district round, 
speaking at Aldingham, at Rampside, where the ' priest,' Thomas Lawson, 
became a convert, at Dalton, in the Isle of Walney, Baycliff, and Gleaston. 
On a second visit some short unstated time after (still in 1652) he preached 
in the streets at Lancaster, but met with a very rough reception. After 
again an apparently brief intermission in Westmorland he reappeared at Ulver- 
ston to dispute with the ' priests ' who were then assembled in great numbers 
at what Fox calls a lecture, but which can surely only have been a classical 
meeting. Both here and in Walney Island he was treated with great violence, 
and returned to Swarth Moor only to find a warrant awaiting him. He was 
tried at the sessions at Lancaster for blasphemy ('1652, 30th of the eighth 
month' (October)); but although forty 'priests' under their mouthpieces 
Marshal and 'Jackus' appeared against him he was dismissed. The result of 
the proceedings was to raise up for Fox a following in Lancaster, including 
the mayor himself, and Thomas Briggs, the latter of whom ranks with 
Richard Hubberthorne as one of the two greatest Lancashire Quaker 

From 1652 for a time Fox was absent from the county — perforce, as he 
was in gaol at Carlisle. In his absence his cause was carried on by Thomas 
Briggs, who appears as being mobbed in Warrington church in 1653, and 
by Miles Halhead, the early Lancashire convert to whom was first given the 
name of Quaker, and who in the same year was preaching and meeting similar 
treatment at Stanley [.? Staveley] chapel and in the Furness district. 

It was not until 1657 that Fox reappeared at Swarth Moor and Lancaster 
(where he visited the meetings of Friends), Liverpool, Manchester, and 
Preston, and his stay was evidently brief, for we hear no more of him in the 
county until 1660, when he was apprehended at Swarth Moor and committed 
to Lancaster Gaol. His subsequent connexion with Lancashire (his long 
imprisonment and trial at Lancaster in 1664-5, for refusing the Oath of 



Allegiance, and so on), though very close and of strong interest, is mainly 
personal, for we catch very few glimpses of the growth of Quakerism in the 
county as compared with the detailed accounts of the personal sufferings of 
Fox himself, or other individual Friends. The ultimate source from which 
Quaker history can alone be reliably written (if ever it is written), viz. the 
records preserved at Devonshire House, have not even been opened or 
arranged in a preliminary way, and it is utterly impossible in their present 
condition to make any use of them for the purpose of historical research. 
Outside this central repository of records at Devonshire House the various 
local associations of Friends throughout the country (the quarterly meetings 
and monthly meetings) in great measure still preserve their own records, but 
these again in their present state are practically as good as a sealed book to 
the historical student. The connexion between these local associations and 
the central body in London was kept up by the double means of annual 
delegations to the yearly meetings, and of annual letters or reports on the 
state of the provincial churches sent up by the quarterly meeting to the 
annual meeting. But as a rule these annual letters are purely pastoral. 
They give no names of churches, no details either of church growth, or of 

Some idea of the possible wealth of material at Devonshire House is 
afforded by Mr. Penny's First Publishers of Truth, in which the present 
librarian of the society has printed an early series of letters descriptive of the 
first establishment of Quakerism in the various counties. But here again the 
portion relating to Lancashire is disappointingly meagre. The only gathering 
referred to is that at Knowsley in Huyton parish, where, we are told, the 
first entry of truth was in 1654, the first Friends who published truth there 
being William Holmes, William Halton, Peter Laithwait, and James 
Fletcher.*^^ This last named, a husbandman of Knowsley, fills a large space 
in the story of the missionary spread of Quakerism, not merely in England, 
Wales, and Ireland, but also in America. Beyond further brief reference to 
the cause at Marsden (founded in 1653), at Rossendale (started by William 
Dewsbury and Thomas Stubbs), and Oldham and Ashton (started by John 
Tetlaw), the particular record yields practically nothing. 

Such silence is all the more regrettable because it is clear from the 
returns of conventicles in 1669*^' that the Quakers were exceedingly 
numerous in the county.*''' 

In addition Fox's Journal contains a reference under 1669 to a large 
meeting at William Barnes's house about two miles from Warrington ; and 
under 1675 he refers to the men's and women's meeting at Lancaster, show- 
ing that the meeting there was organized in quite a large and systematic way. 

*"" The Knowsley meeting was held at the house of Benjamin Boult, husbandman. 

"' Lamb. MS. 639. 

*'' The following particulars are given : 'At Heights [in Cartmel], a place on the Moors, there useth to 
he a great assembly of Quaicers, above i,ooo. Haslingden — Quakers to the number of about twenty ; Burnley 
—several meetings of Quakers ; Rossendale— Quakers ; Standish— monthly meeting of Quakers, their number 
about forty or fifty ; Manchester — Quakers, the persons are tradesmen and mostly women ; Bury— meetings of 
Quakers to a great number ; NorthMeols— several Quakers ; Ormskirk— Quakers ; Hauxhead— Quakers meet 
in great numbers ; Ulverston— Quakers ; Cartmel— Quakers, about thirty ; Cartmell Fell Chapel— Quakers ; 
Aldingham— some Quakers ; Coulter [Colton]— Quakers ; Tatham— meeting of Quakers, about forty or 
upwards ; Melling— Quakers to the number of twenty and upwards ; Larton— Quakers ; Heightham— 
Quakers, about forty ; Kirkham— Quakers near Little Eccleston.' The Visitation records m the Diocesan 
Registry at Chester contain numerous particulars. 



A comparison of this doubtless very incomplete list here given vv^ith the 
later list of the Quaker meetings in the county points generally to the con- 
clusion that at the time of Fox's death his cause w^as stronger in Lancashire 
than it has ever been since. The great period of decline and deadness was 
in the earlier half of the eighteenth century, but in the absence of authentic 
records only a fragmentary portion of this story can be recovered, and that 
merely from a few stray references to extinct meeting-houses, or to disused 
Friends' burial-grounds. The revival w^hich has taken place w^ithin the last 
half-century has been a very partial one, and means probably no more than 
that the Quakers as a body have shared (though in a minor degree) in the 
general movement of growth and awakening which has touched every phase 
of church life within the last two generations. 

The organization of the whole body in monthly, quarterly, and annual 
meetings was established during Fox's lifetime, and from the time of his 
death became the firm polity of the body. In accordance with this scheme 
Lancashire and Cheshire form one quarterly meeting, and the Lancashire 
portion comprises the following monthly meetings : — 

Hardihaw East : Containing Didsbury, Eccles, Leigh, Manchester (three), Penketh, 
Warrington, and Westhoughton. 

Hardihaw J Test : Containing Liverpool, Southport, St. Helens, and Wigan. 

Lancaster : Containing Calder Bridge near Garstang, Lancaster (four), Wyresdale, and 
Yealand Conyers. 

Marsdi-n : Containing Bolton, Crawshawbooth, Marsden, Nelson, Oldham (two), 
RadclifFc, Rochdale (two), and Todmorden. 

Preston : Containing Blackburn, Preston, and Blackpool. 

Swarth Moor : The original centre and fountain head of Lancashire Quakerism, and 
Heights in Cartmel, are now in the Westmorland quarterly meeting. 

Of very few of these places can anything like a connected history be 
given, and in the case of the extinct meeting-houses the impossibihty is even 

The Moravians 

With the Quakers we take leave of the last form of seventeenth-century 
religious movement. On entering the much-maligned eighteenth century 
we are instantly struck by the change of note. In all the indigenous 
religious movements which that century originated the dominant and under- 
lying motive force is no longer either dogmatic or politic. The Calvinism of 
the seventeenth century is as absolutely gone as is the seventeenth-century 
absorbing prepossession for a reconstruction of a church system on the basis 
of the New Testament history. In place of both these tendencies the 
eighteenth century supplies us with the first attempt which the modern world 
has witnessed at brmging the light of rehgion to bear on the social darkness 
and ferocity which gathered in the train of the industrial revolution In 
their birth-time the Moravian Churches and the Methodist Churches were the 
only truly missionary churches. And if they are so no longer it is onlv 
because of the inevitable and foreordained curse which falls on every relieious 
movement when, deserting the sure basis of mere pure spirituality it builds 
Itself up into a system, becomes a polity, and barters its immortal heritage of 
the soul of man for bricks and mortar. ^ 



In point of time the Moravian Church, or Unitas Fratrum, stands fore- 
most in this newer, truer movement, though in point of time only. For in 
the communistic spirit which underlay half the conception of this church it 
seems more akin to the twentieth century than to the eighteenth. As far as 
England is concerned the earliest phase of Moravian history is of no interest. 
It was not until the reconstruction or renewal of the Moravian Church in 
1727 by Zinzendorf that this country enters the circle of its influence. 
In 1728 Johan Toeltschig was dispatched hither from Herrnhut, but his visit 
proved resultless. More important in its effect was the Moravian contingent 
which was sent in 1733 under Spangenburg to take part in the colonization 
of Georgia. For it was in the company of these men that the Wesleys sailed 
to Georgia to learn from communion with them not merely the witness of 
the inner light of the Spirit, but the value of that organization which John 
Wesley subsequently copied in his own Church. When five years later 
Wesley returned to London discontented, he for a time almost identified 
himself with the Moravian Society, which existed in embryo at James 
Mutton's house in Little Wild Street, and from which sprang in 1742 the 
Fetter Lane Society, the first in date, and throughout the chief, of the 
Moravian churches in England. The spread of the movement to Yorkshire was 
partly due to accident. Benjamin Ingham, the evangelistic clergyman of 
Ossett, Leeds, invited the Brethren to assist him in the administration of the 
societies he had formed round him. Accordingly in May, 1742, twenty-six 
brethren and sisters were sent from London to Yorkshire, and making their 
head quarters at Smith House, near Wyke, spread their influence rapidly over 
the north of England. In eighteen months they had forty-seven preaching 
places, and the community at Fulneck had become a second Herrnhut. 

In 1743 the Moravians entered Lancashire, where the ground had been 
prepared for them since 1740 by the preaching of David Taylor. The 
society formed in 1743 at Dukinfield in Cheshire by Job Bennet is to be 
regarded in the main as an offshoot from Smith House ; for though Bennet 
was himself a Derbyshire man and was assisted by Derbyshire people, he drew 
his light directly from a visit to the Moravians at Smith House. Dukinfield 
became the centre of the Moravian interest for the counties of Lancaster, 
Chester and Derby. In October, 1748, the house of John Kelsal was licensed 
as a meeting-place, but in 1751 a chapel was built, and an attempt was made 
to form a Moravian settlement at Dukinfield after the pattern of Fulneck. 
In consequence, however, of the uncertainty of the tenure of the land the society 
migrated in 1785 to Fairfield, near Manchester, and there, besides the church, 
communal buildings, brothers' houses, and sisters' houses, &c., were built. 
Fairfield is still the head and centre of the Brethren's interest in Lancashire, 
but its communal character as a Moravian village, and the communal buildings 
and institutions, have long since gone. It is now practically only a church. 

Its missionary work was comparatively small and comparatively abortive. 
The cause which it started at Miles Platting and that at Liverpool (1856) 
are both extinct, as is also its early work at Openshaw, for the existing 
church at this place is quite modern (1899). 

The intention at the time of the migration was to desert Dukinfield 
altogether ; but this was found impracticable, and accordingly the cause at 
Dukinfield was retained as subordinate to or a ' filial ' of that at Fairfield. 

■7 Si II 


It is with Dukinfield rather than with Fairfield that the evangelistic 
work of the Moravians is associated. The preaching tours which were 
organized from this centre covered Bolton, Shackerley (1752), Manchester 
(1755), Ashton, and Cheadle. None of these efforts took a permanent form, 
for the cause at Shackerley, after a languishing existence, was given 
up in 1800; and the cause at Manchester, which possessed a chapel in 
Newton Lane in 1773, replaced in 1777 by one in Fetter Lane, near the 
Infirmary, was given up in the same year (1800). But the preaching work 
at Greenacres, near Oldham (1776), and at Lees (1784—6, also near Old- 
ham), resulted in the establishment of the Salem church, still existing at 
Lees. The church at Westwood in Middleton Road, Oldham, originated in 
1865 as a mission from Salem. 

The decay of Moravianism as an influence in English life is probably 
due externally to the competition of the more aggressive forms of Methodism, 
and internally to its own pietistic spirit, to the fact that it was throughout 
ruled in great measure from German head quarters at Herrnhut, and to the 
hesitancy of the leaders of the movement in declining to cut themselves 
loose from the Episcopal Church of England. Looking upon themselves as 
an episcopal church in union with the Church of England they refused to 
turn their preaching places into congregations, but adopted the idea of united 
flocks, which resorted once a quarter to the Church of England for Com- 
munion. When at last, in 1856, this system was thrown over, and the body 
declared itself a Church, its opportunity, as far as England is concerned, had 
gone for ever. 

Methodism — The Wesleyans 

It may be asserted without fear that it was Methodism which saved, nay 
even created, popular religion in Lancashire in modern times. When it arose 
the clergy of the Established Church in general had reached the lowest depth 
of degradation as a spiritual force, and those in this county seem to have been 
no exception ; it was after the Methodist revival that the wonderful change 
took place in them which is visible to-day. The old Nonconformity had 
mostly become Unitarian, and useless for evangelizing the people, and it too 
was quickened. But this quickening was partly by antagonism, for while 
Methodism was Arminian, the other Evangelicals, whether Anglican or Non- 
conformist, were strongly Calvinist, and so remained till the middle of last 

1°^^" ^IfX'Ji!'' /'''' '° Lancashire in March, 1738, when he 
preached in Salford Church and St. Anne's Church, Manchester, was a mere 
incident and without organic connexion with the systematic evangelization of 
the county which he commenced nine years later. When he again entered the 
county in May, 1744 it was in the company of John Bennet, at whose 
request he returned in April, 1745, to preach in several places in Lancashire. 
In later years he had reason to regret the connexion bitterly, for Bennet not 
only headed a revolt against him and by a secession almost broke up the early 
Methodist Society in Bolton, but also married Grace Murray, the woZ 
whom Wesley had desired to make his wife. In mere matter of date Bennet 
the convert of David Taylor and the friend of John Nelson, had pfeceded 
Wesley in the work of preaching in Lancashire, but after his secession in 



175 1, when he became a Whitfieldite, he ceases to be of importance for the 
religious history of the county. From the moment when, in May, 1747, 
Wesley began a systematic evangelization, he held the field alone as far as his 
own organization was concerned. 

Widely as he travelled through the county there were a few fixed spots 
which served him as permanent centres of work and influence — Manchester, 
Liverpool, Warrington, Bolton, and Wigan. Although in date the Bolton 
cause probably precedes that at Manchester, the latter has always maintained 
a pre-eminent position in the history of Lancashire Methodism. The con- 
quest of the place was not instantaneous. On his first return to the town on 
7 May, 1747, he preached at Salford Cross. 

A numberless crowd of people partly ran before, partly followed after me. I thought it 
best not to sing, but looking round asked abruptly, ' Why do you look as if you had never 
seen me before ? many of you have seen me in the neighbouring church, both preaching and 
administering the sacrament.' 

He was allowed to preach undisturbed until near the close, when a big man 
thrust in with three or four more and bade them bring out the engine. 
Wesley accordingly moved into a yard close by and concluded in peace. 
This yard was probably the ' Rose and Crown ' yard, which seems to have 
been used as a preaching-room up to the time of the erection in 175 1 of the 
first Methodist chapel in Salford — in Birchin Lane. A society was formed 
either on the occasion of this visit or shortly after, for in April, 1753, he 
speaks of examining it and notes that it contained seventeen of the dragoons. 
But the formation of this little nucleus of members did not ensure the instant 
conquest of Manchester, for when he preached there again in April, 1755, 
the mob raged horribly. ' This I find has been their manner for some time. 
No wonder, since the good justices encourage them.' In August of the 
following year, however, he preached without the least disturbance. ' The 
tumults here are now at an end, chiefly through the courage and activity of 
a single constable.' 

As opposed to the unruliness of Manchester, it would seem that Liver- 
pool offered him quite a genteel reception. He first visited the place in 
April, 1755. Passing from Warrington he went 

on to Liverpool, one of the neatest, best-built towns I have seen in England . . . The 
people in general are the most mild and courteous I ever saw in a seaport town as indeed so 
appears by their friendly behaviour, not only to the Jews and Papists, who live among them, 
but even to the Methodists (so called). The preaching house is a little larger than that at 
Newcastle. It was thoroughly filled at seven in the evening . . . every morning as well 
as evening abundance of people gladly attended the preaching. Many of them I learned 
were dear lovers of controversy. 

The love of controversy as well as the gentility endured, for when he re- 
turned in April, 1757, he found that a certain James S. had swept away 
half the society, in order to which he had told lies innumerable. But when 
Wesley returned once more in March, 1758, he notes that the house was 
crowded with a rich and genteel people ' whom I did not at all spare.' Six 
years later he notes the same characteristics : 

In the evening, 14 July, 1764, I preached at Liverpool and on the next day, Sunday, 
the house was full enough. Many of the rich and fashionable were there and behaved with 
decency. Indeed I have always observed more courtesy and humanity at Liverpool than at 
most sea ports in England . . . only one young gentlewoman (I heard) laughed much. 
Poor thing. Doubtless she thought ' I laugh prettily.' 



At Bolton Wesley was in a different constituency. When he first 
preached at the Cross in that town in August, 1748, he tells us that many of 
the people were utterly wild. 

As soon as I began speaking they began thrusting to and fro, endeavouring to throw me 
down from the steps on which I stood. They did so once or twice, but I went up again 
and continued my discourse. Then they began to throw stones; at the same time some 
got upon the cross behind me to push me down. 

But Bolton made amends, for in spite of the secession under Bennet in 1751, 
which rent the society in twain, the town became a stronghold and centre of 
Lancashire Methodism. In April, 1761, Wesley preached to a serious con- 
gregation there and notes in his diary, ' I find few places like this. All 
disputes are forgot and the Christians do indeed love one another. When I 
visited the classes on Wednesday I did not find a disorderly walker among 
them.' Three years later, as the room could not contain his hearers, he 
preached in the street to a calm congregation composed of awakened and 
unawakened Churchmen, Dissenters, and what not. In the evening the multi- 
tude again constrained him to preach in the street, although it was raining. 

Such brief and disjointed extracts from Wesley's diary serve to convey 
an imperfect idea of the character of one or two of the Lancashire towns 
during the fatal transition period, when the industrial revolution was com- 
mencing its baneful influence in hardening and brutalizing the working classes. 
But they convey no conception whatever either of the progress of Methodism 
in the country villages or of the process of the building up of the system or 
polity of Methodism. The former indeed is impalpable. It is writ large 
in the history of the movement throughout England and has less special 
reference to Lancashire. But in the latter the county Palatine has played a 
most decisive part at the various periods of crisis in the Connexion. It must 
be remembered that this is a matter of locality rather than of personality. 
During his life Wesleyanism was Wesley, so dominating were his authority 
and influence, but after his death the rigorous application of the itinerating 
system, which limits the stay of a minister in any circuit to three years at the 
outside, prevented the permanent identification of any individual minister 
with any particular locality. The history therefore of the movement as a 
whole in the county reduces itself to an outline of the formation of the 
various societies and the ever fresh creation and subdivison of circuits. The 
broader movements which agitated the Connexion are of special interest to 
Lancashire only in so far as they either arose or came to a head there. 

At the twenty-second conference, which was held at Manchester, in 1766, 
Lancashire appears on the minutes as one out of the twenty-five circuits in 
England, and in this circuit there were four appointed ministers. The number 
of members was then about 1,700. Three years later the Lancashire circuit 
was divided into north and south, each portion being supplied with still only 
two ministers. In 1784 a rearrangement was made in the circuits. Three 
circuits were constituted, the heads of them being fixed at Liverpool, Man- 
chester, and Bolton. The later process of growth is too tedious to be followed 
in narrative. 

But besides furnishing this remarkable growth Lancashire has played 

lr'Tl%c^T. '"n'^^ ^"'^'"^^ ^''^""'y °^ the Connexion. During 
\\ esley s life his mfluence had been great enough to restrain the grow- 


ing desire to break away from the Church of England. The Wesleyans 
received the ordination of their ministers from the bishops and the sacrament 
from the clergy of the Church of England. At his death the separation move- 
ment could be no longer repressed. The next conference after his death, the 
forty-eighth conference, in July, 1791, was held at the Oldham Street chapel, 
Manchester. The controversy then blazed forth with a fierceness that 
threatened to shatter the whole society. On the mere question of separation 
from the Church of England and of independent administration of sacrament 
and ordination this important conference pursued a middle course, deciding 
not to separate and to permit independent administration of the sacrament 
only in the exceptional cases where Wesley had himself permitted it. The 
settlement was a mere compromise, and served by its lack of finality to bring 
to the front an even more vital question, viz. that of the representation of 
the lay element of Methodism in the hitherto purely clerical or ministerial 
conference. After four years of internecine agitation the conference of 
1795, which also met at Manchester, arranged a compromise which saved 
Methodism from disruption. This conference is remarkable for the appear- 
ance of a delegated meeting of trustees (laymen of the Connexion) which was 
held independently of the ministerial conference. Negotiations between the 
two bodies resulted in the adoption of Thomas Thompson's Plan of Pacification 
which left the question of the administration of the sacrament to be deter- 
mined by a majority of trustees, stewards, and leaders, with the consent of 
conference, with the proviso that it should not be administered in Wesleyan 
chapels on those Sundays on which it was administered in the Church of 
England. The larger question of the representation in conference of the lay 
element was left untouched, and when two years later the ministerial element 
obtained complete mastery and prevented any readjustment on this head, the 
first secession in Methodism took place. The champions of the rights of 
laymen withdrew under Kilham to form the New Connexion. Manchester 
has a personal as well as a local interest in this important episode in Methodist 
history, for Jabez Bunting, the pontiff of Wesleyanism, the man who, after 
Wesley himself, played the most decisive part in binding the chains of an 
oppressive hierarchy (practically still existent) upon the corpse of Methodism, 
was intimately connected with the place both personally and ministerially. 

Manchester played, if anything, an even more incisive part in the second 
episode of Methodist disruption, that which led to the formation of the Metho- 
dist Free Church. The immediate cause of dispute, the division in conference 
over the proposed establishment of a theological institute, was a compara- 
tively minor matter as compared with the discontent which it represented 
against the hierarchic polity of the Wesleyan body. This discontent found 
sharp expression in Manchester and Liverpool, and it was for his temerity in 
forming these elements into a ' grand central association ' for the purpose of 
an organized attack on the Wesleyan polity that Dr. Samuel Warren was 
suspended by the Manchester District Meeting, and thereby excluded from 
ministering in Oldham Street chapel. He thereupon applied to Chancery for 
an injunction against the trustees of Oldham Street chapel and Oldham Road 
chapel, Manchester. The decision was given in favour of the District 
Meeting, and on appeal this decision was confirmed. In the following 
conference Warren was accordingly expelled, and thereupon formed the 



' Grand Central Association ' into a new Methodist sect of the ' Associated 
Methodists,' which subsequently grew into the United Methodist Free Church. 
This was to prove the last great schism in the Wesleyan body. From 
that day its internal history has been one of steady growth conjoined with a 
slight, but only slight, relaxation of clerical predominance in circuit and 
conference administration. In neither of these points of connexional history 
has Lancashire played any specially distinctive or individual part. The 
circuit growth and ramification or derivation of Wesleyan Methodism in the 
country is as follows : — 

1765. — Manchester: Lancashire Circuit, 1765; Lancashire South Circuit, 1766- 
1770 ; Stockport Circuit, formed 1786; Oldham Circuit, formed 1791-2; Irwcll Street 
Circuit, formed 1 8 13. 

1766. — Liverpool: Lancashire North Circuit, 1766-70 ; Warrington Circuit, formed 
1791 ; Prescot, now St. Helen's Circuit, formed 181 1. 

1776. — Colne, from Haworth : Todmorden Circuit, formed 1799; Barrowford 
Circuit, formed 1865. 

1784. — Bolton. 

1787. — Blackburn, from Colne. 

1 79 1. — Oldham, from Manchester. 

1 79 1. — Warrington, from Liverpool : Northwich Circuit, 1 792-1 8 1 1. 

1792. — Lancaster, from Colne. 

1793. — Wigan, from Bolton : Preston Circuit, 1799-1800; Preston Circuit, 1802 ; 
with Bolton, 1805 ; Leigh Circuit, 1806-n. 

1795. — Rochdale, from Oldham: Bacup Circuit, formed 1811; Hey wood Circuity 
formed 1853. 

1799. — Preston: Chorley Circuit, formed 1858. 

'799- — Todmorden, from Colne : Hebden Bridge Circuit, formed 1862. 

1803. — Liverpool (Welsh). 

1804. — Bury, from Bolton. 

1805. — Leigh (Lanes.), from Bolton: Wigan, separated 1812 ; St. Helens, separated 
1828 ; Cadishead Circuit, formed 1872. 

1805. — Manchester (Welsh). 

1807. — Ormskirk (North Meols Mission to 1809). 

1808. — New Mills, from Stockport : Ashton-under-Lyne Circuit, formed 181 1. 

1 8 10. — Burnley, from Colne. 

i8u. — Bacup, formed from Rochdale. 

181 1. — Garstang (Blackpool and Garstang Circuit, 1855-65). 

i8ii.— St. Helens and Prescot, from Liverpool : Prescot Circuit, i8ii-i6 ; Liver- 
pool and Prescot, 1817 ; St. Helen's Circuit, 1828-30. 

i8ii-i2. — Ashton-under-Lyne, formed from New Mills. 

i8i2. — Clitheroe, from Skipton. 

1 81 3.— Manchester, Irwell Street, from Manchester : Salford Circuit to 1826 ; Gravel 
Lane Circuit, formed i860 ; Regent Road Circuit, formed 1875. 

1814. — Haslingden, from Bury: Accrington Circuit, formed 1863. 

1819. — Chorley, from Preston: with Preston, 1820-57. 

1824-5.— Manchester (Grosvenor Street), from Manchester : Oxford Road Circuit 
formed 1846 ; Longsight Circuit, formed 1879. 

^ '^^^75— Ma^^hester (Oldham Street): Grosvenor Street Circuit, formed 1824; 
Great Bridgewater Street Circuit, formed 1827; Cheetham Hill Circuit, formed 1863; 
Victoria Circuit, formed 1878 ; Oldham Road Circuit, formed 1882 

i826.-Liverpool (North) : Liverpool South Circuit, formed 1826 ; Waterloo Circuit, 
lormed 1059. 

1826-7. — Liverpool (South) : from Liverpool. 

1827 -Manchester (Great Bridgewater Street) from Oldham Street: Altrincham 
Circuit, reformed 1838 ; City Road Circuit, formed 1872 

formed^tfej:"^*"'^'"'" ^^''^°'^ ^°''^^' ^'°'^ Grosvenor Street : Radnor Street Circuit, 
1853-4. — Hey wood, from Rochdale. 

1857.— Bolton (Bridge Street) : Bolton Wesley Circuit, formed 1857 

86 '■ 


1857-8.— Bolton (Wesley), from Bridge Street. 

1859. — Waterloo, from Liverpool North. 

i860.— Manchester (Gravel Lane), from Irwell Street. 

1 86 1 -2. — Padiham, from Burnley. 

1863. — Accrington, formed from Haslingden. 

1863. — Liverpool (Wesley), from Liverpool South. 

1863-4.— Liverpool (Pitt Street): Wesley Circuit, formed 1863; Grove Street 
Circuit, formed 1875 ; Liverpool Mission, 1875-8 ; Liverpool Mission (Pitt Street), 1870. 

1863-4.— Manchester (Cheetham Hill), from Oldham Street. 

1865.— Liverpool (Brunswick) : Cranmer Circuit, formed 1865 ; Great Homer Street 
Circuit, formed 1883. 

1865. — Liverpool (Cranmer), from Brunswick. 

1865-6. — Bolton (Park Street), from Bridge Street. 

1865-6. — Nelson, from Colne : Barrowford, head of Circuit to 1876. 

1866. — Preston (Lune Street) : Wesley Circuit, formed 1866. 

1866-7. — Rawtenstall, from Bacup. 

1866-8. — Preston (Wesley), from Preston. 

1867. — Manchester (Radnor Street), from Oxford Road. 

1868. — Hyde, from Ashton-under-Lyne. 

1868.— Rochdale (Wesley), from Rochdale. 

1868-9. — Bolton (Farnworth), from Wesley. 

1868-9. — Rochdale (Union Street) : Wesley Circuit, formed 1868. 

1869-70. — Oldham (Manchester Street) : Wesley Circuit, formed 1860. 

1869-70.— Oldham (Wesley). 

1 87 1. —Liverpool (Shaw Street Welsh), Chester Street Circuit, formed 1871, 

1871-80. — Liverpool (Mount Sion Welsh), called Chester Street Circuit. 

1872. — Cadishead, from Leigh, Lancashire. 

1872. — Manchester (City Road), from Great Bridgewater Street. 

1875. — Manchester (Regent Road), from Irwell Street. 

1875-6. — Liverpool (Grove Street), from Pitt Street. 

1878. — Blackburn (Clayton-le-Moors), from Blackburn. 

1878. — Manchester (Victoria), from Oldham Street. 

1878-9. — Blackburn (Clayton Street) : Darwen and Clayton-le-Moors Circuit, formed 

1878-80. — Blackburn (Darwen), from Blackburn. 

1879. — Manchester (Longsight), from Grosvenor Street. 

1882. — Liverpool (St. John's), from Wesley. 

1882-4. — Manchester (Oldham Road), from Oldham Street. 

1883-4. — Liverpool (Great Homer Street), from Brunswick. 

1883—5. — Lytham, from Blackpool. 

1888. — Rochdale (Littleborough), from Union Street. 




, — Radcliffe, from Bury. 

, — Millom, from Ulverston. 

, — Manchester (Pendleton), from Union Street. 

, — Morecambe, from Lancaster. 

, — Woolton, from Liverpool (St. John's). 

The New Connexion 

The origin of the New Connexion body, as the first schism within 
Methodism, has been already referred to. It originated from a desire to give 
to the lay element within Methodism equal rights of governance and repre- 
sentation in the administration of the church. That the polity of the new 
body ultimately took a Presbyterian shape, so that the New Connexion 
represents a Presbyterian Methodism as opposed to the Independent or 
Congregational Methodism of the United Free Churches on the one hand 
and to the hierarchical Methodism of the Wesleyans on the other, was 
inevitable from the underlying basis of the agitation itself. But the immedi- 
ately determining cause was probably the acquaintance which Alexander 



Kilham had made with the working of the Presbyterian principle when 
stationed at Aberdeen as a Wesleyan minister in 1793-4- The charges 
which at the time were fiercely brought against him of being a revolutionary, 
were due to the political excitement of an age pre-occupied by the meteor 
light of the French Revolution. 

Beyond the incidental part which Manchester played in being the scene 
of the drafting of the plan of pacification of 1795, Lancashire, as a county, 
has played no special or individual part in the history of the New Connexion, 
though it has always represented a very important element in the constitution 
of the body. The secession in fact started not in Lancashire, but in York- 
shire during the meeting of the Wesleyan conference at Leeds in 1797, and 
the small body of fifteen clergymen and laymen who formed its nucleus met 
for the first time in Leeds. But two of the seven circuits which the seceders 
represented, viz. Liverpool and Manchester, were Lancashire circuits, and 
this relative proportion of strength has been since more than maintained. 
With the exception of the Barkerite secession in 1842 and the withdrawal 
of William Booth from the Connexion in 1861 (to start the work of the 
Salvation Army), the history of this church has been uneventful, and in 
Lancashire especially so, for neither of the last named events originated in it. 
It is to be regretted that the want of a Connexional history makes it im- 
possible to trace the process of the growth of its circuits. The apathy of the 
body with regard to its own history is probably due to its stationary or 
declining vitality. At present, as far as Lancashire is concerned, it is organized 
as follows : — 

Liverpool District, comprising the Liverpool (two) and Southport Circuits, besides some 
Cheshire ones. 

Manchester District, containing the following Circuits — Manchester (two), Ashton, 
Bolton, Hurst, Mossley, Oldham, Rochdale, and two Cheshire ; together with three branches 
at Blackpool, Bury, and Morecambe, which are styled Home Mission Stations. 

The Primitive Methodists 

Historically and spiritually the Primitives represent by far the most 
noteworthy and interesting secession from the general Methodist body. As 
a church they may be said to have originated in 181 1, in the union between 
the camp-meeting Methodists led by Hugh Bourne and the followers of 
William Clowes or the Clowesites ; although there were certain preparatory 
movements which had preceded it as early as 1799. As far as present polity 
is concerned the Primitives show the extremest revolt against the hierarchical 
system of Wesleyanism, for they have given preponderating influence to the 
lay as opposed to the clerical side of their organization. But in its origin the 
movement does not represent a polity secession. Its underlying basis is a 
revival of the original missionary spirit of Methodism, a return to the 
Primitive or original Methodism which preached in the fields and in the 
streets, and which only lost that primitive missionary zeal when it waxed fat 
and fell under the dominion of a clerical caste. Strictly speaking the camp 
meeting movement— open-air revivalist conventions held in camp meetings 
extending over several days— is more an American than an English institu- 
tion. For although Hugh Bourne held camp meetings on Mow Cop near 



Burslem in 1801, the movement remained in abeyance until re-started in 
1807 by the American meteor, Lorenzo Dow. From that moment it took 
root, the original centre being again Mow Cop. 

Unlike the other secessions which have convulsed Methodism the 
secession of the Primitives was never a Conference matter, but was dealt with 
by the inferior administrative court, the circuit quarterly meeting. In June, 
1808, Hugh Bourne was expelled from the Wesleyan Connexion by the 
Burslem Circuit quarterly meeting, and in 18 10 WiUiam Clowes was expelled 
by the same body. In both cases the alleged offence was the same, viz. 
attending and assisting the camp meetings. In 1 8 1 1 the followers of these 
two men came together and started the new body, which on 1 3 February 
1812, drew up its scheme of polity and adopted the name of Primitive 

At the outset the movement was a Staffordshire one, and consisted of 
only one circuit, viz. Tunstall. But there was vitality in it, and during the 
middle period of its existence, 18 11—43, i* spread in successive waves over 
the whole of England. Working its way through the Midlands and York- 
shire it was not until 1820 that it entered Lancashire. In March of that 
year Thomas Jackson visited Manchester, and held the first meeting of the 
Primitives in a loft over a stable at Chorlton upon Medlock, somewhere about 
Brook Street, and also in a cottage in London Square, Bank Top. The 
meeting was subsequently moved to a room called the Long Room, in an old 
factory in Ancoats. In July a society was formed, in August Hugh Bourne 
preached in the town, and in September the first camp meeting in Lancashire 
was held on the Ashton Road. The result was an immense accession of 
numbers, and the society was compelled to open other rooms, one in New 
IsHngton and one in Chancery Lane. In 1821 the movement had spread to 
Ashton-under-Lyne. Samuel Waller, a Manchester cotton spinner, was sent 
to prison in that year for holding a meeting in the King's highway at Ashton 
Cross. In the following year it reached Oldham, where the first camp 
meeting was held in May, 1822. By the time when in 1827 the conference 
of the body met in Manchester in Jersey Street Chapel (built in 1823-4), so 
much growth had ensued that it was decided to make Manchester the head of 
a circuit comprising Preston, Blackburn, and Clitheroe (which were taken 
from the North Lancashire Mission Branch of the Hull Church), and Liver- 
pool, Manchester, Oldham, and Bolton (which were separated from the 
Tunstall Circuit). 

During the four or five years following on the formation of this circuit 
a great expansion ensued in Manchester as a result of the determined street 
preaching or ' remissioning ' led by Jonathan Ireland and Jonathan Heywood. 
A mission room in Oxford Road grew into the Rosamond Street chapel (now 
Moss Lane), which became the head of Manchester Second Circuit. Another, 
in Salford, opened originally in Dale Street, grew into the King Street chapel, 
1844, now represented by Camp Street, Broughton. A third mission in 
Ashton Street, where now the London Road Station stands, grew into the 
Ogden Street chapel (1850), from which have sprung Manchester Fourth 
and Ninth stations. The growth was not confined to the Hmits of the town 
itself, for by 1832 the outer circle of the Manchester Constituency included 
Mosley Common, Walkden Moor, Middleton, Unsworth, and Stretford. 
2 89 12 


The cause at Bolton started contemporaneously with that of Manches- 
ter, and proceeded on parallel lines. Camp meetings were held in the town 
in 1 82 1, and in the following year Bolton became a circuit. The chapel in 
Newport Street, built in 1822, moved in 1865 to Moor Lane, and is now the 
head of Bolton Second Circuit, leaving Higher Bridge Street chapel (built 
1836), as the head of Bolton First Circuit. 

Bury was missioned in the same year as Bolton, 1821 (becoming an in- 
dependent station in 1836), as was also Ashton-under-Lyne, which, after 
being attached to the Oldham Circuit in 1825, became in 1838 the Staly- 
bridge Circuit. At Oldham, another strong centre of this church, camp 
meetings were first held in 1822, the impulse coming from Manchester. In 
1862 the cause here was divided into two circuits : First, under Grosvenor 
Street chapel (now Boardman Street), and Second, under Lees Road (com- 
prising Lees, Bardsley, Waterhead, Elliott Street, Delft, and Hollinwood). 
In 1880 the last named, Hollinwood, became the head of Oldham Third 

Rochdale was missioned in the same year, 1821, which saw the outburst 
of the Primitive movement in the greater part of south-east Lancashire. Its 
first meeting room of 1825 in Packer Meadow grew into Drake Street 
chapel in 1830. Rochdale remained part of the Manchester Circuit until 
1837, when it became the head of a station. 

The mission wave which has been thus briefly described is to be regarded 
as proceeding from Tunstall, the original home of the Primitive movement. 
As distinct from this the evangelization of the Blackburn and Preston district 
was a Yorkshire movement. It was undertaken from the Craven district of 
the Hull mission of the Primitives. The work began in 1822 in the neigh- 
bourhood of Wigan. In 1823 Preston became a circuit, as did also Black- 
burn and Clitheroe (afterwards Burnley) in 1824. At Burnley the first chapel 
was built in 1834, in Curzon Street ; the second, Bethel, in 1852. In 1864, 
by subdivision from Burnley, Colne became Burnley second. From Burnley 
also sprang Haslingden in 1837, which in its turn gave birth, by division, to 
Foxhill Bank and Accrington in 1864. Preston was missioned comparatively 
later in the day, in 1829, and from Halton and Lancaster; but assuming 
greater importance it became the head, and Lancaster was only subsequently 
divided from it to form for a time part of the Settle and Halifax Circuit, but 
to become an independent circuit in 1868. This central constituency of the 
Lancashire Primitives is completed by Chorley (missioned in 1837), Hoole 
(missioned in 18 24 from Preston), Southport (missioned from Hoole before 
1833), and the Fylde (missioned from Preston in 1848). 

The Liverpool church has a rather more composite and disputable origin. 
William Clowes himself preached in the streets there in 18 12, and in 1821 
John Rede was arrested for street preaching, but the actual inception of the 
church seems to date from the preaching of James Roles, who came from 
Preston m 1821. In the same year Maguire Street chapel was built, and 
Liverpool became a circuit two or three years later. But, comparatively 
speaking, the development in Liverpool is a late one. Mount Pleasant 
chapel (now Walnut Street) was not built till 1834, the Prince William 
Street and Seamen's chapel not till later, and the Pentecost and Tubilee 
chapels not till i860. 



Such a brief sketch of the mere ecclesiastical growth of Primitivism in 
Lancashire conveys very little idea of the social work of the church, for 
among all the forms of free churches in England this particular organization 
is honourably distinguished by its pioneer work in the cause of temperance 
reform. This phase of its work is closely identified with Lancashire, for 
James Stamp, the protagonist of that manly strife, ended his life at Teetotal 
Cottage in Deansgate, Manchester, and the first practical organized efFort 
of the movement dates from the formation of the Preston Temperance 
Association in 1832. This denomination has now about sixty circuits in 
the county, including twelve in the Manchester district and five in Liverpool. 

The United Methodist Free Church 

In turning to the United Methodist Free Churches we leave the breezy 
upland of the missionary and temperance propaganda of the Primitives to 
descend again to the chilly plain of theological strife. The basis of the United 
Free movement was that same protest against the close hierarchical poHty of 
the Wesleyans which has accounted for most of the schisms from the parent 
church. Several constituent, and in their origin divergent, elements have 
gone to form the United Free Church. 

1. The Arminian Methodists, who grew up in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicester- 

shire, and at Redditch under Henry Breedon and others. 

2. The Welsh Independent Methodists, who have a fragmentary history of their own. 

3. The Wesleyan Methodist Association, which, after several incidental preliminary 

episodes — the fight about the establishment of an organ in Leeds Chapel in 1827, 
and the dispute in conference in 1835 about the proposed theological institute — was 
finally formed in August, 1836, at Manchester by Dr. Samuel Warren and Robert 
Eckett. The history of this schism has been already referred to in the account of 
Wesleyanism. At the formation of the association in 1836 the Protestant Metho- 
dists, who protested with Warren against itinerant ministers having such sole judicial 
administrative authority as the Wesleyan polity gave them, threw in their lot with it. 

4. Wesleyan Reformers, a body formed in 1849 ^" consequence of the expulsion of James 

Everett, Samuel Dunn, and William Griffith from the Wesleyan Conference in 
consequence of their protest against Dr. Bunting's pontifical administration of 

The process of amalgamation of these different constituent elements was 
a slow one. The centre to which they gravitated was the Association. In 
1837-9 the Arminian Methodists joined the latter, and the Independent 
Methodists of Wales threw in their lot in 1838. But it was not until 1854 
that the question of union with the Wesleyan Reformers became practicable. 
The work was completed in 1857 at Rochdale, when the Association and the 
Reformers amalgamated, their foundation deed becoming the foundation deed 
of the United Methodist Free Churches. 

In the matter of polity this church represents the extremest revolt from 
the clerical bureaucracy of Wesleyanism. As opposed to the hierarchical 
system of that body, and the Presbyterian system of the New Connexion, the 
United Free typify the Congregational principle. The system of government 
is based upon the congregation, and the connexional principle is weak. 
Circuit independence is assured by making the circuit court supreme in 
circuit matters, and over this the union organization is a more or less loosely 
fitting cloak. 



Lancashire has played a decisive part both in the origin of the main 
constituent of this church and in the accomplishment of the hnal union. But 
in the want of a connexional history it is impossible to detail the progressive 
growth of the body in the county. The chronological course of ctrcutt 
growth and subdivision is the only guide to that history. 

Other Churches 

Many other religious organizations will be found at work in the county, 
such as the Irvingites, the Swedenborgians, ' Churches of Christ,' Plymouth 
Brethren, and others. Non-christian bodies are also represented, as 
Mormons, Jews, and Mohammedans, but it is not possible to give their local 
history in this place. They have had no perceptible influence on the fortunes 
of religion in this county nor any distinctly organic connexion with the 
history of the county as a whole. 

The Roman Catholics 

With the last of the Methodist bodies we bid adieu to the ultimate form 
of free church life in Lancashire. There remains, in order to complete the 
view of the religious history of the county, only the story of the two parent or 
original stems, the Roman Catholic and the Episcopal Churches. As to the 
former of these its history during the remainder of the seventeenth century, 
and through the whole of the eighteenth and part of the nineteenth is the 
history of a mission church lurking in secret with more or less of toleration 
or persecution according to the fluctuating spirit of the time. The mission 
side of Roman Catholic history has been already outlined, and until the 
separate history of these missions is given to the world*'" it is impossible to 
say more than that the majority of them survived all through the period of 
repression. How closely kept and secret they were is proved by the fact 
that when in i 669 a return of conventicles was furnished to Sheldon there is 
a reference to ' Papists ' only at 

Brindle (a weekly meeting), Oldham (a conventicle of Papists to the number of 20 or 30), 
Walton (a conventicle of Papists consisting of about the better part of 1 00 of divers 
qualities), Halsall (a meeting). North Meols (several Papists), Ormskirk, Altcar (many public 
meetings of Papists), Tunstal (several Papists), Claughton (about 20 Papists), and Kirkham 
(a conventical of Papists at Westhall, whither visibly and ordinarily resort some hundreds : 
another at Mowbrick : another at Plumpton : another at Salwick Hall, others at 

A comparison of this meagre and merely skeleton list with the list of the 
Jesuit missions alone *'' will serve to show how comparatively ignorant the 
government was of the ramifications of the Roman Catholic missions in this 

In the absence, however, of reliable details as to the individual life of 
these missions through the eighteenth century we are obliged to content 
ourselves with the general account of the Roman Catholic organization of the 
county as a whole until the hierarchy was re-established in 1850. The 

" Notes of some of them will be found in Foley, Rec. Engl. Prov. of S.J. (vol. v), also in the Liverpool 
Cath. Annual. Kelly, /////. Diet, of Engl. Cath. Missions (1907)13 defective and unsatisfactory. The Rev. 
Robert Smith of Nelson is about to publish a history of the Catholic missions in Salford Diocese. 

"' The list of 1 701 shows twenty-five of these ; Foley, Rec. S.J. v, 320. 



sacred congregation de propaganda fide, erected in 1622, divided the Roman 
Catholic mission world into thirteen provinces. The fifth of these, that of 
Belgium, included England, Scotland, and Ireland, as well as Denmark and 
Norway. Accordingly the rule of the archpriest in England was succeeded 
by that of the vicar-apostolic, the first of whom was William Bishop, bishop 
of Chalcedon. Bishop looked upon himself as an ordinary of the whole 
kingdom, and proceeded not only to divide England into portions, assigning 
an archdeacon to each, but also to the erection of a dean and chapter on his 
own authority (1623). The movement was bitterly opposed by the Jesuits in 
England and received no encouragement from Rome. While the Seculars (of 
whom in 1631 there were 500 as against 150 Jesuits and 100 Benedictines) 
desired the recognition of the dean and chapter and the appointment of a 
bishop, the Regulars fought against it simply in the selfish interests of their 
Orders. In the end the Jesuit contention prevailed and the pope decreed in 
1627 that the vicar-apostolic of England was neither bishop of, nor even 
ordinary in, England. The limited rule of the vicars-apostoHc, therefore, 
continued until the definitive establishment of the hierarchy. The decline of 
the Romanist cause, partly no doubt in consequence of this internecine strife, is 
witnessed by the fact that in 1669 there were in England only 230 secular 
priests, 120 Jesuits, and eighty Benedictines, as compared with almost double 
that number in 1631. Whether this decline was equally marked in Lanca- 
shire or not we cannot say, but it would appear unlikely from the records of 
the vicar-apostolic John Leyburne. In 1687 he visited the northern counties 
to administer confirmation, and the recorded confirmations in Lancashire 
(3-21 September, 1687) number 8,958.*'' 

In 1688, in the hey-day of the Roman Catholic cause in England under 
James II, the Propaganda congregation, at the instance of the king, appointed 
three other vicars-apostolic to assist Leyburne with faculties like those of 
the old archpriest and similar to those enjoyed by ordinaries in their 
dioceses.*'^ The new northern vicariate comprised Lancashire, and the 
succession of vicars-apostolic for this district is complete from 1688.*'* 

In 1773 Bishop Petre sent to the Propaganda statistics*'^ of his vicariate, 
which serve to show how relatively preponderating was the Roman Catholic 
interest in Lancashire as compared with the surrounding counties, thus : 

Residences Catholics 

Lancashire . . 69 14,000 

Yorkshire . . 36 1,500 

"' The details are as follows :— Leighton, 84 ; Lytham, 377 ; Myerscough Lodge, 439 ; Stonyhurst, 
269 ; Preston and Tulketh, 1,153 ; Ladywell (Fernyhalgh), 1,099 ; Townley, 203 ; Euxton Chapel, 1,138 ; 
Wrightington, 464 ; Wigan, 1,332 ; Lostock, 86 ; Eccleston, 755 ; Garswood, 529 ; Croxteth, 1,030. It will 
be observed that the places named are nearly all in Amounderness, Leyland, and West Derby Hundreds. 

^ The four vicariates, thus established were the London, Midland, Northern, and Western districts. 

*'* 1688-1711. James Smith, bishop of Callipolis in fartibus. In 1709 he visited Lancashire and 
informed Meynell at Paris that there was no Jansenism in the county. 1713-5- Silvester Jenks. 1716-25. 
George Witham, who worked himself to death by the labour of visiting the Roman Catholic houses in 
Lancashire. 1726-40. Thomas Dominic Williams, O.P. 1740-52. Edward Dicconson, of the Wright- 
ington family. He was buried at Standish. 1750-75. Francis Petre. He lived at Showley, near Ribchester, 
and was buried at Stidd chapel. 1775-80. William Walton, by birth a Manchester man. 1780-90. Matthew 
Gibson. 1 790-1 8 2 1. William Gibson, brother to the preceding. 1 821-31. Thomas Smith. His report to 
the Propaganda in Oct. 1830, gives a total of 82 stations in Lancashire. 1831-6. Thomas Penswick, a 
Lancashire man, born at the manor house, Ashton in Makerfield. 1833-40. John Briggs. His report to 
Propaganda in Jan. 1839, gives Lancashire 95 stations and 160,000 Catholics. Brady, Eph. Succession, vol. 111. 

"' Statistics compiled by the bishops of Chester show a great increase between 1717 and 1767, but this 
may have been due in great measure to concealment at the former period : Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xvui. 



Bishop William Gibson's report in 1804 gives proof of the great 
apparent increase of Roman Cathohcism in the county within the preceding 
thirteen or fourteen years in consequence of the abohtion of the penal laws. 
In Lancashire alone he had confirmed 8,000 ; the total number of Catholics 
in the county was nearly 50,000, and in Manchester alone there were 10,000, 
where fourteen years previously there had been scarce 600. He notes a 
similar growth in the Liverpool district, where thirty new chapels had been 
built within the same period. 

In July, 1840, Pope Gregory XVI replaced the four vicariates by a 
fresh organization of eight vicariates, of which one took its name from the 
county. This Lancashire vicariate comprised also the Isle of Man and 
Cheshire. The first and (save for his coadjutor) the only vicar was George 
Brown, 1840-50, whose report to the Propaganda in 1841 gives a total for 
Lancashire of 92 chapels, 119 priests, 9,375 baptisms, 53,841 communicants, 
and 649 conversions. 

A long period of agitation preceded the definitive re-establishment of 
the hierarchy. That agitation was not caused by Catholic emancipation. 
It had lived, now smouldering, now fiercely burning, ever since the sixteenth 
century. All that Catholic emancipation did was to give added force to the 
agitation for it among the English Roman Catholics themselves. From 1838 
this agitation had taken an intensely practical form. In that year the then 
existing four English vicars-apostolic drew up a scheme for the grant of 
ordinary episcopal government. The scheme was not immediately adopted. 
In its place, as a temporary makeshift, Gregory XVI decreed, as above 
described, the increase of the vicars-apostolic from four to eight. The 
disappointment caused by this makeshift led to the formation of a brother- 
hood in London (called the Adelphi), to agitate for the restoration of the 
hierarchy, and a long period of petitions and delegations to Rome ensued, 
coupled with abortive schemes for turning the vicariates, now into twelve 
bishoprics, now into eight, and so on. At last, in 1848, UUathorne was sent 
to Rome, and succeeded in arranging an acceptable scheme. The issue of 
this scheme was only delayed from 1848 to 1850 by the revolution in Rome, 
but at last, on 29 September, 1850, the authorizing brief was issued. 

In accordance with the scheme two out of the total of thirteen 
bishoprics were erected in Lancashire, one with its seat at Liverpool, and 
covering Lonsdale, Amounderness, and West Derby Hundreds, and the Isle 
of Man ; the other at Salford, covering Salford, Blackburn, and Leyland 
Hundreds. By a subsequent brief of date 27 June, 1851, Leyland was trans- 
ferred from Salford to Liverpool. This arrangement continues to the present 
time. The succession of bishops within these two sees has been as 
follows : — 


1850-6. George Brown, already vicar-apostolic of the Lancashire district. He was born at 
Clifton, near Preston, and his ministerial career was confined to the county. From 
1 850-1 he acted as administrator of Salford till the appointment of its first bishop. 

1856-72. Alexander Goss ; born at Ormskirk. He had acted as coadjutor to Brown 
since 1853. 

1873-94- Bernard O'Reilly; born in Ireland, he served the mission in Liverpool, distin- 
guishing himself by his devotion in the famine fever of 1847. 

1894. Thomas Whiteside ; born at Lancaster of a local family. 



St. Nicholas Liverpool at present serves for a cathedral. The chapter 
consists of a provost and nine canons. The diocese is divided into thirteen 
deaneries : St. Thomas (Liverpool south), St. Edv^rard (Liverpool north), 
Sacred Heart (Liverpool east), St. James (Waterloo), St. Joseph (Southport), 
St. Bede (Warrmgton), St. Mary (St. Helens), St. Oswald (Wigan), St. Gre- 
gory (Leyland), St. Augustine (Preston), St. Kentigern (Blackpool), St. Charles 
(Lancaster), St. Maughold (Isle of Man). Excluding the last-named there 
are in the diocese 326 secular priests, and 1 18 regular priests, who belong to 
five orders; the pubHc churches and chapels number 177, and those of 
communities, &c., 61. 


1851-72. William Turner; born at Whittingham, near Preston. 
1872-92. Herbert Vaughan ; afterwards archbishop and cardinal. 
1892-1903. John Bilsborrow ; born at Singleton-in-the-Fylde. 
1903. Louis Charles Casartelli ; born at Manchester. 

The diocese has a cathedral, St. John's, at Salford, with a chapter 
consisting of provost and ten canons. There are twelve deaneries as follows : 
St. John (Salford), St. Augustine (Central Manchester), St. Patrick (North 
Manchester), St. Alban (Blackburn east), St. Peter (Bolton), St. Joseph 
(Rochdale), St. Mary (Oldham), St. Bede (South Manchester), St. Gregory 
(Burnley), St. Anne (Manchester), St. Cuthbert (Blackburn west). Mount 
Carmel (Bury). There are in all 139 puMic churches and chapels and 37 
chapels of religious communities, &c. ; the secular priests number 237, and 
the regulars, of seven different orders, 84. 

The Church of England 

In concluding this sketch of the religious history of Lancashire with a 
returning glance at the Episcopal Church, it is hardly to be expected that we 
should find in that Church the thousandfold incident and life that characterize 
Dissent and Free Church history. It is not so much that Dissent and 
Methodism took the vitality out of the Church of England — it may be that 
they put some vitality into it — but that the problem of life to an established 
church, with its existence comparatively unruffled by external pressure or 
internal schism, is a very much simpler one than that which awaits a mis- 
sionary church or a free church, whose very existence depends upon its own 
aggressive vitality. With the single exception of the Non-juring schism, 
represented by one or two small congregations under a bishop,*'^ none of the 
wider movements which ruffled the Church in the eighteenth century — the 
Bangorian Controversy, the Trinitarian and Deistic Controversy, the outburst 
of Evangelicalism — have any special bearing on Lancashire life, and find no 
special echo there. What little history the Church of England possesses in 
the county is limited to the personal history of the bishops of Chester and of the 
wardens of Manchester, and to the meagre story of parochial growth and 
subdivision and of church building. The nineteenth century, however, 
has more to tell. The enormous growth of population and wealth in the 
county has been reflected, not merely in an unprecedented outburst of church 

"' Dr. Deacon of Manchester is the best known. 


building and parochial subdivision, but also in the revision which it has 
necessitated in the ecclesiastical organization (see Appendix II). 

With this revision of ecclesiastical organization a new life began for the 
Established Church in the county. The creation of the diocese of Manchester 
in 1847 meant that possibilities of influence possessed by the Church, hitherto 
scattered and wasted in a diocese so vast as that of Chester, were now to be 
localized, concentrated, and organized. It was in this way that the Estab- 
lished Church, as well as the Nonconformist, could become a real factor in 
the life of the people. In the first few years under Dr. Prince Lee (i 847-69) 
little progress was made, but in 1870 Dr. Eraser (1870-85) came to the 
diocese, and by his steady efForts and untiring energy, gave a new life to the 
Church both in active spirit and in organization. With later years under his 
successors, Dr. Moorhouse (i 886-1 903) and the present bishop, Dr. Arbuth- 
not Knox, the work of administration has so greatly increased, that two 
suffragan bishops have been appointed, one of them taking his title from 
Burnley. The beneficed clergy number 564, and the curates about 360. 

The latest phase of the ecclesiastical reorganization of the county was the 
creation of the new bishopric of Liverpool in 1880. Bishop Ryle (1880- 
1900) representing the Evangelical movement of the earlier years of the 
century found himself at the head of a comparatively homogeneous diocese. 
Dr. Chavasse succeeded to the bishopric on the death of Bishop Ryle, and 
within three years had set on foot the plan for a new cathedral to take the 
place of the parish church of St. Peter Liverpool, which had served as the 
pro-cathedral and episcopal seat since the foundation of the diocese. 


14 February, 1547-8 ; Pat. 2 Edw. VI, pt. 7, m. 13. — 'Commission to Sir Hugh Cholmeley, 
Sir William Brereton, John Arscott, James Sterkye, George Browne, Thomas Carewes, John Kechyn> 
Thomas Fleetwood, and William Leyton to survey what chantries, freechapels, brotherhoods, frater- 
nities and guilds, manors, lands, tenements and hereditaments in co. Chester, Lancashire and 
city of Chester ought to come to us by virtue of the Act I Edw. VI, and also the foundations, etc. of 
the same. . . Proceedings herein to be certified before the first of May next.' The general returns for 
the country at large to be made into the Court of Augmentations at Westminster, but all returns 
relating to the Duchy to be certified into the Court of the Duchy of Lancaster at Westminster. 

17 April, 1548; Acts of the P.C. ii, 184-6. — Sir Walter Myldmay and Robert Calway 
appointed Commissioners for the purpose of sale of ^^5,000 per annum of Chantry rents. Proclama- 
tion by the King, 14 May (Strype, EccJ. Mem. iii, 154) ; to prevent the] daily resort of chantry 
priests to London to the Court of Augmentations concerning their pensions commissioners shall 
repair shortly to every county to declare said pensions. 

20 June, 1548; Pat. 2 Edw. VI, pt. 4, m. 33. — Commission to Sir Walter Mildmay and 
Robert Keylway to assign out of chantry lands to come to us pensions to Deans, etc., of colleges, 
incumbents, etc. of free chapels, etc. and stipendiary priests, etc., which shall be dissolved ; to assign 
lands, rents, etc. for the support of such grammar schools, preachers, vicars perpetual and hospitals as 
shall be appointed and finally for the maintenance of piers, jetties, walls or banks against the rage of 
the sea. In Strype, Ecd. Mem. ii (2), 402, is an account of the king's sale of chantry lands in 1 548 
from King Edward's book of sales ; it contains inter alia a chantry in the parochial church of Kirkby, 
CO. Lancaster; yearly value £6 15^. ; purchase price ^148 10;. ; purchaser, Thomas Stanley. 

15 October, 1552 ; Acts of the P.C. iv, 143. — Commissioners for sale of chantry lands to sell 
another £1,000 per annum worth thereof. 

20 November, 1550 ; Duchy Commission Book, vol. 96, pp. 36-7.— Commission to enquire 
of chantry lands within the co. of Lancaster concealed from the king ; also of chalices vest- 
ments and other ornaments. Commissioners' names: Thomas Carus, George Browne 'Rauf 



Assheton, Laurence Ireland, William Kenion, John Bradill, Laurence Raustorne, Richard Grenacres, 
Laurence Lees. 

Undated commission (? between 28 May and 3 June, 1552); Duchy records. Commission 
Book, vol. 96, p. 59. — Commission to enquire of lands, &c., stocks of kine, sheep, money, &c., 
which ought to have come to the king but are concealed or embezzled in cos. Lanes, and 
Stafford. Commissioners' names : Richard Woodward, Leonard Stephenson, Christopher 
Butler, John Smith junr., William Radclif, Marck Worsly. 

Undated commission for the survey of church goods (? between 29 June and 24 November, 
1552) ; Duchy records, Commission Book, vol. 96, p. 56. — 'To the earl of Derby, Sir Thomas 
Stanley, Lord Mounteagle, Sir Thomas Gerrard, Sir Edmunde Trayforde, Sir John Atherton, Sir 
Thomas Holte, Sir Richard Houghton, Sir Marmaduke Tunstall, Sir John Holcrofte, Thomas Carus 
vice-chancellor of the co. Palatine of Lanes., George Browne, the General Attorney there, 
Thomes Butler, Rauf Assheton, John Preston, Thomas Barton, John Grymediche, Hugh Anderton, 
John Wrightington, John Bradell, and the mayor and bailiff of the towns of Wigan, Liverpool, 
Lancaster and Preston. We have at sundry times heretofore by our special commission and other- 
wise commanded a survey of all manner goods, plate, jewels, vestments, bells and ornaments within 
every parish belonging to any church, chapel, brotherhood, guild or fraternity within England, and 
thereupon surveys were made and inventories taken of which one copy remains with the Gustos 
Rotulorum, the other with the churchwardens concerned ; yet we are informed that some part of 
the said goods are embezzled or removed.' This enquiry is ordered for the county of Lancaster, and 
applies to parish churches as well as chapels. See also Strype, Eccl. Mem. ii, 208. 

24 November, 1552; Duchy records. Commission Book, vol. 96, p. 56. — Commission to 
enquire of the possessions of two (chantry) priests one in Brindle, the other in Chorley. Directed to 
William Charnock, John Charnock, Roger Charnock and Edward Houghton. 

28 November, 1552; ibid. 57-8. — Commission to inquire of chantry lands, stocks of kine, 
&c. in CO. Lanes, and forest of Bowland. Directed to Francis Frobisher, Thomas Carus, 
Rauf Greenacres, Edmund Assheton, Richard Breche, John Bradell, John Rigmayden, senr., William 
Kenear [Kenyon], William Mallet, Robert Shawe. The preamble recites the commission of 
20 November, 1550 (a/ ja^ra), and says that the commissioners therein had made certificates thereupon 
of more lands, bells, chalices, plate, jewels, stocks of kine, money, &c., not previously certified, and 
that some of said commissioners inform that there yet remain more such like still uncertified. Ibid, 
p. 67 (undated, but of same date doubtless) — An injunction to every body possessing such things as 
above to deliver them to the said abovesaid commissioners. 

10 November, 1552 ; ibid. 59—60. — Commission to inquire of chantry lands, &c. Directed 
to Sir Thomas Gerrard, Sir Richard Shirburne, Thomas Carus, Randall Manwering, Edmond 
TraiFord, Milles Gerrard, Francis Bolde, John Norbery and John Cowper. Recites the commission 
ut supra (between 28 May and 8 June) on which the commissioners therein had made certificate 
before Michaelmas last returning divers lands, bells, chalices, plate, 'joyelles,' stocks of kine, money, 
ornaments, &c. previously omitted and uncertified, and that more remain uncertified by reason that 
they had not time for full inquiry ; therefore the said further inquiry is to be now made. ' And you 
are to take the said things into your possession and deliver them to Edward Parker to the King's use, 
but leaving one chalice or cup and one bell in each chapel of ease for the performance of divine 
service.' Ibid. p. 60, 12 December, 1552. — Command to everybody possessing chalices, bells, etc. 
to deliver them to the abovesaid commissioners. 

7 May, 1553 ; ibid. 71. — A letter from the king about the lands given to a stipendiary priest 
in * Rufforth ' chapel. 

2 March, 1552-3; ibid. 71. — Commission to inquire as to a chantry in Prestwich church 
called Walworth chantry informed about by Sir Thomas Holte, to which information Trustram 
Howlyng has made answer. Directed to Thomas Holte, William Mallet, Nicholas Savell and 
Robert Waterhowse. 

20 June, 1553; ibid. 72-4. — Commission for the survey of chantry lands, tenements, 
stocks of kine &c. in co. Lanes, and Yorks. Directed to John Arscott the king's surveyor, 
Thomas Carus, Francis Samwell, Hugh Seyvell, Edmond Asshton, William Mallet, Rycherd 
RatclyiF, William Kenyon, and Robert Shaw.' The preamble recites a commission, which has not 
survived, to Thomas Carus, William Mallet, Edmond Asshton, John Rigmayden, William Kenyon, 
and Robert Shaw to inquire as above ; to which they had made due return by certificate not only 
of lands, &c. hitherto omitted, but also of unanswered improvements of the king's waste, but did not 
make a perfect execution of said commission for want of convenient time. * You are therefore to 
enquire of the above and receive them into your possession and to make sale of all copes, vestments, 
or ornaments mentioned in said commissioners' schedule to the king's use and to deliver the proceeds 
thereof and the remains of said goods, cattells, jewels, chalices, plate, bells, ornaments &c. to John 
Bradyll ; leaving one chalice or cup and one bell in every chapel of ease. 

2 97 .13 


29 October, 1553 ; ./..') of the p. C. iv, 360. — Council letter to the carl of Derby 
and other the commissioners tor church goods in Lancashire to restore the same goods to the 
churches from whence the same were taken. 

20 Februar)-, 1553-4; Duchy records. Commission Book, vol. 9C1, p. 91. — Commission to 
inquire of lands concealed belonging to chantries and such like. Directed to Sir Richard Shirborne, 
George Browne, and John Bradvll. The preamble recites the commission {ut suprj) of 10 No- 
vember 7 [sic, erratum for 6] Edward Viand states that the therein named Edward Parker upon his 
accompt taken of the premises has made surmise to the Chancellor of the Duchy of divers bells 
supposed to be delivered to his hands that of truth have ne\ er been so answered, but the same do 
yet remain in the said parishes where they were before the said commission, the parishioners refusing 
to deliver same. ' You are therefore to enquire hereof.' 

20 May, 1554 ; ibid. 108. — Commission to inquire of lands ^^'C. in Cheshire, Lancashire, and 
Stafibrdshire belonging to chantries 5cc. which should have come to Edw. \'I and to us but are 
informed of by George Yonge as concealed, detained and withdrawn from us and that we are not 
answered thereof which is like to grow to our losse and disinheritance if remedy be not thereof 
provided. Directed to Sir John Sa\age, Sir Edward Aston, Sir John Warberton, Sir John 
Holcrofte, Thomas Charnock, Francis Bold, Roger Charnocke, Edward Parker, William Kenyon, 
and John Taillor. 

7 June, 1554 ; ibid. 97. — Commission to survev all Duchy lands rents, &c. belonging to any 
college, chantry, guild, or such like in Lancashire and other counties. Directed to Sir Thomas 
Talbott, Sir William Wygston, Sir John Copledyke, Sir Robert Tyrwhit, John Beaumont, William 
Faunte, Thomas Carus, John Purvey, Francis Samwall, Clement Agarde, Rychard Blackwall, 
Thomas Seton, John Polesland. 

7 December, 1554; ibid. 101. — Commission to enquire of lands belonging to chantries and 
such like in Lancashire, Cheshire, and Staffordshire. Directed to Sir John Warberton, Sir Richard 
Sherburne, George Irelonde, Thomas Charnock, Francis Bolde, Roger Charnock, Gylbert Parker, 
John Norbery. The preamble recites that information is given to the Chancellor of the Duchv 
that divers lands c^'c. belonging to sundry colleges, free chapels and such like in said counties 'are 
concealed and withdrawn from the crown and we not minding to suffer such loss and disherison 
appomt you to sur\ey ajid search .is to such premises which we ought to ha\e in the right of our 
Uuchy or by re.ison of the Act i Edward \'I for dissolution of colleges.' 

26 November, 1554 ; ibid. ic^b. — Commission to enquire concerning the late chantry of our 
Lady in the chapel of Farnworth as in the bill of complaint of Richard Bolde of Bold. Directed 
to Sir John Atherton, Sir John Holcrofte senr. Sir Robert Worsley, and Richard Gerrard clerk. 

21 May, and 2 August, 1555 i >bid. pp. 122 and 152.— Commissions to enquire of stocks of 
kine, plate ^c. of the late free chapel of Farnworth. Directed to Richard Bolde, and Miles 
Gerrarde. To enquire of same and to deliver same to the churchwardens there, it beincr appointed 
a chapel of ease. ^ 

Undated (1554 or 1555); ibid. 1 27.— Commission to inquire of the lands given for the 
m.amtenance ot a lamp in Tunstall church which had been certified in the late certificate of 
colleges chantries \c. Directed to Thomas Carus, George Browne, John Kechyn, and John 
liradyll deputy receiver of our ancient possessions of the Duchy of Lancaster 

,n„n-^'"'^ri (• '^T'.? '^ October and 16 November, 1555); ibid. pp. i38-9.-Commission to 
mquire of chantry lands concealed in co. Lancaster which ought to have come to the hands of 

TZr °' ^i nl ''""^/■'^ ""'■ ^''""'' '° S*^ '^'^°'"»^ Talbot, Thomas Charus, 

John Beamount, Chernocke, and Raf.Aijard. 

in r.=.n^<=v"*'' 'IV 'Ju-'^" '6S.— Commission to inquire of certain concealments of chantry lands 
m Lancashire and ^orkshire which ought of right to come to us either in the right of our Duchv 




Until the tenth century the churches of the present county were under the jurisdiction of the 
bishops and archbishops of York; from that date down to the Reformation those south of the Ribble 
were mcluded in the diocese of Lichfield and province of Canterbury ; those north of that river 
remaining in the diocese and province of York. On the creation of archdeaconries they were 
respectively assigned to the jurisdiction of the archdeacons of Chester and Richmond. Henry VIII 
united them in 1541, with the rest of the two archdeaconries, in the new diocese of Chester, which 
was assigned at first to the province of Canterbury, but transferred almost immediately to that of 

The original number and limits of the rural deaneries are uncertain. In the diocese of 
Lichfield one Jordan occurs as dean of Manchester during the years 1178-96 ; ^ there is a record 
of proceedings in the chapter of Warrington early in the thirteenth century,^ and about the same 
time or earlier a decision professing to be given by the chapter of Blackburn.^ The fact that the 
proceedings in the former case related to the chapel of Samlesbury, which was afterwards in the 
deanery of Blackburn, and that the decision in the latter was reported to the archdeacon by ' W. 
clericus de Wygan,' suggests the possibility that Blackburn may be a misreading here, and that that 
parish was then included in the deanery of Warrington.* The later deanery of Blackburn con- 
tained only two parishes, Blackburn and WhalJey ; if Blackburn was originally in Warrington 
deanery some light is perhaps thrown upon the title of dean borne by the hereditary rectors of 
Whalley down to the second quarter of the thirteenth century.* 

It may have been on the suppression of the hereditary deanery of Whalley that the two 
parishes were annexed to the deanery of Manchester, as they are found when the Taxation of 
Pope Nicholas was made in 129 1.* In that year the three deaneries in Coventry and Lichfield 
diocese were within the archdeaconry of Chester, and were as follows : — 

Manchester and Blackburn, containing the twelve parishes of Ashton-under-Lyne, Black- 
burn, Bolton (not taxed), Bury, Eccles, Flixton, Manchester, Middleton, Prestwich, 
Radcliffe (not taxed), Rochdale, Whalley. 

Warrington, containing the thirteen parishes of Childwall, Huyton, Halsall, Leigh, 
Ormskirk, Prescot, Sefton, Walton-on-the-Hill, Warrington, Wigan, Winwick, Aughton 
and North Meols, the last two not taxed. 

Leyland, containing the five parishes of Croston, Eccleston, Leyland, Penwortham, Standish. 

By 1535, the date of the Fa/or Ecchsiasticus, a separate deanery of Blackburn, containing the 
parishes of Blackburn, Eccles, Rochdale, Whalley, had come into existence, and a sixth parish 
(Brindle) had been formed in the deanery of Leyland, but there was no other change. 

In the parts of the county which lay in the diocese of York the original arrangements seem 
to have been subjected to a still more drastic alteration in the thirteenth century. In 1178 mention 
is found of an Adam, dean of Amounderness,' and from about that date to 1205 of an Adam, dean 
of Kirkham (or ' Adam of Kirkham then dean '), and of an Adam dean of Lancaster, and a ruri- 
decanal chapter of Lancaster.* It seems not improbable that the three Adams are but one person, 
who was rector of Kirkham in Amounderness and dean of Lancaster.' Adam may have been an 
hereditary dean, but during the first half of the thirteenth century the deanery of Lancaster was 
held at various times by the rectors of Garstang,^" Kirkby Ireleth," Thornton,^^ Tatham,^' and 
(c 1250) Halton." The names of the rectors present at recorded chapters and the locality of the 
matters brought before them suggest that the area of the deanery was at first even wider than the 

* Lanes. Pipe R. 38, 97. ' Coucher Book of Whalley, 89. ' Ibid. 91. 

* Geoffrey de Buclcley's resignation of the tithes of Rochdale to Stanlaw Abbey between 1224 and 1235 
was also made in the Warrington Chapter (ibid. 143). ' \h\d.. passim. 

* Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 249. It might, however, be held that the joint title implies the pre- 
vious existence of an independent deanery of Blackburn. 

' Lanes. Pipe R. 38. ' Ibid. passim. 

' The dean of Lancaster must necessarily have held some benefice other than Lancaster, for that was 
appropriated to the priory. 

'" Cockersand Chart. (Chet. Soc), 1039. 

" Lanes. Pipe R. 365. If R. de Kirkby here is the Roger parson of Kirkby Ireleth who flourished at 
this date. 

" Coueher of Furness, 435. " Chureh of Lancaster (Chet. Soc), 362, 392. Ibid. 43 1. 



pari;.lies of the above-mentioned deans show it to have been." It would appear to have included 
the greater part, if not the whole, of that portion of the archdeaconry of Richmond which lay on the 
western side of the Pennine ridge. Furness was certainly within it originally," though it is 
mentioned as a separate deanery as early as 1247." 

By 1 29 1, the date of the Taxation of Pope Nicholas, the deanery of Lancaster had ceased to 
exist, and its parishes had been distributed among three deaneries, only one of which was entirely 
in the county." They were within the archdeaconry of Richmond, and were as follows : — 

Amolnderness, containing the ten parishes of Chipping, Cockerham, Garstang, Kirkham, 
Lancaster, Lytham, Poulton, Preston, Ribchestcr, St. Michael-on-VVyre. 

(Kirkby) Lonsdale and Kendal, containing the nine parishes of Bolton-le-Sands (not taxed), 
Claughton, Halton, Heysham, Melling, Tatham, Tunstall, Warton, Whittington (with 
ten Westmorland and Yorkshire parishes). 

CoPELAND (and FuRNESs), containing the seven parishes of Aldingham, Cartmel, Dalton, Kirkby 
Ireleth (not taxed), Pennington, Ulverston, Urswick (with twenty Cumberland parishes). 

These three deaneries were included in the new diocese of Chester on its creation in 1541. 
The deanery of Amounderness was unaltered except for the omission of Lytham from taxation ; 
the other two deaneries had been subdivided thus : — 

Kirkby Lonsdale, containing the five Lancashire parishes of Claughton, Melling, Tatham, 
Tunstall, Whittington (with five Yorkshire and Westmorland parishes). 

Kendal, containing the four Lancashire parishes of Bolton-le-Sands, Halton, Heysham, 
Warton (with five Westmorland parishes). 

Furness and Cartmel, containing the seven parishes of Aldingham, Cartmel, Dalton, 
Kirkby Ireleth, Pennington, Ulverston, Urswick (originally in Copeland deanery). 

Copeland, containing no Lancashire parishes. 

The growth of the population of Lancashire in the nineteenth century necessitated a drastic 
revision of the ecclesiastical organization of the county. The bishopric of Chester was becoming 
too important as well as too unwieldy to be managed by a single hand. The needs of the situation 
were set forth in the third report of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1836, and finally in 1847 
the new diocese of Manchester was created." The old collegiate church was made the cathedral, 
its warden becoming dean of the chapter constituted there, which includes four residentiary canons 
and a number of honorary ones.'" The deaneries of Amounderness, Blackburn, Manchester, and 
Leyland, together with the parish of Leigh in the deanery of Warrington, and such parts of the 
deaneries of Kendal and Kirkby Lonsdale as were within the county were taken out of the diocese of 
Chester and formed into the new diocese, which was made subject to the metropolitan jurisdiction 
of York and divided into two archdeaconries, Manchester and Lancaster.^' In 1877 a new arch- 
deaconry of Blackburn was carved out of that of Manchester. Thus the diocese of Manchester 
consists (1907) of the three archdeaconries of Manchester, Lancaster, and Blackburn. That of 
Manchester now consists of twelve deaneries : — The deanery of the cathedral containing 27 parishes ; ^^ 
Ardwick containing 39 parishes ; Cheetham containing 22 parishes ; Hulme containing 33 parishes ; 
Salford containing 24 parishes ; Ashton-under-Lyne containing 24 parishes ; Bolton containing 
51 parishes; Bury containing 24 parishes; Eccles containing 25 parishes; Oldham containing 
25 parishes ; Prestwich and Middleton containing 16 parishes ; Rochdale containing 26 parishes. 

The archdeaconry of Blackburn consists of four deaneries : Blackburn containing 39 parishes ; 
Burnley containing 28 parishes ; Whalley containing 39 parishes ; Leyland containing 31 parishes. 

The archdeaconry of Lancaster consists of five deaneries : Amounderness containing 1 9 parishes ; 
Preston containing 26 parishes; 'The Fylde ' containing 21 parishes; Garstang containing; 
16 parishes; Tunstall *' containing 17 parishes. 

Besides the creation of the diocese of Manchester provision was made in 1 847 for the trans- 
ference of the deanery of Furness and Cartmel from the diocese of Chester to that of Carlisle at the 

" Lana. Pipe R. 33S, 361. 

'* Meeting of the chapter of Lancaster at Aldingham {Coucher of Furness, 435-6). 
'' Ibid. 656. " Pope Mch. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 307^, 308. 

" Stat. 10 &: 1 1 Vict. cap. 108. " Lond. Gaz. 

" Le Neve, Fasti, iii, 333. 

" The parishes here enumerated are the modem ecclesiastical parishes. 

" This deanery represents the Lancashire portions of the deaneries of Kirkby Lonsdale and Kendal. 



next vacancy of the latter see, which took place in 1856.^* The diocese of Carlisle at present 
(1907) includes the following parishes of Lancashire :— Hawkshead in the deanery of Ambleside ; 
Cartmel and Colton with their dependent ecclesiastical parishes comprising the deanery of Cartmel ; 
Aldingham and Dalton with their dependent ecclesiastical parishes comprising the deanery of 
Dalton ; and Kirkby Ireleth, Pennington, Ulverston, and Urswick within the deanery of 

The deanery of Warrington (excluding the parish of Leigh) was united in 1847 with that of 
Wirral in Cheshire to form a new archdeaconry within the diocese of Chester called the arch- 
deaconry of Liverpool,^* and remained within Chester diocese until 1880. But again the practical 
need which arose from the enormous growth of population and churches in the district resulted in 
the creation of a new bishopric. Thus the diocese of Liverpool came into existence, including all 
this portion of Lancashire and placing the whole of the county — with the exception of part of the 
parish of Ashton-under-Lyne — outside the diocese of Chester. It was rendered possible by the 
passing of Sir Richard Cross's Bishoprics Act, 1878,^' and after the subscribing of an endowment 
fund of ;f 100,000 was established by order in Council of 30 March, i88o, which came into force 
from 9 April the same year. A supplementary order of 3 August, 1880, vested in the new bishop 
so much of the patronage lying within its boundaries as had hitherto been exercised by the bishop 
of Chester, and founded twenty-four honorary canonries. The diocese is divided into two arch- 
deaconries, those of Liverpool and Warrington, the latter formed 21 July, 1880. These arch- 
deaconries were re-arranged on the 14 July, 1882. 

The archdeaconry of Liverpool now consists of six deaneries : Liverpool North containing 
13 parishes ; Bootle containing 16 parishes ; Ormskirk containing 12 parishes ; North Meols con- 
taining 20 parishes ; Walton containing 27 parishes ; Wigan containing 22 parishes. 

The archdeaconry of Warrington consists also of six deaneries : Childwall containing 2 1 parishes ; 
Liverpool South containing 20 parishes; Prescott containing 16 parishes; Toxteth containing 
18 parishes; West Derby containing 9 parishes ; Winwick containing 22 parishes. 

The parishes of Little Mitton, Hurst Green, and Thornton in Lonsdale are in the diocese 
of Ripon, becoming part of that diocese on its formation in 1847." 

" Le Neve, Fasti, iii, 229. " Ibid. 257. 

« Stat. 41 & 42 Vict. " Stat. 6 & 7 Will. IV. cap. 79. 




No religious house arose in the poor and remote districts which in the 
twelfth century became the county of Lancaster, until nearly thirty years after 
the Norman Conquest. Eleven monasteries were established before 1 200, 
but more than half of these were cells of houses outside the county. The 
alien priory of Lancaster was founded about 1094 and followed the Benedic- 
tine rule, which as yet was the only one introduced into England. Cells of 
the great Benedictine abbeys of Evesham and Durham were established at 
Penwortham and Lytham in the reigns of Stephen and Richard I respectively. 
The only independent house of the order in the county, the priory of Uphol- 
land, was founded as late as 1319. 

The Cluniac adaptation of the Benedictine rule was represented by the 
small cell of Lenton Priory at Kersal, which dated from Stephen's reign. Of 
the three Cistercian houses Furness was the earliest, having been founded at 
Tulketh near Preston in 1 124, and removed to Furness in 1 127 ; Wyresdale 
existed for a few years only in the reign of Richard I ; the monks of Stanlaw 
Abbey in Cheshire were transferred to Whalley in 1296. There were four 
houses of Austin Canons ; the priory of Conishead was founded (at first as a 
hospital) before 1 181, the priories of Burscough and Cartmel about 1 190, and 
Cockerham Priory, a cell of Leicester Abbey, about i 207. Two other houses 
of regular canons followed the Premonstratensian or Norbertine rule ; 
Cockersand Abbey was founded as a hospital before 1 1 84, and the priory of 
Hornby, a cell of Croxton Abbey, before 1212. The total number of houses 
was thus fourteen. The Cistercian abbey of Merevale kept one or two monks 
at Altcar, but this did not rank as a cell.' No preceptory of the Templars or 
the Hospitallers existed in the county. Both, however, held lands there, and to 
the latter belonged the hospital of Stidd or Longridge, founded in the twelfth 
century, and dependent on their preceptory at Newlands in Yorkshire. 
Besides this there was a hospital for lepers at Preston, dating from the twelfth 
century, and at Lancaster one for lepers and destitute poor founded about 
1 190 ; small almshouses were established there and at Lathom in 1485 and 

In the thirteenth century the Dominican Friars settled at Lancaster, the 
Friars Minor at Preston, and the Austin Friars at Warrington. A college of 
secular priests was founded in the chapel of Upholland in 13 10, but dissolved 
nine years later ; the church of Manchester became collegiate in 1421. 

' See under Altcar. The abbey and nunnery of Chester, Birkenhead Priory, and Dieulacres Abbey had 
also lands in the county. Xostell Priory held the advowson of Winwick for a time. 

' Lana. Chantries, zzi. horA Monteagle, who died in 1523, made provision for a small hospital at 
Hornby, but this was never carried out. 



It may be noted here that besides these regular and ordinary forms of 
the religious life, Lancashire had also from time to time its hermits and 
anchorites. Hugh Garth, the founder of Cockersand Abbey, was a hermit/ 
Kersal Cell grew out of a hermitage. William the Hermit, of Heaton, near 
Lancaster,^ is mentioned about 1280." In 1366 John ' dictus le Hermit de 
Singleton ' was licensed to have Divine service in the chapel at the foot of the 
bridge of Ribble for three years.^ John of Gaunt, in 1372, granted to 
Brother Richard de Goldbourne, hermit, the custody of the hermitage of the 
chapel of St. Martin in Chatburn with its lands and other property, as the 
hermits, his predecessors, held it.' The ' hermit of Lancaster ' is mentioned 
in 1403.^ Five oaks were given in 1406 to Thurstan de Oakenshaw, hermit, 
to repair Warrington bridge.* The life of the hermit, though further with- 
drawn from the throng of men, was more open to the world than that led by 
the other type of solitary, the anchorite or recluse, whose voluntary prison 
usually adjoined or formed part of a church. Brother Richard Pekard, recluse 
of the Dominican Friary at Lancaster, was licensed to hear confessions in 
1390.' This form of solitude was, as a rule, the only one possible for women, 
and several recorded recluses in Lancashire were anchoresses. Henry, duke of 
Lancaster, made permanent provision for one at Wh alley, but after several of 
them had escaped into the world, the hermitage, as it was loosely called, was 
dissolved in 1437.^° In 1493 ^^^ bishop of Lichfield issued an injunction to 
the abbot of Cockersand to include Agnes Booth or Shepherd, a nun of 
Norton Priory, who wished to lead the solitary life at the chapel of Pilling." 

The religious houses of Lancashire, with the one great exception of 
Furness, have few points of contact with general history until the eve of the 
Dissolution, and only one produced a chronicle. Their local influence, ex- 
cluding those which were mere cells of external houses, was extensive, 
especially in the north of the county, where the people were poor and 
Lancaster and Preston the only urban centres. Furness, Cartmel, and Whalley 
exercised feudal lordship over wide tracts of country ; Burscough and Furness 
were lords of the small boroughs of Ormskirk and Dalton. A considerable 
number of the churches of the county were in the patronage of the religious 
houses. Lytham Priory and others had trouble with neighbouring lords, but 
these turned on disputed claims to land and common rights, rather than any 
matter of religion. There are some records of disputes between the various 
houses ; these, however, do not seem to have had anything to do with 
iealousy between the different orders. Furness naturally resented the founda- 
tion of Conishead so close to itself, and on land under its own lordship, but 
the quarrel was soon composed. Difficulties arose between the former house 
and Lancaster Priory over their respective fishing rights in the Lune, and 
between Lancaster Priory and the abbeys of Cockersand and Whalley, in 
regard to tithes and parochial rights over lands held by those abbeys in the 
parish of Poulton, whose church belonged to the priory. These disputes, too, 
were ultimately settled by legal or friendly arrangement. 

' See p. 154. * Lane. Church (Chet. Soc), 278. 

* Lich. Epis. Reg. Stretton, vol. 2, fol. 13. 

° Misc. Bks. (Duchy of Lanes.), vol. 13, fol. 74^. Goldbourne was to pray for the souls of the duke and 
his progenitors. 

' Cal. Pat. 140 1-5, p. 225. ' Wylie, Hist, of Hen. IV, iv, 144. 

' Lich. Epis. Reg. Scrope, fol. 126^. '» See p. 137. " Chet. Soc. Publ. (Old Ser.), Ivii (2), p. 30. 





This cell of the great Benedictine abbey of 
Evesham was established by agreement between 
the abbot and convent of that hoxise and Warin 
Bussel, baron of Penwortham. Bussel trans- 
ferred to the abbey the whole township of Far- 
ington and a fourth part of that of Great Marton 
in Amounderness, the church of Penwortham 
with its tithes, and pensions from the church of 
Leyland and the chapel of (North) Meols. In 
return the abbey undertook to have Penwortham 
church served by three of its monks and a chap- 
lain and to receive the profession of Bussel's son 
Warin should he desire to become a monk.^ 
The abbot who made the agreement is called 
Robert in the Evesham Chartulary, and as the 
only known abbot of that name within possible 
limits ruled the house from 1086 to 1096, the 
foundation of the priory has usually been assigned 
to the reign of Rufus.' But the fact that sons 
of Warin, who are described as children in the 
agreement, were alive after 1189 is inconsistent 
with so early a date. We must suppose either 
that a later abbot, Robert, is omitted from the 
list of heads of the house or, with much greater 
probability, that the copyist of the chartulary 
wrongly extended the initial of Reginald,' who 
was abbot in the second quarter of the twelfth 
century/ The mention of Warin's children 
and other indications point to a date in the reign 
of Stephen and not much if at all earh'cr than 
1 1 40. Bussel's liberality to the distant abbey 
of Evesham might seem to be sufficiently ex- 
plained by the fact that it already owned land in 
his neighbourhood, the vill of Howick adjoining 
Penwortham having been given to it by Count 
Roger the Poitevin.' But there was a closer 

' Evesham Chartul. Harl. MS. 3763, fol. 89; Far- 
rcr. Lanes. Pipe Rolh, 320. 

' Hulton, Priory of Penwortham (Chct. Soc. O.S. 
xxx), 1-2. The volume contains many of the priory 
charters from the Worden and Penwortham muni- 

' Abbot Reginald is usually stated to have suc- 
ceeded Maurice in 1122, but the Continuator of 
Florence of Worcester (ii, 91) and the Register of the 
abbey (Cotton MS. Vesp. B. xxiv, fol. 27) make his 
abb.ncy begin in 1 130 (Farrer, op. cit. 32 1). It is 
scarcely likely, however, that the chroniclers of the 
house omitted an abbot. 

* Ibid. Constantine, the abbot's chamberlain, one 
of the witnesses, occurs elsewhere in connexion 
with Abbot Reginald, ivho died 25 August, 1149; 
Harl. MS. 3-63, fol. 169. 

' Harl. MS. 3763, fol. 58 ; Lanes. Pipe ;?. 318-19. 
His gift was confirmed by Ranulf Gernons, earl of 
Chester, who was in possession of the land ' between 
Ribble and Mer;cy ' in 1147 if not earlier; Tait, 
Mtdiaev. Manchester, 169. 

connexion : his wife held land in Evesham it- 
self and probably belonged to a Worcestershire 

Before his death Bussel added further gift-. 
The whole, with the exception of the Marton 
estate, were confirmed between 1 1 53 and 1160 
by his eldest son Richard, who himself gave 
several parcels of land, the advowsons of Leyland 
and North Meols, and a fourth share of his fish- 
ing rights in the Ribble.' Charters of confirma- 
tion were afterwards obtained by the abbey from 
Richard's younger brother and successor Albert, 
from his son Hugh, and from Pope Alexander III.* 
In the fourteenth century Queen Isabella, mother 
of Edward III, who had a grant for life of the 
Penwortham fief, and subsequently Henry, duke 
of Lancaster, confirmed the monks of Evesham 
in their Lancashire possessions.' 

The priory never became an independent, or 
even quasi-independent, house. From first to 
last it remained a small cell or * obedience ' of 
the parent monastery, which left it no freedom 
of action. Its inmates were always monks of 
Evesham, and their head, though commonly called 
prior, was often given the more lowly title of 
'custos.''" The abbey appointed him without 
presentation to and institution by the bishop and 
could at any time recall him or his brethren at 
Penwortham and substitute others." Legally the 
priory had no separate property, though a part 
of the Lancashire estates might be appropriated 
to its maintenance, and occasionally a benefactor 
in earmarking a portion of his gift for this pur- 
pose seems at first sight to be treating the cell as 
a distinct legal person.'^ In the sixteenth century 
the priory paid over to the abbey a fixed sum 
annually, amounting to more than half the gross 
income, and had to defray the fixed charges from 
the rest." How far back this arrangement went 
does not appear. The prior granted leases and 

' Priory of Penwortham, 6. 

' Lanes. Pipe R. 322-5. In exchange for the 
plough-land and a half of land at Marton, the abbey 
had received two oxgangs of land at Longton, two- 
thirds of the tithes of the demesne at Warton and 
Freckleton, and certain fishing rights. The priory 
afterwards used to send salmon to Evesham on the 
feast of St. Egwin, but this was ultimately commuted 
for a money payment ; Priory of Penwortham, 105 

'Ibid. 5-8. 'Ibid. 29, 16. 

'"e.g. Priory of Penwortham, 21, 53 ; 'temporalis 
custos ' (ibid 97) ; ' prior qui potius custos ' (ibid. 99). 

" Ibid. Several priors had two terms of office. 
For a case of papal provision of a prior and prohibi- 
tion of his removal without reasonable cause sec 
Cal. of Pap. Letters, v, 1 90 and below, p. 1 06. The last 
prior was appointed by Cardinal Wolsey, perhaps as 
papal legate. 

" Priory of Penwortham, 9-10. 

" Valor Eecl. (Rec. Com.), v, 233. 



entered into agreements, but he did so as proctor 
for the abbey, and usually this was made clear in 
the deed,^* which he sealed with one of the 
Evesham seals, for the priory had none of its 
own. As often as not the deed was drawn and 
signed at Evesham. The abbot and convent, 
not the priory, exercised the patronage of the 
Leyland and North Meols livings. Down to 
1 33 1 they presented rectors to both, but in that 
year they obtained the appropriation of the rec- 
tory of Leyland to their own uses, subject to a 
suitable provision for a perpetual vicar.'' Pen- 
wortham church had been appropriated from the 
first without obligation to endow a vicarage, being 
served by monks of the priory or by paid chap- 

Owing to the humble status of the priory its 
history is little more than a record of land con- 
veyances. With but one or two exceptions its 
priors are mere names to us. Nor do the others 
stand out from these shadows by reason of their 
virtues, unless we may credit Prior Wilcote with 
a good heart on the strength of his bequest to- 
wards the expense of feeding up the monks ot 
the abbey after the periodical blood-letting.^' 
They were certainly treated very diflFerently by 
Penwortham's best-known prior. 

Residence in monastic cells was generally 
regarded as banishment and often used as a 
punishment for monks who had made the mother 
house too hot to hold them. To this practice 
Penwortham owed the dubious honour of the 
headship of Roger Norris, of whom his contem- 
porary and opponent Thomas of Marlborough has 
left a graphic portrait.^* A glutton, wine-bibber, 
and loose-liver, he was able, unscrupulous, courtly 
in manner, and his eloquence gave him a show 
of learning. Originally a monk of Christ Church, 
Canterbury, he betrayed his brethren in their quar- 
rel with Archbishop Baldwin, and was imprisoned 
by them, but escaped through a sewer. Thrust 
into Evesham as abbot by Richard I he dissipated 
its revenues until the monks were reduced to a 
diet of bread and water, varied occasionally by 
bread and beer ' which differed little from water,' 
and for lack of decent clothing many of them 
could not appear in choir and chapter-house. 
The learned Adam Sortes was so persecuted by 
him that in 1207 he retired to be prior of Pen- 

" Priory of Penwortham, 21, 54, 56. 

'' Ibid. 41-6 ; licence of Edward III, 26 June, 
1330, that of Pope John XXII, 13 Jan. 133 1, Bishop 
Northburgh's ordination of the vicarage, 4 Feb. 


" This privilege was admitted, after inquiry, by 
Bishop Northburgh ; Priory of Penwortham, 97-105. 
In 1394 the prior obtained episcopal licence to cele- 
brate divine service in the parish church without 
prejudice to the oratory in the priory for two years ; 
Lich. Epis. Reg. Scrope, fol. \i\b. 

" Priory of Penwortham, 105. 

" Chron. Abhat. de Evesham (Rolls Ser.), 103 sqq. 
See also Diet. Nat. Biog. xli, 139. 

wortham." For many years Norris defied or 
evaded protests and visitations, but at last in 1 2 1 3 
the papal legate. Cardinal Nicholas of Tusculum, 
deposed him, ' whom,' adds Thomas of Marl- 
borough, ' may God forever destroy.'^" Neverthe- 
less the convent had no scruples in persuading 
the legate to make him prior of Penwortham. 
In five months his excesses obliged Nicholas to 
deprive him of this post too.^' But about five 
years later the legate Pandulf, out of pity and to 
prevent his becoming one of the vagabond monks 
condemned by St. Benedict, again invested him 
with the priorship. He remained at Penwortham 
until his death in July, 1223, refusing to the end 
to be reconciled to the abbot and convent of 
Evesham and withholding certain revenues which 
belonged to them.^^ Between this date and the 
Dissolution the only outstanding events in the 
history of the priory are the inquiry of Bishop 
Northburgh as to its status, already referred to, 
a dispute with Queen Isabella's steward at Pen- 
wortham, who from 1340 to 1343 exacted from 
the priory ' puture ' or entertainment for himself 
and his train during the holding of the three 
weeks' court there, and the claim of the sheriiF 
to similar hospitality. A local jury found that the 
queen's steward had no such right, and on 9 June, 
1343, the royal commissioners of inquiry into 
the oppressions of officers awarded the abbot of 
Evesham damages.^' Seven years later (25 Novem- 
ber, 1350) Henry, earl of Lancaster, abandoned 
his claim to puture for the sheriff and his ser- 

The visitors in the reign of Henry VIII in 
1535 accused Prior Hawkesbury, who had been 
appointed by Wolsey, of incontinence.^' The 
number of monks in the priory is not stated. 
Originally there had been three, but at the time 
of Northburgh's inquiry there were only two, 
including the prior.^' Between 1535 and 1539 
the abbot and convent of Evesham must have 
withdrawn the monks, for on 20 February in 
the latter year they leased the priory or manor 
and rectory of Penwortham and the rectory of 
Leyland to John Fleetwood, gentleman, of 
London, for ninety-nine years at a rent of 

" Sortes is described by Thomas of Marlborough 
as ' in literatura apprime eruditus, qui antequam esset 
monachus rexerat scholas artium liberalium per multos 
annos ' ; Chron. Evesham, 147. He was twice sent to 
Rome on convent business ; on the first of these 
visits (1205) Abbot Roger compelled Adam to follow 
him home on foot ; ibid. 148. 

^». Ibid. 250. "Ibid. 

" Marlborough asserts that he and Sortes with 
others begged him in vain to lay aside his rancour 
and ask the abbot to take him back as a monk of 

*' Cal. of Pat. 1 343-5, P- 213; Priory of Penwor- 
tham, 36-9. 

" Ibid. 39. 

^'- L. and P. Hen. Fill, x, 364. 

*° Priory of Penwortham, 97. 

05 14 


£,99 5'- i^-^ Fleetwood undertook to repair 
the chancels of the two churches and find an 
honest priest to serve Penwortham. Hawkes- 
bury is mentioned in the deed as ' late fermour, 
custos or [prior] of Penwortham.' 

The priory was dedicated to St. Mary. Its 
original endowment, already described, had been 
increased by subsequent grants. Four oxgangs 
of land in Longton and one in Penwortham 
were given by Richard Bussel.^ Geoffrey 
Bussel gave two oxgangs of land in Longton, and 
his wife Letitia part of her demesne in Leyland.'' 
Small parcels of land in these and neighbouring 
townships were added by other donors. Hugh 
Bussel bestowed the tithe of his pannage^" and 
his cousin Robert a portion of his Ribble fishery.^' 
The gross income of the priory when valued for 
the tenth in 1535 was £11^ its. lod}^ Its 
lands had a rental of a little over jf 30, the rectory 
of Penwortham was worth ;^36 i \s. lod. a year 
and that of Leyland ^^48 I2j. iid. More than 
half this income, £6^ n. lod., was paid over to 
Evesham, and with other fixed charges reduced 
the net annual revenue of the cell to £2() i 8j. "jd. 
The deductions included £2 6s. Sd. for the fee 
of the earl of Derby, who was seneschal of this 
as of some other Lancashire monasteries, and £2 
each to the bailifife of Penwortham and Leyland. 
Twenty shillings a year were given in alms to 
the Leper Hospital of Preston, and £j 13;. :\.d. 
to the poor at Penwortham and Leyland, the 
latter by direction of the founder." 

Evesham Abbey being surrendered to the king 
nine months after itb lease of the priory estates to 
Fleetwood,^ the lessee from November,! 539, paid 
his rent to the crown. ^* In January, 1543, how- 
ever, he bought the property, with the advowsons 
of Le)land and Nortii Meols and the manor of 
Calwich and rector)- of Ellastone in Staffordshire, 
for the sum of ;^893 18s. 8d.^^ The Penwortham 
estate remained in the Fleetwood family down 
to 1749, when it was sold to John Aspinall.'' 

Priors of Penwortham 

Henry,'' occurs between 1 159 and 1 164 
William of Winchcombe," occurs between 
1 1 80 and 1 195 

" Priory of Penzcortham, 79. Possibly Fleetwood 
had already had a shorter lease. On 4 July, 1536, 
Richard Rich, chancellor of Augmentations, wrote to 
the abbot and convent requiring them to let his friend 
John Fleetwood, servant to the Lord Chancellor, have 
a lease of the farm of Penwortham at once sinc& no 
more of their convent should have the same (i. and P. 
Hen. Fin, xi, 25.) " Lanes. Pipe R. 323. 

" Priory ofPenzvortham, 6. » Ibid. 7. " Ibid. 9. 

" Valor Eccl. Y, 2^1. "Ibid. 

" Dugdale, hlon. ii, 9. " Mins. Accts. 33 Hen. VIII. 

" Priory of Penwortham, 112. '' Ibid. p. Ixix. 

'' Lanes. Pipe R. 375. 

" Ibid. 41 I ; Priory ofPentvortham, p. xl. The editor 
of the latter makes Robert of Appleton precede William. 

Robert of Appleton,*" occurs between 1 1 94 

and 1207 
Adam Sortes,*' appointed 1207, resijjncJ or 

withdrawn 12 13 
Ro^'er Norris," appointed 27 November, 121 3, 

removed about April, 12 14, reappointed 

121 8, died 19 July, 1223 
John " 
Thomas of Gloucester," elected abbot of 

Evesham 1243 
Philip of Neldesle " 
Walter of Walcote,*^ occurs between 1282 

and 1 316 
Ralph of Wilcote,*' occurs April, 1320 
Thomas of Blockley,*' occurs May, 1321 
Ralph of Wilcote,*' occurs 1332 and 1341 
Ralph of Whately,*** occurs 1350 
Roger," occurs 137 i 
William of Merston,'^ occurs 1383 
Thomas Newbold," occurs 1385 
John of Gloucester," occurs 1397 
[Thomas,'" occurs 1399] 
John of Gloucester,'^ occurs 1409 
Thomas Hanford," occurs 1422 
John Power,"' occurs 1472 
John Staunton,"" occurs 1477 
Robert Yattonj^" occurs 1502 
James Shrokinerton,*' 1507 
Robert Yatton,^^ occurs 1509 
Richard Hawkesbury,"' appointed 1515 or 

I 5 16, withdrawn before 1539 

" Ibid. 

" Chron. Evesham, 224, 253. 

" Ibid. 251, 253 ; Priory of Penwortham, 89. 

" Reg. of Burscough, fol. 53. Prior John witnesses 
a grant made by Elias de Hutton (living 1226) and 
his wife Sapiencia, along with Robert Bussel, Robert 
son of Elias, Walter de Hoole and others. 

*' Dugdale, Mu». ii, 6. He died 15 December, 

*^ Priory of Penwortham, 53. Mentioned as a 
former prior in an Evesham charter executed between 
I 282 and 1316. 

« Ibid. 28. 

" Ibid. 21. 

<» Ibid. 22. 

"Ibid. 54, 97; Cal. of Pat. 1330-4, p. 244. 
Doubtless a second term of office. 

*" Priory of Penwortham, 55. 

" Coram Rege R. 442, m. 24 d. 

" Priory of Penwortham, 56. 

" Ibid. 57. » Ibid. 58. 

" Cal. of Pap. Letters, v, 1 90. A papal provision, 
which may possibly not have been carried into effect. 

*• Priory of Penwortham, 59. 

" Ibid. 60. A prior Thomas, perhaps the same, 
occurs 1436-7 {Final Concords, iii, 127). 

^ Priory of Penwortham, 6 1 . 

"Ibid. 62. "Ibid. 65. 

" Ibid. 67. 

" Ibid. 69. A second term apparently. 

"Ibid. 71, 82. Duchy of Lane. Rentals and 
Surv. ptfo. 5, No. 15. He seems to have held the 
office continuously until its extinction. 



The Benedictine priory of Lytham was founded 
between 1189 and 1 1 94, during John count of 
Mortain's tenure of the honour of Lancaster, by 
his knight, Richard son of Roger, of Wood- 
plumpton in Amounderness. Count John gave 
his licence to alienate the vill of Lytham, assessed 
at two plough-lands, to any religious he pleased 
in free alms, undertaking to remit its thegnage 
rent of 8s. i oi." Richard seems at first to have 
contemplated the establishment of an indepen- 
dent house with the help of one of the two great 
abbeys which had interests in his neighbourhood, 
Shrewsbury, the patrons of Kirkham church, 
and Evesham, the owners of a cell at Penwor- 
tham. Apparently he applied to each in turn, 
for two documents are extant in one of which 
Hugh, abbot of Shrewsbury, agrees to send his 
monk Robert de Stafford, as head of the new 
house, without founding thereon any claim to 
subjection,*' while in the other Roger Norris, 
abbot of Evesham (1191— 1213), accedes to a 
request that his ' femiliaris ' William should 
' order {ordinare) the place called Lytham given 
to religion ' and institute there Benedictine 

But the idea of an independent house was soon 
abandoned in favour of the creation of a cell 
dependent on the priory of Durham. A certain 
religious connexion already existed between Ly- 
tham and Durham. The ancestors of Richard 
son of Roger, who built Lytham church, dedi- 
cated it to St. Cuthbert, and it is the scene of 
several of the twelfth-century miracles ascribed 
to the saint by the hagiographer Reginald of 
Coldingham." Richard himself, when apparently 
sick unto death and carried into the church to 
die, marvellously recovered, and the life of his 
infant son was preserved in the same way. On 
both occasions he is said to have gone to Durham 
to return thanks, and Reginald professes to have 
had the story from his own lips.*' Doubtless he 
embellished it, but gratitude may have been 
among the motives which finally determined 
Richard to give the whole vill of Lytham with 
its church to * God and St. Mary and St. Cuth- 
bert and the monks of Durham ' for the founda- 
tion of a cell whose priors and monks were to be 

" Original charter in Durham Cathedral Treasury, 
2a, 4ae, Ebor. No. 20 ; Farrer, Lanes. Inq. i, 46. 

°* Lytham charters at Durham, 2a, 4ae, Ebor No. 1 1 . 

^ Ibid. 2a, 2ae, 4ae, No. 63. 

" Reginald of Durham, Libellus (Surtees See. i), 
280-4. Richard's grandfather Ravenkil is said to have 
pulled down the original wooden church and built a 
new one of stone; ibid. 282. He may perhaps be the 
Ravenkil son of Ragnald who witnessed the founda- 
tion charter of Lancaster Priory {c. 1094) ; Lanes. 
Pipe R. 290. 

^ Reginald, ut supra. The son, however, must have 
died later, for Richard had only daughters surviving 
when he founded the priory. 

appointed and removable by the prior and convent 
of the mother house. 

His charter, granted between 1 191 and 1 194,*' 
survives in two versions ; the shorter and 
evidently the earlier form contains a very imper- 
fect description of the boundaries of the town- 
ship and no warranty clause. In the fuller 
version these defects are remedied.™ Charters of 
confirmation were obtained from the founder's 
two married daughters, Maud and Avice, with 
their husbands, Robert de Stockport and William 
de Millom, and a similar confirmation was exe- 
cuted jointly by his three unmarried daughters, 
Margaret, Quenild, and Amuria.'^ 

Shortly after the accession of John, the founder 
added half a plough-land in Carleton to his en- 
dowment.'^ He died before 26 February, 1201, 
when the king, at the instance of his son-in-law, 
Robert de Stockport, confirmed his charter made 
when count of Mortain.'^ Roger of St. Ed- 
mund, archdeacon of Richmond, confirmed 
Richard's foundation charter.'^ 

The founder's widow, Margaret Banaster, gave 
the church of Appleby in Leicestershire to the 
Lytham monks,'' but their right to the advowson 
was frequently disputed by the Vernon and 
Appleby families. In 1265-6, in 1288, and 
again in 1325, the king's court decided in their 
favour,'* yet forty years later a rector presented 
by Sir Richard de Vernon was in possession." 
Durham procured from Pope Innocent VI a bull 
appropriating the rectory, the net profits being 
estimated at ^^5, to their college at Oxford, and 

°' After Roger Norris became abbot of Evesham (see 
above) and before the count of Mortain lost the 
honour of Lancaster. 

™ The originals of both are among the fine collec- 
tion of Lytham charters at Durham. The revised 
version is classed 2a, 2ae, 4ae, Ebor. No. 57. It is 
printed from an inspeximus of 9 Edw. Ill in the 
Monasticon (iv, 282), and in Lanes. Pipe R. 346. The 
shorter version, which has the same witnesses, is pre- 
served in two originals classed 2a, 4ae, Ebor, No. 2, 
and 2a, 2ae, 4ae, No. 58. They are identical in 
wording except for the omission from the ' salute ' 
clause in the latter of et uxoris mee. As these words 
are also absent in the revised version, this was clearly 
made from the second of the two. The Lytham 
charters are being edited for the Chetham Society by 
Mr. Farrer. 

" Lytham Charters, 2a, 2ae, 4ae, Ebor. 59-61. 

" Ibid. 2a, 4ae, Ebor. 3. 

" Chart. R. (Rec. Com.), iU. 

" Lytham Charters, 2 a, 4ae, Ebor. 8. No. 9 is 
a grant to Durham of the church of Lytham ' in usus 
proprios^ for the sustentation of their monks living there, 
by Morgan, archdeacon of Richmond. No holder of 
the office of this name is otherwise known. Can it be 
an error of transcription for Honorius, the rival of Roger 
of St. Edmund ? 

"Before 1226; Lytham Charters, 3 a, 4ae, Ebor. 
I, z, 4-6. 

" Ibid. 2a, 4ae, Ebor. 51 ; 3a, 4ae, Ebor. 3. 

" Ibid. 26. 



between 1364 and 1366 tried to buy out the 
rival claims ; the presentation of the vicar was 
reserved for the prior of Lytham/' The scheme 
broke down, however, and though the priors of 
Lytham presented rectors as late as 1 422-5,'' a 
compromise seems to have been subsequently 
arranged by which they resigned the patronage 
to the Vernons on payment of an annual pension 
of 13/. 4</. from the church.*" The right of 
Durham Priory to the cell of Lytham itself was 
impugned, in 1243, ^7 ^^^ abbot and monks of 
Evesham, who alleged that they had been in 
peaceful possession of the said cell by William of 
Lytham, their fellow monk, but that the prior 
and convent of Durham and Roger their monk 
usurped their just claim.** The claim was prob- 
ably based upon Richard son of Roger's arrange- 
ment with Abbot Roger of Evesham, already 
mentioned. Papal delegates induced Evesham, 
in 1245, *o withdraw it, but Durham agreed to 
pay her 30 marks.*^ This condition remaining 
unfulfilled the claim was reasserted in 1272, and 
two years afterwards delegates appointed by 
Gregory X enforced payment of the money and 
enjoined silence upon Evesham.*' 

Disputed rights of pasture on the borders of 
Lytham brought the monks into conflict with 
their neighbours, the Butlers of Lytham,** the 
Beethams of Bryning and Kellamergh,*' and the 
Cliftons of Westby. In 1320 Prior Roger of 
Tynemouth complained to the earl of Lancaster 
that William de Clifton had invaded the priory 
with 200 armed men, rescued some impounded 
cattle, done damage to the amount of £100 and 
put him in fear of his life so that he dare not 
stir abroad.** 

Prior Roger's relations with his superior at 
Durham were also strained. He was charged 
with oppressing the tenants and selling the stock 
to maintain an excessive household.*' But times 
were bad ; Scottish raids had so reduced the value 
of the Lytham temporalities that they were rated 
for the tenth at £2 only, instead of ;^i i 6s. 2d., 
the assessment of 1292.** Durham itself was in 
difficulties and giving its creditors a lien on the 
revenues of its cells,*' so that possibly Roger was 
not wholly to blame. 

"Lytham Charters, 13-22, 26, 28; 4a, 436, 
Ebor. 4. 

" Ibid. 2a, 2ae, 4ae, Ebor. 70. 

*" Before 1493 (ibid. 27 ; cf. 2a, 430, 43). 

'' Ibid. 2a, 4ae, Ebor. 15, 26. 

« Ibid. 

"' Ibid. 13, 15 ; Cartukrium tertium, fol. 132^. 

** Lytham Charters, 2a, 436, Ebor. 14, 24. 

»» Ibid. 48. 

** Ibid. 46 ; 4a, 4ae, Ebor. 7. 

'*■ Dur. Misc. Chart. 5315, 5470, 5484, 5561-2. 

'^ Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 309. Comparison 
with the ' compoti ' roUs shows that the rating of tem- 
poralities in 1292 allowed a liberal deduction from 
full value. 

^ Dur. Misc. Chart. 5560. 

The priors sometimes rebelled against the 
complete subjection to the mother house upon 
which the founder had insisted. They were 
merely the agents of the con\ ent of Durham,'" 
and had to attend the general chapter there at 
Whitsuntide, bringing with them an inventory 
of the goods of the cell and a balance sheet for 
the year." Although instituted by the arch- 
deacon of Richmond,'* and owing canonical 
obedience to him for the appropriated church of 
Lytham, discharging its burdens and ministering 
to the parishioners either in their own person or 
(usually) by one or two secular chaplains, they 
were liable to be recalled at any moment." It 
was alleged that the frequent changes in the head- 
ship of the priory did it injury; that they were 
sometimes arbitrary is shown by the case of 
Richard of Hutton. Richard was sub-prior of 
Durham when Hugh of Darlington became prior 
in 1285, and having offended him was sent to 
Lytham as prior, only to be removed as soon as 
he began to make his mark there.'* Robert of 
Kelloe, who became prior of Lytham in 1351, 
procured a papal bull some ten years later exempt- 
ing him from being removed from the office 
during his life without good cause shown. But 
he was compelled to renounce it and return to 
Durham.'" About eighty years later Prior William 
Partrik procured a similar bull from Eugenius III, 
and royal letters patent condoning his action.'* 
The reservation, however, of power to remove 
him for sufficient cause afforded a loophole of 
which his superiors took advantage. They ac- 
cused him of non-attendance at the general 
chapter, of omission to pay any contribution 
(collecta) to the mother house for two years, and 
of having set upon the bearer of their letter of 

" The title of warden (custos) which more clearly 
indicated this subordination was occasionally applied 
to them. In 1292 the prior being summoned to show 
by what warrant he claimed to have wreck of the sea 
at Lytham fell back on the authority of the prior of 
Durham, ' who could remove him,' but having pre- 
viously claimed the right in his own name was decided 
to be 'in mercy' ; Dugdale, Mon. iv, 282. 

" Dur. Chart. Locellus, ix, No. 63 ; Hist. Dunelm. 
Scriptores Tres. (Surtees Soc), App. p. xl. 133 of 
these ' compoti ' rolls arc preserved at Durham, forming 
a fairly complete series from the beginning of the thir- 
teenth century to the Dissolution. 

" Lytham Charters, 3a, 436, Ebor. 3 1 ; 23, 2ae, 
4ae, Ebor. 76. 

^ Ibid 23, 436, Ebor, 18, 33, 40. This W3s con- 
trary to the USU31 pr3ctice. Normally, a prior insti- 
tuted by the ordinary could not be removed except 
for grave reasons, approved by him ; Prioi-y of Pen- 
wortham (Chet. Soc), 99. The reason why the priors 
of Lytham were so instituted, while those of Pen- 
worth3m never were, is probably to be found in the 
disinclination of the convent of Durham to be bound 
to canonical obedience to the archdeacon of Richmond. 

^ Hist. Dm. Script. Tres. 72. 

** Lytham Charters, 2a, 436, Ebor. 29. 

^ Dugdale, Mon. iv, 282. 



admonition armed men, who threatened to make 
him eat it cum pixide.^^ On these grounds he 
was deposed, the prior and convent formally dis- 
claiming any intention of violating the writings 
granted to the said William by the Holy See or 
the crown.'* The papal privilege was in any 
case personal to Partrik and did not, as Canon 
Raines asserts," secure life-tenure to his successors. 
With this exception the known history of the 
priory during the fifteenth century and down to 
the Dissolution was uneventful. It seems to have 
felt to some extent the effects of the anarchy of 
the reign of Henry VI. In 1425 certain persons 
unknown were threatened with excommunication 
for having destroyed and detained its property 
and withheld the tithes and mortuaries due to the 
church of Lytham.^*"* Twenty-three years later the 
services of Thomas Harrington, son of Sir James 
Harrington, had to be requisitioned to secure the 
recovery of a number of Lytham charters from 
one Christopher Bayne, into whose custody they 
came during a vacancy of the priorship. Bayne 
professed to have been offered by certain interested 
persons 1 00 marks and a large pension, and Har- 
rington tried to counteract the temptation by 
promising him for life an annual suit {toga) of the 
prior's livery, and a pension of half a mark along 
with the favour of the priory for himself and a 
living for one of his servants ; ^"^ with what result 
is not recorded. 

The infection of disorder seems to have found 
entrance into the priory itself. About the same 
time a local justice of the peace requested the 
prior of Durham to recall Dan George his monk, 
who had been 

ryght mekill mysrewlet and mysgovernet and yet is in 
special] in fightyng and strikyng of seculares and also 
in schrowet countenance makyng to Dan Thomas and 
to the priest of Lethum in drawyng of his knyves and 
lyftyng up of staves likely for to sle or mayne and 

The priors did not always refrain from worldly 
business. In 1472, Nicholas Bedall of Coventry, 
chapman, appointed Prior Cuthbert his attorney, 
to recover his debts in Lancashire.^"^ Litigation 
arising out of the landed interests of the house 
still played a part in its annals. In 1428 the 
authority of Rome was invoked in a quarrel over 
tithes with the Cistercian abbey of Vale Royal, 

" Dur. Chart. Loc. ix, 63. 

'' Ibid. 64. The archdeacon of Richmond ordered 
an inquiry into the circumstances and temporarily 
sequestrated the goods of the cell. Heley the new 
prior was excommunicated for non-appearance, and 
did not receive institution for nearly a year ; Raines' 
Lanes. MSS. (Chetham Library), xxii, 374-5. 

"' Notitia Cestriensis (Chet. Soc), 575. 

™ Dur. Chart. Loc. ix, 15. 

'"' Lytham Charters, 2a, 2ae, 4ae, Ebor. 65. 

'"' Dur. Chart. Loc. xxv, 39. 

'™ Lytham Charters, za, zae, 4ae, Ebor. 71. 

which had secured an appropriation of Kirkham 
church in the reign of Edward I.'"* 

Fresh disputes with the Cliftons as to the 
boundaries of Westby and Lytham were settled 
in 1507,^°' and in 15 18 and 1530 the priory 
was again at law with the Butlers of Layton over 
the old question of pasture rights at the north end 
of Lytham.^"" On 9 May, 1530, the Layton 
people pulled down a boundary cross bearing a 
picture of St. Cuthbert and, according to the 
prior, though some denied this, would have 
destroyed the monastery, had not two monks 
gone out to meet them with the sacrament. 

Between 1 535 and 1540 the prior and convent 
of Durham withdrew the monks from Lytham 
and let the property of the cell to Thomas Dan- 
net for eighty years at a rent of ^^48 19J. dd}"'^ 
If this was an attempt to avert confiscation, 
it failed, for after the surrender of Durham 
Dannet paid his rent to the crown until Queen 
Mary on 23 July, 1554, gave the cell to that 
devourer of monastic lands. Sir Thomas Hol- 

The priory was dedicated to St. Cuthbert. 
Endowed by the founder with two plough-lands 
in Lytham and half a plough-land in Carleton it 
had received from other local families, mainly in 
the thirteenth century, numerous small parcels of 
land in the adjoining townships.^"' Prominent 
among these benefactors were the Butlers of 
Warton. Its rent-roll in 1535 waSj^35 5^. 7^., 
and the site of the cell with its demesne land, 
estimated to be worth j^8 13X. a year, brought 
up its temporalities to a total of ^^43 8i. 7^. 
The tithes^*" and offerings of Lytham church 
yielded ^^9 135. i xd. a year, and that of Appleby 
paid a pension of 13^. \d. After deducting the 
fees of the priory bailiffs and of its steward, the 
earl of Derby, who received ^2 annually, a sum 
of j^48 19^. 6i/. remained available for the up- 
keep of the cell and any contribution to the 
mother house which this might allow.^^^ The 
priory, however, had a debt of ^^40.^^^ Two 
centuries earlier the gross income had been rather 
higher. In 1344 it reached £tb 8x. 11^^."' 
The expenditure was ;^6i 8;. i^d. Among its 
items were ^\ i>s. ()d. for the journey of the 
prior and perhaps one or more of the monks to 

"» Ibid. 69. 

"' Dur. Misc. Chart. 5489. 

'™ Lytham Charters, 2a, 2ae, 430, Ebor. 78 ; Lanes. 
Plead. (Rec. Soc), i, 206. 

'" Dugdale, Mm. iv, 283. ™ Ibid. 

"" Charters in the collection at Durham. 

"° Tithes of sea fish amounted to j^l. 

"' Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 305. It will be noted 
that as Dannet the farmer had to defray all charges 
(though these were reduced by the recall of the monks) 
and pay j^48 igj-. 6d. to Durham, he cannot have 
made any profit without raising the income above the 
figure of 153;. 

"' L. and P. Hen. VIII, x, 364. 

'" Compotus R. at Durham. 



the general chapter at Durham, £2 ' V- ^'^- °" 
Lytham church (including the stipend of the 
chaplain), ^4 ioj. to three monks pro rebus ordi- 
natis,^^* £\o on the kitchen, £t, 91. 3<i. on robes 
at Christmas for the steward and servants, 
£2 81. A-d. on wages, and £6 13;. lod. in con- 
tributions towards the support of monks at Oxford 
and other gifts. The small balance was reduced 
by arrears to 14J. 3^(/. 

Priors (or Wardens) of Lytham 

William,"' occurs after 1205 and before 1226 

[John,^" occurs before 1233] 

[Helias,"^ occurs after 1205 and before 1240] 

Roger,"* occurs after 12 1 7 and before 1249 

Thomas,^" occurs 1250 

Clement,^^ occurs before 1258 

Stephen of Durham,'^* occurs January, 1259, 

and February, 1272 
Richard of Hutton,'" occurs between 1285 

and 1288 
Ambrose of Bamborough,^^' occurs 1288 
Henry of Faceby (Faysceby),'^^ occurs 1291 '"*" 
Robert of Ditchburn,'" occurs 1307 
Hugh Woodburn,'^' occurs 1310-11 
Roger of Stanhope '^ 
Roger of Tynemouth,^^ occurs 1316-25 

'" The number of monks (in addition to the prior) 
seems to have been usually two or three. In 1307 
there was only one, if we may argue from Prior Ditch- 
burn's grant of land 'with the assent of his confrater, 
Geoffrey de Lincoln' ; Misc. Chart. 54.56. 

'" Lytham Chart. 2a, 4ae, Ebor. 51. The order 
of the priors before Stephen is to some extent con- 

"° Perhaps a doubtful case. John, clerk of Kirk-, who witnesses a Lytham charter belonging to 
1228-33 (ibid. 4a, 2ac, 4ae, Ebor. 2), is described as 
' condam (i.e. quondam) custode.' 

'" Ibid. I 2 (witnessed by Helias Prior). But it is 
not clear whether he was a prior of Lytham or of 
CockersanJ, whose abbot Hereward is the previous 

'" Ibid. 3a, 2ae, 4ae, Ebor. 45 ; Dur. Misc. Chart. 


"» Exch. .Aug. Off. Misc. Bks. vol. 40, No. 6. 

'" Lytham Chart. 2a, 2ae, 4ae, Ebor. 5. 

'" Ibid. 36 ; 2a, 4ae, Ebor. 14 ; la, zae, 4ae, 
Ebor. 12. 

'" Robt. de Graystanes, Hist. (Surtees Soc), 72. 

'" Lytham Chart. la, 2ae, 4ae, Ebor. 51. Ambrose 
is mentioned as a past warden {custos) in a deed dated 
Sept. 1296, Dur. Misc. Chart. 3668. 

'"' Lytham Chart. la, 2ae, 4ae, Ebor. 13. 

'"'' Assize R. 407, m. 3. 

'" Dur. Misc. Chart. 5456. 

'" Compotus (Status) R. 

'■■ Ibid, for year 1338-9 : 'Debt to King for 
chattels of Henry Bol fugitive of the time of Sir 
Roger de Stanhope, 53/. id. To same for chattels 
of John de Blauncheland of the time of Roger de 
Tvncmouth, 1 2/.' 

"* Dur. Locellus xvi, i ; Lytham Chart. 4a, 4ae, 
Ebor. I. 

John of Barnby,"* occurs 20 March, 1332, 

left 1333 
Aymer of Lumley,"" occurs 1333 
Hugh of Woodburn,'" occurs 1338-42 
Robert of Camboe,"' admitted 31 October, 

1342, occurs until 1349, when he died, 

probably of the plague 
Robert of Kelloe,"' inducted 9 July, 135 1, 

occurs until 1361 
John of Normanby,^** inducted 3 July, 1362, 

left 1373 
Richard of Birtley,"' instituted 29 October, 

I373> left 1379 
William of Aslackby,"* occurs 1379-85 
Thomas of Corbridge,"' occurs 1388- 1402 
Richard of Heswell,*'' appointed 141 2, occurs 

until 1 43 1 
William Partrik or Patrik,"' admitted 20 June, 

1431, removed 11 January, 1444-5 
Henry Heley,"" appointed 17 April, 1445, 

instituted 21 March, 1445-6. 
John Barley,"" admitted 12 September, 1446, 

occurs 1456 
William Dalton,"" 1456-8 
John Middleham,"" admitted 13 July, 1458, 

last occurs 1459 
Thomas Hexham,"" admitted 16 May, last 

occurs 1465 
William Cuthbert,'^ occurs 1465-72 
Robert Knowt,"" occurs 1474-9 
William Burdon,"" occurs 1479-84 
William Cuthbert, occurs 1486-91 
Richard Tanfield,"" occurs 1491-1510 
Robert Stroder,"' occurs 15 14-16 
Edmund Moore,"^ occurs 1525-30 
Ralph Blaxton,"' occurs 1533-5 

'" Ibid. 3a, 4ae, Ebor. 33 ; Compotus R.tinno 1333. 

'" Wharton, ^tig/. Sac. i, 762. "' Comp. R. 

'" Ibid.; Eng/. His I. Rev. v, 525. 

'" Comp. R. ; Lytham Chart. 3a, 430, Ebor. 35-6, 
39 ; 2a, 4ae, Ebor. 29. In 1355 Kelloe was accused of 
carr)ing away goods to the value of ^27 from Colding- 
ham Priory when resident there, and also of adultery ; 
Dur. Misc. Chart. 1284 ; Coldingham Priory (Surtees 
Soc), 33. "* Lytham Chart. 2a, 4ae, Ebor. 34, 37. 

'" Prior of Finchale when appointed to Lytham 
on 29 Sept. 1373 ; admitted by Archdeacon Charlton 
24 Oct., instituted 29 Oct. ; ibid. 3a, 4ae, Ebor. 3 i ; 
2a, 4ae, 31, 37. 

'" Ibid. 2a,2ae,4ae,Ebor.82 ; Comp.R. '" Ibid. 

'" Presented to archdeacon of Richmond on 21 Feb. 
141 1 [-12] ; Lytham Chart. 2a, zae, 4ae, Ebor. 76 ; 
Comp. R. 

"' Raines, Lanes. MSS. xxii, 407 ; Comp. R.; Dur. 
Chart. Loc. ix, 63-4; Coldingham Priory, 153. 

'" Comp. R. For Heley, Barley, Middleham, and 
Hexham see also Raines, Lanes. MSS. xxii, 375,381,399. 

"' Comp. R. ; Lytham Chart. 4a, 4ae, Ebor. 10. 

'" Comp. R.; Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. 
ptfo. 5, No. 15; Lams. Pleadings, i, 206. In the 
Rentals (loc. cit.) under date 1527 he is described as 
'incumbent and Keper for the space of 16 years,' 
which must be an exaggeration. 

'" Comp. R. ; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 305. 



An oval seal attached to a deed of Prior John 
of Normanby dated 1366 (Lytham Chart. 3a, 
4ae, Ebor. 30) has at the top the Virgin and 
Christ seated ; beneath, a female figure (? St. 
Catherine) crowned holding a crozier (?) ; at the 
base a half figure praying. Legend effaced. 


The Benedictine priory of (Up) Holland, near 
Wigan, founded in 1 31 9, replaced a college of 
secular canons founded nine years before by 
Sir Robert de Holland, kt., who laid the basis 
of the fortunes of a noble house on the favour of 
Thomas, earl of Lancaster."* Bishop Langton, 
finding that the canons had deserted the place, 
whose wildness made it a more suitable resi- 
dence for religious than seculars, with the consent 
of Holland substituted (10 June, 1319) Bene- 
dictine monks for the chaplains and assigned 
the endowments of the college, including the 
rectories of Childwall and Whitwick (in Leicester- 
shire), to the new priory."^ Edward II added 
his confirmation and licensed the house to acquire 
in mortmain lands to the value of j[^20 a year.**' 

The house has little history. Its endowment 
was small and the times were not propitious for 
further additions.**' Whitwick church was 
taken into the royal hands in or before 1323 
by reason of the prior's default ; *** the nature 
of his offence is not further defined, but the first 
prior is known to have resigned or been deprived 
of his ofEce, and this may have been the occa- 
sion. Possibly he was a partisan of Thomas of 
Lancaster, whose execution was then recent. The 
sequestration of Whitwick, however, was not per- 
manent. As early as 1334 the priory attracted 
episcopal animadversion. William of Doncaster,**' 
former prior, was living alone on the manor of 
Garston, ' contra canonica et regularia instituta.' 

In 1 39 1 the priory became involved in a 
violent quarrel with Henry Tebbe of Thren- 
guston, who farmed part of the Whitwick tithes. 

"* For the college see below, p. 166. Lancaster had 
himself given the advowson of Whitwick. His arms 
were conjoined with those of Holland in the priory seal. 

"* Dugdale, Mon. iv, 401-11 ; Cal. of Pat. 1317- 
2 1) P- 353- Childwall had been appropriated to the 
college for some time. Holland and the earl petitioned 
the pope to appropriate Whitwick, but the consent of 
John XXII was only given two months before the 
refoundation ; Cal. Pap. Letters,W, 188. It was thought 
prudent in 1321 to obtain a new papal order appro- 
priating it to the priory ; ibid. 215. The rectory is 
here valued at 30 marks a year, but the earlier man- 
date makes its annual value 40 marks. In the Pope 
Nich. Tax. (646) it was assessed at 20 marks. 

'« Cal. of Pat. 1317-21, p. 398. 

■" No chartulary of the priory is known to exist. 

"« Cal.of Close, 1323-7, pp. 131, i35- 

'" F.CH. Lanes, iii, 125. Thomas of Doncaster was 
the name of the first prior according to Bishop 
Langton's ordinance. 


Tebbe refused to pay, tore up the obligation into 
which he had entered when it was shown to him, 
drove the prior Robert of Fazakerley out of the 
church, carried off oblations to the amount of 
£$ from the altar, and menaced Robert with 
death if he tried to re-enter. Failing to get any 
redress from the sheriff of Leicestershire the 
prior brought the matter before Parliament. A 
sergeant-at-arms was sent to arrest Tebbe and 
his chief abettor, who, being produced in Parlia- 
ment, confessed their guilt and were clapped in the 
Fleet, but on paying a fine and coming to terms 
with the prior obtained their pardon and release."" 

By an indenture dated 15 May, 1464, the 
prior and convent undertook that one of the 
monks should daily say mass in their church for 
the souls of Sir Richard Harrington, kt., and of 
his father and mother."* 

If the house was not belied the end of the 
century found it in a parlous state. Bishop 
Hales was informed that the monks did not 
observe their rule, that their church was out of 
repair, and their other houses ruinous and their 
spiritual and temporal goods dilapidated or dissi- 
pated by their negligence. In 1497 ^^ appointed 
commissioners to inquire into the excesses of the 
monks and others, but unfortunately their report 
has not been preserved. *^^ 

As the income of the house was less than 
j^ 1 00 it was dissolved under the Act of February, 
1536. Some light is thrown upon its condition 
at that date by the ' Brief Certificate ' "' of the 
royal commissioners, who then revalued it, and 
from their detailed inventory of its plate, jewels, 
and furniture.*'* The buildings were again in 
good repair, but the thirteen monks of the 
original foundation were reduced to five (in- 
cluding the prior), all of whom were in priest's 
orders.*'* Three were desirous of ' capacities,' 
the others seem described as ' aged and impotent, 
desiring some living of the King's alms.' The 
list of rooms shows that the rule was laxly 
observed. Each monk had a separate bed- 
chamber, the common dorter being appropriated 
to the use of the sub-prior. With one excep- 
tion they were provided with feather-beds. To 
judge by the report of Doctors Legh and Layton, 
the visitors of the previous year, the morals of 
the prior, Peter Prescot, and two of his brethren 
were exceedingly loose. *'° The testimony of 
the two visitors lies, as is well known, under 
some suspicion of hasty exaggeration.*" But 

"» Rot. Pari, iii, 286^, z()U. 

"' B.M. Norris of Speke Chart. No. 645X. 

'" Lich. Epis. Reg. Hales, fol. 236^. 

'" Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. fol. 5, No. 7. 

"* Duchy of Lane. Miscellanea, bdle. xi, No. 47. 
It was made on 15-17 May. 

'** The priory had eight ' waiting servants ' and 
thirteen hinds. '" L. and P. Hen. Vlll, x, 364. 

'" Gairdner, Hist, of the Engl. Ch. in the Sixteenth 
Century, 165. 


even if we make allowance for this, it is pretty 
clear that unless the monks were the victims of 
local spite things were worse at Holland than in 
some other houses, e.g. at Burscough.^** 

Charity was not altogether neglected in the 
priory. It supported two aged and impotent 
persons, and there were two children at school 
' kept of devocion.' 

The commissioners found that part of the 
plate of the priory had been recently pledged. 
Two silver reliquaries in the shape of arms from 
the elbow upwards, one containing a bone of 
St. Thomas of Canterbury, the other a bone of 
St. Richard of Chichester, worth £i(> i7,s. 4^., 
and a chalice worth £(i 13^. 4^. were in the 
possession of Sir Richard Fitton of Gawsworth, 
who had received them in the February previous 
as security for a loan of £10. The prior's 
explanation was that the money had been 
wanted to pay the tenth and the king's visitors. 
Two parcel gilt salts had disappeared altogether. 
During the prior's absence in London in April, 
1 536, Elizabeth Bradshaw, brewer and day woman 
of the priory, had entrusted them for safe keeping 
to William Topping, servant of the house. They 
were not forthcoming, and Topping and his 
wife lay in Lancaster Castle awaiting trial.*" 

The priory was dedicated to St. Thomas the 
Martyr. The patronage passed by marriage in 
1373 with the manor of Holland to John, Lord 
Lovel of Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire, and 
Minster Lovell, Oxon. Forfeited in 1485 by the 
last Lord Lovel, the estates, and probably the 
patronage of the priory, passed to the earls of 
Derby. '^ Its original endowment transferred 
from the college consisted of a plough-land in 
Holland and the appropriate churches of Child- 
wall and Whitwick.'*' Some additions had 
probably been made to their holding in Holland 
and Orrell before the Dissolution, and they then 
possessed a little land in Childwall parish, but 
the annual value of these temporalities in 1535 
only amounted to ^12 loj., Childwall Rectory 
was worth /38 13;. 4^., that of Whitwick 
(rent) ^10.'''' The net annual income of the 
house was ^^53 31. \d. This was increased to 
^78 I2J. ()d. in the new valuation made at the 
Dissolution in May, 1536. 

''■■ On the supposition that the charges reflected 
more or less baseless local gossip the comparatively 
clean record of some houses might be attributed to a 
more friendly neighbourhood or the greater hurry of 
the visitors. But it is more probable that they did 
exercise some sort of rough discrimination. Here 
.-.nd there an accusation receives some independent 
support. See, for instance, a case at Furness, below, 
p. 124. 

'" Duchy of Lane. Misc. bdle xi, No. 47. 

"" A different opinion might be gathered from the 
statement of Leiand (//;'». vii, 46), that ' the Wottons 
were Founders there.' But this lacks confirmation. 

'" Cal. of Pat. 1307-13, p. 233. 

'" I'al. Eccl. V, 221. 

The bells and lead were valued m £1^ ; the 
painted glass in the church was sold for ^^13 to 
the inhabitants of Upholland, Orrell, Billinge, 
Higher End, Winstanley, and Dalton, to whom 
the church was transferred as a parochial chapel.'** 
The plate, church ornaments, furniture of the 
priory buildings, horses, cattle, and stock of corn, 
&c., with debts due to the house figured in the 
valuation at ^^114 2j. 8^.'" ;^i8 i8j. lod. 
was owed by the priory. 

In 1545 the priory was granted to John 

Priors of Upholland 

Thomas of Doncaster,'" first prior, occurs 

1319. Resigned ? 
An unnamed prior, *^* occurs 1334 
John of Barnby,*" occurs 1340 and 1350 
William,'^ resigned 1389 
Robert of Fazakerley,"* elected 1389, died 1403 
John Cornewayll,"' elected 1 403, resigned 1 445 
William Whalley,''" elected 1445, died 1466 
John Topping,'" elected 1466, died 1470 
Matthew Whalley,'" elected 1470 
Thomas,"' occurs 27 January, 1493-4 
Peter Prescott,"^ occurs 1535, surrendered 1536 

The seal of the priory attached to the deed 
settling the Harrington Chantry, referred to 
above,"" is of brown wax, large and oval in 
shape. In the centre there is a figure on horse- 
back. Above, three figures approaching a person 
seated (murder of St. Thomas). Below, shields 
of Lancaster and Holland. 

'" Duchy of Lane. Misc. bdle. xi, No. 47 ; Not. 
Cestr. (Chet. Soc), ii, 259. There was 780ft. of 
painted glass worth ^d. a foot. 

'" The furniture of the monks' rooms varied in 
value from £1 (the prior's) to 9/. Sd. (Dan John 
Ainsdale's ; he had no feather-bed). 

'" C<7/. 0/ Pat. 1 3 17-21, p. 353. William of 
Doncaster, who is described in 1334 as a former 
prior, is probably the same person. The method of 
election prescribed by the foundation was that the 
convent sent up three names to the patron, who 
presented one of them to the bishop for admission ; 
Dugdale, Man. iv, 410. 

'" Lich. Epis. Reg. Northburgh, vol. 2, fol. 606. 

'" Coram Rege R. 321, m. sod. ; V.C.H. Lanes. 
iii, 125. Exonerated in 1349 °f ^ charge of com- 
plicity in the abduction of Margery de la Beche two 
years before ; Cal. of Pat. 1348-50, p. 269 ; below, 
p. 150. 

Lich. Epis. Reg. Scrope, fol. 54. 
Admitted 9 Nov. 1403 ; ibid. Burghill, fol. 91. 
Ibid. Heyworth, fol. 1 27^. This is a confirma- 
tion of the election by the bishop's commissary in the 
chapel of Douglas ' in the parish of Wigan ' . . . 

"' Ibid. Hales, fol. 103. Confirmation of election 
(3 April). 

'"Ibid. fol. 105. Confirmation of election (23 July). 

'" Towneley M.^. penes W. Farrer, fol. 226. 

"* Duchy of Lanes. Misc. bdle. xi, No. 47 ; yalor 
Eccl. V, 221. '" See p. 1 11. 






In the reign of Stephen Ranulf Gernons, earl 
of Chester, when in possession of the district 
' between Ribble and Mersey ' gave the hamlet 
of Kersal in the township of Broughton, parcel 
of his demesne manor of Salford, to the Cluniac 
priory of Lenton, near Nottingham, in free alms 
for the establishment of a place of religion. The 
gift, the date of which lies between 1 1 43 and 
1 153, included rights of fishery in the Irwell 
and of pasture on and approvement of the 
waste,^ Ranulf 's tenure of ' between Ribble and 
Mersey ' was a mere interlude, and between 
1174 and 1 176 Henry II regranted Kersal to 
Lenton Priory without mention of any previous 
grant.^ In his charter it is described as a 
hermitage which the monks of Lenton are to 
hold as freely and quietly as Hugh de Buron 
their monk held it.' This seems to point to 
some interruption in their ownership. King 
John confirmed his father's grant on 2 April, 
1200. Whether Lenton at first kept more than 
a single monk at Kersal is not quite clear. The 
papal delegates who, about the date of John's 
confirmation, settled a dispute between the 
monks of Lenton and Albert de Nevill, rector of 
Manchester, in whose parish Kersal lay, ordered 
that the ' prior sive alius qui apud Kersale pro 
loco custodiendo pro tempore fiierit ' should 
always promise to observe the rights of the 
mother church. It is not, however, until the 
fourteenth century that the existence of a prior 
of Kersal is definitely attested. From a Cluniac 
visitation of that date it appears that there were 
then a prior and one monk in the cell. Mass 
was celebrated only once a day.* The dispute 
with the rector of Manchester referred to above 
arose out of the diversion of tithes, oiFerings, and 
mortuaries to the chapel and cemetery of the cell. 
By the settlement arrived at the rector conceded 
the right of sepulture at Kersal in return for an 

' Farrer, Lanes. Pipe R. 326. Mr. Farrer assigns 
it to 1 142, but see Tait, Mediaeval Manchester, 169. 

^ Lanes. Pipe R. 327; Pat. 17 Hen. VI, pt. i, 
m. 9. This was always regarded as the foundation 
charter ; Testa de Nevill, ii, fol. 827 ; Coram Rege R. 
No. 442. 

' The reference to Hugh's time does not appear in 
Edw. IPs inspeximus of the charter of Hen. II, but 
it is given in that of Hen. VI, and was part of that 
charter when produced in court in 1371 ; ibid. 
Hugh was doubtless the hermit and may perhaps be 
identified with the Hugh de Buron whose gifts to 
Lenton were confirmed by Stephen or with his son ; 
Dugdale, Mm. v, 108. He is said to have stayed at 
Kersal until his death ; Coram Rege R. No. 442. 

* G. F. Duckett, Visitations of Engl. Cluniae Founda- 
tions (1890), 43. 

2 II 

annual gift of two candles, each of i^ lb. of wax, 
but no parishioner was to be buried or make 
offerings there without full compensation to the 
church at Manchester ; the admission of parish- 
ioners to the sacraments by the monks was 

Beyond this, a temporary seizure by the crown, 
about 137 1, on the plea that the original gift 
bound Lenton to keep two monks there,' and 
one or two grants of land, the history of the cell 
is a blank. It might have come to an end in 
the fifteenth century had not Lenton, which as 
a filiation of Cluny ranked as an alien priory, 
secured letters of denization from Richard II in 

Doctors Legh and Layton in their report 
confined themselves to the financial condition of 
the cell.* As one of the larger monasteries Lenton 
escaped dissolution in 1536, but was already 
being bled. The prior wrote to Cromwell 
begging time to complete the payment of j^ 100 
to him, and adding, ' I have accomplished your 
pleasure touching the cell of Kersal in Lan- 
cashyre.' ' What Cromwell's pleasure was there 
is nothing to show. 

In April, 1538, Thurstan Tyldesley, hearing 
that Lenton was about to come into the king's 
possession, asked Cromwell to let him have the 
farm of Kersal, which he said was worth twenty 
marks a year — a considerably higher estimate 
than the king's commissioners had made in 
1535-6.^" The site and demesne lands of the 
cell, however, were leased by the crown on 
3 February, 1539, for twenty-one years to John 
Wood, ' one of the Oistryngers,' at a rent of 
j^ii 6j. 8^/." On 23 July, 1540, the crown 
sold the cell to Baldwin Willoughby, sewer of 
the chamber, for ;^I55 6j. 8(/.^^ 

Kersal cell was dedicated to St. Leonard.^' 
Its original endowment was augmented in the 
reign of Richard I or John by grants of two 
parcels of land in the parish of Ashton-under- 
Lyne ; Matthew son of Edith gave a portion of 
his land in Audenshaw, and Alban of Alt half 

' Lanes. Pipe R. 331. 

' Coram Rege R. No. 442, ra. i d. A jury found 
that though not bound to find more than one monk 
at Kersal, the priory for fifty years past had kept there 
two, and occasionally three, of their own free will. 

' Pat. 16 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 19. During the French 
wars it had been taken into the king's hands with the 
other alien houses ; cf. Cal. of Pat. 1389-92, p. 29. 

»i. and P. Hen. Fill, x, 364. 

' Ibid. X, 1234. 

'° Ibid, xiii (i), 789. 

" Dugdale, Mon. v, no. 

" L. and P. Hen. Fill, xv, 942 (102). Sir John 
Willoughby, kt., was steward of Lenton in 1535. 

" Lanes. Pipe R. 330. 

3 15 


Paldenlegh.'* In the new valuation for the 
tenth, made in 1535, the income of the cell was 
stated to be £<) bs. 8tl., the only deduction 
mentioned being an annual fee of j^i to the 
steward, Sir John Byron of Clayton, kt." 
Legh and Layton speak of a debt of twenty 
marks.*' The crown contrived nearly to double 

the income; the lessee paid ^^ii 6;. 8</., and 
other rents not included in his lease brought up 
the total to £lj 14^. lod." 

Prior of Kersal 
John of Ingleby," occurs March, 1332. 



The abbey of Furness was founded in the 
year 1127 by Stephen, then count of Boulogne 
and Mortain and lord of Lancaster.* Three 
years earlier Stephen had granted to the abbot of 
Savigny in his county of Mortain the vill of 
Tulketh in Amounderness ; and it was from this 
place that the Savigniac monks retired to the 
deep vale of Bekanesgill.' The new grant com- 
prised the whole of the forest and demesne of 
Furness, Walney Island, the manor of Ulverston, 
the land of Roger Bristwald, the count's fishery 
in the Lune by Lancaster, and Warin the Little 
with his land. The land of Michael le Fleming 
in Furness was excepted, but this limitation to 
the completeness of the abbot's sway in the 
peninsula was removed early in the reign of 
Henry III. From the first the abbey, a bulwark 
of the honour of Lancaster, was under the special 
protection of the crown. Its rights and privi- 
leges were confirmed and enlarged by nearly 
every king from Henry I to Henry IV.' The 
earlier royal and papal confirmations illustrate 
also the rapid increase in the possessions of the 
house during the twelfth century.* Throughout 
the thirteenth the abbey slowly rounded off its 
possessions in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and this 

" Latia. Pipe R. 328-30, 332. The endowments 
comprised in 1 3 7 1 three messuages, 1 00 acres of land, 
24 acres of meadow, and 40 acres of wood ; Coram Rege 
R. 442, m. I d. " Fabr Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 147. 

'• L. and. P. Hen. VllI, x, 364. 

" Dugdale, Mon. v, 117. 

"Assize R. 428, m. 2. Accused of wounding 
Adam Le Reve of Broughton. 

' Farrer, Lanes. Pipe R. 301 ; Coucher, A. 8, 21. 
The account prefixed to the coucher papers gives 
' nonas Julii ' as the exact date ; the metrical history 
says July ist. The Ciron. Reg. Manniae gives 1 1 26, 
and another old manuscript dealing with Man, quoted 
by Dodsworth, says 1 1 12, making it as old as Savigny 
itself; Oliver, Monumenta de Insula Manniae, i, 144. 

' S^Tneon of Durham, Opera (Surtees Soc.), i 20 ; 
Coucher, 2 1 ; cf. Leland, Collectanea (ed. Hearne), ii , 3 5 7. 
Some early charters refer to the abbey as Bekanesgill. 

' Farrer, op. cit. 308, 317 ; Coucher, 122-30, 199, 
216. Henry IV's confirmation (216) included 
privileges ivhich had been allowed to fall into disuse. 
The abbot took advantage of this /Jf^/ clause in 141 3 
to recall suits of debt to his court, 220 ; the Patent 
Rolls also contain frequent letters of protection. 

process, if hindered, was not ended by the statute 
de Religiosis. The isolation of Furness increased 
rather than checked a power possessed by (tw 
religious houses in the north ; and the abbot 
ruled vast territories with feudal independence 
and social advantage. 

The historical importance of the abbey springs 
from this feudal ascendancy. As a religious 
house it left no great monument of learning or 
piety, and trained no great man. Its documents 
are feudal deeds ; its instruction was confined to 
the children of the demesne ; its internal history 
must be written on the basis of legal disputes ; 
on the other hand, its independent lordship over 
a large self-contained tract gave political import- 
ance to the abbey for more than two centuries. 
So far as England was concerned Furness was 
like an island ; ' the abbot's relations with 
Scotland were, as will be seen, those of a border 
baron ; ° for long he took a responsible share in 
the conflict of north and south, of lay and 
ecclesiastical influences, which gave significance 
to the Isle of Man. Ireland was his granary in 
times of need,' his granges of Beaumont and 

* The protection of Eugenius III {Coucher, 591-5) 
shows that before 1153 the abbey had gained a foot- 
ing in Copeland and Man. For papal privilegia see 
538 sqq. especially the full confirmation by Innocent 
IV, in 1247 ; 603-7. 

' So called in ^0/. Pari, iii, 6571^. 

• Among the Sackville MSS. is a document dated 
3 I Hen. VIII, which seems to be an inquiry into the 
validity of a grant by the abbot that his tenants hold 
by border service for the maintenance of a fort called 
Pile la Foudre, upon the borders of Scotland ; Hist. MSS. 
Com. Rep. vii, 258. For the peel of Fouldrey see 
p. 118. The 'marchers' of Copeland, Cartmel, and 
Kendal were summoned to perform military service in 
Scotland in 1258 ; Cal Scot. Doc. 1 108-1272, p. 409. 

' The Furness continuation of William of Newburgh 
refers especially to periods of pest and famine, or to 
' magna fertilitas frumenti in Hybernia ' ; Chron. of 
Stephen (Rolls Sen), &c. ii, 560, 562, 570. The 
licences to trade with Ireland and to bring corn from 
the abbey lands there extend from the days of John 
to those of the Tudors. In early times the abbot 
frequently visited Ireland or obtained official sanction 
for his attorneys (e.g. Pat. 24 Edw. I, m. 2) ; but 
later he had longer leaves of absence. Ric. II granted 
this exemption in time of war together with release 
from military service, provided that the abbot left one 
or two monks to pay subsidies like the other religious 
in Ireland ; Pat. 12 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 15. 



Winterburn were stations on the way to York 
and the south ; his messuage in Beverley gave 
shelter to his bailiffs as they mixed with the 
traders of the east. It is this combination of 
solitary base and wide-spread connexion which 
gives meaning to the frequent but not very clear 
or well-defined appearance of the abbot and his 
convent upon the political stage. 

Until the settlement of England under the 
strong rule of Henry II, the new abbey was 
busied in maintaining its precarious position in 
the north. But the political storms of the period 
were at first less embarrassing than the problems 
raised by its relations with the monastic world. 
The events which led to a settlement of Savi- 
gniac monks in the domain of Stephen are not 
known ; perhaps we can trace the first settlers 
by the Ribble in the enthusiasts who helped to 
arouse the reform party at York to retire to 
Fountains.* In any case the abbey was certainly 
of Savigniac origin,' and soon became involved 
in the disputes to which the union of Savigny 
and Citeaux gave rise. Savigny was surrendered 
five years after King Stephen confirmed his 
original grant of Furness, and in 1 148 thirteen 
English abbeys joined the Cistercian order.^" 
Furness did not submit without a struggle. 
Ignoring the charter of subjection to Savigny, 
the fourth abbot, Peter of York, hurried to 
Rome to appeal against the new order. Accord- 
ing to the abbey tradition he procured a confir- 
mation from Eugenius III of the existing state 
of things, but upon his return was detained at 
the mother house, and forced to give up his 
position. ' He entered Savigny, where he stayed, 
a most excellent monk, learning the Cistercian 
rule. Thence he was promoted to be fifth abbot 
of Quarr.' ^^ The records of Savigny tell a more 
authentic story, Peter returned from Rome with 
letters appointing a commission to decide the case 
in Normandy. He succeeded in getting the date 
of the trial postponed, but failed to appear upon 
the day fixed. Whether he was detained at 
Savigny or was contumacious cannot be decided. 
The judges, after waiting in vain for the missing 
abbot, went into the case. The abbot of Savigny 
showed that Furness had been built and main- 
tained at the expense of his monastery. Peter 
was forced to submit, and his fellow monks, 

' Walbran, Mem. of Fountains Abbey, i, 20. These, 
if the founders of Furness, must have been already 
settled for three or four years. 

' Stephen, both, as count and king, seems to have 
made a double grant to the monks settled at Furness 
and to the abbot and convent of Savigny ; Coucher, 
24, 122, 124; Farrer, op. cit. 301, 304; Jouiit. 
Brit. Arch. Assoc, vi, 419. The last document is 
printed by M. Delisle from the chartulary of Savigny 
and is translated in Round, Cd. of Doc. in Trance, 291. 
It belongs to c. 1 142, and explicitly grants the abbey 
of Furness to Savigny. 

'° Engl. Hist. Rev. viii, 669. 

" Coucher, 8-9. 

under their new abbot, Richard of Bayeux, a 
learned monk of Savigny, joined in the transfer 
of their house to the Cistercian order.''' 

Although the authority of Savigny could not, 
in the nature of things, last very long or retain 
much force,'' the decision had important results. 
The English abbey had to find its place in the 
Cistercian ranks. A dispute, finally settled in 
1232, arose with Waverley about the right of 
precedence in the two orders.'* As the middle 
ages wore on, our scanty authorities seem to 
show that Furness maintained the high position 
which it then secured." But the event of most 
immediate importance to Furness was the loss of 
all possible influence at Byland. The story of 
the first colony at Calder, of its failure, repulse 
at Furness, and settlement at Byland must be 
sought elsewhere. The prosperity of the new 
abbey caused the older to claim superiority. 
The claim was disregarded, and Furness was 
rejected in favour of Savigny. A general council 
deputed the case to Ailred of Rievaulx, who called 
a large assembly of abbots and monks. The 
immediate tie between Savigny and Byland was 

Meanwhile the abbey passed through troublous 
times in the north. In the days of King Stephen 

" Joum. Brit. Arch. Assoc, vi, 420-2 ; see also 
Coucher, 9. The date is about 1 150. 

" The abbot of Savigny appears as mediator {c. 
1208) in the dispute between Furness and Conishead 
{Lanes. Pipe R. 362), but after the twelfth century 
very little is heard of him. Mr. St. John Hope 
thinks he can identify ' the original camera for the 
father abbot of Savigny, or his deputy, when he held 
his annual visitation of the abbey ' {Abbey of St. Mary 
in Furnesi, 68), but as this is marked ' early fifteenth 
century ' on the plan, the suggestion is not very 

" Ann. Mon. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 311 ; Engl. Hist. Rev. 
viii, 641-2. The precedence of Waverley was main- 
tained in general chapters of the order of Citeaux and 
in the order of Savigny abroad ; the abbot of Furness 
was to have ' prioratum in tola generatione Elemosinae 
in Anglia et in generatione Saviniaci in Anglia tantum.' 
The general position of the Savigniac houses, retro- 
spective and independent in its nature, is defined in 
Maurique, Ann. Cistercienses, ii, 104 ; A. du Moustier, 
Neustria Pia, 684 (cf. Gir. Camb. Opera (Rolls Ser.), iv, 
114; Hist, de France, xiv, 5 18). When Boniface IX 
exempted the Cistercians in England from the juris- 
diction of the anti-papal abbot of Citeaux, he addressed 
the abbots of Furness and Waverley ; Cal. Pap. 
Letters, v, 358. 

" In the fifteenth century the abbots of Fountains 
and Byland were visitors in the province of York ; 
Foed. O. xi, 93. On the other hand, the abbot of 
Furness was one of the presidents at the general 
council of Combe in 1407 (Beck, Ann. Fum. 95) and 
visited Whalley in 1 41 8 as reformator of the order 
(ibid. 289). Again, in 1441 the abbots of Furness 
and other Cistercian abbeys appear as orators of the 
order, Proc. ofP.C. v, 151. 

'^ ^ourn. Brit. Arch. Assoc, vi, ^2'i-i\. ; Dugdale, 
Mon. V, 349-53- 



Furness was thrown violently into the conflict 
which made the whole of Northumbria and 
Cumbria a battle-ground between the scarcely 
defined nations. The sympathies of the monks 
themselves were as much Scottish as English. 
The Furness historian Jocelin wrote under the 
patronage of Scottish and Irish prelates the lives of 
northern saints. Pilgrims from Furness journeyed 
to their shrines." As late as 12 1 1 an abbot of 
Furness was consecrated at Melrose by a bishop 
of Down.^' And when Carlisle was handed over 
to King David of Scotland, Furness must early 
have been included in a sphere of influence 
which embraced the barony of Skipton and the 
honour of Lancaster itself." The abbey did 
not share in the peace which the Scottish king 
gave to more northern parts of England. In 
the year 1 138, some months before the battle of 
the Standard, David's nephew, William Fitz 
Duncan, invaded Yorkshire and cruelly wasted 
Craven, where his own honour of Skipton lay ; 
the lands owned there by the abbey of Furness 
were not spared.*" A few years later the monks 
suffered from the tyranny of a man whose strange 
career stands out in history in a light only too 
fitful and puzzling. Among the earliest disciples 
of the new abbey was a youth named Wimund. 
He was of humble birth, but a lad of ready mind 
and strong memory, of noble presence, and with 
a latent power of stirring speech. He began his 
career as a copyist for some monks, and entered 
the abbey of Furness, where he soon made his 
mark, and when it was needful to send men to 
manage the affairs of the abbey in the Isle of 
Man, Wimund was chosen as leader. He won 
such favour with the islanders that they begged 
for him as their bishop, and bishop he became. 
The exercise of authority revealed his powers of 
speech and leadership ; his desires and ambitions 
grew apace. Throwing aside his episcopal 
duties he collected a host, equipped a fleet, and 
sailed for the shores of Scotland. For long he 

" Reginald of Durham, Libellus (Surtees Sec), c. Ivi. 
Jocelin's life of St. Waltheof of Melrose illustrates 
the intimate connexion between Scottish and English 
houses of the order ; Acta Sanctorum, Aug. i, esp. 
26+ E, 276 A. 

" Chron. di Mailros (ed. Stevenson), ill. 

'" John of Hexham, Hist. (ed. Raine), 163; Robert- 
son, Sco//<2wa' aw^aVr htr Early Kings, 1,223; ^ee 'Poli- 
tical History,' 185. There was no break in the 
Scottish occupation of Carlisle from 1136-57. Abbot 
Peter was entrusted with papal letters to the king 
of Scots c. 1 14.9 ; Joum. Brit. Arck. Assoc, vi, 4.20. 
As late as 1 1 74 the abbey received letters of pro- 
tection from King William of Scotland, Lanes. 
Pipe R. 314. 

^ Ric. of Hexham, Hist. Reg. Stephani, 82 ; Whi ta- 
ker. Hist, of Craven, 13. This is interesting for 
the light it throws on early acquisitions of the 
abbey in Yorkshire. It was William's daughter 
Alicia de Rumeli who afterwards gave Borrowdale to 
the abbey. 


was a terror to the people, and a thorn in the 
side of King David. David at last handed over 
to his care the province of which the monastery 
of Furness was lord. The raids ceased, and 
Wimund ruled over the scene of his earlier and 
less worldly life with the power of a king and the- 
insolence of a bandit. The people rose, with 
the ready consent of the lords of the district ; 
and one day, as the warrior followed his host on 
foot, they burst out upon him. Blinded and 
mutilated ' pro pace regni Scottorum,' Wimund 
ended his life at Byland, an object of curiosity to 
visitors, confident and boastful to the end. 
'Even then he is said to have exclaimed, that if 
he had but the eye of a sparrow, his enemies 
would have small cause to rejoice over their 
work.' 21 

If we accept William of Newburgh's account 
of Wimund's youth,** we must date his mission 
to the Isle of Man soon after 1 1 34, when the 
important connexion between the abbey and 
island began. In that year King Olaf granted 
land in the island for the foundation of a daughter 
house. The grant had apparently first been 
made to Rievaulx, but was not acted upon, nor 
indeed was the abbey founded until a century 
later.*' In the same charter Olaf gave to the 
abbey the control of elections to the new 
bishopric of Sodor and Man ; and this curious 
privilege was exercised by Furness with papal 
approval, but with growing opposition until the 

" William of Newburgh, Chron. of Stephen, &c. 
(Rolls Ser.), i, 73-6. William, who saw him at 
Byland, brings Wimund into his story before the acces- 
sion of Malcolm IV in 1 1 5 3 ; his successor as bishop 
of Man was elected in 1 1 5 2 {Chron. Steph. [Rolls 
Ser.], iv, 167) ; Mr. Skene tries to identify him with 
Malcolm Macbeth (Fordun, Chron. Gentis Scotorum, 
ii, 428-30) ; but since Malcolm was imprisoned for 
twenty years before I 156 (Robertson, op. cit. i, 
219-21), and Carlisle was surrendered in 1 1 57, this is 
obviously impossible. Again, Ailred of Rievaulx, in his 
account of David, quoted by Fordun (op. cit. i, 242), 
distinguishes the bishop from Malcolm. There is no 
need to reject the story altogether, with Beck. 

" Both Robert of Torigni {Chron. [ed. Delisle], i, 
263) and Roger of Wendover {Flor. Hist. [ed. Engl. 
Hist. Soc.], ii, 250) seem to identify him with a monk 
of Savlgny. ' Primus autem ibi fuerat episcopus 
Winmundus, monachus Saviniensis, sed propter ejus 
importunitatem privatus fuit oculis et expulsus.' At 
this time Furness was still Savigniac ; but, on the 
other hand, the tradition about Wimund's career is by 
no means easy to understand, and recalls suspiciously 
the history of Donaldbane. It is impossible to re- 
concile the Newburgh version with the statement in 
the Chron. Fontif. Eccl. Ebor. : 'Winmundum quoque 
Insularum episcopum idem Thomas [d. 1 114] ordi- 
navit, qui ei professionem scriptam tradidit, quae sic 
incipit — Ego Winmundus sanctae eccksiae de Schith ' ; 
Hist. ofCh. of fork (ed. Raine), ii, 372. This state- 
ment, however, is also opposed to the account of 
King Olafs creation of a bishopric in 1 134. 

" Chron. Manniae, a. 1134 ; Ccucher, 11, 594. 


end of the thirteenth century.'* Wimund was 
hardly a happy choice, and the popular feeling 
which, we are told, caused his election was not 
always in such accord with the desires of the 
monastic patron. Early in the thirteenth cen- 
tury Nicholas of Argyll was elected by the clergy 
and people in spite of the loud protests of the 
monks, and his successor Nicholas of Meaux, the 
abbot of Furness himself, was never able to hold 
ground against the rival bishop Reginald."' The 
quarrels between Olaf II and his brother, king 
Reginald, no doubt produced this discord ; the 
bishopric was a pawn in the game played be- 
tween the two, a game in which the forces 
of north and south, of popes and kings, 
were called into play.*' In 1244 came a fresh 
papal confirmation of the right, but in 1247 
Laurence was elected without reference to Fur- 
ness, and although he was not accepted, his 
successor was appointed by the archbishop of 
Trondhjem.*' After the subjection of Man to 
the king of Scotland, the abbot of Furness made 
a vain attempt to recover his right of election. 
The king received him with smooth words, but 
secretly forbade the clergy and people of Man to 
receive any of his elect, under pain of severe 
punishment (1275).*' In the next century 
William Russell and John Duncan were elected 
by the islanders ; the former was abbot of 
Rushen and the abbot of Furness only interfered 
so far as to give his consent as father superior.*' 
During all this time the abbey maintained less 
contentious relations with the island. It was 
appropriator of the ancient churches, Kirk 
Michael and Kirk Maughold. In the isle the 
monks found a market ; in the abbey the kings 
and bishops could find a burying place.'" Once, 

'* Oliver, Monumenta, ii, i ; Beck, op. cit. 123 ; 
Olaf asked Thurstan of York to consecrate the first 
bishop (Oliver, op. cit. 4 ; Munch's edition of the 
Chron. Manniae (ed. Goss for Manx See), ii, 269 ; 
Raine, op. cit. iii, 58). Papal confirmation of elective 
power by Celestine III {Coucher, 667) about 11 94; 
Oliver, op. cit. ii, 21. 

'^ Munch, op. cit. ii, 272 ; Chron. Manniae, di. 1217 ; 
Beck, op. cit. 169 ; see below, note 232. 

" Reginald seems to have favoured Furness, as the 
friend of the pope and Henry III. He was to pay 
annual tribute at the abbey, after his surrender to the 
pope ; Oliver, op. cit. ii, 53 ; Cal. Pap. Letters, i, 69. 
Olaf oppressed the abbey ; Close R. 1 1 Hen. Ill, m. 

" Chron. Manniae, a. 1247; Munch, op. cit. ii, 315. 
The letter of Innocent IV in 1 244 is in Raine (op. 
cit. iii, 157). Archbp. Gray is to confirm election by 
the abbot and convent, with the consent of the archbp. 
of Trondhjem, and to consecrate the bishop elect, 
the voyage to Trondhjem being long and dangerous. 
'" Cont. mil. Nezvb. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 569. 
" Munch, op. cit. ii, 336. 

'" King Harald took the vessels and goods of the 
abbey under his protection, with use of mines, free 
transit, and three acres afud Balkvaldevath ad Burgag. 
faciendum. He also granted freedom from customs 

under Edward I, the abbot appears as warden 
of Man." 

The external history of the abbey from the 
accession of Henry II to the Dissolution is scanty. 
There is reason to believe that the monks 
availed themselves of the power of John during 
King Richard's absence to drive out the upstart 
family of Lancaster from the Furness fells ; '^'' 
and John, when he became king, bestowed his 
usual attentions of privilege and extortion upon 
the abbey." In 1205 the abbot incurred the 
large fine of 5 00 marks in a plea of the forest." 
The thirteenth century saw a quiet accumulation 
of privileges and estates. The Scottish wars 
brought a change. The abbot of Furness placed 
political before ecclesiastical questions in 1297, 
and received special protection in return for his 
help against the machinations and invasions of 
the Scots.'^ A few years later the abbey felt 
the effects of the general distress so much that it 
fell into debt, and a royal bailiff was appointed 
to apply the revenues of the house to the dis- 
charge of its obligations.'^ In 13 16 the Scots 
devastated Furness, and carried off much plunder 
and many captives." Six years later Robert 
Bruce made a more elaborate invasion. Cope- 

and tolls (a. 1246); Oliver, op. cit. ii, 77-80. 
Furness was the port for the island, and the abbey a 
stopping-place for the kings ; ibid, ii, 88. King 
Reginald was buried at the abbey in 1228 ; also 
bishops Richard (d. 1274) ^''^^ William Russell (d. 
1374). S^^ Chron. Manniae, passim, and Cont. Will. 
Neuib. (ii, 568). 

''Due. Lane. Anct. D., L.S. 112 (1299). Cf. 
Oliver, op. cit. ii, 134 ; Goss in Munch, op. cit. i, 
251. In Pope NicA. Tax. (fol. 309^, 329^) the 
abbey of Man appears under the archdeaconry of 

" The story in Reginald of Durham's Life of 
St. Cuthiert (Surtees Soc. 1 1 2) starts with the seizure 
of a long strip of land (35 miles by 4) by the fundator 
ecclesiae, against whom John the abbot appealed in 
vain both at home and in Rome. This is too vague 
to be worth much, but may have some reference to 
the grant to William of Lancaster by Earl William of 
Warenne. Anyhow, Earl John granted back Furness 
Fells to the abbey and forced the inhabitants to 
respect his arrangement; Cotuher, \\'i-\(). Gilbert 
son of Roger Fitz Reinfred retaliated in 1 194 by taking 
1,000 sheep ; and the abbot proffered 500 marks for 
a settlement ; Lanes. Pipe R. 78, 86. The Lancaster 
interest was restored by the final concord of 1 196, 
two or three years later. (See below note 165.) 

'' Rot. Claus. (Rec. Com.), 64^ ; Rot. Pat. (Rec. 
Com.), 159 ; cf. Cont. Will. Newb. ii, 513. 

" Lanes. Pipe R. 204. 

'* Pat. 25 Edw. I, m. 14. The share of Furness 
in the grant of a fifth shows that in 1299 the house 
was not very rich — 6zs.; see Vincent, Lanes. Lay 
Subsidies, i, 217. 

'* Pat. 33 Edw. I, m. 14. Probably the subsidies 
for which the abbot failed to account in 1295. 

" Chron. de Lanereost (ed. Stevenson), 233. Yet in 
this year the abbot went to the general chapter at 
Clteaux ; Close, 10 Edw. II, m. 28 a'. 



land and Cartmel were wasted, and Furness was 
only saved from a second disaster by the per- 
suasions of the abbot, who went out to meet the 
invader, and entertained him at the abbey." 
Next year the abbot was ordered to deliver the 
peel of Fouldrey to the sheriff of Lancaster, 
when required, and to cause it to be garrisoned 
and guarded." After this we hear of no more 
troubles of this sort. The fort was maintained 
in repair until the days of Abbot John of Bolton, 
who caused it to be thrown down. Local 
opinion held that its maintenance was necessary 
in virtue of Stephen's grant of Walney, and a 
protest resulted in the seizure of the island by 
the royal escheator. The officer was removed 
by Henry IV after an inquiry, but the peel was 

It is in casual official references and commands 
that the part played by the abbot of Furness best 
appears. As a member of the Cistercian order 
he is of course found at the general chapters, and 
as a visitor at daughter abbeys.** He assisted in 
negotiation with the king upon financial matters.*' 
He received special protection from the pope 
against tht- infringement of Cistercian liberties,*' 
and was entrusted with commissions by pope and 
archbishop.** The situation of his house made it a 
fit prison for offending monks. In i533Gawync 
Boradalle, a monk of Holm Cultram, accused of 
poisoning his abbot, was sent to Furness while it 

" Chron. de Lanercoit, 246. His followers did some 

" Close, 16 Edw. II, m. 14 ; cf. Pat. I Edw. Ill, 
pt. 3, m. 21, permission to crenellate house on 
' P'oulney.' 

'" Pal. of Lane. Chan. Misc. bdle. I, file 9, m. 7 
(4 Hen. IV^) ; Coucher, 215. Its repair and upkeep 
were considered important after the Dissolution ; 
L. and P. Hen. VIII, xii (2), 12 16. The surveyors 
of 29 Hen. V'lII say j^300 would be needed for its 
repair ; Rentals and Surv. R. 376. 

*' Close, 10 Edw. II, m. zi d. ; 6 Edw. Ill, 
m. 20 a'.; Cont. (Til/. Newt, ii, 565 ; Ca/. 0/ P.:/: 
Lf tiers, V, 346. 

" Cont. If^ill. Netvb. ii. 571, a. 1275. 

" The papal privile^a define extent of freedom 
from tithes {Coucher, 540, 549, 597) ; grant exemp- 
tion from procurations and provisions (ibid. 585, 602, 
669) ; forbid excommunication of benefactors and 
servants, and allow brethren of the house to bear 
witness in all causes to which the abbey is party (614). 
Honorius III ordered the archbishop of York to 
allow the monks a private chapel in the chapel at 
Hawkshead, and protected their vicars in Furness 
from crossing the sands in winter time to attend 
unnecessary chapters. In 1256 Alex. IV released 
the abbey from the attempts of Peter d'Aigueblanche 
to saddle it with the king's debts (545). This cannot 
refer to 1161, as Mr. Atkinson concludes; see 
Stubbs, Const. Hist, ii, 72. 

" e.g. In 1254 Innocent IV appointed the abbot 
conservator of the order of Scmpringham ; Cal. Pap. 
Letters, i, 301 ; see also iii, 93, 280 ; iv, 73. For 
abbot in diocese of York cf Testamenia Eboracensia 
(ed. Raine), iii, 314. 

was decided how to proceed against him. He 
was a masterful man and caused the abbot some 
trouble. Roger asks Cromwell how he shall 
keep him ; at present he is put in the prison at 
night, and in church during the day, where he 
' melleth with no person ' except the prior.*' 
The abbot was an important person at court 
when the king came north.*' He collected 
subsidies,*' assisted the royal officers and judges,*' 
and acted as arbitrator.*' He appears in the judicial 
records as the creditor of royal clerks and distant 
merchants.'" From early days his wool was sent 
from the fells of Lancashire and Yorkshire to the 
markets of the East Riding." King Edward III 
used the ships in his harbour." 

The power of Furness outside prepares us for 
the fulness of monastic authority within its 
borders. From the first it was privileged as a 
tenant of the honour of Lancaster. Stephen's 
foundation charter had granted the usual powers 
of jurisdiction ; Count John protected the abbey 
from defending its demesne lands elsewhere than 
in the court of the honour ; Earl William had 
granted freedom from tolls and customs in the 
port of Wissant ; this was extended by Henry II, 
and King Richard ' de rebus ad usos proprios ' 
to freedom in the whole kingdom, by land and 
sea. Henry III confirmed all the grants of his 

" L. and P. Hen. Fill, vi, 1557 ; cf. ibid. 287. 

" When Edw. I in 1 307 sent the great seal to the 
new chancellor from Carlisle, the abbot of Furness 
attached his seal to the purse in which it was 
inclosed ; Madox, Hist, of Exch. i, 74. In 1306 he 
was called to the Parliament of Carlisle ; Rot. Pari. 
i, 189. 

"e.g. clerical moiety, 1294 (Pat. 22 Edw. I, 
m. 8); tenth of 1295 (Pat. 24 Edw. I, m. 22). 
In 1294-5 the abbot's arrears as collector amounted 
to ^788 11/. o\d.; perhaps this is the debt referred 
to above. In 13 13 he was ordered to pay most of 
this to the executors of Isabella of Forz ; this he 
seems to have done, but, owing to a mistake in the 
allocation of the debt, he could not get a receipt. 
If his claim is correct, the episode is a curious 
instance of red tape ; Close, 7 Edw. II, m. 15; 

10 Edw. II, m. 21 ; 10 Edw. Ill, m. 27. 

" In 1272 the abbot was appointed first justice in 
eyre at Lancaster, but was excused. The others, 
however, ' omnia faciebant cum consilio dicti abbatis' ; 
Cont. fVill. Neuib. ii, 561. In 1357 he was appointed 
with three laymen to lay the decisions of the Common 
Council before the men of Lancaster at Wigan ; Pat. 

1 1 Edw. Ill, pt. 2, m. 3. As a baron he took oaths 
of fealty for the king (Pat. 4 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 5), 
and made arrest of found treasure ; L. and P. 
Hen. Fill, vii, 432. 

" Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. x, App. pt. iv, 228. 

" e.g. Close, 3 Edw. 1, m. 5 d. ; Duchy of Lane. 
Assize R. Class xxv, 3, Nos. 57, 238, 347. 

" Close, 9 Hen. Ill, m. 18. In 1390 a commission 
of inquiry was issued into wools shipped beyond the 
sea from Furness without licence and payment of 
customs and subsidies ; Pat. 14 Ric. II, pt. 2, 
m. 44 d. 

" Close, 7 Edw. Ill, pt. I, m. \6d. 



predecessors. The abbey paid dearly for this 

renewal of their charters and the grant of 

Michaell Fleming and his land ; but the price 

was not too high for the first explicit definition 

of its judicial rights.'' From the Fleming fief, 

as from its other Furness lands, the sheriff was to 

be excluded. The abbot's bailiff was conservator 

of the peace."* Before the end of the century 

custom had established complex immunities on 

the basis of these charters. In 1292 the justices 

at Lancaster heard an elaborate plea in answer 

to the writ of quo warranto}^ The abbot 

vindicated his right to the proceeds of assizes of 

bread and ale, to freedom from attending the 

courts of county and wapentake,"' to market and 

fair. He had rights of wreckage " and waif, 

could take cognizance of thieves and erect his 

gallows in Dalton. In two cases the claim of 

the abbot was not allowed. He was found to 

be liable to common fines and amercements ; 

and he was deprived of any control he had 

exercised in the sheriff's tourn. This had, 

according to the jurors, been first held in 1248,"* 

and as no sheriff entered Furness was held by 

the coroner. The coroners had apparently been 

somewhat lax in making records and accounts ; 

and this perhaps gave rise to the authority 

claimed as a right for the abbot's bailiff. Three 

years later the rights and proceeds of the tourn 

were handed over to Earl Edmund, and in 1336 

Earl Henry of Lancaster, with the royal assent, 

gave it formally to the abbey.'' The abbot now 

asserted that if he could hold a tourn, he could 

deal with cases of bloodshed. This privilege 

also was granted in 1344.^" A second obvious 

deduction from the right of sheriffs tourn was 

the grant of a local coroner. The royal officer 

was now so shorn of his powers, and the sands 

were so dangerous, that the local courts might 

be entrusted with the election of their own. So 

in 1377 Edward III consented to save many 

valuable lives by granting the right to appoint a 

coroner for the return of all royal writs. '^ A 

^ Lanes. Pipe R. 303-6, 309, 315-16; Cornier, 
29, 122-9. Henry II also granted freedom from 
tolls in certain Norman ports ; Vincent, Lanes. Lay 
Subs. 1, 3 8 ». The abbot gave 400 marks for the 
reneviral of the charters in 1 1 Hen. III. 

^ Coucher, 130; Chart. R. 11 Hen. Ill, pt. i, 
m. 20 ; Pat. 1 1 Hen. Ill, m. 2. 

" Coucher, 13 1-7. 

^ Coucher, 127. The abbey was careful to obtain 
freedom from suit for its lands outside Furness ; 
Coucher B. Add. MS. 33244, fol. 100^. 

" Except in Aldingham. 

"^ Coucher, 137. This is a late date ; Pollock and 
Maitland, Hist, of Engl. Law, \, 559. 

"' Coucher, 139, 143. The sheriff disregarded the 
grant, and was ordered by the king to desist ; ibid. 1 64. 

^ Coucher, 141, 148. 

°' Close, 1 1 Edw. Ill, pt. I, m. 29 ; Coucher, 
1 5 7-9. The petition of the abbey is in Rot. Pari. 
\, 436. The number of deaths by drowning is so 

formal return to a writ for the election of a 
coroner which is preserved °^ gives some idea 
of the attendance at a full court of the 
abbot. The lord of Kirkby was there, and the 
descendants of the Bardseys, Boltons, Boyvills 
and the rest who appear so often in the 
early deeds of the abbey. Up to our own days 
the lords of the manors of Dalton and Hawks- 
head have preserved the old forms. ^' In quieter 
times, indeed, suit at the abbey court was the 
most burdensome part of the service paid by the 
great tenants. The abbot was exempt from all 
feudal dues, except in Aldingham and Ulvers- 
ton,'* and did not press very hardly upon those 
below him. At the same time the more power- 
ful vassals often chafed against the constant 
presence of a lord who never died, and disputes 
between the abbey and its feudatories were 
frequent. In Ulverston as early as 1224 
William of Lancaster III maintained with 
success his right to erect gallows in Ulverston 
and to attend the superior court only by special 
summons.'" In 1292 it was found that the 
bailiffs of Ulverston and Aldingham could claim 
a court for the trial of assizes of bread and ale ; 
the lords of these manors also had control of 
thieves. In 1320 John of Harrington acquired 
freedom from all tolls for his men of the same 
manors except in the abbey demesne ; John's 
court, moreover, acquired jurisdiction over 
offences which did not involve the shedding of 
blood." Before Aldingham came to the Har- 
ringtons it had been the subject of several 
disputes as to the right of wardship between 
the abbot and the families of Fleming and 
Cancefield, who contested his claim to custody 
on the ground that they did not hold by military 
service. After two lawsuits the abbot's right was 
in 1290 fully recognized." In public opinion at 

great that ' pile deust prendre chescun Cristien.' On 
a similar plea the abbot asked for leave to appoint at- 
torneys to answer vexatious pleas in Yorkshire (141 1); 
Rot. Pari, iii, 657. The road over the sands was neces- 
sary, but not without danger. For the subject in general 
see Trans. Cumb. and JVestmld. Antij. Soc. vii, 15-16. 

" Coucher, 685 ; cf. p. 161. 

" Pal. Note Booh, iv, 13; Baines, Hist, of Lanes. 
iv, 637, 703. 

" This was decided 30 Edw. Ill ; Coucher, 153-7; 
cf. 2 1 7. Three years later a sumpter horse for the 
king's wars was given, but it was not to be a pre- 
cedent ; p. 176. In 21 Hen. Ill, Roger of Essex 
took the abbey lands into his hands after the abbot's 
death, but he was ordered to give them back in peace, 
except the barony of the Flemings ; Close, 2 1 
Hen. Ill, m. 1 5. In the borough of Lancaster the 
abbot's men were exempted from payment of tallage, 
33 Hen. Ill; Lanes. Inq. i, 176. When Duke 
John's daughter was married the abbot paid the aid 
for Aldingham and Ulverston ; Coucher, 224. 

'* Curia Regis R. 83, m. 18 <^. ; Coucher, 394. 

°' Coucher, 213, 386. 

" Coucher, 81, 464-72, 474, 483. But the abbey 
gave ;^40o to William of Cancefield for a settlement. 



lLa-.t, however, the victory of the convent was 
ill reality the price paid by William of Cance- 
field for the murder of a monk by one of his 
followers.** Hence in an assize two years later, 
the jury refused to regard the case of Aldingham 
as conclusive evidence of the general custom of 
the barony ; and the abbot failed to secure the 
custody of John of Kirkby.*' But here also 
the corporate body overcame the single person 
in the long run/"^ 

In the case of Pennington " and Kirkby ' * there 
was a further quarrel about services ; like the 
rest, their lords attended the abbot's court every 
three weeks and paid annual money service. 
But just as they wished to be free from the bur- 
dens of military tenure on the one hand, so on 
the other they fought against the customary 
dues which were probably paid in less important 
parts of Furness. 

All this was but a small part of the disputes 
to which the abbey was party. Some of these 
only illustrate the ordinary history of a great 
fief. We have the usual list of charges against 
persons who detained cattle and set up or 
broke down inclosures or failed to render their 
accounts. There are the usual suits and agree- 
ments about right of way, the usual endless 
series of quarrels about lands and houses. These 
were often complicated by acts of violence. 
Thus in 1338 the abbot accused Abbot Thomas 
of Jervaulx, together with some of his brethren 
and other evildoers, of breaking down his 
fences at Horton in Ribblesdale, and of carrying 
away goods to the value of ^^2,000. They had 
made a night assault with swords and staves, 
bows and arrows.'' And there are graver episodes 
in the domestic history of Furness, dark tales of 
murder and wanton assault. In 1282 brother Wil- 
liam Pykehod was accused of aiding in the mur- 
der of Walter Morsel, in Cumberland.'* The 
Scottish wars provided a good opportunity to 
settle old scores without the delay of courts. 
When William of Pennington returned from 
the wars in 131 5, he found his lands unfilled, 
because Abbot Cokesham had forcibly impounded 
the plough-beasts ; his tenants were too im- 
poverished to pay rent or service.'" Some 

"^ Coucher, 3 13. «' Ibid. 310-14. ™ Ibid. 3 1 5. 

" In 1 318 William of Pennington admitted the 
right of the abbot to the services of a reaper for 
each house, and a ploughman for each plough in the 
manor of Pennington. In 1329 this privilege was 
surrendered by the abbot ; Coucher, 491-5 ; De 
Banco R. 273, m. \\\ d. 

^ In 1420 the same was claimed in vain in Kirkby, 
together with the right of the abbot's bailiff to food 
and drink in the hospice of Kirkby at the lord's cost ; 
Duchy, of Lane. Grants in Boxes, box B, No. 143. 

" Coucher B. fol. 127/^-129^; Pat. 12 Edw. Ill, 
pt. 3,m. 16 a'. '* Pat. 10 Edw. I, m. ^d. 

■' Pat. 8 Edw. II, pt. I, m. 2 d.; 9 Edw. II, pt. i, 
m. 23 a'. Of course we do not know the other side 
in these cases. 

years later it was the abbot's turn. Alexander 
of Kirkby took advantage of the king's absence 
in 1336 to go and ride around the abbey by day 
and night plotting to kill the abbot. He and 
his companions seized provisions coming to the 
abbey, hunted without licence in the chase of 
Ireleth and Dalton, and carried off the deer ; 
men and servants were assaulted, ' so that the 
abbot dare not go out of the chace of the abbey 
nor can he find any to serve him.' " But per- 
haps most exciting is the arrest (1357) of 
Thomas of Bardsey in Ulverston. One day, 
when Roger Bell the bailiff went to perform his 
duties, Thomas seized and beat him. The hue 
and cry was raised ; and Roger Bell went with 
a company, including Abbot Alexander, to 
avenge the insult. Thomas took refuge in the 
house of his father Adam ; doors and windows 
were closed and barred. Bailiff, monks, and 
the rest made a grand assault, the door was 
forced, and Thomas carried off to gaol in 
Dalton. So in this case justice and might went 

As time went on the local importance of the 
abbey grew, and its domestic economy became 
more elaborate. An exhaustive writ of 13 
Henry VII, if it is not of a formal nature, shows 
that the abbot had availed himself of his 
judicial independence to take over the whole 
process of legal activity." There is but little 
to say about the more definitely religious side 
of monastic life. The relations between Furness 
and the neighbouring religious houses seem to 
have been as friendly as territorial interests 
would admit. The foundation of Conishead 
caused some opposition in early times, but a 
lasting settlement was arranged.'' In York- 
shire there were lawsuits with convents who shared 
the privileges or bordered upon the lands of the 
Lancashire abbey ; *" and the fishery in the 
Lune produced considerable friction with the 
priory of St. Mary at Lancaster.*^ The usual 
problems of tithes had to be settled,*^ and the 
position of the churches in the gift of the abbey 
decided.*' Its internal history is equally scanty. 
In the church a chaplain who celebrated 
daily for the souls of the faithful departed 

■«Pat. 10 Edw. Ill, m. 14 a'. 

" Coucher, 159-62. 

" Pal. of Lane. Writs de Quo Warranto, 
1 3 Hen. VII ; cf. Kuerden MS. 4to vol. fol. 60 
(Chet. Lib.). 

" See p. 141. 

*° e.g. Jervaulx (Coucher B. fol. 126^); prioress 
of St. Clement's York; 30 Edw. Ill (fol. iz^b) ; 
Sara, prioress of Ardington, 1241 (Anct. D., L. 477). 

*' See p. 170. 

** In spite of privilegia, they were sometimes paid 
by way of compromise ; e.g. for Newby and Clapham : 
Anct. D., L.S. 133. John of Eshton reserved the 
tithes due to Gargrave in Craven ; Coucher B. fol. 

^ Especially Dalton ; Coucher, 654, 699, &c. 


was supported by the proceeds of a messuage 
and six shops in Drogheda.'^ The occasional 
visit of a Scottish bishop would remind the 
monks in pleasanter fashion than did the ap- 
proach of the Scottish kings of their proximity 
to the northern kingdom.'" A more striking 
witness to the extra-national character of Furness 
is the long list of indulgences, granted by fifty- 
one Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Manx, as well as 
English bishops, to penitents who should make 
a pilgrimage to or endow the monastery or any 
of its churches and chapels.*' 

The charters of the abbey illustrate several 
interesting elements in the Furness economy. 
In the Yorkshire moors and dales the monastic 
granges, Winterburn the most important, were 
the centre of a busy pastoral life. The great 
slopes of Whernside and Ingleborough were 
dotted with sheep belonging to the abbey ; and 
many a powerful baron of Lancashire and 
Yorkshire gave them protection on their way 
from pasture to pasture, or shelter when sick or 
astray.*' Along the shore of Morecambe Bay 
vassals of Furness dug turf and dried salt.** In 
the fish booth at Beaumont Grange the abbot's 
bailiffs stored the fish dragged from the waters of 
the Lune. Beaumont Grange was, indeed, a 
large and important colony. We hear of an 
abbot's court for the neighbourhood.*' 

The monks shared the fishing with the 
priory of St. Mary at Lancaster. In St. 
Mary's pot the Lancaster monks had every third 
throw, elsewhere every other throw. When 
the priory passed to the convent of Syon, the 
latter house made over the whole fishing rights 
to Furness. A few years before the Dissolution 
the tenants of Skerton complained that Abbot 
Alexander had ' edified ' a fish-yard of such 
great height and strength that the water was 
stopped and did great damage to the town and 

In the Furness peninsula the monastic occu- 
pation made great changes. At the Dissolution 
the woods of High Furness fed three smithies, 
and its streams turned five water-mills." The 
abbot had his boats for fishing on Coniston Lake 
and Windermere from very early times.'^ He 

" Pat. 8 Edw. Ill, pt. 2, m. 12. 

'* Anct. D., L.S. 118. 

^ Coucher, 621-3. 

*' Coucher B. passim. ^ Ibid. 

*' Ibid. fol. 88. For forest rights cf. fol. 70-84. 

™ See Anct. D., L. 346, L.S. 128 (agreement of 
1460 with Abbess Elizabeth of Syon); Lanes. andChes. 
Rec. (ed. Selby), 268, 368 ; Lanes. Plead, ii, 241. 
From a petition of George Southworth L. and P. 
Hen. Fill, xii (l), 1093, it appears that the 'fishing 
of salmons ' had not been retained by the monks for 
their own use. 

" Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. R. 376 ; 
Trans. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. Soc. viii (i), p. 90 ; 
Jrch. Journ. iv, 88-105. 

'* Lanes. Final Coneords, i, 4-5. 

hunted and hawked on the hills between his 
manor of Hawkshead and the lands of Ulvers- 
ton ; at Hawkshead was a grange, half manor- 
house, half cell, with private chapel for the 
monks, and gallows for misguided tenants." 
In Furness High and Low were commons and 
woods kept for the maintenance of the monks' 
cattle." In the course of time these had been 
inclosed, like many other woods and pastures of 
the abbey, to the great annoyance of the 
tenantry.'" In Low Furness activities were 
still more varied ; here too mills and smithies 
were kept in the hands of the brethren. '° The 
abbey cattle were pastured on Angerton Moss.'' 
The Duddon and other streams provided fish. 
The little borough of Dalton was six times in 
the year the scene of a busy fair, which 
brought distant merchants (0 quicken trade and 
gave dues to the abbey.'* 

Few of the men who gave and took all these 
benefits have left more than their names. In 1 3 1 4 
Thomas, bishop of Whithern, granted forty days' 
indulgence to those who prayed for the soul of 
brother Elias of Egremont, the cellarer." In 
1349 John of Collesham desired reconciliation; 
he had left his order, because he had been 
refused leave to visit Rome in the jubilee year.^"" 
Fortunately our knowledge of the tenantry is 
more definite. The isolation of Furness, to- 
gether with the supremacy of the abbey, gave 
that independence of tenure which has been 
so characteristic of the district. The villeins 
rose out of their servile condition easily ; ^"^ and 
early in the sixteenth century the customs of 
High and Low Furness could be put down 
definitely in writing.^"^ Apart from the large 
freeholders who only paid suit and annual 
services, with no tithes, the tenants were cus- 
tomary, holding by tenant-right. The only 
copyholders seem to have been the burgesses of 
Dalton, who paid a relief of 31. \d. on the bur- 
gage and provided six men for the defence of 
the abbey.'"' The customary tenants agreed 
with Queen Elizabeth to pay a relief equal to 
two years' rent. This was perhaps traditional, 
but the usual payment had only been the formal 

^ Coueher, ill; Trans. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. 
Soe. xi (i), 7-16. 

'^ Rentals and Surv. R. 376. Their annual value 
was jf39 13/. ^d. 

'* Lanes. Plead, i, 69. Abbot Alexander kept deer 
where none had been before. 

^ Coueher, 249-61. " Ibid. 326, 331. 

"' By grant of Hen. Ill ; Coucher, 131, 149. 

"Anct. D., L.S. 118. 

™ Cal. Pap. Letters, iii, 355. 

"" Quitclaims of nativi to the abbey in Duchy of 
Lane. Cart. Misc. m. 53, pp. 70, 68, 94 ; Anct. D., L. 
456, 457 ; Coucher B. fol. 30^, 68-9. 

"^ West, Jntiq. oj Furness, 149, 599. 

'"'West, op. cit. (23-4. Copyholders and bur- 
gage tenants in Dalton seem to be regarded as 




' God's penny.' They provided fifty-four men."^ 
The customs of tenure were kept up by tradition 
and proven by inquest. Old men in the days of 
Elizabeth, when John Brograve, the attorney- 
general of the duchy, sought (1582) to restore 
the old provisions for which the commissioners 
had substituted a small annual rent, could re- 
member the picturesque days of their childhood. 
However burdensome feudal obligations were in 
neighbouring districts,"" the abbey repaid its 
sustenance with many privileges. Robert Wayles 
told how he used to visit a kinsman who was a 
yeoman ^"^ of the convent kitchen, and saw 
tenants come with twenty or thirty horses to 
take away the weekly barrels of beer, sixty in 
all, each containing ten gallons, and with each 
barrel went a dozen loaves. He also saw thirty 
or forty carts, called corops, which took away 
dung to manure the tenants' fields in Newbarns 
and Hawcoat ; and another witness could re- 
member carting it to the fields of a certain 
widow. Robert used to visit his father-in-law's 
smithy at Kirkby, and remembered how clott 
iron, called livery iron, was brought to be melted 
for their ploughs by the tenants. It was asserted, 
too, that every tenant having a plough could 
send two persons to dine one day in every week 
from Martinmas till Pentecost. Children and 
labourers could go to the abbey for meat and 
drink ; one witness had been in the abbey 
school, which contained both a grammar and a 
song school. The tenants could send their 
children to this school, who were allowed to 
come into the hall every day, either to dinner or 
supper. Apt boys might be elected monks or to 
some office within the monastery. Perhaps it 
was from this school that the scholars, of whom 
we hear, went up to Oxford.'"' When, again, 
the dykes of VValney were broken by the sea, 
the abbot took his carts and men to renew them ; 
and any tenant could take wood for his necessi- 
ties, and gather whins and brakes for baking his 
oatmeal cakes. The abbey also had special 
clients. Thirteen poor men were kept as alms- 
men ; and every year bread and meat were 
given at the gates. In Roger Pele's rental eight 
widows appear, who have the food of eight 
monks, amounting to ;{^I2 a year.'"* Sometimes 
a bargain was struck. More than one grant was 

''* West, op. cit. 98. The commissioners give the 
number of abbey tenants in Lancashire, Yorkshire, and 
Cumberland, ready to serve the king, ' having harness 
jack, coat of fence with long spears, bows and other 
wcipons,' in readiness as i ,2 5 8, including 400 horsemen. 

"" The Gressoms are often referred to in the L. and 
P. Hen. rill {see e.g. xi, 124.6; and xii (i), 4.78). 

"* West, op. cit. App. viii. 

'" Abbot Roger's rental accounts for ^10 for 
Oxford scholars, and £^ ' pro contribucionibus collegii 
nostri apud Oxforth.' (The college was St. Bernard's, 
now St. John's.) See also Beck, op. cit. 279. 

"" Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 9, No. 73 ; cf. ya/or 
Eccl V, 270. 

given in return for a robe in time of need.'"* 
Alan, the son of the parson of Clapham, gave 
two oxgangs of land to the abbey in return for a 
promise to receive him as a monk if sickness or 
old age were to drive him to this course. In 
the meantime he was to be received at the abbey 
or its granges, and provided with food and drink 
for himself and his horse sicut unus eorum convenus. 
While he was in the world he was to receive 
twice a year at Winterburn a measure of corn. 
In addition to all this, the abbey was to receive 
one of his sons as servant, and if he desired it 
and was worthy, as a lay brother."" In 1264 
Adam of Merton made a similar bargain full of 
curious details.'" 

During the fifteenth century the abbey took 
no share in public affairs. It was still in the 
days of Henry VII the most important place in 
north Lancashire, and the Earl of Lincoln thought 
its port a suitable landing-place in 1487. He 
had little success, and it was probably at this 
time that Innocent VIII's bull against insurrec- 
tion was ordered to be read in the abbey."^ 
As time went on, the prestige of the abbey seems 
to decline. There are complaints of cruel and 
malicious attacks, while on the other side are 
suspicious acts of favouritism and intrigue, which 
are the customary signs of weakness. The ten- 
dency becomes marked in the abbacy of Alex- 
ander Banke, who seems to have descended to 
the shelter of legal expedients. The privileges 
of the abbey did not escape question in the 
larger world. In 1530 William Tunstall gave 
information that the abbot had kept back ;^250 
of a subsidy which he had collected, and also 
spoiled the king of harbour dues and the rents of 
the sherifTs tourn.'" Disputes arose with the 
local gentry."^ Since the gentry were becoming 

"* e.g. Geoffrey de Boulton gets two cows and six 
ells of russet cloth ' in mea maxima necessitate.' 
(Coucher B. fol. 54). "» Ibid. fol. 1 14. 

'" Anct. D., L. 445. 'Abbas et conventus fumes 
concesserunt Ade de Merton victum et vesticum in 
hac forma, videlicet unam panem conventualem et 
unam lagcnam bone cervisie per diem cum moram 
fecerit in Abbatia, et si mittatur ad aliquam Grangiam 
habebit eundcm cibum et potum que habent conversi 
cum quibus commoratur. Dabunt etiam eidem unam 
robam annuatim ad Natalc domini qualem dant pueris 
de hospicio, et duo paria pannorum lineorum et tot- 
idem paria caligarum et sufficientem calciaturam. Ad 
hec invenient ei pannos ad lectum suum, scilicet duo 
lintheamina et duos chalonesquo advixerit ; ita dum- 
taxat quod quociens novos reciperit, reddat cellarario 
veteres incontinenter.' 

'" Raine, Historians of York, iii, 337. In 1483 the 
abbot lent Richard III ^(^loo, perhaps 'to meet, in 
part, the expenses of Richard's second coronation at 
York.' Beck, op. cit. 298. 

'" Lanes. Plead, i, 195 ; Beck, op. cit. 311. 

'" e.g. with Christopher Bardsey, the earl of Derby's 
under-steward at Aldingham {Lanes. Plead, i, 93 sqq. 
(1521-2)). Turbary dispute at Stalmine accom- 
panied by violence (ibid, ii, 74). 


independent, and the influence of the new no- 
bility was exerted everywhere, the monasteries 
had resort to favour. Annuities were paid to 
the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, to the Earl 
of Wiltshire, to Cromwell both as Master of 
the Rolls and Master Secretary, to the chan- 
cellor of the Duchy, to Sir Thomas Wharton, 
and by royal mandate to Mr. Thomas Holcroft."" 
In several pleadings it was asserted that the abbot 
or his monks had connived to defeat or thwart 
justice. There are ugly stories how a murderer 
had been pardoned at the instance of his kinsman 
the abbot ; ^^^ how valuable deeds were kept from 
the owners in a locked casket;"' how a monk, 
Hugh Brown, broke open a chest which con- 
tained the common seal of the abbey and sealed 
blank parchments upon which leases were after- 
wards made of its Yorkshire manors to the Earl 
of Cumberland."* This last episode, which was 
afterwards admitted by Hugh Brown in 1542, 
occurred just after the death of Alexander. 
After robbing the dead abbot's bedroom of gold 
and silver, he and others got a smith to break 
open the chest where the seal was. Afterwards 
the Earl of Cumberland sent to procure the con- 
firmation of the lease from Roger Pele and the 
convent. The earl affirmed that he had got it 
from Alexander on his death-bed ; but the plea was 
unavailing. The forgers were imprisoned, and 
the lease disallowed. The case throws light 
upon the inner and outer relations of the abbey 
just before the Dissolution, and it is not surpris- 
ing that it shared in the contempt with which 
the new gentry and officials regarded spiritual 
dignities."' Roger Pele, the last abbot, adopted 

"'The sums ranged from £10 to 40/., and are 
given in Roger's Rental ; ptfo. 9, No. 73. They 
do not appear in the Valor Eccl., which is otherwise 
practically identical. The Survey also shows that 
such men as the Marquis of Dorset and the Earl of 
Derby were now titular tenants of the abbey and paid 
quitrents; Rentals and Surv. R. 376. Although Roger 
puts down the Master of the Rolls and the Secretary 
separately, the amounts agree with the different sums 
given to Cromwell in 1533 ; L. and P. Hen. FIII,y\, 
(I'liZ, 841. Cf. xi, p. 597. The previous annuity had 
been ^4, now raised to £6 ly. \d., with ^^lo as a 
gift in ready money. 

"° Beck, op. cit. 314, 315. 

™ Lanes. Plead. 11 6-1 18. 

"' Beck, App. Izxxvii-xciii. The invalid lease ap- 
parently granted the stewardship of Winterburn, and 
in the Valor and Rental he receives £6 ' pro exer- 
cendo officium senescalli ' ; but the title was also a 
matter of dispute between the Earls of Derby and 
Northumberland ; Corres, of Edward, Third Earl of 
Derby (Chet. Soc), 115, 127. The Earl of Cumber- 
land claimed the premises after the Dissolution, and 
got a promise of confirmation. According to a letter 
of Southwell he wanted Winterburn for less than it 
was worth ; L. and P. Hen. Fill, xii (2), 206, 279. 
The suit of 1542 went against him. 

"' The abbot was one of the executors of Lord 
Monteagle, and visited Hornby Castle during the 

the futile policy of keeping up a constant corre- 
spondence with Thomas Cromwell. In 1528 
his predecessor had incurred the blame of Wolsey 
for negligence in attending to the minister's 
commands,^^" and there is evidence that Alex- 
ander's tenure of office was by no means smooth 
or even unbroken.^'^ Roger secured himself by 
paying ;^200 for his admission and granting Crom- 
well a yearly pension. His good relations with the 
powerful secretary were needed to protect him from 
recalcitrant neighbours and importunate nobles.^^^ 
One Seton, farmer of Aldingham church, 
entered information against the abbot for restor- 
ing certain wines brought to Furness by an 
Ipswich merchant.^^' * I give him yearly £6 by 
patent that he should be gentle to me and our 
monastery ; yet he goes daily about to do us 
displeasure.' '^* The Earl of Cumberland clam- 
oured for the lordship of Winterburn.^^^ The 
deputy of Ireland forbad the Irish tenantry to 
pay their rents to the monastic officers,^^" the 
king was induced to desire letters of presentation 
to the parsonage of Hawkshead. This last 
demand caused much uneasiness. Hawkshead, 
the abbot wrote, had never been a separate bene- 
fice, and was the peculiar property of the abbey ; 
presentation would mean the undoing of the 
abbey, which would be compelled to give up 
hospitality. Roger sent a special present to 
Cromwell in order to be excused to the king.^^' 

break up of the establishment. ' My lord of Furness 
was here with all his pontifical staff. Only thirty 
priests were needed, but above eighty came — /^d. and 
his dinner to each' ; L. and P. Hen. VIII, iv (i), 


"" Wolsey desired the stewardship of the abbey for 
the young Earl of Derby, who was in his retinue ; 
Beck, op. cit. 311 ; L. and P. Hen. VIII, iv (2), 

'"In 1516 the auditor of the apostolic chamber 
issued a decree on behalf of John Dalton, abbot of 
Furness, and certain monks named who had been 
thrown into prison by Alexander during the progress 
of a suit touching his rights to the monastery ; L. and 
P. Hen. VIII (2), ii, p. 1529. In the Bardsey case, 
on the other hand, reference is made to the time 
' when plaintiff was most cruelly and unjustly expelled ' 
from the abbey ; Lanes. Plead, i, 95. The dispute 
seems to have been carried on by Roger Pele also ; 
Beck, op. cit. 315 note. 

'** Others made use of them also ; L. and P. Hen. 
VIII, V, 740. 

'" L. and P. Hen. VIII, v, 849 ; viii, 1 1 32 ; x, 5 1. 

^'* Ibid, viii, 1132 ; the pension does not appear in 
the rental. 

"Mbid. vi, 632. 

"° Ibid, viii, 1 132. In 1420 the abbey petitioned 
Martin V to allow exchange for Irish and Manx lands, 
which ' sterilia et inutilia existunt' (Beck, op. cit. 290), 
but no exchange was ever made. 

"'i. and P. Hen. VIII, vii, 520, 531. Is this 
another example of a chapel served by the regular 
clergy ? As for the plea of poverty Roger says that his 
predecessor had left the abbey in great debt to the 
executors of Sir William Compton ; ibid, x, 51. 



Such a man could not stand a storm. His 
servility lost him the respect of his brethren and 
the reverence of his tenants. The letters about 
the Borradalle case show that he was prepared to 
betray the visitors of the order to the centralizing 
policy of Cromwell. ^^ The monks were in- 
subordinate ; Roger writes that he had been 
forced to put one, Dan Richard Banke, in prison.'-' 
It is suggestive that Doctors Legh and Layton 
singled him out for their unpleasant criticism.'^ 
The district of Furness, moreover, was ablaze with 
the ardour of the Pilgrimage of Grace.''' Robert 
Legate, a friar who had been put into the 
monastery by the visitors to read and preach to 
the brethren, sent accounts of the violent speech 
and deeds which led to the surrender of the 
house. When the northern insurrection broke 
out, 3,000 men collected from the fells to the 
north and east of the abbey."' Most of them 
desired to get rid of real feudal grievances,"' but 
they also gave expression to the feeling against 
the royal supremacy. Several of the monks 
desired to join the commons, and a coarse pro- 
phecy was current among them : ' In England 
shall be slain the decorat Rose in his mother's 
belly,' or in other words, ' Your Grace shall die 
by the hands of priests, for their Church is your 
mother.'"* During the last months of 1536 
words became more definite. John Broughton 
laid a wager with Legate that in three years all 
would be changed, and the new laws annulled. 
The bishop of Rome, he said, was unjustly put 
down."' Henry Salley, when overcome with 
ale, used to say that no secular knave should be 
head of the church ; he was afterwards clapped 
into prison at Lancaster."* And Christoplier 
Masrudder even heard one of the brethren say 
that the king was not right heir to the crown, 
for his father came in by the sword."' Legate 
could not get a hearing for his lectures of Holy 
Scripture."' On All Hallows' Eve the crisis 
came. Four brethren, Michael Hammerton, 
the cellarer, Christopher Brown, the master of 
the fells, William Rigge, and the plain-spoken 
Broughton had been sent to the rebels. They 
took with them over ;^20, came to terms, and 
returned to Dalton for recruits. The captain of 
the rebels, a man named Gilpin, was to meet the 
tenants at Furness. The monks advised their 
men to agree as they had done. Alexander 
Richardson, the bailiff of Dalton, testified that 

'^' L. and P. Hen. Fill, vi, 1557. 

'" Ibid, vi, 78;. "' Ibid. I, 364. 

"'In 1533 a book entitled Unio Dissidentium was 
being studied by the parish priest of Dalton. Legate 
found ^^'iUiam Rede construing the Parafhroses of 
Erasmus to his scholars, and dismissed him from keep- 
ing school in Dalton (ibid, vi, 287 ; xii (l), 842). 

'" Corres. of Earlof Derby (Chet. Soc. New Ser.), 49. 

'^ L. and P. Hen. J'llI, xi, 1 246. 

•"Ibid, xii (I), S4 1. "^Ihidi. 

"' Ibid. 841 ; cf. 840, 1089. '" Ibid. 

'" Ibid. 

the monks encouraged the commons, and urged 
that now or never was the time-, 

for if they sit down, both you and Holy Church is 
undone ; and if they lack company, we will go with 
them, hve and die with them to defend their most 
godly pilgrimage. 

When arguments failed, threats were used. 
Brian Garner, the prior, and a fellow monk 
commanded the tenants to meet the commons in 
their best array, on pain of death and the pulling 
down of their houses. The vicar of Dalton fled 
into the woods to escape them. The abbot also 
fled. He had tried in vain to keep a middle 
course. When John Broughton uttered the 
prophecy about the king, he had said, ' Dan 
John, this is a marvellous and a dangerous word.' 
Three or four days afterwards he told the 
brethren that he could not stay there till the 
rebels came, or it would undo both himself 
and them. So on the eve of All Saints he and 
William Flitton, the deputy steward, put out in 
a little boat and came to Lancaster. Thence 
they escaped to the Earl of Derby at Lathom. 
According to Christopher Masrudder, he bade 
the monks ere he departed do their best for the 
commons."' The danger from the rebels did 
not last long,'*" but the abbot's difliculties grew 
greater rather than less. He is said to have 
written to his brethren from Lathom that he 
had taken a way to be sure both from king and 
commons. This may have seemed easy at 
Lathom, but it was impossible at Furness. 
When Roger returned he was met with a re- 
quest to sign certain articles. What these were 
is not stated, but perhaps something may be 
gathered from the words of John Green, spoken 
on the Friday after St. Martin's Day, that the 
king should never make them an abbot, but they 
would choose their own.'*' The monks shared 
in the hopes nursed by the commons during this 
winter. Dr. Dakyn, the vicar-general of Rich- 
mond, hoped to get money from Furness.'*^ The 
speech of the brethren was as unguarded as ever; 
only three took the king's part, and the abbot 
was so fearful that he 'durst not go to the 
church this winter alone before day.' '*' The 
royal officers began to arrive on the scene, and 
Roger in alarm insisted upon a strict observance 
of the statutes and of the visitors' injunctions. 
This was on the first Sunday in Lent. Three 
weeks later he heard that either Legate or the 
bailiff of Dalton had put in letters of complaint.'" 
The commissioners, the Earls of Derby and 
Sussex, came to the abbey about the middle of 

"' Ibid, xii (I), 652 (ii), 840-2 ; Corres. of Earl of 
Derby, 4.^-6 ; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. vi, 445. 

"" See above, p. 43. 

'" L. and P. Hen. Fill, xii (i), 652, 841. 

'" Ibid, xii (l), 914, 965. "» Ibid. 841. 

'" The bailifPs testimony is dated 14 March, i 537, 
but there must have been information given before 



March,"' but they could learn very little. On 
the previous Sunday Roger had commanded the 
brethren in the chapter-house to say nothing, 
and threatened to put the younger men in prison 
if they were found telling anything outside."" 
Even the friar seems to have been silent. On 
1 3 March the bailiff met him on the road between 
Furness and Dalton, and asked what would 
happen to the monk Salley, now my lords were 
come. Legate replied, ' Nothing ; I will say 
nothing.'"' On 21 March Sussex wrote that 
the monks of Furness had been as bad as any 
other ; the king desired that the whole truth 
about their disloyalty should be sought out ; but 
on 10 April Sussex replied that only two had 
been committed to Lancaster, ' which was all we 
could find faulty.' "* 

Still the general impression was too strong, 
and some damaging depositions had been made. 
The abbot saw that he could not hold out much 
longer. If the brethren had been united, and 
their head less selfish and weak, the abbey might 
have lasted till the suppression of the great 
houses, since nearly all the evidence referred to 
acts and speech done before the general pardon 
of the previous autumn. Sussex, in the letter 
just quoted, admits that there seemed no like- 
lihood of finding anything further. But he knew 
with whom he had to deal, and found a way of 
getting rid of the monks, so that the abbey in 
his own words ' might be at your gracious 
pleasure.' ^*° The abbot was brought to Whalley. 
After a futile examination, Sussex himself 
' assayed ' Roger. Would he be content to sur- 
render his house ? The abbot was very facile, 
and thought the convent would not be hard to 
manage.^** So, on 5 April, he signed his surren- 
der."^ Three gentlemen were sent off immedi- 
ately to take possession. Later in the evening 
the justice, Mr. Fitzherbert, came, approved of 
the deed, and attested it ; he also drew up a formal 
surrender, which was signed four days later by 
abbot, prior, and twenty-eight monks."* The 
earl then made the full examination which has 
given us the history of the last few months. 

"^ They were at Furness at the time of the bailiff's 

"' L. and P. Hen. Fill, xii (l), 842. According to 
Legate the abbot had pursued the same policy before 
the visitors came to the abbey : some of the monies 
admitted to him that ' they did sigh every day in their 
haste because they toke so much upon their conscience,' 
saying that if all had confessed what they were bound 
to do they should have been a sorry house ; ibid. 841. 

"' Salley had repeated his saying about ' lay knaves' 
a fortnight before ; this was one of the very few 
chiiges post indu/gentiam. He confessed on 23 March, 
and was sent to Lancaster ; ibid, xii (l), 652, 841, 
1089. Salley complained of Legate's preaching, so 
the friar was rather considerate in his case. 

"8 Ibid, xii (I), 69s, 840. '" Ibid. 380. "» Ibid. 

"' Ibid. ; Wright, SufiJ>ression of Mm. 153-4. 

'" Dep. Keeper's Rep. viii, App. ii, 21. 

King Henry was much relieved, and at once 
made arrangements for the government of the 
barony and the dismissal of the monks. The 
conduct of affairs at the abbey was left to Sussex' 
discretion, since His Majesty knew he would both 
look to the king's profit, ' and yet rid the said 
monks in such honest sort as all parties shall be 
therewith content.' "' Sir Marmaduke Tunstall 
was appointed deputy to the Lord Privy Seal in 
the Lonsdale district, with instructions to execute 
justice, exact lawful payments, and reconcile the 
tenants to the rule of the royal landlord."* At 
the end of the year Sir John Lamplugh was sent 
to the abbey with similar commands."" On 
23 June Robert Southwell arrived at Furness to 
see the monks off the premises. He found them 
discontented and excited. Sussex had made large 
promises, but fixed nothing ; and the brethren 
thought 0.0s. and their ' capacities ' too little. 
Southwell speaks of them with the utmost con- 
tempt. None of them seem to have availed 
themselves of the permission to join other monas- 
teries, and the commissioner had to threaten 
them with this fate before he could get them to 
submit quietly. They complained that they 
had been compelled to surrender ; so Southwell 
had a document prepared which was read in the 
hall before 500 persons, and was then signed by 
monks and people. When he said that the king 
desired them to join other houses, they eagerly 
confessed their unworthiness to retain their habit, 
and went away with 40T. and their permits. 
Southwell says he could give them no less, since 
' the traitors of Whalley ' had the same, but he 
consoles himself and Cromwell with the reflection 
that most of it would be spent in the purchase 
of their secular weeds, without which he would 
not suffer them to depart. Precautions were 
taken that they should not wander over the 
moors to Shap, where a rebellious bill had been 
nailed upon the abbey door ; as a last word, 
Southwell reminded them of some 'goodly ex- 
periments that hangeth on each side of York, 
some in rochets, and some in cowls.' So they 
departed with much chatter and grumbling, the 
victims of their own indecision and selfishness, of 
an unworthy abbot, and a spying friar. They 
were content to have infirmity to be their cause, 
but in no case would have it read in the hall 
before their neighbours. The writer wishes 
Cromwell could have heard it all. 

After I denied them their liberty, and would assign 
them to religion, I never heard written nor spoken of 
religion that was worst, to be worse than they them- 
selves were content to confess. I have not seen in 
my life such gentle companions ; it were great pity if 
such goodly possessions should not be assigned out for 
the pasturing of such blessed carcasses.'" 

'" L. and P. Hen. VIII, xii (i), 896. 

'** Ibid. 881. '"Ibid. (2), 1216. 

"° Ibid. 205 ; Beck, /inn. Fumes. 356-60. 



Roger Pele became parson of Dalton ; and 
Cromwell was still mean enough to receive his 
petty gifts.'" 

Southwell \alued the temporal possessions of 
the abbey ; then, after the lead had been melted 
down, and the church and steeple dismantled, 
the survey of Furness Fells was completed. All 
the cattle were sold ; and traders came from all 
parts of the south to buy in this fruitful isle. 
The inhabitants, however, were given the pre- 
ference for six score milch neat. Throughout 
Southwell is kindly to the tenants. They were 
loyal, he says, and should not suffer for any 
gentleman's pleasure. He asks for allotments 
for the beadsmen, and puts in a special plea 
for seventy-two tall fellows who occupied 
Beaumont Grange."* Perhaps in the many 
small grants of the next few years we may 
trace the effects of his solicitude."' The later 
history of the abbey is bound up with the 
general history of Furness, and must be sought 

The original grant of Stephen to the abbey 
contained 20 J plough-lands."' In 1200 it has 
been estimated that the monks owned 37 plough- 
lands, or some 2,000 acres annually under wheat 
and other crops."'' The difference is due to the 
grants made by Robert de Boyville of Kirksanton 
and Horrum in Copeland (before 11 53); by 
Godard de Boyville, of a plough-land in Foss in 
the same district ; "^ by Waltheofson of Edmund, 
of Newby ; by William Greindorge, of Winter- 
burn ; and by Richard de Morvill and Avicia his 
wife, of Selside (before 11 go).'** During this 
period also the abbey made its well-known agree- 
ment with the lords of Ulverston for the partition 

'" L. and P. Hen. Fill, xiii (i), 67 ; Beck, op. cit. 
366. The living was given in lieu of a pension of 
100 marks {L. and P. Hen. Fill, (xiii (i), p. 583). 

"«Z. and P. loc. cit. 

'» Ibid, xiii (l), pp. 587-8. 

'"' See Beck, 361-6 ; West, 137, md passim. The 
possessions were generally annexed to the Duchy in 
32 Hen. VIII {L. and P. xv, 498). Cromwell had got 
a grant of the monastery with pastures, sheep-cotes, 
fisheries, &c. in the neighbourhood (March, 3 i Hen. 
VIII) ; XV, p. 566. 

'" Lanes. Inq. i, 84 ; Lanes, and Ckes. Antiq. Soc. 
Tn:n.t. xviii. This excludes the grant near Lan- 

'*^ Lanes. Pipe R. 125 ; of. ako p. 87 and addenda 
p. vi. In 1298 the Furness land held in free alms was 
calculated as 12 plough-lands ; Lanes. Inq. i, 292. In 
1292 the II granges in Furness contained loj 
plough-lands {Coucher, 634). 

'" Coueher, 591-4 ; Anct. D., L. 462. 

'" Ccucher, 129, 662, 666 ; Coucher B. fol. no- 
il 3 for Newby charters. Waltheof gave a plough- 
land, and it was confirmed by Richard de Morville 
and Avicia his wife. Avicia got 80 marks in silver. 
The other half of Newby was given by W.'s daughter 
and her husband Robert de Boyvill, fol. i io3, 113; 
Anct. D., L. 475 ; the Selside charters in B. fol. 123 ; 
the Winterbum charters, ibid. fol. 132, sqq. 


of Furness Fells."' They became immediate 
lords of the land between the lakes of Coniston 
and Windermere, and had fishing rights in the 
waters ; in later days Hawkshead manor was the 
centre of monastic rule in this district. Ford- 
bottle, Crivelton, and Roos were received from 
Michael le Fleming in exchange for Bardsey ; "' 
in Amounderness Robert of Stalmine gave a 
plough-land which became the nucleus of Stalmine 
Grange ; ^^ in Copeland, William, the nephew 
of David of Scotland, and Ranulf Meschin, earl 
of Chester, endowed Calder ; and King Olaf 
gave the abbey an important position in the Isle 
of Man.'^ Early in the thirteenth century 
Alicia de Rumeli, daughter of William Fitz 
Duncan, gave all Borrowdale with extensive 
rights and free transit through the barony of 
Allerdale and Copeland.'^' Walter de Lacy, 
lord of Meath, made a grant in 1234 of land 
and rights in Meath. This grant also was the 
origin of a valuable property."" King Henry III, 
in the eleventh year of his reign, made the 
abbot lord of all Furness by giving him the 
homage of Michael le Fleming for ^^lo a year."' 

'" The division of the fells was made about 1 163 
between the abbot and William of Lancaster I ; Lanes. 
Pipe R. 310. William badlands both in Ulverston 
and the fells, as his grants to Conishead and the re- 
grants to and by Gilbert Fitz Reinfred show (ibid. 
356, 390, 399, 402) ; but it is uncertain when the 
abbey gave up direct control of the manor. Mr. 
Farrcr thinks the Lancaster family held it ' from the 
reign of King Stephen, if not earlier' (cf. Lanes, and 
Ches. Antiq. Soe. Trans, xviii) ; but there is a great deal 
to be said for the older view, that it was first granted 
to Gilbert and his wife in 7 Ric. I ; cf. Noiit. Cest. ii, 
534. Before 1196 there were disputes about the 
fells, which at one time were all recovered by the 
abbey (see above, note 32). No mention is made of 
Ulverston, except as abbey property ; cf. Coueher, 662. 
In the elaborate settlement of 1196 {Lanes. Final 
Cmeords i, 4) the service of 20/. for the fells is re- 
peated from the earlier arrangement, and 10/. added 
for Ulverston. Moreover, this was the later monastic 
interpretation, levata fuit finis de excambio villae de 
Ulverston eum parte itiam montanorum, for forest rights 
in the other fells, quitclaim of Newby, and service ; 
Coucher, 345 ; cf. 7. The plea about the gallows 
in the suit with Gilbert's son William (394) also 
tends in this direction (see above). 

"* Lanes. Pipe R. 317. Another dispute led to the 
transference of Foss and Urswick Parva to Michael ; 

'" Coucher B. fol. 90 ; Lanes. Inq. i, 47 (1160- 
70)- '"See above, 117. 

'" Anct. D., L.S. 132; Lanes. Pipe R. zjl-j ; Cal. of 
?<«/. (ed. Hardy), 152. 

"" Coueher, 18-20 ; Pat. 14 Edw. Ill, pt. 3, m. 
25. In 1332 the abbot and convent of Beaubec in 
Normandy was licensed to alienate its manor of 
Beaubec, near Drogheda, with lands in Marinerstown 
and elsewhere, to Furness ; Pat. 6 Edw. Ill, pt. 3, 
m. 3 ; 10 Edw. Ill, pt. I, m. 42. 

'" Coucher, 78, 130, 467 ; Pat. 1 1 Hen. Ill, m. 2. 
See Vincent, Lanes. Lay Subsidies, i, 38. 


During the next two centuries, especially in 
the thirteenth, the abbey strengthened and ex- 
tended the position gained by these grants. 
Small gifts enlarged their holding in the town- 
ships about Beaumont Grange."' The pasture 
allowed by the Gernets in Halton led to much 
litigation.^" The origin of Beaumont Grange is 
curious. Warin the Little, whom Stephen 
had granted with his land, retired with his 
wife to the abbey in his old age, leaving to the 
monks half a plough-land in Stapelton Terne. 
This was converted into a grange. The story 
runs that King John saw, on a sojourn, ' that 
the grange was too small and poor,' and gave the 
whole vill of Stapelton Terne. The monks then 
transferred the men of the vill to the grange, and 
thus made one large colony.^'* In 1221 the 
rights of Furness in Stackhouse, which had 
been granted by Adam the son of Maldred 
in the previous century (before 1168), were 

In 1250 Alicia of Staveley granted for ;^6oo a 
vast pasture in Souterscales on the fells of Whern- 
side and Ingleborough. The monks tried to seize 
the neighbouring pasture of Ingleton, which 
covered 1,000 acres, and though William of 
Twyselton successfully maintained his rights, he 
surrendered them in 13 16."* Alicia's grant 
was quite near the great pasture of Selside and 
Birkwith, which was said to comprise 5,000 
acres. In 1256 John of Cancefeld quitclaimed 
500 acres in Selside. Around the grange of 
Winterburn the abbey collected several plough- 
lands, often oxgang by oxgang. In Hetton, for 
example, it held two and a half plough-lands.^'' 
In Eshton the abbey possessed more than a 
plough-land.^'* It had burgages in Lancaster, 
York, and Boston, with the rents of some houses 
in Beverley.^'' 

In Copeland the lords of Millom added largely 
to the privileges of the abbey.''" In Furness 
proper the monks had in 1292 eleven granges, 
and had got into their own hands a great deal of 
their vassals' land, including the manors of Bolton 
and Elliscales, and the pasture and turbary of 

'" Coucher B. fol. 32-59 and many of the 
ancient deeds. Adam son of Orm de Kellet gives a 
cultura ' ad sustentacionem infirmitorii saecularis ' 
(fol. 46). 

'" Ibid. fol. 60-3 ; Lanes. Inq. \, 178. 

'" Coucher B. fol. 64 ; Lanes. Pipe R. 133, and 
Lanes. Inq. i, 84-6. It seems possible that the vill 
was an earlier grant of Henry II. For abbey lands 
in neighbourhood cf. also Surv. of Lonsdale Wapentake 
(Chet. Soc), 66, 74 ; and for Ellel and Forton see 
Coucher B. fol. 86-9. 

'" Ibid. fol. 115, sqq. 

"" Ibid. fol. 1 19-21 ; Anct. D., L. 240. 

'" Coucher B. fol. 141-85 ; Surtees Soe. Publ. 
xlix, 190, 193. 

'''Coucher B. fol. 181, &c. 

'" Ibid. fol. 76-8, 190, 201. 

'«> Ibid. fol. 205-11 ; Anct. D., L. 458-60. 

Angerton Moss."' The relations with Ulverston 
demand more than a passing word. As William 
of Lancaster III died without male heirs the 
manor was divided and ultimately came to 
William's illegitimate brother Roger, as two 
distinct halves. These became definitely separate 
in the families of Harrington and Coucy.'*^ It 
is perhaps characteristic that the abbey shows a 
tendency to claim the service of 30^. from both.'*^ 
The Harringtons kept their hold with only the 
ordinary experience.'** But on the death of 
William de Coucy without issue in 1343 the 
king entered. William left a brother Enguer- 
rand, but it was asserted that he was a French 
subject. It was probably at this time that the 
abbey first began to take possession on behalf of 
the king.'*' In 1348, however, Edward included 
this half of the manor in his large grant to John 
of Copeland and his wife. Abbot Alexander 
protested,'*' and finally received the reversion 
for forty marks. An inquest of 1376 upheld 
this, but in the next reign, when Enguerrand's 
descendant was a niece of the king and wife of 
the powerful Duke of Ireland, the abbey's hold 
became precarious. Another inquest found the 
abbot had been guilty of false allegation, and it 
was only after a long suit that the estate was 

There is no doubt that from the first the two 
chief churches in Furness, Dalton and Urswick, 
were included in the spiritual possessions of the 
abbey.'** In 1195 Celestine III confirmed its 
rights of appropriation and presentation, and a 
few years later it was recognized that the heirs 
of Michael le Fleming had no hereditary claim 
to the advowson of Urswick. The chapel of 
Hawkshead, which belonged to Dalton, was held 
separately by the monks. It was claimed as a 
chapel of Ulverston by the priory of Conishead, 
but the claim was surrendered in 1208, when 
Furness in return for certain annual payments 

'" For the grant of Bolton by Alan of Copeland 
see Coucher, 515-36 (27 Edw. I). Elliscales was 
finally granted in 8 Ric. II, Coucher, 286. The 
grant of Angerton Moss at end of thirteenth century 
is very complicated, Coucher, 326 sqq. 

'" Coucher, 1-7, 482. 

'»' Ibid. 368, 396, 386, 388. 

'"Ibid. 381-91. 

"' In the survey of 1 346 it is said to hold half 
Ulverston by castleward for one twelfth part of a 
knight's fee ; Chet. Soe. Publ. Ixxiv, 77. 

"° Duchy of Lane. Assize R. class xxv, 2, No. 250 ; 
3, No. 154 (1352-4)- 

'" Coucher, 368-77, 396-406; Inq. p.m. 2 1 Ric. II, 
No. 75. 

'^ Coucher, 643, 657-60. For the vicars of 
Dalton see ibid. 699-702 ; Anct. D., L. 397. The 
relation of Michael le Fleming to Urswick is puzzling, 
but it is certain that the church belonged to the abbey 
{Coucher, 455 ; and charter of Henry Fitz Hervey 
on behalf of his ward, 452. Henry Fitz Hervey 
became guardian of Michael's heir in 1202-3 > Lanes. 
Pipe R. 180). 



gave up its rights to the churches of Ulverston 
and Pennington, which were asserted to be 
daughter churches of Urswick.*'* In the reign 
(if Henry II, William son of Roger gave to the 
abbey the advowson of Kirkby Ireleth. It is 
uncertain if the tithes were appropriated ; if so, 
they were soon lost, since in 1228 Archbishop 
Gray retained the church and advowson.^'" About 
the end of the century William son of Hugh 
gave to the abbey the church of Millom. The 
archbishop took half of this church also, and the 
right of appointing vicars to both halves. In 
1 24 1 he appropriated the revenues to his chantry 
in the chapel of St. Michael the Archangel in 
York Minister ; and later the abbey got back 
the half on condition of maintaining the chaplain 
of this chantry.'" In 1299 Bishop Mark 
granted to Furness the appropriation or the 
churches of St. Michael and St. Maughold in the 
Isle of Man."^ In the diocese of Dublin the 
abbot for some time held the prebend of Swords,"' 
and the convent also had a contingent interest in 
a Lancaster chantry.'" 

From the above account it will be obvious 
that Furness Abbey was very wealthy. Not 
many monastic houses in the north could 
pay ;{^6oo for a sheep-walk, or 500 marks for a 
charter. But with the exception of two great 
records there is little evidence from which to 
estimate the total revenues of the house. The 
occasional references to subsidies are misleading, 
for geographical as well as for more general 
reasons.'" Its total assessment for tenths about 
1300 was rather lower than that of Whalley 
Abbey, but included a much larger proportion 
of temporals.''^ In the new valuation of 131 7, 

'" Gaucher, 646, 650. Both the parson of Ulverston 
and Conishead Priory gave up claim to Hawkshead ; 
Lanes. Pipe R. 362. Early in the thirteenth century 
it was severed from Dalton except for secular purposes ; 
Coucher, 649. See also above p. 22 note. 

'" Coucher, 318, 653 ; Lanes. Final Concords, 52-3, 
where the abbey claimed that Abbot John Cancefield 
had been seised of the church as of his fee, and had 
presented Roger, his clerk. 

'" Coucher B. fol. 207; Coucher 653, 671 ; Thos. 
of Burton, Chronica de Melsa (Rolls Ser.), ii, 126. 
The abbey got back the half on condition of paying 
the expenses of the chaplain (34 marks) as a perpetual 
fcrm. On the plea of war and pestilence it sought to 
reduce this, and a long suit ensued, which was taken 
even to Rome, and was settled by the chapter of York 
in 1362 {Coucher, 672-9). The rent was reduced to 
28 marks, which was paid in the sixteenth century 
{Valor EccL v, 270 ; Page, York. Chant. Surv. ii, 434). 

'" Duchy of Lanes. Anct. D., L.S. 112. 

'"At first (1339) it was held at farm (Pat. 13 
Edw.III,pt.i,m.35. "* Raines, Lanes. Chant. 222. 

'" In the 'courtesy' of 1277 Furness contributed 
^38 y. ^d. and Waverley ^^262 10/. ; Pat. 5 Edw. I, 
m. 10, 15. In 1347 the abbey lent ^^40, as did 
Peterborough and Westminster ; Pat. 2 1 Edw. lU, 
pt. 2, m. 23. 

"* The respective totals were roughly ^197 and 


made after the Scottish raids, the temporalities 
were charged on the basis of 20 marks only. 
The Taxatio had fixed the annual value at £1 76, 
but as the monks kept much of their property 
in their own hands, this was not all realized. 
According to detailed returns of this year (1292) 
which are preserved in the Coucher the annual 
income was £^0 141. id. This included, 
besides rentals, the proceeds of live-stock, pleas, 
and, most important, of mines. When all ex- 
penses had been met this last source gave 
£6 13J. ^d. Lonsdale, including the Beaumont 
Grange, and Borrowdale sent the largest revenues 
from cattle. Since the fisheries, turbaries, dove- 
cotes, and two or three vaccaries were reserved 
for the monks' use, these are not estimated. In 
131 7 the assessment of spiritualities was reduced 
from j^2i ds. 8d. to £6.^^^ Two documents 
preserved in the Coucher give the proportionate 
payments of the Cistercian abbeys to certain con- 
tributions. Furness, Rievaulx, and Fountains 
agreed to pay the same to provincial aids,"' 
nearly one-third of the aids in all. To a Cister- 
cian contribution of ^^ 12,000 Furness is to pay 
^^44 6s. Sd. ; Fountains ;^66 i6s. ; Stanley 
^68 12/."' For the time of the Dissolution we 
have three documents, the official Valor of 1535, 
the rental of Roger upon which this is based, 
and the survey of the commissioners of 1536. 
The survey gives of course a greater value, since 
there was nothing to reserve for private use ; the 
difference between Roger's rental and the Valor 
is almost entirely on the debit side, due to the 
gifts to great men. Roger accounted for close 
on ;^95o, and disbursed about ;^300 annually. 
Beck estimates that the possessions in the 
immediate occupation of the monks yielded 
;^I04 1 5 J. Sd.^ 

The monastic officers, except the master of 
the fells,^' call for no remark. Of the lay 
officers the rentals give a fairly complete list. 

^'' Pope Nich. Tax. 308-9; Coucher, 633-7. At 
Dalton and Millom the reduction amounted to three- 
fourths, at Urswick to about two-thirds. 

"'* Ibid. 637-8 ; e.g. 20/. each to an aid oi £\o. 

'" Ibid. 639 (no date). 

""" Valor Eccl. v, 269-70 ; Rentals & Surv. ptfo. 9, 
No. 73 ; and R. 376 ; also Beck, op. cit. 325-34 
and App. vi. Roger's rental amounts to exactly 
£,<)^% I IS. jd., with deductions of j^300 is. ^d., of 
which about ;^ioo were incidental. The Valor gives 
j^203 4f. gd. to this head. The net estimate of the 
commissioners (Rentals and Surv.) was ^^ 1,0 5 2 zs. ^^d. 
The rentals give such an excellent picture of the 
economy of Furness that one can only refer the reader 
to Beck's reprint and comments. An independent 
rental of certain lands and tenements belonging to 
the late monastery in Lonsdale, in the possession of 
Mr. W. H. Dalton, of Thurnham, gives for these 
lands j^llz 4/. 6^d. The places are not exactly the 
same as in the rental, which gives £110 18/. ild. 
(e.g. Beaumont is included in the former). 

"" L. and P. Hen. Vlll, xii (l), 841. 


The highest of these was the high steward, the 
protector of the abbey and its representative in 
the lay world. The office never seems to have 
been really important, although it was the source 
of some disputes at the time of the Dissolution.''''^ 
At this time the Earl of Cumberland was steward 
of the Winterburn lands, which had needed 
special protection throughout.^"' The rental 
mentions eighteen bailiffs, of whom the chief 
was the bailiff of the liberty, who received ;^8 
per annum. This officer had originally been 
the judicial deputy of the abbot, together with 
the coroner,^"^ and probably still performed the 
duty, but as the time of danger drew near, the 
abbot seems to have bought off opposition by 
the increase of offices.^"' Apart from the 
bailiff's fees we read of grants pro custodia sesslonum 
and pro custodia curie Birelay ^"^ et Sheryftorne ; also 
of a general receiver.^' A master mason is also 

Thirty monks signed the deed of surrender, 
and two were in Lancaster gaol. Sussex 
mentioned thirty-three.^"* Beck calculates, very 
fairly, that this number implies about one hun- 
dred servants in place of conversi. The full 
complement of the abbey in its best days is not 
known, but perhaps the decrease in 1536 was 
not very marked. 

The daughter houses of Furness were Calder 
(i 135) and Swineshead (1134 or 1 148) in Eng- 
land ; Rushen (1138), in the Isle of Man ; and 
in Ireland, Fermoy (1170), Holy Cross (11 80), 
Corcumruadh (1197), and Inislaunaght (1240). 
This last was subjected to Furness some time 
after its foundation. A Furness colony in Wyres- 
dale removed to Wotheney in Limerick f . 1 1 98.^"' 

The Coucher of the abbey was compiled in 
1412 by the monk John Stell, at the command 

"" See previous notes. Sir Robert de Holland 
appears in 1 3 Edw. Ill ; and Sir W. Compton and 
Lord Monteagle preceded the Earl of Derby ; Beck, 
op. cit. p. cv ; Lanes. Pleadings, i, 69 ; L. and P. 
Henry nil, xii (2), 1 1 5 1 (2) ; Hist. MSS. Com. Rej>. 
iii, 247. It is possible that Cromwell's reference to the 
Earl of Northumberland may only refer to Borrow- 
dale and Winterburn, as the Derby Corres. (pp. 115, 
127) would suggest. 

™ Beck, op. cit. 332; Rot. Pari, iii, 657; 
Coucher B. fol. 116. 

*" The bailiff is called steward in the custom of 
Low Furness (West, Antiq. of Furness, 153), unless the 
deputies of the high steward had taken over some of 
his fiinctions. For the coroner see above. 

^°* Beck, op. cit. 337. On the fly-leaf of the rental 
is written in a later hand. ' the ofFes of vater bayle 
and bayle arronnd is oun onest mans levying in yat 

'°^ For the Burlaw see notes on Coucher, 84, 459. 

*°' Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 9, No. 73; Beck, op. cit. 


'"^ Beck, op. cit. 350-52. 

'"' Coucher, 11-12 ; Chartulariesof St. Mary's Abbey, 
Dublin (Rolls Ser.), ii, 1 05-1 10 ; for Wyresdale see 
below, p. 131. 

of Abbot Dalton. A companion, probably 
Richard Esk, wrote the verses which relate the 
story, and drew up the tabula sententialis.^^'^ 
Perhaps this John is the monk of Furness who 
occupied one of the fellows' chambers in Univer- 
sity College, Oxford, in 1400, at a rent of 
1 35. ^d.^^^ The second part of the Coucher, 
which deals with the Lonsdale, Yorkshire, and 
Cumberland lands, has not been printed. ^'^ The 
first and more important part has always been 
among the Duchy documents, and has been 
edited by Mr. Atkinson.''" The Coucher is 
based upon deeds, very many of which still exist 
and are calendered in the appendices to the 
thirty-fifth and thirty-sixth reports of the Deputy 
Keeper. In the introduction the compiler of 
the Coucher refers to a libellus vetus et de vetusta 
littera as his authority for the foundation of the 
abbey. ^^* The monastic library also included a 
register and chronicles of tJlster.^'^ Celtic 
literature, indeed, seems to have been well 
known there in the early days. Jocelin, the only 
Furness chronicler whose name has come down 
to us, wrote lives of St. Patrick and St. Kenti- 
gern, under the direction of the archbishop of 
Armagh and the bishop of Glasgow. For the 
latter his authorities were a life used in the 
church at Glasgow, and another codiculum, stilo 
Scottico dictatum. The same monk also wrote the 
life of St. Waltheof, abbot of Melrose, in which 
he reveals a sympathetic knowledge of northern 
monastic history.*" 'Jocelin is a close imitator 

"» Coucher, 23. '" Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. v, 47 8 . 

"' Robert Treswell used it in 1597 ; Harl. MSS. 
V, 294, No. 70. In 1637 it was penes auditorem 
Bullock ; Dodsworth MSS. 66, fol. 1 24. See also 
Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi ; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. i, 
114; Clarke, Repertorium Bibliographicum, 26^. It 
is now Add. MS. 33244 in the British Museum, 
which acquired it from the Hamilton Library. 

"' For the Chetham Society (New Ser.), vols, ix, 
xi, xiv. Unfortunately the editor has not used any 
of the original deeds, and is rather arbitrary in the 
use of notes. This is the more to be regretted since 
the Couchers, though beautifiil in appearance, are 
not very carefully compiled. 

"* Coucher, S. '" Ibid. 12. 

"° Pits (De Scriptoribus Anglicis, 884) gives him on 
the authority of Stow and Fitzherbert. He thinks 
he was Cambobritanus, and speaks of many books de 
Britonum episcopis. Tanner (Bibliotheca, ed. 1748, 
pp. 429-30) gives a good account of Jocelin and the 
history of his writings ; see also ' Life of St. Kentigern,' 
(ed. Forbes, in Historians of Scotland, v, 63, 312) ; 
Hardy, Descript. Cat. i, 34, 63, 207. The ' Life of 
St. Patrick,' which was printed by Messingham and 
Colgan, was, according to Zimmer's theory, written 
in the interests of Armagh [Celtic Church, 104; cf. 
Tripartite Life of St. Patrick, 1, 132). The prologue 
would allow us to date the author in 1 1 8 5 (see 
Tanner), but the dedication of the life of St. Waltheof 
{Acta Sanctorum, August, i, 246) to William of Scot- 
land and his son Alexander makes it difficult to 
identify him with the abbot Jocelin. 




of the style of William of Malmesbury, whose 
phrases he often adopts.' '" A later Furness 
chronicle is based on William of Newburgh, of 
whom, together with the Stanley entries, it is 
called the Continuation. It is a purely Furness 
chronicle from 1263, and seems to have been 
written up at intervals from memoranda ; per- 
haps, as Mr. Hewlett suggests, in order to fulfil 
the king's commands in 129 1, when Edward 
sent a transcript of the submission of the Scotch 
claimants to Furness, with the desire ' quod 
eadem faciatis in cronicis vestris ad perpetuam 
dei gesti memoriam annotari.' ^^ The chronicle 
ends in 1298, and contains several records of 
local and monastic interest. 

In a heraldic visitation of 1 5 30 the arms of 
the abbey are given : Sable, a bend cheeky 
argent and azure. Behind the shield is a crozier 
through a mitre.^^' The common seal attached 
to the deed of surrender bears the legend, 
' Sigillum commune domus beate Marie de 
Furnesio.' It represents the Virgin under a 
canopy, suh/imis inter sidera, holding in her right 
hand a globe, while her left supports the infant 
Christ. On each side is a shield, dexter with 
the arms of England, sinister with those of 
Lancaster, suspended from sprigs of nightshade, 
and upheld by monks proper. Beneath is a 
wyvern, the device of Thomas, second earl of 

Abbots of Furness 

(* According to the Furness custom, only those 
abbots were put in the mortuary roll who died as 
abbots after ten years' successive rule ; Coiuhcr, lo. 
These, previous to the date of the Coucher, are marked 
with an asterisk. Names not annotated only appear 
in the list in the Coucher.') 

* Ewan d'Avranches (de Abrincis), 1 127**' 
Eudes de Surdevalle, occurs 11 30, 11 34*" 
Michael of Lancaster 
Peter of York, occurs 1 147 °-^ 

'" Hardy, op. cit. 208. 

'" See Ciron. of Stephen, &c. (Rolls Ser.), ii, pp. 
Ixxxviii, 503-83. The contrast between this chroni- 
cle and the Ciron. Manniae is so marked that there 
can be no connexion. It is unlikely that a lost 
Furness chronicle could be the basis of the Manx 
(Oliver, Monumenta, i, xii), to which Munch gives a 
Melrose origin (op. cit. ed. Goss, i, 34). A letter 
of March, 1538, refers to 'a book of the decisions of 
disputes heretofore in Furness,' in the possession of 
the deputy steward ; L. and P. Hen. VllI, xiii (i), 

"' Surt. Soc. Publ. xli, 92. 

""West, op. cit. App. xiii; Beck, op. cit. 351. 
Beck also gives a plate of the abbot's seal. 

"' Coucher, 10. In spite of Mr. Atkinson's argu- 
ment (Introd. rsvii), it seems better to assume that 
Ewan was appointed abbot by the Savigniacs before 
the foundation of Furness, or even of Tulketh. 

*" Coucher, 9 ; Oliver, op. cit. ii, 4. 

*" Coucher, 9 ; Joum. Brit. Arch. Assoc, vi, 420-22. 

Richard de Bayeux,'-* elected c. 11 50 

* John of Cancefeld, occurs 1 152, 1 158 "' 
Walter of Millom, occurs 1 175 **' 
Jocelin of Pennington, c. 1182'*' 
Conan de Bardonle 

* William Black (Niger), occurs 1190, prob- 

ably ruled c. 1 1 83-93 *^ 
Gerard Bristald, c. 1 1 94 '*" 
Michael of Dalton, c. 1 196 *'" 
Richard de St. Quentin 

* Ralph of Fletham, ruled c. 1 198-1208 '" 
John of Newby 

Stephen of Ulverston 

Nicholas of Meaux, consec. 121 1, resigned 
c. 1217*'^ 

* Robert of Denton, elected 12 17, alive in 

Laurence of Acclorne 

* William of Middleton, occurs 1246, died 

1266-7 *" 

* Hugh le Brun, elected 1267, occurs 

William of Cockerham, occurs 1289, 



Hugh Skyllar, occurs 1297, deposed 1303*" 

* John of Cockerham, elected 1303, died 


* Alexander of Walton, elected 1347, died 


*" Seep. 115. 

"' Coucher, 591 ; Lanes. Pipe Rolls, 308. 

"' Coucher, 9, 539. 

*" Coucher, 61 3 ; Anct. D., L. 374. 

"* Atkinson, Introd. xxxix. 

»" Anct. D., L. 449. «'« Coucher, 9, 666. 

" Coucher, 647 ; perhaps ' R. Abbas ' of the deed 
m Lanes. Pipe Rolls, 339 {c. 1 198). Chron. Manniae, 
s. a. 1 189, has the wrong entry, 'Obiit Rodulfus, 
Abbas de Furness in Mellefonte.' 

"' The dates of previous abbots make it almost 
certain that it was Nicholas who was consecrated in 
1 2 1 1 ; Chron. de Mailros, 1 1 1 . He was elected 
about 1217 to the see of Man {Chron. de Melsa, i, 
380; Joum. Brit. Arch. Assoc, vi, 328), which he 
resigned about \zzi^{Cal of Pop. Letters, i, 97). Some 
confusion has arisen from the fact that his predecessor 
as bishop seems also to have been called Nicholas ; 
Chron. Manniae, which, dates his episcopate 1203-17) ; 
Joum. Brit. Arch. Assoc, u. s. ; cf. Anct. D., L. S. in). 

"^ Coucher, 254. 'G. abbas,' ibid. 246, is prob- 
ably an error. 

"* Anct. D., L. 451 ; Cont. Will Newb. ii, 552. 

"' Coucher, 5, 381. Apparently it was Hugh who 
had been scholaris et discipulus of the archbishop of York ; 
see Robert de Graystanes, Hist. (Surt. Soc), ix, 62. 

"'Pat. 17 Edw. I, m. 13 ; Coucher, 450', 474 ; 
Coucher B. fol. 1 1 'jb. 

^' Coucher, 478 ; Beck. op. cit. 245. In the De 
Banco Rolls he appears 32-4 Edw. I ; R. 151, m. 
97</. ; 159, m. 188. 

'"* He professed obedience to the archbishop of 
York on 18 November, 1303; Beck, op. cit. 245. See 
also De Banc. R. 155, m. 133,/. ; 348, m. 427 
(20 Edw. Ill) ; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. iv, 392. 

"^ Beck, op. cit. 267, 274. 


Cartmkl Priory [Counterseal) 

William, Prior of Lancaster 

Cartmel Ppioky 



Abbot of Furness 

FuRNEss Abbey 

Whalley Abbey 

Lancashire Monastic Seals 


John of Cokan', elected 1367-"'' 
* John of Bolton, occurs 1389, 1404^" 
William of Dalton, occurs 14.07. died 

i4i6-7 2« '' 

Robert, elected c. i/^i"], occurs 144 1 "^ 
[Thomas or William Woodward] ^^ 
John Turner, occurs 1 443-60 °'" 
Lawrence, occurs 1461-91 "' 
Thomas Chamber, elected 1491, occurs 

(Alexander Banke, occurs 1505, 1531 *^* 
(John Dalton, occurs 1514-16^'"' 
Roger Pele, elected 1531, surrendered 


The Cistercian abbey of Wyresdale, an ofiF- 
shoot of Furness, was founded towards the close 
of the twelfth century, on land perhaps given by 
Theobald Walter, lord of Weeton, and (from 
about 1192) ofall Amounderness. Between 1193 
and 1196 Theobald, with the consent of the 
archdeacon of Richmond, appropriated to the 
new house the church of St. Michael-on-Wyre, 
subject to the appointment of a vicar.^" But 
some years later (before 1204) Theobald re- 
moved the monks to Wotheney, on his Irish 
lands in Munster, in the present county of 
Limerick.^^^ The site of the short-lived house 
in Wyresdale is not known, but is supposed to 
be indicated by the name Abbeystead in Over 
Wyresdale near the confluence of Tarnbrook 
Wyre and Marshaw Wyre. 

^" Beck, op. cit. 274. '" Coucher, 1^, 351. 

'" Beck, 95 ; Coiuher, 226. A brief-roll of 
1 8 March, 141 7, refers to the late Abbot William ; 
it is addressed by Robert ; Surt. Soc. xxxi, 102. In 
Anct. D., L. 396, is a document dated 1410 in 
which a Robert, abbot, appears. The Coucher stops 
with Dalton's reign. 

**' See last note, and Beck, op. cit. 289 ; Anct. D., 
L.S. 116 ; Pal. Lanes. Plea R. 3, m. i. 

^" Given in the older lists, upon authority not 
traced by Beck or Atkinson ; cf. Introd. p. liii. 

'" Beck, op. cit. 296 ; Anct. D., L. S. 128. 

^" Beck, op. cit. 296 ; Coucher, 13. 

™ Beck, op. cit. 299 ; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. x, App. 
iv, 228 ; Duchy of Lane. Misc. Bks. xxi, a, 26 li. 

'■" Beck, op. cit. 300 ; Lanes. Pkad. i, 68, 98 ; 
West, op. cit. 154. 

'*' Lanes. Pkad. i, 98 ; L. and P. Hen. VIII, ii 
(2), p. 1529 ; Beck, op. cit. 311. 

»=° L. and P. Hen. Fill, v, 657. The last three 
abbots had disputes about tithe ; and John, though 
he got papal support, did not maintain his hold. An 
inventory of the goods of Roger Pele, ' late parson of 
Dalton,' was made 24 May, 1 541 ; Richmondshlre 
Wills (^MiA. Soc), 21. 

'*' Farrer, Lanes. Pipe R. 336. For the interesting 
agreement between the abbey and the vicar, see ibid. 
337 and above, p. 14. 

^" Ibid. 340 ; Dugdale, Mon. ii, 1025, 1034. 


The abbey of Stanlaw, afterwards of Whalley, 
was founded by John, constable of Chester (died 
1 1 90) on a site of more than Cistercian aus- 
terity in the mud-flats, at the confluence of the 
Gowy with the Mersey, a spot until then in the 
parish of Eastham. The founder's charter, in 
which he expresses a wish that the place should 
be re-named 'Benedictus Locus,' is dated 1 178.^'' 
Several chronicles, however, ascribe the foun- 
dation to 1172, which may be the date when 
the first steps towards the creation of the new 
monastery were taken.^^"* The monks were 
doubtless drawn from Combermere Abbey, of 
which Whalley was afterwards considered a 

Besides the two vills of Great Stanney and 
Meurik Aston,^''' and a house in Chester, the 
founder gave them exemption from multure in 
his mills and from toll throughout his fief. 
Hugh, earl of Chester, confirmed his gifts, and 
added freedom from toll on goods purchased in 
Chester for their own use.^*' 

Earl Ranulf de Blundeville ratified his father's 
grants, freed the monks from all toll, even that 
on salt, throughout his lands, and disafforested 
the site of the abbey and its grange of Stanney.^^* 
Cheshire tenants of the constable and earl added 
further endowments, including the whole vills of 
Acton (Acton Grange) ^'^ and Willington.^^" 

But the rising fortunes of its patrons were 
already transferring the centre of the abbey's 
interests to Lancashire. The constables of Chester 
had long held a fief in the south-west of that 
county, and Roger, the founder's son, in or before 
1205, gave Stanlaw the vill of Little Woolton in 
his Widnes fee.^'^ The abbey's rights were, 
however, contested, and ultimately with success, 
by the knights of St. John.^^^ Roger's inherit- 

"' Coucher, i. The extant 'Coucher Book' or 
chartulary of Whalley was drawn up in the time of 
Abbot Lindley. A few later deeds were inserted. 
It was edited by W. A. Hulton for the Chetham 
Society, 1 847—9, in four volumes. A large number 
of documents, many of which are not in the Coucher, 
were transcribed by Christopher Towneley (d. 1674) 
into a manuscript volume now in the possession of 
W. Farrer. Another of Towneley's MSS., now also 
in the same hands, contains the original accounts of 
the abbey bursars for the years 1485-1506 and 
1509—37. References to other materials may be 
found in Tanner's Notitia Monastica. 

''* Jnn. Mon. (Rolls Ser.), i, 187 ; Tanner, op. cit. 
sub Stanlaw. One MS. carries the foundation back 
as far as 1163 ; Whitaker, Hist, of Whalk'^ (ed. 4, 
1872),!, 83. 

'"•' Ormerod, Hist. ofChes. iii, 403, 

"° Probably Aston Grange ; Ormerod, op. cit. i, 


*'' Coucher, 8-9. "'' Ibid. 10-12. 

''' Ibid. 385. '•'Mbid. 467. 

^'=' Ibid. 801. ''' Ibid. 809. 



ance of the great honours of Pontefract and 
Clitheroe, on the death in 1193 of his kinsman, 
Robert de Lacy, whose surname he assumed, 
opened a new epoch in the history of Stanlaw. 
From Roger himself, who died in I2II, the 
house received a grant of the valuable rectory of 
Rochdale -''' and lands in that parish. ^^' The 
appropriation of the church was confirmed, sub- 
ject to the rights of the existing incumbent, by 
Pope Honorius III in 1218,^" and by Bishop 
Cornhill of Lichfield, who in 1222 ordained a 
vicarage of 5 marks with 4 oxgangs of land 
and a house. ^°' A few years later Bishop 
Stavenby instituted the first vicar, and the abbey 
entered into full possession of the rectorial 

Roger's son John de Lacy, who became earl 
of Lincoln in 1232 and died in 1240, was an 
even greater benefactor of the house. In or 
before 1228 he gave the advowson of one of the 
two medieties of the rectory of Blackburn, 
which Bishop Stavenby appropriated to the 
uses of the abbey,-''' and some years later he 
conferred the second mediety upon the monks, 
to whom it was appropriated by Bishop Roger 
Longesp^e in 1259, subject to the ordination 
of a vicarage of 20 marks.^"" 

John de Lacy was also the donor of the 
advowson of the church of Eccles. A licence for 
its appropriation to the abbey was obtained from 
Bishop Stavenby in 1234.^" 

These gifts led to grants of land by various 
persons in the three parishes. Another instance 
of John de Lacy's generosity, the gift of the vill 
of Staining (with Hardhorn and Newton) in 
Amounderness,^^ involved the abbey in fre- 
quent litigation over the tithes with Lancaster 
Priory, the appropriators of Poulton, in which 
parish it lay. In 1234 Stanlaw undertook to 
pay 5 marks a year for them. As the area of 
cultivation extended the question was re-opened 
and the commutation was gradually raised to 1 8 
marks (1298).-'^ Edmund de Lacy gave the 
whole township of Cronton near Widnes.'" 

^^ Coucher, 135. 

'" Including the hamlet of Marland, which be- 
came a grange of the abbey ; ibid. 591. The Lacys 
and their tenants gave at one time or another much 
land in Castleton, Rochdale, Whitworth, and Spot- 
land ; ibid. 595, sqq. ; 637, sqq. Several members 
of local families vyere monb of the house in the 
later years of the thirteenth centur}-, and one of 
them (Robert Haworth) abbot. This no doubt 
tended to divert land there into the possession of 
the abbey. 

'" Coucher, 168. »« Ibid. 139. 

«' Ibid. 145. 

«' Ibid. 72, 78. 

*^ Ibid. 74, 80. The appropriation followed a 
re-grant by Edmund de Lacy in 1251 which was 
aftenvards regarded as the title ; ibid. 77, 252 

-"' Ibid. 36-7. "> Ibid. 419. 

-'■' Ibid. 425-42. '"Mbid. 811. 

The preponderance of the Lancashire pro- 
perty of the house among its possessions increased 
the growing discontent of the monks with the 
desolate and sea-beaten site of their monastery. 
A more than usually destructive inundation in 
1279 perhaps brought matters to a head,*''' and 
four years later Henry de Lacy, third earl of 
Lincoln, consented to the removal of the abbey. 
On the plea that none of their existing lands 
afforded a suitable site, they persuaded him to 
grant them the advowson of Whalley with a 
view to the appropriation to their use of the 
whole of the tithes of this extensive parish (of 
which they already held a fourth part as par- 
cel of their rectory of Blackburn) and to 
the reconstruction of the monastery on its 
glebe, which comprised the whole township of 

A licence in mortmain was obtained from the 
king on 24 December, 1283,^" and on the first 
day of the new year Lacy formally bestowed the 
advowson and authorized the translation on 
condition that the ashes of his ancestors and 
others buried at Stanlaw should be removed to 
the new abbey and that it should be called 
Locus Benedictus de Whalley.^'* The bishop 
of Lichfield's consent to the transference was 
not granted until two years afterwards ; ^'' the 
papal approval was still longer delayed. A draft 
petition to the pope recites that the land on 
which the house stood was being worn away by 
every tide and must in a few years become totally 
uninhabitable and that each year at spring tides 
the church and monastery buildings were flooded 
to a depth of three to five feet.^™ This asser- 
tion contained obvious exaggeration, the rock on 
which the principal buildings stood being 12 ft. 
above the level of ordinary tides,"" and it 
was afterwards softened into a statement that the 
offices, which lay below the rock, were inundated 
to a depth of 3 ft.^'" Other considerations laid 
before the pope were that the greater part of 
their possessions were situated near Whalley, 
that the new site, lying in the midst of a barren 
and poverty-stricken country, would afford great 
scope for hospitality and almsgiving, and that 
it was proposed to increase the number of 
monks by twenty, whose duties would include 
prayers for his soul. Three or four monks 
were to be kept at Stanlaw so long as it remained 

On this understanding Nicholas IV granted 
a licence on 23 July, 1289, for the translation 
of the abbey and the appropriation of Whalley 
church on the death or resignation of its aged 
rector, Peter of Chester, who had held the 

"* Ormerod, Hist. ofChes. ii, 398. 
"'Coucher, 186. «<■ Ibid. 189. 

'"Ibid. 195. "Mbid. 191. 

Urmerod, op. cit. u, 400. 
*" Recital of the petition in Pope Nicholas's bull. 
'*" Coucher, 192. 



benefice for 54 years. A vicarage, however, 
was to be endowed out of its revenues.*'*"" 

The rector could not apparently be induced 
to resign and did not die until 20 January 
1294-5.^*^ Even then fourteen months elapsed 
before the monks were transferred to Whalley. 
Certain formalities must be gone through and 
preliminary arrangements made ; some difficulties 
were raised. 

Between February and August the Earl of 
Lincoln, the bishop of Lichfield, and the king 
confirmed the appropriation and translation. ^^^ 
But the bishop, the archdeacon of Chester, and 
the chapters of Coventry and Lichfield had to 
be compensated for the loss entailed by the 
■disappearance of secular rectors.**' The patron 
•exacted from the monks a renunciation of the 
rights of hunting in his forests hitherto enjoyed 
by the parsons of Whalley and of all claims upon 
the castle chapel at Clitheroe,*"* and his officers 
took possession of some lands which belonged 
to the benefice.*^ As early as March William, 
lord of Altham, entered a claim to the advowson 
of its church, which Stanlaw held to be one of 
the chapels of Whalley, and obtained a writ for 
an assize of darrein presentment. ^^^ Meanwhile 
the bishop and archdeacon sequestered its tithes 
and offerings and excommunicated the monks 
when they tried to take possession. The abbot 
appealed to the archbishop, whose official ordered 
the ecclesiastical authorities in question to sus- 
pend their action and appear before his court in 

Some even questioned the validity of the 
appropriation of Whalley itself.*** The claims 

'*"'' Cottcher, 182 ; Cal. Pap. Letters, i, 499, 501. 
Nicholas fixed four as the number of monks to 
remain at Stanlavy. The inq. p.m. of Abbot Eccles 
{c. 1443) speaks of an obligation to maintain twelve 
chaplains there to celebrate divine service ; Ormerod, 
op. cit. ii, 399. 

"*' Coucher, 293. The chartulary of St. John's 
Prioiy, Pontefract, gives 15 Dec. 1294 as the date of 

-"' Coucher, 198, 196, 202. 

^ ^100 was ultimately paid to the bishop, though, 
if we can trust a hostile writer, thrice that sum was 
at first demanded and agreed to ; Dugdale, Mon. v, 
642 ; Whitaker, Hist, of Whalley, i, 176. 

^ Ibid, i, 174, 258 ; Towneley MS. fol. 388. 

'^ Coucher, 280. They were restored by Thomas, 
earl of Lancaster, in 13 13. 

'^ Ibid. 302. The abbot had tried to buy off 
this claim ; Cal. of Close, 1288-96, p. 440. It had 
been dismissed by a papal delegate in 1 249 on the 
appeal of Peter of Chester ; Coucher, 298-300. 

'«' Ibid. 304. 

'^ The Cluniacs of St. John's Priory, Pontefract, 
claimed to be the true patrons of Whalley in virtue 
of a grant by Hugh de Laval during the temporary 
dispossession of the Lacys in the reign of Henry I. 
Their pretensions were antiquated, for those who 
-asserted that they had presented Peter of Chester 
■could easily be refuted ; Coucher, 292. It is note- 

of Pontefract Priory could not, however, be 
regarded very seriously, and on the monks of 
Stanlaw presenting John of Whalley for in- 
stitution as vicar. Bishop Roger on 6 December 
ordered an inquiry into the value of the benefice 
with a view to fixing the vicar's portion ; *'' but 
Roger's death ten days later caused further delay. 
The inquiry was begun on 20 April, 1296, by 
the instructions of Archbishop Winchelsey.*"" 
By that time the monks, no doubt anxious to 
secure the advantage of actual possession, had 
removed from Stanlaw to their new home. On 
4 April, St. Ambrose Day, they made their 
entrance into Whalley.*^^ The foundation stone 
of the new monastery was laid by their patron 
the earl on 12 June.*'* 

The monks who entered into residence in the 
parsonage and temporary buildings under the 
rule of their abbot, Gregory of Norbury, num- 
bered twenty. Robert Haworth, who had 
recently resigned the abbacy after holding it for 
twenty-four years, remained with five other 
monks at Stanlaw, which continued to be a 
cell of Whalley down to the Dissolution. One 
monk lived at the grange of Stanney, two each at 
those of Staining and Marland, and another was 
a student at Oxford.*^' 

The delays which the monks experienced 
might have been prolonged had news reached 
England earlier of a step taken by Pope Boniface 
VIII, who was elected a month before the death 
of Peter of Chester. One of his earliest acts was 
to quash all provisions and reservations to take 
effect on a future vacancy which Nicholas IV 

worthy that they retained the advowson of Slaidburn 
although it was part of Hugh de Laval's gift, and in 
1250 presented Peter of Chester (already rector of 
Whalley) to that benefice as ' our clerk' ; Towneley 
MS. fol. 267. There is no evidence that they actively 
pressed their claim to Whalley at his death, but about 
1357 they obtained a writ of ' quare impedit ' in the 
Duchy court against Whalley Abbey. On 2 1 Sep- 
tember in that year, however, they resigned all their 
claims on the benefice ; ibid. 267—8. Their char- 
tulary contains a rather malicious account of the 
difficulties of Stanlaw in obtaining possession. The 
bishop's action at Altham, for instance, is distorted 
into a sequestration of Whalley ; Dugdale, Mon. 
V, 642. 

'"' Coucher, 202. *» Ibid. 204. 

'" Whitaker, op. cit. i, 86. But the ' Status de 
Blagbornshire ' gives 7 April as the date ; Coucher, 
188. The unfriendly Pontefract writer says they 
were greeted by a crowd crying, 'Woe to ye, 

^'^ Dugdale, Mon. v, 639. 

'^^ Ormerod, op. cit. ii, 404, from Cott. MS. Cleop. 
C. 3, ' with some additions from an obituary of the 
convent.' Whitaker (op. cit. i, 88), following Cott. MS. 
Titus, enumerates thirty-five monks. Most of them 
bore Cheshire names, but five seem to have come 
from places in Rochdale parish. The maximum 
number at Stanlaw was forty, which was to be raised 
to sixty at Whalley. 



had granted."^ Nicholas's bull appropriating 
Whalley church to Stanlaw on the death or 
demission of the rector could therefore be held 
to be annulled. ^'' As soon as this new difficulty 
was grasped the good offices of the king and the 
Earl of Lincoln were secured, Richard of Rudyard, 
one of the monks, was sent to Rome, and after 
some negotiation and considerable disbursements 
obtained a renewal of the grant fi-om Boniface 
on 20 June, 1297."° Meanwhile the king's 
court had upheld their contention that Altham 
was a chapel of Whalley, not a parish church.-^' 
This involved further expense ; altogether the 
abbey spent ;^300 in England and at Rome in 
making its title to Whalley and Altham secure."" 
Even now they were not at the end of their 
troubles. The older Cistercian abbey at Sawley, 
six miles to the north-east, complained to the 
general chapter of the order that the new house 
was nearer to their own than their rules per- 
mitted, that its monks consumed the tithe corn 
of Whalley parish which the late rector used to 
sell to Sawley, and that the increased demand 
for corn and other commodities had so raised 
prices that their monastery was permanently 
poorer to the extent of nearly ^^30 a year. 
Arbitrators appointed by the chapter arranged a 
compromise in 1305 ; each house agreed to pro- 
mote the other's interests as if they were its own ; 
monks or convent of either doing injury to the 
other were to be sent there for punishment ; 
Whalley was to give the monks of Sawley the 
preference in the purchase of their corn provided 
they were willing to pay the market price. ^^' 

Some years before this settlement the abbey 
entered on a long dispute, or series of disputes, 
with Roger Longespee's successor as bishop of 
Coventry and Lichfield, Edward I's well-known 
minister Walter de Langton. The details of the 
quarrel are obscure, but it perhaps originated in 
an attempt of the monks to recoup themselves 
for the heavy expenses which their acquisition of 
Whalley had entailed. From May, 130 1, to 
June, 1303, Bishop Langton was suspended from 
his office by Pope Boniface, pending the hearing 
of serious charges against his character.'"" About 
this time the vicarage of Whalley fell vacant, 

'^ Coucher, 207. 

"' Ibid. 208. It was taken for granted that Boni- 
face's constitution preceded the death of Peter of 
Chester. He accepted assurances that the monks 
were unaware of it when they removed to Whalley. 

^ Whitaker, op. cit. i, 162-5 ; Coucher, 209. 

"' 13 October, 1296 ; ibid. 303. Nevertheless 
the abbey thought it prudent in i 301 to buy off the 
claim from Simon of Altham at a cost of j^20 ; ibid. 
305 ; Towneley MS. fol. 486. 

"' Whitaker, op. cit. i, 1 76. The editor of the 
Ccuiber (305), who mis-read the sum as 300/., took it 
to be the cost of the Altham litigation only, but this 
was not carried to Rome. 

"* Dugdale, Mon. v, 641 ; Whitaker, op. cit. i, 84. 

"* Diet. Nat. Biog. xxxii, 130. 

and the monks, seizing their opportunity, ob- 
tained the pope's permission to appropriate the 
vicarage to their own uses."" On 26 May 
1302, the abbot of Rewley, in virtue of a papal 
commission, put them in possession, but the 
bishop or his representatives apparently appealed 
to the Court of Arches, which launched sen- 
tences of excommunication, suspension, and 
interdict against the intruders. Early in De- 
cember the abbot of Rewley instructed the 
abbots of Furness and Vale Royal to pronounce 
these sentences null and void.*"^ The order 
was carried out, but Langton 's reinstatement and 
the death of Boniface proved fatal to the abbey's 
ambition. Not only did it lose the appropriation, 
but Langton obtained judgement against the 
abbot and convent for 1,000 marks, which seems 
to have included the estimated value of the 
revenue of the vicarage, which ought to have 
gone to the bishop during the vacancy, and the 
bishop's costs.^"' A letter of Abbot Gregory is 
preserved in which he complains bitterly that 
though they have paid 100 marks on account 
their goods are to be sold to meet the rest of the 
debt.^'^ In the absence abroad of their patron 
he writes to his son-in-law Earl Thomas of 
Lancaster that, owing to the bishop's long ill- 
will they are unable to carry out the provisions 
of their founders and benefactors, and begs him 
to use his influence with the king to secure them 
a grant of some ' convenable cure.' ^"^ Langton 
was imprisoned by Edward II from 1 307 to 
1 3 12, but it was not until Abbot Gregory had 
been dead nearly three months that he at last 
consented (11 April, 1310) to withdraw his 
claims against the abbey."'^ 

At one moment in the course of this quarrel 
the abbot and convent had seriously contem- 
plated leaving Whalley, but Pope Clement V 
ordered them (January, 1306) to remain, or the 
church would revert to the presentation of the 
Earl of Lincoln.'"" They were still dissatisfied, 
however, with their new home, and ten years 
later made another attempt to remove elsewhere. 
Thomas of Lancaster, in consideration of the 
lack of timber at Whalley to rebuild their mon- 
astery and of fuel for their use, together with 
the difficulties of transporting corn and other 

"' Towneley MS. fol. 268. The wording of the 
document points to an attempt to get rid of the en- 
dowed vicarage and to serve the church by monks or 
chaplains. ' Appropriation ' would hardly be applied 
to a temporary sequestration of the vicarage in their 
favour during the vacancy. A passage in the Ponte- 
fract chartulary may perhaps refer to this transaction ; 
Dugdale, Mon. v, 642. 

™ Towneley MS. fol. 268-9. 

»' Ibid. 262 ; Whitaker, op. cit. i, 150. 

'^'Ibid. >»Ubid. I 50- 1. 

'"^ Towneley MS. fol. 262-3. He received the 
new abbot's profession of obedience next day ; See 
below p. 139. 

'<" Cal. Pap. Letters, ii, 7. 



necessaries in that neighbourhood, gave them 
(25 July, 1316) Toxteth and Smithdown, near 
Liverpool, part of his forest, w^ith licence to 
translate their house thither."'^ The king con- 
firmed the grant,'"^ but, perhaps owing to 
episcopal or papal opposition, no action was 
taken upon it. 

In 1330 the abbey induced Bishop North- 
burgh to cut down the vicar of Whalley's 
portion, as fixed in 1298, on the ground that 
it was excessive.'^" Northburgh also allowed 
them to present three of their own monks in suc- 
cession to the vicarage.'^^ A general licence 
for this practice was obtained from Pope Inno- 
cent VI in 1358 on the plea that the residence 
of secular clerks within the monastic inclosure 
led to disturbances.'^^ The vicars continued to 
be taken from the monastic body down to the 

The troubles in which the abbey became in- 
volved by its acquisition of Whalley were not even 
yet exhausted. Among the direct consequences 
of this aggrandizement were disputes with its 
mother house of Combermere and with its own 
lay patrons. 

With Combermere it came into conflict over 
its assessment to the Cistercian levy. In 
this order the filial tie was strong ; '" not 
only had the mother house the right of visita- 
tion,'^' but the contributions imposed by the 
general chapter at Citeaux were partitioned 
among the groups (generations), consisting of a 
mother house with its daughters, and re-par- 
titioned by the abbot of the former. Abbot 

^ Dugdale, Mm. v, 6^6. 

'» Towneley MS. fol. 222. 

"" Coucher, 217. He was henceforth paid ^^44 in 
money. The receipts under the old ordination can 
hardly have been much more, but the vicar had now 
to find chaplains for eight chapels, which, with some 
other new deductions, left no great margin. The 
glebe and rights of common were also reduced. In 
1 4 1 1 the value of the vicarage was said not to be above 
12 marks ; Cal. Pap. Letters, vi, 276. By 1535 the 
abbey compounded by a payment of j^l 2, rather more 
than half of which was absorbed by fixed charges ; 
VaLEccl. v, 220. The building of the abbey church 
was begun in the year of Northburgh's reduction of 
the vicarage ; Whitaker, op. cit. i, 93. 

"■"^ Cal. Pap. Letters, 'm.,t,^l. "'Ibid. 

"' The presentation of monastic vicars was pro- 
hibited by statute in 4 Hen. IV, but this was held 
not to apply to appropriations prior to the Act ; 
Phillimore, Eccl. Law, 276. In the fifteenth cen- 
tury the abbey occasionally put in monks as vicars ot 
Blackburn and Rochdale. 

"* Engl. Hist. Rev. viii, 642. 

'" For an undated visitation of Whalley by the 
abbot of Combermere in the first half of the fourteenth 
century, in which charges were brought against the 
abbot and the question of his retirement raised, see 
Whitaker, op. cit. 1, 175. This may belong to the 
attempt to supersede Abbot Lmdley m 1365 ; see 

Norbury of Whalley complained that the abbot 
of Combermere had raised their share to a figure 
out of proportion to the increase in their income. 
The possession of Whalley was attended with 
so many expenses that it yielded little net profit.'" 
After appealing to the abbot of Savigny, the 
mother house of Combermere, and to the general 
chapter, Norbury secured an undertaking from 
the father abbot to consult the filial abbots before 
fixing their contributions.'^' The matter was 
reopened in 1 3 1 8, when the abbot of Comber- 
mere in apportioning a levy of £,1X1 upon his 
' generation,' called upon Whalley to pay as 
much as Combermere and its other filiations, 
Dieulacres and Hulton, put together. Whalley 
appealed, and in 1320 delegates appointed by 
the abbot of Savigny reduced its share to 

The question at issue between the abbey and 
its patrons related to the status of the chapel of 
St. Michael in the Castle at Clitheroe. The 
Earl of Lincoln, having obtained a quitclaim 
of it from the monks before they settled at 
Whalley, treated it as a free chapel and not 
one of the chapels of Whalley church which he 
conveyed with that church to Stanlaw. On the 
next vacancy of the chaplaincy he gave it to his 
clerk William de Nuny, ' not without grave 
peril to his soul,' in the opinion of the monks.'^^ 
There is nothing to show, however, that they 
ventured to put forward their own claim in 
Lacy's lifetime or that of his son-in-law Thomas 
of Lancaster. After the attainder of the latter 
and the forfeiture of his estates, Edward II 
appointed two chaplains in succession,'*" and 
when Edward III conferred the honour of 
Clitheroe on his mother Queen Isabella she 
filled up several vacancies. But in a petition to 
the king in 1 33 1 Abbot TopclifFe claimed that 
St. Michael's had always been a chapel dependent 
upon Whalley until the earl of Lincoln wrong- 
fully abstracted it, and that possessing no rights 
of baptism or burial it could not be a free 
chapel. '^^ An inquiry was held, and on 

"'Whitaker, op. cit. i, 175. Norbury reckoned 
the increase in their ordinary annual expenses at 
£93 i8j-. ()d., of which £(>6 xy. i^d. was the cost 
of maintaining twenty extra monks. But it is 
doubtful whether the number of monks had been 
raised to the maximum promised. For Norbury's 
dealings with recalcitrant monks see ibid, i, 153. 

"' Ibid, i, 153, 177. Ormerod (op. cit. iii, 403) 
gives the date as March, 1 3 1 5, probably a mistake 
for 1305. Norbury died in 1 3 10. Licences for 
abbots of Whalley going to the general chapter occur 
on the Close Rolls. 

"' Whitaker, op. cit. i, 177. 

"' Coucher, 227. It is here asserted that they were 
in possession until the appointment of Nuny, but it 
was not included in the chapels of Whalley in the 
valuation made for the vicar's portion in 1296 ; ibid. 
206 ; cf Whitaker, op. cit. i, 258. 

™ Whitaker, op. cit. i, 257. '" Coucher, 227. 



18 March 1334, the king conceded the superior 
right of the abbey,'" which nevertheless had to 
pay 300 marks for the recognition/^' 

In addition to this Richard de Moseley, to 
whom Queen Isabella had given the chaplaincy 
a fortnight before Edward's letters patent, had to 
be bought out by a pension of ^^40 a year for life.'" 

The abbey's title was afterwards several 
times attacked and the convent put to much 
trouble and expense. In 1344 an inquiry was 
ordered into allegations that Peter of Chester had 
held the chapel in gross, not as a dependency of 
Whalley, and that the abbey had quitclaimed its 
pretensions to the Earl of Lincoln.'^' It was 
not until May, 1346, that Abbot Lindley in- 
duced the king to confirm his recognition of its 
rights.^"' The question was reopened when 
Queen Isabella's tenure of Clitheroe determined 
and it reverted to Henry, earl and afterwards 
duke of Lancaster, nephew of Earl Thomas. 
Henry did indeed resign his claims on the ad- 
vowson in 1349,'^ and collated at least one 
chaplain.'^ Several clerks also had obtained 
papal provisions of the chaplaincy,"' and after 

'" Coucher, 229, confirmed by Isabella on 13 May. 
The extant evidence is rather conflicting. The 
chapel was separately endowed by Robert de Lacy 
towards the end of the eleventh century with half a 
plough-land in Clitheroe (reduced later to two ox- 
gangs), and the tithes of his demesne lands in Black- 
burnshire and of animals, &c. in the forests of Bow- 
land and Blackburnshire. A chaplain named William 
obtained letters of protection for the chapel (described 
as 'justly collated to him ') and its endowments from 
Pope Urban II (1088-99), or Urban III (1185-7), 
probably the former; Towneley MS. fol. 210. 
Whitakcr, however, says (op. cit. i, 257) that Richard 
de Towneley held the chaplaincy about 1215 by gift 
of his brother Roger, the dean of Whalley. But no 
authority is given for this statement. 

'" In the inquisition after the death of the Earl of 
Lmcoln in 131 i the annual value of the chapel is 
given as ;^14 6/. id. ; Three Lams. Doc. (Chet. Soc), 5. 
If this be correct the transaction of 1334 practically 
amounted to a purchase of the advowson by the 
abbey. The pension granted to Moseley suggests, 
however, an understatement; see above. In 1380 
the yearly income of the endowment was estimated to 
be £27 13/. i^d.; Towneley MS. fol. 212. The 
Pontefract Chartulary no doubt exaggerates in stating 
its annual value as 100 marks ; Dugdale, Mon. v, 642. 

^■' Coucher, 234. A dispute at once arose with the 
vicar of Whalley as to who was responsible for the cure 
of souls and the provision of a chaplain. The bishop 
decided in 1339 that the cure belonged to the vicar 
but the abbey must find the chaplain and clerk ; 
Whitaker, op. cit. i, 178 ; Coucher, 235. 

^-"Cal. of Pat. 1343-5, p. 425 ; Coram Rege R. 
342, m. 78 d. 

'« Cal. of Pat. 1345-8, p. 85 ; Comher, 331. 

"'Towneley MS. fol. 38/ ; Cal. of Pat. 1348-50, 
p. 469. 

"'Whitaker, op. cit. i, 257 ; cf. Cal. Pap. Letters, 
iv, 70. 

"* Ibid.; Cat. Pap. Pet. i, 264, 324, 384. 

the death of Duke Henry Edward III put 
in John Stafford on the plea that the duke had 
alienated the advowson to the abbey without 
his licence."" On 12 December, 1363, he 
restored the advowson to Duke John and his 
wife. In 1365 Abbot Lindley was pro- 
ceeding in the Court of Arches against Staf- 
ford,"' and three years later Urban V ordered 
an investigation of the claim of John de Parre, 
who had a papal provision."^ The rights of 
Whalley seem to have been upheld. ''' In 1380 
they were once more, and as far as we know for 
the last time, called in question. The officers 
of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, alleged the 
existence of an endowed chantry in the chapel 
which Queen Isabella, they said, gave to Whalley 
on condition of its maintaining daily service 
therein. As service was only held three times a 
week and the chapel had become ruinous the 
abbey, it was urged, had forfeited its rights. A 
local jury, however, decided in its favour.^'* 

The heavy expense to which the convent was 
put in defence of its claims may perhaps help to 
explain the slow progress of the new monastery 
buildings. In 1362 the monks were excused 
their contribution to the Cistercian levy until 
their church should be finished and the dormitory 
and refectory built."' But despite this and some 
valuable gifts of land the financial position of the 
house continued to be precarious. In 1366 its 
expenditure exceeded its receipts by ;^I50 and 
its debt amounted to over ;^700. Much of this 
was incurred in consequence of the unsuccessful 
attempt made in October, 1365, by Richard de 
Chester, abbot of Combermere, supported by a 
party among the monks and 'other malefactors' 
to get rid of Abbot Lindley and replace him by 
William Banaster. Lindley called in the civil 
authorities against his opponents, who for a moment 
held the monastery against the sheriff and '■posse 
comhatus ' with ' watch and ward.'"^ There 
were only twenty-nine monks instead of the sixty 
contemplated on the removal to Whalley.'" An 
attempt to secure the appropriation of another 
valuable benefice had not been successful. Henry,, 
earl of Lancaster, who died in 1345, or his son 
and namesake before he was raised to the ducal 
dignity, bestowed upon them the advowson of the 

""Whitaker, op. cit. i, 257, 261 ; Lich. Epis. Reg, 
Stretton, fol. 46^. 

"'Towneley MS. fol. 215-16. 
"' Cal. Pap. Letters, iv, 70. 

„,r' ^"' ^' ^ "^^^^y '^o'^- Duke John exacted /coo; 
Whitaker, op. cit. i, 97, 262. 

'^Towneley MS. fol. 212-14. The stipend paid to 

33^^f?i".° '"/ 5 ^ ' ^»5 U ■' Whitaker, op. cit. i, 2 5 7. 
Ibid. I, 96. Part of the church was in occupation 
by 1345 ; Lanes. Final Concords (Rec. Soc ) ii i%c „ 

"« Coram Rege R. 426, m. xv ; Whitake^, op. cit. i^ 
97. Banaster was probably a kinsman of John Banaster 
ot Walton, one of the ' malefactors.' 

'^' Ibid. But those resident at the granges are per- 
haps not included. There was only one ' convenus ' 


rectory of Preston in Amounderness, and the 
archbishop of York was petitioned to allow its 
appropriation, reserving a vicarage of j^ 20 a year.'^* 
But he did not give this permission and even the 
advowson was not retained. 

A hermitage for female recluses in the parish 
churchyard founded and endowed by Henry, 
duke of Lancaster, and supplied with pro- 
visions from the abbey kitchen led to some 
disorders. In 1437 Henry VI dissolved the 
hermitage on representations from the convent 
that several of the anchoresses had returned to 
the world and that their maid-servants were often 
' misgoverned.' The endowment was applied to 
the support of two chaplains to say mass daily 
for the souls of Duke Henry and the king and 
for the celebration of their obits by thirty 

In the last quarter of the fifteenth century a 
fierce quarrel raged between the abbey and 
Christopher Parsons, rector of Slaidburn, who 
disputed its right to the tithes of the forest of 
Bowland and of certain lands in Slaidburn. 
Though in the county and diocese of York and 
completely isolated from the parish of Whalley 
these districts formed part of the ancient 
demesne of Clitheroe and their tithes were in- 
cluded in the endowment of the Castle chapel 
of St. Michael.'^ The two parties soon came 
to blows. On 22 November, 1480, while 
engaged in driving away tithe calves from the 
disputed lands Christopher Thornbergh, the 
bursar of the abbey, was set upon by a mob 
instigated by the rector with cries of 'Kill the 
monk, slay the monk,' and severely beaten. Par- 
sons made the forest tenants swear on the cross 
of a groat to pay no tithes except to him.^^^ 

As each party appealed to his own diocesan the 
dispute was ultimately referred to Edward IV, 
who in May, 1482, decided in favour of the 
abbey.^*^ The rector was ordered to pay all 
arrears and ;^200 towards the expenses in- 

=^ Whitaker, op. cit. i, 168; Towneley MS. fol. 
384. The monks pleaded that their new build- 
ings would cost _£3,ooo, that they had lost 200 
marks a year by the inroads of the sea at Stanlaw, 
that their other Cheshire lands were unprofitable, and 
'malefactors' there had caused them to lose ;^200 a 
year. In 1339 the officers of the king's eldest son, 
created earl of Chester in 1333, had seized one of 
the lay brethren and distrained the abbot's cattle on 
the ground that the abbey had been removed from 
Stanlaw to Whalley without the earl's licence. The 
king interposed in their favour ; Cal. of Close, IS39~ 
41, p. 246. 

^'' Whitaker, op. cit. i, 97, 102. 

''° Ibid, i, 104 ; Towneley MS. fol. 208. 

=" Ibid. 

"^ Ibid. fol. 206. In January 1481 a statement of 
the abbey's case was drawn up and attested by a 
representative body of Lancashire clergy and laymen, 
the mayors of Wigan and Preston attaching their 
borough seals ; ibid. fol. 207-9. 

curred by the convent. Richard III in 1484, 
and Henry VII in 1492, confirmed the find- 
ing,''^ but Parsons was still giving trouble in 
1494,'" and nine years later a royal order 
commanded the men of the forests to pay their 
tithes to Whalley .=" 

Little is known of the state of the abbey on 
the eve of the Dissolution. John Paslew, the 
last abbot, was afterwards accused of having sold 
much of the plate of the house to defray the 
cost of his assumption of the position of a mitred 
abbot and of a suit for licence to give ' bennet 
and collet ' in the abbey .^^^ A comparison of its 
accounts for the years 1478 and 1 521 shows a 
large increase of expenditure in the latter year, 
especially in the items of meat and drink, though 
this may possibly have been due, in part at least, 
to an increase in the number of monks or to 
some exceptional hospitality. It is noteworthy 
that the income derived from the appropriated 
rectories in 1 52 1 exhibits a more than pro- 
portionate augmentation.'*' 

Only one of the monks was singled out for 
immorality by the visitors of 1535.'*' Crom- 
well subsequently relaxed in their favour the 
injunctions laid upon them by the visitors. 
Some restrictions on their movements were 
removed and only three divinity lectures a week 
were insisted on.'*^ 

In the autumn of the next year Abbot 
Paslew became implicated in the Pilgrimage of 
Grace. The abbey of Sawley, close by, was the 
centre of the movement in Craven and the 
adjoining parts of Lancashire. At the end of 
October, 1536, Nicholas Tempest, one of the 
Yorkshire leaders of the rising, came to 
Whalley with 400 men and swore the abbot 
and his brethren to the cause of the commons.'*" 
Paslew is alleged to have lent Tempest a horse 
and some plate ; '*^ Aske, however, said he had 
no money from the abbot as he had from other 
abbots and priors, but intended to have.^'^ It 
may be that Paslew yielded reluctantly to the 

'" Ibid. fol. 206, 207. '" Ibid. fol. 225. 

^« Ibid. fol. 228. 

''« L. and P. Hen. nil, xii (i), 62 1. 

^" Whitaker, op. cit. i, 1 1 6-3 1 . Owing to some 
error or misreading of a rubric Dr. Whitaker refers 
the whole meat and fish bill of the abbey (which in 
1478 was over ^97, in 1521 nearly ^^ 144) to the 
abbot's own table. Comparison with the manu- 
script ' Compoti ' of the bursars for 1484-1505 and 
1507 to the end, preserved in a Towneley MS., 
leaves no doubt on this point. 

''« L. and P. Hen. Fill, x, 364. 

'*' Whitaker, op. cit. i, 107. 

^'^ This step was decided on as early as 22 Oc- 
tober (L. and P. Hen. Fill, xii (i), 1020), but the 
only recorded occupation of Whalley by the rebels 
took place on the last day of the month ; ibid, xi, 
947. They dispersed the same day on hearing of 
the truce concluded at Doncaster. 

=='Ibid. xii(i), 853, 879. ^"Ibid. 853. 



disaffection by which he was surrounded. A 
grant by the convent of a rent of £(> ly. ^d. 
to Cromwell on i January, 1537, perhaps marks 
an attempt to make their peace with the 
government.'" But such offences as theirs 
were not overlooked. Yet as they were 
covered by the pardon granted in October there 
must have been subsequent offences. Shortly 
after Paslew sent a message to the abbot of 
Hailes that he was 'sore stopped and acrased.' 
His letter was intercepted and may have 
contained something incriminatory.^" Doubt- 
less he involved himself in the last phase of the 
' Pilgrimage.' ^'^ He was tried at Lancaster and 
executed there on 10 March. ^'^ His fellow 
monk William Haydock shared his fate, but was 
sent to Whalley for execution.'" The Earl of 
Sussex, royal commissioner with the Earl of 
Derby, wrote next day to Cromwell 

the accomplishment of the matter of Whalley was 
God's ordinance ; else seeing my lord of Derby 
is steward of the house and so many gentlemen 
the abbot's fee'd men, it would have been hard 
to find anything against him in these parts. 
It will be a terror to corrupt minds hereafter."' 

The possessions of the house were held to be 
forfeited by the abbot's attainder, and the king 
gave orders that as it had been so infected with 
treason all the monks should be transferred to 
other monasteries or to secular capacities. He 
wrote vaguely of a new establishment of the 
abbey ' as shalbe thought meet for the honour 
of God, our surety and the benefit of the 
county,' '*' but it remained in the hands of 
the crown until 6 June, 1553, when the site 
and the manor of Whalley were sold to John 
Braddyl (to whose custody they had been 
committed after the forfeiture and who had 

'" Whitaker, op. cit. i, 108. 

"' L. and P. Hen. VIII, xii (i), 389. 

*" This seems implied in L. and P. Hen. Fill, xii 
(2), 205. 

"* Stow, Chron. 574. Whitaker (op. cit. [ed. 3], 
82, 140, corrected ed. 4., i, 109) accepted the tra- 
dition that he was executed at Whalley and gave 
the date as 1 2 March, referring to a register of the 
abbey. But Stew's accuracy is established by Sussex's 
letter from Lancaster on 1 1 March and the king's 
reply ; L. and P. Hen. mi, xii (i), 630 ; S.P. 
Hen. Fill (Rec. Com.), i, 54.2. A letter of Paslew 
is in Bodl. MS. 106, fol. Z2. 

"' Stow, loc. cit. He aids that John Eastgate, 
another monk of the house, was executed with the 
abbot and his quarters set up in various Lancashire 
towns. But he seems to have confused him with 
Richard Eastgate, a monk of Sawley ; L. and P. Hen 
VIII, xii (I), 632; S.P. Hen. Fill (Rec. Com.), i, 54.2^ 

"^ L. and P. Hen. Fill, xii (i), 630. 

"^ S.P Hen. Fill (Rec. Com.), i, 542. An inventory 
of its goods made on 24 March is in the Appendix to 
the Cotuher 1255. A letter to Cromwell implies that 
the monks were given 40/. and their ' capacities ' to 
enter secular life ; L. and P. Hen. Fill, xii (z), 205. 

leased them since 12 April, 1543,) and Richard 
Assheton.''"' A partition was at once arranged 
by which Braddyl took most of the land and 
Assheton the house. 

The abbey was dedicated to St. Mary. The 
most important of the new endowments bestowed 
upon the house in the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries have already been noticed. Few 
additions were made after the acquisition of 
Whalley. Thomas of Lancaster gave half the 
adjoining township of Billington in 1318,'°^ and 
the other moiety was granted with the manor of 
Le Cho in 1332 by Geoffrey de Scrope."^^ The 
gift of Toxteth by Earl Thomas seems to have 
been cancelled when the project of removing the 
abbey thither was abandoned. A third of the 
manor of Wiswell and a tenth of that of Read, 
both in the vicinity of the abbey, were acquired 
respectively in 1340 and 1342.^°' Some smaller 
gifts of land were made to the abbey in the 
parish of Rochdale. Its temporalities before the 
removal to Whalley had been assessed in 1291 
for the tenth at just over ;^75.'" In 1535 they 
were worth ;^279 a year, almost exactly the 
figure at which they had appeared in the 
'compotus' of 1478.'*° 

Its four appropriated churches, Eccles, Roch- 
dale, Blackburn, and Whalley, were rated in the 
taxation of 1291 at something less than ;^I50 
a year, but their real value was greater.''" In 
the ' compotus ' of 1478 the income derived from 
them is stated to be ^^356, which rises in 1521 
to ;^592.'" In 1535 it was ;^272 Js. Sd.^"^ 
The gross income of the abbey's temporalities 
and spiritualities in that year amounted therefore 
'o ;£55i ¥• (>d. After the deduction of certain 
fixed charges the abbey's new assessment for the 
tenth was ^32 1 gs. i^. The fixed charges 
mcluded ;^43 los. in pensions to the four vicars 
of its churches, a contribution of £2 31. 4^. to 
the Cistercian College of St. Bernard at Oxford,'"' 

'^ Coucher, 1175. The purchase-money was^z ,132. 
Braddyl was a servant of that devourer of monastic 
lands Sir Thomas Holcroft ; Lanes. Pleadings, ii, 215. 

«' Coucher, 939. »«» Ibid. 998. 

^ ibid. 1082, 1092. ^ PopeNich. Tax,2S9, 309- 

"^ Falor Eccl. v, 229 ; Whitaker, op. cit. 1, 1 17 sqq. 
Their most valuable lands were those of Staining, Bil- 
lington, Rochdale, Stanney, and Cronton in the order 

^"Tt;.-,7^^''' "^°°" ^^""^ Stanney, Ashton, Acton, 
and WiUmgton in Cheshire; Whalley, Marland, Stain- 
mg, Cronton, and Billington in Lancashire. For their 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction see ibid. 174-5 263 270- 
Coucher, 1173 ; ActBL of Whalley (Chet. Soc. [New 

■■ >Vhitaker, op. cit. i, 1 16. The latter year was 
probably exceptional. 

L! ^."^"A"}- "' "7- Whalley, ^9, 6s. Sd. 

In addition to the keep there of a scholar from 
the abbey, which seems to have cost /c a year, and 
the expenses of his graduation. The bachelor gradua- 
tion expenses of a scholar in 1478 appear in the 



over £^(i in fees to stewards and other officers 
headed by the Earl of Derby, chief steward, with 
;^5 6f. 8iS?.'™ The abbey employed five receivers 
and eleven bailiffs. Over ;^ii6 was allowed for 
almsgiving and the support of the poor. By a 
provision of John de Lacy the house was bound 
to keep twenty-four poor and feeble folk. This 
cost nearly £\(), the relief of casual poor coming 
to the monastery over £62, and the residue came 
under the head of alms on special occasions.''^ 

The abbey produced no chronicle. The 
' Liber Loci Benedicti de Whalley,' a miscel- 
laneous register extending from 1296 to 1346, 
includes two political poems of the early years of 
Edward IIL"^' An account of the early history 
of Whalley church is well-known under the 
title of Status de Bkgbormhire}'''^'^ 

Abbots of Stanlaw and Whalley "' 

Ralph, first abbot, died 24 Aug. 1209 


Charles,"' occurs 1226-44 


Simon,"* occurs Oct. 1259, died 7 Dec. 1268 

Richard of Thornton,"^ died 7 Dec. 1269 

Richard Norbury "* (Northbury), died i Jan. 

Robert Haworth,'" resigned before 8 June, 

1292, died 22 April, 1304 
Gregory of Norbury "* (Northbury), occurs 

1292, died 22 Jan. 1309-10 
Eliasof Worsley,"' S.T. P., resigned ; died 13 18 
John of Belfield, died 25 July 1323 

'™ The fees given to gentlemen who did not hold 
abbey oiRces — referred to by Sussex in the letter quoted 
above — may be seen in the 'compoti.' In 1 52 1 
Lord Monteagle, Master Marney, Hugh Sherborne, 
esq., John Talbot, and others received sums from £2 
downwards ; Whitaker, op. cit. i, i z i . 

'" VahrEccl. v, 230. 

'"' Add. MS. 10374 ; Whitaker, op. cit. i, 155 ; 
a Whalley lectionary is printed, ibid. 193-9. 

"'"CoaAr, 186. 

'" Where not otherwise stated the authority for the 
following names and dates is the professedly complete 
list of abbots in Cotton MS. Titus, F. 3, fol. 2 5 8, printed 
(with some discrepancies in detail) by Whitaker {Hist. 
of Whalley [ed. 4], i, 88 sqq), and [abbots of Stanlaw 
only] by Ormerod (Hist, of Che s. ii, 398 sqq.). 

'" Cal. of Pat. 1225-32, p. 71 ; Coucher, 883. 

'" Ormerod, loc. cit. 

'" Ormerod is inclined to affiliate him to the family 
of Le Roter of Thornton near Stanlaw. 

376 I Nocte circumcisionis ' ; Whitaker, op. cit. i, 
88; 7 Kal. Jan.; Ormerod, loc. cit. '" Coucher, 810. 

"' Ibid. Summoned to the Parliament of 6 Jan. 
1300 ; Whitaker, op. cit. i, 1 5 1. By an error with 
regard to the feast of St. Vincent Martyr observed in 
England the editors (ibid. 91) place his death on 
9 June, 1309. 

'" He made his profession of obedience to Bishop 
Langton on 12 April, 1310 ; Lich. Epis. Reg. 
Langton, fol. 57^5. According to the Cotton MS. he 
died at the monastery of Bexley, which may be iden- 
tified with the Cistercian abbey of Boxley in Kent. 

Robert of Topcliffe,'^" resigned in or before 

1342, died 20 Feb. 1 350-1 
John Lindley,^^^ D.D., occurs 1342-77 
William Selby,'^^ occurs 19 March, 1379-80, 

and 25 April 1383 (?) 
Nicholas of York,'^' occurs 1392, died 141 7 

or 1418 
William Whalley,'^'' occurs 7 April, 14 18, 

and 5 Aug. 1426, died 1434 
John Eccles,^*^ died 1442 or 1443 
Nicholas Billington,'^' occurs c. 1445 and 

Aug. 1447 
Robert Hamond '" 
William Billington 

Ralph Clitheroe (or Slater),'*^ occurs 1464-7 
Ralph Holden,^^' elected 1472, died 1480 

or 1481 
Christopher Thornbergh,''" elected 1481, died 

1486 or 1487 
William Read,'" elected 1487 ; died 13 July, 

John Paslew,'^^ elected 7 August, 1507 ; 

executed 10 March, 1537 

The common seal of the abbey was round ; 
in the middle the Virgin seated with the Child 
on her left knee under a Gothic canopy ; on 
each side of her a shield, that on the dexter bear- 
ing 3 garbs with a star over it (Chester), the one 
on the sinister a lion rampant (Lacy), over it a 
crescent surmounted with a fleur-de-lys ; in a 
niche beneath, the abbot with pastoral stafF.'^' 
Legend : — 


'^ Sub-prior in 1306 ; Whitaker, op. cit. i, 93, 9;. 

"• Ibid, i, 95. 

»'=Towneley MS. fol. 273, 324-6. The date 
1323 must be an error. Previously vicar of Whalley. 

'*' Whitaker, op. cit. i, 1 00, from Inq. p.m. 

"* Ibid. ; Towneley MS. fol. 264. 

'''Whitaker, op. cit. i, 103, from Inq. p.m. 

''* Lich. Epis. Reg. Booth, fol. 451^ ; Pal. of Lane. 
Plea R. 10, m. -jb. 

'"Whitaker (op. cit. i, 103) suggests that this is a 
mistake for Harwood, but Hamond or Haymond is a 
name which occurs at Combermere ; Ormerod, op. 
cit. iii, 404). 

'" Pal. of Lane. Plea R. 4 Edw. IV, m. 22. Whita- 
ker places him before the three preceding abbots. 

''' Part of 1479 fell in his seventh year (Whitaker, 
op. cit. i, 104). 

'^ His fourth year extended into 1485 ; Towneley 
Compoti, sub anno. 

'" His first year extended into 1488 ; ibid. ; Whit- 
aker, op. cit. i, 105. 

'" Ibid. His execution took place in the thirtieth 
year of his abbacy. Stow {Jnn. 574) reckons him 
as the twenty-fifth abbot. He was between 60 and 
70 in 1530 and his health was already broken ; Lanes. 
Plead, i, 204-5. 

'" B.M. Cat. of Seals, i, 806. Figured in Whitaker, 
op. cit. i, 201. See ibid, for the canting arms of the 
abbey, three whales with croziers issuing from their 





The Augustinian priory of Conishead was 
originally founded as a hospital in the reign of 
Henry II and before 1181, the year of the 
death of Roger, archbishop of York, who licensed 
the appropriation to the brethren of the churches 
of Pennington in Furness and of Muncaster 
and Whitbeck in Cumberland,^ the gift of 
Gamel de Pennington.^ Gamel, who also gave 
the church of Orton in Westmorland and the 
vill of Poulton in Lonsdale and whose manor of 
Pennington adjoined the estate on which the 
hospital was built, was probably its founder ; he 
is so described in several late mediaeval docu- 
ments.' That honour has, however, been claimed 
for William de Lancaster II, baron of Kendal 
(i 170-84) and tenant of the manor of Ulverston 
under Furness Abbey, who granted to the house 
all Conishead, the church of Ulverston, and 40 
acres in its fields ; a salt-work and rights of 
turbary, pasture, pannage, and timber-taking in 
his wood of Furness and manor of Ulverston ; 
and whose descendants held the advowson or 
patronage of the priory.* But Mr. Farrer 
suggests that as far as Conishead was concerned 
he was only confirming as superior lord an original 
gift of Gamel de Pennington.' 

This suggestion is open to the objection that 
he does not mention Gamel and that Conishead 
is not enumerated among the latter's gifts in 
Edward II's inspeximus. Possibly the true 
explanation of these contradictions maybe found 
in a remark dropped by a visitor to the priory 
in 1535. After stating that it was founded by 
Gamel de Pennington in 1067 (? 11 67) he 
adds : — ' It was in strife for some time being 
built upon the land of William Lancaster, baron 
of Kirkby Kendal and Ulverston.' ° If there 
was a dispute William de Lancaster may have 
ignored Gamel's grant and made a new one. 

' Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., L. 291 ; Farrer, Law/. 
Pipe R. 366. 

' Pat. 12 Edw. II, pt. 1, m. 22 (which also con- 
firms his gift of Orton church and Poulton). A grant 
of Muncaster and its chapel of St. Aldeburge by his 
eldest son Benet vpith the consent of Alan his heir 
(Duch. of Lane. Anct. D., L. 5 79) is regarded by Mr. 
Farrer (op. cit. 360) as a confirmation of his father's 
gift, to which, however, it makes no reference. 

' Dodsworth MSS. (Bodl. Lib.), cxxxi, fol. 1-84 ; 
Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, No. 1 5 ; 
L. and P. Hen. Fill, ix, 1173. 

* In the absence of an original and of a chartulary 
of the house this charter is only known in an abbre- 
viated form from the general inspeximus by Edw. II, 
of the priory's evidences. (See note 2 above.) Mr. 
Farrer attempts a reconstruction ; Lanes. Pipe R. 356. 

' Ibid. 357. ' L. and P. Hen. VIIl, ix, 1173. 

On the death without issue in 1246 or 
William de Lancaster III, and the division of his 
lands between the sons of his sisters Heloise de 
Bruce and Alice de Lindsay, the patronage of 
Conishead formed part of the Lindsay moiety 
and so passed by marriage into the possession of 
the family of Couci (or de Guines).' William 
de Couci dying childless in 1343 it may be pre- 
sumed to have followed the fortunes of this fief, 
which was frequently regranted by the crown 
and as frequently escheated again. The last 
subject who held it before the dissolution of 
the monasteries was the illegitimate son of 
Henry VIII, Henry, duke of Richmond, but in 
1536 it was once more in the hands of the 

William de Lancaster II followed up his charter 
by further gifts, and before his death in 1 184 the 
promotion of the house to the dignity of a priory 
seems to have taken place.' His grandson William 
de Lancaster III was also a generous donor, and 
finally gave the advowson and custody of the 
leper hospital of St. Leonard at Kendal on his 
death-bed. Other early benefactors were John 
son of Punzun, who gave the church of Ponsonby 
in Cumberland to the priory while it was still a 
hospital ; Maldred son of Gamel de Pennington, 
Alexander son of Gerold and his wife, Alice de 
Romilly, William de Bardsey, John de Copeland, 
and Anselm son of Michael (le Fleming) de Fur- 
ness, from whom they obtained the chapel of 
Drigg, near Ravenglass on the Cumberland coast.' 
Most of these grants are only known from the 
general confirmation of their charters which the 

' Cal. of Pat. 1330-4, p. 560 and 1340-3, p. 70. 
It went with a moiety of Ulverston. It is true that 
in a division of the Bruce moiety of the barony of 
Kendal effected in or before 1297 (ibid. 1 292-1 301, 
p. 304) between William de Ros and his cousin 
Marmaduke de Twenge, the patronage of Conishead 
is included in the share of the latter. But this must 
surely be an error or a baseless claim ; in the later 
division of 1 301 it does not appear; Lanes. Final 
Concords (Rec. Soc), i, 213-15. For the descent of 
the Lancaster estates see Cal. of Pat. 1381-92, p. 417 ; 
Lanes. Inquests (Rec. Soc), i, 168, 240 ; Ferguson, 
Hist, of Westmld. 118; Nicolson and Burn, Hist, of 
ITestmld. and Cumb. \, 40. 

' His grant of Gascow was made ' Deo et ecclesiae 
B. Mariae de Conyngeshevede etcanonicis ibidem Deo 
servientibus ' {Lanes. Pipe R. 359), while earlier bene- 
factions were made to ' the hospital (or house) of St. 
Mary of C. and the brethren there.' 

' Drigg, now a separate parish church, may have 
been a chapel in the parish of Ireton ; Nicolson and 
Burn {Hist, of Westmld. and Cumb. ii, 25) needlessly 
question its identification with the ' capella de Dreg ' 
given to Conishead, on the ground that part of the 
manor of Drigg belonged to Calder Abbey. 


canons secured from Edward II at York in 1 3 1 8.^" 
In 1256 Magnus, king of Man and the Isles, had 
freed ' his special friends the prior and convent 
of Conishead ' from all toll throughout his 

That so considerable a part of their endow- 
ments lay remote from the priory in South Cum- 
berland (Copeland) was not wholly an accident. 
The monks of Furness were naturally jealous of 
the rise of another religious house so close to their 
own and on land of which they were chief lords. 
Earl William de Warenne had, indeed, at their 
instance forbidden the establishment of a second 
house within the bounds of Furness,^* and the 
original form of a hospital may possibly have 
been intended to get round this prohibition. The 
abbey and the priory were soon involved in a 
dispute, the former claiming the churches of 
Ulverston and Pennington as chapels of their 
appropriate church of Urswick, and the canons 
asserting their right to Hawkshead chapel, as 
dependent upon the church of Ulverston,^' and 
to the fishery at Depestal. An amicable settle- 
ment was, however, arrived at in 1208 by the 
mediation of certain magnates and the advice of 
the abbot of Savigny and other heads of Cister- 
cian houses. The claims in question were respec- 
tively abandoned and the opportunity was taken 
to impose restrictions on the younger house which 
would avert future quarrels. The number of 
■canons was never to exceed thirteen without the 
permission of Furness Abbey ; no woman must 
■dwell in the house, and any future acquisitions of 
land in Furness must be confined (except by the 
abbey's consent) to the Ulverston fief, and even 
here were not to amount in the total to more 
than a third of its area. Monks and canons 
agreed to live in relations of brotherly affection, 
each giving the other advice and help when need 
arose. This settlement being considered specially 
favourable to the priory, it was required to pay to 
Furness an annual pension of 501." Yet the 
affair did not end here. The rector of Ulverston 
still asserted the rights of his church over Hawks- 
head chapel ; the monks of Furness apparently 
thought they had got the worst of the compro- 
mise. But the former ultimately admitted their 
contention on condition of being allowed to 
hold the chapel from Dalton for the rest of his 
life," and the archdeacon of Richmond com- 
pleted the pacification by raising the pension 
payable by the canons to Furness to £(>^^ 

'» Pat. 12 Edw. II, pt. I, m. 22 ; Dugdale, Moti. 
Vi, 556. " Ibid. 558. 

" Fumeu Coucher (Chet. Soc), 1 26. 

" Furness contended that it was a chapel of Dalton. 

" Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., L.^oo ; Lanes. Pipe R. 
362. The Furness Coucher (437) supplies the date. 

'Mbid. 651. 

'° In 1230 according to Notit. Cestr. u, 533 ; no 
jreference is given. This was certainly the amount paid 
In 1292 {Pope Nkh. Tax. 308), and down to the 
Dissolution ; Falor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 271. 

Henceforth the two houses seem to have lived on 
good terms. 

It was part of the arrangement of 1 208 that 
the priory should enjoy the same rights in the 
churches of Ulverston and Pennington as Furness 
had in Urswick. Archbishop Roger had, we have 
seen, already appropriated Pennington to the 
house, but the archdeacon of Richmond was in- 
duced to confirm his charter.^' He proceeded to 
appropriate Ulverston to the use of the canons at 
the instance of the patron, Gilbert Fitz Reinfred, 
son-in-law of William de Lancaster 11.^* No 
vicarage was ever ordained here or indeed in any 
of the Conishead churches in the diocese of York. 
With the exception of Ulverston, whose proximity 
to the priory supplied a ground for appropriating 
it in spirituals as well as temporalities, none of 
them was worth more than ;f 10 a year." They 
were served by stipendiary chaplains.^ At Orton 
in the diocese of Carlisle, which was more valua- 
ble. Bishop Hugh (1219-23) in sanctioning an 
appropriation insisted on the appointment of a 
vicar, but the living was sometimes held by canons 
of the house.^^ In 1220 Orton, in spite of the 
appropriation, was withheld from them by one 
J. de Rumeli, clerk, but a commission named 
by Pope Honorius III decided in their favour.^^ 

Early in the fourteenth century the priory's 
right to Orton church was again assailed. The 
abbot of Whitby claimed it as a chapel of his appro- 
priate church of Crosby Ravensworth, and in 
1309 took forcible possession. Next year both 
parties agreed to arbitration, which resulted in 
favour of Conishead.^^ The priory suffered 
severely during the Scottish invasion of 13 16. 
The taxable value of Ulverston rectory had to be 
reduced by five-sixths, and its other churches in 
the archdeaconry of Richmond entirely relieved 

" This seems the natural point to place Archdeacon 
Honorius's confirmation of the appropriation ofMun- 
caster, Whitbeck, and Pennington ; Lanes. Pipe R. ^66. 

" Ibid. 364. 

" In 1292 Ulverston was taxed at ^^29 6s. id. ; 
Pope Nich. Tax. 308. 

^'' Boniface IX, in 1390, granted an indult that the 
churches of Ulverston and Muncaster and the chapel 
of Drigg should be served ' as has been done from time 
immemorial ' by stipendiary priests removable at their 
pleasure ; Cal. Pap. Letters, iv, 367. 

" Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., L. 292, 293 ; Nicolson 
and Burn, op. cit. i, 482, 483. In admitting Simon 
of Horbling as vicar in 128 1, Bishop Ireton stipulated 
that the rule which forbad the canons to go into the 
outer world alone should be observed by associating 
with him a fellow canon and a secular chaplain and 
that he should not personally administer the sacraments. 

" Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., L. 563. They claimed 
to have possessed the appropriation ' aliquamdiu,' so 
that Bishop Hugh may only have been confirming an 
earlier assignment. The papal order implies that 
Orton was not the only possession of which Conishead 
had at this time been unlawfully deprived. 

" Col. of Pat. 1307-13, pp. 245, 246 ; Duchy of 
Lane. Anct. D., L. 294. 



of taxation.'* In 1 341 a royal licence was 
granted to the canons to appropriate the church 
of Hale in Copeland, the gift of Adam son of 
Richard of Ulverston.-' 

A century later (1440) they were obliged to 
go to law to recover their rights in the hospital 
of St. Leonard at Kendal, of which they had 
been disseised by Sir Thomas Parr, who inherited 
part of the Bruce moiety of the Lancaster estates.-* 
As early as 1525 the house was threatened with 
dissolution. Certain persons brought pressure to 
bear on Wolsey to take it into the king's hands, 
apparently as one of the small monasteries which 
the cardinal was authorized by Pope Clement VII 
to suppress in order to endow his college at Oxford. 
The Duke of Suffolk intervened on its behalf; 
' the house,' he said, ' is of great succour to the 
King's subjects and the prior of virtuous disposi- 
tion.' ^ For the moment the danger passed. 
The next prior, Thomas Lord, was represented 
in a much less favourable light in 1533. Dr. 
Thomas Legh, afterwards too well known as the 
visitor of the monasteries, accused him in a letter 
to Cromwell as having contrived the murder with 
circumstances of great barbarity, on 18 July in 
that year, of his(Legh's) kinsman, John Bardsey, 
a neighbour of the priory. The crime had been 
reported to Mr. Justice Fitz Herbert at the ensuing 
Lancaster assizes, but no indictment was put in 
as the matter was 'colourably borne by divers 
gentlemen.' ^ Legh does not mention the motive 
of the assassins, and the charge against the prior 
can hardly have been sustained, for no action 
seems to have been taken against him. The 
only corroboration, if it can be called such, is 
contained in a petition to the chancellor of the 
duchy from Richard Johnson, who asserted that 
the prior had maliciously ejected him from the 
office of ' Carter or Guyder of Levyn sands in 
Furness,' which his father and grandfather had 
held before him, because he arrested Edward 
Lancaster, who by the prior's command had 
murdered the petitioner's master, John Bardsey." 
Having an income of less than ;^200 a year, 
the priory was dissolved under the Act of Feb- 
ruary 1536. There were then eight canons 
including the prior, an ex-prior with a pension, 
and one canon who was ' keeping cure ' at Orton 

'* Pope Nich. Tax. 308. There must have been a 
considerable recovery by 1390 when the priory was 
said to be worth 340 marks a year ; Cal. Pap. Letters, 
iv, 367. 

" Ca/. of Pat. 1304-43. P- 195- The archdeacon 
of Richmond gave his consent in 1 345 ; Nicolson and 
Bum, op. cit. ii, 31. In 1292 it was taxed as worth 
£6 ly. ^d. reduced in 13 18 to £z. 

^ Duchy of Lane. Class x 3, ii, 31. 

" L. and P. Hen. VIII, iv (i), 1253. 

" Ibid, vi, 1 1 24. 

" Duchy of Lane Misc. bdle. 158, No. 22. John 
Hartley held this office of ' Conductor of all the king's 
people across the sands of the sea called Leven sands ' 
at the Dissolution. 

church, but revocable. The two latter desired to 
be released from their vows.'" If Doctors Legh 
and Layton, the visitors of the previous autumn, 
are to be believed, five of them were guilty of 
incontinence, two in an aggravated form.^' 

Two persons, one a widow, * had their living ' 
of the house. Alms to the amount of nearly ^^9 
a year were given to the poor, the greater part 
by the direction of the founder. Nine waitinir 
servants, fourteen common officers of household, 
and sixteen servants of husbandry were employed. 
Church and buildings were found in ' good state 
and plight.''" The prior was provided for by 
the vicarage of Orton, the others were allowed 
pensions of ^i ijs. id.^^ They were not yet 
dispersed or had returned when on 16 October, 
1536, they wrote to certain of the northern rebels 
asking for their help.'* 

The priory was dedicated to St. Mary. Its 
original endowments as a hospital had since been 
largely increased by successive benefactors, chiefly 
in Furness, Westmorland, and Copeland. 
William de Lancaster III extended their demesne 
lands in the parish of Ulverston, and his other 
gifts included fishery rights in Thurstan Water 
(Coniston Lake) and the rivers Crake and Leven." 
In Furness, lands were given at Bardsey by the 
family of that name,'^ at Torver, by John son of 
Roger de Lancaster,''' in Copeland, lands at 
Whitbeck by the Morthyng family and others,'^ 
at Hale by Adam son of Richard de Ulverston.'' 
In Westmoriand, besides Kendal hospital and 
Baysbrown in Langdale, another gift of William 
de Lancaster III, they possessed a moiety of the 
vill of Patton, the gift of John son of Richard de 
Coupland,*" the manor of Haverbrack (in Beetham 
parish), given by Margaret de Ros,*' niece of 
William de Lancaster III, and other lands. 
Poulton in Lonsdale was alienated by the priory 
in 1235,*' but at the Dissolution it had some 
valuable property in Lancaster." These tempo- 
ralities were valued for the tenth in 1535 at 

" Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, No. 7. 
In 1390 the number of canons had been nine ; Cal. 
of Pap. Letters, iv, 367. 

^1 L. and P. Hen. Fill, x, 364. 

" Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. c,No. 7. 

"Ibid.ptfo. s, Nos. 8, II. ' 

" L. and P. Hen. Fill, xi, 1279. 

" Dugdale, Mon. v, 55 ; Duchy of Lane. Anct. D.. 
L. 578. 

" Dugdale, Mon. v, 55. 

" Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., L. 565. 

"Ibid. L. 568, 569, 571-4, 584, 586 ; Nicolson 
and ijurn, op. cit. u, 1 6. 

''Cal. of Pat. 1340-3, p. ,95. 

*»Pat. i2Edw. II, pt. i,m. 22. 

" Ibid. ; Nicobon and Bum, op. cit. i 227 

" Lanes. Final Con. (Rec. Soc), i, 63. ' 

" Duchy of Lane. Rental and Su'rv. ptfo. 5, No 11 
The pnory had bailiffi at Blawith (par. of Ulverston); 
Baysbrown, Whitbeck, and Haverbrack, and a fifth for 
Its Lancashire lands. 



about ;^52, seven churches and the chapel of 
Drigg at a little over £ll^ and after all deduc- 
tions the clear annual income of the house was 
estimated to be £,<^']^'^ The commissioners who 
made a re-valuation at the Dissolution raised it 
to ;^i6i 5f. C)d.^^ They valued the bells and 
lead at ;^44 i8j., and movable goods at over 
j^288. The debts owed by the house were nearly 


Thomas Burgoyn, one of the commissioners, 
sought to purchase the site of the priory and 
other lands,** but the negotiations fell through, 
and the demesne lands were at first farmed by 
Lord Monteagle, and in 1547 granted to Sir 
William Paget.*' 

Priors of Conishead 

R. prior,** occurs between 1 1 94 and 1 1 99. 
Thomas,*' occurs before May, 1206, and in 

John,^" occurs 1235 and 1258-9 
Thomas of Morthyng,"^ occurs between 1272 

and 1292 
Robert,'^' occurs 1292 
William Fleming,'^ occurs 1309 and 13 18 
John,^' occurs March 1343 
Richard of Bolton,^* occurs 1373, 1376, and 

John Conyers,*' occurs c. 1430 

" Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, No. 2; 
Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 271. In 1390 the esti- 
mated income had been 340 marks ; Cal. Pap. Letters, 
iv, 367. This was no doubt the gross amount, but 
even allowing for this there seems to have been a con- 
siderable drop subsequently, if the figure is correct. 

" Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, No. 7. The increase 
was cliiefly on the churches. In a rental of Sept. 1536 
(ibid. No. 1 1 ) the temporalities figure at £60, the 
spiritualities at ^i 10, so that the estimate of the pre- 
vious May had been more than realized. Ulverston 
■church was farmed at just double the amount (;^2l) 
at which it was valued in 1534-5. This was said to 
leave the farmers a profit of j^io ; ibid. No. 8. Easter 
offerings and tithes realized three times as much as the 
estimate of 1535. 

** Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, No. 9. 

" Duchy of Lane. Misc. Bks. xxiii, i o d. 

*' Lanes. Pipe R. 339. 

*' Ibid. 362 ; Cockersand Chartul. 1039 ; Hist, of 
Lane. Ch. (Chet. Soc), 385-6. 

'° Lanes. Final Coneords, i, 63 ; Duchy of Lane. Anet. 
D., L. 590 ; Coram Rege R. 1 60, m. 9 d., 187, m. 44. 

" Duchy of Lane. Anet. D., L. 564. 

"^ Assize R. 408 m. 40 d. A predecessor named 
John is referred to. 

" Duchy of Lane. Anet. D., L. 565 ; Cal. 0/ Pat. 
1307-13, p. 246 ; Pat. 12 Edw. II, pt. I, m. 22. 

^ Assize R. 1435, m. 41. 

" Duchy of Lane. Anet. D., L. 1 1 9 1 , 1 1 2 7. This 
assumes that prior Richard of 140 1 (Lanes. Plea R. 
No. I, m. 266) is Richard de Bolton. 

" Co. Plae. Div. Cos. No. 34. Described as late 
prior on 9 April, 143 1. 

John,'* occurs 1505 and 1507 

George Carnforth,"' occurs 15 15-16, pen- 
sioned 1527 

Thomas Lord,"* occurs 1535, surrendered 


The Augustinian priory of Cartmel was 
founded shortly after the accession of Richard I 
by William Marshal, afterwards earl of Pem- 
broke.'° He endowed the house with the whole 
district of Cartmel, between Leven and Winster, 
granted to him out of the demesne of the 
honour of Lancaster by Henry II in 11 85 or 
1186,'" and confirmed by his son John, count of 
Mortain, on his investment with the honour by 
Richard I immediately after his accession ; '' 
John also giving Marshal permission to found a 
house of religion there and endow it with the 
entire fief.*^ 

The first canons were brought from the priory 
of Bradenstoke near Malmesbury in Wiltshire,*' 
founded in 1 1 42 by Walter of Salisbury, whose 
grandson, William earl of Salisbury, was one 
of the witnesses to Marshal's charter. This, 
however, expressly excluded any dependence 
upon the mother house. Included in the original 
endowment was the parish church of Cartmel and 
its chapels. With the consent of the ordinary 
the old church, dedicated to St. Michael, was 
appropriated to the use of the canons, pulled 
down and replaced by the new priory church of 
St. Mary, in which an altar of St. Michael was 

^' Duchy of Lane. Misc. bdle. 158, No. 22 ; Rentals 
and Surv. ptfo. 4, No. 4. 

" Probably resigned. His pension of ^10 (with 
food and drink to amount of ^^5 a year) was granted 
15 June, 1527 ; ibid. ptfo. 5, No. 11. He was alive 
in 1536 ; ibid. 

^^ Fahr Eeel. (Rec. Com.), v, 271. Became vicar 
of Orton (ibid.). According to Nieolson and Burn . 
{Hist. ofWestmld. and Cumb. i, 483) he was vicar in 
1534, but quaere. 

" The original charter is lost, but is recited in an 
inspeximus of 17 Edw. II ; Lanes. Pipe Rolls, 341. 
Tanner and Dugdale, owing to a misdating of a final 
concord which really belongs to 1208, assign it to 
1 1 88, but its mention of Marshal's wife makes it later 
than his marriage in Aug. 1189 ; ibid. 70. Com- 
parison with John's two charters {post) renders it 
probable that the grant belongs to the late months of 
that year or to n 90, and certainly not later than 
1 194. 

*° Ibid. 66, 70. It contained 9 earueates worth 
^£32 a year. 

*' Ibid. 343. Robert de Breteuil, one of the wit- 
nesses, became earl of Leicester in Aug. 1 1 90, and 
was invested with the earldom I Feb. 1 1 9 1 . 

^* Harl. Chart. 83, A. 27. Probably preceded the 
foundation charter, though Mr. Farrer {Lanes. Pipe 
R. 345) places it ' shortly after.' 

«' Testa de Nevill, ii, fol. 835. 



reserved for the use of the parishioners, the cure 
of souls being exercised by a hired secular priest 
or by one of the canons in priest's orders, ap- 
pointed and removed at the convent's sole 

The founder granted the compact fief of 
Cartmel with all his seignorial privileges therein, 
and John in confirming Marshal's charter on 
becoming king (i August, 1199) specifies in 
detail the extensive immunities conveyed — in- 
cluding sac, soc, toll, team, infangenthef and 
outfangenthef, fi-eedom from suit to hundred or 
shire courts, exemption from pleas of murder, 
theft, hamsoken and forestel, from scutage, geld, 
danegeld, dona^ scots and aids, from toll, tallage, 
lestage and pontage, from castle-work and bridge- 
work, and from all other customs and secular 
exactions.*' These privileges at first attached 
only to the demesne lands of the priory, but six 
weeks after granting Magna Carta John was 
induced to extend them to their tenants. The 
addition of the four words et omnes tenentes sui 
cost the house 200 marks ; the king had ex- 
torted this sum from them during the interdict, 
and they now agreed to set off the debt against 
his new concession.*" Later sovereigns several 
times inspected and confirmed the priory charters.*' 
In 1292 on the other hand it was called upon by 
a writ Quo warranto to show evidence for its 
immunities. Some rights it was said to claim 
were not covered by the charters ; that of hold- 
ing the sheriff's tourn the prior disclaimed ; in 
regard to wreck of the sea and waif judgement 
went against him and the crown reserved these 
rights and granted them to Edmund, earl of 
Lancaster. The assize of bread and beer was 
allowed as appendant to the market William 
Marshal had had at Cartmel.*' Confirmation 
of their charters was also obtained from Rome. 
Gregory IX, in 1233, took the priory and its 
property under the papal protection and bestowed 
a number of the privileges usually conferred on 
monasteries, such as the right to celebrate divine 
service during an interdict, and the right of 
sepulture in their church, provided the parish 
church of the defunct did not lose its dues.** 

To the founder's acquisition (by his marriage) 
of the vast Clare estates in Leinster the priory 

" Cal. Pap. Letters, iv, 366. In 1208 we hear of 
the ' rights of the prior of Cartmel and of the church 
of St. Michael of Cartmel ' (Lanes. Final Cone, i, 
39), though the priory was from the first dedicated to 
St. Mary. 

" Rot. Chart. (Rec. Com.), 8. 

* Ibid. 215 (25 July, 1215) ; Lanes. Pipe R. 247. 

" Hen. Ill in 1270 (Duchy of Lane Roy. Chart. 
No. 124) ; Edw. II in 1323 (Harl. Chart. 51, H. 2); 
Henry lY in 1401 {Cal. of Pat. I 399-1401, p. 419); 
Walter Marshal, earl of Pembroke (123 1-45), con- 
firmed his father's grant (Harl. Chart. 83, B. 38). 

'' Plae. de Quo. Warr.; Pat. 21 Edw. I, pt. i, m. 6 ; 
Rot. Chart. 23 Edw. I, m. 4. 

" Baines, Hist, of Lanes, (ei. Croston), v, 628. 

owed a connexion with Ireland which gave it .t 
less purely local position than other Lancashire 
houses save Furness. By a charter in which he 
styled himself Earl of Pembroke, Marshal granted 
to the canons the vill of Kilrush in Kildare 
(with the advowson of its church) and the 
church of Ballysax and chapel of Ballymaden in 
the diocese of Kildare to be appropriated to their 
own uses.'" The latter part of the gift involved 
them and the donor in a quarrel with the 
Augustinian canons of St. Thomas's Abbey, 
Dublin, who claimed these two benefices. A 
compromise was arranged by papal commissioners 
in 1205, the Dublin house surrendering its claim 
to the disputed churches, but being consoled by 
a grant of lands in their vicinity.'^ These Irish 
estates of Cartmel frequently required the pre- 
sence of some of their body, an interesting 
memorial of which is contained in an undated 
charter of fraternity in which the prior and 
convent of the cathedral church of Holy Trinity 
at Dublin agree to entertain any canon of 
Cartmel visiting Dublin as one of themselves, to 
celebrate masses for the souls of all members of 
that house and inscribe their names in the 
' Martyrology ' of Holy Trinity. During the 
first half of the thirteenth century the prior of 
Cartmel ' staying in England ' frequently had 
letters nominating attorneys, one of whom was 
usually a canon, to represent him in Ireland. 

The hospitality of the Dublin canons must 
have mitigated the dangers of these absences 
from the house, and the clause of the rule which 
forbade a canon to go into the world unaccom- 
panied by a fellow canon may not have been 
wholly disregarded. Nevertheless their wander- 
ings can hardly fail to have had an unsettling 
effect, and it is perhaps significant that the priory 
had been in existence barely half a century when 
disorders within it called for papal intervention. 
A number of the canons and conversi had been 
excommunicated, some for using personal vio- 
lence to each other, others for retaining property 
and refusing obedience to the prior ; the excom- 
municated canons took holy orders and celebrated 
the divine ofKces while still unabsolved. Pope In- 
nocent IV, in 1245, empowered the prior to give 
the less heinous offenders, if penitent, absolution 
and dispensation, and to suspend the recalcitrant 
for two years. Those guilty of violence were 

" Dugdale, Mon. vi, 455 ; Cal. of Pat. 1343-5, p. 
193. The priory also had land at Callan in Tippe- 
rary ; Lanes. Chart. No. 2. Cf. Chart, of St. Mary's 
Abbey, Dublin (Rolls Ser.), App. 401-3. 

" Reg. of the Abbey of St. Thomas (Rolls Ser.), 1 1 8, 
337-8. Two years after the settlement of this Irish 
dispute Cartmel was involved in litigation at home 
virith Ralph de Beetham, lord of Arnside, over fishing 
rights in the River Kent, which then as now was in 
the habit of shifting its course in the estuary from the 
Cartmel or Lancashire side to the Westmorland shore 
and vice versa. An agreement was come to in Jan. 
1 208 ; Lanes. Final Cone, i, 39. 



to be sent to him for absolution.''^ These mea- 
sures do not seem to have been entirely successful, 
for three years afterwards the archbishop of York 
commissioned the abbot of Furness and the pre- 
centor of Beverley to inquire into alleged irregu- 
larities in the house and, if necessary, to deprive 
the prior and his subordinates." 

In 1250 an old dispute writh the patrons, as to 
their control over the election of the priors and 
rights of custody during vacancies, reached a 
final settlement in the royal court. The founder 
provided in his charter that on the death of a 
prior the canons should choose two canons and 
present them to him or his heirs ' ut ille quern 
communis assensus noster elegerit. Prior effici- 
atur.' '* From other sources we learn that the 
prior-elect was then presented by the patron to 
the ordinary for admission. In 1233 the founder's 
son, Richard Marshal, earl of Pembroke, was 
proclaimed a traitor, and the canons seized the 
opportunity to get this method of election de- 
clared invalid by Pope Gregory IX.'* But the 
speedy death of Richard and the succession of 
his brother Gilbert to the title and estates doubt- 
less endangered this decision, aided perhaps by 
the fact that it had been obtained by misrepre- 
sentation, the canons having led the pope to 
understand that the form of election just described 
was 'a custom which had grown up in their 
church.' ^^ Ultimately in 1250 a final concord 
was made at Westminster between the prior and 
William de Valence and his wife Joan, grand- 
daughter of the founder, who had inherited the 
patronage, whereby the canons were in future to 
choose their prior freely, the patron's share being 
limited to the grant of a licence to elect and the 
presentation of the new prior to the ordinary — 
neither of which could be refused ; his rights of 
custody during a vacancy were made equally 
nominal. For this latter concession the convent 
gave 40 marks.'' 

" Harl. Chart. (B.M.), 83, A. 23 (j April, 1245). 
It is dated at Lyons, where Innocent was staying 
for the general Council of that year. 

" Baines, Hist, of Lanes, (ed. Croston), v, 630 
(without reference). 

" Lanes. Pipe R. 341. His further stipulation that 
the priory should never become an abbey was prob- 
ably intended to protect this control from abrogation. 
" G. E. C. Compute Peerage, vi, 201 ; Cal. Pap. 
Letters, \, 135. 
« Ibid. 

" Lanes. Final Cone, i, 1 1 1 . The patronage passed 
on the death (1324) of Aymer de Valence, earl of 
Pembroke, son of William and Joan, to his eldest 
daughter, who married John, Lord Hastings, and 
whose grandson was created earl of Pembroke in 
1339 ; it remained in that family until the death of 
the last earl in 1389 {Cal. of Pat. 1377-81, p. 620), 
when it was inherited by his cousin and heir male 
Lord Grey de Ruthin, and the Greys (earls of Kent 
fi-om 1465) held it down to the Dissolution; G. E. C. 
Complete Peerage, vi, 2 1 1 ; Duchy of Lane. Rentals 
and Surv. ptfo. 5, No. 15. 

In 1300 the patrons of the church of Whit- 
tington in Lonsdale desired to transfer the 
advowson to the priory which had long claimed 
it in virtue of a grant of Robert son of Gil- 
michael, lord of Whittington in the time of 
John, and drew a pension of two marks a year 
from the church. A jury of inquest, however, 
found that the transfer would be to the prejudice 
of the king or the Earl of Lancaster, and the 
idea was abandoned.'* Cartmel suffered severely 
from the Scottish raids of 13 16 and 1322 ; so 
much so that the valuation of the rectory for the 
tenths was reduced from £^\(i 1 31. 4^. to ;^8." 

At the beginning of the last decade of this 
century complaints of misconduct on the part of 
William Lawrence, who had been prior for nine 
years, reached the ears of the pope. He was 
accused of dilapidations, of simony in the admis- 
sion of persons applying to make their profession 
in the house, and of spending the proceeds in 
depraved uses and too frequent visits to taverns. 
The buildings were said to be in ruin, divine 
worship and hospitality neglected, and scandal 
given by the prior's too unhonest life.'" Appar- 
ently the inquiry which Boniface IX ordered in 
1390 sustained these charges, for the archbishop 
of York was ordered to deprive the prior of his 
ofHce and have a new election made (1395).*^ 
In spite of this, unless there is some error in the 
record, Lawrence was still prior five years later.*^ 

Apart from what may be contained in the 
Vatican archives still uncalendared the history of 
the priory during the fifteenth century is a blank. 
There is here a great gap in our list of priors. 
William Hale, who was prior in the last years of 
the century, appealed to Pope Alexander VI 
against a decision of Christopher Urswick, arch- 
deacon of Richmond (1494— 1500), depriving 
him of his ofKce and sequestrating the revenues 
of the priory on the ground of certain alleged 
' excesses ' not particularized. Hale asserted that 
evidence had been trumped up against him.*' 
The result of the inquiry ordered by the pope is 
not known. But Hale was still prior in 1 50 1, 
when the archbishop was requested by the house 

™ Lanes. Inq. (Rec. Soc), i, 306. The church 
was worth 20 marks. Prior Walton is alleged to 
have presented in 1299, and in 1334 ^^ priory 
secured legal recognition of its right, but does not 
seem to have been able to maintain it. (Co. Plac. 
[Chan.], Lane. No. 26.) 

" Pope Nich. Tax. 308. Its temporalities were 
similarly reassessed. See below, p. 147. 

"'' Cal. Pap. Letters, iv, 371. In 1385 two of the 
canons and some servants of the prior found surety of 
the peace towards the king ; Pal. of Lane. Docquet 
R. I, m. zb. 

" Cal. Pap. Letters, iv, 382 ; 'To allow the con- 
vent for this turn only to proceed to the election of a 
new prior and to confirm the same.' 

'* Ibid, v, 32. Indult to have plenary remission 
on his death-bed from a confessor of his own choice. 

^ MS. Corp. Christi Cant. 170, fol. 144. 




to compel the return of two of the canons, Miles 
Burre, afterwards prior, and William Payne, who 
had left the monastery without leave and engaged 
in secular disputes. The archdeacon had been 
appealed to but took no action.'* James Grigg, 
the last prior but one, confessed on his death-bed 
that he had lent ^'jo of the money of the house 
to certain persons, one of whom appears to have 
been a poor relation of his own.*' This was 
still owing when the hand of King Henry fell 
upon the priory. In February, 1536, an Act of 
Parliament authorized the dissolution of all reli- 
gious houses with less than twelve inmates, the 
clear annual income being under ;^200, and five 
commissioners were appointed on 24 April to 
make a new survey of certain Lancashire monas- 
teries. They spent the first week in June at 
Cartmel. There were only ten canons, and the 
net revenue of the house, according to the valua- 
tion made in the previous year for the tenth, was 
far below the limit of the Act ; but the com- 
missioners more than doubled the estimated 
income and brought it slightly above the mini- 
mum.*" Strictly speaking this discovery ought 
to have excluded the house from the operation 
of the Act, but its wording perhaps left it open to 
the crown to fall back upon the old valuation. 
Compared with some of the smaller monasteries 
Cartmel was not without a claim to con- 
sideration. Eight of the canons were ' of good 
conversation.' Those in whose case this testi- 
monial was withheld are doubtless the two 
canons unnamed reported by the visitors of the 
year before as guilty of incontinence, one of 
them having six children.*' Richard Preston, 
the prior, aged forty-one, was one, and the other 
was William Panell, aged sixty-eight, to whom 
the convent had given licence to live where he 
pleased and a pension of ,^5 13;. 4^'., which 
Doctors Legh and Layton had revoked. With 
these exceptions all were desirous to ' continue 
in religion ' either here or, if the house was 
dissolved, in some other monastery, and even 
Panell was resigned to that fate if he were not 
allowed a ' capacity ' to go into the world.** 
The servants of the priory numbered thirty-seven, 
of whom ten were waiting servants, nineteen 
household and estate officers, and only eight 
servants of husbandry.** A stipend of ^^6 13^. ^d. 

*' MS. Corp. Christi Cant. 170, fol. 123. 

"^ Duchy of Lane Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 4, No. 12. 

** Ibid, and ptfo. 5, No. 7. 

^' L. and P. Hen. nil, x, 364. 

*' The eight were James Eskerige, sub-prior (aet. 36), 
John Ridley, formerly cellarer (aet. 32), Brian Willen, 
last cellarer (aet. 28), Richard Bakehouse (aet. 41), 
Augustine Fell (aet. 33), Thomas Brigge (aet. 30), 
Thomas Person (aet. 25), and John Cowper (aet. 25). 
All the canons were priests. 

■"' The w.iges of the waiters ranged from 6s. %d. a 
yeir to 20^., those of the officers from 8/. to £1 6s. Sd., 
those of the hinds from 8/. to 1 6s. The whole wages 
bill was £2^ 14/. The officers were brewer, baker, 

a year was paid to the parish priest of Cartmel.** 
From time immemorial the priory had been 
bound to provide guides for those crossing the 
Cartmel Sands on the west of the peninsula and 
the Kent Sands on the east side. The ' Con- 
ductor of the King's people over Cartmel Sands ' 
was paid £6 a year.*' To the ' Cartership of 
Kent Sands ' were attached a tenement at Kent's 
Bank called the Carterhouse and certain lands 
and wages. It had recently been the subject of 
a dispute between the priory and one Edward 
Barborne, ' King's serjant in the office of groom 
porter,' which was settled by arbitration in Feb- 
ruary, 1536. Barborne was to occupy the 
office peaceably for life, binding himself to exer- 
cise it properly.'^ It looks as if he had been 
forced upon the canons by outside pressure. 
The tenants of the priory were required by their 
tenure to assist the prior and canons when 
necessary in the passage of the sands on pain of 

When the valuation for the tenth was made 
'" ^535 t^^ house claimed exemption on 
;^i2 6/. 8^. defrayed annually in alms, ;^I2 to 
seven poor persons praying daily for the soul of 
the founder, and the rest distributed on Easter 
Day among divers boys and others. But for 
some reason not stated the larger sum was dis- 

The commissioners of 1536, whose mandate 
limited them to inquiry, left the canons still 
ignorant of what their fate was to be, referring 
it to the pleasure of the king, whom the Act 
authorized to except any house from its opera- 
tion."^ Their suspense cannot, however, have 
been of long duration, for by the autumn the 
priory had been surrendered and the canons 
dispersed. Early in October Sir James Layburn 
reminded Cromwell that he had been promised 
the farm of a benefice belonging to Cartmel or 
Conishead.5' But the Pilgrimage of Grace was 

barber, cook, scullion, butler of the fratry, 2 wood- 
leaders, keeper of the woods, 2 millers, fisher, wright, 
pulter, fosterman, maltmaker, 2 shepherds, and a 
hunter. The wright received the highest wages, the 
butler of the fratry the lowest. 

" Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 4, No. 12. 
The raJor Eccl. (v, 272) only mentions two lay clerks 
in Cartmel church, to whom they were bound by 
charter to pay £% a year. Perhaps a portion of the 
tithes was set aside for the stipend of the parish priest. 

°' Valor Eccl. v, 272. 

" Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 4, 
No. 12. The cartership does not appear in the 
Valor, probably because of the endowment. On 
the dissolution of the priory the appointment passed 
into the hands of the Duchy of Lane, and the office 
was held for many generations by a family who 
derived from it their name of Carter ; Baines, Hist. 
of Lanes, (ed. Croston), v, 626. 

^ Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 4, No q. 

^ Stat, of the Realm, iii, 575. r t. ;> 

^' L. and P. Hen. Vlll,x\, 608. 


already afoot in West Yorkshire, and the move- 
ment soon spread into the northern part of 
Lancashire. In the course of October the 
commons of Cartmel restored the canons to the 
priory. The prior, however, more prudent or 
less staunch than his brethren, stole away and 
joined the king's forces at Preston.'" This was 
before he heard of the general pardon and promise 
of a northern Parliament granted to the rebels at 
Doncaster on 27 October. Apparently the 
canons now withdrew, or some of them had not 
yet re-entered, for on 1 2 December John Dakyn, 
rector of Crosby Ravensworth, Westmorland, 
and vicar-general of the archdeacon of Rich- 
mond, wrote to the prior from York informing 
him that all religious persons by the king's 
consent were to return to their suppressed houses 
until further direction should be taken by Parlia- 
ment. He trusted their monasteries should 
stand for ever.'' If this permission had been 
given by the king's representatives it was cer- 
tainly not with his consent. Nevertheless all 
the canons went back to Cartmel, save 'the 
foolish prior,' as Dakyn afterwards called him. 
This did not take place, it would seem, until 
February, 1537, when the commons of the north 
— especially Westmorland and the West Riding 
of Yorkshire — were again in arms.'* On the 
suppression of the revolt several canons of Cart- 
mel and ten laymen of that district were executed. 
Some of the ringleaders among the canons, James 
Estrigge, John Ridley, and the late sub-prior, 
were still at large in the middle of March, in 
Kendal it was thought." Prior Preston's com- 
pliance obtained him the farm of Cartmel rectory, 
his profit on which was estimated at ;^I3 6s. 8d. 
' in good years of dear corn,' and less than ;^ I O 
in bad years.^"" 

The priory was dedicated to St. Mary, our 
Lady of Cartmel.-"'^ William Marshal's original 
endowment of Cartmel and the Irish property 
enumerated above had received no very consider- 
able additions. Henry de Redman in the reign 
of Richard I gave a moiety of the vill of Silver- 
dale and fishing rights in Haweswater.'"^ Some 
property at Hest and Bolton-le-Sands was held 
by the house at the Dissolution.^"^ The canons' 

"" L. and P. Hen. VIII, xi, 947 (z). 

" Ibid, xi, 1279 ; xii (l), 787. 

'^ Ibid, xii (i), 914. Estrigge appears as Eskerige 
in the Survey of 1536 (ante) and vizs then himself 
sub-prior. ^ Ibid. 632. 

"'° Duchy of Lane. Mins. Accts. bdle. 158, Nos. 8 
and 10. 

"' It possessed a relic of the true cross, the offerings 
to which amounted to ^l yearly ; L. and P. Hen. 
Fill, X, 364 ; Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. 
ptfo. 5, No. I. 

'™ Rot. Chart. (Rec. Com.), 8. Pope Gregory's 
bull of 1233 speaks of a cell of Silverdale ; Baines, 
op. cit. v, 628. Perhaps a canon or two may at that 
time have been kept there. 

"" Valor Eccl. v, 272. 

demesne in Cartmel was extended by various 
gifts, the most important of which was the grant 
in 1245 of six oxgangs of land in Newton and 
land in Allithwaite by Peter de Coupland.^"* A 
pension of 2 marks (afterwards doubled) from 
Whittington rectory was acquired before 1233.-"'° 

Their total annual income from these tem- 
poralities (excluding the Irish lands, of which no 
valuation is extant) was estimated in i535 ^t 
j^88 i6f. 3^. derived almost entirely from Cart- 
mel. The tithes of Cartmel (;^23 ioj.) and the 
Whittington pension brought their gross revenue 
up to nearly ;^ii5. After deducting various 
fixed charges there remained a clear annual 
income of ^^91 6j. 3«/.^'"' This was increased by 
the commissioners of 1536 to ;^2I2 I2J. \o\dy^'' 
How this great difference was accounted for does 
not appear in detail, but the rectory of Cartmel 
was now estimated to be worth close upon ;^57 
a year.^°* The bells and lead of the priory 
church and buildings were valued at j^i 5 I Oj. i^dP^ 
and its movable goods at £185 1 45. 5^^."" 
Debts due to the house amounted to ^73 9^. 
and it owed ;^59 I2r. %d. 

The site of the priory was granted in 1540 
with much other monastic property in Lancashire 
and Cheshire to Thomas Holcroft."^ The 
lordship of Cartmel reverted to the duchy of 
Lancaster, to which the manor still belongs. 
Philip and Mary impropriated the rectory to 

™ Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., L. 559-60. 

'"* Baines, Hist, of Lanes, (ed. Croston), v, 629. 
Cross Crake Chapel in the parish of Heversham, West- 
morland, is said to have been given to the priory by Sir 
William de Strickland of Sizergh c. 1272 (Stockdale, 
Ann. of Cartmel, 13), but does not appear in the 
Valor. The estates officers comprised bailiffs of Cart- 
mel and Silverdale, an auditor and a receiver, whose 
salaries are recorded in the Valor (v, 272). Cartmel 
was one of the monasteries for which the Earl of 
Derby acted as chief steward ; he took an annual fee 
of ;^2. There was also a steward of the court of the 

"^ Valor Eccl. v, 272. In 1292 the temporalities 
were assessed at ^^21 11/. id. ; reduced in the 'New 
Taxation ' to ^3 6j. 8a'. ; Pope Nich. Tax. 308. 

"" Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, 
No. 7. 

"'Its taxable value in 1292 was ^^46 13/. ^d. ; 
reduced in the 'New Taxation' to ^^8 (Pope Nich. 
Tax. 308) ; in 1527 it had been found to be really 
worth ;^40 ; Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, No. 15. 
Probably the valuation of 1535 for the tenth was a 
compromise between its previous low rating and its 
actual value. 

'"' The parishioners claimed the lead on the part of 
the church used for parish purposes. 

"° Plate, etc. ^^27 3/. \^d., ornaments of the church 
(not claimed by parishioners), £t) 6s. %d., glass and 
iron bars in windows, /'12 19/., cattle, ^£73 (>s. %d., 
household stuff and implements, j^i8 13/. id., and 
corn, £54 c,s. Sd. 

"' Dugdale, Mon. vi, 454. He almost immediately 
exchanged it for lands in the south (Stockdale, Ann. 
of Cartmel, 31). 



the new see of Chester. Not content with 
the south part of the church, which had always 
been set apart for their use, the parishioners 
purchased the whole. The priory's Irish manor 
of Kilrush was granted in 1558 to Thomas, earl 
of Ormond."' 

Priors of Cartmel 

Daniel,'^' occurs between 1194 and 1 198 

William,-"^ occurs 1205 and 1208 

Absalon,"' occurs 1 22 1 and 1230 

Simon,"' occurs 1242 (?) 

Richard,^^' occurs 1250 

John "« 

William of Walton,"' occurs 1279, 1292, and 

Simon,'^ occurs 1334 
William of Kendal,^" occurs July, 1354 
Richard of Kellet,!^^ died 1380 
William Lawrence,'^' elected 138 1, deprived 

(?) 1390, died after December, 1396 
William, '^^ occurs 1441 
William Hale/-' occurs 1497-8, 1501 

'" Cal. of Pat. (Ireland), i, 385. The grant in- 
cluded a castle, gardc;n, six messuages, 360 acres of 
arable land and eleven cottages. A cell of Kilrush is 
spolcen of in Gregory IX's bull of 1233 (Baines, op. 
cit. V, 628). The canons sent to manage the Irish 
estates doubtless resided here. 

'" Lanes. Pipe R. 339 ; County Placita (Chancery), 
Lane. No. 26. 

'" Lanes. Pipe R. 36; ; Hist, of Lane. Ch. (Chet. 
See), 386 ; Lanes. Final Cone. 39 ; Beck, Ann. Fum. 
169 ; .A.dJ. MS. 332+4, fol. 60 ; Harl. MS. 3764, 
fol. 58J. 

'" Ibid. fol. 38 ; Fumess Coueher, 442 ; Add. 
MS. 33244, fol. 118. 

"• Stockdale, Ann. of Cartmel (1872), 13. It is 
possible, however, that an error in the date has dupli- 
cated the later prior of this name. 

'" Lanes. Final Cone, i, III. 

"* Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., L. 290. 

'" Lanes. Final Cone, i, 156 ; Assize R. Edw. I, 
Lane. m. 53 dorso. In 1334 a jury found that he 
presented to the rectory of Whittington in 27 Edw. I 
(County Placita (Chancery), Lane. No. 26). His 
tombstone is still in the church. 

"° Coram Rege R. 298, m. 27. Simon or a suc- 
cessor seems to have died in I 349 ; Pat. 23 Edw. Ill, 
pt. 3, m. 25. 

'" Duchy of Lane. Assize R. 3, m. i. 

'" CaL of Pat. 1377-S1, p. 584. 

'" Ibid. 584, 605, 620. Licence by the crown 
(as guardian of John de Hastings) to elect, 22 Jan. 
1381 ; r0)al assent to election of W. L. signified to 
archdeacon of Richmond, 26 Feb. ; mandate to Duke 
of Lancaster to restore the temporalities to Lawrence, 
whose election has been confirmed by the archdeacon 
and whose fealty the abbot of Fumess is ordered to 
take, 24 Apr. 

'" Pal. of Lane. Plea R. 3, m. 21. 

'" Ibid. 86, m. 3 ^.; MS. Corp. Christi Cant. 170, 
fol. 123 ; Tanner, AV;V. AfoB. sub Cartmel. A prior 
WiUiam who can hardly be Hale occurs 14.66-7 (Pal. 
of Lane. Plea R. 28, m. 11 d.). 

Miles Burre,'''*' occurs 28 September, 1504, 

and 2 February, 1 5 09 
James Grigg,'" occurs 1522, died before 

Richard Preston,^' occurs 1535, surrendered 


The seal of the priory is attached to a docu- 
ment, apparently of the thirteenth century, among 
the Duchy records in the Rolls Office. It repre- 
sents the Virgin seated, with the infant Christ 
in her lap. The Virgin is crowned and has in 
her left hand a staff with a dove on top. Part 
only of the legend remains, viz. : 





Leland attributes to the priory the arms of the 
Marshals slightly varied."" 


The Augustinian priory of Burscough was 
founded about 11 90 by Robert son of Henry, 
lord of Lathom and Knowsley, and endowed 
with land in Burscough, the whole adjoining 
township of Marton, the advowsons of three 
churches — Ormskirk, Huyton, and Flixton — the 
chapel of St. Leonard of Knowsley, and all the 
mills on his demesne."^ The presence of the 
prior of the Augustinian house at Norton, near 
Runcorn, as a witness, coupled with the fact 
that Knowsley was held of its patron, the con- 
stable of Chester, makes it not unlikely that the 
first canons of Burscough came from the Cheshire 
priory."'' Simon, the founder's father-in-law, 
became a brother of the house.^'' 

Hugh, bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, con- 
firmed the charter, as did his immediate succes- 

"° Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 4, Nos. 
7 and 12. 

'" Ibid. ; L. and P. Hen. Fill, iii (2), 2578. 

'" Val. Eecl. v, 272 ; see above, p. 146. In the 
church is the tombstone of a prior whose black letter 
inscription (probably of a date between 1350 and 
1530), now illegible, was read by Whitaker {Hist, of 
Richmond) as 'Hie jacet Wills. Br. . . . quondam Prior.' 

'" Dugdale, Mon. vi, 554. A twelfth-century seal 
with counterseal representing St. Michael and the 
Dragon is in the British Museum ; Cat. of Seals, i, 
496. Also the seal of a Prior William (ibid.). 

'*■ Collectanea, i, 102. 

"' Foundation charter in the register of the priory 
(P.R.O. Duchy of Lanes. Misc. Bks. No. 6, fol. i) ; 
the charter is printed by Farrer, Lanes. Pipe R. 349. 
Its date lies between July, 11 89, when John, count 
of Mortain, who is included in the movent clause, 
received the honour of Lancaster, and November, 
1191, the date of Bishop Hugh de Nonant's con- 
firmation ; Reg. of Burscough, fol. 683. 

'" Farrer, op. cit. 352. Prior Henry and Robert, 
archdeacon of Chester, attested Bishop Hugh's con- 
firmation as well as the founder's charter. 

^ Lanes. Final Cone. (Rec. Soc), ii, 138. 


sors, GeoflFrey de Muschamp ^'* and William de 
Cornhill (in 12 16),"' and, finally, in 1228 Pope 
Gregory IX.^'' Gregory also gave the canons 
licence to celebrate the divine offices during a 
general interdict, and to admit those who desired 
it to burial in their church, saving the rights of 
their parish churches. No canon was to leave 
the house without licence except for a stricter 
rule. Difficulties had arisen with regard to 
Robert son of Henry's gift of Flixton church. 
During the episcopate of Geoffrey de Muschamp 
{i 198-1208) the right of the priory to the 
advowson was disputed by Roger son of Henry, 
apparently the founder's brother, and Henry son 
of Bernard, probably a nephew, who claimed as 
the heirs of Henry son of Siward, the founder's 
father. An assize of darrein presentment being 
held, they obtained a verdict in their favour and 
presented Henry son of Richard [de Tar bock], 
which Richard was another brother of the 
founder.^'' Henry de Tarbock afterwards re- 
leased his rights in the church to the canons 
subject to the payment to him of 2 marks a year 
during the tenure of the benefice by Andrew 
' phisicus,' who was perhaps his vicar. He also 
promised his good offices in obtaining the appro- 
priation of the church to the priory, which in 
case of success was to allow him a pension of 
3 marks for life.^^ No appropriation took place, 
but either before or after the arrangement with 
Henry the canons secured a pension from the 
church.^'^ Towards the end of the thirteenth 
century the advowson passed into the hands of 
Bishop Roger Longespde, who appropriated the 
church, about 1280 it is said, as a prebend in 
his cathedral.-'^ 

The canons were more successful in obtaining 
the appropriation of the other two churches 
whose advowson had been granted to them. 
Bishop William de Cornhill (1215-23), 'in con- 
sideration of their religion, honesty, and im- 
moderate poverty,' gave them Ormskirk church, 
saving a competent vicarage.-'*^ A few years 
later Alexander de Stavenby, his successor, 

"* Reg. of Burscough, fol. 69. 

"^ Ibid. Duch7 of Lane. Anct. D., L. 271. 

"° Reg. of Burscough, fol. 63. 

'" Lanes. Pipe R. 353-6. It is not easy to see 
how the claimants had a better ' hereditary right ' to 
the patronage exercised by Henry son of Siward than 
the eldest son and his heirs. 

"* Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., L. 617. The date is 
after 1232. About the same time Robert de Hulton 
resigned to the priory all right and claim in the pre- 
sentation of Flixton church ; Duchy of Lane. Cart. 
Misc. i, fol. 17 ; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, No. 347. 
The rights of the priory are described by Bishop 
Alexander de Stavenby as 'Jus quam habent tam a 
patronis quam predecessoribus nostris in ecclesia de 
Flixton ' ; Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., L. 272. 

'"Ibid. L. 618. 

"" Le Neve, Fasti Eccl. Angl. i, 602. 
"' Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., L. 108. 

granted Huyton church to the priory in proprios 
ususy the gift to take effect after the death of the 
rector in possession, when he reserved the right 
to ordain a vicarage."^ It was not, however, 
until 1277 ^^^^ * vicarage was ordained, with a 
portion taxed as worth ten marks.'*' 

Eight years later the bishop, in view of the 
proximity of Ormskirk church to the priory, 
from which it was distant about three miles, con- 
sented that on the death or cession of the present 
vicar the canons should for the future be allowed 
to present one of their own number, being a 
priest and suitable.'" On a subsequent vacancy 
the convent, ' by negligence,' presented a secular 
priest, and in 1339 thought it necessary to obtain 
a renewal of the privilege from Bishop North- 
burgh, ' in relief of the charges with which they 
are heavily burdened."' Henceforth down to 
the Reformation the vicar of Ormskirk was 
always a canon of the house. In the fifteenth 
century several canons held the vicarage of 
Huyton. Disputes between the priory and the 
vicars as to their portions were not thereby obvi- 
ated. An episcopal inquiry was held in 1340 
on the petition of Alexander of Wakefield, vicar 
of Ormskirk ; "^ a dispute with John Layet, 
vicar of Huyton, was settled by arbitration in 
1387 ; and in 1461 Ralph Langley, vicar of 
Huyton, a canon of the house, secured a revision 
of his portion, which he alleged to be too 

Pope Boniface VIII in 1295 empowered the 
prior for the time being to nominate six of the 
canons, even if etate minores, provided they were 
over twenty years of age, to be promoted by any 
bishop to sacred orders and minister in them 
lawfully. On promotion to be priests they were 
to be allowed a full voice in filling up any 
vacancy in the office of prior — to which they 
might themselves be elected."^ The same pope 
granted a general confirmation of the priory's 
privileges in 1300."' 

A few years before the prior and convent had 
bestowed borough rights on their town of Orms- 
kirk,"" and obtained (in 1286) from Edward I 
and Edmund of Lancaster a grant of a market 
and five days' fair there.''' The grant and 

'" Reg. of Burscough, fol. 6<)b. 

'" Ibid. fol. 67-683. Three selions of land and a 
competent manse ' which the chaplains used to have ' 
were included. 

'" Ibid. fol. io6b. 

'" Ibid. fol. 107; Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., L. 275. 

■" Ibid. L. 588 ; Reg. of Burscough, fol. 108. 
The vicarage was declared to consist of a manse, 
4 acres of land, and ;^I0 a year in money, the priory 
bearing all charges. 

"' Reg. of Burscough, fol. 104^ ; Duchy of Lane. 
Cart. Misc. iii, fol. 74. 

'" Reg. of Burscough, fol. 66b. 

'" Ibid. fol. 103. ""Ibid. fol. 15. 

'" Chart. R. Edw. I, No. 23 ; Duchy of Lane. 
Cart. Misc. i, fol. 45 ; Reg. of Burscough, foh 13. 



other glft^ were confirmed by Edward II when 
at UphoUand on 19 October, 1323.'" In 
virtue of its market rights the priory claimed 
to take fines for breach of the assize of bread 
and ale ; this led to friction with the oflScers 
of Henry, earl of Lancaster, who in 1339 con- 
ceded the privilege for an annual payment of 

A curious episode in the history of the priory 
is the indictment in 1347 of Thomas of Lither- 
land, then prior, for alleged participation in the 
lawless proceedings of Sir John de Dalton, who 
on Good Friday in that year, assisted by many 
Lancashire men, violently abducted Margery, 
widow of Nicholas de la Beche, from heF 
manor of Beams, in Wiltshire, killing two per- 
sons and injuring others, though the king's own 
son Lionel, keeper of the realm in the king's 
absence abroad, was staying there.'" A number 
of Lancashire gentlemen came forward and 
declared that the prior was innocent. On their 
bond he was admitted to bail, and seems to have 
satisfactorily disproved the charge as he retained 
his office for nearly forty years.'" 

It was during his priorship that a benefaction 
intended to extend university education was 
diverted to the priory and its church of Huyton. 
John de Winwick (d. 1360), a Lancashire man 
who enjoyed the favour of Edward III, and held 
the rectory ofWigan and treasurership of York, 
' desiring to enrich the English church with men 
of letters,' left an endowment including the 
advowson of RadclifFe on Soar for a new college 
at Oxford, whose scholars were to study canon and 
civil law, and, on becoming bachelors or doctors, 
to lecture on these subjects."' Difficulties arose, 
however, not perhaps unconnected with the 
refusal of the pope to sanction an appropriation 
of RadclifFe church ; permission was obtained 
to transfer the endowment to Oriel College, 
but ultimately, twenty years after the testator's 
death (1380), his executors got a licence from 
Richard II to alienate the advowson of RadclifFe 
to Burscough Priory,"' and in the following 
year Alexander Neville, archbishop of York, 
allowed its appropriation to relieve the poverty 
of the house caused by the pestilence, bad sea- 
sons, and other misfortunes, and to increase 
divine worship by the foundation of a chantry 
for two priests in Huyton church."' The 
chantry was established in 1383, the bishop of 
Coventry and Lichfield fixing the stipend of each 

'" Reg. of Burscough, fol. 56. 

•^ Ibid. fol. 1 3^. 

'" Cal. of Pat. 1345-8, pp. 310, 312, 436. 

'^ John de Dalton, in his flight north, perhaps 
took refuge in one of the prior's houses ; see the 
account of UphoUand. 

'« Cal. of Pap. Letters, i, +38. 

'" Ca/. of Pat. 1377-S1, p. 560; Reg. of Bur- 
scough, fol. 73. 

"' Ibid. fol. -jSh. 

chaplain at 10 marks.'" The surplus revenues 
of the rectory (from which a vicar's portion had 
already been set aside) yielded a small annual 
income to the priory.'"'" 

A somewhat mysterious letter of Pope Urban, 
dated November, 1386, refers to certain un- 
known ' sons of iniquity ' who were concealing 
and detaining the lands and goods of the monas- 
tery, and orders the abbot of Chester to enjoin 
restitution on pain of excommunication.'" Pos- 
sibly the persons in question had taken advantage 
of the political disturbances of that year. 

Boniface IX granted a relaxation of four years 
and four quadragenes penance to penitents who 
on St. Nicholas's Day should visit and give alms 
for the conservation of the church of the 

A scandal which came to light in 1454 affords 
a curious glimpse into the state of the house at 
that date. Charges of divination, sortilege, and 
black art were brought against the prior, Robert 
Woodward, one of the canons, Thomas Fairwise, 
and the vicar of Ormskirk, William Bolton, who 
is described as late canon of the priory. An 
episcopal investigation revealed strange doings. 
One Robert, a necromancer, had undertaken for 
jTio to find hidden treasure. After swearing 
secrecy on the sacrament of bread they handed 
it over in the pyx to Robert. Three circuit 
trianguli were made, in each of which one of 
them stood, the vicar having the body of Christ 
suspended at his breast and holding in his hand 
a rod, doubtless a diviner's rod. The story ends 
here, but all three denied that any invocation of 
demons or sacrifice to them had taken place. 
Bishop Boulers suspended them for two years 
from the priestly office and from receiving the 
sacraments except in articulo mortii}"'^ Bolton 
was deprived of his vicarage and the prior had to 
resign.''' In a few months the bishop removed 
the suspension in their case, but they did not 
recover their positions. The ex-prior was allowed 
a pension of 10 marks, with a ' competent 
chamber ' in the priory, and as much bread, beer, 
and meat as fell to the share of two canons."^ 

The election of a prior always needed con- 
firmation by the diocesan,"' but the range of 
choice in a small house was limited. Half a 

'" Ibid. fol. 88, 91^. So many interests were in- 
volved that the documents beginning with Winwick's 
acquisition of the advowson and ending with Urban 
VI's consent to the appropriation, which was not 
granted until 1387, fill over sixty pages of the Register 
(fol. 71-1023). 

'" Just before the Dissolution the rectory was 
leased by the priory at a rent of ^20 a year ; Mins. 
Accts. bdle. 136, No. 2198, m. \od. 

'" Reg. of Burscough, fol. 1 04^. 

'*' Cal. of Pap. Letters, \v, 397. 

'^ Lich. Epis. Reg. Boulers, fol. 55. 

■^ Ibid. fol. 38. '« Ibid. 70. 

'" This was sometimes given by a commissary on 
the spot. 



century later another scandal occurred, apparently 
more serious, for Prior John Barton suffered 
deprivation (1511) instead of being allowed to 
resign. The nature of his offences is not dis- 
closed, but that the priory was not in a healthy 
state is evident from the fact that the bishop pre- 
ferred a canon of Kenilworth, a house of the 
same order, to the vacant office.'^"' 

As the income of the priory was less than 
j^200 it was dissolved under the Act of February, 
1536. It then contained only five canons (in- 
cluding the prior), all of whom were priests.^'* 
One had been reported by Legh and Lay ton, 
the visitors of the previous year, as guilty of in- 
continence.'^' At first only one expressed a 
desire to continue in religion, but the others 
seem afterwards to have changed their minds. 
The church and other buildings were found to 
be ' in good state and plight.' '™ The Earl of 
Derby was anxious to save the church, in which 
many of his family lay buried.'^' His intention 
was to find a priest there at his own cost ' to do 
divine service for the souls of his ancestors and 
the ease and wealth of the neighbours.'''^ But 
he complained that the king's commissioners 
valued not only the glass and bars in the windows 
and the paving, but all other goods at a higher 
price than ' they be well worth,' and his plan 
fell through. In November, 1536, during the 
disturbances of the Pilgrimage of Grace, he urged 
delay in pulling down and melting the lead and 
bells as ' in this busy world it would cause much 
murmur.' ''' 

The priory was dedicated to St. Nicholas, and 
its first endowment by Robert son of Henry con- 
sisted of three churches and a plough-land, com- 
prising part of Burscough township (including 
the hamlet of Ormskirk) and the vill of Marton.'^^ 
In the next century Robert de Lathom gave a 
fourth part of the township of Dalton, near 
Wigan,''' and a large niunber of small rents and 
parcels of land were added chiefly by the leading 

'" Robert Harvey. He was summoned to convo- 
cation in 1529 ; L. and P. Hen. VIII, iv (iii), p. 2700. 

'^ Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, 
No. 7. They had twenty-two vi^aiting servants and 
household officers and eighteen ' hinds of husbandry.' 
Two persons enjoyed board for life. 

"" L. and P. Hen. VIII, x, 364. 

"° Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, 
No. 7. 

"' Lanes. Chantries, 68. His uncle Sir James 
Stanley was steward of the priory and received an 
annual fee of £5 from the house ; Duchy of Lane. 
Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, No. 2. The first Earl of 
Derby was a great benefactor of the priory ; Testamento 
Vetusta, 459. 

"* L. and P. Hen. VIII, xi, 517. 

'" Ibid, xi, 1 1 18. In May, 1537, the earl was 
endeavouring to obtain a lease of the priory and its 
demesne lands ; ibid, xii (i), 11 15. 

''* Lanes. Inq. (Rec. Soc), i, 16. 

"' Reg. of Burscough, fol. 31^. 

local families in the surrounding district.''* In 
1283, for instance, Henry de Lathom, lord of 
Tarbock, gave a place called Ridgate, which 
Richard son of Henry his ancestor had originally 
set apart for the use of lepers, but which the 
parishioners had diverted to their own use.'" 
The only property of the house north of the 
Ribble was at EUel, a little south of Lancaster."* 
These temporalities were estimated in the valua- 
tion for the tenth made in 1534-5 to be worth 
;^56 If. \d. a year.'" The three rectories of 
Ormskirk, Huyton, and Radcliffe-on-Soar yielded 
an income of j^73, and the net revenue of the 
house after fixed charges had been deducted was 
stated to be ^^80 7^. iid. The new survey made 
at the Dissolution raised it to £122 ^s. 7^.'*° 
Inter alia the Commissioners disallowed a fixed 
charge oi £"] for alms distributed yearly for the 
souls of Henry de Lathom and his ancestors. 
The buildings with the bells and lead were valued 
at;^i48 lOf., the movable goods at ^^230 3^. 4^.'*' 
Debts due to the house amounted to ^40 6^. 8<^., 
but it owed rather more than double that sum. 
The site and demesne lands were granted to Sir 
William Paget on 28 May, 1547.'*^ 


Priors of Burscough 

Henry,'*' probably first prior, occurs bet 

1 1 89 and 1 198 
William,'*^ occurs before 1199 
Geoffrey,'*^ occurs before 1229 
Benedict,'*^ occurs 1229 and 1235 

"° The Register contains numerous charters of 
donation, the originals of some of which are extant 
among the ancient deeds of the Duchy of Lancaster in 
the Record Office. 

'" Reg. of Burscough, fol. 45^. The priory kept 
up a hospital for lepers. Henry de Lacy, earl of 
Lincoln (1272-1311), stipulated for a perpetual right 
to admit to it one of his tenants in his fee of Widnes ; 
Trans. Hist. Soe. (New Ser.), v, 131. 

'" In leasing a messuage and land here in 1338, a 
solar and stable were reserved for the canons' visits to 
Lancaster and EUel ; Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., 
L. 644. 

'" Vahr Reel. (Rec. Com.), v, 222. 

'*" The ' Brief Certificate ' of the Commissioners, 
whose instructions bear date 24 April, 1536, is in 
Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, No. 2, 
and, with some additions, in Duchy of Lane. Mins. 
Accts. bdle. 158, No. 7. 

'*' The ornaments of the church were valued 
(omitting shillings and pence) at ^97, plate and 
jewels j£27, chattels of all sorts ^^37, stuff and imple- 
ments of household j^3l, stock of corn ^^35. 

'*^ Duchy of Lane. Misc. Bks. xxiii, 10 d. 

163 ^ grant of lands by him was confirmed by the 
founder, Robert son of Henry, who died in 1198 or 
early in 1199 ; Lanes. Pipe Rolls, 353. 

''•' Ormerod, Lathom of Lathom, 66. 

'^' Mentioned as a predecessor of Benedict ; Reg. of 
Burscough, fol. "jh. 

'*= Ibid. fol. 5,6; Final Concords (Rec. Soc), i, 60. 



William,'" occurs 1245 

Nicholas,"* occurs between 1260 and 1272 

Warin,'** occurs between 1272 and 1286 

Richard,"" occurs 1303 

John of Donington,'" occurs 1322-44 

Thomas of Litherland,"^ occurs 1347-83, 

resigned 1385 
John of Wrightington,'-'' elected 1385, died 

1406 or 1407 
Thomas [of] Ellerbeck,"^ elected 1 6 February, 

1406-7, died before May, 1424 
Hugh Rainford,"' election confirmed May, 

1424, died before July, 1439 
Robert Woodward,'^' election confirmed July 

1439, resigned 4 October, 1454 
Henry Olton,^" elected 28 February,i454-5, 

died before 9 October, 1457 
Richard Ferryman,^'* elected before 9 October, 

1457, occurs down to 1478 
Hector Scarisbrick,^'* occurs 1488, died 1504 
John Barton,^*" election confirmed 6 Decem- 
ber, 1504, deprived 151 1 
Robert Harvey,^^ preferred 12 May, 151 1, 

on ' just deprivation ' of Barton, died before 

17 April, 1535 
Hugh Huxley,"'^ election confirmed 17 April, 

1535, surrendered 1536, buried at Orms- 

kirk, 1558. 

'" Reg. of Burscough, fol. 44, 

'*' Ibid. fol. igi ; Duchy of Lanes. Anct. D., L. 
592, 601. 

'" Ibid. L. 601, 610. 

'" De/>. Ketfer's Rep. xxxvi, 199 ; Reg. of Burscough, 
fol. 20. 

'" IbiJ. fol. II ; Assize R. 1435, m. 38 a'. 

'" CjI. Pal. 134.5-8, pp. 384, 436, and next note. 

'" His election (on resign.ition of Litherland) was 
confirmed by the custodian of the spiritualities of the 
diocese of Lichfield after the death of Bishop Stretton 
on 28 March, 1385 ; Reg. of Burscough, fol. no. 
He was sub-prior as early as I 38 I ; ibid. fol. 84. 

'" Cellarer in 1383 ; Reg. of Burscough, fol. 87*. 
Sub-pri T at time of his election, which was confirmed 
on 26 July, 1407 ; Lich. Epis. Reg. Burghill, fol. 


'" Lich. Epi;. Reg. Heyworth, fol. 113^, 12;. 

'* Ibid, and Reg. Boulers, fol. 38. Resigned the 
priorship into the bishop's hands on being convicted 
of necromancy ; see supra. 

'" Sub-prior before election ; Lich. Epis. Reg. 
Boulers, fol. 3 83. 

'^' Public proclamation of his election was made in 
the priory on Sunday, 9 October, and in Ormskirk 
church on the following Thur-diy. Certificate of 
confirmation by bishop's commissary dated 31 Octo- 
ber ; ibid. fol. 42. He is last mentioned under 
1478 ; Pal. of Lane. Plea R. 48, m. 5 d. 

'^ Ibid. 88. 

^ Lich. Epis. Reg. Blyth, fol. 57^. 

"' Canon of Kenil worth (ibid. fol. 56). 

"' Lich. Epis. Reg. Lee, fol. 34*. At Whitsun- 
tide 1536 the farmer of RadclifFe rectory was excused 
half his rent, which was expended on the necessaries 
of Hugh Huxley, late prior ; Mins. Accts. bdle. 136, 
No. 219S, m. 10 </. 

The seal of the priory was round, and bore a 
representation of the south front of the monastery 
buildings with the roof and tower of the church 
rising above them. On each side of the tower 
is a six-pointed star.**" Legend : — 


The priory arms, adapted from the Lathom 
shield, were : indented per fesse azure and or,, 
in chief between two croziers three annulets 


This cell of the abbey of St. Mary in the 
Meadows (de Pratis) at Leicester, served by 
Austin Canons, was established in 1207 or 1208. 
William de Lancaster I on his marriage to 
Gundreda daughter of Roger, earl of Warwick, 
cousin of Robert, earl of Leicester, founder of 
the abbey (i 143), had given the canons between 
1 1 53 and II 56 his manor of Cockerham, its 
church with the dependent chapel of Ellel, and 
the hamlets of Great and Little Crimbles.*' 
Henry II in the latter year confirmed the gift, to 
which William before 1160 added a grant of 
common of pasture throughout his fee in Lons- 
dale and Amounderness.*" His son William de 
Lancaster II (died 1 1 84) dispossessed the abbey and 
founded the hospital (afterwards abbey) of Cocker- 
sand on part of the manor. The Leicester 
canons obtained judgement in the court of John, 
count of Mortain, when lord of the honour of 
Lancaster, between 11 89 and 1 194, against 
William's widow Heloise and her second hus- 
band Hugh de Morvill, who thereupon con- 
firmed the original gift, as did also Count John.*' 
This was followed by an agreement between the 
two houses by which the site of Cockersand was 
cut out of the manor and parish of Cockerham, 
Leicester Abbey conveying it in free alms to the 
hospital.-"' Further litigation between the abbey 

'" Figured in Fetusta Monumenta, and in Tram. 
Hist. Sof. (New Ser.), V, 144 ; xii, Plate xxii, No. 5 ; 
cf. vol. xiii, 194. See also B.M. Cat. of Seals, i, 471, 
and for a different seal, Dugdale, Mon. vi, 458. 

'"" Ibid. Watson MS. 5, fol. 123, gives argent per 
fesse between three annulets sable, and throws doubt 
on the two croziers having been part of the blazon. 

^' Farrer, Lanes. Pipe R. 391. The evidences of 
the manor were destroyed by a fire there before 1477, 
but these and other deeds are recited in a rental drawn 
up in that year embodied in the cartulary of the abbeys 
Bodl. Lib. MS. Laud, Misc. 625 (olim H. 72), fol. 

45-5 2^, 1673. 

''^ Lanes. Pipe R. 392 ; Dugdale, Mon. vi, 467. 

*" MS. Laud, Misc. 625, fol. 45-453. 

*" Coekersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc. new ser. 38), xiii. 
The abbey had also to recover its rights in the King's 
Court against several tenants in Cockerham and Crira- 
bles between 1206 and 1209 ; MS. Laud, Misc. 625, 
fol. 473/ Final Cone, i, 24. 



and William de Lancaster's daughter and heiress, 
Heloise and her husband Gilbert son of Roger 
Fitz Reinfred ended (13 May, 1207) in a final 
concord ; Heloise and Gilbert renounced all 
claim on Cockerham and Crimbles, in considera- 
tion whereof Abbot Paul and the convent under- 
took to place three of their canons in the church, 
which had hitherto been served by a chaplain, on 
whose death the number of canons was to be 
raised to four.^' A prior of Cockerham is 
mentioned in 1208."° 

The new cell never became conventual. Its 
canons remained under the authority of the 
abbot, its prior or warden was no doubt removable 
at his pleasure and acted merely as agent of the 
chief house, which by the middle of the four- 
teenth century put an end to its existence. The 
introduction first of a stipendiary and then 
(between 1281 and 1290) of a perpetual vicar 
paved the way for the withdrawal of most of the 
canons.^^^ Christiana de Lindsay, wife of 
Euguerrand de Guisnes, lord of Coucy, in con- 
firming (1320) the grant of her ancestor William 
de Lancaster to the abbey, stipulated for their 
retention,^^^ but after her death, some fourteen 
years later, the abbey abandoned all pretence of 
observing the undertaking of 1207. In 1366 
and again in 1372 its title to Cockerham manor 
was questioned on this ground by royal officers, 
but the courts decided in its favour because the 
original gift imposed no conditions.^^' The 
final concord was apparently ignored. But 
Christiana's great-great-granddaughter Philippa 
de Coucy, widow of Robert de Vere, earl of 
Oxford and duke of Ireland, formally renounced 
any claim derivable from its non-observance, and 
this waiver was confirmed by Henry IV and 
Henry VL^^* 

The Lancashire estate of Leicester Abbey 
was still managed by a warden [custos, gardianus), 

*" Final Cone, i, 26. There is nothing to show that 
the foundation of a cell was an unexpressed condi- 
tion of William de Lancaster's original gift, unless the 
fact that he seems to have appropriated the church en- 
tirely to their own uses may be regarded as evidence 
of such an intention. If we could suppose that this 
was the case and that the abbey ignored his wishes, 
a motive would be supplied for his son's disseisin of the 

•'" Lanes. Pipe R. 365. 

*" A prior and a vicar of Cockerham witness a 
document dated 1275 ; Hist, of Lane. Church (Chet. 
Soc), 380. Ordination of a vicarage in MS. Laud, 
Misc. 625, fol. 51. 

"' Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc), 299. 

'" Coram Rege R. 446, m. 1 3 ; MS. Laud, Misc. 
625, fol. 47/5. 

'" Ibid. Baines quoting 'Duchy Rec' dates 
Philippa's renunciation 1400, that of Henry VI, 
1423 ; Hist, of Lanes, v, 492. 

probably always a canon of Leicester.^'* In 
1477, however, it was leased to one John 
Calvert at a rent of ^^83 6j. 8(jf.,^" and was 
apparently still farmed for that sum in 1535."'' 
The original gift of William de Lancaster I 
comprised two plough-lands,'"' to which some 
small parcels were subsequently added. The 
gross value of the property (including the rectory) 
in 1477 '^^s estimated to be £()<^ \os. <^d. with- 
out reckoning perquisites of courts and some 
other 'commodities of the manor."'"' In 1400 
an extent which included these gave a total in- 
come of ^W] -]!. 8flf.^^'' The pestilence of 
1349 is said to have about halved the return 
from the rectory tithes of Cockerham."^' 

Priors or Wardens of Cockerham 

A [ ], 
Henry, ^^^ 

occurs 1208 
occurs circa 1250 

»" See below. 

"^ Calvert was required to find provision for one or 
two canons and their horses for a week's stay ; MS. 
Laud, Misc. 625, fol. 51. 

"' Fahr Reel. (Rec. Com.), iv, 147 ; cf. Duchy of 
Lane. Mins. Accts. No. 33, m. 22. 

"« Final Cone, i, 26. 

"" MS. Laud, Misc. 625, fol. 52^. 

™ Ibid. fol. 49-50. Its temporalities (bona) had 
been taxed at ^^13 in 1292 ; reduced to ^^3 6s. 'id. 
after the Scottish raid ; Pope Nich. Tax. 309. In. 
1366 the yearly value of the manor 'ultra reprisas ' 
was estimated at ^^40 ; Coram Rege R. 446, m_ 


"'MS. Laud, 1523, i6-jb. They were worth 
j^22 5/. id. in 1477, their value before the Black 
Death being then estimated to have been ^^40 or £^0. 
The rectory was assessed for tithe at £1"] 6s. 8d. int. 
1292 and this fell to £^ in the 'New Taxation.' 

"^ Lanes. Pipe R. 36 s. 

'"Hist, of Lane. Church (Chet. Soc), 431. He- 
witnesses a deed which is clearly prior to 1275, for 
another witness is Alexander, rector of Poulton, where 
a vicarage was ordained in that year. If this 
Alexander was the Alexander of Stanford who seems. 
to have resigned the rectory in 1250 (Exch. Aug. OiF. 
Misc. Bks. vol. 40, No. 6) the date is considerably 
earlier. Philip, rector of Croston, a third witness,, 
attests documents about 1250. The unnamed prior 
among the witnesses to the ordination of Poulton 
vicarage in 1275 {Hist, of Lane. Ch. 380) may be this 
Henry or a successor. Brother William of Cockerham. 
who was sued with the abbot of Leicester in 1302 for 
a disseisin in Garstang may possibly have been prior ;, 
Assize R. 418, m. 14. Sir Gilbert, a canon and 
keeper of Cockerham, is mentioned in 1330 ; Coram 
Rege R. 297, Rex. m. 21. John of Derby is described 
as 'canon and custos of Cockerham' in 1360 (ibid.. 
451, m. 2), but the other canons had probably been, 
withdrawn before this. 






The Premonstratensian abbey of Cockersand 
was originally founded as a small hospital of that 
order of canons. William de Lancaster, second 
baron of Kendal and lord of Wyresdale, who 
died in 1184, gave the site ^ and was usually 
considered the founder, but the foundation seems 
to have been really due to the efforts of Hugh 
Garth, a hermit ' of great perfection,' who is 
said to have collected the alms of the neighbour- 
hood for the erection of the hospital and to have 
become its first master.- The canons came from 
Croxton Abbey, Leicestershire,' which, probably 
about this time, established a cell at Hornby. 

The site, bleak and exposed, consisted of moss- 
land forming the seaward portion of the town- 
ship of Cockerham to the north of the Cocker 
sands ; the house was at first styled St. Mary of 
the Marsh on the Cockersand.^ Some richer 
land in the adjoining township of Thurnham 
was added by William de Furness, lord of 
Thurnham from iiSS." 

In 1 190 Pope Clement III took the ' monas- 
tery hospital ' under his protection, confirmed 
gifts of land by various donors, some of which 
were in Cumberland, Westmorland, and South 
Lancashire, and bestowed upon it the privileges 
which the popes were accustomed to confer on 
fully established religious houses ; among them 
free election of their priors and exemption of 
their demesne lands from tithe.* 

The hospital benefited by the widespread con- 
nexions of the Lancaster family, but was presently 
involved in a serious dispute with the Austin 
Canons of Leicester Abbey. The Cockerham 
manor, which included the site of the hospital, 
had been given with the church to the Leicester 
canons by William de Lancaster I, but resumed 
by his son before his grant to Hugh the Hermit.' 
Between 1 189 and 1 194 the abbey recovered the 
manor in the court of John, count of Mortain, 
then lord of the honour of Lancaster, against 
Heloise widow of William de Lancaster II and 

■ Chartul. of Cockersand {Ch&t. See. New Ser.), 758. 

' WillL-im de Lancaster's grant was made to ' Hugh 
the Hermit.' His surname and the other details come 
from a ' visitation ' of the north by the herald Norroy 
in 1530 ; Harh MS. 1499, Art. 69 ; Cf. L. and P. 
Hen. nil, \x, 1 1 73, (2) According to the 'visitation ' 
there were two canons in addition to the master. The 
head of the hospital was called prior as early as 1 190; 
Chartul. 2. 

' CoUectanea Anglo-Premonstratemia (Camden Soc), 
i, 2 24. The abbot of Croxton as ' father abbot ' pre- 
sided at elections of abbots of Cockersand. 

' 'De .Marisco super Kokersand' ; ibid. 327. 

' Ibid. 757. 6 jbid 2_6. 

' YiiTtt, Lanes. Pipe R. 391, 395 ; see above, p. 152. 

her second husband Hugh de Morvill.' This 
decision introduced a defect into the hospital's 
title, and though Leicester Abbey may not have 
been disposed to press this to the utmost it 
resisted the ambition of the canons to have the 
priory promoted to abbatial status, and even con- 
tested some of the privileges granted by 
Clement III. Under these circumstances the 
canons seem to have contemplated removal to 
another site if they did not actually remove for 
a time. Theobald Walter, who obtained a grant 
of Amounderness from John, count of Mortain, 
about 1 192, issued a charter within the next few 
years bestowing Pilling Hay in free alms on 'the 
abbot and canons of the Premonstratensian order 
there serving God ... for the erection of an 
abbey of the said order.' ' The canons undoubtedly 
had an abbot before 1 199, and the style * abbas et 
conventus de Marisco' without mention of 
Cockersand, which seems confined to this period 
of uncertainty, may have been adopted in defer- 
ence to the Leicester objections.'" It suited a 
site on the verge of Pilling Moss even better 
than the original one. 

That no abbey of Cockersand was recognized 
until Leicester withdrew its opposition seems 
fairly clear from the terms of the settlement 
arranged apparently in the sixth year of John 
(1204-5). Abbot Paul and the convent of 
Leicester granted to the canons of Cockersand 
'locum in quo domus hospitalis de Kokersand 
sita est,' with permission to build an abbey and 
have an abbot." No tithes to Cockerham 
church were to be exacted from the site of the 
house, but this exemption was not to extend to 
any other land it might acquire within the 
parish. Cockersand undertook also not to acquire 
any further land within the manor of Cocker- 

Subsequent disputes between the two abbeys 
over boundaries, tithes, pasture and pannage, and 
the administration of sacraments at Cockersand 
to parishioners of Cockerham, were the subject 
of compositions in 1230, 1242-5, 1340, and 
1364.'' King John showed some favour to the 
canons. While the dispute with Leicester was 
still undecided he confirmed them (1201) in 

\}^}h ' C'>^rtuL 375. 

Ibid. 332; Lanes. Pipe R. 339; Harl. Chart. 
52, 1. I. Roger, who is called ' abbas de Marisco ' in 
the last mentioned charter, signs as ' abbas de Cocker- 
sand ' in a document dated 1205-6 and subsequent 
to the agreement with Leicester described above : 
Htst. of Lane. Ch. (Chet. Soc), 386 

I3 f/^^/*''- 376. '» Ibid. 377. 

Ibid. 379-390. For Cockersand's litigation 
with Lancaster priory over the tithes of its lands in 
the parishes of Poulton and Lancaster, see below, 
p. 170. 



possession of the site of the hospital together with 
the pasture of Pilling." On 28 July, 1215, he 
granted them two plough-lands of his own 
demesne at Newbigging near Singleton in 
Amounderness, and freed them and their tenants 
from suit to shire and hundred courts, from pleas 
of murder, theft, hamsoken and forestel, and 
from every kind of tax, toll, and due." Three 
weeks later he confirmed some important gifts 
by Gilbert son of Roger FitzReinfred, the 
husband of the founder's daughter Heloise de 
Lancaster.^' These comprised Medlar in 
Amounderness,^' and the advowson of the parish 
church of Garstang.^^ William, who became 
archdeacon of Richmond in 121 7, gave permis- 
sion for its appropriation to the abbey, reserving 
the power to ordain a perpetual vicarage.'' John 
le Romain, archdeacon of Richmond, ordained a 
vicarage^" apparently in 1245."^ In the bishop 
of Norwich's Taxation (1254) the rectory was 
assessedatj^22, the vicar's portion at j^5 6s. Sd."^ 
Thurstan Banaster gave to the canons the valu- 
able advowson of Wigan between 1213 and 
1219, but his gift does not seem to have taken 
effect.^^ The advowson of Claughton was 
acquired in two moieties between 12 16 and 1255 
by grant of Godith of Kellet and her niece's son 
Roger of Croft, but though the abbey's right of 
presentation was successfully maintained against 
the widow of Roger's son in 1273,^* the advow- 
son went back to the Crofts in the fourteenth 

The only advowson except Garstang which 
the abbey held till the Dissolution was obtained 
in the same period. Between 1206 and 1235 
Robert son of Hugh, lord of Mitton, granted 
the right of presentation to its church, which 
stood on the Yorkshire side of the Ribble, part 
of the parish, however, being in Lancashire.^* 
In 1314 the abbey secured from Edward II at a 
cost of ;^40 licence to appropriate the church 
to their own uses.^' Permission to serve the 
church by a secular or a regular priest, appointed 
or removed at the abbot's pleasure after the death 
or resignation of the existing vicar, was granted 
by Pope Boniface IX in 1396.^' 

During the thirteenth century down to the 
passing of the Mortmain Act in 1279, the 

" Ciartul. 44. " Ibid. 40-2. 

'« Ibid. 46. " Ibid. 168. ■' Ibid. 278. 

"Ibid. 281. Confirmed by the archbishop of 
York and (in 123 1) Pope Gregory IX ; ibid. 25. 

'" Ibid. 282. " Ibid. 284. 

^^ Ibid. 286. Before 1254 the assessment of the 
rectory had only been ^13 6s. %d. The figures of 
1254 were raised in 1292 to {^zd \y. \d. and 
/'13 6s. id. respectively, but reduced after the 
Scottish ravages to X'o ^nd ^^5 ; Pope Nich. Tax. 

=' Chartul. 67^. "' Ibid. 884, 892. 

'^ Notkia Cestr. ii, 480. 

*= Chartul. 520. "Ibid. 524. 

^^ Cal. Pap. Letters, v, 19. 

abbey received an unusually large number of 
grants of land. It is calculated that on an aver- 
age they amounted to forty or fifty a year, but 
they were mostly small parcels. 

Cockersand was one of the forty-eight houses 
whose abbots were summoned to the famous 
parliament of Carlisle in January, 1307,^' but 
this was probably a solitary summons and its head 
did not become a mitred abbot. The abbey 
suffered severely in the Scottish raid of 13 16. 
Its assessment for tenths was reduced shortly after 
by five-sixths.'" 

Robert of Hilton, canon of the house, received 
a pardon in 1327 for the death of one of his 
brethien.^' In 1347 Robert of Carlton, then 
abbot, was accused of using violence to one John 
de Catterall. Catterall alleged that the abbot 
with four of the canons, a lay brother, and four- 
teen other persons had assaulted and maimed him 
at Lancaster, and a commission of oyer and 
terminer was granted.'^ No record of its inquiry 
seems, however, to have survived. 

Troubles of another kind assailed the abbey 
from the middle of the fourteenth century. In 
1363, owing to the ravages of the plague, a dis- 
pensation had to be obtained for several of the 
canons to be ordained priests in their twenty-first 
year.^^ Half a century later (14 12) a permanent 
dispensation to this eifect for all their canons was 
granted in consideration of the remote situation 
of the house, which at times made it difficult 
to find men prepared to receive the regular 
habit there.'* The sea continually wore away- 
the walls which protected its buildings. In 137S 
the abbot and convent begged Richard II to con- 
firm their charters without fine, in view of their 
poverty and the fact that * each day they are in 
danger of being drowned and destroyed by the 
sea.' '^ There is no evidence that their request 
was acceded to, but Pope Boniface in 1372 
granted a relaxation for twenty years of a year 
and forty days of penance to all almsgivers to 
Cockersand,^^ and in 1397 the kjng granted them 
the farm of the alien priory of Lancaster during 
the war with France at a rent of 100 marks a 
year. With some difficulty and at an expense,, 
as was afterwards alleged, of 500 marks they 
obtained possession, only to be turned out on the 

''^ Rot. Pari, i, 189. The summons of so many 
abbots may be accounted for by the fact that legisla- 
tion against payment of tallages to foreign superiors 
was intended. See below, p. 158. 

'" Pope Nich. Tax. 308. 

'■ Cal. of Pat. 1327-30, p. 54. 

''Ibid. 1345-8, p. 387. A similar, charge was, 
brought against Carlton by William of Shirbourn in 
1349; ibid. 1348-50, p. 387. 

^' Cal. Pap. Letters, iv, 32. 

^ Ibid, vi, 389. 

'' Rot. Pari, iii, 5 23. It was not until 1385 that 
Richard granted a confirmation of their charters ;. 
Dugdale, Mon. vi, 906. 

'^ Cal. Pap. Letters, iv, 1 79. 


arrival of Henry IV." Their representations 
procured on 4 November, 1399, a grant of 
restitution of the profits for the year just ended, 
but a fortnight later it was revoked.'* 

Fear of violence from parties with whom they 
were in litigation induced them to obtain letters 
of protection from Henry in 1402.'' 

The three quarters of a century following is 
a blank in the history of the house. Fresh light 
comes with the election of a successor to Abbot 
Lucas in 1477 ; this was not accomplished with- 
out dissension, one of the canons being charged 
with inviting lay intervention.*" The state of 
the abbey during the last quarter of the fifteenth 
century is recorded with some fulness in the 
extant visitations of Richard Redman, bishop 
successively of St. Asaph, Exeter, and Ely, and 
visitor of the English province of the Premon- 
stratensian order. These inquisitions were as a 
rule triennial and the records of eight such 
visitations of Cockersand between 1478 and 
1500 are preserved.'*' Until 1488 Redman 
•detected nothing more reprehensible than some 
laying aside of the claustral mantle {capa) at 
meals, and garments girded high like those of 
travellers and labourers." The house was £ioo 
in debt in 1478, but this had been paid off by 

Some relaxation of discipline was disclosed at 
the next visitation in April, 1488. Redman 
excommunicated two apostate canons, forbade the 
brethren to reveal the secrets of the order and 
the plans of the house to great lords, or to use 
their influence to obtain promotion, and enjoined 
them to be satisfied with the food provided, 
attend all the hours, and refrain from wandering 

I 399-1401, p. 49. 

" Ca/. of Pat. 

"Ibid. 150. 

" Add. MS. 32107, fol. 261. The general chapter 
inter\'ened on behalf of a canon who was apparently 
at odds with the abbot (Sloane MS. 4934, fol. 65^, 
Feb. 1402-3). Abbot Burgh had absented himself 
from two chapters and ' quaedam gravia ' had been 
found against him in the last visitation of the abbey 
(ibid. 4935, fol. 131^). 

'° Ccliectanea Angk-Prmmstratensia (Camd. Soc.), 
i, 95-6. 

*' Bodl. Lib. MS. Ashmole, 15 19. They are to 
be printed in the second part of the work mentioned 
in the previous note. 

"MS. Ashmole, 1519, fol. \ob, 24, 65. The 
record of the visitation of 1484, is, however, lost. 
The number of canons at this period was twenty to 
twenty-two, of whom nearly all were priests. Of 
these six had offices which compelled them to live 
aw.iy from the monastery, the vicars and procurators 
of Mitton and Garstang and the cantarists of Middle- 
ton and TunstaU (or Thurland). The other officers 
included a ' drcator,' a ' servitor comventus,' a ' custos 
infirmorum,' and a ' provisor exteriorum.' The abbey 
consumed weekly 16 bushels of wheat, 4 of oats, and 
24 of malt. They used 50 oxen and 120 sheep 
yearly ; ibid. fol. 65^. 

about the country.*' In December he was re- 
called to deal with two of the canons, VVilliam 
Bentham the cellarer and James Skipton the 
cantor and grain master {granatorius), who were 
accused of breaking their vow of chastity. Ben- 
tham admitted his guilt, and Skipton, who denied 
the truth of the charge, could get none of his 
brethren to support him. The visitor imposed 
forty days' penance on both, and ordered Ben- 
tham to be removed for three years to Croxton 
Abbey, and Skipton for seven to Sulby Abbey in 
Northamptonshire.*'' The term of banishment 
must have been relaxed in Skipton's case, for at 
the next visitation in 1491 he was cellarer, 
Bentham being sub-prior.*' Skipton afterwards 
became abbot. 

To prevent similar scandals in future Redman 
forbade drinking after compline, and the employ- 
ment of women to carry food to the infirmary or 
refectory. The evil of evening drinking was 
not, however, rooted out, for in 1500 the 
bishop attributed various diseases from which a 
number of the brethren were suffering, to inordi- 
nate potations and sitting up after compline.'" 
In 1494 Thomas Poulton, who had been can- 
tarist at Tunstall, was found guilty of two cases 
of incontinence,*' and in 1500 Robert Burton 
and Thomas Calet were removed from their 
stalls for some offence not stated.** Burton was 
afterwards restored.*' The visitations reveal a 
number of minor disorders — disobedience to the 
abbot, lingering in bed during mattins, neglect of 
services on pretext of illness, frequenting of wed- 
dings, fairs, and other secular assemblies, and the 
wearing over the white habit of a black garment 
with black or various-coloured 'liripipes' or 
streamers, and (in 1 491) the use of ' istos volu- 
biles sotularesnuper inter curiales usitatos, Anglice 
vocatos slyppars sive patans.'"" In 1497 the 
canons were forbidden to exchange opprobrious 
or scandalous charges or to draw knives upon 
one another." There are no means of deciding 
how general such derelictions were, but compari- 
son with the visitations of 1478 and 1481 leaves 
a decided impression that the tone of the com- 
munity had altered for the worse in the interval. 
In the reign of Henry VII Edward Stanley] 
>rd Monteagle, held its stewardship with 
those of Furness and Cartmel, and the office 
passed to his son and successor.'^ The pressure 
brought to bear upon the monasteries by the 
crown and its agents for some time before the 
Dissolution is illustrated by a letter 



" Ibid. fol. 
« Ibid. fol. 
*' Ibid. fol. 
ton ; ibid, fol, 
*" Ibid. fol. 



" Ibid. fol. 84. 
" Ibid. fol. 144. 
He was afterwards vicar of Mit- 


" Collect. Anglo-Premonstr. 263. 

" MS. Ashmole, 15 19, fol. 8g^ 121. 

" Ibid. fol. \z%b. 

" L. and P. Hen. Fill, ni, 3234. 

28^, 144. 


Abbot Poulton excuses himself to Cromwell 
from preferring his nominee Sir James Layburn 
to certain lands in the manor of Ashton on the 
ground that the heirs of the late occupants 
claimed to hold by tenant-right.'' 

Doctors Legh and Layton made a serious 
charge against two of the canons,'* but this was 
not corroborated by the royal commissioners 
under the Act of Suppression, who visited the 
abbey at the end of May, 1536." They re- 
ported that the prior and twenty-one canons, all 
■of them priests, were of honest conversation and 
desirous to continue in religion. Two of them 
served chantries at Tunstall and Middleton, and 
two others acted as proctors for the abbey at its 
appropriate churches of Mitton and Garstang, 
but all four could be recalled to the monastery. 
No mention is made of the lay brothers {con- 
versi) who occur at an earlier period, unless they 
were the five ' poor aged and impotent men ' 
whom the foundation required to be kept at the 

Ten other poor men were provided with bed 
and board daily for charity. The total cost was 
^22 Js. 4^. a year. There were two persons 
living in the house by purchase of corrodies ; 
one of these, bought in 1507 for ten marks, cost 
the abbey half that sum yearly. Its staff of 
servants numbered fifty-seven, of whom nineteen 
were officers of the household, ten waiting ser- 
vants, and eleven hinds of husbandry. The 
wages bill for a year was ^^46 16^. 8d. The 
income of the abbey as ascertained for the pur- 
poses of the tenth in 1535 '^ was well under the 
limit of ;^200 fixed by the Act of February, 
1536, which empowered the crown to dissolve 
the smaller monasteries. But the Commissioners 
raised the valuation to not far short of ^^300, and 
this, coupled with their report of the good state 
of the house, doubtless induced the king to use 
the discretion conferred upon him by the Act of 
Suppression and allow Cockersand to continue.'' 

It was not until 29 January, 1539, that the 
house was surrendered by Abbot Poulton and 
his twenty-two canons.'^ Two months later the 
site, with the demesne lands and the rectory of 
Garstang, was leased for twenty-one years to 
John Burnell and Robert Gardiner at a rent of 
£j2 6s. 8i." John Kitchen of Hatfield, Hert- 
fordshire, farmer of the monastery from 1539, 
bought the site and demesne from the crown on 
I September, 1543, fo"" £7°°-^ ^Y ^^^ ™^''" 

» L.andP. Hen. VIII, v, 1416. " Ibid, x, 364. 

" Their full report is preserved in Duchy of Lane. 
Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, No. 4, a ' brief certificate ' 
of it in No. 7. 

»« VakrEcd. v, 261. 

" L. and P. Hen. VIII, xi, 1417 (18). 

"* Def. Keeper's Rep. viii, App. ii, 16. There had 
iieen an addition of one canon since 1536. 

'' Original lease at Thurnham Hall. 

™ Pat. 35 Hen. VIII, pt. 13, m. 20. 

riage of his eldest daughter Anne to Robert 
Dalton of Thurnham Hall it passed to that 
family, in whose possession it still remains."^ 

The abbey was dedicated to St. Mary. As 
already stated its original endowment was largely 
augmented during the thirteenth century by 
numerous gifts of land and rents. A consider- 
able portion of these were in Amounderness, but 
extensive acquisitions were made in the other 
Lancashire hundreds, and in the adjoining 
counties of Cumberland, Westmorland, Chester, 
and York. The donations usually consisted of 
small parcels, but there were some important 
exceptions. In the early years of the abbey 
Adam de Dutton gave it a moiety of the vill of 
Warburton with other lands in Cheshire for the 
foundation of a cell in connexion with the 
church of St. Werburgh at Warburton.*^ Abbot 
Roger, before 12 16, resigned to Geoffrey son of 
Adam all but eight oxgangs of land in War- 
burton, for confirmation in which latter he under- 
took to find a chaplain to minister for Adam's 
soul. There seem still to have been canons there 
in the middle of the century, but in 1 27 1 the 
abbey sold all its rights to the second Geoffrey 
de Dutton for the sum of eighty marks.^' Among 
its Westmorland grants was one of half the 
township of Sedgewick by Ralph de Beetham 
between 1 190 and 1208.^* In Amounderness 
Gilbert son of Roger Fitz Reinfred granted the 
vill of Medlar, one plough-land ; ^' Adam de Lee 
before 121 2 gave a moiety of the vill of Forton ; 
and the remaining moiety, with the lordship of 
the whole, was acquired prior to 1272.°^ Wil- 
liam de Lancaster III bestowed four oxgangs of 
land in Garstang on his deathbed in 1246.°' 

South of the Ribble Elias son of Roger de 
Hutton gave the whole township of Hutton, 
comprising three plough-lands in the parish of 
Penwortham, between 1 20 1 and 1220,°^ and 
about the middle of the century Westhoughton 
in Salford Hundred was conveyed to the abbey in 
several portions.*' Sir Edmund de Nevill, kt., 
gave a third of the manor of Middleton in 
Lonsdale in 1337 to endow a chantry there, 

*' Documents at Thurnham Hall. The crowna 
sold other Cockersand estates, e.g. the manor of 
Hutton for j^56o to Lawrence Rawstorne of Old 
Windsor ; Pat. 37 Hen. VIII, pt. 5, m. 8. 

«^ Ormerod, Hist. ofChes. i, 575. 

'' Ibid. Some parcels of land at AUerton and 
Knowsley which had been given by others to War- 
burton Priory were retained by Cockersand ; Chartul. 
544, 559-61, 606-7. Cockersand may possibly 
have furnished the canons whom Thomas son of Gos- 
patric established about 1 1 90 at Preston (Patrick) in 
Westmorland, for he was also a benefactor of the 
abbey {Chartul. 999), but if so the Preston house 
afterwards removed to Shap was quite independent. 

^ Ibid. 1038. ^ Ibid. 167. 

^ Ibid. 337 sqq. *' Ibid. 272, 280. 

^ Chartul. 407. 

"' Ibid. 677-9, 688. 



which was served by one of the canons.''' 
These estates were managed by eleven bailiffs 
and the stewards of Hutton and Westhoughton, 
in addition to the abbey steward, a post occupied 
by Thomas Stanley, Lord Monteagle, a receiver 
and a court steward.'^ The rent-roll of the 
house in 1535 was estimated at £14^$ 5^- I Isl- 
and the total annual value of its temporalities at 
£182 8s. S^d.'^ From spiritualities a revenue of 
\ £4.$ i6j. 8d. accrued. The expenses were 
£jO I IS. ^.d.y leaving a net income of 
,^157 14J. o^d.^^ But the commissioners of 
1536 must have thought this estimate unduly 
low, for they raised it far higher than in the case 
of any other monastery they visited.'^ They 
put the net income at ;^282 "js. y^d. The 
indebtedness of the house was ;f 108 91. 8d. Its 
bells and lead were worth ;f 126 1 3/. ^.d. and its 
movable goods ^^217 5^. jd.''^ 

In common with the other English houses of 
the order Cockersand was subject to visitation by 
the abbot-general of Prdmontr^ or his commissary, 
and until the beginning of the fourteenth century 
its abbots were required to attend the annual 
general chapter held at the mother house and to 
pay their share of any tax imposed for the benefit 
of the order in general and Prdmontr^ in par- 
ticular." It was placed in the northern of the 
three circuits {circariae) into which the English 

"Add. MS. 32104, fol. 246 ; Duchy of Lane. 
Great Coucher, i, fol. 63, No. 27. For the chantry 
in the abbey church and two beds in the poor 
infirmary which were established for the souls of 
members of the Beetham family between 1235 and 
1249, see Chartul. 1013. Rather earlier land in 
Kellet was given *ad ospicium infirmorum sustentan- 
dum ' ; ibid. 906. 

" Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. c 
No. 2. 

'^ Valor Eccl. v, 261. In 1292 they had been 
assessed at only ^24, and this was reduced after the 
Scottish ravages to £\ ; Pope Nich. Tax. 308. In 
the levy made for Premontr6 in 1470 Cockersand 
paid £-i 5/., practically the same rate as Croxton, and 
higher than any other house of the northern circuit 
save St. Agatha (^3 5/.), and Alnwick (^3 los.). Its 
contribution in 1487 was the highest in the northern 
circuit and identical with that of Croxton, Welbeck, 
Newhouse, and Barlings ; Coll. Angh-Premonstr. i, 77, 
157. For a decision in 1292 that all the lands of 
the abbey except Pilling and 2 carucates in New- 
sham were geldable, see Plac. de ^0 Warranto (Rec. 
Com.), 379. 

'^ In 1 5 27 it had been roughly estimated at ^^200 ; 
Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, No. 15. 

'* Hutton manor, whose rental is stated at ^^20 in 
I53S> ^35 farmed from the crown a few years later at 
;^3o ; the clear value of Mitton rectory, put at 
£^6 1 6s. 8d. in the Valor, was afterwards said to be 
£3Sy and Garstang rectory, which figures for ^^^ 19 in 
1535, was leased in 1539 at a rent of ^^40 ; Duchy 
of Lane. Mins. Accts. 

" Ibid. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, No. 4. 
" Coll. Jnglt-Premonsir. In trod. 


abbeys were divided for purposes of visitation and 
taxation.'' The Statute of Carlisle, however, in 
1307 forbade the payment of tallages to foreign 
houses,'' and the English abbots demanded relief 
from the burden of annual attendance at 
Premontr^,'' and its abbot's yearly visitations of 
their province. After a lengthy dispute, which 
was carried to Rome, Abbot Adam de Crecy in 
13 1 5 absolved the abbots from personal atten- 
dance at the general chapter, consented to reduce 
the burden of visitation and to limit the calls for 
contributions to necessary collections approved 
by their representatives at the chapter.*" Hence- 
forth the abbot of Pr6montr6 seems to have 
executed his visitorial powers at longer intervals 
through a commissary who was one of the abbots 

In 1496 Bishop Redman, abbot of Shap, who 
was then the abbot's visitor, informed the abbot 
of Cockersand that he intended to visit his 
monastery, arriving on 3 April if the tide served. 
He asked that someone should be sent to Lan- 
caster the day before to provide lodgings for him 
and safe conduct inter maris pericula to the 
abbey.*' The visitor of 1506 spent a night at 
Kendal at the expense of Cockersand, and his 
visitation lasted two days.*^ 

More frequent visitations were made by the 
local visitors in each circuit.*' The abbot was 
expected to attend the provincial chapters of the 
order, which were usually held in some town in 
the Midlands.*^ 

Abbots of Cockersand 

Hugh (Garth) the Hermit,*' said to have been 
Master of the Hospital before 1 184 

Henry,*' occurs as prior before and in 11 90 

Th[.?omas],*' occurs as 'Abbas de Marisco* 
between 1 1 94 and 1 1 99 

Roger,** occurs as ' Abbas de Marisco,' and in 
1 205-6 as ' abbas de Kokersand ' 

" Ibid. 

" Stat, of the Realm, i, 150-1 ; Rot. Pari, i, 217. 

" For royal licences to abbots of Cockersand to go 
to the chapter in 1290 and 13 17 see Cal.ofPat. 
1281-92, pp. 381, 384, and Cal. Close, 1213-18 • 
p. 04. 

*• Coll. Anglo-Premonstr. The statute was not always 
enforced. Cockersand was rated to levies for Prdmon- 
tre in 1470 and 1487 ; ibid, i, 77, 157. 

*' Ibid. 247. 

'Mbid. 193. ssjbid. 

^ e.g. ibid. 126, 140, 148. 

^ Chartul. X, xxi, 758. He is not actually called 
master in any contemporary document. 

** Ibid, xi, xxi, 2. 

^.l ^"""-J'f' R-3Z9-, Duchy of Lane, class xxvi, 
bdle. 30, No. 5. 

Jl ^•^- ?^"^- ^^^''- 5^' ■' ' 5 ^"'- of Lane. Ch. 
(Chet. Soe.), 385. Ly tham Chart, in Durham Cathe- 
dral treasury, 4a, 2ae, 436, Ebor. 4. 


Hereward,^' occurs 1 216 and May, 1235 

Richard,'" occurs 1240 

Henry," occurs 1246 and April, 1261 

Adam de (? le) Blake,'^ occurs July, 1269, and 

Thomas,'' occurs September, 1286 and 

Robert of Formby,"* occurs 1289 and 10 Sep- 
tember, 1290 

Roger,'" occurs 1300 

Thomas,'^ occurs August, 1305, and 22 March, 

Roger,'' occurs 131 1 and 1331 

William of Boston,'^ occurs 1334 and 10 Oc- 
tober, 1340. 

Robert of Carleton,'' occurs July, 1347, died 
20 March, 1354 

Jordan of Bosedon,^"" elected 4 May, 1354, 
and occurs 30 November, 1364 

Richard,^"^ occurs 21 November, 1382 

Thomas,^"^ occurs 1386-7 and 1388-9 

William Stainford,^"' occurs 1393 

Thomas of Burgh,^"^ occurs 1395 and 1403 

Thomas Green,^"* elected 6 July, 1410, 
occurs 1436-7 

® Hist, of Lane. Ch. 49 ; Chartul. 169. 

°° Ibid. 520. A deed whose date lies between 
1235 and 1249 mentions an abbot Roger ; ibid. 
1013. The editor refers it to the time of the early 
abbot of that name, but the names of the witnesses 
point to the date given above. Possibly he is an 
abbot hitherto unnoticed, but the abbreviated forms 
of Richard and Roger were often confused, and there 
may be an error in one or other of the above passages, 
most probably in the first, as the second is taken from 
the original deed. 

" Fumess Coucher (Chet. Soc), 349 ; Chartul. 147. 

^ Ibid, xxi, 150, 548 ; Coram Rege R. 6 Edw. I, 
41, m. 28. An Abbot William who held office temp. 
Hen. Ill appears in Pal. Plea R. No. 11, m. 39. 

'^ Cal. of Pat. 1281-92, p. 251 ; De Banco R. 

73. m- 7- 

"Assize R. 404, m. 3; Cal. of Pat. 1281-92, 
p. 384; Reg. Archiepis. Ebor. 

'' Reg. Archiepis. Ebor. 

'" Coram Rege R. 183, m. 26 ; Chartul. 784. 

" Dodsworth MSS. (Bodl. Lib.), cxlix, fol. 147^. ; 
Assize R. 1404, m. 19. 

'« Chartul. 384, 750 ; Cur. Reg. R. 8 Edw. Ill, 
m. 121; Lanes, and Ches. Antiq. Notes, ii, 4. 

'' Cal. of Pat. 1345-8, p. 387 ; Inq. a.q.d. 35 
Edw. Ill, No. 18. 

™ Reg. Archiepis. Ebor.; Chartul. 386; Pal. of Lane. 
Plea R. No. 1 1, m. 39. 

"' Inq. p.m. 6 Ric. II, 112 s.v. Lane. 

"' Chartul.-] i,o, 1 147. He occurs in B.M. Add. MS. 
32104, fol. 261^, dated 24 Jan. in the third year of 
John of Gaunt's regality (i.e. 1380); but this must be 
an error of transcription unless Abbot Richard came 
between two called Thomas. 

"' Screen in Mitton church ; Chartul. xxii. 

'"* J. P. Rylands, Local Gleanings Lanes, and Ches. 
ii, 225 ; Sloane MS. 4935, fol. \l\b. 

"' Reg. Archiepis. Ebor. ; Rylands, loc. cit. ; Lanes. 
Final Cone, iii, 127. 

Robert Egremont,"" elected 1444, occurs 

William Lucas,^"' died 1477 
William Bowland,^"' elected 1477, ^^^^ 149° 
John Preston,^"" elected 16 December, 1490, 

occurs 1500 
James Skipton,™ elected 20 December, 1502 
Henry Stayning,'" elected 7 October, 1505 
John Croune,"^ elected 11 May, 1509 
George Billington,"' occurs 15 20-1 and 

27 September, 1522 
John Bowland,'" occurs 22 January, 1524, 

and 20 May, 1527 
— Newsham^'* 

Gilbert Ainsworth,"" elected 25 March, 1531 
Robert Kendal,^" elected 16 October, 1531 
Robert Poulton,"** elected 27 May, 1533, 

surrendered 29 January, 1538-9 

The common seal of the abbey is pointed oval 
and represents three niches one above another ; 
in the upper one God the Father in the attitude 
of benediction, on each side a demi-angel swing- 
ing a censer ; in the centre one the Virgin 
crowned with the Child on her left arm ; in the 
lower one the abbot in prayer.^" Legend : — 


A seal of Abbot Henry (c. 1242-50) is at- 
tached to a deed among the Trafford muniments 
printed in the chartulary (p. 723). It is vesica- 
shaped {\\ in.X i^ in.), much rubbed and worn, 
apparently bearing the right fore-arm and hand 
of a canon outstretched, holding a crozier. Le- 
gend in Gothic characters hardly discernible : — 


"* Reg. Archiepis. Ebor.; Chartul. 819; Pal. of 
Lane. Writ of Assize, 14 Aug. 145 1 ; Dodsworth 
MSS. 70, fol. 161 (if there were not two Roberts, 
one in 1444—51 and a second in 1474). 

™ Coll. Anglo-Premonstr. i, 96. 

•™Ibid. 97, III. 

""Ibid. 112; MS. Ashmole (Bodl. Lib.), 15 19, 
fol. 142(5. 

"° Reg. Archiepis. Ebor. ; Rylands, loc. cit. ; cf. 
Chet. Soe. Publ. (Old Ser.), Ivii (2), 29. See above, 
p. 156. 

'" Reg. Archiepis. Ebor. "= Ibid. 

"' Rylands, op. cit. ii, 226 ; L. and P. Hen. Fill, 
iii (2), 2578. 

'" Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, No. 4, 
m. 4 ; Whitaker, Hist, of Richmond, ii, 335. In 1527 
he had been abbot for four years ; Rentals and Surv. 
ptfo. 5, No. 15. 

"' Ibid. No. 4, m. 4. 

"^ Reg. Archiepis. Ebor. 

"' Ibid. 

'" Ibid. ; Dep. Keeper's Rep. viii, App. ii, 16. 
Either Poulton or his predecessor appointed a procu- 
rator for Garstang on 7 May, 1533 ; Rentals and 
Surv. loc. cit. 

"ȣ.M. Cat. of Seals, i, 514. 




This small house of regular canons was estab- 
lished in the second half of the twelfth century 
by the Montbegons of Hornby. The canons, it 
seems probable, were brought from the Pre- 
monstratensian house at Croxton in Leicester- 
shire, of which the priory was certainly after- 
wards, and perhaps from the outset, a dependent 
' cell. Croxton Abbey had been founded shortly 
before 1 159 by William, earl of Warenne and 
count of Boulogne and Mortain, lord of the 
honour of Lancaster. Roger de Montbegon III 
(11 72 P-I226) 'gave to the canons of Hornebi 
in alms lOO acres of land in Hornebi,' '^ and he 
doubtless was the founder of the priory, though 
some have attributed its creation to his fether 
Adam or his grandfather Roger II."' 

The third Roger de Montbegon also granted 
to the priory the advowson of Melling church '^ 
and presumably that of Tunstall. The former 
had belonged to the Norman abbey of S^es as 
part of the endowment of its cell at Lancaster, 
but was transferred to Roger before 1 2 10 in 
consideration of a yearly pension of 2s. from the 
church to Lancaster Priory and his renunciation 
of all claim upon the chapel of Gressingham, 
hitherto dependent upon Melling."' Roger 
dying without issue, his lands passed to his kins- 
man Henry de Monewden, who on 14 September, 
1227, alienated the Lonsdale estates, including 
Hornby Castle and the advowsons of the priory 
and of Melling, to Hubert de Burgh and his 
wife Margaret. '"■• The prior's failure to chal- 
lenge the inclusion of the Melling advowson 
involved him nearly twenty years later (1246) 
in litigation with Hubert's widow over the right 
of presentation to the living.'^' Before the pro- 
ceedings had gone very far Geoffrey, abbot of 
Croxton, intervened on the ground that the 
priory was a cell of his abbey and that he could 
remove the prior at his will, which the prior 
admitted to be the case. A compromise was 
ultimately arranged by which the Countess 
Margaret acknowledged Croxton's right to the 
advowson, but was allowed to present her clerk 
pro hac vice. A licence for the appropriation of 
the church was obtained by the abbey from 
Edward II on 20 May, 1 3 1 0."° Tunstall church 
was appropriated and a vicarage ordained before 

'" Testa de Nevill, ii, 832 (Inquest of 1212). 

'■' Lanes. Inq. (Rec. Soc), i, 82. 

'** Lanes. Final Cone. (Rec. Soc), i, 95. 

'" Hut. of Lane. Ch. (Chet. Soc.\ 20. For the 
date see />ost, p. 168. 

'" Ca/. of Chart. R. i, 60. On a plea of warranty 
the charter was reinforced by a final concord on 
3 Nov. 1229 ; Lanes. Final Cone, i, 56. 

'" Ibid, i, 94. 

"* Cal. of Pat. 1307-13, p. 229. 

^" Hist, of Lane. Ch. 164. 

Henry de Monewden's disposal of the advowson 
of the priory, and the absence of any mention 
of its subordination to Croxton before 1235,'** 
have inspired a suggestion that it was originally 
independent and that Hubert de Burgh, who 
received a grant of the manor of Croxton in 
1224,"' first made it a dependent cell of the 
Leicestershire abbey. But this is only con- 
jecture, and if the priory contained no more 
than three canons, including the prior — its later 
complement — it is scarcely likely to have been 

From the middle of the thirteenth century, 
at all events, the dependent status of the priory 
is sufficiently clear. In 1292 the abbot of 
Croxton sued for lands in Wrayton ' ut jus 
hospitalis sui S. Wilfridi de Hornby,'"" and a 
letter is extant from Abbot Thomas 'ad obe- 
dientiarios suos de Hornby ' requiring better 
obedience to the prior appointed by him."* 
For above sixteen years prior to 1526 the then 
abbot of Croxton is recorded to have occupied 
not only the rectory but the vicarage of Tun- 
stall, and in 1527 the vicars both of Melling and 
Tunstall were canons of Croxton."^ In the 
Fa lor Ecclesiastieus of 1535 the possessions of 
the priory were assessed with those of the abbey. 
It is true that the prior of Hornby was some- 
times present at the provincial chapter of the 
abbots of the order,"' and that the priory was 
separately surrendered to Legh and Laytorv 
on 23 February, 1536,'" by the prior William 
Halliday, whose morals they had called in 
question,"' and the two canons, John Fletcher 
and Robert Derby.^'° But this was evidently 
cancelled and a new prior appointed, for the 
surrender of Croxton Abbey, made on the 8 Sep- 
tember, 1538, was signed by John Consyll,, 

"" Lanes. Final Cone, i, 67 : Abbot Ralph quit- 
claims land in Tatham. In January, 1227, an oxgang 
of land in Wennington was quitclaimed to the prior 
of Hornby ; ibid, i, 151. 

^^ Lanes. Inq. i, 103. Richard de Croxton was 
master of Hornby in or about 1227 ; Coekersand 
Chartul. (Chet. Soc), 901. 

""Assize R. Lane. 20 Edw. I. rot. 12. Pope 
Nieh. Tax. (309) of the same year speaks of a 'custos 
domus de Hornby.' 

"' Colleetanea Anglo-Premonstratensia (Camden Soc),. 
ii, 148. The editor's date seems too early. They 
must obey him as they would their claustral prior if 
they were in the convent. 

'^' Duchy of Lanes. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5,. 
No. 15. 

'" e.g. In 1476 and 1479; Colleetanea jinglo- 
Premonstratensia (Camden Soc), i, 140-8. Hornby 
was not, however, reckoned as one of their thirty-one 
English houses (ibid. 224), nor does it seem to 
have been subject to visitation by the abbot of Pr<- 
montr^ ; ibid. 193. 

'^ Dep. Keeper's Rep. viii. App. ii, 23. 

'" L. and P. Hen. Fill, x, 364. 

'•^ Cf. Leland, Colleetanea, i, 72 ; L. and P. 
Hen. Fill, ix, 8 1 6. 



prior, and John Fletcher and Thomas Edwin- 
stowe, canons of Hornby."' 

The site was granted in 1544 to Thomas 
Stanley, second Lord Monteagle, whose father 
had acquired Hornby Castle and its lands."' 

The priory was dedicated to St. Wilfrid."' 
In 1292 its temporalities {bona) were taxed for 
tithe at ^^8 13^. ^d., reduced to £2 after the 
Scottish raids."" Its gross income in 1535 
amounted tO;^94 -]$. 8|(/., of which ^^28 8j. ^^d. 
was derived from its temporalities and 
£(it 6s. Sd. from spiritualities."^ The fixed 
charges, ;^i8 ys. ^d. in all, included a fee of 
£2 to the chief seneschal. Lord Monteagle, 
one of £1 6s. Sd. to Marmaduke Tunstall, 
seneschal of its lands in Lancashire, 13^. 4^. to 
the court steward, Thomas Croft, and ^^4 for 
alms to thirteen poor people *by the foundation 
of Roger de Montbegon.'"' 

Priors or Wardens of Hornby 

Richard of Croxton,"' occurs 1227 

N ( ),"^ occurs 1230 

Robert,"' died 1246 

Robert of Gaddesby,"' appointed 1379 

Thomas Kellet "' (Kelyt), occurs 1475 

Thomas Wyther,"' occurs 1482 

Ellis Sherwood,"' occurs 1484 and 1490 

Edmund Green,"" occurs 1497 and 1501 

William Halliday,"i occurs 1535, surrendered 

John Consyll,"^ surrendered 1538 

The seal attached to the surrender of 1536 
has been (doubtfully) supposed to be the 
common seal of the priory. Unfortunately 
it is much broken and none of the legend re- 



The house of the Black Friars at Lancaster 
was founded about 1260 by Sir Hugh Harring- 
ton, kt.' In September, 1291, the archbishop 
of York instructed them to have three brothers 
preaching the Crusade on Holy Cross Day, one 
at Lancaster, another in Kendal, and a third in 
Lonsdale.* Master William of Lancaster in 
13 1 1 received licence to give a rood of land for 

'" Dep. Keeper's Rep. viii, App. ii, 18; Foedera, 
xiv, 617. "« Pat. 36 Hen. VIII. pt. 10. 

'" Lanes. Final Cone, i, 5 1. "" Pope Nich. Tax. 309. 

"'^a/. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 150. The Com- 
missioners of 1527 reported the cell to be worth 
£z6 13/. \d ; Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, No. 15. 
They refer no doubt to the temporalities. 

'"^j/. Eccl. iv, 151. 

'" Lanes. Final Cone. (Rec. Soc), i, 5 1 ; Cockersand 
Chartul, 901. 

'" Hist, of Lane. Ch. (Chet. Soc), 154. The date 
seems clear from comparison with similar documents 
at pp. 164, 362. 

'" Lanes. Final Cone, i, 95 n. He was killed by 
his horse violently dashing him against a cross. 

"• B.M. Peck MSS. ii, 36. 

"'Bodl. Lib. AshmoIeMS. 1519, fol. 5 (list of 
confratres of Croxton). 

'" Ibid. fol. 21. This list is referred to 1482 by 
Father Gasquet (Coll. Angk.-Prem. No. 3 3 8), but may 
belong to 1478. 

"' Ibid. fol. 42^ (probably the same as Helias 
or Ellis Hathersage [Hatersatage], prior of Hornby, 
mentioned at fol. 1 1 3^) ; Collectanea Anglo-Premonstra- 
tensia (Camden Soc), Nos. 339, 345. Identified by 
Father Gasquet with Elias AtterclifFe, elected abbot of 
Croxton in 1 49 1 (ibid, ii, 158). He acted as assessor 
to Bishop Redman, visitor of the order. 

2 16 

the enlargement of their site, and a few years 
later they took out a pardon for the acquisition 
without licence of a further two acres.' 

In 1371 William of Northburgh, one of the 
brethren, was licensed as penitentiary in the 
wapentakes of Blackburn and Leyland.* Brother 
Richard Pekard, recluse of this house, received 
a licence in 1390 to hear confessions.^ 

The house was probably surrendered in 1539 ^ 
and the crown on 18 June, 1540, sold it with 
the friaries of Preston and Warrington to 
Thomas Holcroft, esquire of the body to the 
king, for ^126 I Of.' 

""AshmoIeMS. 15 19, fol. 136, 153^. Elected 
abbot of Halesowen, 4 July, 1505 ; Coll. Angh.-Pre- 
monstr. No. 447. 

'" Valor Eccl iv, 151;!. and P. Hen. Fill, x, 
p. 141. See above. 

'" Dep. Keeper's Rep. viii, App. ii, 18. 

' The royal licence to acquire a site is dated 
27 May, 1260 ; Pat. 44 Hen. Ill, m. 9. A prior 
of the house is mentioned in 1269 ; Dugdale, Mon. 
On the division of the English province of the order 
into four ' visitations,' Canterbury, London, Oxford, 
and York, it was assigned to the last-named ; Wore. 
Cath. Lib. MS. 93, fly-leaf 

* Let. from Northern Reg. (Rolls Ser.), 95. 
' Cal of Pat. 1307-13, p. 387. 

* Lich. Epis. Reg. Stretton, fol. 26. 
" Ibid. Scrope, fol. \z6b. 

° In Feb. 1539 one of Cromwell's agents mentions 
this as one of twenty or more friaries still standing in 
the north, most of which he hoped to see suppressed 
before Easter ; L. and P. Hen. Fill, xiv (i), 348, 
413. A royal commissioner was on his way to 
Lancaster on 10 March ; ibid. 494. 

' Ibid. XV, 831, g. 43. The site was alienated in 
2-3 Philip and Mary to Thomas Carus of Halton 
and his son Thomas ; Dugdale, Mon. vi, i486. 



There was a chantry in the chapel of the 
friary founded (so the Chantry Commissioners 
reported in 1547) by the ancestors of Sir Thomas 
Lawrence of Ashton near Lancaster. Robert 
Makerell, the last priest of the chantry, continued 
to celebrate masses ' at his pleasure ' in other 
places after the dissolution of the friary.* 


Edmund, earl of Lancaster, younger son of 
Henry III, has from the fourteenth century been 
considered the founder of the house of Grey 
Friars at Preston.' Leland, however, remarks 
that, though he was ' the Original and great 
Builder of this house,' the site was given by a 
member of the local family of Preston, an Irish 
representative of which became Lord Gorman- 
ston in 1390.^" This is supported by evidence 
that the Prestons at a somewhat later date held 
the land adjoining the friary.'^ From an entry 
in the Close Rolls, hitherto overlooked, it would 
appear that the Franciscans had settled at Preston 
before Earl Edmund's connexion with the 
county began. On 25 October, 1260, 
Henry III granted to the Friars Minor of 
Preston five oaks in Sydwood, Lancaster, for 
building." Presumably the site had already 
been obtained from one of the Prestons. Sub- 
sequent gifts by Edmund, who received the 
honour of Lancaster in 1267, towards the 
erection of the house doubtless earned for him 
the credit of being its founder. In September, 
1291, the archbishop of York gave instructions 
that one of the friars should preach the Crusade 
at Preston itself, and a second at some other 
populous place in the neighbourhood." Pope 
John XXII in 1330 on the petition of Henry, 
earl of Lancaster, forbad the authorities of 
the order to remove the house from the Wor- 
cester ' Custodia ' of the English Franciscan 
province, in which Henry's father had had it 

The subsequent history of the house is a 
scanty record of small bequests for masses '' until 

' Lanes. Chant. (Chet. Soc), 225. The clear 
annual value of the chantry in 1535 was £^ 18/.; 
Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 263. 

' Cal. Pap. Letters, ii, 345. 

'" Leland, Itin. iv, 22 ; G. E. C. Complete Peerage, 
iv, 55. Viscount Gormanston is the present represen- 
tative of this family. 

" Fishwick, Kist. of the Par. of Preston, 198. 

" Close, 44 Hen. Ill, pt. I, m. I ; information 
from Mr. A. G. Little. 

" Let. from Northern Reg. (Rolls Ser.), 96. 

" Bullarium Franciscanum, v, No. 882 ; Cal. Pap. 
Letters, ii, 345. 

" Fishwick, loc. cit.; T. C. Smith, Rec. of the Par. 
Ch. of Preston, 244. 

the time of the last warden, Thomas Todgill, whose 
dispute with the lessee of the hospital of St. Mary 
Magdalene over the ' Widowfield ' is narrated 
elsewhere." He was accused in the court of the 
Duchy of having made away with goods placed 
in his care during the nonage of one Elizabeth a 
Powell ; but he denied the charge and the 
verdict has been lost." The house was prob- 
ably surrendered in 1539,'' and the crown sold 
it with the friaries of Lancaster and Warrington 
to Thomas Holcroft, esquire of the body to the 
king, on 18 June, 1540, for £,\2(i ioj." 

Wardens of the Friary 

James,^ occurs 1480 
Philip,'^ occurs 1509-10 
Thomas Todgill,^^ occurs 1528, surrendered 


The date of the settlement of the hermit 
friars of the order of St. Augustine at Warrington 
is not known, but it was before 1308. In 1329 
some of the brethren were ordained by Bishop 
Langton." An old hospital is said to have been 
taken over by the friars. William le Boteler 
gave them a meadow in 1332.''* In the latter 
part of the century several of the brethren were 
appointed penitentiaries or had licence to hear 
confessions in one or more deaneries of South 
Lancashire ; in one case throughout the arch- 
deaconry of Chester.^' A large number of 
Warrington friars took holy orders.^^ 

'* See post, p. 164. 

" Fishwick, op. cit. 199. 

"On 23 Feb. 1539, Richard, bishop of Dover, 
informs Cromwell that he is about to proceed to the 
north to suppress some twenty friaries which are still 
standing there ; L. and P. Hen. Fill, xiv (1), 348, 


"Ibid. XV, 831 (43)- 

" Whitaker, Hist, of Richmondsh'tre, ii, 428. 

"Karl. MS. 2 112, fol. 115^,- Smith, op. cit. 

" Smith, 239. In 1544 Todgill, then about fifty 
years old, was chaplain of Gray's Inn, London. 
Eight years later (16 July, 1552) he became rector of 
Holy Trinity, Chester, on the presentation of the 
Earl of Derby. He died before I Feb. 1565 ; 
Onnerod, Hist, of Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 331. 

" Lich. Epis. Reg. Langton, fol. 157, 163^. 
Beamont {Ann. of the Lords of Warrington (Chet. Soc), 
73) conjectures that they were introduced about 1259 
by William le Boteler, seventh baron of Warrington. 

'* Beamont, op. cit. 168, 189. 

" Lich. Epis. Reg. Stretton, fol. 15, 20, 23, 26^; 
ibid. Scrope, fol. 127^, 129. 

^ Lich. Epis. Reg. 



In 1362 William de Raby, an apostate friar 
of the house, was seeking to be reconciled to his 
order.^' Chantries were founded in their church 
by Sir Thomas Button, kt., in 1379 and by 
Sir John Bold, kt., in 1422.^* In 1504 Gilbert 
Southworth of Croft bequeathed his body 

to be buryed in the cemetare of the churche of 
Jhesus belongyng to the bredren of Seinte Austen." 

The house was probably surrendered in iSSg,'*" 
and the crown on i8 June, 1540, sold it with 
the friaries of Preston and Lancaster to Thomas 

Holcroft, esquire of the body to the king, for 

;^I26 lOi.'^ 

Priors of Warrington 

Henry,'' occurs 1334 

John of Crouseley," occurs 1368 

William Eltonhead,'* occurs 1379 

Geoffrey Banaster,'' S.T.P., appointed 1404 

Nicholas Spynk,'^ occurs 24 June, 1422 

Stephen Leet,'' occurs 1432 

— Slawright,'' occurs 1520 



The precise date of the foundation of this 
leper hospital does not appear. It is first 
mentioned in letters of protection granted by 
Henry II after 1177.^ Its position does not 
seem to be known exactly, but is supposed to 
have been near the present church of St. 
Walburge.' The patronage of the hospital 
always belonged to the lords of the honour of 
Lancaster,*" and it possessed a free chapel, i. e. 
exempt from the jurisdiction of the ordinary. 
This was the only free chapel in the county. 
The hospital consisted of a warden and leper 
brethren and sisters, but the number of the 
inmates and the rule by which they lived are 
unknown.' From the fourteenth century at 
latest the wardens seem to have been often, if 
not always, pluralists and non-residents. A 
chaplain served the chapel. While the pes- 
tilence was raging in the autumn of 1349 the 
chaplaincy was vacant for eight weeks, during 
which period the oflFerings in the chapel were 
asserted to have been no less than £'^2.* In 
1355 Duke Henry of Lancaster, the patron, 
procured from the pope a relaxation of one year 
and forty days' penance for penitents visiting the 
chapel on the principal feasts of the year and 

" Cal. Pap. Letters, iv, 34. 

** Dugdale, Mon. vi, 1593 ; Trans. Hist. Soc. (New 
Ser.), V, 129. 

" Lanes. Chantries (Chat. Soc), 65. 

'» L. and P. Hen. Fill, xiv (l), 348, 413, 494. 

"Ibid. XV, 831 (43). 

'' Coram Rege R. 297, m. 123 ,^. 

"^ Lich. Epis. Reg. Stretton, fol. 15, 20. 

** Dugdale, Mon. vi, I 593. 

" Beamont, f^^ ofMakerfield, 18. He was already 
a friar of the house in 1371 ; Lich. Epis. Reg. Stretton, 
fol. 26. 

^° Trans. Hist. Sac. (Newr Ser.), v, 129. 

" Baines, Hist, of Lanes, iv, 404. The well-known 
Friar Penketh (d. 1487), was a brother of the house 
{pict. Nat. Biog. xliv, 302). 

' Lanes. Pipe R. 333. 

those of St. Mary Magdalen and St. Thomas 
of Canterbury.' During one of these pilgrim- 
ages, on the feast of the Invention of the Cross 
(3 May) 1358, certain riotous persons, among 
whom was the schoolmaster of Preston, invaded 
the chapel, and some of them were kept prisoners 
there for the whole of the day following.' 

A few years later the right of the warden 
and brethren to the offerings made in the chapel 
seems to have been disputed, for Pope Urban V 
in March, 1364, ordered the archbishop of 
York to summon the rector of the parish and 
others concerned, and if the facts were as repre- 
sented to him to allow the warden and brethren 
to receive to their use the voluntary offerings, 
' wherein the revenues of the hospital chiefly 
consist.' ' A century later, in 1465, a royal 
injunction forbad the dean and chapter of the 
College of Leicester, the appropriators of the 
parish church, to persist in taking tithe from the 
incumbent of the ' Free chapel of St. Mary 
Magdalene ' on the ground belonging to the 
chapel.* By this time the hospital had appar- 
ently fallen into disuse, and presentations were 
now made not to the wardenship but to the 
practically sinecure incumbency of the free 
chapel. The chapel itself was allowed to fall into 
decay. Thomas Barlow, the last incumbent, 
leased the chapel and its lands about 1525 to 

' For a suggestion that Count Stephen of Blois may 
have been its founder see ibid. 

'* The brethren of the lepers complained to the king 
in 1 2 5 8-9 that whereas they should have a warden of 
the king's appointment the men of Preston had asserted 
a right of patronage and had taken the brethren's 
goods ; Close, 43 Hen. Ill, m. 2. 

' ' Canons and brethren ' are once mentioned 
(Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., L. 2091), but this may be 
a slip. Grants are usually made by or to ' the leper 
brethren' or 'the leper brothers and sisters.' 

* Eng/. Hist. Rev. v, 526. This is probably a gross 

' Cal. Pap. Pet. i, 271. 

* Duchy of Lane. Assize R. 439. 
' Ca/. Pap. Letters, iv, 90. 

' Fishwick, Hist, of the Parish of Preston, 195. 



James Walton for 20 years at a rent of 
Ij 6j. Zd., the lessee undertaking to repair the 
chapel and to find a priest to say mass once a 
week for the king's preservation. 

Walton afterwards claimed to have transferred 
this obligation to the Franciscan convent at 
Preston, with a lease of a parcel of land called 
' Widowficld ' at a yearly rent of 9 shillings. 
The friars, however, asserted that the land was 
their own and the g shillings a quitrent, though 
their warden ultimately admitted that ' for peace 
and quietness he signed a bill that Walton made 
and wrote.' In January, 1528, two of the 
friars and others forcibly entered upon the 
field. Walton laid a complaint before the 
Chancellor of the Duchy, but in May, 1545, 
the land was again seized by his opponents, who 
pulled down the mansion house attached to the 
chapel and carried off the ornaments of the 
chapel itself.' 

The Chantry Commissioners of 1546 in their 
certificate refer to Barlow's lease to Walton, and 
add that ' the said chapel is defaced and open at 
both ends.' Its plate, including a chalice, 
weighed eight ounces ; there was one vestment 
and one bell. The chapel lands, which lay 
almost entirely in the fields of Preston, com- 
prised 58 acres with a clear annual rental of 
j^5 I2i. 8^.^" In 1548 the chapel was dissolved, 
and with its lands, now estimated at 47^ acres 
only, leased on 2 June to Richard Wrightington 
for twenty-one years at a yearly rent of 
j^5 i6i. %d. Shortly afterwards Edward VI 
granted (18 April, 1549) the whole of the ' Maud- 
lands ' property to John Dodyngton and William 
Warde of London, gentlemen. They sold it in 
January, 1550, to Thomas Fleetwood of Hes- 
keth, from whom it was purchased some ten 
years later (2 December, 1560) for ^^300 by 
Thomas Fleetwood of Penwortham.'^ 

Wardens of St. Mary Magdalen's 

William," occurs area 1245 
John of Coleham," occurs 1270 

" Smith, Rec. of Preston Parish Church, 238-42. 

'"Ibid. In the papal ' Taxatio ' of 1292 the 
temporalities of the hospital, after allowing for neces- 
sary expenses, were assessed at 1 3/. 4a'. In 1355 
the wardenship was worth j^5 a year ; Cal. Pap. Letters, 
iii, 543. In 1 361 it had apparently risen to £,^o, 
from which it fell to /lo in 1366 ; Piccope MSS. 
viii, 189 ; BM. Add. MS. 6069, fol. in, quoted 
in Smith, op. cit. 238. The increase in 1361 was 
probably due to the increase in offerings consequent 
on the papal privilege of 1355. 

" Lanes. Chantries, 208-9. 

" Willelmus capellanus rector noster ; Duchy of 
Lane. Great Coucher, i, fol. 86, No. I. 

" Ibid, i, fol. 85, No. 31 ; cf. Anct. D., L. 2087, 

Adam de Preston," occurs 13 13, died 1322 
John Coupland," appointed by the crown 

30 May, 1322 
John son of Richard de Rivers," occurs 

Henry de Dale," occurs 1345 and 1347 
Pascal de Bononia '' (Bologna), occurs 1355 
Walter Campden,'' occurs 1366, died 1370 
Ralph de Erghum (Arkholme),'" occurs 1373 
Thomas Horston,^^ occurs 1399 
Thomas Prowett,^'^ before 1480 
James Standish,^^ appointed 18 August, i486 
Thomas Barlow,^ appointed 6 February, 
1522, surrendered 1548. 

The matrix of the common seal of the hos- 
pital is preserved in the Fitzwilliam Museum, 
Cambridge. It is oval pointed. In the centre, 
within a niche, is a female figure, doubtless St. 
Mary Magdalen, standing with a flower-pot in 
her left hand, and what has been conjectured to 
be an ornamental ointment box in the right ; 
beneath her feet is represented 2. fleur-de-lis. The 
legend runs — 


" Great Coucher, i, fol. 85, Nos. 29, 30. Styled 
' custos capelle beate M.M.' Son of Hugh de Pres- 
ton. Inq. p.m. 21 June, 1322. 

" Piccope MSS. vi, 23^. Chaplain to Edw. II, 
who appointed him, the advowson being in his hands 
by the forfeiture of Thomas, earl of Lancaster. A 
grant of the wardenship to John de Evesham, king's 
clerk, was cancelled in 1326, as it appeared that 
Coupland was still alive; Cal. Pat. 1324-7, p. 


'* Cal. Pap. Letters, ii, 343. Provided by the pope 
to a canonry of Salisbury notwithstanding his warden- 

" Ibid, iii, 148, 242. Dale, who was a bachelor 
of civil law and of medicine, held with the wardenship 
six canonries and (for a time) the rectory of Higham 

" Ibid, iii, 562 ; Cal. Pap. Pet. i, 274. Physician 
to Henry, duke of Lancaster, prebendary of St. Paul's, 
London ; Newcourt, Repertorium, \, 217. He also held 
the church of 'Patenhulle' (Patshull). 

" B.M. Add. MS. 6069, III; also rector of 
Wigan, canon of York, and warden of St. Nicholas' 
Hospital, Pontefract. 

" Duchy of Lane. Misc.Bks. xlii, fol. 194 : ' Ralph 
de Erghum's chapel.' He was chancellor of John of 

" Granted charge of the free chapel for life by 
John, duke of Lancaster ; confirmed by Hen. IV on 
10 Dec. 1399 ; Duchy of Lane. Misc. Bks. xv, fol. 

'^ See a complaint by his executor in Pal. of Lane. 
Writs Proton., file 19 Edw. YVa. 

" Materials for Hist, of Hen. FlI (Rolls Ser.), i, 541. 
Presented (?) by Henry VII. 

" Smith, Hist, of Preston Parish Church, 238 ; 
Lanes. Chantries (Chet. Soc), 208. He received a 
pension of j^5 and was still living in 1558. 

" Figured in Fishwick, op. cit. 197. 





The hospital of lepers at Lancaster, dedicated 
to St. Leonard, is said to have been founded by 
King John when count of Mortain and lord of 
the honour of Lancaster, 1189-94.^" It is first 
mentioned in the charter which he granted be- 
tween those dates to Lancaster Priory.^' In the 
fourteenth century it sustained a chaplain and 
nine poor persons, of whom three were to be 
lepers,^' but it is always referred to in early 
documents as the hosp'itale leprosorum of Lancaster. 

John's grant included free pasture for their 
animals in his forest of Lonsdale, and the right 
of taking fuel and building timber therein with- 
out payment. Deprived of these privileges dur- 
ing the civil troubles which followed, they secured 
orders for their enforcement from Henry III in 
1220,*^ 1225,^' and 1229.^ From Pope Celes- 
tine III {119 1-8) they claimed to have obtained 
exemption from payment of tithes on lands in 
their own cultivation. This led to disputes with 
the priory of Lancaster, which owned the rectorial 
tithes of the parish. The first recorded ended 
in a compromise about 1245.'^ ^^i 1317 there 
was further litigation. The prior complained 
that the master of the hospital withheld tithes at 
Skerton and Lancaster to the amount of £$, and 
the oblations of the hospital chapel, worth £1. 
On the question of tithe the master pleaded the 
bull of Pope Celestine, to which the prior re- 
torted that the benefits of the bull were exclu- 
sively intended for lepers,'^ and that in any case it 
only covered land newly brought into cultivation, 
whereas that in dispute had been cultivated from 
time immemorial. He alleged seisin of both tithes 
and oblations since the date of the bull. Judge- 
ment was given against the hospitalonboth heads.'^ 

On the forfeiture of Thomas of Lancaster the 
advowson of the hospital was taken into the 
hands of the crown, and one William de Dalton 
obtaining a grant of the wardenship ejected 
several of the lepers and poor inmates, and sub- 
let the wardenship to William de Skipton and 
Alan de Thornton, who diverted much of its 
revenue to their own uses.'* A protest was 
made and the king ordered an inquiry. The 
jury reported (5 October, 1323) that the custom 
had been for the brethren to elect one of the 

" Inq. a.q.d. 17 Edw. II (1323), No. 72. 

^ Farrer, Lanes. Pipe R. 298. 

" See note 25. The lepers were separately lodged 
in a building known as the ' Spitell house ' ; Lanes. 
Pleadings (Rec. See), i, 211. 

" Rot. Claus. (Rec. Com.), 414^ ; Finei, Lanes. Inq. 
i, 88. "C«/. Pat. 1216-25, p. 525. 

^ Cal. Close, 1227-31, pp. 182, 195. 

" Roper, Hist, of Lane. Ch. (Chet. Soc), 305. 

" Who were a minority in the hospital. 

^Hist. of Lane. Ch. 487. 

" Inq. a.q.d. 17 Edw. II, No. 72. 

lepers as master and present him to the seneschal 
of Lancaster, who instituted him.'" Three years 
later, however, the crown appointed a warden.'^ 

On I November, 1356, the mastership being 
vacant, Henry duke of Lancaster gave the hos- 
pital to the nuns of Seton in Cumberland to 
relieve their poverty.'' His generosity is said to 
have been inspired by his servant. Sir Robert Law- 
rence, kt., of Ashton, near Lancaster, a kinsman 
of the prioress.'' The grant was conditional on 
the consent of the burgesses of Lancaster and 
on the nuns finding at the priory a chantry of one 
chaplain to replace that at the hospital and agree- 
ing to continue its alms and dues at Lancaster." 

How long this last condition continued to be 
fulfilled is not recorded, but an inquiry held at the 
instance of the burgesses in 1 531 showed that no 
alms had been done for sixty years, and that the 
lazar house had been pulled down and the church 
and other buildings allowed to fall into ruin. 
The prioress, though summoned, did not appear 
to answer the allegations of the townsmen.*" 

In the Taxatio of Pope Nicholas the posses- 
sions of the hospital after allowing for necessary 
expenses were assessed at 1 31. ^d.^^ The tem- 
poralities comprised one plough-land in Skerton, 
with a manor and mill in Lancaster.*^ Accord- 
ing to the jurors of 1 53 1 they had been worth 
about j^6 13J. i^d. a year ;*' they were assessed 
'" 1535 ^t 0^-^ The daily portion of the 
brethren according to the inquisition of 1323 
reveals the poverty of the house ; it consisted of 
a loaf weighing I lb. 12 oz. with pottage on 
Sunday, Monday and Friday.*' 

Masters or Wardens of the Hospital 

Nicholas,*' occurs 1224-5 

William Dalton,*' occurs 1323 

Richard de Cesaye,** appointed 23 February, 

Robert de Arden,*' occurs 1334 

" Ibid. '* See below . " Dugdale, Mon. iv, z 2 7. 

" Lanes. Pleadings (Rec. Soc), i, 212. 

'' The charter as printed in Dugdale requires the 
burgesses to continue their alms, but the translation 
in the pleadings takes it as an obligation on the nuns. 

" Lanes. Pleadings, i, 21 1-14. 

*' Pope Nieh. Tax. 309. The income in 1323 was 
£6 6s. Sd. ; Inq. a.q.d. 17 Edw. II, No. 72. 

" Ibid. ; Lanes. Inquests, i, 294. 

" Lanes. Pleadings, i, 212. This income was in- 
creased by the alms and oiFerings given by strangers. 

" Falor Eeel (Rec. Com.), v, 265. 

" Inq. a.q.d. 17 Edw. II, No. 72. 

" Lanes. Final Cone, i, 46. 

" Inq. a.q.d. 17 Edw. II, No. 72. 

*' Cal. Pat. 1324-7, p. 245. Cesaye, described as 
a chaplain, received a grant of the wardenship for life 
from the crown, to whom the patronage had reverted 
on the forfeiture of Thomas of Lancaster. Confirma- 
tion is wanted of the statement made in 1 5 3 1 that 
the appointment of a warden had to be confirmed by 
the burgesses. " Coram Rege R. 297, m. 1 1. 




The small hospital or almshouse at Lancaster 
known as Gardiner's Hospital was established in 
1485 by the executors of John Gardiner of 
Bailrigg in accordance with the provisions of his 
will made in 1472 and proved eleven years 
later. The headship of the hospital, for which 
Gardiner seems to have erected a building in his 
life-time, was combined with the incumbency of 
a chantrv in the adjacent parish church. Out 
of the issues of the manor of Bailrigg, which in 
1547 amounted tOj^ii 6s. lod., the chantry 
priest was required to pay id. a day to each of 
four poor people in the almshouse and 2d. 
a week to a serving-maid, retaining the residue 
for his own maintenance. The nomination of 
the priest or chaplain after the first vacancy was 
vested in the mayor and twelve burgesses of 
Lancaster.'" In the first year of Edward VI 
the chantry was dissolved, but the hospital 
survived and is still in existence with an income 
brought up by some small legacies to ^IS 
a year.'' 

Chantry Priests of the Hospital 
Nicholas Green," appointed by Gardiner's 

feoffees, 1485 
Edward Baines," incumbent in 1547 

This was a foundation, similar to the last, for 
a chaplain and eight bedesmen, founded by the 
second Earl of Derby in 1500. It also survived 
the Reformation, or was soon refounded, and 
exists to the present time." 

The hospital of St. Saviour at Stidd under 
Longridge in the township of Dutton and parish of 
Ribchester can be traced back to the reign of John, 
about which time Richard de Singleton gave four 
acres in Dilworth to the master and brethren.'* 
It was afterwards granted to the Knights Hos- 
pitallers and became attached to their preceptory 
at Newland near Wakefield. Shortly after- 
wards, or early in the fourteenth century, it 
seems to have ceased to be a hospital, though its 
chapel remained in use." 



In 1310 Sir Robert de Holland obtained a 
licence in mortmain to endow a college of thir- 
teen chaplains, one of whom bore the title of dean, 
in the chapel of St. Mary and Thomas the 
Martyr on his manor of UphoUand near Wigan.' 

The college took the place of a chantry for two 
priests, projected three years earlier but perhaps 
not carried out. This was to have been endowed 
with two messuages and two plough-lands in 
Holland and a third in Orrell.^ The grant to 
the college was limited to one messuage and one 
plough-land in Holland, but there was added the 
advowson of Childwall church, which the founder 
seems to have acquired from Thomas Grelley, the 
last baron of Manchester of his name. 

The first dean was William le Gode, who died 
in the following year, and was succeeded by 
Richard de Sandbach.' On 9 January, 13 13, 
William de Snayth and six other chaplains were 

"'Lanes. Chant. (Chet. See), 221—2. 

" Baines, Hist, of Lanes, (ed. Croston), v, 475. 

'' Lanes. Chant. 222. 

"Ibid. 221. The Robert Mackerall, 'Chantry 
Priest of Lancaster Hospital,' mentioned in the 
footnote ibid. p. 223, as in receipt of a pension in 
1553 can no doubt be identified with the priest of 
the same name who had a chantry in the Franciscan 
Friary until 1539; ibid. 225. It he is not incor- 
rectly described above we must assume that he was 
appointed to Gardiner's chantry under Mary. 

*• See F.C.H. Lanes, iii, 257. 

instituted to prebends on the presentation of the 
founder.'* The college may not until then have 
attained its full complement, but the institution of 
six priests not very long afterwards renders another 
explanation possible.' The situation was lonely, 
the prebends cannot have been of much value, 
and vacancies were probably frequent. Harmony, 
we are told, seldom prevailed in the college and 
ultimately the canons deserted it.° 

After an interval the endowments were trans- 
ferred in 1 319 to a new priory of Benedictine 
monks.' Among them was the rectory of Whit- 
wick near Ashby de la Zouch in Leicestershire, 
which Pope John XXII had appropriated to the 
college on the very eve of its dissolution, on the 
petition of Sir Robert de Holland and at the re- 
quest of Thomas, earl of Lancaster and Leicester, 
patron of the church.* Childwall, of which at 
first it had only held the advowson,' seems to have 
been appropriated to the college somewhat earlier. 

" Dugdale, Mon. vi, 686. 

^ For details and list of masters see the account 
of Stidd in Ribchester. 

' Cal. of Pat. 1307-13, p. 233. 

'Lanes. Inquests (Rec. Soc), i, 322. 

' Lich. Epis. Reg. Langton, fol. 59^. 

Mbid. fol. 323. 'Ibid. fol. 61. 

'Dugdale, Man. iv, 411. 

' Cal. of Pat. 1317-21, p. 353. See ante, p. ill. 

^Cal. of Pap. Letters, ii, 188 ; cf. ii, 215. 

° A rector was presented by William le Gode and 
the presbyters of the college in March, 131 1 ; Lich. 
Epis. Reg. Langton, fol. 59. 




The parish church of Manchester was incor- 
porated in 1421 at the instance of Thomas la 
Warre, its rector and last lord of the manor of his 
name, who endowed the college with certain 
lands and the advowson of the church. The 
royal licence was given on 22 May in that 

The college was to consist of nine chaplains : 
a master or warden, and eight fellows with other 
ministers " who were to celebrate for the health- 
ful state of the king, Bishop Langley (head of the 
founder's feoffees) and La Warre while they 
lived and for their souls after death, as well as for 
the souls of the parishioners and of all the faith- 
ful departed. 

About the time of the outbreak of the Pil- 

grimage of Grace a correspondent of Lord 
Darcy wrote that ' This week past, Manchester 
College should have been pulled down and there 
would have been a rising, but the Commissioners 
recoiled."^ This must surely have been a false 
alarm, for the commissioners had no power to 
deal with the colleges. 

The college was, however, dissolved in 1547, 
but refounded by Queen Mary. The ancient 
common seal of the college, an impression of 
which is appended to the foundation deed of 
St. George's Gild in the collegiate church, 
represented the Assumption of the Virgin ; at 
the base the Grelley and La Warre shields. 
Legend : 




The priory of Lancaster was founded by Roger 
of Poitou, in the reign of William Rufus, as a 
cell of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Martin at 
S^es in Normandy. Sies formed part of the 
inheritance of his mother, the notorious Countess 
Mabel, and its abbey, refounded in 1060 by his 
father, received liberal endowments in England 
from the house of Montgomery. 

The chartulary of S^es recites three charters 
of Roger granting Lancaster church and other 
portions of his English possessions to the abbey ; 
two of these are ascribed to 1094, the third is 
undated.^ All three differ in some important 
respects. That without a date was the definitive 
charter of foundation, for it alone appears in the 
register of the priory.' The others may have 
been granted by Roger while in Normandy in 
1 094,' but the names of its witnesses show that 

'" S. Hibbert-Ware, Hist, of the foundations of Man- 
chester, iv, 145. Further details will be found in 
the account of the church. 

"Ibid. 163. From the founder's letter present- 
ing the first warden, we learn that the ' other minis- 
ters ' were from the first four clerks and six choristers 
(ibid. 173). In 1546 two of the priest fellows 
served the parochial cure, the rest ' kept the choir ;' 
Lanes. Chantries, 8. 

" L. and P. Hen. Fill, xi, 635. 

" Lanes. Chantries, 29. 

' They are numbered in the chartulary 258, 260, 
and 266. These numbers do not agree with those 
given in the transcript in the Archives of the Depart- 
ment of the Orne at Alenfon used by Mr. Round ; 
Cal. of Doc. France, 2^6— g. It should be noted, 
too, that No. 665 of the calendar is only a truncated 
fragment of No. 260 of the chartulary. For the 
history of S^es see Neustria Pia, 577 ; Orderic 
Vitalis, Hist. Eccl. (Soc. de I'Hist. de France), ii, 46-7. 

this was drawn up in the north of England, 
probably at Lancaster. It cannot be much later 
in date. 

The wide range of Roger's endowments 
bespeaks the poverty of his northern lands. In- 
cluded among them were part of the township 
of Lancaster, the two adjoining manors {mamiones) 
of AldclifFe and Newton,* the vill of Poulton- 
le-Fylde, and the tithes of the parishes of Preston 
and Bolton-le-Sands and of nineteen townships, 
all with one exception within the bounds of the 
later county of Lancaster and comprising practi- 
cally the whole of Count Roger's demesne lands 
in that district. A tenth of his hunting, pannage, 
and fishing was added, together with every third 
cast of the seine belonging to the church of 

The church itself was granted ; also the 
churches of Bolton-le-Sands, Heysham, Melling, 
Poulton, Preston, Kirkham, Croston, Childwall, 
and a moiety of Eccleston, and three in the 
Midlands, Cotgrave, Cropwell (both in Notting- 

'B.M. Karl. MS. 3764, fol. la ; printed by 
Farrer {Lanes. Pipe R. 289) and (with the rest of 
the register) by W. O. Roper in Materials for the Hist, 
of the Church of Lancaster (Chet. Soc), 8. The 
documents connected with the priory in Add. MS. 
32107, Nos. 818-86 and Exch. Aug. Off. Misc. 
Bks. vols. 33—40 include some which are not in the 

' He unsuccessfully defended Argentan near Sees 
for King William against Duke Robert ; Ang].-Sax. 
Chron. sub anno ; Hen. Huntingdon, Hist. Angl. (Rolls 
Ser.), 217. Some of the witnesses of the 1094 
charters are English tenants of Roger (e.g. Godfrey 
the Sheriff and Albert Grelley), but others, Oliver de 
Tremblet, for instance, are not known to have been. 

* Newton is described in later documents as a 
hamlet in the township of Bulk ; Hist, of Lane. CA. 




liamshire), and ' Wikelay.'^ In the case of 
Bolton, Heysham, Preston, and Poulton con- 
siderable areas of church land were conveyed 
with the advowsons. 

Most of these churches were gradually alienated 
before the fourteenth century. Those in the 
Midlands were soon lost, either by amicable 
arrangement or by crown resumption on Count 
Roger's forfeiture in 1 102. It has been sug- 
gested that with them Henry I resumed Preston, 
Childwall, and perhaps Poulton.^ This, how- 
ever, seems open to doubt. The circumstances 
under which another of its advowsons was lost to 
the priory in the reign of Stephen are fortunately 
known. Among Roger's gifts were Kirkham 
church and the tithes of Walton-on-the-Hill. 
But in a charter issued in 1093 or shortly after- 
wards his sheriff Godfrey, with his consent, 
conveyed the churches of Walton and Kirkham 
to the abbey of St. Peter at Shrewsbury, the 
chief English foundation of the count's father, 
Roger of Montgomery.' The only probable 
explanation of the double grant is that between 
the date of this charter and that of Count Roger's 
definitive foundation of the priory he had taken 
into his own hands again some estates held of 
him by Godfrey when the Shrewsbury charter 
was drawn up. Nevertheless the latter was con- 
firmed by Archbishop Thomas of York and 
by Henry I.' Litigation between the two houses 
inevitably followed and the dispute being sub- 
mitted to the arbitration of Bernard, bishop of 
St. Davids, the Lancashire monks had to resign 
Kirkham church and the Walton tithes to the 
abbot of Shrewsbury, who in return gave them 
a plough-land at Bispham and the tithe of the 
adjoining township of Layton with Warbreck.' 
A charter issued by David king of Scots as lord 
of the honour of Lancaster, which protects 
Shrewsbury's rights in the church of Kirkham, 
is extant and probably followed the composition 
arranged by Bernard.'" It seems not unlikely 
that these events took place in 1141 during the 
short-lived triumph of the Empress Maud, of 
whom Bishop Bernard was an ardent partisan. '' 
Fear lest the decision might be invalidated on 
political grounds may have dictated the further 
reference of the dispute by Shrewsbury Abbey to 
Archbishop William Fitzherbert of York, who 
m a synod, apparently held in 1 143, gave judge- 
ment in its favour.^' There were other out- 
standing questions between S6es and Shrewsbury, 
and in a general settlement effected four years 
later the former, while confirming the resignation 

^ Mr. Farrer suggests that this is Wakerley, North- 
ants, but quaere. 

^ Lanes. Pipe R. 292-4. 

'Ibid. 269. ° Ibid. 272, 280. 

'Ibid. 276. "Ibid. 275. 

" Tait, Mediaeval Manchester and Be^nnings of 
Lancashire, 167. 

" Ibid. 16S ; Lanes. Pipe R. 280. 

of Kirkham, restored the plough-land at Bispham 
and the tithes of Layton and Warbreck, receiv- 
ing in return the chapel of Bispham and certain 
disputed property in Shropshire." Roger's gifts 
to the Norman abbey were confirmed by Pope 
Innocent II on 3 May, 1 139,'* by Ranulf 
Gernons, earl of Chester, probably in 1 149," and 
by John, count of Mortain when lord of the 
honour of Lancaster, between 1 189 and 1 193.'* 
During this period also John granted to the priory 
the privileges of having all suits touching its 
lands tried before himself or his chief justiciar, 
and of taking their tithes from his demesne lands 
whether they were in his own hands or not." 

Meanwhile the advowson of Preston had 
passed away from the priory. In 1 1 96 Theo- 
bald Walter claimed the advowsons of Preston 
and Poulton, seemingly on the strength of the 
grant he had received two years before of the lord- 
ship of Amounderness. The matter was settled 
in the king's court ; Theobald quitclaimed his 
rights in the advowson of Poulton with Bispham 
chapel, and the abbot and convent of S^es did 
the same as regards the advowson of Preston, but 
secured an annual pension of 10 marks from that 
church.'* This was probably as much as they 
could have derived from it in any case so long as 
it remained unappropriated. A little later the 
advowson of Melling church was transferred to 
Roger de Montbegon of Hornby," who resigned 
all claim upon its chapel at Gressingham, which 
Pope Celestine III had appropriated to the priory."' 

" Lanes. Pipe R. 282-3. 

" Hist, of Lane. Ch. 105. 

" Lanes. Pipe R. 296. For the date seep. 187. 

" Ibid. 298. 

" Ibid. 1 16 ; cf. Hist, of Lane. Ch. 1 6-1 7. 

" Final Cone. (Rec. See. Lanes, and Ches.), i, 6. 
Mr. Farrer infers from these proceedings that the ad- 
vowson of Preston and probably that of Poulton had 
been taken from Sdes by Henry I on the forfeiture of 
Roger of Poitou ; Lanes. Pipe R. 293-4. But if 
the crown had been in possession for nearly a century 
Theobald would hardly have had to bring a claim 
against the abbey, much less make the concessions he 
did. He obtained the advowson of Kirkham in the 
same way from Shrewsbury Abbey, which had certainly 
not been disseised of it ; Final Cone, i, 2. His claim 
in all three cases may have been based on a contention 
that Roger's forfeiture had invalidated the titles. Nor 
was Sees disseised of the vill of Poulton in 1 102 as 
Mr. Farrer (loc. cit.) asserts. Its omission from the 
Testa de Nevill has parallels, and the priory of Lan- 
caster was chief lord of the vill in the thirteenth 
century ; Hist, of Lane. Ch. 483. 

" While Henry de Bracqueville was abbot (i I85- 
l2Io) of Sees (Dugdale, Mon. vi, 990 ; Neustria Pia, 
582). A dispute in the previous century between 
Prior Nicholas and a rector of Melling had been 
settled by Hugh Pudsey, bishop of Durham (1153- 
95) ; tlie prior granted the church and Gressingham 
chapel to the rector for a pension of 20/. (Round, 
Cal. of Doc. France, 239). 

"Hist. ofLan:. Ch. 20, 117. 



Gressingham thenceforward became an isolated 
chapelry of Lancaster. 

It was perhaps in 1232 that the advowson of 
Childwall church passed to the Grelleys, in whose 
barony of Manchester the manor had long been 
included. Thomas Grelley in that year obtained 
an assize of darrein presentment against the prior, 
but this may have been a collusive suit.'^ The 
annexation of the priory's church of Bolton-le- 
Sands to the archdeaconry of Richmond in 1246 
was part of an arrangement advantageous to the 
house. ^^ Of the thirteen advowsons granted by 
Roger of Poitou five only, Lancaster, Heysham, 
Poulton, Croston, and Ecdeston, were now re- 
tained ; but two of these churches, Lancaster 
and Poulton, were appropriated to their own uses. 

The church of Lancaster had been from the 
first so appropriated, and the priory held it integre 
or plena jure, that is, without obligation to have a 
perpetual vicar ordained in it with a fixed por- 
tion of its revenues, inasmuch as the monks and 
their chaplains ' served in the church and parish 
day and night and laboured perpetually in the 
cure of souls.' ^' Its chapels at Caton, Gressing- 
ham, and Stalmine were held in appropriation by 
grant confirmed by Pope Celestine III (i 191-8).^ 
Celestine also confirmed an appropriation of a 
moiety of the church of Poulton and of its chapel 
at Bispham.^' The other moiety was secured in 
1246 as part of the compensation awarded to 
them for their surrender of the advowson of 
BoIton-le-Sands to John le Romeyn (Romanus), 
archdeacon of Richmond.^* It was not to fall 
in, however, until the death or cession of its 
rector, Alexander de Stanford, when a vicarage of 
20 marks was to be appointed for the whole 
church. They bought out Stanford in 1250,^'^ 
but for some reason the vicar's portion was not 
fixed until 1275.^* 

" Cal. of Pat. 1225—32, p. 512. The transference 
has indeed been ascribed to Henry I ; Lanes. Pipe R. 
293. But this is at variance with the above entry 
and with one or two further pieces of evidence. To- 
wards the end of the twelfth century papal delegates 
settled a dispute between the monks and the rector of 
Childwall, whom they ordered to pay a pension of 
20/. to the priory as long as he held the benefice ; 
Lanc.Ch. 119 ; cf. 114, 121. 

" See below. 

" Hist, of Lane. CA. 123, 139. The definite recog- 
nition of this privilege formed part of the settlement 
of outstanding questions between the priory and John 
le Romeyn by papal delegates in 1 246. 

" Ibid. 117. Stalmine and Gressingham were iso- 
lated chapelries cut out of the parishes of Poulton 
and Melling. Cemeteries were consecrated in all three 
in 1230, the lay lords in each case undertaking not to 
claim the advowson ; ibid. 153, 164-5, 362. 

"Ibid. 117. ^«Ibid. 122. 

" Papal delegates adjudicated his share to Sees, 
which was to pay him 20 marks a year for life at its 
Lincolnshire priory of Wenghale ; Exch. Aug. Off. 
Misc. Bks. vol. 40, No. 6. 

'' Hist, of Lane. Ch. 380. 

In the cases of Heysham, Croston, and Ec- 
deston the monks had to remain content with 
the advowson and an annual pension.^' Only a 
moiety of Eccleston church belonged to them 
until in the fifth decade of the thirteenth century 
Roger Gernet, lord of half the vill, and his 
under-tenant Warin de Walton resigned their 
rights in the advowson to S6es and the monks of 

The dependence of the priory upon the abbey 
of S6es may have been closer at first than it was 
afterwards. After the loss of Normandy the 
crown asserted a control over the appointment 
and removal of priors by S^es. In 1209 the 
abbot proffered 200 marks and two palfreys to be 
allowed on any vacancy to present two of his 
monks to the king, for him to choose and admit 
one, who was not to be recalled without his con- 
sent.^' On the death of a prior in 1230 a local 
jury of inquest reported that the priors were 
appointed and removable by the abbot, subject to 
the assent of the king, and that during a vacancy 
the priory had always been taken into the hands 
of the crown, not of the archbishop of York or 
the archdeacon of Richmond.^^ But if the prior 
had no perpetuity the right of the crown to 
custody pending a new appointment could hardly 
be upheld, and the king ordered the sheriff to 
restore the priory to a representative of the 
abbot.^' A looser conception of its relation to 
the Norman house must have before long pre- 
vailed, for in 1267 the king restored the tem- 
poralities to a prior,'* and in 1290 John le Rey 
not only received the lands from Edmund, earl 
of Lancaster, but was canonically instituted and 
installed by the archdeacon of Richmond on the 
presentation of the abbot of Sies.'^ A prior so 
instituted could not usually be removed except 
upon grounds satisfactory to the diocesan. From 
the early years of the thirteenth century at latest 
the priory was conventual ; '* the prior and the 
five monks forming a society which could enter 
into legal engagements, though at that time 
deeds were mostly drawn and law proceedings 
conducted in the name of the abbot and convent 

" From Heysham 6s. id. {Hist, of Lane. Ch. 124), 
from Croston 6 marks (ibid. 1 1 3), and 20/. from 
Eccleston (ibid. 446). 

^^ Ibid. 22, 28. A few years earlier John de la 
Mare renounced any claim in the advowson of Croston 
and of a moiety of the chapel\&%lon ; ibid. 24. 
Eccleston may have been originally a chapel of 
Croston, but when the rector of Croston claimed 
rights over it in 1 3 1 7 it was decided to be a parish 
church ; ibid. 441. 

" Lanes. Pipe R. 231. 

'^ Hist, of Lane. Ch. 150. 

" Cal. of Close, 1 2 1 7-31, p. 460. 

'* Hist, of Lane. Ch. 474. " Ibid. 475-6. 

^ Ibid. 309 ; expressly so-called in 1400 ; Foedera, 
viii, 105. Nichols {Alien Priories, i, iv, ed. 1789) 
is mistaken in assuming that conventual priories always 
chose their own priors. 
69 22 


of S^es. Their usual style was ' the Prior and 
monks of St. Mary of Lancaster,' but ' the Prior 
and Convent ' occasionally occurs. '' No con- 
vent b.eal, however, seems to have existed, the 
prior's seal being used. Sometimes the prior 
stated that he was acting both in his own name 
and as proctor for Sees.'* 

The mcome of the endowments was adminis- 
tered by the members of the priory subject to a 
fixed annual ' apport ' or pension of 50 marks to 
the chief house.'' This was rather less than half 
their revenue as assessed for the tithe.'*" The prior 
and monks were selected from the inmates of the 
parent monastery, and two priors of Lancaster 
became abbots of S^es.*^ The history of the 
priory is little more than a record of disputes and 
litigation, which were not infrequently carried up 
to the pope. Some of these arising out of its 
advowsons and appropriations have already been 
mentioned. Its right to the tithes of demesne 
lands in Lancashire under the grants of the 
founder and Count John of Mortain had to be 
defended against the rectors of Walton and 
Sefton at the end of the twelfth century,'*' and 
against those of Preston and St. Michael's-on- 
Wyre in the first quarter of the fourteenth 

The priory was often involved in disputes 
with other religious houses which had interests 
within its sphere. A claim was put forward by 
the leper hospital at Lancaster to be exempt 
from payment of tithes for their lands in that 
parish in virtue of a bull of Pope Celestine III ; 
but in 1 31 7 the prior obtained a decision that 
the papal privilege only covered land newly 
brought into cultivation, and established his rights 
to the offerings made in the hospital chapel.** 
A similar dispute with the abbot and convent of 
Furness in regard to the tithes of their grange of 
Beaumont near Lancaster had been settled a 
quarter of a century earlier.*' There was much 
litigation, too, with Furness, to whom Stephen 
of Biois had transferred his fishery at Lancaster, 
as to the precise rights conferred upon the priory 
by its founder's grant of the third throw of St. 
Mary's seine. In 13 1 4 their servants came to 
blows, the matter was brought before the royal 

"Henry, abbot of Sies (l 1 85-1 2 10), so styles 
them ; DugJale, Mon. Angl. vi, 998. See also Hist, 
of Lam. Ch. 139. 

^ Hut. of Lane. Ch. 59, 71. The consent of Sees 
is now and then mentioned ; ibid. 64. For a case 
where both gave identical charters, see ibid. 309. 

" Dugdale, Men. vi, 998. 

" ^80. See below. 

*' Dujjdale, Mm. loc. cit. ; Assize R. 423, m. 2. 

"Hist, f Lane. Ch. 66, 112. In 1342—4 a later 
rector of W.ilton contested its right to tithes in the 
woods of Lancashire ; Add. MS. 32107, No. 823 ; 
Exch. Aug. Off. Misc. Bks. vol. 33, No. 32. 

" Hist. cfLanc. Ch. 448, 453. 

" Ibid. 305, 487. 

" In 1292 (ibid. 63-4) ; Lanes. Ir.^. 85. 

justices, and next year an agreement was arrived 
at by which the priory took every third throw in 
St. Mary's Pot and every other throw else- 

The foundation of the Premonstratensian 
house at Cockersand just over the southern limit 
of the parish of Lancaster, and its acquisition of 
lands both in that parish and in Poulton, led to 
disputes with the priory over the tithes and 
other parochial rights. Papal delegates in 1 2 1 6 
arranged a compromise which gave two-thirds 
of such tithes to the monks of Lancaster and 
the remaining third to the canons of Cocker- 
sand.*' Fresh quarrels were ended in 1256 by 
an agreement in which Cockersand undertook 
not to admit parishioners of the prior to burial 
or the sacraments without his consent, which 
however, he was not to refuse if leave was asked 
and dues paid. Parishioners serving in the 
Cockersand granges must not pay their offerings 
or tithes to the abbey, but the servants at the 
abbey itself were excepted from this prohibi- 

The gift of the lands of Staining, Hardhorn, 
and Newton in Poulton parish to the Cheshire 
abbey of Stanlaw produced similar complications, 
which were finally ended in 1298 ; the abbey, 
just removed to Whalley, was awarded the 
great tithes on payment of eighteen marks a year 
to the priory.*' 

On one occasion at least the monks of the 
priory came into conflict with the town in and 
around which they held so much property. In 
1318 the burgesses of Lancaster pulled down an 
inclosure which Prior Nigel had made in New- 
ton, iji which hamlet they claimed common of 
pasture."* But a jury found that though their 
cattle had pastured on the land in question 
they had only done so on sufferance on their 
way to the forest of Quernmore, where King 
John had granted common rights to the bur- 

"• CaL of Pat. 1 3 13-17, p. 307; Hist, of Lane. 
Ch. 489, 493 ; Beck, Annahs Turnesienses, 217, 249, 
250. In 1352 the abbot's men seized the priory 
nets and the prior recovered them by force ; Duchy 
of Lane. Assize R., class xxv, 2, No. 374; 3, Nos. 
35,36; 4, No. 163. In 1370 the king's escheator 
took possession of the fishery, then valued at ;^5 a 
year, on the plea that the priory had first received it 
in 1 3 1 5 and without royal licence, but this was 
disproved ; Coram Rege R. 442, m. 4. 

*' Add. MS. 20512; Hist, of Lane. Ch. 49. 
Litigation over a carucate of land in Heysham ended 
(12 14) in the priory demising it to the canons for 
an annual rent of one mark (Charter penes W. H. 
Dalton, esq. Thumham Hall). 

*' Ibid. 52 ; Add. MS. 1 98 1 8. 

" Hist, of Lane. Ch. 61, 70, 75, 527. This was 
an increase of eight marks on the ferm fixed about 

*" Charter penes W. H. Dalton, esq. Thumham 

" Hist, of Lane. Ch. 495. 



Twelve years later a quarrel broke out 
between the priory and Sir Adam Banaster, 
who sought to exclude its servants and tithe- 
collectors from his lands in the parish of Poulton. 
Prior Courait was forcibly carried off from 
Poulton and kept in durance at Thornton ; his 
servants were beaten, wounded, and imprisoned.'^ 
Early in 1331, however, Sir Adam and the 
prior came to an understanding/' 

During the French wars the house was taken 
into the hands of the crown with the other 
alien priories. These little groups of Frenchmen 
could not be permitted to send over considerable 
sums of money and perhaps information to the 
king's enemies. But at Lancaster as elsewhere 
the prior was often allowed to farm the priory 
from the crown." 

Under Edward III the prior of Lancaster 
paid 100 marks (;^66 1 35. ^.d.) a year.*' This 
was double the amount of the pension 
paid by the priory to S^es when the 
two countries were at peace. '^ In February, 
1397, Richard II granted the custody of the 
house at the same rent to Cockersand Abbey, 
which seems to have had considerable difHculty 
in getting possession." Henry IV, however, 
having his attention drawn to the disastrous 
effects upon this and other alien priories of the 
heavy rents exacted and the intrusion of external 
farmers, restored them in the first year of his 
reign to their priors ; merely stipulating that so 
long as the war with France continued they 
should pay to the crown the pensions they were 
wont to render to their chief houses abroad 
in time of peace.'* The king's financial 
embarrassments led in a few years to the reversal 
of this considerate policy *' and Lancaster Priory 
was again farmed out at a rent of ;^ioo, being 
an increase of fifty per cent, on that paid before 
1400. Henry V in granting its custody to 
Prior Louvel and Sir Richard Hoghton (21 
October, 141 3) put on another ;^I0.°'' Next 
year Parliament gave the crown permanent 
possession of the alien priories, and Henry 

" Hisi. of Lane. Ch. 468. " Ibid. 471. 

" From Oct. 1324,10 March, 1325, the priory 
had been in the king's hands and not farmed out ; 
Duchy of Lane. Mins. Accts. bdle. 1 125, No. 21. 
The prior was paid y. a week, each of the five monks 
and the two parochial chaplains who ministered to 
the parishioners I %d. a week. Each monk received 
a clothes and shoe allowance of 10/. for the term of 
the Nativity. Half a quarter of peas and barley were 
distributed weekly among ten poor people ' of 
ancient alms.' 

'* Cal. Close, 1337-9, P- 335 5 ^''^- ^'^*- i3+o-3> 
p. 388. The crown reserved the ecclesiastical patron- 
age of the priory ; Cal. Close, 1343—6, pp. 435> 4^3- 

^ See above. 

'' Cal. Pat. 1399-1401, pp. 49, 71, 150. 

" Foedera, viii, loi sqq. 

'' Wylie, Hisl. of Hen. IV, iii, 142 sqq. 

»'' Add. MS. 32107, No. 824. 

vested the rent from that of Lancaster in 
trustees as part of the endowment of the 
Bridgettine nunnery of Syon which he founded 
at Isleworth in that year. After the death of 
Prior Louvel, the farmer, the priory itself was to 
become the property of the nuns.°^ Louvel died 
before September, 1428, but Henry Bowet, 
archdeacon of Richmond, put in a claim to its 
revenues and tithes ratione vacationis.^'^ It had 
been decided in the thirteenth century that the 
archdeacon had no such right.*' Bowet, how- 
ever, seems to have taken up the position that 
the gift of the priory to Syon amounted to a 
fresh appropriation of the churches of Lancaster 
and Poulton. Archbishop Kemp was appointed 
arbitrator and apparently decided in his favour, 
for the abbess and convent agreed to indemnify 
him and his successors by the heavy annual 
payment of £/^o 6s. S^/.*'" In 1430 the arch- 
deacon ordained a perpetual vicarage in the 
church of Lancaster,"* and in the following year 
the trustees appointed by Henry V conveyed 
the priory to Sion.*' On the accession of 
Edward IV it was thought prudent to secure a 

The priory buildings had been assigned in 
1430 to the use of the vicar of Lancaster, but 
the abbess and convent retained an honest 
chamber and stable as a lodging for their officers 
visiting Lancaster."^ In 1462 they leased 
the whole priory, with the exception of the 
advowsons, for nine years to John Gardiner of 
Ellel, at a rent of £1$^ T-V- 4'^-*' The 
advowson of Eccleston had perhaps never been 
granted to them, and at any rate was parted with 
before 1464 to the Stanleys.*' Sir Edward 
Stanley in 1488 claimed the advowson of 
Heysham as lord of the manor in spite of a legal 

*' Rot. Pari. (Rec. Com.), iv, 243 ; Dugdale, Mon. 
vi, 997. The rule adopted for the house was the 
Augustinian as reformed by St. Bridget, a Swedish 
lady related to the royal house (d. 1373.) According 
to the usual practice the advowsons of the priory were 
not included in Louvel's farm, and in 141 8 Pope 
Martin V, at the king's desire, sanctioned the 
appropriation of Croston church to Sion ; Foedera, 
ix, 617. For the advowsons of Eccleston and 
Heysham see below. 

*^ Madox, Formulare Anglkanum, 100. 

*^ See above, p. 169. 

^^ Madox, loc. cit. ; Duchy of Lane. Rentals and 
Surv. R. 378. 

" Ibid. ; Notitia Cestriensis, 429-31. The vicarage 
was worth /80 a year in 1527 (Rentals and Surv. 
ptfo. 5, No. 15.) 

°' Madox, op. cit. 270. 

*° Rot. Pari, v, 552. 

*' Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. R. 378. 

^ Exch. Aug. Off. Misc. Bks. vol. 33, No. 20 ; 
Baines, Hist, of Lanes, (ed. Croston), v, 467. 

^'Pal. of Lane. Plea R. 26, m. 16. Thomas Stanley, 
kt., recovered the patronage against Abbess Elizabeth 
on the ground that he and his father had twice 
presented before she made her claim. 



decision of 1479, and the verdict of a local jury 
was in his favour'" but Syon appears in possession 
in 1527." After the dissolution of the abbey in 
1540 the bulk of the priory estate was sold by 
the crown in 1557 to Robert Dalton of Bispham 
for ^1,667." 

The priory was dedicated to St. Mary. 
Its original endowment included, besides the 
churches and tithes already enumerated, the 
manors of AldclifFe and Newton," one third 
of the vill of Heysham,'* and the whole vill 
of Poulton-le-Fylde." The most considerable 
later addition was the gift by Thomas of 
Capernwray, escheator of the county of Lan- 
caster about the middle of the thirteenth 
century, of all his land in Bolton and Gress- 
ingham.'' Conveyances of numerous small 
parcels of land, chiefly in the parishes of Lan- 
caster and Poulton, are recorded in the register 
of the priory. 

Its temporalities were taxed in 1292 at ;^4, re- 
duced after the Scottish raid to 30^.'' In a docu- 
ment of 1367 its total assessment for the tithe is 
given as jTSo.'' This must be taken as net income, 
which will agree pretty well with the amount of 
rent exacted by the crown during the French 
wars, £b() 131. \d.f rising by 141 3 to j^iio.^' 
The gross income in 1430, just before Syon 
obtained possession, amounted to ^^326 2i. ?>d.^ 
No complete estimate of the expenditure 
in money is supplied. On the dissolution of 
Syon Abbey ' the late priory of Lancaster ' was 
valued among its possessions at ;^2i6 131. 8</." 

Priors of Lancaster 

John," occurs c. i 141 

Nicholas,'^ occurs between 1 153 and 1 192 

" Exch. Aug. Off. Misc. Bks. vol. 39, No. 130 ; 
Add. MS. 32108, No. 50, m. 7. 

" Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. ptfo. 5, 
Xo. 15. 

'' Hist. 0/ Lane. Ch. 595. 

'^ Together 2 plough-lands ; Testa de Nevill, ii, fol. 

" Lanes. Pipe R. 290 ; Hist, of Lane. Ch. 478. 

'•^ Ibid. 480, 483. See above, p. 168. 

"Hist, of Lam. Ch. 156, 253 ; Confirmed by 
Earl Edmund in 1273 ; ibid. 256. 

" Pope Niih. Tax. 309. 

^' Dugdale, Mon. vi, 998. It is difficult, however, 
to reconcile this figure with the details given in Pope 
Nich. Tax. 

^' See above, p. 171. 

*" Duchy of Lane. Rentals and Surv. R. 378. 
The great tithes produced ^^ 1 5 3 13/. ^d., pensions 
from churches and monasteries ^^25 13/. 4^., small 
tithes £,~2 los. <)d. and temporalities j^74 5/. '^d. 
In 1527 Sion was said to be drawing X'°° a year 
from the rectory of Lancaster alone ; ibid. ptfo. 5, 
No. 15. 

■' Duchy of Lane. Mins. Accts. No. 33, m. 26. 

" Lanes. Pipe R. 276. 

" Round, Cal. Doe. France, 239. 

William," occurs between 11 88 and 11 92 

and in 1204 
John de Alench',** occurs between 1207 and 

1227, died 1230 (?) 
Geoffrey,'* occurs 1 24 1 
Garner,"*' occurs 1250 
William de Reio (Reo),** occurs 1253 and 

Ralph de Trun,*' instituted 1266, occurs 

John 'le Ray,"° instituted 1290, occurs 

Fulcher,'^ occurs 1305 and 1309 
Nigel,'^ occurs 1315 and 1323 
[William de Bohun," occurs 1327] 
Ralph Courait,*^ occurs 1329 and 1334 
Emery de Argenteles,"" occurs 1337-42 
John de Coudray (de Condreto),'* occurs 

Peter Martin,'' occurs 1352, res. 1366 

" Hist, of Lane. Ch. (Chet. Soc), 112; Lanes. Final 
Cone. (Rec. See), i, 23, 151. 

" Possibly Alenfon 1 3 miles south of S6es ; B.M. 
Add. MS. 33244, fol. 60 ; P.R.O. Anct. D. 
iii, B. 3905 (which gives the surname) ; Ca/. Close, 
I 2 1 7—3 1 , p. 460. There may, however, have been 
two priors called John at this period. See a charter 
falling between 1205 and 1225 witnessed by Johannes 
Rcdufus, prior of Lancaster ; Coekersand Chartul. 

" Hist of Lane. Ch. 32, 39, 306, 430 ; Lanes. Final 
Cone. \, 82. He was probably the prior elected in 
1230. See above, p. 169. 

"Exch. Aug. Off. Misc. Bks. vol. 40, No. 6; 
Hist, of Lane. Ch. 47 (the date 1 259 on p. 45 is an 
error for 1250). 

*" Probably Ri, a hamlet about 20 miles north-west 
of S6es ; Hist, of Lane. Ch. 34, 104, 410, 489. 

" A village some 22 miles north of Sdes ; Hist, of 
Lane. Ch. 35, 474. Mr. Roper (ibid. 771) inserts a 
Geoffrey after Ralph, but the passages adduced evi- 
dently refer to a predecessor, probably the prior 
mentioned under I 241. 

""Dictus Rex'; Hist, of Lane. Ch., 85, 88, 
475-6. He became abbot of S^es ; Assize R. 423, 
m. 2. 

"Ibid.; Exch. Aug. Off. Misc. Bks. vol. 33, 
No. 202. 

" Duchy of Lane. Anct. D., L. 345 ; Hist, of Lane. 

" Only mentioned by Croston {Hist, of Lanes, v, 
467), who gives no authority. 

" Erroneously called Adam {Hist, of Lane. Ch. 471) 
and Richard (Dugdale, Mon. vi, 997) ; Hist, of Lane. 
Ch. 460 ; Cat. of Anct. D. ii, B. 2945. 

" Cal. of Close, 1337-9, p. 162 ; Cal. of Pat. 
1340-3, P- 388. 

^ Possibly Coudray near Les Andelys ; Exch. Aug. 
Off. Misc. Bb. vol. 32, No. 75 ; Cal of Close, 1343-6, 
PP- 43 5, 482, 636. He probably died in 1 349 ; Engl. 
Hist. Rev. V, 525. 

" Duchy of Lane. Assize R., class xxv, 2, No. 374. 
Provided to the abbacy of S^es by Pope Urban V 
in 1366 ; Dugdale, Mon. vi, 998; cf. Neustria Pia, 



William Rymbaut,'* appointed c. 1366, died 

June or July, 1369 
John Innocent," admitted 23 September, 

1369, occurs down to 1391, died before 

6 September, 1396 
John des Loges,^"" died 1399 
Giles Louvel,^*^ admitted 15 December, 1399; 

occurs down to 141 4 ; died between 

21 April, 1427, and 1428 

** Spelt Raynbote in Fine R. 170, m. 27. On 
25 Nov. 1366, Urban reserved the priorship for him 
when Abbot Peter's installation at Sees should be 
complete. He had spent several years at Lancaster, 
and spoke and wrote English well ; Dugdale, Mon. 
vi, 998. 

^ Raines' Lanes. MS. (Chetham Library), xxii, 
308 ; Ca/. of Pat. 1389-92, p. 490 ; ibid. 1399- 
1401, p. 449 ; Fine R. 200, m. 29. 

"" Raines' Lanes. MSS. xxii, 395. 

The British Museum has a cast of the seal of 
a Prior William.'"* It is pointed oval ; the Vir- 
gin seated on a throne, with its sides terminating 
in animals' heads, with crown ; in her left hand 
the Child. In the field on each side a wavy 
sprig of foliage. In base under an arch, the 
prior half-length in prayer ; to the left behind 
him a cinquefoil rose. The legend is imperfect. 

[s] FRIS 

LI [pJrior' lancastr. 

'°' Ibid.; Foedera, viii, 105; Cal. of Pat. 1399-1401, 
pp. 49, 71, I 50 ; Pal. of Lane. Plea R. 2, m. 20 ; Rot. 
Pari. (Ree. Com.), iv, 243 ; Madox, Formulare Angli- 
canum, 270. 

"" B.M. Cat. of Seals, i, 609. It is there assigned 
to the fourteenth century. But Harl. Chart. 52, i, 
I, from which it appears to be taken, is early thir- 
teenth century, and the prior of Lancaster who attests 
it is Prior William, who lived c. 1204. 



Part I — To the End of the Reign of Henry VIII 

LANCASHIRE is one of the youngest of the English counties. The 
district formed part of a remote march or borderland which was 
J not definitively divided into shires until the twelfth century. 
Between the departure of the Romans and its conquest by the 
Northumbrians the history of this district is almost a blank. Attempts have 
been made to identify within its limits the sites of a number of the twelve 
victories attributed to the legendary King Arthur in the Historia Brittonum of 
Nennius, but ' they are altogether too suspicious to merit a place in sober 
history.' ^ 

Certain it is, however, that down to the beginning of the seventh 
century this region, with the rest of the western side of the island from the 
Severn Sea to the Firth of Clyde, and part of the later West Riding (Loidis 
and Elmet) was still held by unconquered Britons, whose heightened sense of 
common blood and interest in the fierce conflict with the advancing English 
is seen in their assumption of the new name of Cymry, i.e. compatriots. 
How far they attained to common organization or action, and to what extent 
the primacy of the rulers of Gwynedd (North Wales) was recognized are 
questions we cannot answer, but there is ample evidence that the northern 
Cymry were divided among a number of tribal kingdoms, the largest of 
which, called by the English down to the tenth century the kingdom of the 
Strathclyde Welsh and afterwards Cumbria, extended from the Clyde to the 
(Cumberland) Derwent and Stainmoor. The existence of the small kingdom 
of Elmet renders it probable that west of it there were one or more such 
principalities between the Derwent and the Dee, including the present 
Lancashire, but their names have not been preserved.' 

Ethelfrith, the first king of united Northumbria, may have begun to 
conquer them before his great victory at Chester in 613 which severed the 
northern from the southern Cymry, But as even Elmet was first reduced by 
his successor Edwin (617—33)' it is probable that the subjugation of the 
districts west of it was in the main a consequence of the battle of Chester. 
The victories of Penda of Mercia and his Cymric allies over Edwin and 

' Engl. Hist. Rev. xix, 138. The River Duglas, on which four battles are said to have been fought, was 
identified as early as the fourteenth century with the Wigan Douglas ; Higden, Polychronicon (Rolls Ser.), v, 
328—9. Mr. A. Anscombe finds the ' flumen quod vocatur Bassas' in the same neighbourhood, and locates 
the first battle, fought 'juxta hostium fluminis quod dicitur Glein' at the mouth of the Lune ; Zeiischr. fur 
CeMsche PUhkgie, v (1904), 103. 

' Teyrnllwg is given as the traditional Welsh name of this region in the lolo MSS. p. 86 (quoted by 
Rhys, Celtic Brit. 136), but better authority could be desired. 

* Nennius, Hist. Brittonum (ed. Mommsen), 206. 


Oswald* may have temporarily undone the work,' but before 675 the Enghsh 
were firmly planted on the Ribble, and Ecgfrith (670-85) gave Cartmel 
' with all its Britons ' to St. Cuthbert.* 

The thoroughness with which the Northumbrian Angles settled the 
conquered districts is attested by the almost complete disappearance of Celtic 
place-names, except in the case of rivers. The first syllable of Manchester is 
of course Celtic.'' Darwen (Derwent) may have borrowed the name of its 
stream at a later date, and Frees (in the Fylde) and Leek (in the north- 
eastern corner of the county) are perhaps doubtful instances of survival. 
Cartmel would be a clear case if we could be sure that the passage in the 
Historia de S. Cuthberto already quoted is giving the exact words of 
Ecgfrith's grant.* It is, however, more probably a Scandinavian name. 

It has been suggested that the ancient tenure by 'cornage' or cattle rent 
of which some traces are found in Lancashire after the Norman Conquest 
may have been of Celtic origin, but the question is still a very open one.' 

The English settlements were naturally most numerous in Low Furness, 
the valley of the Lune and the low-lying districts comprised in the later 
hundreds of Amounderness, Leyland, and West Derby. 

From the gift of Cartmel no event is recorded in connexion with this 
district until the last years of the eighth century. On 3 April, 798, notes 
the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, there was a great battle at Whalley (aet Hwael- 
leage) ' in Northymbralande ' in which Alric son of Heardberht, and many 
others were slain.'" From Symeon of Durham, who had a fuller northern 
chronicle before him, we learn that this was an episode in the strife of 
faction which was destroying the Northumbrian state. King Eardwulf, 
confronted by a confederacy headed by the murderers of his predecessor 
Ethelred, and perhaps encouraged by Mercia, met and overthrew his enemies 
at Billingahoth near Whalley." 

Five years before the battle of Whalley the Northmen had made their 
first recorded descent upon the east coast of Northumbria. In 795 they 
reached Ireland, where by 832 they effected permanent settlements. York 
was captured, and the kingdom of Northumbria overthrown in 867, and, nine 
years later Healfdene, we are told in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, divided North- 

* The identification of Maserfeld, the scene of Oswald's defeat and death (642) with Winwick in Maker- 
field (cf. Hardwick, Jncl. Battlefields in Lanes. 62-99) cannot be upheld. The battle is located at Oswestry 
in a Life of St. Oswald written about 1 150 ; Sym. Dun. Opera (Rolls Ser.), ii, 353. 

' Elmet is included in the Mercian list known as the Tribal Hidage, c. 660 ; Birch, Cart. Sax. i, 414. 

« Hist, or the Ch. of York (Eddi), i, 25-6 (Rolls Ser.) ; Sym. Dun. Hist. Cuthb. (Surtees Soc), i, 141. 
The mention of the Britons of Cartmel may suggest that it was a conquest of Ecgfrith, but the passage in 
Eddi does not justify Green {Making of Engl. 358) in ascribing the conquest of all the region north of the 
Ribble to that king. It is doubtful whether all the places mentioned by Eddi must be looked for in this 
quarter (see above, p. 3), and in any case they were the gifts (to Wilfrid) of more than one king. 

' Engl. Hist. Rev. xv, 495. 

* The form of the statement rather suggests this, but the second syllable of the name looks like the old 
Norse melr, ' sandbank.' 

' F.C.H. Cumb. i, 318. A comage rent is mentioned eo nomine at Little Heaton near Manchester in 
1235 {Lanes. Final Cone, i, 66), and the rents paid as ' cowmale ' at Heysham and Nether Kellet as late as 
1 44 1 (Duchy of Lane. Mins. Accts. 100, No. 1790) doubtless fall under the same category. For male or 
mail-rent see Engl. Hist. Rev. ii, 335 ; Lawrie, Jnet. Seot. Chart. 10. 

'° Chron. (ed. Plummer), sub anno, and ii, 66. 

" Sym. Dun. Hist. Regum (Rolls Ser.), ii, 59. There is a Billinge near Blackburn, and a Billington close 
to Whalley in which is Langho. Whitaker {Hist, of Whalley (18 1 8), 34) takes Billingahoth, which he amends 
to Billinghoh, to be the long ridge between the two. His conjecture that the name of the Dux Wada who 
escaped from the rout is preserved in Wadhow and Waddington is very rash. 



umbria among his followers, who exchanged the sword for the plough. It would 
appear that this division was confined to Deira, the later Yorkshire. Of the 
fate of the western parts of the kingdom no historical record survives save 
that Healfdene in 875 harried the Picts and Strathclyde Welsh, on which 
occasion he probably destroyed Carlisle. That the Northmen settled in con- 
siderable numbers from the mouth of the Dee to the Solway is, however, 
proved by the evidence of place and personal names. It seems on the whole 
probable that most if not all of these settlements were made by the western 
wing of the invaders, who came round the north coast of Scotland. South of 
the Ribble their position points strongly in this direction. They lie thickest 
on both sides of the Mersey estuary — in the Wirral peninsula and round (West) 
Derby,"' extending northwards along the coast to the mouth of the Ribble 
and some distance inland." But east of a line drawn from Widnes to the latter 
river there are practically no Scandinavian place-names in South Lancashire."* 
North of the Ribble this evidence of approach by sea and not by land 
fails us, for here Scandinavian names extend right across the county. An 
attempt has been made to demonstrate the western provenance of the settle- 
ments in Furness (and the Lake District) by a different Une of proof which 
involves the double assumption that the Scandinavians who came down the 
west coast were necessarily Norwegians, and that the names of their new 
homes can be philologically distinguished from those settled by men of 
Danish blood, that thwaite, for instance, which abounds in the Lake District, 
is a purely Norwegian suffix, and by exclusively Danish." But it is certain 
that at least from the middle of the eighth century Danes found their way 
into the Irish Sea, and bys are not unknown in Norway and in Furness itself, 
nor thwaites in undoubtedly Danish districts. The predominance of one or 
the other depends upon the nature of the country or the settlement rather 
than upon racial and dialectical differences. The date of these Scandinavian 
settlements in what is now Lancashire can only be approximately fixed. 
Some if not all may have preceded the Danish conquest of Deira, for that event 
happened nearly seventy years after the first appearance of the Northmen 
in the Irish Sea, since when, as stated, they had already planted themselves in 
Ireland and the Isle of Man." In any case we seem justified in assuming 
that their settlements between Ribble and Mersey were made before the 
conquest of that district by Edward the Elder and Athelstan at the end of 
the first quarter of the tenth century. This assumption is strengthened by 
the fact that in 930 the land between the Ribble and the Cocker already 
bore the unmistakably Norse name of Amounderness." There is authority, 
though it is not contemporary, for the presence of Northmen in the Lake 

"There is a Thingwall (Old Norse ThingvOllr= field of assembly) on each side of the estuary. The by 
suffix is fairly common. 

" Mr. Henry Harrison {Place Names of the Liverpool District, 7) makes out a list of twenty-five places 
in the hundred of West Derby which have Scandinavian names as against eighty-three bearing Anglo-Saxon 
appellations ; but some of the twenty-five are perhaps doubtfiil cases. 

" Anglezarke {Jnlafsargh) is a certain, Ince (in Makerfield), a possible exception. 

" Robert FeTguson, Northmen in Cumi. a«il PFestmU. ; R. C. Ferguson, Hist, of Cumb. 151-3. For a 
map with conjectural restorations of the original forms of the names in part of this district see H. S. Cowper, 

'* War of the Gaedhil with the Gaill (Rolls Ser.) ; Green, Conquest of Engl 65-7, 276. 

" Hist, of the Ch. of York (Rolls Ser.), iii, l . Amounderness is ' the promontory of Agmundr.' The 
preservation of the Old Norse genitive flexion ar (Agmundarnes) is, according to Mr. Stevenson, very rare, 
and suggests strong Scandinavian influence in the district. 

2 177 23 


District as early as looo,^' and it may not have been so recent as some 
modern historians have supposed." 

The amount of change brought about in the future Lancashire by this 
influx is not easy to estimate. Except on the western side of the hundred of 
West Derby and in High Furness, it was not intensive enough to alter seriously 
the Anglian nomenclature of the townships. The position of the Scandinavian 
place-names in the rest of the county sometimes affords ground for suspicion 
that the new-comers took up land hitherto unoccupied.'" At any rate evidence 
is lacking of any such general partition as took place in Deira. On the other 
hand assessment in carucates and the practice of counting by twelves and sixes 
are features which, if Mr. Round's arguments be correct, bespeak strong Scan- 
dinavian influence and reorganization." To which may be added the use of 
the term wapentake and the frequency as late as the thirteenth century of 
such Christian names as Orm, Gamel, and Swein. 

Until the end of the first quarter of the tenth century the lands beyond 
the Mersey remained severed from the Anglo-Saxon realm. In 920 or 923, 
however, Edward the Elder built a fort at Thelwall, on its southern bank, and 
sent a Mercian force to repair and garrison Manchester ' in Northumbria.' " 
His object, no doubt, was to cut off the Danes of Deira from their kinsmen 
in Ireland, and Manchester for the present was only an outpost against the 
Scandinavians of Northumbria," who in the following year recognized his 
supremacy.** Edward died in 925, and it was left for Athelstan to convert 
overlordship into direct rule. On the death of King Sihtric he took possession 
of Deira, and penetrated as far north as Dacre, near Ullswater. He bought 
Amounderness from ' the pirates,' which seems to imply that it was not part 
of the kingdom of Sihtric, and in 930 or 934 granted it to the church of 
York." Probably the rest of what is now Lancashire submitted to him. It 
is possible that the battle of Brunanburgh in 937, in which Athelstan over- 
threw the great coalition of the Danes, Scots, and Cumbrians who sought to 
undo his work, was fought in the country south of the Ribble. The strongest 
argument in favour of this view is the discovery in 1840 near the ford over 
the Ribble at Cuerdale above Preston, of a remarkable hoard, containing 
975 ounces of silver in ingots and over 7,000 coins, none later than 930."* 

Upon the greater part of Athelstan's acquisitions his successors preserved 
only a precarious hold ; on the other hand ' the land between Ribble and 

" Hen. of Hunt. Hist. Angl. (Rolls Ser.), 170. " Green, op. cit. 383. 

" In the wapentake of Lonsdale south of the Sands, the townships which clearly bear Norse names are Ireby 
and Hornby, but there may be a few othen. Anglian names predominate, especially on the coast. 

" Round, Feudal Engl. 71, 86. For Lancashire carucates see V.C.H. Lanes, i, 270—1. 

" Angl.-Sax. Chrtm. sub anno 923. For the conflicting evidence as to the date see Plummer, Two Saxon 
Chron. ii, 1 16. 

" If Symeon of Durham (ii, 93, 123) may be trusted, Sihtric of Deira invaded Cheshire in the same year 
and plundered Davenport, perhaps in retaliation. 

" Angl.-Sax. Chron. sub anno 924. The distinction here made between Danes and Norwegians may per- 
haps be taken as supporting the view that the settlers on the west coast were mainly of the latter race and 
independent of or only loosely dependent upon the Danes of Deira. 

'* Hist. ofCh. ofTork, iii, I. For the date and the authenticity of the charter see above, p. 5. 

" Hardwick, Anct. Battlefields in Lanes. 164, sqq. but his etymologies are untenable ; Messrs. Hodgkin 
and Stevenson suggest Birrenswark in Dumfriesshire as the site, others find it in Cheshire or Westmorland. 
The composition of the confederacy, which included the Danes of Dublin, seems to make it at least certain 
that the battle took place on the west side of the Pennines ; see Plummer, op. cit. ii, 140. For an attempt to 
refer the Cuerdale find to the defeat of the Danes in 911, see above, y.C.H. Lanes, i, 258. But yEthelweard 
places this battle at Wodnesfield, which Mr. W. H. Stevenson identifies with Wednesfield in Suffordshire. In 
any case a site so far north as the Ribble is extremely improbable at this date. 



Mersey ' was severed from Northumbria and attached to Mercia. This is 
nowhere expressly recorded, but the Mercian magnate Wulfric Spot, the 
founder of Burton Abbey, in his will (dated 1002), bequeathed to his sons 
extensive lands ' betweox Ribbel and Maerse and in Wirhalum ' (Wirral) ; in 
Domesday Book the district is found surveyed in close association with 
Cheshire ; and, unlike Northumbria, divided into hundreds and assessed in 
hides, while from other sources we know that it was now in the Mercian 
diocese of Lichfield." It does not seem, however, to have been included in 
the Mercian earldom, the crown up to the Norman Conquest retaining it as 
royal domain ; it still bore traces of the old Northumbrian connexion." 

The character of this district as a thinly-populated march in the hands 
of the crown is well marked in the details supplied in Domesday. Its six 
hundreds were great royal manors, each with its aula^"^ large tracts of which 
had been granted out to the thegns, drengs, radmans and liberi homines on 
a tenure including agricultural and hunting services, which after the Conquest 
came to be regarded in the greater part of the kingdom as badges of villeinage.'" 

The rents of these tenants and other revenue from the six hundredal 
manors amounted in 1066 to ^\\t, 2s. 2d'." Who was responsible to the 
crown for the collection and payment of this sum ? Had the district 'between 
Ribble and Mersey ' a separate administration or was it placed under the 
control of the sheriff of Cheshire, as Rutland was looked after by the sheriff of 
Nottinghamshire ? '* In the one case the shire-moot which the thegns of 
West Derby Hundred were bound to attend '^ would be a local assembly, in 
the other the shire-court of Cheshire. In support of the latter alternative it 
has been urged that the survey of the district is tacked on to that of Cheshire 
in Domesday, that their hide assessment may originally have been a joint 
one,** that some thegns under the Confessor, like Wulfric Spot under Ethelred, 

"The dialect of South Lancashire belongs to the Midland type ; Trans. Engl. Dialect. Soc. xix, 13. 
It is true that Midland features also occur in the dialect of Amounderness, but they may be the result 
of influence from the region between Ribble and Mersey. The place-names of the latter district present 
more similarities to those of Cheshire (some names are found in both, e.g. Adlington, Chorley), than to 
those of Amounderness, though allowance must be made for the much stronger Scandinavian influence north 
of the Ribble. For Wulfric Spot's will see Kemble, Cod. Dipl. No. 1 298. 

It is just possible that some of the Mercian characteristics of South Lancashire may be older than the 
annexation in the tenth century. The Northumbrian victory of Chester was followed (doubtless owing to 
Penda's victories) by a Mercian settlement of Cheshire, and it is conceivable that the land between Ribble 
and Mersey was Mercian for a time in the seventh century. 

" For instance, the assessment in 480 carucates had seemingly been brought into line with that of hidated 
Mercia, and subjected to a huge reduction (to be explained no doubt by its royal ownership) by reckoning 
6 carucates as i hide. The hundreds were sometimes called wapentakes. 

" This perhaps throws some light on the origin of the hundred system. For traces in the south of 
England of the early importance of villae regales as administrative centres see Chadwick, Studies on Anglo-Saxon 
Institutions, 241, sqq. 

" See f.C.H. Lanes, i, 276. The actual work was no doubt done by their men, as is expressly stated 
in the case of the reaping. Their tenure may be compared with that of the thegns to whom Bishop Oswald 
of Worcester 'loaned' land between 962 and 992 (Maitland, Domesday Bk. and Beyond, 308), and that of the 
drengs of Durham and Northumberland recorded in the Boldon Book and in the Testa de NevilL 

" Dom. Bk. i, 270. " Ibid, i, 293^. '' Ibid, i, 269^. 

" Maitland, op. cit. 458, where it is erroneously assumed that each carucate would pay the same geld as 
a Cheshire hide. The number of hides assigned to Cheshire in Domesday is about 540, including 
the 2 1 hides at which the hundred of Atiscros, now in Flintshire, was assessed. If this could be accepted as 
pointing to an original 520, the 80 hides of between Ribble and Mersey,' would make up a round 600 ; 
but the 'County Hidage' attributed by Dr. Liebermann to the eleventh century gives Cheshire 1,200 hides; 
Maitland, op. cit. 355. Assuming that Cheshire here includes South Lancashire, a reduction of 50 per cent, 
before 1066 would mean that 3 and not 6 carucates were originally reckoned to the Lancashire hide. Against 
the inclusion of between Ribble and Mersey ' is the fact that Cheshire itself (including lands now in Wales) 
contained twelve hundreds in 1086. 



seem to have held land in both," and that even after this connexion, if it 
existed, had come to an end Whalley and Clitheroe are described in a charter 
of about 1 122 as in Cheshire.'* 

If these indications be regarded as misleading, it must be supposed that 
' betwreen Ribble and Mersey ' before the Conquest possessed a sheriff and 
shire-moot, vi^ithout being a recognized shire, as border districts after the 
coming of the Normans w^ere sometimes entrusted to great lords who appointed 
their own sheriffs." 

The portions of modern Lancashire lying north of the Ribble, with the 
southern halves of the later shires of Cumberland and Westmorland, and the 
present Yorkshire wapentake of Ewcross, remained down to the Conquest in 
the earldom of Northumbria and diocese of York. They are surveyed in 
Domesday Book as appendant to Yorkshire. Here, too, the vills were nearly 
all grouped round a few great head manors.'' But while those between 
Ribble and Mersey were all continuous areas, administrative divisions of a 
well-defined district, the Northumbrian manors were much interspersed and 
highly irregular in outline." The sixty-one vills which ' lay in ' Preston, 
however, comprised the compact region of Amounderness. North of Amoun- 
derness the manorial boundaries did not in any way correspond to those of 
the later shires. Preston, Halton, Whittington, Beetham, and ' Hougun,' con- 
taining three-fourths of the rateable area of the whole, were held in demesne 
by Tostig when earl of Northumbria (1055—65).*° 

Domesday Book reveals a wide difference in the recent fortunes of the 
lands separated by the Ribble. Between that river and the Mersey very 
little waste is noted, and its revenue had only decreased by ^25 when the 
Conqueror granted it out. A comparatively large proportion of the English 
holders remained on the land. On the manors beyond the Ribble no value 
could be put ; three-fourths of the vills of Amounderness were ' waste,' the 
rest scantily inhabited. This desolation has been attributed to the struggle 
between Harold and Tostig in 1066, but the district may have shared in 
William's devastation of Northumbria three years later." 

The comparative immunity of ' between Ribble and Mersey ' from the 
ravaging that befell Northumbria and Cheshire *' suggests that, belonging 
neither to the earldom of Morcar nor to that of Edwin, it gave little trouble. 

This district, with some of the manors north of the Ribble, was given 
by the Conqueror not earlier than 1072 to Roger, third son of his cousin 
Roger of Montgomery." Roger, ' the Poitevin ' (Pictavensis) as he came to 
be called before 1086 in virtue of his marriage to the sister of the count of 

^ Tilt, Mediaeval Manchester, 154. After the Conquest, William son of Nigel, constable of Chester was 
enfeoffed on both sides of the lower Mersey ; see below, p. 183. 

" Dugdale, Mon. jingl. v, 120. 

" The ' prepositus ' mentioned under West Derby Hundred, who was a judicial officer (J)om. Bk. i, 
2693), may have been the 'King's reeve' of that hundred manor ; cf. Chadwick, op. cit. 228 sqq.). 

" Preston, Halton, Whittington, Beetham, Austwick, Bentham, Strickland, and ' Hougun.' ' Hougun ' 
(which comprised Fumess and the land between Duddon and Esk) and its vill 'Hougenai' have been erroneously 
connected with Walney (Wagheney) Island ; Mr. Farrer identifies the former with Millom ; Lanes, and Ches. 
Antiq. Soc. Trans, xviii, 97. 

'' See the map, ibid. " Dm. Bk. i, 3013. 

" Lanes, and Ches. Antiq. Soe. Trans, xviii, 1 1 1 . The absence of valets T. R. E. as well as T. R. W. 
seems to favour the first alternative, but is perhaps not decisive. 

" Cheshire suffered severely when William occupied Chester early in 1 070. 

" The superior limit of date seems fixed by his father's investiture with the earldom of Shrewsbury, which 
was after Earl Edwin's death in 1 071. 



La Marche, held both banks of the Ribble, his fief including Amounderness 
as well as ' between Ribble and Mersey.' Both had been resumed by the 
crown in or before 1086, but besides many manors in Suffolk, Essex, Lin- 
colnshire, and Nottinghamshire he still held land in the West Riding, with 
the district of Bowland adjoining Amounderness on the east, the extensive 
manor of Beetham round the Kent estuary, and a smaller but fairly com- 
pact fief on the south-west side of the estuary of the Lune.** For this and 
other reasons his loss of Amounderness and 'between Ribble and Mersey' 
may with probability be traced to some readjustment of his possessions 
rather than to forfeiture for complicity in his eldest brother's rebellion five 
years before.*' 

So far, if we are not mistaken, Roger had not had in his possession more 
than a part of the lands now comprised in North Lancashire, and this part 
did not include Lancaster, which is entered as one of the vills of Halton, a 
manor apparently retained in demesne." In any case, the survival of the pre- 
Conquest manors shows that the boundaries of the future county in this 
quarter were not yet drawn. They were incidentally fixed when William 
Rufus, early in his reign (before 1094) divided the whole of the ill-organized 
territory bounded on the south by Amounderness, on the east by Yorkshire, 
and on the north by the Scottish fief of Cumbria (Carlisle) between Roger 
and Ivo Taillebois, lord of Spalding in Lincolnshire." Roger, who had won 
Rufus' favour by a timely desertion of Duke Robert in 1088, not only re- 
covered ' between Ribble and Mersey ' and Amounderness, but had his fief 
in the valley of the Lune extended to include the whole of what is now the 
hundred of Lonsdale south of the Sands. Its boundaries were drawn with 
little regard to physical features, and did not always respect existing parochial 
boundaries. On the east, where it marched with Ivo's manor of Burton-in- 
Lonsdale, afterwards the Yorkshire wapentake of Ewcross, the frontier cut 
across the valleys of the eastern feeders of the Lune and divided the parish of 
Thornton between the two fiefs, and so ultimately between two counties.*' 
Its northern limit, dividing it from Ivo's Kendal (Kentdale) fief (now southern 
Westmorland), to which Roger resigned all the vills of his Beetham manor 
except Yealand, included territory (down to the River Keer) which geo- 
graphically belonged to Kentdale and long afterwards retained the name,*' and 
it cut the parish of Burton-in-Kendal into two.'" 

" Dom. Bk. I, 332. Mr. Farrer thinks that he had held all the Northumbrian manors enumerated above. 
This entails the assumption that what is said of his former ownership at the end of the Amounderness entry 
{Dm. Bk. i, 301^) must be understood as applying to Halton and the other manors which follow, a rather 
strained hypothesis even if the compilers had not left a blank space after the Amounderness entry. The view 
taken in the text is not without its difHculties, but seems on the whole more probable. 

" The form in which the termination of his tenure here and in Norfolk {Dom. Bk. ii, 293) is noted, and 
the entry of the northern manors which he retained on a separate folio (ibid, i, 332) at the end of the York- 
shire survey after the index of tenants-in-chiefs (fol. 298^) had been drawn up, suggests that this readjustment 
was not completed till the Domesday returns had been digested. Some of his Yorkshire manors had been 
previously held by other Norman lords. 

" But this is not Mr. Farrer's view ; see note 44 above. He is of the opinion that Roger had already 
held Lancaster and built the castle. He certainly had a castle somewhere on his northern fief before 1086 
iflom. Bk. I, ■i'i'2-), but this may have been that recorded at Penwortham (ibid, i, 270), or one at Clitheroe. 

" Lanes. Pipe R. 269, 289 ; Dugdale Mon. iii, 548-9, 553 ; Tait, Mediaeval Manchester, 159. 

" Ireby, though in Lancashire, is in the parish of Thornton in Yorkshire. 

" Which is applied, for example, in the Cockersand Chart. (105 2 sub anno 1262) to the district between 
the Keer and the northern boundary of the county. 

" Leaving the township of Dalton in Roger's fief. 



These changes united in Roger's hands, with one slight exception," the 
whole of the continuous territory which forms the great bulk of what we 
now call Lancashire. At Lancaster, on the view here taken, he now first 
fixed the seat of his power, and built the castle." The isolated part of the 
county on the north side of Morecambe Bay, known as Furness and Cartmel, 
and now forming the hundred of Lonsdale north of the Sands, was also part 
of his grant, although Ivo's fief included Kendal on one side and Copeland 
(the southern portion of the later Cumberland) on the other." There were 
geographical and strategical reasons for associating this detached district with 
Roger's Lancaster fief. Before the days of railways the road across the 
Kent sands from Lancaster to Cartmel was much the nearest way from the 
south into the region between the Duddon and the Winster. This can hardly 
have failed to be taken into account in such an exhaustive partition of the 
territories round Morecambe Bay as Rufus effected, especially if, as seems not 
unlikely, this partition was dictated by military considerations. 

It is scarcely possible that it was totally unconnected with Rufus' con- 
quest of the Scottish fief of Carlisle or Cumbria in 1092." The division of 
the great tract of crown demesne to the south of this territory between two 
leading Norman barons may either have paved the way for its subjugation or 
formed part of the settlement which followed its conquest. In the former case 
the castles of Kendal and Lancaster were probably built as outposts against the 
Scots, in the latter as a second and third line of defence in the rear of Rufus' 
new castle at Carlisle." In either case it would be advisable that the holder 
of Lancaster Castle should also hold the northern end of the route across the 
sands, which, as we know, was afterwards used by invading Scottish armies." 

The status of the nascent Lancashire while in Roger's hands has not 
always been understood. On the strength of the regalities he is known to 
have exercised within its limits, and of a statement of Orderic Vitalis" that 
his father procured him a comitatus in England, some have supposed that 
Lancaster was a palatine earldom and Roger the first earl of Lancaster. But 
Roger was ' Comes ' in right of his wife as early as 1091, and it was contrary 
to Norman practice to accumulate these titles. He is never called earl of 
Lancaster, and as all his successors in the fief during the twelfth century were 
earls or counts when they received it, the creation of a specific earldom of 
Lancaster was deferred until the reign of Henry III. Nevertheless a con- 
tinuous territory ruled by a ' Comes ' with powers which enabled him to give 
it a shire organization might excusably, though loosely, be described as a 
comitatus. Roger's fief had not indeed the unity of an old shire. It com- 
prised districts of distinct history and character, and there was no adequate 
guarantee that it would not split up again into these component parts — as indeed 
it did for a time in the days of Stephen. Lancashire was still only in the making, 
and its emergence as a recognized county was further retarded by the fact that 
it was but part of a wider fief extending into counties as far south as Suffolk. 

" Litde Bowland and Leagram were added later. See below, p. 1 84. " See below. 

" There is no direct evidence of Roger's tenure here earlier than an allusion in a charter of King John 
when count of Mortain and lord of Lancaster {Furness Cotuher, 63, 419), but records for the history of the 
county in the eleventh century are so scanty that this need not cause surprise. 

" Jngl.-Sax. Chron. sub anno 1092. 

" The border character of Roger's castle seems marked by its advanced position and by the provision for 
its ward which he made in enfeolBng his military tenants. 

" Chron. of Lanercost, 246. " Hist. Eccles. (ed. Le Provost), ii, 422. 



In all but the strictly technical sense, however, it was a palatine county. 
The crown's devolution of its authority was as complete here as in the neigh- 
bouring county of Chester ; in one respect more complete, for while the 
bishop of Lichfield held his Cheshire lands directly of the crown and not of 
the earl, there was no tenant-in-chief in the Lancaster fief save Roger himself. 
He had his own sheriff, and no doubt his own shire court, with special juris- 
diction excluding that of the king." Had his fief been inherited by a long 
line of his descendants, its history would have been more closely parallel with 
the fortunes of Cheshire. As things turned out, it frequently escheated to 
the crown, and though several times granted out again, only once passed from 
father to son." 

To Count Roger's time belong not only the delimitation of the county 
and its organization as a private shire, but great changes in ownership and a 
new and fuller life. Roger founded and endowed the first religious house 
within its limits.'" He introduced Norman military tenure. Even before 
the date of Domesday Book he had enfeoffed some twelve knights with 
nearly half the land rateable to geld between Ribble and Mersey." A fresh 
distribution was made after his temporary dispossession, only one of these 
knights being known with certainty to have retained the holding he had 
before 1086. This was William son of Nigel, the constable of Hugh, earl of 
Chester ; his extensive fief in the hundreds of West Derby and Warrington, 
with its court at Widnes, formed part of his Cheshire honour of Halton."' 
The enfeoffment of a Cheshire baron by Roger, and the fact that by his 
tenure of Widnes and Halton he held both sides of Runcorn Gap, strongly 
suggest the possibility of some arrangement with the earl of Chester for the 
defence of the Mersey.*' Roger's revised arrangements proved more perma- 
nent than the old ones, but there is not enough evidence to decide exactly 
how many of the military fiefs which come into view later were of his 
creation. Excluding Widnes, they can hardly have exceeded six : Man- 
chester (Grelley),Tottington (Montbegon), Warrington (Vilers), Penwortham 
(Bussel), and Hornby. With the exception of Hornby and part of Pen- 
wortham, all these were cut out of ' between Ribble and Mersey.' 

Roger's enfeoffments were made partly out of the demesne, partly at the 
expense of English thegns and drengs, who became free tenants of Roger's 
vassals. More than half the land held by thegns in the hundred of West 
Derby had been thus mediatized as early as 1086, and little more than a third 
of the land held by the drengs of Warrington a hundred and twenty years before 
was still in their hands. Nevertheless, a not inconsiderable proportion of the 
land of the county continued to be held by thegnage and drengage tenure." 
The labour services recorded in Domesday Book were generally commuted for 
additional rent," but as late as the fourteenth century there were still drengs in 

" Godfrey the Sheriff appears as a tenant of Roger, c. 1093-4 ; Lanes. Fife R. 269, 290. 

'' See below, p. 187. 

•" See above, p. 1 67. 

" Dom. Bk. i, 2693-270 ; 2i8| plough-lands out of 474. 

" Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), ii, fol. 718 ; Harland, Mamecestre, 135, 361. 

" This would account, perhaps, for William's exemption from the redistribution of fiefs made by Roger 
under Rufus. 

" In the twelfth century about 100 plough-lands, yielding some ^^33 annually ; Lanes. Pipe R. 37. 

" The drengage ' customs ' of Bolton-le-Sands were commuted in the reign of John for an increment of 
2 marks on the rent ; Lanes. Inquests, 95. 



Amounderness who reaped on the lord's demesne and took care of his dogs 
and horses." 

Count Roger forfeited this with all his other English lands in 1102 by 
supporting his eldest brother, Robert of Belleme, in his rebellion against the 
new king, Henry I, and the whole mighty fief was taken into the hands of 
the crown. In accordance with Norman custom, however, it did not lose its 
individuahty, continuing to be known as the ' Honour of Roger of Poitou,' 
or the ' Honour of Lancaster,' " and was speedily regranted by Henry to his 
fatherless nephew, Stephen of Blois. The exact date of the grant is not 
known, but a roll of the landowners in Lindsey drawn up between 1 1 1 5 and 
1 1 18, shows Stephen, now count of Mortain, in possession of Lincolnshire 
lands held in 1086 by Roger of Poitou.'* His first recorded act in the 
north-western part of the honour belongs to 1124, when he established 
monks of Savigny at Tulketh, near Preston, upon whom, three years later, he 
bestowed the greater part of Furness." The earliest evidence of his 
possession of ' Between Ribble and Mersey,' is in the Pipe Roll of i 129-30.'* 
There is no good reason, however, for doubting that the honour was given to 
him as a whole in the early years of the reign." Several new feoffments 
were made between the Mersey and the Lakes by Henry I after the 
forfeiture of Roger of Poitou or by Count Stephen." One of these deserves 
special mention, because it left a permanent impress upon hundred boundaries. 
In 1 102 Robert de Lacy of Pontefract, to whom Roger had given Bowland, 
and in all probability the adjoining fief of Clitheroe, which included the 
whole hundred of Blackburn, received a grant of the eastern corner of 
Amounderness — Chippingdale, Dutton, and Aighton." The gift led to the 
transference of this compact block of territory on the right bank of the 
Ribble to Blackburn hundred.'* 

The accession of the amiable but irresolute Stephen to a disputed throne, 
undid for a time the work of Rufus and Henry I in the north-west, and the 

" Three Lams. Doc. (Chet. Soc), 56 ; cf. Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), 404. The lands in Newton and 
Warrington hundreds which were still held in drengage in 1086, suffered further reductions, and what 
survived was in the thirteenth century held in thegnage. 

" The latter perhaps had a narrower application at first ; see below, p. I 86. 

'* Roll of Landowners in Lindsey (ed. Chester Waters), 20sqq. 

" Sec above, p. 1 14. 

™ Lanes. Pipe R. i. A charter ascribed by the editor (ibid. 427) to 11 14-16 cannot be earlier than 
1 125, and may be ten years later ; cf. The Ancestor, No. 4, p. I 56. 

" The alleged previous tenure of ' Between Ribble and Mersey' by Ranulf le Meschin, who was lord 
of Kendal, Ewcross, and Copeland (as son-in-law of Ivo Taillebois), and of Rufus's conquest of Carlisle Oby of Henry I) until 1 1 20, when he became earl of Chester, rests only upon an assertion made in a charter 
of his son, Ranulf Gernons, when in possession of the district in the next reign ; Lanes. Pipe R. 319. As the 
latter had probably laid violent hands upon it (see below, p. 1 86), he would have an interest in claiming to hold 
it by hereditar}' right, and it is significant that he wholly ignores Count Stephen's tenure of it. It is possible 
th.Tt the earls of Chester thought they had rights there in virtue of its former connexion with Cheshire. The 
charter in which Clitheroe is described as ' in Cheshire,' belongs to this period {c. 1 I 22) ; see above, p. 180. 

" Michael le Fleming's lordship of Aldingham in Furness, which was excepted from the grant to Savigny, 
may have been one of the fiefs given by Henry I to newcomers from Flanders. William Peverel, of Notting- 
ham, received Ashton and Great Marton near Preston, and Blackrod near Bolton, which after the escheat of 
his lands to the crown in 115 3, formed part of the honour of Peverel ; Lanes. Pipe R. 266 ■ but cf F.C.H. 
Lanes, i, 293. The Butler fief of Weeton, in Amounderness, was probably created by Count Stephen 

" Lanes. Pipe R. 382. / r • 

" Ibid. 425 ; Lanes. In}, i, 289. The parish of Ribchester (which included Dutton) was thereby divided 
between the two hundreds. Dutton and Chippingdale were left in the deanery of Amounderness. Little 
Bowland with Leagram was probably part of Chippingdale, but may possibly have formed part of Bowland 
proper, confirmed to Lacy about the same time. In the latter case it must have been separately annexed to 
Lancashire and Blackburn hundred. 



territories the union of which in the hands of Roger the Poitevin laid the 
basis of a new county of Lancaster, were again separated. 

Under cover of his niece's claim to the English throne David of Scotland 
secured a strong hold upon the north of England. His first invasion in 
January, 1136, ended in Stephen's retrocession of Carlisle and its district and 
a promise to consider the claims of David's son Henry to the earldom of 
Northumbria in right of his mother, a daughter of Earl Waltheof." It was 
nominally to Henry that Carlisle was given, no doubt because it was held to 
be one of the lands for which the young prince was required to do homage 
to Stephen at York, but his father took over the government." When 
hostilities were resumed two years later William son of Duncan, David's 
nephew, pushed southwards with a flying force as far as Upper Ribblesdale, 
ravaging the possessions of Furness Abbey in Craven and routing a small 
English force of four squadrons which made a stand near Clitheroe." The 
Yorkshire barons repelled a further inroad at the Battle of the Standard, but 
in 1 1 39 Stephen bought peace by investing Henry with the earldom of 
Northumbria.''' It is to this grant, probably, that we ought to look for an 
explanation of the fact that not long afterwards the Scots king is found in 
possession of the territory between the Ribble and the district of Carlisle 
which had belonged to the earldom of Northumbria before the Conquest. 
The register of Shrewsbury Abbey contains two charters of David addressed 
to his officers of ' the Honour of Lancaster,' confirming Roger of Poitou's 
Amounderness grants to the abbey." 

That Stephen intended to include in his grant these western lands, which 
no Norman earl of Northumberland had held and much of which was his 
own private property, may well be doubted. David, however, may have laid 
hands upon them, interpreting the grant to suit himself or obtaining a new 
one from the Empress Maud. As for the date of his occupation there is 
some reason to believe that one of the two charters referred to above belongs 
to 1 141, the year in which he joined the empress in the south ; the other 
may be earlier.™ With one exception these are the only recorded acts of 
David's rule within the bounds of Lancashire. The exception in question is 
his appointment of Wimund, bishop of Man, to the governorship of a district 
which included Furness. Wimund, of whose extraordinary career William 
of Newburgh has left a graphic account,*^ began life as a monk of Furness, 

" Sym. Dun. Hist. Regum (cont. by John of Hexham) (Rolls Ser.), ii, 287 ; Chron. ofStefh. Sec. (Rolls 
Ser), iii, 145—6. 

" Lawrie, Jnct. Scot. Chart. 94, 96. David himself would not do homage in view of the oath he had 
taken to the succession of the empress ; Chron. ofSteph. &c. iv, 129. 

" Sym. Dun. op. cit. ii, 291. A later insertion in the MS. gives Friday, 10 June, as the date. Ramsay 
(foundations of Engl, ii, 366) thinks that if this be correct the Scottish column cannot have been thrown off, as 
the chronicler represents, from David's army before Norham, which yielded about 8 May, but must have come 
by the western route, by which at any rate it returned; Chron. Steph. &c. iii, 156. The raiders, largely 
Galloway Picts, with only six men-at-arms, were very proud of their victory over hricati ; ibid. 1 90. For 
William Fitz Duncan see Lawrie, op. cit. 271. His ravaging Craven suggests that he had not yet married 
Alice de Romilly, the heiress of this district and of Copeland ; cf. Sym. Dun. ii, 156. 

" Ibid, ii, 199, 300 ; Chron. ofSteph. &c. iii, 176. 

"Lawrie, op. cit. 105-6; Lanes. Pipe R. 274-5. The 'Honour of Lancaster' is here used in a 
restricted sense. See below. For David's rule in Copeland cf. Lawrie, 150. 

'^ Tait, Mediaeval Manchester, 166-9. The former cannot be later than 1143. To the evidence 
adduced in the above work we may add that Jordan, David's chancellor, who witnesses the charter, was 
replaced by Edward as early as 1144 ; Lawrie, op. cit. 136. 

" Chron. o/Steph. &c. i, 73. 

2 185 24 


extorted his nomination as bishop from the abbey, in whom the power of 
appointment was then vested, and afterwards, though of humble Enghsh 
birth, claimed to be the son of Angus, earl of Moray (slain in 1130), and 
ravaged Scotland in support of his pretensions, which David only bought off 
by entrusting to him the provincia already referred to. He ruled with such 
violence and insolence that the country people, with the connivance of the 
' nobiles,' seized and blinded him.*' 

The assumption that David rested his title to these lands on the pre- 
Conquest lordship of the earls of Northumbria is supported by the absence 
of any evidence that he held or claimed territory south of the Ribble. Such 
a claim might at first sight seem to be implied in his addressing charters to 
the justices, &c., of 'the whole Honour of Lancaster.' It is, however, 
doubtful whether the entire fief which Roger of Poitou had forfeited was as 
yet so described, and even if it were there is ample proof that the designation 
could be applied in a narrower sense to the part of the present county lying 
north of the Ribble, of which Roger's castle at Lancaster was the natural 
centre.^^ The southern half, though it also passed away from Stephen, had 
gone into other hands than David's. Before May, 1 147, 'Between Ribble 
and Mersey,' is found in the possession of Ranulf Gernons, earl of Chester." 
It seems probable that this was one of the districts of royal demesne which 
the turbulent Ranulf seized upon without law or leave during the anarchy 
when he made himself for a time all powerful in the North Midlands." A 
phrase in one of his charters suggests that he may have thought that he had 
some hereditary claim to a district which had old connexions with his own 
county." In 1149 an opportunity presented itself of reuniting in his own 
hands the nascent county of Lancaster. Ranulf, Henry of Anjou, and King 
David met at Carlisle to concert common action against Stephen, and the 
Scots king consented to cede the ' Honour of Lancaster ' to the earl in return 
for the abandonment of his claim to the land of Carlisle, of which his father 
Ranulf le Meschin had once been lord." Ranulf, whose son was to marry a 
granddaughter of the king, did homage to David. These arrangements have 
been thought to betray ' an idea on the part of the earl of throwing off his 
connexion with the English crown and establishing an independent position 
partly based on an alliance with Scotland.' *' The earl went off to collect his 
forces, and David and Henry, moving south with an army, awaited his 
arrival at Lancaster before attacking Stephen, who was advancing in force 
towards Yorkshire. They waited in vain, for Stephen seized the opportunity 
to outbid them by enormous territorial concessions to Ranulf, of which 

*-' Chron. ofSteph. &c. 1,73. For fuller details and difficulties in the story see above, p. 116. The blinding 
of Wimund, who spent his last years at Byland Abbey, took place before 11 52, when his successor in the see 
of Man was appointed ; Chron. ofStefh. &c. iv, 1 67. But cf. Fordun, Scotichronicm (ed. Skene), ii, 428. 

° The wider use had come in by 1 1 64 (JLanci. Pipe R. 6), but a charter of Stephen some twenty years 
before that date distinguishes the ' Honor de Lancastre ' from the ' terra de inter Ribliam et Mersam ' as well 
as from the 'terra Rogeri Pictovis a Northampton usque in Scotiam ' ; ibid. 368. This restricted application 
of the name appears also in a passage of Brompton's Chronicle (ed. Twysden in Decern Scriptores, fol. 956), 
perhaps based on a twelfth-century source : ' Lanchastreschire continet in se quinque modicas schiras West- 
derbischire, Salfordschire, Leylandschire, Blackbournschire et territorium Lancastrie.^ Perhaps at first the regular 
appellation of the whole fief was ' Honor Comitis Rogerij Pictaviensis ' ; Lanes. Pipe R. 370. 

** Ibid. 277 ; Tait, op. cit. 169. The date of the charter lies between June, 1 141, and May, 1 147. 

'^ Gesta Stephani (Rolls Ser.), 118. *« Lanes. Pipe R. 319. See above, p. 184. 

*■ Hen. of Hunt. Hist. Angl. (Rolls Ser.), 282 ; Sym. Dun. op. cit. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 323. 

** Ramsay, Foundations of Engl, ii, 438. The author is unaware that David was already in possession of 
the territory ceded. 



' Between Ribble and Mersey ' and the ' Honour of Lancaster ' formed but a 
small part.*' There is documentary evidence that the earl was actually in 
possession of Lancaster at one moment, but the date is unfortunately doubtfuL^" 
In any case David is hardly likely to have suffered a permanent occupation by 
the recreant. The Carlisle arrangement may, however, have been ratified 
when in the spring of 1 153 the double-dyed traitor sold his support to Duke 
Henry in return for even more sweeping concessions, which probably included 
both halves of the future Lancashire." In the compromise effected between 
Stephen and Henry in the autumn, whereby the latter was enabled to tear up 
his charter to Ranulf,'^ the whole was certainly reserved, with or without 
Scottish concurrence, for the king's second son William, earl of Warenne 
and count of Boulogne, along with the rest of Roger of Poitou's honour and 
all other estates held by Stephen before his accession."' 

William was still under age at his father's death in October, 11 54, and 
for a year the ' honour of Lancaster ' remained in the hands of the crown."* 
There is no actual evidence that the young earl (who had succeeded his 
father as count of Mortain) obtained possession of the lands of the honour 
lying north of the Ribble until Malcolm IV's surrender of Cumberland and 
Northumberland to Henry in 11 57, but it is improbable that the Scots 
retained their hold upon Lancaster during the troublous minority which 
followed King David's death four years before."^ 

Earl William died childless during the retreat from Toulouse in 1 1 59, 
and the honour of Lancaster probably formed part of his widow's dower until 
her remarriage in 11 64 to the king's illegitimate brother Hamelin. It was 
then resumed by the crown, and Henry II retained it in his own hands until 
the end of his reign. The administrative unity of that part of the honour 
which lay between the Mersey and the Duddon was not further interrupted. 
From 1 1 68, if not earlier, it is regularly described as 'the county of Lan- 
caster ' ; "° it paid fines to escape the Regard of the Forest and the Forest 
Eyre," and was amerced for concealment of the pleas of the crown."* As 
early as 1 168 its northern portion was already divided into wapentakes."" The 
county of Lancaster differed, however, from older shires in that it formed 
part of an extensive and widely scattered honour, and consequently was not 

^ Lanes. Pipe R. 367—8. Stephen's charter is only known in a. transcript without date or list of witnesses, 
but this seems the only likely occasion when it could have been granted. See Round in Eng/. Hist. Rev. x, 
90, and Tait, op. cit. 170. Mr. Farrer's date is in any case much too early. 

'" Lanes. Pipe R. 296 (a confirmation, given at Lancaster, of Roger of Poitou's gifts to the priory). The 
editor refers it to RanulPs journey southwards from the meeting at Carlisle in 1 149, but as it is dated 27 July 
(without note of year) and the meeting was in May this seems improbable. 

"Ibid. 370. The grant comprised inter a/ia 'totum honorem comitis Rogeri Pictaviensis ubicunque 
aliquid haberetur' (Dugdale and Ormerod read ' habet '). The final words have been regarded (Tait, op. cit. 
173) as excluding what David held (or claimed), but this is not clear. 

" This has hitherto been overlooked. The earl did not die until 16 Dec. of this year ; Dugdale, 
Baronage, i, 40. 

" Rymer, Foedera, i, 13. David's death on 24 May doubtless facilitated these dispositions. 

** Lanes. Pipe R. 285. This is the first clear instance of the wider use of the term. The honour does 
not appear in the Pipe Roll of 1 155-6, the first of the reign which survives. 

" William's confirmation of an agreement between Furness Abbey and Michael le Fleming, dated at 
Lancaster, no doubt belongs to 1 1 58, when he visited Carlisle with Henry ; ibid. 307. Cf. Tait, op. cit. 

'" Lanes. Pipe R. 13. " Ibid. 16, 38, 45, 55, 60, 63. '" e.g. ibid. 63. 

°' Lonsdale wapentake is mentioned in that year ; ibid. 1 2. The first mention in the Pipe Rolls of 
Furness wapentake, now Lonsdale north of the Sands, is under 1184 ; ibid. 55. The latter was sometimes 
called the wapentake of Dalton ; Furness Coucher, 84. 



recognized as a fiscal unit at the exchequer. It is the ' honour ' and not the 
'county ' which from i 164 appears in the Pipe Rolls "* charged with a fixed 
farm of jTaoo a year, representing a rough estimate of demesne income, farms 
of wapentakes, rent of thegnlands, &c., after making allowance for expenses 
and the sheriffs profit."^ But from the outset two-thirds of this income and 
nearly all the casual profits (which were separately accounted for) accrued 
from the county, and this ratio tended to increase with the disproportionate 
amount of subinfeudation in the other parts of the honour as the century 
advanced. ^"^ 

The farm of the honour and the casual profits were accounted for and 
the administration of the county conducted by a separate sheriff, except for a 
short period from 1 166, when these duties were entrusted to the sheriff of 

From 1 164 to 1 166 Geoffrey de Valognes, who may have acted in the 
same capacity for the earl of Warenne, was sheriff of Lancaster.^"' During 
the next three and a half years William de Vesci, sheriff of Northumberland, 
half brother of Richard Fitz Eustace, constable of Chester and lord of Widnes, 
rendered the accounts of the honour.*"* On Vesci's removal from office, with 
the other baronial sheriffs, at Easter, 1 170, Roger de Herleberga was appointed 
sheriff of Lancaster. In the critical year 1 173 he gave way to a better known 
servant of the crown, Ranulf de Glanville. A Scottish invasion in concert 
with the feudal rebels in France and England was imminent ; their king had 
not abandoned hope of recovering all that David had held in England, includ- 
ing Lancaster,"' and the earl of Chester was one of the leaders of the revolt. 
It was important, therefore, to have Lancaster Castle and the county which it 
guarded in strong hands, and though Glanville was not yet famous his ability 
had doubtless been recognized. He fully justified the confidence placed in 
him, suppressed the rising of Hamon de Masci, baron of Dunham (Massey),"' 
and in July, 1174, at the head probably of the forces of his county, took a 
leading part in the defeat and capture of the Scottish king at Alnwick. The 
worst danger over, he resigned his sheriffdom to Ralph Fitz Bernard. Neither 
had any leisure to render accounts during the years 1 173 and 1 174, and indeed 
when peace came Glanville, in spite of an allowance of ^45 for expenditure 
upon the siege of Leicester and the struggle with Hamon de Masci, was 
unable to pay any part of his farm to the treasury."' A considerable sum was 
charged to him for a year or two, but in view of the difficulty of collecting 
revenue in the war time and the heavy expenses incurred by him, Henry 
allowed the whole amount to be wiped off."' 

"" The accounts of escheated honours were usually appended to those of the shires in which their capita 
I37. But Lancaster being in none of the older counties the clerb of the exchequer taclced it on to Yorlcshire, 
whose sheriff had collected its Danegeld in 1 162 {Lanes. Pipe R. 4), or more generally to Northumberland, with 
which it was united for some years under a common sheriff ; see below. Exigencies of space sometimes com- 
pelled a departure from this arrangement, as in 1 1 65-6, when its accounts were appended to those of Bucicing- 
hamshire and in 1 1 8 1-2, when it was made a separate entry 'quia non erat ei locus in Northumberland ' ; 
ibid. 9, 46. 

"" The absence during the years 1 1 64-8 of allowances for grants made out of the demesne seems to show 
that the 6rm had been newly fixed in the former year. The gross revenue was probably nearly double the 
amount of the farm ; ibid. 268. 

'" Ibid. 264 et seq. The demesne lands of the honour when Henry took it over were assessed at nearly 
120 hides or carucates (ibid. 4-5), of which at least three-fifths lay in the county. 

"» Ibid. 6-9. - '"Ibid. 10-13. 

Cf. Hoveden, Ciron. (Rolls Sen), iii, 243. '"^ Laves. Pipe R. 26 ; Ormerod, Hist.ofChes. i, 1:3?. 
Lanes. Pipe R.xi-T. "« Ibid. 34. 



The attitude of the county of Lancaster to the rising is not directly 
recorded ; the outlawry of Gilbert son of Waltheof, the master Serjeant of 
West Derby wapentake, which was only remitted on payment of the heavy 
fine of jr4oo, seems, however, to point to his participation, and Hamon de 
Masci had some land in the county.^"' But any wide complicity would have 
left more traces upon the Pipe Rolls. Apart from the periodical visitations 
of the itinerant justices, the only outstanding events in the history of the 
county during the remainder of the reign are the grant in 1 179 of a charter 
to Preston, which was perhaps the result of a royal visit,"" and the gift some 
years later of the valuable district of Cartmel to the famous William the 
JVIarshal, who had been the trusted adviser of the king's eldest son."^ It was 
under Henry II, though the exact date is unknown, that a body of loyal 
Welshmen, dispossessed by Owen Gwynedd's conquests in Flintshire, migrated 
to Lancashire with Robert Banaster, whose castle at Prestatyn had been 
destroyed in 1 167, and founded more than one local family."' Banaster was 
no doubt promised compensation here but does not seem to have obtained 
possession of Makerfield until after Henry's death. 

Although the county of Lancaster was now a recognized administrative 
area it does not appear under that name in the list of districts included in the 
northern circuit of the justices as rearranged in 1179. 'Inter Rible et 
Meresee ' and ' Lonecastre ' are still distinguished as in Stephen's day."' It 
is doubtful whether this must be regarded as a mere official clinging to 
ancient nomenclature or as implying that the justices held separate assizes for 
the two districts, once distinct but now united in a single county. In any case 
the two regions retained a certain individuality, and long afterwards the name 
' Between Ribble and Mersey ' was still in use."* The entire honour of Lan- 
caster was included in the huge appanage with which Richard, in 1 1 89, shortly 
after his accession, too trustfully invested his brother John, count of Mortain. 
Here, as in the other territories granted, among which were the counties of 
Derby and Nottingham, the whole of the regalities were transferred and 
for nearly five years the honour disappears from the Pipe Rolls."' Over 
a large part of England John enjoyed all the powers which the palatine 
earl of Chester and the bishop of Durham had long exercised in more 
restricted areas. In some of the districts comprised in his fief the castles 
were retained by the crown, but Lancaster Castle was handed over to him, 
and this, with the importance of Lancashire as the door to his Irish posses- 
sions, perhaps explains the special favour he seems to have shown to his men 

^"^ Lanes. Pipe R. ^i, 6\. 

"° The burgesses received the liberties of Newcastle-under-Lyme ; ibid. 412. For presumptive evidence 
that Henry hunted in the forest of Lancaster during the virinter 1 178-9 see ibid. 40. 

'"As the sheriiF in 1 187-8 claimed deduction of the rent of Cartmel for a year and nine monthi 
(ibid. 66), Mr. Farrer ascribes the grant to 1 185 or 1 186, but as Marshal only returned from a long campaign 
in the Holy Land in the autumn of 11 87 {Diet. Nat. Biog.) the grant may have been made in that or the 
following year with a lien upon past revenue. 

'" e.g. the Welshes (Le Waleys) of Aughton, Litherland, and Welch Whittle and the Hultons of Hulton 
represented f. 1200 by Yorwerth son of Bleddyn ; Lanes. Inq. \, 20, 65. In 1229 the ' Banaster Welsh- 
men' resisted a tallage of 20 marks, claiming to have always paid voluntary aids in lieu of tallage. Twelve of 
them were summoned to Westminster to show warrant ; Cal. of Close, 1227-31, p. 159. They are said to 
have been still called Mes Westroys ' under Edw. \. ; Whalley Coueher, 113. 

"' Hoveden, C3«». (Rolls Ser.), ii, 191. From 1202, when the extant records of their proceed- 
ings begin, the justices seem to have held a single session for the county, generally at Lancaster but sometimes 
at Preston or Wigan. 

■» See below, p. 194. Norgate, John Lackland, 25-7. 



in the county. The burgesses of Lancaster received a grant of the liberties 
of Bristol,"' and his father's charter to Preston was confirmed and extended;"^ 
the knights, thegns, and freeholders dwelling within the extensive forest of 
Lancaster were empowered to assart, sell, and give away their woods, and the 
precarious exemption from the Regard which they had purchased from 
time to time was made permanent;"' considerable areas of demesne land were 
granted by charter to his local followers."' A large number of leading 
freeholders of the county, including the heads of the Montbegon, Boteler, 
Gernet, Redman, Lathom, and Molyneux families, and Jordan dean of 
Manchester, consequently supported their traitor lord in February, 1194, 
against the brother whose release from his foreign prison upset all John's 
plans.^*"" On his behalf they made an expedition to Kendal, the bare fact of 
which is alone recorded."^ The great military tenants in the county seem, 
however, with the exception of William le Boteler baron of Warrington, 
Roger de Montbegon baron of Hornby, and Theobald Walter, lord of 
Amounderness, to have held aloof. One indeed, Robert Grelley of Man- 
chester, was a minor and married to a niece of John's old enemy William 
de Longchamp, the former chancellor and justiciar ; ^^^ while the most 
important of them all, Roger de Lacy, constable of Chester, who, in 
addition to his Cheshire lands and Widnes fief, had just inherited the 
honours of Clitheroe and Pontefract from his cousin Robert de Lacy, was 
at bitter feud with the count. Three years before he had hanged the 
castellans of Tickhill and Nottingham, who betrayed those castles to John, 
and the latter had avenged them by depriving Roger of the lands he held 
of him and ravaging those he possessed elsewhere.^" But the collapse of the 
resistance to Richard here was due to John's desertion by a trusted servant. 
On leaving England for Normandy he had placed Lancaster Castle in charge 
of Theobald Walter lord of Weeton in Amounderness, whose services in Ireland 
had been rewarded with an hereditary butlership and large grants of land, 
while in Lancashire he received from John, about 1192, a grant of all 
Amounderness, that is, of the whole of the demesne and other profitable 
rights there, pleas of the crown only excepted. ^^ Shrinking from treason 
or yielding to fraternal influence Theobald surrendered the castle to his 
younger brother Hubert Walter archbishop of Canterbury.'" The honour 
was resumed by the crown and entrusted to Theobald Walter as sheriff."' 
In further recognition of his loyalty he received a re-grant of Amounder- 
ness."^ Richard did not show himself implacable to John's partisans. 
Archbishop Hubert used his influence in favour of clemency, and some forty 

"« Lana. Pipe /J. 416. '" Rot. Chart. (Rec. Com.), z6b. 

'" Ibid. 25. The charter cost them ;^5oo, but the relief from the oppressive exercise of the forest law 
was cheap at the price ; cf Lams. Pipe R. 419. 

"' Ibid. 115, 431 et seq. ; Rot. Chart. 25. Among these grants was one of Preesall and Hackensall in 
Amounderness to GeofiTe7 his crossbowman (Arbalaster) on the annual service of two crossbows. For the 
grant of Amounderness itself to Theobald Walter see below. 

"« Lanes. Pipe R. 77. >" Ibid. 78. '» Tait, op. cit. 137. 

'" Gesta Ricardi, 232, 234. His superior, the earl of Chester, took an active part against John. 

' ' Diet. Nat. Biog. viii, 77 ; F.C.H. Lanes, i, 352. Mr. Round's statement [Diet. Nat. Biog. viii, 77) 
that he held Amounderness in 1 1 66 is an error due to a later addition to the Black Book of the Exchequer ; 
Liber Rubeus (Rolls Ser.), 445. 

'" Hoveden, Chron. ii, 237. 

"* Being much employed elsewhere he executed this office after the first year by deputy. 

"" Lanes. Pipe R. 434. 



of the most prominent were allowed to redeem their lands and buy their 
pardon by payment of fines ranging from one mark to five hundred and 
amounting in the aggregate to nearly £yoo}''^ A few, however, failed to 
recover their forfeited estates from the grasp of the sheriff until John ascended 
the throne/" The castles of Lancaster and West Derby were repaired"" 
and Theobald received an allowance of half a year's farm to replace the stock 
removed from the demesne during the crisis."^ William the Lion's attempt 
to secure the friendly retrocession of the northern part of the county along 
with the other English territories which David had held, met, of course, 
with a polite refusal."' 

The grant of Navenby in Lincolnshire to Robert le Rous at Easter, 
1 1 94, completed the subinfeudation of the demesne (and ancient escheat) of 
the honour of Lancaster outside the county. Practically the whole of the 
regular revenue available for payment of the farm now came from the county, 
and the clerks of the exchequer began to use frequently 'honour of Lancaster' 
and ' county of Lancaster ' as interchangeable terms."' The county was now 
to all intents and purposes treated as a separate fiscal unit parallel with the 
older shires, and with the virtual disappearance of the distinction which had 
hitherto marked it off from them it may be regarded as taking its place among 
English counties of the normal type. 

On Richard's death in April, 1199, the castles of Lancaster and West 
Derby were specially guarded for some time by order of the new king."* 
John's former supporters obtained — though not gratis — confirmation of his 
charters as count of Mortain,"' which in many cases had been disregarded 
after his downfall in 1194, and redress was given to those whose lands had 
been withheld by Theobald Walter, who was punished by the temporary 
forfeiture of Amounderness."* 

The king's special relation to Lancashire and its strategical value as a 
starting point for Wales and Ireland procured it an embarrassing amount of 
his attention. He more than once visited Lancaster, whose castle he largely 

"' Laius. Pipe R. 77, 90, 99. Roger de Montbegon, from whom 500 marks (nearly half the total) 
was exacted, had been active in the defence of Nottingham Castle. Henry de Redman of Yealand paid 
120 marks. 

•"Ibid. 11S-16. ""Ibid. 97. 

"' Ibid. 92. The money does not seem, however, to have been expended. At all events Theobald was 
compelled to refund it in the first year of John. Mr. Farrer suggests (ibid. 83) that this and the retention of 
certain forfeited estates were an attempt on his part to reimburse himself for the undertaking he had apparently 
given not to claim a deduction from his farm in respect of Amounderness. His suits to recover the advowsons 
of the churches of Preston, Kirkham, and Poulton, which were successful in the case of the first two, may have 
had the same motive ; Lanes. Final Cone, i, 2, 6. 

"' Hoveden, Chron. (Rolls Ser.), iii, 243. It is implied that he claimed the whole county, but this is 
due to a confiision explained below. 

"' Lanes. Pipe R. 72, 76, 104, 126, 163 ; but it was not until 1241 that ' firma comitatus' permanently 
replaced 'firma honoris' ; Tait, Med. Manchester, 179. The chroniclers speak of John receiving a grant of the 
county in 1 1 89 (Wendover, Flores Hist, i, 371 ; Hoveden, Chron. ii, 6), though he clearly obtained the whole 
honour. In matters of tenure the distinction between the honour and the county was of course still care- 
fully observed ; knights' fees held of the honour outside the county were distinguished as ' extra comitatum ' or 
'extra Limam,' the mountain boundary of the county on the east ; cf. Tait, op. cit. 12, 180, 193. For a 
complete list of the fees of the honour in 1 199 see Lanes. Pipe R. 144 ; cf. Testa de Nevi//(Rec. Com.), p. 403, 
for Penwortham. They numbered 74 and a fraction. 

'" 'Ad custodiam patriae'; Lanes. Pipe R. 105. 

"' Ibid. 106 et seq. ;^200 and 10 'chascurs' were exacted#for confirmation of his charter to the forest- 
tenants; ibid. 114. The new charter to Lancaster gave it the privileges of Northampton instead of those of 
Bristol ; Rot. dart. 26. 

'*' Lanes. Pipe R. 21 1. It was regranted to him in 1202 (JRot. de. Lib. 25), but after his death in 1205 
it was not allowed to descend to his heir ; Lanes. Inq. i, 115. 



rebuilt at a cost of over >r5oo."' On the estuary of the Mersey he founded 
(in 1 207) the new borough of Liverpool."' ' Bretesches ' and provisions 
were despatched by the sheriff to the army in Ireland,"' and for the Welsh 
campaigns of 1 211 great quantities of stores were sent from Lancaster to 
Chester by way of Liverpool.^*" More than 600 men from Lancaster served 
on that occasion,^" and 200 more were called up in the following year, but 
the levy was dismissed without fighting.*** To the expenses thus incurred 
(and others afterwards, less defensible) the county contributed directly by a 
special aid towards the rebuilding of Lancaster Castle,"' and by its share in 
the incessant scutages and tallages of the reign (the former augmented by 
the new demand from military tenants and thegns alike of considerable sums 
ne tramfretent)^^ and indirectly by the raising of farms and a great variety 
of miscellaneous exactions. 

The financial management of the county no doubt required readjustment. 
The ancient farm had been almost wiped out by deductions for grants out of 
demesne, while the value of what remained had increased with the growth of 
wealth and population in the county during the last half century. Richard 
de Vernon, for whose appointment as sheriff (1200-4) the county proffered — 
why is not obvious — to pay 100 marks, undertook to increase his farm by 
that sum,'" and in i 204 the farming system was abandoned, the sheriff being 
now appointed as custos, and expected to account for the whole revenue 
coming into his hands. The fee farm rents of estates of ancient demesne 
were raised, in one case nearly fifty per cent., in addition to the sums exacted 
for confirmation of John's grants thereof when count of Mortain."' It may 
be doubted whether the increase was always proportionate to an actual rise 
in value. Estates held in serjeanty, thegnage, and drengage, which had been 
alienated without good warrant since 11 54 were ordered in 1205 to be taken 
into the king's hands. **^ Extortionate fines and amercements swelled the 
royal revenue. The assizes of 1202—3 yielded over ^300,"' the abbot of 
Furness was mulcted 500 marks for forest offences,*" two successive barons 
of Newton had to pay 400 and 500 marks respectively to secure their 
I inheritance,"" and Hugh Bussel, unable to pay a heavy fine inflicted for a 
' legal irregularity ten years old, was driven to relinquish the barony of 
Penwortham to Roger de Lacy, already lord of Clitheroe and Widnes.*" It 
is not surprising that all John's great tenants in Lancashire took active part 
against him in 1215. John de Lacy (Roger's son), Roger de Montbegon of 
Hornby, Robert Grelley of Manchester, William le Boteler of Warrington, 

'" L^r.cs. Pipe R. 234, 239. '" Ibid. 220, 225. "» Ibid. 228, 234.. 

'" Ibid. 243. 

'" Ibid. 242 ; Norgate, John Lackland, 158. 15 knights, 60 esquires with 2 horses apiece, 466 foot- 
men and 96 carpenters, whose united wages amounted to j^l09 9/. 

^" Rot. Clam, i, 131 ; Wendover, f ^r. Hist, iii, 239. Lines, and Derby, both fiirnished 200, Notts. 
300, Yorks. 730. 

'" Lanes. Pipe J?. 236. '" Ibid. 144-5. '« Ibid. 126, 135. 

"* Ibid. 119, 130, 137. Some of these rents may have been raised by Theobald Walter in the previous 

"' Rot. Claus. i, 55. The great inquest of 1212, which was not limited to the honour of Lancaster, had 
a similar motive. It is printed in the Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), 401 sqq. ; a translation of the Lanes. 
entries in Lotus. Inq. i, 2-1 14. 

'" Lanes. Pipe R. 162. 

'" Afterwards reduced to 200 ; ibid. 204, 209. '" Ibid. 1 80, 246. 

'" Lanes. Pipe R. 152, 161. 



and the sheriff Gilbert Fitz Reinfred, baron of Kendal and lord of Warton 
and Nether Wyresdale, who presented no accounts in 1214.^^'' Lacy and 
Montbegon were among the twenty-five barons appointed to see Magna 
Carta executed. With the others they were subsequently excommunicated 
by Pope Innocent, and their estates were transferred by John to his own 
supporters. Gilbert Fitz Reinfrid's son William of Lancaster, with two 
of his knights, fell into John's hands at the capture of Rochester in 
November, 121 5, and his father had to abjure the Great Charter, sur- 
render his castles, and proffer a fine of 12,000 marks to obtain their 
release and his own pardon."' Most of the other Lancashire barons 
submitted to John while he was in the north early in 1216, but some 
at least did not recover their lands until the general pacification in the 
next reign."* 

The king committed (30 January, 1216), the custody of the castle and 
county of Lancaster to his staunch supporter Ranulf de Blundeville, earl of 
Chester."^ For eight years the office of sheriff of Lancaster was vested in 
the powerful earl, who was also sheriff of Shropshire and Staffordshire, and but 
for his absence on crusade (1218—20) would probably have succeeded the earl 
of Pembroke as regent for the young Henry III."^ On his return he headed 
the opposition to Hubert de Burgh, who had taken the place that might 
have been his, but finding himself outmatched gave up (30 December, 1223) 
the royal castles in his possession. The custody of the castle and honour, 
with the sheriffdom of the county, were transferred to his brother-in-law, 
William de Ferrers, earl of Derby, in whose hands they remained until the 
end of 1227,"^ when Henry, now of age, put an end to this interim arrange- 
ment, and henceforth appointed sheriffs from the chief tenants of the county."^ 
Ferrers' connexion with Lancashire was destined to be soon revived in a 
different form. In 1229 Ranulf of Chester became the owner of a great fief 
in the southern part of the county, for on 1 8 October in that year the king 
gave him the whole of the royal demesne between Ribble and Mersey — i.e. in 
the three wapentakes of West Derby, Salford and Leyland, for that of Black- 
burn belonged entirely to the Lacys — with the profits of the said wapentakes 
and feudal superiority over all tenants in them, at the nominal annual rent of 
a mewed goshawk or 40s."' The practical effect of the grant was to place 
Ranulf in three out of the four wapentakes of ' Between Ribble and Mersey ' 
in the same position as that occupied by his grandfather, Ranulf Gernons, in 

"' Apparently he was superseded for a time. In April, 1 2 1 4, Reginald of Cornhill was custos of Lanes, 
and Surrey (Rot. Claus. i, 142^), but Gilbert afterwards rendered an account for this year ; Lanes. Pipe R. 249. 
During the crisis the castles of Lancaster and West Derby were placed in a complete state of defence at a cost 
of nearly ^^250 ; the former was supplied with 10,000 crossbow quarrels; 140 footmen, 10 horsemen, and 
the crossbowmen received ^i^Z ; ibid. 250. 

'" Lanes. Pipe R. 252, 258. Over ^6,000 was still owing in 1246 ; Pipe R. Henry de Redman of 
Yealand was also among the defenders of R.ochester ; Lanes. Pipe R. 259. 

'" Ibid. For the successive dispositions of Grelley's estates see Tait, Mediaeval Manehester, 138. 

■" Rot. Pat. \6\a. The rest of the honour was added by 13 Apr. ; ibid. 176^. 

^^ Doyle, Offieia/ Baronage ; Diet. Nat. Biog. 7,289. ^^ sheriff of Lancaster he farmed the county, 
taking all revenue from demesne after payment of the ancient farm of ;£2O0 and the increment on certain 
manors imposed under John, amounting to ^^14 a year. 

'" Ibid. ; Baines, Hist, of Lanes, (ed. Croston), i, 47. 

'" Ferrers was 'custos' not 'firmarius' of the county, receiving a fixed salary of ^100 a year ; Pipe R. 
10 Hen. III. His successor Adam de Yealand was only paid ^^40 ; ibid. 12 Hen. III. 

"' Lanes. Final Cone, i, 112. The sheriff was consequently excused ^80 a year and his salary wab 
reduced by one half; Pipe R. 14 Hen. III. 

2 193 25 


the whole district nearly a century before.**' This aggrandizement of the 
already overpowerful earl, the impolicy of which would have been more glaring 
had he not been childless, was probably the sequel to a violent quarrel between 
the king and Hubert de Burgh. Coming down to Portsmouth to start on 
his Poitevin campaign Henry found the preparations incomplete and laid all 
the blame upon Hubert.'*' We may perhaps conclude that in his anxiety to 
avert the collapse of the expedition Henry paid the heavy price the earl 
demanded for his further support. The demesne lands transferred to him 
comprised inter alia the manors of Salford and West Derby and the borough 
of Liverpool."^ Soon afterwards he purchased for 200 marks the Lancashire 
fief of Roger de Marsey (or Mattersey), of Mattersey in Nottinghamshire, 
which included Bolton, Chorlev, RadclifFe, Urmston, Westleigh, and other 

In the division of Ranulf s vast estates among his sisters after his death 
in October, 1232, his fief between Ribble and Mersey fell to William de 
Ferrers, earl of Derby, in right of his wife Agnes, the third sister.'"* The 
three wapentakes were seised into the king's hands in or before i 242 owing 
to some misdemeanours of Ferrers' bailiffs, but he redeemed them in that 
year by a fine of ^^100.'" His son William, who succeeded him in 
1247, obtained in 1251 confirmation of the privilege enjoyed by Ranulf 
de Blundeville of appointing his own officers for the conservation of 
the peace in the three wapentakes, to be paid by the inhabitants.'"" He 
died in 1254, and the custody of his lands during the minority of 
Robert, his son and heir, was committed to the king's eldest son Edward, 
who had just been invested with the earldom of Chester, annexed to the 
crown in 1246 after the death of Ranulf de Blundeville's nephew, John 
le Scot.'"' 

In the barons' wars Robert de Ferrers was so violently anti-royalist that 
Simon de Montfort had to sacrifice him to Henry's hostility, and on 23 April, 
1265, his lands between Ribble and Mersey were taken into the king's 
hands."* A year later he was captured by the royal forces at Chesterfield, 
and his estates were granted to the king's younger son Edmund, who had just 
attained his majority. After the pacification Ferrers pledged himself to pay 
Edward the enormous sum of >r5o,ooo in redemption of his estates, but 

'^ See above, p. i 86. It is possible, however, that Ranulf Gernons did not recognize the County Court at 
Lancaster, then in the hands of the king of Scots, while Blundeville's grant left its authority unimpaired. He 
collected the castle guard money from the fifteen knights' fees in his fief; Pipe R. 14 Hen. III. It will be 
noted that the Domesday wapentakes of Makerfield and Warrington had by this time been merged in that of 
West Derby. The wapentake of Makerfield is mentioned as late as 1 1 69 ; Lanes. Pipe R 1 2 

'" Matt. Paris, Chron. Maj. (Rolls Ser.), iii, 191. 

'" He granted a borough charter to Salford in or shortly after 1230 ; Tait, Mediaeval Manchester, 46, 
1 09. ^ He or one of the Ferrers earls built the castle at Liverpool, which replaced that at West Derby. 

"=' Ormerod, Hist. ofCkes. i, 36-7. This purchase is here and elsewhere (e.g. Diet. Nat Biog v 2701 
confused with the king's grant of the three wapentakes. It is barely possible that it preceded that grant by a 
few months, for Sir William de Vernon, justiciar of Chester, who was a witness, was appointed early in 1220 
but it seems more probable that it came a little later. 

'" G.E.C. Complete Peerage, ii, 225. His earldom of Lincoln passed to his constable John de Lacy as 
son-in-law of his fourth sister, and still further increased the importance of the lords of Blackburnshire VVidnes 
and Penwortham ; ibid. v. 90. ' 

'" Baines, Hist. ofLr.ncs. (ed. Croston), i, 47. ise ^t,-^^ g 

''■• G.E.C. Complete Peerage, ii, 225. The accounts of Edward's bailiffs between Ribble and Mersey from 
.Mich. 1256 to taster 1257, are printed in Lanes. Inquests, \, 205-10. 

r ■ Z^^°n' "^^ "^°- "^- ™- ^ ^- : ^'''- ^"'^ ^'"i- ^^i". 387- For another view of Montfort's action cf 
Jl ng!. Hist. Rev. X, 3 I . 



failing to raise it never recovered the bulk of them."' One of his Lancashire 
tenants, Thomas Grelley, baron of Manchester, had played a prominent part 
on the baronial sidein 1258. He w^as included not only among the twenty- 
four commissioners appointed under the provisions of Oxford to arrange for 
the raising of an aid, but among the twelve who ' to spare expense to the 
community of the realm ' (which in practice meant the barons) were to 
represent them in the little council of twenty-seven which was to constitute 
the Parliament of the realm. ^™ Grelley was also appointed justice of the 
royal forests south of the Trent,"^ but as he died in 1262, leaving an heir 
under age, his estates escaped forfeiture. The disturbed state of the country 
after that year is indicated by the absence of any accounts for Lancashire on 
the Pipe Rolls. 

The Ferrers' fief between Ribble and Mersey was included in the grant 
of his estates on 12 July, 1266, to Edmund,^" to whom already in the 
previous year had been given Montfort's earldom and honour of Leicester."" 
About twelve months later the whole honour of Lancaster, with the county 
and castle, was conferred upon him."* In the charter (30 June, 1267) 
he is not styled earl of Lancaster, but as he was summoned to Parlia- 
ment under that title from 1276 it is assumed that he obtained this 
dignity at the time of the grant by the girding of the sword."' In 
the interval between the grants of the Ferrers and Lancaster honours the 
castles of Builth and Kenilworth had been conveyed to him and simulta- 
neously with Lancaster he received the honours of Newcastle-under-Lyme 
and Pickering, the manors of Scalby, Huntingdon, and Godmanchester, 
and in Wales, Grosmont, Skenfrith, Whitecastle and Monmouth ; but 
Lancaster was selected as the caput of his vast appanage, and he was thence- 
forth known as Edmund of Lancaster, the founder of the great house of 
that name."^ 

To find a precedent for the position of Edmund in regard to the county, 
we have to go back to the days when John count of Mortain was lord of 
Lancaster, though John enjoyed regalities which were withheld from his 
grandson. All the tenants of the crown there were required to do homage 
to the earl."^ The entire ordinary revenue of the shire was enjoyed by 
Edmund, who appointed his own sheriff,"* and only accounted to the crown 
for certain debts due to the king, such, for instance, as amercements imposed 

'°' Besides Chartley he was allowed to retain (as a tenant of Edmund) a considerable part of his Lanca- 
shire estate, including Bolton, Chorlcy, and the wapentake of Leyland. These passed after his death to his 
second son, William Ferrers ofGroby, and his heirs ; Lanes. Inq. i, 268. 

'" Tait, Mediaeval Manchester, 140. '" Cal. Pat. (Rec. Com.), ii, 31. 

"' Dugdale, Baronage, i, 778. It is doubtful whether this grant conveyed or was accompanied by the 
earldom of Derby (or Ferrers). His son Thomas styled himself Earl Ferrers on one of his seals {Complete 
Peerage, v, 6), but his grandson Henry was specially created earl of Derby ; ibid. According to Trokelowe 
{Annates [Rolls Ser.], 70), Edmund used neither this title nor that of earl of Leicester. 

'" Complete Peerage, v, 46. 

^''* Cal. Chart. (Rec. Com.), 94. No services were specified, but the omission was remedied in 1292, 
when it was decided that the honour should be held by the service of one knight's fee ; Cal. Pat. 1281-92, 

P- 477- 

'" G.E.C. Complete Peerage, v, 5. 

'™ Engl. Hist. Rev.x, 9 seq., 209 seq. ; a careful study of Edmund's career by W. E. Rhodes. 

'" Some sought to escape this on the ground that they had already done homage to the king ; Cal. Pat. 
1281-92, p. 417. 

■" Roger de Lancaster, to whom Henry in 1266 had committed the custody of the county for 100 marks 
yearly, was indemnified; Engl. Hist. Rev. x, 33. The sheriffs into whose counties the honour of Lancaster 
extended were forbidden (1268) to interfere in anything that concerned it ; ibid. 


by the royal justices of assize."' Even these he was sometimes allowed to 
take ; the whole profits of the last iter of Henry Ill's reign were granted to 
him by royal writ."" Edward I bestowed upon him the privilege of having 
pleas of the forest held in his lands, the justices being appointed by the crown 
on his request, but the fines and amercements going to the earl."' He also 
authorized his brother to exercise the royal right of purveyance within his 
territories, and on recovering by an inquiry quo warranto the right to wreck 
of the sea at Lytham and Cartmel from the priors of Durham and Cartmel, 
and that of holding the sheriffs tourn in Furness from the abbot of that house, 
he made them over to Edmund.^'" 

Edmund had so many interests and employments elsewhere that he 
rarely set foot in the county from which he took his title. His first recorded 
visit occurred during one of the Welsh campaigns, with which Lancashire, 
owing to its proximity to the scene of the war, was brought into specially 
close connexion.'*' In July, 1276, the king ordered the sheriff to make pro- 
clamation that no markets should be held in the county while he was in those 
parts going to Wales ; wares and victuals were to be brought to the king and 
his army.'" Four months later the earl of Warwick was appointed captain 
in Cheshire and Lancashire ' against Llewellyn son of Gruffydd and his 
accomplices.' '" 

Edward's Scottish wars likewise imposed exceptional burdens upon 
Lancashire in common with the other northern counties. In November, 
I 297, it was required to furnish 3,000 footmen to serve against the invading 
Scots at the king's wages under Robert de Clifford, captain of the March 
against Scotland."" A levy of 1,000 foot was made in the county in the 
following June.'" Six months later the sphere of Clifford's captaincy was 
extended to include inter alia Lancashire.'^' All persons having lands and 
liberties in these districts were to assemble at Carlisle in eight days. Clifford 
was succeeded in this post on 25 September, 1300, by John de St. John.'*" 
In 1299 and again in this year another 2,000 men had been called up from 
the county."" On 22 June, 1301, Richard de Hoghton the sheriff, and 
Robert de Holland were ordered to take 600 foot to Carlisle by Wednesday 
after the octave of St. John the Baptist.'" 

In addition to this personal service, for which pay was promised, the 
county bore its full share of the heavy taxation entailed by Edward's wars, 

'" Pipe R. I 2 Edw. I, m. 26. This is the first roll since the grant in which Lancaster appears, and it is 
concerned solely with such debts and with the belated accounts of sherifFs prior to 1267. The remission in 
1277 ^Cal. Pat. 1272-81, p. 208) of all debts due on the castle, town, and county of Lancaster 'late of 
Robert de Belehem ' is puzzling. Robert de Ferrers must be meant, but the corruption of his name is not 
easy to explain. 

' Pipe R. 1 2 Edw. I. The amount was ^^863. 

Engl. Hist. Rev. x, 37 ; Cal. Pat. 1281-92, pp. 263-4. '" Engl. Hist. Rev. x 38 

He was at Liverpool on 21 July, 1283 (Coucher Book of Whalley, 507) and at Lancaster on 20 Sept 
{Engl. Hist. Rev. x, 225). y v ■ 

■** Cal. Close, 1272-9, p. 426. >» Cal. Pat. 1272-81, p. 171 (16 Nov ) 

, 'Vo^' J^^^-iSoi.PP- 313, 315- The only northern counties providing more were Cumberland 
(5,000), Cheshire, Yorkshire (4,000 each). In the Midlands the levy was lighter. Shropshire and Stafford- 
shire had to furnish 3,000 between them. 

'«Mbid. 351. '« Ibid. 387. 

'^Ibid. 537. Ralph son of William occupied it in 1316; ibid. 1313-17, p. 389. From Coram 
Rege R. 254, m. 56, we learn that Hornby was in the March of Scotland, the usage of which as to 
jansom of prisoners obtained there. 

"" Cal. Pat. 1297-1301, pp. 512, 530 ; Bain, Cal. of Doc. Scot, ii, 177. 

'" Cal. Pat. 1 297-1 301, p. 598. 




and its right to Parliamentary representation was duly recognized. It had no 
doubt been represented in the various assemblies to which knights of the shire 
had been summoned during the thirteenth century, but the ' Model Parlia- 
ment ' of 1295 is the first in which the names of its members are recorded. 
To that famous assembly Lancashire sent no fewer than ten representatives, 
two for the county (Matthew de Redman and John de Ewyas), and two each 
from the four boroughs, Lancaster, Preston, Wigan, and Liverpool. ^'^ But 
except in 1 307 the two last were not again represented until the sixteenth 
century, while Preston and Lancaster did not regularly send members, and 
ceased to send them altogether after 1331 and 1337 respectively.^^' 

The representatives were elected in the County Court. It was one of 
the charges against William le Gentil that as sheriff he sent to the Parliament 
of October, 1320, Gilbert de Haydock and Thomas de Thornton, without 
election and ' out of his own head.' "* 

Four of the chief tenants in the shire were summoned to Parliament as 
peers. Two of these, however, were great magnates outside the county, 
Henry de Lacy earl of Lincoln and Salisbury (who removed Stanlaw Abbey 
to Whalley) in Yorkshire, Cheshire and elsewhere, and Theobald Butler 
(Walter) of Weeton (whose nephew became earl of Ormond in 1328) in 
Ireland."^ William le Boteler baron of Warrington,^'^ and Thomas Grelley 
baron of Manchester,^" received writs of summons from 1295 and 1308 
respectively, but Boteler's descendants were not summoned, and Grelley was 
the last of his line. 

Edmund of Lancaster died more than ten years (5 June, 1296) before 
his brother the king. His great heritage passed (save the Welsh estates) to 
his elder son Thomas, who, unlike his father, chose to call himself earl of 
Leicester and Ferrers (Derby) as well as of Lancaster. Thomas' marriage to 
Alice, heiress of Henry de Lacy, brought him on her father's death in 1 3 1 1 
two more earldoms and vast estates in various counties.''^ His demesne lands 
in Lancashire received a large accession by the acquisition of the Lacy fiefs 
of Clitheroe (Blackburnshire), Widnes, and Penwortham."' 

Earl Edmund had always remained a trusted and faithful servant of his 
abler brother. Thomas of Lancaster was of a different temper and lived 
under a less fortunate star. He aspired to an influence in the kingdom pro- 
portionate to his birth and territorial position, but his cousin Edward II pre- 
ferred to give his confidence to a Gaveston and a Despenser, and Thomas 
allowed his resentment to hurry him into violence which he had not the 
ability to carry to a successful issue. He did indeed remove Gaveston from 
his path in 1312,'°'' but with circumstances of treachery which alienated some 

'" Returns of Members of Pari. (1878), p. 5. Wigan received a borough charter from John Mansell, rector 
and lord of the manor in 1246, confirmed by Henry III in the same year ; Hist. ofCh. of Wigan (Chet. Soc), 9. 

'" Returns of Members of Pari. The sheriffs in their returns state poverty as the reason v/\vy there were 
no boroughs which could send representatives. 

'** Ibid. 60 ; Assize R. 425, m. 14. It was further alleged that Haydock and Thornton were paid 
double what was lawful for their expenses ; ibid. 

"= G.E.C. Complete Peerage, ii, 95. "» Ibid, i, 38 1 . 

'" Ibid, iv, 93. Here the date of his death is confused with that of his brother-in-law ; cf. Tait, 
Mediaeval Manchester, 145. He granted a charter to his burgesses of Manchester in 1 301 ; ibid. 62. 

"° Among them Bolingbroke, afterwards the birthplace of Henry IV. 

"' Three Lanes. Doc. (Chet Soc. [Old Ser.], Ixxiv), i. 

"" Some fifty Lancashire men received pardons in Oct. 1 3 1 3, for various acts committed in connexion 
with the capture and death of Gaveston ; Cal. Pat. 13 13-17, p. 21. 



of his own party, and were never forgiven by the king, though his isolation 
and the Scottish wars compelled him for a time to submit to Lancaster's 

Shortly after Thomas' appointment in August, 131 5, as commander-in- 
chief against the Scots, whom Bannockburn made aggressive, he was con- 
fronted by a revolt in his own county of Lancaster. 

Bitter party feuds and lawless violence were the inevitable results of 
their earl's conflict with the king, and one of our authorities represents the 
rising of Sir Adam Banaster as directed against Lancaster's ' principal Coun- 
sellor,' Robert de Holland.'"^ The head of a comparatively obscure family 
which had been seated at Upholland near Wigan for over a century,"" the 
earl's favour enabled Holland to make a great match,^"* and in 13 14 he was 
summoned to Parliament as a peer. The Hollands were a numerous clan in 
south-west Lancashire ; their importance greatly increased with the rise of 
their chief, and probably they presumed upon it. 

Banaster was a military tenant of the earl at Shevington, Charnock 
Richard and Welch Whittle in the wapentake of Leyland, and had been 
attached to his household."" On 8 October, 13 15, he met his brother-in- 
law. Sir Henry de Lea of Charnock, Lea and Ravensmeols, Sir William Brad- 
shaw of Blackrod and others at Wyndgates in Westhoughton, close to 
Blackrod, where they entered into a sworn confederacy to live and die 
together.'""' A party detached to bring in Adam de RadclifFe from RadclifFe 
slew Sir Henry de Bury. The confederates reassembled in force at Charnock 
on 22 October, and moved slowly southwards, gathering adherents willing and 
unwilling, by Wigan, to Knowsley, which they reached on the 24th. Next day 
they made an unsuccessful attack upon Liverpool Castle, and on the 26th 
betook themselves to Warrington, where they stayed several days. Bradshaw 
plundered the houses of Holland's brother Sir William at Haydock, and Sir 
John de Langton at Newton, while Sir Henry de Lea and Sir Thomas 
Banaster crossed the Mersey and stormed Halton Castle. A force which had 
been sent northwards took Clitheroe Castle. In both cases arms collected 
there for the Scottish war were carried off. The confederates exhibited 
letters patent with the king's seal, and said they had the king's commission to 
do what they had done. On the 31st they proceeded to Manchester, where 
next day they showed to the people a standard bearing the king's arms taken 
from the church, claiming that Edward had sent it to them. The news that 
the sheriff Sir Edward de Nevill was gathering forces against them beyond 
the Ribble drew them north. Wigan was reached on 2 November, and 

"' The best account of Lancaster's career is in Diet. Nat. Biog. Ivi, 148 et seq. 

" Chron. cf Edw. 1 and Edw.ll (Roils Ser ), i, 279. Another chronicler attribute! it to fear of punish- 
ment for a murder he had committed ; ibid, ii, 214. Sec also Leland, Collectanea, i, 249, 274-5. Banaster 
was connected by marriage with Holland. He married Joan third daughter of his sister Margaret de Holland 
by her second husband John de Blackburn of Wiswall; Lanes. Final Cone, ii, 8 l.« ; Whalley Coucher, 1085 ; Sir 
Henri' de Lea married the second daughter. 

'' The statement in Packington's Chronicle (Leland, op. cit. ii, 464) that Lancaster took him ' oute of 
his Botery and preferrid him to the yerely lyving of 2 M (2000) Markes ' exaggerates the small beginnings of 
the great house of Holland. 

' ' With Maud, daughter and coheir of Alan Lord Zouche of Ashby, who brought him considerable 
property in the Midlands, including Brackley in Northamptonshire. Lancaster's own gifts included (after 
Banaster's revolt) the manor of West Derby, Torrisholme and Nether Kellet and the custody of the forest of 
Lancashire ; Cai Pat. 131--21, p. 431. 

*^ Lanes. Inq. i, 150, 269 ; Cat. Pat. 13 1 3- 17, p. 421. »* Coram Rege R. 254, Rex m. 52. 



Preston on the 4th. With banners flying they routed a small force sent by 
the earl under Sir Adam de Huddleston, Sir Walter le Vavasour and Sir 
Richard le Waleys, Vavasour being mortally w^ounded; but the sheriff coming 
up later in the day an engagement was fought between Preston and Deep- 
dale which ended in their complete defeat after less than an hour's fighting.^"^ 

Sir Thomas Banaster was taken, and Adam Banaster and Henry de Lea, 
after hiding for a week in woods and moors, were betrayed to Sir William de 
Holland at Charnock, by Henry deEufurlong, perhaps one of Banaster's tenants, 
in whose house he had taken refuge, led out to Leyland moor and beheaded 
(11 November) by Robert son of Jordan le Prestsone of Manchester.^"" 
Bradshaw managed to escape from the county. Their adherents were treated 
with great severity. Some were beheaded.*"" Goods to the value of ^^5,000 
are said to have been taken from them in the wapentake of Leyland alone. ^^° 
The fines exacted ranged as high as 200 marks."" 

The distrust with which Edward and Earl Thomas regarded each 
other invited attack by the Scots, and was largely responsible for the terrible 
ravaging to which the northern counties were subjected in the years which 
followed Bannockburn. It was two years before these raids reached Lanca- 
shire. At Midsummer, i 3 1 6, when England was suffering from a pestilence 
and famine unparalleled within living memory,"" a Scottish force under a 
leader whose name has not been preserved penetrated as far south as Rich- 
mond, and then struck across country into Furness, burning and plundering."*' 
This raid only touched the northern fringes of the county, but six years later 
it did not escape so lightly."" Two Scottish columns invaded the West 
March. Bruce himself led a force through Copeland and over Duddon Sands 
into Furness. The abbot redeemed his fief from a second harrying, and 
entertained Bruce at the abbey, but his followers were hard to restrain, and 
some places were burnt. Crossing Leven Sands into Cartmel, where nothing 
but the priory was spared, and the cattle and movable property were carried 
off, the raiders traversed the sands of the Kent to Lancaster, where they 
burnt town and castle, leaving only the religious houses. Here they were 
joined by the second column under the earl of Moray and Lord James 
Douglas, which had probably been ravaging Lunesdale,"*' and pushing 
southward burnt Preston. Fugitives laden with goods fled before them 
over the Ribble, some of whom found the inhabitants there hardly more 
merciful than their pursuers. A small body of Scots apparently crossed the 
river and advanced five miles beyond it, but the retreat was ordered, and 
on 24 July the army re-entered Scotland."" In October their victims were 

'" Coram Rege R. 254, Rex m. 51, 52. Their forces were ofBcially estimated at 800 men, horse and 
foot {Cal. Pat. 1313-17, p. 421), but as the sheriiF is said to have had only some 300 (Coram Rege R. 254, 
Rex m. 51), perhaps there is some exaggeration here. 

"^ Ibid. m. 52 ; Leland, op. cit. i, 249. '"' Coram Rege R. 254 Rex m. 51. 

""Ibid. "' Ibid. Rex m. 61. 

'" In the north of England wheat fetched 40/. a quarter ; Chron. de Lanercost (Maitland Club), 233. 

'" Ibid. 

'" Trokelowe, Ann. (Rolls Ser.), 102, speaks of a Scottish raid almost as far as Lancaster in 13 18, but 
it is nowhere else mentioned, and as chronology is not his strong point he may have postdated that of 1316. 

'" Hornby Castle was plundered and Quernmore Forest destroyed ; Assize R. 425, m. 13. 

"° Chron. de Lanercost, 246 ; on 5 Aug. the burgesses of Lancaster complained to the king that his officers 
would not allow them to take wood in Quernmore Forest to repair their burgages. Fugitives from Cumber- 
land and North Lancashire were robbed at Lostock Bridge near Croston (8 July) and at Anderton by 
Horwich ; Coram Rege R. 254, m. 42 ; Rex 52 d. 



called awav from their desolated homes to repel a fresh Scottish invasion of 

A precise estimate of the havoc wrought by the Scots in a land already 
scourged by hunger, plague, and military levies is fortunately available. Owing 
to these accumulated misfortunes the clergy of the harried districts were 
utterly unable to pay tenths on the valuation of their incomes made in 1292 
by order of Pope Nicholas IV, and a huge reduction of assessment was 
effected.'" In this ' New Taxation ' the twenty-four parishes of North 
Lancashire were relieved of two-thirds of the total valuation of 1292."' The 
reduction partly took the form of an exemption of glebe, small tithes, and 
offerings, partly of allowances for ' lands wasted by the Scots ' which could no 
longer pay tithe. From a document in which these deductions are enumerated 
in detail for each benefice we learn that the amount allowed under the latter 
head was ^375 or three-fifths of the whole reduction.'-" Not a single parish 
north of the Ribble had escaped, though those of Furness, Cartmel, and 
eastern Amounderness, in the direct track of Bruce's army, seem to have 
suffered more severely than the rest. In the case of Ribchester parish it is 
exceptionally noted that there were ten ploughs less, which meant an annual 
loss to the vicar of £^ 6s. Sd. Monastic property required equal indulgence. 
The greatest sufferer was Furness Abbey ; its temporalities, valued in 1292 at 
£ij6 2L year, were assessed at only 20 marks in 1317.^" 

From this blow North Lancashire took long to recover. Nearly twenty 
years after Bruce's inroad only six of its benefices showed a slight improve- 
ment in value."" 

The southern half of the county escaped Scottish fire and sword, but 
war, misgovernment, and civil strife fostered grave disorders and materially 
checked its prosperity. Lancaster's fall in 1322 was the signal for a renewal 
of the disturbances which had accompanied Banaster's rising. While the earl 
was flying northwards in March through Yorkshire from Burton-on-Trent 
and Tutbury before the now thoroughly roused king some of his followers 
retreated into Lancashire, where they were pursued for five days (i i — i 5 March) 
by the Cheshire levies under Sir Oliver de Ingham.'" Complaints were after- 
wards made that they did not distinguish too nicely between friend and foe."* 

"' Ca/. Pal. 1321-4, p. 208. All men between 16 and 60 were to be arrayed. The county had sent 
3,000 men to Carlisle in the previous spring ; ibid. 97. 

"* It has hitherto been assumed that this ' Nova Taxatio ' was assessed in 1318 for the whole region 
afFected. But if this were so we should have to conclude that North Lancashire was ravaged as far as the 
Ribble in 13 16 as well as in 1322. For this there is no evidence, and as a matter of fact the re-assessment 
can be proved to have been going on from 13 17 (e.g. at Furness {fioacher, 637) which was raided in 1 3 16) 
for sometime; Cal.Pat. 1 3 1 3-17, p. 649 ; 1317-21, p. 160; Cal. Close, 1333-7, p. 726; Letters from 
'Sorthem Registers (Rolls Ser.), 279, 316, 352. The error seems traceable to the introduction to PopeNich. 
Tax. (Rec. Com.) where a document referring to the Diocese of Carlisle (p. 331), is treated as general. The 
heading of p. 327 is itself decisive. 

'" See above, p. 24. Some vicarages were exempted altogether. 

'" Kcnarum Inquisitio (Rec. Com.), 35 sqq. 

"' Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 307. ^ Nonarum Inquisitio (made in 1 341). 

"' Sir Richard de Holland took a force to Runcorn intending to cross into Cheshire and engage Ingham 
there, but he found all the boats removed to the Cheshire side ; Coram Rege R. 254, m. 59. Ingham seems 
to have entered the county at Warrington. Sir Hamon de Masci of Dunham and Sir William de Baguley 
were with his force ; ibid. m. i\d. 

''^ Alice widow of Adam dePrestwich demanded redress in the next Parliament against these Cheshire 
' meffesours,' who had abstracted /200 worth of her chattels from Prestwich and Alkrington. She could get 
no remedy at common law for ' Cheshiremen care nothing for outlawry or process outside Cheshire ' • Rot. 
Pari. I, 407, 438. In Salford Hundred, especially round Manchester, they are said to have taken goods to the 
value of 2,000 marks ; Coram Rege R. 254, m. 63. 



After the defeat and capture of Lancaster at Boroughbridge, where some 
Lancashire men fought on his side (i6 March),'" and his execution at Ponte- 
fract the county with all his other possessions was seised into the king's hand 
as a forfeited estate, and was not restored to his heir until after Edward's 
death. The same fate befell the estates of a number of his Lancashire 
partisans, among them Robert de Holland, though he apparently deserted the 
earl at the last moment and submitted to the king.''" He was imprisoned at 
Dover and perhaps afterwards at Berkhampstead.'" 

Robert de Clitheroe, an old servant of the crown, and since 1303 rector 
of Wigan and ex-officio lord of that town, was arraigned in 1323 for sending 
his son and another man-at-arms, with four footmen, to Lancaster's army and 
for preaching in his church the justice of the earl's cause. He denied the 
greater part of the accusation, but only got off on payment of a fine of jTaoo.''* 
In the next reign, when he could afford to be franker, he explained that by 
the tenure of his land he furnished the earl of Lancaster with a man-at-arms 
whenever he arrayed his people ' pur oster le venyme qui feust pres du Roy ' 
and caused prayers to be said in his church for the earl and the other earls 
that God would give them grace as pillars of the land to maintain the crown 
and peace of the land ; ''' an illustration of the too favourable light in which 
Thomas of Lancaster's motives and aims were regarded by many Englishmen 
who were weary of Edward's misgovernment. 

With the earl dead and Lord Holland in prison those whom they had 
crushed seven years before could now again raise their heads. Banaster's old 
associate. Sir William Bradshaw, formed a confederacy with Thomas Banaster 
and others against the Hollands, who united their forces under Sir Richard 
de Holland. They attacked one another wherever they met, besieged one 
another's houses, overawed courts of law, and kept a great part of the county 
practically in a state of war for more than a year.''" The infection of disorder 
became general. The forests and parks which had reverted to the crown by 
the forfeiture of Lancaster and Holland were freely hunted in and destroyed 
with the connivance of the keepers, goods taken from the king's enemies were 
concealed, and a band of raiders from Craven and Airedale, headed by 
Nicholas de Mauleverer, carried off several hundred pounds worth of 
crown property from Ightenhill, Pendle, and Trawden. The sheriff and other 
officials, if they are not maligned, were guilty of many oppressions and 
extortions. Collectors of taxes, it is alleged, raised something for themselves 
from each township. Coroners left bodies unburied if the heavy fees they 
demanded were not paid.'" 

Early in 1 323 a startling development in the north called the king's 
attention to the anarchy in Lancashire. This was the discovery that Andrew 

^" Coram Rege R. 254, m. 71. 

"^ Chron. of Edto. I and Edai. 11 (Rolls Ser.), ii, 267 ; Cal. Pat. 1327-30, p. 455 ; Leland, Collectanea, 
ii, 453. His steward in Lancashire sent him 500 men to Ashbourne ; Coram Rege R. 254, m. 59 d. His 
presence with this force at Ravensdale, a few miles north of Tutbury, is attested ; ibid. m. 61-2. For the 
king's urgent summons to him on 4 March see Cal. Close, 1318-23, p. 525. Edward's bad faith to him and 
others who submitted seems clearly established % Leland, op. cit. i, 274. The Chron. de Lanercost (247) alone 
makes him fall into the victor's hands at Boroughbridge. 

™ Leland, op. cit. i, 274 ; Chron. Edza. I and Edzv. 11, i, 343. 

"» Hist, of the Ch. and Manor of Wigan (Chet. Soc), 42. ^'^ Rot. Pari, ii, 406. 

'"" Full details are given in Coram Rege R. 254, m. e,zd., 60 et passim ; Cal. Pat. 132 1-4, p. 374 ; Rot. 
Pari, ii, 380. The names of the confederates are given in Assize R. 425, m. 24sqq. 

^" Ibid, passim. 

2 201 26 


de Harcla, the warden of the West Marches (whose victory at Boroughbridge 
had been rewarded with the earldom of Carlisle), despairing of the defence ot 
the kingdom in Edward's hands, had made a secret treaty with Bruce."' 
Harcla bought support for his new pohcy in Lancashire, which was within 
his sphere of command. His brother-in-law. Sir Robert de Leybourne, 
sheriff of the county in 1322, was afterwards arraigned on a charge of induc- 
ing Sir William de Clifton and others to swear to maintain the warden's 
undertaking, which ' would be to the King's honour,' and John de Harring- 
ton is said to have acted as his agent in Furness, securing for him the support 
of Sir Edmund de Nevill, Sir Baldwin de Gynes, and many others.""' 

On 21 February, 1323, Edward ordered the levies of several adjoining 
shires to be ready to enter Lancashire in a few days, while Oliver de Ingham 
was to enter the county with the Cheshire men at once."* Four days later 
Harcla was arrested at Carlisle and hanged as a traitor. John Darcy, sheriff 
of Lancashire, had already been commanded to arrest all confederates of the 
Scots in that county."'' 

To avert the possibility of another such crisis Edward concluded a 
thirteen years' truce with Scotland and spent the whole summer and autumn 
in Yorkshire and Lancashire, ' punishing disturbers of the peace, especially 
leaders of the county who oppressed the common people and ordering the 
law of the land to be observed.'"' He entered Lancashire on 2 October from 
Skipton, whence he despatched orders for the arrest of Bradshaw and 
Holland,"" and ordered a judicial inquiry into the disorders of the county 
from the beginning of the reign to be held at Wigan in his presence."' Ten 
days were passed in the hundred of Blackburn until the court at Wigan began 
its labours, when he removed to Upholland (Robert de Holland's forfeited 
manor) close by. From 23 October he moved about between Liverpool, Ince, 
and Holland with a brief visit (1—3 November) to Halton across the Mersey."' 
Leaving the county on 6 November he reached Nottingham two days later. 

The reversal of Thomas of Lancaster's attainder by Parliament on 
7 March, 1327, restored his titles, with the county and most of his other 
estates, to his younger brother Henry, who had taken an active part in the 
deposition of Edward."*" His Lancashire demesne lands were, however, 
seriously diminished by the grant, which the then all-powerful Queen Isabella 
had a month earlier secured for her life, of the honour of Clitheroe and lord- 
ships of Penwortham, Rochdale, and Tottington."*^ Lancaster was not in a 

™ Bain, Cal.ofDix. Scot, iii, 148 ; Diet. Sat. Biog. xxiv, 318. "* Coram Rege R. 254, m. 45 </. 

•" Cj/. Pat. 1 32 1-4, p. 247. The explanation offered was that the Scots were about to invade it. 

'"Ibid. p. 245. 

"* Hen. de Blaneforde, Ciron. (Rolls Ser.), 1 39. By his orders William de Herle and Geoffrey de Scrope 
held an inquirj' at Preston in August into recent disorders in Lancashire ; Assize R. 425. 

"" Ca/. Pat. 1321-4, p. 343. 

'" The proceedings of the court as recorded in Coram Rege R. 254 (supplemented by Assize R. 425) 
furnish most detailed information on the state of the county in this period. The justices dealt mter alia with 
murders and homicides, confederacies to disturb the peace, exactions from towns to leave them unplundered, 
favours shown by those who arrayed men for the king's wars in passing over the strong and choosing the weak 
conspiracies to make false indictments and procure false acquittals, and maintenance by officers of great lords 
of causes not concerning their lords ; ibid. m. 40 d. 

^ Colkct. Arch. (Brit. Arch. Assoc.), i, 1 40. ''" G.E.C. Complete Peerage, v, 6 ; Diet. Nat. Biog. xxvi, 100. 

'" Cal. Pat. 1327-30, p. 69. She also had the castle and borough of Pontefract and the district of Bow- 
land which had belonged to Thomas. Her Lancashire estates, with Bowland, were reckoned to be worth 
£j^oo a year. She surrendered them to Henry's son on i December, 1348, after the death of Alice, 
countess of Lincoln ; Ducliv of Lane. Misc. Bks. xi, fol. 11. 



position to object, but when in December Robert de Holland obtained an 
order for the restoration of his estates in accordance with a Parliamentary 
decision in favour of those who had been ' of the quarrel ' of Earl Thomas, 
Henry disputed the right of the man who had deserted his brother to benefit 
by this decision."*' Lancaster may not have been personally responsible for 
the murder of Holland in October, 1328, but it was certainly the work of 
his partizans, who sent the unhappy man's head to the earl, then in revolt 
against Isabella and Mortimer,'** and it was one of the things which created 
a temporary coolness between Lancaster and the earl Marshal. Holland's 
estates passed to his eldest son, then under age.''** 

Holland's murder is but one instance of the general lawlessness which 
the internecine strife of the late reign left in its train. As early as 1328 
steps were taken to restore order. The statute of Winchester of 1285 was 
reinforced by the statute of Northampton ; and keepers of the peace were 
appointed in every county. But it was not until Edward III had got rid of 
Mortimer (1330) that the work of grappling with anarchy could be fairly 
begun. The state of Lancashire was no better, probably worse, than that of 
the kingdom at large. In 1333 orders were issued for the pursuit and arrest 
of John de RadclifFe and many other Lancashire men who, to escape trial for 
the death of Sir William Bradshaw, had wandered into divers parts of the 
realm, committing breaches of the peace and terrorizing the people.***^ 

The disturbed state of the county is clearly reflected in the large num- 
ber of local cases which came before the King's Bench which sat at Wigan in 
June, 1334, while the king was at Newcastle-on-Tyne.'** Robert Foucher, 
the sheriff, was presented for extortion and for sending his own clerks and 
relatives to Parliament and putting a share of the wages paid to them by the 
county in his own pocket. But he was acquitted on most of the charges, 
including the last. 

For several years from 1338 commissioners of oyer and terminer con- 
stantly sat in the county to inquire touching felonies and trespasses against 
the peace and oppression by officials.'*^ They found their task no easy one. 
In 1339 they received orders to suspend their labours for a time, as many in 
the county were much aggrieved by the commission and had withdrawn to 
Scotland to join the king's enemies.'*' This recalcitrance, unfortunately, too 
often took the more violent form of armed confederacies to prevent the king's 
officers from executing his commands, terrorize litigants and witnesses, and 
break up the sessions of the justices. 

^" Rot. Pari, ii, i8. 

'•' Leland, Collect, i, 275, where the murder is said to have been committed in a wood near Henley, not 
far from Windsor, on 1 5 Oct., which suggests that Holland was on his way to the Parliament, that met at 
Salisbury the followmg day, and which Lancaster had refused to attend. The story of the Monk of Malmes- 
bury {Chron. Edw. I and Edtv. II, i, 342) that he was escaping to London from Berkhampstead Castle, and was 
caught and beheaded by Sir G. Wyther and his men near Harrow, sounds less probable. 

'" On whose death (1373) they were carried by marriage to the Lovels of Titchmarsh and Minster 
Lovel; Complete Peerage, iv, 236. The greater fortunes of the family were founded by his younger brother 
Thomas, who married (c. i 348) the daughter and heiress of Edmund earl of Kent, fifth son of Edw. I ; 
ibid. 351. 

'" Cal. Pat. 1330-4, pp. 178, 573. Bradshaw was slain at Newton in Makerfield on 16 Aug. in this 
year ; Coram Rege R, 297, Rex m. 24. 

"1= Coram Rege R, 297. 

**' Cal. Pat. 1 3 30-47, passim. Under the latter head the master of the Forestry of Pendle and the steward 
of Penwortham were convicted of wrongfully exacting puture from the abbot of Whalley and the prior of Pen- 
wortham ; ibid. i330-4> PP- 2°4> ^^S- "' Cal Close, 1339-41, p. 94, 



These lawless doings not infrequently ended in bloodshed. Perhaps the 
worst case happened at the beginning of Lent, 1345, when Adam de Croft 
and a large following, with banners flying, came to Liverpool while the jus- 
tices were sitting there, and in their presence on Monday, 14 February, slew 
Adam de Lever, GeofFrey son of Sir Henry de TrafFord, knt., and twenty-five 
others, carried off their armour, and prevented the justices from redressing the 
grievances of complainants.-" Fresh commissions were appointed to inquire 
into the parlous state of the county, but matters had scarcely improved two 
years later, when John, son of Robert de Dalton, knt., and many knights and 
others chiefly from Lancashire, carried off Margery, widow of Nicholas de la 
Beche, by night from the manor of Beaumes, near Reading, within the verge 
of the court of the duke of Clarence, keeper of the Realm in the king's 
absence abroad, and slew her uncle.-"" In the same year Lancaster Fair was 
invaded by armed men, who wounded some, took the goods of others by force, 
and imprisoned others until they extorted ransoms from them."^ About the 
same time ^2,000 in money and goods to the value of ^3,000 were stolen from 
Queen Isabella's treasury at Whalley, charters were carried off, and her houses 
in Bowland Chase burnt."' Of course, such acts of violence were not in- 
frequent at any time during the middle ages ; but they were abnormally 
numerous in these years. The too common practice of granting crown par- 
dons to felons on condition that they served in the royal armies did not tend 
to improve matters. 

The difficulties in the way of enforcing order were increased by the 
action of the sheriff, who, presuming on the earl's immunities, put obstacles 
in the way of appeals to the king's courts, and the delivery of his writs. '''^ 

With the county thus disturbed, and in parts in an impoverished con- 
dition, trouble was experienced in raising Edward's war taxes. In 1342 
little or nothing had been collected of the wool subsidy imposed the year 
before. The collectors arrested the bailiffs of the hundreds for refusing to 
execute their orders, and were themselves summoned to Westminster to 
account for the deficiency.''* It appears that a demand had been made for 
three times the number of sacks (256) at first apportioned to the county."^ 
On representations that it had not wool enough to meet the said apportion- 
ment, and was greatly depressed by the frequent invasions of the Scots ^'^ 
and other misfortunes, the larger demand was withdrawn and permission was 
given to pay money in lieu of the rest at the rate of 9 marks a sack,'" though 
the crown had already sold them to York merchants at 12 marks.-" 

Little or no recovery can have been possible before the great calamity 
of the Black Death fell upon the unhappy county. Making every allowance 

'" Cal. Pat. 13+3-5, P- +99 ; C/w. 1346-9. PP- 48, 79 ; Coram RegeR, 344, m. 8 ; 345, m. 2 ; 347, 
m. 3 d. ; 409, m. 15. 

-'' Cal. Pat. 1345-7, pp. 379, 384, 436, 543. See above, pp. 112, 150. 

»' Ibid. 1 345-7, p. 382. »' Ibid. 49, cf. 393. 

'" C"!. Close, 1 3 + 1-3, PP- 401, 470, 551- "' Ibid. 470, 492. 

'^This may be compared with the proportions of Westmorland (156), Cumberland (232), Yorkshire 
(i 157), and Norfolk (2206). See Rot. Pari, ii, 131. 

'" Lancashire inter alia fiimished for service against the Scots 400 archers and 100 hobelers in Oct. 1332 
{Focdcra iv, 534), 500 archers and 200 hobelers in Feb. 1333 (Cal. Close, 1333-7, PP- 87, 95) and 25 men-at- 
arms and 1 20 archers in Jan. 1 340 {Rot. Pari, ii, 1 10), the last ' at the expense of the county to Carlisle, then 
at the King's wages;' 125 archers accompanied the earl of Derby to Gascony in 1345 (Q.R. Memo. R. 
20 Edw. Ill, m. IS </.), receiving 2,d. a day (L.T.R. Memo. R. 1 1 1, m. 207 d.). 

'■■ Cal Close, 1 341-3, p. 399. »M Ibid. 257. 



for panic-stricken exaggeration in the rough contemporary estimate of 
13,180 deaths between 8 September, 1349, and 11 January, 1350, in the 
ten parishes of the deanery of Amounderness,"' there can be no doubt that 
the mortahty was very heavy, and here as elsewhere affected social and 
economic as well as religious conditions.^"" 

A year after this visitation Lancashire was erected into a county 
palatine, and became to a large extent an imperium in imperio. The crown 
had already by a series of grants divested itself in favour of the earls of 
Lancaster of a number of jura regalia of a more or less profitable nature. 
Earl Edmund was empowered to exercise the minor jurisdiction described in 
the old Anglo-Saxon phrase as ' sac and soc, infangenthef and outfangenthef ' and 
obtained immunity from a number of ancient taxes, tolls, and services due to 
the king.^" These franchises were common enough, but Edward III in the 
early years of his reign conferred upon his cousin Earl Henry rights which 
the crown was much more chary in granting away ; the return of all royal 
writs, all pleas of withernam [de vetito namio), and all the fines and amerce- 
ments imposed upon his men and tenants in the king's courts.^"^ A 
subsequent charter (7 May, 1342) confirmed and extended these liberties. 
The right to execute the summonses of the exchequer and to make all 
attachments arising out of pleas of the crown completed the transference of 
what may be called judicial administrative work from the king's officials to 
the earl's. Also he was henceforth to take not only the fines and amerce- 
ments incurred by his men and tenants, but their chattels when they committed 
offences for which they ought to lose them, together with all forfeited issues, 
and forfeitures which would otherwise have gone to the crown. To these 
lucrative rights was added exemption from pavage, passage, and a number 
of other tolls throughout the kingdom.''^ 

The enjoyment of these jura regalia was not, however, confined to 
the county of Lancaster ; they were granted for the whole of the lands held 
by the earls. Their position in the county only differed from that they 
occupied in their other estates in so far as they were themselves hereditary 
sheriffs of Lancashire, while elsewhere they merely excluded the sheriffs in 
matters covered by their charters.^" Though the ordinary revenue of the 
county went, with insignificant exceptions, into the earl's coffers, and most 

"' Engl. Hist. Rev. v, 524 sqq. See above, p. 29. In 1 35 1 William de Liverpool v^as charged with having 
caused a third part of the men at the vill of Everton, after their death, to be carried to his house at the time 
of the plague, in respect of whom he did not fully answer to the lord ; Assize R. 445 m. I. 

'"' Yet there seems to have been no scarcity of agricultural labour here after the pestilence. In the 
Statute of Labourers the men of Lancashire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Craven, and the Marches of Wales and 
Scotland, whose custom it was to go to other counties in August for the harvest, were specially exempted from 
the restrictions on the fi-eedom of movement of labour; Rot. Pari, ii, 234. This outflow was due to the limited 
area under tillage in these districts. 

'^^ Engl. Hist. Rev. x, 37. 

"' W. J. Hardy, Chart, of Duchy of Lane. 1. On the strength of these liberties Robert de RadclifFe, Earl 
Henry's deputy as sheriff in 1 341, attempted without success to exclude the king's escheator from the 
county; Cal. Close, 1 341-3, p. 275. 

''^ W. J. Hardy, Chart, of Duchy of Lane, 2. These franchises were granted to Earl Henry and the heirs 
of his body, but in 1349 his son, whose heirs were young unmarried daughters, surrendered the grant-in-tail, 
which was described as having been made ' to the very great damage and excessive disinherison of the King,' 
and accepted a new grant for life ; ibid. 4. 

'^ The earl was sheriff of Lancashire de feodo, and appointed a deputy who was strictly called sub- 
viceeoms or under-sheriff, but is often described, even on the Rolls of the Exchequer, as sheriff simply. 
Objection was taicen in 1340 to a writ in which he was so styled, but was not sustained because as acting 
sheriff he took the sherifPs oath in the Exchequer; Tear Book, 14-15 Edw. Ill (Rolls Ser.), Ixv, 90, 98. 



of its administrative work was conducted by officers of his appointment, he 
lacked the higher regalities possessed by the bishop of Durham or the earl 
of Chester — regalities once enjoyed by his own predecessors, the old lords of 

Lancashire was still under the jurisdiction of the king's courts, his 
justices still went on assize there, though the earl took the fines and 
amercements they inflicted, and no cause could be begun by its inhabitants 
without a writ from the royal chancery.-" Its liability to contribute to 
royal taxation was unquestioned, for unlike Durham and Cheshire it sent 
representatives to Parliament.'" 

None of the practical reasons which dictated the creation of palatinates 
in the eleventh century could now be adduced for severing this direct rela- 
tion with the crown and calling into existence (or reviving) another county 
palatine. The Scottish invasions of the late reign had not been repeated, 
and had a palatinate been needed as a bulwark against Scotland Cumberland 
would have served the purpose better. 

No more adequate motive for the conversion of Lancashire into a 
county palatine can be discovered than a desire to do honour to one who was 
not only the greatest collateral member of the royal house but a distinguished 
soldier. Henry ' of Grosmont,' who became fourth carl of Lancaster on 
the death of his father in 1345, was at that very moment winning laurels 
as commander of the English forces in Gascony."" Six years later Edward III 
decided to recognize his cousin's eminent services by conferring upon him 
the new title of duke, as yet borne only by his own eldest son the duke 
of Cornwall. Wishing to accompany this titular promotion by some 
corresponding accession of power, and probably not considering it desirable 
further to deplete the crown estates by grants of land Edward gave him the 
rights of a palatine earl in the county of Lancaster, a piece of generosity 
which cost him little in a pecuniary sense, as the bulk of the ordinary crown 
revenue from the shire was already drawn by the duke. The obvious 
objections to such a rending of the unity of the kingdom, which the 
memory of Thomas of Lancaster could hardly fail to suggest, may have been 
thought to be met sufficiently by making the grant to Henry for his life 
only,"' and withholding even from him some of the privileges attaching to 
the older palatine counties. By the charter of 6 March, 1351, there 
was granted to him a chancery in which writs should be issued by his own 
chancellor, justices of his own to try all pleas, whether pleas of the crown 
or not, touching the common law and all other liberties and jura regalia 
pertaining to a palatine earl ' as fully and freely as the earl of Chester is 
known to have them in the county of Chester ' ; with certain exceptions 
which were carefully enumerated. °" 

In the county palatine of Lancaster the crown retained the right of 
Parliamentary and clerical taxation, the royal prerogative of pardon and the 

"" In 1342 the sheriff was rebuked for toing to prevent appeals to the king and neglecting to deliver 
his writs ; Cal. Cicsf, i 341-3, pp. 401, 470, 551. 

«* For the devices by whxh Parliamentary taxation was extended to Durham see Lapsley Co Pal tj 

'^'"'' w't' . "' ^'"- ^'"'^ ^"^- '''''■'' '°^ ' ^•^•^- Co'^P'^'^ Peerage, y, 6. See p. 204 n. 256. 

In any case the reasons which had prompted the revision of the charter of 1 342 (see above p 205) were 
equally operative against a grant-in-tail of a county palatine. In the ducal dignity itself, to which the 
palatinate was an appendage, he only received a life estate ; Courthope, Hist. Peerage Ixiil 
=" W. J. Hardy, C/:art. o/Duety of Lane. 9. <S ' ^ 



right of correcting any defaults of justice on the part of the duke's court or 
officers. It was further stipulated — practically as a corollary of the first 
reservation — that the duke should continue to send to all Parliaments and 
Councils two knights to represent the shire, and two burgesses from each 
borough, and should appoint proper persons to collect the taxes granted by 
those bodies.'™ 

The title of earl of Lancaster having for the present been merged in 
the higher dignity of duke of Lancaster the district from which the former 
was derived was now commonly described not as the county but as the duchy 
of Lancaster.'" Royal mandates, such as those for the election of members 
of Parliament, and the collection of subsidies, which would hitherto have 
been sent ' to the sheriff of the county of Lancaster,' were now addressed 
' to the Duke of Lancaster or his lieutenant (or chancellor) in the Duchy.'"* 
The divisions of the county are spoken of as ' the six wapentakes of the 

The old name, however, was too firmly rooted to be entirely ousted, 
especially as palatine jurisdiction in accordance with the Cheshire precedent 
was granted to Henry as earl of a county though administered by him under 
the higher title of duke ; "* occasionally Lancashire is described simultaneously 
as a duchy and a county."^ 

The county and the duchy of Lancaster being identical areas, the sphere 
of the chancellor and other officers of the duchy was in Duke Henry's time, 
and afterwards under John of Gaunt, limited to Lancashire. In his other 
lands the duke retained the older titles of earl of Leicester, Derby, &c., 
and no change took place in their administration. It was not until a duke 
of Lancaster ascended the throne in the person of Henry IV that the term 
' duchy of Lancaster ' was extended to include the , whole complex of his 
private estates. The reasons which dictated this change of nomenclature 
will be considered in their proper place."' 

On Duke Henry's death of the plague on 13 March, 1361, his dukedom 
became extinct, and his palatine rights lapsed in accordance with the terms 
of the grant made ten years before. Lancashire ceased to be a duchy, and 
was once more governed as an ordinary county — subject only to the modifica- 
tions entailed by the original grant to Earl Edmund. Edmund's rights, 
including the hereditary sheriffdom, descended to the king's fourth son John 
of Gaunt, earl of Richmond,"'^ who had married Duke Henry's elder daughter 
Blanche and now succeeded Jure uxoris to a moiety of her father's vast estates, 

'™ W. J. Hardy, Chart, oj Duchy of Lane. lo. The charter does not say that the duke shall ' choose ' the 
representatives as asserted by Mr. Armitage-Smith (John of Gaunt, 208), who otherwise gives the best account 
of the Lancaster regalities. 

"' Cf. the provision on the creation of the duchy of Cornwall in 1337 that ' the county of Cornwall 
should remain for ever as a duchy to the eldest sons of the kings of England ' ; Rot. Pari, iv, 140. 

'" Ibid, iii, 400, 404. Under Duke John the sheriff sometimes reported to the duke that in his 
'full duchy' (i.e. county court) he had caused knights of the shire to be elected ; Chan. Misc. bdle. i, file 3. 

"' Misc. R. Chan. -|§. 

'" In the next century we occasionally hear of ' the duchy palatine,' but this was rare. 

'" Thomas de Thelwall was chancellor (of John of Gaunt in 1377) 'within the Duchy and County 
of Lancaster ' ; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. i ; cf Armitage-Smith, op. cit. 219. "° See below, p. 211. 

"' His father had also given him (in 1360) the castle and honour of Hertford ; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxi, 
App. 32. In 1372 he surrendered the earldom and honour of Richmond, at Edward's desire, and received 
instead the castle of Pevensey, the castles and honours of Tickhill and Knaresborough, the castle and manor 
of High Peak, and other manors, &c., from Nottingham to Sussex; Hardy, Chart, of Duchy of Lane. 26 ; 
Armitage-Smith, op. cit. 203. 



with the earldoms of Lancaster, Lincoln, and Derby. The other moiety, 
with the earldom of Leicester, came into John's hands on the death a year 
later of the younger daughter Maud.^"^ 

Six months after the reunion of Duke Henry's heritage the ducal title 
was revived (13 November, 1362), in favour of his son-in-law, but without 
a grant of palatine rights in the county."'^ For the present John had to be 
content with the lesser jura regalia which Henry enjoyed in all his lands 
before 1351."'" It was not until, fifteen years later, he was practically ruler 
of England that he secured palatine jurisdiction in Lancashire. In January, 
1377, he packed a Parliament in which was undone the work of the ' Good 
Parliament ' that had come into such bitter conflict with him a few months 
before. It was with the assent of the prelates and nobles there assembled 
that the king, now in his dotage, ' considering the strenuous probity and 
eminent wisdom ' of his son, made Lancashire once more a county palatine. 
The grant ran in exactly the same terms as that made to the first duke, 
contained the same reservations, and like it was limited to the grantee's life.'" 
From the day on which it was made, 28 February, 1377, John of Gaunt 
reckoned the years of his ' regality ' by which his Lancashire charters are 
dated. Some doubt arising as to the exact extent of the jura regalia covered 
by the general words of the grant, he obtained, in the second year of 
Richard II, a supplementary charter in which his right to have his own 
exchequer in the county, with barons and other ministers necessary thereto, 
and to appoint his justices in eyre for pleas of the forest, and other justices 
for all manner of pleas touching the assize of the forest within the county 
(except where the crown was a party) received express recognition.'*" 

The continued existence of the palatinate remained dependent on the 
duke's life until 1390, when Richard, who had just emancipated himself 
from the control of the Lords Appellant and needed the support of his eldest 
uncle, acceded to his request that the palatine jurisdiction, like the ducal 
dignity, should be entailed upon his heirs male."' 

Some of the mischievous effects of the creation of such a ' state within 
the state ' had already made themselves felt. Edward Ill's wars seem to have 
mitigated the lawlessness so rampant in the county at the beginning of his 
reign by drawing away the more disorderly elements, and this relief might 
be set off against the heavy taxation and drain of men which they entailed. 
The Black Death, too, must have helped to silence strife. In Duke Henry's 
time, at all events, the special commissions into felonies and trespasses were 
discontinued on the complaint of the inhabitants that {inter alia) they impeded 
them in their business, and the enforcement of the law was left to the 

" G.E.C. Complete Peerage, v, 8 ; S. Armitage-Smith, John of Gaunt (an elaborate and valuable 

'" Rot. Pari, ii, 279; Hardy, Chart. Dtuhy of Lane. 17. It was now ordered that all pleas and sessions of 
justices in the county should be held at Lancaster and not elsewhere; Cal. Pot. 138 1-5, p. 336. The 
justices had not infrequently sat at Preston and Wigan. 

'* These were first granted to him in the limited extent in which they were possessed by Henry before 
1342, in Blanche's moiety on 13 Nov. 1361 (Hardy, op. cit. 12), and in Maud's on 12 May, 1362 ; ibid 14. 
Two years later Henry's surrender in 1349 of the fuUer liberties granted in fee tail in 1342 was declared to have 
been ultra E/r«, and these franchises were confirmed (14 July, 1364), to John and Blanche and the heirs of 
their bodies ; ibid. 19. On 4 June, 1377, they were extended to the lands he received in exchange for the 
earldom of Richmond (ibid. 35). 

';' Ibid. 32. «• Ibid. 62. 

„. .'''^''!'^-,^^: ^'^ y^"-^^ I^'" ^^« franchises enjoyed by him in all his lands and fees received some 
additions, including the assize of bread, wine and ale ; ibid. 92. 



ordinary tribunals.''^* But as the terror of the plague receded and the Peace 
of Bretigni and the rapid loss of territory which followed the resumption of 
the war brought back to England a crowd of fighting men, who, if not 
criminals to start with ^^^ had learnt no respect for law and order on the fields 
of France, the old complaints of lawlessness reappear. This demoralization 
was not limited to any part of the kingdom, and the weakened central 
government of Edward Ill's old age and Richard IFs minority was ill-fitted 
to cope with it, but the exempt jurisdictions of the palatine counties of 
Chester and Lancaster gave special scope to disturbers of the peace. 
, Petitions to the Gloucester Parliament of October, 1378, reveal an extra- 
ordinary state of anarchy on their borders. Armed bands invaded the 
adjoining shires, killed or held to ransom their inhabitants, carried off their 
daughters to those franchises, exacting a third of their property as dower, 
and sending them back when it was spent, and descended upon fairs and 
markets to the terror and impoverishment of the commons and the loss of 
their lords.'** Commissions were promised, with power to imprison the 
offenders without indictment and keep them there without bail till the 
coming of the justices, but six years afterwards things seem to have been 
little better. The Cheshire men had a bad pre-eminence and did not spare 
their fellow offenders, for in 1384 the commons of Lancashire joined with 
those of other counties in a demand that such ill-doers should forfeit their 
Cheshire lands as well as those they held elsewhere, the privileges of the 
palatinate notwithstanding.^" The king's evasive reply illustrates the obstacles 
which such franchises opposed to the effective enforcement of the law. 

Among the incidents which throw light upon the internal state of the 
county during the last years of Edward and the early years of Richard, are 
the murder of a coroner ^^^ and of a justice of the peace,^^' and the conviction 
of Henry de Chadderton, bailiff of West Derby wapentake, of extortion, 
maintenance, perversion of justice, accepting bribes to remove archers from 
the roll and substituting unfit persons, collecting corn by colour of his office, 
and exacting 20s. too much towards the expenses of the knights of the shire 
on the occasion of each Parliament for twenty years back.^^" 

The Poll Tax returns of 1377 afford data for a rough estimate of the 
population of Lancashire at this date. The number of persons over fourteen 
years of age in the county was returned as 23,880. According to this 
estimate it had the same population as Shropshire or London, and rather 
more than a fourth of that of Norfolk, the most populous shire. Four years 
later, when a new poll tax was levied upon all persons over fifteen years of 
age, the number returned for Lancashire was only 8,371. Nearly all the 
figures in 1381 show a drop so great as to admit of no other explanation than 
widespread collusion or evasion, which, as might be expected, was greater in 
Lancashire than in any other county except Cornwall.'" In the ensuing 

'" Baines, Hiit. of Laws. (ed. Croston), s, 145-6. 

^ Numerous pardons were granted to homicides and other felons who were going abroad on the king's 

"" Rot. Pari, iii, 42-3. *»' Ibid. 201. 

'^ Coram Rege R. 463, m. 28 d. ; Cal. Put. 1377-81, p. 313. ^*' Ibid. 1385-8, p. 73. 

*" Coram Rege R. 454, m. 13 (1374). 

"■ E. Powell, The Rising in East Anglia in 1381, 122. Mr. Powell suggests that a large portion took to 
the woods and wastes to escape the tax collectors. The connivance of the collectors, however, in the falsifica- 
tion of the returns seems established ; Oman, The Great Revolt ofii^x, pp. 27, 183. 

2 209 27 


Peasants' Revolt it apparently took no part, though the rising extended into 
Yorkshire and Cheshire."' 

Three years later the county, after a lapse of sixty years, experienced a 
Scottish raid. John of Gaunt's invasion of Scotland in April, 1384, 
provoked a counter-inroad, which is said to have been pressed as far as 
Lancashire, though details are wanting."" For four years from the end of 
I 385, the duke, relinquishing the entire defence of the northern march to the 
earl of Northumberland, was absent in Spain. His departure was the signal 
for a bitter struggle between Richard and the Lords Appellant, headed by his 
youngest uncle, Thomas, duke of Gloucester. In 1387 the king appealed to 
arms, sending his favourite, Robert de Vere, earl of Oxford, into the north 
with orders to Thomas Molyneux of Cuerdale, constable of Chester, the 
sheriff of Chester, Ralph Vernon, Ralph de RadclifFe, and all the other 
magnates of the two counties, to raise their forces and put them under Oxford's 
command. Molyneux in his zeal is said to have cast partisans of the 
Appellants into prison, with instructions that their only food should be black 
bread and water on alternate days until he returned. North Wales con- 
tributed its quota, and Oxford moved on London with some four or five 
thousand men. He was met and routed with ease on December 20 by the 
Appellants, at Radcot Bridge in Oxfordshire, on the Upper Thames. A mere 
handful were slain, but they included Molyneux ; some 800 men, however, 
were drowned. The victors, it is said, stripped to the skin those who fell 
into their hands, and sent them thus ignominiously back to their own 
country."* Its share in this episode can only have aggravated the disorders 
which, as we have seen, had for some years been prevalent in Lancashire. 

After eighteen months of humiliated submission to the Appellants, 
Richard, in May, 1389, resumed the reins of government, and recalled his 
uncle John from Spain to be his chief adviser. Lancaster's influence over the 
king was resented by Richard's old opponents, who took advantage of the 
unpopularity of his efforts to bring about peace with France to foment a 
northern rising against him in 1393. It was mainly a Cheshire movement, 
but there were disturbances in Yorkshire, and Lancashire was to some extent 
affected."' In 1394 Sir Thomas Talbot, perhaps of Bashall in the Hoddcr 
Valley, near Clitheroe, was declared a traitor for having conspired with others 
in Lancashire and Cheshire, where he had lands, to kill Lancaster and his 
brother Gloucester."' But it was only in Cheshire that he raised armed 
bands, and the fact that Lancaster, when he came north to suppress the move- 
ment, led the forces of his duchy into Cheshire, suggests that it had no strono- 
hold in Lancashire. 

John of Gaunt died on 3 February, 1399, and the king, contrary to the 
promise given when his son Henry, duke of Hereford, was banished a few 

*^ A. Reville, Soukfemnl des Tiavailleurs J^'Anskurrc en 1 38 1, cvi ; Trevelyan, Enghnd in th' An tf 
Wycliffe, 244, from Chester Indictment R. 8, m. 57. In the writ printed in Foed. (Rec. Com) iv 127 
'Lancashire' is clearly an error. In the autumn of this year the county was threatened with a dea'rth of 
^°"> '„?''■ ^"- '38'-^ P- 6«. - Close, 8 Ric. II, m. 3 ^. ; Walsingham, Hist. Angl. ii, , ,2. 

Alalveme m Pcyhromcon (Rolls Ser.), ix, 1 1 1 sqq. ; Knighton, Chron. (Rolls Ser.), ii 2C0-4 
Am. Ru.ll (Rolls Ser.), 159-62, 166 ; Malverne, op. cit. ix, 239-40, 265, 281 ; Armitage-Smith 
John of Gaunt, 351. > & > 

^ Rot. P.r/.^n, 316. In the Parliament of Jan. 1397, Lancaster demanded justice on Talbot, who had 
escaped from the Tower ; .bid. 338 ; Ca/. Pat. 1391-6, p. 560. Gloucester had been chief justice of Chester 
since 1388 (Ormerod, 1, 63), and there was a rumour that the county was to lose its ancient privilege^ He 
>v.ii also associated with Lancaster in the negotiations with France. ' 



months before, seized into his hands the duchy and all the other possessions 
of the late duke.'" The recovery of his heritage served Henry as a pretext 
for the invasion which placed him on the throne in September, 1399. 

Henry was careful not to incorporate the duchy of Lancaster and the 
other estates inherited from his father with the old crown lands. He 
provided that they should be kept distinct and separately administered, just as 
if he had not become king, and should descend to his heirs specified in the 
charters conferring the lands and rights."'* His motive in retaining them as 
private possessions of his house is obvious. The future of the succession to a 
crown upon which he had no hereditary right was uncertain. He did not 
venture in the first place to do more than secure Parliamentary recognition of 
his eldest son as heir apparent. Should circumstances oblige him to yield to 
the superior hereditary claims of the earls of March, his paternal heritage 
might be saved for his family."" As he could not himself be styled duke of 
Lancaster, Henry arranged, with the consent of Parliament, that the title 
should be borne by Prince Henry.'*^ The estates, however, remained in his 
own hand. 

This settlement gave a new and wider meaning to the term, ' duchy of 
Lancaster.' The old Lancastrian earldoms had been merged in the single 
title ' duke of Lancaster,' and the duchy of Lancaster, hitherto identical with 
the county palatine, henceforth comprised the whole complex of estates 
scattered over England and Wales, which John of Gaunt had held.'" 

Of this wider duchy of Lancaster the county palatine was for the future 
only a parcel — a subordinate regality. The duchy and the county now had 
each its own seal and its own chancellor."" The central administration of 
the duchy was vested in the chancellor and council of the duchy, and it 

"' On I March he gave the custody of the castle and honour of Lancaster, the castles and lordships of 
LiTerpool and Clitheroe, the manor of Blackburnshire, the castle of Halton, &c., to his nephew, Thomas 
Holland, duke of Surrey ; Fine R. 202, m. 1 1. For imprisonment of a Lancashire contemner of the king in 
the Tower, see Rot. Pari, iii, 445. 

"' Hardy, Charters, 137-40 (14 Oct. 1399). The only point in which the status of the tenants was 
changed, was in the enforcement of the crown prerogative of marriage outside the county palatine where it 
was already enjoyed. Chief Justice Gascoigne decided in 1405, that in matters relating to the duchy of 
Lancaster, the king could be sued like any common person ; Wylie, Hen. IF, ii, 187. 

"' Cf. Blackstone, Commentaries, i, 118. Sixty years later, after a long civil war, such a pacific arrange- 
ment was impossible, but at an earlier date might have been conceivable. It should be noted that even if the 
house of Lancaster had kept the crown, the duchy might have ceased to be held by the king. The first act of 
settlement of 1 406, for instance, would have limited the succession to the crown to heirs male, while the 
Lancaster estates cculd descend to females ; Rot. Pari, iii, 574. 

'™ Ibid. 428 (10 Nov. 1399). According to the peerage writers he was the last duke of Lancaster. 
The notion that the crown as owner of the estates of the duchy is thereby ' Duke of Lancaster,' is 
regarded by them as a popular error. It is at any rate an ancient error, and one that has received 
some oificial recognition. In 1515, e.g. Henry VIII made a grant 'as Duke of Lancaster' ; L. and P. 
Hen. nil, ii, 55. 

"" Cal. Pat. 1399-1401, pp. 434, 507, 527. Yet the term was still sometimes used in its old narrower 
application. Thus John de Springthorp was in 1410 appointed by Henry IV, chancellor ' infra Ducatum 
suum Palatinum Lancastriae' ; Towneley MS. CC. p. 129, No. 436. Henry V annexed to the duchy in 
1414 the estates of the earldom of Hereford derived from his mother ; Hardy, op, cit. 151. 

"^ Hen. VI attests the existence of the two chancellors under his predecessors when abolishing (in 1460) 
the third chancellor and other officials who had been created for the duchy lands committed to feoffees for 
certain purposes ; Hardy, Chart. 258. Despite this the same person is sometimes described as chancellor of 
the county and of the duchy. Thus in 1442 Walter Shirington appears as ' chancellor of our county palatine 
of Lancaster' (Add. MS. 32108, No. 1657), and in 1443 as 'chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster' ; Proc. 
Privy Council, v, 238. Is it the explanation of this apparent contradiction that the two offices were occa- 
sionally (or always) united in one hand ? For the great seal of the county palatine in 1399 see De/i. Keeper's 
Rep. xl, App. 527 ; for that of the duchy in 1404 (sig. Henrici regis Angliae . . . de ducatu Lancastriae), see 
M. Bateson, Rec. of Leicester, ii, Ixxix (with facsimile). 



seems probable that the court afterwards known as the court of the Duchy 
Chamber of Lancaster was established at Westminster by Henry IV for the 
jurisdiction in all matters of equity relating to lands held of the king in 
right of the duchy and empowered to receive appeals from the Chancery 
Court of the county palatine."" 

An attempt was made in Henry's first Parliament to grapple with local 
disorder in the north-west, not only by a stringent general law against the 
indiscriminate giving of liveries, but by special legislation. Richard's great 
bodyguard of Cheshire archers had made that ' den of thieves ' even more 
dangerous to its neighbours than before, and it was, therefore, enacted that 
Cheshire men committing acts of violence in other counties should forfeit 
their lands in Cheshire as well as any they might hold outside it.'"* The 
difficulties Henry experienced in maintaining his throne were not, indeed, 
very favourable to the success of these measures. Henry Percy passed 
through Lancashire in July, 1403, on his way to the battle of Shrewsbury '°° 
and found at least one supporter there. Geoffrey Bold, of Whittleswick, 
joined him, for which he afterwards forfeited that manor.'"^ Another con- 
nexion between Lancashire and the battle was created by the king's gift of 
the church of St. Michael-on-Wyre to the Collegiate Church founded on the 
site of his victory.'"' 

Local anarchy was still sufficiently prevalent in 1410 for a petition to be 
presented to Henry asking for the appointment of commissions of oyer and 
terminer to deal with rioters in Lancashire and other northern counties.'"' 
In the same Parliament complaints were made of damage done on the coasts 
of Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumberland by French, Scots and Welsh rebels, 
and a request was made for a local squadron under a deputy of the admiral of 
England. The answer given was that a remedy should be included in the 
ordinance for the safe-guard of the sea."" 

A considerable contingent from Lancashire accompanied Henry V in 
141 5 on the campaign which ended at Agincourt. John Lord Harcourt, 
banneret, took out two knights, twenty-seven men-at-arms, and ninety 
archers ;''" seven knights, James de Harrington, Richard de Kighley, Ralph 
de Staveley, Nicholas de Longford, William Botiller, John Southworth and 
Richard de Radcliffe, and two esquires, John Stanley and Robert Laurence, 
each served with fifty archers.'" 

A temporary Act passed in 141 9 and renewed in subsequent Parliaments 
throws a curious light upon the abuses which the privileges of the palatinate 
made possible. In consequence of false indictments against loyal persons, 
brought in that county and alleging treasons or felonies in places not in the 
county, every justice was ordered to inquire by a local jury of twelve, each 

*» The extant records of this court only begin in 1485. Selections have been printed by the Lanes and 
Ches. Rec. Soc. But great masses of the duchy documents of the fifteenth century have perished 
™ Rot. Pari, iii, 440. 

*" Traism et Mort de Richart Deux (Engl. Hist. Soc), App. 284. 

^ Chan. Misc. Bdle. i. file i ; Fine R. 240 m. 5. so? o., , „„„ „ ,^ 

•^ Rot. Pari, iii, 624 ; Towneley MS. CC. p. 1 34, No. 440. ' P" "' 

'^ Rot. Pari. 6^,^. *^^ 

Z ^■^p'^f ""f^T^'^'^- S;!;^' ^"^^ +7, No. 3 3- The amount due to him was nearly /600. 

Ibid. Bdle. 46, No. 35 ; Bdle. 44, No. 29. The nine received /113 i rs. apiece and the «chrr^ 
were paid 6d a d,, q,^^ ,^ ^^^,^^^ ^^,^^ ^.^^^^^,^ ^^^^^^^ .^ L.J^^ 'theTge'of Harfleu ten 
were mval.ded home before its capture, six were left in garrison there, seven v.ere taken prisoners the day 
before Agincourt, and only nineteen fought in the battle. None of these last were killed. 



having a free tenement there of the clear yearly value of £^, whether there 
was such a place, and if there were not the indictment was to be quashed. 
Indicters who prevented their victims from appearing by fear of being beaten, 
maimed or killed, were to be punished by imprisonment, fine and ransom."^ 
In 1 42 1 it was further enacted that those put in exigent or outlawed in the 
county palatine should not forfeit any of their property outside the county,'" 
Evidence of continued lawlessness in the county and on its borders during 
this reign and the next is only too abundant, though here too false charges 
seem to have been frequent. One or two examples of this lawlessness may 
be given. In March, 141 5, Sir John Byron of Clayton, with an armed band 
of twenty-eight men, carried off his mother, dame Joan, from Colwick, in 
Nottinghamshire, to Lancashire, and made her enter into an obligation of 
£1000 before the Mayor of Wigan not to alienate any lands descended to 

Six years later Parliament was obliged to take extraordinary measures 
against a band of wild youths from Westmorland seeking the life of Sir John 
Lancaster ; they had taken refuge in the woods and mountains between that 
county and Lancashire, and could not be reached by either sheriff.*" In 1432 
a petition was presented by William Scott of Hamerton in Bowland, alleging 
that Henry Bradley of Slaidburn, and Ellis Bradley of Ribchester, lurked in 
the hills out of the reach of sheriffs and frequently beset his house by night 
to kill him so that he could not live there. He asked that they should be 
summoned under heavy penalties before the King's Bench.'" 

The failure of the Lancastrian government to suppress local disorder was 
sufficiently evident before the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses. In that 
struggle the county of course ranked as a royalist district, but the dynasty did 
not obtain such a solid and unwavering support from its leading magnates as 
its close connexion with the house on the throne might have promised. The 
last two centuries had seen many changes among the great families of the 
county. Of its old Norman barons only the Butlers of Warrington survived 
obscurely in the male line. In South Lancashire the Banasters of Newton 
had been succeeded by the Langtons, the Grelleys of Manchester by the la 
Warres and the Wests, whose chief interests were outside the county. The 
more recent importance of the Hollands had passed away when an heiress 
carried their lands into the house of Lovel of Oxfordshire and Northampton- 
shire. In this part of the county now the two most prominent families 
were those of Molyneux and Stanley, who had only quite lately come to 
the front. 

"' Rot. Pari, iv, 120, 127, 147 ; v, 28. 

"' Ibid, iv, 147. This was renewed from Parliament to Parliament until 1453, when it was made 
perpetual ; but two years after it was repealed by the Yorkist Parliament of July, 1455, on the plea that it 
encouraged ' foreign men which for the most parte hathe noo thyng within the same Contee ' to commit 
'orrible oiFences' therein ; ibid. V, 53, 268. It was re-enacted by Henry VII in 1491, the adnullation of 
1455 being attributed to ' suggestion unresonable and sinistre labours of persons not best disposed, for theyre 
owne singular avauntage and to the grate prejudice and grugge, singular hurte and jeopardie of all your true 
Leiges oute of the said shire.' It was again repealed, however, in the same year. 

'" Early Chan. Proc. Bdle. 6, No. 294. 

"* Ret. Pari, iv, 163. The special process devised to enforce the Act against giving liveries was extended 
to the county palatine by a statute of 1429 ; ibid. 348. 

"' Ibid. 416. In January, 1437, Isalsella, widow of John Butler, of Bewsey, petitioned the king for justice 
on William Poole, of Wirral, gentleman, who in the previous July carried her off from Bewsey ' naked except her 
kertyll and smoke,' into the wilds of Wales. She had been recovered by a special commission under the 
great seal, but Poole was still at large ; ibid. 497. 



The Molyneux family, though seated at Sefton since the time of 
Henry I, held a comparatively humble place among the great tenants of the 
county until Sir Richard Molyneux distinguished himself in Henry V's French 
wars and his brother Adam rose to be bishop of Chichester and Keeper of the 
Privy Seal.'" Sir Richard's son and namesake was a favourite of Henry VI, 
who bestowed upon him in 1446 the chief official positions in West Derby 
wapentake, including the constableship of Liverpool Castle."' This accentu- 
ated the already existing rivalry between his family and the Stanleys, who had 
only been settled in Lancashire for sixty years."' The fortunes of this great 
house were founded by Sir John Stanley, a younger son of the Stanleys of 
Storeton in Wirral.'"" Sir John, who was lord lieutenant of Ireland under 
Richard II and Henry IV, and received a grant of the Isle of Man from the 
latter king, acquired Knowsley, Lathom, and other lands in south-west Lan- 
cashire by his marriage (before 1385) with the heiress of Sir Thomas Lathom. 
His grandson Thomas also governed Ireland, became lord chamberlain to 
Henry VI and was created a peer in 1456.'" In North Lancashire the 
leading position was held by the Harringtons, originally a Cumberland family. 
They had succeeded the Le Flemings in the barony of Aldingham in the thir- 
teenth century, and quite recently a younger branch had become possessed of the 
honour of Hornby, formerly a Montbegon fief, and since held by the Nevills. 
The only daughter of the last Lord Harrington of Aldingham in the male line 
married the son of Lord Bonville of Devonshire, an ardent Yorkist, and their 
son, who became Lord Harrington in 1458, took to wife a sister of the earl of 
Warwick, the kingmaker.'" In the Civil War, therefore, both the Harring- 
ton families frankly sided against the crown. Thomas Stanley, who succeeded 
his father in 1459 as second Baron Stanley, was also a brother-in-law of 
Warwick, but from the first adopted that trimming policy which ultimately 
secured him the earldom of Derby. At the battle of Blore Heath in August, 
1459, he and his younger brother William executed the same manoeuvre 
which afterwards proved so successful at Bosworth Field. Thomas Stanley 
kept the 2,000 men he had raised at the queen's call a few miles away from 
the scene of the battle, while William fought openly on the Yorkist side."'' 
Sir Richard Molyneux of Sefton, who was almost inevitably in the opposite 
camp, though some of his family were Yorkists, was slain along with other 
Lancashire men. William Stanley was attainted in the October Parliament 
of this year, but his elder brother's conduct, though the Commons impeached 
him as a traitor, was overlooked by the queen. '^* 

In December, 1460, the young Lord Harrington, his father William 
Bon\ ille, and Sir John Harrington of Hornby, were all slain fighting for the 
duke of York at \Vakefield.'" A few months later York's son was on the 
throne, and the wily Lord Stanley chief justice of Chester. Early in 1464 
the commons of Lancashire and Cheshire rose to the number of 10,000 in 

' " Diet. Nat. Bicg. xxrviii, 131. 

'" Ibid. 134. His father had also held them ; Duchy Reg. No. 17, fol. 75. 

'" In July, 1425, there was great rumour of'routes' between Sir Richard Molyneux and Thomas Stanley 
the younger at Liverpool. The sheriff received orders to take ike posse comitatus against them ; Towneley MS. 
CC. p. 219, No. S70. The Stanleys had built the Tower in Water Street, a bowshot from the castle. 

''" Diet. Nat. Biog. liv, 76. "' Ibid. 

'" G.E.C. Co!np:ete Peer.:ge, iv, 169. 

'" Diet. Nat. Biog. liv, 76. »< Rot. Pari, y, 348, 369. 

"' Ramsey, Laneaster and I'ork, ii, 238. 



support of the duke of Somerset's rebellion, but they were soon ' downe agen ' 
and one or two ' hedyd ' at Chester.'^' 

Six years later, in March, 1470, the duke of Clarence and the earl of 
Warwick, fleeing before Edward IV, came to Manchester in hopes of support 
from Lord Stanley, but ' ther they hadde litill favor ' and left the county 
hurriedly.'" On the restoration of Henry VI Stanley no longer hesitated, and 
in March, 1471, he was besieging Hornby Castle on behalf of the Lancas- 
trian government."' Yet the next turn of the political wheel found him in 
high favour with Edward IV. His first resistance to the duke of Gloucester's 
ambition in 1483 procured him a short imprisonment, but Gloucester's fears 
that Stanley's son would raise Lancashire and Cheshire against him were not 
realized, and the father made his peace with the usurper.'" He warily 
avoided committing himself in Buckingham's revolt, in which his second wife 
Margaret Beaufort, countess of Richmond, was deeply engaged, and even at 
Bosworth, though he had a secret interview with his stepson the earl of 
Richmond, he kept his Lancashire troops out of the battle, leaving his 
brother to decide the day for Henry. His abstention, however, counted for 
much and was suitably rewarded. The manors of Bury, Pilkington, and 
Cheetham, forfeited by Sir Thomas Pilkington, and the lands of other 
Lancashire families who had taken the losing side, swelled his possessions, and 
on 27 October, 1485, he was created earl of Derby."" He became godfather 
of Prince Arthur, and in July, 1495, the king and queen paid him a visit of 
nearly a month's duration at Knowsley and Lathom."^ The marriage (before 
1489) of his fifth son Edward to Anne Harrington, heiress of Hornby, 
extended the Stanley influence into North Lancashire."' 

Meanwhile dynastic changes had compelled a revision of the relations of 
the Lancaster estates to the crown. In 1461 they were declared in Parlia- 
ment to be forfeited to Edward IV by the treason of Henry VI. The claims 
of the heirs of the original grantees being thus barred, the duchy, with all its 
privileges, including those of a county palatine in Lancashire, was entailed 
upon Edward and his heirs being kings of England, to be held under the name 
of ' Duchy of Lancaster,' separate from all other inheritances.'" The 
possibility left open by the settlement of 1399 of this mighty fief passing 
again into the hand of a subject was thereby definitely excluded. Henry VII 
in the first Parliament of his reign had it vested in himself and ' his heirs for 
evermore . . . separate from the corone of England and possessione of the 
same,' "* Although the wording seems open to the construction that the 
crown and the duchy might pass into different hands, the Act of 1485 has 

'" Paston Letters, ii, 152 (before i March). 

'" Ibid, ii, 396. Edward could not follow them into Lancashire 'for lakke of vitayll' ; Rot. Pari, vi, 
233. During his subsequent exile Roger Lever is alleged to have entered Lancaster Castle with an armed 
force and carried off the record of a judicial decision against his claim to the wardship of the manor of Great 
Lever ; ibid. 34, p. 181. 

"" Foed. (Orig. ed.), xi, 699. The cannon called The Mile Ende was sent from Bristol for the siege. 

"» Diet. Nat. Biog. liv, 77. 

"" The title was taken from the county, though he had no lands there, not from the hundred of (West) 
Derby in which the bulk of his estates lay. 

"' Excerpta Hist. 104. He may have been one of the Lancashire men whom the earl of Oxford, when 
expecting a royal visit in 1489, proposed to convince that 'ther be gentylmen (in Essex) of as grete 
sobestaunce that thei be able to bye alle Lankeschere' ; Paston Letters, iii, 353. 

"' G.E.C. Complete Peerage, v, 347 ; Leland, Itin. viii, 109. 

'" Hardy, Chart, of Duchy of Lane. 282 ; Rot. Pari, v, 478. '" Ibid, vi, 272. 



always been held to have had the same effect as that of 1461, annexing the 
duchv to the crown as a separate inheritance.'" 

It was on the Furness coast that the earl of Lincoln and Lambert Simnel 
landed with their Irish and German forces on 4 June, 1487, and here they 
were joined by a number of Yorkists, including Sir Thomas Broughton and 
James and Thomas Harrington/'' Thence they made their way eastward into 
Yorkshire, In the royal army which defeated them at Stoke near Newark a 
large Lancashire contingent was present under the command of Lord Strange, 
eldest son of the earl of Derby."^ Lord Lovel, who disappeared so myste- 
riously after the battle in which he fought against the king, was a considerable 
landowner in the county/'^ 

Lancashire benefited by the cessation under the first Tudor king of the 
constant hostilities with Scotland which laid so heavy a burden upon the 
northern counties. But in 1 5 1 3 Henry VIII's invasion of France provoked a 
counter-invasion of Northumberland by the Scots, and Lancashire troops 
fought at Flodden. The 500 Lancashire men who, with double the number 
from Cheshire and some Yorkshire men, formed the extreme right wing of the 
English army under Lord Edward Howard, did not indeed distinguish them- 
selves. This wing ' never abode stroke but fled.'"' If we may believe the 
contemporary chronicler Hall, however, it was hopelessly outnumbered.'*" 
Here fell Robert Lawrence of Ashton-by-Lancaster and Sir John Booth of 
Barton, ' the only man of eminence slain on the English side.' '" Brian Tun- 
stall of Thurland and Richard Bold of Bold were also in this part of the field. 
Hall mentions 1,000 Lancashire men under Sir Marmaduke Constable, but 
does not indicate their place in the battle.'" Some men from the county 
were no doubt included among the retainers of James Stanley, bishop of Ely, 
who under his illegitimate son, Sir John Stanley, formed part of Surrey's 
division. But it was the doings of the extreme left wing, which like the 
right was drawn from Cheshire and Lancashire, and had as commander Sir 
Edward Stanley, fifth son of the earl of Derby, that compensated for the 
failure of their countrymen on the other wing. The official dispatch merely 
says that the earls of Lennox and Argyll with their puissances joined battle 
with Stanley and were put to flight ; but according to Hall, Stanley led his men 
up the hill unperceived by the Scots and drove their right before him down 
to the scene of the main fight.'** His services were rewarded by the order 
of the Garter and a peerage. He took the title of Lord Monteagle.'^* 

"* Courthope, Hist.Peeraff, 278. 

^ Rot. Parl.y\, 397 ; LcUnd, Collect. 17,210-15 ; ^Mich, Engl, under the Tudors, 36, 326. 

"' After the battle Sir Humphrey Stanley was made a banneret and Henry Bold and others knights. 

"* He held the old Holland estates. See above, p. 203. 

^ S/J// Papers Hen. VIII, iv, i (the official despatch). 

'*' E. Hall, Chron. (ed. 1 801), 562. He reckons the opposing force at 10,000 or more 

"' L. and P. Hen. Fill, i, 4462. 

»" Sir Henry Kighley, Sir Thomas Gerard of Brynn, and Sir William Molyneux of Sefton are described 
as fighting in this division ; Chet.Soc. Publ. (Old Ser.), xxxvii, 17-18. 

-" Hall, op. cit. 563. It is possible that Hall was misled by exaggerations in the Stanley interest, but he does 
not support the wilder assertions of the popular ballads {Flodden Field (ed. Weber), 37, 50) that Surrey jealously 
rejected the demand of the army that Stanley should lead the van and that Sir Edward slew James IV with his 
own hand. It should be noted that the Cheshire ballad printed by the Chetham Society (loc. cit.), which was 
written shortly after the battle, says nothing of Stanley's charge. The writer, however, was more interested in 
Sir John Stanley. He greatly exaggerates the numbers. 

"* A title said to be allusive to the hill he captured at Flodden and the eagle-foot crest of his house • 
Dugdale, Baronage, ii, 2 5 5 . ' 



The death of Thomas, second earl of Derby, in 1521, and of Mont- 
eagle in 1523, leaving in each case a son under age, temporarily deprived the 
county of the leadership which the Stanleys had successfully asserted. The 
earl of Surrey, who was collecting a force against the Scots in October of the 
latter year, informed the king that he proposed to lead the Lancashire men 
himself, ' considering there is some little displeasure amongis them and no 
man among them by whom they wol be ruled.' '" Quarrels between the 
retainers of local magnates chiefly accounted for the riotous assemblies in 
Lancashire and other northern counties which attracted the attention of the 
government in 1535, and were made subject of special inquiry. 

Sir Marmaduke Tunstall of Thurland and his followers fell out with the 
servants of (the second) Lord Monteagle, and both sides appeared in arms.'*" 
Tunstall nearly came to blows with a Mr. Morley over a disputed stag. His 
cook ' sore bete and struck ' a burgess of Lancaster.'*' 'And thus,' continues 
the report, ' Tunstall and his servants over-rynnyth all the Countre.' In 
South Lancashire Monteagle was forcibly prevented by Adam Hulton of 
Hulton from holding his court as steward of the abbot of Cockersand's lands 
at Westhoughton.'** Monteagle and Tunstall had to give securities for the 
peace, but were left to reduce the county to order.'*' 

In the autumn of the following year the commons of North Lancashire 
and the neighbourhood of Whalley rose in sympathy with Aske and his 
followers in Yorkshire. Their grievances were partly religious, partly secular.''" 
On the top of the dissolution of the smaller monasteries, which excited fears 
that the parish churches too would soon be despoiled, there came a demand 
for a new subsidy. ' The common people say openly that surely they will pay 
no more money for they have it not.' '" Many joined in the movement in 
the hope of getting relief from feudal burdens.'^' Repeal of certain unpopular 
statutes was demanded.'^' The loyal attitude of the young earl of Derby and 
his promptitude in raising a force of nearly 3,000 men '" prevented the extension 
of the rising to the southern parts of the county, where indeed discontent was 
less keen. The rebels had had hopes of Derby, and it was insinuated that his 
elation at receiving a royal commission extending over Lancashire, Cheshire, 
North Wales, and Staffordshire lost them his support.'^' Derby disbanded his 
little army on hearing of the accord taken by the duke of Norfolk with the 
Yorkshire insurgents at Doncaster on 27 October. They were sent home 
without their wages, and a week or two later some of them set upon the earl 

^' L. andP. Hen. Fill, iii, 3482. ="' Ibid, viii, 984, 1008. 

'^'Ibid. 1029. ^'Ibid. 1 108. 

**' Ibid. 1030, 1046 Quly). 

*" For a full account of the Pilgrimage of Grace in Lancashire and its religious causes see above, 
pp. 39, 43. For letters from Aske to Lancashire gentlemen urging them to raise the commons there sea 
L. and P. Hen. VIII, xi, 804 ; xii, 785. 

«> Ibid, xi, 678. 

'°' Ibid. 454, 464, 507. The commons demanded confirmation of the concession now made by the lords 
that land in the northern counties, including Furness, should be held by tenant right, and that the ' gressom ' 
{ingressum) payable at each change of tenancy should be limited to two years' rent ; they also asked for the 
enforcement of the Statute of Inclosures ; ibid. 1 246. 

'^ Statutes of Handguns and Crossbows, of Uses, of Constructive Treasons, and that empowering the king 
to declare the succession by will. Reform of Parliamentary elections and an early Parliament to be held in the 
north were also requested. 

"* Ibid. 1 25 1. His cousin Lord Monteagle headed a Stanley contingent of 616. 

'" Ibid. 807 ; Derb. Corresp. (Chet. Soc. New Ser. xix). Edward Stanley third earl of Derby was great- 
grandson of the first earl, who died in 1504. 

2 217 28 


and 'took such as he had."" During the subsequent negotiations between 
the royal officers and the commons, Derby was instructed to be ready to raise 
the forces of Lancashire and Cheshire at a moment's notice and his activity 
excited suspicions of the Icing's good faith. Aske complained that there was 
such mustering in Lancashire that the commons adjoining could not be kept 
in order ' for fear of being overrun.' '" 

After the final outbreak, which barely touched Lancashire, the earl of 
Sussex was associated with Derby in the work of punishing the guilty 
and restoring order in the county.'" A number of offenders (including 
the abbot of Whalley) were hanged at Lancaster, Whalley, and Manchester,"' 
and on 21 March, 1537, Sussex wrote that he 'expected to leave the 
people as obedient, faithful, and dreadful subjects as any in the realm.' 
He incidentally expressed his opinion that there was not a ' skacer ' county 
both for horse meat and man's meat in England."" 

Some things came out in the course of the general inquiry into the 
insurrection which suggested that the hopes which the rebels had cherished 
of support from the earl of Derby might not have been without some 
justification in his views on certain points, but his conduct throughout had 
been so correct that no notice could be taken of these suspicions. That 
he was popularly supposed not to be over sympathetic with the subsequent 
developments of royal policy seems to be attested by the false report set 
about in the autumn of 1538 that he had been sent to the Tower.'" 

The quiet which fell upon the county during the remaining years of 
the reign was broken only by musterings for the wars. When the earl of 
Hertford invaded Scotland in 1 544 Lancashire furnished 3,000 archers and 
billmen out of a total of 12,300 provided in combination with Cheshire, 
Derbyshire, Yorkshire, and Nottinghamshire."' 

Part II — From the Reign of Henry VIII 

Though Lancashire took no considerable part in the great rising of 1536 it 
had to suffer its share of the penalties awarded to the rebellious north. For the 
better preservation of order in these distant parts of the kingdom two consti- 
tutional changes were then introduced which very closely affected the subse- 
quent history of this county as well as that of the north generally, and proved 
very far-reaching in their effect. These were the revival of the ' Council of 
the North ' of Edward IV and the appointment of lords-lieutenant to 
administer the political and military government of the counties. 

The revival of the ' Council of the North ' was a stroke of masterful 
policy rendered necessary perhaps by extraordinary events. By it there was 
now placed upon the proud and stubborn neck of the northerners a yoke 
which at the end of a hundred years became so insufferable that, as will be 
seen, they threw it off with violence, breaking in pieces not merely the yoke 
itself, but the government that had kept it there so long. 

"^ L. and P. Hen. Vlll, xi, 1097. '" Ibid. 1 1 34-5, 1227. 

^^'Ibid. xii, 302. '^' Ibid. 632. 

=" Ibid. 695. »' Ibid, xiii (2), 632. 

"* Ibid, xix (2), App. 8. Cheshire 2,000, Yorkshire 6,000, Derbyshire 800, Nottinghamshire 500. The 
four northernmost counties supplied together 7,473. 



In its beginning the council does not appear to have been injurious to 
Lancashire, which had not much part or lot in its deliberations. There seem 
to have been no Lancashire members, and there were no sessions held in the 
county.^ This was in some respects an advantage, and in others a disadvan- 
tage, since any causes affecting the county had to be pleaded at York, Hull, 
Newcastle, or Durham, wherever the council happened to be sitting.* 

A northern lieutenancy comprising several counties grouped together 
(as in the ancient Norman shrievalty) had been actually instituted earlier in 
the reign of Henry VHI, but after the unrest and disaffection which culmi- 
nated in the Pilgrimage of Grace it assumed greater power and importance. 
The office, which was at first closely associated with the presidency of the 
Northern Council, was held by the duke of Norfolk, by the earl of 
Shrewsbury, and lastly by the earl of Derby, in whose family it has 
remained, with one or two exceptions, down to the present time. It is not 
exactly clear when the lieutenancy of Lancashire became separated from 
the general lieutenancy of the north, but it was probably from the time 
when it was taken over by the earl of Derby, who as a great county 
magnate had almost paramount power in the palatinates of Cheshire and 

Politically regarded the institution of the lieutenancy of the county is 
important, as it marks the beginning of a period of strong centralization. 
The lord lieutenant was an extraordinary officer sent by the monarch, a latere 
so to speak, to rule the county on behalf of the crown. As the sovereign's 
direct representative he took precedence of, and partially superseded, that 
ancient provincial governor, the sheriff, whose authority had hitherto been 
supreme in all matters of law and order affecting the county. . 

It is necessary to insist upon the extraordinary character of the two 
political expedients to which the Tudors resorted, because these powerful 
presidencies came to have a predominating influence on the history of the 
north and of the palatinate of Lancashire in particular. Gradually departing 
from the raison d'etre of their inception, which was to administer justice and 
to preserve law and order, they ended in becoming the local instruments 
of the king's tyranny, and so defeated the purpose for which they were 
originated, and by their strongly partisan and persecuting character became 
definite sources of oppression. 

From the very first the law of political expediency and of subserviency 
to the crown was, as might be expected from a crown officer, pursued by the 
lieutenancy. It was not merely that, on account of the firmness and caution 
of the earl of Derby, the county was kept out of the northern rebellion, but it 
was equally due to the earl's recognition of the necessity of bending to the 
strong current of the times that the lieutenancy met the requirements of the 
advanced Edwardian reformers, just as the earl afterwards accommodated his 
policy to the orders of the Marian bigotry. This pliant acquiescence, though 
it saved trouble at the time, prepared the way for later disasters. By giving 
each party its head alternately, both grew strong enough to wrestle with 

' Quoted Lanes. Lieutenancy (Chet. Soc. xlix, 1), pt. i, Introd. p. xviii. 

' Burnet, Hist, of the Reformation, pt. ii, bk. i, No. 56. 

' The earl had a commission from Hen. VIII to raise forces and suppress insurrections on the border of 
the county, but this was at the very time when the earl of Shrewsbury held the northern lieutenancy ; vide 
Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. vi, App. x, 445. 



their opponent in the following century. Had Mary succeeded her father 
the Reformation in Lancashire might have been stamped out altogether, and 
the remainder of Church property might possibly have been saved fronri the 
wreck. But the succession of a minor under the guardianship of a fanatically 
Protestant council, headed by the enthusiastic Somerset, nourished and 
fostered those seeds of reformation which in Lancashire had fallen upon 
fertile ground, and during the interval of the rule of Edward VI its assiduous 
cultivators succeeded in bringing to a mature growth the Lancashire Puritan 
party, which later became a great pohtical force in the county. 

The lord-lieutenant was probably more congenially and suitably engaged 
in the miUtary duties of his office than in destroying monasteries or persecuting 
Protestants, and we therefore turn to his work of assembling in 1553 the 
first recorded mihtary muster of the county forces under the Lancashire 
lieutenancy.* Each hundred furnished its special quota as follows : — 

Derby hundred . 

. 430 men 

Amounderness hundred 

300 men 

Sal ford ,, 

• 350 „ 

Blackburn „ 

• 400 „ 

Leyland ,, 

• 170 ,, 

Lonsdale „ 

• 350 „ 

Their leaders were to be the earl himself and the chief gentlemen of the 
county. Sir Richard Molyneux, Sir Thomas Gerard, Sir Piers Legh, Sir 
John Holcroft, Sir John Atherton, Sir William Norris, and some other 
esquires and gentlemen, were for West Derby. For Salford were Sir Edmund 
Trafford, Sir William RadclifFe, Sir Robert Langley, Sir Thomas Holt, Sir 
Robert Worsley, and some others, esquires. In Leyland hundred Sir Thomas 
Hesketh and other gentlemen ; and in Amounderness Sir Thomas Hesketh 
and Sir Richard Hoghton and other gentry. In Blackburn hundred Sir 
Richard Shireburne, Sir Thomas Langton, Sir Thomas Talbot, Sir John 
Southworth, John Towneley, and other esquires and gentlemen. In Lonsdale 
hundred the Lord Monteagle, Sir Marmaduke Tunstall, and some other 

In 1556 a levy of 200 archers was made on the county to serve the 
queen against the Scotch, under the leadership of Sir Robert Worsley and 
Edward Tildesley, esquire. Next year we find a dispatch of the earl of 
Derby in his capacity of lord-lieutenant addressed to the earl of Shrewsbury, 
Lord President of the Council of the North, giving details as to the captains 
of the forces he was sending ' against the Scottish doings.' These were as 
follows : — 


Sir Richard Molyneux, or his son and heir ...... 200 

Sir Thomas Gerard .......... 200 

Sir Thomas Talbot .......... 200 

Sir Richard Hoghton, not able to go in person, but will send a substitute . 100 

Sir Thomas Hesketh '\ 

Sir Thomas Langton |^not able to serve, but will furnish an able captain . 100 

Sir William Norris J 

Sir William Radcliffe or his son and heir, and Sir John Atherton with him 100 

Francis Tunstall and others . . . . . . . . iqo 

Sir John Holcroft and his son and heir ; Richard Assheton of Middleton 

and others . . . . . . . . . . iqq 

The earl of Derby supplied the rest of the quota for Lancashire, which totalled about 
2,000 men.' 

* Lanes. Lieutenancy (Chet. Soc. xlix, 1), pt. i, 2, et seq. 

' These details are copied from the earl's dispatch as quoted ; ibid. pp. 16-17. 



These names of Lancashire knights and gentlemen are interesting and 
important owing to the very prominent part borne by many of them or their 
descendants in the next and following reigns. Again in 1556-7* a commis- 
sion of array was issued to the sheriff and justices of the county for a muster 
of its armed forces. Next year the queen died. 

The accession of the Princess Elizabeth in 1558 was doubtless a great 
relief to the handful of Protestants in Lancashire, one or two of whom 
were in prison for religion. The queen's policy, however, being a middle 
one between the Edwardian iconoclasm and the Marian bigotry, did not 
promise much satisfaction to the Puritans any more than to the Roman 
Catholics of the county. She was intolerant of extremists. Her position 
was rather that of her royal father, and by the Acts of Supremacy 
and Uniformity passed in 1559 she assumed the right of deciding 
the doctrine and worship which were to be taught and used in public. 
Those who objected to the assumption were regarded as ' disobedient 
subjects ' or even ' traitors,' and punishable accordingly. The Acts were 
strenuously resisted by many in Lancashire ; ^ but the queen seems to have 
set her heart and mind upon the spiritual and political conquest of the 
county, for the more ' contumacious ' the people the greater were the efforts 
put forth by the queen and her council. 

The loyalty of Lancashire was indeed of importance owing to its 
nearness to Scotland, where in 1561 the young widowed queen of France, 
then queen of Scots, had taken up her state. Her zealous adherence to Roman 
Catholicism, her asserted claim to the English throne, made her a dangerous 
rival on the northern border, and a possible combination with the zealous 
Roman Catholics of Lancashire was far from being impracticable. 

By way of assuring herself and her council of its military strength the 
queen ordered the lord-lieutenant to summon a muster of the troops of the 
county. The array of January, 1560, showed 3,992 'harnessed and un- 
harnessed men ' in it.* These probably were those whom the earl mentioned 
in a letter to Sir William Cecil as being ordered to Newcastle for i February ' 
to assist at the siege of Berwick. 

Owing to the tumult of events happening over the border, where in 
1565 the Scottish queen had married the young earl of Darnley and 
acquiesced in his murder two years later, Elizabeth and her council, headed 
by Cecil, afterwards Lord Burghley, felt that greater attention should be 
given to the forcible conversion of Lancashire from its religious leanings. 
The county indeed swarmed with Roman Catholics, some of them having 
sworn not to come to the Anglican communion and rejoicing in the report 
of a projected Spanish invasion." Upon such nothing short of an organized 
government campaign of prosecution was likely to take affect. Accordingly 
in 1567 the queen wrote to Dr. Downham, bishop of Chester, urging him 
to be more zealous in the suppression of recusancy and in the encouragement 
of episcopacy," and pointing out how the earl of Derby had already proved 

• Pat. 3 & 4 Phil, and Mary (1556-7), m. \i d. 'Pat. i Eliz. m. ^zd. 

' Lanes. Lieutenancy, pt. i, 21, No. 6 (reprinted from the Shuttleworth MSS.). 
' Cal. S.P. Dom. 1547-80, p. 149. 

'" Letter from Rich. Hurleston to the earl of Pembroke concerning the king of Spain's preparations for 
invading England ; ibid. 303. 

" Strype, Jnnals of the Reformation, i, 544-5. 



his zealous loyalty by the arrest of suspected persons. In compliance with the 
queen's request the bishop made a tour of his diocese, which extended over 
all Lancashire, and on i November, 1568, wrote a report to Cecil as to the 
doings of the ecclesiastical commissioners, and mentioned certain prominent 
recusants, who were examined before them.^' 

In February, 1569, the queen wrote to her ecclesiastical commissioners 
in the north, and in particular to the earl of Derby, the bishop of Chester, 
and the sheriff of Lancaster, directing them to attach such persons as under 
pretence of religion drew sundry gentlemen and other persons from their 
' duty and allegiance.' " In another letter to Edward Holland, the sheriff of 
Lancashire, the queen commanded him to apprehend certain ministers '* 
who were obviously Roman Catholics preaching their so-called ' disloyal ' 
doctrines. One of these was that afterwards notorious political schemer 
Cardinal Allen," who, warned of his danger in remaining in Lancashire, 
went over to Flanders in the same year. 

As a further measure of precaution against idle discontent the whole 
mob of vagrant persons who had no honest means of livelihood were herded 
up and swept out of the county. Strype tells us that no less than 13,000 
' masterless ' men were sent back to their own counties as the result of this 
general order." 

The anxiety of the queen and her ministers was amply justified in that 
second great ' Rebellion of the North,' which broke out in November, 1569, 
on behalf of Mary queen of Scots and of the restoration of the Roman 
Catholic religion. Again, thanks to the stout loyalty and extensive power 
of the earl of Derby, Lancashire was kept from taking any part in this 
insurrection, though the rebel carls of Northumberland and Westmorland 
sent letters to ask his help and countenance.^^ On 20 November, 1569, 
the queen had appointed Lord Derby her lord-Heutenant " in the county 
palatine of Lancaster. Now, therefore, came the earl's chance for proving 
his staunch loyalty. He had already written to the queen giving her 
information of the intended rising, and assuring her that Lancashire should 
not participate in it. He next forwarded the letters of the rebel earls, and 
before the queen could have received them a missive reached him from Eliz- 
abeth commanding him to raise the whole forces of Lancashire and Cheshire 
and to proceed against the rebels." They were easily dispersed, and the 
county forces returned home. But from this time onwards the queen and 
her council kept the county closely in hand both as to the persecution of 
recusants and the preparation of available troops for cases of similar political 
and military emergency.'" 

It was probably these costly musters that obliged the government to 
have recourse to taxation, so that in 1569-70 'the ancient Tenth and 

" Sec Lane. Lieutenancy, pt. i, 46, note 89 ; also note 28, quoting letter of Bishop Downham to the 
Secretary of State. 

" Cal. S.P. Dom. 1547-80, p. 305. .. ibjd. 307 

See Lanes. Lieutenancy, pt. 1, 25, note (continued from note 2, p. 23). 

" Strype, Annals of the Reformation, i, 572. 

" Published in Burghley's State Papers, i, 564. 

" Baines, Hist, of Lanes, (ed. Harland), i, 1 69. 

" Cal. S.P. Dom. 1566-79, p. 159. 

"See Harl. MS. 309 fol. 104 for the earl of Derby's adjustment of the respective division, of force 
assigned to the justices of the peace in the palatinate, Sept. 1570. 



Fifteenth chargeable within the county of Lancaster ' was revived and levied 
in the net sum of £2° 5 3^' ^'^•" 

The ' seventies ' were anxious times for England. The pope's hostile 
proclamation by a bull releasing Elizabeth's subjects from their allegiance, 
followed by the great massacre of Protestants in France in 1 572 and the 
hatching and exposure of the Ridolfi plot for marrying the queen of Scots 
to the duke of Norfolk, necessarily alarmed the queen and her advisers, and 
made them feel how necessary it was to prosecute the campaign against the 
recusants and to provide an armed force within the country to resist any 
sudden rising on their part. In 1572 the old earl of Derby died, and was 
succeeded in his title and estates by his son Henry, the queen's favourite." 
On him, apparently, the queen conferred the lieutenancy of both palatinates 
in succession to his father, and one of the new earl's first duties was to 
superintend the general muster of 1 574, by which was obtained a list of the 
serviceable men that could be furnished by the county. 

The various extant documents which certify to the Lancashire returns " 
vary a little in detail ; but it will suffice to quote the verdict of the editor of 
the Lancashire Lieutenancy, who puts the total number of men mustered in 
Lancashire in this commission as between five and six thousand, of whom 
though all were ' able ' only about one-half, or rather less, were armed. ^^ 
The distribution was as follows : — 












Derby ...... 








I 12 






















County .... 








Compared with the musters of the other counties Lancashire came out 
favourably ; but in respect of the proportion of soldiers to the aggregate 
population it ranked second in England, being exceeded only by Middlesex.*" 

The importance of keeping a county of such military capacity on the 
side of the crown was fully appreciated by Elizabeth, though not sufficiently 

" Harl. MS. 1926, art. 5, fol. 22. Quoted Lanes. Lieutenancy, pt. i, 24, No. 8. 

" Burghley, State Papers, ii, 184. Also Thos. Challoner writing in 1576 says he was 'with Elizabeth 
Queene well lik't and of her subjects in great favour.' 

" Harl. MSS. Cod. 1926, art. 3, fol. 5-i9<3 ; and Harl. MS. 1926, art. 4, fol. 20, for the general levy 
of arms, armour, and horses in Lanes. ; and for the certificate and summary of the same muster. Quoted 
Lanes. Lieutenancy, pt. i, 34-61, No. 10, 11. 

" The editor of the Lanes. Lieutenancy has (i, 61) a lengthy note as to the various discrepancies in the 
table of returns, as shown by the detailed numbers quoted in the text of the Harl. MS. and those given in 
the above table, in which he remarks that the totals given in the text (as distinguished from the table) are 
2,375 furnished and 2,495 unftirnished. Add to these, he says, the 600 pioneers and it gives for the total 
number of men mustered in Lancashire under this certificate 5,470. Add again the 1,230 men given in the 
first-quoted Harl. MS. as furnished ' by the Statute,' and the total is 6,700 men for Lancashire. 

" Cf Baines, Hist, of Lanes, (ed. Harland), i, 171. 



by her unfortunate successor, the second Stuart, whose final and completest 
overthrow, as will presently be seen, was largely effected by the resistance of 
this very county. In addition to this general muster of the county's armed 
streni^th, special levies were raised in it to serve in Ireland. Fifty archers 
had been levied from Lancashire to serve in that county in 1567 ; '* and now 
again in 1574 the earl and other commissioners were required to raise, 
furnish with arms, clothing, and money, a composite force of archers, 
billmen, and calivers, making a total of 100 men. Next year a levy of 
thirty labourers and soldiers was taken for service in Ireland by the queen's 

While taking good order for the military efficiency of the county, the 
queen and her advisers lost no time in pressing on the campaign against the 
recusants. In a letter of 1570 the bishop of Carlisle had remarked that 
' in Lancashire the people fall from religion, revolt to Popery, and refuse to 
come to Church.' '' In 1576, in reply to a letter received from the council 
urging strong measures against such, the bishop of Chester, Dr. Downham, 
wrote a letter which is an indictment of the Roman Catholic members of 
the population, who would not attend the Church service, or pursue the 
' godly exercises of Religion allowed and set forth by the Laws of this 
Realm.' He incloses a list of the principal offending recusants, classed as 
' obstinate ' or ' conformable.'" The matter was sufficiently serious to engage 
the attention of the queen and her council, and to be referred to a new 
ecclesiastical commission acting in concert with the president and Council of 
the North, which acted as the Northern Star Chamber. In June, 1580, the 
lords of the council wrote to Henry earl of Huntingdon, lord president of 
the North, signifying that many gentlemen and others in Lancashire being 
fallen away to ' the Popish rehgion,' the queen had thought fit to send down 
an ecclesiastical commission into the diocese of Chester (which at that time 
included Lancashire in its scope) directed to the archbishop of York, the 
earl of Derby, the bishop of Chester and others, to proceed against the said 
parties. As the defection referred to was thought to be ' principally begun 
by sundry principal gentlemen of that county ' (Lancashire), 'by whom 
the meaner sort of people are led and seduced, so it is thought meeter that in 
the execution of the commission you begin first with the best of the said 

The first measures of the High Commission Court were the levying of 
greater penalties upon non-attendance at church, and the imprisoning of 
recusants. If the persons fined did not appear in court to answer the 
summons against them the sheriff was empowered to effect a distringas on 
their goods and lands." In July this year Lord Burghley himself wrote to 
the bishop of Chester ' touching the ill state of Lancashire on the Lords of 
the High Commission's first repair thither' ; and that at the bishop's request 
he had procured the queen's letter of thanks to Henry earl of Derby for his 
great pains in endeavouring to reform the same.'' A letter of 26 July 

« Shntdeworth MSS. ; Harl. MS. 1926, art. 9, fol. 28,^, quoted Lanes. Lieutenancy, pt. i, 22, No. 7. 

Shuttleworth MSS. quoted Lanes. Lieutenancy, pt. i, 66, No. 14, 1575. 
'* Quoted ibid, i, 31, note. 

" Harl. MSS. Cod. 286, fol. 28. Quoted Lanes. Lieutenancy, pt. i, 67, No. 14*. 1576. 

'° Peck, Desiderata Curiosa, i, 85 ; Lib. iii. No. xi, June 1580. 

" Ibid, i. Lib. iii, No. xii, 3 July, 1580 ; No. xiv, 15 July. ^j 1^;^. 23 July, 1580, No. xvi. 



thanks the bishop for his great exertions, and hopes to see ' those countries 
under your charge speedily purged of that dangerous infection of Popery.' 
The discovery of real or fictitious plots against the queen decided the council 
upon the severest measures against a religion which exalted allegiance to 
the pope above that due to the sovereign. Campion was thought to be in 
hiding in Lancashire. A letter of Sir Francis Walsingham, dated 31 July, 
1580, refers to the queen's decision ' to proceed roundly with the recusants.'" 
Campion was arrested and executed in 1581, and in that year Sir John 
Southworth, and others who were arrested by the inquisition of 1576, were 
more strictly kept, and the whole machinery, lay and clerical, of the county, 
was put in motion for the prosecution of the religious campaign.'* The 
commissioners were to require ' the sheriffs and Justices of the Peace adjoin- 
ing to their houses to cause the precepts to be duly served and executed 
upon their peril.' " 

That the task of prosecuting recusancy in a county where Roman 
Catholicism had such a deep hold was not an easy one appears from the 
letter of the council to the high sheriff of Lancashire and to the justices, 
reproaching them that although the queen had signified her pleasure for a 
general conformity in matters of religion — no properly political disloyalty 
being alleged — and for all recusants to be proceeded against at the quarter 
sessions, yet nothing had been done in Lancashire ; and requiring a list of all 
faulty persons and absent justices." In January, 1582, the lords of the 
council wrote to the earl of Derby and the bishop of Chester, regretting to 
hear that ' there is such a number of Recusants in Lancashire,' and referring 
to the ' slackness and partiality used by some of the Justices.' 

The question soon arose as to how the heavy expenses of the prisoners 
for religion were to be defrayed. The commissioners decided that a charge 
of %d. a. week should be laid on every parish to defray the cost.*^ This 
collection was to be assessed and taken by the justices of the peace, and paid 
to the keeper of the Fleet Prison, Manchester.'' Some difficulty arose about 
the collection of money in the parishes, but in December, 1583, the council 
sent orders it was to be continued, and those who opposed it were to be sent 
up to London." The earl of Derby was very zealous in the cause of the 
crown, and the queen caused the council to thank him for his forwardness in 
the matter.*" His son Ferdinando, Lord Strange, writing to the bishop of 
Chester, refers to Lancashire as ' this so unbridled and bad an handful of 

While all this prosecution of recusants was going forward, the queen 
and council were by no means indifferent to the military provision for the 
county. In March, 1580, the queen's commission for a general muster was 
sent to the palatinate, under the management of the earl of Huntingdon as 
lord president of the Northern Council, the earl of Derby as lord-lieutenant, 
the sheriff, Edmund Trafford, esq., and many others, knights, esquires, and 
gentlemen of the county.*^ At the same time was sent an order for a 

" Peck, Desiderata Curiosa, \, Lib. iii, No. xviii, 31 July, 1580. " Ibid. No. xxxiv. 

^ Ibid. No. XXXV, 4 July, 1 581. " Ibid. No. xliii. 14 Dec. 1581. 

" Ibid. No. liii, 30 June, 1582. " Ibid. Lib. iv. No. vi. 

" Ibid. No. xxvi, Dec. 1383. 

*" Ibid. No. xxvii. 

*' Shuttle-worth MSS. quoted Lanes. Lieutenancy, pt. 2, p. 104, No. 27. — 1580. 

2 225 29 


detachment of trained men to be shipped from Chester to Ireland." In i 583 
instructions were sent to the county commissioners concernmg the mustermg 
of horsemen and the breeding of horses .« Next year another levy of men 
was taken for Ireland ; ** while as a more effectual means of anticipating any 
rebellious efforts, the recusants were now required to find either horsemen or 
money for the Irish expedition ,« a requisition which would sufficiently cripple 
their power of finding any for their own purposes. 

The danger to the queen's person from the adherents of Mary Stuart in 
general, and from Roman Catholic fanatics in particular, was believed to be so 
great, that in 1584 a loyal association of English gentlemen was formed by 
the earl of Leicester and with the sanction of Parliament, to protect their 
sovereign from assassination.** Not to be lacking in zeal for their queen, the 
Protestant gentlemen of Lancashire got up a similar declaration. The list 
was of course headed by the earl of Derby and his son Ferdinando, Lord 
Strange, and comprised the names of eighty other Lancashire landowners.*^ 
Many of the loyal Roman Catholic gentry also subscribed their names. The 
declaration was, in fact, a public test of loyalty, and those who refused to sign 
would certainly have been arrested as traitors. The absence of names such 
as those of Sir John Southworth and others, may be accounted for by the 
fact that they were not merely in prison, but had been taken to London 
some time before. 

In May, 1585, Philip of Spain declared war against England by 
imprisoning all the crews of English ships in Spanish harbours and detaining 
the vessels. Drake sailed later in the year to avenge this injury, and it would 
appear that from about this time the king of Spain was planning a descent 
upon the English coasts. This was apparently to have come about in 
connexion with the Babington conspiracy to assassinate Elizabeth and to put 
Mary on the throne.*' In August, 1586, the conspirators, who included 
several Lancashire men, were arretted, and a special commission was appointed 
to examine Mary's share in the plot. Meanwhile Philip's designs of invasion 
seem to have been more particularly confirmed to the English ministry by the 
evidence of a Liverpool merchant, one Humphrey Brooke, and a circum- 
stantial account is furnished by him of the number and strength of the 
Spanish fleet which he had seen off the Biscayan coast, and which was 
believed to be approaching the English Channel.*' 

The danger was undoubtedly very great, and urgent measures of defence 
were imperative. In October, 1587, orders were sent to Sir Richard 
Shireburne, one of the deputy lieutenants for the county, and to the justices, 
that the trained bands were to be mustered at Lancaster, Preston, Whalley, 
Manchester, Ormskirk, and Chorley, the horsemen at Preston and Wigan, 
and the arms of the county were to be collected at the places of muster ^^ by 

" Shutdeworth MSS. quoted Lanes. Lieutenancy, pt. 2, p. 1 1 1, No. 28. — i 580. 

" Harl. MSS. Cod. 1926, art. 28, fol. 38a. Quoted ibid. pt. 2, p. 130. 

" Shuttleworth MS. ; Harl. MS. 1926, art. 51, fol. 65. Quoted ibid. pt. 2, p. 132. 

" Ibid. Also Harl. MS. 1926, art. 52, fol. 67, in which the year is wanting. Quoted Lanes. Lieu- 
tenancy, pt. 2, p. 139. « Hansard, Pari. Hist, i, 823. 

*' The full list of names is attached to the copy of the declaration preserved in the Harl. Collect. 
Harl. MS. 2219, fol. 19. Quoted Lanes. Lieutenancy, pt. 2, pp. 152-8. 

*' State Trials, i, 123. 

•' Vide Harl. MSS. Cod. 286, fol. 88. 'Tidings of the Spanish fleet.' Quoted in Lanci. Lieutenancy, 
pt. 2, pp. 176-9. 

" Shutdeworth MSS. quoted Lanes. Lieutenancy, pt. 2, p. 1 80, et seq. 



the justices of the peace. In April, 1588, an abstract of the returns made by 
the deputy lieutenants certifies that Lancashire could furnish 1,170 trained 
men, 700 calivers, 300 corslets, 80 bows, 20 bills, and 20 lances. Another 
certificate adds 265 light horse." 

Probably by way of bringing the palatinate more closely under the eye of 
the council, the queen, in June, 1587, appointed her secretary, Sir Francis 
Walsingham, to the vacant chancellorship of the duchy." Other steps 
thought necessary for the order of the county were also taken. On the 
suggestion of the rector of Wigan, the Rev. Edward Fleetwood, those 
justices who were deemed favourable to the cause of recusancy were removed 
and others who were more reliable were put in their places." No less than 
six hundred recusants were consequently presented at the summer assizes at 
Lancaster in this year." In the summer of 1588 the danger of foreign 
invasion upon the west was so much increased that points on the Lancashire 
coast and heights inland were guarded by warning beacons," and, in particular, 
attention was given to the possibility of an armed landing near the Peel of 
Foudrey," in the northern part of the county of Lancaster. These pre- 
cautionary measures were the direct outcome of a spirited public letter 
written in June that year by the queen to all lords-lieutenant and so to 
Lord Derby, in his capacity of lord-lieutenant of Lancashire, referring to the 
alarm of present invasion, and requi